- News from Lynda
- Thoughts with a Cuppa
- Online Safety
- Financial Assistance for Parents
- Buddy Program
- Term 1 Interschool Chess Competition: Thursday 12 March
- Shrove Tuesday (Pancake Tuesday) 8.30am Tuesday 25th February
- Sports News
- Parish Picnic
- Mentone Girls Secondary College
- P & F News
- Library / Learning Hub News
This year we welcome three new members to our school board. Julia Runci, Karen Glancy and Abbey Walters. I thank them for coming forward to support our school community. School Boards are established to act as an advisory body to the Parish Priest on matters concerning the development of the school and the education and welfare of the students.
The purpose of the School Boards is to:
- Act as an advisory body to the Parish Priest, Coordinating Principal and Principal, on matters concerning education in the parish
- promote and support the Catholic ethos and identity of the school
- act as a forum for discussion on matters concerning education in the parish primary schools
- provide advice on the development and review of school policies
- provide an avenue for the representation of the views and concerns of the whole school community
- provide advice on budget planning and finance-related matters
- provide a link between the Parish Priest, Coordinating Principal ,Principal, teachers and parishioners in relation to the provision of Catholic education in the parish community
- promote community development by fostering a strong interrelationship between parish and the parish primary school, Catholic secondary colleges and pre-schools.
- assisting in the selection of a lay principal when such an appointment is being made and in accordance with diocesan guidelines
- working in collaboration with Parents & Friends Association ( with a representative from the P&FA on the Board)
- assist in developing opportunities for parents to access speakers and support with parenting and current educational approaches.
Parents and Friends
Many thanks to Karen Glancy who will be our Parents and Friends coordinator this year. In this role, Karen will continue to focus on building a positive school community. Karen will work closely with the school to support social events for families and fundraising for our school.
On Shrove Tuesday (25 February) the staff will cook pancakes for our school community. Mark the date in your diary. Pancakes in the courtyard will be served from 8:30-9:00am. Families and friends are welcome.
On Wednesday 26 February we will have a whole school Ash Wednesday mass at 10:00am in the church. Families and friends are welcome to celebrate with us.
Curriculum Term Outlines
Curriculum Term Outlines are now available. These documents are sent out each term and outline the curriculum for each year level. They can be accessed via the Parent Engagement Platform on the side menu, on the school app SZapp or below.
Program Support Group Meetings (PSG)
Some parents may have heard staff or other parents use the term PSG meetings and wondered what this means. Program Support Group Meetings take place in terms 1, 2 and 3. These meetings are for students who receive additional funding support. Meeting with parents, teachers, educational support staff and other service providers ensure that personalised learning plans are in place and monitored for these students.
Parent Teacher Student Meetings
Parent Student Teacher Meetings will take place this term on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 March from 3:45-6:30pm. Information on booking days and times will be sent home in the next newsletter on Monday 2 March. Meeting times will be 15 minutes in duration. The focus of these meetings will be to share assessment information and learning progress, along with learning plans for term 2. Students are encouraged to attend the meeting with their parents as it is important for students to hear feedback and take ownership of their learning.
Of course if there is a learning concern you need to discuss with your child’s teacher before these meetings please contact your child’s teacher to arrange a time to meet with them.
This term our school will undertake a school review. Every four years Catholic Education Melbourne supports schools with the review process.
The government and sector authorities require schools to demonstrate compliance in a number of areas. The Victorian Registered Qualification Authority (VRQA) makes sure schools meet the minimum standards and other requirements for registration.
Catholic Education Melbourne’s School Improvement Framework promotes an evidence and research based approach to planning for improvement within the school context and across all spheres (or domains) of a Catholic school. Schools incorporate ongoing monitoring, deep learning and focus on their impact in order to enable continuous school improvement.
Schools are required to document and show evidence in a number of capabilities across all spheres of the framework. All school staff are involved in this process. A school reviewer, appointed by Catholic Education Melbourne, will meet with staff, students and parents and provide the school with a report indicating recommendations for future planning.
PUNCTURED BY GOD
One of our major foci for 2020 in the realm of Mission and Faith is Spirituality. Our ECSI data from 2019 across the three schools highlighted a need to up the ante in this area. This is something very positive and an area that deep down we all want to know more about but are often afraid to ask, search and find. Finding the answers to the unknown can be scary. The 1970’s era was a time to be passive about spirituality let alone anything! But today our young ones are wanting to know and many older people feel inadequate to answer questions asked of them. To say I don’t know can be confronting for some people.
