Newsletter No. 1 | Term 1 Week 1 | Thursday 3rd February 2022
Acknowledgement of Country
At St. Brendan’s Primary School we pay our respects to the traditional owners of the land, the Gulidjan people and pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.
We will respect the land, animals and waterways, from the roots of the earth to the tops of the trees. Through the example of our first Australians, we understand that if we look after the country, then the country will look after us.
School Vision: 'For you I have a destiny and a hope.'
PARISH PRIEST: Fr Michael O’Toole PRINCIPAL: Mrs Leanne Eastman
SAC CHAIRPERSON: Ms Sophie Alliband CHILD SAFETY OFFICER: Mrs Leanne Eastman
Thank you for the gift of our school, St. Brendan’s. We are truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful community. We pray for our children, that their year at school is full of love, joy, learning, fun and personal growth.
Help our whole community to be more like you and to treat each other as we would like to be treated. May our words and actions be positive and kind so that our wonderful school can be more beautiful every day.
St. Brendan journeyed from the familiar into the unknown. To do this requires courage, vision, resilience and strength; values that can be applied to any new situation.
At the beginning of the school year, we all embark on a new journey and we are never quite sure what it will bring. Let us embrace this opportunity and pray for our whole community, feeling gratitude for the wonderful education we are able to provide for our children.
Dear Families and Friends,
Welcome to the 2022 school year! I would especially like to welcome our new students; Jess, Millie, Cuba, Lexie, Joey, Luca, Ivy, Ruby, Sofia, Jordy and Caleb. A big welcome also to our new families. We are so happy to have you with us and we really hope you enjoy your time at St. Brendan’s school. We had planned to have a barbeque to begin the school year and welcome new families to our school. However, with current restrictions and guidelines due to Covid, this will be postponed until it is deemed safe to go ahead. We will give you all a proper St. Brendan’s welcome as soon as we can!
I hope everyone had a fabulous break and is feeling refreshed and ready to embrace the new year ahead. The beginning of the school year is always fresh and exciting. I am sure that there are many eager children out there looking forward to seeing their friends, working with their new class and teachers, and learning new things. I feel very proud of the school that we have and feel positive that we will all work together: students, parents, staff and the wider community, to make it a great year for everyone.
For new parents, the Newsletter comes out each Thursday so please take the time to read what is happening at our school. There is always a lot going on and we would not want you to miss anything.
The staff and I are excited for the year ahead and look forward to working with all children, families and the extended community to make this a great one for everybody at St. Brendan’s.I thank the Staff for the hours that they have put in before school begins to ensure that everything is ready to go.
I would like to say a special thank you to the following people:
- Bridget Newcombe: for going above and beyond to ensure that our school looked beautiful to begin the school year.
- Ken Coates: for putting the table tennis together for us. It was almost like a flatpack - way to complicated for my skill set!
- The Armistead Family: for caring for the guinea pigs over the holidays
- Mark Robb for whipper-snippering along the paddock fences.
- ‘Garden Fairies’: For those of you who quietly come in and tidy up the garden when no one is watching. Your hard work is noticed and appreciated.
The Parent Handbook is designed to inform parents about many aspects of our school. Click on the link below to access the Handbook.
THE PARENT COMMUNITY GROUP
The St. Brendan’s parent community prides itself on being a strong group that works together to support the school in many and varied ways. If you see the call for help via a note or the Parent Facebook page it would be great if you could answer the call.
Many hands make light work and school communities that work together create communities that thrive. Let’s all roll our sleeves up and help out where we can.
We had announced that Brian Woodcock would be teaching Sport in Term 1, however, Brian is now unable to take on the position. Instead, Adele McGuane will be teaching Sport in Term 1. Adele did her first day yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. She thought the students were just wonderful!
I would also like to announce that Hayley Beardsley will be taking on a part-time Learning Support Officer role. Hayley has had previous experience as a Learning Support Officer, training and working in a school before settling in Beeac. We welcome Adele and Hayley and wish them all the best for the Term.
Please see the table below outlining the staffing for 2022. We have a wonderful group of educators and support staff with a great deal of expertise in their allocated areas.
I am pleased to announce that our Chaplain, Clare Jehu, will be returning to the school for 2022. Clare was an invaluable addition to our school last year, providing support and guidance to students, staff and parents.
Clare has extensive experience in counselling and wellbeing and she is currently completing her Masters in Psychology. Clare will be at school on Tuesdays and her work will once again involve meeting individually with students, working with small groups and working with staff to develop programs and strategies. Clare is also available to meet with parents and families at any time. Her role encompasses being available to support the wellbeing of students, staff and parents.
It is a requirement of all schools that a Language Other than English is taught in all schools. In the past few years, we have taught Indonesian at St. Brendan’s. This year, the Language Other than English (LOTE) that we will be teaching is Auslan.
