Dear Parents and Carers,
This week as I began preparations for our open days and upcoming school enrolment period, I was asked ‘What is special about St Benedict’s?’ A few things came straight to mind; our welcoming and inclusive community, our strong Catholic identity, the support for students to be the living Gospel to others – to put their faith and beliefs into action, the dedication of our staff to all the children and broader community and the excellent teaching and education we provide.
‘Checking in’ with some members of our community, this is what others consider to be special about our school:
‘We can get awards for doing the ‘5 Ways of Being.’ Kindergarten student
‘We have really good teachers who look after us and help us to learn.’ Yr 2 student
‘St Benedict’s is a lovely school because there are lots of lovely people who help us to be the best we can be.’ Yr 2 student
‘Everyone at St Benedict’s cares for each other.’ Yr 3 student
‘It’s a really good school. It helps you learn, you make great friends and everyone looks after each other and helps each other.’ Yr 3 student
‘I think St Benedict’s is good for friendships and it’s a great Catholic community. Everyone really cares for each other.’ Yr 4 student
‘At St Benedict’s you can play with other kids very quickly and its very nice to get to play with kids that you get along with.’ Yr 5 student
‘St Benedict’s encourages all students to be involved in hands on activities whilst helping us to share our ideas and build our confidence.’ Yr 6 student
‘Everyone is encouraged to try new things and get involved.’ Yr 6 student
‘St Benedict’s is a really nice school. Because we are small, the relationships are better connected because everyone knows everyone.’ Yr 6 student
‘You can make lots of new friends and we learn new and different things. The teachers always encourage us to try our hardest and to have a growth mindset.’ Yr 6 student
‘At St Benedict’s we are the living Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We live it, we show it and we profess it always.’ Teacher
‘For me as a teacher who has worked at St Benedict’s for many years, I have been a witness to the charism of St Benedict “with open hearts and open hands” being the centre of the school’s teaching of God’s word. This is the essence of what brings me back each year.’ Teacher
‘The school builds the children’s confidence to be able to express their views and be their own person.’ - Parent
‘They really focus on caring for those less fortunate. Putting their faith into action. My kids love it because it empowers them to be able to help, even though they’re young.’ Parent
‘The school builds the children’s confidence to be able to express their views and be their own person.’ Parent
Our greatest advertisement and contributor to school enrolments has always been our students and word of mouth. Thank you for your ongoing support with this. I encourage all community members to tell people what it is that they value about our school and community. I look forward to welcoming prospective families into our school next term and showing them what our wonderful school has to offer.
COVID 19 Update
Thank you for your support in keeping students at home who are showing cold and flu-like symptoms and for informing the school of positive cases for COVID. As of this week, the ACT government has changed the way RATs are distributed in schools. The school has a small number of Rapid Antigen Tests that will be distributed in consultation with staff and families in specific situations as the need arises. If you require a RAT for your child, please contact the front office.
A new COVID map was released by the ACT government last week. We are very excited to be allowed to resume some of our ‘normal’ school activities and events, although they will still need to adhere to some strict COVID guidelines. From this morning we have reintroduced our morning assemblies which allow us to commence our day together in prayer and on Friday students will celebrate First Friday Mass together in the church for the first time this year. From next term we will reintroduce our whole school assemblies, although we are still unable to welcome parents and friends back to them. Sporting carnivals, excursions and camps are also now allowed to proceed, but in some cases may need to be altered in format. Our Cross Country Carnival will be held on the final day of this term and will still be run in cohorted groups; Years 3-6 followed by our Kindergarten – Year 2 students. This format will allow us to manage the organisation and management of races without parental assistance.
ACT Catholic Education – Schools Roadmap 2022
Please view the latest updated roadmap here.
Online Learning Showcase
Our Online Learning Showcase will provide parents with an opportunity to view some of the learning that their child has been doing this term and gain some insight into how they are progressing. Students have been busy organising some of their work and reflections on their learning via the platforms of SeeSaw (K-2) and Google Classroom (3-6). This work will be available for viewing from Friday afternoon. Please ask your child/ren to share and discuss their learning with you.
Congratulations to our students who experienced the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time last week. Thank you to each family for their partnership in preparing the students. Thank you also to Nat Wright, Melissa Taglieri and Madison Action for the support they have given the students and thank you to Fr Rem and Fr Baiju for making this sacrament such a prayerful and reflective experience for all involved.
Ways of Being Awards
We will conclude Term One with the presentation of our ‘Ways of Being Awards’. This term our focus is on ‘Be Welcoming’. These awards will be presented in a student assembly on the final day of term. As parents are unable to be present for this assembly, photographs will be taken of all award recipients and these will then be emailed to parents.
We are holding a ‘Tuck Day’ on the last day of term. Watch out for the note about the two special lunch options available for purchase.
Term Two Starting Date
Tuesday 26th April Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn has declared as a pupil free day (and staff development day) for all Catholic schools in Canberra. Students will commence Term 2 on Wednesday 27th April.
Thank you to the parents who were able to join us online last week for our ThinkUKnow session. Our lovely presenter went through some tips and tricks to look out for when our kids are online. The most valuable lesson for me was that we need to watch our children closely whilst they are online and teaching them what to do if they feel unsafe. Knowing there is support out there is a comfort also.
Please use the following agencies to help support you and your child at any time.
St Benedict's Parish
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Ellen Thomas (Parish Secretary)
In line with the ACT Government easing COVID-19 restrictions, there are no longer density limits in the church, the CBR app is no longer required upon entry, and face mask are no longer mandatory indoors. If you are unwell it is still better to stay home, for those with immunity issues. Holy Water Fonts and receiving Communion on the tongue are now re-instated.