Our staff and students have had a fantastic start to the 2021 school year. Our teachers and support staff were highly prepared in both planning for learning and preparing learning spaces for our students, who arrived at school with a positive attitude and eagerness to learn. I acknowledge and thank our parents, who play an important role in preparing the students for this day.
Our Kinder 2021 students commenced on Tuesday and will go home today exhausted from their first 4 days of 'big school'. Although we welcome new students each year, these first days and weeks remind me of how labour intensive the Kinder teaching role is, and how much the students grow and develop over the 4 school terms. The Successful Foundations project and the changes we have made to how we transition our students from preschool into Kinder, and now between Kinder and Year 1, Year 1 and Year 2 and so on, has such a positive impact on our students' well-being. I thank our teachers for all of the little things they do to get to know their students and build a relationship with them; checking previous learning information, connecting with parents and chatting with previous teachers.
This year, our staff will focus on reviewing our teaching of writing and the introduction of specific problem solving strategies to improve the student achievement and growth in learning across these areas. The changes made last year in how we approach the teaching of reading and our close monitoring of student learning growth will continue.
Parents and carers will see a focus on engaging students by making the learning goals clear and the next steps in learning visible. We will encourage students to take greater ownership of their learning and introduce Student Led Conferences to replace Parent Teacher interviews across all of our classes. The Kinder and Yr 1 conferences will be an adapted version of the Student Led Conferences as we build the skills of students to share their learning with parents. The first Student Led Conferences will be held in Week 10 this term.
We will continue to see our garden project develop along with our connection to the Forster Tuncurry Community Kitchen. The Student Leadership Model is going through a revamp and will align closely with our charism and our desire for graduating students to develop a broad perspective of the needs in our community and beyond so they can have a positive impact in the world. Our pastoral care of students and focus on positive behaviours for learning will continue to grow and support the wellbeing of students.
The physical improvements in classrooms and on the playground will continue this year as we develop an environment that matches the quality of teaching and learning in the classrooms. The concept of using 'Learning Walls' in classrooms as part of our engagement of students in the learning cycle has been a catalyst for some simple but effective changes.
The toilet blocks will be rebuilt some time this year. I have been told they should commence in April but will wait until the first works commence before I get too excited. The work may include a remodelling of the Carawa Street entrance to our school. Both the entrance and toilet blocks will have a huge and positive impact on the quality of our environment.
Parent/Carer Information sessions
This Monday 8th February, all parents and carers are welcome to attend information sessions with the class teachers. We will have QR codes around the school for you to register your presence and ask that all parents sanitise their hands as they enter the meeting spaces.The session times and rooms for the meetings are as follows:
3:30pm Both Yr 1 classes in the 1W room & both Yr 2 classes in the 2S room
4:00pm Kinder in the Kinder rooms, Stage 3 (all Yr 5 & 6 classes) in the library
4:30pm All Yr 3 & Yr 4 classes in the library
If you are unable to attend, the information provided at the sesisonwill be sent home in a note. Some teachers may have already sent home the notes with information and you are still welcome to come along to meet the teacher in person and clarify any of the information provided.
It was great to hear that we have enough students to begin the first ever Holy Name Cheerleading team. The team will perform at school events and compete in scholastic competitions. The team is made up of boys and girls and trains on Friday mornings before school and if you would like to know more about how to join, please contact Great Lakes Cheerleading at https://dancestudio-pro.com/online/index.php?account_id=16499 . There is also a flyer at the end of the newsletter.
We've had 9 new enrolments commence at the start of this year which is great for Holy Name. If you see someone you don't know while waiting for your child in the afternoon, please introduce yourself and make them feel welcome to our school.
Our annual swimming carnival went off without a hitch. Thank you to the parent volunteers who were able to support us. We understand that it is difficult for parents who would like to attend and are disappointed that we can't have everyone there cheering on the students. Let's hope that the guidelines change in the near future and allow some easing of the current restrictions. Mrs Loring has written about the school carnival in her report below.
The notes went home today for students who were selected to represent the school in Gloucester next week. Mrs Loring and I will accompany the students on the bus, and for the first time ever, our parents will not be allowed to attend. Again, this is very sad for the team, but please rest assured that Mrs Loring and I will take special care of the students on the day.
New parents and current parents who do not have access to Compass for any reason, are encouraged to make contact with our school office to resolve the matter. Compass is our student information system, and regardless of whether the teacher uses Class Dojo or another way to communicate with parents, Compass is where any emergency information or whole school information is shared with parents and carers. Every person has their own individual login and the Compass App can be used to log attendance by a parent or carer and/or update contact details. Please make sure that everyone you know has access to help us improve our number of contacts. One important feature of this app is that you are sent a message if your child does not arrive at school by the time the roll has been marked, alerting you if there has been a problem for your child in getting to school. This becomes more important as students get older and may walk or ride to school with their mates.
Enjoy the weekend and I look forward to walking the learning journey with your family in the 2021 school year.
A warm welcome to all the new families who have joined Holy Name in 2021 and a big welcome back to our wonderful families who have returned. The beginning of the school year is a very exciting time, yet it can be a little stressful, particularly when things are new.
