Newsletter No. 13 | Term 2 Week 4 | Thursday 19th May 2022
Dear Families and Friends,
Yesterday we conducted our School Open Day. As we prepared for the day, I looked with pride around our school. We have excellent facilities, classrooms look inviting and engaging, the outdoor spaces and opportunities for outdoor learning are fabulous, and lovely displays represent the diverse learning of our students, as well as reflecting that we offer a holistic, well-rounded education.
But it is not all about how the school looks, is it? And it is also not only about the academic opportunities we provide for our students. A really important aspect is the feel of the school, or in the words of Dennis Denuto in the film, The Castle, ‘it’s the vibe of the thing’. We’ve got a pretty good vibe going on at St. Brendan’s. The sense of belonging and inclusion that our children feel, as well as the care they have for one another, the friendships, the respect, and the sense of fun, all contribute to making our school a great place to be.
It was heartwarming to observe two of our Prep students welcome a prospective Prep student to our school. Without prompting, they took her by the hand and showed her round the school, with the guinea pigs and chooks being the first two stops! The Prep girls were absolutely delightful and on the way out, I heard our little visitor say “They are my friends”.
We can do lots of things to make our school look good but nothing beats the way a school makes us feel.
ST BRENDAN'S FEAST DAY
Tomorrow we will be celebrating St. Brendan’s Feast Day. Like St. Brendan, we will be going on a journey for the day. Please check out the details below.
Families are invited to join us at any time throughout the day.
WALK TO SCHOOL DAY
8:00: Meet at the old Langdons (opposite shop)
8.15: Start walking to school
9.30: Bus departs school
10:00: Mass at St.Mary’s Colac
10.40 - 11.00: Fruit Break / Morning Tea with parishioners at the church
11.00 - 11.30: Walk to gardens and have play lunch
11.30 - 12.30: Group Activities
12.30 - 1.00: Chips / potato cakes
1.00: Bus back to school - dropping pictures off to Nursing Homes along the way.
2.00: Back at school.
A reminder to spread the word that the school is open for enrolments. The best way to advertise the school is by word of mouth, so let’s get talking and let everyone know about our beautiful school. If you know someone who is unsure about where to send their child next year, let them know that they are welcome to make an appointment for a tour of the school.
NAPLAN testing has now concluded. The children have done very well to approach the tests with a sense of calm and optimism. All you can ask of anyone is to do their best, and we are proud of every child who sat the tests.
A reminder that school photos are now scheduled for: Thursday 2nd June. Fingers crossed for third time lucky!
We are pleased to announce that we will be running our ‘Little Learners’ program again this year. The Little Learners is a program designed by the school for 3-4 year olds and endeavors to give children the opportunity to become familiar with a school setting, mix with other young children and have some fun.
The first session will begin on Friday 27th May. If you know anyone who may like to bring their preschooler along let us know. The more the merrier!
Have a great week everyone,
EGG-CITEMENT IN THE PREP/1 CLASSROOM
A knock at the door announces the arrival of a visitor. Thirteen expectant faces turn immediately in response to the hollow sound.
A moment later the children erupt in excitement as they recognise the friendly figure at the door. She greets the class with a sunny smile and humbly waits to enter the room.
“Abbey’s here!” squeals one very excited child.
“The chickens!” screams another. The students have come to know Grade 6 student, Abbey Campbell, as the very knowledgeable expert on all things chickens… And they absolutely love the opportunity to have her visiting the classroom. Over the past few weeks, Abbey has been teaching the Prep/1s about hatching baby chicks. Having bought her own incubator into school, Abbey has guided the children in collecting, observing and caring for the eggs.
So far we have learnt a multitude of interesting facts:
- It takes 21 days for a baby chick to hatch
- The incubator must remain at 38 degrees
- Each day, the eggs need to be turned and sprayed with mist
- Chickens have a tongue the same shape as their beak
- Chickens can dream!
It is said that children have “100 languages - 100 ways of doing, exploring, expressing, connecting and imagining.” Abbey intuitively understands this and has been creating activities for the students to complete each day. These range from finger-painting, egg blowing and cut & paste to feather collecting and word matching. The most admiral quality that Abbey possesses however, is her caring and nurturing nature. She is patient, kind and helpful towards the Prep/1s.
It is a delight to watch Abbey engage with the students. As she leaves the room, a chorus of voices follow her down the hall…and all the way back to her own classroom, “Byeeee Abbey!” “We love you Abbey” “Thanks Abbeyyyyy!”
We had some great discussions at the SRC Meeting this week. Our student leaders had lots of fantastic ideas to share, here is some of what they had to say:
Sophie Carlon P/1 Leader: 'We had fruit and biscuits for morning tea that I really liked. Some of the things we talked about were being nice to other people and laughing and having fun. I had an idea that we should have a party at school this term or a pajama day.'