The method of teaching Auslan will be different to the model we used for Indonesian. Instead of a one hour block, teachers will spend 15 minutes each day teaching Auslan to the students. The program model is known as the Teachers as Co-Learners model. In this model, teachers and students are on the learning journey together.
This Term, Staff will be undertaking some professional development in this area before we begin the program. We are being led by the Catholic Education LOTE Leader, Lauren Gould, and will let you know when we will be ready to begin. It may not be until Term Two. If it is any sooner we will let you know. The plan is to find ways in which we can share the learning with parents so that we can all go on this journey together.
Learning Auslan will increase our understanding of deaf and hard of hearing people, it will teach us about being inclusive of people with disabilities and it will also be lots of fun! We look forward to getting it underway.
The Wednesday Timetable will look a little bit different in Term 1 with the hour previously allocated to LOTE, now allocated to Wellbeing.
The Prep/Ones will be learning about wellbeing topics such as feelings, emotions, friendship, making good decisions and inclusion.
The Year 4/5/6 students will be focusing on what it means to be a good leader. They will be specifically studying the 7 habits of a good leader.
At my previous Primary School I taught Wellbeing as a stand alone subject and could see the benefits that this brought to the students. When we are in a good place with our personal wellbeing it enhances all aspects of our lives, including our learning. I am sure the Wellbeing lessons will be very beneficial and enjoyable for our students.
We would like to congratulate Gracesyn and her partner James on their recent engagement. We wish them all the best for the planning of their big day and much happiness for their future together.
SCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCIL
The Annual General Meeting for the School Advisory Council will be held on Wednesday, 9th February at 7pm. ALL WELCOME
PLEASE NOTE: We will be requiring at least two new parents to join the School Advisory Council as some members have served the two year duration. If you would like to be part of it, please let Sophie Allibrand, Gracesyn or myself know. If you are interested but would like more information please drop in for a chat. There is also some information below regarding the purpose of a School Advisory Council. We look forward to welcoming you.
The The School Advisory Council is intended to:
- provide a voice for members of the school community
- actively support, in collaboration with the local parish, the Vision of the school
- provide input into and support for strategic planning and directions
- actively support and promote child safety practices including the National Safeguarding Principles for Child Safe Organisations
- provide input and contribute advice in the processes of school improvement and school review
- support the Principal in meeting his/her responsibilities and accountabilities for educational outcomes, effective stewardship of resources, and annual reporting
- actively support the Principal in the encouragement of family engagement
- support the ongoing sustainability of the SAC and its members in its succession and learning
SURFING EXCURSION - Families Welcome
A reminder that the surfing excursion is on Wednesday, 16th February. All school families are welcome to attend, maybe some of you can get out there and show us how it’s done!
Prep students are welcome to come along, however, the bus is full so Prep families would need to provide their own transport. We would love to see you there. Hopefully,we can get some warm weather.
MEET AND GREETS
On Tuesday 15th Feb and Thursday 17th February we will be conducting ‘Meet and Greet’ sessions. These 10 minute meetings give parents the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher and tell the teacher about their child. You know your children best and it is extremely helpful for us to learn more about them. It is also a wonderful opportunity for teachers and parents to build positive relationships with one another. We hope you can make it.
The sessions will run between 2pm and 4.30pm each day. Booking details will be provided shortly.
Our Senior Leaders for this year are Levi Armstrong, Lindon Baker, Kaitlyn Bourk, Abbey Campbell, Davina Campbell, Annabelle Carlon, Cassie Day, Maverick Lenehan, Tilly Scott and Indi Sutherland. These students are wonderful role models for the whole school and it is clear that our younger students already look up to them. We look forward to providing our Year Six students with many opportunities to take on leadership responsibilities to develop their leadership skills along the way.
All Year 6 students will be attending a student leadership workshop in Melbourne on Monday, 28th February. This will be a wonderful way for them to enhance their leadership skills. More details for Year Six parents will be available shortly.
SCHOOL REVIEW 2022
All schools are required to go through a Review process. In the Ballarat Diocese, this takes place every five years. St. Brendan’s is up for Review this year. There is quite a bit of work involved in the process and input will be sought from all stakeholders; students, parents and staff. You will be hearing more about this throughout the year. You will note in the dates below that most of our school closure days for 2022 will be focused on the Review.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR 2022
Please note the following School Closure Dates for 2022:
Feb 14: Misty Adoniou Staff PD - Scaffolding Literacy (Day 2)
4th March: Beginning of School Review Process
Friday 29th April: School Review
Monday 2nd May: School Review
Week 5: (date TBC) Presentation of School Review Report
Monday 31st October 31st: Literacy: The Science of Reading
(This is the Monday before the Melbourne Cup Holiday)
Other Dates to Note
Friday 11th February: Swimming begins
Wednesday 16th February: Surfing
Monday 28th February: Year 6 Leadership Conference
AUSTRALIAN PARENTING COUNCIL NEWSLETTER
Click on the link below for a variety of tips on parenting. There are some great articles.
