- Weekly Happenings
- Principal's Message
- Helping Children Transition Back to School and Life After Lockdown - Emma Russell
- Drop Off and Pick Up Arrangements - Week commencing 25 October
- School Hygiene and Ventilation
- Dedicated school buses and revised interim bus timetable from Monday 25 October 2021
- RE News - Haley Stonham
- Parish Sacramental News
- Mathematics - Ryan Matchett
- Library News - Veronica Melville
- Sport News - Ryan Matchett
- Star Awards for Week 3
- Happy Birthday
- School Fees
- St Monica's Family Portraits Fundraiser - Emma Howlett
- Community Council News - Evelyn David-Hoole
- Webinar For Parents - No Scaredy Cats
- Parent Corner
- Little Athletics Registration Flyer - Ryan Matchett
- Fundraiser - Christmas Trees - Evatt Scouts
- COVID-19 Updates
There is an air of excitement and reservation in the community as we begin our return to face to face learning next Monday. It will be lovely to once again greet the children at the crossing, located at the front of the school foyer, as they are dropped off each morning either in the hall carpark or in the drop off zone located on the blacktop. This will become part of my morning routine from 8.30 am for the next few weeks.
Drop off zone on the basketball courts
To reduce the time the children are gathering and mixing with other grades each morning, it would be of great assistance if children could be dropped off as close to 8.45 am as possible. Our first bell goes at 8.50 am when the children will line up in their designated areas. Courtyard supervision will still commence at 8.25 am. Refer to further COVID safe school plans later in the newsletter.
Much care and deliberation occurs when forming our class groups. Teachers are highly professional and have the main responsibility for placing their current students in the most appropriate class for next year. Over the next three weeks, the teachers will be observing friendships to assist with class groupings.
When forming class groups we aim for an equal spread of both positive and challenging characteristics. Every care will be taken to ensure that your child is placed in the best situation to enhance learning and social development.
Proposed Class Formation for 2022
Confidential concerns should be brought to my attention in writing, by Friday 29 October, even if you have raised concerns in previous years. Please email directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. General concerns should be raised with your child's teacher. As Principal, I will make the final decision on all class placements. Late requests are very difficult to consider once groups are finalised.
All our return to school measures are consistent with advice from ACT Health, the ACT Government, the ACT Education Directorate and Catholic Education. We hope this will give you confidence in your child’s return to school as we welcome students back onsite.
The ACT Government provided a pathway for the return to on-campus learning to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff. A reminder that Kindergarten, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6 are planned to return physically to school on Monday 25 October with Years 3, 4 and 5 the following Monday on 1 November.
Thank you to the 120 families who responded to the St Monica's Return to School Planning survey and raised several concerns. I am endeavouring to speak with families who have raised specific issues to provide further clarity. Where families have not responded I am assuming your child/ren will be returning on the expected date.
Some information/reminders for all:
- There are to be no parents on the school site, except for emergency situations (please contact the school first);
- Until the end of this week parent drop-off and/or pick-up will occur via our school drive-thru area. Please wait in your car or stand well back from the foyer entry;
- From Monday 25 October we will operate our afternoon drive-thru for pick up at the front of the school and we will provide supervision for children being picked up at Chomley;
- Signage will be displayed when students return to remind all;
- We will minimise unnecessary physical interaction between students on school grounds and ensure that students learn and play only with those in their cohort, wherever possible. Arrangements include - splitting the play and eating arrangements during the day so cohorts do not share common areas when playing, opening up the blacktop as a supervised play area, cohorts will only come together for meetings in outdoor locations, canteen orders will be delivered to the classrooms and no over the counter will be available;
- We have spoken with our cleaners and organised extra cleaning supplies. We have arranged for extra cleaning schedules and resources onsite during the school day to wipe down and disinfect high-touch areas, including classrooms and common spaces, in addition to regular daily cleaning;
- Outdoor playground equipment will only be available for use if cleaning can be arranged to occur in the mornings;
- There will be frequent announcements and increased signage around the school to ensure that children are practising good personal hygiene. This means covering mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing, frequent hand washing, not sharing food or drinks, minimising physical contact and practising social distance techniques where possible;
- No child is to attend school if they are showing any COVID-19 like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath). They must remain at home and follow all ACT Health directions in relation to testing and/or quarantine instructions. Children will be asked to wear a mask if they present to sickbay coughing;
- The use of masks is one part of a suite of measures to reduce COVID-19 transmission. All staff, volunteers and visitors who are onsite must always wear a mask and students in Years 3–6 are encouraged, though not mandated, to wear a mask. The advice provided concerning Preschool to Year 2 students is that they should not wear masks as they are likely to be worn incorrectly and may present a choking hazard. Staff, students and visitors are expected to provide their own masks.
