A Challenge for us all
A Year of Thanks
|Start of year 2021||Upcoming Events and Reminders|
Farewell to staff
Year 6 for 2020
Farewell to Colleagues
Farewell to our Graduating Class
Best Wishes for the next 6 months while I am on leave
All the best for next year
|End of Year Sign off||Merry Christmas and Happy New Year|
Last week we celebrated our end of year liturgy with the theme; “Take Your Candle, Go Light Your World”. What a wonderful message to celebrate today and a challenge for tomorrow. As we come to the end of one year and begin to look to the next, we are all challenged to light the next paths of our journey. We each know that we will be strengthened by the love and support of our families and from the lessons we have learnt here at Corpus Christi.
The challenge to go light your world is in front of us all. In a year where sometimes it seemed darkness was looming, we witnessed the power of the smallest light to give hope and joy to those around them. Today, some of the challenges of 2020 are a distant memory but we are mindful of communities around the world who continue to struggle with the impact of the pandemic. We pray that they too can find ways to shine through this Christmas season.
All in All, An Amazing year
I always like to take this opportunity every year to mark the end of year with a short reflection on the school year that we had and the community we are building together.
We are community built on four core values.
PRAYER – 2020 has been an important year in building deep connections to faith through a new lens. To stay connected to the faith community through the celebration of “online liturgy and prayer” would have seemed bizarre a year ago and yet, this year we have made this very accessible to the students. And upon our return to school and face to face faith reflection, it was powerful to witness the student’s willingness to put that faith into action. To do something about things they see that seemed unfair. The student and family commitment to the Mini Vinnie Appeals both in winter and last week for Christmas along with the money raised for Catholic Missions Australia at our annual Mission Day was a true testimony to the work of faith in action.
I want to thank Fr Sabu for his support throughout the year which, while remote as a matter of necessity, has been incredible valuable in understanding and valuing how to make liturgy accessible to students. Thank you goes to Mrs Lisa York as our school’s Religious Education Coordinator. Whether it is was online liturgy, shared resources for class prayer, faith formation contributions to the newsletter or whole school face to face liturgies, Lisa has continued to create faith filled experiences that allow students, staff and families to connect Gospel values and teachings to their everyday life.
LEARNING -I want to acknowledge each and every staff member working in their own capacity to ensure excellence in learning for all. It has been an incredibly different year in how learning is delivered across a number of different platforms, sometimes at the same time. The capacity of the staff to learn new skills this year as we went remote learning for a period of time astounded me. With all due respect to the students whose adaptability to new things is ingrained in them, I want to acknowledge the staff in their efforts to step outside of their comfort zones and explore “what else” we could do to ensure a continuity of learning when schools were forced to close for 8 weeks. They did not hesitate, they did not surrender and I believe, we were able to provide a version of learning that, while unexpected, was still able to support excellence in learning for that time. To say nothing of the positive way the staff have supported and guided the students since they have returned to the classrooms in mid-term 2. The greatest excellence of this year was the ongoing commitment to student well-being and their learning. We know these two things go hand in hand, and 2020 was no different.
I want to particularly thank Emily Haardt for her particular leadership in this area as Assistant Principal throughout Term 1 and then David Treloar for taking up that same role as Acting Assistant Principal since then. David’s collegiality and support as we navigated the year has been a great asset to our school and of particular support for me. I take my long service leave next year with great confidence that, together with Katie, they will lead this school through whatever 2021 brings us.
Thank you to Emma Conserdyne for her role as Pedagogical Mentor and more recently the Gifted Education Mentor, to 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 that Vanessa is the reason the school runs so smoothly. My thanks go to her everyday and I want to acknowledge the reliance I have on her as we work together to ensure that we support the staff in their pursuit of excellence for all.
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 vital in our goal of excellence in education for all. You have literally walked with your children since their very first steps and will walk further still. We join you just for a while and it is our great privilege to do be part of your story.
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. 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 and Mrs Helen O'Neil, and my thanks goes to them for continuing to build such a great commitment to serving others.
COMMUNITY - 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. I cannot help but be grateful every day 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. To the executive members of the P & F for your leadership and the efforts of those working to run 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.
And finally, I would like to thank the students for their laughter, their unique insights, their resilience and their unending energy that has spurred all the staff on throughout the year. We get to work in a school of kids who are so full of life, hope and energy. Children, you make our school such a special place, every day. You certainly taught us as much this year about adapting to new things and resilience as we could ever teach you in return.
Start of Term 1 2021
We can now confirm the introduction of a second pupil free day at the beginning of Term 1 2021. The introduction of this day will be trialled across the diocese for 2021 and is a result of the increasing demands on the governance and WHS duties of a teacher impeding on time otherwise spend on preparing for teaching and learning. The extra day will allow us to do both, well.
Essentially this means the term's start dates will be altered accordingly and this is set out below. I have also received confirmation from St Nicholas OOSH that they will be able to provide care onsite for the additional day as a continuation of their Vacation Care program.
