We are all so looking forward to students returning to school next term. With the staged return to onsite learning in term 4, Catholic Education Commision of Victoria (CECV) has directed schools to focus on the fundamental learning areas of Literacy and Numeracy along with time allocated to physical activity. The wellbeing, particularly the mental health of every student and member of staff is of the highest priority.This means encouraging and sustaining motivation for learning, reengaging students and families where needed, and supporting the social and emotional learning of children alongside curriculum learning.
Our school’s COVIDSafe Plan is constantly being reviewed and updated. This plan requires that the number of staff onsite is kept to a minimum level required to meet operational requirements. Increased cleaning arrangements will be in place for term 4. This includes progressive cleaning throughout the day, particularly in regards to shared equipment and high touch point areas. Hand Sanister will continue to be available at entry points and education on hand hygiene provided.
In regards to end of year events and gatherings such as year 6 graduation,the CEVC will provide schools with further guidelines on this in the weeks ahead. Schools will need to operate within limits on large gatherings that apply in the broader Victoria community.
Our school has already established a virtual transition program for our 2021 Foundation students. If restrictions are lifted, we hope to be able to provide onsite sessions for new students. Families interested in enrolling a student for 2021 can contact our school office to book a virtual meeting time with the principal.
I will send out any further updated information for the return to school in term 4 in the second week of the school holidays, via Operoo.
Schools in metropolitan Melbourne from 12 October – return to onsite learning
Students in Foundation to Year 2 return to full-time onsite schooling. (For our school this includes the year 3 students in 2-3TK). The existing remote learning program will not continue for these year levels.
Remote and flexible learning will continue for all students in Year 3 to Year 10, other than for children of permitted workers and vulnerable students. All students from Year 3 to Year 10 in metropolitan Melbourne will continue with remote and flexible learning. A date for the return of these year levels to face-to-face learning will be subject to further health advice.
Home Learning Packs
Our school will provide home/learning packs for pick up for year 4-6 students on Monday 12 October.
Parents of students in years Foundation, 1, 2 & 3 who have siblings in year 4-6 can pick up home learning packs when the drop their child off to school between 8:45-9:30am
Parents of students in years 4, 5 & 6 without younger siblings can pick up their home learning packs throughout the day from 9:30am- 4:00pm.
Last day of Term 3 is this friday, 18 September at 2:30
Webinars for Parents
Catholic Schools Parents Victoria are promoting two free webinars regarding:
Conversations about what we have learned during remote learning and how to continue to leverage parent engagement to support student learning. See flyer attached.
I hope families were able to take some time away from the routine of remote learning last Friday and were able to spend time as a family to focus on their minds, bodies and spirits. As we head into the last week of term three it is important to reflect and celebrate the mammoth amount of work, our devoted parents and staff have done to support our students over this term.
It is equally important that as adults we create regular opportunities for self-care, so that we can continue to support the students and look after our own wellbeing at the same time. As we continue to travel through the changes and uncertainty that we have experienced recently and into term four. I have included some links at the bottom of this article for some new digital care packs for Kids, Parents and Carers produced by Smiling Minds.These new packs have been designed to teach the students to observe their thoughts and emotions more objectively, to allow them to access a calmer and more mindful place as they move through life’s ups and downs. Over the break it might be a good opportunity to explore some of the activities to help develop some strategies, as we prepare for the new changes ahead as we navigate the return to school onsite. The following extract has been taken from the Smiling Minds 8-10yr olds Care Package “Recognising and Managing Our Emotions”
“We each experience a whole range of emotions every day; some are pleasant and some are not so pleasant. Most of us spend a great deal of time caught up in our emotions, particularly difficult ones. When this happens, our behaviour is on autopilot and we can feel stressed and overwhelmed. We may miss important information and find it hard to see situations clearly. When we practise mindfulness, we tune into our bodies and become aware of how we are feeling and how those feelings are impacting us. We also learn that emotions come and go and will not last forever. This assists us to feel less overwhelmed in the present moment and role model effective ways to manage emotions as they arise.”
Wishing you all a very restful and well earned break from remote learning over the next few weeks.
On Friday 18th September , you are invited to be part of Grandparents and Special Friends Day. With all that has happened this year sadly we have not been able to come together as a Community and celebrate the gifts of Grandparents.
We ask you to arrange a time on Friday 18th September where your Children can be in contact with their Grandparents/Special Friends to pray together.
The liturgy will be sent to you by your class teacher before Friday.
You will be able to forward this to your Grandparents/Special Friends or you can arrange a google meet/Zoom/phone call or Facetime.
What we hope is that on this day you can spend some special time with people you love and celebrate each other.
The gift of life is something we don't take for granted and this year has shown us how important keeping in touch is with those we love.
The Foundation students have been very busy learners this term!
They have been developing their descriptive writing skills and have been exploring the structure of narratives through fairy tales.
By Lola Grainger
Last Thursday, we had a little cooking class with both ⅚ MM and ⅚ MB to make cupcakes! Seeing everyone on a screen making cupcakes is so much different than in school. I liked it a lot because I love to cook. I enjoyed watching the different methods people used to make their cupcakes, e.g. I was mixing mine by hand with a wooden spoon and some were using electric mixers (clearly they finished first!)
When I saw everyone in their kitchens, it felt like we were in a real professional cooking class. At the end when I took my cupcakes out of the oven, they were perfect.
I think we should do more baking because it is fun and yummy. It also improves our cooking skills for when we are older.
by Chiara Chiodo
In week 9 of term 3 our teachers thought it would be fun to do some cooking and trust me, it was so much fun! We made cupcakes and it was a great recipe. We all went on a Google Meet and followed the recipe all together. I really hope we do it again. PS. The cupcakes turned out amazing and we also iced them.
