As our term progresses, we have been busy both in class and participating in representative activities.
Last Friday we hosted our local member of Federal Parliament, Deputy Prime Minister the Hon. Michael McCormack.
This visit was the culmination of the writing competition held by Mr McCormack in the lead up to ANZAC Day. During his visit, Mr McCormack spoke with the children about different aspects of his role in parliament.
Perhaps the most important message related to taking time to work on developing writing skills, as this skill is used on numerous occasions in and will be invaluable in life.
He then presented certificates to those children who entered the competition, before making a presentation to Yetu Akhiwu in recognition of her poem, which was awarded first prize in this year’s competition.
During the past few weeks, we have been focusing on these words - Aspire, Believe, Connect.
We all know that it can be difficult to make right choices when our friends may not. However, making those difficult choices can prove to ourselves that we are able and willing to do what is right.
These words form the basis of a short phrase/slogan that is an easily remembered way of identifying what we are working towards.
Aspire – to be our best
Believe – that Jesus is with us
Connect – with each other, the world and God
Already the children have been discussing these words and phrases in their classrooms to embed a consistent understanding across our school.
We have also been talking about our understanding that whilst we all have rights, this also means that we all have a responsibility to ensure that we don’t take those same rights away from others. Again, this is a challenging topic to have a clear understanding of, however, it has provided for some excellent conversations around how the actions of others can have a negative effect on myself.
Our public speaking went up a level at St Mary’s on Tuesday morning. All of our speakers did a terrific job of working to present a particular image to those listening. Our audience included the Yr. 3 - 6 children from St Mary’s, parents and school staff. There were more than 150 people in the audience.
All of our speakers carried off presenting to an audience of this size beautifully. Congratulations to Ruby and Genevieve, Henry and Hamish, Charlie and Skye, Sophie and Kate – each of you did a terrific job.
Special congratulations to Genevieve, who was the overall winner of the Yr. 3 competition and will represent us at the Western Region Public Speaking in West Wyalong.
Well done to both Hamish (Yr. 4) and Kate (Yr. 6) who were the runners up in their respective divisions.
With our weather continuing to be very changeable, we have been encouraging the children to put jumpers and coats on outside of the classrooms. We have also been reminding the children to ensure that they have their jumpers in their schoolbags at the end of each day, in preparation for the continuing cold mornings.
Please continue to ensure that your child’s clothing is clearly labelled for ease of identification.
Book Week – Book week is coming…
The theme for 2018 is Find your treasure…
Now is the time to start thinking about the Book Character parade and what characters we might be seeing on the day. Remember to bring a copy of the book that your character appears in to the parade.
Our 2018 Book Character Parade will be held at 12:30pm on next Friday, August 24.
Archdiocesan Athletics – Good luck to Addison, Phoebe, Yetu, Alexander and Hamish at the Athletics Carnival in Canberra on Tuesday.
Annual Satisfaction Survey - An annual satisfaction survey of parents, students and staff will be conducted on behalf of all Catholic schools in the Diocese this term. The surveys are designed to gather feedback from parents, staff and students about our school and will be used to inform school improvement. Responses are confidential and individuals can not be identified.
The surveys will be launched via email on August 20 and close on August 31, 2018 using the email addresses supplied to the school. If you do not receive an email with a link to the survey on 20th August, you can access and complete the survey at the following link.
Changes to routines – thank you to those families who are keeping us informed when there is a change to the routine at the end of the day. This helps to make departures flow smoothly.
If there has been a change to the regular routine, please let us know.
As this is my last newsletter for this term, before commencing Leave, I take is opportunity to wish you all a successful second half of the term and look forward to hearing about the children’s successes.
I know that Mrs King and the team will be looking after everyone and creating a variety of different opportunities over the coming weeks.
August 15th is the Feast Day of the Assumption and is a day when all Catholics attend mass to honour Mary the mother of Jesus. The following is a reflection on Mary as a mother and as a disciple that I found quite poignant.
I don’t think we can come close to imagining Mary’s love for and devotion to her son. She alone among all mothers can truly be described as the mother of the “perfect child.” The truth that we know of Mary testifies of a remarkable lover and disciple of the Lord. She truly is revealed in Scripture as a woman “full of grace.”
Mary’s response to the message of God’s angel Gabriel shows the humility and submission of an earnest disciple of the Lord, “Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38) She fully yields to the Lord’s word and the movement of the Holy Spirit in her life.
Her cousin Elizabeth describes Mary as the “mother of my Lord” and as blessed because she believed the promises of the Lord. Discipleship begins and ends with grace from the Lord and belief from the disciple.
