Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to the 2021 school year! Monday morning was full of excitement and there was certainly a buzz in the air. After last year it was wonderful to welcome parents back into the school grounds and to have so many people at our first morning assembly.
Welcome to our 23 new Kindergarten students, although there are a number of siblings in the class who have been patiently waiting for their time to come to ‘big school’ and to St Benedict’s. Welcome to the 10 other children who have joined us across the classes. Welcome also to the many new families that have become a part of the St Benedict’s community and story. We look forward to getting to know you and working with you over the coming years.
We have two upcoming events that invite not only our new families and students to attend but all community members. They are our Opening School Mass this Friday 5th February at 10am and our Meet and Greet evening on Monday 15th February.
Our Opening School Mass for 2021 will also be our first Friday Mass for February. It will be our first whole school mass in the church for quite some time. I think we only managed two whole school masses in the church last year and then mass was only via zoom when we were able to return. All members of our school community are invited to join with us in celebrating this Eucharistic liturgy. Fr Rem, as the St Benedict’s Parish Priest, will be celebrating mass for us. Fr Rem has been with us in the Parish for the last two years and has taken over from Fr Dan who has transferred to an MGL parish in Darwin.
At the start of week 3 we will hold an Open House: Meet and Greet. This event will take place on Monday evening, 15th February. Parents are invited to come into the classroom with their child between 5.00pm and 6.00pm to meet the teacher, see the learning environment and collect information about class operations for the year. Families are then invited to share a sausage sizzle with other members of the community from 6.00pm to 7.00pm. Feel free to bring a picnic rug and picnic, and enjoy spending some time getting to know other parents and children in a relaxed social setting.
We look forward to seeing you all there. If you are able to assist in cooking sausages or serving them please let Belinda know in the Front Office. Thank you to the Parents and Friends who provide the free sausages and drinks for the occasion.
Parents and Carers are most welcome to join us this Friday, 5th February at 2.30pm for the first of our whole school assemblies. This year we are making changes to how assemblies are running. We will be having a whole school assembly every second Friday (odd weeks) at 2.30pm, beginning this week. On Fridays in even weeks merit certificates will be handed out at the morning assemblies. The weeks and dates of the whole school assemblies are featured on the school calendar that is coming home this afternoon with the eldest child.
We hope to see as many parents and families at these wonderful community events.
We have a great year planned and look forward to working with you all in growing our young students to be ‘the best they can be’.
Student and Family Information Update
Today we are sending home a record of the information we have about your child on our system at school. Please take the time to look it over and be sure that the information is correct, particularly all contact details for carers, parents and emergency contacts. With the information updated we can communicate with you directly and quickly should the need arise. Please return the signed form, with or without any amendments by Monday 8th February 2021
Student Health and Medical Information
Please ensure we have the most up to date health and medical information about your child, and that any medication that is needed during school hours, even if only occasionally, is supplied to the front office with a medication dispensing form.
Class Parent Representatives
Each year a parent or two volunteer to be the Class Representative. It is a very simple yet crucial role that helps parents to connect with each other and assists in building a supportive school community. We will be sending home a note shortly inviting parents to volunteer to be that person. Please fill in the form or email the Front Office (Office.StBenedicts@cg.catholic.edu.au) to let us know of your interest. Someone from the Parents and Friends will then be in contact with you.
Nut Free School
Just a reminder that we are a nut free school as we have a number of students who have an anaphylaxis to nuts. Please ensure that your child’s lunch does not include nuts in any form, including a Nutella and peanut butter sandwiches. Thank you for your support with this.
Strength in Yourself,
Strength through Prayer,
Strength through God.
Welcome to the school year 2021! This year our school community will be seeking to expand our understanding of how we can deepen the strength of our faith, through prayer to be the living Gospel. Everyone has personal strengths and it is beneficial to all that these are shared. When we affirm the strengths of others, it allows all to be the best version of themselves.
I can do all things through God who strengthens me.
Opening School Mass
Our Opening School Mass will be held this Friday 5th February 10am. During this Mass our school staff will receive a special blessing. All families are warmly invited to join us in this liturgical celebration to mark the beginning of our new school year.
Our St Benedict’s Mini Vinnies K-6 Program will commence this term. Mini Vinnies is a social justice program of the St Vincent de Paul Society which exists in many primary schools. Mini Vinnies empowers primary school students to become advocates within their school and local community by putting their values into action. They meet regularly to learn about social justice issues, develop leadership skills and engage with the wider St Vincent de Paul Society. The Mini Vinnies model of “See, Think, Do” is a great way to get young people thinking and talking about their spirituality and to connect their faith with issues affecting their community through volunteering, advocacy and fundraising. Not only do the students in Mini Vinnies benefit from the experience but also the school and wider community.
