Dear Parents and Carers,
Tomorrow we celebrate the International Day of People with Disability.
What image pops into your mind when we say ‘disability’? It’s probably a mental image of someone you’ve seen that has an obvious appearance of disability. When you hold the image of that person in mind, what is it you focus on? What is it about that person that brings to mind ‘disability’?
Many people don’t feel comfortable to talk about disability…and that’s okay. It’s often simply because they don’t know how to talk about something, they feel unfamiliar with. I don’t know how to talk about soccer because I don’t know anything about it!
There are many families in our community who know someone, often a loved one, with a disability. Though they have a lived experience of disability, even they feel challenged in their thinking at times. They also don’t mind when other people don’t know how to talk about disability. They’re always happy to help a person who genuinely wants to understand.
So how do we understand about disability today?
Society is always learning and growing and the way we understand and think about disability today is very different to many years ago.
Traditionally, society has taken a medical model approach to disability, which focuses on a person’s physical, mental, psycho-social or intellectual impairment or ‘deficit’, always with comparison to ‘normal’ people. Under this model, these impairments or ‘deficits’ need to be ‘fixed’ or changed by medical treatment, surgery or other intervention, even when the impairment or difference does not cause pain or illness. This model creates low expectations and leads to people losing independence, choice and control.
While the medical model focuses on what is ‘wrong’ with the person, the social model of disability says that disability is caused by the way society is organised, specifically because of the assumption that all people’s needs are the same. It says that disability occurs because society has focused exclusively on one group’s needs — those who do not have impairment. The social model shows that impairment need not lead to disability, and focuses on how to remove the disabling features of contemporary society. This is a wonderful step forward and I think we can go even further.
I am inspired by the work of Professor John Swinton who approaches the idea of disability from a theological perspective:
‘There is no such thing as a normal human being….difference is the norm…it is our common humanity.’
It is so refreshing to think that there is no normal. Look around and you’ll notice that there is only difference. It begins with eye, skin and hair colour. It extends to hidden differences such as preferred learning styles, emotional responses to events, personality traits, life-long health issues such as eczema, diabetes or epilepsy. Then there are the more noticeable differences such as missing or inactive parts of the body or speech and understanding differences.
When we think that there is a ‘normal’ person then we automatically see everything else as ‘not normal’ and any more extreme versions of this as a disability. But if we change the way we think…that there really is no normal…that it is our normal human experience to just be different to each other, then we see every person for who they are, a human being, wonderfully made.
At St Benedict’s, as in society, the challenge then becomes not one of ‘integrating’ people with disabilities into the ‘normal’ classroom. It becomes one where we recognise how our school is structured and operates for a ‘normal’ majority and change it so every person, no matter what the difference, can access and participate in the full life of faith and learning that we all enjoy.
Tomorrow as we celebrate the International Day of People with Disability let us understand, embrace and celebrate our common humanity.
Thank you for your ongoing care and partnership in your child’s learning.
Don’t forget that tomorrow Thursday, 3rd December you will be able to access your child’s learning for our Learning Showcase. Kinder to Year 2 parents can access the learning through Seesaw and Year Three to Year 6 can use Google Classrooms.
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.
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. 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.
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.
2021 School and Term Dates
Please be aware the term dates will be as follows for next year;
- Term One 1 February - 1 April
- Term Two 19 April - 25 June
- Term Three 12 July - 17 September
- Term Four 5 October - 17 December
2021 Term One Dates
- Wednesday, 27 January Staff Planning Day
- Thursday, 28 January Staff Planning Day
- Friday, 29 January Staff Planning Day
- Monday, 1 February Students Return
- Wednesday, 3 February Kinder Rest Day
- Wednesday, 10 February Kinder Rest Day
- Thursday, 1 April End of Term 1
The Season of Advent
Advent comes from the Latin word meaning "coming." Jesus is coming, and Advent is intended to be a season of preparation for His arrival. During Advent, we not only prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but we also check in to see if we are doing all the things that will keep us ready to receive Jesus when he comes again. The purple colour associated with Advent is also the colour of penance. The colour of the Third Sunday of Advent is rose. This colour symbolises joy and represents the happiness we will experience when Jesus comes again.
God of Love,
Your son, Jesus, is your greatest gift to us.
He is a sign of your love.
Help us walk in that love during the weeks of Advent,
As we wait and prepare for his coming.
We pray in the name of Jesus, our Saviour.
St Vincent de Paul Christmas Food Donations
Each year our St Benedict’s school community donates non-perishable food to our parish St Vincent de Paul Conference. This food is then made into Christmas hampers that is distributed to people in our local community who are experiencing hardship. Parents are encouraged to talk with their children about the joy of giving without the expectation of receiving something in return. Families are welcome to donate as many non-perishable food items as they wish. Please send all non-perishable food donations to your child’s classroom by tomorrow. These will be presented at our Giving Mass this Friday 4th December.
Giving Mass Friday 4th December 10.00am
Our Mini Vinnies students will be leading our school in a Giving Mass. At this Mass we will be presenting our school non-perishable food donations for the St Vincent de Paul Parish Conference. All students will participate online from their classrooms.