Aden Coates 2/3/4 Leader: 'I loved the TimTams and the cookies at the SRC Meeting! We talked about getting more things for the cubby house and I thought this was the best idea. I also had the idea that we should have a colour fun run fundraiser or a pajama day dress up with movies, colouring in, mindfullness and relaxing. When I asked my classmates what they would like the SRC to ask for they said they want a swimming pool!'
Grace Bayne 2/3/4 Leader: 'Morning tea at the SRC meeting was great! I ate some fruit. We talked about getting some new stuff for the cuby. If I could plan one event for school this term it would be a 'Bring your Pet to School Day'. My classmates think they we should get an in-ground trampoline at school.'
Lindon Baker 5/6 Leader: 'I really enjoyed the SRC Meeting. I explained that I think we should change the fruit snack rules so we can eat nuts and yogurt as well. If I could plan one event this term it would be a disco on the last day of the term. Some ideas my classmates came up with for the SRC were; putting a school bell on the back oval, 'Bring a Pet to School Day' (Only one pet per family) and new silver bins in the classrooms.'
YEAR 6 LEADERS
As part of our new Senior Leadership structure, Year 6 students have been put into one of three Leadership groups. Well done to Audrey Rock for coming up with the catchy names for the groups!
The groups are:
Earth Heroes Happy Helpers Social Sunshine Creators
We look forward to seeing what each group does to have an impact on our school and their fellow students.
More information on the purpose and function of each group can be found in Miss Whytcross’s section of the Newsletter. Check it out!
Below: Mavericks group (Earth Heroes), Aylas group (Sunshine Creators) and Levis group (Happy Helpers).
WOW WALL ADDITIONS
Charlie: running up to open the door for Mrs. McGuaner when he noticed that her arms were full and she couldn’t open it. Very considerate Charlie!
Matilda & Caleb: Look what Matilda and Caleb made on their first attempts at learning to knit. Amazing!
Sophie Carlon: As part of the Prep/1s Let it Grow Project, Sophie learnt how to drive a tractor. Wow Sophie!
FUN IN THE PLAYGROUND
Wow look at that balance! Great work Eden and Matilda. Not possible without the strong support of Claire, Pearl, Sophie and Isabella.
ST. BRENDAN'S FEAST DAY
St. Brendan’s Feast Day will be celebrated on Friday 20th May with an excursion into Colac for Mass and activities in the Botanical Gardens.
A permission form was sent out via PAM last week. All parents and carers should have received an email notification when this was sent, if you didn't please check your junk folder as it may have landed there. The PAM permission form will need to be approved before Thursday 19th May in order for your child to attend this excursion.
CATHOLIC EDUCATION WEEK MASS
On Wednesday 25th May all students will travel into St Mary's Church in Colac for the Catholic Education Week Mass along with students from St Mary's and Sacred Heart Primary Schools, followed by joint group activities. A permission form was sent out for this excursion last week using PAM, please log in and approve this permission form before Wednesday 24th May.
Instructions on how to use PAM and how to approve a permission form are below. If you need any help getting this set up please see Gracesyn in the front office.
We are pleased to announce that $121.05 was raised by students in support of Project Compassion in Term 1. This is a wonderful effort in a small school, well done everyone!
We will round our donation up to $125 which is enough money for Caritas Australia to provide a survivor of gender-based violence with shelter in Lebanon.
Prep/1 Classroom News
The Prep/1’s have had a very productive week so far. I have observed some quality examples of reading, writing and problem solving.
Friday is St.Brendan’s Feast Day celebration. Students will be bused to St.Mary’s Church for mass at 10am. They will then participate in activities at the Colac Botanic Gardens
School photos have been postponed until June 2nd.
WORD WORK: The Prep’s are focusing on the letters d,e,v and f. They have been learning their associated sounds and practising reading three letter words containing them eg. vet. The Grade 1’s are working on the spelling <qu> like in ‘quit’ or ‘queen.’
WRITING: Our information report unit is well underway. This week the students have practised writing opening sentences.
Eg. “A horse is a type of animal” - (Pearl Armistead)
They also used adjectives to describe the appearance of their chosen subject.
Eg. “Chickens have silky white feathers, sharp claws and squinty eyes.” - (Isabella Coates)
MATHS: The Preps have been learning about ordinal (aka ordering) numbers, such as first, second, third, fourth etc. The Grade 1’s have been comparing two-digit numbers to one hundred by first looking at the number of tens and then ones to decide which number is bigger.
RELIGION: We have continued exploring the overarching concept of love this week. After reading the story, “Love Is” by Claire Adams, the students were invited to write their own sentences about their understanding of love.
