A very warm welcome to our students, families and staff to the school year. I hope you have enjoyed the summer break and that the year ahead brings many blessings on you and your families.
For many families throughout Victoria and NSW, the summer holidays have brought devastation and loss of properties and lives. My own family who live in Bateman’s Bay sought shelter for many nights on the beach while the fires wrought havoc on their own properties and those of their neighbours. We continue to keep these communities in our prayers and especially for the brave firefighters who risked so much to help others in need.
A special welcome to all our new families for 2020. Last week we welcomed 50 new Prep students, who, despite the heat, arrived with happy faces in eager anticipation of finally starting school.
Thank you to all parents for the trust you place in us, knowing that your children will be safe and happy and be given every opportunity to thrive in their learning.
We have had a great start to the year with students gathering in the Church on Thursday for a school blessing Liturgy. Over the first two weeks staff and students will spend time developing classroom protocols, engage in ‘getting to know you’ activities and will discuss opportunities that will enable a safe and happy learning environment for the year ahead. Already the classrooms are looking amazing!
The Calendar for Term 1 is looking busy and begins this week with our opening school Mass on Tuesday morning at 10am - which all families are welcome to attend, and the Welcome Picnic on Thursday evening. The weather is set to be perfect for a picnic at the Park. This year we have engaged a bush band, so bring out the check shirts and dust off your dancing shoes.
The Welcome Picnic is a wonderful opportunity to continue to build a strong culture of parent-school engagement. Parental engagement recognises that both parents and schools play an important role in children’s learning, development and wellbeing, and that children generally do better when there are positive connections between home and school.
We are looking forward to a great night and hope you will join us. Buddies are also looking forward to catching up and we hope families will be there to welcome new members of the school community. Please see details in this edition of the newsletter. The evening begins at 5.30 with a sausage sizzle, icy poles and great entertainment. In the light of Child Safety, all events where children are present are alcohol free.
Just reminder to all parents that the care, safety and welfare of all our students is paramount to what we do. All Child Safety Policies and procedures can be found on the Policies page of the Parent Platform along with the Positive Behaviour Policy and other relevant policies.
Getting to Know you Meetings
The teaching staff are looking forward to meeting all of their families at our parent teacher chats next week. This is an opportunity for parents and teachers to meet and talk about the unique qualities of each child and begin the process of effective communication between home and school. An email will be sent out today with the information required to make your bookings.
This week you will receive a sheet with ‘5 Great Things about My child’ to be filled in and brought along to the interview. This provides a great starting point for conversations with a focus on the parent telling the teacher about their child. Interviews will be on Tuesday and Wednesday between 2.30 and 6pm. While the interviews are in progress, Prep to -2 students can be collected from the Library up until 3.30pm, while Year 3-6 students will be in the Hall. After 3.45 students will need to be supervised by parents.
This year, as well as 50 new students in Prep, we have welcomed 4 new students across the school. We welcome:
Pia Damasco 1BK
Sam Gray 1BK
Ming Li 1M
Ellie Cox 3AW
The Preps have had a wonderful start and will continue to have a 1pm finish time this week. Many of our new families joined us for ‘Tea and Tissues after drop off on Thursday with our very own barista, Ed Dooley on hand to make coffee. Thanks to the generosity of our Year 1 parents, a gourmet morning tea and plenty of chat was enjoyed by our Prep families.
We are very blessed at St Paul’s to have strong enrolments across the school in all Year levels for 2020.
New staff members have been made very welcome by the staff, parents and students.
Margaret Mitchell - Prep
Natalie Birthisel - Year 2
Liz Heath - Year 6
Katherine Zachest - Performing Arts
Angela Lagas - Learning Support Officer (Photo & Bio in next newsletter)
Connie Antonucci - Art (replacing Bernie Fitz while she is on leave for Term 1)
Hi everyone, my name is Natalie Birthisel and I have the pleasure of being the teacher of 2B this year. As a new member of St Paul’s community, I am very excited for the year ahead and would like to thank you all for being so welcoming. I completed my studies in Education at Australian Catholic University and this will be my first year as a Graduate teacher. Alongside my studies, I have worked as a swimming instructor and on deck supervisor for six years. I have also tutored children of varying ages and have worked within the field of hospitality. An amazing experience which has supported my passion for teaching was my volunteer work as a group leader at an after-school care program within Collingwood housing estate. I am so grateful to be given this amazing opportunity at St Paul’s.
