- Weekly Happenings
- Principal's Message
- RE News - Haley Stonham
- Saint of the Week - Haley Stonham
- Parish Sacramental News
- Remote Learning - Feedback at St Monica's
- Mathematics - Ryan Matchett
- Library News - Veronica Melville
- Happy Birthday
- Community Council News - Evelyn David-Hoole
- COVID-19 Updates
- Parent Corner
- Parentline Support
- Cricket News
I wanted to share with you something that crossed my desk this week… written by a fellow Principal in the Blacktown LGA, after hearing news that the lockdown was to be extended. It is thought-provoking and does put things into perspective. Please do not hesitate to contact me or your child’s teacher if you need to chat about teaching and learning and student well-being in this challenging time. We will get there!
You might be inclined to create a minute-by-minute schedule for your kids. You have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You’ll limit technology until everything is done! But here’s the thing….
Our kids are just as scared as we are right now. Our kids not only hear everything that is going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off school for weeks sounds awesome, they are probably picturing a fun time like summer break, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.
What kids need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it’s all going to be ok. And that might mean that you tear up your perfect schedule and love on your kids a bit more. Play outside and go on walks. Bake cookies and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips at the zoo. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.
Don’t worry about them regressing in school. Every single kid is in this boat and they all will be ok. When we are back in the classroom, we will of course correct and meet them where they are. Teachers are experts at this! Don’t pick fights with your kids because they don’t want to do Maths. Don’t scream at your kids for not following the schedule. Don’t mandate 2 hours of learning time if they are resisting it.
If I can leave you with one thing, it is this: at the end of all this, your kids' mental health will be more important than their academic skills. And how they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during those weeks is long gone. So keep that in mind, every single day.
We will never miss out on our special Book Week parade. Thanks Mr Donnelly for creating this great photo.
Several general reminders
- Check your child's weekly schedule; they are sent out on Fridays via Compass. This will help you organise your week.
- Children are expected to attend their daily class meeting, their scheduled small groups session/s and submit quality work to be registered by their class teacher as attending school for the day.
- Please send through an absentee notification via Compass, if your child is sick and is unable to report in for their daily check in sessions or submit any work.
- Do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any concerns with our remote learning program or need assistance in any way.
- Remember technology can have a mind of its own and we are here to help as we want the children to be able to engage in their learning every day. We are all learning so please ask your child's teacher to help.
- Parents are expected to monitor screen time at home and any form of messaging occurring between students.
- Children should be suitably dressed to attend their online sessions. No one should be still in their pyjamas.
- If you are required to quarantine and need help please don't hesitate to call or email.
- In an effort to keep everyone safe and maintain our Remote Learning programs we only have a few staff at school each day. They are providing supervision and support to children whose parents are emergency essential workers or are in a vulnerable situation requiring support.
- If you need to send your child, advise the school the night before. This helps with our organisation and communication with their class teacher.
- School counselling is continuing. Please refer to the attached document should you require support.
Other Support Available
COVID Fee Relief
Catholic Education will again support families who have been financially impacted as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Term 3. The position of Catholic Education is that no child will be denied a Catholic education because of financial circumstances. For more information refer to the message in your Compass Parent Portal or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Continue to stay COVID safe and may God's blessing be with everyone.
Happy Father's Day on Sunday
Praying at Home During Remote Learning
Celebrating St Monica!
Thank you to those families who are sending in how they have been celebrating the feast of our patron saint, St Monica!
Each day I will be adding to our Facebook page so we can continue to celebrate virtually as a community! I am loving hearing and seeing how our fantastic community is using our St Monica’s Way through our lockdown and remote learning.
Name: St Augustine
Birth/death: Birth:354 AD Death – the year 430 AD
Patron Saint of brewers, printers and theologians
Feast Day: August 28
Bio: St Augustine was born in Africa and spent many years of his life in wicked living and false beliefs. He is also known as Augustine of Hippo. He attended school at the age of 11 when he joined a school at Madauras. He then went to study in Carthage. During these days, he lived a carefree life and started to follow Manichaean religion.
Through the prayers of his holy mother and the preaching of St Ambrose, Augustine finally became convinced that Christianity was the one true religion. Not long after, Augustine was baptised. He became a priest and a Bishop. St Augustine became the Bishop of Hippo – modern day Algeria.
Augustine is known as one of Christianity’s most famous writers and is often referred to as one of the most prominent Christian thinkers after St Paul. He is known in the western Christian community as a Christian Church Father. His written works, especially ‘Confessions’ – the details of his conversion and ‘City of God’, are credited with shaping the practice of the Bible.
In his last days, Augustine suffered from frail health and spent his final days praying and repenting. He also instructed from his death bed that the library and books of his church in Hippo be secured and preserved. Augustine died on 28 August, 430. He was canonised an appointed Doctor of the Church in 1298 by Pope Boniface VIII.
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe’ – St Augustine
Sacrament of Confirmation – Change of Dates
Due to the current COVID lockdown in the ACT the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation has had to be postponed from Term 3 to Term 4.
Dates will be advised as soon as they are finalised and will be published via the school bulletins and on the parish website at www.cg.org.au/belconnennorth
Saint’s Name and Sponsor
If you have not indicated this information on your registration form, could you please send an email to email@example.com with the information as soon as possible.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Parent Information Night will be held on Thursday 7 October (Week 1 of Term 4) via zoom. The zoom access will be listed on the parish website at www.cg.org.au/belconnennorth closer to the meeting.
The Sacrament will be celebrated on 9, 10 and 11 November 2021 (additional information will be advised via the school bulletins in Term 4).
Registration for the Sacrament will open on Monday 13 September and close by Monday 25 October 2021. Registration and payment must be made through the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Qkr! App.
I hope everyone is keeping well during this period of remote learning. I know the teachers are working extremely hard at sending out fun and engaging maths tasks for their students to complete. At this time, it is also a great opportunity to consolidate some core maths skills and knowledge. Here are some great ideas of what you could do to help your child:
- Practise times tables- write them out, sing/chant them, play games. https://www.transum.org/Tables/Times_Tables.asp has some great games to play.
- Use a deck of cards and work on addition and number skills. Pick out two cards - add them up/subtract them, put cards in order from smallest to largest, pick out 3 cards- what is the biggest number I can create with a 3 1 and 9?
- Play a board game where maths skills are required- for example Monolpoly (counting money and change).
- Access https://mathsstarters.net/numoftheday. This site helps children build confidence with numbers.
- Khan Academy https://www.khanacademy.org/ is a great site for maths instructional videos and activities. It is an American site but is very clear and concise in their teaching of concepts.
- Another great site which I like to use in my teaching is https://nrich.maths.org/9084. This site has excellent problem solving activities and games across all areas of the mathematics curriculum.
If there is anything I can do to help during remote learning in the area of Mathematics please do not hesitate to contact me- firstname.lastname@example.org
National Library of Australia
National Library of Australia is closed due to lockdown but it has a wealth of online resources that students and families can access. Trove provides access to newspapers, magazines, maps, images and more. There is even a video about finding the history of your house that may be of interest to families in Year 3 who have been learning about their suburb.
They also have licenced electronic resources that can be accessed using a library card, with information on any subject. All Australians can be members of the library and can apply online for a card at https://www.nla.gov.au/getalibrarycard/ This would be a great research resource for Year 6 students to start using as they start doing more research. They have videos about using the library and the collections on the library’s YouTube channel.
Explore the library at https://www.nla.gov.au/