Newsletter 16th March, 2022
Prep children commence full-time schooling
Last day of Term 1 students
School Closure Day
Staff Religious Education Professional Development Day
Start of 2nd Term
23rd - 27th May
Catholic Education Week
I would like to share something that came to all Principals through communication from Tom Sexton. It resonated with me and I hope that as you read it, you are able to make some connection with the season of Lent and how you approach it.
Once upon a time, an ancient story tells us, the master had a visitor who came to inquire about Zen. But instead of listening, the visitor kept talking about his own concerns and giving his own thoughts. After a while, the master served tea. He poured tea into his visitor’s cup until it was full and then he kept on pouring.
Finally, the visitor could not bear it any longer, “Don’t you see that my cup is full?” he said. “It’s not possible to get anymore in.”
“Just so,” the master said, stopping at last. “And like this cup, you are filled with your own ideas. How can you expect me to give you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
Lent is the process of emptying our cups. Lent is a time for trimming the soul and scraping the sludge off a life turned slipshod. Lent is about taking stock of time, even religious time. Lent is about exercising the control that enables us to say no to ourselves so that when life turns hard of its own accord, we have the spiritual stamina to say yes to its twists and turns with faith and with hope.
Lent is the time to make new efforts to be what we say we want to be.
—from The Rule of Benedict: A Spirituality for the 21st Century by Joan Chittister
Camp and Combined Schools' Day
Last week the Senior children participated in a 3 day camp at Sovereign Hill. Our goals for this camp were:
- to be able to immerse in an experience that would allow the children to learn about life on the goldfields in the 1850’s; and
- to make new friendships and connections with children from another school
The staff and children feel that these goals were certainly achieved and that while this camp was different than our usual camp experience, it was worthwhile and the overall feedback is positive. Being able to join the three schools – St. Michael’s, St. Mary’s and St. Brendan’s was certainly beneficial for a number of reasons. It is anticipated that we will plan further opportunities throughout the year for the children to learn and socialise together.
The Juniors also had a day together at St. Mary’s. For some, it was the first time that they had met each other. In past years we would have had swimming together very early on in the year. The two schools will come together for our swimming program in Term 2. We are also planning to have our combined schools days again in Terms 3 and 4.
Yesterday, the Senior children from St. Mary’s, St. Brendan’s and St. Pat’s, Gordon spent an hour together over lunchtime, as an initial get together in a very informal way. It was wonderful to hear one girl say as she left, ‘now I know at least one person that is going to Damascus next year.'
I am currently working with the Principals from St. Michael’s Daylesford, St. Pat’s Gordon, St. Brigid’s Ballan, and St. Augustine’s Creswick to develop a program for our Years 5 and 6 to come together in a more formalised way to develop leadership skills, build connections and socialise.
On Friday, the staff participated in their first day of the ReLATE journey which will span over three years. ReLATE is - Reframing Learning and Teaching Environments. ReLATE aims to make real, measurable and lasting change in schools to better the teaching, learning and wellbeing of not only students but staff, leaders and the whole school community.
- Empowers schools to create safe, supportive and predictable environments for enhanced teaching, learning and wellbeing.
- Strengthens staff understanding of how adverse childhood experiences and complex trauma can impact behaviours, attitude and learning.
- Enhances whole school culture and teacher attitudes, including teacher perspectives and responses to student behaviour and disengagement.
Our second day will be held on Friday the 13th of May.
We will begin to have assemblies again this term, with St. Brendan’s having theirs on Thursday the 7th of April at 2.45pm and St. Mary’s to have their assembly on Thursday the 31st of March at 2.45pm. All that are fully vaccinated are free to join us. We ask that you please wear a mask.
Preps start school full-time
Our Prep children have begun to attend school full-time this week. We know that our young children can still become very tired and if needed, please allow your child to have a rest day as their best learning can only happen when they are well rested, focused and alert. If you need to, please speak to your child’s teacher about this.
Principals' Gathering at Horsham
This Thursday and Friday, I am hoping to get to Horsham to gather with our 64 DOBCEL Primary and Secondary School Principals from the Central Zone. This will be the first time in my term as Principal that this will go ahead face to face. Normally we would have had at least two gatherings a year in Horsham. I am looking forward to joining together as a group in one place to learn and work collaboratively together. The support I gain from other Principals is invaluable and very supportive.
Last Monday night Sue’s mother-in-law passed away after a short illness. She was also Anita and Majella's aunt. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kieran, Sue, Anita, Majella and their families.
Wishing you peace, comfort, courage, and lots of love at this sad time.
Rapid Antigen Tests
A reminder to everyone that it is still highly recommended that children be tested twice weekly this term. Please let the school know if your child returns a positive test or is a close contact. They will need to isolate in both cases and the school needs to register all cases. As always, irrespective of COVID times, if your child is unwell, they should remain at home.
We still have tests available at school if you require them.
