Dear Parents & Carers
If you are reading this then you are one of our 55% most informed parents! Our statistics from Schoolzine tells us that on average only 55% of parents are opening our Newsletter each week. Not sure what we can do about it as we provide more forms of communication than ever before!
These days, parents are informed about what is happening through a mode of different options. We probably have too much but we see it as vital in keeping parents informed through different avenues.
Communication in a large school like ours is not always going to be perfect, but we try. Not everyone is on social media, not everyone reads their emails and just over half of the parent population reads the newsletter.
Communication is also a ‘two-way street’ – parents need to know where to access information and to access it too!
Just some reminders regarding communication:
- Seesaw/Google Classroom are for school work;
- Emails are the preferred correspondence between staff and parents;
- Facebook and Instagram are our social media platforms and are used for communicating ‘good news stories’; and
- Schoolzine is our instant communication and urgent communication platform. If a message needs to go out urgently, we know it reaches all phones in an instant.
The correct use of email enables parents and teachers to give and receive information, arrange appointment times, and also resolve small issues quickly. When used in this way it is an effective communication tool between school and home.
It is important to remember that due to the nature of teaching, teachers will only check their emails before or after school. Teachers aim to reply to emails within 24 hours. Any urgent message should always be communicated to the Front Office.
If a parent is concerned or upset about an issue, it is preferable to speak to the teacher face to face. An email to a teacher to organise a meeting produces a far better outcome in these situations. Good and effective communication between home and school is of paramount importance to us here at Holy Spirit. We embrace email as an effective communication tool and we aim to ensure that we all use it in a courteous and respectful way.
Recently we had our beginning of year census and I thought you might be interested in the basic statistics. At Holy Spirit Primary School in 2021 we have:
- 738 Primary School Students
- 473 Families
- 107 Preschool Students
- 127 Students on Personalised Plans
- 88 EALD Students
- 17 Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander Students
The Community Council met on Monday night and the following topics were discussed.
- Role of Community Council
- Catholic Education Catalyst Initiative
- Annual Improvement Plan
- COVID-19 Update
- Community Events
- Building Update
- 2021 Fundraiser
- ELC Playground Update
- Easter Raffle
- School Banking
Please see me, Anna, a member of the Community Council Executive or another parent who attended. The Community Council Executive is:
Chairperson: Roberto Cordova
Deputy Chairperson: Bronwen Clifford
Treasurer: Carmen Connellan
Secretary: Simon Morgan
CATHOLIC LEADER’S RETREAT
I will be attending the annual Catholic Education Leader's Retreat next week from Wednesday - Friday. At the retreat, we hear the latest news, procedures and policies from Catholic Education, as well as spend time in prayer and reflection as Catholic leaders. I thank Anna and the Leadership Team for holding the fort, enabling me to attend this event.
Have a good week.
With our Confirmation numbers now finalised we can confirm that Holy Spirit students will celebrate the sacrament of Confirmation on Wednesday 5 May at 5.30pm at the Holy Spirit Parish Church in Amaroo. We currently have 43 candidates meaning we will be able to celebrate together with one ceremony.
On Wednesday we celebrated our first Focus Assembly for the year. It has been almost a year since our school gathered together to celebrate our faith through our weekly Focus Assemblies (which were cancelled last year due to covid restrictions.)
Thank you to Year 4 who explored the season of Lent with our school. It was so nice to gather together as Year 4 explained the Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar and the colour associated with Lent. They shared the scripture story of Jesus in the desert for 40 days, explaining its significance to the 40 days of Lent. Through dramatisation Year 4 explored the three Lenten actions of prayer, fasting and alms-giving, demonstrating how these three actions prepare our hearts for Jesus at Easter and bring us closer to God.
Every year, countless people turn Lent into a demonstration of faith, love and generosity by supporting Caritas Australia through Project Compassion. This year the theme for Project Compassion is ‘Be More’.
Yesterday, the eldest child in each family took home a project compassion box. Please take some time to talk to your child (as our teachers have) about this important project and how our giving can transform the lives of others living in poverty.
The Caritas - Project Compassion website https://lent.caritas.org.au/ is a great resource to explore with your child.
We ask that all Project Compassion boxes are returned to school at the end of term.
Each year, students in Year 3-6 are given the opportunity to participate in the Mini Vinnies program here at school. Mini Vinnies is a school based program linked to the St Vincent de Paul Society which empowers primary school students to become advocates within their school and local community by putting their values into action. We meet at lunch time on a Tuesday to learn about social justice issues, develop leadership skills and engage in activities that support those in our school and local community.
Last week, the Mini Vinnies team made sandwiches which are frozen for students who forget their lunch. This is one of their favourite activities. During the year, we also make cards and put together Easter gifts, Christmas gifts, personal hygiene packs as well as support the Winter Woollies Appeal. These items are collected by the Night Patrol Van. During the month of March, the Mini Vinnies team will be focusing on raising awareness in our school about homelessness and poverty as part of the St Vincent de Paul 'Knock on Effect'. You can read more about this on the Vinnies website https://donate.vinnies.org.au/event/knock-on-effect/
Next Tuesday, 2nd March at lunchtime we have Matt Wilson from St Vincent de Paul coming to our school to present the Mini Vinnies with their Mini Vinnies certificates and badges. Matt will also be working with our Year 6 Social Justice Leadership Group next month.
Thank you to Mrs Kellie Quirk who leads the Minnie Vinnies group.
Have a wonderful week
Catherine Doig - REC
At this week's Community Council meeting the topic of community events was on the agenda. Given the size of our school and COVID19 restrictions, community events will continue to be difficult to organise as a whole school.
However, we need to work with COVID19! The Community Council is calling for nominees for Parent Network contacts for each year level. The focus for 2021 will be organising some social events for each year level, and other opportunities for families to network. This could include activities such as a picnic, play at the park, a parent dinner, etc. Lots of options depending on the organisers!
If you are interested in being a contact for your year level, please use this Link.
While we love celebrating birthdays in the classroom, Health regulations prevent us from allowing a ‘shared’ or home-produced cake. If you wish to supply your class with something to celebrate your child's birthday, please provide a commercially packaged item. Eg, A bag of Freddo Frogs, Super Dooper, etc! Please ensure whatever is sent in does not contain any nut products.
This year Holy Spirit is also excited to be a pilot school for a new counselling program.
Marymead’s IMPACT program is school counselling, with a twist! Alongside traditional school counselling, IMPACT will also provide holistic family support and contribute to broader student wellbeing initiatives, customised to meet the needs of the Holy Spirit school community. The flexible service model can include the following components:
- Individual short-term counselling (both alone with children and/or with parents/teachers present);
- Parental support and interventions;
- Family support;
- Supported referral to external services;
- Therapeutic group sessions – Drumbeat, RAGE, Seasons for Growth;
- Teacher in-service and support;
- Participation in case meetings and pastoral care reviews.
Referrals are available from the Front Office or please contact Anna Rawlings, our wellbeing counsellor at firstname.lastname@example.org