Reflecting on March 2017 | go to Calendar »
1. From The Principal
Welcome to this delayed version of the March Reflection. I hope that all of our children are relaxing and restoring their batteries after what has been a very busy term; we look forward to seeing everyone back safe and sound after Easter.
March was an incredibly busy month that began on the first of the month with our Whole School Ash Wednesday Mass. We thank Fr Peter for leading us through a reflection on the importance of giving, praying and fasting during Lent with the focus squarely on growing into better people who are able to reach out and support others. It was wonderful to see a good representation of parents and other family members at this Mass as well as several members of the Parish Community too.
Human Sexuality Program
During March our Grade 4, 5 and 6 students participated in three separate human sexuality sessions facilitated for us once again by Glenys Borland from Family Life Victoria. These sessions are a wonderful way to open up discussion at home and to give children accurate information on body parts, changes they will experience related to the onset of puberty, and basic information around human reproduction. There were mixed responses from the students who undertook the sessions but the feedback was mainly positive, as were comments shared with me by parents who appreciated the Parent Information Session as well as the opportunity to have open discussions with their children in a structured context.
Our Annual Welcome Picnic also occurred last month thanks to a team of parents and staff who ensured that everything was organised and ready for the day. The addition of a jumping castle this year was certainly a hit with children of all ages and it was in constant use all the way through the evening. On this occasion we also officially opened the first part of our playground renovation to be completed. The new equipment and related landscaping was only possible through the hard work and generosity of our parent community, with fundraising led by an active and enthusiastic Parents and Friends Executive Committee over the last three years. A very big thank you to all who came along on this night to join in the fun of our first social gathering for the year, and especially to all those who contributed to making the night a success.
Interschool Sport Trials
We had a small number of children compete in interschool swimming and tennis competitions this term with each of the children giving of their best efforts at these events. I thank them for representing our school so well – some very positive comments in respect to behaviour and effort were sent back to the school. From the district trials a couple were able to move on to the divisional trials which was a great effort on their behalf – thanks to Hayley Dustow and those parents who enabled this to take place.
March also saw children from across Prep to Grade 4 participating in our annual eight day Intensive Swimming Program at the Collingwood Leisure Centre. Over the course of the eight days the children would walk to the pool with their teachers and a team of generous helpers made up of parents, grandparents and other volunteers. The enthusiasm and keen participation was evident each day and there was good progress made across the program (and some very tired children at the end of it). This program cannot take place each year without the wonderful assistance we receive from so many members of our school community and, on behalf of the children involved, I thank everyone who was able to provide this aid.
St Patrick’s Day
The 17th of March was a very busy day at school this year commencing before school even commenced with Ride to School Day. It was wonderful to see that about two thirds of the school community, including children, parents and teachers, chose an active form of travel on this day (riding, scooting, or walking at least part way if not the entire trip). A varied fruit platter was shared in each classroom in order to further the healthy message to all.
This day also saw our student leaders go off to St Patrick’s Cathedral to participate in the annual Archdiocesan Catholic Education week School’s Mass, and the related entertainment provided afterwards. I thank each of them for representing our school at this event and for their behaviour and participation on the day.
The day was also National day of Action Against Bullying and children across the school took part in activities in the afternoon designed to highlight the effects of bullying and to look at strategies to counter this if it occurs. Later this year we will revisit this theme with an incursion in which the children across the school will be asked to pledge to actively stopping any bullying they may see.
On the last Wednesday of term, twelve of our Grade Three children undertook the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time; congratulations to all of them!. Over the course of the first term they had been preparing for this looking at the importance of repentance, forgiveness, and restitution. The emphasis of the program and of the sacrament was on healing relationships that had been broken through thoughtless or selfish choices that had been made. I thank Melanie Granata, Narelle Taylor and Leah Gates for working with the children in this program. These children, together with children in Grade Four, will now begin preparation to receive the Sacrament of First Communion later in the year.
Musica Viva Performance
Our term ended with a wonderful performance organised by Michele Davies as part of the Musica Viva program that brings the music of the world into schools. This year we were joined by Carlos, Claudio, Nico, Eddie and Marco, who together form the group Tigramuna specialising in music from Latin America. This was a wonderful way to finish the term, and also to inform the Performing Arts program, with upbeat music, singing, instrumentation and dance. Thank you to Michele for her organisation of this event, to the group, the children for their welcome and participation, and to the family members who were able to join us during the afternoon.
