- Principal's Report
- Welcome from Susan Chant, Assistant Prinicipal
- RE Week 1 - Who do you say I am?
- Library News
- Upcoming Events
- Szapp - Update your classes!
- Facebook Permission note 2021
- TeamKids Newsletter
- February Birthdays
- Photos for Newsletter
- Canberra School of Tennis
- Girl Guides Australia
- Tennis for Juniors
- Tuggeranong Southern Cross Junior Basketball Club
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am so pleased to share with you that it has been a smooth and cheerful back to school experience for all our students and staff. We welcomed 45 bright eyed Kindergarten students on Monday, along with 10 new students from Years 1 to 6. We hope that the year ahead is an energising and engaging one for all. We also welcomed our new Assistant Principal, Mrs Susan Chant. Susan has settled in very well and shared with me on the first day that St Thomas the Apostle is such a beautiful school and that she had been made to feel very welcome by everyone. Fr Praveen has taken over from Fr Peter and we look forward to having Fr Praveen say our Opening of the School Year Mass next Friday. This will be outside under the big gum tree and parents and carers are welcome to attend.
Meet and Greet
We are looking forward to having a ‘Meet and Greet’ evening next Tuesday evening 9 February. Normally we would hold information sessions in the classrooms. We cannot do this due to restrictions on the number of people we can have in the school building. We are, however, able to have a community gathering with social distancing. From 6:00pm we will have a sausage sizzle for all our families and at 6:30pm all teachers will be on the stage and will say a few short words of introduction. It will be an informal evening where you will get a chance to meet your child/ren’s teacher and also a chance to meet with other parents and carers. The evening will conclude at 7:00pm. All information about what is happening in each class for Term 1 will be sent home in the class term letter via SZapp. It will also be on the school website.
The staff spent three days of Professional Development last week where Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn (CECG) launched a 3 year focus for Teaching and Learning, called ‘Catalyst’. We listened to world renowned speakers in the field of education and engaged in discussions and planning for how ‘Catalyst’ will look at St Thomas the Apostle. Over the next few weeks I will share with you some of the aspects we will be working on. I will start with the two Bold Goals that we will aspire to achieve for all of our students:
- Every student is a competent reader;
- High Impact Teacher Practice is visible in every classroom.
If you would like to know more about ‘Catalyst’, it is explained in depth on the CECG website. Click on this link to reach it
This is our most used and central form of communication. We ask that each family have this app. Here are the instructions on how to get the SZapp:
If you had the app last year, it is important to update your Szapp details. Please go into the Szapp app and open the Manage tab at the top right hand of the screen. Ensure that;
- Push Notifications are ON
- Default Subscription is ON
- All areas which apply to you and your family are switched on eg: your child’s class
Please ensure that the Front Office has your most up to date email address and contact phone numbers. The weekly newsletter will be available via the SZapp app, email and on the school website. Everything you need to know will be in this weekly publication. The odd weeks of term will be a longer newsletter and the even weeks will be reminders, awards and current announcements.
Thank you to the many parents who have made that extra effort to send their children to school in the correct school uniform. We love to see our students wearing the right uniform and wearing it with pride.
Don’t forget that we are giving our children a special treat on their birthday when they are welcome to have a uniform free day. If their birthday is on the weekend, they can choose either the Friday or Monday to wear play clothes. If their birthday is in the school holidays, they can come and talk to me and tell me the day they would like to choose for their uniform free day. I do ask that uniform free is understood as appropriate clothing, including no thongs or bare shoulders.
School Community Council
As at the beginning of this year, the terms of office for our current School Community Council (SCC) expire. Many of our current SCC members are keen to remain on the Council however we have vacancies for new members. In order to facilitate a smooth transition we are looking to fill these positions in the next two weeks. The School Community Council provides the opportunity for parents of the school to support the mission of Catholic Education in the school and provide leadership to the wider school community. The School Community Council does this by having an advisory role in areas such as Catholic Identity and Character, Academic Programs, Physical Resources, Enrolment and Growth and School. The term for being on the school council is for two years. If you are interested in serving on the School Community Council or would just like to know more about the role in the first instance, please contact either myself at the school or Mr Carl Jenkins, our current Community Council Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org. A nomination form is below:
The school day begins at 8:50am and finishes at 3:10pm. Our recess break is at 11:00am and our lunch break at 1:00pm. Supervision on the playground commences at 8.30am each morning and students should not arrive or be at school earlier than this. Students arriving late will need to be signed in at the front office by a parent or guardian.
At the end of each school day the children being picked up or going to TEAM KIDS after school care will be taken to the stage. Children being picked up though drive through will be escorted to this area. The children are supervised in the drive through until 3:30pm so to ease congestion, I suggest that you don’t rush to be there at 3:10pm.
