Dear Parents and Carers,
School Satisfaction Survey Results
In August, School Satisfaction Surveys were distributed to all parents, staff and students via email from Catholic Education. Each group had a different survey to suit their context. This information is used to assist us in planning for 2020 and beyond. Invitations containing a link to the on-line survey instrument were sent to all 208 parents. 47 of the 86 parents completed the survey (55% completion rate is considered excellent). Parents were asked to express their satisfaction in response to number of statements. Their responses were scored as follows:
Strongly DISAGREE 0
Strongly AGREE 3
The following is a summary of the results of the parent survey:
The average score for each statement is colour coded for quick reference.
We are pleased with the results and thank everyone for the feedback. We work very hard to provide the best possible opportunities for students and their families. Positive feedback does not however make us complacent. We looked to the supporting comments for further evidence of what is working well and what can be improved. Overwhelmingly the most positive comments were about the welcoming, nurturing and caring small community that we have at St Benedict’s. This was followed by the supportive, approachable and friendly staff and then impressively the students and the way they look out for each other.
Comments also provided the school with suggested things to improve such as more teaching resources, encouragement of students to achieve beyond their expected growth, the upgrading of building and facilities, with a focus on safety (fencing, car park and courtyard), resourcing and technology, consistency of uniform, upgrading of the canteen facilities, more experienced teachers and changes to homework within the school.
All of the feedback will continue to be a focus for the School Board and Parents & Friends association as we work together to support the needs of our community. Unfortunately some of the suggested improvements are beyond our control; these include the uniform and the funding of the school by Catholic Education. The current uniform is prescribed to us by Catholic Education and one that we must adhere to. Our unisex sports uniform is the only uniform that we as a school have any control over and whilst we would like to change the funding model it is prescribed to us by not Catholic Education but the ACT Government and Federal Government.
In regard to the consideration of more experienced teachers, it is important to note that the school’s philosophy is to employ the best possible teacher available, irrespective of the age of the teacher, as that has the largest impact on student learning. With the changing nature of the profession there are less experienced teachers in the system or staying in the profession long term. Next year all teachers employed will have at least two years teaching experience behind them.
The upgrade of the technology resources, using the Spring Fair money, and the school facilities have been a focus for the school this year and will continue to be so next year.
Thank you for this valuable feedback. We appreciate and thoroughly enjoy working with parents for their children and look forward to continuing this positive collaboration.
Bee Token Morning Tea
Today I was lucky enough to have a special morning tea with 19 of our wonderful students. Each of these students has worked hard throughout the year to attain 50 Bee Tokens and should be very proud of their efforts. Congratulations to the following students;
- Kinder – Mya R, Thisagari R
- 1/2 Blue – Rocky-James B, Alessandra B, Maria C, Vivienne K, Laura K, Isla M, Taliyah M, Arwyn S
- 1/2 Gold – Trinity M, Finn M, Sarah R
- 3/4 Gold – Ciru N
- 5/6 Blue – Natalija M, Matthew S
- 5/6 Gold – Amiah G, Grace L, Emily S
A reminder that school fees are now overdue, for those who are not on a regular direct debit with us I ask that you settle your account with us by tomorrow so that we are able to meet our budgetary commitments.
Unfortunately in the last few weeks we have had to have the plumber come to school on numerous occasions to fix a blocked toilet in the boy’s toilets. The toilets are continually being blocked by whole rolls of toilet paper being put down the toilet. More of a concern is that on a few occasions we have had to clean fecal matter off the walls and doors of the boys’ toilet. This is disgusting and concerning behavior. We have spoken to our male students about appropriate and acceptable toilet behavior and ask that you also discuss this with your child. At this stage students toilet use is being monitored closely.
Semester 2 Student Reports
These will go home with students on Friday. They are designed and written for parents, not students. We understand that students want to know how well they have achieved and we give them feedback throughout each and every week at school. As you read the reports and share the relevant sections with your child I encourage you to focus on the positive and celebrate successes and begin with skills and habits. They are far more valuable than we realise.
Final Assembly 2020
Our final assembly for the year is this Friday at 2.30pm. At that assembly we will pass out our Ways of Being awards for this term. Next Thursday at 12.30pm we will be holding a Christmas Carol Concert with each class performing an item.
Please note that the last day of school for 2019 is Thursday 19 December.
Thank you to our Mini Vinnies for leading our Giving Mass last Friday. St Vincent de Paul representatives were over-joyed by the generosity of our St Benedict’s families. Fr Dan and Fr Rembert blessed the donations and prayed that they would bring Christmas spirit to those in our community who need it most. Mini Vinnies students Brigid, Grace and Michael engaged in a thoughtful empathy reflection exercise, considering how it would feel to be a person receiving a Christmas hamper, what their circumstances might be and how donations like ours can make a positive impact. They shared these very moving reflections with the school as part of our Mass. We thank everyone for their generous donations.
