Dear Parents and Carers,
It has been great to see the students of Holy Name return this week for their first week of learning. We are all really looking forward to the completion of the building project and are sticking with our regular activities as much as possible with a few shuffles of rooms and classes. It's not easy but we know that it is a case of short-term pain for long-term gain and are focused securely on the finish line. We thank you also for your patience in this process.
Next Tuesday afternoon, 7th February, we will go ahead with our Parent Information sessions, welcoming you into classrooms to meet the teachers and begin to form the relationships that are so vital to each child's success in learning. When you visit, you may notice a stack of old desks, office furniture and bits and pieces under the covered space outside of Kinder. Most of these items will head to the recycle centre soon. We would be happy for any families who think they could recycle some of the products to let us know as we would be happy to arrange for you to take these home if they could be used. Please check them out when you're at school next Tuesday and email our administration office if you're interested in any of the items. I know that at least one of the round tables belongs to the Learning Hub and will return there following the completion of the work.
The information sessions will follow the timeline below.
3.30-4.00pm - Kinder, Year 3 and Year 6
4.00-4.30pm - Year 1 and Year 5
4.30-5.00pm - Year 2 and Year 4
Following the information sessions, we will hold our first Parents & Friends gathering in the staffroom from 5pm. Our P&F President, Mr David Isbel plans to drop into each class during the information sessions to say hello and let you know about the work of the P&F in case you are interested in joining. This year is a rebuilding year for our P&F because many of our members were parents of the 2022 graduating Year 6 class. It would be great to see some new faces!
2023 Strategic Goals
The two main focus area for Holy Name this year include:
1. Mission & Justice - developing a plan for students to engage in actions as part of the Catholic Social Teaching Framework.
2. Learning - developing an expert teaching team who use effective teaching practices in English and Maths. We will be engaging with the research of Peter Sullivan for our Maths focus and monitoring the impact and use of the highly effective instructional strategies outlined by Dr Lyn Sharratt in her research.
Part of this work will focus on using digital technology to improve our instructional strategies. We are excited to be moving into new areas of focus and will continue to keep our parents informed of our progress.
Wishing you all the very best start to the 2023 school year.
A warm welcome to our new families and our returning families to Holy Name School for 2023. I hope that everyone enjoyed their Summer break and you had some great times with family and friends! I am looking forward to another great year at school both as a classroom teacher and school leader.
For those who don’t know, I am teaching Year 4 this year after many years teaching Year 6. I am getting used to the change in curriculum and working with the younger students but I am already enjoying the change and my new students. I continue in my role as Assistant Principal, supporting Mrs Stephens and the HNS staff and students.
Positive Behaviour for Learning
This Term, we are reviving our PBL framework at Holy Name. We have formed a PBL committee and have a number of keen staff onboard.
Positive Behaviour for Learning (PBL) is an evidence-based framework that brings together the whole-school community to contribute to developing a positive, safe and supportive learning culture. The framework assists schools to improve social, emotional, behavioural and academic outcomes for children and young people.
When PBL is implemented well, teachers and students have more time to focus on relationships and classroom instruction.
Students and staff benefit from:
- reduced inappropriate behaviour
- increased time focused on instruction
- improved social-emotional wellbeing
- positive and respectful relationships among students and staff
- support for teachers to teach, model and respond effectively to student need
- a predictable learning environment where staff and students know what is expected to deliver effective practices that can be sustained over time
Each fortnight there will be a different behaviour focus that the children will learn about in their classrooms on Monday mornings.
The focus for the next fortnight will be Wearing our School Uniform with Pride. School uniforms provide a strong sense of identity and contribute to inclusiveness and equity in schools. It is a significant expectation that all students will wear the correct uniform and are supported by their parents/carers.
Selection of uniforms provides parents with appropriate clothing that is serviceable and durable for a variety of school activities and is considerate of the financial constraints of families in both design and options. The uniform reflects school community standards and expectations. The uniform includes the school emblem to reflect the Catholic ethos of the school.
We have a uniform policy at Holy Name that families are expected to adhere to. I have included the summer uniform guidelines and a photo of the correct uniform.
Girls Summer Uniform
Maroon polo shirt with maroon and white checked skort.
Black joggers with short plain black socks.
Maroon sport shorts.
Maroon and gold polo shirt with school logo.
Black joggers and short plain black socks.
Boys Summer Uniform
Grey – traditional style – mid length shorts. No Cargo shorts or board shorts.
