Term 3 Week 2 2023
Dear families and friends,
‘We do whatever it takes to lead the way in Love, Learning, Faith, School Spirit, Sport & Community’
I hope you all had some time to spend with your kids. As a principal of 11 years, I now try and take a chunk of this time to down tools and spend this with my family and catching up on jobs around the place. But like a dedicated teacher, I spend a lot of it planning for the term ahead and making positive changes at school whilst the kids aren’t around. Our Catherine Centre is now complete and we are very prepared for another great term ahead of Love, Learning, Faith, School Spirit, Sport and Community.
Professional learning Days
Our staff really delved deep into our recent School Review & the student, parent and staff surveys. We are keen to be even better, so will share what we have come up with over these 2 days. The input from our parents has been crucial in this, in particular around engaging and understanding more in your child’s learning. We have made some pretty big changes due to this that is communicated below.
Women’s Football World Cup
If Australia wins, the whole school gets a pizza party. Each class also has another country to follow and learn more about. If a class’s country wins, then that class gets a pizza party. We also have some fun games like the Sam Kerr Penalty shoot out to celebrate this huge event in Australia.
School Fee Challenges
Any family experiencing challenges paying school fees, please phone, email or chat with me in person. We are a Catholic school and I very much wish to support our SMP families in any way I can.
No Us & Them ... Just Us Week & NAIDOC was great last term!
Parent Partnership Based on Authentic Learning
Over the last few years, teachers at SMP have been working closely with the students to ensure that their learning is visible. Students know what they are learning and why. We have achieved this through explicit use of Learning Intentions, Success Criteria and a strong Learning Environment for the students. The next step on this journey is to support parent understanding in this area as well. When parents understand what their child is learning, and why, as well as what success looks like for their child at their current grade level, they are empowered to be a strong part of their child’s learning journey. This aligns perfectly with feedback we received from parents from the Tell Them From Me Surveys.
The strongest constructive criticism received from parents through these surveys, as well as our school review, was that you wanted to know more about how your child is going in their learning and how you may be able to support this at home. We believe we have come up with a great way to authentically do this that ensures your child’s learning is visible to you as well. We want parents to know what their child is learning, how they are going, and how you may be able to support them at home. An example is attached, but what this entails is:
Beginning of each term families receive (today):
- The Success Criteria in Reading, Writing and Number
- Examples of what good learning looks like alongside a glossary for families for understanding
Middle and End of each term families receive:
- How you child is tracking with this Success Criteria in Reading, Writing and Number
All families will receive this, however, it is totally up to you if you wish to do extra work with your child around this at home. The examples will show you what is the expected level for Reading and Writing. You may then do some extra reading and writing with your child at home, knowing what success looks like from these examples. This may help them continually develop and stay at expected level. Reading at night remains an expectation for all students and your Home Reading Record should continue to be completed. This is authentic Home Learning, not just providing activities that have limited to no benefit, allowing families to own and tailor the learning, with good examples, for your child.
Grade level expectations are based on the NSW Syllabus and align with content covered in class. If your child is receiving a specialist intervention program that does not align with grade level, their success criteria will reflect this, and this will be communicated clearly on the document. There is no point reporting against a success criteria that your child is not currently working on.
If your child is at expected level for their grade, this is EXCELLENT, and exactly where they should be. The vast majority of students will never be Working Beyond, no matter how much home and the school does and this is perfectly ok. Your child may continue to be “Working Towards” throughout their schooling, and this allows us at school to identify areas we can offer them extra support and it gives parents an idea of where they can also target the work they do with their child. We will always continue to target your child’s learning, for continual growth, no matter where they sit in regards to “grade level expectations”.
We will meet towards the end of First Term and Third Term around these with our Student Led Conference. Reports will come out at the end of Term 2 and Term 4. They will not contain a comment, as we have found that they have predominantly been too much teacher jargon anyway and believe that this new approach is more authentic to indicate where your child is at, and how you can monitor and assist their development.
This will come in paper format so you can have it up around the place, but will also be accessible via our website. A simple video explaining how this will all work will follow soon.
Assistant Principal's News - Mission
Missionaries of God's Love Visit to SMP
Today we were lucky to have the Missionaries of God's Love Sisters come and visit our Years 3-6 students in the Parish Hall. These ladies have given up everything to live a simple life of living out the Gospel message and serving others. They travel up and down the east coast visiting different parishes and they rely solely on the generosity of parishioners and community members to support them. Listening to these ladies present on their faith and their own life was great for our students to hear.
