Newsletter

Newsletter

Term 4 -Week 10

End of Year 2020

Each year I lament that the year has flown by. While this is true this year I also recognise that we have felt every day of this year! Who would have thought that the year would unfold as it has. It has been a challenging year for everyone not least our parents and carers who have taken on the task of parent and teacher this year. My hat goes off to you all and I thank you for supporting your child and the school during the year.

What promised to be another year full of learning resulted in a year of great challenges, new ways of learning and uncertainty about the future. I am pleased that we are beginning to recover some semblance of normalcy but I think we are all aware of how this could change in an instant. While the year presented us with many challenges it also taught us many things. Our technology programs and processes have been excellent in keeping us connected and the children learning. Our constant communication methods and apps between families, students and the school have kept us all together and informed. We have all increased our technical knowledge..thank goodness for Google Meet and Zoom! Our staff have written the playbook on how to learn and teach during lockdown and have been extraordinary at adapting and discovering new ways of presenting work and teaching online. Congratulations children for showing us that you are flexible, adaptable and resilient. We often talk about resilience and how this is a disposition we most want in our children. This year we can be proud of them as this was displayed in abundance. Well done children!

Our St Augustine’s staff and teachers have continued to show great understanding and professionalism throughout the year. I sincerely thank them for their adaptability and flexibility!  In coming back to school this term our children have shown us that they are OK and they they will continue to be OK. Altogether I am glad I was here at St Augustine’s experiencing this year and getting through this year with this amazing, supportive community. You should all be very proud of yourselves!

Last week the children had a visit from the man in red in a truck that was red! Santa came to St Augustine’s in a fire truck with lights and sirens blaring. Santa managed to walk around the circle of children and greet everyone while also giving each child a lollipop. Thank you to the Water Gardens Fire Brigade for helping us with this visit!

Our Year 6 children celebrated their Graduation on Wednesday evening at the Coburg Drive In. Like many events this year, we have had to recreate and think outside the box. The children had the experience of being filmed by a professional filmographer earlier in the term to then create the Graduation movie for the Drive in. It was a special night as we celebrated these children and all they have achieved over the past 7 years. Thank you to the Yr 6 teachers for organising this memorable night.

        

Today the children in Year six had a fun day designed just for them to celebrate the end of year. As one child commented ‘it was the camp you have when you are not having a camp!’ Activities, a movie, a food box and treasure hunt were enjoyed by all. I was a bit worried with one activity where the teachers were chained together. It was a race to find the right key to unlock them. Jokingly the children thought they might just leave them all chained up! Luckily Isla eventually found the right key and set them free!

This term the finance team, including the school accountant,  have worked diligently in setting fees for 2021. We have taken into consideration the financial stress that many have been under this year and the areas where the school can carry over funds from 2020. We have managed to keep school fees at a small increase while the curriculum fees have been reduced for 2021. The savings will look different at each year level as each level has different expenses. For example the senior school children attend a two day camp and participate in the iPad or Macbook program. However there are savings at each year level. Go to the ‘From the Front Office’ page to view the fee schedule and due dates for 2021.

I take this opportunity to thank the 2020 Education Board for their ongoing support this year.  While most of our meetings have been online we have still achieved many things including the renewal of policies, assistance with the school review and ongoing discussions regarding Child Safety and OHS. Your support has been greatly appreciated. It has been a difficult but rewarding year. Knowing I have the support of the Education Board in the many decisions needed to be made has given me ongoing energy and conviction. We say goodbye and thank you for your two year tenure to Elisabeth Sita, Dave Johnstone, Sabrina Rogic & Trevor Goodison. Thank you to Trevor who has been the Board Chair these past two years.  We welcome Maria Fraietta, Nicole Carland, Andrew Collins and Melissa De Nardis onto the 2021 Education Board. They will join Chris Zammit, Michelle Ivkovic, Rob Patterson and Rachael Egan. Andrew Collins will take on the role as Board Chair. I look forward to working with you all next year.

This year we say farewell to some of our staff who are broadening their experiences by moving to new schools. Farewell, thank you and good luck to Jane Padden who is taking up a music and Japanese language role at St Lawrences, Bridget Tadic who is taking up a full time position at Overnewton and Kristina Costello who leaves us to have her baby. We wish you all the best in your future journey. We welcome back Anna Bird who will be working as a Prep teacher. Welcome to Rachel Allan who will be working in 5/6V on a Thursday, welcome to Elisabetta Logozzo who will be taking on the position as Music /Performing Arts Teacher. We also welcome Daniela Grech who will join our Learning Support Officer team.

The children will be finding out their teacher and classmates on Monday morning. Class lists for 2021 have been diligently and robustly worked on over the past months with every child looked at and considered.This is a careful and rigorous process. Please trust that  the staff has spent many hours ensuring we place students with groups having factored in many, many elements. Things such as gender balance, academic balance, balance in types of learners, friendships etc. are all taken into account when working on these lists.  Your child may not have the teacher you or they hoped for or all the friends they have been working with this year. However, let me reassure you that all staff at St Augustine’s are excellent practitioners who always have the child at the heart of what they do regardless of styles of teaching.  Staff will always spend a considerable amount of time in first term getting to know your child and helping them feel comfortable in the new class.

School finishes on Wednesday 16th December at 1pm A-K and 1.10pm L-Z. It is a free dress day (Casual Clothes- touch of christmas) for the students.

This year our  Carols and end of year liturgy were combined and filmed by Mr Chris and Yr 6 children. The children will sit together in their classes next Monday afternoon to view this. A link will also be sent home on Monday so you can sit together as a family to watch it. Enjoy!

I wish you all a very happy Christmas and new year. I hope that you have time to spend with family, friends and loved ones and that the joy of Christmas brings you peace, hope, joy and love. And hopefully some rest and relaxation!

“May you be blessed

With the spirit of the season, which is peace,

The gladness of the season, which is hope,

And the heart of the season, which is love.”

And God’s peace to you.”

 

Cathy

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