Maroon Polo Shirt with school logo.
Black joggers with short plain black socks.
Maroon sports shorts.
Maroon and gold polo with school logo.
Black joggers and short plain black socks.
The school hat is a compulsory part of our school uniform. The only hat to be worn is the ‘wide brim soft hat for boys and girls available from the school office. The school employs a ‘No Hat – No Play’ policy ie children who do not have a hat must stay in a designated shaded area during Morning Tea and Lunchtimes.
- Hair is to be clean, neat and well groomed. Long hair (below the collar) must be secured back from the face for Work, Health and Safety reasons.
- Ribbons, scrunchies and scarves etc must be either maroon or gold or in material to match the summer skort or winter culottes.
- Extremes of style or the colouring of hair is unacceptable.
- Sports uniform is to be worn only on Sports Day.
- Makeup and nail polish are unacceptable.
- Jewellery is not part of the school uniform. Wristwatches may be worn. Children with pierced ears may wear one pair of studs or small sleepers. Nose piercings are not encouraged.
Some of the areas we notice are students wearing shoes other than a black jogger, wearing socks with logos on them, students wearing inappropriate jewellery, having hair coloured and even wearing nail polish or false nails.
Over the next 2 weeks, students will be given surfboard tokens when they are “caught” wearing the correct uniform and hat. Each Friday of even school weeks, the students with the most tokens for that particular behaviour in each class will be given a PBL Award at the morning assembly.
As children reach different levels of surfboard tokens, they can choose and in class reward from the Class Menu. At certain levels, the students will be eligible for a Principal’s Award and silver and gold badges.
Thank you in advance for your support in this area.
Next Thursday, February 9th, our swimming team will travel to Gloucester for the Manning Region Swimming carnival. We wish all our swimmers the best of luck and we know they will represent Holy Name School to the best of their ability.
Please be aware of the appropriate drop off and collection zones at Holy Name. Children catching buses and walking or riding to the YMCA or home exit through the Lake street entrance. We encourage parents who collect their children in the afternoon to use Carawa street. There is a kiss and ride section available in Carawa street in the mornings. Parking is very limited on the Lake street side, especially with the construction work taking place.
We continue to have students using technology inappropriately both at school and at home. Children are on Apps they legally should not be on and some of the chats that are brought to our attention contain very inappropriate language and adult themes. Children need to be closely supervised in the online world to ensure their safety. Over the next 2 weeks, classes will undertake lessons in cybersafety and sign our School Cybersafety agreements. Students that break these agreements will not be able to access technology at school for periods of time depending on the level of the breach.
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok all have 13 years old as the age required to use their apps. Also, many online games the children play are not at age appropriate levels and the children can be exposed to extreme violence and sexual content as well as inappropriate chat features.
Welcome back to Holy Name, where belonging, learning and serving is at the heart of all we do.
Welcome and Commissioning Liturgy
Today we celebrated our whole school Welcome and Commissioning Liturgy celebrated by our parish priest, the most reverent Fr Peter Street.
Begining with our Acknowledgement to Country read by Callen Ridgeway from 3M and Mrs Stephens, our new 2023 Kindergarten students entered the hall with their Yr 6 buddy and welcomed into our liturgy. Myra Gupta read our first reading and Vice Captains Artemisia Laurie and Jackson Paine read the Universal Prayers.
The Staff of Holy Name were commissioned for 2023 and the Fr Peter after blessing the student leaders badges presented them to our Captains, Vice Captains, Yr 6 SRC and Sports Captains. Our leaders read their pledge of leadership for 2023. With our parent community with us we witnessed these students commit themselves to the service of others. It was a proud moment for our Yr 6 parents.
Thanks to Mrs Russell and Miss McKinnon for the support they both gave, in preparing our senior leaders for this liturgy. Thank you Fr Peter for celebrating our fisrt 2023 liturgy at the school.
Religious Education Coordinator
First Day of school for Kindergarten and Successful Foundations
On Thursday, we welcomed 46 new Kindergarten students to Holy Name. Each family had their own start time for the morning which allowed the Kinder teachers to welcome each child and family individually which is so important on special milestone days like starting Kindergarten. This allows us to make meaningful connections with the new students and their families. There was definitely a happy buzz in the room with families arriving and the new Kinders settling into the classroom and engaging with the provocations.
