On Ash Wednesday the students attended Mass to mark the start of the Lenten period leading up to Easter. Lent is a time when we stop and assess how we’re doing in our walk with God. Lent helps us identify spiritual areas in which we can grow and sinful areas that we need to avoid. To repent, put simply, means to turn away from sin and turn toward God. We use ashes as an outward expression of our need to begin again. During Lent we encourage the students to be people of action as they try each day to live out the Gospel values. Our Federated theme for 2020, ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated’ is a fitting theme for the Lenten period.
Today the Year 3 students attended their shared reflection day as they prepare to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. As a school community we pray for these students and their families.
Last week the Year 5 students had their first camp experience at Sovereign Hill in Ballarat. Many hours of preparation by Katie Lachal and Stephanie Ovakimyan went into ensuring that all students had a fabulous time. Thank you also to Katherine Zachest and Ed Dooley who also attended the camp. A favourite activity was the many hours spent panning for gold, all hoping to strike it lucky and many believed they did! On arriving back at school we were greeted by a beautiful meal organised by the Parents and Friends. Many thanks, it was much appreciated.
There has been a very positive response from families in supporting issues around sharing food and birthday treats. The matter was discussed at the Board meeting last Monday night. We are in the process of developing a policy around ‘food sharing’. The policy will be reviewed at a staff meeting before coming back to the Board. The Board members were also treated to a Virtual Reality experience using the new VR devices purchased by the generosity of the Parents and Friends fundraising last year.
A number of children have after school activities including music lessons, tennis lessons and sport training sessions. We have found that some of these children are being left unsupervised after school waiting for their lesson to begin. A teacher is on duty until 3:45pm in the school yard but it is then expected that children are supervised by a parent from this time onwards. Thank you for your support.
Thank you to the Prep and Year 6 families who attended the Information evenings last Tuesday night. Both sessions were well attended, giving teachers the opportunity to outline important expectations and curriculum information. Congratulations to the Prep students who have had a wonderful start to the year. This week they will be full time.
Just a reminder that school fee statements have been sent out via email, if you haven't received yours please contact the office.
Congratulations to the students who participated in the District Swimming Carnival last week. All students participated with a great team spirit as they worked together to take out the Small Schools shield. Thank you to Danny Maher, Jess Walker, Liz Heath and the many parents who were there to cheer on the St Paul’s team.
Parents and Friends Meeting
This Wednesday, at 7pm in the Library, will be the first meeting for the year. The parents and Friends is a great opportunity for parents to be involved in the many events planned for the year ahead. We especially welcome new families to participate as we continue to build a strong and connected St Paul’s community spirit. The broader involvement of the community reduces individual workloads and promotes positive relationships across the school. I look forward to seeing you there.
Prep Enrolments for 2021
Our Open Day for Prep 2021 is being held on Wednesday 11th March at 9:30am.
Current families that have siblings starting in Prep next year can collect an enrolment form from Anna at the office from tomorrow. You are also most welcome to attend the Open Day.
Have a great week,
Learning to Open the Heart
To close ourselves off from the wisdom of the world around us in the name of God is a kind of spiritual arrogance exceeded by little else in the human lexicon of errors. It makes of life a kind of prison where, in the name of holiness, thought is chained and vision is condemned. It makes us our own gods. It is a sorry excuse for spirituality.
The sin of religion is to pronounce every other religion empty and unknowing, deficient and unblessed. It is to ignore the call of God to us through the life and wisdom and spiritual vision of the other. The implications of that kind of closing out the multiple revelations of the mind of God are weighty: once we shut our hearts to the other, we have shut our hearts to God. It is a matter of great spiritual import, of deep spiritual summons. Openness to the presence of God, the Word of God in others, is of the essence of contemplation.
Learning to open the heart requires first that we open our lives. The home of whites that has never had a person of color at the supper table is a home that has missed an opportunity to grow. The man who has never worked with a woman as a peer, better yet as an executive, has deprived himself of the revelation of the other half of the world. The comfortable contemplative who has never served soup at a soup kitchen, or clerked in a thrift shop, or spent time in inner-city programs, lives in an insulated bubble. The adult who has never asked a child a question and really listened to the answer is doomed to go through life out of touch and essentially unlearned. The world they know cannot possibly give them the answer that they seek. “When someone comes to the gate,” the Rule of Benedict instructs, “say ‘Thanks be to God.’” Say, in other words, ‘Thanks be to God,’ that someone has come to add to our awareness of the world, to show us another way to think and be and live beyond our own small slice of the universe.
Openness is the door through which wisdom travels and contemplation begins. It is the pinnacle from which we learn that the world is much bigger, much broader than ourselves, that there is truth out there that is different from our own. The voice of God within us is not the only voice of God.
Openness is not gentility in the social arena. It is not polite listening to people with whom we inherently disagree. It is not political or civil or “nice.” It is not even simple hospitality. It is the munificent abandonment of the mind to new ideas, to new possibilities. Without an essential posture of openness, contemplation is not possible. God comes in every voice, behind every face, in every memory, deep in every struggle. To close off any of them is to close off the possibility of becoming new again ourselves.
To be a contemplative it is necessary to throw open the arms of our lives, to take in daily one experience, one person, one new idea with which we have no familiarity and ask what it is saying to us and about us. Then God, the Ultimate Reality, the Life beyond life can come to us in deep, in rending, new ways.
