Welcome to the final newsletter of term. This newsletter, we have some important notices regarding staffing in 2020 in my report as well as some feedback from the recent Pastoral Care/ School Chaplaincy survey. The teaching and learning update outlines the Interim Reports that will go live on COMPASS this Friday and we celebrate the School Disco and the Stage 3 Science Engineering Day in the Community and Classroom Update, respectively. We hope you find it informative.
2020 Already on its Way
As unbelievable as it seems we are already considering staffing arrangements for 2020 given some considerable changes in the work arrangements of different staff members. Essentially, the end result is that we will be seeking applications for two teaching positions in 2020 which will be advertised in the first round of appointments this Saturday. I wanted to give the you an outline of the changes so that you know the context of jobs advertised for our school. There are a few announcements to get to the reason why we have two jobs advertised. Hopefully it will makes some sense.
Jules Mulhearn - I have been approved to take two terms long service leave in 2020 (Terms 2 and 3) so that my family and I can complete a 'bucket list' lap of Australia in our camper. I am confident that this will provide me the career break to rejuvenate my role here at Corpus Christi as well as give my family an opportunity to see our amazing country and spend some quality time together before the years slip by too quickly. I have complete confidence in the staff to steady the ship and continue as we plan for the year.
Emily Haardt - In my absence, Emily will take the Acting Principal Role for the 2 Terms. In the interest of not disrupting a full class for two terms, I have arranged that Emily will undertake her teaching role in Terms 1 and 4 in a variety of ways (rather than on one whole class) so that when she takes my place (non teaching), no class will be disrupted from having the continuity of the same teacher/s all year.
This leaves a Full time temporary teaching position(2020) available which will be advertised during the first round of appointments beginning this Staurday.
Nicole Stojanovski - as we know, we will be farewelling Nicole next week as she begins her maternity leave in Term 4. While Mrs Maree Koen will take Nicole's teaching load (0.6) on Year 1 in Term 4, we have not yet appointed anyone for the three terms next year that Nicole's Maternity leave extends to. We are very excited for Nicole as she raises her beautiful little family in these important first years but will miss her on staff and in the classroom where her nature with students makes for a great environment for learning.
Jodi Bosworth - Jodi Bosworth has also applied for a year's Leave without Pay to spend more time with her quickly growing family and elderly father. Jodi is committed and highly competent teacher who has led our Gifted Education priority with great expertise. We look forward to Jodi continuing her role in 2021. Jodi's teaching role (0.5) will need to be filled for 2020.
Together, Jodi and Nicole's leave results in a full time temporary teaching position available (for Terms 1 - 3 after which Nicole will return form Maternity leave). This will be advertised during the first round of appointments beginning this Saturday.
Katrina Friend - Mrs Kate Friend has been seconded to St Peters Stockton this year where she has successfully led the staff in developing targeted literacy and numeracy as part of the State Action Plan(SAP). Originally only for this year, we have been advised that this secondment has been extended to 2020. We wish Kate continued success in that role and now look to adapt our staffing her at Corpus Christi.
Emma Conserdyne - Kate's secondment has been covered by Mrs Emma Conserdyne on Year 2 this year. We are able to extend Emma's appointment to cover Kate's continued secondment in 2020. This means we can welcome Emma back to the Corpus Christi Staff with great confidence in 2020. Emma brings experience and commitment to our staff that has seen her quickly become an integral member of our team. We are grateful to have her with us for longer.
Mrs Ann Maree Green - Mrs Ann Maree Green has applied to take the remainder of her Long Service Leave in 2020 after which she will be confident in making the best decision regarding her options at this point in her career. I want to acknowledge the wealth of experience that Ann Maree brings to the staff and the incredible firm but nurturing rapport she builds with the students. While she will be sorely missed, we wish her the best next year as she enjoys the last of her Long Service Leave and await her decision from that point on. It is expected that Ann-Maree's teaching load (0.6)will be covered by existing staffing.
Mrs Margie Shafren - Margie has been approved for a 0.8 teaching load in 2020 allowing her to work 4 days a week. We witness the benefits of Margie's high energy and 110% commitment to teaching kindergarten everyday and recognise that a day a week to re-energise is an important aspect of her ongoing wellbeing.
Mrs Tracey Pois - We are lucky enough to have appointed Mrs Tracey Pois to undertake the extra day a week on Kindergarten. Tracey already works closely with all the infant grades including Kindergarten, spending her morning session each day in these classrooms. She is fully qualified in the explicit teaching of synthetic phonics in reading so will be readily equipped to take on that role on Kindergarten alongside Margie. Tracey will still continue her role as Learning Support Teacher and EALD teacher on the four other days a week.
A Note. This appears to be a lot of moving and shuffling but I believe by knowing and adapting to these changes in advance we can plan to put the best teachers, at their best version of themselves, in front of the students in their care. We have a consistency of pedagogy/curriculum and agreed professional practice within professional learning teams to ensure that despite these changes, the excellence in education we strive for every day is delivered in a consistent manner.
