- Message from the Principal
- What's on at STA
- Birthdays - February
- Fete News
- Diverse Learning News
- Library News
- Story Box Library
- STA turns Green for the Green Machine!
- Water Fun Day
- Parent Goal Setting Meetings
- Supporting Student Safety
- School Disabled Parking
- Caring Schools Network
- Counsellor News
- Happy Families Newsletter
- School Community Council (SCC) News
- New Bus Services
- Scholastic Book Club
- Subway and Canteen Services - UPDATED
- STA Parish Information
- Australian Girls Chior
- Brindabella Physie
- Come & Try - Rugby
It’s hard to believe we are already into Week 3. Students are well and truly into learning and teachers are continuing to hone their teaching craft.
In 2021, St Thomas Aquinas began our journey in implementing a school wide approach called High Impact Teaching Practice (HITP) from the Catalyst project created by Catholic Education, Canberra & Goulburn. HITP is focused on applying researched practices on how the human brain learns. A major component of this approach is Direct Instruction. We began this journey with 5 teachers and the leadership team successfully implemented this approach into their teaching and learning practices. In 2022 a further 8 teachers trained in this approach and yesterday our final wave of teachers commenced their training with Toni Hatten-Roberts from COGLearn.
Over the past two and a half years, St Thomas Aquinas has implemented several programs to support teachers to embed the approach into their classroom practices.
- InitiaLit (English program from Kinder to Year 2)
- Connecting Maths Concepts (Mathematics program from Years 1, 2 and 3)
- Spelling Mastery (Spelling program from Year 3 to Year 6)
InitiaLit is an evidence-based whole-class literacy program providing all children with the essential core knowledge and strong foundations to become successful readers and writers. The system focuses on two areas, phonics to systematically and explicitly teach the basic and advanced alphabetic code in a set sequence, and vocabulary through oral language and listening comprehension aided by quality children’s literature.
Connecting Math Concepts introduces ideas gradually and teaches students the connections between concepts. Focusing on big ideas in mathematics, the program teaches explicit strategies that enable students to master challenging concepts such as ratios, proportions, probability, functions and data analysis. Detailed explanations and guided practice enable students to progress toward independent work, helping them to achieve success and become confident mathematical thinkers.
With Connecting Math Concepts, all concepts are learned and assimilated through use. The program presents new concepts incrementally, extending them into subsequent lessons. Students move forward in small steps, learning and applying a variety of topics in each lesson. Students learn and remember more, in less time, developing the depth of understanding required for advanced mathematics. At St Thomas Aquinas the program will be implemented in the current class groups.
Spelling Mastery is a six-level Direct Instruction series that teaches students dependable spelling skills by blending three approaches: the phonemic approach, the whole word approach and the morphemic approach. Each approach has advantages and possible disadvantages. Spelling Mastery is designed to maximise the advantages of each approach and minimise the disadvantages. The program uses a placement test to understand student’s knowledge of spelling and to provide a starting point in the program. At St Thomas Aquinas students from Years 3 to 6 will be placed in appropriate groups for their knowledge of spelling. Progress monitoring is completed during the teaching of the program and students may move between groups as their spelling improves
Toni Hatten-Roberts has also worked with members of the leadership team to develop our skills as Instructional Coaches. Every member of the school’s leadership team has either trained or is currently training to be an Instructional Coach. Instructional Coaches work with teachers to continually improve practice. While we know we have many amazing teachers here at St Thomas Aquinas, we also know that coaching will help everyone to get even better. Our Instructional Coaches meet with teachers several times a term and discuss areas of focus, then observe teachers in the classroom to provide feedback.
Over the last two years, we have seen significant growth, particularly in our younger students. Teachers and families have commented on how competent students are becoming in reading and mathematics. I am looking forward to continuing to see this growth across the years to come.
School Community Council
The SCC will have its Annual General Meeting today at 6pm in the school library. We have had a number of people retire from the Community Council and some others who have had to step down as their children graduated last year, so we will be opening up all positions at this Annual General Meeting.
The School Community Council, the School's parent group, is a valued and vital part of the St Thomas Aquinas community. The SCC is an integral part of the school community, providing support, expertise and energy. By promoting friendship and goodwill between parents and staff, the SCC helps all families – especially new ones – to get to know the school and become involved, while also raising funds for additional projects, equipment and facilities to benefit the whole school.
If you feel you would like to contribute to this great school and make some wonderful friends along the way, I encourage you to come along tonight.
Take care and God bless
Yours in Faith
|3||Tue 14/02||SCC Meeting 6pm - Please come along!|
|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|
|5||Tues 28/02||Meninga & Daley Football Gala 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||Tues 13/06||ELC Photos|
|Term 2||Wed 14/06||School Photos|
|Term 2||Thur 15/06||ELC Photos|
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,
Congratulations to our bonus prize winners from our Summer Reading Challenge:
Erin H 1G
Isabel P 1G
Nella W-S 2G
Lincoln D 2G
Elizabeth H 5B
Flourish O 5G
Samuel S 6B
Anthony S 6G
It’s now time to begin the Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge, which requires students to read and record 30 books.
