What a Term!
What's in this Newsletter?
In the next section of the report, I will unpack some important details regarding the current billing for 2021 school fees and begin to explain the next steps in preparation of the 2022 billing cycle. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with this important information.
Further on in this newsletter, we discuss the important events that are remembered at this time of year. David will discuss the Perpetual Day of Remembrance set for the 15th September (RE Update) and Katie will unpack the Child Protection Week initative from the government (Teacher and Learning Update).
In the Wellbeing Update, we have some tips about how to keep busy in the Holidays and this will link to a message from our student leaders that will be posted on COMPASS this Friday.
What does Term 4 Look Like?
At this stage the school is preparing to continue delivering a Learning at Home model with the same restirctions that are curently in place.
As the roadmap currently stands, Term 4 looks like this:
- Weeks 1-3 Level 4 settings remain in place. Learning from Home Model
Timetable for Students to return to face-to-face learning under Level 3 restrictions:
- 25 October (Week 4): Kindergarten and Year 1
- 1 November (Week 5): Years 2 and Year 6
- 8 November (Week 6): Years 3, 4 and 5
Should a dramatic lifting of our restrictions occur during the holidays, we will launch further communication at that time.
Please note; The first day of Term 4 is Tuesday 5th October (with the Monday being the October Long Weekend public holiday).
Thank you for an amazing term everyone. The students and staff have truly been awesome and the support from home has allowed great things to occur. I am tremendously proud of the work we have done, the things we have achieved and the positive approach we have taken. Please take the time to rest over the holidays (as much as you can in the current situation) and know that a job well done is a job to be proud of. See you all then,
Have a great Two weeks,
2021 School Fee Accounts
Last Friday, parents received their monthly statement for the 2021 School Fees. It is important as we approach the end of the year that steps are taken to finalise these accounts or ensure that the current direct debits will finalise the account by year's end. To that end, we ask parents to consider the monthly statement with a plan to finalise these accounts. If you are not currently paying for this account via a direct debit that will see it reach zero by the end of the year, it is expected that you make arrangements to finalise the account by the 30th November. This can be via a lump sum payment , several smaller payments over the next few months or even set up a direct debit that will see it paid out by the end of 2021. As long as we have some pattern of payment or communication from you about the intention to pay the accounts by November 30 we will not need to proced with the follow up steps outlined in the paragraph below.
In the new term, we will begin specific reminders and follow up letters to those families who have yet to make any payments and have not indicated to us how they intend to finalise these accounts. We understand this is a sensitive issue and more so at this time but it something we must proceed with in order to finalise our own financial procedures and end of year budget review. Please contact us if there are any concerns about finalising your account between now and the end of the year.
2022 School Fee Billing Processes
- Family Names
- Nominated member responsible for paying the fees. Please note that if you nominate a different person responsible for paying bills, we are only able to make that change once your account is at zero and before the next billing occurs in March 2022. Vanessa will make this a priority in January and February of the new year.
- Family Structure. This refers to all children enrolled in any Catholic School across the diocese and allows us to apply a family discount and ensure the family based building levy is applied only once.
- Intended Payment Method - Bpay, Direct Debit, Lump sum
- Intended frequency of payment - weekly, fortnightly, monthly etc
- Fee Concession - holders of Health Care and Pension cards receive a discount applied to the tuition fee proportion of the school fees account
- Diocesan Pastoral Care Contribution - elect to pay, opt out or pay an alternate amount.
Shine the Light of Christ
Perpetual Day of Remembrance
At that time Bishop Bill made a number of commitments to ensure that ‘the story is not forgotten and that our determination that it not be repeated never fades’. One of these commitments was to proclaim September 15 as a Perpetual Day of Remembrance.
Since then, the Diocese, parishes and schools have continued to ensure that this story is never forgotten. In 2020 Bishop Bill, made a formal decree that the Perpetual Day of Remembrance will become a feast day and inscribed in the diocesan liturgical calendar. This means that across our diocese, the Sunday masses on or prior to September 15 will replace all Masses, ensuring that the acknowledgment and repentance continues.
The Perpetual Day of Remembrance continues to push us to think deeply about what it means to be and live Catholic. ‘Catholic’ is a big word. Our unity is marked by enormous diversity. This diversity requires great sensitivity in discerning our communal faith response. No matter what we do, some will appreciate it and some will find it challenging and even offensive. Some want us to keep remembering our history of child sexual abuse and some find the constant reminders harmful.
As we seek to respect and respond to this diversity we need to provide all a range of choices on how to respond, from attending the Sunday Mass online, reading the
prayers below or as something as simple and powerful as turning on a light on September 15. As a diocesan school, we are deeply committed to remembering and praying that this hurt never happens again.
As a faith community, it is important for all of us to recognise that this day responds to a deep need in some of our brothers and sisters. As members of the community of Jesus’ disciples – irrespective of our affiliation with the worshipping community – we stand together, with survivors, against all forms of abuse and for cultural change that will promote fullness of life for all.
