Dear Parents and Carers,
Kinder Orientation: What a glorious welcome to school our Kinder 2021 students had on Wednesday at their first Orientation session! It is always such a joyful time when we meet our new students and they meet each other as they take their first big steps into primary school.
Student behaviour and engagement: Over the last 5 years to support students in growing their behaviours for learning and engagement in class and at playtime, we have invested time and resources in student programs, professional learning for staff, and the engagement of additional support staff. These include:
The Empowered Program
Year 4-6 Boys and Girls programs
Berry Street Professional Learning (2 of 4 days to date)
Student Welfare Worker (3 year funded program)
In addition we have now engaged the professional services of Mr Ian Luscombe from BehaveAbility. Ian is going to be at St Patrick’s school for four days before the end of term and during that time he will be working in classrooms alongside teachers as well as presenting to staff and parents about his programs and strategies. We are really excited to have engaged Ian as an expert to support the students at St Pat’s to do and be their best each day. We will then work with Ian in 2021 to consolidate strategies for school wide positive behaviour.
We will be communicating with you regarding parent sessions as the schedule is created. You may like to look at the website for some initial information.
Covid Restrictions: There is news about some easing with covid restrictions from yesterday – 12th November.
- We can organise a Year 6 graduation in the church that will look reasonably similar to past years. Whilst there will still be less people present, we are likely to be able to host members of each Year 6 student’s household in the church for the Mass and awards. We will soon communicate with Year 6 families about the plan for the evening of Tuesday 15th
- We can resume on site Community Council meetings outside of school hours with physical distancing for up to 20 people.
- Staff meetings can now be in person with physical distancing, and not by MSTeams.
- We will be able to have a short and physically distanced cup of tea with our new kinder parents next week before pick up from orientation.
- The restrictions on parents in and around the school still apply including no parent engagement and participation on excursions. No parents or other spectators are permitted to attend activities held on school site during the school day.
We continue to look toward the time when life will be more similar to pre-covid time and we are so appreciative of your support as we follow our guidelines with care.
This week we started a new program called School of Strength. The program is designed to help students to be the best version of themselves they can be, by learning persistence, experiencing perseverance, feeling determination and reaching goals.
Susie and Adrian, are working closely with us to develop the program to meet the needs of the students within the group. Our first day was reflected with comments from the students-
That was really cool
Mrs Perryman, I really liked that
We did this crawl thing, it was hard.
Have you heard your children refer to G rated language? G rated language is the term we use at St Pat’s to describe the language that is acceptable. Put simply, any language that is used on a G rated movie is acceptable at St Pat’s. Any language from a PG, M or above is not acceptable at St Pats and has consequences. There are a small portion of students who find this challenging. We are insisting on this language and know that you will support us in this endeavour.
Imagine a rubber band. The rubber band for a child represents boundaries. The rubber band represents parents, teachers, grandparents and baby sitters. As a child grows up they stand inside the rubber band and test the boundaries. They test the boundaries by seeing how far the band will stretch, how far they can go until the answer is no. The challenging part for adults is consistency. The children will keep testing the boundaries to see how solid they are, if they are solid they stop testing, if they are weak they keep testing.
Reports this year will not include comments. To balance this, every parent will meet with their child’s classroom teacher in the coming weeks. Please look out for correspondence in the coming weeks.
From the Classroom Support Teacher
This week St Pat's welcomed (most of) the 2021 Kinder students for their first orientation session. The students got to know one another, read a story, participated in an art lesson and explored the playground. They will be back again to learn more about being a St Pat's Kid next Wednesday. Over the next few weeks we will add individual photos of the 2021 Kinders in our photo frame.
Parents have been welcomed virtually this year however with some easing of the restrictions we will be able to have our new kinder parents come for a socially distanced cuppa and chat for a short time in the hall next week.
This week we celebrated NAIDOC week. On Friday classes gathered for a smoking ceremony and prayer before their tasting session.
Comments from some of the students about the bush food:-
Patience KMc: I liked the crocodile the most. It just tastes like chips.
Tayla 1/2R: I liked the emu and crocodile because it tastes like steak. Steak is my fave.
Mahala 1/2R: I liked it all.
Parvathy 1/2B: I liked the Johnny cakes because it was good.
Vinnie's Christmas Appeal
Next week our Mini Vinnie's members will gather to start promoting our Vinnie's Christmas Appeal. Families will be asked to consider making a small donation towards our Christmas hampers in the coming weeks.
