- Weekly Happenings
- Principal's Message
- New School Parent Portal - Will You Be Ready?
- An Inspiration for Others
- Real Commitment! Support For A Wonderful Initiative
- Harmony Day and Wellbeing Friyay!
- RE News - Haley Stonham
- Parish Sacramental News - First Eucharist
- The AMAZING Camp Cooba
- Child and Family Centres ACT - Emma Russell
- NAPLAN News
- Literacy - Melinda Brown
- Mathematics - Ryan Matchett
- Library News - Veronica Melville
- Sport News - Ryan Matchett
- Happy Birthday
- Community Council News - Evelyn David-Hoole
- SMOOSH Care
- Parent Corner
- School Fees
- School Fees - Sibling Discounts
- Enrolment Time
- Holiday Happenings
- COVID-19 Updates
|Friday 19 March||
Harmony Day - Cultural Dress or a splash of orange with their uniform
School Prayer - 2.30pm
|Monday 22 March||
School Photo Day
|Wednesday 24 March||
Fun Lunch - Fish and Chips
|Thursday 25 March||
Cross Country Carnival
We have a busy few weeks coming up so please make sure you have all the events marked in your calendar.
Thank you to our amazing team of teachers who accompanied the Year 5 and 6 students on camp last week. While everyone had a great time it is a big ask on teachers who find themselves on duty from the moment they leave the school car park to the moment they return. Each teacher was presented with a small token of thanks in acknowledgment for their efforts. Go Team!
Staff Professional Learning & Pupil Free Days
This year, as part of the CE Catalyst program, St Monica's staff is focusing on Maths and working with consultants from COGLearn to review and refine our teaching practices through coaching around High Impact Teaching Practices. To assist in the developing of the Catalyst program the CE Catholic schools have been granted two additional pupil free days. These days will occur on the first day of Term 2 and Term 3. Term Two will commence on Tuesday 20 April
Special Lunch Day
Our Fish and Chip Fun Lunch Day is on Wednesday 24 March. You can place your order through Qkr! Cut off for placing an order is Sunday 21 March at 5pm.
School Photo Day is Monday 22 March 2021. All children are to wear their full Summer school uniform. Photo envelopes have been sent home with children. Envelopes with money are due back to school by Friday 19 March 2021.
As a fundraising opportunity families can request a group photo with siblings to be taken on photo day. This is completely separate from individual student photos. The cost is $15 per photo. Please enclose this money in a separate envelope marked Family Photo - with your family name clearly displayed. Alternatively, payment may be made using our Qkr! App. If using Qkr please send in a note to confirm your request and method of payment. Payment is due Friday 19 March 2021.
An information note was sent home last week with the children outlining the events that make up our Cross Country Carnival. This year we are hosting the event in our local area to save on the cost of buses and travel time. We still need the support of our wonderful parents to assist with a range of jobs including set up and track marshalls.
To ensure our event never exceeds 500 parents will be required to use the Check-In CBR app and will only be permitted to stay long enough to watch their child participate in their age race unless they are volunteering on the day. As always COVID requirements must be followed and only children well enough to participate should attend school. All the children will be expected to participate in their event.
Easter is Just Around the Corner
With no fete Easter basket raffle this year I thought it would be great to get the community involved in a small fundraising event. I am asking for each family to donate either a chocolate egg, rabbit or a bilby to the value of $5.00 so that we can put together several baskets to be raffled off on Holy Thursday, the last day of term. Donations to be sent in by Friday 19 March so the baskets can be put together for ticket sales to occur over the last two weeks of the term. Thank you to the many families who have sent in their donation.
Tickets will go on sale from Monday 22 March for $1.00.
Kinder Families Afternoon Tea and Playdate
The Kindergarten teachers invite all Kindergarten children and their families to an afternoon tea outside their classrooms on Thursday 25 March between 3:15 – 4:30pm. A light snack will be provided for the children and their families. Hope you can make it to get to know other Kinder families. We look forward to sharing this special afternoon with you. Please RSVP via the attached flier.
Continue to stay safe and healthy and may God's blessings be with everyone.
Getting ready for a change with our new parent communication app to occur soon. We are not live yet!
Please read the attached two documents and download the Compass School Manager App to access the Compass Parent Portal soon to be released.
To ensure you will receive school information, via the Compass Parent Portal, you must provide the school with your correct email and contact numbers. This will not be an opt-in system as we currently have with the SZine app. Please continue to use our SZine app until I formally advise we have changed over.
Last week Charlotte T (1R) raised $21.25 for Project Compassion by selling cupcakes at a family BBQ gathering. Congratulations to Charlotte on this wonderful initiative to help others not as fortunate as we are to have the luxuries of homes, food and the love of our families.
World's Greatest Shave
No, Mr Mac! I’m not a scourer. I’ve shaved my head for the ‘World’s Greatest Shave!”
