Welcome to Week 6! We are now past the half-way point in the term and time is flying by. Last Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, celebrated through our Ash Wednesday Mass and the launch of Project Compassion. I would like to thank Mrs Dwyer, Mrs Elliott and the parents for preparing the students for such a reverent liturgy. I also congratulate the Year 1 students for taking on such an important responsibility so early in the year.
It has been another busy fortnight with the presentation of Semester 1 Student Representative Council leaders, Years 1 and 2 heading to the National Zoo and Aquarium, the Parents and Friends AGM, Confirmation Information Night and a visit from the AFL Giants players. I think students, parents and teachers were very relieved to have an extra rest day for Canberra Day on Monday. With so many events on the school calendar, please ensure that you subscribe to our new newsletter format via https://sbpsredhill.schoolzineplus.com/subscribe . You will receive automatic publications of the Newsletter and Principal’s Message to keep you updated. So far, we have 72 subscribers.
Our St Bede’s Facebook page is also up and running. This is a great way to share events in our community, including celebrations, excursions and special occasions. We encourage you to like, comment, share or follow any of our stories https://www.facebook.com/St-Bedes-Primary-School-Red-Hill-1344631325748105/ . A reminder that we do require your permission (red note sent home in Week 2) to post photos of your child. We will not publish student names with photographs.
The latest addition to our communication platforms will go live today. SZapp will replace the Skoolbag App. SZapp is supported by Schoolzine, the same company that facilitates our new website and newsletter. All of our systems will now be streamlined. You will need to delete Skoolbag as we will no longer utilise this avenue of communication. Instructions for installing SZapp are now on the school website. The Family Memo will be sent via parent email this week. In the future, it will be sent as an attachment via SZapp. Please check that you have turned notifications ON through your phone settings to receive alerts when a new message is sent. These push notifications will be used to communicate urgent, immediate or group information.
All students from Kindergarten to Year 6 have been focusing on the importance and awareness of Cybersafety this term. Each class is exploring and discussing age-appropriate responsibilities for ICT users in Library lessons. This week, Years 3 and 4 had a visit from Kenny Koala and Years 5 and 6 were enlightened by ThinkUKnow, who both raised awareness of specific threats and potential warning signs when using the internet. Again, I reinforce Julie’s last message about the latest threat infiltrating child-based sites, such as YouTube Kids, called the Momo Challenge. I encourage you to follow up these conversations with your child at home and monitor online activity. More information can be found at https://nationalonlinesafety.com/resources/platform-guides/momo-online-safety-guide-for-parents/ .
The first P&F meeting for the year was held last Tuesday night. This was also the AGM, where all positions were up for nomination. I thank and congratulate our newly elected executive members: President – John Lane; Vice President – Fiona Torline; Treasurers – Jenny Tiffen & Doug Courtney; and Secretary – Allannah McKay. At this meeting it was agreed that a summary of the minutes will be circulated to the St Bede’s community each term. The best avenue for this communication will be via parent email to ensure all families receive the information. The full minutes are also available at any time from the P&F, or upon request through your class contact as a liaison. As a branch of the P&F, a fundraising committee will be formed to begin planning our next school fundraiser to be held later in the year. A meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, 9th April, (Week 10) from 7pm in the school library. All welcome.
The latest updates to school building and grounds work is a series of quotes to plan a sensory garden and additions to the playground. Funds raised from last year’s cocktail party will contribute to these resources, combined with funds from the school’s wellbeing grant. Some of the draft plans include nature play, native plants, outdoor musical instruments, yarning circle and shade protection for the sandpit. The leadership team have also been busy applying for government grants to assist with the improvements to our playground. Keep your fingers crossed.
Another fundraiser on our school calendar for this year is the Walkathon. This is a school-based event, organised by the staff and students with the support of parents and community members on the day. We raised over $10 000 in 2017 which began the purchase of STEM resources including Spheros, Ozmos and a Smart Board for the Library. This year’s Walkathon theme, iWALK, will be launched in Week 7. We will continue our focus on ICT, investigations, inquiry and imagination! Our wish list includes Ozobots, Smart Screens for classrooms, LEGO Mindstorms, new school iPads, Chrome Notebooks and printers…just for starters! Mark Friday, 10th May, in diaries if you are able to come along and walk with us. If you are part of a company or own a small business and would like to be involved with sponsorship or donations, I would love to hear from you.
We have a number of staff coming and going from school at the moment as they participate in a variety of professional learning opportunities. Teachers across the school are involved in Numeracy Cluster days, Maths Burst Training, Dyslexia Modules, Writing Workshops and training for the new National Consistent Collection of Data this term. Their heads are spinning! Please be aware that in order to upskill and develop our teachers as learners, there may be interruptions to daily school routines. We go to every effort to source reliable relief teachers who will maintain the classroom curriculum. At times, due to demand, illness or the unthinkable, we are unable to assign a teacher. In these rare circumstances classes will be split or combined across the school.
Today wraps up 3 Way Conversations. Thank you to the students and teachers for preparing for these meetings to set goals for the year. It was great to see so many parents at school. For any parents that may have missed the opportunity to meet, please contact your classroom teacher. Whilst it may be tricky to reschedule an appointment we do value this process and partnership in your child’s education and it would be unfortunate for your child to miss out. Teachers will try to be accommodating, where possible.
Julie was away last week spending valuable time with her family to celebrate her big birthday! This week she is attending the Principal’s Retreat and Director’s Day in Bowral. We hope that she is feeling renewed and informed as she dives back into Week 7.
Next week is Sabbatical Week. Enjoy the break from homework and less events on the school calendar.
Save the date - Friday 10th May, 2019