Welcome back to the 2020 year….a year of opportunities, hope and making a difference. We have had a calm and ordered start to the year with our 34 new prep children starting on Monday. This year, for the first time in St Augustine’s history we have two, small prep classes. The preps have already visited me in my office and it was a delight answering the questions and listening to their stories. We also welcome 13 new families starting at the school, with children in prep and new families starting in different year levels. We welcome the Allen, Arcoleo, Blyth, Carland, Ceccomancini, Georgiou, Graziani, Grech, Hazelton, Henderson, Kitchener, Livoti, Marinelli, Moran, Pace, Tadic, Toy, Travlos & Ward families to the St Augustine’s family. We hope you find St Augustine’s to be the welcoming, innovative and caring school that we are known for. We also welcome eight new staff members. New classroom teachers are Selina Tonzing in year 3/4, Natasha Vella in 1/2, Shayna McKay in 3/4 and Bridget Tadic in 5/6V on Thursdays. Welcome also Clare Kheir our new Mathematics Leader. We welcome three new Learning Support staff; Georgia Peel, Daylene Law and Michelle Borg. Our staffing has grown to 42 as we implement new strategies and provide more support to the children.
Make a Difference…Be The Best Me!
Our motto in 2018 became the very stirring, ‘Make a Difference..Everyday’. This resonated with so many people including staff, children and the wider community. In 2019 we continued this theme to ‘Make a Difference Everyday..Be the difference’ as we made a personal invitation to be that difference. This year we continue with this theme but now ask everyone to strive to ‘Be the best me’ As we continue to look at what has the greatest impact in learning and teaching through Evidenced based Learning this theme sits perfectly within it. We have introduced the six Learning Dispositions where children will continue to explore how these can assist them in being the best learner, friend, student and ‘best me’.
The holidays always prove to be an ideal time to refresh the school and engage contractors to do maintenance work. During the holidays there was electrical work performed. The Italian portable (now 3/4M) continued to be renovated, new ipads arrived and technicians worked alongside Mr James to ensure these were ready for the children.
Parent teacher conversations will be held next Wednesday 12th February. This year children will be dismissed from school at 12.30pm with interviews commencing at 12.40pm. As indicated in the letter sent home, the school will still provide childcare for those children who cannot be picked up before 3.15pm. Thank you to the families who have already booked a time to meet with the teacher. If you are yet to do this you need to access the ‘SchoolInterviews’ site and follow the prompts on the letter sent home, to find an available time to see the class teacher. These conversations are to begin the relationship between yourself the teacher and the child and to assist the teacher with any information you feel is needed to promote a successful and positive year. Prep families will participate in their parent teacher conversation during the next three Wednesdays as per the letter sent home from your child’s prep teacher.
At St Augustine’s we encourage ongoing communication between home and school. Children will often come home with stories about their day that bring joy but at times may concern you. The appropriate way to communicate with the school is to first make an appointment with the teacher to discuss the concern. We know that stories can be misconstrued or take on a different perspective through the eyes of a child. A teacher can help clarify the issue and assist in helping the distressed child. Email is an efficient and effective tool that supports timely communication. It strengthens the goodwill and the positive partnership between parents, students and the school to enhance the well being and learning opportunities for students. Emails are an efficient way to set up a suitable time to speak to a teacher rather than become a discussion about your child’s academic progress, learning expectations or behavioral issues. Emails should be short, to the point and contain only essential facts. Teachers will take the discussion offline and call for a meeting if they feel that ongoing discussion is required. Be aware that ‘out of hours’ or ‘in class time’ emails may not be answered immediately nor will staff respond to abusive or aggressive emails. Parents should contact the office to inform a teacher of matters of immediate urgency eg. a child needing to go to after care, a change in pick-up arrangements as emails might not be read in time to act upon requirements.
St Augustine’s is a no food sharing school. We are aware of the many allergies that children have in the school. For that reason we ask that you do not bring in lolly bags or birthday cakes to share. Party favours or small gifts ie pencils, rubbers etc.. always make for a fun alternative.
St Augustine’s has a long history of partnership with our families. The Parents’ Auxiliary are a very active group in the school who organise events such as lunch orders, mothers and fathers day stalls, fundraising drives, Twilight Market , Bunnings BBQ and more. As with most years we often see a turnover of participants as children move from the school. We are always looking for new members with fresh ideas and energy. The first meeting this year will be Friday 14th February at 9am in the school library. I encourage you to come along with a friend and join this dynamic group. We really need your help to ensure we can continue to provide these events for our school community. Please contact me with any questions you may have or if you are willing to assist with events but can’t make it to meetings.
A reminder that the first morning bell rings at 8.40am. However, a staff member will be on duty from 8.20am. I ask that children are not dropped off, unsupervised, before 8.20am as there is no staff member supervising before 8.20am. This is a health and safety issue as we all consider the safety of our children at all times. Big Child Care is available for any child who needs to arrive before 8.20am. They are open from 6.30am in the morning and continue the after school service until 6.30pm. Enrol online by heading to their website or call Shannon Murphy (manager of our childcare service) 0426203858.
During Monday’s assembly the Year 6 children were presented with their Yr 6 polo shirts. This polo shirt is a special graduation shirt that they wear during sports days. It is slightly different from the school sports polo and celebrates all the children with each child’s name printed on it. Thank you to Sabrina Rogic for organising this.
A reminder that the children should be wearing their summer uniform. Wearing the St Augustine’s uniform adds a sense of pride and identity to our school. I have attached the uniform requirements so that you can ensure your child is wearing the correct items. This includes only yellow or brown hair bows, sleepers or stud earrings and no other jewellery except for a simple watch. Please ensure all nail polish is kept for weekends and holidays. Long hair must also be kept completely tied back. Please note that the zip up jacket is an optional extra and not in place of the woollen jumper. Back in 2018 the school Education Board reviewed the school uniform for consistent colours, introduction of the blue and consistent school logo as some of the changes. Unlike schools who have changed the whole uniform including style and colour there have only been a few changes. However as stated above our uniform represents who we are. We are now into the second year of the phasing in period. By the end of 2021 it will be expected that all children are wearing the correct uniform with these changes. The second hand uniform shop has slowly removed items that are being discontinued.
Recent world news has been dominated by the novel coronavirus Open the attached letter for the most recent update to schools.
I wish everyone a happy new year and look forward to the great leaning, friendships and many possibilities that the 2020 year will bring!