Dear Parents and Carers,
As we come to the end of a very unusual Term 3, we are reminded of how important being patient and resilient are. When parents and teachers remain positive and focused on the wellbeing of others, our children feel supported and can cope with everything happening around them. It is important that we keep life as normal as possible and allow children to enjoy their childhood, learn in different ways, have heaps of fun and make lots of mess.
It is great to see our students learning at home surrounded by toddlers, animals of all sorts and of course slightly tired adults doing their best at being teachers. We know the last few weeks have not been easy for our families and we are very grateful to you for doing the best you can during the lockdown.
Term 4 Arrangements
At this stage, remote learning will continue for all students after the holidays. Staff will have a Pupil Free day on Tuesday October 5 and students will commence their learning on Wednesday October 6. No staff will be on site for supervision on Tuesday October 5.
Children, whose parents are essential workers and are unable to care for them at home are able to attend school from Wednesday October 6. I once again thank our parents and carers for continuing to follow the Government’s direction and caring for their children at home if they possibly can.
We are currently busy planning for a safe, staggered return of our staff and students to St Mary’s. At this stage, the dates of return remain at October 25 (Kinder and Year 1), November 1 (Year 2 and Year 6) and November 8 (Years 3, 4 and 5). By November 8, all staff will be fully vaccinated and hopefully all students aged 12 and over. To do this safely, we will need to place students in small cohorts with their teachers and support staff. Staff and students will not mix across cohorts both in the classroom and on the playground. More information will be sent home in early Term 4 about these arrangements.
The NSW Government has stated that vaccinations for all school staff will be mandatory from November 8. This will offer our parents and carers a deeper level of confidence for when their children return to school.
A reminder that during Term 3, Catholic Education will again support families who have been financially impacted as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. If your family is currently 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 this term. A letter explaining the process was emailed/placed on Skoolbag a couple of weeks ago and a reminder posted earlier this week.
Please complete the fee relief form and return it to the school office as soon as possible so we can apply your fee relief to your Term 3 school fees. The remission will apply, even if you are currently on a partial fee remission and/or have a direct debit set up.
If the current situation continues into Term 4, the same process will happen to help take pressure off our families. Please contact Mrs Hazell if you require a fee relief form to be emailed to you or if you have any questions. We really want to help you during this difficult time.
We hope and pray that we reach our 80% vaccination rate in the very near future so that we can all go back to enjoying life. As soon as we are allowed to, we will have our students back at St Mary’s and we will have an amazing finale to the 2021 school year. Enjoy the break from school and the beautiful Spring weather. Camping in the backyard is fabulous fun!
Maths is everywhere!
Maintaining your child’s engagement and supporting their mathematics and numeracy learning during this period of lockdown can be a challenge. However, there are lots of strategies that you can put in place to support them in completing their schoolwork and provide hands-on, fun mathematical experiences.
I recently read a blog post by Professor Catherine Attard, a Professor of Mathematics Education within the School of Education at Western Sydney University. In her blog post she outlines some practical ways parents can support their children to progress in maths to the best of their ability, and most of all, enjoy it! I hope you find it informative and useful.
God bless and take care,
SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD WITH PRIMARY MATHEMATICS
By CATTARD2017 AUGUST 11, 2021
Helping with Schoolwork
Many people openly claim they don’t like maths or they’re not good at it, unintentionally conveying the message that this is okay. Unfortunately, this can have a detrimental effect on the children who hear these messages. In my research on student engagement, children whose parents made similar comments often used the same comments as mathematics became more challenging during the high school years. During lockdown, it’s critical that mathematics learning time is enjoyable for everyone – including you!
As a parent, be conscious of displaying positive attitudes towards mathematics, even when it’s challenging. Adopting a ‘growth mindset’ allows children (and parents) to acknowledge that mathematics is challenging, but not impossible. Rather than saying “I can’t do it” or “it’s too hard”, encourage statements such as “I can’t do it yet” or “let’s work on this together”. If you’re struggling with the mathematics yourself, and finding it difficult to support your child, there are options such as free online courses like Jo Boaler’s YouCubed website, apps such as Khan Academy, or you can seek help from a professional (your child's class teacher).
