Welcome back for the first newsletter of Term 3. We appreciate your understanding in our publishing this newsletter two days later than scheduled given that we were awaiting on a few pieces of content and had the additional work load of completing the annual National School Census this week. In this newsletter, Emily outlines some exciting new directions in Maths in the Teaching and Learning Update and we begin a series of updates outlining the different elements of the Be You initiative for well being in the Student Welfare Update. We celebrate the wonderful social justice initiative last term where the school raised Money for Kesheni in the Community Update and I attempt to outline the Immersion experience of Kesheni that I had the privileged of being a part of during the holidays. We hope you find this newsletter enjoyable and informative.
I hope that all our community members had a safe and happy two week break. Sometimes it feels like we begin things in the middle and that certainly is the case for Term 3. Yes, we are starting the new term but it comes at the exact middle point of our year. The students are deeply entrenched in their classrooms and at the height of the learning journey for the year. It is amazing how quickly the students settle back into focused learning after a two week break. It emphasis the need to rest and relax before returning with renewed energy and focus for the task at hand.
This term we welcome two new families to our school. The Childs family have joined us with Jake in Kinder and Alanna in Year 4 and Riley Scott has also joined and settled into Year 4 since the beginning of the term. We hope you find our community as welcome, supportive and engaging as we strive to be. We are happy that you are here and know you will quickly become valued members of our community.
This week we completed the schools annual census which is an administrative process linked to the growth and future planning of our school. Over the last few years, our school has shown steady growth from 146 to 163. This week we have confirmed an enrolment of 27 in Kinder 2020. After graduating our beautiful Year 6 class of 15, we are confident that we will be within the range of 'full enrolment' of 175 for 2020. (most 'single class per grade' sit between 175 - 190). This is important as it has budgeting and strategic security there cannot always be relied upon when 'underenrolled'.
I am very appreciative of our families' voice in the community that has strengthened our school's enrolment through word of mouth. We continue to benefit from the wonderful site that we have for our school which has more than tripled in playground space over the last two years; thanks to the development of the grassed spaces by the CSO and the generosity of the parent community in supporting the construction and use of the Dominic Courtyard. I am also grateful to the committed and professional staff we have here at Corpus Christi, Waratah. I am confident that the professional, nurturing nature of our team together with the quality teaching and learning in our classrooms has served us well in promoting our shared vision to "Reflect the Face of God and Equipping students for the Contemporary World through Excellence in Education for All"
Kesheni Immersion Experience
As I sit down to reflect on my Kesheni experience I have wrestled with ways I might share this with those interested. I am in constant danger of talking someone’s ear off when asked how Africa was because it was so many things with so little words, or at least expertise with words, to explain it. I will attempt to be brief.
I am both humbled and grateful to have been allowed the opportunity to visit Nairobi, Kenya and be witness to the amazing organisations working in two of the largest slum areas in Africa. We spent 10 days visiting, listening to, getting to know, understand and working alongside the people of the Mukuru and Kibera slums. Organisations covering the areas of education, medical, social welfare, safe houses and refuge, vocational training, small business support, community radio, orphanages as well as pragmatic solutions like safe access to toilets/water and lighting the pitch black streets of the slum at night making it safer for all.(there is limited electricity access in the slum).
The different organisations we visited prioritised the sustainability of African leadership and implementation. History and logic suggests that first world people with first world solutions is simply not sustainable. Instead, they seek Africans working towards African solutions and the organisations themselves focus on educating, equipping and supporting those solutions. The other thing that struck me was the big vision of the larger organisations made possible with countless smaller projects and initiatives that they continuously work for the vision of empowering people of the community to make their lives better.
I went into the Kesheni experience fully prepared to witness the poverty, despair and surrender that might be present in the lives of more than 1.8 million people living on less than $1 US dollar a day. While I did see some of these things to some extent, I was blown away by what I also witnessed that I certainly did not expect to. Each day I was privileged to witness amazing people doing wonderful things for the right reasons. In a situation where people could be forgiven for focusing on getting themselves “out and away from the problem”, I was impressed by the mindset that it would be better to “stay and solve” the problem for the community as a whole. Together, they could find solutions. Day by Day, bit by bit there was a commitment to and a belief in that things could be better for all.
