- Important Dates & Events
- Principal's Page - Pat Ellis
- RE News: Meaghan Younger
- Love of Literacy - Bridgette McCann
- Library News - Erin Hardwicke
- Community Council Corner
- Community Council - Robotics
- New Look - Year 1/2 Furniture
- Sports News: Erin Hardwicke
- Happy Birthday
- Harmony Awards
- School Photos
- Extra Curricular Activities
- Playgroup @ St Michael's
- Parish News - St Monica's Fete
- Parish News - Youth Ministry
- Entertainment Book 2020
- Macdonalds School Wear - One Day Sale
- Year 7 2021 High School Days
|18-20 March||Year 5/6 Birrigai Camp|
|20 March||WSPT Harmony Day @ 2.25 led by 3/4A|
|27 March||School Photo Day|
|27 March||Special Lunch Day|
|27 March||Awards Assembly @ 2.25|
|2 April||Cross Country Carnival|
|3 April||Assembly @ 2.25 (5/6K)|
|6 April||WSPT Palm Sunday @ 2.25 led by 3/4F|
|9 April||Stations of the Cross @ 12.30 led by 5/6's|
|10 April||Good Friday|
|28th April||Term 2 Commences|
NOTES GONE HOME THIS WEEK
- Belconnen Region Swimming Note
- Cross Country Note
- Year 5/6 Movie Excursion Note
- Year 6 College Orientation Day Note
Please remember that copies of notes sent home are available on our website. https://www.stmichaelsps.act.edu.au/notes
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the annual CE Leader's Retreat. The first day centred on the CE Learning Agenda, which is currently constructed around five focus areas, Instructional Improvement, Instructional Leadership, K-2 Literacy and Numeracy, Curriculum, and Data. I will keep you all updated as to the development of the Learning Agenda over the course of the year.
The following two days was focused on Spirituality with the first day centring on Hope and the second day on Trust. Reflection took place with how we develop our schools as 'Beacons of Hope' and as Catholic leaders, the importance of building trust within our school relationships. A great three days to refresh, reflect and network. Whenever I am at whole system days and events, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to lead such a supportive and compassionate school community. Thank you!
Camp - Countdown is on!
Final touches are occurring for our Year 5/6 Camp next week to Birrigai. Students in 5/6 arrive to school as normal on Wednesday and we will be leaving later that morning. Students will return to school at normal time on Friday.
I am looking forward to attending, to connect further with the student leadership of St Michael's and have some fun! In my absence, please contact Damien Webb.
A final reminder note went home recently, with another copy going home this week. It is also available on our school website https://www.stmichaelsps.act.edu.au/notes under Term 1 Notes (Camp Note 2). Any questions you may have, please see your child's class teacher.
This Saturday, staff will gather at the Botanic Gardens for our Staff Spirituality Day. In line with our school theme this year of 'Knowing and Growing as Stewards of God's Creation', we will be reflecting upon Pope Francis' Laudato Si' on Care for Our Common Home, an encyclical letter on ecology and climate. This is a great opportunity as a staff group to come together, reflect and pray. Fr Loi will be joining us during the day to lead Mass.
Communicated last week was the information regarding postponing our Book Fair. This was disappointing and we apologise if this caused any inconvenience. As you would be aware, we switched over companies this year to RedGum and are working with them to fix the issue. We are receiving the rest of the books by the end of this week, so our Book Fair will be able to run next week from Monday-Friday, before and after school. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
Parent Representative Network (PRNs)
Thank you to all the parents who recently completed the survey regarding PRNs at St Michael's. We have decided to proceed with forming this network again in 2020 with a slight shift in the role.
In 2020, we would like a Parent in each class, to be the PRN. The idea behind the PRN is to look to organise some social gatherings (either within the class or across the classes) a few times a year. Perhaps a meet at a park, a family lunch out somewhere etc. Something small, where people within the same class/grade can gather to connect socially. The role of the PRN is also to email parents about these social events, keep other parents in the loop with significant events occurring within the class group (eg a birth of a new sibling etc), put the call out if a family is having a rough or challenging time to organise some meals, organise class teacher birthday present, promote our Community Council Social events (eg family picnic afternoon, movie night, trivia etc). We would like to see the role of PRN more as a social role. There is no need for the PRN to communicate school related information, as this generally is communicated via the newsletter, Facebook, SZapp and hard copy notes. However, it is working to keep families connected, to ensure everyone feels welcome (particularly any new families) and to promote our value of Harmony.
If you would like to be considered for the role of PRN, please fill out the details below. School/Community Council, will then be in touch to organise a gathering of all the PRNs and to set the tone for the year with regard to this role.
PRN Expression of Interest
I am again calling on our school families to promote the enrolment period for our school. We are holding an Open Day on Wednesday 6 May between 8am-6pm for potential families to pop in and have a tour around the school.
This year saw our biggest Kindergarten enrolment for recent years and we are looking to keep this momentum going into 2021.
The best PR we can do is through word of mouth. Staff and families spreading the great news of our school, really places us in high standing among the community. Thank you in advance.