Family Advent Calendar
To mark the beginning of Advent, this week a Family Advent Calendar will be sent home to each family. Included in the calendar are some simple activities focused on drawing families closer together through experiences of sharing joy and giving to others.
We have tried to keep as many of our usual school events as possible. Please understand that in the current environment these events may be cancelled or the style in which they are held may change.
3 Dec Learning Showcase
4 Dec Mini Vinnies Giving Mass
4 Dec DTT Session
8 Dec School Board Meeting, 6.00pm
9 Dec Kinder & Years 3 & 4 Advent Liturgy
11 Dec Ways of Being Assembly
11 Dec Semester 2 Reports sent home
14 Dec Optional Parent Teacher Interviews
15 Dec Optional Parent Teacher Interviews
16 Dec End of Year /Graduation Mass, 10.00am
16 Dec Year 6 Graduation Dinner, 6pm
17 Dec Whole School Fun Day
17 Dec Year 6 Big Splash Day
18 Dec Christmas Concert, 12.30pm (Tentative)
18 Dec Last Day of Term 4
The following notes were sent home this week.
Please remember to check the Schoolzine App (SZapp) for all the latest school information. You are able to register via either:
Kindergarten health check
A reminder to parents of all Kindergarten students that Canberra Health Services is offering a targeted kindergarten health check concentrating on vision and hearing. Uptake of the appointments is now slowing down. These health checks are performed in clinics at the City Health Centre Mondays and Fridays until Monday the 14th of December. An appointment can be made by phoning the Central Intake Line on 51249977.
Division of Women, Youth & Children Community Health Programs|ACT Health
1 Moore St Canberra ACT | GP Box 825 Canberra ACT 2601 |www.health.act.gov.au
RELIABLE / PROGRESSIVE / RESPECTFUL / KIND
Year 4 Activity Day
On Friday the 27th of November our Year 4 students had their Activity Day. This day was in place of their usual Year 4 camp, which due to COVID-19 restrictions couldn’t go ahead this year. The day consisted of a trip to the National Zoo & Aquarium, jumping castle and movie which the students thought was amazing. See below what our students had to say about their trip:
“The activity day definitely lived up to its name!” – Ruby
“I loved the movie it was very interesting, even though it was nothing like the original.” – Tessa
“I liked it very much because we watched Mulan.” - Erik
“My favourite part was when we went to the National Zoo & Aquarium.” – Liz
“I liked that we got to feed and hold different types of animals.” – Mia
“I went to the zoo which I loved. We had a fun day.” - Liam
“At the zoo we held a corn snake, Andy our guide said that the corn snakes licks the air to get the particles, they puts their tongue to the roof of their mouth so they knows what is around them” - Grace
Commonwealth Student Banking is Wednesday. Please ensure your bank book and money are sent to the Front Office via the class notebag.
The last day for school banking is Wednesday 9th December 2020.(Week 9)
Year 1/2B: Gordon S, Alishia W, Lucy L and Nicolas B
Year 1/2G: Penelope V, Ryana O, Geordie B and Dianna N
Year 5/6B: Adam O, Finn W and Nobel S
Year 5/6 G: Amiah G-B, Fionn L and William C
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our normal school clothing pool processes are not in place.
If you require any summer uniform, please email the school email@example.com or contact Mrs McRae with a list of items required. We will endeavour to fill your order and reply to you as soon as possible.
PLEASE ENSURE YOUR CHILD/REN'S CLOTHING IS LABELLED WITH THEIR NAME.
Please check your child/ren are bringing their uniform home. If they have accidentally picked up someone elses uniform, please return it to the front office so it can be returned to the correct child.
There will be NO PIZZA on the Tuckshop menu for the rest of 2020.
SPECIAL TUCK DAY
Fr Dan Benedetti MGL
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Monica Nulley-Valdes (Parish Secretary)
Anjalie Upasena (Parish Youth Minister)
Dear St Benedict’s community,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
See below our links for booking our Saturday 6pm Mass and Sunday 9am Mass. Please remember that 9am Mass is being streamed live.
These bookings close at 11.30am this Friday. Please feel free to come if you fail to book as these numbers just give us an indication.
Saturday 5 December: https://www.trybooking.com/BNFSF
Sunday 6 December: https://www.trybooking.com/BNFSI
Those who wish to attend the Friday Healing Mass and the Sunday 6.00pm Charismatic Mass still need to contact Carmel Henry on 0409777743 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
St Benedict, pray for us.
Fr Dan Benedetti MGL PP
St Benedict's Catholic Community Narrabundah ACT
Dear St Benedict's brothers and sisters, Recently Fr Ken and our MGL Council met and I have been asked to rejoin our Darwin Mission next year.
While I'm looking forward to this new chapter of my life, it's been a blessing being with you. I'm so grateful for your dedication, love for the Lord and St Benedict's and personal support for me. I was so happy when I was asked to come back to St Benedict's for my first appointment as a Parish Priest. I ask for your prayers and you can be assured of mine.
May the Lord continue to bless, protect and grow St Benedict's!
