- Principal's message
- Holy Name Primary School Open Day
- Assistant Principal's Report
- Religious Education Report
- ANZAC Day gallery
- Thank you Spruced Up Pressure Cleaning
- Online Workshop for parents - Raising Happy & Resilient Young People
- Are you feeling worried or sad or anxious?
- Brass Lessons
- Great Lakes Academy of Music
- Volunteer Movie night
Welcome back to Term 2!
We've had such a great start to the term and I wish you could have walked with me through our classrooms on Monday morning of Day 1.
Each day, I spend 15mins with one or two teachers, walking through each classroom in what we call 'Learning Walks and Talks'. These walks are an opportunity for staff to observe changes in action as a result of professional learning. Whether they are physical or in the teaching and learning that is taking place, our walks provide us with the feedback we need to determine the effectiveness of our professional learning plan.
On the first day of term and then each day last week, I was blown away by the beautifully prepared learning spaces, the quality of the learning tasks and the engagement of the students. It was so magnificent that I wanted to somehow capture the vibe and share it with you all.
Aside from the changes we are making to the way we teach, initiatives like the Student Led Conferences held at the end of last term, also play a part in connecting students and families with their responsibilities and the knowledge they need to engage effectively with our learning agenda. Thank you for your attendance at these meetings and for the feedback you provided to our teachers. We will look at your feedback as a staff and make some changes to improve what we do for Term 3.
You may have noticed the shade for the Infants sandpit and play area has finally started to take shape. In a couple of weeks we should also have the sandpit covers for both the infants and primary playgrounds.
While there are so many positive events and opportunities happening in and around our Holy Name Community at the moment, I am also conscious of some sad events that have occurred recently that are also impacting on our families. In particular, I would like to acknowledge the sudden and extremely sad passing of Margaret Donnelly, known to many as Aunty Marg, Aunty Margie or just Margie. Aunty Margie always supported our students through her role at Homebase to teach dance to our girls in preparation for NADIOC. She was a mother figure to many in the community and I can't help but think of all the roles she played and the legacy she has left behind. Margie was a role model, teacher, mother, aunty, grandmother and loyal friend. She had so much knowledge and wisdom that she shared to build a stronger community and we will miss her here at Holy Name. We pray for Margie's family and the community that loved her so dearly. Margie's life will be celebrated this Friday at St Alban's Church at 11:00am.
Eternal rest grant unto Margie, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May she rest in peace.
Catholic Schools Week - Faith in our Future
Next week, Week 3, is Catholic Schools Week and we will be celebrating in a variety of ways. We are planning a liturgy, Open Day sessions at Holy Name and at St Clare's, a teacher versus Yr 6 student netball game and a celebration with students at the end of the week. We will host the P&F Meeting on the Tuesday evening and the Mother's Day stall on Wednesday and breakfast on Thursday. It should be a great week to promote all that is great in Catholic Schools. If you know anyone interested in coming to have a look at our school, please encourage them to join us for the Open Day sessions.
|Writing and poster competition launch||
Staff v student netball game
Mother's Day Stall
St Clare's Open Day
Mother's day Liturgy
Holy Name Open Day 9am and 3.30pm
|Student celebration - competition winners, tabloid and iceblock|
We are waiting to confirm Fr Greg's availability for our liturgy.
Thank you for the exceptional attendance and participation in the ANZAC Day March. It is always such a strong showing of our students in community. The students of Holy Name were so reverent and engaged through the service and brought many smiles to the crowd as they marched by. There are some photos a bit further down in the newsletter.
Diocesan Cross Country
This week I am accompanying our Cross Country team to Maitland as part of the Manning Region team. Congratulations to the students on making the times and thank you for the commitment our families have shown in preparing for this day. The bus will leave the Failford Rd turnoff near to the old Ton O' Fun at 7am. It is probably best to be there by 6.50am so we are not holding up the Taree and Wingham teams. We are also asking that students bring something to sit on in case the grounds are damp, and plenty of water for the day. There is only one child listed as asthmatic and they will need to carry their puffer with them at all times. I am planning to send a message on the way home via Compass and Facebook when we leave Maitland so that families know when to expect us back. I willl drive out from Forster so if anyone needs a lift, let me know and I would be happy to do a couple of pick-ups on the way. I'm sure there would also be other parents happy to do the same.