Three Sixteen Youth Group
Today will be the first Three Sixteen Youth Group for the term. The students will be collected by our staff after school and walked over to the Relihan Centre to participate in the activities. Collection by parents is at 5.00pm.
All students, parents and family members are invited to join us our Family Mass to be held during the parish Mass at 5.00pm in the church on Saturday, 5 August. The choir will be singing and some of our students will be performing the readings. There will be free pizza available at the end of the Mass.
On Tuesday, 15 August, we will celebrate the Assumption fo the Blessed Virgin Mary Mass in the church at 12.00pm. Our Years 3-6 students will join with the Years 7-10 students at SMCC for this Mass. The Assumption is a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics which means we make a special commitment to attend this celebration Mass. All family members are welcome to come along to this Mass, however, space in the church will be very tight!
- Fridays 28 July & 8 August - Three Sixteen Youth Group
Friday 4 August (W3) & Friday 15 September - SOM @ 2:10pm
Saturday 5 August - Family Mass 5.00pm in the church (choir will be singing)
Tuesday 8 August - Mary MacKillop Feast Day
- Wednesday 8 August - Confirmation Prayer Service 6.00pm in the church
- Tuesday 15 August - Feast of the Assumption Mass in the Church (Years 3 - 6 plus Years 7-10 from SMCC)
- Thursday 17 August - Sacrament of Confirmation
Wednesday 13 & Thursday 14 September - TEN:TEN Wildfire Visits to SMP
Assistant Principal - Mission
Assistant Principal's News Teaching & Learning
FINAL CHANCE- ICAS ASSESSMENTS
Our ICAS assessments begin in 2 weeks' time so if you would like your child to take part in these, your time is running out. To register your child for any of the ICAS assessments please go to:
and use our school code of EHT312
English, Maths, Spelling, and Science cost $19.25 each and the Writing Assessment costs $23.65
The ICAS assessments will be held on:
- Writing- 7 August
- English- 16 August
- Science -21 August
- Spelling- 23 August
- Maths- 29 August
Please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
The Importance of Failure
One of the hardest things that we as parents can face is seeing our kids in pain; be it physical or emotional. We instinctively want to step in and take all the pain away, as quickly as we can. We then hope to build an imaginary wall around them to make sure they never face anything like this again. This is, however, not possible and rarely in their best interest. It can, in fact, cause far more long-term difficulties for our children.
In the immortal words of Ronan Keating, “Life is a Rollercoaster”. We face many highs and many lows on our way through and it is our job as parents, and educators, to equip our children to face all of what life throws at them. Part of this is preparing our children to face sadness and failure and come out the other end a stronger person, ready for the next challenge.
When children have difficulties in their friendship groups, they learn that relationships take work and that they need to consider other people’s feelings and circumstances if they are to maintain healthy connections with others. This leads to an adult who understands the importance of respecting others and someone who is able to navigate the ups and downs that all relationships face. When we step in and solve all our child’s friendship issues we strip them of the opportunity to develop these skills and once they are old enough to have relationships that we have no connection with, they can struggle to navigate these effectively and many find they are unable to maintain lasting friendships.
When our children find challenges difficult, but persevere and finally find success, they learn not to give up when the going gets tough. They understand the importance of finding ways to solve problems that they will inevitably face. If we jump in wherever they face these challenges, or worse still clear the path of any possible challenges they may face, we strip them of the learning opportunities that equip them with the skills to face future challenges in life. If the first time a child is forced to face a challenge is as a teenager, they can find the pressure incredibly difficult and may find it impossible to overcome.
What can we do as parents to support our children to embrace and learn from failure?
When your child comes home from school feeling upset about a small issue with a friend, try not to immediately tell them how to solve it. Instead, gently ask them to think about what might have caused the problem. Encourage them to consider the other child's feelings and what they can do to make things better. You can suggest some helpful ways, like talking to the friend to understand what happened or giving them some space and time to think about their actions. If the friendship needs some time to heal, you can also suggest making new friends and building relationships with other children in the meantime. This way, your child can learn to handle conflicts and develop strong friendships.
