Dear Parents and Carers,
At the ACT Catholic Primary School’s Principal Meeting last week there was much discussion about parent engagement and creating a new understanding of what that looks like in a primary school’s context, with the current Facebook post that is doing the rounds being shared;
For me this quote highlights the statistic that children spend only 15% of their time at school and how vital the relationship between home and school is. Debbie Pushor, Professor of Education at the University of Saskatchewan and a leading expert in the area, states ‘how it’s done doesn’t matter, it’s the sense of the commitment to each other, then the rest will come’. For so long in schools we have been good at parent involvement, yet there is a distinct difference between engagement and involvement. The best example of the difference is the idea that if a year 7 student can do the job, that’s involvement, whilst anything that involves a child’s education and learning is engagement.
At St Benedict’s we do want to engage parents and we have the best intentions, but realistically it can sometimes get lost. We are always looking for new ways to increase parent engagement, with some of the most recent ways being the change to the reporting and feedback process and the move to Three Way Conferences and Learning Showcases. The other initiative we have recently tried is the introduction of the Catholic Schools Week Family Breakfast. We are aware that majority of our parents work and are often unable to attend school events during the day, so hoped that a breakfast would be another way for parents to be engaged, meet with teachers, other families and visit classrooms. This is an initiative we would like to see continue in the future. If there are other ways you think we can engage parents further, please feel free to email me email@example.com
I will finish with the words of Pope Francis ‘education is a family matter, and rather than contradicting one another, parents and teachers must collaborate openly and constructively to form children in core values which enable them to face modern challenges’.
Thank you for your ongoing care and partnership in your child’s learning.
SZapp Absentee Form
Previously parents have been able to advise the school of their child’s absence through the Skoolbag app. We are no longer using this app, however I am pleased to say that there is now an Absentee Form’ on the new SZapp for parents to use to notify the school. This form can also be found on the school website under the banner of ‘Communication’.
National Simultaneous Storytime
Yesterday Wednesday 22nd May our school participated in the National Simultaneous Storytime. This is something we have done for several years. This year the chosen book was Alpacas with Maracas by Matt Cosgrove. This engaging book was read or listened to in classrooms and libraries across Australian and New Zealand. More information about this book and the storytime can be found on ALIA website https://www.alia.org.au/nss .
National Reconciliation Week
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. On Monday 27 May (next Monday), the ACT will celebrate its 2nd Reconciliation Day public holiday. As it is a public holiday, all schools in the ACT will be closed on that day. Please join 3/4 Blue for their Reconciliation Liturgy next Tuesday 28th May at 2.30pm.
2020 Enrolments Closing Soon
A reminder to parents that the Catholic schools’ enrolment period closes on Friday 31st May. If you have a younger child who is commencing school in 2020, or have friends at preschool and childcare who are interested in enrolling at St Benedict’s, please let them know.
Toys at School
We ask that children leave their toys at home and only play with equipment provided by the school. This is to ensure that ‘personal treasures’ do not become lost or damaged at school. It is also to keep everyone safe as some toys are not ‘playground friendly’.
If a child’s hair is long enough to touch the shoulders, it needs to be tied back. This is to prevent the spread of head lice and to keep hair out of eyes as well as to ensure a neat and tidy appearance. A reminder that head lice season is upon us. Please keep a look out in your child’s hair.
It’s that time of year when children and adults alike succumb to various illnesses. Though we encourage children to be at school, we know that most will have need for the occasional sick day during their schooling.
Please, if your child is not well, do not send them to school. If they are not feeling well, they won’t be at their best to learn and they could very likely be sharing their illness with other students and staff.
Hats off June and July! Why Hats Off Day?
Being SunSmart is all about being "smart" when spending time outdoors in the sun, this includes having an understanding around the balance between UV exposure, sun protection and vitamin D.
During the summer period, maintaining vitamin D levels should be relatively easy for children who are active and spend time outdoors most days of the week, even with sensible sun protection.
The body should be able to store your summer vitamin D levels over the winter period, however by leaving your hat at home during this low UV period and getting some winter sun exposure to your skin you are more likely to maintain adequate vitamin D levels during this cold period of the year.
In winter, by exposing some skin most days of the week during the lunchtime period (the middle of the day is best because UVB will be present), students and teachers should be able to maintain the bulk of their summer vitamin D. Of course there will be groups in the population that are at higher risk of having vitamin D deficiency. To read more about vitamin D visit Cancer Council ACT's website: https://actcancer.org/.
Date & time
Celebration of the Sacrament of First Holy Communion
followed by celebration in the Parish Centre
St Benedict’s Church and Parish Centre
Candidates and their families and guests
Reconciliation Day Liturgy
Next Tuesday, 27th May 2.30pm, Year 3/4 Blue will be leading our school in a Reconciliation Day liturgy. This year’s theme is ‘Grounded in Truth, Walk Together with Courage.’ Families and friends are warmly invited to join us for this special occasion.
Staff Spirituality Retreat
Please keep our St Benedict’s Staff in your prayers as they participate in a Spirituality Retreat this afternoon focused on ‘cultivating the ear of their hearts’. We pray that they are nourished spirituality to voice the truth and listen with an open heart, as they spend time in prayer and contemplation on the Parable of the Sower.
