- Messages from the Principal
- COVID Update - Events and Celebrations
- Understanding Bullying
- Car drop off and Pick-ups
- Winter Uniforms
- Student Leave
- Parent Teacher Semester 1 Interviews
- OPEN Day - Catholic Schools Week
- Pupil Free Day
- Messages from the Assistant Principal
- Aboriginal Education News
- Religious Education News
- Library News
- Uniform Shop
- Mother's Day
- Complaints and Concerns - A Positive Approach
- P & F Fundraising
- Staff Recipes
- Parish Bulletin
- P & F Dr Michael Carr-Gregg - Change of Date
- Autumn Fruit and Veg Nutrition Snippet
- Discover NSW Vouchers
- TV Free Tuesday Snippet
Dear Parents and Friends of St Kevin’s,
Welcome back to Term 2. I hope everyone had the chance to enjoy the beautiful weather and spend quality family time together. Term 2 sees our students working hard and focussing on how to improve as learners in all lessons. The end of term 2 will see teachers writing semester 1 reports which will be available in week 10. More on reports and parent/ student/teacher interviews as the term rolls on.
I have included in this newsletter some information around bullying. Bullying is a word that we must listen to, but also have a deep understanding of. Term 2 can see a rise in students not getting along so well with each other, teasing or fighting, so I thought it prudent to have in this newsletter some information, tips and guidelines for students and parents around what bullying is and is not, and how to address this important issue.
We have some staff changes here at St Kevin’s for the remainder of this year. Mrs Stephenson will be teaching Year 2 Monday – Friday, and Mrs Arthur will job share with Mrs Hogan on Year 4. We wish all staff a productive and fun filled year ahead.
St Kevin’s is also participating in the Australian Early Development Census. This targets kindergarten children only and provides the Federal Government with data that is vital to the providing of services for children under 5 years of age. All information and data is confidential.
Here’s to a great term of fun filled learning!
COVID Update – Events and celebrations are back!
Last week we received updates from Catholic Schools NSW as to what is now permitted in our schools around the new COVID normal.
- Birthday cakes are back – please send in individual cup cakes to assist in the sharing and safe celebrations.
- Parents can attend assemblies and liturgies – QR sign in at Church gate and hand sanitizer, plus social distancing.
- Mother’s Day celebrations- Friday May 7 Liturgy at 9:30 in the hall followed by a cuppa and a chat – yes, we socially distance and use sanitizer before we eat.
- Catholic Schools Week – Wednesday May 5 - Open Classrooms 12:30 – 1:30 followed by BYO picnic afternoon tea in the playground and Liturgy in the hall at 2pm.
- Kinder 2022 interviews are again face to face. Letters and invitations have been sent out to prospective enrolments.
- End of Term 2 Parent/student/teacher interviews are face to face. Set aside Wednesday June 23 afternoon and evening for this catchup. Times and bookings will be available later in the term.
- Canteen can again be up and running. Volunteers needed. Please contact the school if you can volunteer.
- Volunteers can assist with reading etc in the classrooms. Please contact your child’s teacher to see where you can help.
- Afternoon parent pick-up will continue to be on the grassed area outside the Church gate. This allows parents to socially distance as they wait, and doesn’t require QR code signing in.
- If parents do come on site to pay accounts, order uniforms or pick up students early, please continue to use the QR code at the Church gate or at the front desk.
- If children are off sick with flu like symptoms – fever, headache, sore throat, runny nose, they will still need a negative COVID test to return to school.
All new volunteers must read “The Volunteer Induction Handbook 1.6” and complete the appropriate forms included. This handbook can be found at:
https://www.mn.catholic.org.au under the section “People – volunteer”
Unfortunately, you cannot help at school until this has been completed and cleared by the Office of Safeguarding. This is to keep all our children safe at all times.
These guidelines are based on the widely accepted definitions of bullying behaviour that emphasise the following characteristics:
Bullying is deliberate – there is an intention to cause physical and/or psychological pain or discomfort to another person.