Be a good example by showing a positive attitude. Teach your child to focus on the good things that happened in their day rather than getting stuck on small negative ones. If they feel sad, angry, or disappointed, try to offer them kind and supportive words. Encourage them to think about how they can make things better or different next time. By doing this, you can help your child learn to be more positive and resilient in the face of challenges.
A strategy that we use at school to support our students to build resilience is to ask them how they think they could solve a problem. When a child presents with an issue that we feel is something they could solve on their own, we listen carefully, ask questions for clarification and to show the child that we are listening and then we say, “That sounds like quite a problem you have there. How are you going to solve it?”. This encourages the child to take responsibility for themselves and empowered them to work through issues they are capable of solving on their own.
This is an excellent article that helps us as parents to identify the best way to support our children to become reliant and confident individuals- https://lindastade.com/over-protective-parents/
AP Teaching & Learning
Leader of Faith
The Sacrament of Confirmation
Important dates for these Candidates:
Wednesday 9 August: Half Hour With The Lord 6.00pm-6.30pm (candidates and parents/ family)
Thursday 17 August: Sacrament of Confirmation 5.30pm - Meet Bishop Greg (candidates and parents) in the church then 6.00pm Sacrament of Confirmation (candidates, families and sponsor) in the church.
Please ensure you have returned the note sent home with the students by next Monday 31 July. Thank you to all families who have returned this note. A final note will be sent to parents/ guardians via Compass the week prior to Confirmation.
Please keep these students in your prayers as they continue their faith journey.
Mini Vinnies - Cake Stall
Our Year 6 Mini Vinnies group will be selling cakes, slices etc at our Family Mass next Saturday evening, 5 August. This is to support the Social Justice group within the parish who run a cake stall on the first weekend of each month to raise funds for those in need. The money we raise will support the education of children overseas. If you're at Mass, please bring a bit of money to Mass, check out the stall at the back of the church and take home some delicious home cooking! The students will also be attending the Sunday Mass at 8.00am.
Leader of Faith
Thank you to all of our students who represented our school yesterday at the Zone Athletics Carnival at Woodlawn, we had a successful day. In our next school newsletter the results will be shared.
Thank you to Mrs Lyon and Mrs Angel for taking the students on the day.
Happy birthday t0 Vienna Johnson Jordan Hooper Kai Amey Zahryah Pirlo Heidi Handford Zahli-Rose Marks Spencer Really Jade Pirlo Ledger Gould Harper Dhu Sebastian Hogg Imogen Wells Gabriel Esteban Jaxon Williams Louis Armstrong Addilyn Reilly Amelia Paterson Toby Makejev Elaina Underhill Audrey Jones Eli Cottam-Harris James Bratti and Jordan Taylor who celebrated their birthday in June.
Happy July birthday t0 Isobel Law Andrew Brooks Thomas Cruickshank William Wells Vann Hines Harrison Irvine Floranda Kingdom Xander Connolly Bowie Stubbin Charlotte Stringer Micah King Paityn Taylor Hunter Pokarier Riley Richards Riley Horne Hunter Martin Arlo Taylor Frankie Berry Elijah Aylward Tyler Edwards Lewis Creighton Ethan Zaiko Felix Makejev Bethany Jones Elaina Delaney George McKenzie Duke McKey Laisa Vakararawa Cooper Jung Darryl Pearson Leah Macintyre Flynn Zaiko Connor Farrelly Sophie Connolly Colby Randall Brooklyn Duck Blake Formaggin Harrison Myers Callen Barnes Logan Hollis Josephine Williamson Ameah Stringer Cadence Farrelly Riley Purnell Alice Bruggy Tyler McPherson Tate Leadbeatter Tyla Sivewright Lukas Wells Annabelle Winters Riley Gillespie Joe Handford Larissa Really Isaac McInnes Reagan Bunting Dallas Murphy Teanu MacMahon Daisy Hendley Teo Stavenow Jim George Perle McCarthy Abby Gray Millie Trustum and Maddalena Noijens who celebrate their birthday in July.
Student of the Month & Learner Achievement Awards - 29 June 2023
|Student of the Month
Jessie Moulynox is the newly appointed Family Connect in Schools service delivery worker.
Jessie will be available to see at school. For an appointment contact her on 0428 886 235 or email jessie.moulynox@socialfutures.