TERM 1 2021 CALENDAR
- Tue 2 Feb: Kindergarten begins. First day of gymnastics lessons. (Every Tues in Term 1).
- Thu 4 Feb: Sausage sizzle with new Kindergarten families, 4.30 to 6.00.
- Mon 8 – Fri 12 Feb: Lockdown and evacuation drills.
- Wed 10 Feb: Parent information sessions on site: (3.10-3.35: Kinder, Year 1) (3.35-4.00: Years 2 , 3 & 4). (4.00-4.25: Years 5 & 6).
- Tue 16 Feb: Lakes regional swimming carnival.
- Wed 24 Feb: P&F meeting at 6.30.
- Thu 25 Feb: Diocesan swimming carnival.
- Fri 12 March: School cross country.
- Fri 19 March: St Patrick’s Day celebrations at St Patrick’s (2 days late!) Diocesan winter sport trials.
- Mon 22 March: NAPLAN practice tests.
- Wed 24 March: P&F meeting at 6.30.
- Thu 25 March: NAPLAN practice day to test the platform.
- Fri 26 March: Term 1 interim reports published.
- Thu 1 April: Last day of Term 1.
- Fri 2 April: Good Friday.
- Sun 4 April: Easter Sunday.
OTHER 2021 DATES FOR YOUR CALENDAR
- Mon 19 April: Term 2 begins.
- Sun 25 April: ANZAC Day march (depending on COVID restrictions).
- Tue 27 April: Diocesan cross country.
- Mon 3 May: Change to winter uniform.
- Sun 9 May: Mothers’ Day.
- Tue 11 – Fri 21 May: NAPLAN assessments.
- Fri 28 May: School athletics carnival.
- Mon 14 June: Public holiday.
- Wed 23 June: Lakes region athletics carnival.
- Fri 25 June: Last day of Term 2.
- Mon 12 July: Term 3 begins.
- Fri 27 Aug: Kindergarten 2022 orientation #1, 9.00-11.00.
- Sun 29 Aug: Fathers’ Day.
- Fri 17 Sep: Last day of Term 3.
- Mon 4 Oct: Public holiday.
- Tue 5 Oct: Term 4 begins.
- Fri 15 Oct: Kindergarten 2022 orientation #2, 9.00-11.00.
- Tue 19 Oct: School photos.
- Fri 5 Nov: Kindergarten 2022 orientation #3, 9.00-11.00.
- Thu 11 Nov & Fri 12 Nov: Years 5 & 6 camp – Point Wolstoncroft.
- Mon 29 Nov: Year 5 leadership day.
- Fri 3 Dec: Year 5 leadership speeches and voting.
- Tue 7 Dec: End-of-year awards ceremony, 1.30-3.00.
- Wed 15 Dec: Last day of Term 4 for students.
- Thu 16 Dec: Last day of Term 4 for staff.
From the PrinciPAL
Welcome back to St Patrick’s for the 2021 school year. On behalf of the school community, I welcome our 20 Kindergarten students who have arrived at school today for their first day. Unfortunately, COVID restrictions did not allow us to organise our usual morning tea for the parents and families of our new Kindergarten students, although we have sent out invitations to the new Kindergarten families to join us for a sausage sizzle this Thursday afternoon to allow us to meet informally. Elsewhere in this newsletter is an item outlining the latest COVID restrictions which apply to our school.
We also welcomed four new students into some other classes:
- Imogen (Year 2),:
- Jacob and Taylor (Year 6)
We are also delighted to welcome back Aisha (Year 6) and Ahlia (Year 3). Aisha and Ahlia began 2020 travelling through Asia and, when COVID-19 struck, they returned home to experience some beautiful places in Australia. Aisha and Ahlia will undoubtedly have many cherished memories of their holiday.
