Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for the wonderful feedback we are receiving about our Remote Learning at St Mary’s. As was expected, our second time around is proving to be even more successful than the first. The great majority of our families are keeping their children with them whenever possible and the level of student engagement is exceptionally high. We are confident that our approach to use technology rather than provide weekly packs of worksheets, is much more educative and appropriate for students in 2021. Our teachers and support staff are online during school hours to be there for your child and give feedback on their learning.
I am very proud of our staff as they work together to create fabulous learning for your children. Without parent support, it would be very hard for the staff to sustain the level of excitement and energy needed during this time. Humour certainly helps so please keep sharing the photos, videos and stories. We can only just imagine how your houses look after a day of children making things and doing science experiments. We understand that this is a big learning journey, especially for parents, so I suggest you try to relax, ignore the mess and let your children teach you! Hang in there...
Catholic Education will again support families who have been financially impacted as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Term 3. The position of Catholic Education is that no child will be denied a Catholic education because of financial circumstances.
Where your family is experiencing financial stress due to job loss, being temporarily stood down, reduction in hours, business downturn or closure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, full or partial fee relief is available for Term 3. A letter explaining the process was emailed/placed on Skoolbag earlier this week. Please complete it and return to the school office as soon as possible. If the situation continues into Term 4, the same process will occur.
Families whose employment situation has not been affected by COVID-19 are asked to support the school by continuing to pay school fees as they fall due. This will support our school to continue providing quality learning in a connected community that nurtures and cares for each other.
School Counselling and Support
Catholic Education provides school counselling for its students through CatholicCare. Please see attached information about remote counseling for students during the lockdown. If you feel that your child is in need of this support, please don't hesitate to contact them. I highly suggest that parents turn off the TV during the day so that children are not continually hearing about COVID cases and deaths. As we know children are very resilient and will get through this. It is important however, that our children are allowed to be children and not overwhelmed with worry.
Happy Fathers Day to all of our dads. Today we will draw the Community Council Fathers Day raffle and we let the winners know. How blessed our children are to have such hardworking and loving dads to protect and care for them. I hope you and your families have a perfect day on Sunday.
Stay well and keep safe.
Read! Read! Read!
Starting in Kindergarten, if a student reads 20 minutes a day at home, they will hear 1.8 million words per year. They will have read for 851 hours by Year 6 and on standardised tests, they will likely score better than 90% of their peers.
This is compelling data on the benefits of encouraging your child to read.
So how can we get our children off to a great start in reading? Children need to be surrounded with books, all kinds of books, and given the opportunity to read them everyday. Daily reading helps the brain make connections between the written and spoken word, widening vocabulary in the process.
Children need to be having conversations about what they are reading. Learning to read begins with talking. It is in the context of engaged conversations that children expand their vocabularies, increase their understanding of the world, learn about themselves, and learn the nuances of the English language.
Children require abundant demonstrations on the structure and features of texts, how to use texts for different purposes and how to access the information in them. Children's desire to read independently grows out of having been read to by someone; a parent, sibling, grandparent or teacher. Studies have found that reading to children of any age, awakens a number of regions in the left part of the brain. The areas in the brain that become active involve understanding the meaning of words and concepts tied to memory.
Through daily reading, children are exposed to a world outside their own reality. It expands their know-how, opens their minds and creates the potential for a continuation of ideas and an endless number of possibilities.
Learning to read takes practise. Loving to read takes enthusiasm!
God bless and take care,
Below you will find information for two useful resources. The first resource is from MultiLit and is a fact sheet of helpful hints when reading a book with your child. The second resource is an online library e-Resource called SORA that our students have access to. You will find information on how to access this library below.
Sora eBooks and Audiobooks
The ACEN (Australian Catholic Education Network) Sora eBook and audiobook service is available for access by students and parents 24/7 from school, home or any location.
Sora includes a large collection of eBooks and audio-books for students of all year levels, as well as adults. The collection includes fiction, as well as non-fiction titles related to Australian curriculum topics.
Visit the link below to download the free Sora app from the Apple and Google Play stores on a mobile device.
