Newsletter 17th August 2023
Dear Parents and Carers,
Each term, Week 5 is Wellbeing Week at St Mary's. We have a five-way focus on well-being that you may be familiar with, that is, Mindful Monday, Talk to God Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday and Friendship Friday. Each day during this week the classroom teachers focus especially on a different aspect of Wellbeing... whether that be healthy lifestyles, eating and sleeping well, nurturing our relationships, developing our sense of spirituality, developing relaxation methods etc.
It is timely then to inform you about a new CEDB initiative that is commencing shortly for our older students. St Mary's is a pilot school for this initiative, called the VIBE (Valuable Insights, Beliefs & Experiences) Student Survey. As a pilot school, we will play a crucial role in shaping the development and implementation of this initiative and seek to demonstrate to our community, our commitment to prioritising the emotional wellbeing of our students. The VIBE survery is a very quick online check-in each week asking the students to answer a few simple questions to check in with how they are feeling. It just helps us to 'take the temperature' of our school, and be proactive about any concerns that the students may have. I will keep you informed of our progress with this.
At St Mary's we work hard to provide a multitude of opportunities for our students. Today our Years 3 and 4 students are at a Primary Praise and Worship Day. Yesterday our Year 6 students enjoyed their confirmation retreat. We work hard to ensure that all of these events are inclusive of all of our students, regardless of their cultural or religious heritage. Their is much richness in our diversity.
Over the last month or so, some of our Year 6 students have been working hard on pieces for submissions to the Christmas Art competition. The students are given an extract from New Testament Scriptures about the Christimas Story and then work to bring this text to life through Art. The students also write a narrative to accompany their artwork to explain their interpretation. We have submitted our work today and look forward to the results! My thanks especially to Mrs Chegwidden and Miss Moon for their insightful and talented input into mentoring these students during the workshops. A few examples of the students' wonderful work are included on the following pages.
Kindergarten 2024 Transition Program
We are very excited about welcoming our Kindergarten 2024 families early next term! Today notes went home to parents with the following key dates:
- Tuesday 17 October 2023 6:00-7:00pm in the School Hall. Parent/ carer information evening.
- Thursday 26 October 2023 9:15-11:00am Kindergarten Transition morning
- Thursday 2 November 2023 9:15-11:00am Kindergarten Transition morning
- Thursday 9 November 2023 9:15-11:00am Kindergarten Transition morning
This year we are introducing something extra for our new Kinder cohort. We will be offering an informal drop in/drop out playground session on Friday mornings for these parents and children. The information about this playgroup has been included in the letter today for our 2024 Kinders. Sessions will commence on Friday 10 November for 5 weeks.
Our enrolment numbers are looking really healthy for 2024, but if you know anyone who would like to come and see what we have to offer our students, please ask them to contact the office for a tour. I love showcasing our wonderful school and the fantastic learning that takes place here!
With best wishes for our talented students who are participating in the Diocesan Athletics Carnival on Friday!
Kindest regards to you all,
On Wednesday we celebrated The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Mercy Hall at James Sheahan High School. It was a very special occasion where all Catholic Primary and High Schools came together to take part in mass. We also had morning tea afterwards at James Sheahan.
Gospel Luke 1: 39-56
Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, ‘Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.’
And Mary said:
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my saviour;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
– according to the promise he made to our ancestors –
of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.’
Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.
Christian Leadership Awards
Last week, our teaching staff attended a 2.5 hour professional learning course. The focus was the new English syllabus with a spotlight on writing. The evening was presented by the Catholic Education Diocese Bathurst English/Literacy Education Officer, Kristi Ryan. We looked closely at the progression of learning in the focus area 'Creating Written Texts'. We studied the syllabus content and gained a better understanding of what skills and knowledge our students require to gain mastery and to progress through the stages. We looked in depth at imaginative text writing, which is one of the many text types our students will be expected to write throughout their primary education. There was valuable discussion about impactful teaching strategies, the importance of increasing rigour from stage to stage and the value of rich literature as mentor texts.
Professional Learning - Creating Written Texts
SPORTS UNIFORM Term 3 (any changes to the uniform days will be sent out in Compass)
Kindergarten - Monday & Friday
Year One - Monday
Year Two - Tuesday
Year Three - Wednesday
Year Four - Thursday (except for Book Week 6, change to Friday)
Year Five - Tuesday
Year Six - Thursday (Except for Book Week 6, change to Friday )
Attention all Junior Cricketers!
Come along to the Centrals Cricket Club Junior season launch & registration day for a sausage sizzle and other activities.
Sunday 27th August 2023, 12-2pm at Riawena Oval.
All Juniors from Master Blasters to U16 welcome.
If you can not make it day you can click the link below to register, the cost is $125 for the season.
registration link: https://www.playhq.com/cricket-australia/register/1b0f42
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School Wide Positive Behaviour for Learning (SPB4L)-SCHOOL UNIVERSALS
As learners at St Mary's we are expected to:
BE SAFE BE RESPECTFUL BE RESPONSIBLE
The aim of SPB4L at St Mary's, is to actively teach and model positive behavioral expectations through consistent, reasonable, and proactive strategies that will foster positive relationships with students, staff, and parents.
BE SAFE ❖ We will keep our hands and feet to ourselves ❖ We will follow the rules of the game
BE RESPECTFUL ❖ We will use kind words ❖ We will follow the teacher directions
BE RESPONSIBLE ❖ We will include others and play fairly ❖ We will engage in our learning
School lunch club news
The school Chess club is on Fridays at Lunch for children from Years 2-6, for any interested players.
This week to celebrate Science Week, Infants spent some time in our school garden during Tuesday Lunch club learning about companion planting and bee-attracting plants.
Then we planted lots of veggie seedlings,bee-attracting blue flowers, and lots of great-smelling herbs.
The garden was a buzz with activity and there were many hands to help get our garden growing ready for a bumper crop.
We were lucky to have a beautiful day to celebrate science week and gardening club, we are looking forward to many more sunny days together in the veggie patch.