We have also welcomed four newly appointed staff members to St Patrick’s, and one returning staff member:
Claire Browne will teach Year 2 Blue. Claire comes to us from St Patrick’s Primary School, Wallsend. St Patrick’s Wallsend operates very similarly to our school, with a strong emphasis on collaboration between colleagues. With this experience, Claire is in a great position to contribute to the teaching and learning agenda at St Patrick’s. Claire speaks passionately about wanting to teach her students to become “agile and adaptable thinkers, ready for the future, and to inspire them to be innovative problem solvers.”
Issac Fox will teach Year 3. Issac has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) from Swinburne University. He also has a Diploma of Business from RMIT University. Issac describes himself as a teacher who strives to create an inclusive learning environment in which his students are encouraged to take risks, to make mistakes and to develop their own learning styles. Issac is an avid reader and a keen walker who loves to travel.
Layne Wiseman will teach Year 5 for four days per week, alongside Ben McCarthy who will teach the class for one day per week. Layne graduated from the University of Newcastle and the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) with Honours, and she has taught in both Australia and England. In fact, she has only recently arrived home after teaching in London. Layne describes herself as a passionate and enthusiastic teacher, and she is very keen to be joining our staff.
Kylie Kearney has been appointed to our staff as a learning support assistant. She currently works in this role at Belmont North Public School for two days per week and, in addition to her role at Belmont North, Kylie will work at St Patrick’s for two days per week. Kylie has a Diploma in Child Studies (0-12 years) and a Degree in Health Promotion. In her current role, she support students in reading and in implementing their behaviour support plans, in particular for those students with diagnoses that include autism spectrum disorder, sensory issues and behavioural challenges such as Oppositional Defiance Disorder.
Will McMaster returns to St Patrick’s as a learning support assistant, having worked in this role at Holy Cross Glendale in 2020. Will is currently training as a teacher, and he has a wonderful rapport with the students. He is well liked and well respected by our students, many of whom will be very happy to welcome him back to St Patrick’s. Will is firm but very fair in his dealings with the students and he will be a wonderful asset to our staff.
I trust that the break has given many of you the opportunity to relax and unwind. We have been through extraordinarily difficult times for almost 12 months, with the effects of COVID continuing to impact on the health and wellbeing of many people in our school community. My prayers and thoughts go with those of you who have been affected, either directly or indirectly, by the pandemic.
I thank our dedicated staff who have spent many days at the school during the Christmas holidays preparing for another year of inspired teaching.
May God bless everybody in our school and parish communities as we embark on a new year together.
Have a good week.
2021 Classroom Supplies
A copy of this list in PDF format can be downloaded from the Compass News Area.
Summaries of the Term 1 CONTENT
You can download summaries of the the Term 1 curriculum content from our Compass news area.
FROM THE OFFICE
- There are some changes to the way the school fees will be billed this year. We are awaiting final instructions from the CSO and expect to be able to have fees finalised and issued by the end of February.
- Please make sure we have your correct email address on file, as fees are sent out via email only.
- Please make sure you have completed and returned the 2021 Family Discount and Diocesan Pastoral Contribution Form (a copy can be found here)
- If you are seeking a Pension or Health Care Card concession, you must return an application form, and provide an updated copy of your current card – this must be done at the beginning of each year. A copy of the relevant application form can be found here.
- For those who would like to negotiate a payment plan – please contact the office as soon as you receive your first statement. If you would like to begin making payments prior to receiving your fees, you can use the BPAY details previously assigned, or use the QKR payment method. Any fees paid in advance will be reflected on your statement once they are finalised. Payment plans will be drawn up upon request, only once fees have been issued, not before.
MODES OF COMMUNICATION
- The weekly school newsletter should be your go to for most information. The newsletter is published every Tuesday and uploaded to Compass, our School website, and our Facebook page.
- Our school website has a wealth of information and policies for you to review. It is a great resource. Don’t forget to use it! www.swansea.catholic.edu.au
- Our Facebook page is updated regularly with good news stories and the like, it is a fun way to see what’s happening here at school – Like and follow us here www.facebook.com/StPatsSwan/
- Compass is used for last minute reminders and other alerts. Download the app and make sure notifications are on. Compass is where you can enter a full day absence for your child, book a parent teacher interview and read your child’s semester report. Please make sure you have logged into Compass. Our records show that more than 20 families did not view their child’s last semester report. If you are having trouble accessing Compass or need to reset your password, please contact the office.
