Dear Parents and Carers,
We are very close to returning to what will be called the ‘new normal school’ life at St Mary’s. Closely following the COVID Health and safety requirements of schools, we are confident that everything will go ok from next week. Our teachers and support staff continue to work hard to plan their current remote learning as well as prepare for their students returning to face to face learning.
We are excited that some new families are joining us at St Marys this term.
Welcome ….. Lucas & Joseph, Hugo & Francis and Charlotte and their families to our beautiful school. Having also spent months in lockdown, I am sure the children will love their time with us at St Mary's.
Cohort Model for the safe return to Face to Face Teaching
Next Monday October 18, we welcome our wonderful Kinder and Year 1 students back to school. It's hard to know who has missed each other more; the children at home or their teachers and learning support assistants.
All other students will return to school on Monday October 25.
Please remember to send your child to school with their own water bottle and school hat. We will be following strict hygiene measures, but please also remind your children about handwashing and not sharing food and drinks. Masks are highly recommended but are not compulsory in primary school. All staff will be wearing masks at all times. Classroom windows and doors will remain open and new fans have been installed where necessary.
Students have been allocated to cohorts that are separated for the entire school day. School will look a bit different to how it was, so it may take a while for some students to adjust to the change. The students will still have their teachers, but will now belong to a cohort. As the same teachers stay with the same students all day including before school and break time, we needed to put classes into cohorts for supervision while staff take breaks. Students will not be mixing with students from other cohorts throughout the day.
|Cohort 1 - Kinder and K/1||Jacquie Stephen and Gen Schofield|
|Cohort 2 - Years 1/2 and Year 2||Fran Devonald and Carla Durnan|
|Cohort 3 - Years 3 and 4||Alicia Hampson, Georgia McCormick, Meggs Dyason and Sophie Kenny|
|Cohort 4 - Year 5||Megan Grant and Jessie White|
|Cohort 5 - Year 6||Matthew Harpley, Jeff Prow and Jess Afflick|
We welcome Mr James Campbell back this term to teach PDHPE to all students across the school. Mrs Croese will be teaching Performing Arts to K-2 and Mrs Lorraine Wilkie will continue teaching Japanese to Years 3-6.
Mrs Mathews, the Learning Support staff; Mrs Butler, Mr Ziino and Mrs Ryan and our Aboriginal Education Worker, Mr Kirby Hodgson will continue providing support to students in different cohorts. BOOST and MiniLIT intervention programs will commence from when students return.
It is with the greatest disappointment that I inform the school community that our whole school musical Peter Pan is unable to proceed in 2021. The production team and the Leadership Team have held off making this decision for as long as possible. We have no choice but to postpone. Even if the Public Health Orders are completely lifted and we no longer have such strict restrictions by the end of the school year, we would not be prepared. The amount of preparation and the number of practises for the cast and the whole school community are impossible, considering the following restrictions in schools:
- Students are to be with one cohort all day
- Students are unable to mix with students from other cohorts
- Staff are unable to mix across cohorts of students
- Singing is not allowed
- Parents and visitors are not able to be on site
- Physical distancing requirements need to be met
Assuming 2022 is a very different year to the last two, our plan is to hold Peter Plan 2.0 in Term 3. We hope to have some special appearances of current Year 6 students who would like to be involved. We are so proud of the Year 6 students for their incredible talent and dedication. I am hopeful that their first year of high school will be much better for them than it has been for those students currently in Year 7.
In the words of Jessie White....
"We will present Peter Pan 2.0 in a safe and inclusive way in 2022, whereby we will be able to fill the Performing Arts Centre with Lights, Music and lots of Action! The production team are considering possible ways to invite the current Year 6 students back to be involved in some way as their contribution is valued and appreciated."
Year 6 Graduation
Great news: I have just been informed that it is highly likely we will be able to have a Year 6 Graduation Mass and function in the final two weeks of the school year. Of course, attendance is dependent on finding a suitable venue and the restrictions at the time, but at least it is more than I thought would be possible this year. We will let you know as soon as we know more.
I fully understand how keen you must be to get your children back to school. Please, can you ensure that you do not send your children to school if they are sick at all. Parents/carers will be called to collect their child if they show any symptoms of COVID. It is essential that parents/carers come directly to collect their child when called. Please ensure your Emergency Contacts are up to date and let them know the expectation. Unfortunately, no adults can come onto the school grounds so please let your Emergency Contacts know to call the office when they arrive at the front gate. Front office staff will walk the children to meet you/them. Under updated directions, if your child is sent home sick, they are unable to return to school until they have been tested and have a negative test result emailed to the office. As you can imagine, it can be a very busy time in the office when several children are sick at the same time. Thank you again for your support, patience and understanding.
