Term 4 Key Dates
|Thursday 10 December||
Leadership Changeover and End of Year Mass Years 4-6 9.30am
|Friday 11 December||
Farewell Concert for Mrs. McCarthy 12.00pm (For students only - sorry)
|Monday 14 December||
In-house Movie Day
Year Six Graduation Mass, Dinner & Awards Presentation from 5.30pm
|Wednesday 16 December||
Year Six Final Assembly for students 2.00pm
End of the school year
Once again, I am going to start with a comment about how quickly this year has gone! It’s hard to believe that we only have four days of school remaining.
This year has been like no other with twists and turns that I certainly could not have predicted this time last year.
Even considering our year, it is wonderful to note that we have still achieved a lot. I feel that our imposed reduction of events and activities has increased the number of teaching hours. The students have been settled and productive with their learning.
I would like to present a summary of some of our developments and achievements over the past year.
- Refurbished Mercy Building
- New furnishings in our renovated building
- Further interest and development clubs – Drawing, Lego, Garden, Chess
- Continued Spelling, Reading, Maths and Comprehension Intervention Programs
- Whole Staff Professional Learning in the explicit instruction teaching strategy
- Clever Touch Interactive Panels in Years K – 5
- Remote Learning Procedures
- InitiaLit Training - a literacy program that develops phonemic awareness, phonological knowledge, vocabulary, comprehension and phonics.
Our future improvement plans moving into 2021 include:
- Further planning for physical developments to facilities and resources including an electronic notice board, interactive panel for the lab/library, new teacher laptops and a toilet block at the bottom oval.
- Continued focus on the development of high impact teaching practices (modelled on Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction)
- Development of parent information sessions to support wellbeing and knowledge of school programs.
- A relationship with Royal Far West and access to Telecare for Speech and Occupational Therapy.
In a year that has presented many challenges, I would like to thank you all for your unwavering support!
I would also like to thank Daniel Walsh and the P&F Executive Committee (Catherine Culley, Rechell Naughton, Allison Hewitt, Melissa Haynes and Craig Croker) for the P&F's additional financial support this year and their creativity with devising COVID safe fundraising activities. I also thank our event coordinators.
I would also like to acknowledge our hard-working and flexible staff. In a year that has provided change after change, they have stayed positive and upbeat and have consistently modelled resilience and optimism to our students.
In Week 7, our Year 5 students presented speeches outlining why they wanted to be our 2021 School and House Captains. The quality of speeches that the students presented was remarkable, they showed insight into what leadership means and represents. The students also were able to articulate clearly why they felt they would be a suitable candidate.
Thank you to the students who nominated themselves for positions. Although there are only six elected positions, there are many other leadership opportunities for each and every one of our Year 6 students next year.
On Monday 2 December, each child at St Mary’s voted for the students they would like to see fill our Captain roles. The staff did not vote and have not done so for many years.
Congratulations to the following students who will help lead our school in an official capacity next year:
Bridie Croker and Sethan Grove
Phoebe Selmes and George Skelly
Lucy Gamble and Patrick Walsh
We congratulate all the students who ran for roles and congratulate them on their wonderful display of sportspersonship and resilience.
Our new Captains will receive their badges and be inducted into their roles at our Opening Mass on Thursday 4 February.
You will receive your child's Semester Two Progress Report and Work Sample Folder tomorrow.
Your child’s Work Sample Folder will contain work samples taken from a variety of learning areas across the Semester. There will be a variety of draft and published pieces so that you can see your child’s everyday work standards.
If you have any questions about either of these progress documents please make an appointment to see your child’s classroom teacher.
School Fees 2021
The School Board has approved the following fee structure for 2021.
Family per term CEO fee
(Paid by us to the Office in Canberra)
Family per term CEO fee-if older child/ren attend Trinity
Family per term- Student Utilities/Maintenance Levy
Family per term – Building Levy
Student per term- IT Levy
Student per term – Student Resource Levy
Your consistent approach to fee paying is very much appreciated and ensures your children always have access to the best educational resources available and learning environment available.
