Dear Parents and Carers,
Congratulations Mrs Gerbich, Mrs Gould and Mr Mackenzie
Congratulations to Mrs Camille Gerbich who has been successful in gaining a position at Holy Trinity Curtin from 2020 as Classroom Teacher. Whilst at St Benedict’s Mrs Gerbich has held a variety of roles such as classroom teacher, Wellbeing Coordinator, KidsMatter Coordinator, Sports Coordinator and STEAM Coordinator. During her 6 years at St Benedict’s Mrs Gerbich has contributed positively to our strong St Benedict’s identity, the community life of the school and Parish. She has been instrumental in developing Wellbeing within the school and the Berry Street Program. We wish Mrs Gerbich well in her new position and know that the Holy Trinity community will be richer for having her join their staff.
Congratulations to Mrs Hayley Gould who will be joining St Joseph’s School O’Connor as Kindergarten teacher for 2020. Congratulations to Mr Josh Mackenzie who will be joining St Thomas Aquinas’ Primary School West Belconnen next year. We thank them for their enthusiasm and care for their classes throughout the year. We wish them the very best for their exciting year ahead.
Mrs Amanda Basedow has chosen to extend her leave from her full time teaching load for 2020, and will continue with a flexible working arrangement for two and half days a week in 2020.
Following interviews I am very pleased to announce that Ms Emma Donaghue was successful in gaining a permanent teaching position at St Benedict’s beginning 2020. Ms Donaghue is currently a teacher at The Robert Fitzroy Academy, London and prior to that taught as a relief teacher with the Catholic Education in the ACT, including at St Benedict’s. I know you will join with me in welcoming Ms Donaghue into our community.
Mrs Narelle O’Callaghan was successful in gaining a temporary teaching position at St Benedict’s for the 2020 school year. Mrs O’Callaghan is a teacher with over fifteen years experience who is currently teaching at St Clare of Assisi, Conder. Ms Samantha Slocomb was also successful in gaining a temporary teaching position at St Benedict’s for the 2020 school year. Ms Slocomb is a recent graduate, who has taught at both St Clare of Assisi, Conder and St John the Apostle, Florey. Congratulations to both Mrs O’Callaghan and Ms Slocomb and welcome to the St Bendicit’s community.
I know the community joins with me in congratulating Mrs Gerbich, Mrs Gould and Mr Mackenzie, and in welcoming the new members to our community. With staffing now finalised class groupings of students are currently being determined. Students will find out which class they will belong to in their school report on Friday of Week 9.
Our staff are looking forward to some very exciting work with students next year with the continued focus on an contemporary inquiry in curriculum and the introduction of more STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) units of work. We look forward to sharing much more with you at the beginning of 2020 when we hold our Open House Information Evening in February.
Key dates coming up...
- Semester 2 Reports sent home - 13 December
- Ways of Being Awards Assembly - 13 December
- Year 6 Graduation Mass - 18 December
- Christmas Concert - 19 December
Look to our school calendar on our website and app for more information.
Classroom Teachers 2020
It is with pleasure that I share with you our teaching teams for 2020.
Kindergarten Mrs Fran Tomadini
Year 1/2 Ms Natalie Wright (4 days)/ Mrs Anne White (1 day)
Year 1/2 Miss Breena Walshe
Primary Learning Program
Year 3/4 Mrs Narelle O’Callaghan
Year 3/4 Ms Samantha Slocomb
Year 5/6 Blue Mrs Alana Quirk (2.5 days)/ Mrs Amanda Basedow (2.5 days)
Year 5/6 Gold Ms Emma Donaghue
Classroom Support Teacher Mrs Jeanette Skaff
Teacher Librarian Mrs Susan Anderson
Performing Arts Miss Beth Moores
Italian Teacher Mrs Susan Anderson
Thank you to everyone who came to the school disco on Friday evening. It was fun, relaxing and a great opportunity for parents to catch up and see their children happy with friends. Thank you to the P&F, in particular Hannah Norgrove, Sonia Brown and Belinda Daunt for their organisation of the night. Thank you to the parents who helped out on the night by cooking the hamburgers, serving in the Canteen, face painting, hair spraying and manning the doors. We appreciated your help. Thank you also to the staff who attended.
