Thank you to parents and families for the great job you are doing, supporting your child with learning from home. This continues to be a challenge for families and schools as we wait for direction from CECV and the Government regarding getting back to learning onsite.
The latest advice to schools states:
“The CECV is following the advice of the Chief Health Officer and working with the Victorian Department of Education and Training on developing a statewide process for all schools to transition back to in-person teaching, and will provide an update once an approach has been agreed.”
As soon as any new information comes to hand I will contact parents via Caremonkey to ensure every parent receives this information.
Your child’s teacher is still the first port of call for all matters pertaining to your child’s learning. I am certainly available for any other queries or questions. The staff have received an overwhelming positive response from our parent community, who have indicated that they are grateful for the work teachers are doing to support learning from home.
Student work for each day is available by 9:00am each morning. Teachers are spending many hours well into the evening, correcting students’ work, preparing instructional videos and planning lessons.
As the learning from home arrangement enters into the fourth week, I understand for many parents who are working from home, juggling both work, looking after toddlers and supervision of students is placing pressure on families. If all families can do is the minimum learning time recommendations (see table below) then we totally understand. Teachers, in many cases, are providing students with more than the minimum expectations.
We have attempted to allow for flexibility in the Remote/Home learning plan for foundation to year 3. Parents are able to organise the day to work around families and work commitments. The program for years 4-6 follows a set timetable from 9:00-1:30pm and allows for flexibility and independent learning in the afternoons.
Catholic Education Commission OF Victoria (CECV) minimum learning time recommendations
Other Curriculum Areas
Foundation to year 2
45- 60 minutes
Foundation to year 2
Foundation to year 2
30- 45 minutes
Wellbeing Checklist for Primary
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg While most children are resilient and seem to be demonstrating a remarkable capacity to manage during this challenging time, others are not faring as well. Some are experiencing a variety of emotions ranging from fear to anxiety, all of which are considered normal or natural responses to the current situation. It’s important for parents/carers to remain vigilant for any signs of unusual distress or behaviour, even if their child may not have any prior history of a mental health disorder.
Special thanks to Karen Glancy, our parents and friends coordinator who organised the delivery of a small gift for each staff member. Staff were delighted to receive such a thoughtful gift from our parent community.
Just a reminder about the purpose of our school communication channels. The newsletter remains the main form of communication for parents regarding school news and information. Please check you have subscribed to our newsletter and that you are receiving a newsletter each fortnight. The notification regarding the newsletter is sent to your nominated email. If you know of any parents who are not receiving the newsletter please direct them to the school app or school website to subscribe. Parents can also email Paula Hamilton email@example.com if you need any further assistance with accessing the school newsletter.
Any important information or updates regarding COVID-19 will be sent via Caremonkey. Caremonkey platform ensures that every parent will receive and read information, as a signature response is required.
Szapp- School App
If you haven’t downloaded our school app see link below:
Reminders and last minute changes to events are sent via our school app.
School Closure Day- Term 2
There will be no school or remote/home learning for students on Friday 29 May. This day had been allocated for staff learning before the current COVID-19 situation. Staff will be engaged in remote professional learning on this day. Staff will continue with their learning on the Mathematics curriculum, learning more about the teaching of Mental Strategies for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Staff use the Mental Strategies Developmental Continuum to ensure that appropriate strategies are taught and practised at each year level.
An example of mental number strategy for year 1 is:
- skip counting( forwards) by fives or twos.
An example of a mental number strategy for year 4 is:
- count by fractions
The development of efficient mental strategies supports students to work out multi-step complex problems.
Week 5- Remote/Home Learning Packs- Collection
We are currently preparing the next home/remote learning packs. If remote/home learning continues, the next pick up date will be Monday 11 May.
We will follow the same procedure whereby parents are allocated a collection time and packs will be set up in the school hall.
We have allocated set times to limit the number of people onsite and to ensure we follow social distancing guidelines. We ask that you do not use this time to interact socially with staff, other families or students. Please enter and leave the hall via the front doors of the hall.