Take care everyone,
Junior Room News
Last week on Monday, the St Brendan’s Junior class joined us for a Combined Schools' Day. The teacher, Clare and students Sophie, Adele, Billy, Lucy and Aidan joined us for the day while the Senior students went to camp at Sovereign Hill.
We waved goodbye to the Campers and began our day.
We spent time with Tina, being peaceful and breathing with the Hoberman Ball.
It was a fun day getting to know each other and learning together.
Patrick: We used our BRICKs. We were COURAGEOUS getting to know each other, INCLUSIVE playing together, KIND sharing and RESPECTFUL.
Kamden: When St Brendan’s came over I liked meeting everyone and playing Bumble Bee to get to know each other.
Kaezia: It was a fun day because there were no Seniors and it was just a Junior day with St. Brendan’s.
Quinn: I made new friends and one of them was called Sophie.
Sovereign Hill Camp Report
Last week the senior students from St Mary’s, St Brendan’s and St Michael’s in Daylesford went on camp to Sovereign Hill. We were there for 3 days and 2 nights. This camp was different to other camps we have been to because this camp was an opportunity to experience school life in the 1850s.
An exciting experience waiting to begin……
We arrived at Sovereign Hill at about 10am and settled into our cabins. As it is closed to the public on Mondays, we had the chance to explore the town. We had time to walk around and visit different stores including the most popular lolly shop where most of us spent all of our money! We also visited the candle shop and many other stores. We got to see them make horse head, umbrella and toffee apple lollies.
We also had the opportunity to pan for gold in the creek and a few of us actually found some. EUREKA!!! Before lunch we set off on another journey to go bowling. It was very different to modern bowling - the pins and balls were made out of solid wood, we had to stand the pins up ourselves and send the ball back for the next person.
After lunch we toured the gold mine. It was cool and creepy and we felt like it was going to cave in because it was so old and we were so far underground.
Finally the time had come for us to become students of the 1850s. We went to the change rooms to get into costume and travel back in time. The girls had to wear long old fashioned dresses, pantaloons, pinafores, long white socks, capes and their hair tied up in pigtails or braids. The boys wore knickerbockers, flouncy shirts, neck scarves, caps and coats.
We were divided into 2 school groups - St Peter’s and Red Hill National School. To get to the school we had to line up in 2 straight lines, girls and boys, shortest to tallest. We were not allowed to talk and had to walk with straight posture and our hands clasped together.
Once at the school we did the following:
Introduced ourselves to Ma’am. Some of us became monitors including duster, attendance, greeter and bell. We learnt the 3 Rs - Reading, Writing, ‘rithmetic. We practised our 12 and 16/17 times tables! We sang.
The girls did some cross stitch, while the boys did some drawing.
We learnt about games played in the 1850s. Some of our real teachers dressed up and became characters who visited the schools.
We headed back to the 1850s classroom today. We had been told by Ma’am that we would need to pay our fees today in some way. Some of us paid her with fruit and others made up excuses why they couldn’t pay her. Today we practised our writing skills using ink and nibs. The boys did some rope work while the girls finished their sewing. We then visited some of the stores in Sovereign Hill including the gold pour. We watched the man pour liquid gold and then dunk it in water and it turned solid. It was worth $280,000! We also saw the Red Coat Soldiers who ‘won’t stop at anything’. Their job was to protect the gold being transported between Ballarat and Melbourne. They helped the police on the goldfields.
After another big day it was time to get on the bus and head home. The Sovereign Hill camp was a different experience. We had lots of fun and made new friends with the kids from St Michael’s. Many of us loved dressing up and pretending we were back in the 1850s, but all of us were very grateful that we are living and attending school in 2022!
The conveyance allowance is a form of financial assistance to help families in rural and regional Victoria with the cost of trans-porting their children to their nearest appropriate school/campus. The conveyance allowance is available to eligible students travelling by public transport, private car and private bus.
Reside 4.8km or more by the shortest practicable route from that school/campus attended
If you would like to apply for Conveyance allowance please download and complete the application form below. The paperwork will need to be submitted to the office by the close of business today.
Camps, Sports & Excursions Fund (CSEF) Claim Information
School camps provide children with inspiring experiences in the great outdoors.
Excursions encourage a deeper understanding of how the world works and sports teach teamwork, discipline and leadership. All are part of a healthy curriculum.
CSEF will be provided by the Victorian Government to assist eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities.
If you hold a valid means-tested concession card or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible for CSEF. A special consideration category also exists for asylum seeker and refugee families. The allowance is paid to the school to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions or sporting activities for the benefit of your child.
The annual CSEF amount per student is:
•• $125 for primary school students
•• $225 for secondary school students.
HOW TO APPLY
Download the CSEF application form via link below
Please complete the CSEF form and return to the office by the close of business today.
Gardening and Tidying Roster 2022
14th -27th March: Slater Family
28th - 10th April: Toose Family