ABSENCES – Late sign in and drop off
- Whole day absences can be notified using the Compass app. If you do not provide a reason for your child’s whole day absence, you will receive an email asking you to log a reason.
- Partial day absences (late arrival/early departures) cannot be entered using the Compass app. Late arrival and early departures must be logged using the kiosk in the school office. A discrepancy occurs in the system when you log a partial absence via the app.
- If your child has not arrived or been officially signed in though the office prior to 9:25am you will receive a text message advising that your child is absent. This will primptyou to enter a reason for a full day absence using compass. If your child will be arriving later than 9.25am – you can ignore the message and simply sign them in using the kiosk in the office at the relevant arrival time.
MEET & GREET – PARENT INFORMATION SESSIONS
On Wednesday next week (10th February), the teachers would like the opportunity to meet with the parents and carers to outline their goals for 20201, to discuss school and class routines and to answer questions. We will provide child minding in the library for your children. The schedule will be as follows:
- 3.10pm-3.35pm: All children to go to the library to be supervised. Parents and carers of Kindergarten and Year 1 to meet with teachers in their classrooms.
- 3.35pm-4.00pm: Parents and carers of Years 2, 3 and 4 to meet with teachers in their classrooms.
- 4.00pm-4.25pm: Parents and carers of Years 5 and 6 to meet with teachers in their classrooms.
Please remember to collect your children from the library as you leave! Looking forward to seeing you there.
INTERVIEWS WITH TEACHERS
- Teachers at St Patrick’s are always keen to be available to parents. If you need to speak briefly to teachers, the most convenient time is generally after school. Please do not initiate a meeting with a teacher during class time; meetings at these times tend to interrupt the flow of a lesson and they compromise the teacher’s duty of care towards the students in the class.
- If you need to spend more than a few moments to discuss an issue, please make an appointment directly with the teacher.
- Please do not initiate a meeting or discussion with a learning support assistant when that meeting is in relation to the classroom teaching program or to the progress of your child. If you wish to discuss a student-related issue with a learning support assistant, please make the initial contact with the class teacher.
- If you have a concern regarding your child’s academic progress, their safety or their welfare, please address the issue firstly with your child’s teacher. If the issue is ongoing, and you wish to discuss it with me, I am happy to speak with you.
- 9.00: Session 1
- 11.05: Lunch
- 11.55: Session 2
- 1.35: Recess
- 1.55: Session 3
- 2.55: Dismissal
- There is no supervision of students in the mornings before 8.30am.
- If a child arrives late to school, a parent or carer must sign in the child at the Compass kiosk in the school office.
- If a parent wishes to collect their child from school before 2.55pm, the parent/carer must sign their child out at the Compass kiosk.
- If you are running late in the afternoon, please contact the office. Your child will be asked to wait for you in the school foyer.
SPORT DAYS IN 2021
- During Term 1, the students will do their weekly sport lesson on Tuesdays. Therefore, the students will wear their sport uniforms on Tuesdays during this term. During Term 1, we have engaged an external provider to teach the gymnastics program. These lessons will take place in the school hall.
- During Terms 2, 3 and 4, the Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 will continue to wear their sport uniforms on Tuesdays (not Thursdays as previously advised).
- During Terms 2, 3 and 4, the Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 will wear their sport uniforms on Fridays.
Latest COVID Advise to schools
A summary of the latest advise to schools has been uploaded to our Compass news area. A brief summary is below.
Student and staff attendance
- If a student or staff member has flu-like symptoms, they should not attend school until they have received a negative COVID-19 test. The result of this test must be sighted by a member of the school staff
- All adults must maintain a minimum of 1.5 metres physical distance from each other at all times.