Thank you to the members of the school community who were able to attend and help out with the P&F Working Bee last Saturday. With the help of the Parish Gardening team we were able to achieve many gardening jobs.
Still to come in 2019!
Don’t forget that tomorrow Thursday, 5th December between 2.00pm and 4pm we will have the last of our Learning Showcases for the year. We look forward to seeing many of you there.
This Friday we celebrate our Giving Mass at 10.00am. It is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate one of our school values, Compassion. Before this Friday students can bring a non-perishable food item to donate to St Vincent de Paul. St Vincent de Paul will collect these donations and use them to assist families in need to have a well-deserved Christmas celebration and meal. Thank you for supporting your children to take action in caring for others in need.
A reminder that all library books are now overdue and need to be returned ASAP for the Library stock take.
A reminder that school hats must be worn before school, at Recess, Lunch, sport times and after school. We ask for your support in ensuring that the students have school hats with names labelled very clearly.
Lunches in Hot Weather
As the temperature rises it may be worth considering putting frozen blocks in lunch boxes.
Please check at home for any misplaced home readers and return them to school. All families are encouraged to maintain a reading regime during the holidays - it is amazing how much progress can be lost if reading is abandoned during the long Christmas break. Don’t forget to read in front of your children - this is a very powerful message.
Semester 2 Reports
Teachers have spent many weeks conducting final assessments of students in their classes and writing Semester 2 student reports. They always take great care preparing these and I thank them for the extra time taken to complete them. These will be distributed Friday Week 9 with an opportunity to meet with teachers to discuss them early Week 10.
End of Term Awards
With all that is happening, our Ways of Being Awards ceremony will be held a few days earlier on Friday 13th December at 2.30pm. Teachers are finalising nominations and parents will receive notice next week if their child is receiving one of these awards.
Please note that the last day of school for 2019 is Thursday 19 December.
Safety in Our School Car Park.
We all want our children to arrive to school safely and enjoy their day. Some of us are also busy running between home, work and other commitments before and after school. Sometimes in our own rush and hurry we can take shortcuts. I understand this temptation.
However, it is often rushing and shortcuts that create the most risk and when children, vehicles and peak hours are concerned those risks become much higher and can have terrible consequences. No one plans to have an accident. They are unintentional, often avoidable and always regrettable.
Front Car Park
The front car park is for staff and visitors only. This helps us to stay out of the main car park and provide more parking spaces for parents at pick up time. The only parents to use the front car park are those accessing the disability parking and have a disability parking permit.
Dropping Off Children
This means that no student should be dropped at school using the front car park in the mornings. Parents and carers need to drop their children off in the main car park where the children can then walk around through the gate near the Year 5/6 classrooms. No student is to be dropped off at the top gate next to the hall, as many children who walk or ride to school access the school through that gate.
Please also ensure that when leaving the car park you look both to the left and right of the street. I had a call from a very upset neighbour this week as one of our parents had not looked to the left and had nearly run his puppy over. Please in the busyness of life be mindful of locals that walk on the footpaths around our school when entering or leaving our school grounds.
During the Day
The back gate is locked during the school day. Children need to be dropped off at the main car park and walked to the front office to be signed in. Parents who wish to walk their child in will need to park in the main car park and walk in with them.
All students not travelling on a bus or walking home are to be picked up at the main car park and not the front car park. Children are expected to wait at their tree until the time their parent enters the pick up area. We will not send children across a car park to parents sitting in a car or waiting on the other side of a thoroughfare. Thank you for keeping our children safe at school.
Thank you to our Jr Primary classes, Fr Dan and Fr Rem for presenting a wonderful Advent liturgy. Our school community thoroughly enjoyed following the Christmas star on the journey to Bethlehem. A special thank you to our Jr Primary teachers for their preparation of the liturgy.
Whole School Symbols of Christmas Art Exhibition
In response to our Advent Liturgy, each class will be creating an artwork based on one of the Christmas symbols presented. Families and guests will be invited to walk this art journey on the last day of school after our Christmas Concert. We look forward to sharing this with you!
Friday 6th December 10am
Tomorrow our school community will gather for our Giving Mass where we will present our St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hamper donations. The donations will be blessed before handing them onto representatives from our local Vinnies Conference who will distribute them to people in our local community that are experiencing financial hardship at this time. Mini Vinnies will be leading this Mass. All are welcome to attend.
