Welcome to our final newsletter for the year. While I had first intended to have this newsletter ready last Friday, the more the final weeks played out, the more we had to celebrate, so I have held off the publication until the original scheduled date of Wednesday Week 10.
As the final newsletter of the year, we have a number of announcements in preparation for 2020, we have some very important farewells and of course the endless thank-yous that come within a community working together. These week we are also celebrating some huge community events including our Australia Rocks Concert, Christmas BBQ, the Visual Arts Day, the Virtual Academy presentation day, the Year 6 Beach Day and the Graduation Liturgy and Assembly. The newsletter has a slightly different structure than normal so look for these "event" articles in today's newsletter rather than our usual "update"articles.
Without a doubt, a community such as ours only happens because of the efforts of the team that builds it. We are community built on 4 core values and it is upon these values I want to build my thanks.
PRAYER - We are community of living witness to the presence of Jesus in our lives. This year we have taken big strides in building the partnership between Parish and school in the formation of deep connections to faith through liturgy, prayer and action. I want to thank Fr Stephen Hill, Fr Valerian and Mr David Treloar for the collaborative work that has strengthen our school as a Eucharistic and sacramental community. Whether it is with the Parish, of within our school, Mr David Treloar has continued to create faith filled liturgical experiences that allow students to connect Gospel values and teachings to their every day life.Thank you.
LEARNING -This is of course our core business and the central activity of our everyday. I want to acknowledge each and every staff member working in their own capacity to ensure excellence in learning for all. I want to particularly thank Emily Haardt for her particular leadership in this area as Assistant Principal and Lead Teacher - Numeracy and STEM this year.Thank you to Jodi Bosworth for her role as Gifted Education Mentor, Tracey Pois in her role as Learning Support Teacher and Vanessa Peterson in her role as school councillor. They have each led and supported the staff in their pursuit of better classroom practice, positive student wellbeing and optimal learning for the students.
A special thank you and acknowledgement of Mrs Vanessa Bamford, who works tirelessly in the office every day. I don’t mind acknowledging to you all that Vanessa is the reason the school runs so smoothly. Vanessa is the face of our school but for mine she is also the heart and, more often than not, the leg work as well.
The commitment of the staff at Corpus Christi is the highest one can ask for and yet undertaken so humbly, that it can go unnoticed or taken for granted. This is my chance to acknowledge and thank the staff for all that they do.Thank you to the parents as well. As first educators of the students, your partnership with our school is imperative in our goal of excellence in education for all.
SERVICE - As a school steeped in the Dominican tradition, we are challenged to seek truth, proclaim it fearlessly, defend freedom and promote justice for all through service to others, especially those in need. Our school has had another wonderful year with a significant commitment to a variety of organisations including Caritas, Catholic Missions, St Vincent de Paul, Seafarers Mission and Kesheni 2019 (where funds contributed to the rebuilding of a preschool in one of the biggest slum areas of Nariobi, Kenya). Each time a need was seen,Corpus Christi did something about it. It was often coordinated by the Mini Vinnies group led by Mrs Stamp, Mrs Helen O'Neil and Sr Jenny. My thanks goes to them for continuing to build such a great commitment to serving others. We are thankful of the continued relationship we share with Martin de Porres Nursing Home which Mini Vinnies visit 2 or 3 times a term, forming some very special friendships with the residents of that community. What a wonderful way to serve, face to face. I want to acknowledge and thank our student leaders in Year 5 and 6 for their service leadership this year in particular the work that has been done with Mrs Haardt and Sr Jenny to reduce our eco footprint as a school by establishing the Bin sorting station and collecting the bread tags, bottle lids, toothpaste tubes ad tooth brushes. Another great way to serve a community by ensuring the protection of the environment.
COMMUNITY - I am because we are. Our community does not just happen nor does it happen because of a few. It happens because of the relationships we build every day. More often than not, the relationships are built when working side by side on a problem or towards a goal. While we may (and sometime may not) achieve the goal or solve the problem, we always manage to build connections and as sense that we belong to something bigger than ourselves. I cannot help but be grateful everyday that I get to belong to the Corpus Christi Community. I want to thank the incredible Parents and Friends association for all your efforts this year in building events and raising funds that allows us to make positive changes to the school. To the executive members of the P & F for your leadership and coordination in running a very successful fundraising /event calendar as well as the Canteen and the Uniform Shop.Thank you to the team of "worker bees" behind the scenes, always getting done what needs to be done. Last week's End of Year Christmas BBQ was an example of one such occasion. It was a great evening and an excellent way to end a busy year. The positivity and friendship was evident to see but what wasn't evident and rarely is, was the work behind these events. So thank you to one and all for building this community into one that I am at home in and one of which I am very proud.