Parents and carers on site
Parents and carers may enter the school to:
- Sign a child in late, or sign them out early, using the Compass kiosk in the administration foyer.
- Purchase or pick up uniforms from the uniform service.
- Meet with school staff with an appointment.
- Escort Kindergarten students to the classroom in the mornings and collect them in the afternoons, for the first three weeks of school, providing physical distancing is maintained from other adults and staff.
- Escort Year 1 and Year 2 students to the classroom in the mornings and collect them in the afternoons, if those children are feeling anxious at those times. This may happen for the first three weeks of school, providing physical distancing is maintained.
- Attend ‘meet the teacher’ meetings with school staff.
- Assist with reading groups and other classroom support.
• No parents or other spectators are permitted to attend activities held on the school site during the school day.
• P&F meetings may occur on the school site. These meetings must occur outside of school hours.
• School based outdoor activities that involve parent and community gatherings, such as parent functions and working bees, can proceed with up to 100 people outside of school hours. A COVID-19 Safety Plan must be in place.
DRIVING AND PARKING IN SCHOOL ZONES
The Lake Macquarie City Council Rangers will again commence patrols of the school zones. Below is information regarding school zone driving and parking regulations and the fines for breaching these regulations.
EVACUATION AND LOCKDOWN DRILLS
We will be conducting evacuation and lockdown drills throughout next week. These drills are posted at all exits throughout the school. If you are visiting the school as a volunteer or for another purpose, you are asked to follow the instructions when you hear the alarms.
FRIDAY AFTERNOONS At St Pats
Every second Friday the whole school assembles in the school hall to affirm individual students on their achievements throughout the week, to reflect on the events of the week, and to remind the students about forthcoming events. Unfortunately, COVID restrictions currently prohibit us from inviting parents and families to our assemblies, but we look forward to welcoming you back when we are allowed to do so.
On the alternate Friday afternoons, each teacher will facilitate a wellbeing afternoon for their class from 1.55 to 2.55. The focus of the wellbeing afternoon will be twofold:
- At the very heart of our work at St Patrick’s is our desire to enable our students to become successful. For several years we have been using the ‘You Can Do It’ program to develop in our students the five key social and emotional dispositions and behaviours that people need to develop in order to become successful: confidence, ability to get along with others, organisation, persistence and resilience. The teachers will provide opportunities for the students to develop these positive mindsets and dispositions during these sessions.
- Our ‘Positive Behaviour for Learning’ (PBL) framework contributes to developing a positive, safe and supportive learning culture by focusing on three rules: Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible. This framework will also be a focus of our Friday afternoon wellbeing sessions.
ATTENTION NETBALLERS IN YRS 5 & 6
On Tuesday 23rd February, from 9.00am to midday, the Lakes Region will run its netball trial at St Paul’s Primary School, Gateshead. Our school may send three girls (Years 5 and 6 only) to the trial, and parents/carers will be responsible for getting their children to and from the trial.
In order to determine which three girls to send to the regional trial, we will run a school trial on Tuesday next week - 9th February from 8.00am to 8.45am on the school netball court. Any Years 5 and 6 girls are invited to attend the school trial, but we would prefer girls who are experienced netballers and/or who believe they have a reasonable chance of selection. The girls will be wearing their sport uniform to school for their gymnastics lesson on that day, so they can wear the sport uniform for the netball trial as well.
We do not need the names of those girls who will attend the school trial . . . just turn up next Tuesday 9th February at 8.00am, ready to play!
APPOINTMENT OF OUR PASTORAL CARE WORKER
We have been successful in our application for a pastoral care worker at St Patrick’s from 2020 to 2022. This position has been funded under the National School Chaplaincy Program, a Commonwealth Government initiative aimed at supporting the wellbeing of Australian school students through the provision of pastoral care services and strategies to support the wellbeing of the broader school community. Participation in the National School Chaplaincy Program is voluntary for students and their families.
