Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for joining us on Tuesday afternoon, celebrating the opening of our new buildings, our grandparents and the engagement of our parents and students in learning. It was great to relax and have some fun as a community and for many of our families to visit our new facilities. I am grateful for our staff participation in the Student Led Conferences, cooking of the BBQ, Face Painting, School Choir and/or mingling with our parents, carers and grandparents. It was a great event and reminded me of how good it is to spend time building relationships across the school community. A special thanks to the couple of parents who jumped in to help the face painters move the line along a little faster - so good, thank you! I'm sure there were plenty of coloured bath tubs or showers on Tuesday night.
As we are ending Term 3, it is a great time to look ahead and prepare for the many and varied events coming up in Term 4. Events like Mission Month, the Canberra and Aussie Bush Camp Excursions, the Kinder and Year 7 transition visits and all the end of year activities like the Awards Assembly, Year 6 Dinner, Yr 6 Graduation Mass and our Christmas gathering. This year, we have decided to hold our Christmas event at school. We are a little worried about the weather but will come up with a back-up plan should we need.
On Day 1 of Term 4, Monday 9th October, the new Crossing Supervisor will commence on the Lake Street side of the school for 1 hour in the morning and afternoon. I am grateful for Transport NSW for assessing the need and providing this service. The service will be in operation between 8:00 - 9:00am in the morning and 2:30 - 3:30pm in the afternoon.
At the end of this week, I head to the Holy Land with 44 other members of staff from across the Diocese to journey 'in the footsteps of Jesus'. During the student vacation, we will visit Bethlehem, Masada, Jericho, Jerusalem, Tiberias, Galilee, Nazareth, Cana and the Dead Sea. This pilgrimage is offered to staff in our Diocese each year as a way of learning and experiencing the places that are important of our Catholic story and tradition. I am grateful for this opportunity and the journey that I will make with my colleagues and will share some of my experiences with you next term.
Please be sure to check out the calendar in Compass in preparation for Term 4. It is easier to view the calendar on a computer rather than a mobile device if you need to put some dates on your calendar.
Day 1 for next term is Monday 9th October and students are able to wear their summer uniform from this time. We always allow a couple of weeks for the changeover so don't worry if you aren't quite ready for the first day.
Great Learning Happening in Kindergarten!
Each fortnight we like to put a spotlight on the great learning happening in a particular grade in our school. In this report the spotlight is on Kindergarten.
During English lessons Kinder have been working hard on using their knowledge of single letter sounds and learnt digraphs to decode words in their readers. The teachers have been so impressed to see how far they have all come with their ability read more accurately and attempting to read more fluently. Each day the teachers read out a decodable sentence from the class focus book and the class hear and record the words they hear using their knowledge of learnt sounds, diagraphs and spelling rules. Over the past fortnight, Kinder have been introduced to the ‘sh’, ‘th’, ‘ch’ and ‘ng’ digraphs and the teachers were amazed at how quickly the students were able to identify and record words they knew contained these digraphs. Such clever cookies!
In writing, Kinder have been learning to write sentences that inform. This type of writing has linked in beautifully with their focus on 'Living Things' in Science and Technology. After visiting Billabong Zoo, the Kinder students were keen to learn more about different mammals such as dingoes, koalas, wombats and echidnas. The students love watching informative videos on YouTube, reading informative books from the library and information packs provided to us from Billabong Zoo. Check out some of these photos from our fun zoo excursion!
Over the past few weeks we have focused on learning more about tiger sharks and mimic octopuses. Once the class has brainstormed the facts they would like to include in their informative sentences, the teacher models a sentence chosen by the students. The teacher refers to the co-constructed writing success criteria to ensure the sentence starts with a capital letter, has spaces between the words, makes grammatical sense and finishes with a full stop. Students refer to this success criteria when they are writing their independent sentences too.
In Maths, Kinder have been learning to use effective counting strategies so they can count accurately. Students have been working in pairs and have been given a large collection of counters and asked to estimate how many they think they have. They then needed to arrange their collection in a way that was easy for others to walk past and know what their total was. The classes have also been learning about fractions. Students have worked in pairs to demonstrate that they can cut objects into equal halves and quarters. There has been lots of great discussions about why the students need to know about fractions, and where they can use their knowledge in their everyday lives.