There is an African Spirituality known as Ubuntu that permeates all that they do. While the familiar Western philosophy of “I think therefore I am” focuses on the individual’s sense of self and purpose; the African philosophy of Ubuntu translates roughly to “I am because we Are” which is a sense of purpose and self ONLY through community. It can also be translated to “Humanity for others”. What a powerful notion that empowers the vision of each of these organisations and the people within them to proactively seek solutions for the greater good. They know that relationships and connection to a common purpose are innate to humanity and trumps all other measure of purpose, value and vision.
The whole experience has taught me lessons I did not even know I needed to learn and changed my mindset from “what is” to “what is possible”. And I thought I was there to HELP them!.
Here are just a few pictures that only "whisper" some of the memories and leanings I have gained. Again, I have chosen brevity but am happy to share more if you feel like me bending your ear sometime. (Please note that I have included how we spent the Money for Kesheni money from in the Community Update)
Save the Date
GRANDPARENTS AND BOOK WEEK COMBINED EVENT
THURSDAY WEEK 5 - THURSDAY 22ND AUGUST
At the end of last term, I published some important dates for this term. I want to alert parents to and important one in Week 5 which is the combined Grandparents and Bookweek event. More information will follow on Tuesday next week which will outline the day. Just thought I would alert parents to this in advance, as some Grandparents who need to travel might like to be involved.
Have a great two weeks,
The Be You framework extends support and big picture approach to well being from 0 to 18 years old. The staff have recently completed some online PD from the Be You framework and we are very impressed with the information and support we can use in our wellbeing endeavours. Be You is adult centred information to support child and youth wellbeing. We want to take this opportunity to begin communicating some important information to parents as well.
Over the coming weeks we will be looking at a number of different fact sheets that are covered on the Be You website. There is a lot of information on the website which you can explore on your own. There is almost too much to "browse" so the links below direct you each fortnight to some specific reading we hope might support you in your understanding and approach to wellbeing for all.
Wellbeing is about balance in all aspects in life (PART 1)
Wellbeing encompasses the health of the whole person – physical, mental, social and emotional. A person’s wellbeing can change moment to moment, day to day, month to month and year to year. It can be influenced by what’s happening in a specific moment and the actions that people take.
As with positive mental health, wellbeing is most likely to flourish in a supportive and inclusive environment – a safe place where diversity is acknowledged, respected and seen as adding to the vibrancy and strength of the entire community.
- Mindfulness: mindfulness help you focus on the present time.
- Self-management: self-management is a key developmental skills linked to mental health, resilience and capacity to cope.
- Resilience: children and young people need resilience. It's important in managing stress and supporting their mental health.
Next newsletter in Wellbeing (Part 2) we will look at Building children's confidence, Decision making skills and Using technology
Sacrament of the Eucharist children workshop is Wednesday 7
th August in the Year 4 classroom. 3-4 pm.
The Sacrament of the Eucharist Mass is on Sunday 11th August at 5:30pm in the Church
We begin with Fr Richard Leonard’s Homily for our Faith Formation. He explores this
week’s Gospel Lk 12:13-21, The Parable of the rich man with a good harvest.
Having Dignity and Sharing our Possessions
In his Spiritual Exercises, St Ignatius Loyola says that pride, riches and power are the three most seductive and destructive temptations in the world. So many conflicts, and their continuance, can be traced to the interplay of this unholy trinity. The so-called reality TV show, Big Brother and its many imitators demonstrate just how far some of our compatriots will go to be famous, to be wealthy or to have a certain clout in the popular imagination. We should never be surprised when our media culture reflects this back to us, because by watching the programmes, reading the papers and the magazines, listening to the shock-jocks and buying the merchandise, we are part of theproblem, not the solution.
