‘What is the Kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like the mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches’.
It is hard to believe we are halfway through the term. All our new teachers have settled in, like they have been here for years. This week Leonie Anstey, a Mathematics Consultant from Victoria, worked with the staff looking at classroom practice and strategies. This was a great opportunity for staff sharing and the setting of our directions to meet student needs.
The recent media reports of the trial and conviction of Cardinal Pell in Melbourne have caused distress to many. As leaders in Catholic education, we are mindful of our responsibilities that lie in this area. We have already lifted standards and while the trial is separate and distinct from our area of responsibility, it focuses us to be particularly mindful of those who have suffered abuse in the past and how these reports will affect them.
Every support should be offered to students, staff and members of our community whose suffering and distress may be heightened at this time. As Christian communities we are called to listen and tend to the needs of the wounded, whatever may be the source of their suffering. We must have open hearts and open minds and address the needs before us.
We continue to commit to providing the safest possible environment for all our students and staff and, while the trial has been difficult to watch, it in no way detracts from the work we are doing.
The safety and welfare of students remains our absolute top priority. The child safety approaches administered by our dedicated teachers and leaders ensure we are held to the highest professional and regulatory standards. They are embedded in organisational governance, policy, procedures, practice and culture. It is a key responsibility for everyone who works or volunteers in Catholic education.
This year Catholic Education Canberra-Goulburn has created a Child Safe Advocate role supporting every systemic Catholic school in the Archdiocese. This consolidates Catholic Education's commitment to child safety and protection from all sources of abuse. This commitment to child safety in every aspect of school life will continue and we must remain vigilant. Catholic schools are highly valued because they provide safe learning environments. I am confident this will continue to be the case.
Should you or your family require support during this time, please reach out and we will support in whatever way we can.
Year 5 & 6 Camp
Next Wednesday we will farewell our Year 5/6 teachers and students as they embark on their Leadership Camp to Cooba. I know our students are very much looking forward to the time away from school, to connect, to learn and to have fun. Luke Donnelly will be attending in the first evening to take the opportunity to get to know the Year 5/6 teacher. Liz Foster, Amanda Winne, Michael McFadden, Bob Fletcher, Christopher Evans, Kathy Moir and Jacinda Vaughan will be attending for the three days.
From next Tuesday evening I will be in Bowral for the Annual Leaders Retreat until Friday. Ms Peta Goldburg, ACU Professor, will be leading our retreat again this year. It is a time to reflect on Scripture and deepen ones faith. Please contact Luke Donnelly or Carmel Rheinberger in my absence.
Enjoy the long weekend and travel safe if going away.
Honesty is an opportunity to move through the world gracefully without harming other people. To speak or act dishonestly is to put our own interests ahead of someone else’s. To distort what they experience to fit our needs, or to take their possessions for ourselves. This is why dishonesty causes such disappointment and pain. Whereas to be honest is to cherish the needs and wishes of someone else. It is a statement that we care about another person’s welfare.
Honesty is a personal choice that arises every time that human beings connect with one another. Each individual has the opportunity to be straightforward and honest in their dealings with other people, regardless of their health, family situation, possessions or resources. In doing so, they help to create a culture of honesty for everyone.
Yesterday we gathered together with St Monica’s Parish, for Ash Wednesday Mass. Fr Loi asked us to think about participating in one of the three great actions of Lent: PRAYER, FASTING, ALMSGIVING. He recounted a trip home to the Philippines, where he took a gift of thongs to a small school community. Fr Loi was very surprised to receive two live chickens in return! The message he was passing on was that –in the giving and receiving we are gifted with God’s love. It is good to give…-without expectation of return. Caritas runs the Project Compassion Appeal every year during Lent. Classes all have Project Compassion boxes- I am sure you remember them from your time at school. Our school community will be encouraged to donate spare change, small money found on the playground to the Appeal. The Appeal supports communities in a variety of countries around the world- for example- $5 will provide a school in the Solomon Islands with a reliable tap so students can access clean drinking water.
What’s with the Ashes?
If your child came home talking about the Ashes yesterday- or you could still see them and you are unfamiliar with this Catholic/Christian tradition, the link below may be of use to you- it is only about 40 seconds.
Ash Wednesday begins a wonderful season of reflection and preparation. Receiving the ashes as a member of the church community helps children recognize that they are an important part of the Catholic community and are united with the Church in its Lenten preparation.
St Monica’s uses Restorative Practices to build and maintain healthy relationships. Restorative Practices assists teachers, students and parents to build, maintain and restore relationships. We have signage around the school to assist the children when they need to use these questions.
Could these questions help you and your family at home?
The library has a variety of books that parents and carers are welcome to borrow. There is a diverse range of topics including: parenting books specific to girls and boys, behaviour strategies, dyslexia, cyber safety and talking to tweens to name a few. Please come and visit the library if you are interested.
Congratulations to the following children on their achievements at the Annual Swimming Carnival. Ribbons will be presented to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners in each event, not the heats. Ribbons will be presented at assembly tomorrow, 8 March.
