- Principal Talk with Mrs. Lowe
- Religious Education with Mrs. Skelly
- Classroom Support with Mrs. Spackman
- School Sport with Mrs. Rachael Croker
- Representative Sport with Mrs Sally Croker
- Child Safe Advocate with Mrs. Sally Croker
- Library News with Mrs. Hewitt
- CatholicCare Counsellor
- Student Awards
- P & F News
- Goulburn Mission Parish News
- Community News
|Friday 12 February||
Northern Region Swimming Carnival Queanbeyan
|Tuesday 16 February||
Parents and Friends Association Meeting and AGM at 7pm
|Wednesday 17 February||
Ash Wednesday - Mass at 12pm - All welcome
Opening School Mass
Modified Swimming Carnival
I would like to thank all of the students who participated in our modified swimming carnival in Yass on Monday. The students demonstrated terrific sportspersonship. Swimming all strokes over the 50-metre distance certainly challenged many of our swimmers however not one child gave up, they all achieved their very best on the day.
Congratulations to the following swimmers, who will be representing St Mary's at the Northern Region Carnival in Queanbeyan on Friday.
12 Year Boys Sethan Grove, George Skelly, Nate Kemp
12 Year Girls Bridie Croker, Olivia Puirsell, Elisha Marcelino
11 Year Boys Finn McCormack, Toby Charnock, Saxon Greenwood, Peter Lawson
11 Year Girls Sommer-Lee Gann, Sophia Galland, Naomi Picker
10 Year Boys Addin Grove, Lachlan Kilborn
10 Year Girls Chloe Bensley, Katyanna Waters
9 Year Boys Andrew Lawson, Hayden Tarlinton
9 Year Boys Sophie Culley, Sienna Gann
8 Year Boys Chase Lucock
8 Year Girls Charlotte Bensley, Elkie Storrier, Elsie McIntosh
Our Representative Sports Coordinator, Sally Croker, will be accompanying the team.
The Age Champion medallions will be awarded at our Morning Assembly on Monday.
I would like to thank Rachael Croker, our carnival coordinator, Linda Walsh and all of the parents who offered their support on the day. The carnival could not go ahead without your help.
P&F Meeting & AGM
Our Term One Parents and Friends (P&F) Meeting and AGM will be held next Tuesday night at 7pm in the Staffroom. All families are invited to attend. At this meeting, our Executive Committee will be elected and the 2021 events will be scheduled.
It was decided unanimously at the School Board Meeting on Tuesday night that we would no longer be supporting the Commonwealth Bank school banking program. Whilst we all agree that learning to save and banking is an excellent educational activity for children, we are unable to support, advertise and promote one individual institution.
We are very fortunate in Crookwell to still have a fantastic Commonwealth Bank Branch, with accommodating staff, so visiting the bank teller will also be a great learning experience for your child.
School Banking is also very time consuming for our sole Office Manager, Belinda. It is often a challenge for her to complete this task within her paid work hours.
Thank you for your understanding of this matter.
2021 Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection Notice
Our sincerest condolences go to the Nicholson family who are currently grieving the sad loss of Ava's grandfather Noel. We pray, eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace.
Congratulations to our ex-student Bella Croker for her recent selection in the Under 15 NSW State Hockey team to play at the field hockey National Championships to be held 9th – 15th April 2021, Bathurst.
Newsletter and Social Media
Today you have received the first school newsletter for the year. Newsletters will be emailed out each Thursday afternoon and are also available on the website and Szapp app, however, if you would prefer a print copy please contact Belinda.
If you require instructions on how to download our Szapp app please see Belinda.
We love to share our school communities news and events. Please email the office with photos and updates for inclusion in the newsletter.
Another good way to stay abreast of what is happening, aside from this newsletter, is through our social media pages. Following or liking our pages will ensure you keep up to date with events, last-minute details and information.
