- Message from the Principal
- Class Awards - 2021 - Term 1 - Week 4
- Year 4 News
- Kinder News
- Year 6 News - Camp
- Sports News
- RE News
- Communication with Parents
- Reminder: Please return Student Checklist and Medical Forms
- New Counsellor
- Scholastic Book Club - Issue 1 - Due by 24 February 2021
- NAPLAN 2021 - Years 3 and 5 - 11-21 May 2021
- Qkr - Mobile Phone Payment App
- Subway Lunch Order
- Community News
- Parish News and Roster
- 10 Tips for Parents when Getting Kids Smart Phones
- Parenting Ideas - Insight Articles
- February 2021 Birthdays
I hope everyone has well and truly settled into Term 1. As I made my visits to classrooms last week, it was wonderful to see students engaged in their learning and Initialit in full-swing in infant classes.
You may remember last year, I wrote about changes to the way we are teaching reading at St Thomas Aquinas. This change is part of a nation-wide implementation of phonics-based programs in K-2. While our teachers had introduced students to some phonics knowledge, the main way we taught reading was using what we call ‘predictable texts’. These texts are leveled and encourage early readers to ‘guess’ the words based on the pictures accompanying the text, meaning or rhyme. There has been a great deal of research over the past decade or so on the Science of Learning. This research shows that good readers use decoding skills to work out unknown words, rather than ‘guessing’. Given this knowledge St Thomas Aquinas elected to trial Initialit for the Archdiocese of Canberra with the intention of seeing whether this would be a good program for schools within the system. The trial was very successful and as a result over 20 schools across the Archdiocese have started to implement Initial across K-2. Because of these changes to the way we now teach reading, we have noticed that a large number of students are not confident in decoding and we have had to go back to build foundational phonics knowledge. To do this, we are implementing phonics-based programs across K-6 and withdrawing a significant number of students for small-group intervention.
Some of you may have received a letter from Deb Griffin and Susan Magyar letting you know that your child will take part in a literacy intervention program. This year St Thomas Aquinas will be running four intervention programs, all of which fall under the Multilit banner. These programs are: Prelit; Minilit, Macqlit and Reading Tutor. This intervention will be an intensive program aimed at boosting student’s phonics knowledge. Your child may have presented as a good reader when using whole language approaches, but we now know that unless children also have a deep knowledge of phonics, they will often stagnate in their reading and not progress at the same rate as students who do have a deep understanding of phonics. Please do not be alarmed if you do receive a letter informing you of this intervention, research has shown that intensive phonics intervention is highly effective in bringing students up to speed so that they will be able to progress at the same or similar rate as their peers once the intervention is complete. More information about Initialit and the intervention programs can be found here. https://multilit.com/.
The year 5 students seemed to have a wonderful time on camp. Teachers reported that the students were very polite and cooperative, and while some missed home on the first night, they all enjoyed being with their peers for the three days. A big thank you must go to Mrs Megan Thomas, Mr Peter Collins, Mrs Susan Magyar and Mrs Carmen Myles for giving up time with their own families to ensure the Year 5 students could attend camp.
Tomorrow morning, I will join principals and student leaders across the Archdiocese as well as senior officers from our central office to celebrate 200 years of Catholic education in Australia. This celebration is an acknowledgement of the remarkable commitment of catholic leaders and teachers in providing quality education in a faith-based environment. Students back at school will be able to join in the celebrations by watching a live stream of the mass or highlights following the mass.
Restrictions are continuing to ease across the ACT. We have been informed that we will now be able to have up to 1000 people attend events. This means that at this stage, parents will now be able to attend the upcoming Cross Country and the Athletics Carnivals. We ask that parents sign in using the CBR app, you can download the app at the apple or google store. At this stage, ACT Sport will not be allowing parent spectators to attend their events, we will let you know if this changes. While we are very pleased about the current situation, we know that things can change very quickly and while we will endeavour to keep you informed, please understand that we do not always have a great deal of notice ourselves.
CE have posted the video of the PFAS meeting into our webpage. The video can now be viewed here https://staquinas.act.edu.au/meetings. The ACT government is compiling responses to questions asked on the night and taken on notice. I will post these responses as soon as they are available.
With the increase in information, we have decided to return to weekly newsletters. We believe the weekly newsletter will make it easier for parents to stay informed about what is happening and make it easier to remember when the newsletter will be released.
Awards are presented at the 9:00am Assembly on Friday this week.
