Reflecting on May 2018 | go to Calendar »

Newsletter - May 2018

1. From The Principal

Dear Families,

Another month has flown past with a great deal happening in our school. With the colder days now upon us and the days closing in, I hope that everyone is keeping their spirits up and looking forward to all that the winter season in Melbourne has to offer.

New Education Advisory Committee

New members have been appointed to the Education Advisory Committee for 2018-19 by Fr Peter. The role of the Education Advisory Committee is to support the Parish Priest and Principal by offering advice on matters relating to school improvement, policy development, fees and levies, and promoting and marketing the school.

The committee (known by the acronym EAC) are off to a flying start, already having held two meetings this term with a third scheduled before the end of term. The primary focus at present is on marketing our school to let the local community know about the programs and priorities we have and the very well rounded education we offer to the children of this area. In telling this positive story we hope that we will encourage new families to join us to further contribute to the wonderful life of our school.

The current EAC members are: Paul Carter (Chair and Parish Representative), Meaghan Powell (Secretary and Parent Representative), Richard Colyer, Guglielmo Gottoli, Deidre Rooney (Parent Representatives) and Narelle Taylor (Staff Representative). Members of the EAC can be contacted through the email address

Prayers Requested

Earlier this week Deidre Rooney, mother of Rian and Bridget, advised us that she had recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour on the occipital lobe at the back of the brain. Deidre is currently undergoing further tests and is scheduled for surgery early next week. With two young children, this is obviously a worrying time for the family. I hope that you will all join me in praying for a successful outcome but also strength and peace for all of the family at this time.

Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD)

The Federal Government has recently changed the way schools are funded for students with extra learning needs. While schools have filled in the NCCD for some years, our funding will now be directly connected to this data. Schools must now complete the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) every year. It counts the number of students who receive additional adjustments or “help” at school because of a disability. The NCCD helps governments plan for the needs of students with disability. You can access the NCCD Information Sheet for Parents, Carers and Guardians here. It contains more information about the data that is collected, who has access to this data, and what is done with it.

School Photos

Thanks to everyone for coming to school on Photo Day in their full winter uniform looking freshly polished and photogenic. All photos were taken except for the whole school photo which will be taken later in the year die to weather. Gina has advised everyone that the photo orders should be back at school for distribution by Friday 15th June so look out for them then.

Working Bee

We held the first Working Bee for the year on Saturday 5th May. A small but enthusiastic group turned out to enable us to get some gardening, maintenance and clearing completed. I am very grateful to all who were able to come and to those who provided a wonderful morning tea. While Working Bees are great for getting a number of jobs done at once, they are also a fantastic opportunity for parents to get together and interact, especially those parents who are not able to attend other activities on weekdays. Thanks again for the support of the school to all who contributed; our next opportunity will be towards the end of Term 3.

Human Sexuality Program

Our Grade 4 to 6 students are currently completing  a short program in human sexulaity and personal development. This program is once again being facilitated for us by Glenys Borland from Interrelate. Glenys has done this for us annually for a number of years and has built up a good knowledge of our school and the children. The Human Sexuality Program is used as an opportunity for healthy family discussions in this area, supported by knowledge and facts at an age appropriate level. I hope that the parents and carers of our 4 to 6 students have been able to engage in the program with their children in a positive and beneficial manner.

Parish Feast Day

Last Thursday we gathered at St Joseph’s in Collingwood to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Mary Help of Christian, the patroness of our parish. It was wonderful to finally gather the two schools in Collingwood with Mass in the newly consecrated church, finally rebuilt after the fire that destroyed it ten years ago. Our children then joined classes at St Joe’s for some simple activities and a shared sausage sizzle before returning home. The planned tabloid activities and the annual basketball match had to be postponed, due to some emergency plumbing work that put the basketball court out of action, but the two principals will liaise for these to occur later in the year.

Last weekend members of the parish, including a couple of school families, gathered in Clifton Hill for a Parish Assembly as part of the Feast Day celebrations before coming together for Mass in Collingwood on Sunday. During the Assembly there was much discussion about ways that we can be more welcoming as a parish and ways that we can reach out and extend our Christian missionary action. It is important for us as a school community to realise that we are very much a key arm of the parish and that we have an important role to play in the life of the parish. A summary of the outcomes of the Assembly will be distributed to school families when these become available.