The following tips may assist:
- When in doubt, ask. Some of the strategies taught in contemporary classrooms are very different to those you might have learned at school. It’s important to support the strategies that your child is learning rather than confuse them with yours, so make sure you seek assistance from your child’s teacher.
- What mathematics should my child be learning? If you’re unsure of the level of mathematics or need to understand the level of difficulty your child should be reaching, you can check the curriculum. The syllabus is a useful document that articulates the fine detail of the mathematics taught at each level of schooling. This can help parents who may have unrealistic expectations of what their child should know and be able to do, and will also help them understand that mathematics is not just about numbers or learning the multiplication tables.
- It’s not just about content. The mathematics curriculum covers content and processes. All students need to know how to do the mathematics and how to apply the mathematics, and it’s important to encourage your child to explore, investigate and problem solve whenever possible. Ask them questions like ‘How do you know?’, ‘Can you solve this a different way?’, or ‘Can you explain how you worked it out?’
- Bring maths into daily conversations and activities with your child. After all, there’s maths in everything we do. For example, if you’re cooking you might ask your child to help you measure out ingredients. If you’re shopping, you could have a little competition to see who can make the best estimation of the total grocery bill or perhaps ask your child to work out the amount of change (this may be challenging given that we use credit cards most of the time).
Tips for keeping kids interested in maths
If your child likes to play digital games, download some Maths apps so they can use their screen time to learn while having fun at the same time.
Alternatively, traditional games can provide opportunities to talk about maths and help your child. Games that use dominoes and playing cards are great for young children as are board games such as Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly or Mabble.
Even non-numerical games such as Guess Who? have benefits for mathematics because they promote problem solving and strategic thinking which are important mathematical skills.
Maths-based Children’s Literature
There are many great picture books that promote mathematical ideas. Use these books to start conversations about mathematics with your child or to spark curiosity and perhaps some mathematical investigation. Here are some websites that list children’s literature suitable for use in mathematics teaching and learning.
If you’re looking for some interesting mathematical problems for your child to explore, the NRich site has an excellent range of problems and investigations for students of all ages. Best of all, the site provides information for teachers (or parents) to support students. Although the site is based in the UK, the levels are very similar to the NSW curriculum.
Taking the Maths Outside
There are lots of activities that allow you and your child to get outside and do some maths. The following are some easy suggestions:
- Play a game of hopscotch, or any game that requires counting/scoring.
- Take an iPad or camera outside and go on a treasure hunt for numbers/shapes/objects/angles. Use the photos in combination with a screencasting app to annotate/label/explain what was found in the treasure hunt.
- Design a maths trail where your child poses and then solves mathematical questions/problems in your backyard, at the local playground or in your neighbourhood.
Dear Parents and Families,
Welcome to the final week of Term 3 at St Mary’s. We look forward to, and welcome
the holidays after what has been a very different and at times, challenging term.
This year’s Mission Country is Thailand. Throughout Socktober 2021, students
across Australia will be learning about, praying, advocating for, and raising funds
to support vulnerable children in Thailand and around the world.
This Socktober students are encouraged to learn what life is like for children from Thailand, specifically those from the slum areas in Bangkok. Thailand is bordered by Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and China, with coastlines on the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Unlike its neighbours, Thailand managed to avoid being ruled by the Dutch and the Spanish.
The Good Shepherd Sisters Kindergarten Centre
The Good Shepherd Sisters have been supporting communities in need in Thailand
for over 55 years. The Sisters have a mission to build partnerships that promote the
dignity and human rights of all, especially women and children. Among the many
programs run by the Sisters in the bustling capital of Bangkok is a kindergarten for
children from an urban slum where many simply cannot afford to send their children
to school. The kindergarten offers two life‑changing services for both local women
and their children.
