News & Events

Dear Parents & Guardians,

There are lots of important notices in this bulletin for the start of the new year so please read this carefully. Come and see me if you have any questions!



It is great to see some children coming to school on their bikes and scooters, however, for the safety of all our children, particularly our littlest ones, bikes and scooters must be walked into school please and placed in the bike shed during the day.



One of the focus areas discussed at the last SCT at the end of last year was the idea to have a ‘buddy bench’ in our school. A ‘buddy bench’ is a place where children can go if they are feeling a little lonely or left out and other children can then support and nurture these children. Once children know what this is for and how they can help, a ‘buddy bench’ can make a really positive contribution to the culture of a school community. I know several local schools have used these successfully.

If you know of anyone who is handy with woodwork or connected to an organisation like Mens Shed and might be able to help us build a buddy bench, please let me know. I would be very grateful for your assistance.



This year’s Challenge Learning Community camp will take place from Wednesday, February 21 to Friday, February 23 at Camp Sunnystones in Merrimu.

It is an expectation that all our Challenge Learning Community students attend camp. If there is a reason your child is not going to come on camp, this must be communicated in writing to me no later than Monday, February 12 so that the Challenge Learning Community teachers can plan accurately.

If you have been given documents to complete for this camp, these must be returned to school promptly and with all the required information. Accurate medical information is necessary to ensure the safety of our students.



Our Outside School Hours Care provider, KellyClub, have generously organised a coffee van for parents and staff on Monday morning (February 12) as a thank you to our community. Please enjoy!



The Curiosity Learning Community camp will take place on Tuesday, March 12 to Wednesday, March 13 with our Grade Three and Four children heading to Sovereign Hill in Ballarat.

As with the Challenge camp, it is an expectation that all our Curiosity Learning Community students attend this camp. If there is a reason they will not be attending, this must be communicated in writing to me no later than Monday, March 4 so that the Curiosity Learning Community teachers can plan appropriately.

Likewise, if you have been given documents to complete for this camp, these must be returned to school promptly and with all the required information. Accurate medical information is necessary to ensure the safety of our students.



We have noticed an increasing number of families taking holidays at the beginning of the school year, which is causing us concern. While this is your right to do so, legally you have an obligation to send your child to school during the school terms set by the Victorian government. If you are taking your child on an extended holiday, notification should be provided to me in writing prior to departure.

My major concern is the educational impact this decision has on the development of children. Everyone loves a holiday, but the evidence clearly demonstrates that missing a significant amount of school often has a negative impact on the progress of children. Doing this at the beginning of the year when new routines and processes are being developed can make this problem worse. We routinely notice that when some of these children return from a long break away from school, they find it hard to settle back in to school and have missed a lot of very important learning opportunities.

I would strongly urge all our parents and guardians to carefully consider the implications of a long holiday during term time, and if you are going to make this decision, to avoid doing so at the beginning of the school year please.



This is further reminder to the information sent out last week regarding parking around the school, I have noticed that there are parents parking in no-standing zones, particularly near the exit to the kiss n’ go. Please do not park in these zones or block the exit to the kiss n’ go as this makes it difficult for other drivers to see cars on Waterway Boulevard as they exit. I will note that several parents were fined last year, and I would like to avoid our parents receiving any unpleasant notices!



An important reminder and update for all families. Please do not let children play on the playground before school starts as we cannot provide supervision at this time. This includes any siblings or children not enrolled at our school. The school is potentially liable for any accidents that occur, and we want to make sure everyone in our community is safe.

This week, we trialled lining the children up at the classroom doors when the bell sounds for the start of the school day at 8.50am. After some reflection, we have realised that this has not worked as we would have liked, and it is making the supervision of the children more challenging. With this in mind, we will revert to all the children lining up in the courtyard at the beginning of the school day to be collected by the teachers.

To make the management of this process less chaotic, we would request that parents and guardians stay out of these lines as it makes the job of the classroom teacher to settle the children before they go into their classroom that much harder.

Lastly, please do not let children enter the school buildings before the bell sounds as we can ensure they are supervised inside.



Please find listed below the 2024 dates and times for students enrolled in the St Anthony of Padua Sacramental Program. A reminder that it is an expectation that all students receiving any of the Sacraments must attend each of the events related to the Sacrament they are receiving.

If your child has not been enrolled in the 2024 Sacramental program and you are wishing them to receive the Sacraments, please contact Jay Russell as soon as possible:


Thank you for your cooperation.

Jay Russell



Sacrament of Reconciliation – Grade 2 students:

Reconciliation Evening – child and parent to attend. Reconciliation Commitment Mass – child and parent to attend. Reconciliation Paraliturgy – child and parent to attend. Sacrament of Reconciliation


Wednesday October 9 at 7.00pm in the school hall Saturday October 12 at 5.00pm at St Anthony’s Church Thursday November 7 at 7.00pm at St Anthony’s Church Friday November 8 at 11:30am at St Anthony’s Church – Students only.


