I hope this newsletter finds everyone enjoying this beautiful autumn weather. I know we live in a place renowned for its swimming, fishing and surfing and other warm weather pursuits, but I for one love this time of year. I am in the Principal’s job for three weeks while Mrs Stephens is taking some leave travelling in the outback and I am enjoying the challenges and positive things that happen each day.
Mrs Banham is with her family and Mrs Maloney at the Cathedral in Newcastle today. Kristie is receiving an Emmaus Award from the Diocese for Excellence in her support role as Holy Name School’s Pastoral Care worker and Kinder LSA. Kristie exudes positivity and does a great job in many areas of the school: student and staff wellbeing, Art Club, Mini Vinnies, Breakfast Club, art classes for students and staff, baking amazing melting moments and much more… On behalf of everyone at HNS I would like to congratulate Kristie on this very well-deserved award. One of our Kinder teachers, and Acting Primary Co Ordinator, Mrs Suzie Monks, was also nominated for an Excellence in Teaching Award. We are so lucky to have theses ladies, and all of our dedicated staff, on our team!
Last Friday, the Year 6 SRC lead an informative and entertaining mid term assembly in our school Hall. We looked at a video clip about World Ocean Day (June 8th). WeThe SRC would love to promote this day as the ocean is very much a part of our local environment. We talked about keeping our beaches and waterways clean and reminded the students about the Take 3 for the Sea message. Baran Zanjani (5/6P) shared her persuasive story titled “Why choose Holy Name?” with the school. Baran won the writing section of our Catholic Schools Week competition with her excellent piece. Stevie Anderson also shared her video on the same topic and Georgia Sparks and Everly Webb won the prizes for the best posters.
Why choose Holy Name?
I have always heard that your school needs to be your second home. Your teachers, your second parents and your friends your siblings. You are supposed to be happy and excited every morning to go to school, ready for the adventure ahead. But sadly, this is not how it is in many schools. Many kids dread every day at school because of mean teachers and bullies. A school needs to be welcoming. A school needs to be fun. A school needs to be a safe and happy place, and luckily enough for me, Holy Name is.
In movies and books teachers are always expressed as ancient, grey, horribly mean figures whose daily mission is to ruin every child’s day. At first glance teachers and Holy name might seem strict and scary. However, after only a few minutes of conversation it is easy to see that most teachers in my school only want to help you improve. Yes, they might shout at you once or twice but they are always willing to help, and some of them have some truly hilarious jokes, ha ha. Our teachers care about every child’s well-being and will join into our conversations and games in the playground.
Next ingredient to a perfect school, nice kids. I cannot say that every single child in our school is an absolute little angel, but I can confirm that about 99% are very nice. Most students are willing to welcome others into their games and they are very supportive. Unlike many schools the number of bullies and troublemakers is very low in our school. Nice kids create a safe environment for everybody to enjoy. The playground and the classroom are always filled with learning opportunities. Kids always describe learning as boring, however teachers in Holy Name make sure to make it interesting and interactive. Teachers at Holy Name make you a future, instead of making you feel like school is torture.
The environment around our school if one of the highlights. We have a basketball court, netball court and a soccer/touch footy field. We also have a newly installed cricket pitch which can also be used for dancing and gymnastics. If physical sports are not your thing you can also go to art club to create master pieces. We also have an amazing selection of picture books and novels in our school library. In the infant’s playground we have a sand box and a kitchen completed with a modern oven with over-the-top technology, new non-stick pans and pots and a fridge with a tv on it. It is impossible to find an excuse to be alone in our playground because there are so many activities to enjoy.
What is your dream school like? An Olympic sized pool? A all you can eat cafeteria? For me, a perfect school needs only three elements, and Holy Name has it all. The amazing and caring teachers is one of the three points. The kind students and the spectacular learning environment make Holy Name one of kind. This is why Holy Name is my home.
Year 3M also shared their wonderful animal artworks with us. They used collage in the technique of Pete Cromer to create bright Australian animals.
The children also presented an anti-bullying video they created, and a message was given about Garden Club. The following children received Principal’s Awards or received silver badges: Ethan Moore 2G, Emilin Shibu 6L, Amelia Macinnes 5H, Sophie Scislo 6L, Nash Syron 6L, Anthony Matta 1W, Baran Zanjani 5/6P, Jackson Paine 4M and Taj Johnson in 5H. Congratulations to all these students for their hard work, respect and perseverance!