Our Mini Vinnies are beginning to organise our annual Winter Woollies Day (whole school event) which will be held Friday 28th June to raise awareness about the issue of homelessness in Canberra as well as donations for the St Vincent de Paul Night Patrol Van. In preparation for this we ask that all families begin collecting adult size winter clothing, as well as blankets and sleeping bags. Donations can be second-hand or new. Please store these at home until Winter Woollies Day, as we do not have the capacity to store these at school.
For more information about the Canberra Night Patrol Van, please visit
Community Meals Program
The Community Meals freezer is one way we can assist families who are experiencing hardship. If you are able to cook a meal, please use disposable containers and label with ingredients and date. All meal donations can be brought to the Front Office. If your family requires temporary meal assistance, you can speak in confidence to any of our staff members.
14-24 May Naplan Yrs 3 and 5 students
24 May Feast of Mary Help of Christians
25 May Sorry Day
27 May Reconciliation Day (Public Holiday)
28 May Reconciliation Day Liturgy, 2.30pm
7 Jun First Friday Mass, 10.00am
9 Jun Pentecost Sunday
10 Jun Queens Birthday (Public Holiday)
11 Jun Joint School Board and P&F Meeting, 6.30pm
16 Jun Parish Mass Year Kinder Families, 9.00am
20 Jun Year 1/2 Mountain View visit
23 Jun First Holy Communion, 9.00am
27 Jun Learning Showcase, 2.00pm
28 Jun Semester reports sent home
28 Jun Winter Woollies Day
28 Jun St Vincent de Paul School Sleepout
1 Jul Parent—Teacher Interviews (Optional)
2 Jul Parent—Teacher Interviews (Optional)
5 Jul St Benedict’s Feast Day Mass, 10.00am
5 Jul Term 2 concludes
Walk to School Day
What a wonderful morning had by all. A number of families that do not always walk to school stopped at the Narrabundah shops and we all walked to school together. This is a great time and opportunity to discuss with your child/children about stranger danger, crossing the road, and walking together.
Well done all.
Kindergarten: Samson M, Nicolas C and Isabella M
1/2 Blue: Maria C and Arwyn S
1/2 Gold: Sarah R and Ysabella G
3/4 Blue: Amelia J, Ria C, Liam N and William C
5/6 Blue: Matilda W and Teresa D
This term we will be selling the new 2019-2020 Entertainment Book Membership for $60. You will receive hundreds of valuable offers for shopping, dining and accommodation. $12 of every membership sold will go towards our school. A sample copy is available for viewing at the Front Office.
Please make sure you buy a book through St Benedict’s School, and tell your family and friends about it too!
Entertainment Book using the link: https://www.entertainmentbook.com.au/orderbooks/23231n Then pickup your book from Belinda at the Front Office.
The Clothing Pool will be open each Tuesday and Thursday between 2.50pm to 3.15pm by appointment.
The lost property box is located in the canteen area. PLEASE ENSURE YOUR CHILD/REN'S CLOTHING IS LABELLED WITH THEIR NAME The lost property box will be emptied throughout the term.
As most of the food is made fresh in the canteen volunteers are needed for the peak times for this to continue. If you have any spare time, please consider dropping in and helping as volunteers are always welcome. No amount of time is too small.
FRIDAY 24th May
9am to 11.30am - Helpers Required
11.30am to 2pm - Helpers Required
TUESDAY 28st May
9am to 11.30am - Helpers Required
11.30am to 2pm - Helpers Required
If you would like to touch base about volunteering please either drop in or contact me on Cara.Cook@cg.catholic.edu.au.
Yours in tongs
Cara Cook, Canteen Manager
Parish Office Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9.00am to 12 noon
Weekend Mass Times
Youth Mass 6.00pm
Charismatic Mass 6.00pm (last Sunday of the Month)
Baptisms: 11.00am, 2nd and 4th Sundays of the Month
I would like to invite St Benedict‘s student to come to the game and to be involved in the smoking ceremony.
Runsheet Round 5
Date 25th May
- 8:00am Gates open,
- 9:30am Rising Stars (20 minute quarters; 4-10-4 Breaks; game time 1:40)
- 11:10am Second Grade on ground warm up
- 11:20am Second Grade Men (20 minute quarters; 4-10-4 Breaks; game time 1:40)
- 12:45pm First Grade Men’s and women’s teams dressed ready to go on ground, have any invited Guests assembled at the middle gate. (we need to ensure that all Indigenous Parent, School Kids and any other player from the clubs are invited to the playing arena)
- Eastlake Men’s team in Black and Red Jumpers, Tuggeranong in white
- Eastlake women’s team will be in white jumpers for the smoking ceremony and will play in the Red and Black due to a Clash in Jumpers, Tuggeranong in White Jumpers
- 1:00pm Players are to Form a U shape for the ceremony, with the smoking ceremony to take place in the middle. (Indigenous Parent and School Kids will be asked to stand in an area to be confirmed closer to the time) Welcome to country, speeches, smoking ceremony and Group photo.
- 1:30pm First Grade Men’s team; 15 minutes to warm up on ground
- 1:45pm First Grade (18 minutes plus time on; 5-15-5 breaks; game time 2:30)
- 4:15pm First Grade women’s team’s warm up on ground.
- 4:20pm First Grade women’s (18 Minute quarters; breaks 4-10-4; 1:30pm
- 5:50pm all games played
- Tea, Coffee and Nibbles in the Pavilion
- All players to meet after games at the Pavilion after game speeches
- Each student will receive Sausage sandwich and drink on the day
Eastlake football club will be giving students that are involved sausage in bread as well as a healthy drink.
If you intend to come along, please send me an email for catering purposes.