Newsletter #1 Term 1 Week 2 Friday 12 February 2021
In this issue... Principal's Message Faith For The Journey Key Dates Assistant Principal's News Wellbeing News Library News P&F News Community News
St Michael's School is a school community founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1914. We aspire to be a secure, caring learning environment where commitment to Faith, Truth, Service and Compassion are encouraged as a way of life. a: 3 James Street, Bassendean WA 6054 ph: 08 6278 9888
www.stmichaelsbass.wa.edu.au e: firstname.lastname@example.org
MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Welcome back to the 2021 school year! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed the holiday period. The staff and I are excited to begin another wonderful year with you and your precious children. It was a delight to see all our students arrive for school on Monday with such vibrant enthusiasm and bright, happy smiles. It was just a shame that the children and parents couldn’t see our smiles behind our masks! I sincerely thank you all for your patience, flexibility and support with the unusual start to the school year! Thank you to our wonderful staff for facilitating such a smooth start to the year, particularly in these difficult circumstances, and showing such care for our students as they get used to all the changes that a new year level brings. I also commend the staff who, whilst technically on extended holidays last week, were at home preparing for remote learning in case we had to start to the school year remotely. Luckily, that didn’t eventuate, however, I am so appreciative of the hours spent ensuring we were prepared for all circumstances! New families and staff I would like to extend a warm welcome to all our new (and returning) families and staff who are joining our St. Michael’s family. We are thrilled to have you all as part of our community and I hope that you will create some wonderful memories during your time with us! In terms of staff, we are excited to welcome our new Finance and Office Manager, Mrs Nicole Smith. Nicole is an accountant so joins us from her industry background. We also welcome Mr Thomas Sassanelli on Tuesdays and Thursdays as a Special Needs Education Assistant. Thomas did relief for us last year so is a familiar face. We also welcome Mrs Geraldine Nolan who will being replacing Mrs Robyn Imbrosciano on Mondays and Thursdays during Term 1 as our Student Admissions Officer. Geraldine joins us from St. Brigid’s, Middle Swan where she also currently works part-time. Robyn is on sick leave this term and hopes to return in Term 2. Welcome back to Mrs Jane Cullen who is joining us for 12 months to cover Mr Caddy on Fridays in Year 6 (Mr Caddy will be taking Long Service Leave each Friday for the duration of 2021). Jane joins us from John Paul II, Banksia Grove where she also currently works part-time. We also extend a warm welcome back to Mrs Courtney Carr who is currently on maternity leave, however, is temporarily returning to teach Year 5 on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Change to Newsletter and Assembly Schedule This semester we will be trialing a change to our newsletter and assembly schedule on a fortnightly cycle. The purpose of this trial is to reclaim some valuable morning learning time taken up by weekly assemblies and in response to parent feedback about streamlining our communication methods. As the semester progresses, we welcome any feedback on this change. Our newsletter will always be sent home on the first Friday of the school term and every fortnight thereafter (odd weeks of the school term ie Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9). Our assemblies will be held during alternate weeks (or even weeks 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10).
PAGE 3 Our school closure last week has interfered with this schedule, hence, this term's newsletters will be sent in Weeks 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9 and assemblies will be held in Weeks 3, 4, 6, and 8 (keeping in mind that this week is still considered Week 2 and Term 1 was originally planned as a 9 week term). Please refer to the term calendar sent out with this newsletter. This year we also have a new look newsletter which will be emailed out rather than pushed out through the ConnectedApp. Thank you to Mrs Grazia and Mrs Saunders for leading this. We hope you like the look of our new fortnightly newsletter! Assistant Principal Roles A reminder that each Assistant Principal manages an area of the school. Mrs Jemima Saunders oversees Kindy to Year 3 and co-ordinates curriculum across the school including digital technologies. Mr Ryan Powles manages Years 4 – 6 and co-ordinates Religious Education and administration (such as timetables, rosters, policies etc). Should you have queries or concerns regarding your child, your first port of call should be their teacher, however, if you have further concerns after consulting with the teacher, please feel free to make an appointment to speak with the appropriate assistant principal, after which you may request an appointment with myself. Principal’s Secretary and Email Address Once again this year, Mrs Lisa Grazia will be working in the role of Principal’s Secretary, however, her days have changed to Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Any parents wishing to email or make an appointment with myself are asked to use the following address: email@example.com. Updated Healthy Food and Drink Choices Policy In the last week of the school year, we take the opportunity (while we are without students), to complete various compliance tasks such as updating policies that are due for renewal. At the end of 2020, one of the policies we updated was the Healthy Food and Drink Choices Policy. Due to current student allergies and in accordance with our updated Healthy Food and Drink Choices Policy, no food should be brought in by students or parents to distribute to other students including treats or cakes as a birthday celebration. We thank you for your support and understanding. It is important to note that, at the start of each year, all staff complete online asthma and anaphylaxis courses to ensure that we are well placed to support students with these health concerns. Principal’s Vision and Code of Conduct The start of a new year is a timely opportunity to, once again, share with you my vision for St. Michael’s and the values that I hold dear, as it is up to all of us to work together to create a supportive environment for our students. My vision for our school is a place where: Christ is at the centre of all we do; Every child can flourish; Enthusiasm for learning is fostered in students, staff and parents; Students are supported to discover and their gifts and talents and what makes them special; Everyone feels welcomed, included, accepted, safe and loved; Students are provided with a wide range of quality experiences to help them develop physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually and academically; Students can feel engaged in learning; Staff and parents can work collaboratively and in partnership with each other to achieve the best outcomes for students; and Open and respectful communication and a positive culture exist.
