We have had another productive couple of weeks since our last newsletter and I am continually impressed at the level of engagement that the students are displaying.
There is plenty happening in the area of easing restrictions outside of schools and we look forward to some of this within the gates soon. We are still unable to hold face to face assemblies, so we will continue with the online versions. We appreciate the support we are receiving if/when your child is displaying cold or flu symptoms. The NSW Government has recently announced that children’s sport will be permitted to resume from Wednesday, 1 July 2020. Organisations and councils have been given four weeks to prepare safety plans for the resumption of competitions and leagues. Decision on Catholic Education school team participation in such competitions will be school based. It is advised that when considering student participation, a risk assessment should take place to ensure that the sporting organisation has suitable safety plans in place. We will have to wait and see what sports will be offered leading into next term as well as the scope for a Cross Country and Athletics Carnival.
Last newsletter I announced the successful appointment of a new Wood/Metal Teacher in Secondary. Unfortunately, this person has now declined the opportunity. We have re-advertised this position and hopefully we will have someone soon.
Last Friday I attended a Virtual Siloam where a number of Principals and I met with Fr Tom Thornton and Brother David Hall. David spoke about Mary and how we could become more like her in many ways. He posed the questions: How might your school be more Marian? How might you become more Marian? We also spoke about what it means to follow Jesus and that it can bring truth where there is deceit, mercy where there is cruelty and compassion where this is indifference. It also means building communities that live Jesus' spirit.
We held our Online Information Nights for Kinder and Year 7 last week and it was nice to try something different. Thank you to all participants. Year 6 students are taking part in a taster day next Tuesday.
If you are interested in joining our Community Council, please let me know.
Kindergarten have settled back into school well after their online learning experience. They have hit the ground running with their learning and understanding of school routines/expectations.
In Week 5, Kindergarten participated in Reconciliation Week. We had some Secondary students come and speak to us about the lives of their ancestors. Kindergarten were very engaged and had lots of questions. They showed us an Indigenous dance and we created an Aboriginal flag as part of our History lesson.
In Maths this week, Kindergarten are learning about 2D shapes. To kick off the unit they went on a shape walk around the school to observe all the 2D shapes in the playground. Kindergarten are also loving creating pictures using coloured paper and trying to use as many 2D shapes as they can.
Kindergarten love spending time with their buddies every Wednesday afternoon. Last week we started creating an alphabet book with our buddies. Year 6 are given a letter and Kindergarten have to come up with some words that match the letter. Year 6 are able to hone in on their ICT skills while Kindergarten are learning some foundation Literacy skills.
Lastly in Art last week, Kindergarten learnt all about warm and cool colours. They first drew a fish using oil pastels and then used watercolours to paint over the fish. They were only allowed to use warm colours for the fish and cool colours for the background.
This year students in Years 7 and 8 study Food Technology as part of the Mandatory Technology Course. The course revolves around developing practical skills in the kitchen to prepare and present food. A number of different recipes give the students the opportunity to learn a range of food preparation skills as well as introduce a variety of meal types and tastes. The theory component covers health and safety along with a range of elements within the food industry including production, nutrition, innovation, food service and more.
By far the most enjoyable part of the course is setting the table to enjoy the meals prepared with friends.
We have had a productive couple of weeks on the building site. Our brand new shiny roof tiles are in place on the roof above the library. We also had a visit from a concrete pump so that the old stairs void could be concreted on the top floor.
Vinnies has launched a Crisis Appeal to raise funds for additional need due to COVID-19. Due to restrictions of operation, it has not been possible to run an appeal in the traditional manner. Vinnies are accepting donations to the appeal online or by calling 13 18 12. The Vinnies Night Patrol Vans are still seeking physical donations of warm items such as blankets, jackets and new socks etc. If you are unable to contribute financially, you may be able to donate these items to your closest Vinnies shop for the Night Patrol. All donations are quarantined for 72 hours before being sorted. For a list of open stores, please visit the Vinnies website. Principals may wish to include this item in school newsletters.
“The effects of non-attendance on achievement are cumulative and can impact both academic achievement and attendance in future years of schooling” – Hancock et al., 2013; Zubrick, 2014
“Every day counts and there is no ‘safe’ threshold for absences” – Hancock et al., 2013
Non-attendance has a variety of effects on students, both academically and socially. Absenteeism can increase social isolation, including alienation and lack of engagement with the school community and peers, leading to emotional and behavioural difficulties (Carroll, 2013; Gottfried, 2014). It is also associated with an increased likelihood of drop-out. (Keppens & Spruyt, 2017; London, Sanchez, Castrechini, & Castrechini, 2016).
Tips to help improve your child’s attendance
talk to your child about school and how important it is. You can ask them how they feel about school, what they liked and if there are any problems.
reward good behaviour and not bad behaviour. For example, if your child refuses to go to school, do not let them have access to their phones or the internet
set a good example. Show them how you keep to your own commitments.
encourage your child to take on hobbies that your child enjoys such as sports and clubs. This will help them develop positive relationships outside of the classroom
have a set time to do homework and go to bed.
leave all technology out of their bedroom
pack their school bag the night before with everything they need
have a set time for breakfast
plan to meet up with a friend so they can travel to school together.
The local Archdiocese has organised a series interactive live-streamed presentations for Marriage & Family Month immediately after the 11am Online Mass at St Christopher’s Cathedral for the next three Sundays (14th, 21st, 28th June).