NEWSLETTER 9 - 29th March 2022
Teachers meet each morning at 8.15am for prayer and reflection. Mr O’Brien shared the following fable with us recently:
“Once upon a time there was a Chinese farmer whose horse ran away. That evening, all of his neighbours came around to commiserate. They said, ‘We are so sorry to hear your horse has run away. This is most unfortunate.’ The farmer said, ‘Maybe.’ The next day the horse came back bringing seven wild horses with it, and in the evening, everybody came back and said, ‘Oh, isn’t that lucky. What a great turn of events. You now have eight horses’ The farmer again said, Maybe.’
The following day his son tried to break one of the horses, and while riding it, he was thrown and broke his leg. The neighbours then said, ‘Oh dear, that’s too bad,’ and the farmer responded, ‘Maybe.’ The next day the conscription officers came around to conscript people into the army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. Again, all the neighbours came around and said, ‘Isn’t that great!’ Again, he said, ‘Maybe.’
The whole process of nature is an integrated process of immense complexity, and it’s really impossible to tell whether anything that happens in it is good or bad — because you never know what will be the consequence of the misfortune; or, you never know what will be the consequences of good fortune.”
Life is a ‘comparative exercise’ in that we are (too often) concerned about how we compare to others. As parents, this often extends to how we perceive our children in comparison to others – on the sporting field; in the company of adults; with their peers; in various academic pursuits. As educators, we refer to important benchmarks to reflect on a student’s development, whether a child is ‘up with pack’ in the sense that he or she is learning and applying knowledge, understandings and skills that are objectively determined against ‘norms.’ To fall behind in some or several areas is not, as is expressed in the preceding fable, an immoveable obstacle to growth in both the errant area or other areas, nor is it a predestination for unhappiness or unfulfillment; history is littered with ‘successful’, ‘rich’, ‘achievers’ who remain deeply unfulfilled. Instead of looking towards an uncertain future, a sense of gratitude of what reflects ‘the present’ might be a useful lesson for us to support a more ‘positive present.’
Last weekend’s Gospel of the lost son or prodigal son is a powerful story when viewed from the perception of each of the main characters, and a tale that offers greater support for the notion of gratitude. A strong feature of this parable is how it is very difficult to ascertain a positive ‘ending’ of any situation, when we are in the midst of pain, loss or regret. I believe that our staff at St Patrick’s are grateful for their unique opportunities to present a positive present and future for the children in their care – positive in the sense that, whilst we acknowledge the importance of planning to support student learning against Year-level outcomes, each child has different capacities that allow them to be uniquely situated to be blessings to their present and future communities through the formation of character that is supported by an effective school-home relationship. Arguably, the most significant message from the fable is the benefits and bounty that flows from a grateful heart – not a heart that is satisfied with mediocrity; rather a heart and mind that appreciates that ‘this too shall pass,’ and that a positive approach that is couched in a grateful heart, can appreciate both the significance and insignificance of life’s ups and downs, which is well expressed by AA Milne in ‘Winnie the Pooh: “Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.”
As we prepare for end of term parent-student-teacher meetings, I encourage our conversations to be framed in this context of a positive present and future in the context of gratitude for growth that is evident, in addition to considered goal-setting.
Saturday 2nd April: Soccer Commences
Tuesday 12th April: Parent-Student-Teacher Meetings
Wednesday 13th April: Fruit and Rice Day / Parent-Student-Teacher Meetings
Thursday 14th April: Last Day of Term 1 - Easter Raffle Drawn
Monday 25th April: ANZAC Day
Term 1 - Thursday 3rd February - Thursday 14th April
Term 2 - Monday 2nd May - *Friday 8th July
Term 3 - Monday 25th July - Friday 30th September
Term 4 - Monday 17th October - Thursday 15th December
*Student Free Day Friday 8th July 2022
We are learning to SPELL!
It is tricky but we are focussing on these skills as we progress through each year level at St Patrick’s.