Student Safety Procedures
Students will be supervised from 8:20am in their cohorts. From 8.20am when students arrive at school, they will walk directly to their classroom/cohort. Please do not drop your children to school earlier than 8.20am.
Early pickups in the afternoon are discouraged and if absolutely necessary, please arrange through your child's teacher. Only emergencies should come though the front office, as the staff find it difficult to cope with a number of calls just before the bell. We are no longer able to walk children out to the front gate in the afternoon. Please support us with this.
Finally, in the last newsletter, I suggested that parents/carers may wish to pick their children up in the afternoon to avoid them going on the school bus with other children. This means that the afternoon pick up may be particularly busy this term. For the safety of our children, please be patient. Each cohort will be walked out separately with one of their teachers. With practise we will get quicker and better at it. After so long in lockdown, surely a few minutes won’t be the biggest problem we have.
- Please park in one of the surrounding streets and wait for your child outside the school fence on Page Street
- Children will be walked to the end of the oval (Page St end) by one of their cohort teachers
- If you park in the Church grounds, please wait for your child on the top of the hill and your child will be sent to you. Please be especially mindful of pedestrians when entering and exiting this parking area
- Students catching a bus in the afternoon will remain in their cohort/classroom with a cohort teacher until their bus is called.
I thank you sincerely for your support and the incredible work you did at home, doing the job that we love to do at school. As good as you were at it though, it's time to give the children back to us!
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that you all enjoyed the holiday break and were able to take time to refresh and recharge ready for Term 4. I am sure you are all looking forward to the easing of restrictions over the coming months, I know the staff are all looking forward to the return of on-site learning. We really do appreciate all you have done to support remote learning and understand the increased pressure and extra demands that the COVID restrictions and remote learning have placed on families. We are incredibly proud of all our community at St Mary’s!
In preparation for the return of students back to school, here are a few ‘Tips and Hints’ that may help you with the transition of your child/ren back to school.
God bless and take care,
Tips and Hints on Returning to School
Be positive about returning to school
- Ask your child how they are feeling about returning to school. Your child may be feeling a mix of emotions about their return, so it is important to listen to any concerns and respond in a calm, supportive and reassuring way.
- Promote positive conversations by asking what they like about school and what they are looking forward to when they return. Let them know that school staff are looking forward to seeing them. Your child might like to make a list or drawing about things they have missed about school.
- If they feel nervous or worried, help them understand this is a normal reaction, and that you and their teachers are there to support them.
- If your child has questions about COVID-19 provide factual and age appropriate information. Let them know everyone at school is working hard so that everyone is safe.
- Consider limiting media content your child is viewing if it is contributing to worry or distress.
- Remind your child that everyone at school is working hard to make sure that everyone is safe and that anyone who is unwell will stay home.
Prepare yourself and child for changes and new school procedures
- Look at the SkoolBag app, Facebook page and newsletters to learn about new procedures that may have been introduced such as changes to parents’ access to the school grounds, drop off and pick up points as well as new rules such as wearing face masks or hygiene rules.
- Discuss these with your child and plan together how these changes will be managed. The more your child understands the changes, the more comfortable they are likely to feel. If you are unsure about anything, contact the school or your child’s teacher.
Re-establish your routines
- Routines help provide certainty and increase feelings of security, so it will help to re-establish routines and plan for the return.
- In the week before, bring back the usual wake up, bed and breakfast routines. Set aside time to find school equipment and check uniforms and shoes still fit - your child may have grown. Give yourself enough time to organise replacements or a uniform alternative if needed.
- The day before returning, encourage your child to check their school timetable if needed, pack their school bag, and get their lunch box, drink bottle and uniform ready.
- Allow more time than usual on the first morning back to calmly get ready.
- Provide opportunities for your child to play and relax at the end of the day. Returning to school may contribute to tired and emotional reactions at the end of the day.
- Help re-establish after-school routines to review the day’s learning and complete homework tasks.
Supporting your child
- Returning to school routines may take some time. Reassure your child that this is normal. Encourage them to ask for help if they need it.
- Take care of your own wellbeing while supporting your child’s return to learning at school. You may have some children returning to school while others are continuing to learn from home. You can help your child by explaining that all children will be returning to school soon.
- If they are finding things difficult, remind your child of times in the past when they were able to do things that were difficult and face situations that made them nervous or scared.