Parent Forum

Our second Parent Forum was held this week with a small but enthusiastic turnout of interested parents. At the forum, I presented some feedback resulting from issues raised at the first forum at the beginning of term around communication. One development was the creation of a new Communication Policy that can be found on the school website by clicking here. A discussion then followed about the importance of marketing our school and ways that this can be achieved. I shared, with those gathered, our current plans including a media and internet campaign, a small rejig of the school website, the use of our windows in the Aikenhead Hall to promote the school and a proposed promotional video. Parents were also enthusiastic to be involved in this process and we will be forming a sub-committee of the EAC in order for this to occur, please keep an eye out for more information on this in the next couple of weeks.

Part of the process in marketing our school will also involve parents being equipped to tell their own stories about what the school means to them. It was pointed out that we all need to be part of developing this narrative, rather than just me as principal, to ensure that we get the full richness that is involved. We are a strong school made up of many personal stories and successes, stories and successes that will only be added to as we plan for the future.

2017 Annual Report to the School Community

The Annual Report to the School Community is published every year on the school website. Last year’s report has now been uploaded and it details movement towards reaching our strategic goals for this current school improvement cycle. Included in last year’s report are details of the School Improvement Survey results undertaken in the last three years (2015-2017). These results tell an overall positive story about the life of our school and how we are travelling together. the 2017 Report is available on the website and by clicking here.

Mother’s Day Raffle Winners

A very big thank you to the Parents and Friends for putting together a great raffle for Mother’s Day. Thank you too to all of the staff and the dads who helped to put the Mother’s Day Breakfast together; although I was unable to attend due a meeting conflict, I was informed that it was a lovely morning with plenty of good cheer. I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the Mother’s Day Stall, this year coordinated for the first time by Bec Fanelli, and with flowers sourced by Bernadette Montalto . There was a great variety of gifts on offer, enthusiastically purchased to present to mums, grandmums and significant ladies; thank you to all involved in enabling this opportunity for our children.

Congratulations to the winners of the raffle who were:

1st place: Wallace Family

2nd place: Gatt Family

3rd place: Tutu

4th place: Angel


3. From The P&F

Parents and Friends Update

What’s been happening in May…

The big event this past month was of course Mother’s Day.
We hope you all enjoyed your Mother’s Day gifts. Again, a huge thank you to all those people who lent a hand to make the stall and raffle such a success. Congratulation to the winners of the prizes we hope you received a lovely extra surprise. Special thanks to Vince and Bernadette for organising and Bec and Katherine for sourcing most of the gifts.
And how beautiful were those flowers?!

But behind the scenes there are a number of events coming up…

MOVIE NIGHT: Thursday 7th June:

Have you bought your tickets yet? This is the opening night for Ocean’s 8 and looks like a very entertaining film, so grab a couple of friends and come along for a night out. Reminder this is a student closure day. Even more reason that you might want to get out of the house!! (or is that just me…!)

Tickets must be ordered by Monday 4th June.

Purchase at the office or pay to the P&Faccount using reference MOVIE and let Gina know.

COMEDY AND AUCTION NIGHT: Saturday 1st September

This coming month, the pace will step up for our Comedy Night preparations. The Comedy Night is our MAJOR FUNDRAISER this year and will be held on Saturday 1st September.

It will combine a night of comedy AND our usual auction night. We encourage you to invite your friends and family, this is very much an open invitation to all!
It promises to be a really fun evening so please we urge you to get behind us and help to make it a great night.

September may seem a while away but all the planning needs to be done now and WE NEED YOUR HELP!

If you have been thinking about getting involved, now is your chance.

We really need people to help out by:

• approaching businesses for donations of any products, items, vouchers, experiences.
They can be big or small, anything is appreciated!
• collecting donations
• preparing and planning the night

Closer to the night we will also be looking for people to

• set up
• wrap auction items and hampers
• sell raffle tickets
• help out on the night
• pack up

We are also looking for someone willing to coordinate the donations. This involves keeping a record of what has been donated, managing donation pick ups, and thank you certificates. If you would like to be involved please contact Julia (0407343637) or Melissa McIntosh our major events coordinator.
You don’t need experience, just be willing to lend a hand!

Dates to remember:

• Thursday 7th May: Movie Night at Westgarth Theatre
• Thursday 7th May: PUPIL FREE DAY: Mini golf at Yarrabend Park TO BE CONFIRMED
• Tuesday 12th June: P&F Meeting in Aikenhead Hall- all welcome
• Friday 22nd June: Lunch Order day
• Tuesday 17 July: P&F Meeting in Aikenhead Hall- all welcome
• Friday 31 August: Father’s Day Stall
• Saturday 1st September: Comedy and Auction Night

4. Extra Curricular Noticeboard

5. Community Noticeboard