We thank everyone for their generous donations.
End of Year Mass
Wednesday 18th December 10am
Our school community will gather to farewell our Year Six students, other students, families and staff who will be leaving St Benedict’s this year. This Mass will include a passing-on of the ‘light of leadership’ to our Year Five students and a special blessing over all those who are leaving. All are invited to attend.
The St Benedict’s Parish Pastoral Council are looking for a team of volunteers to organise, set up and lead the Parish Family Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve (in the school hall). This vibrant family celebration has become a wonderful tradition in our parish. If you are able to assist or would like more information, please contact the Parish Office on (02) 6295 7879.
Community Meals Program
The Community Meals freezer is one way we can assist families whoare 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.
A few important dates to note for this term are:
5 Dec Learning Showcase, 2pm
6 Dec Mini Vinnies Giving Mass 10.00am
10 Dec School Board Meeting, 6.00pm
13 Dec Ways of Being Assembly, 2.30pm
13 Dec Semester 2 Reports sent home
17 Dec Whole School Fun Day
18 Dec End of Year and Graduation Mass, 10.00am
18 Dec Year 6 Graduation Dinner, 6pm
19 Dec Year 6 Revue, 12.00pm
19 Dec Christmas Concert, 12.30pm
19 Dec Last day of Term 4
Thank you to all the families that have finalised their school fees for 2019. All outstanding school fees are now overdue and need to be paid immediately unless prior payment arrangements have been made.
All student medications that are kept at school will be sent home with students on the last day of term. If your child is finishing prior to the last day of term, could you please let Mrs McRae in the front office know so she can make alternate arrangements for the medication to be sent home.
Mascot Challenge Winner
Congratulations to St Benedict's who won the Mascot Challenge for the ACT. All K - 2 students participated in the Thunder fundamental skills program.
Tahlia Wilson (Sydney Thunder player) attended on Wednesday 27th November to present the prize ( a Signed Australian Men's Team T20 Cricket bat) to the Sports Leaders.
Tahlia gave a wonderful insight into the life of a professional cricketer.
Thanks to Mrs Basedow who organised for St Benedict's to participate in this challenge.
Year 5/6 Garden Working Bee
Our Year 5 and 6 students as part of their mathematics unit have taken on the role of horticulturalists. Throughout the unit the students used their STEM skills to plan and design gardens that were environmentally productive around the school. After weeks of work the students in 5/6 Blue will be creating their designer garden spaces this Friday, 6th December between 11.30am – 1.30pm. If you are able to lend some support and help out on Friday the Year 5/6 students would greatly appreciate it.
Year 1/2G: Kate S,Finn M, Mackenzie J, Saanvi G, Mia F
Year 3/4B: Santino E, Alannah C, Edith B, Liam N and Emily D
Year 3/4G: Ciru N, Sophia M, Henry P, Finn W, Grace R and Tessa P
Year 5/6B : Mila M, Joanna M, Gabriella S, Amelia C and Sarah D
Year 5/6G: Jade C, Grace L, Tilly R and Amiah B
The St Benedict’s Parents and Friends Committee are raising funds for our school through www.stuckonyou.com.au. There are a variety of Christmas gifts, name labels, lunch boxes, bag tags and gifts for sale through the Stuck on You website. Please use our school code: STB when you make a purchase.
- Create your own account and place your order online
- Enter our fundraising name (STB) at the checkout to transfer points to our fundraiser
When you order from Stuck on You, St Benedict’s P&F earn up to 20 per cent commission on all orders received with our school code. The P&F are awarded points for every order made. These points are then converted to money for our school. It is important to create your own account, if you order as a guest your points will not transfer to our fundraiser. Family and friends can also use our code to help fundraise for us.
Please use the below link to go directly to our fundraising page.
PLEASE ENSURE YOUR CHILD/REN'S CLOTHING IS LABELLED WITH THEIR NAME.
The Clothing Pool will be open each Tuesday and Thursday between 2.50pm to 3.15pm by appointment. (Clothing Pool will be closed in week 10 - sorry for any inconvenience).
The Lost Property Box is located in the canteen area. Please take some time to go through the box on a weekly basis as the lost property box is continually overflowing.
