Newsletter - 3rd May 2023
9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th May & 7th, 14th, 21st June: Combined Schools' Days at St Brendan's, Dunnstown
11th May: Wathaurung District Athletics Day at Llanberris Athletics Reserve; 8:45am to 2:30pm. Parents to drop students off and collect at the conclusion. Canteen will be open.
14th May: Mother's Day
15th May: St Mary's Mother Day Liturgy & Afternoon Tea, 2:30pm
16th May: Netball Lightning Premiership Day (details to come!)
17th May: Healthy Harold and the Life Education Van visit both schools at St Brendan's
22nd May: Little Feet, Big Footprints - Session 2
24th May: Football Lightning Premiership Day (details to come!)
Joan Chittister OSB from Jamberoo Abbey provided the following Easter reflection that resonated with me and I thought I would share it-
"It’s Easter. There is new life beginning everywhere–in the earth around us and, if we will, in our souls. Both kinds of life, however, must be cultivated.
It is an exercise in “yes,” this slip-slide from summer to autumn, from dark to light, from Lent to Resurrection. Yes to today; yes to tomorrow; yes to life again. We all come out of the tomb of Lent new and bright with promise. It is “yes” to our life now, however old, however jaded we may be. It is the rediscovery of possibility again.”
Welcome to Term 2
How good was the break? I have been hearing wonderful stories from staff and children of the many different activities that various people in our schools got up to – fishing, motor bike riding, travelling to many different places in Australia, camping, making bird feeders, visiting friends and family, as well as relaxing time at home. Whatever you did, I hope it filled your bucket and provided some relaxing time that you enjoyed with family and friends.
That was certainly the case for me, as we camped with over 70 at Easter, travelled around Victoria and welcomed a new grandson. How lucky was I? I feel refreshed and ready for the term ahead that will be like a sprint – short, fast and busy!
The staff finished Term 1 with a retreat in Barwon Heads. I realised after talking to some parents, that many did not understand what we do on these days.
Every two years the staff of St. Mary’s and St. Brendan’s participate in a religious retreat. Our retreat this year was facilitated by Fr. Justin and Louise Haintz, our Religious Education Leader and was based around the Catholic Social Teachings. It provided an opportunity for staff to step away from the daily demands of work and focus on their spiritual growth. It was a time to reflect, pray, and deepen our faith.
The retreat is a chance to connect with one another on a deeper level and build relationships that go beyond the workplace. It is an opportunity for staff to step away from the daily demands of work and focus on their spiritual growth. It can help staff members reconnect with the mission of the Catholic school and their role in fulfilling that mission.
Our retreat provides a space for staff to recharge, reflect and grow spiritually and professionally, which can ultimately benefit the students and the school community as a whole.
Staff are working on the school review document which has taken a lot of work, however we are almost there. It is planned to be completed by the King’s birthday weekend and then sent to Jo-Anne Bond for proof reading and onto the panel in preparation for the two days where the panel, staff, some children and members of SAC, come together to celebrate what we have done in the past five years and set out a strategic 5 Year Plan for our future. These two days will be on the 13th and 14th of July in Term 3.
Preparing the documents for the school reflection has been a process. However, it does allow us to think about our journey over the past five years, provides cause for much to be celebrated and sets a course for the future.
Calendar and Events this term
As mentioned, this term is a nine week term, with one week already done. There is much going on so please remember to refer to the calendar on Schoolzine to keep up to date as to what is happening and when. The newsletter also lists important dates and then reminders are often sent through See Saw.
Thursday, 11th of May is our Wathaurong District Sports Day, to be held at Llanberris Reserve. We would appreciate some help from parents to move around with particular age groups of children. If you can assist, please contact Callum or Inez. Please refer to the PAM note for further details.
Children will need to be dropped off by parents by 8.45am and pick up is at 2.30pm. The canteen will be available and a list will be sent home to parents soon.
Mother's Day Celebrations
One of the most significant events of the year – Mother’s Day - is fast approaching and this year our celebrations at each school will be held on Monday, 15th of May. The ‘Save the Dates’ went out before the holidays and invitations went home last week. We would love to have as many Mums and Special Women as possible come and join us. Please reply to the school as per instructions on the invitations.
As we begin Term 2, it is time to think about transitioning into winter uniforms. It is expected that by the end of Week 2, all children will be wearing the correct winter uniform to school.
Why we wear a school uniform:
A uniform dress code reinforces in students a pride in their own appearance, instils recognition of themselves as an integral part of the school community, and assists in developing pride in representing their school. Issues of equality, health and safety, and expense are also factors that contribute to the establishment of the Dress Code.
- To develop a sense of pride in, and identification with, our school.
- To develop and enhance the positive image of the school in the community.
- To promote equality amongst all students.
- To provide durable clothing that is cost effective and practical for our school environment.
St. Mary’s Winter Uniform
Winter Boys: St Mary’s Clarkes Hill woollen jumper with school logo, Melange grey pants, long sleeve gold shirt polo with school logo, grey socks and black shoes, coat is optional
Black shoes are the required footwear.
Winter Girls: St Mary’s Clarkes Hill checked tunic or melange grey pants, long sleeve gold polo shirt with school logo, St Mary’s Clarkes Hill woollen jumper with school logo black or green tights and black shoes. Coat is optional Melange grey pants optional.
