Dear Parents and Friends of St Kevin’s,
Welcome to Term 3. We hope and pray that this term will be one that enables us to learn and work calmly and productively. Together we all have a part to play so this can happen, ensuring social distancing, practising good hand hygiene, abiding by directives regarding travel and when to stay home if sick, isolate and get tested.
Staff are back in the swing of Professional Development sessions on a weekly basis, focussing on how to ensure that the students are learning and achieving goals in regard to writing. Writing is our focus this year. Each class has a learning intention in writing, (what are they learning and why) plus success criteria so that the students know how and what they need to include or do so they are successful learners. These are on display up on the white boards and are constantly reviewed and discussed by the students.
An example of this from kindergarten is below.
Learning Intention: Compose a simple text to convey a message.
Success criteria: Capital letter at the start of my sentence.
Full stop at the end of my sentence.
Finger spaces between each word.
Does my sentence make sense?
I have included some work samples from kindergarten to demonstrate this, and when I asked the children about their learning they could clearly articulate what they were learning and why, and what they had to remember next time and how they could improve their writing.
As leader I am now investigating what we need to do for our students to ensure their learning prepares them for their future. COVID-19 has created a very different world for all of us, and learning is no different. Online learning exposed the need for students to be creative, persistent, resilient and have good problem-solving skills. They need to be able to communicate effectively, working in teams and collaborate with their peers. My professional reading states that this is what employers such as GOOGLE are looking for in their employees. It is a challenge for all of us as members of this Village of St Kevin’s, (parents and teachers) that we ensure our children don’t just seek the easiest pathway expecting us as their teachers and parents to always provide them with answers and solutions to their questions. We need to teach our children how to be resilient, persistent, cope with failure and learn from their mistakes, rise to a challenge and take responsibility for their choices. This will take time, but as a village, we can do this so that our beautiful children are ready to embrace their future and become lifelong learners.
Meanwhile, please stay safe and continue to follow COVID hygiene protocols and ensure that your children know and understand the importance of hand washing and social distancing. We pray for a vaccine that will assist in controlling this virus and end the suffering and pain many are experiencing.
Thank you to everyone for their patience around school drop off and pick up. However it is becoming apparent that at times some decisions are made that could result in an accident.
- Whilst not illegal, U-turns in Andrew Street outside the school gate are dangerous as cars sweep around the corner and then up the hill, only to meet a car doing a U-turn… arghhh!
- Andrew Street is a thorough fare for local traffic too. Please check your rear vision mirrors and over your right shoulder as you pull-out from the kerb after dropping off or pick up – quite a few near misses have been witnessed.
- Thank you for waiting till the car in front moves on before pulling out.
- Some children need assistance getting in and out of a car. Supervising adults are entitled to assist with this in the kiss and drop zone. Please be patient.
- Do not park on the opposite side of Andrew Street and let your child out there.
In the event of the school needing to be evacuated due to being notified of a positive case within the school community, parents will be alerted via COMPASS to come and collect their children. This evacuation will be conducted in a calm and organised manner, using car lines and the Andrew Street gate exit only. Cars will need to display their A4 family name for quick and efficient identification. New A4 name tags will be sent home next week for you to store in your car if ever required.
No parents would be permitted to walk onsite or to the gate. It would be via car lines only to reduce the risk of cross contamination and community spreading of the virus. Please ensure your COMPASS App is active. We pray we never need to activate this plan but like all good scouts “We are prepared!”
Reports will be available on COMPASS on Monday August 3 from 4pm. If you would like to discuss these reports with your child’s teacher, then please contact them directly to organise a 5 – 10 minute phone consultation or ZOOM meeting at a time that is convenient to both parties. COVID-19 does not permit face to face meetings.
While chatting to parents this week a common topic of concern about the amount of time their children were spending on devices. With the return to Saturday sport, I listened to parents expressing their happiness (and a little bit of relief) that their children were outside playing and not on their device.