As the saying goes, ‘It takes a village'. We need every glimmer of light if, together, we hope to Shine the light of Christ into this dark space: a light of solidarity, a light of prayer, a light of courage and commitment to change, a light of healingand hope. We continue to learn from experience and find our way forward in this space.
On Wednesday 15th we ask you to leave a light on signifying the Perpetual Day of Remembrance and how we together can Shine the Light of Christ.
You may wish to say this prayer with your family, so we may shine together, be a light of solidarity, be a light of prayer, be a light of commitment to change and be light of hope.
The Power of Prayer We Pray Together: Ode to the Light of Christ
Let us walk in the Light of the Lord, Let us not fear the past, When our hearts were heavy. Let us Shine the Light of Christ (Is. 2:5)
Let us bring light from the darkness, Let us make evil good, And find sweet in the bitter. Let us Shine the Light of Christ (Is. 5:20)
Let us weep together, When the light grew dark with the clouds.
From the darkness and distress. Let us Shine the Light of Christ (Is. 5:30)
Let us walk with our brothers and sisters, Those who have walked in darkness
Let them see the great Light of God. And let us Shine the Light of Christ (Is. 9:2)
Composed by Fiona Duque. © 2019 Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
Prayer for turning on ‘the light of Christ’ at your homes/ workplaces.
God with us, you have made us in your image and filled us with your love.
Through the life of Jesus, you show us the way to be merciful as you are merciful.
Where people are ‘put down’- May we shine the light of your strength.
Where there is dishonesty and denial- May we shine the light of your truth.
Where there is fear- May we shine the light of your peace.
Where there is judgement - May we shine the light of your compassion.
Where there is disrespect- May we shine the light of your love.
Where people feel silenced - May we shine the light of your word.
Where people feel excluded - May we shine the light of your acceptance.
Where there is sin - May we shine the light of your forgiveness.
Hope you are all safe and well and have a restful holiday. See you all next term.
National Child Protection Week
Over the past week we have marked National Child Protection Week. It is during this time that we are reminded about the vital role we all play in supporting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people. For parents and caregivers this can be through establishing safe routines and teaching safe behaviours, especially as children become more independent.
The theme for this year’s campaign advocates for every child in every family to have a fair go. So not only do we need to focus on our role as the important adults in the lives of our own children, but what we can do to support others in our own community and communities across the country.
Healthy and Respectful Relationships
Connection and Relationships with our children. This is as simple and complex as it sounds.
So much of our safety discussions and routines are grounded in open and honest communication and connection with our children. It is important that we listen to, and value, what children have to say. Where possible, include their voices in decision making and be advocates for their best interest.
If you haven’t seen this gorgeuos video it’s worth a look – out of the mouths of babes…and that simple message of engagement through safe, loving relationships - something that we hope for all children everywhere.
Celebrate your children, their achievements, values and interests and support them when times are tough. This will build a strong bonds that are loving and safe. Play with your children, this looks different as they get older, but finding a game or activity they are interested in, or developing a ritual of exercising together, reading a book together or building lego can help build a positive relationship and connection and most of all it is fun!
Safety in Our Community
It is always important to talk about personal safety with your children and review this conversation as they grow. Talk about what being unsafe might look and feel like at home, if they are with friends, parents, online or at school. Make plans about what to do if they feel unsafe.
Another important aspect is having regular discussions about who your child would trust if they feel worried or unsafe, and why it’s important to have trusted adults in our lives. A great activity is asking children to nominate 5 trusted adults they could go to for help.
Who are your trusted adults?
- What do you do if you are worried?
- Who could you talk to?
- It’s always ok to ask for help!
As we are spending more time online, especially at the moment. It is important to ensure that parents have firm boundaries about access to technology, supervision with technology and acceptable platforms to engage with
Some base rules for technology
- What platforms they access online/mobile devices
- Who they communicate with online
- The amount of time the spend online
- How to recognise inappropriate behaviour online
- How to respond to inappropriate behaviour online
- Ask for help if something happens online that makes them feel uncomfortable
- Ask for help if they come across something inappropriate
We have just about made it to the holidays where we can enjoy a well-earned break from at-home-schooling. This holiday will be a little different as we are in lockdown due to COVID outbreaks. Here are some tips on how families can cope with being at home for the school holidays.
I’m sure that, where we will be very keen to ditch screen time related to schoolwork, there are many kids looking forward to being able to use their gaming and media consoles more freely and to use their screen time to catch up on some television and movies. There is no denying that screen time and screen use are, these days, a normal part of life for most children and teens. This holidays, more than ever, it will be important to balance the time spent watching TV and using computers, gaming consoles, tablets and smartphones so that it can fit into and be a part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s all about making sure that:
- children enjoy lots of healthy, fun activities, both with and without screens, including physical activity, reading, creative play and social time with family and friends.
- when children do use screens, they watch or use quality content.
So, what other ways are there to beat the boredom of a school holiday at home.
You might also like to check out the following link for up-to-date information about what’s happening in our local area
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and healthy school holiday and remind you of where you can access information and support during the break. I look forward to seeing you again in term 4.