If paying fees is challenging, at any point in time during a school year, for your family, please do not hesitate to make an appointment to see me. Fee remissions are available for families experiencing hardship.
A huge thank you to Brian Blowes for making two sets of soccer goals for our bottom playground. The goals made from aluminium will allow us to spread the soccer games more evenly over our playground space. Thank you also to Briana, who helped her clever dad with the delivery on Saturday.
Thank you to the P&F Association for providing financial support for these goals and for your unwavering support this year.
I would like to thank Mrs. Spackman for running Morning Club this year. Morning Club is not an official part of our school day, however, it is a service we provide to our families.
Next year Morning Club will be held in the Old Meeting Room, at the bottom of our top playground. Drop off and pick up for Morning Club will occur through the bottom gate and the students will hang their bags on the hooks outside the Meeting Room until 8.40am, when playground supervision commences.
Next year Morning Club will resume with quiet, seated activities.
2021 Term Dates for Students
Term 1: Friday 29 January (Years 1-6), Monday 1 February (Kindergarten) to Thursday 1 April
Term 2: Tuesday 20 April to Friday 25 June
Term 3: Tuesday 13 July to Friday 17 September
Term 4: Wednesday 6 October to Wednesday 15 December
Farewell and God Bless
On Monday our Year 6 class, along with their parents, guest and staff will share the Year 6 Farewell Dinner at the Crookwell Services Club. Thank you to Mrs. Sally Croker and all the parents for the organisation of the event.
The Year 6 Final Assembly and Awards presentation will also be held at this event.
The evening will commence with Mass at 5.30pm. All members of our School Community, family and friends, are invited to share this Mass with Year 6.
Year 6 will be missed from our School Community and they will always hold a special place in our hearts. We would like all of our leaving students and families to know they are always welcome at St Mary’s.
We wish all of our departing students, including Georgina Culley in Year 5, a wonderful future ahead full of love, happiness and fulfilment.
On a final note, may I wish all of our School Community a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Enjoy the time spent together during this special time, have an enjoyable and relaxing holiday break and I look forward to welcoming you all back in 2021.
This Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent and it is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete means “rejoice” in Latin. At the beginning of this Sunday’s Mass we say: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:4,5). And we light the pink candle on our Advent wreath.
During the Christmas season most of us like to rejoice by spending more on presents, food, decorations etc. It is a time for spending, partying and lots of giving. Our God was extremely giving when he gave us the gift of Jesus… but Jesus came in plain wrapping—he was the infant of two poor migrants (who very likely would be turned away from Australian shores in this day and age!) There was no designer cot for Jesus; not even the comforts of home. But the gift of that child was so rich and fine, that poor shepherds and educated wise men from far countries, were all drawn to him with tears and joy.
So perhaps this Christmas we should think about giving ourselves in addition to giving ‘stuff.’
What kind of presence am I to those I love? How can I give myself as a present to others? Am I aware of God’s presence in my life? We tend to forget that God’s presence is enough to meet our innermost desires. This Christmas season is a great time to spend more time in God’s peaceful presence; and more time exploring the power and wonder of our own presence with others. What better present can we give to our Lord and each other!
O God, we thank you for the message of peace and giving that Christmas brings to our distracted world.
Help us to give of ourselves – willingly, unselfishly, peacefully, joyfully.
Give peace among nations, peace in our land, peace in our homes, and peace in our hearts, as we remember that you gave us yourself when you gave us Jesus the Prince of peace, in Bethlehem
A few suggestions for special gifts:
A warm welcome
Time for a phone conversation
A firm handshake to a shaky soul
A kind word to a lonely person
A warm smile to the disheartened
A sincere concern for someone troubled
Compassion for the neglected
Comforting words for the bereaved
A word of witness to help a seeking soul
A patient and non-judgemental listening ear
St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal
Many thanks to those who supported our St Vinnies Christmas appeal
St Mary’s School Community wishes to thank Fr Joshy, Fr Alex and Sr Rosemary for their wonderful nurturing support and for guiding us on our Faith journey this year.
