Semester 1 reports were sent out last Friday and will be followed up this week with Parent Teacher Interviews. Semester Reports form an important part of reporting to parents. They are supported by parent teacher interviews, digital portfolios and the many opportunities for parents to engage in their child’s learning. I hope you enjoy this time meeting with your child’s teacher. The students will enjoy a movie afternoon from 2.30 on Tuesday and Wednesday so that interviews can begin in your child’s classroom at 2.30pm. Year Prep -2 students will be in the Library and Year 3-6 students will be in the Hall if you wish to collect your child before the end of the day.
Learning teams gathered for a day last week to plan for the term ahead. At the end of the week, I reflected with great pride how we have moved into a collaborative learning space where teachers are motivated to be curious and increase their understanding and share strategies, thinking and perspectives with each other.
Tracey Ezard, author of ‘Glue, The Stuff that binds us to do Extraordinary Work’ was the keynote speaker at a Federated school closure day last year. Since then, we have worked effectively to keep the message alive of how through working together we achieve greater outcomes for the students we teach.
‘Buzzing levels of collaboration, with the mindsets that take advantage of the diversity within teams, and between teams can do extraordinary things. We are mindfully creating the environment that allows for interaction and co creation to occur. We end up with new and improved ways of working, rather than the default, ‘This is the way I’ve always done it’, type of thinking. And it’s exciting and fun too. Some unpredictability to shake things up and have a place buzzing!’
Thank you to Freda Tahtou (Teaching and Learning Leader), Ed Dooley (Mission and Faith Leader) and all staff for entering into a collaborative learning space where there was a true buzz as we planned for the term ahead.
During Term 3, the students will be preparing for our bi annual school concert. The concert will be held at St Peter’s School Hall over two nights. This will allow us to open up enough tickets for all families, neighbours and extended families to come along and enjoy what promises to be a great night of entertainment. All students are included in the concert and will have the opportunity to showcase their talents.
Concert Dates: Monday 16 September and Wednesday 18 September.
We will have a full dress rehearsal at St Peter’s on Friday 13 September.
Information about costumes and times will be sent out next term.
Gardening with Preps
The Prep students have been busy planting carrots, broccoli, snow peas and various herbs in the garden. It is a delight to wander through the gardens! The organically grown snow peas are ready to be picked and eaten this week. A special thanks to Bernie Wise and her daughter Loretta (PJ) for the keen interest they have taken in sharing their passion for growing fresh produce with the other students. Thanks also to the families who have volunteered to water over the holidays.
Thank you to Rebecca D’Angelo and Donna Campbell and the generous parents who helped set up for the Disco and to those parents who were on hand for supervision. The students had a wonderful night!
Fete Dress up Day
As we prepare for the School Fete in October, I hope all families will support our Fete Dress up Day on Friday. Students can wear casual clothes and bring the following:
Grades Prep - Grade 2: Please bring a bag of lollies
Grades 3 and 4: Please bring items for the lucky dip
Grades 5 and 6: Please bring a block of chocolate.
Friday is our last day of Term 2 with a 2.30pm finish.
Year 1 Basketball stars
I would like to share with you an email from one of our parents to the Year 1 teachers who attended a recent game.
Thank you so much for coming along to GESAC on a rainy evening. The kids faces when you walked in were priceless, they were ecstatic to see you!
Absolutely sums up the St Paul’s community spirit!
As the term comes to an end I would like to thank the staff, students and parents who make up this wonderful community of St Paul’s. St Paul’s has always had a strong sense of working together, supporting others and community spirit.
I pray that our work continues to support the full flourishing of all students in our care and that you have a safe and relaxing holiday.
On the 1 st July 2019 The Assisted Dying Law comes into effect in Victory. This
law raises much debate in our Community.
A dear friend of mine, Fr Geoffrey King died of MND in May of 2015. He was
a man of great Faith. He was a person of few words. But when he spoke you
As we continue to debate what this law means for us as Christians who see life
as a gift and not ours to take perhaps it is worth taking the time to read Geoff’s
article which appeared in The Age in 2013. His reflection may help us to see
things in a new way.
Edward Dooley (Mission and Faith Leader)
Life or death decision inspired by faith in God
Despite suffering motor neurone disease, I wont take my own life as Beverley
Broadbent did.By Geoffrey King (written April 2013) [Died May 7 th 2015]
I read with great interest, and I hope empathy, the story about Beverley
Broadbent ending her life. I think I can appreciate her choice to end her life
while still able to enjoy living. But it is not a choice that I intend to make.
It is, nevertheless, a choice that confronts me. I was diagnosed almost two years
ago with motor neurone disease, admittedly with a rare variant of the disease
that typically progresses more slowly than the more common forms.
Already my legs are virtually useless and I spend about 14 hours a day in an
electric wheelchair. I need help to get into and out of bed and to get to the toilet.
More recently I have noticed the beginning of weakness in my right arm - a sign
of things to come, as all of my voluntary muscles begin to shut down.
At present my determination is to live as fully as possible within these already
significant limitations. I am acting dean of the united faculty of theology within
the MCD University of Divinity. I am teaching one course within that faculty.
As a Catholic priest I celebrate Mass several mornings a week in the church at
Richmond where I live, and on Sundays at Werribee. I go to the MCG when
Collingwood is playing. I go to concerts in the city, and to exhibitions at the
NGV. I frequent cafes that serve good coffee. I do most of the food shopping
for my small community.
For some of this I need to use a maxi taxi. But more commonly I travel simply
by wheelchair or by train, courtesy of a free myki pass and the help of train
drivers who put out a ramp for me. When my arms and upper body become
weaker, all this will be more difficult, ultimately impossible, but I have
managed thus far to adapt in ways that would a few years ago have seemed
improbable to me, and I hope such adaptation can continue.