Staff Development and Retreat
The last two days of the term were an early holiday for the children but the staff took this opportunity to work with Dr Christiaan Jacobs-Vandegeer and Associate Professor Robyn Horner, both from the Australian Catholic University, on the challenges of making our faith come alive for children in today’s secular world. The importance of tying the faith story, with the life and teachings of Jesus at its centre, with our own lived experience was seen as being key to engaging the children and their families in this endeavour. The staff also explored catholic Social Teaching as one way of making this connection. Some of the principles of this important aspect of our faith response are Dignity of the Human Person, a Call to Family, Community and Participation, Rights and Responsibilities, a Preferential Option for and with People who are Poor, the Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers, Solidarity, and the Care for God’s Creation. The staff also looked at a new framework for teaching in Catholic schools titled Horizons of Hope that presents the challenges and the vision for educating our children in a faith filled environment.
The first day of next term is on Tuesday, 18th April, due to the Easter Monday Public Holiday. On this day we will also gather in the church at 2:15 for an Easter Liturgy and all families are welcome to join us.
Our Sunsmart Policy states that hats still need to be worn until the end of April so please make sure that all school hats are still in the children’s bags. We will also officially switch over to winter uniform at the beginning of May.
I look forward to welcoming everyone back after Easter, refreshed and ready for another busy term. Until then, respectfully, Daniel
2. From The Parish
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3. Bendigo Bank
4. Camp Australia
Please click the following link to download information regarding the upcoming school holiday programme Camp Australia School Holiday Programme
5. Extra Curricular Noticeboard
Music Theatre Boot CampMusic Theatre Boot Camp is a week-long full time school holiday program giving kids a confidence building and cooperative experience in the context of music theatre. Kids learn teamwork through playing games, build confidence through performance and present a rehearsed piece to their family and friends at the end of the week. The Easter program runs from Monday 3 to Friday 7 April, 9.30am to 3pm.View the website »
Download more info here »
3 Day School Holiday WorkshopWith my background as a school teacher in both classroom and PE as well as my extensive training in wellbeing programs I have written a super fun 3 Day School Holiday Workshop for your kids!!View the website »
The workshop is..... "A chance for kids to unplug from technology and learn what it really means to be a ‘Well-Being’. We focus on Physical, Social and Emotional Health and endeavor to equip kids with some new skills, tools and strategies to help in challenging times. We want to help build confident kids with a deep sense of connection to self!!"
I am teaming up with a good friend - Marie from 'The Little Theatre Lab' who has a Masters in Theatre and LOVES teaching kids of all ages. The confidence she instills in the children is second to none! This is going to be a fun filled 3 days where your child will learn new skills and meet other kids from different schools in the area.
Download more info here »
6. Community Noticeboard
Santa Maria College NorthcoteAs a family attending a primary school within our Priority Parish zone, we hope that you will visit our College and consider our school as place for your daughter to flourish. We understand that few decisions in life hold the same significance and importance as choosing the right school for your daughter. At Santa Maria College we are always pleased to welcome new families to our warm and vibrant community. Please visit our website for further information or simply call our Registrar, Mrs Kylie Lawtey, to discuss enrolment or to book a tour.
KEY ENROLMENT DATES FOR YEAR 7 2018 INTAKE
27 April 2017 – Offers of places to prospective Year 7 2018 students posted
11 May 2017 – Final date for families to accept offers made
If you have not applied for a place for your daughter in a Catholic secondary school as yet, please give us a call on 9488 1630 to discuss further.
KEY ENROLMENT DATES FOR YEAR 7 2019 INTAKE
Timing of the Year 7 2019 enrolment process has changed in line with Catholic Education Melbourne guidelines. The new process will result in Catholic secondary colleges offering places for Year 7 enrolment in Terms 3 and 4 of Grade 5.
25 August 2017 – Applications for enrolment in Year 7 2019 close
13 October 2017 – Offers of places to prospective Year 7 2019 students posted
27 October 2017 – Final date for families to accept offers made
Please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Kylie Lawtey on 9488 1630 if you have any questions. We hope to see you at one of our Talk & Tours soon!