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Instagram
MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR THE XXIX WORLD DAY OF THE SICK 2021
“You have but one teacher and you are all brothers” (Mt 23:8). A trust-based relationship to guide care for the sick
Dear brothers and sisters,
The celebration of the XXIX World Day of the Sick on 11 February 2021, the liturgical memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes, is an opportunity to devote special attention to the sick and to those who provide them with assistance and care both in healthcare institutions and within families and communities. We think in particular of those who have suffered, and continue to suffer, the effects of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. To all, and especially to the poor and the marginalized, I express my spiritual closeness and assure them of the Church’s loving concern.
1. The theme of this Day is drawn from the Gospel passage in which Jesus criticizes the hypocrisy of those who fail to practise what they preach (cf. Mt 23:1-12). When our faith is reduced to empty words, unconcerned with the lives and needs of others, the creed we profess proves inconsistent with the life we lead. The danger is real. That is why Jesus uses strong language about the peril of falling into self-idolatry. He tells us: “You have but one teacher and you are all brothers” (v. 8).
Jesus’ criticism of those who “preach but do not practise” (v. 3) is helpful always and everywhere, since none of us is immune to the grave evil of hypocrisy, which prevents us from flourishing as children of the one Father, called to live universal fraternity.
Before the needs of our brothers and sisters, Jesus asks us to respond in a way completely contrary to such hypocrisy. He asks us to stop and listen, to establish a direct and personal relationship with others, to feel empathy and compassion, and to let their suffering become our own as we seek to serve them (cf. Lk 10:30-35).
2. The experience of sickness makes us realize our own vulnerability and our innate need of others. It makes us feel all the more clearly that we are creatures dependent on God. When we are ill, fear and even bewilderment can grip our minds and hearts; we find ourselves powerless, since our health does not depend on our abilities or life’s incessant worries (cf. Mt 6:27).
Sickness raises the question of life’s meaning, which we bring before God in faith. In seeking a new and deeper direction in our lives, we may not find an immediate answer. Nor are our relatives and friends always able to help us in this demanding quest.
The biblical figure of Job is emblematic in this regard. Job’s wife and friends do not accompany him in his misfortune; instead, they blame him and only aggravate his solitude and distress. Job feels forlorn and misunderstood. Yet for all his extreme frailty, he rejects hypocrisy and chooses the path of honesty towards God and others. He cries out to God so insistently that God finally answers him and allows him to glimpse a new horizon. He confirms that Job’s suffering is not a punishment or a state of separation from God, much less as sign of God’s indifference. Job’s heart, wounded and healed, then makes this vibrant and touching confession to the Lord: “I had heard of you by word of mouth, but now my eye has seen you” (42:5).
3. Sickness always has more than one face: it has the face of all the sick, but also those who feel ignored, excluded and prey to social injustices that deny their fundamental rights (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 22). The current pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in our healthcare systems and exposed inefficiencies in the care of the sick. Elderly, weak and vulnerable people are not always granted access to care, or in an equitable manner. This is the result of political decisions, resource management and greater or lesser commitment on the part of those holding positions of responsibility. Investing resources in the care and assistance of the sick is a priority linked to the fundamental principle that health is a primary common good. Yet the pandemic has also highlighted the dedication and generosity of healthcare personnel, volunteers, support staff, priests, men and women religious, all of whom have helped, treated, comforted and served so many of the sick and their families with professionalism, self-giving, responsibility and love of neighbour. A silent multitude of men and women, they chose not to look the other way but to share the suffering of patients, whom they saw as neighbours and members of our one human family.
Such closeness is a precious balm that provides support and consolation to the sick in their suffering. As Christians, we experience that closeness as a sign of the love of Jesus Christ, the Good Samaritan, who draws near with compassion to every man and woman wounded by sin. United to Christ by the working of the Holy Spirit, we are called to be merciful like the Father and to love in particular our frail, infirm and suffering brothers and sisters (cf. Jn 13:34-35). We experience this closeness not only as individuals but also as a community. Indeed, fraternal love in Christ generates a community of healing, a community that leaves no one behind, a community that is inclusive and welcoming, especially to those most in need.
