Term 4 Week 4 2022
Dear families and friends,
‘We do whatever it takes to lead the way in Love, Learning, Faith, School Spirit, Sport & Community’
I know this is a long shot, kind of like finding a needle in a haystack, but do we have a builder that can do a smallish paid job for us at school to open up an eating space for our kids. It does not require building anything, just dismantling sheets of colourbond off a timber framed wall, alongside the timber holding it in place and a concrete lip at the bottom.
We know the big majority of parents cannot help during school hours due to work and other commitments. To be honest, we don’t want too many helpers as this can often get in the way. Thank you to the parents who are helping us over the next few weeks on a Tuesday morning.
Principal & AP Cuppa & Cake
Thank you to the three parents who listened to what was happening at our school and offered their thoughts and feedback. Much appreciated!
Wakakirri: St Mary's Primary School Receives Major Award in National Festival
Our School has taken home a NATIONAL STORY AWARD - for excellence in performing arts and raising awareness about Cultural Diversity for their performance 'This Is Us - Casino' as part of the 2022 National Wakakirri Story-Dance Festival.
Wakakirri is Australia’s largest performing arts event for schools with over 180 taking part in 2022. Participating schools are inspired by the Wakakirri ethos ‘great stories inspire change’ to create and perform story-dances that reflect students’ thoughts, ideas and aspirations. Wakakirri Festival Director, Adam Loxley said “The standard of performance and the stories being told by schools this year was exceptional so we should be very proud of their award”. The Wakakirri panel member Katie Kermond described the performance as “A committed, high standard of Story-Dance. A pleasure to watch and highly entertaining.”
Classes Next Year
I am busy organising teachers for classes next year and soon our staff and I will be placing kids in these classes. I aim to have teachers on grades and communicate this as soon as I can. There are always changes being made at the last minute. Students will know their teacher for next year towards the end of the term. This is a big process that involves great discernment and discussion in order to put teachers on the best suited grade, in the best suited team and kids with the teacher and students we feel best meets their needs. I have been here for 8 years now and am pleased with my crew as we have grown and developed together. Like previous years, except in special circumstances, I will be reluctant to grant the choice of teacher you have for your child. I must thank our parent body as I only receive a few genuine requests each year. If you do have something you think I should know about that may impact, then please contact me as I wish to ensure we set the students and teachers up for success. I have been very pleased with how our students have responded to their teachers this year, so please continue to have faith in our professional judgment. You would be amazed at how long it takes to come up with these lists with the complexities of learning ability levels, behaviours, suitability, family situations etc. We have a holistic approach to what we do here to ensure consistency within a grade and throughout the school.
Dates for Diary
Christmas Carols Concert - Thursday 24th November 6.00pm - 7.00pm at the back of the new college building
Student Free Day- Friday 25th November
Assistant Principal's News - Mission
Three Sixteen Youth Group
Two sessions left for the year:
- Friday 4th November (today) - 3:30pm-5:00pm
- Friday 11th November - 3:30pm-5:00pm
Our House Cooking
On Tuesday 22nd November, a number of our school staff will be voluntarily cooking a meal for the residents of the Our House facility at Lismore. Our House is a purpose built accommodation for those undergoing medical treatment at Lismore Base Hospital and their families.
Student of the Month Assembly
Our second last SOM Assembly for the year will be held on Friday 4th November from 2:10pm in the COLA on the school grounds.
A reminder that we have a school Breakfast Club operating daily from 8:30am serving toast. Dino Polese has been kindly voluntarily cooking pancakes for our students every Tuesday and Thursday morning. Dino has also been coming in every morning for the last two weeks and blowing our school down as Mr Condon has been on leave. Thank you so much, Dino!
We will celebrate a prayer service as a whole school on Friday 11th November in recognition of Remembrance Day. This is such a special day for us and our students to be aware of and remember the sacrifices of those who have gone before us and provided us with the life we have now.
- 11th November - Remembrance Day, Scooter Friday & SOM Assembly at 2:10pm
- 16th November - Years 3 & 4 Soccer Gala Day (selected students - Mr Parrish)
- 17th November - Year 4 'Accendere' Student Retreat Day (all Y4 students)
- 18th November - Year 5 'Exuro' Student Retreat Day (all Y5 students) & Kinder, Years 5 & 6 Mass at the Church (1:00pm)
- 22nd November - Year 2 Student Retreat Day (all Y2 students)
- 24th November - Christmas Concert
- 25th November - Student Free Day
- 1st December - Swimming Carnival (competitive swimmers only)
- 9th December - SOM Assembly
- 14th December - Year 6 Graduation
Assistant Principal - Mission
Assistant Principal's News Teaching & Learning
Learning Walks and Talks
Learning Walks and Talks is an evidence-based practice, used by schools to move schools from "pockets of excellent practice" to "school-wide excellence in classroom practice". These are non-evaluative tools where members of staff visit different classrooms, to collect data on how well the students are taking ownership of their learning. They also inform leaders and teachers' next steps in professional learning.
The visitors to the classrooms ask the students 5 questions whilst they are learning:
1. What are you learning? Why?
2. How are you going?
3. How do you know?
4. How can you improve?
5. Where do you go for help?
The answers the students give to these questions give the leaders and teachers a good understanding of how well the students understand their learning, and if they can use the learning environment to support their continued growth.