Please know that we are ready to talk with you about any concerns you have regarding your child. As always, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher, or myself. We will also take special care to ensure children feel safe and supported, whether they are learning at home or at school.
- On return to school, the children move into their summer uniform.
- Uniform orders can be placed through Qkr and picked up from 1.00pm on Friday 22 October.
- Please remember to use the CRB check-in if entering the foyer and wait outside if the number of people in the foyer exceeds 4. Physical distancing is essential
- Children need to provide their own water bottles as bubblers will be closed.
- Include an additional small snack as the children will find it very difficult not to be able to snack constantly during the day.
- Send in a packet of antibacterial wipes to be kept on your child's desk so it can be cleaned regularly.
- Advise SMOOSH if your child will be returning to care.
- The canteen will be closed for the moment. (We hope to reopen once everyone is back).
- Please provide an alternative if your child has an issue with using hand sanitiser. Children will be reminded constantly to wash or sanitise their hands as they come into the classroom, before eating and after going to the toilet.
- Make sure your child knows who will be collecting them and where they are to be picked up from, remember parents will not be able to walk to the classroom door.
Order to be submitted via Qkr. Orders processed by Thursday night will be filled on a Friday morning and sent home. Thanks to our wonderful uniform team, they are very generous with their time.
Medication at School
Year 6 End of Year Liturgy
Kinder interviews and Orientation Days
I am currently waiting on advice from Catholic Education regarding the timing of enrolment interviews and orientation days.
Continue to stay COVID safe and may God's blessing be with everyone.
Helping Children Transition Back To School And Life After Lockdown
Information from Learning Links
Supporting children with the return to school and the eventual transition back to life after lockdown, without restrictions, is so important. The longer days, changed routine and structure of school are likely to impact some children more than others, causing stress and anxiety.
Here are some tips for keeping your children’s mental health in check, as well as your own.
Reassure your child about the transition back to school and the COVID-19 situation.
While the COVID-19 situation has dramatically improved, it’s natural for children to still have worries or feel uneasy about resuming some of the activities they can now go back to, particularly school.
- If your child has any ongoing concerns about the safety of school after time away due to COVID-19, reassure them that:
- The return to school is based on expert medical advice
- Everyone at school is working hard to ensure children and teachers are safe
- Children and teachers will stay at home if they’re feeling unwell
- If there are any risks with going to school, the government will make decisions about what needs to be done
- Give age-appropriate information about the ongoing COVID-19 situation and how it affects your family life, social life and school life
- Provide reassurance that it’s ok to have mixed emotions about going back to school – acknowledge that it’s completely normal for them to feel excited, scared, relieved, worried, or anxious, and that many of their peers may be feeling the same way
- Speak positively – by being an optimistic and supportive role model, you can help your child feel more confident about being back at school
- Get them excited about school again by putting something fun or interesting in their lunchbox, so they have a surprise to look forward to each day!
