Term 3 Week 2 Bulletin
Dear Parents & Guardians
This week, I had the pleasure of spending time with our oldest students, our Challenge Learning Community as they participated in their school camp at Lady Northcote in Glenmore.
As our children always are, they were positive, respectful and considerate of each other (though I also discovered that some of them know could win an Olympic medal for talking!).
School camps are a wonderful experience for children. They get to build relationships with their peers that would not be possible at school and they get to see some of the adults in an environment that is completely different to school. In my experiences, school camps are on the events that children will remember and look back on fondly in future.
It is important to reflect that school camps are a privilege, especially at the moment. Staff in Catholic schools recently negotiated a new award governing the terms and conditions for employment and one of the unintended by-products of this award is that it has placed additional scrutiny on school camps. I know of a few schools that are now no longer organising camps as this has just become too difficult to manage in terms of staff time. I am really mindful that our staff give up a lot of their time and effort to make sure that your children benefit from the experience of camp. It would be a real shame to lose camps and we will work hard to try and make sure we can continue to provide this fabulous experience to your children, however, it would be appropriated to pay thanks to our staff for being willing to attend camps and take on the additional and significant responsibility of taking care of your children while they are away from home.
The Challenge camp was at Ymca Lady Northcote. It was surrounded by the countryside.
The camp was very fun and exciting. All the students who attended loved it. It was full of activities, adventure and fun!
Some of the activities we participated in were hut building, orienteering, initiatives, canoeing, flying fox and more but flying fox was my favourite one.
The food At YMCA Lady Northcote was delicious. For morning tea we had muffins, scones and fruit. At lunch, we had burgers, soup and bread rolls. For dinner, we ate pasta and roast chicken and vegetables. The best part was when we had ice cream and chocolate mousse for dessert!
I learned that I am brave because I was the first one to go on the flying fox and it was pretty high up. It challenged me because it was a little scary as it was high up and I hadn’t seen anyone go on it.
Overall, it was fun because it was fast and it did 360 degree turns.
I found Flying Fox fun because it was fast and really high up because of its zipline. It made it go up and down which was really cool.
I want to thank all of the YMCA Lady Northcote staff, all of the teachers; Jessica, Thomas, Steve, Laura,
Bill and Caroline without them this camp wouldn’t be possible.
By Harjovin (Challenge 2)
This term is a very busy term so please refer to the reminders below:
ST LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI FEAST DAY: JULY 21
A reminder that we have our St Lawrence of Brindisi Feast Day tomorrow. We hope that you can join us for mass at 9.30am.
As stated last week, Book Week is in Week 7 of this term from Monday 21 August. This is an event the children really look forward to with lots of exciting activities throughout the week. This year, we will have a very special guest on the last day of book week, Thursday, August 24, as the new Director of Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, Dr Ed Simons, is coming to visit us (I’m not sure what he will think of his Principal if this is a dress up day and I meet him dressed in fancy dress!).
The Friday of that week (August 25) is a student-free day for all students as our staff will be working with an external curriculum consultant to further review and develop our implementation of the bump it up wall.
Lots of exciting things happening at St Lawrence of Brindisi!! I hope that lots of our parents and guardians can participate in these events – this is something we have worked hard to build our school around and we value your place and role in the life of our school.
CURRICULUM RESOURCE MATERIALS TO BETTER SUPPORT OUR TEACHERS AND LEARNING
I am pleased to advise that Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) will shortly commence working with schools to develop high-quality, comprehensive curriculum resource materials to better support our teachers to deliver the F–6 Victorian Curriculum.
This follows overwhelming endorsement of this approach by teachers across the Catholic sector in a survey conducted last year. Research also shows that high-quality curriculum resources will create more sustainable workloads for our teachers and allow them to focus more on teaching and student engagement, where their time and energy counts the most.
In addition, this approach will promote equity and excellence across MACS schools, ensuring all students have access to evidence-based, quality-assured, sequenced learning materials that will help lift their outcomes over time.
We anticipate the rollout of the F–6 resource materials will be a three-year project. The initial phase will focus on F–2 Mathematics. These materials will be made available to us in Term 4 this year for review and planning purposes, with implementation in Term 1, 2024.
Importantly, our teachers will retain autonomy to tailor curriculum implementation to meet the individual and local needs of our students. Teachers will also have opportunities to participate in the development and quality assurance of the materials.
This is an exciting development for our school community and clearly demonstrates the commitment all Catholic schools share to supporting every student to fully flourish in their learning.
We will keep you informed as this important work continues.
FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM
We are always looking for ways we can improve the communication between the school and our parents and guardians and one of the ways we can do this is through Facebook and Instagram.
I will admit that I am not good with either of social media platforms and, from bitter experience, I am also really cautious about their use. They can be a tool for good and promote the work of the school and aid communication with our community, however, they can also be potentially harmful when they are used in the wrong way and are used to denigrate or criticise others. Concerns about the school should not be made through such platforms. Our governing authority, Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools has strict policies for staff and parents and guardians in the use of social media connected to the school. Anything that uses our logo, or suggests that it is from or about St Lawrence of Brindisi can only be created and controlled by the school.
We have a Facebook and Instagram Page that is managed by our Admin Team and they are beginning to update this more frequently (I have struggled to find time to get this done as often as I should!). I encourage our community to use this, however, I would also be clear, as stated above, that this should only be used positively and appropriately.
Also, we have our Grandparents Day the following Friday, July 28. We have organised a liturgy for our grandparents and special friends. We have made a small change to the time for this event. We will now hold this liturgy at 2.20pm as this will give time for the grandparents to have a tour of the classrooms after the liturgy. It would be wonderful to see lots of the grandparents and special friends next week.
ReLATE WELLBEING FRAMEWORK AND STUDENT-FREE DAY
As some of you will be aware, our school has been a pilot school for the implementation of a new Wellbeing framework promoted by Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, called ReLATE, which is run by MacKillop Family Services.
ReLATE is something we are working hard to embed into the culture of our school, as we have built our school around developing a culture of positive student wellbeing, however, this does require a significant amount of staff knowledge and professional learning.
When our school opened in 2022, the staff at the time completed a professional learning day to give them a sound understanding the research that underpins the ReLATE approach. In hindsight, I think that we did this too early and at a time when the staff were focussed on getting our new school up and running. I am also mindful that we have had a significant number of new staff start at St Lawrence of Brindisi since that time who missed this initial professional learning and understandably, this has impacted on their ability to use this approach successfully in their classrooms.
Given this, in agreement and consultation with our governing authority at Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, I have taken the decision that we will engage in another ReLATE professional learning day for staff on Thursday, August 10. There will be no school for students on this day, however, Kelly Club will be available for those parents and guardians who need this service.