Walk with Jesus and be His hands for the world
Last week we celebrated our End of Year liturgy with challenge for the journey to "Walk with Jesus" and yesterday's Graduation Assembly had the challenge for us to be the Person of Jesus to others - "I have no hands but yours". Each of these challenges remind us that we are the Face of God to those around us and we live with Jesus at the heart of all that we do. It can get a little lost in the busy times we all experience this year and as we wrestle with different challenges but I am increasingly reminded of the need to keep these challenges at my centre - "To walk with Jesus and be His hands to the world we live in".
This challenge is in front of us all. We can be the person of Jesus and witness the Face of God in others through the simplest of acts and the smallest moments. It is those moments and acts, built upon and celebrated daily that creates the hope for a better tomorrow. This is what the Christmas Season is about - the promise of a better tomorrow. I pray that we each celebrate a special Christmas with our loved ones and look to the new year with the hope and joy of the Christmas Season.
Thanks for another great year.
This week marks a change of season for our Year 6 students as well many families and a few colleagues. We each come to the end of our journey with Corpus Christi Waratah. Whilst it is an important occasion for Year 6, it is equally important for each of the other classes in our school, particularly our Kindergarten class who will be farewelling their buddies, our Year 2 class who will literally step up the stairs to their Primary grades and our Year 5 class who will be stepping into the student leadership shoes of Year 6 2022.
Big changes or smaller changes, we come together to celebrate the year we have had together, and as it turns out, apart. We have certainly walked an interesting journey this year but on reflection it has strengthened us and led us to this point now; ready to launch into the next stage with the lessons we have learnt equipping us for the challenges ahead.
It is my privilege every year to speak on behalf of the staff and community and share our thanks for 2021. I want to take the opportunity to thank Fr Sabu and Fr Camillus for their support in 2021. Together with Lisa York in Semester 1 and David Treloar in Semester 2 as our RECs, the opportunities to celebrate liturgical experience continued to strengthen our community throughout the year.
I want to acknowledge each staff member working in their own roles to ensure excellence in learning for all. The dedication of the staff at Corpus Christi is the highest anyone 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. Throughout 2021, their commitment did not waver (although it was reasonable for it to do so, yet again). Their passion for the right of every child to learn and be well in themselves is truly admirable. They are a great team to work with and I have been tremendously proud to be part of it.
I want to particularly thank Katie McDermott for undertaking the Acting Principal role so competently in Semester 1 this year and then as the AP in Semester 2. I have loved working in partnership with her and am very grateful you will lead this school in 2022. A special thankyou and acknowledgement of Mrs Vanessa Bamford, who works tirelessly in the office every day. I know the school will continue to run smoothly because of her commitment and collegiality to all staff and welcome face to all members of our community.
Thank you to the parents as well. This year, just as you did last year, you had to be the face-to-face teachers for just a little while. Many of you probably swore off teaching at that point but the teaching you did enabled your children to continue to strive for excellence every day. You have literally walked beside your children this year, just as you have ever since their very first steps and you will walk further still. While I know you do not do it for gratitude, I wish to give you our thanks today. I want to thank the incredible Parents and Friends association for all your efforts this year. 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 spontaneity, 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 and hope that it's hard not to rub off. If Covid has taught us anything it is just how empty our school can be without all our students here and how full our hearts were when you returned. Children, you make our school such a special place, every day. Thank you, you are the secret to our apparent youth.
My Personal Thanks to CCW
Now, if you are wondering what I might say in my final thanks as I get set to leave this beautiful community, you could probably grab a measure of my sentiments above and multiply them by at least the 6 years I have been here. However, just like most strong, close-knit, and supportive communities, I suspect you could multiply my sentiments by much greater than just the 6. Or you could measure my greys and a few extra wrinkles but to be fair, that's probably just ticking of time for all of us.