Further note: We have yet to confirm any class allocations for each teacher for 2020 except for Mrs Margie Shafren and Mrs Tracey Pois on Kindergarten for 2020. We will announce class allocations when we have appointed the two new teaching positions and reflected on the strengths these appointments bring to the staff team.
Community Feedback for Pastoral Care Worker/ School Chaplaincy
Recently we have surveyed our community for feedback to support our school's Expression of Interest EOI) to the Government initiative of School Chaplaincy program. While this survey has now closed and I have submitted the EOI along with the survey data, I thought I would share that data with the parent community.
Of the respondents, 96% of parents indicated that as a rule, their child enjoys coming to school. However, 44% of them acknowledged that have been occasions when their child has expressed some reluctance to come to school, beyond just feeling sick. On these occasions, survey data indicated the concerns ranging from the workload being too hard or too easy, friendship struggles, external stresses and feeling of anxiousness or anger/frustration.
The survey also gave us some insights into the ways in which parents are accessing supports in our school with by far the most dominant one being discussions with the classroom teacher to alert them to a concern. The second being access to the Season for Growth Program we ran this year. The data indicates that we are doing some positive things to support students at the times of reluctance but we strive to do more. No one was able to indicate that they used small group workshops to support their child at school as this is difficult in the absence of a Pastoral Care Worker or School Chaplain. While it is hoped that we are successful with the current EOI and are then able to do provide this opportunity, we will also make this a priority in some form next year should we miss out on the project.
I hope that our students and the staff have a well earned break during the holidays. As always, don't forget to still read something everyday and complete a little number work in your head. It is important to keep the brain cells firing.
I am looking forward to having some company onsite while I work at the school during the first week as our inaugural Vacation Care occurs onsite at Corpus Christi, Waratah. Schools can be awfully quiet during the holidays. It will be great to still here laughter and fun occurring.
Lets hope and pray that we all have a safe and relaxing break, equally balanced with the glorious days of sunshine and the rain that is so needed across our state. We will see you all back here on Monday 14th October for what will prove to be a very quick term indeed (Please see the Important Dates and Notices section for a copy of the Term 4 Calendar as it currently stands).
Have a great few weeks.
Below are three PDF links to key dates currently booked in for Term 4. While these are current as of today and are clearly accessible on the COMPASS and Schoolzine calendars, they may yet change. So please use this document as a reference only and always confirm on the COMPASS/Schoolzine calendar. We will continue to use our COMPASS calendar, alerts and reminders in the newsletter about upcoming events which will always have the most up to date details.
This week, we wanted to provide parents with a valuable resource to consider when reflecting on your own, your child/ren's and your family's wellbeing. If nothing else it is an opportunity to pause and reflect at times when an immediate situation is overwhelming our concern for the ones we love. Taking a step back and looking at this continuum or something similar, gives us some clarity about the full continuum of wellbeing that any one of us might experience at different points in our life.
It would be nice to consider that every day we are 'going ok' or better yet, we 'flourish' in our wellbeing but it is important to recognise and acknowledge that there are days and sometimes weeks where we are 'unsettled' and potentially struggle with a particular 'mental health condition'. This continuum provides some general descriptors of what our learning, relationships, behaviour and emotions look like when we go through the these different phases of wellbeing. The point is that while transition between phases is absolutely normal, it is about accessing supports when someone is struggling for a longer period of time in the 'unsettled' phase and certainly, if they find themselves suffering of a particular mental health condition.
In RE Matters this week, we start with our faith Formation. This week’s reading coincides nicely with our mission day activities on friday. I am often overwhelmed by the generosity of many of our families at Corpus Christi. They truly get the message. A major theme of the Gospel reading this week is ‘Lasting wealth’. It highlights the need for to show compassion for the poor, but it also contains a harsh warning for those who feast while others starve.
Lk 16:19-31 Parable of the rich man and Lazarus
This Sundays Gospel story is found only in Luke. It contrasts the life, death and reward of two people – a rich man who lived it up, and a poor beggar who was sick and hungry. The rich man is given no name in this passage, but in Greek the beggar’s name, Lazarus, is translated ‘my God helps’. After death, Lazarus rests with Abraham while the rich man suffers torment.
The rich man – who never sought to aid Lazarus – asks for comforting water to be brought to him. But Abraham says that the rich man got what he deserved. Perhaps thinking about someone else for the first time, the former rich man asks that his brothers be warned so that they will not suffer the same fate. Abraham tells him no. They have the prophets to listen to.
Themes for us to take away.
- Fast living fades away.
- Keep the faith.
- Help the have-nots.
- Reach out to others.
- Don’t wait until it is too late.
The reward for being compassionate lasts forever. Our Corpus Community is doing well to educate our children in ways to of showing compassion.
