Welcome back! I hope everyone had a safe and restful holiday ready for what will be a very busy Term 2. It has become especially busy with all that is happening with the Catholic Education consultation process concerning St Bede’s long term viability. I would like to sincerely thank the school community for the wonderful contributions in so many ways during the consultation period. As a staff, we have all felt so supported during a time that has been quite distressing for all concerned.
There was a post town hall meeting of the School Board on Tuesday evening. This was very productive and thought I would share with you some of the caveats that we are taking to the Working Party meeting this afternoon.
- Deem St Bede’s a ‘corridor school’ to allow more families to access St Bede’s;
- Increase marketing budget to extend community engagement;
- Support for capital improvements to existing school infrastructure;
- A clear commitment that tuition fees won’t significantly increase in 2022 and 2023;
- A clear commitment that should the school close at the end of 2023, our teachers and support staff will be given their first preference at an alternative school;
- Commitment to complete a business case for an Early Learning Centre at St Bede’s by the end 2021;
- Support for St Bede’s children to attend weekend Masses at St Christopher’s or St Peter Chanel’s once a term;
- Systemic approach to fee structure under new Government funding model; and
- Planning for the needs of South Canberra’s Catholic education system.
The School Board will continue to consider strategic considerations throughout the year and present proposals to the school community through regular communications.
Our enrolment period for 2022 has begun and our ‘Open Week’ is next week where families who are thinking of enrolling their child here in Kindergarten next year can visit and be taken on a tour by our school leaders. Many thanks to Belle Property Group for our road signs this year. Thanks also to families who helped out with placing the signs on the roadsides and posters in shopping centres during last weekend as well as distributing fliers around their neighbourhoods. If you know of anyone who has a Kindergarten aged child, please encourage them to come and see our beautiful school. We have had a lot of interest already in the first part of this term which is very encouraging especially considering the recent circumstances. We also have a wonderful band of people helping this weekend to spruce up the place before Open Week. Thank you one and all.
Next week is also ‘Catholic Schools Week’ where we celebrate the wonderful things that happen in our Catholic schools. This year we are celebrating 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia, a significant milestone.
It is our annual Cross Country Carnival next Friday beginning at 11am. This will be run in conjunction with the ‘Colour Run’. All family members are most welcome to attend as we can now have 1000 people at an outside event. I am also looking for some volunteers to be out on the course on La Perouse, Nuyts and Hicks Streets to ensure that all students are safe.
We are also celebrating our ‘Colour Run’ next Friday at 2.30pm. The children will wear house colours on that day for Cross Country but are encouraged to bring an extra white shirt and a towel for the ‘Colour Run’. We are very aware that the original purpose was to raise money to enhance school infrastructure. Instead, we are going to use the money donated on a celebratory event during the year. The individual prizes that students can win are wonderful incentives to raise money. Thanks again to Mrs Fox for organising this worthwhile fundraiser and community event for St Bede’s.
The National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) will be held throughout schools for students in Years 3 and 5 in Week 4 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. These tests will be online except for the Year 3 writing test. I would like to stress that this is a one-off test in four subject areas of the curriculum to give families a snap-shot of their child’s progress. We endeavour to reduce any anxieties around this test and provide a positive and supportive environment.
We have transitioned into winter uniform over the last couple of weeks as the temperature can often fluctuate at this time of year. I would like to thank parents for your support of our uniform policy as we move to the winter uniform this term. Can we please reinforce that nail polish is not appropriate during school days. We will continue to wear hats until the end of May. I will let the community know when beanies can be worn.
Our long awaited bus bay is now open for use. Our Year 4 campers were very excited to be picked up in this new area before leaving for their much anticipated two days and one night experience at Birrigai Outdoor Education Centre.
I am taking leave for a couple of days at the end of this week and beginning of next week to have some time with family in Melbourne. Breen Fox will hold the fort in my absence.
Have a lovely weekend.
The crowd at the town hall meeting last Tuesday.