- If you are concerned about your child, seek support by contacting the school.
New Phone App to Support Children’s Mental Health and Wellbeing
The Federal Government recently launched a new, free phone application with information, ideas and guidance for parents to help them provide additional support for their child’s mental health and wellbeing. The Raising Healthy Mind App was developed by the Raising Children Network as part of its program to support parents’ mental health literacy by building knowledge and confidence concerning the social and emotional wellbeing of children.
The app is targeted towards parents with children aged 12 years and under and includes information on health, development and wellbeing based on the child’s age.
Dear Parents and Families,
A very warm welcome back to Term 4 at St Mary’s. We are looking forward to seeing everyone back at school very soon.
Mission Week is in Week 5 this term and will be held on a class by class basis. Each class will decide on different activities that can be held in order to raise funds for the country of Thailand.
Caritas shares the mission of the Catholic Church to serve the poor and to promote charity and justice throughout the world. Caritas seeks a world where the voices of the poor are heard and acted upon.
Some of the activities that will be held at school are “Sockball”, where the children make a soccer ball out of old socks or any old materials (this is what the children in Thailand use for a soccer ball) that they can find at home and play a competitive soccer game at school. Other activities may include a competition making puppets out of old socks or making an imovie. All these activities will incur an entry fee. The class teachers will send details home before Week 5.
“Aspire not to do more but to be more.” Oscar Romero
Religion in Stage 1
October is the Month of the Rosary, and this term Years 1 and 2 are learning about the different decades of the Rosary and its importance when praying. The students will make their own Rosary beads and engage in other learning activities on their return to school.
First Eucharist Retreat
All students in Year 4 will participate in their Eucharist retreat day on Friday 12
November in the PAC. They will engage in a variety of activities in relation to the Sacrament of the Eucharist. The students who are making their First Eucharist will celebrate this Sacrament on Sunday 14 November at the 10am Mass.
Christmas Shoebox Appeal
Later this term we hope to contribute to the Christmas Shoebox Appeal for children in Third World countries who never receive a Christmas Gift. If you are able to help with this, simple gifts will be greatly appreciated (eg from the Reject Shop). Families might like to begin collecting small gifts soon.
St Vincent de Paul Appeal
At the end of the year St Vincent de Paul ask us to assist them with their Christmas Appeal by donating food items such as Christmas biscuits, drinks, lollies and other suitable items. If each child could bring one or two items to school before the end of the term that would be wonderful. Thank you.
We pray especially for the Ivanoff Family as Natalie’s mother died very suddenly during the holidays (Bella-Rose in Year 5). Our prayers also go to the Price Family (Jake Year 4, Felicity year 3 and Matilda in Year 1) as Luke’s grandmother died in Canberra Hospital this week.
We send our deepest sympathy and special prayers to these families.
Heavenly Father, we praise you for sending us your son Jesus, that in
him we have freedom, forgiveness and eternal life. As the coronavirus
continues to spread throughout our world, we pray you will be at
work everywhere, particularly in those locations hit hardest. In this
difficult time we pray that people all over the world will hear the
news of Jesus, and come to a saving faith in him.
Have a safe and happy week.
In all things may God be glorified
Welcome to Term 4. We are all very excited about the return of students to St Mary’s. We can’t wait for the familiar sounds of happy and excited students back on our school grounds.
St Mary’s Primary has now moved over to the 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 and carers their login credentials, please keep an eye out for this important information.
You can log into the Parent Portal either through the Compass App (Android & IOS) or through the desktop.
Instructions for finding our school through the desktop:
- Go to Click here to find your school
- Click on ‘Find your School’
- Click on ‘Search your School’ and type in Moruya
- Choose ’St Mary’s Primary School - Moruya’
- Click on ‘Let’s Go’ and you will be asked to enter your username and password provided by the Front Office
If you have any questions about Compass please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As I previously communicated last term, Years 5 and 6 will start trialling the program ‘Maths Pathway’.
We are very excited about the new changes in the way we are teaching Maths in Stage 3. Students are currently being introduced to this via remote learning, and when they return, teachers will be able to explore the program in more depth with the students. Stage 3 will begin by completing a diagnostic assessment which provides data that forms a learning profile detailing what each student has mastered, what they are ready to learn next, and what gaps exist. The Stage 3 teachers and I look forward to beginning what we envisage will be a very rewarding journey.
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 and November.
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
The following is a timetable of when each test will be administered at school.
Tue 26 October
Tues 2 November
Tue 9 November
Tues 16 November
Tue 23 November
Please contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
We are amazing remote learners!