The Interim Reports will be available this Friday on COMPASS. Interim Reports provide a snapshot of how children are continuuing to commit, respond and adapt to school routines, their work habits, social interaction and general attitude. These reports enable parents to gain an understanding at the end of Term 1 and 3 when we are still a term away from the Semester Academic report that we have always issued.
It is important to note that the report will focus on the following areas and are not academic in nature. If parents have an academic concern that they wish to discuss prior to the academic report at the end of Term 4, we invite you to make an appointment with your classroom teacher. Teachers will do the same if they have any concerns.
Early next term, all students in Years 2 - 6 will sit an online Assessment program known as PAT – Progressive Achievement Tests. The Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) publishes these tests. The PAT approach is used in thousands of schools in Australia and around the world.
The approach focuses on assessing and monitoring student growth over time and is underpinned by an understanding that students of the same age and in the same year of school can be at very different points in their learning and development. The data we are able to gain from Pat tests in the one test and as we track students across the years enables us to understand their growth, their achievement against their cohort across Australia and identify areas of challenge and /or weakness that we can then target and address.
It is important to note that just like NAPLAN data; these tests are a snapshot in time and should always be considered among other data we collect both through standardised testing and through teacher judgement from quality assessment tasks. The benefit that PAT offers over NAPLAN is that we gain that snapshot annually from Year 1 onwards rather than the two-year gap that NAPLAN provides and that doesn’t start until Year 3.
In adopting and using Progressive Achievement Tests to investigate and diagnose student learning and to monitor progress over time, teachers are working within a growth mindset, with the benefits of targeted teaching, increased levels of student engagement and improved learning outcomes. Testing is not and should not be about being at the top of a cohort, it should be about the growth in learning we can track. In this mindset, everyone can be achieving at the top.
Science and Engineering Discovery Day
The Science and Engineering Discovery Day is a day-long competition designed to provide year 6 (or year 5) primary school students with a positive experience of science and engineering. A maximum of 8 schools per day compete against each other at one venue.This year Corpus Christi competed against teams from all around Newcastle and the Hunter Valley at San Celmente High School, Mayfield on Tuesday 17 September.
Each school team is divided into eight groups of between 2 to 4 students per group. Each group will then do two half-day activities (i.e. one activity in the morning session, and a different one in the afternoon session).
Students are awarded points for each activity and the school with the most cumulative points at the end of the day is declared the winner.The winning school will be awarded a trophy at the end of the day.
CORPUS CHRISTI WERE THE OVERALL WINNERS FOR THE DAY!!!! Well done to our team of Year 6 & 5 students.
We had an amazing turn out for our Working Bee last weekend. It truly was amazing to see different families pitch in to achieve the goals we set ourselves. I am happy to report that we got almost 100% completion rate (with a certain flat pack from Bunnings beating us on the day but we will get to that next term :-) ). Thanks to the arrival of a two tonne truck and many hands to help, we were even able to make a start on the rubbish that is collected and stored in and around the different hiding holes in the hall area (a job that was earmarked for next term). We have added new bark chip to Dominic courtyard, weeded gardens, created a new garden at the end of ninja park, taken rubbish to the dump, emptied the compost bin, replaced broken bag hooks, organised the P & F storage cupboards/uniform shop and taken the broken sign down at the front of the school. Your time and effort is greatly appreciated.
Thank you to all the families (Lamont, McCarthur, Gallagher, Spadari, Tucker, Wakeman, Walton, Conserdyne, Popovic, Wilson/Monkley, Anderson, Chatillon, Mulhearn families along with Mrs Shafren, Mr Treloar, Sr Jenny and Mrs Haardt) who gave up some hours on a Saturday morning to tackle the list of jobs at our working bee.
Thanks again Corpus Christi. Together we are making our school great.
September Meeting Minutes Summary
Please find a copy of the Meeting Minutes Summary for our September Meeting below.
Our next P & F Meeting is the second Tuesday in November (12th) which doubles as the Annual General Meeting where all executive positions are declared vacant and we elect new postiions for 2020. Nominations for President, Vice president, Secretary and Treasurer will be called for and voted upon. While someone who filled the role this year is welcome to re-nominate, they cannot serve in the same position for more than three consecutive years. This means that Corinna Nechakoski will be stepping down as treasurer having served her final year in 2019.
It is important that we build a strong P & F team with voices from all branhces of our partent network so I invite all nominations for any parent wishing to undertake a partiluar role. I would also like to extend an open invitation for all parents to come along to the AGM to hear the annual reports of whta the P & F has acheived as an organisation since November 2018. Nomination forms for executive positions are below. Nominations can be sent on paper or via email to Jules/ School Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congratulations to the following students who have been recognised for great learning, awesome achievements, impressive improvements and stand out moments.
All parents are welcome at our Awards Assembly on Friday Mornings from 8.50am but if you are unable to atend, watch this space for when learning that is great.