Welcome back to St Bede’s for the 2021 school year. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and holiday break. It is lovely to see the children all bright, refreshed and dressed beautifully ready for another busy year at our school. Our new Kindergarten started last Tuesday morning and are especially settled and looking very at home here. We hope that this year is more settled than last and most things return to relative normality.
Together with welcoming our already established families, I wish to especially extend warm wishes to our new families – Block, Booth, D’Aquino, Donaghue, Horsburgh, Jaratsongkiti, Lavers, Murphy, Peascod and Roughley to our school community. We also welcome back Katie Horsburgh who spent last year on maternity leave. Katie will work part-time this year in 5/6 Gold with Breen Fox. We also warmly welcome Lorren Maher to St Bede’s. Lorren will share the teaching with Cathy Ryan in Year 3.
As you are aware, we held our Parent Information Night virtually earlier this week. The presentation included lots of valuable information including the new initiative called Catalyst. Thank you to all who have viewed it so far. We will leave the video up till the end of the term as we have new families arriving during the next few weeks.
It was lovely to see families of Year 5/6 students join us for our Opening School Year Mass yesterday. Unfortunately we weren’t able to open up this very special event to all our families due to COVID restrictions, but it was nice to gather together as a school to welcome 2021, recognise the commitment of our new school leaders and introduce our theme for this year, ‘Love One Another’.
Next Thursday is our annual swimming carnival. We are very excited about holding this event at the new leisure centre at Stromlo. Thank you to all parents who have offered to help on the day. We are delighted that parents can help out on the day and attend to watch their child/children. Just a reminder that all adults will need to sign in at the front desk of the pool using the CBR App or in writing as well as socially distance during the event.
After many years as a school board chair and member, Matt Minogue is relinquishing his position. On behalf of the school community, I would like to thank Matt for his valuable contribution to the Board and for his above and beyond contribution to the school community in general. If any parent is interested in filling this vacancy, please let me know. Any nominations will be ratified at the first meeting for 2021 on Tuesday evening in Week 4, 23 February.
There were a number of welcomed building projects that happened over the summer break. Bonded asbestos was removed from the eaves of the junior wing and our dark corridors were painted white which has made them bright and more inviting. We are now looking at school murals and new pin boards for the walls.
Next week, bookings will open for Parent/Teacher Interviews (Kindergarten to Year 2) and Three Way Conferences (Years 3-6). Due to the success of offering both face to face and virtual meetings last year, this provision will be offered again in 2021.
At St Bede’s we have a Class Contact system which was established in 1988. It remains an initiative of the School Board and the P&F and promotes pastoral care towards all members of the school community. We aim to be a welcoming and friendly community that serves others in the local and wider community area, assist families in times of need, provide a formal and semi-formal channel of communication among families within our school and celebrate important events.
Each class generally has two Class Contacts who are the focus for communication and pastoral care among families of the class. Class Contacts would normally arrange a class social event each term. Planning events is at the discretion of the Class Contacts and communicated by a class note and/or email and also included in the school newsletter.
At the beginning of Term 1, Class Contacts organise a class list with contact details for parents that may include parent names, addresses, parent email addresses and mobile phone numbers. This form is attached to this week’s Principal’s message for those who want to be involved this year. You need only complete the contact details if you are comfortable with supplying them. This enables the Class Contacts to facilitate contact in a timely fashion to inform families of events, functions, etc.
As a result of privacy legislation, St Bede’s is not permitted to supply personal information and class lists may only include the contact details of families who have given consent to the sharing of their information. The personal information supplied to the school at enrolment may only be used for its core business and is required to ensure security of personal information.
A ream of paper came home with your children last week in the form of ICT & media permission, swimming carnival (Yrs 2 to 6), student information and medical notes. I apologise for this but we have certain regulations where we need to keep a signed hard copy for reference purposes. We would like these returned as soon as possible. Please complete a separate form for each child as they are ordered in year groups. We have had to include the use of smart watches this year. I would like to remind parents that smart watches are treated the same as phones at school if messages are sent to them. If text messages are sent to smart watches, then children are required to leave their smart watch in their school bag. Any messages for students can be received via the front office. We want to ensure that students are not being distracted from their learning. As a school, we also want to be able to guide and support students in being able to solve problems with the support of peers and school staff whilst on the premises.
We are very aware that there are a number of issues around traffic control that have arisen since school returned. The number of contractors involved with the construction site next door to St Bede’s has grown significantly over the break. We are constantly monitoring where tradesmen are parking and informing them when inappropriate. You will be please to know that Access Canberra sent parking inspectors this week who gave infringement notices to anyone parking illegally on Hicks and Nuyts Street. At present there is no news on the opening of the bus bay. We continue to wait for development approval.
Can I just remind families that they need to subscribe to Schoolzine and Szapp app so that they receive newsletters, Principal correspondence and alerts? These are all vital means of communication between school and home and important so that everyone is kept in the loop with current events and updates. Instructions to subscribe are on our website.
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. Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.