Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome back to ‘real’ school at St Mary’s. The students have returned not only several centimetres taller but full of energy and excitement. This Friday is World Teachers Day and how wonderful it is to have all of our students back with us to help celebrate it.
The staff and students have adjusted well to our new Cohort model from Kinder to Year 6. As mentioned previously, each cohort operates separately throughout the day, with each one having its own learning space, staff and break times. We have managed to incorporate our Learning Intervention programs and visiting therapist’s timetables into our model.
Perhaps the best part of the model for me personally, is that I can hear children play all day from my office! With this comes additional work for the front office staff though as minor playground injuries are now not limited to the two breaks in the day.
A couple of cohorts have moved to different locations for the rest of this term. I thank Mrs Fran Devonald and Mrs Carla Durnan for offering to move out of their block, allowing the larger Stage 2 team cohort more space. With the regulations around vaccinations, we have made some adjustments to the Stage 2 teaching team. Mrs Sophie Kenny has returned to helping Mrs Alicia Hampson and Ms Georgia McCormick in Stage 2. Our current Year 3 students are particularly fortunate as they are already being taught by their Year 4 (2022) teachers. I am very pleased to announce that Mrs Alicia Hampson and Ms Georgia McCormick have been allocated to the two small Year 4 classes for next year. What a great head start for Year 3 students!
Morning and Afternoon arrangements
Thank you for holding off sending your children to school before 8:20 am each morning. It is very important as we are not able to supervise the students earlier than this.
We are particularly grateful for the reduction in the number of afternoon phone calls from parents requesting early pickups. Please continue to limit those to important appointments or urgent situations.
We have recently been informed of the rescheduled dates for Archdiocesan Public Speaking. The Southern Region competitions will be held virtually on November 16 and 17, with the Archdiocesan Public Speaking competitions set for November 25. Our school representatives have already been chosen and I wish them well on the day.
Year 6 Graduation Mass and Dinner/Disco
Our Year 6 Graduation Mass will be held on Thursday December 9 at 9:30 am at Sacred Heart Church. Mrs Croese is liaising with Father George about the expected capacity, but for now please know that all Year 6 parents may attend. The Year 6 and School Awards will be given out following the Mass. Unfortunately at this stage, our Student Leadership Handover ceremony can not occur at the Mass as we are unable to mix the Year 5 and 6 cohorts. My hope is that this might change before then.
Earlier this week, the Year 6 staff and students met and discussed their preferences for their End of Year Celebration Dinner on Tuesday December 14 at the Moruya Golf Club. The students have overwhelmingly voted to have their own "student only" dinner and disco, similar to last year’s. We understand there may be some parents who have different viewpoints on this, but we have decided to go with what the students want. Their choice is more appropriate to the age of the students and the stage of their schooling. We will be talking with the students about age appropriate clothing and accessories and we support you as parents in deciding not to spend unnecessary money on the night. Under the guidance of their teachers, a Year 6 Graduation Working Party has already been set up and they are well on their way to planning their great night out. Depending on COVID restrictions, parents are likely to be able to come in and collect their children towards the end of the night. More information will be sent home in the coming weeks.
In conversations with the Year 6 teachers this week, we discussed how mature and positive the students are, despite losing time in their final year of primary school. We are so pleased that our students have already had their camp as most Year 6 students across our system have unfortunately missed out.
Kinder 2022 Orientation
We are pleased to be able to organise our Kinder 2022 Orientation sessions for the coming weeks. The dates and times set are Wednesday mornings, November 17 and November 24 at 9:30 am - 11:30 am. Invites will be sent to families shortly. Unlike previous years, only children already enrolled for Kinder 2022 may attend the Orientation Days. If you know of someone who is still considering St Mary’s, please encourage them to contact us as soon as possible so the application process can be completed in time.
We currently have 20 students enrolled, and following an incredible year Mrs Jacquie Stephen has been asked to teach Kinder again. Mrs Gen Schofield will be teaching Year One next door in our Early Years Block. Both teachers will be involved in the Orientation Days as the teachers team teach during the day. Mrs Jo Mathews and the Learning Support Team will also assist on the days. We have been waiting on the lifting of restrictions to resume our in person parent interviews for Kinder 2022 parents. Unless things change in the next couple of weeks, it's likely I will continue interviews through Teams or over the phone.