Joan Chittister assists us by saying that in prayer you don’t need to do much except ‘be’. Just be by being breathing in God and hoping that you can breathe out God.
I believe we all pray in some capacity. The fact we think means that we pray. The fact that we all have a conscience means we are all the time making decisions. Often subconsciously but often enough consciously. Unless we lack wisdom and maturity we don’t make decisions in isolation. We seek advice. For me I seek advice from family but I also seek advice from God. God speaks in my heart. I say to others “Go with your gut”. I believe our stomach tells us a great deal about our inner and deep thoughts. Listen and feel to what is happening and often enough our gut is speaking to us. For me that is God.
Recently I bought online from Singapore some 1837 TWG Black Tea leaves (not bags!) I love tea leaves because it means I have to stop and make a real pot of tea. This means making time but it also means making time to stop and reflect. Often as I wait for the tea to brew I read.
May I encourage you to read this article from Joan Chittister which highlights the need for all of us to pray but also the realisation that if we think praying is work we miss the true meaning of what it means to pray.
Edward Dooley (Mission and Faith Leader)
Punctuated by God
The hallmark of a Benedictine community lies in its prayer life. The community gathers for choral prayer at least three times a day—morning praise, noon praise, and vespers. In Benedictine communities that devote themselves to the recitation of the more ancient Liturgy of the Hours, the times for communal prayer are even more often than that. To beginners in the life, the schedule can be a shock.
When we were in the novitiate, the older sisters delighted in telling us the story of the young postulant who came to the monastery full of zest for the life—and then, six months later, simply got up and left. “I like it here a lot,” the young woman said, “but there’s never a minute’s rest. And every time I do get time, the bell rings.” Then the old sisters would bubble over with laughter.
It took a while before I caught on to the joke. The funny part was that the postulant had the ideas confused. She couldn’t understand why it was that every time the chores of the day were finished, just when she thought she wouldn’t have anything to do for a while, the bell rang to call the community to another period of prayer. Prayer for her was work, an intrusion into her private time. But for those whose life is centred in prayer, prayer is time for resting in God. It is the “work” of the soul in contact with the God of the heart.
Prayer is what links the religious and the spiritual, the inner and outer dimensions of life. Every spiritual tradition on earth forms a person in some kind of regular practice designed to focus the mind and the spirit. Regular prayer reminds us that life is punctuated by God, awash in God, encircled by God. To interrupt the day with prayer is to remind ourselves of the timelessness of eternity. Prayer and regular spiritual practices serve as a link between this life and the next. They give us the strength of heart to sustain us on the way. When life goes dry, only the memory of God makes life bearable again. Then we remember that whatever is has purpose.
Prayer does not simply reveal us to God and God to us, I came to know after years of apparently useless repetition. It reveals us to ourselves at the same time. If I listened to myself when I prayed, I could feel my many masks drop away. I was not the perfect nun; I was the angry psalmist. I was the needy one in the petitions. I was the one to whom the hard words of the gospel were being spoken. I was the one adrift in a sea of darkness and uncertainty even after all these years of light.
“I don’t pray,” people say to me. And I say back, “Neither do I. I just breathe God in and hope somehow to learn how to breathe God out, as well.” The purpose of prayer is simply to transform us to the mind of God. We do not go to prayer to coax God to make our lives Disneyland. We don’t go to prayer to get points off our sins. We don’t go to suffer for our sins. We go to prayer to be transfigured ourselves, to come to see the world as God sees the world, to practice the presence of God, to put on a heart of justice, of love, and of compassion for others. We go to become new of soul.
Maybe we are forgetting to centre ourselves in the consciousness of God who is conscious of us all. Maybe that’s why the world today is in the throes of such brutal violence, such inhuman poverty, such unconscionable discrimination, such self-righteous fundamentalism. Maybe we are forgetting to pray, not for what we want, but for the sight, the enlightenment, that God wants to give us. And if I pray, will I be able to change those things? I don’t really know. All I know is that the enlightenment that comes with real prayer requires that I attend to them, not ignore them.
—from Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir, by Joan Chittister
Safety online is of utmost importance as our students experience the changes that are happening day by day with technology. Last Tuesday was Safer Internet Day, this year’s theme was “Together for a better internet” This week we would encourage all families to start the conversion with their children about being safe online. It is never too early to begin the chat. Recent statistics from the eSafety website https://www.esafety.gov.au states that 81% of parents with pre-schoolers say their children use the internet. Of these parents, 94% report that their child was using the internet by the age of 4. This might be via a tablet or iPad (92%), a smartphone (85%) or a computer (83%).
