Week 9, Term 1, 2020
The past week or so has been most challenging for everyone. And it’s not over yet. Many of us are feeling tested and stretched. Staff are under huge and mounting pressure from other teachers, their students, government directives and their own families.
I have only the utmost respect and appreciation for our staff who continue to provide for our children to keep them informed and calm. Our school staff are being asked to do a BIG thing, and we really appreciate that they are doing it.
Thank you to the many parents who have emailed their support and those of you who are able to look after your children at home. We also understand that many of you have no other option but to continue to send your children to school so that you can keep working and providing for the wider community as well. We must band together to support each other during this difficult time.
It is imperative that we prioritise the mental well-being of students, staff and families during this time. We all know that our children are hypersensitive to our anxiety. As adults we must ensure that we don’t transfer our fears around the virus to our children, making them more anxious than they need to be. They need reassurance from us adults. After this crisis is over, teachers will spend most of their time dealing with the fallout of children exposed to traumatic events, at the same time as many are dealing with the same traumas themselves. Be kind to each other.
I anticipate in Term 2, that we will work with a ‘skeleton’ staff supervising students in some classrooms whilst other teachers prepare work for those students that are learning from home.
More than ever, please be kind to teachers and school staff.
With regards to students working from home:
Teachers will use next week to prepare for the possibility of school closure or limited student attendance at school for Term 2.
This will be possible if there is a reduction in student attendance. Allowing a teacher on each year level to supervise students at school and their teaching partners to prepare the necessary work for students if we are to proceed to remote learning.
Today, all staff attended online training to upskill in the delivery of remote learning.
Students in Years 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 will receive most of their work through online learning. This is only possible if they have access to a device and the internet. Please complete the Caremonkey form that was sent today regarding internet and device access.
Students in Years Prep and Yr 1 will receive mainly paper copies of work and have access to Literacy Planet and imaths online activities. All students are familiar with these online activities. Again, this is only possible if they have access to a device and the internet.
Further details will be shared with parents through the schoolzine app once Teachers have had time to work out their process and requirements.
We encourage our community to take the precautions needed to protect your health and that of others. As a global community we are all responsible to help stop the spread of the virus, and to show compassion to one another.
Following is a summary of handy hints so far provided by the Australian Primary Principals Association:
- Our Schools
It’s been a challenging time over the past few weeks for our school communities, and for the diocesan, state and territory offices that support them, with the growing concern over the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and families.
The current advice for all schools is to remain open and operational until the end of Term 1 - although some States are making changes to this as we speak.
At this stage, our schools are expected to return next term, pending the advice of the government and medical authorities at that time.
Catholic schools are doing their best to work together and provide a consistent response across Australia to reduce this confusion.
- Support from eSafety Commissioner
Click below for tips for keeping schools and learning safe online.
- Wellbeing Tips
Here are some tips to support children and young people courtesy of CEDP:
- Be available to talk and reassure:
Children can have big questions, and it’s okay to answer them. Take cues from them and offer clear but concise answers in developmentally appropriate language. Keep the focus on what you are doing to prepare and prevention strategies that are within your control like proper handwashing and avoiding large crowds. Reassure when needed but avoid offering too frequently as this can prevent children from developing their own positive self talk.
- Limit news exposure:
Even when it seems like they’re not listening, children pick up on what they hear on TV and radio. Hearing unfamiliar words like pandemic and outbreak can be fear-inducing. Opt for watching or listening to news reports when your child is in bed or choose to read news articles if possible. This may also include limiting our conversations about what we are hearing on the news.
- Stick to routines and boundaries:
Children thrive with routines and boundaries, and predictability can be very comforting in anxious times. When some things feel out of control, routines can give them a sense of security. Write your daily routine on the whiteboard or make a paper schedule together and make sure that you include fun activities in your daily routine!
- Acknowledge the worries:
It’s completely okay to acknowledge childrens’ worries rather than ignoring them. Acknowledging worries won’t solidify them but it will help your child understand that worry is a protective feeling that alerts us to potential danger. The smoke alarm analogy can be helpful when explaining anxiety. Smoke alarms are really helpful for alerting us to danger when there’s a fire and we need to get out of the building. But sometimes smoke alarms go off even when there isn’t a big danger, like when we burn toast. Anxiety does the same thing, telling us that there is a big danger, even if the situation is not that big.
- Be mindful of your own worries:
It is reasonable for everyone to have some level of worry but children do pick up on our feelings and notice our anxieties, and they will take cues from us. We need to manage our own anxiety, including how we might express this in conversations with our child or others.
- Consider opportunities for exercise:
Make time to enjoy being active together, for example, throwing a ball in the backyard, dance to your favourite song or simply enjoy a stroll in the park.
