Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for your ongoing understanding and support during this challenging time in our world. Your continuing support and appreciation of all we are doing, has helped to ensure staff continue to be enthusiastic about the road ahead and the new challenge of remote learning.
I find it ironic that the more we are separating and social distancing, the more we seem together and connected now. We are anxious together, sad together, collaborative together and hopeful together, and now communicating and teaching more on-line together!
Thank you for your understanding and support around the minor access issues we had with the online learning platform over the weekend. From the feedback that teachers are receiving, these appear to have been reduced and our students are now enthusiastically enjoying this new way of learning.
I came across this on social media;
“Parents, you are not 'homeschooling'. You are providing a safe environment for your children to learn what we are still teaching them. We are working hard to ensure the continuity of academic care and direction. You cover the mental health, we'll keep the school stuff coming!”
‘Home-schooling’ is a choice of education where the parent is the educator. You have, however, chosen to send your child to a main-stream, coeducational Catholic Primary School - so we will guide you! What we have is an unprecedented emergency in our world. What we are doing in providing ‘remote learning’ is more like ’distance education’ – St Benedict’s School of the Air!
Right now, all of us are having to adapt and change in ways that are completely new and this can cause anxiety for us all, especially our children. As adults, we have the ability and capacity to bring comfort to and relieve anxiety in our children. At this stage of the term, doing some learning at home that students have been sent is great, but please, do not stress! If they are feeling safe, happy, relaxed and completing some set work - that is the most important thing at this stage.
My advice is to relax…. don’t have students stress about work and don’t get stressed about their work too. Arguing or pressuring your kids to complete work is the last thing they need right now… they need to know they are safe and happy. Ensure they have some downtime, watch a movie, play a game, make a cake, do a puzzle, get some exercise!
This thing we are all part of, is living history. We are all part of this and it will be talked about for generations to come. Schools are empty; sports are cancelled; people are social distancing….. on a GLOBAL level. One thing you can do as a family is keep a journal over the coming weeks. Handwritten, typed, in photographs or drawings….. record events, day to day activities, fears and feelings. Make a video journal if that is the media you prefer. Interview each other; ensure everyone is part of it. When this is all over save it/store it in a safe place and then in years to come it can be shared with future generations. Help your family create a tangible, primary source of your history.
Lent and Holy Week
At this most difficult time, we are also in the Season of Lent and we are preparing for Easter. Lent is a time when we journey with Jesus as he faced fear and anxiety leading towards his ultimate death on the Cross. The resurrection and new life that followed is what we celebrate at Easter. Similarly, we are on a journey of fear and anxiety and praying and hoping for new life and a return to normality soon.
School Fee Assistance
Catholic Education acknowledges the unprecedented economic impact on families as a result of COVID-19 and associated government directives.
Consistent with our enrolment policy “no child is to be denied Catholic schooling simply because of an inability (as opposed to an unwillingness) of a parent/guardian, to meet financial requirements”.
Effective immediately are the following fee relief measures:
- Credits (for amounts paid) will be placed on fee accounts for cancelled excursions (excluding non-recoverable deposits), sporting events or activities as a result of COVID-19;
- Fee concessions will be available on outstanding fees at the end of Term 1 for those families eligible for Government COVID-19 supplement payments; and
- Fee concession will be available for Term 2 fees for families eligible for Government COVID-19 supplement payments.
We anticipate delaying fee statements for Term 2 until there is greater clarity about the duration of the pandemic.
If you have been financially impacted by COVID-19 or have any concerns around fees, please contact me directly.
Spreading Hope Not Fear
Thank you to those families who have been making beautiful posters. We encourage all families to continue to make signs for their windows to spread a message of hope for those everywhere as we navigate through these uncertain times. Please take a photo of your posters and email them to Ms Wright to put in our school newsletter firstname.lastname@example.org
How we can continue with our Lenten Acts of Kindness at home this week:
You are blessed in so many ways- set the dinner table.
