Welcome back to a new year after what has been quite a difficult summer break for many people in our community. Despite a number of Catholic schools in the archdiocese being under threat and some succumbing to damage, all of them opened their doors for day one which was such a blessing. A number of staff members and families in the diocese lost their homes or livelihoods due to the fires. On a more positive note, all the children have returned all bright and ready for 2020 including Kindergarten who are very settled.
With the issues associated from the fires and air quality, the leadership team have regular updates through the Airater app as to the levels of smoke density. We have also had new filters installed in the evaporative coolers which will allow the devices to be used in the heat despite smoke haze. The recent rain and cooler days have been a godsend to the start of the year. We will continue to monitor all situations so that the environment of the students is safe.
Together with welcoming our already established families, I wish to especially extend warm wishes to the Akin, Callipari, Casey, Cassar, Chambers, Coffison, Dawson, Exell, Fischer, Gandanhamo, Ganlath, Jagodzki, Lloyd, McGready, Peterson, Stephens, Thomas, Thorne, Wake and Zehnder families to our school community. We also warmly welcome Veronica Trow, Jessica Mead, Luke Morwitch, Chhaya Sood, Tracey Trewhella and Patrea Johnston as new members of staff. Additionally, I would like to inform the school community that Katie Horsburgh, our Year 5/6 teacher from last year, celebrated the arrival of a beautiful baby boy, Oliver, during January.
As in previous years, the staff of St Bede’s was back on deck from late January completing Professional Learning. The first day was spent at a Spirituality Day whereby we reflected on our theme for 2020, ‘Be the Light’. Another day we spent workshopping the second part of our school improvement plan focusing on building teacher capacity and enabling our students to be critical and creative thinkers. This is also part of expanding our knowledge of inquiry learning.
Our Parent Information Night was held on Tuesday evening. It was lovely to see so many families represented as this annual community event is a wonderful way for everyone to familiarise themselves with teachers and introduce themselves to other families. Thank you so much to Fiona Torline, Allannah McKay, Emma Bozic, Jenny Tiffen, Clare Heffernan and Sarah Purdue for serving refreshments and supervising the children so that adults could attend the gathering. Congratulations to our lucky door prize winners!
One of the key topics mentioned at the parent meeting is voicing our priorities for the year. This year our foci are -
- Literacy (Reading)
- STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
- Coaching/Mentoring of teachers
- School and Community Partnerships
Communication to families is one of our priorities at St Bede’s. In recent years we have broadened the number of avenues for dissemination of information so there is no reason for parents and families to be unaware of what is happening. A Principal’s message highlighting school events and happenings is shared each fortnight on even weeks. A lengthy newsletter is published on Thursday of odd weeks. Each Friday, a family memo with all of the following week’s major events is sent to parent email addresses and also via SZapp. We have a wonderful website that is updated regularly as well as the ‘SZapp’ app as another means of advising messages and alerts quickly. St Bede’s also has a very active Facebook page where significant events are publicised. Major events of the week are also advertised on the screen in the front foyer and on the main driveway sign. Please subscribe to the newsletter and the Principal’s Message via the website https://sbpsredhill.schoolzineplus.com/subscribe
The SZapp alert installation instructions are also on the website.
A ream of paper came home with your children last week. I apologise for this but we have certain regulations and legal requirements where a signed hard copy is necessary. We would like these returned as soon as possible. Please complete a separate form for each child as they are filed in year groups.
We celebrated our opening school Mass today. Our Year 6 students were also presented with their badges as they officially take on their leadership roles as we recognise each and every one of them as leaders in our school.
I would personally like to take this opportunity to thank both the staff and parent community for their support as we embark together on a new year. It promises to be a full and fruitful one with many wonderful events.