Reinforce routines and habits
While the constant changes make sticking to a routine tricky, it’s still so important to maintain some consistency at home. Here are some simple things you can try:
- Create a family schedule and go through it at the start of each week so everyone knows what to expect – it may be a good idea to have it on a whiteboard, so changes can easily be made as restrictions ease and more activities start up again
- Schedule dedicated family time – your child is sure to miss all the extra time they had with you while at home
- Keep morning and bedtime routines consistent, to help children get a good night’s rest
- Prepare your child for changes:
- Talk to your children about any new or different things that are happening (before they happen), so they understand and can then feel more comfortable
- If needed, use a social story to communicate changes (there are many available online for COVID-19 or you could make your own)
- Try not to make too many changes at once, particularly when social events and extracurricular activities start up again
Drop Off and Pick Up Arrangements when Kinder, Year 1, 2 & 6 return
Children are to be dropped off in the hall car park or at the top of the ramp to the basketball courts between 8.25am and 8.50am. A teacher will be available to greet and supervise the children cross the staff car park crossing near the office. Please display extra car etiquette during this difficult time as your child’s safety must come first. Due to the increase in the number of children at school please do not drop off in the staff carpark unless authorised.
Pick Up – Front of School
Commencing at 3.10 pm bell.
- Families with K and siblings to drive through the staff carpark, enter from Moynihan Street and start queuing from near the hoppers. Children will be supervised by staff as they wait.
- Clearly display your family name in the passenger window.
- Suggestion: Place baby or toddler seat on the righthand side so children can access the car from the left-hand side.
3.20pm Drive through pick up for Years 1, 2 and siblings
3.20pm Year 6 can be picked up from the basketball courts. Parents must stand along the fence and not congregate to chat. Please stand back as the children pass through the gate.
Chomley Carpark - A teacher will walk the children across to the carpark. Adults are asked to please remain in their car until the children arrive when they can greet their child/ren
Copland College Carpark – this carpark will not be supervised.
Walkers and Bike Riders – Children will be dismissed as usual. Parents can wait at the boundary of the school to collect their child/ren; please remember social distancing while you wait.
Bus Travellers - Moynihan and Copland Bus Stops will be supervised.
SMOOSH – children will walk to the hall with supervision provided at the front office crossing.
To ensure we maintain a safe environment for the children and staff extra hygiene and safety practices have been put in place now all the children are returning. CE has based the guidelines on advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee who provide advice in relation to ventilation based on the guiding principle that schools should increase airflow and ventilation where possible through air conditioning or open doors or window.
- Increased cleaning schedules and resources onsite during the school day to wipe down and disinfect high-touch areas, including classrooms and common spaces, in addition to regular daily cleaning.
- Provision of extra hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes across the school.
- Provision of extra hand soap for children to wash their hands frequently, particularly before and after recess and lunchtime.
- Frequent reminders to ensure children are practising good personal hygiene. This means, covering mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing or coughing and sneezing into inner elbow, frequent hand washing, not sharing food or drinks and minimising physical contact.
- Children must bring a water bottle for personal use each day and all Years 3 – 6 to provide their own pencil case.
- Each child to provide a pack of anti-bacterial wipes to be kept on their desk.
- No child is to attend school if they are showing any cold or flu-like symptoms. They must remain at home and stay away from school until they are no longer showing symptoms or have attended a GP who has instructed that they are fit and safe to return.
- If your child, or family members or other close contacts are tested for COVID-19, you must follow ACT Health directions regarding quarantine rulings. Your child is not to attend school until the results of those tests are known and are negative. Please advise the school if this situation occurs immediately.
- If your child has a medical condition that places them at greater risk from a return to face-to-face teaching at this time, please contact their teacher so that we can discuss their needs in greater detail and develop an appropriate plan for their circumstances.
- Grade cohorts will be required to play separately and grade meetings will be held outdoors.
- Class groups will use their outside doors for entry and exit points to reduce the movement into the school.
- When possible doors and windows will be opened to assist with the circulation of air in the classroom.
- Air-condition systems have recently been serviced and cleaned
As we are attempting to minimise the number of adults coming onto the premises and to reduce the possible risk of COVID-19 transmission, please make appointments ahead of time so a possible MS Teams meeting can be set up. Where possible, telephone or use email as the preferred method of contact with your child’s teacher or staff member.
Transport Canberra’s dedicated school bus services will recommence on Monday 25 October 2021. This includes ‘S’ trips that divert into schools.
Timings have changed for dedicated school services and the regular timetable. We are strongly encouraging families to check their school pack and plan ahead.
Special Needs Transport continues to run for those families that need this service.