In Kindergarten and K/1 we love to catch-up with our class online. We are fantastic at following protocol for online meetings. We are very respectful of the rules, muting our microphones and blurring backgrounds. We have become experts very quickly! At our meetings we have lots of fun seeing our friends' faces and letting them know what we have been up to at home. This week we brought along a special toy, had a laugh about the most boring thing we did in the holidays, guessed Mystery Box items and did the chicken dance! It may not be quite as good as seeing each other in person, but we are making the most of it.
In our Conceptual Inquiry Unit (Religion/History/Art) we are inquiring into Food & Celebrations. We began by focusing on apples. We have listened to the story of Adam & Eve, and learned all about when they ate the forbidden fruit. We have discussed apple farming in the past and looked at how apples get from farms to our supermarkets today. We made stamps out of apples and used them to create beautiful artworks. Mrs Stephen also taught us how to make a healthy Apple Crumble.
We have shifted our focus to olives this week, commencing with observing an olive plant very closely, and sketching it like botanists. Next we will be exploring references to olives in the Bible, comparing and contrasting ancient and modern olive farming practices and trying out some delicious recipes.
In K/1 we have been learning all about Super Sentences. In order to be SUPER, a sentence must have a capital letter, a full stop, be about someone or something, and it must make sense. Many of our remote learning writing tasks have been open-ended, so when asked to complete a sentence about a frog this week, the students submitted everything from a single, beautifully-written super sentence, to a movie script! It is so wonderful to see all of our individual learners doing their best work.
In Kindergarten this week we have been focussing on the digraph 'ay'. We practiced reading and writing sentences, using known sight words and our letter sound knowledge. Mrs Stephen is very proud of how hard the boys and girls have been working.
In Mathematics we have been learning to ‘Think Addition’ when solving subtraction problems. Mrs Schofield is pictured here, using eggs to demonstrate this strategy. The students then created subtraction and addition facts to match different scenes.
We are also investigating the properties of 2D shapes. We loved going on a shape hunt around our homes and gardens. We found out that there are shapes absolutely everywhere!
Mr Bateman set the boys and girls some tasks to use their 5 senses and had them create an obstacle course.
Phew - we have been busy! We are so proud of all of the learners in Kindergarten and K/1 and can’t wait to see each other in person next week.
Mrs Schofield & Mrs Stephen
I hope everyone has been well during the lockdown period. The sudden nature of the stay at home orders last term certainly put a stop to all things sport - both community based and in terms of school pathways.
While we haven’t yet had the chance to present the ribbons and age champion medals to the St Mary’s students, I was able to send off our results to be compared against the Southern Region and the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese. We had some very hard working SR and CE Sport managers who collated the results and we have several students who have been awarded a ‘Certificate of Merit’ on the Canberra Goulburn Athletics team. Sherree Bush from CE Sport conducted a ‘virtual athletics carnival’ and compared the athletic results from all CG regions to award the students Athletic Merit certificates. I thank Sherree for all her hard work in getting this compiled for our students across the Diocese. It certainly was a massive job and by doing this, she has acknowledged the athletic achievements of all students across the diocese.
Ribbons and certificates of merit have been sent to the school and I look forward to presenting these to the students on their return to school in the coming weeks. Keep an eye in the upcoming newsletters for photos of the students with their certificates.
Congratulations to the following students who deserve special recognition for their efforts in Athletics for 2021 ( i.e: these students would have been successful in gaining entry to the MacKillop Trials Athletics in Sydney).
Canberra Goulburn Athletics Merit Team 2021
Mille Rose T: 2nd 11 years Girls Long Jump
Cooper C: 2nd Senior Boys Long Jump
Zara H: 2nd Senior Girls Long Jump
Oscar G: 2nd Junior Boys Shot Put
Chloe C: 1st 11 years Discus
Murray L: 2nd Senior Boys Discus
Sonny C: 2nd 11 Years Long Jump
Roary C: 2nd Senior Boys High Jump
And a very special mention and congratulations to Asher B who was named Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese Junior Boy Runner Up Age Champion (1st Junior Long Jump, 2nd Junior Boys Discus, 1st Junior Boys High Jump).
Congratulations again to all our students who were awarded these certificates.
I am looking forward to all our CG Sports pathway events as well as Inter School Gala Days being slowly reintroduced when it is safe to do so - hopefully 2022 will be a kinder year to our sporting students.
I will share any sporting updates with the St Marys Community as they come to hand.
Wishing you a wonderful week ahead, stay safe and well.