2022 Important Dates
|January||Friday 28||Catholic Education System Day for Staff (Front office open)|
|Monday 31||Staff Professional Learning Day (Front office open)|
|February||Tuesday 1||All students (Kinder to Year 6) return to school|
|April||Friday 8||Last day for students|
Kinder students rest day at home on Wednesdays from February 9 - March 2 inclusive
|April||Monday 25||Anzac Day Public Holiday|
|Tuesday 26||Staff Professional Learning Day (Front office open)|
|Wednesday 27||Students return to school|
|May||Monday 2 - Friday May 6||Catholic Schools Week|
|Friday 6||Mothers Day celebrations|
|June||Monday 13||Queens Birthday Public Holiday|
|July||Friday 1||Last day for students|
|July||Monday 18||Staff Professional Learning Day (Front office open)|
|Tuesday 19||Students return to school|
|September||Friday 2||Fathers Day celebrations|
|Friday 23||Last day for students|
|October||Monday 18||Staff Spirituality Day (Front office not open)|
|Tuesday 19||Students return to school|
|December||Wednesday 14||Students last day of school|
On Sunday October 24, our Catholic community celebrated World Mission Sunday. Pope Francis calls on us to give spiritual and financial support to overseas missions so that they can continue to provide life-giving work to those most in need. This year’s theme ‘We Cannot Remain Silent – We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard (Acts 4:20)’ is twofold. It is a message of hope - Jesus Christ is risen and we need to show love, compassion, and mercy to others. It also challenges us to stand up and speak out on behalf of those who are weaker and poorer than us.
At St Mary’s we will respond by praying and fundraising through Cohort based activities next week. Children and families living in poverty stricken areas in Thailand will benefit from our efforts. Please support us by sending in coins as we share our faith through our actions.
As COVID restrictions in the community ease, I encourage our families to return to Mass on the weekends. Father George is especially looking forward to having the little ones back in his congregation.
Take care and God Bless
Dear Parents and Carers,
It has been great welcoming all our students K-6 back to school this week! As we return to school routines some reminders for those students who travel to and from school by bus. Please revise these safety guidelines with your children.
Travelling Safely on School Buses
Students are expected to follow these rules for the safety and comfort of all passengers, including themselves. If the rules are not followed, it may lead to the suspension of students or banning students from travelling on buses.
It is every student’s responsibility to behave in a manner that ensures the safety and comfort of passengers and drivers. This includes:
Behaviour on buses:
- Use appropriate language not offensive or racist language
- Fighting, spitting, feet on seats, throwing things in or from the bus is not permitted
- Do not push or shove other people
- Do not bully or harass other passengers or the driver
- Avoid attracting the attention of the driver except in the case of emergency
- Do not play music at such volume that it may distract the bus driver or other passengers
Safety on and near buses:
- Obey reasonable directions from the driver (e.g. where to sit or to remain in the bus)
- Remain in your seat – do not move around the bus unnecessarily
- Keep bags and other items clear of the aisle
- Do not allow any part of your body to protrude out of the bus at any time
- Wait for the bus in a quiet and orderly manner – including at bus interchanges
- Stand away from the roadside until the bus comes to a complete stop
- Allow other passengers to leave the bus before stepping onto the bus in a single line
- Wait until the bus stops before moving to get off the bus at your designated stop
- Wait until the bus leaves the stop and you have clear vision before crossing the road
- Cross the road where and when it’s safe to do so, use crossings/traffic lights where available
Legal considerations on buses:
- Wear the seat belt properly adjusted and fastened, if one is available
- Ensure that buses are not vandalised – report any damage, e.g. graffiti and window etching, to the driver
- Do not interfere with bus property, equipment and signage
- Do not leave rubbish on the bus, or at bus stops or interchanges
It is important that students catching the bus report any unsafe behaviour to the driver, their parents and the school.
God bless and take care
Dear Parents and Families,
Welcome to Week 4, and what a lovely week we have had seeing all the students back at St Mary’s. Many excited children entered the gates on Monday morning so happy to see their friends and teachers.
All parents, families and friends are most welcome to join us at our weekend Masses now that the Churches are open. Weekend masses are at 6pm every Saturday and 10am on Sunday. There is also 8am Mass on Sunday morning for those living at Tuross. Father George and the parishioners would love to see our families and friends at any of these Masses.
A reminder that next week (Week 5) is our very special week when we raise money for the Missions. All money raised will go to educating and caring for young children and their families who would otherwise have no chance of an education. Each class at St Mary’s will have the opportunity to learn about the country of Thailand and engage in money-raising activities such as puppet making, art competitions and imovies. In Stage 2 the students will pay to have a mufti day and design and sell their hand painted mugs. Stage 3 students are looking forward to raising money for the Missions by wearing their pyjamas to school, paying to watch a movie and participate in a variety of games. We look forward to a wonderful week of learning and fun.
Who do you say I am?
Students were asked to represent Mary in the image they see her and explain why.
Get Well Wishes
We send our best wishes for a speedy recovery to Xavier H in Year 4 who had a very serious accident and is in Canberra Hospital. Get well soon Xavier from all the staff and your friends at St Mary’s.