Here I wish to mention the importance of fraternal solidarity, which is expressed concretely in service and can take a variety of forms, all directed at supporting our neighbours. “Serving means caring … for the vulnerable of our families, our society, our people” (Homily in Havana, 20 September 2015). In this outreach, all are “called to set aside their own wishes and desires, their pursuit of power, before the concrete gaze of those who are most vulnerable… Service always looks to their faces, touches their flesh, senses their closeness and even, in some cases, ‘suffers’ that closeness and tries to help them. Service is never ideological, for we do not serve ideas, we serve people” (ibid.).
4. If a therapy is to be effective, it must have a relational aspect, for this enables a holistic approach to the patient. Emphasizing this aspect can help doctors, nurses, professionals and volunteers to feel responsible for accompanying patients on a path of healing grounded in a trusting interpersonal relationship (cf. New Charter for Health Care Workers , 4). This creates a covenant between those in need of care and those who provide that care, a covenant based on mutual trust and respect, openness and availability. This will help to overcome defensive attitudes, respect the dignity of the sick, safeguard the professionalism of healthcare workers and foster a good relationship with the families of patients.
Such a relationship with the sick can find an unfailing source of motivation and strength in the charity of Christ, as shown by the witness of those men and women who down the millennia have grown in holiness through service to the infirm. For the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection is the source of the love capable of giving full meaning to the experience of patients and caregivers alike. The Gospel frequently makes this clear by showing that Jesus heals not by magic but as the result of an encounter, an interpersonal relationship, in which God’s gift finds a response in the faith of those who accept it. As Jesus often repeats: “Your faith has saved you”.
5. Dear brothers and sisters, the commandment of love that Jesus left to his disciples is also kept in our relationship with the sick. A society is all the more human to the degree that it cares effectively for its most frail and suffering members, in a spirit of fraternal love. Let us strive to achieve this goal, so that no one will feel alone, excluded or abandoned.
To Mary, Mother of Mercy and Health of the Infirm, I entrust the sick, healthcare workers and all those who generously assist our suffering brothers and sisters. From the Grotto of Lourdes and her many other shrines throughout the world, may she sustain our faith and hope, and help us care for one another with fraternal love. To each and all, I cordially impart my blessing.
Volunteers Needed for our Intervention Programs
If you would like to assist with any of our intervention programs at school, please complete the form below or contact Belinda at the office. Grandparents and other community members are very welcome to help. We would like to offer intervention programs in Spelling, Reading and Numeracy. Volunteers will need a Working with Children Check.
Please click here: Intervention Program Volunteer Form
Following the success of morning club for the last two years, it is available again each day from 8.00am-8.40am. It is an opportunity for children to arrive at school early when it is difficult for parents who need to be at work early or have appointments. This service is available for all children from K-6 and will be held in the Old Meeting Room at the end of the playground.
The children will be required to participate in quiet activities during this time, reading, writing, drawing, colouring, board games, card games, puzzles and/or homework tasks. The children may bring games to play and share if they wish, however they will not be able to use electronic devices.
At 8.40am the children who attend will move to the playground for morning supervision by a staff member. No student is to be in the playground unsupervised before 8.40am.
Personalised Plan Meetings
Each semester, and sometimes more often depending on student need, we hold scheduled Personalised Plan meetings for students with a disability or an additional need requiring intervention or adjustments. These meetings will occur in Week 4, February 15-18 in the afternoon. Information has been sent to those parents via Schoolzine already with a link to Session Keeper where you will be able to choose a date and a time suited to you online. If you are having trouble accessing this, please contact Belinda in the Office.
The meetings that have been booked already are confirmed and will proceed as scheduled next week.
Sue Larkey Workshops
Sue Larkey conducting a LIVE FULL DAY VIRTUAL WORKSHOP.