Pick Up Times- Monday 11 May
8:00-10:00am -Family Surnames Beginning with A, B, C
10:00-12:00 -Family Surnames Beginning with D, E, F, G,H, I, J, K
12:00-2:00-Family Surnames Beginning with L, M, N, O, P
2:00-4:00 -Family Surnames Beginning with Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
4:00-5:00- Family unable to come in allocated time
The eSafety Commissioner (eSafety) is Australia’s national independent regulator for online safety.
Click on the link to find out more about online safety for kids.
We are now accepting enrolments for 2021. In your conversations with neighbours, family and friends please let them know we have places available for 2021. New families can contact the school office on 9555 7200 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to book a school tour for term 3. Enrolment forms can be found on our website or Meghan or Paula can post out an enrolment form.
In times of crisis and during election time education becomes a ‘football’ where everyone has an opinion and pressure is applied by governments. This COVID 19 crisis has seen the Federal Government and State Government at loggerheads about schools opening. Catholic Primary Schools in Victoria receive almost 80% of our funding from the Federal Government, while State Schools are funded fully by the State Government. That was why the Federal Education Minister said last week if Catholic and Independent Schools open then funding will be bought forward. (it was no extra funding).
St Catherine’s, St Paul’s and St Peter’s (and all Catholic Primary Schools in Victoria) will be directed by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) about when we return and what that looks like. We cannot make that decision alone. In a statement last week, the CECV said: “The CECV is following the advice of the Chief Health Officer and working with the Victorian Department of Education and Training on developing a state-wide process for all schools to transition back to in-person teaching, and will provide an update once an approach has been agreed.”
We will know more on May 11th when the State of Emergency in Victoria ends and the State Government will make announcements about Stage 3 restrictions and whether Remote Learning will continue or whether we will transition back to school before the end of term.
It amazes me how much our world has changed in the last few months, it amazes me even more how adaptable human beings can be. The way in which schools have responded to this situation is an indication of staff's commitment to the children, their willingness to take risks and to learn new things. This is just what we expect of our students.
I am just in awe of the work our teachers are doing currently to minimise the disruption to the students’ learning but to also support their wellbeing. I thank them sincerely for the way in which they have gone above and beyond and for the countless additional hours they are committing to our schools currently. To our Office Staff and Learning Support Officers we say thank you for being there to answer phone calls to support families and assist the students that have to attend school.
To the parents, l know it is an extremely difficult task to work from home and support your children with remote learning, but I want to say congratulations on the wonderful job you are doing.
It is in times of uncertainty that you see what sort of leader someone is. I want to acknowledge the absolute outstanding leadership of Michael Hanney (St Peter’s), Catherine Tammesild (St Paul’s) and Lynda O’Donnell (St Catherine’s) during this time. They have not stopped since the news broke that we would be having remote learning for Term 2. Keeping on top of updates from CECV, preparing information that needed to be distributed to parents, responding to emails, supporting staff and planning with their teams around what Term 2 would look like. The time commitment they have put in behind the scenes needs to be acknowledged and for families to be aware of. Be confident in the great leadership each school has - it will get us through this situation.
We will come out of this and we will have learnt a great deal about ourselves and some of the learnings we take from it will make us better people and better educators.
The latest version of ‘Catholic Education Today’ can be found on the Catholic Education Melbourne website.
In his writings St Benedict writes about HUMILITY and PRIDE. Sr. Joan Chittister (a Benedictine Nun) expands of the sixth step of Humility, “To confess and believe that one is unworthy and useless for anything”. We may cringe at the language but the whole concept of humility is one which as Christians we are asked to strive towards. Humility is certainly not a secular word and is deemed unnecessary in a world which seeks success. But in the Christian world humility is a gift and Jesus is our role model in what it means to live a life of humility.
Below are St Benedict’s steps of Humility and Pride and then Sr Joan’s reflections. Worth thinking about in this time of COVID-19 and how were are coping and dealing with isolation.
Grab a cup of tea and take time to read and reflect.
Edward Dooley (Mission and Faith Leader)
Life will become its own reward
The sixth step of humility is to be “content with the lowest and most menial treatment.” We might say, “to be content with less than the best.”