A range of COVID Safe measures are in place to help keep students safe on public transport. Please remind families to familiarise themselves with these measures and talk to their children about them prior to the return to school.
From Monday 25 October 2021 buses will run to a revised interim timetable. This timetable is a similar frequency to the timetable that has been running over the past two months, but with some changes to timings to allow better connections for school students.
Light rail is continuing to run to its regular frequency but will see an increase in frequency from Monday 1 November 2021. This will assist with physical distancing on board. Customers will benefit from extended afternoon peak frequency on weekdays and increased frequency on Sunday mornings.
Consider walking or riding to school – or using a Part way point
Parents and carers may also consider alternative ways to get their children to school. If they live close by they can take advantage of the warmer spring weather and walk, ride or scoot to school!
Part way points are also a great way to get some exercise into children’s days for families that live a little further away and this also helps to ease congestion around schools. Parents or carers can simply drop their child at a point, or park and walk the rest of the way with them.
Park safely and legally
All 40km/h school zones are in place between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday. Speed limits in school zones are there to ensure the safety of children by allowing motorists extra time to stop in an unexpected situation.
Parking across pedestrian crossings, corners, verges and double parking can block kids seeing the road.
School packs and timetable information
For enquiries customers are encouraged to visit www.transport.act.gov.au or call 13 17 10.
Socktober for Mission Month
‘For we can not keep from speaking about what we have seen and heard.’
This is Catholic Mission’s theme for Catholic Mission Month this year. This scripture reminds us that as people of God we can not turn a blind eye to the needs of others. We can reach out in love to create awareness and support the organisations who provide much needed resources.
Next week, St Monica’s will be celebrating Catholic Mission Week through Socktober for Mission Month. Socktober for Mission Month encourages us to engage with mission for children by…
This year the focus for Mission Month in 2021 is Thailand. Next week students will be exploring what life is like for children in Thailand and why it is important that we reach out.
Crazy Sock Competition
Monday we will launch our Crazy Sock Competition with winners from each class being announced on Friday Week 4. Teachers will hand out copies to children at school or online.
What to do: Design the craziest pair of socks you can – get creative! Give them a name and tell me how they reach out to those in need. Don’t forget to put your name and class somewhere on your crazy socks.
Due: Your crazy socks are due to Mrs Stonham by Friday 22October by 11am.
Winners will be announced Friday afternoon.
For more information about what is happening next week at St Monica’s, check out the flyer below. For families and children still at home, I will post the slide deck with the activities on our Remote Learning Web page. There are challenges to do to create awareness of the role we play in Catholic Mission.
We can’t forget that FRIDAY Week 4 is Crazy Sock Day! So, find your craziest socks to wear either at school or at home!
Please send through photos of you and your family wearing your crazy socks or completing the challenges in the slide deck. You can send them to: email@example.com
Australian Catholics Bishops Conference, in association with menALIVE are really pleased to announce Australian National Catholic Men’s Gathering (ANCMG) have been replaced by Kickstart , which will be facilitated by menALIVE for the Archdiocese of Canberra Goulburn, hosted online by Peter Gabauer and Colin Bennett and the menALIVE leaders from the Archdiocese of Canberra Goulburn.
Kickstart will run on Monday evenings 25 October and 1, 8and 15 November from 7:30pm-8:30pm. Sessions are short and sharp and a great way for men in lockdown to come together to engage with the theme ‘Brothers, what must we do?’ developed by the ACBC, hosted by Robert Falzon and Jude Hennesy of Wollongong with some excellent keynotes including:
- Man of God: Tomasz Juszczak
- Man of Service: Tim Davis
- Man of Character: Shayne Bennett
- Missioning and Sending: Archbishop Julian Porteous
Kickstart will give men access to these talks, with opportunities for prayer and reflection, with a core focus on the topic of Catholic manhood to renew and inspire men in the Year of St Joseph.
Sacrament of Confirmation – Change of Dates now confirmed
Due to the current COVID-19 restrictions in the ACT the celebration of the Sacrament of Confirmation will now be celebrated on:
Tuesday 23 November in St Michael’s Church at 12 noon and 6pm;
Wednesday 24 November in St Monica’s Church at 12 noon and 6pm; and
Thursday 25 November in St Monica’s Church at 12 noon and 6pm.
