Week 5, Term 3 2021
Over the break, I read with great interest that there is now a national day to celebrate your neighbour. Whilst it would be easy to laugh at the notion of a National Neighbour Day, there is also a deep sadness that attaches itself to the occasion – the fact that we now need a day a year to try to build relationships with our neighbours.
Loneliness is an epidemic around the world. Although we are surrounded by people, there is also a seeded emptiness of others not truly knowing who we are at our core, and how we are doing. Mother Teresa recognised this many years ago when she said, ‘loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty.’ It is for reasons such as these that three of our core values at St Saviour’s Primary School are commitment, compassion and service.
We have an amazing opportunity at St Saviour’s Primary School to be known as a school committed to building community with others through loving, respectful relationships. It is our hope and desire that every young person in our community would experience this love every single day from their teachers and peers, invoking the courage within themselves to live truly loving lives and to “strive for goodness” as our motto states.
Each year in some way, time is spent discussing the Parable of the Good Samaritan. The parable tells us that all people are in fact our neighbours, and that we are to show love, respect, kindness and forgiveness to all people. If we can teach our children to have this attitude and then, in turn, work to ensure the rest of our community are living out these truths, we could really call ourselves an inclusive community. Therefore, although National Neighbour Day may have passed, I would encourage our community to continue to make loving thy neighbour a regular way of life. In mentioning the above, it is heartwarming to note, that as I walk around the classrooms…....it's worth mentioning in this newsletter regarding the way your children are re-engaging in their learning at school.
The rooms are abuzz with interest and excitement with the work that they are doing. The connections they have with their teachers are strong and warm. So often, the media is filled with stories of negative behaviour of children and stories where children show little regard for others. It is a privilege to be able to wander the rooms and playgrounds of our school and see and hear children being respectful, caring people, learning how to relate with each other and solve their problems.
I can only say that the future will be in great hands with their hopefulness, their vitality and their creative ways of dealing with their lives and respecting the lives of others. Christ, our Healer, in these days of uncertainty, may we become the healing hands of your compassion and mercy that you stretch out to us from the Cross.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Sunday was the Feast of Mary MacKillop, the first Australian saint. Mary was a person of action and didn’t wait for someone to knock on her door. She loved the poor and worked hard to care for them in any way that she could. Mary shows us how to open our eyes and ears, our hearts and our minds to the needs of others. She shows us how to serve others with kindness, love and understanding.
Following on from Ms Sleba's reflection about the need for society to be more caring, Mary MacKillop was a true example of compassion, caring for one's neighbour. At this week's assembly we prayed as a community that we...
" be more like St Mary MacKillop, and welcome those who feel unloved, uncared for and unaccepted and asked God to help us to reach out to others who need our help and support."
May we all be more like Mary MacKillop!
STAFF FORMATION DAY: On our BID Pupil Free Day, I led our staff through a module entitled Living Within the Catholic Story. I share part of that here ...
In his book Divine Renovation , Fr. James Mallon offers “belong, believe, behave” as the essential paradigm for a renewed Church – a Church of true disciples of Jesus.
Mallon argues that the pre-1960s' approach for many churches was “behave, believe, belong”. Act and look a certain way (behave). We’ll teach you the basics of the faith (believe). Then you’ll be a legitimate church member (belong).
However, Jesus followed the belong, believe, behave paradigm, as Pope Francis has eloquently pointed out. He entered into relationships with others, regardless of where they were, spiritually (or morally, socially, etc). He befriended tax collectors, prostitutes, and others. Once they felt a sense that they could "belong", Jesus then invited them to follow Him, to "believe". After they chose to believe, he would ask them to "behave" a certain manner, so they could live an abundant and fruitful life.
Dr Pat Coughlan (TCS Executive Director) in his address to teachers in 2019, used triangles to describe the relationships of these 3 concepts. In the past Belonging came with many strings attached, unquestioning belief and required, compliant behaviour. Behaviour also required that children attended a Catholic school – 100% Catholic enrolment and almost all Catholic children attended Catholic schools. It was impositional, fear driven and black and white.
However, the message in Toowoomba Catholic Schools is all are welcome! People belong because of who they are rather than compliance to certain beliefs or behaviours. This is invitational and accepting. The Good News of Jesus is: “I love you. Because I love you, I want you to have the fullness of life that I offer. But I love you no matter what.” People need to belong, they may be invited to believe, and behave. However, no matter what, they always belong.
I asked our staff to reflect on and share "What Belonging Looks like, sounds like, feels like at St Saviour's Primary School."
I share the responses with you...
