Newsletter - 22nd 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
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
6th March: Combined Schools Day for Juniors at St Mary's
7th March: Juniors' Excursion to Sovereign Hill
8th March: Combined Schools Day for Juniors at St Brendan's
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
It is difficult to believe that we are already into Week 5 of our first term. The next six weeks are looking quite busy with swimming, gym, camp, combined school days, NAPLAN, open mornings and school review starting. It is the business of school life. The staff always work to ensure that our normal teaching schedule contains minimal disruptions so that our children can have as much consistency and routine as possible. Our start to the year has been calm and gentle and the majority of our children have settled back into school life with ease. The Parent Teacher Child Conversations provided a time to check in and discuss any immediate concerns and to celebrate the successes that children have already achieved. Thank you to everyone that could attend the allocated time and if you still need to make a appointment, please contact the teachers so that a suitable time can be made.
If you wish your child to be a part of the Bungaree Parish Sacramental program this year, please ring or email St. Mary's, Clarkes Hill by Friday, the 17th of March and leave your phone number, child's name, age and let us know which sacrament/s they will be preparing for and receiving this year. Alternatively, contact Aileen at the Bungaree Presbytery Office (Thursday 9.30am–2.30pm), on phone 5334 0450 or mobile 0492 903 409, or by email email@example.com.
Reconciliation is offered for Year 2 children and older and children from Year 3 upwards are invited to receive the sacraments of Eucharist and Confirmation.
Once we have the numbers and set dates, we will be in contact. St Mary's email is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone 5334 5280.
Our swim and gym program starts this Friday. It will run for 5 consecutive weeks. The children will all be swimming from 11.45am until 12.30pm. We will have lunch at the Aquatic Centre and then participate in a gym class from 1pm- 2pm.
Children will need to bring or wear their bathers under their sports uniform. Please send along thongs or sandals as they are easier to manage than socks and shoes, and a towel. The children will do the gym lessons in bare feet. They will also need lunch and a drink bottle.
Parents are welcome to come and see their child swim during 11.45am and 12.30pm any Friday.
Child Safe Standards
Last year we adopted four more new Child Safe Standards that need to be addressed in our policies and procedures. The Child Safe Standards provide a framework for creating child safe organisations. They are designed to drive cultural change to create, maintain and improve child safe practices. When organisations apply the Standards, they build a culture where abuse of children is prevented, responded to and reported.
There are now 11 Child Safe Standards:
- Standard 1: Culturally safe environments – Establish a culturally safe environment in which the diverse and unique identities and experiences of Aboriginal children and young people are respected and valued.
- Standard 2: Leadership, governance and culture – Ensure that child safety and wellbeing are embedded in school leadership, governance and culture.
- Standard 3: Child and student empowerment – Children and young people are empowered about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
- Standard 4: Family engagement – Families and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safety and wellbeing.
- Standard 5: Diversity and equity – Equity is upheld and diverse needs are respected in policy and practice.
- Standard 6: Suitable staff and volunteers – People working with children and young people are suitable and supported to reflect child safety and wellbeing values in practice.
- Standard 7: Child-focused complaints processes – Ensure that processes for complaints and concerns are child focused.
- Standard 8: Child safety knowledge, skills and awareness – Staff and volunteers are equipped with the knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children and young people safe through ongoing education and training.
- Standard 9: Physical and online environments – Physical and online environments promote safety and wellbeing while minimising the opportunity for children and young people to be harmed.
- Standard 10: Review of child safety practices - Implementation of the Child Safe Standards is regularly reviewed and improved.
- Standard 11: Implementation of child safety practices – Policies and procedures that document how schools are safe for children, young people and students.
More information can be found by searching Child Safe Standards:
Opening Mass / Ash Wednesday
This morning we celebrated our Beginning of Year Mass. Thank you to Louise and all of the staff for preparing this. It was followed by a morning tea. It was wonderful to have people come together for a cuppa and chat.
The mass also starts our season of Lent.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Church’s season of Lent. The marking of the ashes on our foreheads on this day is a public expression of our faith and humility. It is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Through prayer, we come closer to God so that we are better able to realise the promises made for us at our baptism, to live justly as Jesus teaches us. Fasting joins us in solidarity with people experiencing poverty who often have no choice but to go without the basic human needs. Sharing what we have, or ‘almsgiving’, is a sign of our commitment to justice and our thanks for all that God has given us.
Lent prepares us for the season of Easter, the most important time in the Church’s calendar. By praying, fasting and giving alms, we are reminded of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus brought the promise of hope to all people so that we may, “have life and have it to the full” (John 10:10). As we live into that fullness, may we also be challenged to act with love and hope, now and for all future generations. (Caritas website)
The following is a prayer for Lent taken from today’s Mass-
God of love,
You care for us and all in our global family. You want for us all life in its fullness.
