- Messages from the Principal
- Messages from the Assistant Principal
- Learning Walks
- COVID Update
- P & F
- School Rules
- Father's Day
- Grandparent's Day
- Term 3 School Fees
- How to be an Upstander! (Not a bystander)
- Aboriginal Education News
- RE News
- Library News
- Contact Details Update
- St Kevin's Garden Grubs
- Healthy Lunch Box
- Spring into Action
- Saver Plus
Dear Parents and Friends of St Kevin’s,
Last week the staff engaged in a Faith Formation Professional Development Day based around our school Mission and Vision Statement to include and reflect our Josephite Charism and heritage. The day was very fruitful with all of us learning more about St Joseph and St Mary McKillop. St Kevin’s was originally called St Joseph’s, but underwent a name change in 1999 to be aligned with the name of the Church and then St Kevin’s Parish. The first school on our site was established by the Josephite nuns back in 1917 and held in an old shed where our school hall now stands. The old convent that currently stands adjacent to the Church was home to Sisters of St Joseph until recent time.
The Josephite values of courage, faith, action, love, empowerment, care for the poor, compassion, providence, and generosity all have a place in our school and should be reflected in our Vision and Mission statements. We as a staff have made great progress towards polishing off the wording of our new Vision and Mission statements, and once done we will first share with the P&F Association at St Kevin’s and then with the wider community. Our new words in these statements should be able to be articulated and recited by staff, parents, and students alike so that we as a community can name and voice what makes us different to other schools in our local area.
Take care and stay safe.
Fortunately, at the end of 2018, I attended the future schools conference in Melbourne. Sir Ken Robinson was the keynote speaker. Sadly, Ken passed last week.
Sir Ken was a world-renowned author and speaker and was passionate about revolutionizing the way we think about education. He delivered a very entertaining keynote that left the audience with lingering contemplation….How do we nurture the skills, attitudes and attributes our children need for a successful future?
Sir Ken was passionate in his belief that we need to prepare and equip our students for the contemporary world.
He changed the way we think about education and brought to the focus the need for students to develop their skills of collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity.
Sir Ken Robinson
#1 most watched speaker in the history of prestigious TED Talks.
“to enable students to understand the world around them and the talents within them so they can become fulfilled individuals and active, compassionate citizens.”
AIM OF EDUCATION- Sir Ken Robinson 2018-Future Schools Keynote
It is my hope that our students capacities to think critically and communicate in our contemporary society continues well after they leave the school gates.
This week I would like to share with you a video and some strategies/resources that provoke great conversation about digital reputation and online etiquette
Together we can ensure our beautiful students are well prepared and equipped for their future endeavours in an ever-changing global landscape.
The Catholic Schools Office has undertaken a Diocesan approach to the Professional Development of all its staff to improve student outcomes. This Diocesan approach is known as “Leading Learning Collaboratively”, with Canadian researcher and author Lynn Sharratt guiding and assisting us in this venture. Lynn has a book titled “ Clarity… What Matters Most in Learning, Teaching and Leading”. One way of improving student outcomes and assessing student learning is through what we call “Learning Walks.” The executive team – and later all teachers, visit various classrooms are engaging with the students asking the following questions targeting the area of writing:
- What are you learning? Why? ( e.g I am learning how to plan, write and review a Persuasive text, because being able to provide my point of view with facts is important.)
- How are you doing? ( e.g OK . I am on level )
- How do you know?( e.g Well I can check against the samples in the room and check with the Bump it up Wall as to where I am by self-editing my work.)
- How can you improve? ( e.g I can make my arguments more detailed through better use of facts.)
- Where do you go for help? ( e.g I can ask a friend who is a good writer or look at the wall where the good writing samples are displayed so I can see the difference, and check the next level for areas to improve.)
These questions are designed to encourage the students to be more aware of, and responsible for, their own learning. The questions are very different to “What are you doing?” or “Do you like what you are doing?” These questions promote a self-awareness of the importance of learning and that we never stop learning and that we must always try to improve in our learning. At the end of the day, you, as their first and most important teachers, might like to ask your own children similar questions too, so that you can continue to assist and encourage them on their learning journey.
Parent to child questions:
- What did you learn at school today?
- How did you do?
- What did you do if you did not understand?
- How can you improve on your learning?
- What are you most proud of?
