Term 1 Newsletter 18th Feb 2022
St Francis de Sales Offers a Warm Welcome:
On behalf of my myself and family, I would like to sincerely thank you, the community of St Francis de Sales (St Franny’s) for the warm welcome and hospitality you have shown to us. I am thrilled to have been given this opportunity to be the principal of this great school and I look forward to getting to know all of you in the coming weeks. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome again Mrs. Allison Busiko as the Year 4/5/6 teacher and Middle Leader and Mr. Andrew Tennent (Mr. T) as our PE teacher for 2022. To the new students and families, both in Prep and across all grades, we extend a warm St Franny’s welcome and wish them all the best as they begin their educational journey at our wonderful school. I would like to congratulate the students, parents and staff on a seamless transition to the new school year and the delightful atmosphere that exists. Well done St Franny’s!
Each new school year brings with it the promise of what is before us. I believe that this New Year will present further opportunities for our school community to further build on the positive culture that exists here at St Francis and for our school to continue our quest to provide the best possible educational and pastoral environment for all the children who attend. Our school, like all schools, strives to develop and express its own unique culture.
However, we cannot do this alone. We rely greatly on each of our students and staff members to actively contribute to this culture in a positive manner. For this to occur, it is necessary for parents to play a proactive role in their children’s education. Families who choose to place their children in a Catholic school have a responsibility to that school to add to its unique culture and Christian dimension. For our school to continue to operate successfully, it must be able to count on the unity of purpose and conviction of all who belong. I know you will continue to work with us, so your children can grow in confidence, with a love of learning and a determination to be the best person they can be.
One of the most important things you as parents can do to assist the school and the teachers is to ensure you instill great value in school and education. Explain to your child that treating everyone with respect, attending school, being on time, wearing the correct uniform, and working hard in school is important. They are also important life skills. The value you place on these will be the value your child holds. Primary school is a crucial time to establish values, effective routines, and an understanding of the benefits of a consistent and rigorous work ethic.
As you know, here at St Francis we place great emphasis on becoming a great learner and community member and we ensure that all learners show respect for everything (themselves, friends, adults and their environment) and we consistently remind the children of the values and dispositions that underpin our every action.
The staff will continue to support you in reminding students of the importance that they are called to think of others, to say thank you, please, excuse me and to call a person by their name i.e. Mr., Mrs. etc. also to be patient when adults are talking, to learn to wait, to knock on the door before entering, to stand back for adults if there is no room to pass and to hold the door and offer to help. If we get the little things right in our small part of the world, we will instill values for a lifetime.
As with the start of any new school year or term, it is vitally important for students and parents to be fully prepared. Getting off on the right foot is a pre-requisite for ongoing success. There are a few simple ways to ensure your kids and yourselves have a productive start. Having all booklist and uniform items is a must. Taking shortcuts in these areas only serves to build anxiety in children and can prove disruptive to classroom routines. This ensures all students have the correct items necessary to commence lessons. The school’s uniform code is very simple to follow. Avoid letting your children decide what is permitted, especially when it comes to joggers when in sports uniform. No fluro means no fluro – including the laces and haircuts.
Another essential element of being prepared is arriving to school on time. Not only does your child miss important information and instruction, late-comers disrupt the routine and interrupt teaching. For a productive start to each day, please ensure your child is at school between 8:15 a.m. and 8:40 a.m.
Parents, you too need to be prepared for the year ahead. Being committed to what is going on in your child’s classroom and school not only helps with organisation of home life but provides a good model to your kids that school and being organised is important. With this in mind, I urge all families to take the time to read newsletters and notes sent home. Attend school functions and be part of parent information sessions so you are in the know of classroom routines, expectations and events.
Following is a short article entitled “Make this Year your Child’s Best Ever at School”, written by Michael Grose (Author/Parenting & Education Specialist). It is very much worth the read.
