Dear Parents and Carers,
Why is spelling important?
We have spell-checkers on our computers, so why is it important that our children learn to spell? Is it important our kids learn the spelling rules we learned at school? Remember? "When two vowels go out walking, the first one does the walking."
Spelling is a complex skill and an important part of writing. Good spelling is also a social expectation and contributes to clear communication of a written message. Spelling requires students to draw on a range of knowledge about the English language. This knowledge includes:
- phonological knowledge - knowledge of the sound structure of language
- orthographical knowledge - knowledge of the system of written symbols used to represent spoken language
- morphemic knowledge - knowledge of the smallest parts of words that carry meaning
- etymological knowledge - knowledge of the origins of words
Teaching spelling at St Benedict’s
One of our key goals for the teaching spelling is to support students to develop the knowledges required (see above) as well as flexible and efficient strategies that they can draw upon when learning to spell unfamiliar words. While most students will develop some strategies for themselves, these are often not sufficient to meet all their spelling needs.
Our role as teachers is to extend the repertoire of strategies students have at their disposal. Some of these other strategies might include: “look, say, cover, write, check’, spelling by analogy (for example, knowing how to spell ball facilitates the spelling of fall, call, tall) or using mnemonics (memory aids, for example, the principal is my pal) and other resources such as dictionaries and spell checkers.
Across the different stages of primary school, K-2, 3-4 and 5-6, teaching emphases will change according to the students’ stages of spelling development and spelling needs. In the early years, K-2, there is generally a focus on teaching phonic knowledge and visual strategies as this is what young writers try to use as they invent spelling at this stage. As students move through the middle and upper levels of primary school, the focus changes to the teaching and exploration of morphemic and etymological knowledge. This said, attention can be given to all the types of knowledge and the teaching of high frequency words, at each stage, depending on students’ needs.
Helping with Spelling at Home
There are many things you can do to at home to help your child with their spelling, but one of the most beneficial things is to instill in them a love of words. Talk to them about different words that you come across in your day to day lives. Help them find WOW words in their reading and writing, and explore those words further by discussing their spelling and origin. Explain to them the importance of words and the importance of knowing how to spell. By doing these simple things you are encouraging them to focus on words and their spelling.
COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update
We have been in constant contact with Catholic Education regarding the impact the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may have on students, staff, and our school in the future. The school, in support with the Catholic Education Office, has developed a School Coronavirus Operational Plan that will be implemented if required. This plan will support us in operational matters related to managing an outbreak of the Coronavirus if it eventuates in our school community. In the meantime, we have initiated the following:
- We have contacted our cleaners and have committed to financing extra cleaning of high-traffic areas such as door handles, bench tops and daily thorough cleaning of our sick bay etc.;
- We will segregate our ‘sick bay’ accordingly;
- If any child is displaying flu-like symptoms, we will be calling parents and asking for children to be collected immediately;
- We will be instructing and teaching students about thorough hygiene - washing hands etc; and
- We will be sending home any staff who are unwell.
Good hygiene remains the best protective measure against the spread of the virus. Please spend time with your child and show them (demonstrate) the importance of the following:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or hand sanitiser (for 20 seconds);
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue (dispose tissue into the bin) and then wash hands thoroughly; and
- Avoid close contact with anyone displaying cold or flu-like symptoms and stay away from others if you are unwell.
As the impact of the virus on children and healthy adults can be quite mild, there may be a tendency to continue working and attending school and hence increase the risk of infecting others. This is in contrast to SARS and Swine Flu, where most people were quite unwell if infected. The advice from Catholic Education and ACT Health is that schools should be very strong on sending home staff and students who have the slightest sign of illness. This is not a time for soldiering on with coughs and colds. Please do not send your child to school if they are unwell.
These techniques are being modelled explicitly to students and displayed around the school. You can remain informed via updates issued by the Australian Government Department of Health -
Catholic Education Online Survey
Catholic Education, Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn (Catholic Education), have released an online survey to better understand your opinion of the value Catholic schools like ours provide and what that means for you and your children. The findings of this research will be used by Catholic Education to improve the offering of Catholic schools.