PAGE 4 I invite all our community members to actively and positively engage with us in the education of your most precious gift/s, your child/ren, through the variety of opportunities that are available for parent involvement. We value your presence and your ideas! To help ensure that all community members positively contribute to our school, we have in place a Code of Conduct. The School Code of Conduct can be found on our website: https://www.stmichaelsbass.wa.edu.au/pdf/policies/policies_codeofconduct.pdf. Both staff and parents are required to adhere to this code at all times to ensure both the safety of students and that all members of our community are treated with respect and dignity. This document also outlines the importance of confidentiality, which is a timely reminder that, whilst we encourage and appreciate parent assistance in classrooms, we ask that volunteers maintain confidentially at all times to ensure student wellbeing. Please take some time to familiarise yourself with this document. The foundation of the Code of Conduct is based on child protection principles and modelling healthy, respectful relationships for students. At the start of each year, we revisit the Code of Conduct with staff, who all complete an online child protection/mandatory reporting refresher course. It is also timely to remind parents that vigilance around child safety is the responsibility of all of us and if you observe behaviours by any person on the school site that contradict the Code of Conduct or resemble grooming behaviour, you should contact me immediately in person or via phone: 6278 9888. Parent Information Evening Our 2021 Parent Information Evening is being held on Thursday 18 February. The first classroom session will be held from 5:00pm and a repeat session at 5:45pm for families with siblings. Please request a separate individual appointment with your child's teacher for longer conversations about your child's learning and/or wellbeing at school. Upcoming Parents and Friends (P & F) Meeting and Welcome Events We have our first P & F meeting for the year this coming Monday 15 February at 7.15pm in the staffroom. The P & F play a vital role within our school, organising social events and fundraising. With the monies raised, the P & F purchases resources to donate to the school. We would love as many people around the table to share ideas and make decisions about how your money will be spent. I encourage you to come along, meet some new people and have your say. Once you are enrolled in the school you are part of the P & F so all are welcome! The P & F welcome morning tea for new parents has been rescheduled to Friday 19 February at 9am in the school hall and the family welcome back sundowner is scheduled for the evening of 19 February, also being held on the school grounds. See the P & F Community section of this newsletter for more information. I’m disappointed to miss these events this year due to a family commitment down south, however, I thank the P & F for all the work that has gone into these events and hope that you all have a wonderful time! Kindergarten 2022 If you have a child due to start Kindergarten in 2022 and have not yet submitted an expression of interest (EOI), please download the EOI form from the school website and return it to the school office as soon as possible. Alternatively, forms can be obtained from the office. Enrolments for Kindy 2022 will be finalised late Term 1 or early Term 2 this year. Siblings of current students do receive preference, however, you must still complete and submit the documentation to ensure you don’t miss out on a place.
PAGE 5 Security Cameras Over the holidays our new security cameras have been installed. Last year, due to an increase in out of hours trespassers on school grounds, including a break in, the School Advisory Council (previously the School Board) approved a quote for security cameras to be installed. These cameras monitor the outdoor areas of the school grounds and the inside of reception and the appropriate signage has been displayed as per legislation requirements. Hence, please be aware of 24/7 video surveillance. The footage is securely stored and the only people with access are the members of the school leadership team. Wishing you all a fabulous year and may God watch over you and bless you as the year unfolds.
Dr Siobhan Galos Principal
WHAT'S THE PRINCIPAL READING? Leadership Team Book Club – “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek The St. Michael’s leadership team regularly participate in our own book club. We select a professional text, read a chapter or two a week, and discuss our learnings at our weekly leadership team meeting. Currently, we are reading “Start with why: How great leaders inspire everyone to take action” by Simon Sinek. Whilst the text is quite business orientated, as we read, we are making connections between the business world and the school context. Sinek talks about the importance of organisations knowing, not only what and how they do business, but why. It is essential to be able to articulate your purpose, key beliefs and the reason your organisation exists. For the staff at St. Michael’s, this was easy – we exist for our students! They are our why! Last year we developed our learning statement (see right) which beautifully articulated how we strive to do ‘business’ at St. Michael’s. On the first day of school this year for staff, we revisited this learning statement and spent some time articulating our 'why'. We are currently finalising our ‘why’ statement and I’ll share this with you next week.