In Kindergarten we are learning to spell by:
- listening to sounds, rhymes and stories
- experimenting with writing
- writing our names
In Prep we are learning to spell by:
- learning letters and their sounds
- recognising rhyming words
- listening to syllables and sounds
- writing letters of the alphabet
- learning the sounds alphabet letters can make
- representing beginning, middle and end sounds in cvc words
- writing high frequency words
In Year 1 we are learning to spell by:
- creating word families
- learning common digraphs
- writing short vowel sounds
- writing common long vowel sounds
- learning blends
- writing single syllable words
- writing high frequency words
In Year 2 we are learning to spell by:
- increasing our range of digraphs
- understanding how to represent long vowels, blends and silent letters
- using prefixes and suffixes
- writing one and two syllable words
- building word families
- writing high frequency words
In Year 3 we are learning to spell by:
- learning more letter-sound relationships
- using less-common letter-sound relationships
- writing most high frequency words
- learning homophones
- writing multisyllable words
- using more complex letter patterns
- understanding spelling rules
In Year 4 we are learning to spell by:
- using letters patterns
- applying spelling rules
- using prefixes and suffixes
- understanding word origins
- using writing context
- writing more complex words
- understanding the shwa representations
In Year 5 we are learning to spell by:
- using known words to spell new words
- using base words
- understanding word origins
- applying a range of spelling rules
- understanding how a suffix changes the meaning of a word
- understanding that common letter patterns can have different pronunciations
In Year 6 we are learning to spell by:
- understanding word origins including Latin and Greek roots
- using base words
- applying spelling rules
- increasing our range of prefixes and suffixes
- writing technical words
- writing more complex words
Please enjoy viewing our Prep class participating in our ‘Talk for Writing’ program featuring a retelling of ‘The Gingerbread Man’.
Students are welcome to begin the summer-winter uniform transition from this Monday 4th April. During this two-week transition period leading up to the end of term 1, students are expected to be dressed in either full summer or full winter uniforms, please. As per our Sun Smart policy hats are compulsory in Term 1, students will be required to still wear hats whether they are in summer or winter uniforms for the remainder of the term. Information regarding our school uniform is located in the student diary or available on our school website. Please contact the school office for any uniform needs. Full school winter uniform is expected for all students from the first day of term 2, Monday, May 2nd.
Your child’s teachers are gaining an insight into your child’s strengths and challenges, and it is early enough in the year to now sit down and discuss some strategies to ensure 2022 is a year of academic and social growth for your child or children.
- As part of our reporting schedule, teachers will be making themselves available for parent-student-teacher discussions via Zoom between 8.30am and 6:00pm on Tuesday 12th April and Wednesday 13th
- Face-to-face meetings are the preferred means of communication, however, schools are still classified as high risk and vulnerable settings, hence our decision for Zoom meetings, which allow a degree of interaction that is slightly more enhanced than the telephone.
- Students are strongly encouraged to attend these discussions (although there may be a decision made by you and your child’s teacher that determines your child’s attendance at this meeting may not be appropriate).
- The intent of these 15-minute meetings is to have the opportunity to talk openly and honestly regarding your child’s progress this year, whilst also discussing some areas that might or will require some work.
- Whilst Zoom is our preferred option on this occasion if you are unable to access Zoom, please let your child's teacher know and a phone conversation can be arranged.
Year 2, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 all have class teachers who share the teaching responsibility. Teachers discuss their planning and individual student strengths and challenges regularly and the level of collaborative professional conversation is impressive. Where possible, both teachers will attend parent-teacher-student meetings.
Homework is considered to be an integral part of the school experience. It is considered complementary to class. Homework can also reinforce the notion that school and learning are very important and that work completed at home is recognised, appreciated and praised.
- To assist students to develop worthwhile study habits, which will equip them with strategies to promote independent learning.
- To provide valuable opportunities for students to develop responsibility, perseverance, self-discipline and time management skills.
- To provide opportunities for positive support roles for parents to assist their children.
- To be conscious that homework does not encroach on extra-curricular experiences that students enjoy and from which they gain considerable benefit.
- Students are expected to allocate time at home to complete unfinished class work, to complete research for projects and to practise their reading skills.
- Reading daily is considered to be one of the most important homework elements for all students.
- Parents may be expected to assist but not to do homework for their child.
- There is an expectation that, if there is no reasonable reason provided by parents for students failing to complete homework, that tasks set for homework would be completed during part of designated playtime.
Prep to Year 2
- Homework will be routinely set during the week.
- Students are encouraged to learn words and basic number concepts and to pursue reading and spelling programs.
- Students should not spend more than 20 minutes per night on homework.
- Occasional completion of work, research activities and collection of items relevant to particular areas of study may be given on an informal basis at the teacher’s discretion.
- Children of this age may benefit from 1:1 support with homework tasks, especially reading for meaning.
Years 3 to 6
- Homework will be routinely set during the week.