Preparing for First Eucharist
The Year 4 students are working through their First Eucharist booklet at home in order to prepare to receive Jesus in the Eucharist on Sunday 14 November.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your everlasting love. ...
We pray that you would help us to be kind to one another,
showing each other mercy, forgiveness and understanding.
Help us to share the love you've so generously shared with us.
As a family may we treat each other with compassion. AMEN
Have a happy and safe weekend.
In all things may God be glorified
My Body, My Life - Stage 3 Students
On Wednesday 10 November, St Mary’s Primary will be hosting a virtual session of the My Body, My Life puberty and personal development program provided by the Archdiocesan Marriage, Family and Relationships Team. Year 5 and 6 students will participate in a 70 min session with members of this team to cover a range of topics that can also be discussed between students and parents prior to the virtual visit.
To ensure parents and guardians are fully engaged in this very important aspect of their child’s development, a series of online units have been developed for families to work through with their child at home prior to the virtual visit. Please take the time between now and Wednesday 10 November to watch the units. A letter was sent home with Stage 3 students on Tuesday 26 October this week with more information and a link to access the videos. Stage 3 parents can also find the letter on the Compass Parent Portal or Skoolbag.
Just a reminder the front office has emailed all parents their login credentials so that you may log into the new 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 https://www.compass.education/
- 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
This week, registered students began sitting the ICAS assessments for 2021. Below is a timetable of what’s ahead for those students who have previously registered for the assessments.
The following is a timetable of when each test will be administered at school.
Tuesday 26 Oct
Tuesday 2 November
Tuesday 9 November
Tuesday 16 November
Tuesday 23 November
Please contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Year 1 & 2 News from Mrs Devonald and Mrs Durnan
We loved Remote Learning and our class TEAMS meetings online, but we are SO excited to be back learning with our friends in Year One and Two.. We have dived straight into our learning and we are looking forward to sharing our learning with one another in person again!
In English we have started our spelling investigations with gusto. We love practicing our spelling words with shaving cream and tricky words bingo, sharing reading books with one another and writing imaginary texts. We are loving developing some spooky stories with sizzling starts to hook the reader. This week we have been using a picture prompt with our ‘I wonder’ questions to share our ideas with our friends.
Have a look at Tommy’s sizzling start to his story he is currently writing:
In Maths we continue to start our sessions with Maths warm up games just like we did when we were Remote Learning for automaticity of number recall. We are learning about the duration of time. We are investigating how many seconds are within a minute, an hour, a day and a year. We are learning about the calendar, months of the year and the seasons. We are linking with our knowledge learnt in Science, and learning how the seasons are opposite in the Northern hemisphere to the Southern hemisphere on our calendar. We are also learning about how some shapes tessellate and how they can transform by flipping, sliding or turning their direction. We played barrier games to help develop the children’s language of position and transformation.
Conceptual Inquiry (Religion, Creative Arts & History)
In our Conceptual Inquiry Unit this term we are investigating the past, present and future. We are developing an understanding of how the past can shape our present and how we are in control of shaping our future. We are linking this in with our Science and Maths units and how the year is made up of different seasons, and seasons of the Church. We are also looking at the liturgical year cycle and special celebrations of the year.
During Remote Learning we have investigated the Rosary as we enter October the month of Mary. We investigated the different prayers and their importance. We also looked at the courage that Mary showed as a young woman and as a mum to Jesus. We have also investigated ways we too can show courage to help others in our family and in our community every day. With Mission Week fast approaching, we are looking at ways we extend our courage and capacity to share with others, both in our own community and overseas. We are designing sock puppets as a way to ‘sock it to poverty’ next week and will vote with our coins on the ones we think are the best sock puppets with all donations going to the Missions.
STEM Stacking Challenge
For a bit of fun and engagement over this term, we are having STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) challenges with our classes. Last week, Year 1 kicked off the Stem Stacking Challenge and we invited Year 2 to be part of our extreme stacking this week. As you can see from the photos, the children were totally engaged and trying all sorts of ways to create a tower of objects that could balance without being held. The record was 224cm (2.24 metres) tall, set by Tommy and Nicholas. Watch out for disappearing items around your house this week as we are sure the ‘don’t try this at home’ rule will NOT apply!
This term we have delved into living and non living objects. During our Seesaw Remote Learning, the children were asked to take photos of living/non living items around their home. Back at school, we are learning how to classify different types of animals by their external and internal features such as mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects. We have something very exciting happening in our classroom over the next few weeks that will demonstrate life cycles and how we all grow and change. We are trying to work out what it might be, just have to wait and see!