FAITH FOR THE JOURNEY Lord, Bless our clocks and watches, You who kindly direct us to observe the passing of minutes and hours. May they make us aware of the miracle of each second of life we experience. May these, our ticking servants, Help us not to miss that which is important, While you keep us from machine-like routine. May we ever be free from being clock watchers and instead become time lovers. Bless our calendars, These ordered lists of days, weeks and months, Of holidays, holy days, fasts and feasts, All our special days of remembering. May these servants, our calendars, Once reserved for the royal few, For Magi and priests, Now grace our homes and our lives. May they remind us of birthdays and other gift-days, As they teach us the secret that all life Is meant for celebration and contemplation. Bless, Lord, this New Year, Each of its 365 days and nights. Bless us with full moons and new moons. Bless us with happy seasons and a long life. Grant to us, Lord, the new year’s gift; A gift of love. Amen.
KEY DATES 17 February
Parent Information Night: 5pm and 5:45pm
P&F Welcome Morning Tea: 9am and Sundowner Event: 5-8pm
Sacramental Commitment Masses: Saturday 6pm, Sunday 9am
First Reconciliation Parent & Child Workshop: 5pm
Labour Day Public Holiday
Pupil Free Day
Swimming Carnival Y3-6
Reconciliation Ceremony: 5pm
Final Day Term 1
ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL'S NEWS Supporting School Drop Off The children have done a fabulous job of arriving at school and preparing for their day. For our new families, Kindergarten families and anyone who has children who may be experiencing some separation anxiety at drop off time, this article by Maggie Dent has some helpful tips to offer. Thank you to Mrs Welch for this resource. Next week our drop off routine will return to normal. Students may be dropped off anytime from 8.20am and classes will commence at 8.40am. Parents are welcome to enter classrooms but must continue to follow social distancing protocols. Seesaw If you have not yet connected to your K-5 child's Seesaw Learning Journal, please contact your class teacher who will be able to support you. Parents use the Seesaw Family App to view messages and see activities completed by their child/ren throughout the year. Teachers use the Seesaw Class App to share and engage students in learning. Please provide any feedback on your Seesaw experience to Mrs Saunders via firstname.lastname@example.org. Uniform Thank you to all families who continue to support our school's uniform policy. It's wonderful to see so many students wearing their summer uniforms with pride. Girls hair accessories should be in school colours and boys shirts should be tucked in upon arrival to school. Both boys and girls should be wearing black leather school shoes, and only wear sneakers on their sports uniform days. Please try to ensure your child's uniform is in good condition and refrain from adding items such as leggings. Mrs Tania Falappi is available to assist families with uniforms on Tuesdays and Fridays 8:30-9:00am. Enrichment St Michael's offers a gifted and talented program which we call Enrichment. In 2021, we are continuing to offer educational experiences for students we have identified that may benefit from these additional learning opportunities. Our Enrichment schedule this year is; Term 1 = Numeracy, Term 2 = STEM/Robotics, Term 3 = Oral Literacy and Term 4 = Science. Led by different staff members who lend their expertise to their Enrichment area, students are invited to participate in 1 x 45min weekly session for the majority of the term. Mrs Saunders will be in contact with the families of the Term 1 Numeracy Enrichment candidates in the coming week. MiniLit Update MiniLit is one of three literacy intervention programs that operate at St Michael's. Mrs Rosemary Mumme works with multiple small groups of students to support them in their acquisition of early reading skills. This year MiniLit has undergone a re-location to a larger space within our Library and we think it looks fantastic! MiniLit will begin in the coming weeks and Mrs Saunders will be in contact with the families of students offered literacy learning support in the coming fortnight. Wheelchairs For Kids In recent years, families have been encouraged to collect ringtops from cans to donate to Brother Ollie's Wheelchairs For Kids. With the introduction of the 'Containers For Change' program, the ringtops are no longer needed. Brother Ollie extends his sincere thanks to all who contributed to this program in the past.
