Newsletter - 22nd March 2023
Wednesdays Term 1: Combined Schools' Days at St Brendan's Dunnstown
Fridays Term 1: Combined Schools' Days at St Mary's Clarkes Hill
20th-24th March: Harmony Week
24th March: Final Swim & Gym Session at the Ballarat Aquatic Centre
31st March: Excursion to the Melbourne Flower Show (bus leaves and returns to St Mary's)
6th April: Last day of Term 1; Pupil-free day; Staff Professional Development
7th-23rd April: School holidays
24th April: 1st Day of Term 2 - Pupil free day; Staff Professional Development Day
25th April: ANZAC Day public holiday
26th April: Students return to school - Combined Schools Day - St Brendan's
14th May: Mother's Day
Harmony Week Prayer
Lord Jesus, you see beauty in everyone, your love is for all people and all creation.
Lord Jesus, you show us how to live in harmony and help us to make the right decisions so that we live in harmony with all of creation.
It has been a very busy four weeks since our last newsletter and now we only have a few weeks of Term 1 to go. Please remember to check the calendar, See Saw and the newsletter for upcoming events as we still have a few before we break for Easter.
Two important dates to be aware of: Wednesday the 5th of April will be the last day of term for the students with a 3.30pm finish time. We are all at St. Brendan’s as it is a Wednesday. Staff are on retreat Wednesday evening and Thursday.
The first day back for Term 2 is Monday the 24th of April. This is a school closure day and staff will be working on the School Review. As Tuesday is ANZAC day, the children will return to school on Wednesday the 26th of April.
This week we celebrate Harmony Week in our schools and throughout Australia. The theme for this year is - Living In Harmony.
Harmony Week is the celebration that recognises our diversity and brings together Australians from all different backgrounds. It’s about inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone.
The children are invited to wear a touch of orange each day in recognition of this special week.
This great little video explains this significant day very well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2YtEIKlVFM
Cuppa and Catch Up - Friday, 24th March
This Friday all parents are invited to have a cuppa and chat at St. Mary’s before picking up the children at 3.30pm. Please come in from 2.45pm onwards. It is an opportunity for parents from each school to meet each other if they don't already know one another and just a chance to spend some time together.
Swim and Gym Program
This week will see the last of our Swim and Gym sessions. They have been very successful and the children have particularly enjoyed the gym time. The children have been able to enjoy an experience we could not provide at school. Not only do they develop swimming and gymnastics skills, they also learn to listen carefully, follow instructions, be organised, independent, as well as have some social time together.
Child Safe – Information on Website
As stated in our Vision and Mission, our schools ‘…are committed to the safety, wellbeing and inclusion of all children and young people.’ Our procedures and policies are now in line with the 11 Child Safe Standards and can be found on our schools’ websites under the tab – Child Safe.
Our staff worked hard to ensure that the Senior Camp to Campaspe Downs was a great success. Many children developed new friendships with children from St. Michael’s, Daylesford, pushed themselves out of their comfort zones and tried new activities.
All staff and students returned home safely and exhausted, with many highlights to share with others.
We were so proud of the way the children conducted themselves. They displayed respect, courage, kindness and were inclusive of all throughout their time at camp. Well done everyone!
A very special thank you to the staff that attended camp – Callum, Sue, Kelly, Lyndal and Tina. Many hours of planning go into camp to make sure that all have a great experience and feel comfortable and safe in an unfamiliar environment. Our staff all have families at home and generously took the time to stay overnight to be with our students for the three days.
While the Seniors were on camp, the Junior teachers planned a trip to Sovereign Hill for the Juniors. From all accounts, they had a wonderful time watching gold being poured, learnt how raspberry drops are made, planned for gold and made candles. I heard that there were quite a few red tongues during the day! Thank you to our Junior teachers for making this day possible.
Our Year 3 and 5 children will have completed the required NAPLAN assessments at the end of this week. While they are a requirement for all children in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9, we need to remember that they do not measure everything we cover at school, nor does it measure the quality of our school and all of the things we cover every day.
Our schools now have Instagram accounts set up. I urge all parents and family members to follow and share our pages, including Facebook. Our Instagram pages are –
We know the power of social media and how far it can reach into the community. This is another way we are getting our schools' names out there and we are relying on everyone to help spread the word.
Thank you to our many families that helped out with the BBQs at the sunflowers last weekend. I heard that it was a great success and fabulous effort from those that could make it. The P and F may be in touch with families to check out availability for this weekend. It would be great to be a part of this if you can.
Thank you also to Laiken and Karl Britt for providing the opportunity for these to take place. It is a very generous offer and truly appreciated.
Go gently and take care of yourselves and each other.
Chloe's Big Chop!
Congratulations to Chloe who recently had a very big haircut and kindly donated her hair to The World's Greatest Shave.
Her 25cm ponytail will go towards making wigs for those suffering hair loss through cancer treatment.
Well done Chloe for supporting such a worthy cause. Your new hairstyle looks pretty good too!
Junior Room News
When the Senior class went to camp for three days we spent time with our friends from St Brendan's.
