Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for the communications that are coming in from each family to help our teachers know your circumstances regarding fires, loss of property, evacuations and other aspects of your family’s Christmas holiday experience. We continue to plan for ways in which to best support your child at this time. If you haven’t sent information to your child’s teacher can I encourage you to do so.
Smoke Haze/Student Well Being
I would like to assure everyone that the school is monitoring the air quality before school starts and throughout the day. If the air quality falls into the ‘poor’ category, we are limiting children’s time outside and monitoring students who are sensitive to air pollutants and respiratory issues. Every day there is eating and play time in the library at both recess and lunch break. If the quality of the air is deemed ‘very poor’ or worse, we are keeping all children inside. This monitoring happens every day and will continue to do so until Bega air quality has returned to normal, probably after the fires have been extinguished by heavy rain. You may like to download the app that we are using: AirVisual Air Quality Forecast.
Attendance & School Drop Off and Pick Up Routines
Children are expected to attend school from 8:55 am until 3.15 pm each day. If a child is absent from school a note must be presented to the class teacher when the child returns. This can also be done through the Skoolbag app. Phone messages must also be confirmed in writing.
In all circumstances when a child is to be collected early from school, the adult collecting the child must first go to the office to sign the child out. They will then be given a slip which must be presented to the child’s teacher or teacher on duty before the child will be dismissed. If your child is to be collected by another parent / carer you must communicate that with the school. We will not release any child to another parent /carer without your communication and consent.
When a child is to be away at times such as an extended family holiday, formal approval must be sought from the principal. It would not normally be expected of staff to provide extra work for them. However, please feel free to talk with the class teacher and find out what might be the main learning themes and skills being taught in the class for that period.
Arrival and Departure
Student supervision starts at 8:30am. Please ensure your children are not at school prior to this time. All children play in the top playground areas before school. At the completion of the school day, teachers will walk bus travellers to the bus waiting area between the church and the presbytery. Parents may wait near the school gate to collect their child. Children who walk home go to the designated areas to be taken across the roads by staff. A ‘waiting spot’ area is located in the school office. Children who are not picked up at the end of the school day will be taken or make their way to the waiting spot and the secretary will be informed so that arrangements can be made. When alternative travel arrangements are made (e.g. Aunty to collect etc) notification is essential.
We have traffic lights on Gipps Street that children should use when arriving at, or departing from school each day, should they need to cross this busy road. As an educative and safety measure, all parents are requested to use this facility whenever crossing Gipps Street with children. Children are supervised / walked across Belmore Street each afternoon by a teacher on duty.
As a major safety concern we ask that you abide by the following safety procedures: Could you please not:
- double park near the gates in Belmore Street
- obstruct resident or school driveways
- drop children on the other side of the highway if unnecessary
- call children across the road – please walk and collect them
Children in Kinder to Year 2 are provided with free bus travel irrespective of the distance they travel. Children from Years 3 – 6 may keep their free bus pass if they travel more than 1.6 km to come to school. Application forms are available from the office for families wishing to apply for a free bus pass.
Our school Bus Policy informs parents and students of their rights and responsibilities in regard to bus travel. Families will be given a copy of this policy and should discuss its implications with their children.
Parents who transport their children all or part of a journey between home and the bus pickup point and who reside more than 1.6 kilometres from the pickup point, can apply for Private Vehicle Conveyance Subsidy through Transport NSW https://apps.transport.nsw.gov.au/ssts/#/schoolDriveSubsidy
Children are permitted to ride their bikes to school with parental consent and abiding by local bike / road rules. A lock is advisable for security. Bikes are kept in the bike area between the church and the boys’ toilets.
Nut Aware Policy
St Patrick’s Primary School acknowledges that due to food processing practices, it is impractical to eliminate nuts or nut products entirely from an environment where there is food, hence the reference to “Nut Aware” school.