In my REC Reports I hope to give you all the information you need about Masses, Liturgies, The Sacraments and Parish News at Holy Name, so that you can join us and celebrate in our community of faith.
Holy Name’s Welcome Mass will be celebrated by Fr Greg on Friday 19th February in the Forster Church to mark the beginning of a new school year. We will welcome new members to our community, pray together to give thanks for all we have. The Leadership badges will be blessed and presented to our Yr 6 SRC and Sports Captains after an induction ceremony.
Faith, Story, Witness
During the holidays Mrs Shantelle McKinnon and Miss Deirdre Nolan completed a Spiritual Faith Formation module offered by the Maitland Newcastle Diocese This was an opportunity for these staff members to understand fully the Catholic ethos we strive to cultivate in our school and to deepen connections with Catholic Faith and Aboriginal Spirituality. All staff members of Holy Name each year are required to accrue hours for Faith Accreditation from courses such as this.
For new families to our school our Parish Priest is Fr Greg Barker. Fr Greg is currently on leave after having a hip replacement. He is recovering well and we look forward to his return in a few weeks. Fr Anthony Coloma is replacing Fr Greg whilst on leave. Fr Anthony comes to us from the Parishes of Branxton, Greta and Singleton. We welcome Fr Anthony to our school community.
Weekend Mass Times
Holy Name of Jesus Church 33 Lake Street, Forster
Saturday Evening 5pm
Sunday Morning 8am
Sunday Morning 10am
Sunday Evening 12 noon
Last year due to COVID the Church announced a fallow year from the Sacramental program. This meant that children were unable to receive the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist. Fr Greg and I have spoken about this before he began his leave and the Parish and school will be sending out information in a few weeks about what the 2021 Sacramental program will look like.
Religious Education Coordinator
Never see a need without doing something about it. Mary MacKillop
HNS Swimming Carnival
Yesterday we held our annual Swimming Carnival at the YMCA. Thank you to all the staff who worked together to make the day a success both at the pool and back at school. Thank you also to our parent timekeepers.
It was unfortunate that we could have spectators at the Carnival but that is the COVID world we live in. The Manning Regional Carnival will be held at Gloucester Pool next Wednesday, February 10th. The children will travel by bus with myself and Mrs Stephens leaving at 8.15. Unfortunately, parents are not allowed to attend the carnival due to COVID restrictions. The children will have their permission notes today and it would be great if they could be returned on Monday.
See photos here
The House Point score was:
Our Swimming Champions were:
1. Riley Kinkade
2. Lincoln Andersen
3. Nash Syron
1. Sophie Scislo
2. Charlotte Cooper
3. Zsa-Zsa Haywood
1. Charlie Gibson
2. Levi Van Haren
3. Mac Randall
1. Bonnie Dempsey
2. Jemma Mealing
3. Tara Isbel
1. Hamish Carmichael
2. Harley Van Haren
3. Ashley Allan
1. Lilah Gibson
2. Adele Whitehouse-Miotto
3. Sienna Cooper
On Wednesday, Mr Pomplun ran our Regional Cricket trial. The boys who trialed were: Logan Webster, Hudson Duckett, Steve Baculi and Lincoln Atkinson. Logan, Lincoln and Hudson were successful in moving through to the Diocesan Trial in Newcastle on March 12.
Well done to these talented boys!
Stage 2 will be having cricket clinics for the next 4 weeks. These clinics are delivered by a qualified coach from Cricket Australia. It will be great to have our new nets to use as well.
We are so proud of Charlotte Cooper, one of our school leaders, who participated in the Polding Basketball trials today in Tamworth. Charlotte's obvious love of the sport and talent is evident in her commitment to travelling and playing regularly in Newcastle. Although unsuccessful to join the Polding Team for the State Championships, Charlotte made it into the top 20 and I'm sure will have a bright future in the sport if she chooses - well done Charlotte!!!
Hello everyone and welcome back to a new school year,
The year has started with a sea of happy and settled faces. We have had a very smooth start to the school year, I think this is partly due to the transition visits student's experienced at the end of last year. Students from K-5 visited their new classroom and when possible, spent time with their 2021 teacher. The intention of our transition plan was to reduce worries about the unknown and to initiate the beginning of a new, positve teacher-student relationship. There was also meeting times preserved for teaching staff so a through handover could occur for all students.We are currently hosting Learning Support meetings for students with a disability or support needs. These meetings are an opportunity for parents to meet the new teacher and LST to collaboratively develop a support plan and share information about student’s interest, skills, and support needs. If you would like to request a support meeting, either face to face or via video/phone, please contact me through the school office or at email@example.com
Wishing you a happy year ahead
Learning Support Teacher/Primary School Coordinator
ASPIRE is again collaborating with internationally recognised Newcastle-based company Catapult Dance again in 2021. Building on the success of 2020’s program, the Create Choreographic Project will offer students enrolled in schools in the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle the opportunity to participate in an intensive contemporary dance and collaborative choreographic program.
Students will be provided with a dance and performance art experience that is inclusive, non-competitive, creative and collaborative, and that reflects the working processes of the professional industry. Students will be encouraged to have a voice, and present their thoughts and ideas in a live theatre setting at the end of the program.