Bullying involves the intentional misuse of power in a relationship – there is an actual or perceived unequal relationship that may be based on physical size, age, gender, social status or digital capability and access.
Bullying is ongoing and repeated – bullying behaviour is usually not one-off. It is repeated over time, with the threat of further incidents leading to fear and anxiety. Repeated acts of bullying may involve single acts with different targets, as well as multiple acts with the same individual.
Bullying involves behaviours that can cause harm – there is short or long-term physical or psychological harm on those involved, including bystanders.
Conflicts or fights between equals, or single incidents are not defined as bullying. These matters are dealt with according to the Wellbeing and Pastoral Care Policy, Conditions of Enrolment and the School Community Code of Conduct.
Bullying behaviour is not:
Children not getting along well
A situation of mutual conflict such as teasing or disagreement
Single episodes of hurtful words or actions, or random acts of aggression or intimidation.
Cyberbullying is one particular form of bullying that is enabled, enhanced, or in some way mediated through digital technology. Email, mobile phones, chat rooms, social networking sites, gaming and instant messaging can all be used to bully others verbally, socially or psychologically.
The characteristics of bullying behaviour may be expressed differently in the context of cyberbullying. For example:
- repetition – can be influenced by the ability of a single action to spread and be repeated rapidly to a wider audience and with a degree of permanence (e.g. forwarding texts).
- power imbalance – can also be a function of the anonymity of the person initiating the cyberbullying, or of an individual’s ability to use technology.
- cyberbullying – can involve people who have never physically met and/or people who share no common acquaintances.
Examples of cyberbullying include:
- sending abusive texts or emails
- posting negative or inappropriate messages or images on social networking sites
- taking and sharing private images, including sexual images
- forming bullying groups on social networking sites
- assuming the identity of another person online and representing them in a way that may be harmful to them or cause them distress.
Bullying that takes place through digital technology has less boundaries than physical bullying. This is because digital information can be:
- rapidly duplicated, distributed, and accessed
- stored in multiple locations
- created and communicated automatically
- stored with varying levels of ‘discoverability’
- in effect at any time of the day or night
- leave a permanent record (e.g. photos posted on the internet).
Cyberbullying may occur alongside bullying in a physical environment, which would intensify the effect.
Our approach to bullying.
St Kevin’s is a Making Jesus Real school, where we treat, greet and speak to others with respect. We operate as WEST people – welcoming, encouraging, say sorry and thank you.
St Kevin’s uses a whole-school approach to:
- Create and support an inclusive environment, which promotes a culture of mutual respect, consideration and care for others, which will be upheld by all.
- Challenge practice and language that does not uphold the school values of tolerance, non-discrimination and respect towards others.
- Actively create “safe spaces” for vulnerable children and young people.
- Celebrate success and achievements to promote and build a positive school ethos.
What can I do if I’m being bullied?
- Tell the student who is bullying to stop. State quite clearly that the behaviour is against school values/rules and is offensive.
- Ignore them and walk away.
- Seek help. Talk about it to someone you trust. Tell a teacher or another adult at school. Feel confident that an incident can be solved.
- Tell your family.
- Take a friend with you if you are worried to tell someone by yourself.
- Keep telling people until someone listens.
- Don’t blame yourself for what has happened.
- Do not retaliate with physical or verbal abuse.
- If you are experiencing bullying on the way to or from school, tell someone and walk home with a friend.
What can parents/carers do?
- Be aware of signs of distress in your child, e.g. unwillingness to attend school, a pattern of illness, missing equipment, requests for extra money, damaged equipment or clothing.
- Inform the school of any cases of suspected bullying even if your child is not directly involved or affected.
- Take an active interest in your child’s social life and acquaintances.
- Assist your child to discuss any incidence of bullying with a teacher. If possible, allow your child to report and deal with the situation. Your child can gain respect and confidence through taking the initiative and dealing with the problem without direct parental involvement.
- If your child is being bullied, discourage any planned retaliation, either physical or verbal, by discussing positive strategies they can use.
- Be positive about your child’s qualities and encourage your child to be tolerant and caring.