Why, however, do I choose to press on into the more horrendous parts of this
motor neurone journey, rather than seeking to take Beverley Broadbent's path?
Ultimately for me this is not a matter of reason, but a matter of faith. I believe in
a creator (and creative) God and I believe in the paradoxical power of the cross.
For me, life is a gift from God. So far it has been an extraordinarily generous
gift. I have been able to do things, and to experience things, and to go to places
(places of the heart as well as geographical places) that I would never have
conceived of when I was, say, 20. I have had a wonderful life, and for this I am
immensely grateful. I have now entered into much darker places, but even here I
find new life: there is a sense of adventure, for example, in finding how to do
even simple things from the constraints of an electric wheelchair.
I know that I shall never again go for 40-kilometre walks along Washington's
C&O Canal, nor wander around the Parthenon on a misty morning, nor drink a
dark lager in Munich's Augustiner Bierhalle, nor go to an outdoor concert at
night in the Roman Forum, nor even catch a ferry on Sydney Harbour. There is
deep regret in all of that, but it is far outweighed by a sense of gratitude that I
have been able to do these things in the first place.
And then there is the cross. I do not believe that suffering is meaningless, but
that, like Christ's suffering, it can be redemptive. Of course, we should do all we
reasonably can to prevent suffering, but we will still be confronted with it.
This awful disease puts me in solidarity with others suffering around the world.
It has enabled me to enter into the world of the disabled, such as the other
wheelchair passengers I meet on the train. With them I see the world with new
eyes. And in small ways I have become an advocate for the disabled and for
disability access. I have been inspired by the peacefulness of other motor
neurone sufferers, some of them much more disabled than I am.
I have also discovered how much people love me. Prayers, good wishes, and
material help have come from places expected and quite unexpected. Through
my blog (geoffreysj.com), I have met new friends and reconnected with old
ones. Having motor neurone disease, then, has enabled me to live life in new
ways. I actually see it as a gift, a very challenging and mysterious gift, from a
None of this is to pretend that motor neurone is not an absolutely awful disease,
that the later stages in particular are about as nasty as it gets. As a friend
remarked, getting motor neurone disease is drawing the shortest of short straws.
I just hope that I can maintain my positive attitude as things get a lot tougher.
Nor do I want my life to be artificially prolonged, by being kept going on a
ventilator, for instance, as my breathing muscles fail. At that point I want to be
allowed to die, but for me that is very different from taking positive steps to end
None of this is meant as a direct comment on the politics of euthanasia, nor is it
an attempt to rebut the views of Beverley Broadbent. My attitude is based on
my Christian faith. I do not want to impose my views on those who do not share
that faith. But it is the statement of someone who wants to live life to the full,
who has found some of that fullness in the unlikeliest of places, and who trusts
the amazing grace that has brought me safe thus far to lead me on.
Geoffrey King is a Jesuit priest and acting dean of the united faculty of
theology, a college of the MCD University of Divinity (originally known as
the Melbourne College of Divinity).
For an article arguing other viewpoints on this issue you might like to read:
We must not deny the sick a dignified death
Dear Students, Families and Staff,
Catholic Education Melbourne School Improvement Surveys (CEMSIS): 2-20 September 2019
Throughout each year, we pause to listen to our students, families and staff to gauge how our learning community is travelling. This feedback is invaluable to our progress as effective school communities and is backed by evidence-based research and best practices.
One of the more important formal ways we engage and gather data is through CEMSIS, the Catholic Education Melbourne School Improvement Surveys.
CEMSIS is a set of surveys that have been built specifically for Catholic Schools in Melbourne by Learning Services teams at Catholic Education Melbourne in partnership with researchers at Learning First and in wide consultation with Principals in our schools.
In 2019, students, families and staff are invited to participate in CEMSIS using our brand new, secure and purpose-built online platform. The online platform is where our school leaders will access the summary reports that visualise the results of the student, family and staff surveys.
Students at our school will be provided with supervised sessions where teachers are on hand to help and answer any questions. Families and staff can complete the survey anytime over the three-week window via an emailed link and password. Feedback from last year’s pilot trials indicate many surveys were done across a range of mobile devices and different web browsers. Schools will be providing more information about CEMSIS throughout Term 2 and 3 via newsletters and social media.
Our community’s opinions are critical to understanding how our school is performing – CEMSIS is a key data source for guiding the ongoing work to improve our school.
All participation is invited, welcomed and 100% voluntary. The surveys are not a test; they are an inclusive way to feed the work we are already doing to improve our school. Everyone has the right to refuse to participate, or withdraw from the survey at any point before, during, or after completion of the survey. Please notify the school if your child does not wish to participate.
If you would like more information, please contact the school.
This Friday - our last day of Term 2 we have a Fete Dress Up Day. Children can wear casual clothes and bring the following donations:
Grades Prep-Grade 2- Please bring a bag of lollies
Grades 3 and 4- Please bring items for the lucky dip
Grades 5 and 6- Please bring a block of chocolate.
Please ensure all edible donations are unopened and will be still in date by the Fete (27th October!)
St Paul's Oshclub Bentleigh.
Congratulations to everyone who competed in the Interschool chess
championship on 14th of June representing St Pauls.
Special congratulations to Thomas Regos winning 4 out of 7 games and
Nicholas Antonello and Rhys Jones both winning 3.5 out of 7 games.
With a smaller than usual team we just missed out on qualifying for the
Chess VIC state semi finals. However, we will have another chance in
We look forward to more kids supporting the school in the term 3