The end of the year is sneaking up on us quickly so the Lost Property box will be emptied weekly and all named items will be returned to students via their class note bags. All items without a name will be washed and donated to the Clothing Pool for repurchasing. Thank you for your generous donations to the Clothing Pool.
Tales from the TUCKSHOP
"If it starts with a T - It's Tuckshop day"
It's starting to warm up for summer and the Tuckshop is doing everything we can to keep the kids cool. Icecreams and drinks are available at recess and lunch from the tuckshop window. Over the next couple of weeks I'll increase the range of icecreams available.
- This week we have had some amazing volunteers preparing some gourmet lasagne that will rival the finest restaurants.
- Have you considered volunteering? You don't have to be a whiz in the kitchen! An hour or 2 on a Tuesday or Thursday between 9.30am and 1.30pm would be really helpful. Parents, partners and grand parents are all welcome. Contact Mrs McRae in the office to find out more.
- Qkr! is available to order your child/ren recess and lunch. This is an easy process that you could do while sitting having breakfast with your children - no brown paper bag required if ordering this way.
Contact me regarding dietary requirements, volunteering, Qkr! instructions or other tuckshop matters.
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
Interested in becoming a Catholic or learning more?
Contact Fr Dan at Daniel.Benedetti@cg.org.au for info about the RCIA program for adults.
Join us on Mondays at 10am for half an hour of FUN! This is a chance for you and your little one to spend some quality time together while learning simple dance moves, using your imagination and of course using props such as pom poms, fairy wands, and butterfly wings. From the wiggles, to nursery rhymes this half an hour will leave you and your little one with a smile. You can then go home and practice the moves together!
This class is just for the kids however you are welcome to sit at the back and cheer them on! Mondays 4:15pm – 4:45pm half an hour of good energy and learning in a safe environment. Your child will learn basic hip hop and jazz steps and learn a simple routine at the end. This is a great way for kids to learn how to socialise, make friends and of course dance!
P: 0413 338 827
75th Canberra Carols by Candlelight
School families are invited to bring a picnic dinner and join in the 75th Canberra Carols by Candlelight, to be held at Stage 88, Commonwealth Park, on Saturday, December 14 from 7pm.
Organised by the Woden Valley Youth Choir, this event is the second longest-running city community carols in Australia (Melbourne is the longest).
Come and join us for a night of song and celebration. It's a great way to begin the Christmas season.
We'll also be collecting donations for this year's charity.
Find us on Facebook ("75th Carols by Candlelight") for more details.
ACT UPDATE NOVEMBER 2019
Dear Child Safety Officer
I am pleased to announce that our 2020 public training sessions in the ACT are now available on the Child Wise website and registrations are open. Places are limited, so make sure you secure your spot early.
Reputational and funding risks exist for organisations that work or engage with children and young people that fail to demonstrate a committment to child safety to government and other stakeholders.
Child Wise can help you build the capacity of your leadership team, staff and volunteers to ensure your organisation meets state-specific and national child safety requirements, and is effective in ensuring the safety of children and young people in your care.
Our child safety training programs are designed to equip participants with the skills and knowledge required to facilitate cultural change in their organisation and to embed a child safety mindset from the front line to the boardroom.
We can also deliver our programs in-house at your organisation, if you wish to train groups of staff. In-house training can be delivered in its standard format, or customised to suit the size and complexity of your organisation and context.
Book in-house training at this year's prices and have it delivered by Dec 31, 2019. Terms and Conditions apply.
Take action to ensure your organisation is effective in keeping children and young people safe from harm whilst meeting the relevant legislative requirements.
Here is what some our past training participants had to say:
"Everyone should have the opportunity to attend this training if we want to be an organisation of excellence in child safety and empowerment."
"A solution focused training"
"Very informative and practical suggestions for improvements."
Not sure where your organisation stands on the child safety spectrum?
Child Wise can review your policies, practices and culture through our consultancy services, or we can give you the tools and guide you to perform your own child safety needs assment through our coaching package.
Contact me directly for a free quote.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Jeff Taylor | Child Wise State Manager ACT & NSW
B.A. (Psych), Grad Dip Counselling, Cert IV TAE, FDRP
E: firstname.lastname@example.org | M: 0417794383
Child Wise is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children. Child Wise acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the traditional owners and custodians of the lands on which we work. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present.