- Be willing to attend interviews if your child is involved in an incident of bullying, and work cooperatively with the school.
- Do not deal directly with the other children or their parents/carers but work through and with the school.
- Discuss the school’s expectations about behaviour and how best to deal with bullying.
Once again, I ask that we employ patience and understanding around dropping students off and picking them up. In the morning it is very busy as parents drop children off at different times and cope with the morning rush hour on Main Rd. We have 2 points of entry in the morning – one for ASPECT and one for St Kevin’s. Please exercise patience and caution as you pull up to the kerb to let your child out. DON’T overtake the cars in front – it’s an accident waiting to happen. Parents assisting their children out of the car are entitled to alight from their car and stay at the kerb for 2 minutes. We all need to work together to ensure children are safe around cars and the curb side.
This is to be worn from Monday May 3. However due to supplier delays there will be a transition time of 2 weeks where both summer and winter uniforms can be worn. Please ensure that your child can do up the top button on their shirt as ties are to be worn and all shirts are to be buttoned up and tucked in - boys and girls. Girls who are wearing the navy tunic can choose to wear short white socks or navy tights.
There has been an outbreak of coloured sneakers. Letters will be going home asking why coloured sneakers are being worn.
If your child is absent from school due to illness, please advise the school via COMPASS before school starts. This links directly with the class roll so that the teacher knows first thing who is legally absent on that day.
If you are taking a short family break you can also advise us through COMPASS.
If a family holiday is planned of 10 days or more, then you must apply for leave. Leave forms are available from the school office and Mrs Ragen or Mrs Corbett will send one home when requested.
Please only register WHOLE Day absences via COMPASS. If you child is absent for part of the day i.e. attending a Dr's appointment in the morning and coming to school afterwards, you can then register their arrival via the COMPASS kiosk when dropping them off to school.
These are legal requirements as all school age children must attend school on all nominated school days. All absences must be accounted for.
OPEN Day – see it on our school notice board.
Catholic Schools Week is from May 3 -7.
Open classrooms on Wednesday May 5 from 12:30 -1:30pm. A BYO picnic afternoon tea is from 1:30-2pm. The day will close with a liturgy in our hall at 2pm. All welcome. QR codes and social distancing rules apply for all visitors.
Welcome back everyone!
Teachers commenced the school term re-writing our Scope and Sequence for Mathematics. This is a very big task. The Scope and Sequence is basically a summary of what will be taught in a curriculum area across the year, in sequence. We have used research-based evidence to create a clustered model. This requires a significant shift in pedagogy for teachers. Let me give you an example. In Year 4 this week, we are Representing Number – this requires us to look across multiple strands to understand this big idea. We are looking at how we represent number through Addition and Subtraction, Multiplication and Division and Fractions, not just in Whole Number. What does this mean? It means that concepts are connected and are explored across the school year much more frequently. We are delving more deeply and looking for real world connections. Partitioning numbers is a big thing that we have always done, some children see the connections, others not so much. If we can make real world connections, the children will recognise why it is essential that they understand it. So, in Year 4 we are having a garage sale (pretend obviously!). Children are going to have to go to the Bank Teller to request a float ( not just $100 note – this would be useless to them) and also a piggy bank (denominations that will be useful for them to take to purchase from other garage sale stall holders). Hopefully I am explaining this well enough, and it is becoming obvious why we are doing this. In the real world we use Mathematics every single day and in order to be numerate we rely on a whole body of knowledge, nothing works in isolation.
We launched our first Crunch and Sip Mathematics in the 30 minutes before the P&F this month. We discussed the importance of teaching our children how to operate with money. I suggested that you think about what activities will involve a cost in the June holidays. Divide the cost over the remaining weeks of the term and give this to your children in pocket money. Whether they have to earn it or not is very obviously a family decision. However, in the holidays the children have to pay for everything that they do – entrance fees, food and drink. I recently did this when taking my daughter-in-law, and grandchildren ( 5 and 8 years) out for the day. As they were in control of their funds they made interesting decisions, sacrificing things that they would normally have asked for, in order to allow them to do something else. Food for thought! Next P & F we will refine our process and there will be an Infants Crunch and Sip with Mrs Albury in the Kindergarten classroom and a Primary Crunch and Sip with myself in the Year 4 room.