Please make sure your friends and families know about our weekly playgroup offered on Thursday mornings in our school hall. It is a magical time and an opportunity for families to experience our school, stop and have a cuppa and a chat while their childrenm are playing with new friends. The playgroup runs between 9-10am each Thursday morning.
Next Friday, 30th April, we are hosting a fundraising event for Catholic Care and St Vincent De Paul. Students may come out of uniform for a gold coin donation. The funds will be split between these two charities to support their winter appeals. Both organisations operate locally and have a huge positive impact in our community. It would be great to see our school offering our support for them.
COVID Intensive Learning Support
At the end of last term, we received some funding from the Federal Government to develop an intervention strategy and target any lost learning due to the impact of the global pandemic. Over the break, we put together a plan and employed Mrs Amy Arrow to lead this project in our school. A decision was made to target fluency in reading and we are currently assessing students to determine who will be involved and once we have this data, we will determine how this project will be implemented. Parents will receive some information home if their child will be part of the project as we would like support from home to maximise the impact of our work at school. Different groups of students will be targeted each term until the end of 2021.
BYOD - your thoughts?
It is becoming increasingly popular in primary and high schools to run a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) plan for students. Due to the increasing use of technology in learning and the benefits for access, feedback and individualising plans, we are considering introducing a BYOD plan to Holy Name and have started having conversations with our Newcastle Technology Team about how it all works. We will discuss this at the P&F in Week 3 and as we progress the idea, we will hold an evening where we present some possible ideas and discuss the idea with interested family members. What do you think about BYOD? Have you had any experience with BYOD in other schools? What worked? What didn't work? How can we make sure we make the plan accessible to all?
There is a long way to go before we make any decisions but it is always good to keep our parents informed of possible future directions.
Have a great week ahead,
NSW PSSA Swimming
Sophie Scislo (Holy Name’s own Madame Butterfly) and Hamish Carmichael (the superfish) travelled to the Sydney Olympic Pool for the NSW PSSA Swimming carnival during the last week of Term 2. Both of these students swam to the very best of their ability against the cream of the swimming crop from schools all over NSW. I am sure we will hear much more news about these talented swimmers in years to come!
The events were streamed live through Vimeo and Year 6 were able to watch Sophie swim in one of her heats which was very exciting.
Winter Sport Trials
Four of our senior students were chosen to take part in the Diocesan Touch Trials at Newcastle last week. These students were: Charlotte Cooper, Marla Coulton-Donnelly, Levi Van-Haren and Lorenzo Gray. The children tried their very best against lots of other students in the diocese and the girls made the possible and probables round, however, they were unsuccessful in making it through to the next level – Well done Children!
Liam Shanahan travelled to Bathurst last week for Dio Hockey trials. Liam said he really enjoyed his time with the squad and met some new people and learned some new skills but was unsuccessful in making it through to the next level.
Just a reminder that the first bell in the morning goes at 8.45. This means that we begin learning right away at 8.50. Please ensure your children are at school prior to this time so they don’t miss the valuable reading session that all classes begin their day with.
It has come to the attention of many staff that lots of children are bringing toys from home into school. This can cause lots of problems with children as those who don't have toys want to play with them and they can get lost, damaged or go home with someone else. We have plenty of equipment and alternate play spaces available at school so we ask that children do not bring in toys or sports equipment from home please.
We are very lucky to have some students learning guitar with Mrs Heidi Parsons. Heidi comes to school each week to work with 5 students as part of the Samuel Brett Nelson Kickstart Foundation. This is a wonderful charity in honour of an ex-student of Holy Name and his family do amazing things supporting children in our local area!
