Newsletter - 8th February 2023
Wednesdays Term 1: Combined Schools' Days at St Brendan's Dunnstown
Fridays Term 1: Combined Schools' Days at St Mary's Clarkes Hill
13th February: Parent/Teacher/Child Conversations
14th February: Little Feet, Big Footprint Excursion to Major League, 9:30am-2:00pm
22nd February: Beginning of Year Mass/Ash Wednesday, 9:15am at St Brendan's
24th February: Swim & Gym Sessions at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre commence (all Friday sessions for 5 weeks)
27th February: Open Morning at St Brendan's Dunnstown
2nd March: Open Morning at St Mary's Clarkes Hill
3rd March: Swim & Gym Sessions at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre
6th-8th March: Years 3-5 Camp at Campaspe Downs Adventure Park, Tylden
10th March: Swim & Gym Sessions at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre
13th March: Labour Day Holiday
17th March: Swim & Gym Sessions at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre
20th-24th March: Harmony Week
24th March: Final Swim & Gym Session at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre
6th April: Last day of Term 1; Pupil-free day; Staff Professional Development
As this is the first newsletter for 2023, I officially welcome everyone back. I think that I have caught up with most people or had contact in some way. The children have settled really well and it was fabulous to start CSDs straight away this week. The children, staff and families have expressed how much they enjoy the days we come together. I realise that for some children, it will take a little while to get into the routine after the holidays, however I believe that after a few weeks, everyone will be back into the daily routine that is school life.
Combined Schools Days
As mentioned, CSDs have begun and I truly appreciate the way families support these days. Please remember, that if the transporting of the children on these days is challenging, contact me and we will help out. I know some parents are car pooling which seems to be working really well.
Lunch orders on a Wednesday will be available for the children. The orders will need to be in on the Friday before when children are at St. Mary’s. If you have a late order, please contact the Bungaree store directly. There is no obligation to buy a lunch order. It is a service and parents can use it if they wish. Children can still bring something to heat in the pie warmer or bring a ‘normal’ lunch. The lunch order list was sent home last Friday as a paper copy and through an email. Please contact the school if you have any questions.
We are making every effort to make sure that our school calendar is up to date and that significant dates are put in as soon as possible so parents can stay informed and plan ahead. Please refer to the calendar frequently. Important dates are also on the newsletter. Previous newsletters can also be read on the school websites.
The Junior and Senior teachers will be using See Saw this year as a way to share the children’s learning with families. Please ensure that you can access it and check it regularly. Parents can make comments on their own child’s posts and it also provides a discussion point with your child about what they have been doing.
Teachers will also send through messages that are relevant to their class via See Saw.
If you cannot access this platform, please let the teachers know.
I know that there have been issues with getting PAM and SIMON up and running. Hopefully everything is sorted now and you can make a time to see your child’s teacher.
The conversations will be held on Monday the 13th of February in the afternoon. If the times do not work for you, please see the relevant teacher and a suitable time for all can be arranged.
The purpose of the conversations is to discuss how the children have settled into school, any concerns, to set goals and if relevant, chat about any assessments that may have been completed.
Camp for the children from Years 3 – 6 is early this year. The dates are Monday 6th to Wednesday the 8th March. We will be going to Campaspe Downs in Tylden. We will be going with Years 3 – 6 from St. Michael’s, Daylesford. Please use the following link to visit the Camp website:
These camps are always booked a few years in advance so we do not always have control about when they happen. Many children (and parents) are excited about the prospect of camp and being away for a few days. For others, it is quite daunting to be away for a few nights. The teachers have already begun preparing the children for camp at school.
Parents are invited to attend a meeting about any concerns they may have or to address their child’s concerns. We held on one Monday and there will be another next Tuesday at St. Brendan’s.
The meetings are not about all of the details about camp, rather address any concerns that may be cropping up. It is important that we see camp as a vital part of our curriculum and that it is not something children can just opt out of. Parents and teachers need to have the same expectations and use the same language so that the children are clear about the purpose of camp and why we do it.
If you cannot attend the meetings, they will be recorded and if you still have concerns or questions, please raise them during the Parent/Teacher/Child Conversations on Monday the 13th February and if you require more time to have a chat, then we can arrange another time.
Camp is meant to be a fun, social, exciting time where children can learn and develop skills such as resilience, courage and independence, as well as try new things, make lasting memories and build relationships.
While the Seniors are on camp, there will be some adjustments for the Juniors which we will share with you soon. We are finalising the details.
NAPLAN for our Years 3 and 5 children is also earlier this year. The assessments will take place over the two weeks after camp. More information will follow soon.
Printing of Newsletters
We have decided to print the newsletter for families again this year. You will still receive them through the app however, by providing a hard copy, the newsletters can be read by Dads, grandparents, siblings and others. It can also hang on the fridge and be a reference for dates and events that are coming up.
Sadly, the Kocovski family (Preston in Year 1 and Kingston in Foundation) have not returned to St. Brendan’s for 2023. They have moved on due to family reasons. We wish them well for the future.
The Singline’s from St. Mary’s (Evie in Year 5 and Kamden in Year 3) have welcomed a new sister and daughter to their family. Little Regan arrived safely last Thursday. Amelia and bub are doing well and the family are very excited about the newest family member.