A paper copy of the challenge will come home with each student by the end of Week 3. It’s a good idea to keep the reading challenge sheet on the fridge to keep adding to as you read. The reading challenge sheets are due back to the library by 11th August 2023. Every student who hands in the completed challenge will receive a yellow token. Winning schools will win book vouchers for the library.
What you need to know:
All students in Kinder, Year 1 and Year 2 (excluding those competitive swimmers born in 2015 who will be attending the swimming carnival) will have the opportunity to participate in the STA Water Fun Day. Students will participate in a range of activities that will involve water.
When: Friday 24th February @ 2pm
What does your child need: A towel, a change of clothes for those students going to OSH and a can-do attitude! Students can wear clothes that they don’t mind getting wet. Please wear SunSmart clothing, slogans and images need to be appropriate and closed shoes must be worn.
Parents and carers are welcome to attend and watch the water fun event. If you are free and would like to volunteer some time to assist with the setting up, running and packing up. Please get in touch with Mrs Black at the Front Office. You do need to hold a valid WWVP Card, and you must be registered at the front office before the commencement of the event.
If you have any queries about the Water Fun Day, please do not hesitate to get in touch your child’s classroom teacher.
STA Sport Coordinator
On Tuesday and Wednesday next week we will hold 10 minute goal setting meetings with parent and students. This is also a good time for teachers to talk about what they are noticing about your child’s learning in the classroom and parents to talk about the specific learning needs for your child. All families will receive a Compass Alert today allowing you book a session with your child's teacher.
Goal Setting Meetings will be available from 3pm to 7pm on Tuesday 21st February & Wednesday 22nd February from 8am-8:40am & again on Wednesday from 3pm-6pm
Please note times may vary for each teacher depending on availability.
Congratulations Chloe Wall and Mia Woodland who represented the ACT on the weekend at the NSW State Cup Oztag Championships in Penrith. They both were very successful throughout the competion.
Access Canberra speed and parking operations in School Zones
The start of the school year is a particularly busy time in our school carparks and surrounding streets. To help keep students safe when making their way to and from school, please ensure you drive and park safely and legally, at and around, school grounds. We all have an important role to play in supporting road safety. Access Canberra has notified us that mobile speed and parking vans will be in operation to support our students’ safety. These enforcement teams play a critical role in supporting our students get to and from school safely and we thank them for their ongoing support. In addition to sticking to the speed limit, please remember to park safely – including not parking across pedestrian crossings, in no stopping zones, on corners, verges and double parking. Unsafe and illegal parking can reduce visibility of our students and motorists to see each other, creating a significant hazard when students cross the road. Let’s work together to keep our kids safe.
Please note that our two disabled parking spots located at the front of the main car park are soley for the purpose of those who hold a Disabled Carparking Permit. Please ensure that these spots remain available for those who require it. These parking spots are not for pick up and drop off.
We appreciate your assistance.
Kids are back at school and thus begins our life of drop-offs and pick-ups, packing lunch boxes, after-school lessons, cooking dinner and ensuring they are well-fed while sticking to the bedtime schedule! Not to mention keeping up with their rapid developmental changes, varying emotions, experiences and behaviours! In this busy, chaotic time it may become challenging to find time to pause, connect and bond with our children as we try to do the best for them every single day. Here is an article that I hope you may find useful to not let family connection time slip through as we strive to balance the fine art of parenting.
|Positions to be filled. Nominations welcome
Please contact the SCC via email: email@example.com
Just a reminder that the SCC is holding their first meeting for 2023 tonight at 6pm at the school. We would love for some new committee members, so please come along and say hello!
Our second hand uniform shop will be open only on Wednesday afternoons from 3pm. We would love to extend the availability of accessing our unifom shop but we need volunteers. If anyone within our STA community can spare 20 minutes on a semiregular basis, please contact the SCC or come and meet Stacey at the Uniform Shop on Wednesday afternoon. It is a fabulous way to become an active member of our school community and meet families.
Information regarding bus services available to our students can be found on the Transport Canberra website found here.
The new bus timetables relevant to our school here - St Thomas Aquinas Primary School - Bus Route
The Canteen is open from Wednesdays to Fridays - for the first 10 minutes of each break. We sell a limited selection of healthy canteen approved chips and ice blocks.
Parents and staff are able to place Subway Orders Online. Click on the link below to place an order and payment as well.
Cut-off time is 9:15 AM for same day delivery.
Call on 02 6259 9101 to place your order after this time
Subway Lunch Orders can also be made, directly with Subway.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE NO LONGER HAVE THE FACILITIES TO ACCEPT SUBWAY ORDERS AT SCHOOL.
|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|