Dear Parents and the St Paul’s community,
Thank you so much for the warm welcome I have received from everyone I have encountered at the school over the last few days. I am grateful for the opportunity to join the teaching staff of St Paul’s and I look forward to playing a meaningful part in the lives of the children at the school. I thought I would tell you a little bit about myself. I am married and have three sons, the youngest being the only one at school. I have been a teacher for over 25 years in Catholic Education and have taught primarily grades 5/ 6, Physical Education and Years 7-10. I look forward to getting to know many of you over the coming months and forging a strong partnership with staff and parents at this wonderful school.
Mrs. Liz Heath
Grade 6 Class Teacher
Dear families of St. Paul’s,
I am the new performing arts teacher, on Monday’s and Wednesdays. Arts learning allows children to explore and express their ideas, they learn to think creatively and problem solve, and they have opportunities to develop confidence and communication skills in a safe and fun learning environment. Each week your child will be engaging in a range of drama activities including creating characters, exploring puppetry, building script into performance, engaging in creative movement and developing mime and improvisation skills. I have a strong background in drama education, teaching from K-12 in a range of educational settings. I am currently teaching at Deakin University in early childhood and primary education and I am passionate about the learning potential of arts education. I am thrilled to be bringing my experience and love of drama education into the performing arts program. I am looking forward to meeting your child as we create and imagine new possibilities. Thank you for welcoming me into your school, Katherine Zachest
Hi, my name is Marg Mitchell and I have the great pleasure to be a Prep teacher at St Paul’s. My previous school was St Aloysius in Caulfield which sadly closed last year. In 2019 I taught Grade Prep -2 for 4 days and had leadership positions for a day.
I have been in education for a very long time, I have worked as a consultant, school leader (various leadership positions) and classroom teacher. My greatest joy is working in the classroom and every day I am grateful for the opportunity to nurture, support, encourage and educate the children in my care. It is always wonderful to watch the children become the best confident, resilient, persistent learners they can be.
I live with my husband John and my three children; I have a son Matthew and identical twins Bridget and Emily.
This Friday Class Newsletters will be available for all families on the school app SZapp. Newsletters provide an outline of the curriculum across all learning areas for the term as well as providing specific information from your child’s teachers.
Specialist teachers begin lessons this week and information about when students are to wear sports uniform is provided.
Preps - TBA
Year 1 - Monday, Friday
Year 2 - Thursday, Friday
Year 3 - Tuesday, Friday
Year 4 - Wednesday, Thursday
Year 5 - Tuesday, Thursday
Year 6 - Monday, Thursday
We have had a very good response to our Caremonkey requests - although there are still a number of families to respond. These requests are important information that is required at the beginning of the school year. Please respond as soon as possible.
We are very pleased to see such a great response to our HeadHunters Program - those few parents who have declined are asked to contact me via email.
SZapp - please download the app if you are yet to do so and also update your groups with your child's new year level - see Anna if any issues.
Inquiry Term 1
As the new school term begins we will have a whole school focus on positive relationships, developing social skills and promoting health, safety and wellbeing.
In Science this term the students will be exploring living and non living things.
These units of work will provide opportunities for students to explore, investigate and create new pathways for thinking and learning.
Healthy eating is essential for your child's good health, growth and development. Healthy eating in childhood means they will have less chance of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity and some cancers. It will also mean children feel better, look better and enjoy life more.
Celebrating birthdays is a special time, especially when it is shared with friends at school. There have been days when I have seen students bouncing out of classrooms with two sugary bags of lollies and wondered what else can we do that supports celebrations and convenience for families. In order to continue to promote healthy eating at school, I would like to explore options for healthy treats for birthdays. I would love to hear your ideas! Please email me or come and have a chat.
Supervision after School
Just a reminder that playground supervision begins at 8.30am and finishes at 3.45. If you are running late in the afternoon, please call the Office and we will keep your child with us in the Office area until you arrive. If your child has an after school activitiy eg tennis or music, they must be supervised prior to their lesson. Thank you for supporting child safety at St Paul’s.
A reminder that medication cannot be administered at school without a letter from the doctor.
Today School fees will be emailed home. If you do not receive your account or would like a hard copy sent home via your eldest child please contact Mary (Business Manager) as soon as possible. Mary’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Total charges are billed in Term 1 and are payable over 3 terms, unless using a payment plan. Payment plans are available from the office or can be emailed upon request. A new payment plan is required each year.
Please note that full payment for Years 5 & 6 camps must be made prior to the camps in Term 1.
3 Children +
Term 1 due 15 March (with camp fees please)
Term 2 due 15 May
Term 3 due 15 July
Payments can be made using the following methods:
Credit Card - Please complete a Payment Authorization (available at the office)
Direct Debit - Please complete a Payment Authorization (available at the office)
Internet Banking – Bank details are listed at the bottom of your statement
Payment plans are available should you wish to spread the payment over 10 (monthly) or 20 (fortnightly) instalments. Payments can be deducted from either a credit card or bank account.