Catholic Schools Week- Celebrating 200 years of Catholic Education
Taken from ‘A Pastoral Letter from the Bishops of Australia to the leaders, staff, students and families of Catholic education in Australia, 2021.’
Two hundred years ago the first official Catholic school opened in Australia. Since then, Catholic education has grown to the point that it now educates around 770,000 primary and secondary school students, in more than 1,750 schools, with nearly 100,000 staff. These are sponsored by dioceses and parishes, religious institutes and public juridic persons, and groups of parents. Six thousand Catholic catechists participate in the religious education of 200,000 children in government schools and parishes. Over the last few years, hundreds of Church sponsored early learning centres have been established, educating many thousands of pre-schoolers. Around 50,000 tertiary students are now enrolled in our two Catholic universities with their several campuses. It is an extraordinary achievement! Catholic schools are a jewel in the crown of the Catholic Church in Australia, with few parallels in other countries. Alongside families and parishes, they are the Church’s principal meeting point with young people. They are integral to the Church’s mission of transmitting the faith to the next generation. It is there that many young people encounter Christ, intensify their knowledge and love of God, and are formed as future contributors to Australian society. We hope all our students will emerge from our schools with a deepened sense of the sacred and greater appreciation of the true, the good and the beautiful. Catholic education is steadfast in its commitment to evangelisation, catechesis, religious education and spiritual and moral formation. Catholic schools are also a major part of Australia’s educational ecosystem. They are the equal of other schools regarding educational programs, student achievement, teacher professionalism, facilities and innovation. They have provided high quality education to generations of young Australians, now numbering in their millions. They stand as a beacon in our society, for their contribution to the common good and to the nation’s social capital. They have helped nurture a more just, tolerant and cohesive society. Catholic education is determined in its commitment to excellence and equity. The extraordinary success of Catholic education did not occur by chance: it is fruit of the sacrifice of past generations and divine grace. We are heirs to that rich legacy, borne out of sincere belief, inspiring vision and unwavering resolve. The bicentenary of Catholic education in Australia invites us to remember the past with gratitude, be inspired by that story in the present, and look forward with faith in the future.
We are hosting our annual Mother’s Day breakfast under Kirkangina on Thursday 6th May. Breakfast is served between 7:30am-8:30am and all mums and carers as mums are welcome. We will serving bacon and egg rolls, juice and tea and coffee. Tea and Coffee will be distributed from the window of the interview room onto the Kirkangina for safety purposes. Kinder and Year 1 will lead the school in a short prayer reflection and will sing a song to all our mother figures. Looking forward to seeing you there to show you how much we care.
A bigh thank you to Ben Moncrieff, from 'Spruced Up Pressure Cleaning' for making our concrete areas new again! We appreciate the work you have done and are looking forward to working with you to keep our grounds clean and tidy. Ben's business can be found on Facebook using the link provided.
The devastation of the bushfires combined with drought and COVID has resulted in community members of all ages experiencing feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness and nervousness about their experiences. These feelings are a normal response to frightening circumstances. Often talking to someone trained in counselling can help reduce anxiety and stress and help to balance out the worry.
Face to face counselling is now available for bookings locally. It is totally free, doesn’t require a referral and is available to anyone in our communities experiencing stress, anxiety or sadness.
Many community members saw the fires firsthand while working to save their properties and ensuring their families were safe. Some community members lost their homes and saw the devastation to livestock and bushland. These experiences were extreme and for many talking and looking at ways to manage the concern they bring is important.
While we have seen the wonderful recent rain, the lingering impact of the drought, COVID and the bushfires can be a trigger for cumulative trauma that can affect children and adults.
Your community now have access to a fully funded, free counselling service designed to help those in bushfire impacted areas.
Bookings are available now by calling 1300 152 854.
No referral is required for this service and appointments are available now.
We all experience times in our lives where we need help talking through difficult experiences. We are encouraging anyone – children (16 and over) and adults to use this service to talk about their worries or concerns.