Farewells and Welcomes
This is often the hardest part of coming to the end of a year. Saying goodbye to those families moving on as their youngest child graduates or family relocating. We also say goodbye (for the time being at least) to some very values staff members.
To the students and their families moving onto high school or a new school in 2020. We thank you for the privilege of you entrusting your child's education to us. We are so proud of the young people to strive become every day and hope that a little bit of Corpus Christi stays with them for the better as much as our school is the better for having you as part of the community. All the best, Go far and remember us when you are famous.
This year, we have had the pleasure of welcoming Mrs Cath Nankervis to our school as she established to specialist PE teacher role for our school. Cath’s passion for fundamental movement and fitness in students led staff to embed regular physical brain breaks and fitness challenges in their classroom routines. Cath’s love of this vital area of learning has guided her career to date and she continues this next year working for Sport in School Australia, bringing her expertise and passion to many different schools in her new role. We wish her all the best and thank her for the work and impact she has had on Corpus Christi Waratah.
We want wish Mrs Jodi Bosworth all the best as she takes a year's leave from her deep commitment and love of teaching. Jodi's passion for teaching is driven by a believe that every child can succeed and they benefit immediately as a result of their encounter with her. Jodi's expertise, drive for excellence and collegiality will be missed next year and so too, her beautiful friendship on staff. Thank you Jodi and all the best for you and your family for 2020. We look forward to 2021
We also bid a farewell to Mrs AnnMaree Green. Ann-Maree will taking her final Long Service Leave in 2020. Ann Maree Green is finishing up almost 40 years in education this year. She began working in Department schools before moving across to the Catholic Schools. Ann-Maree has taught at a variety of our schools including Holy Family at Merewether Beach and St Pius at Windale before coming to Corpus Christi Waratah 19 years ago. Ann-Maree is an outstanding teacher because especially because) she seeks first to build relationship with each and every student. She connects, seeks to understand and supports their journey to uniqueness. Every student in her care feels valued and understood. Then and only then, she begins to teach.Ann-Maree has taught all of us the value in relationships. We will miss her for that alone. Ann-Maree's friendship to many staff members is as long as her time here and stronger than that time because of the investment she makes with others. Thank you Ann-Maree. I am privileged to have worked with you and learnt from you. While I wish you only the best in the coming journey, it is without a doubt at Corpus Christi's and education in genreals's loss. Please don't take you wisdom too far, for too long.
We do have a beautiful welcome to share with the community. In the middle of report writing and concert preparation, we celebrated the arrival a young Marcus Stojanovski. A beautiful baby brother to Oscar and and son to proud mum, our own Nicole (Mrs S) and husband, Adam. 4 weeks old now, he is keeping his parents busy and Oscar is patiently waiting until he is old enough to play with. I am sure we will have visits with Marcus and Oscar in the new year but for now we offer welcome to Marcus and congratulations to the Stojanovskis.
In signing off for 2020 (in my update at least), I want to wish all our families wonderful Christmas and a happy, safe and prosperous new year. We will see students back here on Wednesday 29th January with Kindergarten 2020 starting the following day,30th January. Don't forget we have St Nicholas OOSH conducting vacation care on site from January 6th. (see a separate article about this).
Have a great two 6 weeks :-),
Last week, we received this itinerary for Laurie from St Nicholas Christmas and Vacation Care at our school in the holidays. I have also popped this on COMPASS for parent reference.
Some great activities planned and good to see it opened next Thursday and Friday for those families needing the care on the back end of this term.
St Nicholas's Vacatation Care at Waratah will also provide care for enrolled students from St Columbans Mayfield as the two branches have teamed up to ensure exciting and engaging activities with reliable numbers. They have decided to base vacation care at Waratah so impact to our families in this will be minimal.
For the record, St Nicholas OOSH Vacation Care is allowing enrolments for students who do not attend Corpus Christi Waratah. This is great news if our students want to brings neighbours and friends for a fun day at Vacation Care.
Also, a reminder that the same one off enrolment fee applies for the vacation care as for the Before and After School Care, so you will not find yourself paying double or having to renew in the new calendar year.
Please contact the St Nicholas OOSH, Waratah for enrolment forms and further information. I believe Vanessa has copies in the office but she will not be able to clarify any questions for you, should you have them.