As you would know and alike to most parents, I have a “love/hate” relationship with technology. As parents raising children in this digital age we are constantly and sometimes, precariously juggling the fine line of too much media consumption.
This got me thinking about being a bit more “mindful” of my own and my children’s connectedness. (NB/ I am proud to say that my “screen time” was down 14% this week, but on a closer look I was a little shocked at exactly how connected I am with my devices!)
As a learning community we need to find a healthy balance between being connected and being unconnected.
At school level we reflected on the importance of teaching media fluency as a classroom practice. The Leadership Team at St Kevin’s have identified the future fluencies and are developing professional development experiences for our teachers and learning opportunities for our students to ensure we support you as parents navigating this digital age.
Together let’s be mindful of media consumption. It benefits us to ask these questions:
Which areas of media consumption per day are highest for you, your family and our students?
Check out the short but informative video from AsapSCIENCE on how social media can change our brains and our bodies.
Have a great week,
4 August 2020
‘We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice’
We are celebrating the uniqueness and importance of the knowledge and wisdom of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, starting in childhood. Hearing children’s voices today plays a crucial role in their development towards being influential Elders and leaders of the future.
What is Children’s Day?
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is our national day dedicated to celebrating our children. Children's Day is celebrated across the country each year on 4 August.
Children's Day is a time that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities, and all Australians, celebrate the strengths and culture of our children. It is an opportunity for us to show our support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as learn about the crucial impact that culture plays in the life of every Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child.
Children's Day has been run annually since 1988 and is the initiative of SNAICC – National Voice for our Children.
Why is it important?
The majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are thriving and growing up strong in their cultures, with support from their families and communities.
However, a significant number of our children continue to face ongoing challenges stemming from colonisation and its effects. This includes discrimination, poverty, systemic removal, intergenerational trauma, dislocation from land and culture, and community disempowerment.
To achieve equality, we must approach these challenges through a holistic approach, considering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children’s wellbeing, safety and development.
(from the Aboriginal Children’s Day website: https://aboriginalchildrensday.com.au )
Here is a link to a short video which explains what National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is about https://youtu.be/63dsLW9Pmg8
Celebrating National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day at St Kevin’s
On Wednesday 5 August I will visit classrooms to talk to the children about National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day and read them some stories.
The United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is celebrated every year on 9 August.
Globally, there are over 350 million Indigenous people, representing over 5,000 cultures and languages in more than 70 different countries. 1
Across Australia, over half a million Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people practice hundreds of different cultures and speak 145 distinct languages however 110 of these languages are classed as severely and critically endangered. 2
Indigenous rights – why do they matter?
The rights of all people are protected under international human rights law, however for many Indigenous peoples around the world these basic human rights have often been denied. As some of the most vulnerable and marginalised people the in the world, the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples recognises the unique collective rights of Indigenous peoples to make decisions about their lives (e.g. to be self-determining) and to protect their distinct cultures, languages, and knowledge.
1 UNESCO and Indigenous Peoples: Partnership for Cultural Diversity http://www.unesco.org/en/cultural-diversity/action-in-favour-of-cultural-diversity/unesco-and-indigenous-peoplespartnership-for-cultural-diversity/
2 National Indigenous Languages Survey Report 2005, Submitted to the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts by AIATSIS in association with the Federation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages (FATSIL)
As we celebrate The United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples this year let us all be mindful of upholding the rights of all Indigenous people around the world, and work together to promote Reconciliation, respect and understanding.
Aboriginal Education Teacher
Saturday, 8th August is the Feast Day of Saint Mary of the Cross – Mary Mackillop. In 2010, I was privileged to be part of the celebration of the canonisation of this remarkable woman, Australia’s first saint, in Saint Peter’s Square, Rome. I imagine many of you will be familiar with Mary’s story. Together with Father Tennison Woods she established a small school in Penola, South Australia to educate poor children. She established the Josephite order. Incredibly, she was later excommunicated because she was insistent on “Sisters’ Rule”: the right for the Sisters of St Josephs to determine their path, to say where they established their schools and to remain true to their purpose of helping and educating the poor. Mary then travelled to Rome, an enormous feat in colonial times, for a woman set aside by leaders of her own faith. She appealed to the Pope and Sisters’ Rule was granted. Her legacy is extraordinary, she certainly was a woman ahead of her time.