“A new school year means a fresh start for students. Regardless of your child’s performance last year, they start school with a clean slate. A break offers students the chance to begin new habits and adopt new behaviours. Here are five ideas to help you make the most of the fresh start and make this year your child’s best year ever year at school:
- Commit to your child going to school every day on time. One of the most important things you can do to ensure your child has a bright future is to make sure he or she goes to school every day – and gets there on time. Kids spend more time asleep than at school, so we need to maximise every day to get full value.
- Help kids start each day well. A good night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast and some words of encouragement from you will help set a positive tone for a day of learning. This may mean that you adjust your morning routine so that kids have plenty of time to get up, eat and get ready for the day.
- Establish work & study habits. The most successful students are those that develop regular study habits that suit their lifestyle, their study style and their school’s expectations. Find out the work expectations from your child’s or young person’s school and help them establish a work routine that matches.
- Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Many children and young people are sleep-deprived, which impacts on their wellbeing and their learning. A good night’s sleep consolidates learning, as well as assisting future learning. Children need between 10-12 hours of sleep each day, while teens need a minimum of nine hours. Help kids get sufficient sleep by having a regular bedtime and get-up time each day. Have a 45-minute wind-down time each night and remove screens and mobile phones from bedrooms.
- Insist kids exercise. The old saying about ‘a healthy body and a healthy mind’ is so true. Exercise releases the chemicals needed for learning and wellbeing. Yet kids today get less exercise than those of past generations, which is an impediment to learning and mental health. Health professionals recommend a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day for kids of all ages. Encourage your child to play sport; promote free and active play and look for ways to make moving part of their daily lives.”
Open communication between yourselves and your child’s teacher is paramount for a successful and enjoyable year for all parties. Individual teachers will inform families of their preferred mode of communication and times they are available to meet with you. Please feel free to contact me at any time either by email, phone call or face to face, but it is pertinent that your first point of contact is your child’s teacher as they have first-hand knowledge of your child’s progress and daily happenings in the classroom and playground.
The teaching and support staff here at St Franny’s will do everything we can to help your child to feel safe and to do their best. Let us know if we can support you in any way. Remember, communication between home and school is vital for a happy and productive school year. School leadership members such as myself, Mrs Busiko and Mrs. Groombridge are also more than happy to meet and discuss matters at any stage.
How to keep in touch:
- Read the newsletter which is emailed to each family every fortnight. Please ensure the school has your current email address.
- Check out our Parent Facebook Page – please email the school if you do not have access to this.
- Be part of parent information sessions & school functions.
- Establish preferred means of communication with your child’s teacher.
- Get involved in school life. Be part of the P&F Assoc., help out in the classrooms, sports training or carnivals.
What’s coming up:
Over the next week, I will keep you updated on some important events that are coming up and how we can celebrate these within our current context and COVID-19 restrictions. These include:-
- Annual General Meeting (AGM) for our Parents and Friends Association (P&F) - Thursday 24 February @6:00pm in our library
- Opening School Liturgy, Ash Wednesday and other liturgical events – date to be advised
- Parent Meet and Greet – teachers will send out information to you via email
- Various Sporting Trials
Until our next newsletter, thank you for reading and I very much look forward to catching up with you all in the near future.
A very warm welcome to our three new Prep students Georgia, Hunter and Isaac. A big thank-you to our five Year 1 students Blake, Bryce, Charlie, Hunter and Jace for their efforts in ensuring their new Prep friends had a great start to school. We are sure you’ll agree that the transition to school has been very successful and students have had a marvellous first week. It is a pleasure to be surrounded by so many eager and enthusiastic children.
Last week, Prep/Year 1 students started their Religion unit of work titled ‘Charism of Our School.’ Students listened to, watched and discussed the story of ‘The Good Samaritan.’ They participated in a role play of ‘The Good Samaritan’ and many students made connections with ways they can be a Good Samaritan in their own lives.
This week in maths, Prep students have been practicing counting forwards to 20 and backwards from 20. Year 1 students have been sequencing numbers up to 100 and identifying the number before and after a given number. These concepts will take some time and practice to learn.
