Term 1 Week 4 2023
‘We do whatever it takes to lead the way in Love, Learning, Faith, School Spirit, Sport & Community’
Dear families and friends,
Student Led Conferences Monday and Tuesday 27 & 28 February
We would like to encourage families to enjoy a little social time when you come for our Student Led Conferences next Monday and Tuesday. Afternoon Tea, tea and coffee will be available from 4.00pm -5.30pm at Mary’s Cafe near the Kinder Playground during the Student Led Conferences either before or after your meetings.
School Leaders will be available both nights to have a chat:
- 4.00pm - 4.30pm - Sam Irvine, Laura Hughes & Stacey Forrester
- 4.30pm- 5.00pm - Felicity Wilde & Paula McIntyre
- 5.00pm - 5.30pm - John O’Brien & Michelle Bratti
My 2023 Goals
- Ensure Learning (Writing) and Pastoral Care is high quality, clearly understood and successfully enacted.
- Ensure our human and tangible resources best target learning, wellbeing and the holistic needs of our kids.
- Continue to create an innovative physical environment to inspire our student learning, wellbeing and sense of adventure.
- Quality Teaching & Best Practice deeply embedded in 2023
- Learning improves in Writing over a period of 2 plus years
- Kids continue to Love and thrive at SMP
Save the Date
- Open & Celebration of Learning Night Wednesday 5 April
- 100 Years of the Convent Friday 5 May
As you know, I am not a big fan of putting up fences. Our new school fence was not designed to protect our buildings and tangible assets. In my 8 years, we have been broken into a couple of times, only once with any sort of minor damage. The fence is aimed at providing another level to protect our most precious assets. It is to ensure we are compliant and protect our kids. It is a busy road with foot and car/truck traffic. This extra layer of protection provides more ease of mind. It also ensures when our little kinders start, they just can’t climb the fence and take off (this has happened more than once). The colourbond fence down the back ensures we don’t see the neighbours and more importantly the neighbours don’t see us, adding another layer of Child Protection.
Acknowledging the 1 Year Anniversary of the Floods
We will be doing this next week very gently and sensitively with our kids with a focus on gratitude for all those who helped and acknowledging where we have come from over the year. I have created some activities for our teachers to lead with their class. Our teachers are very skilled with these sensitivities and relationships and we will have our counsellors available for any child that may need this.
Assistant Principal's News - Mission
Each class in the school now has a "Mission Box" on their prayer table that was handed out at Ash Wednesday. The purpose of the Mission Box is for students to put in some money that they would like to donate to people who are less fortunate than us. The Mission Box is run by Caritas Australia who use the donations from thousands of schools, parishes and supporters in Australia to raise funds for the most marginalised communities around the world. This year Caritas will donate the contributions to the poor in Nepal, Zimbabwe, Vietnam and in marginalised Australian communities. It is by no means compulsory for the students to put any money into the Mission Box, it is more an opportunity for those who have some spare change and would like to help out someone else with it.
Thank you to all of the parents and family members who came along to celebrate Ash Wednesday with us this week. Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent and a really special liturgical celebration for us as we lead into Easter. Well done to all of the Year 6 students who had a role either altar serving, reading or distributing the ashes.
ThreeSixTeen Youth Group
Again this year, St Mary’s Catholic College has offered to run an after school youth group at the church for our Years 2-6 students that focuses on bringing kids together for fun, food and understanding about God in their lives. The program is called 'ThreeSixTeen' and will be coordinated by College teacher Mahaila Day and supported by youth ministry officers and high school students. The idea of the session is for students to have lots of fun and participate in enjoyable activities.
ThreeSixTeen will be held 2 times in Term 1 after school from 3:30pm - 5:00pm (Friday 3 March & Friday 24 March). To support the running of this program, a teacher from our school will collect the students after school on the Friday, walk them to the church and stay until the end of the session. Parents will be required to pick their child up from the church at 5.00pm.
The parents of students who have indicated they are interested in attending have been sent an email and message on Compass.
Friday Church Visits
All parents and family members are welcome to come along to our Friday church liturgies/prayer services throughout the term. See below for Term 1 dates:
- Friday 10 March - Kinder, Year 3, Year 5 and Year 6
- Friday 17 March - Years 1, Year 2 and Year 4
- Friday 24 March - Kinder and Year 6
Student of the Month (SOM) Assembly
Our first whole school SOM assembly will be held on Friday 3 March at 2.10pm in the Relihan Centre at the College. If your child is receiving a classroom award from their teacher, you will receive a text message to your mobile phone informing you of this to help you make arrangements so you can attend. All family members are also welcome to attend. If your child receives a Learning Achievement or Student of the Month award, this should be something your child can be really proud of and celebrated at home.
