Term 1 Week 6
The past few weeks we have seen our prep children settle into school life. They have gradually transitioned into the school day with shorter days and Wednesdays off. This week we have had some tired children as they begin full time. It amazes me how quickly our prep children find their way and become familiar with school routines. Our teachers and support staff do a great job in catering for their needs and continuing to make it an enjoyable time for them.
It always catches me by surprise when the time comes for us to look at the next year! 2023 prep enrolments are open! We have already conducted a 2023 prep information session with another scheduled for next Tuesday evening at 7pm. If you are aware of any families looking to send their prep child to St Augustine’s next year direct them to the website where they can register.
As we begin the new year and aim to have our children at school, it is important that the children are here for the full school hours. It is important to try and make appointments outside of school hours particularly when it may be an ongoing appointment. Every hour matters at school and regular absence disrupts the child’s routine, social interaction and ongoing learning.
Our Year 5/6 children have taken on the responsibility of organising icy poles at recess for the children. They must be commended for their proactive organisation where they organise the cutting, selling and clean up. Within 10 minutes all children have bought their icy poles. A very efficient operation. Thankyou Mateo, Jazelle, Arielle and Jacob.
The outdoor learning area continues to provide a serene space for the children to take their learning outside. The teachers continue to use it as another space for learning. I have also added pole padding for protection when the children are using the adjacent basketball court for running and ballgames.
Last Tuesday the first Advisory Council meeting was held online. It was great to come together as a group. We will continue to meet during the year where the members will discuss and offer advice on subjects such as school policies, child safety, community issues, school fees and school improvement. I look forward to working with this group and thank them for volunteering their time and expertise
Last week the whole school participated in our termly emergency drill. Each term we organise a drill with different scenarios to practise. Our first drill was a fire evacuation. The children have become so familiar with this drill over the years that it was completed in less than ten minutes! A great outcome while trying to evacuate the whole school, check the building and ensure everyone is accounted for. Well done everyone!
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. They will be responded to within 2 working days from receipt of the email. 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.
The Victorian Government announced that from 11.59 pm on Friday 25 February 2022 masks will no longer be needed in most indoor settings, with masks only required in school settings for students in Year 3 and above at primary school, and workers at early childhood centers and primary schools. While many other centers and places have relaxed COVID rules, schools have continued to maintain rules such as mask wearing, working in hubs, parents unable to come on to school grounds or attend events and online meetings where possible. Our aim is to keep the school open so that we are not forced in to isolation because of many staff and children contracting COVID. We have so far had a trickle of COVID infections throughout the school including staff who have needed to isolate for seven days. Let’s keep it that way!
This Wednesday we celebrated Ash Wednesday. We received the ashes from St Christopher’s parish where they were blessed at the morning mass. Each class held their own liturgy where the ashes were sprinkled on their heads rather than a cross on their forehead. (Another COVID safe action as directed by the Archbishop). Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent which is the 40 day period where we remember the events leading up to and including the Death and Resurrection of Jesus. Project Compassion boxes have been sent home and I ask that you consider contributing your loose change to these boxes over the next 40 days. The money goes to Caritas, a Catholic charitable organisation, who have a long history in working alongside the vulnerable in communities around the world. They have also been named as an emergency organisation in the Ukraine who are providing families with emergency food, water, shelter and hygiene support.
Year 6 families will meet online tonight with teachers and facilitator Maria Forde, for a family/child night. Maria will engage everyone in discussion and information about Confirmation. The link to this online meeting has been sent home through a previous Confirmation newsletter, through seesaw and the school app. The meeting starts at 7pm.
Tomorrow Anne Durham and the Yr 5 children will be participating in ‘Clean Up Australia Day’. Anne has registered and organised to work in and clean up Linear park adjacent to the school. Clean up Australia inspires and empowers communities to clean up, fix up and conserve our environment. Hopefully this is just the beginning of our journey in prioritising our environment with the appointment of Anne Durham as our Environment and Sustainability Leader.