Before School Care
Many families may know that I have spent time this year working with St Nicholas OOSH regarding our long term plan for establishing a before school care service onsite here at Corpus Christ Waratah.
Using data we collected from a parent survey earlier this term, we met with ST Nicholas OOSH management to consider the viability of the proposal. While it was acknowledged that we have considerable numbers of family who may use the service, the numbers are very difficult to staff the compulsory two staff members needed to provide it. While not the best news I was seeking we ended with a proposal that we hope suit our families seeking morning care.
Corpus Christi students enrolled at St Nicholas OOSH Waratah will be able to use the Before School OOSH service at St Columban's Mayfield from 6am. They will then be bussed (mini-bus) to Corpus Christi Waratah at 8.20 am when supervision begins at our school. The same enrolment forms and fee will be used for both centres and payment will be coordinated under the one account. We are simply using their venue as a branch of St Nicholas OOSH, Wartatah in the same way as St Columbans is using Corpus Christi's venue for vacation care. St Columban's morning OOSH is held inside a modern hall with a kitchenette and toilets inside so it is more self contained to students needing care so early in the morning, especially in the wintertime.
St Nicholas OOSH did say that once established, we will track Corpsu Chirsti numbers using the morning service at Mayfield and once established numbers indicate that investment of employing two staff members separately at Waratah, then the current proposal will be adapted.
We have received confirmation of the 2020 CSO based School Fees via the attached letter from Gerard Mowbray, our director of schools. The letter contains important information about how the centrally billed school fees have been settled and providing clarity on how these fees are then used.
I have also attached the 2020 school fee schedule as these changes apply to our school. We add a number of school based fees that support our budget throughout the year and allows us to provide specialist lessons in sport, coding and/or art, a number of excursions/incursions for each class, including the whole school excursion at the end of the year and the 3 sport carnivals throughout the year. The idea being that the costs are built into the fees themselves so we do not then need to seek money when these events arise.
I have set the schedule out in whole year and a per term columns (keeping in mind we only bill across three terms). I have included what the fees look like if the Health Care Card Discount is applied to the tuition fee. And finally I have included a calculation of how much the fees are if you set them up as a direct debit across every calendar week of the year. We find this 'weekly' method to be the best method to amalgamate the school fees into the weekly budget rather than large one off payments. Please note that as a result of the changes from the CSO based fees, this amount will need to be changed slightly (as of January 1) for all our parents using direct debit to avoid a shortfall emerging.
Significant Building Project in 2020
Further to the discussion of fees and the contributions our families make to the CSO building levy, I thought it timely to inform parents that Corpus Christi Waratah is scheduled to receive significant investment in 2020 as the Facilities team design and build a complete refurbishment of the toilet bock here at school. Final discussions, designs and timelines will be during Term 1.
Already there has been a few preliminary discussions about the location of the toilets themselves. While not ideally located at our entrance, they are centrally located and access completely undercover. Moving them elsewhere would involve taking up a greater footprint on the playground and then provide the challenge of access during rain. I have seen the refurbishment of toilets at other schools and can attest to the work of the architects to make the most from a visual and practical perspective of the necessary reality of hosting toilet facilities for the students.
We look forward to working with the Facilities team and renewing our toilets in 2020. Understandably there will be some change and disruption, but this will be done with the aim of minimal impact on student learning and will be for the greater good.
Calendar Term 1 2020
The calendar for Term 1 is looking somewhat bare and will be updated and finalised throughout January. We will publish a list as it stands in the first week of term but can be accessed via Compass and Schoolzine for any additions made in January. Below are some dates we know for your reference. Please note some dates are yet to be confirmed (TBC)
Wednesday 29th January - Students Years 1 - 6 return.
Thursday 30th January - Kindergarten Starts
Monday 3rd February - School Swimming Carnival.
Friday 7th February – Opening School Mass and Well Being Launch Day – Open Classrooms (TBC) and P & F Welcome BBQ in the evening on school grounds
Wednesday 26th February – Ash Wednesday Service/ Mass TBC
Tuesday 18th February - Regional Swimming Carnival North Region
Thursday 27th February - Diocesan Swimming Carnival.
Monday 23rd March School Athletics Carnival
Wednesday 8th April – School Cross Country (TBC)
Thursday 9th April – Holy Week and Easter Liturgy (TBC)
Last Friday, Corpus Christi hosted a Visual Arts Day to finish of a great year in the KLA of Creative Arts. I want to acknowledge and congratulate the team of volunteers and staff who worked so tirelessly on the day and leading up to it. No-one more so than Mrs Kieran Deveridge. The day was busy and sometimes messy (when is visual arts not?) but no- one can doubt the engagement of every pair of eyes and sets of hands nor could they question the joy in every face and the pride in every precious craft item shown to others.