Policies & Reporting
A copy of the CSO Child Protection Policy is located on our school website. All of our school staff are mandatory reporters.
Assistant Principal Mission
Assistant Principal's News Teaching & Learning
Australia’s education ministers have announced a few changes to NAPLAN that begin this year.
The first big change is the timing of the tests. NAPLAN used to occur in Term 2 but has been moved forward to Term 1 this year. We are hopeful this will mean we will get results back in a more timely manner.
The second big change is to do with how NAPLAN results are reported to schools and parents. Student results will now be reported against four levels of achievement instead of the previous ten “proficiency bands”. The new levels are “exceeding”, “strong”, “developing” and “needs additional support”. It is hoped that the new easy-to-read reports will make NAPLAN data more accessible to parents and give a clearer picture to the school of how students are performing.
The dates for NAPLAN this year are:
Wednesday 15 March - Writing (Yr 5 online, Yr 3 paper)
Thursday 16 March- Reading and Language Conventions (online)
Friday 17 March- Numeracy (online)
The following week is allocated for students who are absent, to catch up on any missed tests. Students can not catch up on a missed Writing test, this must be completed on the allocated day.
Paula McIntyre has been contacting any parents of students who are eligible for adjustments during NAPLAN. If you have not heard from Paula in regard to this and you believe your child is eligible for adjustments, please contact the school.
If you have any other questions about NAPLAN please don't hesitate to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
Premiers Reading Challenge
Our students will once again be taking part in the Premiers Reading Challenge. This is a wonderful way to encourage students to read and is a cumulative challenge that rewards students for each year they participate. Students will receive their login and reading log sheet in the next couple of weeks and can log books from 27 February until 18 August.
K-2 students will not need to log anything as this will be covered through their weekly in-class reading and this will be logged by the school as the challenge progresses. If a child in Yrs 3-6 wish to complete the challenge, they can fill in their paper copy Personal Reading Log and upload their booklist to https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/prc/home.html
I have attached the Parent Information sheet for more details. Please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information.
Glass Drink Bottles
We have had a few instances recently of students dropping glass drink bottles on the concrete at school. This becomes quite a dangerous situation for those playing around them so we please ask you to refrain from sending glass drink bottles to school from now on. Thank you for your understanding in this matter.
AP Teaching & Learning
K-2 Instructional Leader
Systematic Synthetic Phonics Approach: InitiaLit
A key priority in the new K-2 Syllabus is to build strong foundations in literacy and numeracy. In order to reflect this pedagogical shift and respond to the feedback from leaders and K-2 teachers in our schools late in 2021, we have implemented a systematic synthetic phonics approach across K-2 called InitiaLit. InitiaLit teaches children how to read and spell through daily lessons, using research-based teaching methods.
InitiaLit teaches children that words are made up of sounds and that those sounds are represented by letters. Unlike learning to talk, which children do without formal instruction, children need to be directly taught the relationship between sounds and letters. Each year in InitiaLit children will build upon the knowledge of the alphabetic code. They will learn that a letter or letters can make different sounds and that two or three letters together can make a sound. They will also learn key terminology such as ‘vowel’, ‘syllable’, ‘phoneme’, ‘grapheme’, and ‘digraph’.
How can you help with your child’s reading at home?
Read a storybook each day to your child and discuss the story, pointing out any new words to enrich their vocabulary. Spend time teaching your child nursery rhymes, songs and poems. Play language games. Talk about letters and sounds in the environment.
When readers are sent home, make sure that you spend time listening to your child read, providing support to help them apply their knowledge about sounds and letters to the text. Talk about what they are reading, checking for comprehension.
K-2 Instructional Leader
Leader of Intervention News
Our Learning Support Team is made up of a team of dedicated, experienced educators who are focused on supporting students across the school in their learning in the following ways:
Student Support Educators
Our Kindergarten and Year One classes have a Student Support Educator for the majority of the day to offer additional support in all Key Learning Areas. Our Year 2 - Year 6 classes have a Student Support Educator supporting small groups in the classroom for one hour of English and one hour of Maths each day. Student Support Educators will teach Tier 2 small group intervention in the afternoon session.