What is Spoonville?
Melbourne's first lockdown saw teddy bears and rainbows appear in windows, now our second lockdown has another activity for children & their families as communities full of brightly painted wooden spoon characters pop up across the suburbs.
Originating in the English village of Winnersh, the Spoonville fad has spread across Britain and is finding its way into Victoria, where spoon villages are sprouting in parks and nature strips.
You may have seen small communities of spoony characters popping up in your neighborhood while out exercising. Well, St Catherine’s is going to join in on the fun of Spoonville by creating our own colourful community in front of our school. All teachers, students & families are invited to create their own wooden spoon/spatula character. The great thing is that you needn’t stop at one… the more the merrier!
NB: The Spoonville idea has been very popular particularly in Melbourne suburbs. It may be difficult to hunt down a new spoon in your local supermarket as stocks seem to be running very low. If this is the case, please use a timber off-cut or a great shaped stick for your design!
All you have to do is grab yourself a wooden spoon or spatula & get creative… it’s as easy as that! Perhaps there is an old one from the kitchen you could use or you could ask Mum or Dad to buy a new one next time they are doing the grocery shop from the supermarket. The possibilities are endless… but there are a few important rules to remember while you’re busy building your colourful character.
Make sure bits & pieces won’t blow off your spoony person. We don’t want to litter so use lots of glue!
Make sure your spoony people can take the rain. Clear nail varnish is good for faces. Legs and arms can be sticks from your garden.
As you can see from the photos I’ve collected on my neighborhood walks you can use markers, wool, pipe cleaners, buttons, glitter, ribbons, fabric, paint & even feathers… wow! Remember you have the 2 week school holidays to finish your spoon so take your time, don’t rush & have fun!
The plan will be that upon returning to face to face learning in term 4 you can bring your decorated wooden character to school & dress-up the front nature strip with your colourful creation. This will be a fun way to not only brighten up the landscape & cheer us all up but to send an uplifting message to our local community. They may want to join in too!
If you have any questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m more than happy to help.
I know Mrs O’Donnell and all the staff can’t wait to see just how many spoons we can make! We may even make it into our local newspaper… fingers crossed!
What an amazing Term 3. Who would have ever thought we would be in a situation where we
experienced curfews, lockdown, compulsory wearing of masks and remote learning? Some have
said that this is a sign from the world saying that we need to take better care of the world we live
I am not sure about you but I have experienced a different sort of tiredness this term. From one
Weekend to weekend and one day to another day I try, or perhaps attempt, to get my one hour of
exercise in so that I don’t give in to the feeling of apathy.
Whatever situation we find ourselves in we always have the opportunity of deepening our sense
The key not only to the spiritual life but to life is AWARENESS. Am I aware of what is going on
inside of me and around me? When we become aware it gives us the ability to know. And when
we know we are able to make better decisions.
Awareness is the key to life.
Edward Dooley (Mission and Faith Leader)
Awareness, awareness, awareness (Sr Joan Chittister)
One day, a traveller begged the Teacher for a word of wisdom that would guide the rest of the
The Teacher nodded affably and, though it was the Day of Silence, took a sheet of paper and
wrote on it a single word, “Awareness.”
“Awareness?” the traveller said, perplexed. “That’s far too brief. Couldn’t you expand on that a
So the Teacher took the paper back and wrote, “Awareness, awareness, awareness.”
“But what do these words mean?” the traveller insisted.
Finally the Teacher reached for the paper and wrote, clearly and firmly, “Awareness, awareness,
awareness means… Awareness!”
Awareness of the sacred in life is what holds our world together and the lack of awareness and
sacred care is what is tearing it apart. We’re a people who lack awareness. We’re a world that
has lost a sense of balance. We’re a people for whom wholeness is a frayed and sorry notion. It’s
so hard to think that the herbicides I use in my garden contribute to the poisoning of the planet.
Or that the emission from our car is one emission too many for our neighbourhood. Or that
things, things, things are crowding out our senses and our souls.
In the face of all of that, Benedictine spirituality does not ask the monastic to be a pauper or a
stranger in the land. Monastics, the Rule declares, are to be given “the proper amount of food”
(RB 39), “the proper amount of drink” (RB 40), “the clothing of the region, whatever they need”
(RB 55). No, destitution is not of the essence of Benedictine spirituality. Benedictine spirituality
asks simply for harmony, awareness, and balance. Benedictine spirituality asks us to spend our
time well and to be careful that our wants are not confused with our needs and to treat the world
and everything in it as sacred. Benedictine spirituality asks us to recognize our connectedness.
Benedictine spirituality calls us to be mindful.
Benedictine spirituality asks us to be mindful about things. Monastics must learn to use what they
are and what they have for the good of the human race. Each of us has been given something to
keep well: a garden, a room, an apartment, our bodies. That much, surely, we could take care of
Monastic mindfulness recognizes that small actions are global in their scope and meaning.
People who would not litter in a church will litter on the highway because they see no connection
between the two. A monastic mentality, on the other hand, considers the two actions the same.
To live a life of Benedictine awareness means we must come to see what we cannot. To the
monastic mind, everything speaks of God. What I have and what I do not have. What I want and
what I do not want. What I care for and what I do not care for. But the message is not easily
extracted. It takes reflection and prayer and the wisdom of others. Life takes working through.
As the term is nearly over , could I ask all families to start putting all the Library books and take home readers in their children’s school bags ready to be returned for next term.
The 4/5/6’s will all get another Library pack which will be available to be collected on Monday the 12th of October, could all other Library books please be returned on this day.
Happy Holidays, Stay Safe and Well.
Look what’s happening in Term 4.