Having advertised for this position, Lisa Ridgewell has been appointed to the role, initially for a period of 12 months. Lisa will work at St Patrick’s on Mondays. Lisa is a qualified teacher who teaches at St Joseph’s Charlestown on three days per week. She has almost completed a Diploma in Counselling through Open Colleges, and she is a trained facilitator of the “Seasons For Growth” program. Lisa describes herself as “an enthusiastic, flexible and motivated person” who is keen to contribute to the wellbeing of both the students and their families at St Patrick’s. We are very much looking forward to welcoming Lisa to the staff.
ST PATRICK’S STAFF 2021
- Kindergarten teacher: Mrs Liz Walker
- Year 1 teacher: Mrs Cheryl Ogden
- Year 2 Blue teacher: Mrs Claire Browne
- Year 2 White teacher: Mrs Louise Stewart
- Year 3 teacher: Mr Issac Fox
- Year 4 teachers: Mrs Cathy Dent (Mon, Tue, Wed) and Mrs Cathy Curk (Thu, Fri)
- Year 5 teachers: Miss Layne Wiseman (Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri) and Mr Ben McCarthy (Mon)
- Year 6 teachers: Mr Daniel Lockwood (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu) and Mr Ben McCarthy (Fri)
- Principal: Mr Peter Green
- Assistant Principal: Mr Ben McCarthy
- Religious Education Coordinator: Mr Daniel Lockwood
- Parish Priest: Fr Gerard Mackie
- Pedagogical mentor: Mrs Cathy Dent
- Learning support teacher: Mrs Rachel Wright (Mon, Wed, Thu)
- Gifted education mentor: Mrs Cathy Curk
- Aboriginal education teacher: Mr Ben McCarthy
- Teacher librarian: Mrs Karen Devlin (Wed, Thu)
- Relase from face-to-face teacher (RFF teacher): Mrs Emma Tanchevski (Wed, Thu)
- English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D) teacher: Mrs Susan Coull
- Senior School Officer : Mrs Bronwyn Sartori
- Learning support assistant: Mrs Toni Curley
- Learning support assistant: Mrs Lynne McMaster
- Learning support assistant: Mrs Kylie Kearney
- Learning support assistant: Mr Will McMaster
- Library assistant: Mrs Margaux Windever
- Library assistant: Mrs Fiona Phillips
- Counsellor: Mrs Melanie Dawson (Mon)
- Pastoral care worker: Mrs Lisa Ridgewell (Tues)
- Cleaner: Mrs Brigitte Thompson
STUDENT LEADERS 2021
We congratulate the following students who have been elected as student leaders for 2021:
- School captains: Lacey and Ben.
- Leaders of Mission: Peppa and Sheridan.
- Blue sport captains: Annabelle and Nate.
- Gold sport captains: Tamika and Emily.
- Green sport captains: Aisha, Robbie and Alicia.
We teach the children to take responsibility for protecting themselves from the harmful rays of the sun. We have a policy of "No hat, play under the COLA”. We encourage the children to use sunscreen. As the school does not supply sunscreen, the children are asked to supply their own sunscreen. The roll-on sunscreen products are preferred as they are less messy.
SCHOOL UNIFORM AND GROOMING
All students are expected to wear the school uniform correctly. The correct school uniform is as follows:
Please note that the shoes worn with the summer and winter uniforms are black leather lace-up, elasticised or buckle shoes that are able to be polished. Sport shoes, canvas shoes, suede shoes, slip-on shoes, etc. are not acceptable. Please do not be persuaded by your children to purchase anything other than these shoes. Thank you in anticipation of your understanding.
Girls’ shoes should be of a suitable height that will allow them to engage in physical activity safely. Shoes that are rarely or never polished look terrible and they do not last as long as shoes that are cared for. Children (even young ones) should be expected to polish their own shoes at least weekly.
The shoes worn with the sport uniform must be joggers, runners or cross-trainer style shoes. They may be of any colour. They must not be high top shoes, skate shoes or “wheelie” shoes.