A big thank you to our Parish Secretary, Mrs. Janet Haynes, for all of her hard work and support.
What a fabulous afternoon both the students and staff had on Friday for our Mini Olympics.
Students participated in modified athletics style activities of bean bag shot putt, hoop discus, hurdles, egg and spoon 50m dash, ball games and the very popular tug-o-war.
This was the perfect way to finish off the 2020 school sports program, as the COVID pandemic has limited the sporting opportunities for our students this year. Here’s to a ‘normal’ sporting program for 2021!
Bree showing Kindy how ‘hoop discus’ is done.
George showing good form in the bean bag shot putt
The Kindy boys enthusiastically taking part in the egg and spoon race
The concentration on the faces on the Year 5 girls
Morning club has proved to be popular with our families. Many mornings I have between 30-40 students utilising this service, ranging from Kindergarten to Year 6. Children are choosing to colour-in, to draw, to play a game, build with lego and some children simply enjoy talking to their friends.
During the building works, morning club has been held in the hall and often the children have chosen to play ball games. Next year, morning club will move to the meeting room and quiet activities will be provided for the students attending. There will no longer be the opportunity to play ball games in the meeting room.
Learning our Times Tables
Many of us know our times tables because when we went to school, we had to learn them by rote. We said them every day until we knew them. Although the school curriculum is no longer based on the rote learning of facts, this method still works for many children. Learning to sing times tables benefits many children. There are many free songs on YouTube to help your child learn their tables. There are many fabulous Apps for learning tables eg.mathsrockx. Your child does not have to be the best at maths, to be able to learn them. You will build the speed of your child’s computations if they can recall their times tables quickly.
Here is a link to posters to help.
Find some time in the school holidays to play a game learning times tables, encourage your children to sing them if that helps them to learn. I like the app called MathsRockx but there are also many other free apps. On YouTube there are also lots of free songs to help you learn your tables.
In Year 2 and Year 3, we use flashcards to help your child learn their tables and we test them every couple of weeks.
Children Learn While Playing
IN THE HOLIDAYS:
- Have Fun!
- Play board games
- Play cards
- Do jig-saw puzzles
- Play ‘I Spy’ using letters, numbers and words
- Learn and talk about new words, this expands their vocabulary
- Play an instrument
- Listen to music
- Go to the beach, to the park, to the pool
- Read, read and read some more!
- Draw and paint
- Cook with your children
- Dig in the garden
- Ride bikes
- Sleep and rest, have down time
Have a wonderful holiday and come back refreshed!
Online safety tips for parents to keep their kids safe this holiday season
Whether your child is receiving their first device, or they may be online more over the holidays. Remember you wouldn't give your child the keys to the car and let them drive off down the highway without lessons. It is the same with devices. Here are a few tips which will help you to support your children in navigating the online world better.
- Talk as a family about what is ok and not ok to share online.
- Whether any member of the family shares a photo of the house or pet's name online.
- When to share family holiday photos and what photos can be shared.
- What is not to be shared online.
If your child is receiving their first device, make sure that you get them to do a little presentation or write a small project sheet on cyber safety in the lead up to their first social media apps on the device.
- Respect the age recommendations; it is not illegal for a child to use social media under the age of 13yrs with their parents' permission. But they need to remember to update their age on any site that has asked for it when they turn 13yrs. This way, the app will not think they are older. As an extreme example, if your child signs up to use Facebook when they are 10yrs, and they have to lie and say they are 13yr, by the time they are 15yrs, if not corrected, the app will think they are 18yrs. Then they can get a Tinder account as it relies on Facebook for verification!
- Respect the classifications on games. The average age of a gamer is 34-36yrs old. Classifications are there for a reason. It is not ok for a child under the age of 18yrs to be playing R Rated games even with their parents!!! If your child is playing online games, set healthy boundaries around time playing as well.
