Week 6, Term 2
From the Principal
I hope you enjoy this week's newsletter. As you can see we have taken the step of creating an eNewsletter through the SchoolZine platform. While I understand that the new format may take a little getting used to, it offers the advantage of being able to embed videos, include active hyperlinks, and offers easier viewing on iPhones and devices.
We have had an extremely busy week this week celebrating the feast of Mary, Help of Christian with a whole school meditation, recognising Laudato Si week through activities organised by our student Eco committee, and participating in National Simultaneous Storytelling.
And of course, the most exciting news for our students is that Family Fun Day will take place on Sunday! I would like to take this opportunity to thank our P & F subcommittee who have worked tirelessly to make this day a reality - Gemma Kirk, Ellie Palmero, Jackie Veth, and Lindy Anderson. Also, all of the staff at St Mary's have contributed by organizing their class stalls for the day. I look forward to seeing everyone Sunday.
Next week is National Reconciliation Week. National Reconciliation Week is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. All of our students and staff will be participating in a number of activities across the week.
We will also be celebrating Under 8s Day next week. Our Prep to Year 2 students have been invited to the community celebration at the Queen's Beach State School on the 3rd of June. We have sent notes home regarding the arrangments for the day and are looking forward to celebrating this very special day with the community
Unfortunately, as the Townsville Catholic Education Week Principal's Conference is being held at the end of next week, I will be away for our Reconciliation Week BBQ next Wednesday night and the Under 8s day on Friday. I apologise for my absence and know that all will be well in the capable hands of our leadership team.
Until Next Week,
Religious Life of the School
Congratulations to Matilda Smith (Year 4) and Andrea Firth (Year 5) on receiving their First Eucharist and Confirmation on Sunday morning! The girls were joined by seven other children from the Bowen community in completing the sacramental program. Matilda and Andrea have already shown interest in training to become altar servers. Any other students who have received their Confirmation and are interested in training to become altar servers are welcome to apply.
Tuesday, 24 May was the feast day for Our Lady Mary, Help of Christians. This is an important feast for our country as Mary, under the title “Help of Christians”, is a patron saint of Australia alongside St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. The whole school marked the occasion by participating in a Christian Meditation session after morning tea. Thank you to Mrs. Rachael Young and the Year 6 students for leading the school in prayer on this occasion.
Alicia Ninnes (Assistant Principal / Religious Education)
2022 Annual School Improvement Plan
Continue to implement our Positive Behaviour 4 Learning plan and embed this within our school community.
One of the focus areas for this year is to embed "The Mary's Way" in our everyday practice at St Mary's. The Mary's Way is part of our positive behaviour plan for the school. Each week, students receive awards on parade for following Mary's Way which outlines and emphasizes the values of respect, care, compassion, mercy, outreach, being your best, and being safe, just, and fair. These values form the foundation for classroom management practices and whole school initiatives such as the Mary's Marvellous Big Day out at the end of each term.
Our Year Six leaders are looking at ways to be good role models for our younger students and have come up with the idea of creating video vignettes of how to display the values inherent in Mary's Way. These videos are then played for our students on Parade each Monday to encourage them to enact the values during the week.
Learning and Teaching
Last week all students at St Mary's took part in a shared reading of the picture book "The Anzac Tree". Classes then co-constructed a text to convince Mrs. Bell that St Mary's should plant an Anzac Tree on our grounds. This week we shared the final persuasive text with the whole school on Monday. Students also participated in a book cover competition where students were invited to re-design the cover of the picture book. Congratulations to Ostin McMahon on his winning entry. This initiative has been part of our focus to improve writing, and engagement with writing, at St Mary's this year. The students all voted that they enjoyed it so much they want to do it again next term!
Students also enjoyed taking part in National Simultaneous Storytelling, where students all across Australia gathered to listen to "The Family Tree". A reminder also that all St Mary's students are registered for the Premier's Reading Challenge which aims to encourage children to read for pleasure and learning. If you need another information note or reading log please call into the school office.
Krystal Land (Learning and Teaching Adviser)
A sample from our co-constructed text......."ST MARY'S NEEDS AN ANZAC TREE."
