So another busy term comes to an end and the year is passing in the blink of an eye. You can always tell when the end of term is near as everyone appears tired and emotional. We sadly farewell the Greig (Allegra in Kindergarten is moving to Newcastle) and Nandal (Beckett in Year 3 is moving to Gungahlin) families from St Bede’s as they move to pastures new. We wish both families the best of luck in their next adventures.
As you are aware, reports came home with your child at the end of last week. The teachers have worked hard to ensure that they have carried out thorough assessment for this reporting. Their comments truly reflect how well they know each and every child they teach. Can I remind parents that if you or your child has an issue that the first point of call is the class teacher? This can be done through email or personally, keeping in mind that return communication may take twenty four hours.
We have a new administrator at the St Christopher’s Cathedral. His name is Father Trenton Van Reesch and he began his duties in June. Father visited St Bede’s on Tuesday introducing himself to most classes. We know he is going to be a wonderful addition to our school community celebrating significant liturgical events with us throughout the rest of the year.
Our new gardens are now structurally complete. The next part is to install the new plants around the story poles, sensory garden and yarning circle. We recently employed a horticulturalist who has suggested shrubs and grasses that would best suit our environment. As a result, there will be a Working Bee to plant these on Sunday, 28 July, beginning at 10.30am. Everyone is most welcome to attend so if you can give up a couple of hours, it would be most appreciated. A separate note has gone home with more details. Please RSVP if you are able to attend so we can cater for refreshments.
I sent a letter home to Year 1 parents this week. This year group has a particularly noticeable gender imbalance with seven girls and fourteen boys so the meeting aims to openly discuss with families all that St Bede’s has to offer in a co-educational space as their children journey through to Year 6. This gathering is also open to any families who wish to have a conversation about the future.
Next term, our staff will be participating in coaching and mentoring across the school. This initiative is part of our professional learning journey into school improvement. Class teachers are highlighting areas for support and development as well as building on their teaching practice. We are hopeful that this program will benefit students and provide growth to teachers in establishing effective pedagogical practices.
Last week it was reported in the media that police are investigating reports of two possible child approaches in the Woden area over the last six weeks. The most recent report related to an approach in Isaacs by a Caucasian man approximately 50 years of age, 170cm (5’7’) tall with large dark eyebrows. He was wearing a dark beanie, gloves and a t-shirt with a skull on it. Police are encouraging parents to ensure children understand how to keep themselves safe, particularly when walking to and from school and to teach children about stranger safety. Information on ways to help children to stay safe is available on the Constable Kenny Koala website. We will continue to remind students of protective behaviours as part of the curriculum.
As we approach the holidays, I would like to reinforce some of the dangers associated with online games, especially ‘Fortnite”. The game’s online chat features (especially in Battle Royale) can expose younger players to offensive language, mature content and contact with strangers. It is recommended that these games with open chat are not used by children under 13. There is some valuable information around this issue and other worrying sites through the ‘Carly Ryan Foundation App Facts’.
Our annual satisfaction survey will be launched on Monday, 29 July, (Week 2 next term) and will close on Friday, 9 August, (End of Week 3). The link will be sent by email in the week before the launch. Please take the time to complete the survey. Your views and comments are important for our strategic and future planning.
At St Bede’s, as part of a systemic Catholic system, we pride ourselves on making available a school and sport uniform that identifies us as a school. Recently, we have been having an issue with students wearing clothes that are not part of the uniform. From the beginning of next term, if students arrive at school wearing incorrect uniform, a note will be sent home highlighting what specific piece of clothing is inappropriate. This is also relevant to wearing nail polish and unsuitable jewellery and hair accessories. We have explained this process to the children and suggested that they use the holidays to replace clothes that don’t fit or have been lost. Our school uniform policy is on the website if parents need to familiarise themselves with the expectations. We appreciate your support in this matter.
Enjoy the holidays and rest up. I believe the winter break always comes at the right time for students, parents and teachers. If any of you are staying around these holidays, please feel free to come up to school and use the playground equipment. Our families are the best security we have.
Have a lovely holiday and keep safe.
A seminar you may be interested in and will be conducted by Michael Grose and Wellbeing expert, Dr Jodi Richardson.