Dear Parents and Carers,
Today we celebrated Ash Wednesday. The journey to becoming fully alive begins with Ash Wednesday. As we journey through Lent with its forty days, we intend to become more and more awake, more and more conscious, more and more alive. Our hope is to be as fully present as we can be for the feast of Easter.
During this season of Lent new life is waking from its winter death, the sun’s strength returns, and the natural world begins to vibrate more and more. An introduction to new life emerges.
Traditionally, the time of Lent is a time for praying more, and has a tone of somberness. Giving up something for Lent as a spiritual discipline has been practiced for centuries. When many of us were children, we might remember giving up lollies for Lent. And, it seemed like a real sacrifice. As we grew up, it was often more difficult to decide what thing to give up, to make Lent a special season - to get our attention and to prepare ourselves for deeper sacrifices.
When I reflect on this I wonder if the giving up became the focus rather than the intention of becoming more alive. In the Old Testament reading for Ash Wednesday we hear Isaiah (Chapter 58) urging people to realize that it is kindling relationship with God, aligning with the energy of mercy and compassion and joy, rather than any stipulated action that is the true goal of Lent.
Lent offers us all a very special opportunity to grow in our relationship with God and to deepen our commitment to a way of life, rooted in our baptism. In our busy world, Lent provides us with an opportunity to reflect upon our patterns, to pray more deeply, experience sorrow for what we’ve done and failed to do, and to be generous to those in need.
And so we are led, in Lent, to, the place of transition, of waiting, and of not knowing. To help us in our experience of space and time we must use symbol, story and metaphor, poetry, prose and song, as tools and vehicles on the journey toward a deepening relationship with God and others. We use symbols to make things more meaningful, to communicate or represent something below the surface. In other words, symbols help us to remember and understand. The word “symbol” comes from two Greek words that mean, "to throw together," thus binding together an abstraction and an illustration and directing our thinking.
On Ash Wednesday in the Christian tradition, as our foreheads are marked with ash, we hear the words spoken: Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. The symbol of the ashes reminds us of the reality of death and is intended to help us to enter into a time of self-examination, confession and penitence. As we search and begin to look at who we are “warts” and all, we must enter into death. We must die to the person we think we are, that we pretend to be, that we wish we were, the masks we present to the world. Through this death we can come to new life and enter more fully into deep relationship with God and our neighbour.
Last night the P&F held their AGM for the year. At the AGM all positions were declared open. We have several vacancies on the P&F due to families moving interstate and students graduating. Unfortunately we only received three nominations from the Parent community to join the P&F, of which all three were either in attendance at the meeting or already on the P&F. We are now seeking volunteers from the Parent community to join the P&F, as we are short volunteers for several positions. The positions we are currently seeking support with, are President, Vice-President and Secretary. Being a member of the P&F is not an onerous task and is one that is invaluable to the school. The P&F meets twice a term and is focused on building community through social events and fundraising. The role of President involves chairing P&F meetings, liaising with the school leadership team and front office staff, and the rare attendance at a wider community event. The Vice President takes on the role of support for the President and steps in, in the absence of the President. The Secretary role involves taking minutes at meetings, sending reminder emails and agendas for meeting, and redirecting any correspondence that comes through. The St Benedict’s P&F are very inclusive and supportive of everybody in their roles and always willing to help each other out in anyway. Please consider being involved in the school through the role of P&F member, even if not one of the needed positions. It is a wonderful way to be part of the school community.
What a lovely night we had last Monday evening at the Open House and BBQ. Thank you to all those who attended. All of the teachers were really pleased to have the chance to make some initial contact with many of you. Thank you again to the Parents and Friends for providing the free Sausage Sizzle and to all those who helped set up, cook and pack up. Well done!
Just a reminder that our school swimming carnival is tomorrow, Thursday 18th February at Queanbeyan Pool. Please ensure that your child comes to school wearing their (labeled) sports uniform with their swimmers underneath. They will also need a towel, a plastic bag for wet items, school hat and sunscreen. Students will also need to bring their own lunch and recess, etc in their school bag. Please ensure the children have plenty to eat and drink. There will be no access to the pool kiosk. Parents are most welcome to attend as spectators (although numbers may be limited), however they must sign into the Service NSW QR code at reception and pay the spectator fee of $2.00.