Warm regards, Mrs Jemima Saunders and Mr Ryan Powles Assistant Principals
WELLBEING NEWS It’s been fantastic to see everyone back at school this week! It wasn’t quite the positive start to 2021 that we have all been hoping for with the combination of the COVID lockdown and bushfires! So how can we turn this rough start around and find some much needed positivity for us and our children? Stay calm Your children will be looking to you to guide them in how they should respond to these events in their community, so be aware of your own emotional response and take measures that you know help you to remain calm, or at least find some calm when life feels chaotic! This could be doing some mindful meditation, reading a book, spending time in nature, talking on the phone with a friend, going for a walk, or just having an early night! Provide reassurance Reassure your children that there are things that they can do to stay safe at the moment such as washing their hands, social distancing, and wearing masks. Remind them of the success we are having in WA in keeping our COVID numbers so low. Encourage empathy and compassion The recent bushfires were devastating. Whilst we want to raise compassionate children, we don’t want to overwhelm them with unnecessarily distressing news. Children can cope with hearing some news about tragic events, but it’s important to consider their age, their personalities and their sensitivities when deciding whether to allow them to see media coverage or images and deciding how much to talk about the events at home, either with them or even just around them. Too much information, or too vivid or detailed information can be distressing. It can be helpful to focus on what you can do to help those affected by the bushfires instead of focusing on the trauma or distress that people have endured. Look for the good news stories such as the contribution of volunteers and firefighters, or the ways that communities have generously supported each other and share these with your children. There are many other opportunities you can take to build your child’s empathy such as donating to a relief fund, or contributing some supplies to a wildlife rescue organisation. I heard about two boys who chose to deliver buckets of carrots to horses that had been evacuated. What a kind gesture! Stay positive Sometimes this is easier said than done! Focus on what is going well for you in your life at the moment and help your children to do this too. Many things have remained the same for us despite COVID-19 and there are always small positives we can find in each day. Try to reflect on these regularly and note them down somewhere that you and your children can see them. It can be helpful to have something to plan for or look forward to when life has become uncertain or stressful. This could be as simple as an overdue catch up with friends on the weekend, a trip to the beach, a long weekend away camping, or a parent only night out! Use your calendar and book these moments in so you can look forward to them! Keep talking Honest and open communication always helps us to manage the most trying of situations so keep talking with your children. If they can come to you and ask questions when they feel worried, and they can receive your reassurance that things will be okay even though sometimes things might look a little different or not as we wanted, you will strengthen their resilience muscles every time! Mrs Lisa Mueller School Social Worker (Mondays and Wednesdays)
LIBRARY NEWS We hope your holiday break was full of quality family fun and adventures and that you managed some time to read a book or play a board game with each other. We look forward to seeing all the students back in the library, borrowing books. We have been busy in the library and now have completed the relocation of the non-fiction resources into their genre categories, with some minor refining to occur as the year progresses. The area is looking very smart with shelf dividers and labels (using text and illustrations), allowing the students to quickly find the books they are interested in. The extra work that is achieved in the library would not occur as quickly as it has done, without the generosity of our volunteers. Heartfelt thanks to both Janice Stenning and Lyn Phelps, our longterm volunteers, who assist in coordinating student lending on Tuesdays and have been re-shelving the non-fiction books into their specific genre/subject areas. The shelves are looking wonderful! Huge thanks must also go to my library and Lexile book covering angels, Damiena Tarai, Mr. Tarai, Eve Lilley and Emma Woods, as well as the Pre-primary parents who took books home in 2020. Having the books covered and ready for shelving for the students to use, is a big job and your time given is truly valued. We currently have a large number of new library and student literacy lexile program books ready for covering. If you have some time to take a bag of books home for covering, it would be very much appreciated. As the saying goes… ‘many hands make light work’. Please contact Vicki at; email@example.com or leave your details with reception or your child’s class teacher. Thank you for your support. Wishing everyone a lovely Term 1, stay well and happy reading… Kind regards, Mrs Vicki Stenning School Librarian
“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination. They open up windows to the world and inspire us to explore, achieve and contribute to improving our quality of life.” - Sidney Sheldon
PARENTS & FRIENDS NEWS
PARENTS AND FRIENDS NEWS
COMMUNITY NEWS The inclusion of any community advertising does not constitute or imply endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation thereof by St. Michael’s School. St. Michael’s does not accept any responsibility or liability for the conduct or content of these advertisements, sites and the offerings made by the third parties.
Every MONDAY starting 8 February to 29 March (except 1 Mar 2021). Cranium Contraptions (Ages 5+) Cranium Contraptions WeDo 2.0 Junior Robotics (Ages7+) Contraption Concepts MINDSTORMS® EV3 Advanced Robotics (Ages 9+) https://www.bricks4kidz.com.au/perthmidland/program-events/after-schoolprograms-lego-bricks/
Every THURSDAY starting 11 February to 1 April. Open to Years 2-6 students Lots of interactive, coding projects Learning content, software and devices supplied https://codecamp.com.au/afterschool
ST MICHAEL'S SCHOOL a: 3 James Street, Bassendean WA 6054 ph: 08 6278 9888 www.stmichaelsbass.wa.edu.au e: firstname.lastname@example.org