Due to Covid restrictions limited people are allowed in the church for each celebration and as some parents are working from home Fr Loi has included midday and evening liturgies to celebrate the Sacrament. This will be 6 liturgies with around 15 candidates per liturgy.
This means the number of people attending is restricted to a maximum of 4 per family and only people who reside in the household (and the Sponsor). The people attending would be, the candidate, their sponsor and 2 other household members. If the sponsor is unable to attend, a parent may stand in as a proxy.
Booking a date for the Sacrament opened on 18 October and will close by 5 November 2021. Bookings are to be made through the TryBooking links on the parish website at www.cg.org.au/belconnennorth
Sacrament of Reconciliation
The Sacrament will be celebrated (5 minute timeslots for each candidate):
9 November in St Michael’s Church from 3.30 to 6pm;
10 November in St Monica’s Church from 3.30 to 6pm; and
11 November in St Monica’s Church from 3.30 to 6pm
Registration for the Sacrament – is open and will close by 25 October 2021. Registration and payment must be made through the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish Qkr! App (NOT the school’s app). No further registrations will be accepted beyond the closing date.
Booking a date and time for the Sacrament - is now open and will close by 28 October 2021. Bookings are to be made through the TryBooking links on the parish website at www.cg.org.au/belconnennorth
Home booklets will be posted home once the registration has been received. Families should work through the booklet with their child in preparation for the Sacrament and prior to school resuming for Year 3 students on 1 November.
Purchasing a stole for the Sacrament of Reconciliation is optional and is not compulsory. If you wish to purchase a stole, the cost is $20 and this can also be done via the Parish Qkr! app.
Growth Mindset in Math
In general, a growth mindset is the belief that intelligence and ‘smartness’ can also be learned and that the brain grows from experience and effort. The opposite, a fixed mindset, is the idea that you are smart, or you are not. In math, that translates into “some people are good at math, and some are not.” Did you know that praising efforts rather than intelligence or results can impact your child’s ability to persevere in challenges?! The goal is to have children thrive on challenges and see failures, not as a sign of low intelligence, but as a learning opportunity. Brain research tells us that making mistakes actually wires more connections into the brain! When a person has a growth mindset, they accept challenges, see their efforts as worthwhile, and are open to learning from mistakes. Students with a growth mindset achieve at higher levels than those with fixed mindsets. How can you help? Some simple ways:
- Adding “yet” when they claim they are “not good at this” (Respond: “You are not good at this yet.”)
- Ask questions that focus on their effort and choices and get them to reflect on satisfaction of that effort (e.g. What did you learn today? What mistake did you make that taught you something? What did you try hard at today?)
- Model this yourself as you share about your day.
On Monday students will start returning to school so it is time to return library books and get some new books. To assist families with locating books that have been at home for some time I will be emailing overdue book notices to families tomorrow so that you have a few days to locate books.
Belconnen/ACT Virtual Athletics Carnival
Please see the letter sent to me from SSACT. We will be nominating our school results so you will not have to do anything (except wait for the results in week 7). Please contact me if you would not like your child's results included.