Interim Reports and Three Way Conferences
Students will bring home their interim reports on Friday, 26th February, with Three Way Conferences taking place on Monday 1st March and Tuesday 2nd March. Optional Parent/Teacher Interviews will be offered at the end of each term, in addition to the semester reports being sent home at the end of Term 2 and Term 4. A note regarding booking a time for Three Way Conferences was sent home on Monday. Accompanying the note was a survey for parents to complete on their child’s strengths, interests and areas for development. We ask that parents complete the parent survey and bring it with them to their child’s Three Way Conference.
Mobile Phones and SMART Watches
I would like to remind parents that SMART watches are treated the same as phones at school. Mobile phones, SMART watches, fitbits and similar devices with cellular, photographic and film capabilities are not permitted at school. The mobile nature of these devices poses a risk to student wellbeing and safety. When these technologies are misused by students, they can be very disruptive to students’ welfare, socialisation and in some cases cause various levels of harm. We want to ensure that students are not being distracted from their learning. As a school, we also want to be able to guide and support students in being able to solve problems with the support of peers and school staff whilst on the premises. If your child does need to bring a mobile phone or a SMART watch to school, they must be turned off and handed in at the Front Office where they will be securely stored for the day.
Reading with Your Child
On Wednesday 24th February, 5.30pm – 6.30pm there will be a workshop held for parents on ‘Reading with your child’. It is designed to assist parents in understanding how to read with children at home in ways that support them as a developing reader. They are designed for Kindergarten to Year 2 students. Other parents are also welcome.
“Loving God, today marks the beginning of a period of inner reflection and examination. Father, the days stretch before me and invite me inward to that silent, holy space that houses Your Holy Spirit. This special period invites me to examine my life through our Lord Jesus Christ’s eyes and the truth and reality of your love embodied. Father, give me the grace to enter the atmosphere of these days with anticipation of our meeting. Lord, when I open my heart to your presence, let your loving kindness flow over me and seep into the pockets of my soul. I ask this for the sake of your love.”
eSafety Webinars for Parents and Carers: The eSafety commission is running free webinars for parents and carers at lunchtimes (12:30-1:30pm) and in the evenings 7:30-8.30pm on various dates. Currently running: “Parents guide to cyberbullying and online drama.” All sessions are delivered by eSafety’s expert education and training team.
For available dates and to register go to https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/webinars
Safe on Social is an organisation very much focused on helping children learn about being safe online. They advocate very strongly that the earlier children and more consistently children are taught about safety online, the better. They recently released the following information about smartphones and children.
When your child reaches 10 – 11yrs (or even earlier), they may start asking for their first smartphone and to use social media. So here are ten things to keep your Tweens safe online:
- If your child is asking for a phone, make sure that you get them to do a little presentation, or write a small project sheet, on a topic of cyber safety every week in the lead up to getting their phone.
- Think about the age recommendations; it is not illegal for a child to use social media under the age of 13yrs with their parents’ permission, but they need to remember to update their age on any site that has asked for it when they actually turn 13yrs. Like Facebook, for example. This way, the app will not think they are older. As an extreme example…if your child signs up to use Facebook when they are 10yrs, and they have to lie and say they are 13yrs…so by the time they are 15yrs if they haven’t adjusted the year they were born, the app will think they are 18yrs. Then they can get a Tinder account as it relies on Facebook for verification!
- Teach your kids to think twice before they accept a friend request. Just because someone is a friend of their big brother or sister or cousin who goes to another school does not mean they should let them into their life.
- Engage with them about their favourite social media app and get them to teach you about it so you can at least know the basics. Get them to show you how to block and report so you can be sure they know how too.
- Be a good role model. Keep your screen time in check. There is no use banning the phones from bedrooms if you go to bed with yours each night, for example.
- Help them to check and manage privacy settings. This is something you can do together when they are younger by making it a shared experience.