We are super excited to be back at school doing what we love most- teaching and learning. We have been establishing classroom routines, expectations and rules. Our focus has been the St Francis learner disposition of participation. As a class we have considered what participating looks like and developed three I can statements:
I can answer questions.
I can try my best.
I can use the 5 B’s to solve my own problems (Brain, Board, Book, Buddy, Boss).
Participating can be challenging in a new classroom setting so we have revisited “The Learning Pit”. The Learning Pit is a growth mindset tool encouraging learners to jump in and try new tasks even when they might find themselves uncomfortable in the learning. We discussed strategies for how we can get out of the pit and feel success as learners.
Our Religion unit has centred around our school charism of the Good Samaritan story. Over 100 years ago the Sisters of the Good Samaritan travelled from Sydney to Clifton by train with the vision of starting a school. Our school values are underpinned by the values of the Sisters still today. In our learning we have considered “Who is our neighbour” and how we can show God’s love at home, school and in the community.
Year 4/5/6 News
We have all settled brilliantly into the classroom for the 2022 year. The students have all been learning about the St Francis de Sales’ story, the school Benedictine values and the story of The Good Samaritan.
We have been busy with our writing, focusing on our five senses to paint a description of a scene. We are learning to select interesting word choices and not tell our audience what is happening but rather, describe what we see.
In Mathematics, we have been focusing on our knowledge of numbers, operations and understanding of time. Seesaw has been wonderful during maths time, so we can demonstrate our understanding and show you at home! Thank you, to all the parents who have already signed up.
The students have all brought home the Oral Speaking Roster for the term. This term, the students are to review a novel they have read. I have added the roster to Seesaw if you need to check when your child is presenting.
Welcome back to St Franny’s Library for our new school year. After what has been a bit of a wobbly start, we hope there is smooth sailing ahead.
This term in the library there will be a fierce focus on Reading for Pleasure … What is it? … Why is it important? … What can I read?
To facilitate our reading for pleasure, we will be embarking on a Reading Challenge. 4/5/6 students will be giving the Bookopoly Reading Challenge a go … where the roll of a dice will help them to choose their next great read!
The Colour-as-you-go Reading Challenge will be keeping the 2/3 class on their toes … having some picture prompts help them to make their reading lots of fun.
Our little people will be enjoying a bunch of great stories and learning all about the library and how to choose great books to read.
Our staff aren’t being forgotten either … with the books they are reading during the term shared with students … which should initiate some interesting conversations about books and reading.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of Reading for Pleasure, click on the image below:
Mrs Trudi Burgess
Thank you to everyone who has welcomed me here at the St Francis de Sales community. I would especially like to thank the parents who assisted with our swimming trials on Thursday 17 February. My name is Andrew Tennent, and I will be teaching in the 4/5/6 classroom on Wednesday mornings and all day on Thursdays. I will also be teaching PE to each class on Wednesday afternoons.
As Mrs Busiko has mentioned in our class news, I have been teaching in the Primary school sector for over 30 years. As a youngster, I competed at National level in swimming, so it was great to see 14 of our students participate in the recent swimming trials. Five of our students have been successful in qualifying for the Southern Downs Zone Swimming Carnival. These include Chloe Stace (50m Freestyle), Mick Willet (50m Freestyle and Backstroke), Eve Skillington (50m Freestyle and Backstroke), Tom Patterson (50 m Freestyle) and Bailey Gascoyne (50m Freestyle). They will compete in Warwick on Monday 21 February. Best of luck to these students.
There are many opportunities for students to nominate for Zone level sports throughout the year. In Term 1, the following sports will occur: AFL, Basketball, Soccer, Golf, Hockey, Netball, Rugby League, Softball and Touch. It is a prerequisite that students should be involved at club level in order to qualify for Zone level trials. Please contact the school if your child is interested in nominating for these sports.
Class PE lessons have begun, and students have been involved in throwing and catching skills with small balls. Students will use these skills in ball games like cricket.
STUDENT PROTECTION CONTACTS
Feeing 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 of 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 recomment the setting-up of a direct debit facility to pay regular amounts into the school acount. 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