- Depending upon the type of tasks being required to be completed at home, homework may be set:
- At the beginning of the week for completion by the end of the week
- For completion by the next school day
- As a short or long term the teacher nominates a project where a completion date is set.
- Each student has a homework diary, which is used as a means of communication between home and school. Students are expected to use the diary appropriately and regularly.
- Students are expected to demonstrate pride in their homework by completing the work neatly and returning it on time.
- Guidelines for duration of homework are:
- Years 3 & 4: up to 30 minutes, including reading, four nights a week.
- Years 5 & 6: up to 40 minutes, including reading, four nights a week.
Responsibilities of Teachers
- Homework that is set has clear and full directions for the students and is relevant and complementary to class work.
- Teachers are responsible for reviewing, marking and speaking with students about their homework.
- Teachers return homework promptly to students.
- Teachers are responsive to parents’ concerns about circumstances, which may impact on the completion of their children’s homework.
Parents and Homework
Parents can support their child’s learning by:
- Making homework time as pleasant as possible.
- Providing a suitable quiet, well-lit area for homework completion.
- Establishing a homework routine.
- Encouraging children to work reasonably quickly and efficiently – adhering to recommended time frames and liaising with teachers if time limits are difficult to meet or the student is overwhelmed by a task.
- Keeping explanations simple and practical when actively helping with a particular task.
- Demonstrating, encouraging and where possible expressing approval and satisfaction.
- Notifying class teachers if family constraints make it difficult for a homework task to be completed and discuss alternatives and options.
Congratulations to the following students who have received Student of the Week.
Prep: Chloe Johnson for her excellent detail in her Gingerbread Man story map and great expression in our story presentation to Kinder.
Year 1: Advika Anand for her positive attitude towards your learning and your consistent good work.
Year 2: Indiana Bowkett For showing an improvement in her oral reading, especially her expression and understanding of the text.
Year 3: Lewis Perkins for his effort and application towards extending his skills in literacy and for always demonstrating compassion and respect.
Year 4: Annabell Methorst for consistently displaying the Mercy value of Compassion. Thank you for always showing your peers kindness and care Annabell.
Year 5: Oliver Parry for always persevering with set tasks with a can do attitude!
Year 6: Logan Page for the diligence and creativity he is always applying to his learning tasks.
Congratulations to our House Raffle & Recycling winners this week:
Dooley - Lewis Perkins Martyn - Ridha Al-Roubaie
Byrne - Noelle Cheuk
The 2022 soccer season will commence this Saturday 2nd April with an initial two-week roster.
Thank you to the following parents who have offered to coach teams. Felicity Derin-Reeves (Open 6) Claye Davis (Open 5) Jamie Fawkner (U9) and Ben Dick (U8) We are still waiting on the following teams to provide a coach U5, U7 & U10.
We understand that not all parents/coaches can take on both the game day and after-school hours of coaching commitments. It is not compulsory for teams to "train", however, we do require someone on the day to be able to coach/manage the team.
All teams will be required to have a nominated coach, who holds a current WWVP card prior to teams being entered into the competition. Any parent who is required to obtain a WWVP card to take on a coaching role will be reimbursed by the school.
School Soccer tops will be given to players this week along with an initial 2-week roster and ground map. Devonport Junior Soccer Association has implemented their own website for this season, this website will have rosters, ground maps, and any relevant information throughout the season. All teams/players/families will be required to use this website to check their team game times/ ground/ byes (if applicable) we will have a link to this website on our school website and it can also be found here:
We ask that all families familiarise themselves with this website. Please contact Tameka if you have any questions in regards to navigating around this site.
As previously advised Players need to provide their own navy blue shorts, navy blue (long) soccer socks, shinpads (compulsory), and soccer boots.
Open 6 training with Mrs Derin-Reeves will start this week on Wednesday 30th March from 3.00pm - 4.00pm.
Due to the replacement of the backboards in the stadium, there will be no games this Wednesday 30th March. These games will be played at the end of the grade 1 and 2 roster on Wednesday 6th July. We apologise for any inconvenience caused however this is outside of our control. The next rostered games will be played on Wednesday 6th April. All Friday 1st April games will still go ahead as scheduled.
Thank you to Dean Hingston who is making himself available on Wednesdays at school from 3.00 pm to 3.40 pm to coach the 3/4 boys team Spartans.
Mrs Meech and Ms Mundy will be offering lunch-time training for any interested students during the basketball season.
A member of our school community is seeking a comfortable second-hand sofa that might be donated. Please contact Mr Linhart if you might be able to assist.