Friday 12th March 21 - 9 am to 3pm - NSW Local Time - AEDT (** 4 weeks away **)
These workshops are ideal for teachers, teachers assistants, early childhood educators, parents or carers.
This course is accredited and can be used towards NESA Accredited hours.
They will be another action pack workshop with lots of learning, interaction, sharing and practical strategies.
Workshop Content - Teaching Strategies for School & Home
- What is Autism Spectrum Disorder • Autism learning style
- Key teaching strategies from preschool to secondary
- Classroom strategies
- Promoting understanding in peers
- How to motivate and use special interests
- Visual strategies • Social skills
- Teaching play
- Strategies for playgrounds
Behaviour Support for School & Home
- What are ASD behaviours?
- Preparing child and staff
- Common playground issues
- Transition strategies for school (preschool, primary and secondary) and home
- Repetitive and obsessive behaviours
- Sensory issues
Tuesday 16th March (part 1) & Tuesday 23rd March 21 (part 2)
(More details are on the website - https://suelarkey.com.au/autism-workshops/course-split-over-2-afternoons/)
School Swimming Carnival
Our swimming carnival on Monday saw around 35 students travel to Yass to take part in a modified swimming carnival. The students who attended enjoyed being able to swim in a 50m pool, and everyone gave it their all, with many choosing to compete in extra events on the day.
Thank you to our valued families who each year assist with timekeeping and recording to help our carnival to run smoothly. Thank you, Mrs Walsh and Mrs Lowe, for your fantastic organisation on the day.
Special mention to Lawrence house who won (by 1 second) on the day the hotly-contested team relay event. Extra special praise to Mrs Naughton and Mrs Kilborn who also competed and helped to ‘piggyback’ their team to the finish line!
Hockey Sports Program
This Friday we will commence our Sporting Schools program with NSW Hockey. Students in years 1-6 will have a 45minute session with one of the NSW Hockey coaches for the next 6 weeks. Students will focus on the core skills of pushing, trapping, moving with the ball and spatial awareness.
Students can bring their own stick with them if they wish.
We thank Sporting Schools once again for their grant, making it possible for our students to have access to high-level coaching.
Photos to come in next week's newsletter.
Registrations for the following NSW Primary Sports Canberra Goulburn Trials are now OPEN;
Football (Soccer) - Close 5th March
Hockey - Close 15th March
Cricket - Close 15th March
Rugby League - Close 23rd March
Netball - Close 23rd March
Touch Football - Close 27th April
Please head to the Canberra Goulburn Sport Webpage for information regarding the trials and the link for registration.
The full 2021 NSW Primary and Secondary Sports Calendar is now available. It includes dates and information or links to further information for Canberra Goulburn, MacKillop, CCC, NSW All Schools, NSWPSSA and School Sport Australia trials and Championships.
Available at: https://sport.cg.catholic.edu.au/calendar
Congratulations to Saxon Greenwood who attended the Tennis Trials in Canberra last week. The competition was high but numbers trialling were low!
Saxon is keen to have another go at trialling for Tennis in 2022!
Safer Internet Day
As mentioned in my column last week Tuesday 9 Feb was Safer Internet Day and we believe it is vitally important our young children learn about being safe online as early as possible.
When your child reaches 10 – 11yrs (or even earlier), they may start asking for their first smartphone and to use social media. So here are ten things to keep your children safe online:
- If your child is hassling for a phone, make sure that you get them to do a little presentation, or write a small project sheet, on a topic of cyber safety every week in the lead up to getting their phone.
- Think about the age recommendations; it is not illegal for a child to use social media under the age of 13yrs with their parents’ permission. But they need to remember to update their age on any site that has asked for it when they actually turn 13yrs. Like Facebook, for example. This way, the app will not think they are older. As an extreme example…if your child signs up to use Facebook when they are 10yrs, and they have to lie and say they are 13yrs…so by the time they are 15yrs if they haven’t adjusted the year they were born, the app will think they are 18yrs. Then they can get a Tinder account as it relies on Facebook for verification!