I remember I first saw the advertisement to do the World's Greatest Shave when I was younger and I thought it was really cool. A few years later people at my school did the World’s Greatest Shave and I started to think about it. Last year my cousin David shaved and that was when I decided to do the World's Greatest Shave. I feel very lucky because I don’t have a health condition that prevents me from doing things I love.
I also donated my hair to tell people with health conditions that I care about and want them to have a good, happy and healthy life. So far my team has raised $2,705.60. Even though I have already shaved my head you can still donate to my team or me.
Ainsleigh M (6M)
Great Commitment Ainsleigh from Team St Monica's!
Fourth Week of Lent
Arsad, an Indonesian farmer, had no toilet in his house, so always had to walk into the forest to the open defecation area. His family was often sick and open defecation caused many neighbourhood disputes. With the support of Caritas Australia and its partner agency, Laz Harfa, Arsad took part in hygiene, sanitation and financial management training. He then funded the building of a toilet in his house and helped other community members to save money to construct their own toilet.
Now, Arsad’s family is healthier, their community no longer practices open defecation and is more harmonious. Arsad inspired his community to ‘Be More.’
- Around 17 percent of Indonesia’s rural population, or 45 million people, practice open defecation – going to the toilet outdoors in fields, forests and other open spaces. (World Bank)
Watch a short film about Arsad’s story here.
“Aspire not to have more, but to be more.” Please support Project Compassion: lent.caritas.org.au
St Monica’s Fundraising Tally so far…
Last Friday, while the Social Justice Team was at camp, the Year 4 children collected the donations from each class and we raised $191.60. In total we have raised $533.15
The class that has raised the most so far is…. 5EM!
There is one week left to bring in your donations! I wonder which class will win the class prize!
We wanted to say THANK YOU! To all our families who have donated so far! We have exceeded our goal of $200 and our new goal is $600!
The Social Justice Team
This Sunday is Harmony Day and at St Monica’s we are celebrating Harmony Day this Friday 19 March. Ms Maguire has encouraged us to all wear something orange or wear your cultural dress this Friday too! We will also be celebrating Harmony Day at our Whole School prayer this Friday afternoon.
What is Harmony Day all about?
Harmony Week/ Day is all about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, united by a set of core Australian Values. (Australian Government).
Why do we wear orange?
Orange is the colour chosen to represent Harmony Day. Traditionally, it signifies social communication and meaningful conversations. It also relates to freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect. We wear orange to show our support for cultural diversity and an inclusive Australia.
This year we are so grateful to be together so that we may experience Holy Week as a School. Children will be part of a walking journey through Holy Week. We will begin our Journey with Jesus next Friday morning for Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday will be led by Year 2 and we celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
Monday Week 9, we will be continuing our journey after recess. Each grade will walk with Jesus as He shares a last meal with the Disciples, watch as he is betrayed and arrested and then walk with Him as he carries his cross, preparing for his death.
Year 4 will be leading the Last Supper with year 5 leading Praying in the Garden and Year 6 leading the Stations of the Cross.
On Holy Thursday, we will celebrate Jesus resurrection. Year 1 will lead our liturgical celebration.
Unfortunately, we are unable to invite parents and friends of St Monica’s. We will be taking lots of photos and some short clips of our journey to share with you all. We will post them on our Facebook page throughout the day!
Sacramental Program 2021 – First Eucharist for students in Y4 from 2021
The Sacrament of First Eucharist will be celebrated in term 2 of 2021 on the following dates:
- Tuesday 8 June at 6.00pm in St Michael’s Church
- Wednesday 9 June at 6.00pm in St Monica’s Church
- Thursday 10 June at 5.30pm and 7.00pm in St Monica’s Church
Please keep the candidates for First Eucharist in your prayers.
Information Night for First Eucharist – Term 2
The parent information night will be held on Thursday 29 April 2021 at 6.00pm via zoom (zoom address to be provided closer to the night).
Students and parents must attend one of the commitment Masses listed below at St Monica’s Church 6.00pm on Saturday or 10.00am on Sunday or St Michael’s Church 8.00am or 5.30pm on Sunday to make their commitment for the sacrament.
Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 May
Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 May
Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 May 2021
There will be no additional commitment masses beyond these dates.
The Sacrament is available in 2021 for the School of Religion.
For further information please contact the Sacramental Program coordinator at email@example.com
The AMAZING Camp Cooba
Last week, Years 5 and 6 went to Camp Cooba. We spent 3 days doing some challenging but fun, team building activities. These included canoeing on Lake Jindabyne, raft building, water activities, the big swing, team manoeuvres, mountain biking, survivor and low ropes. We also got to watch movies and feed the horses. Our cabins were pretty comfortable if a little crazy at night! The lovely Camp Cooba staff helped us all to get the best out of all the activities at camp and fed us 5 star-rated breakfasts, lunches and dinners - including dessert!
