Term 1 Newsletter 30th March - 2023
Did you survive?
Being the last newsletter for the term I would like to extend a very sincere thank you for a wonderful start to the year. Short in time, but big in achievements. It is only through the genuine positive partnerships that exist here at St Francis that we continue to provide a quality learning environment for your children.
I am so thankful for the continued efforts of our great staff. This Term, has seen the
continuation of our writing and reading improvement strategies, the talking about our learning dispositions (qualities), engaging / fun lessons (check out the Facebook Page), cross country, various liturgies and religious celebrations, PEN discussions, parent information nights, tuckshop on Fridays, parent teacher interviews, the list goes on!!! All this just doesn’t happen. Behind the scenes, are our amazing staff (and parents) that go to great lengths in organising these initiatives, and for that, I sincerely commend them for their time and effort.
The feedback I have received from both teachers and parents following recent parent teacher interviews is most rewarding. There is a real feeling that each and every person wants the best for the children who attend and want the school to continue providing its unique brand of service, care and quality education.
Being a parent is a hard job, a complicated job, and sometimes a lonely job. Probably, it’s the most important job people will ever have because as their child’s first teacher, they will make a difference one way or another. However, parents here at St Francis have the opportunity to form a viable partnership with their child’s teacher, because together they have a common goal: a successful school year for each child. Teachers need to know that we are all on their side and if we aren’t, we need to be able to express ourselves as to why not.
It’s important to remember that parents and teachers are partners in helping each child achieve a successful transition to adulthood. This combined support is essential if the transition is to be a positive developmental experience for your child. A good relationship with your child’s teacher will make it easier for you to stay informed about your child’s progress across all areas of schooling and to work together if problems arise during the year.
On occasion, you might find that your teacher has constructive criticism about your child; it’s important to keep an open mind to the teacher’s comments. Neither the child nor the teacher is perfect – nor parents for that matter – so, if a problem arises, it’s important to consider both sides of the story. The outcome should be the one that helps your child succeed at school. There needs to be sensitivity that respects the teacher as a well-trained professional and consideration that respects the parents who have special knowledge of their child.
Our teachers and support staff are dedicated and caring and want to excel in their teaching and guidance of young people. Everyone likes to be appreciated and teachers are no exception. If we continue with the “We” attitude and work with our child’s teacher, then our child will have a great school year and so will we, and, with a bit of luck, so will the teacher!!
The Hard Work Pays Off
About this time, kids begin to show the tell-tale signs of weariness. Friendships are tested and resilience and persistence starts to drop. It is not only the students who start to feel the strain of a busy school term, parents do as well.
We know the amount of effort which goes into parenting. From the preparedness of each school day and school events to the after school and weekend extra-curricular activities, parents are pushed to the limit. It is at times like these that everyone, especially the significant adults in the lives of children, make a concerted effort to keep going. Don’t forget, your child’s teacher is your ally. The continuation of open communication and support is vital for the ongoing emotional health of your children.
It is vital that parents and teachers continue to promote persistence by encouraging children to keep going and not give in at the slightest hurdle or difficulty. The ability to persist at a task and see it through to the end is one of the most import success attributes that you can develop in a child. There are numerous times in the school year where children must persist rather than give in. A young child learning to tie their shoelace must persist. Students need determination to complete set tasks. Children need to be able to persist when work gets tough, life seems hard or relationships are not so positive. It is vital that they learn to work through difficulties and hang in their when things don’t go their way. Some children are naturally more predisposed to persist than others. They have a determined, even competitive, streak in their temperament that doesn’t allow them to give in.
Research has shown that persistence is one temperamental factor that can be improved over time. Parents and teachers can develop persistence in children and also impede its development by making life too easy for children so that they don’t have opportunities to persist or hang in there.
Parents can be sounding boards for their children’s gripes, but they should show confidence in their ability to cope and get through periods of difficulty. “You Can Do It” is far more powerful in terms of promoting an attitude or persistence than “if it’s a little too hard, then try something else.”
Let children know that there is a direct link between effort and success. In fact, they need to learn that by giving effort they will more than likely experience more success. The ability to persist in the face of difficulties maybe an old fashioned quality but it is one of the best success attributes that children will ever develop. If you detect a drop in persistence, try these practical strategies to rejuvenate effort levels:-
Use and display a vocabulary for persistence. For example, “Hang Tough”, “Work Hard”, “Hang in There”.
Catch them out when they stick at a task. Similar to the effectiveness in catching them out and acknowledging when they make good choices in behaviour. Let them know when they have been persistent and remind them their efforts will pay off. Remind children when they experienced success by hanging in there. Let them know if that their persistence has paid off before and it will happen again.
Talk about hard work with your children. Tell them about family members who work hard. They need to understand that to be successful they need to do things that are not always fun and easy. While it would be good if all work and learning was fun, in reality, this is not always the case.
My best wishes for a safe and Holy Easter season to you and your families. Take the time to be peaceful and prayerful as we approach the holiday period and enjoy ‘down-time’ with family and loved ones. Intentions such as peace and harmony will focus us as we attend Easter Masses and worship services. We have had a challenging yet productive term. Let’s enjoy the Easter break and look forward to renewing the positive relationships that exist across our school community in Term 2.