The following questions from the eSafety website are a good starting point to start the discussion:
- Does your child understand how privacy settings for social media work?
- Does your child understand what is safe to share online?
- Does your child understand the importance of protecting their personal information?
The most recent app that is being discussed and used by primary age students is TikTok. Many of the apps students are using are restricted to thirteen years and over. To learn more about the latest games, apps and social media, including how to protect information and report inappropriate content visit the parent eSafety guide.
The following eSafety pages are designed to assist everyone to be safe when they are online:.
Camps Sports & Excursions Fund
Every Victorian child should have access to the world of learning opportunities that exist beyond the classroom. The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund helps ensure that no student will miss out on the opportunity to join their classmates for important, educational and fun activities. It is part of making Victoria the Education State and the Government’s commitment to breaking the link between a student’s background and their outcomes.
School camps provide children with inspiring experiences in the great outdoors, excursions encourage a deeper understanding of how the world works and sports teach teamwork, discipline and leadership. All are part of a healthy curriculum.
CSEF is provided by the Victorian Government to assist eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities.
If you hold a valid means-tested concession card or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible for CSEF. A special consideration category also exists for asylum seeker and refugee families. The allowance is paid to the school to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions or sporting activities for the benefit of your child.
The annual CSEF amount per student is:
- $125 for primary school students
- $225 for secondary school students
For an application form please contact Cate in the office.
- Prep students having another positive role model within the school
- Prep students having a 'go to' person if they have any questions / concerns on the playground
- Prep and Year 6 students developing new and positive relationships
- Year 6 students taking on and developing responsibility, fostering pride in their ability to be helpful
Thursday, 12th March
The Term 1 Interschool Chess Competition will be held at St Catherine’s Primary School on Thursday, 12th March. The event will be in the School Hall between 9am and 2.30pm. Students need a good knowledge of the game in order to participate. The cost is $24.00 per participant which covers the Kidsunlimited official and equipment. Please send the cash payment to school in a clearly marked envelope. Students who have not paid will not be able to participate.
Children are to wear their full school uniform (Not sport), and require snacks, lunch and a drink. We are looking forward to a great day.
Carmel Donlon- Coordinating Leader
Please join the staff in the courtyard from 8.30am for a pancake to start the day. The ‘Original’ ALDI pancake mixture contains: wheat flour, sugar, wheat starch, non fat milk solids, maltodextrin, thickener 1422, raising agents 450 & 500, salt and anticaking agents 341. products. Tree nuts and soy may be present. We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday morning.
Religious Education Leader
Over the last two weeks all classes have participated in a gymnastics program run by Triskills. The students thoroughly enjoyed moving around the equipment further developing their skills. The Year One students wrote the following as a reflection of their first lesson.
Today I went to gymnastics and I worked on the bars and I did some jumping. Ben Castrillon
Today I went to gymnastics, first I played musical statues. Next I went on the bars. Cooper Currie
Today I went on the trampoline and on the bars. Next I did bunny hops. Then I played musical statues. My teachers name was Paige. Maggie Willmott
This morning I went to gymnastics and I did bunny hops and I jumped. Next I went on the bars and I rolled down the wedge and then we played musical statues. Lachie McDonald
Holt Swimming Sports
As the new Parents and Friends Co-Ordinator I would like to extend a huge thank you to Julie Griffn, the outgoing Co-Ordinator for her time and commitment to the role and to all the Parents and Friends of the school who worked with Julie last year to raise significant funds for the school and host an array of events. For those of you who didn’t know me, Matthew, my partner and I have a daughter, Lily Casey, in Year 1.
Primarily the role of the P&F is to support school community through the development of a social network and to enhance our children’s learning environment through fundraising.
Julie has big shoes to fill and I certainly can’t fill them on my own. In the coming weeks, you will receive a Survey Monkey questionnaire from me asking you about how you would like to be involved in the school community. I would really appreciate you taking a few minutes to complete the survey so that I can ensure we are providing opportunities for community involvement that works for everyone in our current community.
The survey will ask questions about the amount and type of fundraising we should do, what kinds of social events best suit your family and will ask for your ideas for building relationships and partnerships within our school community.
You are welcome contact me via the P&F email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, find me in the playground for a chat at drop off/pick up or give me a call PH 0409 905 858.