Health Care Card holders may be eligible for a concession under the State Government’s Camps, Sport and Excursions Fund. An application form is available from the office.
As always, parents experiencing difficulties in meeting their commitments to the school are urged to contact us as soon as possible so that we can discuss the situation with you.
Camps, Sports & Excursions Fund
CSEF is provided by the Victorian Government to assist eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities.
If you hold a valid means-tested concession card or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible for CSEF. The allowance is paid to the school to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions or sporting activities for the benefit of your child.
New applicants should contact the school office to obtain a CSEF application form or download from www.education.vic.gov.au/csef
If you applied for the CSEF at your child's school in 2019, you do not need to complete an application form in 2020 unless there has been a change in your family circumstances. You only need to complete an application form if any of the following changes have occurred: 1) new student enrolments; your child has started or changed schools in 2020 or you did not apply in 2019. 2) changed family circumstances; such as a change of custody, change of name, concession card number, or new siblings commencing at the school in 2020.
Thank you for your co-operation in the timely payment of fees this year.
Have a great week
St Catherine’s in Moorabbin is one of 4 schools in Victoria that offers the Arrowsmith Program. We are now in our sixth year of offering the Program and it has changed the lives of many of our children who have learning difficulties. One of our students who recently completed her program wrote:
‘Arrowsmith is amazing and it has changed my life. I have been telling people how good it is and that it is worth doing and they have taken my advice and looked into it. Arrowsmith is a miracle and I don’t know what I’d do without it.’
One Parent wrote:
‘For some years I thought my son’s future was narrow. It's difficult to look at your child and think about constructed a lifelong environment for them that is protected, thinking they will always need to be protected and they will only ever be able to manage a limited world. Now I think he has every possibility back in his own hands, the way it should be for any child. I believe Arrowsmith has given him the tools he needs to tackle his future. What a gift!’
Barbara Arrowsmith-Young is the founder of the Arrowsmith Program, an assessment process and a suite of cognitive exercises designed to stimulate and strengthen weak areas of cognitive functioning that underlie a range of learning difficulties, which has been delivered for 40+ years throughout the world. The Arrowsmith Program is offered in educational organizations in 10 countries. Ongoing research with neuroscientists, neuropsychologists and psychologists is demonstrating that the program not only changes the brain, cognitive functioning, and academic achievement but also leads to social-emotional well-being.
For more information about this amazing program that supports children with learning difficulties then go to the website: https://www.scmoorabbin.catholic.edu.au/about-us
Holy Trinity Parish - St. Catherine's Primary School hosts a presentation by Barbara Arrowsmith-Young: Changing Brains, Exploring a New Reality – Neuroplasticity and Learning
Venue: Holy Trinity Parish - St Catherine's Primary School
14 - 28 Fletcher Street, Moorabbin
Date: Monday 17th February 2020
Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm followed by book signing
In this presentation Barbara Arrowsmith Young will talk about how harnessing the principles of neuroplasticity leads to changes in the brain and how each individual can create a new reality for their future. She will discuss the latest research on the Arrowsmith Program which shows changes in the brain as well as academic, emotional, social and cognitive changes.
She will describe how a learning difficulty impacts the learner in school as well as in life and that the research shows that this reality is not lifelong and can be changed. The audience will gain insight into and begin to look at behaviour through a cognitive lens. They will build an understanding that through harnessing the principles of neuroplasticity we can change the brain and overcome learning challenges.
Places are filling fast so if you are interested in hearing Barbara speak and finding out more about or Program please follow the link and book a space – there is no cost.
Treat others as You would Want them to Treat You (Luke 6:31)
Just above the town of Capernaum, the birth place of St Peter, is a beautiful hill where Jesus stood delivering his Sermon on the Mount. This beautiful area overlooks the Sea of Galilee. The Sea of Galilee borders Israel, Syria and Lebanon.
It is upon this amazing view Jesus, in what is recorded in both Matthew chapter 5 and Luke chapter 6 suggests various attitudes which help to achieve the ultimate gift of Love.
Treat others as you would have them treat you. Our 2020 Federated theme from Luke 6:31 is one of these Beatitudes.
I now enter my fourth year of a four year contract as Mission and Faith Leader. I can without any doubt say that our Catholic Identity has many positive aspects within the community but like all things it is always a work in progress.
This is not to despair but more to acknowledge and accept the reality we find ourselves in.
This is one reason we do not apologise as a Federated that we want to be more articulate with our Catholicity.
So what does that mean for us as members in a Catholic School?
One thing it means is that we can no longer presume that having the word Saint in front of our Schools name is enough for our community to know directly that we are Catholic and more importantly Gospel centred.