School Renewal and Improvement Cycle
St Francis de Sales scheduled for our quadrennial school review will be on Monday 17 April to Thursday 20 April. The Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office has a School Renewal and Improvement Framework in place which has as a key element a quadrennial school review. In this review a review team consisting of Mr Marty Savage (senior Education Leader) and Mrs Louise Pfingst (Principal of St Anthony’s) will visit the school for three days. Feedback can be provided to the review team in person or by telephone. All feedback remains confidential. Please contact the school office if you are interested in speaking to a reviewer. You may also register your interest by emailing Brendan.Redinger@twb.catholic.edu.au Thank you again for your continued and on going support.
Learner Qualities Survey
Please provide your feedback for our development to our learning qualities survey https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=_f1LV0RCBUK3EBaPWwxYDXWvxb3NWgJErohAXKpvaJNUQzNEMEc4S0lZNU5SNE5IWlpCSU9KUkVUQi4u
Please click on the link and submit your feedback – will only take 5 mins to complete
Changes to Calendar Events:
The list of school events are located on the school’s webpage – https://sfdssclifton.schoolzineplus.com/calendar
This is a great way of keeping up to date with upcoming events. Emails, notifications and Facebook posts will also occur throughout the year to inform and remind you of upcoming events etc. Please see the next couple of events happening very soon:-
Friday 31st March – Toowoomba Show Holiday
Term 2 – Week 1
Mon 17 April – Pupil Free Day
Tues & Wed 18/19 April – School Review
Tues 25 April – ANZAC Day – Public Holiday – school marching on this day in formal uniform
Mon 1 May – Labour Day – Public Holiday
Parent Teacher Term 1 Interviews
Thank you to the Parents/Careers who came along to discuss learning, goals, and social interactions at the Term 1 Parent Teacher Interviews. We thank you for ensuring a healthy line of communication between home and school. If you missed the meeting, we will be happy to make a time with you early in Term 2. Please email your child/ren’s teacher/s if you would like to arrange an interview.
At the recent Middle Leader Day, the Toowoomba Catholic School Middle Leaders met to discuss school progress in reading at our schools. I am very proud to announce that the St Francis de Sales’ reading results are amazing! We were one of only three other Toowoomba Catholic School to have above 90% of our students at (or above) the Toowoomba Catholic School’s Reading benchmark. I am so proud of the excellent teaching and learning we have at our school, and the efforts of the students in the area of reading. I would also like to thank you the parents, for hearing your child read at home, learning spelling and sight words and helping to foster a life-long love of literacy. Congratulations all around.
PREP/YEAR 1/Year 2
Prep/Year 1/Year 2 - Friday with Mrs Groombridge
This fortnight, Prep/1/2 students have been learning about 2D shapes. The ‘Mystery Shape Box’ has created curiosity and wonder as our prep students begin to sort, describe and name the features of 2D shapes. Year 1 students have enjoyed recognising, classifying and creating 2D shapes while, Year 2 students, have focused on the vocabulary used when describing and drawing 2D shapes.
In Science, students investigated how different materials around our school and home can be reduced, reused and recycled. This has created some interesting class discussions as students discover many simple ways to reduce, reuse and recycle materials. Many of the ideas we discussed, students are already doing, in their homes or at school.
In English, Prep/1 are in the process of creating a class big book titled ‘Black and White Panda, Black and White Panda, What do You See?’ Year 2 students continue to learn about the structure of a narrative text and the importance of adding more detail to their writing. Year 2 students learn to edit and publish their work.
As the term draws to an end, we reflect upon the mountains of learning we have managed to achieve this term. With each new concept and task, we take a deep breath and jump right into the learning pit. We overcome challenges, accept and respond to feedback, apply strategies and experience the best motivator of all. SUCCESS. Now it is time to rest and revive, enjoying our Easter break with loved ones.
Thank you to each family who has attended a parent teacher interview. It is always great to hear from you and to be able to share part of your child's learning journey here at school.
Next term we look forward to Gala Days, excursions, public holidays, ANZAC day and Mother's day liturgies. We will be fitting in a lot of content next term. Below is a snapshot of what is yet to come:
Mathematics- place value- recognise, model and represent numbers to ten thousands, addition and subtraction and chance.
English- reading- learning to make text to text, text to self and text to world connections
- writing- historical recounts, diary entry, narrative and research projects
Religion- How can parables challenge us in our community?
HASS- exploring the importance fo First Nation Peoples connection to Land, first contact and early exploration.
SCIENCE- physical science properties of materials.
Year 5/6 News
In Mathematics we have been busy learning about equivalent fractions, symmetry and learning about multiplication and division. It has been wonderful to see the growth of the students in these areas over the term.
We have now all completed a persuasive text based on our knowledge of the features present in the text type. Stay tunned for these on Seesaw!
We have completed the Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. It was brilliant to see the excited faces as we reached the ending of the story. Early next term, we will watch the movie and compare the book to the movie. Will Mrs D be correct when she says the book is always better than the movie? Stay tuned to find out.
