5 "Must Knows" from this week's newsletter
|Frequently asked Question.||Item||Brief Description||Further Information Located in.|
|How does our school uniform meet the requirements of the CSO Uniform Policy?||Proposal to embed a short option for girls in summer - initial community survey.||
An important uniform proposal to ensure we are meeting requirements of
|How does the school promote positive wellbeing and ensure a consistent approach to potential bullying behaviours?||Refocusing on Anti - Bullying Strategies within the Wellbeing Framework.||We will unpack the current focus in the well being framework which lends itself to discussion of the school's response to bullying and promoting anti bullying behaviours.||Principal's Report|
|How are we continuing to maintain safe practices as a result of current Covid advice?||School Canteen Opening Week 3||We unpack the safe procedures that will be in place to enable the school canteen to open in Week 3.||Canteen Update|
|How do I know how my child is going in their learning?||Semester Reports and Parents /Teacher Interviews via zoom.||We will unpack what information you will be able to discern in the reports to be published next Monday and outline how parents can take up the offer of a "face to face" parent teacher meting via zoom.||Curriculum Update|
Welcome back to Term 3. As always with term 3, it has begun in the depths of a wet and cold winter. It is often the hardest term to kick start as we seem to be a long way from last summer and a ways to go until we see the Spring. However the students have begun with a positive mindset which promises for a great term. We know from experience that it will not be too long before we are looking back saying "Where did that term go?" and "Summer is on its way". However, between now and then, it is important for students to use the term in productive and focused learning. Term 3 is often the one with the least interruptions and so has the greatest potential for quality learning and growth. That is more the case than ever with the ongoing impact of Covid restrictions. I am confident that we will have a great term, no matter what may come our way.
Wellbeing Framework - Current Focus.
Given it is the mid point of the year, it is very timely that our current wellbeing focus is on the element "Be Honest". While at its superficial level this just means to "tell the truth" our focus digs deeper than that. It focuses on being honest with yourself, being aware of things around you and responding honestly to them, even if that might be a challenge. We are discussing phrases such as "Never see a need without doing something about it" made known by Mary Mackillop (St Mary of the Cross) and the Dominican challenge to "Courageously Defend the Truth". We are challenging the students to Be Aware, Witness, Talk and Act for the good of all.
It has inevitably led to discussions about doing what is right when we witness other students doing the wrong thing which in turn has led to conversations about acting on any bullying behaviours that students are aware of. Of course the discussions of bullying comes under all aspects of the wellbeing framework including Be safe and Be Respectful, but the benefit of addressing it under the Be Honest element as well is that we can ask things like;
"If you are truly honest with yourself, is what happened the right thing to have happened? Could we have done something about it?"
Given that it has come up in discussion, I wanted alert parents to the Anti Bullying Handbook for Primary Schools published by the CSO in 2019 and upon which we are currently updating our bullying policy and procedure documents at school. When we look at incident of bullying or potential bullying we need to have very honest and open conversations with all participants about their role in the situation and how it changed or might have changed the outcome.
It is equally important to consider the situation itself in a very open and honest manner to determine if the behaviour is , in fact, an incident of bullying. Here it is important to remain objective and fair despite the stress of the situation. To this end, we use a very useful tool when investigating any incident. I have attached an excerpt from the Anti Bullying handbook below that includes the Bullying and Assessment and Action Flow Chart which I hope provides greater clarity. I will share the anti bullying handbook in its entirety once we have finalised it.
CSO and School Uniform Policy
Recently, the CSO modified its uniform policy to address concerns over gender equity in uniform options. The following stipulations were put in place, the last point of which brings us to this survey.
Our uniform at Corpus Christi meets each of these points in all but the last one with regard to the summer uniform options.
"provide uniform options, including shorts and pants, in all uniform categories for all students, regardless of gender."
Despite having a pant and short options for the winter and sports uniform for both boys and girls, we do not currently offer a short option for the girls in the summer academic uniform (although girls have always been allowed to wear bike shorts underneath the tunic to maintain privacy). It is time we incorporate a formal option for shorts in the summer uniform, which brings us to the reason for this article, the attached information and the link to a survey for parents to nominate which is the best way to proceed.
I ask parents to take the time to read the attached document and complete the survey via the link provided (please complete one survey per family). It will be important to consider many factors in making the decision and this may be the first of a few steps towards a positive change. As always, I believe the community consultation process is the first point of call so that our efforts to enact a change and what that change will be reflects the majority wishes of our families.
Please read the proposal prior to completing this survey link.