Parent-Teacher Check Ins
In Week 8, we are offering the opportunity for students to sit down with their parent/s and teacher, to discuss how they are travelling so far this year, how they have settled into the year and areas they would like to focus on this year. These will be 10 minute chats and will occur over Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 March.
If you have recently met with your child's class teacher for a Personalised Plan (PPs) and set goals for your child, then there is no need to meet again, unless you are wanting another meeting. Teachers will work with those students to unpack their PP goals and bring them to life.
An email will be sent out in the next few days with a link to book in for these sessions.
Next week, and each term during Week 7, we try to keep this week as a Family Sabbath Week. This week we encourage no meetings to take place for staff and families, no homework set and try to limit the communication home. Our intention during this week is to allow more time for families to connect, spend time together and recharge as a family unit. Unfortunately, for our 5/6 children, they will be at Camp for half of the week (dates were given to us), however perhaps some time at the start and end of the week can be set aside for those families to connect. We hope everyone enjoys their week.
Have you ever thought of Lent as a yearly second chance? Each year during Lent, we have the chance to reflect on our lives to see if our values and priorities are in line with God’s desires for us. Since many of us find that we’ve wandered from God’s path at different times through our lives, Lent becomes that second chance, or do-over, to 'return to God with our whole heart'. I leave you with this to think over as we continue our journey through Lent.
Enjoy the week ahead.
Religious Education Curriculum
Students in 1/2 have begun to explore the World Behind the Text of the piece of Scripture where Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. (John 13:1-17) They have learned about some of the customs of Jesus’ time, including ritual foot washing upon entering someone’s home and that slavery was common. Interestingly, whilst we adults may have formed an idea that Jesus was poor, when we look at the fact that he spent time with people who themselves had slaves, it is more likely that Jesus was from the middle to wealthier class. When he takes up the servant role in washing the disciples’ feet at the Last Supper he was once again unsettling them with placing himself in a role that was not expected of that time. You might like to watch this clip that Year 1/2 have watched and see what you can pick up about life in 30AD. It is only a movie but they have tried to ensure historical accuracy where possible. https://youtu.be/yRTjb4tYKZ4
Religious Life of St Michael’s School Community
This is the second week of Lent in the Church calendar. We continue to work towards the ideals Jesus gave us for how to live and to keep our Lenten promises.
your commandment of love is so simple and so challenging.
Help me to let go of my pride, to be humble in my penance.
I want only to live the way you ask me to love, to love the way you ask me to live.
I ask this through your son, Jesus, who stands at my side today and always.
This week read about Phany. She lives in a village in western Cambodia. Phany was struggling to earn a living as a farmer, she was forced to leave her daughter behind in the village, to take up construction work in the city. In 2016, Phany joined the Upholding Community Dignity Together program, run by Caritas Australia, in partnership with the Environment Protection and Development Organisation (EPDO). Phany learned new farming techniques, such as a drip irrigation system, which enabled her to get a better yield from her vegetable crops, and to conserve water for drier periods. Watch her story at https://lent.caritas.org.au/page/week-2
These are the inquiry questions we have been exploring in Year 3/4 during literacy support lessons. The students have been learning about the Super Six Comprehension Strategies that help readers to understand what they read. We have been sharing quality literature, whilst teachers’ model a reading comprehension strategy through a process called ‘thinking aloud’. The students then practice this strategy and share their learning. So far, we have explored ‘Making Connections’ and Visualising and rich conversations have been shared about the chosen texts and the strategies. Ask your child about these wonderful books!
Super Six Comprehension Strategies
- Visualising refers to our ability to create pictures in our heads based on text we read or words we hear. It is one of many skills that makes reading comprehension
- Making connections is a comprehension strategy that helps students find meaning in a text by connecting it to their background knowledge. It is particularly important for English language learners who need to connect learning to their experiences, their culture and family at home, and often across languages.
- Predicting is an important strategy that allows students to use information from the text, such as titles, headings, pictures and diagrams to anticipate what will happen in the story. When making predictions, students envision what will come next in the text, based on their prior knowledge.
- Questioning is when readers ask questions about a piece of text and author's meaning in order to find and gather information, clarify, and build comprehension. Through the strategy of questions, students are able to drastically increase their comprehension.
- Monitoring our comprehension means noticing our thinking as we read. We notice our confusions. We use our background knowledge and recognise when something is new, what questions we have as we read, and what inferences we are making.
- Summarizing teaches students how to discern the most important ideas in a text, how to ignore irrelevant information, and how to integrate the central ideas in a meaningful way. Teaching students to summarise improves their memory for what is read.
Next time you are sharing a book with your child perhaps you might like to try one of these strategies!
Unfortunately, we didn’t receive all of our delivery of books for our Fair and so we have had to postpone the Fair until next week. The Fair will be open each day, Monday – Friday between 8:20-8:50am and 3:00-4:00pm. Please come along and check out what’s on offer. Your support of this event makes it possible for us to purchase new resources for our library.
We have lots of new books ready for covering and are looking for help with this mammoth task. It is possible to take the contact and books home to cover or if you are able to spare time during the day to cover some here in the library. All help is greatly appreciated.