|KB||Alison C||Myself||For the growth she has made in her writing during remote learning. Well done using your tall, tidy, tail letters and clever sounds to do some amazing writing!|
|KB||Audrey B||Myself||For consistently using her own sounds to write her clever ideas in all remote learning tasks. The growth in your confidence to write independently is something you should feel proud of!|
|KCH||Ashlee H||Myself||For working hard to complete Seesaw tasks at home and showing respectful online manners during remote learning.|
|1BH||Selina L||Myself||Showing confidence during remote learning and attempting to complete some tasks independently.|
|1BH||Fraser C||Myself||For persevering with remote learning this term and giving activities a go. You have submitted some excellent work, especially in Mathematics.|
|1BH||Elijah G||Myself||For the high standard of work he continuously submits throughout remote learning. Your hard work has not gone unnoticed Elijah!|
|1R||Elizabeth D-H||Myself||For showing motivation, initiative, and self-direction when completing remote learning tasks. Well done Elizabeth!|
|1R||Adele M||Myself||By challenging herself to write detailed sentences, using compound words and descriptive language. Well done Adele!|
|1R||Aaliyah S||Myself||For her improvement with her writing, particularly sounding out words to write them and writing simple sentences including punctuation. Well done Aaliyah!|
|2E||Bailey D-C||Myself||For the way you actively engage in remote learning. You are always respectful and bring your delightful smile each day to our group meetings.|
|2E||Joshua R||Myself||For the creative ways you engage in your learning and always give your best! What a positive mindset you have with remote learning!|
|2RR||Mason Mc||Myself||For consistently showing growth and a positive attitude when connecting with his class on Teams.|
|2RR||Isreal O||Myself||For taking constructive advice from his teachers to grow as a student while learning from home.|
|3CF||Ruben V||Myself||Always giving everything a go and his improved effort to complete all tasks.|
|3CF||Emanuel S||Myself||The great effort he has put into completing all of our remote learning tasks. Well done!|
|3LG||Zander R||Myself||Showing the footsteps of growth by engaging positively during remote learning and submitting his best work.|
|3LG||Beatrice O||Myself||Showing the footsteps of growth during remote learning by engaging and submitting her best work.|
|4M||Emmett J||Myself||For working hard to complete his work to a high standard, and always taking feedback.|
|4M||Eva A||Myself||For applying herself during online learning to complete her tasks on time.|
|4R||Akol A||Others||By being present and supporting his peers at school during remote learning.|
|4R||Joshua S||Myself||For applying himself during online learning.|
|4SG||Marianna R||Myself||For always showing respect for herself and others by joining into our class meetings on time and asking thoughtful questions.|
|4SG||Harley T||Myself||Being resilient during remote learning and navigating different time zones!|
|5EM||Amelia H||Myself||For her positive and upbeat attitude to all our learning. Millie asks questions and is always engaged in our remote learning, a pleasure to teach!|
|5EM||Zachary H||Myself||For the high quality and detailed work he is able to produce! Zach is able to go the extra mile and add details and research to so many of his tasks!|
|5EM||Patrick S||Myself||For the consistency of his work. Patrick always makes sure that his work is done, and that he takes note of the teacher's feedback! These are the habits of a great learner!|
For consistently handing in a high standard of work for all areas of learning during remote learning.
For his efforts to complete all tasks during remote learning and engaging respectfully with his peers.
Improving his focus and time management this term to get remote learning tasks completed and handed in on time.
|6J||Jesse F||Others||Serving others and being present within the digital community during remote learning.|
|6J||Arina M||Myself||Developing a sense of time management and individual accountability during remote learning.|
|6H||Bailey S||Myself||For showing commitment and a positive attitude throughout remote learning.|
|6H||Antonia H||Myself||For completing tasks to a high standard and being a conscientious learner during remote learning.|
|6M||Lily H||Myself||For applying herself in Maths to achieve growth in her understanding of Fractions.|
|6M||Bastijan P||Myself||For making great progress across all strands of Maths.|
Fees are due by Friday 11 November 2021
Term 4 school fee invoices have been posted home this week, let us know if you have not received your statement. Please make every effort to settle your account on time. Please contact our school Finance Officer, Kirralea Thompson, should you need to discuss your account. Any families who are leaving at the end of this year must ensure their account is settled in full.
It seems strange to be sending this out in these crazy Covid remote learning days, but we have a school fundraiser in the wings! Family Portraits on Sunday 27 November 2021! The attached flyer provides more detail, but for the bargain price of $20 per family, you are able to sit for a family portrait and obtain a 10"x13" print, as well as a wallet photo (more poses and images are also available at an additional cost). To keep it all Covid friendly, sitting for the family photos will take place at Lake Ginninderra nearish to the Learn to Ride Park. All booking are made through Try Booking (details on the flyer). If you have any further queries after reading the flyer and checking on Try Booking, please contact the photographer directly - Kieren from Lasso Studios - on 0420 233 747.