- Teach your kids to think twice before they accept a friend request or chat to a random stranger through a game. Just because someone is a friend of their big brother or sister or cousin who goes to another school does not mean they should let them into their life. Also, talk to them that online, someone may ask to be their online boyfriend or girlfriend (we hear this a lot from primary school-aged children at the moment). If this happens, they need to tell you immediately so that you can help block and report. They never know who they are talking to.
- Know how to block and report on every app and game your child is using so that you can help when things go wrong if you don't know how to sit with your child and learn together.
- Put healthy boundaries in place. Don't ban them from their device if they forget to do a household chore or are naughty for something unrelated to their device. Do not take it off them if they speak up about something that has happened online because you are scared. This is the quickest way to drive all the conversations that you want to be having underground. Instead, if you have a healthy boundary like all devices are banned from the bathroom or bedroom. So then, if they are caught with their device in either place, you ban them for a week. This way, they will learn that it is safe to speak up about what is going on online without punishment unless they break the rules about device use.
- Be a good role model. Keep your screen time in check and set a good example for your children. Teach them to review who they are following often and unfollow accounts that make them feel bad about themselves. Teach then to follow accounts that inspire them, health, happy and creative is always a good place to start.
- Please help them to check and manage privacy settings. Set all of their accounts to private. This is something you can do together when they are younger by making it a shared experience.
- Ensure they are not being moved from another social media site or game to another by someone they don't know. This is a big one that I hear about far too often. Particularly for kids under 13yrs, but it may happen to older teens also. They make "friends" in games such as Roblox. Their new "friend" suggests that they connect on TikTok. Once they are both following each other, they can message each other for free. This includes sharing videos. This can become every parent's worst nightmare in the blink of an eye.
- Teach them to look for the verification symbol there is verification symbol on all social media sites proves it is the actual verified celebrity or group. On most, there will be a little blue circle with a white tick in it next to the name; on YouTube, it is a grey circle with a white tick, and on Snapchat, it is a yellow circle with a black star. No tick, no follow. Predators can set up fraudulent accounts with a small spelling mistake or a similar version of a celebrity name.
- Encourage your kids to speak up. Kids need to understand that an adult can help when they know what is going on and will help them without the worry of being banned from their device or game for speaking up.
- What are they looking at? You may never know what they see, and there is a lot of graphic content, porn, and other inappropriate content online just an accident click away. Ensure they know to get off the app immediately if they see something that makes them feel uncomfortable or worried.
- Know how to take a screenshot. In case you need it as evidence. This is a great tool to teach kids as young as possible.
- Teach them not to give away any personal information. Use a fake username like "popcorn fairy" or something. Teach your kids never to give away things like name, address, age, phone number, where they go to school, etc.
- Watch out for what is in the background. It is easy for people to determine a location, take a screenshot, and zoom in on a certificate on the wall.
- Turn off location tracking in your device settings, turn location tracking off for major social media apps completely.
- Set time limits and be very clear about how long they can be online, or they can be watching all kinds of stuff for hours!
- Teach them the importance of a strong password and not to use the same password for everything.
- Strategise with your children. Most young people would first turn to their friends for help. We need to teach young people how to support their friends, and while they are young, they must understand that the best way to keep their friends is to speak up. By default, we are teaching them what to do to help themselves at the same time.
Ask them questions like these:
- What would you do if a friend came to you because they are cyber bullied?
- How would you address your friend who is sharing too much information online?
- What do you do if a friend shares an inappropriate photo of themselves? Then define inappropriate.
When you feed this information to a young person so they can support their friends, at the same time, you are teaching them that they can be a leader and someone their friends can count on. As long as they respond to any of those questions with "I would tell you," you are winning.
However, with older teens, you must always advise when there is absolutely no other option other than to get a parent or a trusted adult involved when the issues are:
- Friends sharing inappropriate photos.