Enrolments have opened across the Ballarat Diocese. We have upcoming Open Mornings at each school which are advertised on Facebook. I urge all families to share our pages and spread the word about our schools as much as you can. If you would like some flyers to display, please let me know.
Swim /Gym program
Our swim and gym classes will start the week of our next newsletter, so this is a heads up. We will be leaving St. Mary’s at 11:15am to begin swimming at 11:45am. The lessons will be for 45 minutes. At 12:30pm the children will get changed into their PE gear and have lunch. The Gym sessions begin at 1:00pm and finish at 2:00pm. We will return to school around 2:30pm. Parents are welcome to come to the Aquatic Centre and see their child/ren during swimming lessons.
The children will need - bathers, which can be worn under their PE gear, a towel, goggles if they wish, underwear, thongs are a great idea and their PE uniform for gym classes. They will also need their lunch and a drink bottle. All items should be clearly named.
Beginning of Year Mass
Our Beginning of Year Mass will be held on Wednesday, the 22nd of February at St. Brendan’s. It is also Ash Wednesday. Everyone is invited to join us and it will be followed by a cuppa and morning tea for parents. All are welcome.
A Thought for the Week
Have a wonderful week,
Junior Room News
2023 Junior Room Members
Senior Room News
It was wonderful to welcome back our senior students last week and a big welcome to Will and Kamden who join us in the senior room this year.
We are looking forward to a fabulous year ahead. The senior students are particularly looking forward to our upcoming camp in a few weeks and it is great to hear our leadership members looking forward to being role models and being on the leadership team.
Last week as part of our Inquiry topic we looked at the theme “Identity” and discussed all the things that make up our individual identities and our school’s identity. When we gathered on Friday with St Brendan's, the students brainstormed what makes up our CSD Identity. We created a poster, with the themes of coming together, spending time at each school, our BRICKS, having more opportunities for working with different people and different teachers and building friendships showing strongly as our Combined Schools Day Identity.
Italiano has begun!
I hope everyone had a wonderful, happy & restful summer break.
I did not get an opportunity at the end of last year to thank each family for the very thoughtful and generous gift that the students presented to me, so a BIG thank you to you all. I look forward to seeing you over the next few weeks - I’ll be at the gate at St Brendan’s on a Wednesday afternoon!
As Italian is happening on a Wednesday, I am very excited to have the students learning alongside each other. These first few weeks will see us completing our ‘Tutto su di me!’ posters. (Ask your child what that means!) They will be going up at each school when completed so be sure to keep an eye out for them.
This term we will be sharpening up our ‘functional’ language that we use in our every day and set the tone for the rest of the year. We will also reintroduce our weekly Italian class captains who will be in charge of listening out for Italian being spoken throughout the school day.
Ci vediamo a scuola, Signora Jess
Happy belated birthday to William who celebrated his 8th birthday during the holidays. We hope you had a great day!
Tara also celebrated her birthday on the 1st of February, turning 11. Happy birthday Tara! We hope the year ahead is a great one for you!
School Fees 2023
All families would have received the email before Christmas requesting the 2023 School Fee Agreement Form be completed and returned back to school. A follow up email was sent last week. These forms are a requirement requested from our auditors so we ask that you please complete the agreement and return to Majella in the office, either by email or in person no later than Friday 10th February, 2023. Thank you.
Family Fee Assistance/Camps, School Excursion Fund
Families who hold a current HCC or Pension are eligible to apply for fee assistance with their school fees by completing the appropriate forms. Please contact Majella on firstname.lastname@example.org or in person on Thursdays and Fridays for the forms if you would like to apply.
PAM Update & Simon Everywhere
Parents are asked to check to make sure that you have updated your App. If your Simon Everywhere is not working you will need to go into Tools and logout of Simon Everywhere. Go back into the App and add the school name again. During the update over January background information was not re-set so you basically need to start again for the App to work. You can access PAM through Simon Everywhere.
PAM does not have an App for your phone. If you want to have the PAM icon on your phone you will need to add it as a website icon. PAM is only accessible via the PAM website. The IT department have suggested that you google how to add a website as an icon.
If you are still having problems logging in with your updated password please let the office know so that your password can be reset. Your password must have a Capital letter, number, symbol and at least 8 characters.
Asthma & Anaphylaxis Plans 2023
It is a requirement that before your child starts school in 2023, all health details will need to be updated in PAM. Asthma plans and Anaphylaxis documents will need to be uploaded. As per the Asthma and Anaphylaxis Policies, a new plan is required at the commencement of each school year.
Please only upload documents under the designated area in PAM. Anaphylaxis documents are the only documents to be uploaded under the Anaphylaxis section. This must be an Anaphylaxis plan completed by a GP.
Students with an Allergy plan are uploaded into the Allergy area of PAM not the Anaphylaxis section.
Legally your child cannot attend school without this information.
Please ensure that you supply the school with pharmacist labelled asthma pumps, epipens and medications in a suitable labelled plastic container. You must also complete a medication form. The link for this form is below.
If you have any questions please see Claire in the office.