On the Monday, when we were at St Mary's, we spent a day learning about the culture of China. We cooked fried rice for lunch and made lanterns and flags and learnt traditional Chinese children's games.
On Tuesday, we went to Sovereign Hill for the day. Clare, Louise, Lyndal and Anita were with us and we had a very busy day. First of all, we went to the gold pour and learnt that Ballarat produced 22 carat gold, the finest carat gold that can be found naturally. Then we did an underground mine tour in the Red Hill Mine, then we went into the Chinese Temple, followed by panning for gold (with no luck!), then we had lunch at the playground.
After lunch we made a rope in the tentmakers' shop, before we went to the confectioners to watch Raspberry Drops being made. We even got to taste warm lollies! One of the highlights was candle dipping where we created our own colourful candle. We finally played nine pin bowling before we went shopping and headed home.
On Wednesday at St Brendan's, we learnt more about Italy and cooked pizza for lunch. Then we welcomed back the senior class.
Sovereign Hill Reports
Paige: First we went to the gold pour at Sovereign Hill. A man called called Ross makes gold bars by melting gold. I answered a question so then I got to hold the gold bar. Only three people got to hold it and it was worth $270,000.
Patrick: At the Red Hill Mine we went down lots of stairs into the mine and it was dark and dirty. We got to see the Welcome Nugget. My favourite part was the seeing the Welcome Nugget. The mine was amazing!
Kaezia: We dipped a candle each, in a bucket and the colours were yellow, pink and blue. We got a new school candle for each school and all the different colours in it represent that we are all different. After that we walked to the shops where they sell raspberry drops. Finally we went back to school and we got an ice cream on the way!
Quinn: We did lots of things at Sovereign Hill but here's one of them. We went nine pin bowling! The ball was made out of wood, so was the lane and the pins too. It was different to Ten Pin Bowling. I had a great day.
Adelaide: We watched the Raspberry Drops being made . We got to eat a warm Raspberry Drop.
Sovereign Hill Visit
Senior Room News
WOW! What a busy few weeks we have had.
We have all settled in well to our Combined Schools Day routines each Wednesday and Friday. Our last few Fridays have been extra busy with the Swim and Gym program which everyone has enjoyed.
It’s hard to believe that camp was two weeks ago! After much anticipation and some trepidation, we set off to a new camp location this year. By all accounts the camp was a great success and everyone had a wonderful time making new friends and trying new things. Our camp reviews were sent out on Seesaw and are on display in the classroom. Please come in and take a look.
In writing, the students have been editing and making improvements to their stories. Many have almost published their writing piece. We have also been using the Bump It Up Wall and conferencing with students to find what areas of writing they need to improve. It is very powerful asking the students where they think they are on the BIUW and to then show us evidence in their writing.
In Maths we are finalising our “addition and subtraction” unit and “time” unit. It is pleasing to see the effort everyone has put into their learning which is being reflected in our post test results, and for those who don’t quite have it YET we will continue the learning.
Our Leadership Team has been busy thinking about and planning some fun days and fundraising events for the terms ahead. We look forward to hearing about what they have in store.
Swim & Gym Program
Tuning into Kids
Parents are invited to join a parenting program that could make a positive difference to your child’s development. Tuning In To Kids is six-week group program for parents. It can help you to teach your child the skills of emotional intelligence.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence is about using your emotions to guide you through the world. It is about being able to use your knowledge of emotions to make decisions, to calm yourself down, to manage anger and conflict, to help you in your relationships with people, to understand what is happening in social situations, and to assist you in any aspects of life that involves you and another person.
Why is Emotional Intelligence important?
Children with greater emotional intelligence have been shown to:
- have greater success with making friendships and be more able to manage conflict with peers
- have better concentration, which means they are more likely to be successful academically
- be more able to self soothe when upset or angry
- tend to have fewer childhood illnesses
- have more stable and satisfying relationships as adults; and
- have greater career success ... emotional intelligence may be a better predictor of academic and career success than IQ!
When parents focus on helping their child learn about emotions, the child is more likely to have higher emotional intelligence. In this parenting program we will teach parents what to do to help these skills develop.
The program will run each Monday for six weeks for two hours at a time. It will be held at St Brendan’s Dunnstown between 5:30 – 6:30pm. If you have any questions regarding the program, or would like to register, please call Tina Handley on email@example.com or 0488234505. An information session will be held on Monday 3rd of April for those that are interested.
Understanding and supporting children and teens with distress (challenging) behaviours
The Moorabool Shire Youth Services and Early Years are hosting a parent information session on Friday March 31. This is a free session for parents of primary school and secondary school age children and young people.
Guest speaker Emma-Rose Parsons, will be presenting the topic ‘Understanding and supporting children and teens with distress (challenging) behaviours’. There will be two sessions:
10:00am - 12:00pm For parents or carers of primary school age children
12:30pm - 2:30pm For parents or carers of high school age young people
For more information, please contact Bec and Syeda at Moorabool Shire Youth Services Team on (03) 5366 7100.