Our New GEM
This week we have finalised our new appointment for GEM in our school. Congratulations to Mrs Emma Conserdyne who is very excited to take up the role for Gifted Education in our school.
Jodi Bosworth filled the role until this year when she took 12 months leave. Emily Haardt had the role in Term 1 and while the role was postponed during Term 2, we have since decided it needed to be reinstated for the remaining two terms of the year. Emma is looking forward to working with students across all classes to ensure quality differentiation is used daily to meet the needs of our gifted students.
Have a great two weeks,
I want to alert parents to some concerns we are witnessing around the dismissal procedures. We need to acknowledge that on at least two occasions we have had two distinct "heart stopping" near misses that have reminded us to be ever vigilant.
1. We are noticing that more parents are utilising the Alfred St gate to pick up their children which is great as it alleviates congestion at the Platt St Gate. However, in doing so we want to remind parents just how narrow that street is. With cars parked either side, there really is only room for cars to pass in one direction. While we have a large double drive way at our bottom gate, it should be noted that cars often use this space to pull into especially if a car is coming the other way but even when they are pulling into the 5 minute parking zone. To that end, can we ask parents not to congregate on the side road in the space left because of the drive way (obviously there are no cars parked there so the space is tempting to wait in). This is especially important after the children have joined you. I would also imagine it be a good street to avoid driving down during that busy dismissal time, unless of course that's where you have parked.
2. Please ensure we are social distancing as adults when awaiting for children's names to be called. We appreciate these efforts may spread you further up and down Platt St (for those picking up on foot). We will get to you as soon as possible and direct the children to you once they arrive at the gate.
3. With the added foot traffic at the front gate together and with the cars pulling in and out of the 5 minute parking zone, it is vitally important that students wait until their names are called by a staff member so we can be there to assist with the many variables that are happening in that space. It is simply too dangerous to let students wander out to meet parents without the supervision of a teacher at the gate. This is actually important for two reason - the ever-changing traffic situation at that time and from a child protection point of view, we must be aware of who is picking children up, when and from where.
Please note -
At the outset of the full return to school after the Covid restrictions, we began the new dismissal procedures and allowed ourselves an "early mark" (initially 10 and then 5 minutes) in an attempt to reduce the intensity of the dismissal period. However this was at least 5 minutes of lost curriculum time that we are obligated to provide (even 5 minutes a day adds up over a term). Since that initial period, I believe we have reached very efficient and well established practices. Now is the time to be returning to a strict 2.50pm dismissal time. While the students may begin to come down between 2.45 and 2.50 so that they are ready, we will not be opening the gates and calling names until the 2.50 bell. Parents may want to consider this in their arrival timings. We appreciate parents often deliberately wait 5 or so minutes after 2.50pm to ensure the traffic has passed and we are happy to continue supporting this. Its just that now, the traffic will not start moving until 2.50pm at the earliest.
Feast of St Dominic - Founding saint of Corpus Christi
Reading- Cf. Sir 15:5
In the midst of the Church he opened his mouth, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of wisdom and understanding and clothed him in a robe of glory.
In the spirit of St Dominic, we lead lives of learning, prayer and action at Corpus Christi. Next week we will celebrate the most important feast day for our school, that of our founding saint- Saint Dominic. His example is reflected in our every aspect of school life at Corpus Christi.
We would normally hold a whole school liturgy at this time, however cannot do this in our current circumstances. We will participate in school based activities which are outlined in detail below.
Our school was founded by the Dominican Sisters and our important school pillars- Prayer, Service, Community and Study are reflected in all that we do as a Catholic school community.
These are the very things that God has revealed to us in the above reading, giving us wisdom and understanding as we base all decisions at Corpus Christi upon these core values.
Dominicans are preachers whose missions are inspired by the teachings and life of St. Dominic. Today, Dominicans can be found in many parts of the world, continuing the work for which St Dominic founded his order.
Dominicans are committed to preaching the truth about God and about humanity. This truth helps us to live and love more fully.
Our school motto 'Veritas', meaning 'Truth' continues to be reflected today, as we teach our students to work for justice, be brave and always stand up for their personal beliefs and values.
As we look around our school, we see our core values and motto visually represented and authentically embedded in school life. This is reflected through our assemblies, school song, Making Jesus Real well-being program, prayer spaces, classrooms and more!
Our students, staff, parents and community are well aware that the Dominican pillars of;
Prayer, Service, Community and Study are at the heart of all we do here at Corpus Christi......something we can be very proud of!
Did you know?