2021 - TERM 1 - WEEK 4
Aleisha M E
Leilani M H
|Liam B - 3G||Sam B - 3G||Natalia O - 3G||Tyler E - 4B|
|Sebastien M - 4B||Hunter B - 4G||Lily G - 3G|
Please find attached current information regarding the Year 6 at Fitzroy Falls from 15 to 17 March 2021. Please note the change in departure time. It is now 8:00am and not 9:00am. Please ensure you complete the online camp registration by the end of February 2021 via this link here . The Code is student.
|There is still time to register your Year 4 and Year 6 child for the Sacramental Program this year. If you would like your child to receive (Year 4)-First Reconciliation, First Holy Communion or (Year 6) Confirmation this year you can collect a registration form from the Church after Mass up until the 14th March. If you have any questions please contact Fr Tom or Mrs McPadden firstname.lastname@example.org
On Ash Wednesday the Year 6 Social Justice team launched Project Compassion at STA for 2021. Information and donations boxes have been sent home to families. Students are also encouraged to place donations in their class collection boxes. Every $5 raised is the equivalent of providing 1 chicken to a community in developing countries. For each $5 raised classes will begin to create a collaborative visual display of how many chickens we are able to provide to others around the world.
During Lent Mass on Fridays will be moved from 9:30 am to 5:30pm preceded by exposition. An adult faith formation opportunity will also be provided around 'The Transforming Power of Confession'.
Session 1: Where are you? Tuesday 9th March 2pm and 7pm
Session 2: An Encounter with Mercy Tuesday 16th March 2 pm and 7 pm
Session 3: Embraced in Mercy: The Rite Explained Tuesday 23rd March
All are welcome
Schoolzine is our preferred form of communication. Teachers may also use other forms of communication for their own class. If you are not receiving regular communication, please check with the Front Office and your child's teacher to ensure that we have the correct contact details. When receiving information from Schoolzine it will be received in three different forms.
- You will receive an email which comes from Schoolzine, not Outlook. If you are expecting correspondence from the school and have not received it in your inbox, please check your Junk Mail, Trash, Bin, Promotion Folder or Other Folder first and then contact the school.
- You can receive it via SZapp on your mobile phone. We would appreciate all families installing this App on your mobile phone as it is an easy way to disseminate information. SZapp installation instructions are below. We will be forwarding the password via email shortly. As the password changes regularly, please email email@example.com to obtain the current password if it has changed.
You can also send your child's school absences through this App.
- Non-confidential information can also be found on the front page of our website here, under the blue box/tile labelled "Latest News".
Newsletters are sent out weekly. They can also be found on our website under Communication / Newsletter here.
Student Information Checklists
- Please return completed forms to the Front Office by the end of February 2021.
2021 Medical Information and Consent Form
- Please return the completed 2021 Medical Information and Consent Forms to the Front Office by the end of February 2021.
- If your child requires medication at school, please provide the following in a bag:
- Medication - please ensure that this medication does not expire during the school year.
- Form 1 - Request to Dispense Medication during School Hours to authorise the school to administer medication. We are unable to dispense medication unless this form has been signed.
- Health Care Plan - if required
- As per the CE Medical Welfare of Students Policy, an individual health care plan must be developed and be 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.
St Thomas has a new collaboration with Marymead Child and Family Centre - A new school counsellor/family worker is joining us.
Introducing Al Robinson
Al has been working with children and families at Marymead for the past 4 years. He is a qualified counsellor, specialising in adult/child relationships and problems experienced within family systems and other systems too. Al has also worked with: men experiencing anger problems, relationship breakdown and homelessness; parents and families experiencing domestic/family violence; parents in high conflict post-separation; supporting kids and carers in Out of Home Care.
When a kid is having a hard time, Al likes to help by taking the time to hear what's going on, and then by working in any space that needs it – with the child, the people in their home, the classroom teacher, or anyone else that can get involved and respond to make a difference.
The first thing you’ll notice about Al is that he’s quite tall, and nearly all his hair has disappeared. This is because he grew so fast that he grew taller than his own hair. Al hopes to shrink a bit one day and get some of it back.
Al has a bunch of kids of his own, nearly all grown up now, and a couple of beautiful young grandchildren too. Al used to be a music teacher and a tradesman. Al loves music, soccer, AFL, art (although he’s not so good at drawing), dogs, cats, woodwork, bushwalks, and camping.
All kids, parents and teachers are encouraged to approach Al and introduce themselves. Al is always happy for a chat. He will be at the school 2- 3 days each week.
Al will be starting to see students next week. If you would like your child to see Al, please contact your child’s teacher or the front office for a referral form.
Online orders for Issue 1 due by 24 February 2021
Scholastic Book Club Order Forms have been sent home last week.
Scholastic now use online ordering.
No cash orders will be accepted at the Front Office for Scholastic Book Club.
The school will still get credits and the books will still be delivered to school for us to distribute, unless parents have requested they be delivered to their home.