PE with Mr Red
Most students were able to compete their ‘Beep Test’ assessment last week. It was very pleasing to see a majority of students perform at their best and increase their score. We also finished tennis for this term.
Next term will see us begin our athletics unit which will involve speed/running skills, discus, shot put, long and high jump. We will culminate these activities with our athletics carnival in week 9 at St Francis. Thursday 15 June will see us compete in the 800/200 metre events and on Friday 16 June we will compete with St Patrick’s, Allora in a combined school carnival at St Francis.
Cross Country Trials at Pilton
With the Cross Country Trials being cancelled, all students will now participate at the Southern Downs event on Thursday 27 April at Scot’s PGC, Warwick. All the best to Thomas Patterson, Archie Joppich, Eve Skillington, Bridget Harrigan, Mick Willett, Harvey Kuhn, Natalie Patterson, Sophie Joppich, Malea Moore and Hope Olsen,
Yours in sport
It’s hard to believe we’ve nearly reached the end of the term already! And what a whirlwind it has been. In the library this term we have been encouraging and supporting our students in their borrowing choices, both for their in-class reading and for the books they are taking home. Our students have a great choice of print books in the school library and are also fortunate to have access to eBooks and eAudiobooks through the Wheelers ePlatform.
Many of our students are already enthusiastic borrowers and readers, some may still need a little encouragement and guidance in their choices. Whichever category your children fall into, here are some practical ways you can encourage your readers at home:
1. Make a dedicated reading space
Make it comfortable with cushions, good lighting, and make sure it is a quiet space where they can relax and focus on their book.
2. Read funny things!
Everyone likes to laugh so find funny books and be prepared for them to lol!
3. Read anything anywhere
Encourage your children to read food menus, road signs, instructions... Things to read are everywhere and children will start to see how useful being able to read is in all these real-life situations.
4. Talk to your children about what they have read
Ask children about the book they are reading. Who’s their favourite character and why? Do the characters or situations remind them of anyone they know? Showing you are interested in what they have read will motivate them to keep reading.
5. Follow their interests
If your child likes football, they will enjoy a book about football. Obsessed with animals? Let them read some animal facts. Loves cooking? Encourage them to read recipes they want to try. Children will be keener to read about a topic they are already interested in and curious about.
6. Read regularly
Establish a daily routine of bedtime reading. Reading aloud to children not only fosters the bond between parent and child and relaxes children before sleep, it is also known to aid the brain in mastery of a language by developing a faster processing of sound and word relationships.
7. Read for pleasure
To develop a reading habit, it must be enjoyable. Don’t question your child on the grammar or the meanings of words. Let them enjoy it for its own sake. You can help by making suitable reading material easily accessible to them and ensuring it’s not too difficult for them.
8. Variety is the spice of life!
Variety of material is also important when it comes to wanting to read. There are joke books, picture books, comic books, history books, science books, even audio books! Make sure children know they don’t just have to read stories. There are many books out there so take your pick!
If you would like to know more … including how to access eBooks and eAudiobooks, please contact the school library.
Mrs Trudi Burgess
Retrieved from British Council website, 20/03/2023.
8 ways to encourage reading at home | British Council
P & F UNIFORM SHOP
Uniform Shop Co-Ordinator: Kylie Hay
Contact Details: firstname.lastname@example.org or 0487 582 107
Uniform Shop Days: MOST Thursdays & Fridays
If you would like uniforms, please fill in the updated Invoice Sheet and email or text Kylie to either arrange a time to meet or for the order to be sent home with your child. If you have an old invoice copy, please bin it and replace with our updated one. This can be found on the Facebook Page or request one from me directly.
UNIFORM SHOP NEWS
- We now have EFTPOS available in the Uniform Shop at the time of collection
- We have some good quality second hand winter uniforms and also summer uniforms available for $5 per item if you’re looking for an extra jumper, shirt, shorts etc. Please note that only limited sizes and items are available but you are welcome to request second hand if available.
- We are no longer stocking the following items however we still have limited stock available for a discounted price if you would still like to purchase them.
- Green Fleece Vest $10
- Sizes 4,6,8,12 & 14 available
- Long Sleeve Boys Polo Shirts $15
- Sizes 4,10,12,14 & Small available
- Girls Green Long Formal Pants $10
- All sizes except 10 available
- Girls Green Long Sports Pants $15
- Sizes 4,6,8,10 & 16 available
- Green Fleece Vest $10
If you urgently require uniforms on a day other than Thursday or Friday, please let me know and I can arrange this with the staff at St Francis De Sales. Please note I do work and will get back to as soon as I possibly can.
STUDENT PROTECTION CONTACTS
Feeling Safe- All students have a right to feel safe and be safe.
If you are concerned about any form of abuse that is immediate, you should call 000. A significant risk or harm to a student, whether or not you have formed this belief on reasonable ground, should immediately be raised with one of our Student Protection Contacts.
We do recommend the setting-up of a direct debit facility to pay regular amounts into the school account. This alleviates overdue bills.
SCHOOL Bank Details
Reminder: All P&F payments & Uniform payments are paid to a different bank account NOT the school account.
P&F Bank Details