The joyous season of Advent begins next Sunday 29 November. As Christians, during Advent we celebrate the birth of Jesus, who has been born into human life, and we look to the future when God’s Kingdom will come.
The season of Advent reminds us that the life journey is a series of endings and beginnings – as it must be if we are to grow as human beings and as people of faith. As we prepare to ‘let go’ of 2020, we also begin looking to the year to come and all that it might bring.
It can be challenging to hold to the invitation of Advent amid the busyness of the end of the school year, and the preparations for Christmas and the holidays. But somewhere in the midst of this busyness, we are called to take time to renew our choice for love and life and open our hearts to the God who waits to be born there.
Today we invite all families to gather and share this special Advent Liturgy.
Following announcements by the Victorian Government last Sunday, there has been updated information for schools. At the ‘Last Step’ some COVIDSafe activities are no longer required while other restrictions remain in place.
The following provides an overview of the key changes:
- Metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria are both at the ‘Last Step’ of the Victorian roadmap for reopening. At the Last Step, there are no differences in restrictions between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
- School access to parents and outside visitors is now allowed with the exception of before and after school drop off and pick up, in an effort to avoid large gatherings.
- Drinking fountains and taps will be reopened for normal use
- Implementing staggered snack and lunch breaks are no longer required
- Schools can conduct on-site tours for prospective students and their families, however school activities involving visitors must comply with public gathering limits
- Schools are no longer required to reduce mixing amongst staff or different year levels
- Public events on school premises are now permitted
- Liturgies are permitted subject to public gathering limits 150 indoors (density requirements apply)and 300 outdoors
- Orientation events can go ahead subject to adaptations
- Face-to-face professional development and staff meetings can recommence
- Indoor contact and non-contact sport can resume
- Outside school hours care may operate before and after school and summer holiday programs
The following procedures will remain in place:
- Hand hygiene and additional cleaning protocols
- Parents will be contacted to collect their child if they have flu like symptoms
- Whole school assemblies will not be held
- Before and after school drop off and pick up arrangements remain
- Staff will wear a mask when not in the act of teaching
- No singing
Homework in Term 4. Not just Reading!
In Term 4, the homework task is nightly reading. During Remote Learning parents were provided with opportunities to experience a window into their child’s learning world. This term, we have a focus on Wellbeing, Literacy and Numeracy and prioritized reading for homework.
There is compelling data on the benefits of encouraging your child to read as well as evidence on the limited benefits of written homework for primary aged students. From the time your child is born, reading out loud is a positive influence. As your child grows, daily reading will help the brain make connections between the written and spoken word, widening vocabulary in the process.
Adding to that benefit, vocabulary knowledge equates to masterful spelling. In fact, reading, spelling and vocabulary are critically important to a child's lifelong achievement.
Reading Promotes brain development
Educators have long said reading makes people smarter, and there’s research backing them up. Reading to children of any age awakens a number of regions in the left part of the brain. The areas in the brain that become active involve understanding the meaning of words and concepts tied to memory. Reading is more than just translating written words into verbal form; it is about understanding those words were once ideas in the minds of great thinkers. It is about realizing those ideas can be connected to personal experiences.
Through daily reading, children are exposed to a world outside their own reality. It expands their know-how, opens their minds and creates the potential for a continuation of ideas and an endless number of possibilities.
Reading Strengthens family relationships
There is nothing quite like reading together as a family. Whether you're flipping through picture books with your little ones or sitting in the same room with older kids while, each immersed in a piece of literature, these are times you remember. For a moment, you are all able to escape worries and experience art in written form. It is something that can be recreated in different forms with every new book and family read-a-thon. Please do not underestimate the power of imagination and reading.
Classes for 2021
Teachers are currently looking at class groupings for 2021. Due to the limited time students had in their class groupings this year, only minor changes will be made for next year. In my final Newsletter, 14 December, the teaching staff for 2021 will be announced. Children will find out their teachers for next year on the final day of school during ‘Meet the Teacher’ time. Reports will be emailed to parents on this day.
This year we are doing a gold coin donation instead of our usual Vinnie’s Hamper Drive. Each class will be assigned a letter of the word VINNIES, written in chalk on the playground and students will place the coins on the outline of the word. It's ok to bring more than one coin! Thank you in advance for your generosity. This Friday will be a non uniform day.
The Parents and Friends would like to invite families to donate non perishable goods to be made into hampers for our own St Pauls families who will be in need this Christmas. None of us ever know when our lives can change and we need to accept help from others.
Thank you for your generosity. Donations can be left under the Christmas tree in the Library.
Celebrating Patterns & Algebra Maths Day at St Paul’s
On Wednesday last week we celebrated all things patternered at St.Paul’s. Thank you to everyone for embracing our Math’s Day, the students (and teachers) looked amazing dressed in stripes, polka dots, geometric shapes, rainbow colours and everything in between!