Please download the INLOOP App
on your device or order from the online website.
Any questions please contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our school has introduced Qkr!™, a mobile phone payment app designed for Australian schools, delivering an online credit card payment solution for parents.
Please install Qkr on your phones as over the next few weeks and we will be introducing items to purchase via this system. Please find below Qkr Installation Notes and Parent Tips.
The following items can now be purchased: School Hats; Second hand Uniforms; Canteens; Camps; School Fees and Year 6 Shirts. Credit Card payments can still be made over the telephone and via the Front Office.
School Subway Orders can now be placed online.
Parents and staff of the school can 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
|Parish Priest||Father Tom Thornton|
|Parish Secretary||Debbie Hoffman|
|Telephone||02 6258 1563|
|Address||23 Lhotsky Street
CHARNWOOD ACT 2615
|Monday to Friday||9:30am
During Lent the Friday Mass time has moved to 5:30pm
|CHILDREN's LITURGY ROSTER
|We encourage anyone who wants to help with the Liturgy to contact Helene Axelby
on 0415 179 470 or Skye McPadden via email@example.com
|28 February||Susan Magyar; Joshua Osborne-Goldsbrough|
|7 March||Skye McPadden; Jacqui Burggraaff|
|14 March||Brett Seaman; Nadia White|
|21 March||Lisa Mammoliti; Megan Millband|
|28 March - Palm Sunday||Natasha Pank; Volunteer|
Information provided by Safe on Social:
When your child reaches 10 – 11yrs (or even earlier), they may start asking for their first smartphone and to use social media. So here are ten things to keep your Tweens safe online:
- If your child is asking for a phone, make sure that you get them to do a little presentation, or write a small project sheet, on a topic of cyber safety every week in the lead up to getting their phone.
- Think about the age recommendations; it is not illegal for a child to use social media under the age of 13yrs with their parents’ permission. But they need to remember to update their age on any site that has asked for it when they actually turn 13yrs. Like Facebook, for example. This way, the app will not think they are older. As an extreme example…if your child signs up to use Facebook when they are 10yrs, and they have to lie and say they are 13yrs…so by the time they are 15yrs if they haven’t adjusted the year they were born, the app will think they are 18yrs. Then they can get a Tinder account as it relies on Facebook for verification!
- Teach your kids to think twice before they accept a friend request. Just because someone is a friend of their big brother or sister or cousin who goes to another school does not mean they should let them into their life.
- Engage with them about their favourite social media app and get them to teach you about it so you can at least know the basics. Get them to show you how to block and report so you can be sure they know how too.
- Be a good role model. Keep your screen time in check. There is no use banning the phones from bedrooms if you go to bed with yours each night, for example.
- Help them to check and manage privacy settings. This is something you can do together when they are younger by making it a shared experience.
- Think twice before “sharenting.” Do not post photos of your kids in school uniform or school events or holding certificates with their full name and school name on it. You are letting the whole world know where they go to school. This can happen by “checking in” or geotagging a school as well.
- Ask them first when you are about to share their photo. Let your kids be involved in the decision making on whether they are ok with you posting a photo of them or not as young as possible. This will teach them to ask others first before they post pictures as they grow up.
- Put healthy boundaries in place. Don’t ban them from their device if they forget to do a household chore or are naughty for something totally unrelated to their device. Do not take it from them if they speak up about something that has happened online because you are scared either. This is the quickest way to drive all the conversations that you want to be having underground. Instead, if you have a healthy boundary like all devices are banned from the bathroom or bedroom. So then if they are caught with their device in either place, you ban them for a week. This way, they will learn that it is safe to speak up about what is going on online without punishment unless they break the rules about device use.
- Respect the classifications. The average age of a gamer is 35yrs old. Classifications are there for a reason. It is not ok for a child under the age of 18yrs to be playing R Rated games…even with their parents!!! If your child is playing online games, set healthy boundaries around time playing as well. All of the other tips above also apply to gaming.
STA's access to our 2021 webinars for parents
As our school has a Parenting Ideas membership, your entire school community can attend our parenting webinars at no cost! This is valued at $39 per person, per webinar.
Congratulations to the following students who will be celebrating their birthday this month:
Jack P; Sienna D; Evan L; Jack B; Thomas R; Lucia M; Seneca B; August S; Nevaeh M; Aditya P; Bradley L-B; Jessica R; Skylar W; Jaana C; Eloise W; Abbey T; Jasmin P; Anthony McP; Annie W-S; Violet P; Matthew R; Evelyn G; Lu'isa T; Lachlan W; Mia P; Payton C; Savanna H; Annabel L; Maddison G; Oliver T; Mitchell K; Paige C