Prep/1 Classroom News
Welcome to the 2022 school year! What a brilliant start we’ve had.
The classroom was a buzz of excitement and nerves as we welcomed eight new preps on Monday. Armed with enthusiasm and zest, they have fitted in perfectly! We also welcomed our five Grade 1 students who led from the front and have stepped up nicely as role models. It is going to be an incredible year with this group of students.
In the first week, students have participated in a range of play-based learning activities; these included Lego, play-dough, painting, drawing, dress-ups and crafts. I have been most impressed with the students’ engagement and desire to learn!
Highlight of the week so far... On Tuesday, the students were challenged to create a tower using blocks. They excelled at this task and managed to build a tower that stretched the entire length of the classroom. Upon measuring the enormous tower, we discovered it was more than eight metres in length! I observed an impressive display of teamwork and communication skills throughout this endeavour.
Home Reading: Reader folders have been sent home with students. These contain ‘take-home readers’ which I encourage you to read with your child for ten minutes a day. Please return reader folders to school each day so I can sign reading diaries and help students swap their readers for new ones when needed.
Swimming: School swimming begins next week on Thursday 10th February at 1.30-2.30pm. A reminder to pack a swimming bag for this day with your child’s swimmers, towel, goggles, drink bottle and a plastic bag for wet items.
Assembly: For new families, school assembly takes place on Thursday (on swimming days, this will become Friday) afternoons beginning at 2.50pm in the Hall. Families are welcome to attend.
Welcome again to the Prep/1’s and I look forward to the year ahead.
2/3/4 Classroom News
Welcome back everyone! I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas and a lovely break spending quality time with your loved ones. I hope 2022 brings you all health, happiness and a chance to travel around our amazing country.
Our class has returned refreshed and ready to learn! The new Year 2’s have fitted into our class well and the 3’s and 4’s are being helpful and great leaders.
We have welcomed Caleb and Jordon Price into our classroom this week. Caleb is in Year 4 and Jordy is in Year 2. We look forward to having them in our class and school community.
We have a new member in our class – Snazzy the teacher creature pet. Snazzy is purple and cuddly and wants to help us with our emotions. Everyone has had a chance to get to know her and she is excited to be in our room and spend time with such awesome kids!
As part of our Learning to Learn we are revisiting the Behaviour Matrix and investigating positive ways we can interact with others. We are also deciding on our learning goals for Term 1. The class is busy working on their Portfolio covers for the year with our theme being animal habitats.
The Star of the Week award goes to Charlie Ferrari. Congratulations on your excellent work!
If you have any queries please contact me.
5/6 Classroom News
Welcome back! I hope everyone enjoyed a well deserved break, it has been fantastic to see lots of smiling faces back at school.
In the senior room we have settled in well. I’m really impressed with all of the students’ efforts to step into their leadership role and guide the younger students.
In the first 2 weeks of school we are focusing on ‘Learning to Learn’. We have begun to unpack our Behaviour Matrix values, specifically looking at what we should and shouldn’t do to follow our matrix. The students have also been participating in team building games and activities, including a fun ‘Island Survival’ game.
This week the children received a 2022 school diary. This diary can be used for parent-teacher communication and logging nightly reading. Diaries are expected at school every day as I will be checking them each morning.
We are sharing all of our stationary items at school this year. Students are able to bring their own special stationary from home if they wish and this can be kept in students' tubs.
Year 6 families: It would be great to get some input from the students for the design of the Year 6 jumpers. Just a reminder that earlier this week a sheet was sent home for the students to complete.
Have a great week and please don’t hesitate to email me if you have any questions or concerns.
We would like to wish a very big Happy Birthday to everyone who has celebrated their special day throughout the Summer Holidays including:
January 12th - Aden Coates (8)
January 12th - Lexie Johnson (10)
January 20th - Kaitlyn Bourk (9)
January 26th - Cassie Day (12)
January 30th - Melody Baker (10)
Clearing Sale Fundraiser
Each year to help minimise the cost of school fees to families The Community Group, made up of all of the parents within the school, takes on the commitment to support the school through fundraising initiatives. The minimum pledge for fundraising is $6,000 a year.
One of the main fundraising sources of the Community Group has traditionally been catering for clearing sales in the local area. The first clearing sale for this year is the Roache Clearing Sale at Nalangil on 18th February 2022 and is kindly being organised by Donna Sutherland.
All families are asked to contribute to reduce the costs associated with running event. Donations have been kept to under $10 per family. If people feel they need to swap they are welcome but need to self-arrange. We thank everyone for contributing especially those manning the BBQ on the day.