In today's Gospel Jesus tells us just how deadly riches and greed can be. Our own experience tells how right He is: think of how many children fight in the playground because everything they see is ‘mine’; the families who have fought over an estate; the number of friends who have fallen out over even small amounts of money; colleagues who no longer speak to each other because of a failed investment; and nations who have gone to war to get what their neighbours have.
The issue with money is not having it, because money, and the health, education and welfare that flow from it are good things, whereas poverty is an evil that God wants wiped off the face of the earth. The problem is what we do with money and what it does to us. Some Christians think that just because they are financially comfortable from legitimate earnings, they do not have to take any responsibility for the world's poor who are often stereotyped as being lazy, warmongering and irreligious. These images may justify not sharing more of the excess we have, but it does not remove the moral obligation Jesus demands of us today. Of the world's 6 billion people, 1.2 billion of them live on US$1, or less, a day. On average 26,000 children will die today of starvation. We should try telling them they're lazy, warmongering and irreligious! In an attempt to get rich quickly or to stay rich, most western countries gamble away 10 to 15 times more money than they give to third world development – money that might see markets and wages that are just, and so provide an incentive for work, curtail or prevent some wars and help develop democracy.
When faced with the enormity of the world's poverty, the bad spirit can convince us that it is so large there is nothing that we can do about it. Not true. Every moment of consciousness and each act of goodness toward anyone anywhere is a victory for God's kingdom and will to be done 'here on earth as it is in heaven'.
No one can pretend, however, that sharing is always easy or that throwing money around will solve the world's problems. Everyone who works in the front-line says that the biggest obstacle in the war on poverty is dignity. And dignity, as Jesus reminds us today, has very little to do with money or possessions. Each time we make a claim for our own dignity and we give dignity to people who do not even claim it for themselves, we contribute to the generous and just world Jesus wants. And sometimes that can be as easy as turning the channel on the radio or the TV.
Fr Pedro Arrupe inherited the office of leading the Jesuits four centuries after its founder St Ignatius Loyola died. He once said that, ‘the celebration of the Eucharist is always incomplete while there is hunger in the world.’ Let's pray at this Eucharist that we do not blunt the hard edge of the Gospel. Rather let us accept its power to convert our hearts and minds that we might meet its challenges in regard to bestowing dignity and sharing our possessions with those who have a just claim on them.
SACRAMENTS OF INITIATION - UPDATE
Dates for First Eucharist are as follows.
Celebration of the Eucharist Workshop For children
Wednesday 7th August 3pm to 4 pm Year 4 Classroom
Celebration of the Eucharist Sunday 11th August
Normal Parish Mass -5:30pm Corpus Christi Waratah Church
School Parish Mass
You’re invited to the next School-Parish Mass
This term we begin our First Tuesday of the Month Masses. 9:30am.
Tuesday 6th August. This Mass celebrates the Transfiguration of the Lord. Year 5 and Year 6 . All welcome
If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me or email me at
Have a great week
Religious Education Coordinator
Money For Kesheni
On the final day of term. our wonderful school community put their collective generosity together and raised money for the communities and projects I visited as part of the Kesheni Immersion Trip. Lots of fun and huge efforts from everybody
Thanks to the efforts of the Mini Vinnies group and the contributions of our families and friends, I was very proud to take a donation of over $900 with me in search of a worthwhile project that could have an immediate effect on the communities I visited. Each of the participants in the immersion group brought their own community contributions so we had some real confidence that we could contribute something important. We began small by purchasing some toys for toddlers at a refuge centre for teenage mothers, some cups for an informal slum school for each child to serve their meal in (sometimes the only meal the get for the day) rather than sharing with two others and a trampoline for an occupational therapist group working in a school for the disabled children of the Kibera Slum.
