Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome back to school! I hope families had a restful time during the school holidays. We have a great term planned including:
- A Cross Country Carnival;
- An Athletics Carnival;
- Mother’s Day celebrations;
- First Eucharist for some of our Year 3 students;
- St Benedict’s Feast Day;
and of course plenty of reading, writing and publishing, as well as plenty of inquiry learning about new knowledge in Mathematics, Science, History and Social Sciences.
Over the last two weeks you may have seen St Bede’s, Red Hill, mentioned in the media. At the end of last term the St Bede’s community were advised by Catholic Education and endorsed by the Catholic Education Commission, that following a review of the system financial situation Catholic Education would proceed to a community consultation regarding the ongoing viability of St Bede’s.
The system review revealed that St Bede’s, is facing a range of pressures that put its future viability at risk. The school’s low enrolments, combined with changes to the Australian Government’s funding model means that, on current trends, income into the school will not cover costs within three years. St Bede’s has been particularly affected by the use of the new Direct Measure of Income (DMI) method to determine school funding. The DMI is a measure of the capacity of parents to contribute to their school through fees and St Bede’s has the equal highest DMI of all Catholic Primary schools in the Archdiocese at 115. It is currently the only school in this position.
Last night Alana Quirk and I, with other Catholic Principals, attended a St Bede’s townhall meeting at which parents, grandparents and ex-students were able to share their thoughts and concerns for what the school was currently facing. Many people in attendance shared their love of the school and the community. They talked about how it was a small school with a big community. It was so lovely to hear the community talk with much passion about what they value about the community.
We have begun this week preparations for our open days and upcoming enrolment period. Hearing the community voice last night caused me to reflect on what it is we value about our school, but more specifically the importance of the community in the promotion of our school. Word of mouth is the best advertisement and biggest contributer to any school’s enrolments. Thank you for your ongoing support with this. I encourage all community members to tell people what it is that they value about our school and community.
Clothing Pool Open Day
The Clothing Pool Open Day advertised for tomorrow, Thursday 22nd April, has been postponed to next Wednesday 28th April 2pm to 3.10pm. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
Cross Country Carnival
This Friday 23rd April we will be having our annual Cross Country Carnival across the road at Jerrabomberra Oval. Please ensure you have returned your child’s permission note. We are still very short of volunteers if you are able to assist on the morning please let the front office know or return the volunteer note.
Enrolment period begins shortly. This is the time to enrol children for high school, primary school and preschool. If you would like to enrol a sibling into Kinder next year or know of anyone interested in looking at our fantastic school for their children enrolment packs are now available from the front office. We will be holding Open Days and Open Evenings at the following times;
- Thursday 22nd April – 9.30am – 2.30pm
- Friday 30th April – 9.30am – 2.30pm
- Tuesday 4th May – 3.30pm – 5.30pm
- Wednesday 5th May – 9.30am – 11.30am
- Monday 10th May – 9.30am – 11.30am
- Tuesday 11th May – 3.30pm – 5.30pm
Year 7 Enrolments
The Year 7 enrolment period will also shortly be upon us. We welcome both St Mary MacKillop Catholic College and St Clare’s Catholic College who asked to visit us to talk to the Year 6 students. It is always lovely to see some of our Year 6 students from last year come to visit us and tell us about their transition to High School.
Last year our Year 6 students went on to a variety high schools/colleges:
- St Clare’s College
- St Edmund’s College
- Daramalan College
- Marist College
- Telopea Park High School
- The Anglican School Googong
- Campbell High School
- Stromlo High School
- Calwell High School
All were accepted into their school of first preference and have experienced great success. We are very proud of them.
Parents Welcome (but with COVID conditions)
Our present operating guidelines allow for visitors, under certain circumstances, on site. We must not allow more than 1 adult per 2m2 and always encourage physical distancing.
All parents are allowed to enter the school grounds under the following conditions. Visitors must:
- be healthy and symptom free;
- not have visited a COVID hotspot in the last 14 days;
- maintain physical distancing of 1.5m with non-family members;
- limit time on school grounds to less than 10 minutes;
- not enter classrooms (or the classroom blocks) except for a pre-arranged appointment. If entering the buildings, visitors must sign in at the Front Office and register using the Check in CBR app;
- Volunteers will be allowed inside once they have signed in at the Front Office, and register using the Check in CBR app. (This is a new government requirement.)