When asked to search for a library, click to search by ‘Name’, not location, and then search for ‘ACEN’.
Sora may be accessed from any tablet, laptop, mobile phone, desktop computer, or loaded onto eReaders for offline reading.
The ACEN Sora site is sponsored by a consortium of Catholic dioceses throughout Australia and coordinated by CENet (Catholic Education Network Australia) in conjunction with Softlink International and the Overdrive distributor.
Logging on to Sora
Students are able to log on to Sora using their school computer network login Username and Password. They have been linked to their CENet membership number for authentication to Sora, so loans will be possible.
- The CENet login window will appear the first time a user logs in to Overdrive.
- Type in the student’s computer network username and password.
- The Overdrive site will appear with the student’s own account details.
Sora Site Features
- Favorite titles will be displayed. Click on a title icon to borrow it, or use the Search window to find a particular title or author’s books.
- Borrower’s title checkout limits and holds are displayed in your account.
- Titles are borrowed for 14 days and may be renewed. Titles disappear following the borrowing period.
- Holds may be put on titles that are currently on loan to other borrowers.
- Titles may be read in the browser, or returned by clicking the Return button.
- After the title is opened on the screen, click at the bottom of the screen near the middle to display icons at the top of the screen and a list of options on the left.
- Other features are available for searching for particular titles and groups of titles. Explore Advanced Search.
Title Access Year Levels
Titles in the Sora collection have been given access year level ratings, so students will only be able to borrow titles rated for their level or below. Students will see all available titles in Sora, but titles not able to be borrowed will be greyed out. Eg. Year 3 students will not be able to borrow Adult level titles.
Title Access Rating Levels:
- Juvenile (Yr. K-6)
- Young Adult (Yr. 7-8)
- Adult (Yr. 9–12)
Parental Access to Sora
Parents may access Sora using their child’s computer network Overdrive login details. The child’s borrowing limit of 3 titles still applies. Unfortunately, parents will not be able to borrow titles that are above their child’s access level. Eg. If the child is a Year 6 student, parents will not be able to borrow Adult level books, only Juvenile level books.
A warm welcome to Week 8 to all families and students. We hope you are keeping safe in this time of COVID.
A number of parents have inquired about a possible new date for the Sacrament of First Eucharist for the students in Year 4. After speaking with Father George he asked that the students continue to prepare with their family by working through their Eucharist booklet at home and completing the Eucharist tasks assigned by Mrs Hampson and Miss McCormick for remote learning. When the ‘lockdown’ ends in our area, parents and students will be informed of the new date for First Eucharist. Thank you for everything you are doing in helping to prepare your child for the First Eucharist Sacrament.
School Counselling Wellbeing Check-In Service During Lockdown
The Catholic Education Office has informed us that during lockdown school counselling is still available. CECG’s school counselling service providers are available via Zoom and Microsoft Teams. This important resource is available for students, parents and caregivers during remote learning and lockdown. Due to this change in approach and the move to a telehealth platform, a new Informed Consent will be required. All CECG school counsellors are now using updated forms for this purpose.
We remember all those in our school, parish and community who are sick or suffering in any way as well as those with the COVID Virus.
Wishing everyone health and peace in this uncertain time.
In all things may God be glorified
Dear Parents and Carers
Thank you for your continued support during the past few weeks to assist your children with their remote learning experiences. The children and parents of St Mary’s have embraced this method of learning with such a positive and enthusiastic approach. It has been heartwarming to see the continued excellent quality of work our students have produced.
As our Stage 2 and Stage 3 teachers prepare to meet their students on Microsoft Teams, the following guides have been made available by Catholic Education to assist you in downloading and logging into Microsoft Teams. Each platform i.e. iPad, Chrome book and laptops or desktops has a guide available to step you through the process. Please choose the relevant material applicable to your platform at home.
The online privacy of both the teacher and student is important. A recommendation from Catholic Education is that when participating in Microsoft Teams meetings, teachers and students have their backgrounds blurred or they should position their camera so that it is not facing a public part of the home. Instructions on how to do this are available in the before mentioned guides. If you do not want your child to be recorded in a Team Meeting, please notify the school, and the student will be supported by allowing them to have their camera off and microphone muted during a meeting. This will limit student participation to the use of Chat and Emoticons to respond to peers and the teacher during a meeting. Teachers will remind students of behavioural expectations of an online meeting as they would do in a classroom environment.
