Dear Parents and Carers,
This week at St Benedict’s Primary is Sabbath Week. This week is designed to ease the pressure on staff, students and families. Taking time to rest and recharge is important for all of us, particularly at this challenging time.
Traditionally, Sabbath means ‘rest’ and we can read about it in Exodus 20:8-11. “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work...For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” Exodus makes a clear connection between the Sabbath day and the day on which God the Creator rested. Therefore, this week, Week Seven, we will experience a week of rest - and don’t we all need it!
Staff, students and families have been doing a wonderful job at managing the challenges of these COVID times in conjunction to the everyday busyness of daily life. During Sabbath Week, students (and teachers) have the week off homework. It is also a time where we encourage staff to leave work a little earlier and lighten their after-school work load. We hope that our whole community may find some time for rest and renewal in Sabbath Week.
Last week I was privileged to attend the Catholic Leaders Day and Principal Retreat. The Catholic Leaders day enabled schools to have input into the Catholic Education Strategic Plan and then discuss some of the successes and challenges being experienced in implementing a new pedagogy focus. It also gave schools the opportunity to discuss some significant issues being experienced in education such as staff recruitment, retention and wellbeing, faith formation and digital technologies for the future. As a school that will go through registration again next year, a workshop on changes to the school improvement and registration process was also very welcomed and timely. The two day retreat that followed, led by Archbishop Christopher Prowse, focused on Mercy, which was described as ‘the loving kindness of the heart of God.’ We investigated the idea that Justice and Mercy go hand in hand; in giving you shall receive. We were challenged to consider that Mercy is God’s way of doing justice and that there must be an equal balance between Mercy and Justice. The Archbishop left us with a poignant quote by Jamie Cardinal Sin, the 30th Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila and the third Cardinal from the Philippines:
Justice without mercy is tyranny,
Mercy without justice is weakness,
Mercy without love is baloney.
This is rich food for thought, when considering our relationships – with God, with each other and with the world.
AUSTRALIA DAY AWARD
Congratulations to John Norgrove, long time parent from our school, for his recent Australia Day award. John received an Australia Day award in recognition of his outstanding service as a Senior Contract Clinician and Aviation Medical Officer in the Canberra region. Well done John, your award speaks volumes about your leadership and commitment to service of others.
PARENTS AND FRIENDS COMMITTEE
We are still in need of some support for our Parents and Friends Committee:
- Coordinator of Fundraising and Social Events – This role oversees the planning and organisation of such events for our school e.g. school discos, colour run, community gatherings etc. The person is strongly supported by a group of helpers whom are on the P&F as well as assistance for each event from the wider school community.
- Class Parent Representatives – To help keep families updated across the range of events, we have Class Parent Representatives who act as an avenue of communication between class teachers and families regarding special events (e.g. the need to supply morning tea for a class mass) and also a point of connection between families (e.g. organise an occasional informal class play date at a park or the like). The role of Class Parent Representative is not time consuming and does not require attendance at any P&F meetings (unless you choose to) nor attendance at school events. The Parent Representative Coordinator (Hannah Norgrove) will keep all our class Parent Representatives up to date on school happenings. The role simply asks for the coordination of:
- Touching base with your classroom teacher from time to time to find if there is any information that may need to be distributed amongst families.
- Arranging a note to be sent home when it is your class turn to host Mass and morning tea.
- Helping distribute information and encourage attendance at school/P&F events.
- Welcome new families in your class to the school.
- As an optional addition, you may like to coordinate class get togethers during holidays/weekends.
- Clothing Pool Assistant - Over a number of years, our Clothing Pool has been coordinated by Mrs Barbra Cox. In this role she maintains the stock, gathers uniform to meet parent orders and occasionally holds an after school stall to sell our second hand uniform items. As Barbra’s family will finish at St Benedict’s at the end of the year, we are after someone to ‘learn the ropes’ and assist this year, with the aim of taking over the coordination of the Clothing Pool in 2023.
If you are able to fulfil any of these roles, we would love to hear from you. Please either call the Front Office or send an email to alana.Quirk@cg.catholic.edu.au . Remember, many hands make light work.
CAR PARK SAFETY
The car park continues to be an area of safety concern. Please:
- Ensure that when you enter the car park, you are travelling at low speed and following the arrows of direction.
- Take note of the ‘No Parking’ zones – these are the areas in front of the double black gates (where the children enter and leave the grounds) and in front of the boundary fence (under the basketball hoop).
- Park in a designated parking bay. DO NOT stop in the drive through area.
- Collect your child/ren from the black gates. You must collect your child from this area – do not call them over to you. NO CHILD will be allowed to cross the carpark without a parent/carer.
If your child arrives late to school (any time after 9:00am), they must be signed in at the Front Office by a parent or carer.
STUDENT ABSENCE EXPLANATION
As the class roll is a legal document, all student absences are required to be explained by the parent/carer. Please use the Compass App for this purpose. Even if you phone the school to let them know of your child’s absence, we still require a written explanation via the Compass Portal.
Today we conducted a whole school fire drill so the children can practice what to do in the event of a real fire. They may come home with questions or comments on their experience from today. I suggest that you discuss the need for practicing to ensure everyone's safety. Please feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.
Do you know what your children are doing when they are online?
Do you know how to protect them and their privacy?
Can you implement steps to keep them safe online?
Do you want to know how?
If so, please join us and the AFP online this evening at 6pm to find the answers to these and many other important online questions.
Use the link below to gain access to the meeting:
Microsoft Teams meeting
Join on your computer or mobile app
Or call in (audio only)
+61 2 8318 0126,,248161519# Australia, Sydney
Phone Conference ID: 248 161 519#
St Benedict's Parish
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Onela Iruthayaraj (Parish Secretary)
Masses have recommenced at the usual times. 170 people are able to attend each Mass in person. Please follow social distancing and sanitise before entry. Face masks are no longer mandatory, but encouraged for those 12 years and above. Parishioners are not required to produce evidence of vaccination. Upon entry please sign in using the CBR app, if you are unable to do so please use the sign in sheets that are available. If you are unwell due to immunity issues it is better to stay home.