The Nut Aware Policy is supported by:
- Parents/caregivers being encouraged not to send food that contains nuts to school with their children. This includes peanut paste, Nutella, muesli bars, all nuts and cooking oil containing peanut oil, as well as foods containing nuts, (but does not extend to ‘food may contain traces of nuts’).
- Staff supervising students whilst they eat their lunch.
- Students are strongly discouraged to share food. If a student brings food containing nuts they eat near the school office and after eating students are encouraged to wash their hands.
- Staff participating in First Aid training in understanding and dealing with anaphylaxis (severe allergic reaction)
Animals in Schools
GOOD NEWS! St Patrick’s is going to trial a ‘dogs in school’ program thanks to Mrs Carracher and her gorgeous Judy. You may be aware of similar programs in other schools, there is growing evidence of the significantly positive impact of pets in schools. We hope to begin a trial of this program shortly. We do request parents make contact if any of their children have a genuine allergy or fear of dogs, so that we can plan our program appropriately. As you would anticipate, there are guidelines that we must follow and procedures that will be in place as we commence a trial.
Blessings on your weekend. We do hope the Kinder welcome picnic tomorrow will go ahead, but will communicate by Skoolbag this evening if it needs to be postponed.
Christ With Us
This is Lucky. Lucky is my new puppy. He is very busy…with everything.
He likes clear, short and to the point messages and I thought that might work for you too.
- In 2020 we have three targets
All students make measurable progress in literacy and numeracy.
All students access quality learning to meet individual needs.
All students will have improved student engagement and learning outcomes.
- The NSW Department of Education has put out a succinct video to advise parents following the recent fires. Please take a look. https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/school-safety/advice-to-assist-parents-teachers-and-students-following-recent-fires#Video1
- The e safety Commissioner’s website is a practical tool for parents to support their children. In 2020 FREE webinars are being offered for Primary Parents. Details and registration. https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/webinars
Our Year 3 students begin preparation for the Sacrament of First Reconciliation next week. Reconciliation is one of the Sacraments of Healing which celebrates God’s love and mercy. It calls people to conversion and to forgiveness towards others. In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, words, actions and symbols are used to communicate God’s love and forgiveness. Reconciliation strengthens the spiritual life of believers and turns their hearts towards God.
An information night for Reconciliation will be held on Wednesday the 12th February at 6:30pm in the church. This meeting will give you as parents of children receiving Reconciliation an understanding of what is involved from the school perspective and also what is involved for
you as a family and how yoU can best support your children as they prepare for this sacrament. It is a necessary and an important component of your child’s preparation that you as parents attend this meeting. Please show your support and fulfil your role in the program.
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Information Night- Wednesday 12th February at 6:30pm
Reconciliation Enrolment Mass- 1st March at 9:30am
Family Masses for Reconciliation- 8th & 15th March at 5pm
Sacrament of Reconciliation –27th & 28th March (families will be able to select a preferred time).
Thanksgiving Mass & morning tea – 29th March at 9:30am
The role of Children as Altar Servers is a long tradition in the Catholic Church. The Church has seen Altar Serving as a means to foster vocations. It is also a way to deepen a child’s love for service, and of the Mass, and to nurture self-pride and confidence.
I welcome all school aged children (year 3 to year 12) to nominate for this role.
Children may serve at ANY of the Parish Masses once they are trained.
Training will initially take place- 10.45am- 12pm Sunday 15th & 22nd of March 2020 (with more training to follow). Please fill in the form and present it to the Parish Office (or Fr. Luke)
Please see me if you have any queries.
Peace, Fr. Luke
Altar serving form
Name: ___________________ Age: ______ DOB__________
The usual weekend Mass I attend with my family are: (e.g. Sunday (9.30am)
I have been Baptised (Y / N)
I have made my first Holy Communion: (Y / N)
I have made Confirmation: (Y / N)
School I attend_______________________Year ____
Parent’s name: _____________________________________
Parent’s email: _____________________________________
Parents phone number: _______________________________
All children will need black leather polished shoes to serve in