The only additional item of clothing permitted to be worn is a warm jacket during exceptionally cold weather.
The wearing of jewellery is limited to:
- 1 pair of earring studs or sleepers - No “dangly” earrings
- 1 ring
- 1 watch
- 1 bangle
Lipstick, lip gloss, blush, mascara, eyeshadow, foundation and all other forms of makeup are not permitted at St Patrick’s. Students who wear makeup will be supplied with makeup remover. We do encourage application of standard sunscreen.
Students’ hair should be neat and tidy. Hair that is longer than shoulder-length – for both girls and boys – should be tied back to minimise the risk of spreading head lice.
LOOKING FOR CANTEEN VOLUNTEERS
WE NEED YOUR HELP. Please consider volunteering in the canteen. If you would like a copy of all the information required for you to be a volunteer in the school canteen, please contact Shermaine, Belinda or Sharon with your email contact details. You may be keen to start or just curious to see how it works. It is a very rewarding experience and the kids love seeing a familiar face in the canteen. Please don't be overwhelmed by the information. It will help you to understand the procedures. When we organise the roster we always try to include an experienced volunteer who knows what they are doing. We look forward to a great year working with you!
The Pit Stop Crew
- Shermaine (canteen manager): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Belinda (roster coordordinator): email@example.com
- Sharon (Qkr + stock updating): firstname.lastname@example.org
VOLUNTEERING AT ST PATRICK’S
Many of the programs at St Patrick’s simply would not happen without volunteers, and we sincerely appreciate the generosity of those people who give freely of their time and expertise to volunteer. However, all volunteers must be registered with the school as volunteer workers. If you are not already registered and you would like to obtain clearance, you are required to:
Read the Volunteer Induction Handbook, which you may request from the school office or download using the link provided.
Complete the following forms which you will find within the Volunteer Induction Handbook and return them to the school office.
- Registration form
- Volunteer policy declaration
- Code of Conduct declaration
- Statutory screening selection tool
- Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check (and/or)
- Working with Children Check declaration
Please note that it may take up to five business days for a WWCC verification or renewal to be processed during peak periods. This means that people are not able to volunteer until the school has notified you that you have obtained clearance to do so.
When a volunteer reports to the school for duty, they must:
- Collect a volunteers’ badge from the school foyer and to wear it whilst on the school property.
- Sign in and sign out at the Compass kiosk at the school office. These records are maintained for the purpose of compliance with occupational health and safety legislation and child protection legislation.
REGULATIONS RELATING TO ABSENCES FROM SCHOOL
- All Catholic systemic schools in New South Wales are required to implement procedures relating to students’ absences from school. The main way in which this impacts on parents is that parents must apply in writing to the principal for an exemption from the legal requirement to attend school when the period of that absence is more than 10 days. The form that the parent must complete is available from the school office, as well as on our school website. (Go to the ‘More’ tab, then ‘Parent links/documents’ / ‘Application for extended leave’). Applications for exemption from school attendance must be submitted in advance. Exemptions from school attendance cannot be granted retrospectively.
- An exemption from school attendance may be related to:
Exceptional domestic circumstances, including but not limited to participation in family holidays during school term, subject to being satisfied that this is in the best educational interests of the child.
Other exceptional circumstances such as health of the student where sick leave or alternative enrolment is not appropriate.
Employment in the entertainment industry or participation in elite sporting events for short periods of time, i.e. for one or two days, and at short notice
- A Certificate of Exemption may be granted when it has been clearly demonstrated by the parent that an exemption is in the student’s best interests in the short and long term, and that alternatives to exemption have been considered. For example, in some cases, application for distance education may be more appropriate than seeking an exemption from school attendance.
- Generally, Certificates of Exemption will not be approved in the case of students who have been the subject of a Community Services report or Child Wellbeing Unit report and for whom unresolved issues concerning a risk of harm remain.When the student’s absence is 10 days or less, it is not necessary to apply for exemption from school. However, parents must write to the child’s teacher advising the teacher that the child will be absent.