However, we soon found a major project badly needing some serious support. We visited a daycare centre within the Ruben Organisation which services the families of the Mukuru slum. The children in the daycare centre would otherwise be left (locked) in their small slum hoses while their parents searched for a day's work for less than $1 a day. So, they are brought to this 'centre'. Imagining our own childcare centres here in Australia, we were shocked to visit the centre which was in tin shack. The windows had no glass, only wooden shutters. While there were efforts to brighten the centre up, it remained a dark, dingy space that broke our hearts. The worst part was that it was located alongside an open sewer draining the slum toilets in that area (about 100 000 people). Every year during the wet season, the centre floods as the sewer rises and breaks through the chicken wire fence between it and the centre. As you can imagine, a very confronting smell was ever present (even in the dry season) and with no glass on the windows and gaps in the tin itself, you can imagine the smell was just as strong inside, as it was out.
We asked the Director of the Ruben organisation about the daycare as it contradicted many of the other well provided for projects we visited in the organisation. He regretfully explained that being a recent addition, it had not yet benefited from focused fundraising and they were making do. We asked if there were any plans to rebuild the centre in a new location and he replied that he needed $15000 to bring in a prefab classroom and build it in an alternate location as well as build a solid wall to stop the open sewer smell drifting across the playground that was also nearby. Our Kesheni group and school communities as well as contributions from the 2018 Kesheni participants managed to raise just under $10000 which was enough of a cash injection for the Ruben organisation to get the project underway and completed by the end of August. Below are two photos of the project, lets call them a before and after (although the after shot is an example of the prefab classroom that was built in another school by another group for a similar reason). I can't wait to see the finished project and to know that these toddlers are playing in a much safer space with light and fresh air so that they get the best start to their education.
A little bit of every child in the Corpus Christi community will be in that new building and the smiles and opportunities that will flow from this will have a ripple effect far beyond the worth of their original contribution. I am a very proud Principal and Kesheni participant.
THANK YOU CORPUS CHRISTI. YOU ARE AMAZING
Maths Focus for Teachers and Students
As we start Semester Two 2019, the focus of our Lead Teacher changes from Science and STEM to Mathematics. Part of this focus is on the introduction of the Numeracy Progressions to the NESA Mathematics Syllabus K-10, with familiarising teachers with what they are and how to use them to gain the best outcomes for our students at Corpus Christi. Another focus is to make learning Mathematics FUN and engaging for students.
Maths Tips for Parents
You are a math teacher!
We all know that reading with a child helps literacy skills, and that playing sports in the backyard teaches the value of teamwork and being physically active. But where are the life lessons for mathematics?
The truth is that we all use mathematics many times each day, but often don’t realize it. From trips to the shops to swinging in a hammock, math is part of our daily lives.
Don’t underestimate your own math skills. You can help your child learn math!
Be a math role model
Children learn by imitating the people around them. Imitating a parent’s positive attitude about education helps children develop healthy academic skills.
Talk out loud as you do everyday tasks. Talking out loud allows children to hear how you think and helps them develop important skills for “thinking things out” and solving problems.
Do informal math together. On rainy days, family evenings and vacation time, play math games such as Dominoes, Connect Four, Monopoly. Show your child that math is fun!
Shops are a great source of math lessons. For example, you can talk aloud about how to weigh fruit on a scale or how to estimate the total cost of groceries as you fill your cart.
We all use mathematics daily in what we do. Involve your child in using numbers to solve problems and make those everyday decisions with you. For example:
“Do we have enough plates and utensils for all the guests coming for the birthday party?”
“We are doubling this recipe. How much of all the ingredients will we need?”
“We are fertilizing the lawn. The fertilizer bag covers three square meters. How many will we need?”
“This store is selling the game you want for 20% off of $27.00. That store is selling the same game for $19.99. Where should we shop?”
Maths Olympiad is organised every year by the Australian Problem Solving Mathematical Olympiads. Corpus Christi is participating for the first time this year. Each school has a team of up to 30 students from Year 4, 5 and 6.
Our team this year is made up of six Year 6 students, three Year 5 students, and ten Year 4 students. These students work on Maths Olympiad problems during class and with Mrs Bosworth (our Gifted Education Mentor teacher) on Wednesdays. Once a month they do a Maths Olympiad test, where they are required to complete five questions in a test environment. Their answers are marked and recorded.