Letting Go is the theme of the next two weeks in Empowered where your child will be given an opportunity to go through a process of letting go of limiting beliefs and believe in their own “I can” attitude. Using their bodies ability to jump they will be invited to jump as far as they can from a standing position. Having marked where they have landed they will then think about how to improve their jump. What will they need to improve? Is it their attitude? (MIND), their HEART ….I can do this! Or will it be their BODY working out a physical strategy? Ask your Empowered child what strategy they used. You may be surprised. The mindfulness challenge this week will be to … forgive someone either using their thoughts or by using their words and saying face to face. A big challenge!
The clubs continued this week happily given over 50 students a chance to lead and express their passions. A highlight was Basketball which gained momentum and opened up to 3 teams of both boys and girls. Initially it was for grades 4 – 6 however we need to make one more team so if your child is interested please ask them to see me. A new club will start on Monday called the “Bayblade” club. Please see Aiden G and Archie for more information.
Community Council Meeting Wrap Up
The Community Council met via zoom for its open meeting on Wednesday 28 October. Thank you to those that zoomed in, it was great to hear from other members of the school community.
We are flushed with excitement to announce the contract for our new toilets is in the process of being signed off. Work is scheduled to commence this month with a projected finish date of March 2021.
We are also pleased to announce the 2020 Year 6 Graduation Mass has been approved to go ahead with children and their parents able to attend. The mass will be followed by an award presentation in the church and a COVID safe celebratory cake. We are currently exploring options to livestream the event. Further information will be provided closer to the time.
The Term 4 Boys and Girls wellbeing Program has commenced. This exciting program, funded by the UNICEF grant program, is being implemented across Years 3-6. Ideas and funding to further expand outdoor play opportunities continue to be explored.
In Parish news, a review of Sacraments programs is being undertaken. Come and See workshops are introducing people to the basics of Catholic Faith and Tradition. A proposal for a Youth worker, to be employed by the parish and to work in the school, is being explored. Outdoor Christmas Masses will be conducted in Bega and on Tathra headland this year. The parish has received a grant from Bega Valley Shire Council for $250 for heritage work and Father Luke will attend an upcoming Parish Pastoral Council meeting, focusing on initiatives.
A recommendation to call for Expressions of Interest for parent class contacts, before the end of Term 4, was supported. With the intent to begin the role as restrictions further ease in 2021.
Celebrations of Learning during 2020 have looked very different to previous years. Community Council explored meaningful ways to share children’s successes with families. A suggestion was for children to support other students’ success by taking photographs with class iPads of learning in action. Teachers can then approve and share snapshots with families via Seesaw. Other ideas included printing hard copies of the photographs and sending home, creating a short video as well as sharing students’ learning outcomes. A parent survey will be prepared to seek feedback.
Class Teachers will also be supporting students to produce either a major piece of work to take home in week 6 or progressive pieces throughout Term 4. A parent survey will be sent out in week 7 seeking feedback of these approaches.
By now families should have received their free Dance Concert DVD. We hope you will enjoy sharing this exciting celebration of your children with family and friends. Over, and over, and over!
Given the social distancing restrictions between staff and parents, a suggestion to introduce new staff to families via seesaw or the newsletter was discussed. Keep an eye out!
Also, you will have seen a survey circulating recently to gauge parent interest for external educational webinar support. Please take the time to complete the survey.
The Community Council endorsed a 3% fee increase for 2021. We recognise CE has offered many St Pat’s families fee relief this year to support them in response to bushfires and COVID. Also noting, in 2019 there was no raise in resource fees.
The next Community Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 2nd December and will be our last for 2020. We are here to help so please reach out if we can support you in any way. Take care.
The Community Council Team
Kat, Donna, Antoinette, Wendy, Sarah, Tamara, Carmen, Jo, Caz & Fr Luke
Hello St. Patrick’s school community! My name is Travis Broughton and I am the new PDHPE teacher that has been supporting our students to understand their bodies through movement and games during terms 3 and 4. I have extensive experience in primary school education which has included many years working in various learning support roles across middle and senior primary. I have a strong passion for sport and a deep connection to our local AFL league, where I am often fulfilling umpiring duties for our local matches. My other passions in life includes music and gaming – ask me sometime about my collection. I am very honoured to have the opportunity to share my passion of health and physical development with all the fantastic young learners in our school community and hope to meet you all very soon. Come say hello!
Mary Grainger. Teacher/Librarian semester 2 – 2020.
Mary Lives in North Bega and grew up here as a child.
Mary studied Vet Nursing, Fine Arts and Primary Teaching
She spent several years working in remote Queensland on cattle stations
Mary loves her horses, vet nursing, art, books, our Bega Valley and the wonderful St Pat's staff and kids.
Mary’s favourite childhood stories include The Magic Faraway Tree, Possum Magic, Roald Dahl and 1000 Arabian Nights.