- Teach your kids to think twice before they accept a friend request. Just because someone is a friend of their big brother or sister or cousin who goes to another school does not mean they should let them into their life.
- Engage with them about their favourite social media app and get them to teach you about it so you can at least know the basics. Get them to show you how to block and report so you can be sure they know how to.
- Be a good role model. Keep your screen time in check. There is no use banning the phones from bedrooms if you go to bed with yours each night, for example.
- Help them to check and manage privacy settings. This is something you can do together when they are younger by making it a shared experience.
- Think twice before “sharenting.” Do not post photos of your kids in school uniform or school events or holding certificates with their full name and school name on it. You are letting the whole world know where they go to school. This can happen by “checking in” or geotagging a school as well.
- Ask them first when you are about to share their photo. Let your kids be involved in the decision making on whether they are ok with you posting a photo of them or not as young as possible. This will teach them to ask others first before they post pictures as they grow up.
- Put healthy boundaries in place. Don’t ban them from their device if they forget to do a household chore or are naughty for something totally unrelated to their device. Do not take it off them if they speak up about something that has happened online because you are scared either. This is the quickest way to drive all the conversations that you want to be having underground. Instead, if you have a healthy boundary like all devices are banned from the bathroom or bedroom. So then if they are caught with their device in either place, you ban them for a week. This way, they will learn that it is safe to speak up about what is going on online without punishment unless they break the rules about device use.
- Respect the classifications. The average age of a gamer is 35yrs old. Classifications are there for a reason. It is not ok for a child under the age of 18yrs to be playing R Rated games…even with their parents!!! If your child is playing online games, set healthy boundaries around time playing as well. All of the other tips above also apply to gaming.
As the Child Safe Advocate for St Mary’s I have an account with Safe on Social Media. There are parent accounts also available with regular updates and advice to help you navigate this ever-challenging aspect of parenting.
Road Safety Around Schools
The staff and students of St Mary's would like to thank the School Board, particularly Daniel Walsh and Sarah Lowe, for their work in making the roads around St Mary's safer. You may have noticed we have recently had new SCHOOL ZONE 40km flashing signs installed and the Children's Crossing flags are expected soon.
All classes visit the library each week.
Tuesday: Year 2, Year 4 and Year 5.
Wednesday: Kinder, Year 1, Year 3 and Year 6.
Please ensure your child has a library bag to borrow.
This year Scholastic Book Club will need to be ordered online through LOOP.
Scholastic Book Club will be issued in Terms 1, 2 and 4.
The web address is:
LOOP enables parents to order and pay for your child’s order online using a credit card or voucher if you have one. Catalogues will still be handed out at school and books will be distributed at school. The school will continue to receive rewards.
- For a quick start, just click on ORDER
- OR Register first to save your details for next time
- Select your school and your child's class
- Add your child's first name & last initial (so the school knows who the book is for)
- Enter the item number from the Book Club catalogue
- Follow the instructions for payment and submit
- All orders are sent directly to the school for submission to Scholastic. Books will still be delivered to your child's classroom if you order by the close date
- Afterwards, there's no need to return paper order forms or payment receipt details back to your school!
Please contact me if you have no internet access at home and would like to order or if you experience any difficulties.
To have access to the Information and Communication Technologies at St Mary’s, children in Years 3-6 are requested to read and sign the Acceptable Use by Students Policy Form sent home today. Parents/Guardians please sign the Acknowledgement section and return to the office.
Volunteers are needed to cover books for the Library. The plastic covering is supplied and you are able to do this at home in your own time. If you are able to assist, please complete the form and I will contact you.
Please click here: Library helpers
As part of the pastoral care program for students, St Mary’s School have access to a Student and Family Counselling service provided by CatholicCare Canberra & Goulburn (CCG). CCG are contracted by St Mary’s to provide a counselling service to students and their families on site. There is no fee to access this service.