A permission note for our St Benedict’s K-6 Mini Vinnies program will go home this week. If you have any questions regarding this program, please contact:
Religious Education Coordinator
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
- Hand sanitizer
Whether we like it or not, technology and the Internet are firmly fixed in our children’s lives. Use of the Internet can be a wonderful thing, opening up new worlds and supporting children’s learning and development in many ways. It can also be a fun way to relax and keep in touch with friends. We are all aware however, of the pitfalls and dangers of the online community. It is important that we are both informed about how best to protect our children and that we also talk regularly with them about their online use and behaviour.
Here are some ideas which will support your primary school child’s safety and well-being online.
- Set up parental controls on your home internet and internet enabled devices that your child has access to.
- Password-protect all accounts.
- Choose the sites your child has access to on their account.
- Make sure your child is using child-safe search engines, such as Kids.Net.Au or Google Safe Search for Kids, and activate ‘safe search’ options on other search engines such as Google and Youtube.
- Switch devices to airplane mode when your child is playing online games. This will prevent them from accidentally making in-app purchases or contacting other players online.
- Pay close attention to the age ratings on games, apps and films to make sure they are suitable for your child. If you would not allow your child to watch a 15 certificate film, you should not let them play a game with the same rating.
- Set your homepage to a child-friendly one.
- Keep all devices your child will use, in a high-traffic communal area in your home, such as the kitchen or living room. Be with your child when they are online and talk about what they are doing.
- Set rules for screen time and stick to them.
- Investigate safe social media sites for children.
- Sometimes children find themselves bullying or being bullied online (also known as ‘cyberbullying’). Talk to your child about being a good friend online, and how our words and actions still hurt even if we can’t see a person’s reaction to them.
- Talk regularly about the importance of online safety, and about what your child is getting up to online. You’ll be grateful you did this, especially as your child gets older. Keeping those lines of communication open is a powerful way of letting your child know that you trust them but expect them to be honest.
Research shows that the age at which children are accessing smart devices and the Internet is getting younger and younger. It’s never too soon to start good eSafety habits with your child.
Here are some helpful links with more guidance for parents –
A few important dates to note for this term are:
5 Feb Opening School Mass, 10.00am
Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
9 Feb School Board Meeting, 6pm
10 Feb Kindergarten rest day + assessments
15 Feb Yr 5 and new Yr 6 Students BYOD Mtg, 4.15pm
Open House BBQ for families & teachers, 5pm
16 Feb Shrove Tuesday
Yr 5 and new Yr 6 Students BYOD Mtg, 8.15am
Parents & Friends Meeting and AGM, 6.30pm
17 Feb Yr 1/2 Blue Ash Wednesday Mass, 12.30pm
18 Feb Swimming Carnival, K-6
19 Feb Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
23 Feb School Photos - (Full school uniform to be warn)
26 Feb Interim Reports sent home
1 Mar Three Way Conferences
2 Mar Three Way Conferences
5 Mar Yr 5/6 Blue School Mass, 10am
Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
8 Mar Canberra Day Public Holiday
9 Mar School Board Meeting, 6pm
11 Mar Yr 5/6 Excursion
16 Mar Parents & Friends Meeting ,6.30pm
19 Mar Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
25 Mar Learning Showcase
26 Mar Yr 5/6 Blue Palm Sunday Liturgy, 10.30am
Ways of Being Award Ceremony, 2.15pm
28 Mar Palm Sunday
1 Apr Holy Thursday
1/2 Gold, 3/4 Blue and 5/6 Gold
Holy Week Liturgy, 10.00am
Outdoor Education day
Term 1 concludes
The following notes are going home this week.
First Day Bytes
Family and Student Information - Please return by Friday 5th February
(Individual note sent home for each student and family)
Systemic School - Please return by Friday 5th February
Mini Vinnies Program
Please remember to check the Schoolzine App (SZapp) for all the latest school information. You are able to register via either:
Our first harvest from our wonderful vegetable garden! Well done to all for their hard work.
Extra curriculum music lesson are provided at the school by the following businesses. If you are interest please contact them directly.
Edith B one of the 5/6 students will be performing in the Queanbeyan Players' production of The Sound of Music next month. While she will be on stage for every show, she will play her main role of Gretl (the youngest Von Trapp child) in these performances:
Saturday 13 March 7.30pm
Wednesday 17 March 7.30pm
Friday 19 March 7.30pm
Saturday 20 March 1.30pm
Sunday 21 March 1.30pm
She would love to be able to share the production with members of the St Benedict's community!
In our transition out of the COVID-19 restrictions we ask for your support in social distancing, logging onto the CBR App and signing in at the front office. Unitl we are able to confirm the new clothing pool arrangements we ask that you please email the school firstname.lastname@example.org 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 as it is an easy mistake to pick up someone elses uniform. Please place the incorrect uniform in the lost property box.
Our school tuckshop will be closed for the first couple of weeks. We will let you know as soon as it is open and students are able to order from the tuckshop.
A reminder that when the tuckshop opens counter sales only occur at Recess time and lunch orders must be ordered in the morning. Don’t forget to use the Qkr! App to place your child’s order. Volunteers are always welcome. No amount of time is too small.