Newsletter 31st August 2023
Dear parents and carers,
What a wonderful time of year it is. The promise of warmer weather and such beauty in our environment as the trees burst into life across our town and region. We have also been blessed with a wide range of sport to enjoy, especially at St Mary's, where there is always so much to celebrate in this space. A big congratulations to our school Netball Team who, on Tuesday, won the regional final and will now progress to the State Championships. Well done also to the students who attended the Touch Football Gala Day yesterday. It was wonderful to see such great sportsmanship from our students.
I thought with NAPLAN so prevalent in the news last week I would give you a quick snapshot of how St Mary’s performed this year. As you know NAPLAN was graded very differently this year in an attempt to make things clearer to schools and parents about where our students are sitting in terms of Syllabus expectations for their grade level, and in comparison to broader cohorts.
The marking scale for NAPLAN is now in four parts: Exceeding/ Strong/ Developing/ Needs Additional Support.
NAPLAN also reports on which students are Proficient (encompassing Exceeding and Strong students) and Not Proficient (Developing and Needs Additional Support students). In years past, this was always a grey area, so it is helpful to have that data generated for us.
The Australian Media reported that one third of Australian students are not where they should be academically, that is, proficient. To be proficient a student should be achieving a Sound Level (or above) on a school report, or a ‘C’ if you prefer. The Syllabus outlines expected skills, knowledge and understanding to be attained at that Stage of Learning.
Schools are given an overall rating in every area of testing, that is, Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Numeracy. I am pleased to inform you that St Mary's rated 'Strong' in every area in both Years 3 and 5, on the continuum. For your interest, and in the spirit of transparency, below are the snapshots of our results in 2023.
At St Mary's we take the view that all of us own all of the data. We celebrate what is working well and then look for ways to improve areas that need development. Although this year's data has provided us with some areas to work on, there is indeed much to indicate that we are heading in the right direction for our students.
Enjoy a wonderful weekend with your families when it arrives,
Lord Jesus Christ,
In your holy face
We see the face of God.
Help us to keep our eyes
always fixed on you,
so that in everything we do,
we may be pleasing you.
May we love you and follow you
all the way to God’s kingdom,
Where you live and reign
with God the Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and ever.
A special Prayer for Fathers
Heavenly Father, you entrusted your Son Jesus, the child of Mary, to the care of Joseph, his foster father. Bless all fathers and grandfathers as they care for their families. Give them strength and wisdom, tenderness and patience, and give them the ability to love in a way that reflects your love.
Father’s Day has become a day of celebration and remembering in almost all countries around the world. It has become a day not to only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and other significant adult males are honored on ‘Father’s Day.’
Father God at this special time of the year we pause to give thanks for our dads, uncles, grandfathers, and other special males in our lives. Guide those children who do not have dads with them to remember the special men who help them in their lives. Amen.
On Friday 1st September at 9.15am Year 3 will be leading a prayer service for Father’s Day in our school hall. All parents and grandparents are welcome! We wish all of our fathers a wonderful Father’s Day this Sunday.
Christian Leadership Awards
Curriculum News - English Syllabus 3-6
Year 3–6 focus areas
The focus areas for each stage support students’ growing knowledge and understanding in the areas of:
- Oral language and communication
- Reading fluency
- Reading comprehension
- Creating written texts
- Handwriting and digital transcription
- Understanding and responding to literature
Later this year, Year 3-6 teachers will begin to implement parts of the new syllabus, with full implementation in 2024.
SPORTS UNIFORM Term 3 (any changes to the uniform days will be sent out in Compass)
Kindergarten - Monday & Friday
Year One - Friday
Year Two - Tuesday
Year Three - Friday
Year Four - Monday & Thursday
Year Five - Tuesday
Year Six - Monday & Friday
Athletic Carnival News
On Friday the 18th of August St Mary's students represented our school at the Bathurst Diocesan Athletics Carnival in Dubbo. The students cheered and supported each other throughout the day. A special mention to Elwyn Evans and Leo Clark-Cima for coming runners-up in the 11 Years Age Championships and Bonnie Venner for being awarded 11 Years Aged Champion. Students who made it to the next level will represent the Bathurst Diocesan Team at Polding in Sydney next term.
Last week Clancy traveled to Darwin to play in the U12NSW Touch Football team at the School Sport Australian Touch Football Championships. Clancy returned home with a silver medal!
Congratulation Clancy on this wonderful sporting achievement.
On Tuesday, our St Mary’s Blue netball team competed in the Netball NSW School Cup Regional Finals at PCYC Orange. The girls played extremely well winning all of their games to advance to the semi-finals. They won their semi-final against Cowra displaying excellent footwork and defence. In the grand final they played Dubbo Public School and won 22-7. They now advance to the 2023 Schools Cup State Final which will be held on Tuesday 7th and Wednesday 8th November 2023 at Netball Central, Sydney Olympic Park.
Congratulations girls on this amazing achievement!
Thank you to Miss Holmes for coaching the girls, Emily Turner who was our referee, and our supporters on the day.
Last week on the 22nd of August, two teams travelled down to Penrith for the NSWCPS netball tournament. Both teams were made up of girls from years 5 and 6. Throughout the day, both teams showed off their netball skills and showed great sportsmanship. Both teams made it through to the quarter-finals! St Mary’s Blue made it through to the semifinals where they were sadly knocked out. This was a great achievement for the girls and we are very proud of their achievement.
Thank you to Nicole Evans and Kelly Purvis for coaching St Mary’s Maroon and thank you to Miss Holmes for coaching St Mary’s Blue.
Touch Football Gala Day 30th August 2023
Book Week Celebrations
The 2023 Read, Grow & Inspire Book Week festivities were a huge success because of the number of innovative and exciting costumes, the volume of parents who came to the parade and the number of children who bought books from the Book Fair. A percentage of the sales allows for new book titles to be purchased for the library.
We appreciate your support in fostering a love of reading in your children.
Book Week Parade
SRC Fundraiser- Colour Run
In week 9 on Friday the 15th of September our school SRC is Fundraising for the kids helpline.
The Kids Helpline is an Australian organisation that provides free confidential online and phone counseling for young people aged 5-25.
Students are asked to bring a gold coin donation to help fundraise.
As part of the fundraiser K-6 students can participate in the fun colour run around our school oval.
Students will need to wear their sports uniform and bring a plain old T-shirt and a bag for the T-shirt after the event. If Children are traveling by bus home in the afternoon please bring a towel for them to sit on the bus.
This is a whole school event but if you do not want your child to participate, please contact our school office by email or phone.
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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