As mentioned above, Kinder have been learning about ‘Living Things’ in Science and Technology and have shown a keen interest in how to help animals when they are unwell. We are lucky enough to have a wonderful parent in our school community who owns and runs the Windansea Vet here in Forster. Dr Amanda Wood invited us into her veterinary clinic where she taught us how to keep our pets healthy and reminded us to keep our teeth clean as well as our pets. She also showed us what a tick looks like and how to spot them on ourselves or our pets and how to avoid getting bitten by them altogether. We all had the opportunity to listen to the heartbeat of a dog, look through a microscope to see a blood sample and examine different animal x-rays. We learnt so much and we now have lots of budding vets amongst our Kindergarten friends. Check out some of the photos from our vet visit
Well done Kinder students, keep up the awesome work!
Mrs Suzie Monks
At our playgroup, we treasure the moments of togetherness when we participate in playtime, creative arts, fun stories, dancing, and we always enjoy wholesome fruit snacks. We've had the joy of hosting visits from Year 5 students who eagerly anticipate becoming buddies with our playgroup friends next year. It's heartwarming to witness these children forming meaningful bonds with one another.
Over the past few weeks, we've warmly welcomed many young learners who've joined us on Thursday mornings, accompanied by parents, grandparents, aunts, and friends. The playgroup serves as a gentle introduction for families to get to know the Holy Name community. If you have preschool-aged children or know someone who does, we extend a cordial invitation to join us for a relaxing cup of tea.
Playgroup will take a break whilst our transition program runs for the first five weeks of Term 4 (October 12- November 9). Playgroup will recommence November 16 for the remainder of Term 4.
We have been enjoying making big collaborative posters to hang in Art Club as well as our famous word birds. Our word birds are sweet little gifts of kindness and hope. We make them to give to people to brighten their days, students make one to put into Mrs Banham’s donation box, these go to hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and year 12 students and then students can make one to keep of give to someone they would like to see smile.
Wellbeing - The Brave Program
Below is a link to The BRAVE Program which is an interactive, online program for the prevention and treatment of childhood and adolescent anxiety. It comes highly recommended from my recent Pastoral Care Workers day.
The programs provide ways for children and teenagers to better cope with their worries. There are also programs for parents.
I was fortunate enough to attend the REC Assembly Day for our Diocese earlier this month at St Joseph’s Primary School in Kilaben Bay. It was great to see so many schools being represented, and such robust and informative discussions about developing Religious Literacy among our students, and preparing for the implementation of the Encounter pedagogy for our Year 2 and Year 3 students next year.
The Encounter pedagogy is about discussion and reflection; about provoking discussion and encountering the mystery of God through their everyday life, and brings personal experience, a cultural context and catholic tradition together within its teaching. Kindergarten and Year 1 have already been teaching Religion through this pedagogy and have found our students both engaged and involved throughout. I’m sure Year 2 and 3 will enjoy it just as much.
World Mission Month
We will celebrate Mission Day with an in-school liturgy on Thursday 19th October (second week back after the holidays). This year World Mission Month supports those living in Timor-Leste, a small island nation in Sout East Asia. Timor-Leste gained it’s independence in 1999, but many of it’s population live in extreme poverty and economic hardship. In line with our K-6 Social Justice Program, we will raise funds for the people of Timor-Leste, to provide vocational education for the young and healthcare of the elderly.
As part of World Mission Month we will once again be joining in with Socktober, again raising money for those on need. During Socktober we learn how to make soccer balls from recycled materials, as is done by many children in impoverished parts of the world.
To make these we need to collect:
- Rags/old clothes
- Plastic bags / bread bags
It’s great for our environment that plastic bags are no longer so freely available but we do need to collect them for our soccer balls! The bags that loaves of bread come in would work well, so if you are able to send these in we would be very grateful.
Classes attending Parish Mass for Term 4.
The following classes will be attending the Friday parish mass at 9:30am. Parents and friends are very welcome to attend these masses.
Week 1 (13th October): Year 6 / Kindergarten
Week 2 (20th October): Year 4
Week 3: (27th October): Year 5
Week 4: (3rd November): Year 3