For me, the most challenging activity was the big swing. I’m terrified of heights and really didn’t want to do it. But the teachers, instructors and my team encouraged me to have a go. My legs were shaking like jelly and I had to close my eyes, but I went all the way to the top! When I pulled the red cord, the feeling of falling was like a shock. But I did it, and it was worth it.
I faced another big fear in the low ropes course, where I had to trust my team as they lifted me through a big hanging tyre. It was so scary. I then had to help others through. It really helped us realise that we all could work together to succeed.
Overall, camp was challenging but amazing. Thank you to our teachers, Camp Cooba staff and our parents.
Grace R-F (6M)
Families with young children (birth to 8 years) are welcome to call the Child and Family Centres (CFC) and talk with an experienced Child and Family Worker about supports available for your family. Parents and carers can access a range of parenting groups and supports which are offered face-to-face and are also available via telephone and on-line platforms.
Child and Family Centres services are available Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm.
- Gungahlin Child and Family Centre: (02) 6207 0120
- Tuggeranong Child and Family Centre: (02) 6207 8228
- West Belconnen Child and Family Centre: (02) 6205 2904
There are many services available including: Drop-In Parenting Support
Parents and carers are invited to visit their local Child and Family Centre to chat with a trained professional about parenting, ask questions and to get information. This can lead to ongoing, one-to-one support with Child and Family Workers.
Staff are available to speak with parents and service providers, either in person or by phoning your local Centre — about a range of issues including:
- general parenting
- adjusting to being a parent
- family relationship issues
- your child’s behaviour.
Year 3 and 5 students in ACT schools will participate in NAPLAN Online testing in May 2021. Our school will be conducting the tests between 17 - 21 May.
All students participating in NAPLAN Online 2021 are expected to have done a practice/familiarisation test prior to the May NAPLAN tests. The practice test does not assess student performance and has been developed to replace one of the familiarisation activities that schools have traditionally undertaken. St Monica's is planning to do our practice test next Friday 26 March.
As a parent, you can become familiar with NAPLAN Online tests by visiting the public demonstration site, http://bit.ly/naplanonline. The purpose of the site is to familiarise students with the type of items they will see on NAPLAN Online and related functionalities. This level of familiarisation is worthwhile to help students understand and be comfortable with the format of the test.
NAPLAN Parent Checklist
- Read the NAPLAN letter from Carmel Maguire
- Read the parent information brochure
- Ensure the NAP Locked down browser app is installed on your child's BYOD device. N.B. Students without their own device will be issued one by the school.
- Visit the NAPLAN Demonstration Site to familiarise your child with the online platform.
- Contact Luke Donnelly if you are considering withdrawing your child from one or all of the tests.
Anchor charts are a powerful learning tool that support learning in the classroom. They are used by every teacher at St Monica’s during the Literacy Block to introduce a new topic, concept, skill or strategy.
Constructing this chart with the class encourages student engagement with a topic. Having the chart displayed in the classroom allows students to refer to it when needed, allowing for a deeper level of comprehension, and supporting students in their independent work.
Please find below this weeks Maths questions. Please email your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. Well done to Ella C in KCH and Lachlan F in 3CF who submitted correct answers to last weeks problems.
Carlos was at a picnic. He saw some ants crawling on a hot dog bun.
A minute later 4 more ants came, and there were 11 ants on the bun.
How many ants did Carlos see before the 4 ants came?
We often see advertisements from phone companies competing to earn business by offering various calling plans.
One of them, Horizon, offers 700 minutes of calls per month for $45.99, and additional minutes are charged at 6 cents per minute.
Another company, Stingular, offers 700 minutes for $29.99 per month, and additional minutes are 35 cents each.
Which do you think is the better deal and why?
Developing Number Sense
To be an efficient mathematician it is essential to have a sound understanding of number facts and skills. By practising these skills a few times a week it helps with numerical fluency and in other areas of the mathematics curriculum. Below I have two activities you could use to help your child with developing their understanding of number facts.
- 100 or bust- A simple game of addition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zU8C-AD7WnQ&t=3s
- Daily 10- An interactive games site with levelled activities with different topics to build number skills. Many classes use this during their Maths lessons. https://www.topmarks.co.uk/maths-games/daily10
I would love to hear from families if you find these resources useful or if there is anything else I can provide your family to help foster student confidence and engagement in mathematics.
Congratulations to the 14 students who participated in the Belconnen Swimming Carnival today at Stromlo Leisure Centre. Thank you to Mr Fletcher for supervising our students and to the parents who came along and supported. I will share results with you in next weeks newsletter.
School Cross Country Carnival
Thank you to Emma Russell, Monika Richards and June Edwards who are currently in the process of preparing for our school carnival. If any parents are able to volunteer to help please get in touch with us at school.
