Welcome to Week 10 and Week 11 as we prepare for our school Easter holiday break. We certainly live in the “un” times… uncertain, unparalleled, unprecedented, unpredictable and unimaginable. Not since World War 2 in the 1940’s has our work and lifestyles been so quickly impacted. We have certainly had to develop new attitudes, habits and ideals for the way education is being delivered, in such a short space of time. We continue to be impressed with how quickly our students are transitioning to Remote Learning and engaging in their learning tasks. Well done to teachers, parents and students! The years of the Second World War are renowned for helping shape our modern Australian identity and attitudes. This period of time may also well re-shape our society as we know it. We wait and see!
Huge congratulations are extended to our amazing St Patrick’s Community Council committee on being one of the successful recipients of the Stronger Country Community Fund Round 3 grant funding. Well done to the Community Council for their hard work and perseverance in applying for the grants. The school has received $129,000 for playground improvements which we will look forward to developing over the year. The money will be spent on enhancing our outdoor space and we are excited about the possibilities this funding will create.
Congratulations are also extended to Sadie Eccleston in Year 6, who was announced as the winner of the Eastern Division of The Michael McCormack ANZAC Day Writing Competition. This exciting news was sent through to us late last week. Congratulations and well done Sadie. A copy of Sadie’s writing can be found in our newsletter.
Next week begins the special and holy period of Holy Week. While we will celebrate this week a little differently this year, please encourage your child/ren to spend time in prayer and reflection on the events leading up to the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.
Thank you to everyone for their positivity and encouragement as we move forward into the next few weeks. Please remember to find ways to enjoy learning together at home. Cooking together, playing board games, building a cubby house, playing imaginative games, making up family plays, doing a family jigsaw etc etc, are all still ways of learning and incorporate literacy and numeracy skills. Your children won’t “miss out” by not being at school and completing lessons… they won’t “forget” everything, they won’t lose a year of education. We want families to look back on this period of time in history and remember the great time they spent together, not the stress of trying to teach children and keep up with everything. We may well be returning to remote or online learning next term. Nothing is clear as yet, but at school we are transitioning to learning and teaching in this way.
You would have received notice yesterday (Tuesday 31st March) that our Director, Mr Fox, has announced Pupil Free Days from Monday 6th April and Friday 10th April to allow teachers some Professional Development time to work on establishing a common CECG platform for all our Remote Learners. Therefore, there will no learning tasks scheduled for next week. At this point in time, school will resume for all students on Tuesday 26th April, either in a Remote Learning format or back to regular classroom teaching, dependent on the COVID19 situation.
Please take care of yourselves and your families over Easter and remember we are always here if you need any additional support. This is a time to be extra patient and gentle with each other.
As we enter this very uncertain time in our world we turn to our Lord in prayer and ask the Him to look after us.
This week we have developed our remote learning packages for home use. As we continue on our Lenten journey and approach a most important time in the Churches liturgical calendar of Holy Week and Easter, we ask that families spend time in prayer and help their children reflect on Jesus’ journey.
Each teacher has in their class letter, provided login access to a program titled ‘Understanding Faith’ which is used in the classroom as a learning tool. This is a wonderful resource to assist our children continue their faith development.
The RE Team at Catholic Education has developed a Padlet of Religious Education Support Resources that also can be accessed by the students at home. These resources include Prayers for both children and adults, Online Mass, Stations of the Cross, Meditations, Holy Week reflections and other practical information.
St Therese’s Relics
31st of March would have been the day that the relics of St Therese would have visited Gundagai. We remember St Therese and her work that made her a Saint.
During her short life, Saint Thérèse never lost the genuineness of a little child.
What she called her ‘little way’ was simply to trust in Jesus to make her holy by doing the small things well every day rather than by doing great deeds. After her death, thousands of Catholics found great comfort in this. They were people like us who are trying to find holiness in our ordinary lives. Thérèse promised to spread Love throughout the world after her death. Her image of scattering rose petals from heaven was symbolic of such a love. Her life reminds us that even when we feel we can do nothing very great, it’s really the small things that count. Small things make God’s garden grow!
I come before you today in need of hope.
There are times when I feel helpless,
There are times when I feel weak.
I pray for hope.
I need hope for a better future.
I need hope for a better life.
I need hope for love and kindness.
Help me to walk in your light and live
my life in faith and glory.
In your name I pray, Amen.
In this time of great uncertainty, we all need to pray that we may be safe and remain in good health. We pray especially for our country’s health workers and health professionals.