I am looking to recommence our after school Robotics’ club for Years 2 – 6 on Tuesday afternoons from 3-4:30pm. If you need to collect your child earlier to get to afternoon sport or activities that is fine, you will need to simply collect them from the Owl Room. I am sure we can liaise with St Nicholas for the children to go to OOSH if this is something you need following Robotics. I am looking to run 16 sessions @ a cost of $70 per child. These funds go directly to the purchase of new equipment and resources for our little club. An expression of interest will be sent out on Friday. Should you have any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me. Kim.email@example.com
At St Kevin’s we always promote the richness of diversity among Australians who come from many lands to make up our unique multicultural society. We embrace the contribution of our First Nations people who have lived, loved and raised their children on this land for tens of thousands of years.
Gregg Dreise, a proud Kamilaroi and Euahlayi man, shares his culture with kids.
Culture, music and storytelling have run through his family’s blood since time began. Gregg is a talented storyteller who uses didgeridoos, guitars, laughter and high-energy performances to pass on culture, unity and wisdom through his educational talks.
This week the children have enjoyed singing one of his songs, ‘My Country and Me’ which encourages kids to enjoy the natural beauty of our country and ensure it is protected for current and future generations.
You might enjoy listening to this very catchy song. The chorus will stay with you for a while. Click on the link to play.
Aboriginal Education Teacher
The Mini- Vinnies Team have hit the ground running this term, discussing ways to raise funds for schools affected by the terrible flooding towards the end of term 1. In this weeks gathering, we will be choosing a school and discussing ways we can best help them in their journey to re-build, re-furnish and re-stock. All children from years 2 to 6 are welcome to come along to Mini Vinnies to help us with this important venture.
Catholic Schools Week
Next week is Catholic Schools Week. This year we celebrate 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia with the theme Faith in the Future. One of the most beautiful things about our Catholic schools is that the teachers see each and every child as a gift from God. Children have an innate spirituality that shines through and it is our honour and privilege to witness this daily. In return, we as teachers always aim to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and to show the face of God to the children in our care.
We engage with our students and educate from a perspective of love.
In the words of Pope Francis, we teach children from the three languages of Head, Heart and Hands.
- We educate children about the facts teaching them in the language of the Head.
- We teach them Gospel values how to look through a Catholic lens of hope. This is teaching the children in the language of the Heart. It is through this that they develop an attitude of service and a will to reach out to others both here and throughout the world.
- Lastly, we teach them in the language of the Hands, where we show them how to serve our community and continue to reach out to all through hope and love to make our world a better place.
Our Children will be beacons of hope in our world and help us move into an unknown future as hope-filled people of God guided by the Spirit just as the children of the first Catholic school did 200 years ago.
Come and join us next Wednesday, May 5th for open classrooms from 12.30-1.30pm where you can experience the wonderful, loving and enriching learning environments of your children. You are most welcome to BYO afternoon tea and join with your children for recess at 1.30pm followed our Liturgy in the school hall at 2pm. The staff are very excited to see you all in person again!
Mother’s Day is celebrated each year in Australia on the second Sunday of May. Catholics have been celebrating a version of Mother’s Day since the first few centuries of the church, known as “Mothering Sunday.” This became a day when domestic servants were given leave to be with their own families, and families would gather together. Children initially picked flowers for their mothers, and this evolved into the tradition of giving gifts.
The staff and children of St. Kevin’s are delighted to be inviting our mothers, grandmothers and all special women into our school to share in our Mother’s Day celebration.
When? Friday 7th May
Where? School Hall
Time? Liturgy at 9.30am followed by cuppa & cake
What? Coffee, tea & cake provided
What are we learning in Religion?