Student Representative Council
Our Year 6 leaders have been working in their teams this term to get some projects underway. Our Environmental Team have been working in our garden space as well as reminding the students to pick up their rubbish. The Social Justice Team have been creating some anti bullying scenarios that we will share at Friday assemblies. The Arts Team are busy creating posters to raise awareness for World Ocean Day and the Sport Team have cleaned out the shed, organised a tabloid and a roster for Sports Shed supervision. Our Technology Team has been busy sorting out our robotics gear so we can resume Coding Club in Term 3. Stevie and Nash, our School Captains, are the over arching leaders of all the teams and will float in and out as required. We meet every second Friday (odd weeks) in the 6L room.
The behaviour of some children is causing concern. We have some students who are constantly in the limelight for the wrong reasons at Holy Name. Please speak to your children about the need to listen, follow directions and respect their teachers and peers. This week we are trialling a step towards our new Behaviour Management System at Holy Name. We are introducing PBL (Positive Behaviour for Learning) at Holy Name School. Behaviour will be managed using a template to record minor and major behaviour infringements. Good behaviour will be rewarded with the use of our surfboard tokens. Our trial begins Monday and will involve children getting caught doing the right thing receiving a surfboard which they write their name on and put in the “barrel” in the office. Every second Friday, 5 surfboards will be drawn out of the barrel and those students will receive a prize. We will continue with the trial for the next 5 weeks and hopefully launch our new system in Term 3.
Ellara Coillins from 3/4H puts our first surfboard token in our barrel in the office.
Last week we were very lucky to host an author and Illustrator visit at school. Mrs Arrow organised the visits in conjunction with the Mid Coast library. The illustrator was Marc McBride, who is most famous for working with renowned author Emily Rodda. One of Marc’s most recent works with Emily was on a book called “The Glimme” and we got to see all the wonderful drawings that Marc created. Lee Hobbs is a famous children’s author whose best known characters are Old Tom and Horrible Harriet. Lee was very entertaining and had the children eating out of his hand. The children really enjoyed these visits and gained lots of motivation and ideas from our visitors.
Illustrator and Author visits
On Thursday, we will be hosting our school Athletics carnival at Tuncurry Oval. Ms McKinnon has taken on the role of sport coordinator and she will be supported by our teachers and support staff on Thursday. The children will need to sit in their House groups and it would be lovely if parents could support us by not encouraging their children away from their areas. The canteen is open for drinks and the pre ordered BBQ lunch only. Mrs Banham and the Mini Vinnie Crew will be organising Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea at the carnival. Tea and coffee will be available for purchase to raise funds for the Cancer Council and we would love families to send in a slice, biccies, cakes etc for the cause. These will be available for purchase in the morning of the carnival.
Ms McKinnon has organised golf lessons for 4M, 5H, 5/6P and 6L this term. The children will participate in 5 sessions, lead by Golf Pro, Matthew Newton, from Forster Golf Club. The lessons will culminate with a session at Forster Golf Club.
Earlier this year, students from Holy Name entered the ‘Tell Me a Story’ writing competition. This competition is run locally to engage students in the writing process and offers the opportunity for students to compete against students at other schools. This week, we received the results from this competition with so many of our students achieving amazing results.
In the Years 5 and 6 competition, there were 141 entrants from across our region. There were 13 Excellence Awards presented, and students at Holy Name received 6 of these! Congratulations Charlie Gibson, Sofia Gonzalez, Baran Zanjani, Stevie Anderson, Byron Donegan and Marla Coulton-Donnelly. These children will be awarded $50 at a presentation later this year.
Other award winners from Holy Name included:
Highly Commended – Bonnie Dempsey, Sophie Scislo and Georgia Sparks.
Commended – Lucy Ford, Aston Hodges, Jasmine Mahoney, Mia Hamilton and Marley Donegan.
We Farewell Fr Greg
Year 1 celebrated a liturgy with Fr Greg last Friday in their classroom. Fr Greg talked to the children about how they can make a difference in their relationship with others just as St Vincent de Paul and today our Mini Vinnies do to help others in need.