A letter from the director is attached below.
|Wednesday 27th - Pupil Free Day 1||Staff Governance and WHS Induction Training.|
|Thursday 28th January - Pupil Free Day 2||Staff Professional Performance and Development Planning for 2021. Teaching and Learning|
|Friday 29th January||First Day of School for students in Years 1 -6|
|Monday 1st February||First Day of School for Kindergarten 2021.|
|Friday 5th February||School Swimming Carnival (Years 1 - 6). Not really to do with the start of school but thought I would mention it for your reference anyway.|
To our Year 6 class and our families who leave us at the end of this year, we send you forward with every best wish we have, confident in the knowledge that you have grown all you can with us and now it’s the time for you to light your next path. We wish you all the very best and just as we know you will always be part of our story here at Corpus Christi, we hope that we too will be part of your story as you grow to become adults.
Congratulations to you all and particular congratulations to our award recipients.
|Sportperson of the Year Award||Curtis Mulherin|
|Academic Excellence Award||Lara McKelvey|
|Christine Dodd Award for Christian Leadership||Byron Logan|
|Kirralee Walton Award for Resilience||Cooper Robinson|
|Student of the Year||Ethan Cerniauskas|
I have included two links below. The first link below is a link to an edited version of the Graduation Assembly on Tuesday including the presentation of awards and certificates for our graduating class. The second link is the link to the full assembly via Teams live event which can still be viewed for the next week.
The staff and community have made their farewells over this week, but I still think it is important to share our sentiments with the whole community in this newsletter.
This year, we have had the pleasure of welcoming Mrs Karen Chapman to our school as she launched our strategic priority in Aboriginal Education. Working with students to promote both literacy and numeracy skills, Karen also focused on building connections between our Catholic Faith and Aboriginal Spirituality and to create greater awareness and focus on Aboriginal perspectives across the curriculum. Karen willingly shared her own commitment and connection as a proud aboriginal woman and her insights, shared so willingly with staff, gave us the confidence to speak about and share this integral part of being Australian. Karen is working with St Bede’s secondary and St Aloysius Primary schools at Chisolm next year and our loss is their gain. We wish her all the best and thank her for the work and impact she has had on Corpus Christi Waratah.
We also welcomed Mrs Fran Enilane this year as she supported our EALD students in their learning. Fran has been a wonderful asset to our staff. Her wisdom and passion for education was clear from the outset and she is driven by a belief that every child can succeed and everyone has a story. The pride we witnessed in students as she supported them to share their story was amazing. Children and staff benefit immediately as a result of their encounter with her and Fran will be missed at CCW. Thank you Fran and all the best for you as you move to St Johns Lambton for 2021.
We also bid a farewell to Mrs Bronwyn Ryan. Bronwyn is finishing up almost 40 years in education this year, and reportedly 25 years at Corpus Christi . Bron has been a member of the CCW family for many years. She has an amazing capacity to adapt her teaching to any grade because she values the child first. Every student knows they are important when Mrs Ryan is teaching and from there she can adapt any learning to their needs. Bron is a wonderful team member, working with multiple job share partnerships over the years in her role as Executive Release Teacher. Like all of us she has witnessed the face of education change significantly over the years. She is very pragmatic about that and amongst it all she remains true to her core values – the children must, and always must, come first. We will miss her for that alone but her friendship with 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 Bron. We are privileged to have worked with you and to have learnt from you. On behalf of every student, family and staff member who has been made better for your presence throughout your career, I wish you only the best in the coming journey. It is without a doubt at Corpus Christi's and education’s loss. Congratulations and enjoy the gift of Time in the new year.
Before signing off for the year, I want to say my own farewells and best wishes for Terms 1 and 2 next year as I take Long Service Leave. I leave the school in the capable hands of a great Executive and Staff Team, a wonderful parent community and amazing kids. It is only because of this that I am able to take the leave our family has dreamt of for so long and I will be forever grateful for that.
As we adventure our way around Australia I seriously doubt that CCW will be too far from my mind, even if we get further away on the map (hopefully as far as Broome if the borders allow it). I will touch base every now and then with some of our ongoing adventures. I have dreamt of this trip since watching the Leyland Brothers with my family as a little girl and my husband assures me I mentioned it to him on our second date. While the delay this year was unavoidable, I am so glad we have this opportunity again, so soon. I want to thank the parents for their support and understanding for my own situation earlier in the year when things changed so quickly, and again this term when I announced that I was to take the leave in the next 6 months.
Now we just have to make it to the NSW Border but if not I think NSW holds its own treasures. Its incredible that we now think of Australia having strict borders to cross which was so alien 12 months ago but therein lies the extraordinary year we have had.
Thank you CCW, have a great 6 months and know that I take CCW with me.
PS A few snaps to preview our adventures.
In signing off for 2020, I want to wish all our families a wonderful Christmas and a happy, safe and prosperous new year. May it bring us more adventures and triumphs than it does challenges and tears. May we all grow stronger in the love and support of those we love. May we always find the miracle of life and the Face of God in the smallest of moments and the person of Jesus in those we meet.
We will see students back here on Friday 29th January with Kindergarten 2021 starting Monday, 1st February. Don't forget we have St Nicholas OOSH conducting vacation care on site throughout the holidays.
Have a great two 6 weeks :-),