Our Kindergarten students will now continue with their Successful Foundations journey which started during their 5 transition to school visits in term 4 of last year. Over the next 5 weeks the first hour of everyday will be dedicated to Successful Foundations, where we view play as a pedagogy and a rich source of learning. During this time, the children will engage with the play provocations set up inside and outside the classroom. The Successful Foundations project allows our teachers to provide open-ended playful and investigative opportunities that enable children to demonstrate what they know and can do. This encourages the kinder teachers make meaningful and authentic records of children’s knowledge and skills as we observe the students engaging in play experiences.
Successful Foundations provides such a positive transition for students to school life and gives such powerful insights for teachers into individual student’s knowledge and interests because:
- a sense of belonging enables children to more effectively demonstrate their understanding and abilities
- when children feel safe and valued they will more be more likely to take risks and be creative in their responses
- authentic learning and its assessment best happens in interactions and collaboration with others.
I look forward to sharing more photos and learning experiences through Successful Foundations over the next 5 weeks.
Mrs Suzie Monks
Throughout the 2023 year, the Parish of Forster Tuncurry is working towards developing a plan for the future. As they journey towards the development of this plan, they are holding 3 reflection days and would love for members of our school community to be involved. The information below provides some detail about the experiences on offer between now and November.
The aim of our Reflection Days are:
- To provide a spiritually enriching experience for parishioners.
- To enthuse parishioners to plan for the future of the Parish.
In preparation for the Parish Assembly in November 2023, we will organize three, one day Reflection Days which will hopefully engender enthusiasm and inspiration among our Parishioners. The Reflections Days will take place on Saturdays after 9.30am Mass.
The Reflection Days will be a series of talks, given by parishioners, followed by discussion by participants in small groups.
The days will focused on “Journey With-In”, “Journey with Christ” and “Journey with Others”.
Our first Day on March 4 will be a look with-in ourselves and examine our personal faith journeys and the assets we bring to our Church. The presentations will be “Search”, “Hope”, “Gratitude” and “Involvement”.
We are living in uncertain times. The Covid Virus, for example, has brought about changes to our lives and lead us to question some of the things we used to take for granted.
Your might identify with Thomas Merton, on America Catholic Theologian, who once wrote:
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
And the fact that I think I am following your will
Does not mean that I am actually doing so.
Our first day will give us the opportunity to listen to presentations from parishioners, to then reflect on our own lives and to share our life experiences in a supportive community. It is the first stage in discerning a future for our Parish.
At the conclusion of the first day participants will be given a sheet to signify their willingness to be involved in Church activity. The positive response from parishioners must be followed up by the Pastoral Council.
If you are interested in joining one or more of the retreats, contact the Parish Office on 0475 242 695.
The Promoters of Safeguarding continue to endorse a culture of safeguarding across our Diocese. Safeguarding is the action that is taken to promote the welfare of children and vulnerable adults, and to protect them from harm.
Support for families includes the Safe and Supported: National Framework for Protecting Australia’s Children 2021 - 2031 which aims to ensure children and young people reach their full potential; this includes ensuring that learning difficulties are addressed.
There is a number of terms which are in common use regarding learning difficulties, but what do they mean? The most common are:
AUTISM spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD often have problems with social communication and interaction, paying attention, and restricted or repetitive behaviours or interests. It affects 1 in 60 Australians (or 1 kid in every second classroom).
ADHD is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and, at 1 in 20 Australians (1 or 2 kids in each classroom), is our country’s most prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder. It is characterised by patterns of inattentive, impulsive or hyperactive behaviour.
DYSLEXIA is a learning disorder causing inability or great difficulty in learning to read or spell which makes using written language difficult. At least 10% of Australians have it (or 3 kids in every classroom).
DYSCALCULIA is a learning disorder that affects a person's ability to do maths and counting. People with dyscalculia are often exceptional at reading, writing and spelling.
DYSGRAPHIA is difficulty with writing or recording eg. someone has difficulty turning their thoughts into written language appropriate for their age, despite exposure to adequate instruction and education.
DYSPRAXIA refers to difficulties with coordinated movement in which messages from the brain are not effectively transmitted to the body. Dyspraxia can affect the coordination of speech or whole body movements (hopping, skipping, writing).
Great news! Despite all these (and other) learning difficulties, help is at hand. A child’s education involves a partnership between the child, the family, the school and, where required, medical intervention. In their protective mode, parents may be reluctant to share a learning difficulty with the school, but if teachers are not aware, they can’t implement support. Although the issue may never be ‘cured’, strategies to cope may be very successful.