It is essential that all children are picked up from the school by 3:30pm as teachers have meetings and planning commitments in the afternoon. I ask that you respect this by ensuring your child/children have been collected by this time. Of course, there are the odd occasions when you are late and I ask that you call the office to let us know, and also so we can let your child that you are on your way. If it is going to be a regular occurrence, I ask that you use TEAM KIDS for after school care for your child.
It is so good to have many parents and carers at Morning Assembly or picking up children from the stage in the afternoon. After a year of not having you at our school, this is a welcome return to some sort of normal. This is an integral part of our community, the gathering together. We have missed you.
Yours in partnership,
I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to the school community of St Thomas the Apostle Primary School. I will start by telling you a little about myself. I have been working in Catholic Education for a little under 25 years. I started my teaching career in Townsville, moving onto Orange and Griffith before relocating to Canberra approximately 15 years ago. For the majority of time whilst in Canberra I have been teaching at St Jude’s Primary School. My two teenage children, Sarah and Angus, keep me grounded whilst at the same time frantic!
I am looking forward to working with the community here at your school. I feel very fortunate to be working with teachers that are truly dedicated to their profession, and this is a quality that is evident from each and every one of the staff members here.
Should you have any questions or just want to come and introduce yourself, my door is always open.
RE Week 1 - Who do you say I am?
This year we embrace the theme “Who do you say I am?” This is an important question to ask ourselves and our community. Who we believe Jesus to be in our life defines our values, morals and ultimately our actions. Within this exploration, we aim to depth the student’s understanding of the statement Jesus made to St Thomas, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” We will also explore what our positive school behaviour program MATES actually means in the context of a Catholic school where Jesus is our guide.
Great news! With restrictions for the church widening, we are now able to have families attend Community prayer! However, the restrictions have not eased enough for us to have the whole school attend at once. There will be two sessions of Community Prayer on Monday as follows;
2:15pm - 2:35pm KH 1V 2PT 3/4J 3/4 G 5/6B 5/6KP
2:40pm - 3:05pm KL 1L 2B 3/4RCH 3/4CK 5/6C
Families are also invited to attend Community Prayer on Friday. This takes place at 9:00am in the classrooms. If you would like to attend these prayers, please ensure that you check in and that you maintain adequate social distancing and hygiene protocols.
The Mass for the beginning of the School Year will be next Friday 12 February at 9:30am under the tree at the stage. School leaders will be presented with their badges at the end of the Mass. All parents are invited to join.
This Saturday 6th February, the teachers of St Thomas attend Mass to receive a special blessing. It would be wonderful to see you there joining with the Parish to offer prayers of support and gratitude for our amazing teachers. Mass begins at 6pm.
Our Mini Vinnies Team has always been an amazing force in our school. This year we are renewed and ready for another amazing year! This involves students from Years 3-6. It involves one meeting a fortnight as well as extra times when we engage in activities such as cooking and craft or when we are preparing for an event. Please talk to your children about their potential involvement with this cause.
Our school supports two major charities, St Vincent de Paul and Global School Partners. We have a fundraiser each term for one of these charities. The dates for this term are;
22/3 Global School Partners
25/6 St Vincent de Paul
27/8 Global School Partners
26/11 St Vincent de Paul
Save the dates
22/3 Harmony Day/Grandparents Day
Week 9 Holy Week liturgies
It was lovely to have the library back to its usual vibrant self! Please ensure that your child has a library bag each week. The waterproof kind that you can purchase for a relatively low price from Big W are ideal as they protect the books from water damage. Library bags are essential to avoid the many books we have each year that are returned with water damage.
There are still a significant number of overdue books outstanding from last year. If you managed to find any over the holidays please feel encouraged to return them! There will be no judgement!
Please remember that the library is a community place. I love hearing recommendations from families about great books so please feel encouraged to email them through.
Remember… ”When in doubt, go to the library!”
Saturday 6 February
Staff Commissioning Mass 6:00pm
Monday 8 February
|Constable Kenny (Kinder - Yr 2)|
Tuesday 9 February
Constable Kenny (Yrs 3 - 6)
Friday 12 February
Opening School Mass 9:30am on Stage
(School leaders will receive their badges)
PLEASE UPDATE YOUR CHILD'S CLASS ON SZAPP
NOTES MAY BE SENT TO SELECT CLASSES AND YOU MAY MISS OUT ON INFORMATION
Szapp is used for sending information and updates about the school and upcoming events. Please see the attached instructions for updating your child/rents classes on SZapp.
To update classes:
1. Open the SZapp on your mobile phone and select drop down menu "Manage"
2. Ensure that "Push Notifications" and relevant classes are selected
"Default Subscription" - this can be used if you have children at different schools that use SZapp. It allows you to set the default school when opening the App.
To dowload the SZapp on your mobile device follow the instructions below:
Happy Birthday to the following students and staff who will cebebrate a birthday this week
This should be fixed shortly, so keep an eye out next week for lots of photos!