School Speech Pathologist
Karla Carey is employed at our school every Monday and Friday. She completes assessments and monitors students. Karla also works closely with teachers and Student Support Educators to plan and implement strategies to support students with communication or literacy difficulties, and works with small groups and families. Please note, Karla is unable to offer one on one speech therapy support.
Learning Support Teachers
Marianne Bullpitt and Paula McIntyre will teach a number of intervention groups this year. Also, Marianne will work with our K-2 and Paula will work with our Year 3-6 teachers, Student Support Educators and students in the classroom.
In order to support your child within the school setting it is important to provide the school office with a copy of up-to-date medical plans and additional needs assessments. It is also advisable to ask your paediatrician and medical professionals to forward all requests for assessments, suggested strategies, medical information and reports to our school office - email@example.com
Leader of Intervention
SMP had 21 swimmers attend the Zone Swimming Carnival on Monday 13 February. All swam their absolute best, with some achieving new personal best times.
Congratulations to the following students for being awarded the overall champion in their age group:
Tom McCormack - 11 years Boy Champion
Taylor Hancock - Senior Girl Champion
Kieran Grant - Senior Boy Champion
With everyone’s team work, support and hard work, SMP managed to achieve second place overall at the carnival. What an achievement!
Thank you to all parents and carers who came to support the students. A special thank you to Mrs Vicki Gardner for attending and also assisting with timekeeping on the day.
We have a number of students who have qualified to attend the Diocesan Carnival in various events in the coming weeks. Congratulations to all!
Year 6 Teacher
The Casino RSM Cougars JRLFC will be holding a registration day as part of Richmond Valley Councils Active Fest at Colley Park on Sunday 26 February from 9.00am to 12.00pm. The Cougars are the largest junior rugby league club in Northern NSW and covers ages from U5 right through to Opens, for both women and men. Look for the Cougars tent.
Leader of Love and Community
Friday 10 March (Week 6)
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.
Lunch Time Activities
Throughout the week a number of our staff are providing opportunities for the students to access a range of different lunch time activities. Please see below for the weekly timetable.
These activities are aimed for those students who do not like the hustle and bustle that can often be found out on the playground. For some activities, students must nominate to be in them, for others there is a maximum number of students per week. If you think your child would like any of the activities, perhaps you could have a chat about joining one.
Leader of Love & Community
Leader of Faith
Year 6 Mini Vinnies
This week all Year 6 families received a notification regarding Mini Vinnies. If your child would like to be a member of this social justice group for 2023, please fill in the form and return by Monday.
Term 1 - Reconciliation - Year 4
Those students who were confirmed in 2022, now have the opportunity to continue their Catholic faith journey by making their First Reconciliation on Wednesday 29 March at 6.00pm in the Church. Preparation for this sacrament will take place in our Religious Education lessons in the weeks leading up to this night. An enrolment form will be sent through Compass early next week.
Any new students in Years 5 or 6 of the Catholic faith, who have not had the opportunity to complete their sacramental program (Confirmation, Reconciliation and First Communion) and would like to do so, please make contact with me in the next week to discuss how we can support you with this. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the school.
Celebrating St Patrick’s Day at SMP - Friday 17 March
We will celebrate this special day at SMP with a Cake Stall organised by our Year 6 Mini Vinnies Group. Cakes will cost between 20 - 50c each. ALL students may dress casually in green clothes as part of this celebration. Covered footwear and sunsafe tops (no shoestring tops unless a t-shirt is underneath) are required. Students are asked to bring a coin to donate to Project Compassion as well as money for the cake stall on this day.
Leader of Faith
Happy birthday to Willow Benn Rhani Hollis Lyla Martin Wyatt McCormack Mia Latta Vian Dibley Chayton Dow Emily Butler Elena Vidler Paige Lawrence Asher MacMahon Tegan Clark Charlie Fahey Lexi Cadman Eden Hobbs Molly Hobbs Zavier Paterson Mia-|Rose Hampton Elliot Armstrong and Claire Freeburn and to Emily Shelton who celebrates tomorrow.
School fee statements will be emailed this Monday 27 February and at the end of each month. Included in this email will be the various payment options including BPay details (preferred option). Fees can also be paid via Eftpos or cash at the school office.