Help us see the challenges faced by so many. Help us look for justice.
Fill our hearts with love.
Turn our compassion to action.
Help us renew the world,
now and for all future generations.
We ask this in Jesus’ name.
Little Feet, Big Footprints
Our Year 6 children joined other Year 6 children from St. Brigid’s Ballan, St. Michael’s Daylesford, St. Patrick’s Gordon and St. Augustine’s Creswick, last Tuesday to participate in a ‘getting to know each’ other day. We all came together at Major League where the children were placed in groups to play a number of sports, have lunch together and then join in a quiz. It was amazing to see how quickly renewed friendships from previous years were formed and students were willing to chat and make new friends.
The purpose of this initiative is to:
Give our senior students, our young leaders, the opportunity to know themselves, and each other, in community; to create and connect. This initiative aims to engage these students in ways beyond the limitations of geography and any one individual school’s capacity to meet certain needs.
Fundamentally – as Human and Being, we have a calling and a need to create and connect.
Specifically – To give our young people the opportunity to:
- grow deeper in self-awareness
- expand their social and learning networks
- grow in their leadership capacity
- effect change in their immediate and broader communities
This initiative will continue to evolve throughout the year with regular opportunities for the students to engage with each other, both face to face and virtually. We see tremendous benefit and opportunity in this initiative for all of our Year 6 students, and look forward to them growing their self awareness, networks, and leadership capacity.
Every five years schools in the Ballarat Diocese go through a review to celebrate our achievements and set direction for the next five years. Staff have already spent some time beginning to review what we have done and using data to evidence our successes. Stephen Russell is supporting us and compiling our data report. Parents and students will have an opportunity to share their thoughts as we move along further in the process. The 13th and 14th of July are the dates set aside to finalise the process and set new goals that will form our strategic plan for the next five years.
Our Open Mornings at each school are being advertised through kinders, on Facebook, by distributing flyers, through the Moorabool newspaper and by word of mouth. St. Brendan’s Open Morning will be held next Monday and St. Mary’s on Thursday, the 2nd of March. Current families are welcome to come along and if you can, bring a friend. Our enrolments are now open! All are welcome.
Enjoy the sunshine and go gently,
Junior Room News
What a week! There was great excitement in our classroom when our new keyboards arrived and we started learning touch typing.
Paddy: I am learning how to use a keyboard. They are really good and I like it because it teaches me how to fix mistakes. It’s fun!
Addy: I like learning touch typing but it is hard for me because I have small fingers. But I won't give up!
For our inquiry unit we are Celebrating Differences, to create an appreciation of social justice and what it means to be fair. Through our investigations we are making discoveries about the origins and cultures of students, the differences between cultures and generations, the values and stories of the first Australian culture and the food, games, music and traditions of different cultures. Please be ready for some questions about this at home.
We are really looking forward to our Open Morning next week and sharing our wonderful learning experiences and school with visitors.
Quinn: St Mary’s is fun and everyone includes you. The learning I do is not boring but it is really fun.
Paige: We get treated nicely by the teachers. We get to learn doing fun activities. I enjoy and like being at St Mary’s.
Kaezia: I love being a student at St Mary’s because everyone is so kind. The teachers help me with my reading and writing.
Camp - Juniors' Excursion
While the Seniors are at camp, the Juniors will be having an excursion on Tuesday 7th March. More information will follow but for now, here are the details:
Monday 6th March - Combined Schools Day at St Mary’s (Seniors will leave from St Mary’s)
Tuesday 7th March - Excursion to Sovereign Hill (details to follow)
Wednesday 8th March - Combined Schools Day at St Brendan’s
Senior Room News
During the last couple of weeks the senior students have been busy completing unit assessment tasks in Literacy and Numeracy. They have then worked alongside Sue and Jenny to create goals for the term. These were shared at our recent Parent Teacher Child conversations and will be displayed in the senior room in the coming week.
We are focussing on Narrative in writing and working using a story grammar to plan our stories. We have used some different story prompts including short video clips. Some students have enjoyed these different prompts as they use them as the basis for their own story, they change the storyline or write the next part of the story. We are editing our work and using adverbs and adjectives to improve our writing.
Each Wednesday on our CSD, senior students participate in cooking with Sue as a means of using Maths in real life. Measurement skills are used to create delicious treats.
It was a hot day last Friday and after a productive morning in the classroom, we enjoyed a bit of water fun as a way to cool down in the afternoon.