Class Placements for 2020
The process of allocating children to classes for 2020 has begun. The allocations are based on many considerations: learning abilities; gender balance; behavioural considerations; personalities; friendship and religion. It is important to have a balance of Catholic and non-Catholic children, especially in Sacramental years.
As part of the process of allocating classes, the children are given the opportunity to nominate 5 friends with whom they would like to share a class next year. They are assured to have at least one of these friends with them. The ‘Friendship 5’ lists will be completed by the children in the next two weeks. I believe that teachers are in the best position to decide a child’s placement because they know all the children in their classes and have a view of the ‘big picture’. If you have anything that you feel needs to be considered, for your own child’s well-being or development, please put this in writing (letter or email) and send to me before November 15th or I would be happy for you to make an appointment through the front office to discuss with me in person. After the cut-off date, it will not be possible to take considerations into account. No requests for specific teachers will be considered.
After discussions with other Principals as to their policies regarding class allocation and along with meetings with the teachers here at St Thomas’, as of next year, I will not be asking teachers to have students to complete the ‘Friendship 5’. It is an onerous expectation that school can accommodate all requests, including friendships, and teachers as professionals, who spend the majority of the day with children need to be trusted to make the right decisions around learning.
Be assured your child's teacher and other key staff in the school know our students well and have information and data about them which assists in placing them in the best class for 2020. I know this can be an anxious time for parents and we need to remember that children are more resilient than we often give them credit for and they will able to learn and enjoy school in whichever class they are placed. There is also much time given to transition for particular students, depending on their individual needs, including a transition staff meeting, where staff from 2019 will share knowledge about students to their teachers for 2020. During the last week of the school year, students (including those Year 1-6 new to the school) will meet with their class and where possible, their teacher for 2020. They will have the opportunity to spend some time together in preparation for the new year.
All teachers will examine the draft lists to highlight any concerns; and as Principal, I will make the final decision on all class placements. Once classes are announced, no changes will be made.
We are only a week away from the fete now, and the excitement is growing every day. The fete team of parents and parishioners along with Luke Mooney, have spent many hours organising this annual and much anticipated event. Being a community affair, it needs the support of everyone in the community. We know that almost every family comes to the fete but it would be even better if every family could give us an hour to help out on one of the stalls. It’s not too late to let us know if you can do this. We have parents set up at the school gate each day who will sign you up, or you can follow this link to see where there is need and nominate a time and activity to help out with. https://signup.com/go/buPmpbZ Please give this some serious thought, and be a part of what makes our community such a great one.
What will 2020 bring?
As we begin to plan for 2020, we have been doing some in-depth thinking about the future direction for our school. The Catholic Education Office are working with me to develop a Master Plan for buildings, grounds and maintenance. Our teachers have been considering the big questions of where we need to put our focus for next year in terms of; curriculum, student wellbeing and the general planning that goes into making a successful school a reality. In the next few weeks, the leadership team will be working with feedback given from staff, parents and students (via the satisfaction survey results) to formulate our Strategic Plan for the next 3 years, along with our Annual School Improvement Plan for 2020. Although I often put information in the newsletter about what we are striving to achieve, parents and carers reported on the survey that they are unsure of what these goals are. This is probably because they are not worded in a way that means they are easy to recall. Our aim this for next year, is that they are concise, clear and that all teachers, staff and parents can articulate what they are. Once these plans are completed, they will be published in the newsletter.
This is another important item that is currently being organised. Mr Michael Kennedy who has been the groundsman here since 2015, has made the hard decision resign and will be taking of a senior position with the Canberra Agricultural Show Society. We will certainly miss his green fingers as it is Michael who makes the grounds and gardens at St Thomas so beautiful. Michael will finish up with us here the week after the fete. We wish Michael all the very best for his new adventures. I am happy to inform you that Miss Monique George and Miss Laura Vandenbroucke have been reappointed for next year. We still have one more positon to fill and that has been advertised and will be interviewed for next week.
Director of Catholic Education and Principals Day
Today and tomorrow I will be attending the annual two days of meetings with all the principals of the Archdiocese along with members of the Catholic Education Office. The director of Catholic Education Mr Ross Fox will be leading the day on Friday. These days are important as they allow principals to work with colleagues, consultants and officers from Catholic Education to be informed and to discuss best practice and future direction for our Catholic Education system and of course our own school of St Thomas the Apostle.
Fee statements for Term 4 have been sent out. Payment of these is due by Friday 15th November and can be paid by Qkr, cash, cheque, credit card, EFTPOS, BPay or Direct Debit. If at any time you experience difficulty in meeting your commitment in relation to fees, please do not hesitate to come and speak with me at school.
I look forward to seeing you all at the fete next week!
God bless you and your families
On Monday, 3/4LO lead us in a beautiful Monday prayer, sharing the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector. Mr Lowe shared a quote with the school that resonated deeply:
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.’ Let us remember this in the lead up to Advent and the festive season!
Monday Prayer Week 5 – Remembrance Day
Year 1B will lead us in recognising Remembrance Day on Monday 11/11 in Week 5. Please note we will hold our liturgy in the Anzac Garden and will begin at 10:45am. Parents and carers are most welcome to join us for this.
End of Year Events
Notes went home this week regarding all the end of year Graduation ceremonies. (see https://www.sttap.act.edu.au/notes)
Dates for your diary are as follows:
Kinder Nativity: Tuesday 17 December 12pm in the Hall
Graduation Mass: Wednesday 18 December 9:30am in the Church
Candle Ceremony: Thursday 19 December 2pm in the Church
We look forward to sharing these events with you.
