Dear Parents & Guardians
Firstly, my apologies for the delay in sending out this newsletter. I had a bit of an incident with a treadmill and have ended up with an injured knee. At least this happened after camp!
This week, I had the pleasure of spending two days on camp with the children and staff in our Curiosity Learning Community. Camp is a wonderful experience for children. For many, it is the first time that they have been away from home and often, the activities they do on camp are activities that they will have done for the first time and will not do when they are at school or on holiday with their families.
Most importantly, it is a really wonderful chance for these children to build and strengthen their relationships with the other children and with their teachers. At its core, education is about relationships. Children who have learnt to build solid and trusting relationships with others generally are more successful at school.
Once again, our children were a credit to you and to our school. They were wonderfully behaved, and I don’t think I heard a cross word from any of them. They appeared to be having an amazing time and I am sure that many of them cam back with lots of exciting stories to tell!
I am really grateful to the staff members who came along and were prepared to give up their time to support and supervise the children. Camp is a big responsibility for our staff, and I know many schools are increasingly reluctant to run camps, especially at a time when teachers are really hard to find, and some are reluctant to offer their time for out of hours activities. I think it would be a big step backwards if we were no longer able to offer camps to our children, so I am really thankful that our staff are willing to make sure this happens.
Please read this newsletter carefully. There are some important reminders and information that I need to make sure all our parents and guardians have read.
A reminder to complete the communication survey that was sent out via Operoo last week. Your ideas and opinions are really important to us.
Also, we are still looking for volunteers for playgroup on Tuesday morning starting next term and for our School Community Team committee. Please let myself or the admin staff know if you are interested.
EASTER WEEK 2023
Holy Week Important events: The holiest week in the Church year!
April 2: Palm Sunday: Celebrates Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
April 2 – April 6: Holy Week: The week leading up to Easter.
April 6: Maundy Thursday: Commemorates the foot washing and Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.
April 7: Good Friday: Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.
April 8: Holy Saturday: Jesus’ body resting in the tomb.
April 9: Easter Sunday: Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and his victory over death.
WHOLE SCHOOL HOLY WEEK REFLECTION DAY
On Monday April 3, from 9:00am the whole school will celebrate the important events of Holy Week. Children and staff reflect on the significant religious events of Holy Week through prayer and Liturgy, reflective activities and a gallery walk of the Stations of the Cross. Each Learning Community will lead parts of the reflection activities.
The Exploration & Discovery Learning Communities will begin the day with a Liturgy at the school. Through prayer, a re-enactment and singing, we will reflect on the events of Palm Sunday.
The Curiosity Learning Community will lead prayer during the liturgy and will remind us of the significance of the Last Supper, Eucharist and the Blood and Body of Christ.
The Challenge Learning Community will lead the Stations of the Cross, through prayer, reflection and a re-enactment of each station as we reflect on the crucifixion of Jesus. The whole school will gather to walk together and reflect at each station.
Invitation to Parents from 3.15pm
Parents are invited to view these stations which will be on the screens in each classroom from 3:15pm. You are invited to join us in prayer and reflection to view the Stations of the Cross. Viewing will start at 3.20pm sharp, you are welcome to sit in any classroom to watch the Stations of the Cross reflection with your child.
Thank you to the families who have donated Easter Eggs for the Easter Raffle. This raffle will be drawn on Wednesday, April 5. We request one Easter egg is donated from each family. If you have not done so already, easter egg donations can be handed into the school office. The more we have the more prizes we can give out and everyone loves an Easter Egg!!
Students can bring these eggs to school, and they will be collected each day. All money raised will go towards Project Compassion, to support the work of Caritas Australia, who help many communities around the world. Your donation and prompt return of tickets will be greatly appreciated
SCHOOL COMMUNITY PICNIC
Please remember our Easter Community Picnic on Wednesday, April 5 @ 6.00pm. I am praying that the weather is kind to us. Please put this in your diary. We are working hard to ensure that we create more opportunities to gather as a school community so I am hopeful that you will be able to attend.