Thank you again to the many people on deck to make it special. What a great way to end the year. A special mention to the time, expertise and resources that were donated by various members of our community. Without these donations, we would not have been able to offer such a large variety of activities.
All woodworking materials from different homes of our volunteers especially Bob Parsons
Fabric and sewing materials Mrs Freeman (Mia and Josh's mum)
Use of watercolour paintbrushes from St Clemente, Mayfield
Use of hammers from St Mary’s, Maitland
Boards and string for star string patterns
All flowers and materials Mrs Johnson (Noah and Oliver's Mum)
90 craft activities from Bunnings @ a cost $6 per item.
6 loaves of bread donated from Bakers Delight
Three of our Gifted Learners attended the Virtual Academy Sharing Day last Wednesday, 4th December at All Saints College, Maitland. It was a wonderful opportunity for Chloe, Lara and Ayaan and all the other Virtual Academy students to showcase their creative and original ideas to likeminded students and adults. The three students have been researching, surveying, analysing and preparing their solutions to either a local or global issue over the past Semester in addition to their normal schoolwork. On the day, the students were given the opportunity to present their solution to a panel of 4 professional adults and several of their Virtual Academy peers. The panel then posed some very tricky questions based on their presentation and gave the students lots of positive, personal feedback. Chloe, Lara and Ayaan represented Corpus Christi with maturity and enthusiasm, and it has been my absolute pleasure to work so closely with three very mature, self-motivated and visionary students. Here are some of their highlights from the day:
“I really enjoyed having the panel of adults to share my solution to and their constructive feedback, and interest in my project and the challenging questions they directed at me certainly made me think on my feet”. Lara McKelvey
“I thought that having specialist panel members as part of the audience to view my solution really helpful and enjoyed seeing other people’s perspective with their presentations”. Chloe Tucker
“I really liked how much effort was put into the day and the variety of presentations from other Virtual Academy Students”. Ayaan Ansari
Students in the Virtual Academy Program were also offered the opportunity to participate in many valuable full day workshops throughout the year, such as; Film Making, Digital Design and Graphic Design Days. These days were extremely valuable with experts available to teach students new skills with the vision that students would use these skills while preparing their final presentation. Chloe, Lara and Ayaan were lucky enough to attend these days and learnt a lot of new skills while working collaboratively with like-minded students from across our Diocese. Here are some of their highlights:
“I enjoyed the Film Making and Photoshop workshops because I learnt new skills and got to apply these skills while preparing my presentation”. Chloe Tucker, Year 6
“I really enjoyed having the opportunity to participate in a variety of full day workshops such as the film making, graphic design and digital design days. I felt like I was challenged and learnt heaps of new computer skills”. Lara McKelvey Year 5
“At the Digital Design I learnt how to use Adobe, and this came in handy in preparing my final presentation. I really enjoyed participating in the Virtual Academy this Semester”. Ayaan Ansari, Year 5
Congratualtions to the following students who reached the impressive milestone of 150 Gotcha awards for the 2020 school year. Your PBL medal is well deserved and your work habits, choices and attitiude are an example to all your peers.
Tilly Mathieson, Nash Cook, Lily Berry, Noah Tindall, Brydie Chatillon, Kane Mulherin, Ava Southam, Kaitlin Smith, Drew Heffernan, Xanthe Shields, Emily Tucker, Molly Cook and Alivia Burke
The P &F Capped off a great year by hosting the Parish School End of Year BBQ on Sunday 8th December. A marvellous evening with friends and family. We had a visit from the man in the red suit and smiles abounded with face painted unicorns, rainbows and reindeer's. Many thanks to the team coordinated by Brigitte Hudson and Tracey Pell with a particular mention to Natalie Sherring for your time and expertise as resident face painter. Wonderful memories are made in such ways.
Save the Date
Annual General Meeting
At our recent P and F AGM the P and F executives were elected for 2020
President- Kathryn Walton
Vice President - VACANT
Secretary - Julia Doolah
Treasurer - Raquel Monkley
Canteen Coordinator- Jayne Gavenlock, Natasha Anderson and Chris Harris
Uniform Shop Coordinator - Roberta Colombo.
A BIG thank you to all the families who have in some way helped out with the many fundraising events, canteen, uniform shop, Bunnings BBQs and working bee throughout 2019 to support the school P and F association in another successful year. Your support is much appreciated.
P & F President