Next week, 5/6KE will lead our Monday Prayer. We welcome all families to join us in the church at 9am.
Have a fabulous week in this sunshine!
Acting Religious Education Coordinator
Friday 1 November at 2.30pm
Georgina George, Sarah Geraghty
Gracelyn Olivetti, Sarah Bryan, Apajok Deng, Hudson Wundersitz, Harper Clark
Jared Earl, Verity Bryce,
Ashleigh Fuller, Josh Burt, Seini Olivetti, Ruben Hines, Lara Bryan, Amelia Bryan
Asleigh Clark, Bruno Grzegorzewski, Alana Horsfall, Emilia Edmond, Dominic Hamilton, Harrison Killip
Congratulations to the following students
who will receive awards at this week's Assembly
Blue Mates Band Awards
|Friday 1 November||
Mass (All Saints) 9.30am
Assembly (Keyboard & Choir) 2.30pm
|Saturday 2 November||Fete Trash'n Treasure 9am - 12pm|
|Monday 4 November||
Prayer (Yr 5/6KE)
Yr 2 Excursion (National Gallery of Aust) 9.30am - 1.30pm
Fete Meeting 6-7pm
Thursday 8 November
Class Mass (KB 5/6KE)
As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, I wanted to share with you this week an exercise by Dr Lea Waters on implementing the strength switch, from her book of the same name. It is called “Notice One Strength”. It is as simple and literal as that.
It is important to remember that a strength is isn’t just something your child is good at. Psychologists have defined three characteristics of a strength: your child does it well (high performance), happily (high energy) and often (high use). Strengths can be talent-based, such as sports or art, or character-based, such as humour or kindness.
Dr Waters suggests that we ‘notice and choose’ one of our child’s strengths. Set a goal to see this particular strength in your child over the next week and have a conversation with your child about it:
“I loved watching you patch up that fight with ….. Way to go on exercising forgiveness and integrity.”
“When I see you working so hard on that school assignment, I can see your love of learning, persistence and work ethic.”
Learning to consistently see our child’s strengths allows us to find the sweet spots where our children could shine and thrive.
In discipline situations, the switch will help you suggest how your child could handle things using a strength they already have.
Another way is to incorporate strengths into the questions you ask your children. When your child has a big project or event coming up, you could ask them: “What strengths do you have to help you with this?”
Or if they’ve had a fight with a friend: “What strengths do you think were missing that may have led to the fight? What strengths will help you make-up?”
Strength-based parenting can help your children tune into what is best about them and others, and thus show us all how to shine.
Trash'n Treasure Dropoff
Donations are welcome of any kids toys, household items non-electrical, second hand clothing, “Bric-a-Brac” etc. to our fete drop off on:
Saturday 2 November: 9am - 12pm
Fete Cheat Sheet
The following flyer has general information on the Fete:
Pick a Prize Raffle
Tickets are now for sale via Qkr!
$10 Pick a Prize per sheet of 20 tickets
Up to 5 sheets can be purchased through Qkr!
$50 gift voucher to the family that sells the highest number of tickets!!!
Pre-purchase Ride Passes and Activity Bags
Rides and Activity bags are now for sale via Qkr!
$25 All Day Ride Passes
$15 Activity Bags
(Please note: the cost of All Day Ride pass on Fete Day will be $30)
We are looking for volunteers to help out to make the Fete day a great success.
Signup in 3 easy steps:
1) Click link below
2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.
3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com.
Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone.
Please see the following link to the Fete Cookbook
Used Clothing: We would appreciate donations of coat hangers.
Loan of Portable Clothes racks: If you can loan your portable clothes rack please advise the front office
Plants: Donations of plants can be left at the school garden cage
Scratchie Tree and Gift Vouchers: Donations for the scratchie tree and gift card vouchers are welcome (send to front office)
Face painting: Donations of temporary tattoos and coloured hair spray (send to front office)
Cake and Jam stall: Please start making Jams and Chutneys. Donations for cakes including cake decorating items, flour, sugar, eggs, icing sugar, patty pans (send to front office)
Craft and Jewellery stall: For all those crafty families please start making craft items, home-made cards. Donations of second hand jewellery are also welcome.
Next Fete Meeting
Monday 4 November 6pm
Last Friday 50 students from years 3/4 and 5/6 travelled to Boorowa for the annual Netball and Touch carnival. Despite the horrendous weather of dust, rain, wind and more dust, all the students did a fantastic job to represent our school. A massive thankyou to all our parent helpers on the day, especially Tabitha Harris, Virginia Wilson, Damian Hines, Clare O’Loughlin, Katie Jenkins, Liz Grellman, Sally Adams and Barb Miels-Barrett. Without the support of wonderful parent volunteers, these days are not possible.
Our swimming program for K to 4 is fast approaching. The swimming program commences on Monday of Week 5 (11th November) and runs every day for two weeks. If you have not registered your child(ren) online yet, or you have not yet returned the bus permission slip, please do so ASAP.
For the last 3 weeks, students in Years 2 to 6 have been participating in a Softball program as part of their PE lessons. Softball is a wonderful sport for all ages, and if your child is interested in playing Softball as part of a team, please follow this link for further information. http://act.softball.org.au/
Thank you to those families who have contributed to the Community Pantry. We are still seeking donations as there are many families who could use a little extra love and support at this time. Any donations of meals you could provide would be most appreciated.