Fr Greg has been the Parish Priest of Forster Tuncurry for 6 years and we would like to thank him for his service to our school community. He too has made a difference to the spiritual life of our school and parish. Fr Greg taught us that God loves us unconditionally because God made us all in the likeness of himself. We are all the face of Jesus and are called every day to make a difference in the world, no matter how small, in our families, with our friends, in our school and parish communities and in the local communities and world.
We wish Fr Greg well as he leaves Forster for Warners Bay. In the weeks to come Fr Greg will be invited back to Holy Name for a Farewell Liturgy and morning tea with our school community.
Appointment of Forster Tuncurry's New Parish Priest
Bishop Bill has appointed Fr Peter Street as the next Parish Priest of Forster Tuncurry. Fr Peter vistied Holy Name last week and he is delighted to be moving from Newcastle to Forster to begin his appointment. Fr Peter will be moving into his new residence on the 30 May and he will meet the students and staff formally the following week.
Maitland Newcastle Learning Support Emmaus Award
Congratulations to Mrs Kristie Banham who was presented yesterday in the Cathedral of Newcastle with the Learning Support Emmaus Award for service to students and teachers in a school setting. This prestigous award was given to Kristie in recognition of the amazing work and support she gives to Holy Name, in particular in Kindergarten. Kristie has built rich relationships with students and staff and mirrors daily what it means to be the face of Jesus to all.
On Saturday Mrs Suzie Monks and Mrs Genevieve Williamson joined with others school leaders and parishoners at St Clares to discuss and vote on the Five Foundation Papers that formed part of the Contemplative Dialogue process of Building the Kingdom of God Together-Our Journey. These Synod Papers came from many years of listening and diaglogue. It is hoped that the recommendations will provide the Church with a framework to journey together as missionary disciples to Build the Kingdom of God. Fr Greg led our hub's discussions and we interacted via zoom with the other 5 hubs across the diocese for this the second session of Synod.
This year at Holy Name our teachers have been focusing on helping their students to improve
their reading fluency. You may have heard your child talk about having a learning goal to
improve their fluency when reading aloud or have heard feedback from your child’s teacher
in regards to their current ability with reading fluency.
So what does reading fluency mean? Fluency is reading expressively with accuracy and at a
good pace. It is one of the key components of learning to read. It is the progression from
developing automatic word recognition skills to comprehension.
Fluency is made up of three core components:
* Accuracy is the reading of words correctly.
* Rate is the speed of word identification. It is usually recorded as words read per minute.
* Prosody which is a fancy word for the sound of the reading. This can be explained as the
expression used when reading.
Why is fluency important?
Fluency is the link between reading words quickly and effortlessly, and understanding and
comprehending text. Once reading fluency is developed to an automatic level, students can
focus much less on decoding words and more on the comprehension of text. In order for this
to happen a child needs to have developed the skills of phonological awareness, phonics and
have a good sight word vocabulary to develop into a fluent reader. In the early years,
particularly in Kindergarten and Year One we work hard to develop the student’s
foundational skills in reading such as phonemic awareness and word recognition in order to
set them up for fluent reading in the higher grades. You will see from the photos that Year
One have introduced a Bump it Up Wall in their classroom to encourage the development of
What can you do at home to help your child improve their reading fluency?
1. Show them your own fluent reading.
Read to your child regularly modeling what fluent reading sounds like. The more often
your child hears fluent reading, the more likely they are to pick it up.
2. Try choral reading together.
Choral reading simply means you read a story out loud and ask your child to read along
with you at the same pace. This helps them understand what fluent reading feels like, and
gives them the chance to practice it themselves at your pace.
3. Recruit a friendly audience.
Just like us adults, kids are more likely to fumble over their words when they feel nervous
or uncomfortable. Set up an inviting stage for them to practice reading stories out loud by
creating an audience out of their favorite stuffed animals or recruiting your family pet to
4. Record, discuss, and repeat!
Every so often, when your child is reading out loud, record a passage and then listen to it
together. You might celebrate that they read on pace, then record it a second time while
aiming for more expression.