This Monday, (March 27), we are organising a short, 15 minute meeting for anyone who is interested in assisting us with the organisation of this event. This meeting will be at 3.15pm in the collaborative space in the Stage 1 building. Please let me or the admin team know if you think you can assist.
AUSTRALIA’S BEST TEACHER AWARD
Last call for nominations for one of our amazing teachers for this award. It would be fitting to see one of them recognised for their efforts – they do work really hard for your children. You can nominate them via the following link: https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/australias-best-teachers-news-corp-series-to-recognise-inspirational-teachers/news-story/7f3b0ccc1f8c2bdf4a7c56814c56b995
CHILDREN WHO ARE UNWELL AT SCHOOL
Over the last few weeks, we have noticed an increase in the number of children who are presenting as being unwell at school, notably some who appear to potentially have fever-like symptoms.
Parents and guardians are reminded that for the safety of our children and our staff, children should not be sent to school if they are unwell. If your child is displaying fever-like symptoms, it is strongly encouraged that you give your child a RAT test. Please remember, there is still COVID in our community and we have a duty of care to do everything we can to keep our community safe and healthy.
Children who test positive must still isolate for 5 days, returning to school on Day 6 only if they have no symptoms. You should still inform the Department of Health of any positive cases.
RAT tests will be sent home today in case you need these (and because we have millions of these left over!!)
Any child who comes to school and is visibly unwell will be brought up to the First Aid room to wait and their parents or guardians will be contacted to collect them. Your support in this matter is requested.
KISS N’ GO SAFETY CONCERNS
Thank you to those parents and guardians who are now using the kiss n’ go. This makes things easier for us and safer for the children. If you are not using this but still parking on Waterway or Eumerella Blvd and waiting for your children in your car, can please ask again that you use the kiss n’ go instead. This reduces the amount of traffic on these roads which is safer for our children.
Please do not use the footpath as a shortcut to collect your children from school. If you have parked and are collecting your child from the classroom door, you must use the footpath on the road instead.
The space in the kiss n’ go is quite limited and staff are concerned a child will accidentally be pushed in front of a moving car as parents and their children try to get passed children waiting to get into cars.
SCHOOL PHOTO DAY
Next Thursday, March 30, is school photo day. Please make sure that your children come in their normal school uniform and that they are all beautiful and ready to have their photos taken! Thursday is usually sports day for our Exploration (Prep) Learning Community children so we would ask that these children bring their running shoes in a bag to change into.
The current shortage for teachers is still very challenging. There are days where we find it difficult to even find replacement Casual Relief Teachers. This is a situation impacting all schools, not just ours but it certainly adds a great deal of additional stress at the present time.
Unfortunately, there will inevitably be days where we are forced to split classes to make sure that our children are supervised and given learning tasks to do. I can appreciate that this is far from ideal and this causes concern for parents but unfortunately, this is a situation beyond our control and until governments both state and Commonwealth find some better solutions, I doubt there is going to be much if any improvement in the current situation. Given that we are a growing school, I will be honest that I am not looking forward to the possibility having to find further teachers at the end of the year.
On another, more positive note, we have managed to find a wonderful replacement for Claire McClelland who resigned from her position as Administration Officer a few weeks ago. Mrs Kristy Valle has been appointed to replace Claire as one of our Administration Officers and will start her new role from the beginning of next term.
We have also been fortunate to appoint Ms Raivang Urai to the role of Learning Support Officer. Rai waws offered a position at the end of last year but wanted to complete her placement first, which she has done with us and has been a wonderful asset to our school already. Rai is also able to assist with the translating with some of our Burmese families as this has been a challenge up until now (who knew that the Burmese dialects were one of the few languages that Google translate does not cover!!)
Our enrolment process for 2024 is due to open on March 20. Our administration team would really like any parents or guardians who have children starting school next year to let them know as soon as possible so we can get a better idea of numbers for next year.
If you know any families who are interested in an enrolment for 2023 or 2024, please encourage them to contact the school office.