St. Dominic’s mother had a vision that her unborn child was a dog who would set the world on fire with the Word of God. This is why you see statues and art works of St Dominic with a dog with a torch in its mouth. It was said that at his baptism you could see a star-shaped light on him. You will sometimes see this in artwork of St Dominic. He is also the patron saint of astronomers.
Annual week of lessons and celebration;
This year we will begin a new annual tradition to recognise the Feast of St Dominic which occurs on 8 August. This will include a week of learning, celebration, daily class activities, foyer creative arts display and an in Class Liturgy on Friday 7 August.
The introduction of annual cumulative learning experiences of our Dominican Founder and our powerful connection with the pillars of Service, Community, Study and Prayer will further embed our school values and student understanding of our important Domincan heritage.
In Week 4 we will acknowldege the Feast day of our own Australian Saint, Saint Mary of the Cross (MacKillop). Due to our week of celebrations for the Feast of St Dominic, we will recognise this through an in class lesson for all students.
Mary and the Sisters were committed to serving the poor – to going to where the need was and living amongst those in need.
Mary faced fierce opposition throughout her life. In the face of trial, Mary was a model of forgiveness, insisting no ill be spoken of those who wronged her, while also remaining resolute in her convictions.
Mary was remarkable as a strong female leader in 19th century Australia.
Education in this country is what it is today thanks to her dedication and determination.
Mary MacKillop Prayer
Ever generous God,
You inspired Saint Mary MacKillop
To live her life faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
and constant in bringing hope and encouragement
to those who were disheartened, lonely or needy.
With confidence in your generous providence
and through the intercession of Saint Mary MacKillop
We ask that you grant our request……………….
We ask that our faith and hope be fired afresh by the Holy Spirit
so that we too, like Mary MacKillop, may live with courage, trust and openness.
Ever generous God, hear our prayer.
We ask this through Jesus Christ. Amen.
“Believe in the whisperings of God in your own heart.”
– Saint Mary MacKillop 1868
Have a great fortnight and be kind to yourselves!
Mrs Lisa York
Religious Education Coordinator (Acting)
Welcome back to Term 3 everyone. It was great to be able to resume my work with all the students and staff in schools this term albeit with some uncertainty in the air.
As human beings we crave certainty and security…… we don’t like uncertainty and the unknown. It is understandable and normal to feel unsettled and even anxious given the COVID-19 pandemic and current world events.
The PDF above is from Good Grief (https://www.goodgrief.org.au/)and outlines some things that you can do to help yourself, your friends and your family in times of
uncertainty. It includes some great information on how young people and children might respond and how parents can help them.
It also reminds us to look after ourselves – here are some ideas.
Welcome to Term 3.
As mentioned in our last Curriculum update the focus of the school has been to prioritize curricula for the remainder of the year, given that we have unexpectedly lost a significant amount of face-to-face teaching time due to the period of Home Learning. This has also meant that our traditional A to E reports have also been modified to reflect this period of Home Learning.
As always, the primary purpose of school reports is to provide meaningful feedback to the parents and care givers, to improve student learning. Next Monday, we will publish your child’s school report on Compass. This will also open a 2-week period for potential parent/teacher conversations.
These reports have been designed to give you a clear and concise picture of your child’s achievement and progress in Religious Education, English and Mathematics at this point in time; and what can be done to support future learning.
The first section reports on the child’s Achievement in Relation to Grade Level. Children will be scaled in Religious Education, English, Mathematics. The levels are Working Towards, Working At and Working Beyond.
A child who is working below grade expectations ‘Working Towards’ achieving these goals.
A child who is meeting expectations and achieving the set goals is “Working At”
A child who is regularly exceeding class expectations is “Working Beyond”
The second section refers to the child’s commitment to Learning.
Teacher judgements are based on evidence gathered on the students commitment to Home Learning and school classroom efforts.
Commitment is described as Emerging, Developing and High for Religious Education, English and Mathematics.
The third section refers to the Personal Profile of the child. Broken into two subsections the first is the Personal and social development of the child at this time.
The second subsection refers tom the Learning disposition of the student.
This section is has five descriptors. Requires support, Developing, Often, Usually and Consistently.
The final section of this modified report is the teacher comment.
Corpus Christi has invested extraordinary time and expertise developing programs and resources to ensure that continuity of learning was preserved for students in the classroom and for those learning remotely. These reports will hopefully give you a snapshot of how your child had progressed in this unprecedented first semester.
Opportunity to speak with your child’s teacher is the next step in this process of meaningful feedback. With the help of the Compass App you will be able to book a Zoom meeting with your child’s teacher. Alternatively, a ‘phone’ interview can be
booked, as unfortunately Covid restrictions still prevent us from meeting face to face. Information on how to book interviews will arrive with the reports on Monday.
