Dear Parent and Carers,
Woo hoo! It has been wonderful to finally be able to welcome back all our children to school. This lockdown was even longer than the last time, and with COVID-19 continuing to move through the community this time, I think it was a little more difficult on everyone. Today was the first time in nearly three months that students got to see many of their classmates and teachers other than on the screen. This morning the sun was shining as the red-carpet treatment was rolled out for our returning students. There were smiles and laughter all around, particularly from the parents! Almost every teacher, including those not on duty, came out to welcome everyone back to school. The teachers were thrilled to be back in person with their classes and routines were re-established with lots of emphasis on re-connection and wellbeing. Our school again feels alive and vibrant!
Thank you to parents for supporting the school and arranging pick up locations off site for your children. This has certainly assisted the students and school with a smooth departure at the end of the day.
Semester Two Reports
Teachers have begun writing Semester Two Reports for each child. Though much of the semester has seen students learning from home, we will still assess and provide grades for a number of curriculum areas.
We have, along with all CE schools, moved to the Schools Administration System, Compass, for the compilation of semester reports. Though the process for teachers has changed, the result will look familiar. The slight change this semester is the inclusion of a teacher comment.
On Friday 3 December, your child’s report will go live on your Compass portal. This will allow you to view it immediately, online, and print it if you wish. Helpful instructions will be sent to all families closer to the date.
COVID Safe Measures
Please refer to the letter posted on Compass and SZapp on Monday for the latest update regarding COVID safe measures. At a time when restrictions are being eased across the community, in schools we are still obliged to function under some very restrictive measures.
We do so, however, with a positive mindset, knowing it is for the safety of all our students, families and staff. Parents are reminded, that as in all schools in the ACT, visitors are not permitted unless for essential purposes. If you wish to meet with a teacher, please contact the front office to arrange a mutually convenient time and method.
Last Friday 29th October, World Teacher's Day was celebrated in Australia. On your behalf I would like to say thanks and acknowledge our teachers and staff who make St Benedict’s an incredible school for our students. If you have any spare time, perhaps take a minute to send a word of thanks to one of our staff. I am sure they would appreciate the gesture :)
Stay safe and healthy.
Fee concessions and remissions are available on a needs basis as defined in our fee policy, therefore, if you are having difficulties with school fees, please contact me as soon as possible. All applications will be considered in strictest confidence.
2022 Kinder Orientation and End of Year Functions
We continue to monitor and follow the latest health advice provided to us from Catholic Education and the ACT Department of Education in regard to end of year award ceremonies and functions. As you can imagine this is an ever-evolving thing and will be very dependent on the end of lockdown and what it brings with it.
Leaving St Benedict’s
If you anticipate that, your child will leave St Benedict’s at the end of this year, could you please notify the Front Office. We need to begin planning for staffing and class configurations for 2022. Thank you to those who have let us know already, this is very much appreciated. Naturally, Year 6 parents need not respond to this request.
Whole School Mass
This Friday (5th November) students will be celebrating Mass with their class online.
This Mass will focus on celebrating All Saints Day. All Saints' Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church that is dedicated to the saints of the Church. On this day, we reflect on the virtues of gentleness, humility, justice and peacemaking as the way to eternal joy. These are the qualities of the saints who have gone before us. We look forward to our school community being able to gather in prayer.
we rejoice with all the angels
and give honour to the saints in heaven.
Remembrance Day Liturgy
Next Thursday (11th November) we will commemorate Remembrance Day in an online service. The service will be led by students of our defence families. The rest of our school will view the service online inside their classrooms.
St Vincent de Paul Christmas Food Donations
Each year our St Benedict’s school community donates non-perishable food to our parish St Vincent de Paul Conference. This food is then made into Christmas hampers
that are distributed to people in our local community who are experiencing hardship. Parents are encouraged to talk with their children about the joy of giving without the expectation of receiving something in return. A note with further information will be sent home this week.
We are also seeking donations of rolls of wrapping paper to decorate the hamper boxes.
Prayer for our Safe Return to School
Please God keep us safe as we work and play together.
We know you are with us every step of the way.
Please God keep our families and friends safe and well.
We thank God for their love and support, and we ask God to continue to look after them.
We thank you God for our teachers and all who work in our school.
We ask you to bless them and keep them safe.
We thank God for all those who look after the sick at this time.
We ask God to bless them and help them with their difficult work.
Lord we know that it will be hard at times because of the corona virus,
We ask you to guide us with your light and protect us.
Your child’s online life
There is so much that we can do online nowadays including playing games, chatting with others, watching TV or sharing our videos/photographs. Being online can be great but it’s important that we set boundaries for our children to keep them safe whist they explore being online, develop their digital resilience and understanding of what to do if anything negative happens when online.
So how can we help keep our children safe? We can start by checking age restrictions/ratings. It’s important that we follow these to ensure that what our children are doing or seeing online is appropriate for their age.
See the recommended age guidelines following.
What else can I do?
- Explain the importance of age ratings to your child.
- Go online together and let your child show you what they are accessing online.
- Set up parental controls on your broadband, devices, consoles and on any individual apps that your child is using. This will reduce the chances of them accessing anything unsuitable as well as viewing inappropriate content for example whilst on YouTube.
- Chat to your child regularly about what they are doing online and as always, remind your child that if anything is worrying them about what they see online then they should tell you or another trusted adult.
What if my child has seen something inappropriate?
When on the look out for assistance or esafety resources, visit the eSafety Commissioners website. https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents
Important dates to note for this term are:
5th November - School Mass (Online) 10am
8th November - P & F Meeting (Online) 6.30pm - 7.30pm
9th November - School Board Meeting (virtual) 6.00pm-7.00pm
11th November - Remembrance Day
17th November - Kindy Orientation Day 2 (TBC) 9am - 11am
26th November - St Clare's College Orientation - All day
2nd December - Learning Showcase (TBC) 2.00pm - 4.00pm
3rd December - Reports Home
- Mini Vinnies Giving Mass (TBC) 10.00am -11.00am
6th December - Optional Parent/Teacher Interview (Online)
- School Board (virtual) 6.00pm-7.00pm
8th December - Kindergarten Health Checks
10th December - Ways of Being Awards Assembly (TBC) 2.15pm-3.10pm
15th December - End of Year and Graduation Mass - Year 5/6Blue & 5/6 Gold (TBC) 10.00am-11.00am
16th December - Year 6 Graduation 6.00pm-9.00pm
17th December - Last Day of Term 4
If you require uniform items please email the school:
with attention Mrs Hemphill or Mrs Cox with the list of items required. Please include either your telephone number or email address.
We will endeavour to fill your order and reply to you as soon as possilble.
St Benedict's Parish
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Onela Iruthayaraj (Parish Secretary)
Masses recommenced last week with the usual times. 85 people are able to attend each Mass in person. Please follow social distancing and sanitise before entry. If you are unwell due to immunity issues it is better to stay home. Please refrain from booking more than one Mass per week so that it gives everyone a chance to attend the Mass. We have an online booking system.