Friendship is one of the best gifts in life and should not be taken for granted. Friendship can be tested at times, but with God’s help, friends can celebrate with you in good times, listen to you when you have a problem and can support you through difficult times. Loving Jesus, we thank you for the gift of friendship. Our friends spend time with us, encourage us, and share with us. They rejoice with us when we succeed, stay with us when we are upset and bless us always with their love. May we be ever thankful for them.
Since the Premiers request for students to be provided with learning from home as much as possible, our staff have been moving to new methods of education and support of our learners and families.
We have seen a decline in physical attendance at our school and in addition to this staff with caring duties are moving to the delivery of education from home. While we remain open, we need to do our part to reduce unnecessary travel and increase the effectiveness of social distancing and flattening the curve.
As a result, from this week, we will be trialling split shifts of teachers working from home and school. Regardless of where our teachers are working from, they will be providing an education for all our learners.
The leadership of the school will continue to be present at school and as always, we are happy to address any concerns you may have.
As parents there are some things you can do to assist us all move to this new environment and to enhance learning
- Where possible ensure your child/ren has a quiet space set up for lessons and learning particularly if they are using any visual or audio lessons.
- Try and find time for reading every day. Reading is the key to education.
- If a child has a one on one session with a teacher eg Mr Ferguson or CSA eg Ms Smith, that another adult is present in the room and can hear the conversation. The adult does not need to sit in on the lesson, just be present in the room.
- Set a learning routine, if possible and try and stick to the routine as much as possible. Not every child needs access to a device during every part of the day. Timetable in audio/visual sessions and only attend the necessary ones.
- The teachers have set check in times with the students via Google Meet so please ensure they attend the FIRST session, as this is when rolls are marked. Please note that you DO NOT need to attend every Google Meet session, as we are conscious some families with two or more children may find it overwhelming to attend every session.
- Some days may not go to plan. Do not stress if this happens. Choose different activities as a family and only do what you can eg This is a perfect time to do some family cooking, go outside and build something, do some puzzles or jigsaws or just take a break.
- Children are only to use Google Classrooms/Meet between 8.30am and 4.00pm. Please limit their access to devices before and after this time. Teachers will not respond to messages before or after these times.
- Parents are asked to only contact teachers by email or the school phone. Please do not contact teachers on their personal mobiles.
- ONLY do what you can do. We do not expect parents to take on the role of teachers. If there is too much work, focus your energy on literacy and maths and remember to take regular breaks.
- We do not want to cause stress or anxiety in families so please remember to be gentle and kind to yourselves.
- We are all on a learning journey together. The teachers are learning alongside parents and students.
On Tuesday our students created a 'Nature Mandala' which is a circular structure with a design that radiates out symmetrically from the centre. The students collected materials including flowers, leaves, sticks etc to form their design.
We extend our congratulations to one of our Yr 6 students, Sadie Eccleston who has won the Primary Eastern Division for her creative piece titled "Forever Alone" in the annual Michael McCormack 'Remembering our ANZACs in the Riverina and Central West' competition. Sadie's publication in the ANZAC competition will feature in the ANZAC Day booklet
St Patricks Gundagai
Lola(wife of Joe)
I cry until I have no tears left to cry,
I watch my husband be shipped off into the unknown.
I walk home knowing that he may never return,
I may be forever alone.
He traveled great distances over the sea
God, oh God take care of him please.
If I were a soldier I would carry in my pocket,
A little good luck token, for you and for me.
When I receive my first letter off him,
I hear of all the broken bones.
Now I know that,
I might not be forever alone.
Joe(husband of Lola)
As the allies shoot into our trenches.
I catch in the corner of my eye,
A young man lying flat on the ground,
He could be about to die.
I ran over to him,
And slowly close his eyes.
And in flanders field,
A young man just died
I write to my dear Lola,
I wear the old jacket,
That Lola sewed
I hope she writes back soon,
She will not be forever alone.
Melissa Bailey from Catholic Care who is our School Counsellor will be available to any student/family during the Remote Learning. Melissa has advised that she will be conducting Zoom Counselling Sessions. Her email address should any family need to contact her is firstname.lastname@example.org
Week 8 - Term 1
Kindergarten/Yr 1: Dale Paton for neat presentation of all written work
Year 2: Taite Johnson for always completing tasks to a high standard
Year 3/4: Darby Jones for his participation in class discussions
Year 5/6: Locky Eccleston for being responsive to teacher feedback and open to new learning experiences
We would like to extend our birthday wishes to the following students/teachers who have recently celebrated a birthday:
19th March - Ellie McDonnell
19th March - Jezanna Winchester
24th March - Pippa Ray
25th March - Miss Bruce
We hope everyone had a special day on their birthdays