Mary responds to Elizabeth’s interaction with her by proclaiming her “Song of Praise” that begins, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” (Luke 1:46-47) Mary consistently demonstrates the appropriate posture of the Lord’s disciple. She seeks to magnify and glorify the Lord, not herself, and her joy is in the Lord and not the world.
Scripture describes Mary as marvelling at what is said about Jesus. I imagine this describes a consistent response to Jesus’ life by his mother. From the announcement by Gabriel onward, she marvels and treasures mysteries in her heart, as she conceives, gives birth to and raises God’s son. As with any disciple of Jesus, her life includes wonderful glory and painful sorrow and trials. With Mary, these are much more extreme and felt more deeply than with others.
Mary surely worried and feared for her son, as most mothers do. I wonder if like me (and my mum) she exhorted Jesus to “Be careful!” each time he ventured out the door. How keenly her eye must have been on Jesus the toddler, the teenager, the young man and then the prophet out in the world.
Mary walked through the heights of being the mother of the most wonderful person who ever did or ever will live. She experienced the sweetness of Jesus. At the cross, she descended into the bitterness of the valley of the shadow of death. Our discipleship may follow similar paths of sweetness and bitterness. I hope that we will be faithful to stand with and for Jesus, as Mary was faithful among all people. We will then be blessed, as she is blessed.
Spatial maths includes ideas relating to shapes, shapes within solid objects, and the position of shapes and objects.
Children need to develop strong images in their minds about shapes and objects and the way they can be changed, put together or pulled apart.
We also need to help them to develop the language they need to describe shapes and objects.
Understanding shapes is the basis for geometry and other maths concepts. Simply pointing to shapes in picture books or stacking containers in different ways will give your child new ideas about them.
How children learn about objects and space
Children learn about objects and the space around them by experimenting and playing. Young children enjoy building towers or discovering which blocks will stack or roll. While it's not until much later when they learn the names of three-dimensional objects, we should encourage them to think and talk about the parts that make up the object.
Through early experiences, children learn the names of simple two-dimensional shapes, such as a triangle or circle. We need to show children shapes in different positions and sizes to help build their mental images of shapes. Drawing and making shapes are key ways in which they can develop these ideas.
Helping your child learn about shapes and objects
Read books to your child and talk about the shapes you can see within the pictures, e.g. ‘The roof on the house is a triangle'.
Look for objects inside or outside the house that are shaped like a circle, triangle, rectangle or square. Look for different sized shapes and shapes in different positions.
Involve your child in craft activities such as making your own gift-wrapping by printing painted shapes onto paper using corks, empty cotton reels or sponges.
Make shadows on the ground or on a wall using your body or hands and talk about the shapes.
Fold paper to make a hat or boat and talk about the shapes made as you fold the paper.
Make your own jigsaw puzzle by cutting a magazine picture into about four or five pieces and putting it back together again. Talk about how the edges of the pieces fit together.
Collect scrap paper or used gift-wrapping and encourage your child to cut and glue pieces to make a picture.
Play ‘I spy' games and describe things by size and shape, e.g. "I spy with my little eye something that is big and shaped like a square".
Use boxes and containers of different sizes to play ‘stacking' games.
Ask your child to help you put away the groceries and talk about which things will stack easily.
Make biscuits using cookie cutters or make pretend biscuits from modelling dough. Talk about the shape of each biscuit.
Help your child to build a paper aeroplane and see if it can fly.
Make sand models from wet sand using cups, buckets or jelly moulds. Talk about sizes and shapes and try to stack some shapes.
Blow bubbles using wire loops or straws and a detergent solution. Talk about the shape and size of the bubbles and the effects when the wire shape is changed.
Collect wood off-cuts and let your child glue the pieces to make a model.
Collect shells at the beach and ask your child to sort them and tell you how he or she grouped them.
Build a ‘house' from playing cards or dominoes.
Talk about the shapes made when you cut straight through vegetables or fruit.
Use your weekly shopping trip as an opportunity to help your child develop reading and writing skills.
What you'll need:
Paper and pencils, Newspaper or catalogue ads
What to do:
As you make out your grocery shopping list, give your child a sheet of paper and read the items to him or her. If the child asks for spelling help, write the words correctly for him or her to copy or spell the words aloud as your child writes them.
Ask your child to look through the newspaper/catalogue ads to find the prices of as many items as possible. Your child can write these prices on the list. Take your child to the supermarket and ask him or her to read each item to you as you shop.