- Friends are going to meet someone they have met online.
- Someone is self-harming or talking about self-harm.
This way, you are giving young people a lot of authority and autonomy, but you are also defining healthy boundaries.
- If bullying occurs:
- Make sure your child knows not to respond
- Take screenshots or screen record
- Block and report the bully to the app that is happened on
- Support your child
- If the bullying material is not removed within 48hrs report to esafety.gov.au/report or straight to your local police or Crime Stoppers crimestoppers.com.au
A huge thank you to Jenifer Heffernan, Candice Millet, Jodie Garnham, Natasha McCormack and Jenny Gay for the many hours they have spent covering books for the Library. Their assistance is very much appreciated.
Congratulations to all of our NSW Premier's Reading Challenge participants who received their certificates today.
The Term 4 school fees are now overdue. If you do not have an existing arrangement in place, please organise payment as soon as possible to ensure you finish the year with a zero balance on your account.
If you would like more information, please contact Belinda.
P&F Cookbook- Order Now
The P&F Cookbook is being picked up from the printers today, so if you would like to order yours so not to miss out, please head to the P&F Payments section of Qkr. Alternatively, please send an envelope with your name, the number required and the correct amount in cash or cheque (made to St Mary's P&F) via the School Office.
The cost is $20 each.
Thank you to our coordinators- Donna McGeechan, Tash McCormack and Daria Lawson.
Tuckshop Term 4 Roster
Friday December: Last one for 2020. Cheese Toastie Day. Daria Lawson & VOLUNTEER REQUIRED
The last tuckshop will be a Cheese Toastie day. This means there will only be cheese toasties and juice for sale.
Ice-cream cones/cups will be available for a gold coin donation as well.
Parish Picnic Postponed
We will make sure we organise a new date as soon as possible in 2021, and pray that all our parish family receive blessings for a happy and peaceful Christmas season
Rite of Catholic Initiation of Adults
For Parish and Sacramental matters please forward your enquiries to Parish Secretary, Janet Haynes or Pastoral Associate Sr Rosemary via email or call into the Parish Office at the Old Convent Building on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
Phone: 48321 633
Address: 55 Wade Street (the Old Convent Building)
Available at the School Office. Cash only please.
KAOS (Kids Acting On Stage) is putting on a production of "Shrek Jnr" in 2021. If you are interested there will be a muster on 1st and 3rd February at 5pm at the Memorial Hall. The show dates will be 21/22/23 and 28/29/30 May 2021. All welcome from Kindergarten to 16 years of age.
Goulburn Art Gallery School Holiday Fun
When: Tuesdays 12 and 19 jan.
Time: 10am- 12pm both days
Ages: children 6 and older
When: Thursday 14 jan.
Ages: children 6 and older
Stop Motion Animation
With Sarah Eddowes
When: Thursday 21 and Friday 22 jan.
Time: 10am- 1pm both days
Ages: children 8 and older
Summer Silhouette Painting
When: Wednesday 20 jan.
Time: 10am - 1pm
Ages: children 6 and older
Goulburn TAFE Semester 1, 2021 Enrolments Open
Enrolments are open and courses are being updated daily with some exciting NEW courses being offered at TAFE NSW, Goulburn.
Please find below link that will take you directly to what we have on offer at Goulburn campus.
We also have Fee-Free JobTrainer courses available for school leavers job seekers with fee free* and low cost courses to develop new skills in sectors identified as economic growth areas. *Eligibility criteria apply
If you have any questions regarding courses on offer or how to enrol please call the Customer Contact Centre on 131 601.
Children's Cartooning Programs- School Holidays
Laggan Hall Christmas Markets
Goulburn Show 2021- Junior Section
More information can be obtained from the School Office or the Goulburn Show Society directly.
The DV Alert - Equanimity Project and CWA
Domestic and family violence response training is a free national training program designed for health, allied health and community frontline workers. If you are interested, please see the PDF attachments below for more information.