It has been my absolute privilege to be part of the Corpus Christi Community. I cannot possibly share with you how much I have grown, both professionally and personally, during my time here. I could not possibly count the laughs or the moments of joy that I have been part of, but I feel them with every beat of my heart and particularly now, I feel them as I begin to count my final steps. While I could probably count the challenges and the tough times, I acknowledge that these were always in the process of finding better ways and best practice. This too, has been a great benefit of being part of CCW as together we have solved problems and striven for excellence. At the end of the day, this is what makes every day worth every effort undertaken.
It's a strange thing to say goodbye to a community you love, knowing that while you will no longer be a part of it on a daily basis, it will always be a daily part of you. I have nothing but confidence in the staff, parents and students who will continue to do great things for CCW. I will look on with great pride knowing that I got be part of something very special. It has been my honour, and I farewell you all with only the fondest memories and very best of wishes for the journey ahead, wherever that takes each of us.
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 the 2022 Graduation Award Recipients
|Sharon Claydon Award for Leadership||Iyla Chandler|
|Sportperson of the Year Award||Alice Spadari|
|Academic Excellence Award||Lucy Mace|
|Christine Dodd Award for Christian Leadership||Emily Tucker|
|Kirralee Walton Award for Resilience||Matthew Taylor|
|Student of the Year||Lucy Gallagher|
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.
David – David has been our REC since mid-2018 and has done almost 18 months of Acting Assistant Principal thanks to Covid and my LSL for Semester 1 this year. Rightly so, he has now been appointed to Assistant Principal at St Josephs, Dungog. From the moment he arrived, David brought a positive and collaborative sense of community. He has a strength to connect people in a way that I have always admired, and I found myself learning from him and witnessing the strength this can bring to a community. David has an incredible way of connecting with students as well. He has the highest expectations of every child both as a learner and as a person and I see them respond to that every single day. David, on behalf of the staff we are so very grateful to have had you as a valued member of staff. We are even more grateful to call you, our friend. We wish you all the best next year David and wholeheartedly thank you for being part of our community.
Lisa York will also be moving on to Our Lady of Victories Primary School in Shortland. Lisa has worked in our school since the beginning of 2019. Lisa is a deeply committed teacher with a passion for education. Every act of Lisa’s teaching is driven by a belief that every child can succeed, and they benefit immediately as a result of their encounter with her. Lisa's expertise, drive for excellence and collegiality will be missed next year but she will take great strength to her new school. Lisa, we wish you all the very best at the new school and we have no doubt that we will be sharing more of our journeys together in the coming years.
Sophie King has been our Pastoral Care Working since the beginning of 2020. I often joke that Sophie brings so much to our staff simply because she lowered our average age. But her youth is only that, a number. She is wise beyond her years. She has a deep understanding of the many different aspects to a child’s wellbeing. She has an innate ability to seek out that area in which support will equip them in resilience and understanding of themselves and those around them. Sophie, you have certainly chosen career well. We miss you already but continue to wish you the very the best in your new path.
It’s with mixed emotions I say farewell.
My time at Corpus Christi has been so fulfilling.
To the parents, thank you for making me feel at home. Your passion for CCW shows and it is so rewarding as a teacher and leader to witness your care and concern for your children, the school and the parish community.
To the students, I have loved getting to know you all, I hope that you all continue to be the hands of Jesus and spread his love and care to each other. Make Jesus Real children! Stay safe my little friends. I will miss you all.
To the staff, your dedication to the children, your friendship and your collegiality has made everyday a joy. Thankyou from the bottom of my heart.
And finally to Jules, the one who has had the most profound impact on me. I have learnt so much from you and will never forget my time working with you.
Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas everyone. Farewell!
THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD (CHRISTMAS) DAY
The birth of Jesus.
If you were to give just a cursory glance at a collection of ‘religious’ Christmas cards, or even the local nativity scene, you would undoubtedly see a varied assortment of shepherds, wise men, livestock and angels gathered around the holy family in a timber structure of some sort.