As we tackle the remainder of the year, the coverage of the entire curriculum is less important than establishing the points individual students have reached in their learning at this stage of the pandemic. Our focus lies in developing the knowledge, skills and understandings crucial to each student’s successful further learning. Goal setting is paramount, and your child’s teacher will be glad to discuss the future with you.
Hope you have a great week.
Mini Writers Festival
Hi friends, family, and teachers,
Once upon a time, there was a group of children who participated in an Australian wide Mini Writing Festival.
Over the last week, we have joined many zooms with schools across Australia and have learnt so much from various authors and illustrators. Such as Andrew Daddo, Deborah Abela, Jackie French, Katrina McKelvey, and Stephen Michael King, most accompanied by James Foley’s brilliant illustrations.
It was very enjoyable and educational for everyone. As a class, we have learnt to do so much more and it has opened our eyes to different ways of writing and illustrating. From creating crazy characters to making disastrous problems, following new story structures and using our senses.
It has been very successful and we’re thankful for the teachers letting us participate in the Mini Writing Festival. We loved having the opportunity to be able to do it.
Hope everyone had a good week
Year Six Leaders
We had wonderful end of term with a fabulous community effort in support of St Vincent de Paul on Friday 3rd July, 2020. The day was the culmination of the school's efforts to support the St Vincent De Paul's Winter Appeal for 2020. We received an impressive amount of clothes, warm woollens and blankets from our families and were able to pass this onto Vinnies with pride.
Students were challenged to consider how a life in a temporary shelter (even one as vulnerable as as a box) might feel and what they would pack if they had to fit "everything" they owned into a backpack? These are the challenges that are faced by many families and one that is particularly hard in the depths of a cold winter. These activities were a hands on lesson to that challenge and the students responded beautifully to the task itself and in the realisation that this is part of the lives of many less fortunate than ourselves.
WE celebrated the end of term with a sausage sizzle and Hot Chocolate. It wouldn't be a winter appeal without the traditional wearing of PJs, Slipper and dressing gowns. We were certainly warm and comfortable for the day.
Congratulations Mrs Stamp and the Mini Vinnies for coordinating the donations and the hot chocolate/ marshmallows, to Mrs York and Miss King for planning the activities and Mrs Helen O'Neill (Parish Liaison Officer at the Diocese) who joined us for the day. A great community event with the only drawback being our parents were not able to join us.
August P & F Meeting
The next P & F Meeting will be held on Tuesday 11th August 2020 6.30pm. For parent reference; a summary of the June Meeting is in the below link.
The P & F trialled having their regular June meeting via zoom. As this was a success, we would like to offer the opportunity for Corpus Christi parents to join us via zoom for our next P & F meeting. If you are interested in being a part of the P & F committee, hearing what is going on in the school and having a voice to decisions being made, then we would love for you to join us. This is a perfect opportunity to see what the committee does without having to leave home. You will need to abide by the code of conduct for hosting zoom meetings as set out by CSO (see attached sheet for code of conduct), and you will need to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Friday 7th August 2020 3pm.
A link will then be sent to you on the Tuesday inviting you to join the meeting. We hope by offering this option for P & F meetings, that we are able to encourage many new faces to our committee.
Canteen is back - New Procedures
It is with great pleasure and much anticipation no doubt, that we announce the Canteen will be back operational again on its usual days of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from Week 3. With this current climate we have had to modify our operations and menu to make sure our volunteers and students are kept safe. You will see we have reduced our menu and changed some options to pre-packaged foods only and while it does limit our options a little the Canteen Committee believes that this is the right step forward in the interim period. A few things we need to make you and the children aware of when placing orders to the canteen is:
- All money will be counted in the office so it important that students place their order into the basket at the start on the school day.
- No serving of snacks will be done at lunchtime all snacks are to be included with the lunch order and will go out into the classroom baskets at lunch time.
- No volunteers will be going around with the basket to classes so again it is important the order is placed when the child walks into the school.
- The basket will be at the front of the office door to place lunch orders in.
- Any late orders will need to go to Mrs Bamford in the office not to the canteen.
We appreciate everyone’s understanding while the Canteen has been closed and I would like to thank all our Volunteers who have agreed to continue and help us deliver this service back to our children. Also a big thank you to our Canteen Committee in adapting and getting our changes off the ground.
If you have any questions or maybe even keen to offer a hand, (we are still on the lookout for more people to join the Canteen Committee for 2021) please feel to contact myself Jayne Gavenlock 0402 487 650.