INTEGRATED CURRICULUM: Students’ virtual worlds are taking shape. This week, students created a character and have begun profiling their character’s appearance, personality and interests.
LET GROW PROJECT: I have been overwhelmed and impressed with everyone’s ‘Let Grow Projects.’ Here’s a quick summary of the incredible things the Prep/1’s have been up to:
Milly: Made waffles for her entire family
Ivy: Planted a flower garden
Luca: Stacked wood, collected the mail and then made an omlette
Jessie: Did the grocery shopping by herself
Sophie: Learnt to drive the little tractor
Liam: Rode approximately 3km on his bike, including 2km all by himself
Ruby: Made a vanilla cake in a cup
If anyone needs help or has queries about the project, please let me know.
2/3/4 Classroom News
Welcome to Week 4!
We are heading off tomorrow to St. Marys Church to celebrate St. Brendan’s Feast Day with Father Michael at 10.00am Mass. We extend a warm welcome to all to come along and join us in prayer and song. After that we will make our way to the Botanical Gardens for a play and activities. Lunch will be provided for the whole school. On the way home we will drop off pictures drawn by the children to the local nursing homes. If the weather is undesirable we will travel back to school after Mass but the children will still have lunch provided for them.
LITERACY: This week in Literacy we have been exploring anagrams. Anagrams are words that can be made by rearranging letters to form new words. For example, team and mate can be made from the word meat. We have also been learning the Dropping Rule. Ask for an explanation and hopefully your child can tell you what it means!
SPELLING: Our spelling focus for Year 2 is ‘a-e ’ and for the Year 3’s and 4’s ‘silent k, b and t’.
READING: Our EPIC reading total is at 600 books. A tremendous effort 2/3/4’s!
INTEGRATED CURRICULUM: Our Integrated Curriculum sessions have been extremely productive and the children have been creating amazing virtual worlds. It is lovely to see the children helping each other and sharing their ideas and expertise.
MATHS: In Maths we have been working with number lines: adding and subtracting 2 and 3 digit numbers, and adding and subtracting 10’s and 100’s from 3 and 4 digit numbers.
HOMEWORK: Homework this week is practising times tables: Year 2’s have the 2, 5 and 10 times and Year 3’s and 4’s have a mixture of tables up to the 12 times.
NAPLAN testing has been completed and parents will be notified when we get the results.
Star of the Week award goes to Brennan Robb. Congratulations on your excellent work and effort!
5/6 Classroom News
Welcome to Week 4 of Term 2!
COWS CREATE CAREERS: Our two calves Bright and Future, are arriving on Monday next week. We are very excited to take care of them and watch them grow over the next two weeks. The Year 5/6‘s will be completing some tasks while participating in the program. One of these tasks involves them creating a 3D model on a dairy industry topic. It would be great if anyone had any toy farm animals at home that we could use for our displays.
LEADERSHIP GROUPS: This term we have been working hard and creating some senior leadership groups. These groups have a special focus; environment, wellbeing and social justice and will allow students to take on more responsibilities and continue to develop their leadership skills. Take a look below to see what they’re all about. A special shout out to Audrey for thinking of our catchy names.
EARTH HEROES: “Earth Heroes” is a student-led group who are passionate about keeping our school clean and a nice environment for everyone to enjoy. Earth Heroes are responsible for emptying the bins daily, taking care of our school chickens and teaching others about the importance of saving the environment.
HAPPY HELPERS: “Happy Helpers” is a leadership group whose goal is to make their peers feel included and good about themselves. Happy Helpers are responsible for promoting the wellbeing of others through motivational posters, yoga sessions, weekly group games at lunchtimes and more.
SOCIAL SUNSHINE CREATORS: “Social Sunshine Creators” is a student group who love helping people and want to bring sunshine into others’ lives. Social Sunshine Creators are responsible for organising fundraisers where they can raise money and donations for the less fortunate in our community and around the world.
WRITING: This week we started writing our persuasive texts. We used our focus text ‘Let’s Save Antarctica’ to help us structure our sentences and paragraphs to persuade the reader. They are looking great so far!
MATHS: We are still working on our Fractions, Decimals and Percentages unit. This week the Year 5’s have been comparing fractions and the Year 6’s have been multiplying and dividing decimals by whole numbers.
INTEGRATED CURRICULUM: In our Digital Technology unit we have been working on our virtual worlds using CoSpaces. This week we learnt how to move and turn our characters using coding.
HOMEWORK: Just a reminder that homework is due back on Friday 20th May.
I hope you all have a great week, 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 or will celebrated their special day this week!
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 Gayle McNabb CHILD SAFETY OFFICER: Mrs Leanne Eastman