The Sisters provide a loving education in a safe place, catering for essential needs; and secondly, this allows the parents to freely work and earn a living for their families without fear for their children’s safety. Run by Sister Chalaad Sungkalurk R.G.S., the kindergarten aims to help children from families in difficult financial situations receive education that promotes mental, emotional, social and educational development, provide a safe environment for these children, and promote collaboration with local families.
“If the children have a chance to study or prepare well to go to school, it will
be very good … for them. We try to support them, and not only for education.
Mind and body have to go together for the children to develop. I believe that if
we really and truly help them with love, they will grow nicely and will have a
good future.” Sister Chalaad Sungkalurk R.G.S.
Through Socktober, students can learn more about how they can be missionary to support children in Thailand and around the world through prayer and fundraising. This will allow these children to have the same opportunities we are afforded here in Australia.
We hope to be able to support the country of Thailand in Mission Month on our return to school in Term 4 by organising fun activities for the children to participate in.
Free Online Catholic Gathering on Supporting Couples
All are welcome to a free, online, one day gathering of Teams (a worldwide Catholic
movement promoting married spirituality) on Saturday 18 September 2021. Hear stimulating talks from a range of local speakers on Supporting Couples. Enjoy the opportunity to meet other participants and provide feedback.
Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: where there is hatred,
let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
Wishing everyone a very safe and restful holiday. We look forward to seeing you all back at school soon.
In all things may God be glorified
Compass - Parent Portal
From Term 4, St Mary’s Primary will be using a new school administration system called “Compass”. This new platform will be a portal for parents to submit absence explanations, provide permissions for excursions and school events and check important school messages. It will also be the only way of accessing your child’s academic report.
The portal is accessible via the web and the Compass School Manager App (via the App store on your device). As this will become the school’s main platform to communicate with parents, unfortunately it is not an optional uptake for parents. All school communications including semester reports will be published through the Compass parent portal.
The Front Office has emailed all parents their login credentials so that you may log into the Parent Portal either through the Compass App (Android & IOS) or through the desktop. Please keep an eye out for this important information.
Instructions for finding our school through the desktop:
- Go to
- Click on ‘Find your School’
- Click on ‘Search your School’ and type in Moruya
- Choose ’St Mary’s Primary School - Moruya’
- Hit ‘Let’s Go’ and you will be asked to enter your username and password provided by the Front Office
We are very excited to inform you about some new changes that are taking place in the way we are teaching Maths in Stage 3. Beginning in Term 4, Years 5 and 6 will start trialling the program ‘Maths Pathway’.
We’re moving away from the traditional teaching and learning approach where each student learns the same topic at the same time. So, what will these changes look like? We’ll be building on their fundamentals as learners and how the students approach discovering and exploring new mathematical concepts. There are a few things that will happen differently in the classroom:
- Class-wide rich learning tasks that aim to get the students excited and engaged in problem solving using the maths skills they’ve developed, alongside their friends.
- Tailored mini-lessons for smaller groups of students. Teachers can hone in on specific mathematical topics with smaller groups of students who will benefit most from that lesson.
- Each student will have their own maths program tailored to what they’re ready to work on next while working with their teacher to figure out how they can continue to develop their learning skills. That includes regular check-in tests and goal setting to figure out what each student wants to achieve next.
- One-on-one teacher and student lessons. When students are stuck on a particular piece of maths, teachers can see and reach out to students to help them out as needed.
I invite you to watch the introductory Maths Pathway video to learn more about the program.
Please be aware that recent changes have been made to the original ICAS test dates. The following dates are for the additional sitting window in October.