The Maths Olympiad Team completed their third test this week. Here is one of the questions they were required to find the answer to;
- A cube has a volume of 125cm3. If I make a rectangluar prism using these clues, what would the volume of the rectangular prism be?
- Height is double the height of the cube.
- Width is the width of the cube minus 3cm.
- Length is the length of the cube minus 2cm.
The school is holding it s third and final pupil free day on Friday 23rd August while the staff attend important Professional Development in Spiritual formation. OOSH have announced that they will be open for that day to assist parents needing care during and after school hours. Please see the attached note.
Year 5 Student Leaders - Semester One
We would like to thank the staff of Corpus Christi Primary School for the opportunity to represent Year 5 and the rest of the students on the Student Representative Council for Semester One 2019.
We have enjoyed our time and contributing to the school community by leading Friday award assembly's, starting the rubbish recycling station, giving feedback on ideas and being visible leaders around the school.
Although we have now finished our time, we would like to wish the new Year 5 students leaders the best for Semester Two. We will continue to be role models throughout the school, as leaders are leaders even without a badge.
Byron, Ethan, Hayley and Lara.
Rubbish Sorting Station
The Rubbish Sorting Station is working well. We are reducing our enviornmental footprint by composting food scrapes and recycling. The Return and Earn bin is a fantastic addition to our Rubbish Sorting Station as it allows us to not only recycle but also raise money for St Vincent de Paul. We have nearly filled our first bin and cannot wait to see how much money it raises.
The bin we fill most is the "soft plastics" bin. This is due to many students bring small packets of food to school each day. We are filling this bin 2 to 3 times a week. Although this rubbish is to recycled there is SO much for one of the teachers to take to the soft plastics recycling station that we need to change how we bring this food to school.
Ways to reduce the amount of soft plastics you use.
- Buy bigger containers and distribute smaller amounts for lunches into reusable containers.
- Make homemade items and send in using reusable containers.
- Don't use cling wrap! Instead use beewax wraps to wrap food or reusable containers.
Thank you for helping us reduce our environmental footprint.
The Corpus Christi Waste Warriors.
Term 3 sees vanilla ice cream tubs added to the menu to replace the icy cups while this cold weather is around and less likely to freeze our little ones hands. Vanilla cups are available for $1 though we still have lots on the menu in the 50c range from UFO's, popcorn, pikelets, cereal bites and PIPS.
We are calling out for helpers in the Canteen on Thursday and Fridays, these two days have seen a shift in helpers and we would love if anyone with a little bit of time to spare either once a term, one a month or even more often to help would be greatly appreciated.
Just a reminder Canteen volunteering is from 9 - 12pm, we welcome parent, grand parent, family friend volunteers all that is needed is a volunteers working with children check. If you are interested in helping please contact Natasha Anderson 0409 829 971.
Trivia Night Update
On the 22nd June we held our Trivia Night at Hamilton North Bowling Club. The night was a great success with over $2,000 raised for our P&F Committee. It was a fun social night with lots of our parent community and their friends and family along with our teachers coming together to have a good deal of fun and win some great prizes. It was a close game in the end with a four way tie and a serious game of rock, paper, scissors to determine the winner. A big congratulations to the winning table of Year Two parents. The Thrum family were the lucky winners of the Knights signed jersey in the silent auction.
Special mention to the following families and business's for their generous donations for our raffle prizes: Mulherin Family, Katrina McKelvey, Walton Family, Chris Harris, Popovic Family, Tucker Family, Cook Family, Mathieson Family. Business's who donated prizes include Newcastle Knights, The Oliy George, One Tribe gym, Treetops Adventure Park, Maitland Gaol, A Cut Above Lawns and Bj's Workwear. It is with these generous donations that helps our community to have such successful events.
Thank you to all that attended on the night and your continued support of our P&F association
Congratulations to the following students who have been recognised for great learning, awesome achievements, impressive improvements and stand out moments.
All parents are welcome at our Awards Assembly on Friday Mornings from 8.50am but if you are unable to atend, watch this space for when learning that is great.