Newsletter – Friday 3 May 2019

Message from the Principal

‘The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating.
The paths are not to be found, but made,
and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.’

John Schaar – Political Theorist

Dear Parents and Guardians,

WELCOME BACK – A warm welcome back to all our families. It does seem like a long break since we were last back at school. I know as a parent I love the holiday break from making lunches, getting children out of bed and the morning rush of uniforms, packing bags and making sure all notes from school have been returned. It is a terrific time for the children to get a good break and recharge for the new term. I hope you all had a Holy, safe and relaxing holiday and are ready to tackle all the challenges that Term 2 holds. I know the children are certainly ready as they skip past me in the mornings with energy and enthusiasm.
As we begin this term with optimism and endeavour and having recently commemorated Anzac Day, I share with you the words of Viktor Frankl, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning.’
“We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
This term let’s choose to continue to enliven our core values of Truth, Respect, Unity and Excellence as we work together for our community.

WINTER UNIFORM – Our term commenced with students wearing their full winter uniform. They looked very smart as they walked in on Tuesday. It was wonderful to witness the respect the students have for their uniform. Thank you to all our parents for their support of our Uniform Policy.

KINDERGARTEN COFFEE MORNING – I look forward to meeting with parents from Kindy, this coming Wednesday, 8 May at 9am. This is an opportunity to meet in an informal setting and see how the children have settled into their learning at St Peter’s.

KINDERGARTEN INTERVIEWS – Over the next coming two weeks, I will commence Kindergarten Interviews for 2020. I am very proud of the way staff, parents and students are welcoming and respectful; as I take prospective families around the school. Many of the parents speak to me about the wonderful feedback they have heard from parents already enrolled at our school and the amazing community we have here at St Peter’s Primary School. I congratulate everyone involved in our school for making it a learning environment highly respected and desired by families in our community.

CONFIRMATION RETREAT – Today, our Year 6 students enjoyed a Confirmation Retreat at Maylands Recreation Club. The students enjoyed an action-packed day with the Disciples of Jesus. As our Year 6 students prepare for the Sacrament of Confirmation, I ask that you keep them in your prayers as they seal the covenant made in Holy Baptism and are bestowed with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

NAPLAN – In weeks 3 and 4 of this term, our students in Years 3 and 5 students will be involved in national testing in Literacy and Numeracy. Please ensure your children get a good night’s sleep and eat their breakfast before coming to school. It is important that children do not feel extra pressure placed on them during this time.
All Year 3 and Year 5 students will be assessed between 14th and 22nd May. An information brochure has been sent home to our Year Three and Year Five parents. If you have any queries regarding NAPLAN testing, please see your classroom teacher.
As a Principal, the great thing about NAPLAN is that it gives us big picture data. We analyse the data and look for trends. It allows us to use it as a tool for future planning. The other important thing about the whole NAPLAN process is that some children are going to love it and do extremely well, others will perform at lower levels due to their stress levels during this time. As adults, we are the same, some of us love test situations. Others of us find them extremely stressful. Remember our children are the same. Please click on the link to access the NAPLAN schedule. NAPLAN Schedule

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT – Our staff members have been back since Monday for Professional Development on a variety of pop up workshops presented by members of staff. We covered ICT, Early Childhood writing, addressing individual needs in the classroom, Reading, Philosophy, Emotional regulation and strategies for facilitating honest conversations. I congratulate our staff on their engagement on the day and already the transfer of their learning into classrooms. On the day we also enjoyed the company of staff from Good Shepherd, Lockridge and Sacred Heart, Highgate. I sincerely thank the staff who volunteered to facilitate workshops and Mrs Paulette Aquino for coordinating the day.

PLAYGROUND IMPROVEMENTS – We have had some interesting areas created over the holiday break for our children to enjoy at recess and lunch. We currently have four and six square areas marked out, a chess board and hopscotch. In the coming week, we will have two netball half courts in the Undercover Area along with a modified netball court in the basketball area. The goal posts will also be arriving next week. I have visited all classrooms and informed the students of the improvements and will return in Week 3 to hear their feedback and suggestions moving forward.

ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS – This term our Year 6 leaders will be assisting us in developing the Recycling Project around the school. All bins have been clearly labelled and placed in all classrooms and designated areas around the school. Our leaders will facilitate in the management of this system. The assemblies will be an opportunity for the student voice to inform their peers on how they can assist in our whole school program. Running alongside this, our Science classes will be creating their own worm farm to take home. Your children will receive information this week. Our school will have their own worm farm delivered next week. I have already had worms personally delivered to me. I take this as a sign that they are keen to get involved!

MOTHER’S DAY- Next Thursday and Friday, we will celebrate the fabulous mothers in our community. On both days, we will have the Mother’s Day Stall and on Friday the breakfast. The breakfast commences at 7am in the Undercover Area. I look forward to seeing you there. I wish all our St Peter’s mothers and grandmothers a wonderful day next Sunday. A day in which we celebrate and honour mothers and all they do lovingly and unconditionally. I also thank the P&F for coordinating these fabulous events in our community. I leave you with this beautiful poem that captures the essence of a mother’s love.

A baby asked God, “They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?”
“Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”
The child further inquired, “But tell me, here in heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.”
God said, “Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel’s love and be very happy.”
Again the child asked, “And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language?”
God said, “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear,
and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.”
“And what am I going to do when I want to talk to you?”
God said, “Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.”
“Who will protect me?”
God said, “Your angel will defend you even if it means risking it’s life.”
“But I will always be sad because I will not see you anymore.”
God said, “Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.”
At that moment there was much peace in Heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked,
“God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.”
“You will simply call her, ‘Mum.’ “

Ciao and keep smiling!

Pina Hutcheson

Principal

Please see our gallery of photos from the first week back below!