Writing - 5 Oct - 15 Oct 2021
Digital Technologies - 5 Oct - 26 Nov 2021
English - 5 Oct - 26 Nov 2021
Science - 5 Oct - 26 Nov 2021
Mathematics - 5 Oct - 26 Nov 2021
Earlier this term, information regarding the ICAS assessments was communicated through the newsletter and Skoolbag for parents of students in Years 2-6. The code to allow access to the ICAS Parent Portal is open and accessible to interested parents and carers who would like to register and pay for their child to complete an ICAS assessment. The following information will assist you in completing the registration.
St Mary’s unique access code is: OZT217. The closing date for entry on the online payment system has been extended to 18 September, 2021.
Before we went into remote learning our hardworking Stage 2 and Stage 3 students had again produced a variety of high quality speeches and presented them to their class and teachers. Due to COVID 19 restrictions students were unable to compete at the next level of competition, The Southern Region Public Speaking Finals. Once school resumes, we look forward to receiving information regarding the Finals.
Congratulations to the following students who successfully made it onto the next level of competition.
Year 3 - Elka H & Felicity P
Year 4 - Asher B & Xavier H
Year 5 - Scarlett P & Samira R
Year 6 - Michaela F & Charlie G
Please contact me if you have questions regarding the information provided in this update email@example.com.
I hope you all find the time to have a peaceful and enjoyable school holiday period.
Year 2 have been working very hard at home with their Remote Learning. We are enjoying using Seesaw to share our learning with our teachers and our friends. Mrs Devonald and Mrs Durnan are very proud of all of Year 2 for their great achievements and growing independence with their learning.
In English we have been practicing our letter writing skills to family members and friends. We have also been creating our own procedures this week to link into our science unit and cooking lessons. We have been very creative with writing instructions of things we have been doing at home; from making concrete, how to jump your motorbike and do a death drop, how to make brownies, sushi and popcorn! We have continued our theme of reading for meaning and also for enjoyment during Remote Learning. We have been sending our teachers videos of us reading each day, but what has been lovely to see is us practicing our decoding skills by reading to our family members; our parents, our younger siblings, and even our pets!
In Maths we have been starting each lesson with a maths warm up game. It has been wonderful to see how we are engaging other family members with our learning. We have become quite creative on Facetime with our family members, including Gabby who was able to place her maths warm up game with her Omi (Great Grandma) who is 86 years old! So wonderful to see us practicing our automaticity with number facts each day through play. We have been learning a variety of strategies for place value, multiplication and division and shape identification and construction.
In Science we have been investigating chemical reactions and how heat, cold and time can effect things. We have created our own hypotheses with combining cream and cold and made ice cream. We have then combined cream and friction and made butter. We have also combined skittles, water and time and watched our chemical reactions happen. This week we are experimenting with germs and bread to see what happens when we wash our hands or when we don’t!
Conceptual Inquiry ( History and Religion)
In Conceptual Inquiry we have been comparing our life experiences to those of our parents, grandparents and all the way through to Jesus’ time. We have been investigating and interviewing our family members about games and their toys they played with as children. We have compared housing styles and how they have changed over time. We have been looking at how prayer has changed and how some prayers are the same throughout time since Jesus’ ministry. We have built our own prayer space at home and have been assisting our families to find time in the day for Christian meditation and have created our own prayer before meals.
In Year 2 our sport sessions have been all about getting our bodies active. We have set challenges to get outside with our families and enjoy the sunshine. Our sport sessions have included scooter rides at the skate park, bike rides along the beach and in our paddocks, and jogs with our families. We have included some great dance videos and lip sync challenges which has got our bodies and enthusiasm going!
We have been using natural materials to make sculptures in our backyards and making our own artworks using a variety of items from around our home. We have been experimenting making our own desktop drumming beats as well. Some of us even participated in a virtual talent show last week, Wow! Such talent in our Year 1 and 2 classes.
Year 2 Masterchefs!
As part of our Remote Learning we have been learning how to cook! We have created our own chocolate cake in a mug, mini pizzas and we have a guest appearance by Mrs Butler this week assisting us to make our famous St Mary’s Canteen pizza pinwheels. You too can follow along with her too if you like!