We have begun the Learning Walks and Talks process at SMP and will use these to ascertain how well the students understand their learning intentions if they are able to use their success criteria, if our feedback processes are working and how goal setting is supporting our students' learning. We look forward to this tool helping all staff to continue their own professional development whilst improving students' ownership and results.
Vaping: Information & Awareness
Vaping is on the rise in Australia and has become popular amongst teenagers and young adults. Alarmingly, a recent study has also shown that there is an increase in the number of primary school-aged children who are experimenting with vapes. There are many misconceptions about vapes being fairly harmless and that vapes in Australia do not contain nicotine. Our school is committed to the health and wellbeing of our students and will be including a series of informative resources for our parent community over the next 3 editions of our newsletter. We hope parents and carers use these helpful resources to:
● learn the facts about e-cigarettes and vaping,
● recognise what a vape looks like,
● understand why vaping is attractive to young people and
● engage in positive conversations at home.
By working in partnership we hope to support our young people to make healthy choices.
Please watch this informative 2 minute video which provides some key information about vaping and e-cigarettes.
● Vaping is the act of smoking e-cigarettes or ‘vapes’ that can look like metallic pens, USBs and other hand-held systems.
● Vapes use cartridges filled with liquids, which typically contain nicotine, artificial flavouring, and various chemicals. These can be harmful to the developing body.
● Research shows that 1 in 5 young people have vaped and nearly 80% of young people say it is easy to get a vape illegally at a shop or online.
● Nicotine is especially addictive for young brains. It can cause long-lasting negative effects on brain development and can include impaired attention, learning, memory and changes in mood.
● You can find out more about vaping from NSW Health.
Conversation Starters at Home
Start conversations about vaping with your child early. You could consider the following questions or conversation starters:
1. Are a lot of kids vaping at your school? Are your friends vaping?
Be sure you don’t react, just listen.
2. What do you think about vaping?
You may hear your child say that vaping is harmless. It’s important to share some good information with your child about the impacts of vaping.
3. Do you know what is in vapes?
Share with them that they’ve tested vapes and they do not contain only water vapor and flavouring. Vapes can contain very high levels of nicotine and other toxic chemicals that damage lungs.
AP Teaching & Learning
Leader of Pedgaogy
Congratulations to Sophia Derrig in Year 4 who entered the Write 4 Fun short story competition. Sophia’s story ‘ The Greatest Grubber’ has been selected to be published in the annual Unleashed publication. This is a great achievement for Sophia. We are very proud of her success and look forward to reading her story when it is published.
In Terms 2 and 4 each year, each student from Years 2 to 6 complete the online Pat Assessments. This involves a Reading Comprehension assessment and a Mathematics assessment that assess skills across a range of mathematical strands.
The results are collated and analysed to track the growth each student has made across the year and also to identify the needs of each student to plan what’s next in their learning. This data is a valuable tool in setting goals and planning programmes that meet the needs of our students.
Congratulations to the following students who have made the most growth in their grade this year.
Leader of Pedagogy
K-2 Instructional Leader
K-2 Parent Helpers
During Term 4, we are very lucky to have parent helpers assist us in our learning. From Week 3 to Week 7, parents are volunteering their time to read, build and explore with the students during Investigations. Some parents are even sharing their own talents with us!
We wish to welcome parents a little more into our learning, especially after the disconnect during COVID and to continue to build relationships with our SMP community.
Thank you to all the parents so far, who have come along to learn with us!
K-2 Instructional Leader
K-2 Parent Helpers
Leader of Love and Community
Here is what we have been up to at SMP and soem events coming up!
Casino Fun Run
On Sunday 23rd October, over 30 students braved the rainy weather to compete in the Casino Fun Run. We all had smiles on our faces and came away with lots of medals! Here is a list of winners ...
Bulgarr Ngaru - Primary Schools Cup 5km Team - Winner
Chase Roberts, Riley White, Abby Gray, Mfy Gray, Wallace Gray
Bulgarr Ngaru - Primary Schools Cup 5km Team - Second Place
Connor Gillespie, Riley Gillespie, Eydie Martin, Finnan Martin
Bulgarr Ngaru - Primary Schools Cup 2km Team -Third Place
Stella Henderson, Isabel Henderson, Jazmin Henderson, Harrison Myers
5km 5-16 Age Range Third Place - Abby Gray
5km 40+ Age Range Third Place - Paula McIntyre
Congratulations to everyone!!!
Scooter Friday - Friday 11th November (Week 5)
All students are able to bring in their scooters to ride at lunch time, as long as they have a helmet.
Scooters and helmets can be placed on the netball court when the students arrive at school.
Please be aware that scooters are not allowed to be taken onto school buses.
Our SMP Christmas Concert will be held on Thursday 24th November. Please see the attached flyer for all of the details!
Leader of Love & Community
Happy birthday to Finn Irvine Milla Constable Charlotte Deegan Mason Newby Regan Stokes Harpah Baker Lilly Mulqueen Blake Simeoni Benjamin Johnston Chloe Glasby Willow Moss Isabella MacMahon Ella Rippon Bree Randall Jasper Edwards Beau Darragh Alexah Adam Alexis Martin Jett Crane Iyla Farr Aurora Silver and Ryder Bonner who recently celebrated their birthday, and to Ameliah Butcher who celebrates tomorrow.