Welcome back everyone. It was so wonderful to see all the students this morning upon their return. I have spent a fair amount of time at school over the last three weeks as have many staff members. While we have had echos of children's voices because vacation care was held onsite, nothing fills the heart of a school more than the student's return to new beginnings, hopes and ambitions and with many memories and stories to share.
This newsletter is a short welcome with important announcements and reminders that are best given now rather than wait until the first full newsletter to be published next Wednesday.
I want to welcome back the staff of Corpus Christi. We enjoy such a collegial work place that I don't mind acknowledging that it was great to come back together as friends and workmates yesterday, ready for the year ahead. I want to particularly acknowledge and welcome Mrs Lisa York who will take up a full time teaching position in Year 4 and Mrs Maree Koen who returns to our school in the role of Year 1 teacher. Both Mrs York and Mrs Koen are well known to the students and the community having had various teaching roles before this year. We do have a very special welcome for Mrs Jessica Kuterovac who joins the Corpus Christi Community this year on Year 5 on Thursdays and Fridays and as our specialist PE Teacher on Wednesdays. The students have already had their first PE lesson today and Year 5 are keen to being working with her tomorrow. For the full staffing list, parents can check the attachment below.
Pastoral Care Worker
Late last year, I was able to announce that we had been approved for funding under the national Chaplaincy Program that has allowed us to appoint a Pastoral Care Worker for 8 hours a week (Made up by 2 x 4 hour days = Monday and Friday). We were able to advertise, shortlist and interview during the holidays and look to welcome Miss Sophie King to our school community in Week 2 of the Term. Miss King has been working with the Centre for Hope in Windale where she has worked with youth aged 6 to 18 years who are suffering adversity and who, because of their circumstances, suffer a significant degree of helplessness. I am confident that Sophie will bring a great deal of support and understanding to the Pastoral Care role at Corpus Christi. Our first task is to establish the Pastoral Care role as part of a team (with Mrs Tracey Pois as Learning Support Teacher and Vanessa Peterson as School Councillor). Once this is completed, I will update the community on the role description and the processes we will put in place for parents and teacher's to refer students to Miss King for specific support, although she will also be supporting all students in small groups and in general. Miss King's first day will be on Friday 7th February.
Aboriginal Education Teacher
As part of the Catholic Schools Office strategic priority to enhance both the literacy and numeracy data of students in our school who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, we have been allocated enough funding to employ a teacher for this specific purpose for 2 days a week. They will also bring value to our own school priority of enhancing indigenous spirituality and connection to Catholic Charism within our school. Once again we were able to advertise, shortlist and interview last week. We were very happy to appoint Mrs Karen Chapman in the role of Specialist Teacher - Aboriginal Education in our school for two days a week. Mrs Chapman will also work Mondays and Fridays. Mrs Chapman will primarily work within the classroom and in small group literacy and numeracy support programs to focus on the learning needs of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students. Mrs Chapman has been working in Aboriginal Education for more than 20 years and has extensive experience across schools and age groups in the Broken Bay Diocese. Mrs Chapman's first day will be this Friday 31st January.
OPENING SCHOOL MASS, WELLBEING LAUNCH AND P & F WELCOME BBQ
Next Friday 7th February we will officially launch our school year with three significant events. We will begin with the Opening School Mass at 9.30 which will include the commissioning of our student leaders for 2020. It will also be an opportunity to meet and welcome our new Parish Priest, Fr Sabu who is very much looking forward to joining our school community.
We will also launch our Wellbeing Framework that was developed in 2019 and which will be fully embedded across the school this year. We will unpack the Wellbeing Framework more in the Newsletter next week, just prior to the launch. For now, we can tell you the event will include some fun activities for the students and an invitation to come dressed in the theme of "Be your own Superhero". A notice on COMPASS outlining the launch day will go up on Friday this week.
The third and final event on the 7th February is the Annual P & F Welcome BBQ from 5.30 Friday Afternoon. This annual community event in the school grounds is a great way to gather informally and celebrate with snacks, chats, a sausage sizzle and a kick of the ball. It finishes up by 8pm (dark). All are welcome and again, details to follow.
A printed note will be sent home today with the details of the Swimming Carnival event next Monday 3rd February. Parents will need to sign the permission slip tonight and return to the classroom note bags tomorrow or Friday at the latest. Students without a permission slip will not be permitted to attend or participate in the carnival. Please make this a priority tonight.
There is also a request for volunteers to help out. If you can help us, please record you availability at the bottom of the slip and return to school (There is not a printed space asking for volunteers as such as I couldn't figure out how to do that on COMPASS. I was hoping parents will just make a handwritten note at the time).
Please note: The information is backed onto the permission slip (still trying to save trees) so parents will lose that information upon the return of the slip. Therefore, we ask parents use the copy below or the one on COMPASS for reference (or even capture it on your phone before sending the hardcopy back in).
OOSH VACATION CARE AND BEFORE SCHOOL SERVICE
We had a very successful Vacation Care service run at Corpus Christi during the recent holidays with students from four different local Catholic Schools joining St Nicholas OOSH, Waratah. It was great to hear their voices on the playground during what is usually a very quiet January. We look forward to the continued service in the next vacation period.
Our onsite afternoon care service with St Nicholas will continue this year. New enrolments to St Nicholas are asked to request and complete the paperwork which can be collected from the OOSH rooms and the front office. It is becoming important on some, not all, afternoons for parents to ensure they have a place booked as demand is increasing, especially earlier in the week.
Before School Care
While we had hoped to provide a morning service onsite at Corpus Christi, it was not to be for 2020. However, 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. Tracey who students got to know here during the Vacation Care period, is the supervising staff member at Mayfield so it will be great to have a friendly face.
Once again, welcome to 2020. I look forward to a full newsletter published next Wednesday (Even Week Wednesdays will be the regular publish date) where we will recap the swimming Carnival, unpack the Wellbeing Framework and provide final details of next Friday's Opening School Mass and Launch Day.
Have a great week