- Message from the Principal
- What's on at STA
- School Hours / Late and Early Arrivals
- Drop Off and Pick-Up Arrangements
- 2023 Term Dates & Public Holidays
- Pre-Loved Uniform
- Birthdays - January/February
- Save the Date - Fete News
- STA Parish Information
- Brindabella Physie
- Food and Drink
- Medical Policy and Information
- New Counsellor
Welcome back to Term 1 2023. I hope everyone managed to have a restful break. We are looking forward to a fantastic year this year and hoping that the challenges of the past three years are behind us.
We start this new school year with some sad news with the death of Fr Neville Drinkwater. Fr Neville was the founding priest for St Thomas Aquinas, only retiring a few years ago. I called Cameron Johns on Sunday to let him know of Fr Neville’s passing and Mr Johns spoke of how much Fr Neville supported the school. He was passionate about ensuring the children had everything they needed to learn well. He gave a great deal of his time to supporting the teachers within the school and was a constant presence in and around the school building. He will be greatly missed and his legacy both here at the school and within the whole parish will be felt for many years to come. Fr Neville’s funeral will be at the St Thomas Aquinas Church at 11am on Tuesday 7th February. A number of staff members have already indicated that they would like to attend his funeral and so I will inform families of supervision arrangements via COMPASS.
It was a little unusual starting school on a Tuesday this year. Yesterday our Teachers, CSAs and Educators from both the primary school and the ELC attended a whole System day at the Canberra Convention Centre. As many of our existing families know, the Catholic Education System in this Archdiocese has been changing the way we teach. Yesterday, we learned more about the Science of Learning and the best ways we can support all of our students. The line-up included researchers and advocates for the Science of Learning from across Australia. One of the highlights was Noel Pearson. Mr Pearson is the founder of the Good to Great Schools based in Cape York. He spoke passionately about the importance or explicit direct instruction, particularly for students who speak another language of dialect at home, students with Dyslexia and those students whose parents cannot read and write. We also heard from our Director, Mr Ross Fox about the great work we have already done and the work yet to be done. St Thomas Aquinas featured in a number of slides throughout the day, acknowledging the great work of our teachers here.
This morning we welcomed our newest students and a number of new families. There were a few tears for new and current students, but everyone had settled well before first break, and it was wonderful to see students playing, catching up on holiday news, including asking me about my break. Our ELC students have also settled well. I joined the full-time class for morning tea break and the beginning of the week class for morning play. I look forward to meeting the end of the week group on Thursday.
This week, teachers will be working through the orientation program with students. Here at St Thomas Aquinas, we explicitly teach the behaviour we want to see. These behaviours are there to ensure that learning is a priority and children have the best opportunity to learn. One of the things I talk about regularly is silent corridors. While we are blessed to have a beautiful open library space, the library is also a classroom and it is important students in this space have an opportunity to learn. Students have been wonderful in keeping to this rule and visitors to our school are often amazed at how silently our students move around the school.
We welcomed a few new staff members this morning. Miss Monica Culas, Miss Hannah Dewey, Miss Brittany Ford and Mr Matt Moore were introduced to the school community at this morning’s assembly. Miss Jessica Cassidy and Ms Bronwyn Newth will also join us in the primary school later in the week. The school has a new counsellor as well. Vrushali will work at the school every Monday, Tuesday and every second Wednesday (odd weeks). We welcome Monique Gartner and Indira De Silva to the STA ELC team. We also welcome Maribel back to the ELC. I know many families were very excited to hear that she was returning and were very happy to see her in the ELC rooms.
I look forward to meeting many of you next week at the Meet and Greet.
Take care and God bless
Yours in Faith
|2||Tues 07/02||Meet & Greet BBQ 5:00pm - 6:00pm|
|2||Wed 08/02||Kindergarten Testing Day - No Kindy classes|
|3||Fri 10/02||Opening School Mass at 9:30am in the Church|
|3||Wed 15/02||Kindergarten Testing Day - No Kindy classes|
|3||Fri 17/02||Year 6 Leadership Mass & Badge Ceremony at 9:30am (Year 6 Students and Families only)|
|4||Fri 24/02||Swimming Carnival & Water Fun Day|
|8 - 9||Wed 15/3 -24/03||NAPLAN for Years 3 & 5|
|8||Sat 25/03||STA Fete|
|9||Fri 31/03||Athletics Carnival|
|10||Wed 05/04||Kenny Koala Visit - Kindergarten, Year 5 & Year 6|
|10||Thur 06/04||Kenny Koala Visit Year 4|
|10||Thur 06/04||White Token Lunch|
|10||Thur 06/04||Prinicpal Awards|
|10||Thur 06/04||Last day of Term 1|
|Term 2||13/06||ELC Photos|
|Term 2||14/06||School Photos|
|Term 2||15/06||ELC Photos|
|School Hours||8:50am - 3:00pm|
|Lunch||11:00 - 11:40|
|Recess||13:10 - 13:50|
|Assembly||Fridays, 12:45pm - Even Weeks Only|
Please note that there is no supervision before 8:30am and after 3:20pm, unless the school has been notified of an emergency.