Not long now until the launch of the challenge! A great way to challenge students to read more over the next few months. During library lessons all students will find out more about how they can participate.
The St Michael's Community Council met for the first time last month and immediately began discussing the year ahead with great enthusiasm. At the end of last year we said goodbye to Fiona Scherl and we welcomed a new member this year, Evan Thomas (daughters Sierra and Coco - Year 3 and son Ryder - Kinder).
2020 is not a fete year but we have a lot of exciting events coming up including a family bbq in Term one, disco and family movie night in Term two (along with a raffle) and the eagerly anticipated trivia night in Term three. Term three will also see us looking for a fete coordinator to get the ball rolling for 2021.
As far as fundraising endeavours, we are hoping to use funds raised this year to erect some shade sails in the Senior area and next year, the junior equipment. Watch this space. We will continue to share where we are supporting the school via the newsletter. See this week's Robotic section.
In other news, our Sustainability Action Group and Reconciliation Action Group are both doing really well with plantings happening in the Greenhouse and the bush tucker garden. The Gardening Club for students has also been very popular. We also welcomed Shahenie Burns as our new Welfare Officer and Sue Collins as Sacramental Coordinator.
A big thank you to everyone for the fundraising efforts last year. Due to the generosity of the whole community, Community Council were able to purchase new robotic equipment and resources for our senior grades. This will support the school in their Digital Technologies and coding lessons, as well as Robo Cup. Thank you!
As part of the Council Levy included in school fees over the last few years, we have been upgrading our inside furnishings. In 2018 it was Year 5/6, in 2019 it was Kindergarten and this year it is Year 1/2. In 2021, we will upgrade our Year 3/4 classroom furniture.
Our cross country carnival will take place on Thursday 2nd April (Week 9). All eldest students received a parent information note today. No permission note is required to be returned as the course is along the footpath directly opposite the school oval. We are looking for volunteers to assist as course marshals, so if there are any parents who could spare a couple of hours in the morning we would very much appreciate your help.
The following students will represent our school at the Belconnen Region Swimming Carnival on Thursday the 26th March. We wish them all the best as they strive for more personal bests in their swimming.
Samara (5/6F), Josh L (5/6F), Jillian (5/6K), Ada (5/6F), Stefano (5/6K), Beth (5/6K), Dylan (5/6F), Hugo (3/4F), Lachlan (3/4F), Madison (3/4A), Macy (3/4A) & Ryan (3/4FR).
K-2 Swimming Program
Thank you to all those who gave feedback regarding our K-2 swimming program via last week’s survey. The overwhelming response was that families would like to continue with the program. Based on this, we have booked in for our lessons to go ahead in Term 4 and will advise the dates once they have been confirmed. We have been very happy with the program offered by Gungahlin Leisure Centre in previous years and will continue to have our lessons with them.
All students are enjoying the basketball clinics being offered though ACT Basketball and made possible due to our Sporting Schools Grant.
Special wishes to those children who celebrate their birthday this week:
Sebastian KL, Chloe 1/2B, Emma 5/6K, Jett 5/6F, Arietta 3/4F, Zanna 1/2B, Delilah 5/6F & Lucas 5/6F
We hope you have a great day!!
Congratulations to the following children who have achieved a Harmony Award in Week 6 and will receive their award this Friday at morning gathering (weather permitting).
MSP Photography will be taking our school photos on Friday 27th March. Envelopes went home with your children last week and need to be returned to the Front Office before photo day. If you would like sibling photos taken, please see the Front Office for an envelope.
If your child will be away on photo day and you would still like their individual photo taken, please contact the Front Office for a list of schools and dates in our area for you to pop in and have their photo taken.
DRAMA - Drama classes are being held on Wednesdays at lunchtime, please contact Elizabeth McIntosh if you are interested on 0408 620 899
Youth Masses are held on the 3rd Sunday of every month at the 5.30pm time slot at St Michael's, Kaleen. The Youth Mass dinner is done in a potluck style, where all parishioners have a fellowship. However, there will regularly be pizza especially for the children who have expressed a great liking for it. Students from the ages of 8 to 18 are welcome to take part in the liturgy. This has greatly helped our Parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help grow as a community. Our next Youth Mass falls on Sunday 15 March 2020 at 5.30 pm. All young people are invited to partake in this, including playing any instruments in the choir, reading, procession, etc. Feel free to contact me if anyone would like more information.
We have been planning to kick start a weekly Children's Liturgy at St Michael's on Sundays at the 5.30pm Mass. A set of guidelines have already been done up and approved by Fr Loi. We are looking to start it on 22 March and have it every Sunday except the 3rd Sundays, which is when Youth Mass is on. We are currently looking for more volunteers to help out so we can develop a roster. I will be helping out at all the Children's Liturgies until we manage to find enough people. There has to be two adults present during the Children's Liturgy. Please ask around if anyone would like to be a volunteer and let me know. Every volunteer is required to hold a valid WWVP card and to submit a copy of it to the North Belconnen Parish Office.
Youth Minister | Catholic Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn
M: 0435 876 303
The digital book is now available for $69.99 and is regularly updated with new offers.
Please click on the link below to order your 2020 Entertainment Book.