SAVE the DATE: Sunday September 12 9am Mass
We are half way through the term! Enjoy the rest of your week,
Common Sense Media
With lockdowns around the country on again, off again our kids will be learning, having fun communicating and exploring more than ever. The amount of programs, websites and apps can be overwhelming for parents and carers, knowing what is healthy and what may become problematic.
Common Sense Media is a reputable website that supports parents by reviewing many of the games, websites, apps and movies that are out there on the internet. Their research is well regarded and provides an opportunity for parents to comment on content.
So if you are unsure as to whether a program or content is suitable for your child and family or are looking for guidance as to what programs are healthy for your kids head to commonsensemedia.org.
Primary School Parent Webinar - Reduce Anxiety & Build Resilience
Michael Hawton MAPS, course author and founder of Parentshop® has been training parents, child & family specialists and educators for 15 years. A recent survey conducted by the Australian Primary Principals Association, reported what most parents already know and that is we have rising levels of anxiety in our children and in the community in general.
No Scaredy Cats ™ is a workshop that aims to provide a parent-led program, as parents can be the best psychologists, counsellors and educators for their own children. The first session has passed, however you are welcome to join the final two.
This year St Saviour’s Primary will be participating in the world-renowned ICAS AssessmentsTM.
ICAS is designed to target students’ higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills in English, Mathematics, Science, Writing, Spelling Bee and Digital Technologies. This year St Saviour’s Primary students in Years 3 – 6 have the optional opportunity to participate in the English and Mathematics tests only.
Thanks to parents who have registered their child. The ENGLISH ICAS Test will take place next week.
RACE DAY 2021
The St Saviour's Primary and St Patrick's Cathedral Race Day will take place on Saturday the 30th October 2021.
As per attachments to this newsletter, tickets are now on sale. Please direct deposit into the bank account and your tickets can be sent home with your child. Family and friends are warmly invited to attend as well.
We are still on the look out for a few more sponsors. If you own a business or would like to contribute toward the Race Day by sponsoring, please send me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org
Collaboration, Rich Conversation and Developing Oral Language
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Our school disposition of collaboration highlights the importance of being able to ask effective questions, listen to peers and respond in a meaningful way. It can be easy to work as a team – taking it in turns to share our ideas, however it can be less easy to work in a team that is truly collaborative and encourage learning amongst its participants. The challenge we are faced with is how to encourage rich conversations that lead to learning, particularly for our younger students.
On the 2nd of August, four of our early years educators and I attended the Early Careers Network Day. Our first speaker was Sandy Houen from UQ, who spoke to us about the importance of oral language and rich conversations with children and below are the key take always from her presentation.
Here are some ideas you may find useful at home that will help develop oral language:
Play with pausing in your interactions with children.
· Vary the lengths of time (e.g. 3-5 seconds, 5-10 seconds)
· Use your knowledge of your child to intentionally select the length of pauses
Make Conversations Personal:
· Encourage children’s stories
· Link conversations to personal experiences the child can relate to
· Try asking questions you don’t know the answer to
· Experiment with ‘I wonder…’ questions, rather than closed questions
Responding to children:
· Repeat the child’s talk or gesture and then pause
· Build on what the child says
· Use statements
· Follow with a question that encourages thinking and reasoning
· Paraphrase and pause
Have a wonderful week!
OLD WORLDS, NEW WORLDS, OTHER WORLDS
We are exploring these ideas and their connection to stories, genres and information. Parents, please start to discuss dress-up possibilities for our Book Week parade on Wednesday 15th September in Week 10. Students are being asked to think about which world, old, new or other their costume best fits but no book connection is necessary.
Well done and thank you to the individual Year 4 students and the Prep T class for their entries to our Notables Reading Challenge. Everyone is encouraged to take part! Details are on the AccessIT homepage and many of the books are available on Storybox library https://www.storyboxlibrary.com.au Log in with username ssps and password stories.
Thank you Mrs Powers
Catherine Guy, our Year 6 Library Councillor gifted Mrs Powers with some farewell flowers last Tuesday. Such a lovely gesture Catherine!
Author Session via ZOOM
Year 5 and 6 students thoroughly enjoyed their session with author Oliver Phommavanh last Wednesday. Oliver enthusiastically shared parts of his life journey to being a successful writer. Students recalled his top writing tips as;
Write about the things you love or feel strongly about
Gather hundreds of ideas from your everyday life and chew them over until you get a really fabulous idea for a story
Use your favourite things to free up your imagination
Ask "What would happen if...?" and "what couldn't I do if...?"