That’s even the case in the Gospels, with accounts from Luke and Matthew showing differing themes and emphasis. For example, in Luke’s account of the birth of Christ most of the nativity figurines are missing! The Luke account of the nativity carries the outcast and downtrodden at the centre of Jesus’ mission. Our retelling of the birth of Christ tends to be an amalgamation of the Luke and Matthew versions with a bit of creative tradition thrown in for good measure.
In Luke’s account, Jesus is born outside the town because there is no room for Joseph and Mary within the safety of the inn. Like those he will minister to later in life, Jesus is born ‘on the edge’ – even outside the boundaries. Rather than the impressive ‘Wise Men’ of the Matthew infancy account, the witnesses to Jesus’ birth in the Luke account are lowly shepherds. Unlike the somewhat romantic notion we may have of shepherds, in Jesus’ time they were regarded as little better than thieves and cut-throats. All they could be trusted to do was tend sheep outside of townships and away from ‘civilised’ society. They held one of the lowest positions in Jewish society. The gospel writer’s choice of these witnesses to the birth of Jesus is a very deliberate one that clearly announces the purpose and direction of Jesus’ mission.
It is a shame that the two versions have merged into one as each is deserving of its own integrity. The Matthew account emphasises Jesus as the fulfilment of prophecy and has Wise Men as the witnesses to his birth in a house. It is from Luke that we have the much humbler birth in a manger witnessed by the lowly shepherds. Each has something different and distinct to say about Jesus and his mission.
St Francis of Assisi is credited with setting up the first nativity scene and thus establishing a tradition that is carried on today in homes, churches and public spaces in Christian communities everywhere. In 1223, in the town of Greccio he created a life size tableau of the nativity scene to heighten the awareness of the celebration of the birth of Christ. It included statues of the holy family and a live ox and donkey. The inclusion of the livestock has no scriptural support and it is to Francis that we owe the array of sheep, oxen and donkeys that have become standard inclusions in our nativity scenes.
Start of Term 1 2022
We can now confirm the beginning dates for Term 1 2022. The introduction of two pupil free days was established in 2021 and is a result of the increasing demands on the governance and WHS duties of a teacher impeding on time otherwise spent 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.
|Friday 28th January - Pupil Free Day 1||Staff Governance and WHS Induction Training.|
|Monday 31st January January - Pupil Free Day 2||Staff Professional Performance and Development Planning for 2021. Teaching and Learning|
|Tuesday 1st February||
First Day of School for students in Years 1 -6
School Swimming Carnival (Years 3 - 6).
Sport Uniform - Year 3-6 (and Year 2 students attending the Swimming Carnival)
Please refer to the Compass information and paper notes that have been sent home.
Year 1 and 2 onsite - School Uniform -ompetent swimmers who trun 8 in 2022 will travel to carnival with Year 3.
Updates/ reminders will be provided via COMPASS leading up to this start date.
Wednesday 2nd February
All students 1-6 on site at school.
|Thursday 3rd February||
All Kindergarten children commence -flexible learning option available all week for Kindergarten students
Information to Kindergarten Parents to be emailed on Wednesday 15 December
Welcome to the last edition of wellbeing news for this year. We can look forward to enjoying a very well-earned break from school after what has been another year full of challenges and uncertainty.
This week I have included an activity to make a simple self-esteem Christmas tree. It would be great if you could assist your child to complete the activity.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday break. May your Christmas and New Year be filled with joy and peace.
Below I have included a reminder of where to access information and support during the school break. I look forward to seeing you at Corpus Christi in 2022.
Where to access Mental Health information and support during the School Holiday Break
Smiling Mind or via the app can help with relaxion and mindfulness. Other apps are Stop, Breathe & Think, Calm, Breathe2Relax, Headspace: Meditation and Recharge
COORDINATOR - FAMILY MINISTRY COORDINATORS, DIOCESE OF MAITLAND - NEWCASTLE
In signing off for 2021, 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.
Have a great two 6 weeks :-),