- Think twice before “sharenting.” Do not post photos of your kids in school uniform or school events or holding certificates with their full name and school name on it. You are letting the whole world know where they go to school. This can happen by “checking in” or geotagging a school as well.
- Ask them first when you are about to share their photo. Let your kids be involved in the decision making on whether they are ok with you posting a photo of them or not as young as possible. This will teach them to ask others first before they post pictures as they grow up.
- Put healthy boundaries in place. Don’t ban them from their device if they forget to do a household chore or are naughty for something totally unrelated to their device. Do not take it off them if they speak up about something that has happened online because you are scared either. This is the quickest way to drive all the conversations that you want to be having underground. Instead, if you have a healthy boundary like all devices are banned from the bathroom or bedroom. So then if they are caught with their device in either place, you ban them for a week. This way, they will learn that it is safe to speak up about what is going on online without punishment unless they break the rules about device use.
- Respect the classifications. The average age of a gamer is 35yrs old. Classifications are there for a reason. It is not ok for a child under the age of 18yrs to be playing R Rated games…even with their parents! If your child is playing online games, set healthy boundaries around time playing as well. All of the other tips above also apply to gaming.
few important dates to note for this term are:
19 Feb Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
23 Feb School Photos - (Full school uniform to be worn)
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.
Class Parent Rep Request 2021
General Information Note 2021
2021 Student Residential Address Collection
Parent Reading Information Night
Special Swimming Lunch Day
Three Way Conferences
A Lens on Learning
Kindergarten have been learning about what authors, illustrators and publishers each do.
“An author writes the words for the book.” Rafaela
“The illustrator draws the pictures.” Sienna
“A publisher clips the books together so we can read it.” Patrick
They have also been sharing their ideas with each other - ‘What would you see if you went on a walk?’
The students then became illustrators.
Year 3/4 Blue
“We have been learning about adjectives so that we can use them in our writing. An adjective is a word that describes something. When we use them they make people want to read our stories more.” Laura
“We’ve been making connections in our reading. There are Text to World connections, Text to Text connections and Text to Self connections. Making connections when you read helps you as a reader to learn and know more stories. They help us understand stories better.” Finn
Three Way Conferences
Three Way Conferences will take place on Monday 1st March and Tuesday 2nd March. These conferences will be held in the classrooms and will last for 10 minutes.
Bookings will be made through an online booking system using the Schoolzine App. These bookings will open tomorrow, Thursday 18th February at 8:30am and close on Wednesday 24th February at 3:00pm. Please use the attached link to make your booking. If you are unable to use the link please do not hesitate to come into the front office.
We would like parents to complete The Parent Partnership Form that was either collected at the Open House evening or sent home yesterday, and bring it to the Three Way Conferences. We believe that the parent and school partnership is vital to student success and we hope that through this form we will gain a deeper insight into your child and their needs.
Year 1/2B: Alex N and Lorenzo F
Year 1/2G: James B and Naite H
Year 3/4B: Ryana O and Leilah G
Year 3/4G: Hunter R
Year 5/6B: Ava D, William C and Alex C
Year 5/6 G: Mia T and Liam N
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 is still currently closed.
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.
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Monica Nulley-Valdes (Parish Secretary)
Anjalie Upasena (Parish Youth Minister)
Saturday Vigil - 6pm
Sunday - 9am
- 6pm Charismatic Mass
Youth Mass every 4th Sunday (6pm)
Baptisms: 11.00am, 2nd and 4th Sundays of the Month.
Tennis season is in full swing with the Australian Open, Ash Barty and Canberra's Nick Kyrgios showcasing our humble sport. We ask for your help as we encourage new students to tennis.
If you can place the following information in the upcoming newsletter parents will be up to date on how to join a Tennis Canberra junior program.
Enjoying the tennis on TV? Play Tennis with an Official Tennis Canberra Coach.
BOOK A FREE JUNIOR TRIAL GROUP LESSON
- Junior Programs from ages 5-16
- North & South Canberra Tennis Canberra Venues
- All abilities from starter to advance
CONTACT TENNIS CANBERRA™