The survey was sent out to parents via email last week and should take less than 15 minutes to complete.
Privacy and confidentiality
Please note that Catholic Education has engaged JWS Research to host the survey, collect the data and analyse the results. JWS Research is an independent, fully accredited, Australian research agency (see www.jwsresearch.com for further information). Survey results will be reported in the aggregate with individual responses remaining completely confidential and treated in accordance with the relevant privacy laws, including the Market and Social Research Privacy Principles and the industry’s code of professional behaviour.
I encourage all parents to respond to the survey. Thank you in advance for your time and participation.
A Word from our Counsellor
Hello parents of St Benedicts Primary School,
My name is Laura Lamerton and I am the new Student and Family Counsellor allocated to St Benedicts. I am very passionate about working with children and their families. I provide counselling and other supports to students and their families experiencing stress, changes to their family circumstances, relationship or behavioural difficulties, mental health issues and a range of other factors impacting on the students' learning. Students are provided therapeutic interventions creatively through art, activities and games. I have a strong personal focus on self-esteem building and teaching kids emotional regulation skills using fun techniques. I am employed part time on alternate Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Referral forms are located at the front office. I can be contacted email@example.com or 6295 8027.
(Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Social Work, & Master of Child and Adolescent Welfare)
Swimming Ribbons Assembly
Students will receive ribbons at this week’s Assembly, Friday 13th March. Ribbons will be given for those who placed 1st to 4th in the 50m, 100m and 200m events. Selections for the St Benedict’s team at the South Weston PSSA carnival will be announced shortly and are based on qualifying times and not place ribbons received.
Parents & Friends Treasurer Needed
As mentioned in last week’s newsletter we are seeking a person for the position of P&F Treasurer and would love someone to volunteer for that position for the 2020 school year.
As a school community we pray for the children who will commence their First Reconciliation Program this week. We pray that they discover the greatness of God’s love and forgiveness over the coming weeks.
Thank you to Fr Dan, Fr Rem, Year 3/4 Gold and the choir for leading our school community in celebrating Mass. It was a vibrant school community celebration. We look forward to gathering together again at our Family Mass this Sunday (15th March) 9am. All are welcome!
Season of Lent
Gospel Reading: John 4:5-42
In the third and fourth week in this Season of Lent, we break from reading the Gospel of Matthew to read from John’s Gospel. The Gospel of John is the only Gospel not assigned to a particular liturgical year. Instead, readings from John’s Gospel are interspersed throughout the three-year liturgical cycle. In this Sunday’s Gospel, the dialogue between Jesus and a woman from Samaria is among the most theologically multifaceted found in Scripture. For an in depth theological exploration see:
Loyola Press, Sunday Connection
Lord, open my eyes to your illustrations of love in the interruptions of my life. Amen
Caritas Project Compassion
Thank you to all those who have been busy filling their Caritas Project Compassion donation boxes. Students in Year 1/2 have been busy doing to chores to earn money to fill their class donation box. Students are enjoying exploring what their donations combined can do for a community, like purchasing 50 chicks for a small farming family in Cambodia! Here are some things students have been doing to earn donations:
- Unpacking the dishwasher
- Taking the washing down off the line
- Caring for pets
- Drying dishes
- Taking out the rubbish
- Helping a sibling with their homework
- Cleaning their bedroom
- Putting away groceries
- Setting the dinner table
Mini Vinnies Hygiene Donation Station
The St Vincent de Paul Night Patrol is in need of mini toiletries (hotel size is perfect) to re-stock their hygiene packs to be distributed to the people who approach the van. We invite all families to make regular donations to the Mini Vinnies Hygiene Donation Station in the Front Office. This is one way our school community can help teach our children about human dignity and how we need to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to look after their body.