"Let us try to keep God with us by charity of thought, word and act."
Is prayer a focus in your home? How can you use prayer this week?
Students in Year 3-6:
Remember! 20 books, that’s it! 10 PRC list books and 10 choice books!
Video instructions for how to enter these choice books can be found here: 2020 Bonus Books.
To make sure you can access a range of titles, check your bookshelves, borrow books from your friends, even add titles that you have read in class with your teacher. Don’t forget about Sora – our digital library app. Details on how to use this can be found in your class library team in Microsoft Teams.
Who’s ready for our Premiers Reading Challenge reward day?!
CAMERON YR 3 AND MIA YR 5, THAT’S WHO!!!
Congratulations on being the first 2 students in Years 3 to 6 to complete the challenge. Golden tickets are headed your way!
Library borrowing has returned as of this week. And, yes, we will be borrowing books again next week.
We have sent home overdue notices with the children. This is a reminder of what you have at home as it has been so long since we have borrowed.
There will be a few changes to borrowing so we can return safely for everyone concerned. All returned books will be put aside in quarantine until the following week, when they will be allowed to be borrowed again.
Weeks 2 and 3
Years 3, 4 and 5/6 will borrow on Tuesday.
Years K, 1 and 2 will borrow on Wednesday.
Week 4 onwards
All grades will borrow on Friday.
Please return any books to the school, including Home Readers. Remember, all books must be returned before a book can be borrowed. Everyone is keen to start borrowing a book again and we thank you for your patience and understanding.
The 2021 ASPIRE Audition process is now open until the last day of this term (Friday 25 September 2020). Please follow the link below to the ASPIRE website to access the online Audition Form: https://aspire.mn.catholic.edu.au/join-us/2021-auditions/.
Auditions are open for students in Grade 4, 5 and 6.
Calling all inspired art students!
ASPIRE Art Competition extended
Earlier this year ASPIRE launched this Art Competition as part of this year’s ASPIRE production The Pecking Order. Due to the current climate the production will now take place in January 2021 so we have extended the closing date for this competition.
In honour of our feathered friends, we would like to invite students, of any age, from our diocesan schools to create a model bird that will be displayed in the foyer during production week. Our aim is to create a wonderful art exhibition at the Civic Theatre for the duration of the production to showcase the work of our talented Visual Arts students. These birds will also be displayed around the Catholic Schools Office during Term 4, 2020.
The bird sculpture can be as realistic or as imaginary as you desire. Our only stipulation is that it be made from found objects e.g. recyclable and/or natural materials. Create your own special bird or work together as a class to create one large bird! Teachers might like to make it a class project.
A team from the ASPIRE committee will select the winners. There will be two categories:
- Individual student sculpture
- Class/group sculpture
The winner in the class category will receive free transport and tickets to the Friday evening performance of The Pecking Order and the individual student will receive a double pass to the Friday night performance plus an exclusive look behind the scenes at the Civic Theatre.
All entries must be received at the Catholic Schools Office by Friday 16 October 2020.
Sustainable Neighbourhoods citywide clean up
Sunday 9 August, 10am-noon
Sustainable Neighbourhoods is improving our neighbourhoods with Eco Angel clean up events across the city. Help us care for our local places and enjoy a fun morning outdoors together, to remove plastics and other litter from our neighbourhoods.
This is a Covid-Safe event. Participant numbers will be strictly limited to 20 people per site, and we will maintain adherence to physical distancing and hygiene measures. Please wear covered shoes, sunsafe clothes, and bring a bottle of water.
Registrations are essential at eventbrite.com.au, and we will send you the exact meeting location.
Join a site near you in Charlestown-Whitebridge, Pelican, Rathmines, Speers Point-Boolaroo, or Toronto.