Students who need care outside these hours are able to use the services of OSHC (Outside School Hours Care). For legal and safety reasons, children should not be on the school premises before 8:30am and must depart the school grounds as soon as they are released from school, unless they are attending our OSHC facility, ELC or are involved in a school arranged activity such as school sports training.
Please note that it is a legal requirement for schools to keep attendance records of students, and records of student late arrivals and early departures from school.
Students Arriving Late for School
- It is preferrable that all students arrive at school by 8:50am to ensure that they have greeted their friends and teacher, been marked off rolls, and are abreast of their daily activities. Whilst we understand that this is not always possible, for many reasons, this is an important part of the day for all students.
- Students arriving at school after 9.00am must enter via the Front Office with their parent /guardian who is required to sign them in using the COMPASS Kiosk
- Please do not drop-off your child off on the black top as this is a safety issue after 8:50am.
Students Leaving Early from School
- No child is permitted to leave the school grounds during school hours without a teacher/parent/guardian.
- If you are aware that you are picking your child up early on a particular day, please advise their teacher or the Front Office by providing a note. Please be mindful that teachers are often unable to view emails/online info during class time. Please do not enter a note in the Compass portal.
- Parents wishing to collect their child early must report to the Front Office where they will sign the child out using the COMPASS Kiosk
- Please do not pick up a student between 2:45pm and 3:00pm unless it is an emergency. The Front Office and classrooms are generally very busy at this time and locating and calling students over the class phone, or the school speaker, is disruptive for all.
Thank you for your cooperation.
2023 Term Dates
|Term 1||31 January 2023 - 06 April 2023|
|Term 2||26 April 2023 - 30 June 2023|
|Term 3||18 July 2023 - 22 September 2023|
|Term 4||09 October 2023 - 14 December 2023|
2023 Public Holidays
|1 January 2023||New Year's Day|
|2 January 2023||
Additional PH - New Year's Day
|26 January 2023||Australia Day|
|13 March 2023||Canberra Day|
|7 April 2023||Good Friday|
|8 April 2023||Easter Saturday|
|9 April 2023||Easter Sunday|
|10 April 2023||Easter Monday|
|25 April 2023||ANZAC Day|
|29 May 2023||Reconciliation Day|
|12 June 2023||Monarch's Official Birthday|
|2 October 2023||Labour Day|
|25 December 2023||Christmas Day|
|26 December 2023||Boxing Day|
At St Thomas Aquinas, as at all Catholic schools, we have a strict uniform policy. Full details relating to uniforms can be found on our website here.
Some people question the importance of uniforms at school and would prefer the school to focus on other things. We believe that by focusing on uniform we eliminate a lot of unnecessary worry for students and families, so we are able to focus on what is important. Here are just some of the reasons why all ACT Catholic schools insist on a school uniform:
- Uniforms are a great equaliser
- School uniforms promote learning
- They nourish a sense of equality
- School uniforms promote a feeling of community
- They make it easier to get ready for school
- School uniforms improve safety
Families are reminded that the school uniforms for summer are the following:
Boys School: Sky blue polo shirt with school logo and navy dress shorts with navy socks, black leather (or leather like) school shoes.
Girls School: Maroon checked dress or sky blue polo shirt with school logo and navy dress short with white ankle height socks, black leather (or leather like) school shoes.
Sport: Both boys and girls will wear the same sport uniform. Navy shorts (optional navy netball skirt for girls) and Sky/Navy sports knit shirt with school logo. Year 6 students may wear their Year 6 shirt. Runners/Gym shoes/Sneakers for sports days only.
This year the uniform policy will be strictly enforced. If you are unable to afford a uniform, please contact the Front Office and we can support you in purchasing the correct uniform.
At STA we have a NO HAT/NO PLAY policy. STA now sell school hats at the Front Office. We have them in Small, Medium and Large and they cost $15 each. They can be purchased via BPay, Eftpos or Qkr.
We are very thankful to our SCC member Stacey for opening our pre loved uniform shop yesterday.
Stacey has kindly arranged for the shop to open again as a one off this Friday, 3 February 2023 from 8:30am - 9:15am
Standard weekly opening hours will be confirmed next week.