Mrs Suzie Monks
Acting Primary Coordinator
Mini Vinnies working hard in meetings and assemblies. We discuss and action lots of initiatives, this week we are working hard on Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea. Taking place on Thursday May 27 from 10am at our Athletics Carnival. Families are invited to donate baked goods which can be delivered to school on Wednesday or Thursday directly to the carnival. Families and students will then be able to purchase something yummy. All funds raised will be donated to the Cancer Council.
Pastoral Care Worker
Wiyabu Nyura …. Hello all and happy Wellbeing Week,
This week, as tradition during Wellbeing Week, there is no homework other than reading and no meetings for staff outside of school hours. We hope that staff and students use this time to engage in alternate activities after school that support good mental health and wellbeing. Every day on our school Facebook page, parents will find information about mental health. During the day, students and staff have opportunities to engage in mindfulness and wellbeing focused activities. The intention is that this week, our rhythm is gentler, and we can all take the time to reset our batteries for the second half of the term. Lessons are delivered as normal, and teachers ensure that program requirements are met.
12 Tips for Raising Confident Kids from https://childmind.org/article/12-tips-raising-confident-kids/
Here are 12 ways you can set kids up to feel capable and get the most mileage out of their skills and talents.
- Model confidence yourself. Even if you’re not quite feeling it! Seeing you tackle new tasks with optimism and lots of preparation sets a good example for kids. That doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be perfect. Do acknowledge your anxiety, but don’t focus on it—focus on the positive things you are doing to get ready.
- Don’t get upset about mistakes. Help kids see that everyone makes mistakes and the important thing is to learn from them, not dwell on them. Confident people don’t let fear of failure get in their way—not because they’re sure they won’t ever fail, but because they know how to take setbacks in stride.
- Encourage them to try new things. Instead of focusing all their energy on what they already excel at, it’s good for kids to diversify. Attaining new skills makes kids feel capable and confident that they can tackle whatever comes their way.
- Allow kids to fail. It’s natural to want to protect your child from failure, but trial and error is how kids learn, and falling short on a goal helps kids find out that it’s not fatal. It can also spur kids to greater effort, which will serve them well as adults.
- Praise perseverance. Learning not to give up at the first frustration or bail after one setback is an important life skill. Confidence and self-esteem are not about succeeding at everything all the time, they’re about being resilient enough to keep trying, and not being distressed if you’re not the best.
- Help kids find their passion. Exploring their own interestscan help kids develop a sense of identity, which is essential to building confidence. Of course, seeing their talents grow will also give a huge boost to their self-esteem.
- Set goals. Articulating goals, large and small, and achieving them makes kids feel strong. Help your child turn desires and dreams into actionable goals by encouraging her to make a list of things she’d like to accomplish. Then, practice breaking down longer-term goals into realistic benchmarks. You’ll be validating her interests and helping her learn the skills she’ll need to attain her goals throughout life.
- Celebrate effort.Praising kidsfor their accomplishments is great, but it’s also important to let them know you’re proud of their efforts regardless of the outcome. It takes hard work to develop new skills, and results aren’t always immediate. Let kids know you value the work they’re doing, whether they’re toddlers building with blocks or teenagers teaching themselves to play the guitar.
- Expect them to pitch in.They might complain, but kids feel more connected and valued when they’re counted on to do age-appropriate jobs, from picking up toys to doing dishes to picking up younger siblings from a play date. Homeworkand after-school activities are great, but being needed by your family is invaluable.
- Embrace imperfection.As grown-ups we know perfection is unrealistic, and it’s important for kids to get that message as early as possible. Help kids see that whether it’s on TV, in a magazine, or on a friend’s social media feed, the idea that others are always happy, successful, and perfectly dressed is a fantasy, and a destructive one. Instead, remind them that being less than perfect is human and totally okay.
- Set them up for success.Challenges are good for kids, but they should also have opportunities where they can be sure to find success. Help your child get involved with activities that make him feel comfortable and confident enough to tackle a bigger challenge.
- Show your love.Let your child know you love him no matter what. Win or lose the big game, good grades or bad. Even when you’re mad at him. Making sure your child knows that you think he’s great — and not just when he does great things — will bolster his self worth even when he’s not feeling good about himself.
If you have any concerns about the wellbeing or support needs of your child, please speak with the classroom teacher who is able to refer to the Learning Support Team.
Wishing you a beautiful week
Learning Support Teacher