200m Individual Medley - 1st Harry P, 2nd Riley H, 3rd Lachlan M, 4th Madeline H
100m Open Freestlye Boys – 1st Harry P, 2nd Riley H, 3rd Zak D,
100m Open Freestyle Girls – 1st Annabelle F, 2nd Isabella P, 3rd Antonia H
50m Freestyle 8yr Boys – 1st Gus O
50m Freestyle 8yr Girls – 1st Laura R, 2nd Sian S
50m Freestyle 9yr Boys – 1st Zak D, 2nd Drew G, 3rd Joel M
50m Freestyle 9yr Girls – 1st Zoe O, 2nd Paige H, 3rd Sophie C
50m Freestyle 10yr Boys – 1st Archie E, 2nd Fletcher B, 3rd Rohan G
Last Thursday we had 10 5/6 students attend the Belconnen region League 7's gala day at Weetangera playing fields. The boys played 3 games against some quality opposition and came away with one draw and two tight losses. Well done to Riley H, Darcy B, James M, Marin, Ryan K, Samuel J, Jasper, Will C, Matthew M and Archie E for your excellent sportsmanship and manners on the day. Special thanks to Matt Brown and Nick Edwards for coaching and managing the team.
Due to the Nationals being held in Darwin in September 2019, trials for this team will work differently from previous years. Students who meet the criteria (please click on link below) and are turning 10, 11 or 12 years old this year are required to attend trials. The usual regional and ACT carnivals will take place later in the year but students who wish to be considered for the ACT team MUST attend these trials. Please see our school Skoolbag app for more details and how to register. Please contact Ryan Matchett if you have any questions or require any further information.
The 2019 fete will be held on Saturday 23 March from 10am - 2pm. Please take the time to see how you can assist/donate -- there are plenty of opportunities right now before the fete: cook up some jams/preserves for the cake stall, clear out the excess/unread books collecting dust or declutter the kids wardrobes to drop off during the allocated drop off times - Saturday 2 and 3 March 2-4pm and Saturday 16 and 17 March 2-4pm.
The Country Fair theme went so well in 2018 and made for a fabulous atmosphere so we are doing it all again in 2019. We are also offering the chance to ‘sponsor a hay bale’ again this year. You can do this using Qkr. This year, the bales will be donated back to farmers in the Canberra and surrounding areas in need.
The themes for the raffle baskets are:
Kindergarten – Better Homes and Gardens – make a house a home, ideas include homewares, candles, placemats, tea towels, pot plants, garden ornaments.
Year 1 – Boredom Buster – think ultimate rainy day fun – puzzles, books, dvds, games, stickers, colouring books, cards etc.
Year 2 – Easter
Year 3 – Celebration – balloons, streamers, cheeseboards, lollies, party bag fillers etc.
Year 4 – Easter
Year 5 – Stationery and Craft – gel pens, pencils, notebooks, post-it-notes, stickers, embellishments, textas.
Year 6 – Cookin’ up a Storm – all things kitchen, baking and cooking.
Raffle Tickets and Value Tickets
Raffle tickets have been sent home and this year you have the option of paying for your tickets using the Qkr App. Value ticket order forms have also been sent home.
We are always looking for new sponsors so if you or someone you know is able to donate either items for our chocolate wheel or cash amounts to cover the costs of our entertainment, attractions or food stalls we ask you to please contact the fete team at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are also looking for volunteers to help on our various stalls on the day (all volunteers require a Working with Vulnerable People card so be sure to apply for yours soon if you don’t yet have one).
White Elephant Drop-offs
Last drop off for White Elephant will be 16 and 17 March between 2pm and 4pm. We need some helpers on these days to sort the many fabulous items we receive. If you can help, please email us or just turn up on the day(s).
Please send your pre-loved books to school with your children for our bookstall. The class who collectively donates the most books each week will win a weekly prize. Also, our wonderful Fete Bookstall Co-ordinator Andrea Bolitho is collecting books for the 2019 fete. Please contact Andrea directly on 0407 397 233 to arrange drop off or collection, or alternatively you are welcome to drop books to Andrea's home at 10 Edmunds Place, Spence.
We extend a big thank you in advance to our school families and community who always give so much to bring our fete together. We know we ask a lot of our school families, but as this is our biggest annual event and raises more money for the school than any other annual fundraiser, it is well worth the effort everyone puts in to making the day a success.
Canberra’s entire public transport network has undergone a major overhaul which means extensive changes and improvements to the way students travel to school using dedicated public transport services in 2019. Transport Canberra will release detailed school and general bus timetables and route information in early 2019 before the new bus network starts in 2019.
The school services planned as part of the New Bus Network have been designed based on a newSchool Bus Services Policy(PDF 318KB).
The majority of students in Canberra travel to school by car. This means that many students are missing out on the health benefits of active travel and the opportunity to become proficient in public transport use. It also means many schools are congested with traffic around bell times. These new school services will ensure all students will be at their school destination prior to bell times.
The new public transport network includes 222 dedicated school bus services every school day. This is a similar number to today’s network, and 78 more dedicated school services than were included in the consultation network released in June. These services are simpler and easier for students, with most services running both morning and afternoon and using the same route number.
In the new network, the way Transport Canberra runs school buses will change. School bus services will generally be shorter to reduce the time it takes students to get to school, and they will provide more opportunities for students to connect to local and Rapid services. Additionally, local and Rapid services have been designed to provide good access to as many schools as possible across our city, so that more students at more schools can get to school by public transport.