Items that can be donated are
- Combs/hair brushes
- Tissue packs
- Feminine hygiene products
- Soap/body wash
- Mouth wash
- Lip balm
Community Meals Program
A few important dates to note for this term are:
13 Mar Olympic Athlete Visit Yrs 3-6, 12.30pm
15 Mar Family Parish Mass, 9.00am
17 Mar Parents & Friends Meeting, 6.30pm
2 Apr Learning Showcase, 2pm
2 Apr South Western Region Swimming Carnival
3 Apr Year 3/4 Blue School Mass, 10am
3 Apr Ways of Being Award Ceremony, 2.30pm
4 Apr First Reconciliation and Mass, 4.30pm
5 Apr Palm Sunday
6 Apr Scientist Visit Years 5 and 6
7 Apr Years 1/2 and 5/6 Holy Week Liturgy, 9.30am
7 Apr School Board Meeting, 6pm
8 Apr Years 1/2 and 5/6 Holy Week Liturgy, 9.30am
9 Apr Outdoor Education day
9 Apr Term 1 concludes
The following notes have gone home this week and will be sent home via Schoolzine App. Please remember to check your child's bag daily, this is a important way to ensure you do not miss any information:
- Year 2-6 Altar Server Training Opportunity
Altar server permission note 2020
- Canberra College of Piping and Drumming (Yrs3-6)
Pipes and Drums Letter March 2020
- Family Mass
- MiniLit Letter to Parents (Some Students)
- Netball Players Needed
This Friday 13th March all swimming carnival ribbons will be handed out. Please remember to discuss with your child that ribbons are handed out on swimming times and not necessarily the place they came in a swimming heat.
Well Done!! To all that participated in the day as it was a fun day for all.
Thank you to all the families that have already paid their school fees for Term 1. School fees are now overdue if you do not have a direct debit in place. Please contact Mrs McRae at Front Reception if you have not received your school fees or would like to discuss your school fees.
Kinder: Julian W and Sandile N
Year 1/2G: Eva S, Isabella M and Nyx H
Year 3/4B: Liam N
Year 3/4G: Cooper W and Sophia R
Year 5/6B: Adam A, Angus C and Finn W
Year 5/6G: Petar B and Mia N
The Clothing Pool will be open each Tuesday and Thursday between 2.50pm to 3.15pm by appointment.
PLEASE ENSURE YOUR CHILD/REN'S CLOTHING IS LABELLED WITH THEIR NAME.
The Lost Property Box is located in the canteen area. Please take some time to go through the box on a weekly basis as it is Week 6 and the lost property box is overflowing and we will now randomly clean it out. All items will be washed and will be donated to the clothing pool or to St Vincent de Paul.
Tales from the TUCKSHOP
"If it starts with a T - It's Tuckshop day!
The St Benedict's Tuckshop is now running at full swing. The new range of ice creams have been a hit with the kids. Thanks to all those parents who have offered to help or introduced themselves. Our wonderful volunteers make all the difference!
- Slinky volunteers: The apple slinky volunteers have been hard at work already. Starting at 9am, the kids come and have their apples slinkied. We have 3 slinky machines and about 50 apples to get through. Volunteers leave at 9.50am suitably caffeinated. A great opportunity to see what's going on in the Tuckshop.
- Revenge of the mutant nuggets: This week we have introduced our 'mutant' chicken nuggets. Made in house using real breast chicken and our own secret recipe.
- QKR! Is the easiest way to order your lunch. Download the app today! If you already use QKR! please update your child's class from last year. The QKR! menu is being finely tuned and will be perfect soon.
- If you would like to volunteer, please leave a name and phone number with Mrs McRae at the Front Office.
King of the Tuckshop
St Benedict's Parish
Office Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9am to 12noon
Fr Dan Benedetti MGL
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Monica Nulley-Valdes (Parish Secretary)
Weekend Mass Times:
Youth Mass 6.00pm (last Sunday of every month)
Charismatic Mass 6.00pm every Sunday
Baptisms By Appointment
Fr Dan Benedetti MGL PP
St Benedict's Catholic Community Narrabundah ACT