If you are interested in joining our SCC, either as a member or a volunteer please email your details to email@example.com
Athena V, Ronith T, Rohi B, Delilah W-P, Ryl A, Lucas A, Lachlan P, Willow L, Fay D, Elizabeth K, Summer H, Sofia H, Ethan M, Blake M, Heath W, Michael J, Hannah E, Isabelle M, Amelia H, Kai U, Imogen T, Kendall T, Amelia W, Melody N, Tahlayla B, Lazarus F, Casey M, Zander R, Mia P, Freyja P, Zoe C, Charlotte M, Maci M, Kai M,
Alice S, Beau R, Sienna A
Jack B, Seneca B, August S, Jed G, Nevaeh M, Jack P, Aditya P, Lilly H, Bradley L-B, Jessica R, Skylar W, Jaana C, Abbey T, Violet P, Evelyn F, Lu’isa T, Audrey K, Savanna H, Annabel L, Oliver T, Isaac H, Qunley Y
|Parish Priest||Father Gerard McCormack|
|Parish Secretary||Debbie Hofman|
|Telephone||02 6258 1563|
|Address||23 Lhotsky Street
CHARNWOOD ACT 2615
|Monday to Friday||9:30am|
|Thursday - School Mass||9:30am - one grade each week|
Children's liturgy is held during the school term. All families are welcome to attend.
|Weekend Dates||6pm Saturday
|We encourage anyone who wants to help with the Children's Liturgy to contact Helene Axelby on 0415 179 470 or Skye McPadden via firstname.lastname@example.org|
Please remember that STA is a NUT-FREE school.
All students are required to bring a drink bottle, labelled with their name, to school on a daily basis.
Please ensure that your child/children have sufficient healthy food in their lunch boxes:
- Fruit for their fruit break in the morning.
- Healthy sandwiches, fruit, salads, health meal options for their lunch break.
- Fruit and/or snack for recess.
The Catholic Education Office of Canberra and Goulburn (CEOCG) policy on the Medical Welfare of Students is below:
Medical_Information_and_Consent_Form_2023.pdf. This form must be completed by a parent/guardian for each student, if they have a medical condition, and returned to the school by the end of Week 3.
Depending on your child's medical condition, we may require you to complete additional forms which can be found below.
- Medical Form 1 - Request to Dispense Medication During School Hours
This form is to be completed by Parents/Guardians for all medications to be administered during school hours, in addition to Medical Plans if applicable.
- Medical Form 2 - Deed of Indemnity
This form is to be completed by Parents/Guardians for the administering/dispensing of Schedule 8 Drugs.
- Medical Form 3 - Medical Advice to School
This form is to be completed by the prescribing Doctor if a Medical/Health Plan is not provided.
Some medical conditions require more complex Health Care Plans including those with asthma, Type 1 diabetes, epilepsy, anaphylaxis or other more complex health procedures.
- An individual health care plan must be developed, and approved by a qualified medical practitioner, for any student:
- diagnosed with severe asthma, type 1 diabetes, epilepsy or anaphylaxis
- diagnosed as being at risk of an emergency, or
- who requires ongoing administration of health care procedures.
- Any medication that is provided to the school must have an expiry date of 2024, where possible. We understand that some medications have a short expiry date.
Please note that schools do not dispense analgesic substances for pain relief without prior approval from the parent or guardian. Aspirin, or medications containing Aspirin, can only be administered with written authorisation by the student's doctor. Schedule 8 drugs include Codeine, Concerta and Ritalin.
Introducing Vrushali Bafna
Hello and Welcome Back!! I hope that you and your family had a relaxing summer vacation. My name is Vrushali, and I am thrilled to be the new counsellor at St Thomas Aquinas!
I wanted to take a few moments to tell you about me. I am a qualified Social Worker and have been working with families for over four years in different roles across the sector. I have worked with children and youth to promote social emotional learning, emotional regulation, problem solving skills, self-esteem and resilience to name a few. I have also worked with women and their families experiencing homelessness and/or at the risk of homelessness, domestic violence, family and relationship challenges and separation. Passionate about fostering student and family wellbeing through empathy, shared understanding and unconditional positive regard, I endeavour to work in partnership with students, parents, carers, and teachers while upholding strengths-based, child-centred practices to promote holistic wellbeing.
My hope is that this school year will be a fun year filled with learning, growth and lots of new adventures. I cannot wait to get to know you, your family, and most importantly your child! I will be at school Every Monday, Tuesday, and second Wednesday (odd week).
If you would like to refer your child to the service this year, please contact your child’s teacher or referral forms can be obtained from the front office. If you have any questions about school counselling service, please feel free to contact me via email - email@example.com.