Thank you to all parents and carers who are assisting us as we continue to engage in the battle with this virus. Last week both the NSW State Government and our Diocese of Maitland issued new guidelines around school attendance for sick children and the activities we are and are not permitted to engage in here at school. Some of these guidelines are hard to follow and at times inconvenient for us, but they have been made with the safety of all being considered. We ask that as a supportive community we work together to follow these guidelines, not blaming anyone or engaging in negative conversations around decisions that are at times beyond our control. Please continue to read COVID updates sent out by our Director Gerard Mowbray from the Catholic Schools Office. These updates are sent via COMPASS.
At school we continue to implement social distancing through having different lunch/recess breaks for staff and students alike. Our administration area is very compact, and staff and students alike are getting very good at waiting to walk through the area.
We will be placing our summer uniform order before the end of this term. If your child/children require new summer uniforms, please send in your order along with a 50% deposit by September 18. We are ordering early to ensure delivery for the 2021 school year. We do not carry a lot of stock, so please remember to place your order so that your child will have a school uniform that fits. A current price list is included with this newsletter.
Second-hand Uniform Shop
We have a great range of pre-loved uniform items currently available. If you are interested in purchasing any items, please send an email to the email@example.com and we will check if we have the size you desire and send home with your child.
- Be respectful
- Be safe
- Be a Learner
At times throughout the school year, sometimes our students forget to follow these 3 rules. We are currently reminding the children of these rules as there has been an outbreak of name calling, poor work ethic and unsafe play especially in students that are of an age who should know better. Students will be given 3 warnings before a consequence of time out is issued. Time out may include time out of their classroom and being sent to another class to complete set work, or time off the playground due to being disruptive and disrespectful in the classroom. We will contact you if this situation occurs so that together, we can assist your child to follow the school rules so that their learning and the learning of others is not interrupted.
We wish all our dads and father figures a very Happy Father’s Day on September 6. We will miss our planned “ Pie and a Play” day we had hoped to hold, but we still want to send our best wishes and say thank you for all the awesome things you do for us. So, on that note let’s share some classic dad jokes and have a giggle:
- What did the slow tomato say to the others? I’ll ketchup!
- Why don’t eggs tell jokes? They’d crack each other up!
- What did one ocean say to another? Nothing! They just waved!
- What do you call a dinosaur that crashes his car? A Tyrannosaurus Wrecks!
- Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere!
Each year we have a special celebration for all our grandparents and special elder friends. Due to current restrictions, we cannot have the same celebration as we have done in the past. Instead, we would like to send a special letter by post to all our wonderful grandparents. So this year, no matter where your child’s grandparents live, they will receive a special surprise in the mail. We ask that you send in a stamped, addressed envelope, to your child’s teacher by Friday 11th September. All children in K-6 will be writing a letter, writing a poem or drawing a picture, so if your children are fortunate to have two sets of grandparents, they can focus on one set of grandparents each, or do two each. Please send in enough envelopes for each of your children.
The final fee statement for the year was emailed in week 2. If you did not receive your fee statement, please contact the office and another copy will be forwarded to you. If you are experiencing financial difficulty please contact the Principal, Mary-Anne Jennings on 4954 0036 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If your child sees or hears inappropriate or hurtful conversations or online posts, it’s important that he or she doesn’t encourage the person by staring or laughing,or become a participant by replying to or forwarding a post or message. Focus on the importance of your child removing himself or herself from the situation and asking a trusted adult to intervene.
Once the incident is over, encourage your child to offer support wherever possible. He or she could say, for example, “You didn’t deserve that.” “What can I do to help?” “I know that is not true.”
Report the Incident at School.
If there is a situation at school stress the importance of telling the class teacher and asking for help.
Report the Incident at Home
If you believe your child does have the maturity to use social media, still supervise their behaviour by ensuring they use their device in a public space and that they allow you to access their accounts.
BE YOUR CHILD’S NO.1 ROLE MODEL
Model this in your interactions with others.
(Reference: www.esafety.gov.au www.capsli.com, www.upstand.org)
What is a Dreaming Story?
‘Dreaming’ or ‘Dreamtime’ are English words that describe a rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concept. In reality, it is impossible to find words that adequately capture this core element of who we are, but it’s something you feel when you sit with us on our country and hear our stories with an open mind and heart.
Dreaming is more than a mythical past; it prescribes our connection as Aboriginal people with the spiritual essence of everything around us and beyond us. Dreaming stories are not in the past, they are outside of time – always present and giving meaning to all aspects of life.
The Dreaming is passed from generation to generation through stories, song, dance and art. This knowledge gives us special responsibility and is seen as a great honour. In this way we become the holder of this essential knowledge.
(from the Reconciliation Australia website; reconciliation.org.au)
Our Aboriginal students in all grades read and discussed the Awabakal Dreaming Story, The Petrified Women of Swansea Heads – Mulloong-Bula.
In this Dreaming Story, two women were turned to stone as punishment after being in trouble with an Aboriginal warrior. They were the two upright stones at Swansea Heads and they became guardians who protected the nearby burial grounds of their ancestors. The Awabakal people feared that great sea monsters might enter Lake Macquarie. When the stone women saw strange boats coming from the sea, they would return to human form and warn the clans of impending danger.
Mulloong-Bula, the site where the two stone sisters once stood (Google Earth 2020)
The children discussed the word ‘petrified’ and learned that it means ‘turned to stone’. It has biblical connotations too. Jesus called his apostle Simon ‘Peter’ – meaning ‘rock’; the rock upon which Jesus would build His Church.
Mulloong-Bula has very important messages:
- We can still have a helpful role to play in our society even if we have done something wrong;
- It’s important to let others know of any imminent dangers to protect us as a group;
- We respect, honour and guard the resting places of our ancestors.
You may like to view this short video about Mulloong-Bula (Malangbula), Two Sisters, developed by Saretta Fielding.
Saretta is a Wanaruah woman and has lived most of her life in the Lake Macquarie area. She has committed to improving the lives of Indigenous people in the Hunter region for over 20 years.
(Illustration: Antonio M)
Aboriginal Education Teacher
Last Friday our staff had our Faith Formation Inservice Day at which we looked at our school Vision and Mission Statements. Via Zoom Mr Brad Fuller led staff through a process wherein we looked at our school history and revisited the Mary Mackillop legacy. We still have a little work to do before we can share with you our new vision and mission statements but interestingly staff working over Zoom in two separate teams were able to come up with the exact same vision statement with only a single word of difference. How cohesive is that!
Mary Mackillop famously said “ Never see a need without doing something about it”
At St Kevin’s
At St Kevin’s this week I have witnessed two Primary students who are living out this principle. Erin and Joshua have commenced an Art Club for Primary students.
Joshua “I saw Erin making a drawing station and I decided to help her get more people involved by doing a drawing competition. We now have 22 members from Year 3 -6. We have Vice President – Ruby. Erin and I are the Presidents. We hope that next year one of the Year 5 students will take it over and I am wondering whether Erin might like to change the name to the Jade Art Club because that is Erin’s middle name and it is a colour and we could make posters and put it up around the school. Being involved makes me feel really happy because I get to watch people draw and improve.
In the community
Thomas is involved in Cubs and is enormously proud of his recent accomplishments.
Thomas : I got the highest award in Cubs Scout movement for helping older students paint the Cubs’ Scout Hall. I received the Grey Wolf award. This made me feel pretty good because I’ve been working on it for a year. My next goal is to move in Scouts and get a Sash.
Well done Thomas! Keep up the great work.
FINISHES FRIDAY 28TH!
Who’s ready for our Premiers Reading Challenge Years 3-6 reward day?!
Congratulations to the following students for completing the challenge!
Rose (Year 6), Mia and Owen (Year 5), Jordy, Harper, Eva (Year 4), Cameron, Noah, Logan, Reid and Miller (Year 3). Golden tickets are headed your way!
Library Borrowing is every Friday.
New to the library
UPDATING OF PERSONAL CONTACT DETAILS
If you have changed your mobile number, address or email address please notify the school with your updated information. This also applies to your emergency contacts information. It is extremely important we have this information correct on our data base in case of emergency.
Correct email addresses and mobile numbers are crucial to the success of the compass communication platform. If you are not logged in or are unable to gain access, please contact the school for a new username and password letter to be sent home. It is very upsetting for students if they miss out on an event at school due to missed communication.
The garden grubs have been busy planting more seeds and harvesting the vegetables. Blake and Conor have enjoyed being a part of the growing process, from planting the seeds to picking vegies. Mrs Cullen is the garden guru at St Kevin’s.