Sacrament of Eucharist – Grade 3 students:

Eucharist Evening – child and parent to attend. Eucharist Commitment Mass – child and parent to attend. Eucharist Retreat Day – students only. Sacrament of Eucharist
Wednesday February 28 at 7.00pm in the school hall. Saturday March 2 at 5.00pm at St Anthony’s Church. Friday June 7 during school time. Saturday June 15 at 3pm at St Anthony’s Church.


Sacrament of Confirmation – Grade 5 students:

Confirmation Evening – child and parent to attend. Confirmation Commitment Mass – child and parent to attend. Confirmation Retreat Day students only. Sacrament of Confirmation
Wednesday April 17 at 7.00pm in the school hall. Saturday April 20 at 5.00pm at St Anthony’s Church. Monday August 5 during school time. Wednesday August 7 at 7.00pm at St Anthony’s Church.



The School Advisory Council (SAC) fulfils an important leadership role in our school. Last year, this group decided on the names for the four new house groups and their colours:

St Clare of Assisi: Yellow: reflecting the value of charity. This will be known as Clare House.

Padre Pio: Green:  reflecting the value of humility: This will be known as Pio House.

St Mary MacKillop: reflecting the value of compassion: This will be known as MacKillop House.

St Roch: reflecting the value of nurture: This will be known as Roch House. 

The SAC meet twice a term, on Weeks 3 and 7 on a Tuesday evening for an hour staring at 6.00pm. I am really positive about our SAC team and the valuable contribution they make to the development of our school.

Likewise, our School Community Team (SCT) meet once a term, usually in Week 5 and via Google Meet to discuss ways to develop the community identity of our school, including the development of one major fund-raising effort a year.

If you are interested in either of these groups, please come and speak to me. We have tried hard to build our school around a partnership with parents and we really value their contribution.



Please make sure you have carefully read the letter sent out earlier in the week regarding the dismissal from school.

All students leaving via either Gate One or Gate Two should have a coloured tag on their school bag (coloured coordinated with the gate sign) denoting which gate they are leaving from. If you do not have a coloured tag, please see the admin team in the school office.

If you are changing the gate from which your children are to be collected, you must let the office know so we can update our records. If someone other than a parent is collecting your children, you must inform the school so that we can try to ensure that your child is going home with the right adult.

If you are using the kiss n’ go and you need a family name sign for your car, please let the office know so that they can create this for you. This helps staff know which car belongs to which family which in turn can speed up the process of getting the children into waiting cars.

Our Exploration students will be dismissed five minutes early (3.05pm) from their classroom door for the first five weeks of term (up to the week beginning March 4).



As part of our SunSmart policy, all children must wear a school hat during recess time. We will begin to enforce this expectation from this Monday, February 12. Children without a school hat must play in shaded areas. Please make sure your child comes to school with their hat and sunscreen (preferably in roll-on form as this is easier for children to self-apply).



Recreational fishing in Victoria

The Victorian Government is proactive in encouraging all Victorians to fish, specifically focusing on the involvement of women, children, and people from diverse backgrounds. We educate fishers and the community about responsible fishing practices and promote stewardship of our precious aquatic and animal resources via our Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, Education and Engagement Unit and funding of Fishcare Victoria Inc.

Recreational fishing offers terrific opportunities for people of all ages, skills, abilities, and backgrounds to enjoy a fun and healthy activity and build social connections. Our aboriginal heritage is also deeply linked to fishing, with thousands of years of indigenous fishing history in Victoria.

For more information about the VFA, recreational fishing opportunities in Victoria and/or a potential future career in natural resource management for your students, please visit


Little Anglers Hub

The VFA has created the kid-friendly Little Anglers Hub website (, written specifically for children with useful information, instructional videos about how to safely set up and use the kits, being safe around the water, as well as advice on where to go fishing in Victoria.

There is an electronic copy of the Kids Guide to fishing that was included in the kits available on this site, both in English and five other languages.


Key Safety Messages

Going fishing is awesome and so much fun! When it comes to fishing, it’s important to stay safe, especially around water!

Students can keep their fishing safe by:

  • going with a friend.
  • being careful with hooks and lures.
  • looking behind before casting.
  • handling fish carefully.
  • being conscious of the dangers associated with water.
  • protecting yourself against the elements (sunscreen, drinking water).
  • letting someone know before you go.
  • washing your hands after handling lead sinkers, especially before eating or drinking.


The link below is to a short safety video that is posted on the Little Anglers hub website, reinforcing the above safety messages to students.

Please note that fishing equipment is not for human consumption. If swallowed, hooks can cause serious harm and lead sinkers can be toxic. Young children and those with some disabilities including pica disorder are especially vulnerable and should be supervised whilst fishing. If a child does swallow a hook or lead sinker, seek medical assistance immediately – don’t wait for it to pass.



Please remember to return any fee forms and fee assistance applications to Emma in the admin office. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the payment of fees, please make a time to come and see me. This is a confidential conversation and will be treated with utmost discretion.


God bless,

Bill Hill



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