Thank you to Hill Street IGA Latrobe who have donated $100 towards the school-supported Ukrainian Refugee Appeal. Special thanks to Peter Watkins who coordinated the liaison between the school and Hill Street IGA.
This term we will hold an unannounced emergency practice with staff & students, to test our response to a potential scenario that staff identifies a threat warranting the school to go into lockdown (opposite to evacuation). As with fire evacuation drills, we recognise the worth to test this process. We have plans in place to make this practice as least disruptive as possible. If you have queries you are welcome to call our Safety Officer Simon Natoli on 0400 105 47
After discussing options with the photographer to include photos of students who are isolating, professional quality photos (individual and family photos) will be taken this Thursday 31st March of any child returning from isolation and be included in class composite photos, which will be used for class photos this year.
The school canteen is operating Thursdays at this stage until we secure family support for Friday canteen. Information on the menu, including prices, is available via our school website. To support the operation of the school canteen at the commencement of the school year, the school has allocated some hours that will provide Mrs Anthony and Mr Angliss the opportunity to prepare the lunch orders, however, we welcome assistance with this initiative if it is to be sustained and opened to two days – Thursdays and Fridays. Ideally, we are hoping for a parent or family member to make themselves available to assist with the coordination to help relieve the workload on Mrs Anthony who has worked hard (a considerable amount of time in voluntary capacity) to prepare both the canteen facilities, and in ordering and preparing many items that will be available this Thursday. For the canteen to work as part of a school-parent initiative, and to two days (Thursdays and Fridays) we need volunteers (currently two parents have offered help for some Friday sessions, however, we are requiring more assistance throughout the year on Fridays if this is to be viable) who can commit to assisting on the day. If you consider that you have some time available on Thursdays (or Fridays) please confirm your availability via the following Google document link
Household close contacts and Isolation
- If a person has had covid they now have twelve weeks of immunity from having to quarantine due to close contact status or having to undertake rapid antigen testing.
- Requirements for household close contacts changed. Their quarantine period starts on the same day as the confirmed case enters isolation and it finishes 7 days later provided they test negative on day 1 and 6 of the quarantine period and they are symptom free on day 7.
- Furthermore, the quarantine period does not need to be extended should there be another confirmed case in the household within the dates for the above 7 day quarantine period.
Term 2 – Catholic Education Tasmania are currently trying to finalise with Public Health and the Department of Education Covid planning for the start of Term 2. We will communicate any information to families once we have confirmation.
Rapid Antigen Tests: The school has received some additional supplies of rapid antigen tests for distribution to families on a needs basis – to ascertain whether symptoms are indicating a COVID-19 infection. If you require rapid antigen tests to be used for this purpose (have a test at home in case a child displays symptoms) please communicate with the school office by phone 64261626 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
On Wednesday the 13th April, we hope that students and families will support the fruit and rice day, which will simulate the typical diet of many children in some parts of the world who are less fortunate than ourselves. On this day students are asked to bring only fruit to school as a recess snack and at lunch, the SRC will provide each student with a bowl of rice to eat. This is voluntary; however, it would be wonderful to see whole-school support as a small token of our gratitude in the light of the poverty of so many - ‘For all Future Generations.’
4th Week of Lent
The Prodigal Son
The Gospel Story on Sunday was the parable Jesus told of the Prodigal Son. The story introduces us to three characters: the younger son, elder son, and their father, who weave a beautiful story of sin, envy and mercy. The parable is a timeless story about relationships within a family.
It unfolds with the younger son asking his father for his share of the inheritance. The father grants the request of the son which the son immediately converted into cash and goes on to squander the money. Later, he experiences poverty and realizes how the servants in his father’s home were being treated much better. Humbled, he decides to go back home and ask forgiveness from his father who welcomes him home lovingly.
The father in this parable is fascinating. He appears to be a non-judgmental man forgiving his son and welcoming him home. What led him to just give his younger son his inheritance and let him go? What was his life like in raising his sons? Although he appears to be very forgiving, he did not invite his older son immediately to the feast he was preparing. His son found out from servants. Have there been times in your life where you have excluded or unintentionally forgotten others or taken people for granted? Do you have a prodigal son in your life? Are you able to forgive just as the father has?
The main message of the story is mercy and forgiveness. God does not discriminate between us based on deeds. We truly are all loved unconditionally.