Meetings will be held as a class, not individually, students and teachers will automatically record the virtual meetings and download the recording to store securely via Microsoft Teams. Your child’s teacher will let you know the days and times that they will be participating in a class MS Teams meeting. At this stage, the meetings will have a ‘well being’ focus, with an opportunity for teachers and students to ‘check in’ with each other.
At this time, our Kindergarten and Stage 1 teachers will commence a "check in" using MS Teams at the beginning of Term 4.
St Mary’s staff are looking forward to having regular “check-ins” with their students, discussing and celebrating all of their wonderful achievements.
Have a peaceful and enjoyable weekend.
Year 6 have looked at lots of different ways to write Information Reports. Last week the task was for them to look around their backyards and find three different animals that live there. After researching some facts, they were to compile a David Attenborough style video showing us the animals and explaining the facts. The results showed great creativity and excellent delivery skills.
As part of National Science Week, we used plant based ingredients to make a healthy meal.
Thanks Mitch, that pizza looks delicious!
Father’s Day Art - Portraits of Dad
Here are some Pie Charts we created for Mathematics!
Why we love Remote Learning!
I love remote learning. I think it’s great, it helps me relax and I feel less pressured. I love how we have a grid of activities to follow and I love how we have lots of fun tasks we have to do as well if we want. I also like how we don’t have to rush before the bell and stuff, we can choose when to stop. Szaffi
I like that I can work at my own pace and I don't have to rush to finish work. I like the slower mornings and I can stay in my PJs all day. Every Thursday I get treated with takeaway Subway for lunch! Charlie G
I like the way we can start whenever we want and I can eat whenever I want and I can finish my work in 4 hours so it is a shorter day and not 6 hours of school. I can wake up late and don't have to get up early and get to have milo every day and lots of ice blocks. Bailey
I enjoy the pace. We can do our work and the peace and quiet we get. Ruby H
I like remote learning because I can wear my pjs and ride my bike outside. Remote learning has really tested my maturity skills, making sure I do the work. Overall it has provided and developed good learning qualities for me and has just taught me to have fun with my friends/classmates while doing the work. Mitch
That I can go at my own pace and take breaks whenever and if I'm bored with one subject (math's) I can just move on to another. Sahara
In our Writing session we had to write something about Dad. It had to be exactly one hundred words.
SETTING UP THE TENT
When dad sets up the tent, It’s always funny to watch.
“This pole here.”
“No, it obviously goes here”
“Wait, how on earth is this pole meant to extend?”
Him and Mum trying to put the cover on.
“Have you ever set up a tent before?”
“What kind of Husband are you?”
“I need coffee!”
Eventually they get the cover on.
“Right, where's the pegs?”
“Did you forget a hammer?”
“No, I know I put it somewhere…”
Dad forgot the hammer.
“What can we use instead?”
“Right, Darcy, where’s a cricket bat when you need one?” Michaela
ARGHHH! Who did that bad smell? ‘Wasn’t me!’ Says that innocent man who is NOT INNOCENT! This dangerous man is known for his late-night experiences with fish, his extreme ability to produce birthday cakes that are brilliant, and of course ...your worst nightmare ...THE STINK! Stinky, brilliant and wide-eyed as he is, my Dad is wonderful. Full of adventures EXPLODING inside his mind, full of ideas that are just too INSANE he has to try them, and full of NEW WAYS, he can surprise, care, and love us. This is the great, all-rounder, full of ideas, MY DAD! Zara
He smiled when came into the world, he smiled when I walked, he smiled when I said ‘Dad.’ He smiles when I make him laugh, he smiles when I start and finish school. He smiles when I hug him and I smile everytime I see him. Me and Dad have so many special memories that no one else has. Me and my Dad have something special that brings us closer. It's called love. Everytime we smile at each other, it brings us closer than ever before. Our love is stronger than anything in the world and that makes us smile. Emma