There is nothing in the sixth step of humility and its call for simplicity, authenticity, and self-effacement that speaks of attractiveness to a modern world.
“Getting ahead,” at least in a modern culture, smacks of getting things, getting power, getting status, getting noticed. But the sixth step of humility instructs us not to want any kind of special treatment at all, which implies, of course, that special treatment has nothing to do with genuine freedom. So what are we to think? Where does happiness lie in a consumer society if not in consumption?
The Rule gives us three criteria by which to assess our likelihood of ever being truly happy. Not simply satisfied, that is, but genuinely contented by life. Happy.
First, if you have not attached your sense of self to having the best of everything, you won’t be crushed when you see someone with things that cost more than yours. You’ll be happy to have what you truly need. Second, if you don’t need to be the centre of attention, you will be happy just to be part of a group of good people who do good things together. The thirst for attention is a toxic brew. If it comes—in athletics, in government, in public activities—you will be scrutinized. And if it doesn’t, you’ll be depressed. Third, if you don’t expect a constant deluge of praise, privilege, and preeminence, then not experiencing those things will not disturb you.
The Rule is straightforward: If you do not depend on exemption, advantage, and personal prerogatives to measure your happiness, your success, your life will become its own reward. A walk by the lake at night will dilute all the pressures of the day. An appointment for supper with friends will be enough to get you up happy in the morning. Then whatever the turn of the social system around you, your love of life unadorned and unaffected will sustain you.
The sixth step of humility gives us the opportunity to come to know ourselves in the raw. What we are without masks and costumes to protect us from the eyes of the world is where real happiness lies. Even more, humility allows others to know us down to the bone. It is a moment of clarity. It tells us that we are enough for ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to become everything we are, everything we can be, rather than find ourselves pinioned on the false opinion of others.
Humility punctures all the definitions of happiness a world made of plastic has to offer. It’s about authenticity, simplicity, and truth. It’s about being exactly who we are, no more, no less. It’s about being satisfied rather than being intoxicated.
Humility spares us from having to put on airs, keep up, impress, or mask. We don’t need to pretend that we are anyone we aren’t. We only need to become the best of what we are.
Today I would like to share a Liturgy with you, prepared by myself and Matilde that you may wish to use with your family.
Calm is Contagious
As we enter week 4 of remote learning we are all starting to find our rhythm in the daily timetables of the children's learning, our own work schedules and the daily going on in our families. That doesn’t mean every day is always going to run smoothly, and things can go wrong, technology can fail at any point, someone can spill a drink over their workbook, accidently delete the work they were trying to upload. Taking breaks during the day is helpful for everyone, time to catch our breath and do some mindfulness activities to help release any stress or tension.
It’s important that we learn to deal with the frustrations that present themselves in a calm way. Keeping calm is contagious, if our kids see us staying calm then they learn that it’s okay when things go wrong. They learn to problem solve, redirect and move on building self efficacy.
Daily Mindfulness suggestions:
- Meditation: Taking “quiet time” at the start of the day.
- Reading something relaxing “that takes you away from the ‘To Do’ list
- Go for a walk and tune in to the sounds of nature
- Remembering mantras to encourage mindfulness, like “no hurry, no rush.”
- Positive self-talk that grounds the present moment
- Listen to a meditation activity on Smiling Minds
We need to remind ourselves, that we are all doing our best in this difficult time and we need to celebrate our accomplishments, however small they may be. Make time at the end of the day as a family to reflect on what went well.
In the words of St Mary of the Cross, “Be calm and full of Hope”
Dear Parents and Friends,
I hope all of you are well and safe and taking care of each other.
Thank you so much to all of you who completed the P&F survey. The winner of the wine and chocolates is the Mendonca family. Congratulations! Please contact me (PH 0409 905 858) to let me know where to deliver your prize to.
Over the next week I will analyse and share the survey results with you.
It’s wonderful to hear how each of the class communities is supporting each other during this time of learning at home. Please let me know if there is anything the P&F can do to support you during these difficult times.