Walking into a fully working classroom and seeing the Crucifix in centre place acknowledges our faith. Seeing our prayer table in central place, uncluttered with no school work on them to hide the bible is another positive sign. But if we think this is enough is no longer helpful in saying to those we serve that we are people who take the Gospel seriously.
School Staff are in the trenches of Catholic Education. This is no longer easy. Perhaps it was never easy. Being in the trenches means hard work which often is not recognised by those above.
During the despair of the bushfires our true identity of people of love and generosity rose to the fore. Treat others as you would have them Treat you showed above the pain of destruction. Every Australian, all people of different faiths and culture showed what is in their heart, but for us as Catholics and Christians we show this more than ever because Jesus expects us to go that extra mile. It is part of our Baptisimal vows and why at Confirmation we again said Yes.
At the same time of the fires in Australia there were other fires blazing uncontrollably in other parts of the world. Our 2020 banner shows the world inside our hands which are in the shape of a heart. We need to also be aware of what is happening outside our comfort zone as well as in the comforts of own classroom or other working space.
Catholic Identity and Catholic Education must be more than data. Data give us insight but to focus totally on the results is very shallow. In Catholic Schools our Students must be more than data. We must continue to display an environment where we show on our sleeves that everyone, the Staff, Students and families in our Schools are all equal in the eyes of God. For this to work we must be united as a community and work together when the going gets tough. And one thing is certain the going does and will get tough.
In his book, When All is Said and Done (Which by the way is a title of an ABBA song), Neale Daniher says on page 242, “Individuals become teams through disciplined and spirited action. The discipline is enacted when individuals commit to shaping a common purpose, agree on performance goals, define and buy into a game plan, develop complementary skills and hold themselves mutually accountable for delivering results. Spirit emerges through time spent together, which allows all team members to build a high level of trust and respect. It happens when each member is there for the right purpose: the agreed team purpose. This level of trust allows members to manage conflict and resolve issues that emerge in all teams, because there is genuine commitment to find the right answers and make team-first decisions.
Our agreed team purpose, our game plan must always be Gospel centred. It cannot be anything else if we wish to call ourselves a Catholic School. If it is something else we must close our doors because we are living and displaying a false paradigm.
In the final year of our Federated pilot where our future as a Federation is undecided, as your Mission and Faith leader where my future is unknown, one thing is certain, just as others in Catholic Education like you and I have worked tirelessly before us to show that living the Gospel message of Love is a true and wonderful way to live life, so too will come people after us. But until the future is upon us we must live the present and strive toTreat others as we would like them to Treat us.
Sacramental Program 2020
Preparation for the Sacraments of Initiation is celebrated within a partnership of the Family, Parish & School. At Holy Trinity Parish, sacraments are Parent Initiated, School Supported and Parish Based.
The Federated Schools (St Catherine’s St Paul’s & St Peter’s,) of Holy Trinity Parish are very conscious of their responsibility to support parents in all areas of faith development, with a special program being taught during sacramental preparation time. The three schools will be working together in partnership and sharing the responsibility of the Sacramental Program along with Holy Trinity Parish. Therefore each school will take turns in hosting Workshops and Reflection Days for the Sacramental Program in 2020. Families are asked to attend the Family Workshops for each of the Sacraments offered. Please see dates and venues below.
The following dates are important for students in Year 3 involved in the
Reconciliation Program for 2020:
First Reconciliation can take place: 1st Saturday @ St Peter’s @ 10.30am
2nd Saturday @ St Paul’s @ 10.30am
3rd Saturday @ St Catherine’s @ 10.30am
Maximum of 10 at each per month
First Reconciliation can also take place half an hour before any Mass in any of the three Communities of Holy Trinity Parish.
The following dates are important for students in Year 4 involved in the First Eucharist Program for 2020:
The following dates are important for students in Year 6 involved in the Confirmation Program for 2020:
Please also note that there will be School celebrations for those in Years 3 and 4 to celebrate their making of Reconciliation and Eucharist on the following dates:
Wednesday 4th November: St Catherine’s @ 10am Mass
Thursday 5th November: St Paul’s @ 10am Mass
Friday 6th November: St Peter’s Yr 3 and Yr 4 @ 10am Mass
A letter for each Year Level will be sent prior to the beginning of the program for that Year level.
If you have any queries on this process, please do not hesitate to contact Father Jacob or Edward Dooley on email: email@example.com
We look forward to working with and supporting you as you lead your child more fully into their faith journey in our Parish Community.
Father Jacob Michael Juliff Edward Dooley
Parish Priest Coordinating Principal Mission and Faith Leader
Our Sun Smart policy is in force this term, please send your child with a hat to Osh, sunscreen is provided.