Each newsletter, we will showcase a class and give you a little insight as to what they are learning about during Religion lessons. This week we hear from…
In Religion we are learning about Liturgy. We will learn about all of the words, actions, prayers and symbols used in celebrating the Mass and each of the Sacraments. We began our unit by showing what we already knew by choosing to write, dramatise or draw our understanding of Liturgy. Lots of us chose drama. We really enjoyed this activity.
Written by Year 5/6
May God’s Spirit be with you all each day,
Mrs Jasmina Boudan
Acting Religious Education Coordinator
Congratulations to the following students for completing PRC for 2021
Kinder – Violet, Joseph M, Evelyn
Year 1 – Ariana
Year 2 – Erika, Belinda, Chase
Our motto to encourage reading is “ Reading Makes You Smart”
Please encourage your child to borrow PRC books and enter them online
A huge thank you to the P & F for renewing the subscription for Standing Orders through Scholastic. Each month we receive exciting titles for your children to borrow and read at home.
Year 3 showing their love of the new books for our library.
New Caterpillar for the Library
School holiday project at the Binkin household. Love my little helper.
The children love browsing the fiction books in our new caterpillar. Just the right height!
The uniform shop will be open once again on Monday mornings, 8.30 am to 9.30 am. Alternatively, you can complete an order form which can be found on our website under the enrolment – uniforms tab (scroll to the bottom). This has a form with eftpos details on it for ease of payment.
We currently have a few items out of stock which we are expecting to arrive any day. As soon as our order arrives, we will post a compass alert.
Complaints and Concerns - A Positive Approach
Concerns arise at schools for a variety of reasons, sometimes due to the very busy nature of the school environment.
In addition to solid teaching & learning, there are many extra curricula activities to enhance school life and a great deal of coordination is required. Accordingly, many considered decisions are made every day by our professional team to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and the wider community, and promote learning for all. At the same time, the school community is quite diverse, with many individuals or groups having vastly different opinions on how things should be done.
It is inevitable therefore, that times will arise when some parents agree with the school’s actions while others disagree and wish to discuss the matter and seek clarification with the school. We welcome such discussions and encourage parents to raise issues so that they can be dealt with speedily and resolved to the satisfaction of all concerned.
Raising concerns or seeking clarification is not a negative experience if everyone focuses on it being a solution-focused experience by valuing everyone’s opinions. The following process for presenting and managing parental concerns works well and is the way we manage all concerns at our school.
The following procedure is used to resolve complaints or concerns at our school.
STEP 1: Try and establish the facts before contacting the school. Many concerns are quickly resolved once the parent is aware of all the facts.
STEP 2: In the first instance, speak to your child’s teacher about the matter.
STEP 3: Let the school know via letter, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone (49540036) or in person at the office, that you have a concern, providing details of the issue.
STEP 4: The school WILL investigate the concern and the most appropriate person will contact you to discuss the matter or organise a meeting. Almost 100% of problems are resolved at this point.
STEP 5: If however, the matter remains unresolved, additional support from a member of the executive or Principal may be required which usually involves a formal appointment to discuss the issue.
STEP 6: Support from the Catholic Schools Office is sometimes sought to help solve problems. Contact details for the CSO Parent Liaison and Resources Officer are available from the Principal or CSO on 49791200.
For further advice, please see the COMPLAINTS AND GRIEVANCES RESOLUTION POLICY (AUGUST 2013) for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle which can be accessed via the CSO Website and is found under Policies.
Each week throughout “Winter” staff share lunch once a week. One staff member commits to making soup for everyone. Today we had Mrs Hogan’s really easy Cauliflower Curry soup. Super easy, super cheap and tasty! Look out for next week’s recipe.
Cauliflower Curry Soup
1 Cauliflower roughly chopped
3 carrots grated
1 onion chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3 teaspoons Thai Green Curry Paste (or to taste)
1 litre Chicken Stock (or vegetable)
1 can Coconut Cream
Place all ingredients except Coconut Cream in large microwave dish and place in microwave for 30 minutes.
Place soup in blender with Coconut Cream ( I do this in 2 batches)
Dinner Ready in less than 35 minutes!