"We are the students of St Mary’s Catholic School in Bowen and we strongly believe that St Mary’s needs an ANZAC tree. An ANZAC tree is a pine tree planted on ANZAC Day to remember the brave soldiers who fought and are still fighting for our country. We should have an ANZAC tree because it will be a respectful and caring way to remember our soldiers. It would also be a very calming and peaceful place to commemorate the soldier’s sacrifices for us. We could make our own ANZAC celebrations around the tree, so it can become a special place for our school community." (Yr 4)
........."In conclusion, we as a school need our very own ANZAC tree as it would be a caring and respectful way to remember the soldiers that sacrificed their lives for us many years ago. It would also create a sacred space of peace and tranquility, a place where we can go to be still and pray. If St Mary’s was to plant an ANZAC tree it would provide a wonderful opportunity to promote the values that are of great importance to our school, and a commemorative location to gather and reflect on special occasions. St Mary’s must plant their very own ANZAC tree." (Yr 6)
This week was Laudato Si Week, a week set aside to celebrate the papal letter sent by Pope Francis which calls us all to be stewards of creation and to take action to change our ways and protect the environment. The theme for the week was "Listening and Journeying Together". The student eco-mittee organised a number of events to celebrate the week. These included relaunching compost bins at St Mary's, watching a special David Attenborough documentary in the library, and conducting a Walkathon Fundraiser on the oval to raise money for Ecobarge Whitsunday. We also held an emu parade on Friday and a writing competition across the week. Please feel free to use the link above if you wish to watch the documentary at home as a family to celebrate this special week. There is also a great documentary series on the ABC called Back to Nature. Listen to Country, Hear its stories, that you could enjoy as a family.
Ms. Bennett and the Eco-committee
Year 6 transition to Secondary School
As the year progresses, Mrs. Young and Mrs. Romano, and I have begun to ready our Year 6 students for their transition to Year Seven. This week, Erin Laguna and Ashleigh Kaye from St Catherine's Catholic College, visited St Mary's to discuss the transition to secondary school and run some outdoor activities with our Year 6 students. The students were very curious and asked loads of questions about secondary before moving outside to play some sport with our visitors. Next semester, we will be introducing a number of new elements to Year 6, such as an assessment calendar, in order to prepare them for the more independent approach to study they will encounter in secondary.
From the Guidance Counsellor
In this edition of SchoolTV - PHYSICAL ACTIVITY & EXERCISE
In the last decade, children’s participation in physical activity and exercise has been in decline. In this digital age, children are using computers and mobile devices, not only for learning but for relaxation and recreation purposes. This sedentary lifestyle is having a detrimental effect on today’s youth. The key is finding the balance.
Research shows, that regular physical activity and exercise lead to changes in the brain. It improves cognitive function, elevates mood, enhances learning, and improves academic outcomes. Playing sport helps kids develop fundamental movement skills impacting positively on their confidence, self-esteem, and ability to develop social skills. Parents play an important role in helping children establish positive habits that will benefit their children in the long term.
In this edition of SchoolTV, parents will discover practical advice relating to the benefits of regular physical activity and exercise, as well as tips on how to get their kids motivated and moving more.
We hope you take the time to reflect on the information offered in this edition of SchoolTV and we always welcome your feedback. If you have any concerns about your child, please contact the school guidance counsellor for further information or seek medical or professional help.
Here is the link to the Physical Activity & Exercise edition of SchoolTV
This Week's Award Winners
On Monday, our weekly awards were presented to students following Mary's Way by showing Mercy and Outreach. Please join us in congratulating our award winners from this week.
Mary's Way Award Winners: Harley Wallis-Gilmore, Collins Nowlan, Wynter McMahon, Graisen Fogarty, Wilhelmina Nowlan, William Dau, WYntah Fogarty, Chelsea Woodward, Leland Acton, Indi Johnson
Praise Note Winner of the Week: Harry Menzies
Birthdays for next week - 30 May Hudson Mee
Have Your Say
Townsville Catholic Education is working with all schools within the Diocese to improve the educational experience provided to our students. As a way to gain this feedback, all staff and families within our school communities will be sent a survey to shape the future directions of our schools.
Your responses are very important in this process as we continue to strive to provide the best educational, social, spiritual, and emotional resources and environment for our children.
The surveys will be distributed via email today and we ask that they are completed by Friday 10 June. I would like to thank you in advance for providing feedback and assisting us to improve our school.
Tuckshop and Lunchboxes!
A reminder that Nude Food Fridays continue this term. We are encouraging students to minimize single-use plastic on Fridays to protect our oceans. Use those reusable containers as much as you can! Our Containers 4 Change program is still going so please remember to put your poppers, plastic bottles, and other suitable containers in the blue bins. All money raised through the Pilchers Containers program will be donated to the EcoBarge Volunteer and Turtle Rehabilitation program in the Whitsundays
Mary Mackillop OSHC
OSHC at St Mary’s Catholic School is now operating Monday to Friday from 6.30 am to 8.30 am and 2.45 pm to 6.00 pm.
If you would like more information or to register, please contact Miss Rob on 0428 216 062 OR at firstname.lastname@example.org
Happiness blooms in the garden.
The OSHC students have been in charge of caring for the donated plants for our Family Fun Day.
Water, Sunshine and tender love and care is the key to keeping the plants thriving for their new homes.
Well done and Thank you OSHC !