May the Holy Spirit empower you to reach out to those who need healing and are hungering to hear the Words of Eternal Life.
Join me in thanking God for my 20th Priestly Ordination Anniversary and for the Ordination to the Priesthood of MGL Deacon Cameron Smith this Friday evening in Melbourne. It’s not about the priests themselves - it’s about God’s Love and God’s people.
Today, 1 December, I thank God for 20 years as a Missionaries of God’s Love Priest. I thank all those who have revealed God's love, mercy and support for me. The good news is that ACT is loosening the restrictions. If anyone wants to come to my Ordination Afternoon Tea they are welcome. If you haven't registered please reply as soon as you can. It would be lovely to have you there. It begins at 3pm this Saturday at St Benedict's School Hall. For those who can I'll also be celebrating the Parish Mass at 5:30pm this evening.
This Friday at 7pm Cameron Smith (not the Rugby League star) will be Ordained as an MGL Priest at St Benedict's Church in Burwood, MELBOURNE. Cameron was with me in Darwin for 6 months Mission experience and is a wonderful man of God. If you want to see it online, or if you've never seen an MGL Ordination using the Charismatic Gifts, it will be streamed from our MGL Priests and Brothers Youtube:
Ordination, Friday 4th Dec, 7pm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fH9MYngRII
Thanksgiving Mass, Saturday 5th Dec, 11am: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fToRFU6t6pU
Have a blessed day everyone
Love and prayers
Fr Dan Benedetti MGL PP
MGL Manila Christmas Hamper Appeal: during this most difficult time our MGL Manila Parish (also St Benedict’s!) is raising money for Christmas Hampers to bring some joy into the lives of families struggling just to survive. A family hamper costs between A$12-15. Our Canberra “MGL Mission Account” will transfer directly into our Manila Account. The bank details are: BSB 062.786. A/C
As a reminder, to be eligible for Saver Plus, participants must
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a child at school or starting kindy next year
- Have some regular income from work (them or partner), including JobKeeper and child support assessed by CSA
- Have a Centrelink Health Care or Pensioner Concession Card
- Be in receipt of an eligible Commonwealth social security benefit, allowance or payment (many Centrelink payments are eligible)
As parents start to juggle the costs of Christmas with back to school in the back of their minds, I was hoping you could continue to promote Saver Plus in your school newsletter and on your facebook site as well. At the end of this email I’ve included an image for the newsletter and another that can be used on facebook.
As always, many thanks for your ongoing support for the program and I hope you have a wonderful festive season.
Saver Plus Coordinator ACT/Queanbeyan | The Smith Family
Ph 02 6283 7606 | mob 0448 730 305
Corner of Launceston & Easty Streets
Woden, ACT, 2606
Keep in touch! Find us on Facebook
I acknowledge the Ngunnawal people as the Traditional Owners of the Land on which I live.
Please consider the environment before deciding to print this e-mail.
School Travel for 2021 2021 school travel applications are now open
Applications for student travel in 2021 opened from Monday 12 October 2020.
Students who require a School Opal card or travel pass for 2021 can now apply online. A new application should be submitted if a student is applying for a school travel pass for the first time or requesting an additional pass as a result of a new shared parental responsibility situation (e.g. joint custody).
Students who have changed school/campus, changed address, repeated a year or received an expiry notification from Transport for NSW for their school travel entitlement should re-apply or update their details.
*Applications must be completed by the student's parent or legal guardian if the student is aged under 16 years. Students 16 years and over must complete the application form themselves.
Where there is a change of distance eligibility based on a student’s grade, the system will automatically update a student’s entitlement if they meet the new criteria. If they do not meet the new eligibility criteria, they will receive an expiry notification via email.
Students who have an entitlement approved under a medical condition which is due to expire will receive a notification advising them to re-apply.
Term Bus Pass holders will receive a notification to re-apply.
If a student needs to update their information or re-apply, they should go online to
Applications need to be submitted before 31 December 2020 to ensure that current student entitlements are updated and their current entitlement/card remains valid. If their application is submitted after 31 December 2020, the system will automatically cancel an entitlement/card and a new one will need to be issued.
Students in the Opal network applying for a SSTS or Term Bus Pass entitlement for the first time will receive their card at their nominated postal address. Cards will be mailed out from January 2021.
Students residing in Rural and Regional (R&R) areas should receive their travel pass at the commencement of the new school year from their nominated operator, this may be distributed via the school or sent direct to their address. Note: some R&R operators do not issue travel passes. Students/Parents should confirm with their nominated operator if they do not receive a pass.
New Concession Entitlement Cards
Transport for NSW will be replacing the below cards with Transport Concession Entitlement Cards (TCEC) from October 2020: Senior Secondary Student Concession Card (16 years and over) – also used by Mature Secondary Students (18 years and over), Distance Education Students and Home School Students Proof of Age card (when a student under 16 years of age looks older) Boarder Rail Pass. All previous cards will be valid until they expire. Students who require a Transport Concession Entitlement Card should speak with their school administration staff.
Enquiries regarding school student travel can be submitted to Transport for NSW at: