- Messages from the Principal
- Messages from the Assistant Principal
- Religious Education News
- Aboriginal Education News
- Library News
- Kindergarten News
- Change to Volunteering at School
- P & F News
- St Nicholas OOSh News
- Federation of Parents and Friends Associations
- Parish Bulletin
- St Vincent de Paul
- Ben Lerch Maths Tutoring
- Good for Kids - Summer Fun
- Healthy Lunch Box
Dear Parents and Friends of St Kevin’s,
The 2021 school year is moving forward in a calm and organised manner with staff and students working together to ensure great learning is happening each and every day.
Thank you to everyone for returning to school with a positive growth mindset, ready to engage in learning and meeting new challenges with an “I can do this!” approach. Learning new routines, subject matter and higher expectations can be daunting, but when mastered very rewarding.
So, keep up the great work everyone as 2021 really gets going.
2 more students started in Kindergarten this week. We welcome Violet and Amia and their families to our beautiful school and we are looking forward to walking with you on your new educational adventure. I hope you have lots of fun in kindergarten each and every day.
Acting REC (Religious Education Co-Ordinator)
Congratulations to Mrs Jasmina Boudan on her appointment as Acting REC at St Kevin's for 2021. We wish Mrs Boudan all the best in her new role.
We love celebrating birthdays at St Kevin’s, and we know how much the children look forward to celebrating with their friends. If you would like to send in a special treat for your child to share with their class, please ensure it is individually wrapped e.g. Freddo frogs, fun size chocolates, packets of chips, Chupa Chup lollypops etc. At this time of continued restrictions, sharing of cakes and cupcakes is not recommended.
Parent Teacher Meetings
Next week all teachers in Years 1-6 will contact you to invite you to a ZOOM Parent Teacher Meeting. This is a wonderful opportunity to listen to the goals and learning pathway planned for your children by their class teacher. I thank all the teachers for their time and know that each of them sees such benefit in these meetings so that the full potential of each child in their class can be achieved. Kindergarten parents are invited to a “Meet and Greet BBQ” on March 10 at 5:15 here at school. It will be a chance to meet all the teachers and each other. Due to COVID restrictions we are limited to 100 people attending this BBQ – including children, so unfortunately this year it is just for Kindergarten and their parents and siblings.
Thank you to the parents adhering to safety first choices of being patient as the afternoon car line winds its way up Andrew St. Andrew St is a “ Kiss ‘n Drop” zone which permits parents as required, to get out of their car to assist with seat belts and climbing in and out of the car. For small children, many are still using a 5-point harness, and parents need to do this up for them.
If you would like to meet your child at a school gate, we ask that you assemble outside the “Church gate” abiding by social distancing requirements. You also need to tell your child that you will meet them at the “Church gate” after school so they know where to line up.
Last week you will have received a letter from Mr Gerard Mowbray Director of Schools as to the changes in the billing system for 2021. If you have any queries regarding the new billing system, please ring Mrs Ragen Monday – Wednesday for clarification.
Payment of fees is paramount to the efficient running of the school. Fees that are paid assist in providing resources for your child’s education. This year we have installed new Promethean Panels in Year 5/6, Year 3 and Year 1 which replaced the old white Smartboards. This was at a cost of $22000. These resources are important because many of our links to learning opportunities and activities are now digital. The students also interact with these panels, answering questions and using the screen to solve problems. Other resources purchased as a result of school fees being paid include programmes for intervention and assistance in reading, resources for extension work in mathematics, cultural resources for Aboriginal Education and resources to support the faith life, knowledge and Catholic traditions of all students.
P&F – Parents and Friends Association
Last night we ZOOMED for our first meeting of 2021. Our next meeting is our AGM where we ask parents to nominate for specific positions on the P&F – President, secretary and treasurer. Our P&F is exceptional and one of the best in the whole Diocese!!! If you really want to make a difference in the life of your child, then please support the P&F and become an active member. Research proves that the more a parent is involved in the school their child attends, the better the educational outcomes.
So, Wednesday March 17 6:30pm you are invited to an ON-SITE P&F meeting here at St Kevin’s in our library. Come along and be part of this awesome team, as we work along side the staff to ensure our students get the best start to their school life that they can. Nibbles and refreshments provided.
Lakes Regional Swimming Carnival
Congratulations Blake and Emerson on your being selected to swim at the Diocesan Swimming carnival, representing both St Kevin’s and Lakes Region!!
Schools are asked to set long term and short term goals. Our curriculum goal for this year is to improve student outcomes in Mathematics and we will do this by adjusting what we teach and the way we do it.
“The ability to make informed decisions and to interpret and apply mathematics in a variety of contexts is an essential component of students’ preparation for life in the 21st century.”
NESA NSW Mathematics K–10 Syllabus
In classrooms we have been having discussions around why it is so important to be numerate. Students answered that we use mathematics everyday throughout our lives - in the home, to organise ourselves, shopping, banking and in our jobs (irrespective of the work we are involved in). As children progress through school it is too easy for them to say “I am not good at Maths”. It’s strange! We rarely here statement applied to other subject areas. We also here a lot : “Mum/Dad said they were/are not good at Maths.” I challenge all of our parents instead to show your children how you are good at Maths and how vital it is in your daily life. To learn anything we need to understand why it is important. Please show them how you use maths in your cooking…
- reading scales on measuring cups and jugs
- using fractions to measure or divide
- ratio to increase or decrease the amount of ingredients
- estimating and measuring using kg,mg, mL, L
And that is just in the kitchen!
We are narrowing our focus somewhat and particularly focusing in on Number and Problem Solving skills. Ask them about their daily Number Talks wherein we are deepening their understanding of how number is constructed and can be applied.
I would love to hear of any of your maths stories with your children
Over the next few weeks our school counsellor, Mrs Khaaylid Brown will facilitate whole class discussions around Wellbeing and Mental Health issues. If you wish to opt out of this for your child please confirm this in writing.
“Aspire not to have more, but to BE more”
Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and giving to others.
As we prepare for Easter, the most important time in the Church, let us remember Jesus’ message of love and mercy. As we journey through Lent I call on all members of our community to “Be More” in our own lives and the lives of others.
Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent, where for forty days , we are asked to follow Jesus on his road to Calvary. We remember that despite his suffering Jesus showed mercy and forgiveness to those who had sentenced him to his death. This powerful moment showed us the importance of both asking for forgiveness of God and showing forgiveness to others within our own lives. During Lent we ask God to forgive us for the sins we have made. Traditionally on Ash Wednesday we would place a mark of ashes on our foreheads, however because of Covid we didn’t do this at school this year.
When we pray we come closer to God so that we are better able to live justly as Jesus teaches us. Fasting helps us to remember the needs of the poor, who often have no choice but to go without basic needs such as food, water and shelter. Almsgiving, or giving to the poor, is a sign of our commitment to justice. It reminds us of how lucky we are and allows us to give thanks for all that God has given us.
Fasting, prayer and giving to others are important foci during Lent and Jesus taught us that we should not do them to show off or gloat about it to others. When we take the time to pray, fast and give to others we should do it because we are doing the right thing for others and by God.
When, how and for whom will you pray for each day this Lent?
How will you fast this Lent?
What will you give to others? How will you manage this?
Where's Our Water?
The children in all grades are learning about the value of our precious resource, water. We’re currently reading the book, Where’s Our Water? which has been written for primary school students in the Lower Hunter region to teach them about the value of water as a precious resource and that it is everyone’s responsibility to care for it to ensure we have enough now and into the future. Hunter Water has collaborated with both the Awabakal and Worimi communities to create this new story that draws on their traditional wisdom and practices of caring for our land and waterways.
The creators of this story are Aboriginal students from Newcastle High School: “We are the creators of this story. This story is to all. This story is like our handprint. It’s our legacy to the children of the Hunter.”
All the animals along the Hunter River have noticed that there is less water to share around. So Kookaburra calls on his friends to come up with a plan to share the value of water with children and give them ways to save it. How will the animals help Timmy and Ella understand that water is precious and teach them to love our water?
Text from Hunter Water website https://www.hunterwater.com.au/community/education-schools/awabakal-and-worimi-water-story
Awabakal words for animals and places are mentioned throughout the story and we are learning how to pronounce them. Here are some of the words.
Baiame (God, Creation Spirit)
Birabaan (sea eagle)
This story is helping children to appreciate water and reflect on our behaviour so that we can sustainably use this precious resource, while learning about Awabakal culture.
Aboriginal Education Teacher
The children will borrow from the Library this Friday. Please remember to send a Library bag to school with them. We have received new books for our Library this year and hope you enjoy reading these with your children.
Lunch Club commenced this week, 2nd lunch on Wednesday. The children enjoyed Lego club, Reader’s Theatre and Chess. I hope to see more faces next week in the Library. Below are some of the children who came to lunch club.
Premier’s Reading Challenge 2021
PRC commences on Monday 1st March for all children from K-6.
The children will be sent home information and passwords for PRC in March.
St. Kevin’s is one of thirty-one schools in our diocese that is involved in the Early Learning project of Successful Foundations. Successful Foundations is an action research project which supports the positive transition to school of 2021 Kindergarten children and supports system wide implementation of the Early Learning Policy for Catholic schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle. The children are enjoying the opportunity to actively demonstrate their funds of knowledge and interests, build relationships and become familiar with the context of the school. Below are a few snap shots of the rich learning opportunities that are occurring.
Please note that the procedure for volunteering at schools in the Diocese has changed. All volunteers are required to have a National Police Check (NPC) registered and full clearance to be approved by the Catholic Schools Office.
In the latest Volunteer Induction Handbook (version 1.5), there is a Statutory Screening Selection Tool for Volunteers in Schools. Each volunteer is required to complete this form which will determine if a Working with Children’s Check is required (now only required for overnight camps if you are a close relative).
The instructions regarding identification and obtaining the NPC have also changed and this is also included in the handbook. The handbook is available on the school website or from Admin office.
Any volunteer that has already completed the NPC last year are still cleared to volunteer, however everyone else will need to resubmit their handbook and receive clearance.
We appreciate that there have been many changes over the last few years regarding this process and ask that if you have any questions regarding this matter to speak to the ladies in the front office.