School Athletics Carnival - Years 2-6 - A New Venue
Save the date- Thursday 22 April (Week 1, Term 2) at Merici College. More information to come before the end of the term.
School Sport Australia Announcement
'It is with regret that School Sport Australia is cancelling all 2021 School Sport Australia National Championships. The Board considered that running Championships in 2021 was not viable because of the ongoing volatility caused by COVID-19 outbreaks, hot spot declarations and border closures. School Sport Australia’s priority is on the wellbeing of students, teachers and other officials.'
For the full announcement please head to the SSA website- http://www.schoolsportaustralia.edu.au/
SSACT is investigating other options for School Sport state teams in the hope of students competing and representing the ACT in 2021. We will keep you posted.
The Community Council met on 1 March where we elected our office bearers for 2020: Council Chair: Evelyn David-Hoole, Council Vice-Chair Alicia Prest, Council Secretary: Noel Chan and Council Treasurer: John Alston Campbell. Council also discussed the positive feedback from parents and teachers on the first round of parent-teacher interviews and preparations for our enrolment period that will commence in term 2.
We are planning an open Council meeting via zoom early in Term 2.
Thank you for supporting our Vacation Care program.
Reviewing the Jan 2021 VAC program, a lot of positive comments, feedback and suggestions from you and your children were made to contribute to our VAC program. This helps us to improve our VAC program for the children.
From our information collection for the Jan VAC feedback, the children and parents expected us to plan incursion & excursion activities for the children in the VAC program. Based on this, we have planned two excursions and one incursion for the coming April VAC program. The COVID-19 plans have been included in our incursion & excursion program for us to implement during the holiday periods.
Our April VAC program will run from 6th April to 16th April, and plus 19th April 2021 which will be a Pupil Free Day.
The cost of our holiday program is $75 per day for early bird enrolment before 26th March 2021, excluding an extra charge for the daily special program, incursion day and excursion days. This is inclusive of morning tea and afternoon tea.
Note: For any families who do not have an enrolment with SMOOSH you will need to go to the https://stmonicas.act.edu.au/smoosh and click register to be able to enrol in for the Pupil free day.
Once an enrolment is received we will then be able to enrol you in for Monday 19/4/2021.
Any concerns or enquires please do not hesitate to contact the centre on the below details
Phone: 02 62581014
Mobile: 0467 655 418
Vaping Amongst Young People - The Australian Lions Drug Awareness Foundation
Australian surveys show vaping by young people has increased. Young people who vape nicotine are exposed to a toxic chemical that can harm adolescent brain development (the brain continues to develop until the age of 25) and lead to dependance. There is also some evidence that vaping nicotine is associated with later tobacco use among teenagers.
Why Are Young People Attracted To Vaping?
The advertising and promotion of vaping products is illegal in Australia. However, companies can use other strategies to target youth. Social media has been found to play a role as both an information source and as a means of exposure to e-cigarette advertising in Australia. Companies are also glamourising their products to seem cool or fun and creating flavours that appeal to young people. There have been a number of studies which have found that e-cigarette flavours which give off the perception of sweetness (such as candy or fruit flavoured) may make buying and trying e-cigarettes more appealing among young people.
"In recent years we have also seen the proliferation of shops selling enticing non-nicotine e-cigarettes and liquids with thousands of attractive flavours like green apple ice, cinnamon roll and alpha mint. These are purely recreational products that have no place in our market for either kids or adults." - Cancer Council Australia
Talking About Vaping With Young People
Are you concerned about a young person who may be vaping? Having a conversation about it might feel tricky, but it's always a good idea!
- Start with information, Approach it calmly, Don't make assumptions, Avoid judging or lecturing, Don't exaggerate, Focus on health and explain your concerns.
Information related to school fees is available in our school app, under Forms & Documents. You can access the 2021 fee schedule, Direct Debit forms, remission application forms and other fee-related information.
Term 1 school fees were due on Friday 26 February, except for families who have a formal Direct Debit arrangement in place.
If you have not yet made your school fees payment, please do so urgently. Please contact our School Finance Officer if you are experiencing difficulty meeting this commitment.
***Attention families with older children at other ACT Catholic Systemic Schools***
Do you have older children attending St Francis Xavier College, John Paul II College, Merici College, St Clare's College or Mary Mackillop College? Or another ACT Catholic primary school? You are entitled to a discount on your school fees here at St Monica's but you must submit the form below please, so I have your correct information.
Family circumstances change therefore you must notify the school at the commencement of every school year. Please do not assume that if you received this discount in previous years that it carries over to the next year. This information is wiped from our database at the end of every year.
If you have not submitted this information, please do so as a matter of urgency. If we haven't received your information we cannot provide a discount for you.
Link to complete & submit form online: 2021 Fees Systemic Sibling Discount Form