As always, if you wish to meet with your child’s teacher, or me, please arrange a mutually convenient time via the front office. When you arrive at school, please sign in using our iPad and register using the Check in CBR app.
Students in Years 3 and 5 will sit the NAPLAN tests next month. Parents may elect to withdraw their children from these tests. If you do not want your child to sit the NAPLAN tests, please contact Mrs Alana Quirk at school immediately.
A reminder that students will be able to wear either their summer or winter uniform for week 1 and week 2 of this term. It is expected that all students will commence week 3, 3rd May with the winter uniform.
School Disco – Save the Date
Please mark Friday 30th April as the School Disco on your calendars. Our P&F Committee work hard to make our school discos a wonderful community event. More details to come shortly.
First Sunday of Lent
We ask God to strengthen our resolve to resist temptations.
I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong
and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help,
to do penance,
to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Saviour Jesus Christ
suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy.
This week each family will receive a Lenten Calendar. We encourage all families to engage in these throughout the Lenten season in preparation for Christ’s Resurrection.
Enrolment forms for the Sacraments of First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion were sent home last week (Years 3-6). If you would like your child to participate in our St Benedict’s Sacramental Program, enrolment forms must be returned to the Parish Office by Friday 26th February. Information regarding the Sacrament of Confirmation will be distributed next week (Years 5 and 6).
Thank you to all our families that attended our Opening School Mass. It was lovely to be gathered as a school community once again.
Next Friday, 5th March 10am, Year 5/6 Blue will be leading our school community in Mass. All families are warmly invited to join us in this liturgical celebration. Please ensure that you sign in on arrival and adhere to appropriate hygiene and social distancing protocols.
Congratulations Mini Vinnies!
Congratulations to our 43 St Benedict’s Mini Vinnies! We are thrilled to have such an enthusiastic group of students join the program this year and can’t wait to see their impact on our school and wider community.
Mini Vinnies Social Justice Workshop
Thursday 11th March 2.10-3.00pm.
Students will participate in a Social Justice Workshop at school run by our St Vincent de Paul Youth School Liaison Officer. This workshop will be an introduction to current social justice issues that face our local community through the lens of the Catholic Social Teaching. No permission required.
Mini Vinnies Hygiene Donation Station
Thank you to everyone who has made donations to our Mini Vinnies Hygiene Station. Our Mini Vinnies will be packing these into kits for the Night Patrol this week.
Important dates to note for this term are:
23 April Cross Country Carnival (Whole School)
Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
25 April ANZAC Day
26 April ANZAC day Public Holiday
27 April ANZAC Day Liturgy, 10.30am
30 April School Disco
3 May Enrolment Period to Friday 28th May
4 May Parents & Friends Meeting, 6.30pm
6 May Athletics Carnival (Whole School)
7 May Mothers' Day Mass, 10.00am
Mothers' Day Stall
Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
If you have any concerns regading paying your fees, particularly due to COVID-19, please do not hesitate to contact either Ms Rachel Smith or Mrs Belinda McRae at the Front Office.
Term 2 fees will be sent home in week 2 and will be due Friday 21st May - week 5.
Extra curriculum music lesson are provided at the school by the following businesses. If you are interest please contact them directly.
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. Until we are able to confirm the new clothing pool arrangements we ask that you please email the school firstname.lastname@example.org 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 that your child/ren are bringing their uniform home as it is an easy mistake to pick up someone else's uniform. Please place the incorrect uniform in the lost property box or return it to the student or front office.
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.
Apple slinky Tuesdays
We would like to thank the wonderful parents that have offered to come and do slinky apples for students each Tuesday morning. There is no cost, we just ask that students bring their own apple to be slinkied for fruit break.
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Monica Nulley-Valdes and Cathy Schneider (Parish Secretaries)
Saturday Vigil - 6pm
Sunday - 9am
- 6pm Charismatic Mass
Youth Mass every 4th Sunday (6pm)
Baptisms: 11.00am, 2nd and 4th Sundays of the Month.
Easter Timetable in our Parish
Holy Thursday: 5.30pm Supper of the Lord
followed by Adoration at the Alter of Repose
Good Friday: 10.00am Stations of the Cross
3.00pm Solemn Liturgy
Easter: 7.00pm Blessing of the Fire, Procession and Exsultet, Baptismal Liturgy
Easter Sunday: 9.00am
6.00pm Charismatic Mass