St. Mary’s has a bottle green school coat with the school logo. It is shower proof with a polar fleece lining with the school emblem on the front. Available at Beleza.
Boys: St Mary’s Clarkes Hill gold polo shirt with school logo, bottle green rugby shorts, white socks, bottle green track pants, bottle green tracksuit jumper with school logo and sneakers
Girls: St Mary’s Clarkes Hill gold polo shirt with school logo, bottle green skorts/culottes/netball skirt/briefs, white socks, bottle green track pants, bottle green tracksuit jumper with school logo and sneakers
Please ensure that all school clothing is named with a prominent name tag.
Life Ed - Healthy Harold
On Wednesday, 17th May, the Life Ed van will be at St. Brendan’s on our CSD. All children will have a chance to meet Healthy Harold and be part of a lesson. It is always engaging, informative and fun for the children to be part of.
If any parents would like to learn more, please register to be part of a webinar through the link below.
Lunch orders will continue this term. Orders need to be in on Friday at St. Mary’s so that the children can enjoy them on Wednesday at St. Brendan’s. Please do not order lollies. If you require another list of what is available, please let us know and we can send one home with your child.
Child Safe – Information on Website
As is stated on 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.
Parents & Friends
All parents are invited to attend the Parents' & Friends' Meeting next Friday, 5th May, commencing at 2:30pm here at St Mary's. We look forward to seeing you then!
St Mary’s Lone Pine Anzac Day Commemoration - May 1st 2023
On Monday we all walked up Clarkes Hill where we had a small ceremony at the Lone Pine, commemorating Anzac Day and remembering the soldiers who fought in the war. This pine tree was planted in 2005 by the children at St. Mary’s. Sull’s older brother, Fletcher Toose, would have been in Grade Prep then. Inez, Sue and Molly all walked with the children. The senior children researched the origin of the Lone Pine. This is what they found out:
A young soldier picked a pine cone from a Gallipoli pine tree and he brought it home for his mother in memory of his brother who died in the war. She raised the tree and it got passed on. Our Lone Pine on the top of Clarkes Hill has come through the bloodline of this pine cone.
Ballarat Legacy provided the seedling and it was planted in 2005 on the top of Clarkes Hill. It is a physical link to Gallipoli, signifying the "true Aussie spirit" shown in the war. The legacy of the soldiers who fought for their country will live on through the lone pine.
The Battle of Lone Pine Ridge started on 6th August 1915 and concluded on the 9th August 1915 in Turkey.
The Turks had cut down all but one of the Aleppo pines that grew on the ridge to cover their trenches. This tree was whittled away by shell fire in the early battles.
The Australian soldiers fought in Turkey against Turkish soldiers. 2,000 Australian soldiers died in the battle and 7,000 Turkish soldiers died.
The Lone Pine is also known as the Aleppo Pine and the Jerusalem pine.
It is able to grow about 1 foot or 30.48cm a year. Its full size is anywhere from 608 cm - 1524 cm. The size depends on the growing conditions. It's best planted during the late summer months.
Aleppo pines have a single trunk with spreading branches and have paired needle-like green leaves that are 5-11 cm long, by 1 mm in diameter. They are commonly scattered on sunny hills or on slopes that lead down to the seashore.
Here are some of the thoughts from the children as they reflected while standing around the Lone Pine:
Paige: I thought about the soldiers and how they fought for us so we were protected. I felt sad because men and women died in the war.
Kamden: Today while looking at a lone pine I felt calm. I thought about the fallen soldiers in the war.
Leo: I thought about my friend Leo and the great friendship we have and that reminded me of the mateship that the soldiers would have made while fighting for us.
Will: I was thinking about how many kids through the years have climbed up the hill. I hope I climb up there again and I hope it doesn't fall down.
Pat P. & Sull: I was thankful that they planted the Lone Pine at Clarkes Hill so we can remember the people who fought for our country.
Tara: When we walked up Clarkes Hill to the lone pine I was feeling thankful for the people who fought in war for our country.
Evie: Today while looking at the St Mary's Lone Pine I felt sad for the Fallen Soldiers that had fought for this country. It is so sad that people died for us.
Quinn: Today while looking at the St Mary's Lone pine I felt happy because we can live in harmony and I pay my respects to the fallen soldiers that have passed before me.
Visit by the Lambs!
On Monday, we were all excited to meet Evie and Kamden’s pet lambs, Richard and Charlie Chops. We all got to pat their woolly coats and cuddle them. They were very cute.
Evie told us that she feeds them three bottles a day. We talked about their wool and how it keeps them warm and is waterproof because of the lanolin in the wool. Everyone loved their visit!
Our Diocesan Community - March 2023
The latest edition of Our Diocesan Community is now available. Please use the link below to access the publication.
SZapp Version 4.0.0
There is a new version of SZapp available for Android and IOS Devices. Please ensure that you have updated to this version to assure you receive communications from the school.
If you are using an Android Device, you will need to uninstall the old app and install the new version.
IOS Devices (iPhones) will be able to update without requiring a re-install.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we are confident that the improvements in the new version will make it worth it.
An online guide on how to install and register/login to SZapp is available on the Schoolzine Website here:
If you experience any difficulties with completing this process, please reach out to Schoolzine using firstname.lastname@example.org. To assist with your query, they ask that you provide a description of the issue you are facing, the email address you are using when facing this issue and a screenshot of the issue.