The role of the counsellor is to focus on the emotional, social and educational well-being of the students. Counsellors welcome contact with students having difficulty with some part of their life, whether or not it affects their school work. The problem does not have to be a big one. It is better to seek help sooner than later. Some typical concerns that counsellors work with include: anger, anxiety, behavioural problems, depression, eating problems, family breakdown and family conflict, grief and loss, learning and educational challenges, parenting challenges, peer and other social relationships, school avoidance, stress and study skills. As well as individual sessions with students, counsellors can run groups, do family work, consult with parents and teachers and make referrals to other services and supports.
Student and Family Counsellors subscribe to a set of professional ethics that include duty of care and respect for the individual rights to privacy and confidentiality. The counsellors’ obligation is to ensure the safety, wellbeing and confidentiality of the student they are working with. All counsellors are mandated to report any disclosure or sign of abuse (including self-harm) or neglect to Child Protection Services. Outside of our mandated requirements, all counselling sessions are confidential and the details will not be discussed with other parties unless written consent is given by the client.
Referrals and requests can be made by completing the referral form via the link below or it is available on the school website in the Parent Page:
The Student and Family Counsellor for St Mary’s School is: Sharyn Lynch-Social Worker AASW, who is onsite every Monday.
The Student of the Weeks Award recipients this week are...
Kinder - Oscar Allport and Riley Plumb
Year 1 - Jesse Costello, Charlie Beath and Bodi Cooper
Year 2 - Anna O'Brien, Quade Haynes and Billie Garnham
Year 3 - Charlotte Bensley, Lily Coggan and Thomas Walsh
Year 4 – Charlie Lang and Katyanna Waters
Year 5 -Finn McCormack and Caitlyn Hogan
Year 6 - Bryce Foley
School Spirit Awards
The School Spirit Award recipients this week are:
Joe McCormack, Owen Moorby, Alex Storrier and Leo Knight for demonstrating care for the school environment.
Awards are presented at our Monday morning Assembly in the Old Hall at 9.05am.
Welcome to the new school year. We would like to invite our new and existing families to join us for a shift volunteering in our school tuckshop this year.
If you are able to assist please fill out the eform here: Tuckshop Helpers
If your child is an existing St Mary's student please remember to change the Year level on their lunch order bag.
Term One Roster
Please try to organise changes with other parents before contacting the School Office. It is your responsbility to find a replacement if you cannot do your date.
P&F Cookbook- Order Now
The P&F Cookbook was kindly organised by Donna McGeechan, Tash McCormack and Daria Lawson. It's a great addition to your collection, so please head to the P&F Payments section of Qkr. Alternatively, please send an envelope with your name, the number required and the correct amount in cash or cheque (made to St Mary's P&F) via the School Office.
The cost is $20 each.
Please note that the Sacramental enrolments are due 15 February. Paperwork can be downloaded from the Parish website or collected from the school.
Reconciliation meetings will commence on Thursday 25 February at 6.30pm at school.
For Parish and Sacramental matters please forward your enquiries to Pastoral Associate Sr Rosemary via email or call into the Parish Office at the Old Convent Building on Tuesdays or Thursdays.
Phone: 48321 633
Address: 55 Wade Street (the Old Convent Building)
Australian Girls Choir
If your daughter is interested in trying out for the Australian Girls Choir, there is a tryout day in Canberra on 20 February. For more information, please go to ausgirlschoir.com.au.
League Stars Crookwell Program
KAOS (Kids Acting On Stage)
We are having a muster on Monday 15th Feb and Wed 17th Feb at the Crookwell Memorial Hall at 6pm.
You do not have to come both nights and this is to gauge interest and allow the Director to choose a play. Due to cost and the uncertainty of COVID we are postponing Shrek till 2022 at this stage. Our director Rob has several musical plays up his sleeve but what he goes with will depend on numbers and ages.
Hope to see you at the musters- lots of fun ensured
Any info needed call Rob on 0432343966
Goulburn Show 2021- Junior Section
More information can be obtained from the School Office or the Goulburn Show Society directly.