Volunteer Coverers Needed
Please come in to chat to a library team member if you are able to take books home to cover. Training is provided and any amount of time given to this task will be appreciated.
HAPPY READING EVERYONE!
Term 3 School Fees:
Term 3 school fees are due this Friday 13th August. Thank you to those families who have finalised their school fees for Term 3.
Thank you to those parents who are using the Parent PORTAL. (Sentral for Parents APP) At the end of this year, we will stop using the SZAPP. (Skoolzine App) For now, all permission notes are sent home via the Parent Portal. Absentee notifications are recommended to be sent via the Portal. This is the easiest way for you to report your child being absent. All absentee notifications are directly uploaded into the system and actioned accordingly. If you are having difficulties with the Portal and require some help please do not hesitate to contact the school office. We are more than happy to trouble shoot any issues you are having with you.
Just a reminder that if your child presents to Sick Bay for any reason due to them being unwell, the office will contact a parent or caregiver to come to collect. It is unfortunately the season for many colds and coughs and we understand that throughout the colder months, this is unfortunately inevitable for a lot of our children at school. However, it is also important to understand that children who are coughing or do have runny noses must stay home until they are well. Spreading the germs at school does not help other children in the class or the teachers. Please help us by keeping unwell children at home. Thank you.
Just a reminder to parents, if your child is unwell for a length of time, usually more than 2 days, it is a requirement to supply a medical certificate for the duration your child is absent from school. This is a legal requirement. Thankyou.
Welcome to our new Crossing Supervisor:
Next week we welcome our new Crossing Supervisor to St Saviour's Primary School, Jo-Ann Hooper. Jo-Ann will be working alongside our current Crossing Supervisors, Janette and Anna. We know our families will welcome Jo-Ann to St Saviour's Primary.
Please continue to cross at the school crossings with care and caution. Both crossings are extremely busy both before and after school. Our crossing supervisors are there to ensure we all cross safely in the peak traffic times.
Tickets are now available to purchase for the St Saviour's Primary Trivia Night to be held on Saturday 28 August, 2021.
Please click on the link below to purchase your tickets.
Catholic Netball/Touch Carnival
Year Five and Six students competed against other schools in Netball or Touch Football for Catholic Education Week. Students played in either competitive or non-competitive teams. All students are to be commended on their sportsmanship and the way they represented St Saviour’s Primary on the day. Everyone played with heart and determination on the day with the Year five competitive netball team winning the shield, and the Year six competitive touch team making it to the final, going down by one (pictures attached).
Fair Play Voucher
The Queensland Government is offering parents the opportunity to apply for a voucher valued up to $150 for their child, which can be used towards sport and active recreation membership, registration, or participation fees. For more information, click the link below.
Central Zone Athletics
Tickets are now on sale for our 2021 RACE DAY!!
This year promises to be bigger and better, with 5 major sponsors now on board.
Don't forget to SAVE THE DATE Saturday 30 October, 2021.
THANK YOU TO OUR
PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS VIA DIRECT DEPOSIT:
Would your business like to be a sponsor for the 2021 St Saviour's Primary School & St Patrick's Cathedral Race Day? Please see details below about sponsorship.
Donations of prizes
Any donations towards raffle or auction items would be greatly appreciated. There will be number of raffles, lucky door prizes and auction items on offer on the day. All donations can be dropped off to the office. Thank you for you support.
St Saviour's Primary Outside School Hours Care:
Toowoomba Catholic Kindergartens and Care (TCKC) offer a combination of before school, after school, pupil free days and vacation care led by a team of qualified educators. Our educators work with all children to create fun and recreational experiences so that a child’s wellbeing, learning and personal development are a priority. The services provide a variety of indoor and outdoor activities to support the diverse interests of all children.
Our service runs Monday to Friday with before school care from 6:30am to 8:30am and after school care from 3pm to 6pm. We will also be offering school holiday care and student free day care. Spots are filling up quickly and we may not always be able to offer you a casual booking so we encourage all our families to book in advance.
Families wanting to enrol their children are invited visit our website www.tckc.qld.edu.au, click on OUTSIDE SCHOOL HOURS CARE tab and complete an enrolment form relevant to St Saviour's. Our website also provides you with operating hours, fee schedules and other relevant information. The services offer flexible arrangements to suit the needs of your family and provide the opportunity for children to grow and develop their social skills in a leisure based environment nurtured by our Catholic ethos.
We can be contacted on 0429 381 561 between 6:30-8:30 and 1:00- 6:00 each day or at SSPcare@tckc.qld.edu.au to help you with any bookings or enquires.
Outside School Care Coorodinator
St Saviour's Primary School