It is not easy being a parent/carer of children, our children are very blessed to have parents/carers who selflessly care for and nurture them and invest in their lives. If you get a chance read the parable of the Prodigal Son and see how Jesus teaching relates to your life and to your family.
Click on this link to go to the story of The Prodigal Son.
Sacramental Program Family Mass
As part of our Sacramental Program this year, we are having a special Family Mass for all Sacramental Candidates on Sunday 3rd April at 4pm at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, followed by a sausage sizzle in the Parish Hall (beside Church).
This is a great opportunity to get to know each other as we journey together through the sacraments.
We will be asking for volunteers to read in Mass, if you or your child are interested please let Fr Steven know.
We are looking forward to gathering together for Fun, Family, Friendship, Food and Faith!
Confirmation Faith Sharing Sessions:
- Monday 4th or Tuesday 5th April 3.00 - 7.00 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church
Reconciliation Faith Sharing Sessions
Monday 28th or Tuesday 29th March 3.00 - 7.00 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church
The Celebration of Reconciliation
The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be celebrated on the 6th of April at Our Lady of Lourdes Church at 7.00 p.m. Please keep the children in your prayers as they prepare.
Don’t forget we are still in the middle of the Church season of Lent. Lent is a time of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. We will be raising money for Project compassion in the coming weeks, stay tuned for more details.
Fourth Week of Lent
(Week beginning Monday 28th March)
This week through Project Compassion we learn about Rosalie, who lives with her husband and seven children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Forced to join the army when she was just 15-years-old, Rosalie experienced significant trauma and hardship during her years in the military. After she was demobilised from the army, Rosalie, like other ex-combatants, was left to fend for herself in the community.
With your generous support and through Caritas Australia's partners, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and Caritas Bukavu, Rosalie was able to connect with other members of her community and participate in business skills training to help her to reintegrate into society.
She joined a savings group that helped her with a loan to start her own small business selling second-hand shoes and natural remedies.
“I can eat, dress, maintain my health and help others. My children study and manage to eat twice a day. I have learnt to work hand-in-hand with other members of the community. Really, there is more joy in sharing with others.” - Rosalie
Watch a short film about Rosalie’s story here.
Please support Project Compassion: lent.caritas.org.au
Although not being on social media myself I am aware of some of the benefits of this type of communication in the community. I am aware that some parents belong to social media sites that are related to specific school classes – these sites are not school-supported and are convened by parents and serve a purpose; once again, I am aware of some benefits of this type of informal communication. Staff are aware of one of the maxims that is used in our regular staff communication – “Talk with, not to, not about.” I would encourage any question regarding a school policy, procedure, event to be directed to a person who should be best placed to provide an accurate response, which, if related to a school policy, practice or event is a teacher or myself. Parents are welcome to contact me at any time by ringing the school number (6426 1626) and, if I am not available, I will respond to a message.
Karlie offers discrete counselling services to students upon both parent's signed request. Request forms are available from the school office or can be downloaded from the school website.
Whole school assemblies have commenced again each morning – parents are welcome; please follow the COVID Safety Plan protocols.
We are entering the ‘season' of school out-of-hours sport (soccer and basketball) and we look forward to acknowledging individual and team efforts in these pursuits. We greatly appreciate the time spent in organising our school teams that is undertaken by Tameka Harris and Megan Meech, and we also are greatly appreciative of those family members who will be assisting with scoring, managing and/or coaching teams. Included with this Newsletter is our school Values Statement for School Sport as a reminder that our approach at St Patrick’s is that school sport should be characterised by providing sporting opportunities rather than being ultra-competitive.
‘Inquiring Minds’ Birth to 5 program - a ‘Set-Up for Success’ Catholic Education Tasmania initiative.
our ‘Inquiring Minds’ birth to 5 program operates each Friday during school term time from 9.00am to 10.30am;This program involves a considerable focus on communicating to parents the learning intentions of important activities that are associated with early years learning. Mrs Klug will be working to engage parents in early years learning experiences that will ensure children who are enrolling in Kindergarten, will be informed in regards to developing key social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills and understandings.
Our school community is special in many ways - dedicated staff, supportive parents, cooperative students. Our Mercy Charism provides us with key values that are real ingredients for our uniqueness - Compassion, Hospitality, Respect and Mercy. We try hard to live out these values and one way of displaying compassion is for us to be a support to those in our school community who have undergone a loss. Please contact Mr Linhart, your child's class teacher or the school office if you or a member of the school community might benefit from some care & concern.