Brigid, Michael and Grace’s Reflections:
Brigid (as Shanae):
My name Shanae and I’m not really feeling the Christmas spirit this year.
We fled an unsafe home due to my husband’s actions 2 years ago. I’m barely covering the rent, and buying food for the kids is very difficult. I try to give my growing children more food, and often I go hungry so they can eat. We barely have enough food for one person, let alone 3. Due to our situation, I had to move the kids to a new school to maintain their safety. I know that they are struggling socially, and their grades are going down. They’re wonderful kids and they deserve better. I’m struggling to maintain the bills, and I’m trying to eat less to save up for Christmas presents for the kids. I don’t think we’ll celebrate Christmas this year. I feel hopeless, and I can’t find a light out of the tunnel.
Grace (as Poppy):
My name is Poppy. Sometimes I feel like I don't fit in because I can't have lunch orders like my friends. It’s been really hard to watch mum go hungry so that she can feed us. Sometimes I lie to mum and tell her that I am not hungry and that I am full so that she can eat more. I feel like mum doesn't have that much and she always gives up everything for me and Sebastian. It’s hard to watch her do that all the time and forget about herself. Christmas just seems like any other day since Dad left and we have no money. I hope that Santa will come this year and bring us some food and something to play with and something special for mum.
Michael (as Sebastian):
My name is Sebastian, I am feeling down about Christmas this year because the other kids at school are always talking about getting toys, going on holidays and eating Christmas food. At recess and lunch, I've been trying to make some Christmas presents for my mum, my sister and myself just to cheer us up and make us feel special and loved like everyone else. I just want our family to be healthy and happy. Mum says Vinnies are coming to help us this year with a Christmas hamper. I can’t wait to eat and see my family happy, especially my mum and my sister.
Michael (as Sebastian):
Mum! Poppy! Vinnies is here!
(Vinnies arrives with a Christmas hamper)
Brigid (as Shanae):
When I first heard that Vinnies was coming to give us a Christmas hamper and financial help, I was overjoyed. Because of the very generous, kind people giving donations, my family was able to celebrate Christmas, and get back on our feet. Vinnies and all the kind people that made donations brought joy back into our house. Thank you St Benedict’s! Thank you Vinnies!
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!
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. Daniel.Benedetti@cg.org.au (02) 6295 7879
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.
A few important dates to note for this term are:
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
First Day of school for 2020 - Monday 3rd February - Full Summer Uniform
Due to the short week in week 10 there will be no student banking next week.
Well done to all the students that achieved their saving goals in 2019 and thank you to all the students who participated this year with the School Banking Program. We look forward to seeing you achieving your saving goals in 2020.
Last Thursday we had one of our Learning Showcases. This is a wonderful time had by both parents and students as the students showed off what they have been doing in class and sometimes what they had achieved. Well done to all.
Australis Voices Woden Valley Youth Choir
Last weekend, 7 December, Jacinta (Yr 6) with the Australis Voices of the Woden Valley Youth Choir, performed with the brilliant acapella singing group, Idea of North. It was a fantastic experience for the choir. No other musical instruments but pure voices!
Year 1/2G: Zayn S, Alishia W, Huxley N, Jayden L, Dianna N, Bryce T and Geordie B
Year 3/4B: Nobel S, Hubert K, Rafael K, Celeste M and Joe R
Year 5/6B : Obi O, Shyla M and Himiona T
Year 5/6G: Brigid N, Rose G, Mia B, Dharma S, Claudia K, William F, Lillian E and Layla C
THIS IS THE LAST WEEK FOR THE CLOTHING POOL FOR 2019
The Clothing Pool will be open this 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 as it is currently overflowing.
Thank you for your kind donations throughout the year. All items in the lost property box during Week 10 will be either returned to the students, washed and given to the Clothing pool or donated to St Vincent de Paul.
Last night the School Board held their last meeting for the school year where we discussed the feedback received from the annual parent survey and NAPLAN results. The positive survey results are a testament to our wonderful school community and the dedication and commitment of the teachers to the school and our children. The NAPLAN results continue to show that our children are moving into the higher bands across all categories. In the coming week the School Board Treasurer will meet with Ms Smith and Mrs McRae to discuss the school budget and fees for 2020. The School Board would like to thank the school community for their support and involvement throughout the year and wish you all a safe and Merry Christmas.
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
Christmas Mass Times
Tuesday 24th December - Christmas Eve
6pm Family Mass celebrated in St Benedict's Primary School Hall
8pm Charismatic Mass
12 Midnight Mass
Wednesday 25th December - Christmas Day
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: email@example.com | 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.