Students participated in a scavenger hunt across the school yard which had them investigate existing patterns such as shapes and colours on the tennis court, basketball court and playground. It was amazing to hear the collaborative learning and thinking taking place and see students working together to solve each question. A big thank you to the Grade 5 students who assisted the junior grades move around the course and guide their thinking and problem solving.
Students also worked in the hall with Cathy Epstein and some Grade 6 helpers playing a variety of board and card games. Students had a fantastic time rotating through the games which gave them the opportunity to calculate, challenge their reasoning and thinking and apply their mathematical skills to solve problems. It was wonderful to see and hear the excitement in the hall and have students working together and encouraging each other.
The My Brother Jack Awards were held recently and Isabella Schneider in Yr 6 took out first place in the Primary Short Story category. The judge was the award-winning author, Eliza Henry-Jones, and made these comments about Isabella's story, The Camping Horror Day:
"This story was highly entertaining with a strong voice and an astute eye for the small details that make up family life. It made me laugh out loud!"
The Camping Horror Day
By Isabella Schneider
If you think of a family, six people in size,
packed in a car, would you believe your eyes? But yes, dear reader, yes this is true,
and the story of the Andersons is one quite blue. It all started with a packed car,
children getting ready, normal so far.
It took a long time but finally they were all in,
And dad shouted out “let our adventures begin!” I was sitting in the back, with the luggage in the boot, I wasn’t very comfortable in this overcrowded ute. But my tail began to wag as I thought of the seas, The gorgeous campsite and the warm summer breeze. The journey was quiet and everyone got on... Actually no, it was boring and long.
“Mum, Max keeps hurting me,” halfway there Ellie moaned, “I’m tired and hungry, can we just go home?” “I’m not doing anything!” Max declared,
He smiled meanly at Ellie, to which she just glared. “Oh both of you stop,” the eldest, Jess said
“We’re going on holiday, be happy instead.”
Ellie and Max the identical twins,
They hated each other, but both of them grinned. I started to sleep, the family were quiet,
when all of a sudden there was a large riot.
“I need a wee!” 2 year old Thomas cried.
The parents drove faster like a carnival ride.
We got to a service station, and everyone got out, Taking me too, what a good turnout.
I ran around the carpark, this was fun,
Dad was right, our adventures had just begun. “Hey Barney,” Ellie muttered, patting my head, I climbed into the car, in slow motion tread.
I woofed happily, and we set off again,
And arrived at the campsite, when it started to… rain! “How will we pitch the tent now?” Max sobbed, “Oh what bad weather, we’ve really been robbed.” “It’s not all bad,” Mum said with a smile,
But everyone looked down, was this really worth while? We worked together on pitching the tent,
But it wouldn’t stay up, following our intent.
Once we got it to stay it was time for food,
But all the shops were closed, adding to our bad mood. “I’m hungry!” the four children cried,
“We’ll find some food soon,” mum and dad lied. Hungry kids equals noise and fights,
It was hard to sleep on this really annoying night.
The next morning we woke up, and to our dismay, All our belongings had floated away.
The river had overflowed and many things were wet, this was not a good holiday, the worst one yet. “Barney come here!” the family cried,
They put me in the car, trapped back inside. We were leaving, so soon, this wasn’t fair, I could feel everyone’s sadness filling the air. Our ten day holiday had turned into one, I guess I had a bit of fun?
Our horrible holiday went down with dread, Now I’m the dog who stays in bed.
Sports Uniform/PE Days for the remaining weeks of the year.
Prep: Tuesday & Friday
Year 1: Monday and Friday
Year 2B: Tuesday & Wednesday
Year 2H: Tuesday & Thursday
Year 3AW: Wednesday & Friday
Year 3K: Wednesday & Thursday
Year 4: Wednesday & Friday
Year 5: Monday & Friday
Year 6H: Thursday & Friday
Year 6W: Monday & Thursday
Sacramental Programs 2020
The Year 6 students will be making their Confirmation in St Paul’s Church on Wednesday 9 December at 11.30am. Unfortunately, sponsors and family members are unable to attend with the current density requirements that are in place for indoor gatherings. However, the ceremony will be live streamed for families to watch, with Fr Jacob presiding.
The Sacrament of Eucharist will be held for Yr 4 and Yr 5 students next year at separate times. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will be administered to the students in Yr 3 and Yr 4, again at separate times next year. I will let you know dates and further information regarding the Sacraments in my Newsletter on 14 December.
With only 13 days of Term 4 remaining…. Enjoy!
The final Dads' night will be held at the RSL at 8pm this Thursday, 3rd December 2020.
This will be the final night for a large number of Grade 6 Dads that have supported the school, some over many years. I make special mention to Dino Moscato, who has held the reins of the being the Dads’ Co-ordinator for a number of years. Dino, on behalf of all the Dads and families, we thank you for tireless efforts to ensuring that this Dad community has flourished and continues to flourish well into the future.
Lets get as many as we can to the night to celebrate all things Dads and a unique year in our lives.
If you are not getting email invites to these events, then please call Ed Byrne on 0411 279 773 or email your details directly to him at firstname.lastname@example.org