Do small things with great love- offer to help your family with the dishes after a meal.
You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf- set a positive intention for the day.
We are powerful when we come together- put some extra money your Caritas box.
Be filled with gratitude- write a thank you note for someone.
A calm mind is a creative mind- meditate today.
Be generous- With your family begin a clothes and toys donation box at home.
Be faith-filled- Say a decade of the Rosary.
St Benedict’s Online Mass
Join Fr Dan for our St Benedict’s Parish Mass this Sunday online. You can access the link via Facebook or through the parish website http://cg.org.au/narrabundah/MassTimes.aspx
We continue to pray for people all over the world during this difficult time of uncertainty.
A few important dates to note for this term are:
5 Apr Palm Sunday
9 Apr Term 1 concludes
28 Apr Term 2 starts - Pending
All Friday afternoon assemblies will be cancelled until further notice.
The following notes have gone home this week and will be sent home via Schoolzine App.
- Maths Online
- Important Letter from The Director of Catholic Education
Letter to parents from CE Director 31.3.20.pdf
- Letter regarding Learning 27 March 2020
NAPLAN YEARS 3 & 5
The Council of Australian Government (COAG) Education Council announced last week that there will be no NAPLAN this year. The NAPLAN tests for 2020 have been cancelled.
PRIME MINSTER’S SPELLING BEE
Students in Years 3-6 may have bought home a permission note for participation in the online Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee. Unfortunately due to the current health issues and disruptions to schools, this competition has been postponed.
The Clothing Pool will be open tomorrow (Thursday 2nd April) between 2.50pm to 3.15pm by appointment.
Due to the Professional Learning for Staff during Week 10 (6th to 9th April) there will be no Clothing Pool.
Due to current circumstances all clothes in lost property will be emptied and clothing will be washed and returned to the clothing pool. All other items will be thrown out as charities are not accepting any donations at this time.
PLEASE ENSURE YOUR CHILD/REN'S CLOTHING IS LABELLED WITH THEIR NAME.
Tales from the TUCKSHOP
"If it starts with a T - It's Tuckshop day!
Due to the reduced number of students at school, some foods may not be available.
All students who have lunch orders will still be supplied with food if what they have ordered is not available.
CANTEEN WILL STILL BE OPEN THIS THURSDAY 2nd APRIL 2020
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)
Dear St Benedict’s community,
Unfortunately we have had to cancel all Church gatherings and we are trying to set up Sunday Mass to be available online. We will communicate these details as soon as possible. Daily Mass is available online at https://www.catholicvoice.org.au/mass-online/ . If you would like to have email updates from St Benedict’s Parish, please contact email@example.com . Be assured of our prayers for the whole St Benedict’s community at this time. Please keep safe and if anyone would like to contact Father Dan, he is available through the Parish or through the school.
Fr Dan Benedetti MGL PP
St Benedict's Catholic Community Narrabundah ACT
As the ACT Government has just announced that ACT Government Schools will go pupil free from Tuesday 24/03/2020 due to COVID-19, Bellchambers Music School hasfore made the decision not to provide piano lessons at Schools tomorrow in order to allow the classroom teachers optimum time to prepare their class without disruption from music lessons.
We have informed all affected families, and will be in touch with each of them again in the next few days to arrange for the children to have their piano lessons online with their usual teacher and at the same day and time if possible, and their postponed lesson from tomorrow made-up.
This is a time of unprecedented and fast-moving changes any many unknowns for the near future. We at Bellchambers Music School want to assure you that whatever happens, we will be here making music with your school families. Our teachers are committed to providing music lessons to your children.
Depending on the situation with the schools, we will be continuing to offer our school families lessons in Term 2 in the school if they are open, or through the online environment, if they are closed. As with all small businesses, both the admin staff and the teachers at Bellchambers Music School are deeply concerned about the future. We want to be there for you and hope that you will continue to support us as we make music with your students in these very difficult times and into the future.
Bronwen and Rachel
Bellchambers Music School