—from Illuminated Life: Monastic Wisdom for Seekers of Light, by Joan Chittister (Orbis Books)
Yr 6 Community Leadership Group
On the 12 February, the Community Group went to a BaptCare aged care facility. When we arrived we were introduced to everyone and we started off by playing a game with them called Snake Eye. The game was played by rolling a dice and the goal of the game was to create the biggest number, but if you rolled a 1 then you would be eliminated and your score would go down to 0. The highest score we got was 30 points!
We played another game with balloons and a fly swat and we had to keep the balloons in the air the whole time. It was really hard because there were 10 balloons in the middle at once! Everybody was whacking them with their feet and their hands and it looked like chaos! Really we were just laughing and having fun. It was the best, and the people there were so nice and the Senior Citizens at the BaptCare aged facility just made you smile! :)
The next week when we opened the door,the room was filled with music.The aged care facility had a guest and we were just in time for her last song! That same week we were playing charades with the senior citizens we had to think about something we could act out and the clients at the aged care facility had to guess what we were doing.The clients were pretty good at guessing what animals we were acting out. We were filled with joy when we returned from the aged care facility and we could not stop talking about all the things we did at the aged care facility.
Next we played a cup game. Every senior had about 10 cups. Then we paired up with each and every senior. Some even doubled up. Anyway, we had to do lots of challenges building like building pyramids.
Some we had to close our eyes and build a pyramid using the senior to be our eyes and tell us where to put the cups. It was very fun and we can’t wait to go there next week!
Also we have been learning about all of our leadership skills and what it is to be a leader!
We have learned to show leadership,To be kind and to stand by our new school theme for this year. ‘Treat others as you would like to be treated.’
By Claire and Sabrina
Year 6 Communication Group
Our names are Flyn and Rhys and we are part of the Yr 6 Communication Group. We are working to make the school a better place for parents, students, and staff with a focus on communication. We have made a roster for welcoming parents and students at the gates each morning. We look forward to seeing you there. We are also running assembly, and helping Mrs. Tammesild write some interesting articles in the newsletter about learning and wellbeing. Our next challenge is to prepare for Open Morning in Catholic Education Week where we will conduct school tours for parents who are looking to enrol their children in our great school.
Year 6 Sports and Outdoor Group
Hi this is Ella and Mitch. We are part of the Year 6 leadership team. Currently we are supporting the younger students on the playground by organising games at lunch time. Each Monday the Prep students meet us on the tennis court, on Tuesday we work with the Year 1 students and on Wednesday the Grade 2 students. We hope to give them some great ideas about taking turns and fun games to play with their friends.
We also had lots of fun meeting with all the House teams across the school and prepared War cries for our swimming carnival.
Year 6 Social Justice Group
Hi, we’re from the Social Justice group. I’m Ronan and this is Mia.
We are honoured to represent the Social Justice group for our first Semester of 2020. What we are all about creating awareness for what is happening locally and in the wider world including charities that need our support and causes we think are important.
We will be organising fun events and activities as well as going around to classrooms and sharing some information about the work we would like to get involved with this Semester.
We hope to create exciting opportunities for you all, as well as to expand your understanding of things that happen around our world.
Thank you from the Social Justice group.
Bentleigh District Swimming Carnival 2020
On Tuesday the 25th February, St Paul’s entered a team of 50 swimmers to compete at the Bentleigh District Swimming Carnival at the Oakleigh Recreation Centre. We had a great result with St. Paul’s winning the Adjusted Point Shield which is awarded to schools based on their number of students. The children represented St. Paul’s in a manner that should make us all feel extremely proud. They did their best in their events and they cheered and encouraged others as they swam. A special thanks to Miss Jess Walker and Mrs Liz Heath who assisted on the day. 7 students from St. Paul’s were selected to go on and compete in 8 events at the Beachside Division Swimming Carnival on the 6th March at the same venue.
David Zhang - Open Boys Medley / 11y 50m Backstroke and Breastroke
Henry Uytenbogaardt - 12/13y 50m Freestyle Relay / Open Boys Medley
Amour Ooi - 12/13y 50m Freestyle Relay / Open Boys Medley / 12/13y 50m Freestyle and Breastroke
Kyan Morgan - 12/13y 50m Freestyle Relay / Open Boys Medley
Michael Monaghan- 12/13y 50m Freestyle Relay
Callum Smith - 9/10y 50m Backstroke
Mylie Easton - 9/10y 50m Butterfly
We wish all the children the best and congratulate them on a fantastic achievement.
The Life Ed Van will be at St Paul's from Thursday 5th March untill Thursday 12th March. Years Prep - 6 will undertake age approropriate lessons. See below for more details, including a parent information session. If you would like to attend this session please RSVP to Anna in the office.
The next P&F Meeting is on at 7pm this Wednesday in the school library. We would love all parents who want to have a say or get involved with committee run events to attend. No obligation or pressure to take on a role. Looking forward to some fresh ideas from the parent community.
Hope to see you there!
On Sunday, 15th March after the 9.30am Mass, we would like all parishioners/families to join together to thank Libby for her long standing commitment and dedication to St. Paul’s community and to the Holy Trinity Parish. Libby has faithfully served the community and worked tirelessly with several Priests over the years at St Paul’s.
We offer her our best wishes in her new role. You’re welcome to bring a small plate of food to share.