Take care of yourselves in this difficult time. I will continue to communicate to families on a regular basis through schoolzine.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Obviously at this time one of the things we CAN do, for ourselves and for others is PRAY...
We give thanks anew for your providence and presence.
We prayerfully seek your grace, amidst COVID-19 here and overseas.
We pray for those in need of healing.
We pray for your peace with those who are anxious or grieving.
We pray you will continue to strengthen and sustain
all those who are serving in response.
We pray for your Holy Spirit’s discernment
amidst the many choices and decisions
facing our national, community and medical leaders.
We pray we each might see quickly what more we can do
to help those who are vulnerable.
This prayer for our nation in the family of nations,
with all that is in our hearts,
we gather now and pray
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This is an ecumenical prayer from the National Council of Churches, who have invited all of us to pray this prayer at 7pm each day, but especially on Sunday 29 March which we will mark as a National Day of Prayer in this time of crisis.
HARMONY DAY: On Monday, staff and students celebrated Harmony Day, sharing a message of unity and community. Students came in cultural dress or Harmony Day colours (orange/ red/ yellow) and Year 2 shared an assembly. $275 was raised which will be shared between Project Compassion and TRAMS. Thank you to everyone for your support of this event.
Year 5 EASTER RAFFLE: Year 5 students and staff have been very active around ths school donating items to raffle and then selling tickets. $400 approx has been raised which will go to Mini Vinnies and Project Compassion. This will be drawn in the next week or so. Again, thank you to the Year 5 families for your generosity.
AWARDS: Encouragement Awards and Cornerstone Value Awards are still being allocated by the teachers for the end of term. While we cannot present these now at assembly, we will put out a notice via Skoolzine next week so everyone can see the recipients and the Awards will be presented to the students as soon as we can gather back at school.
Take Care: I want to take this opportunity to ask you all to look after yourselves, to take care and be mindful of your neighbours as well of course of your families. I do understand that for some of you, the next few weeks, housebound with teenagers ;) would be quite daunting. I encourage you to stick to sensible routines, with limited screen time still for the students and plenty of outdoor or playbased/ hands on activities and of course there is always READING to do.
This Easter will be a very different one for me (and all of us) this year, with no Good Friday Stations of the Cross or Easter Vigil Mass to attend. The students have all spent time recalling the Holy Week events and there are plenty of resources available so please if you can ensure that the Easter message of love is shared.
Best wishes to all,
How to help kids stay safe online
COVID-19 is likely to mean young people spending more time at home, and online. There are a lot of great ways they can use connected devices to learn and play, but there are also risks that you can help them avoid.
eSafety has a wide range of advice for parents and carers covering common online safety issues like managing screen time, cyberbullying, inappropriate content, sending nudes and contact from strangers. We also have basic online safety advice for parents in languages other than English.
Some of the tips include; starting the chat with children, use parental controls and safe search options, check smart toy settings, looking out for unwanted contact and knowing the signs of cyberbullying. Each of these tips has further information in this link.
A reminder also of the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Responsible Use of ICT documents:
Free 12 Month Technical Support for 1 device
Due to the current world situation, Harvey Norman is offering a free 12 month phone subscription to Tech2. Please see the below clip for more information on Tech2 and this offer.
If you would like to take up this offer, please login to Caremonkey and provide the necessary information.
You do need to be aware and accept that your personal phone number and email address will be passed to Harvey Norman and then Tech2.
This information will be sent through to Harvey Norman on Monday, so please complete the form prior. I will provide a further update once Harvey Norman has received the information.
PE in Term One
Prep – Year One
Students in prep and year one have been participating in two half an hour sessions a week this year. The first session, students have been doing a modified games and gross motor skills unit where they learn how to catch, throw and bounce a ball and use these skills in modified games. In the second lesson students have been involved in station activities where they complete six station each lesson. These stations involve different gross and locomotive skills such as throwing, catching, bouncing, jumping, hoping, balancing, scooter boards and galloping.
Students in year two have been participating in a modified games and gross motor skills unit where they continue to practise their catching, throwing and bouncing skills and use these skills in modified games working with other peers.
Year Three – Six
Students in year three to six have been involved in a fitness unit. This unit begins with a beep test where the students set themselves an initial score. The students are then involved in different fitness activities and games and then complete a beep test at the end of the term. AEach student had a goal to try and better their score that they set at the start of term one. It was very pleasing to see that most students improved with their score by one to two levels showing them that their effort during PE lessons had an effect on their aerobic fitness level. This year, I did set a challenge for students to set a new school beep test record and beat the old record which was 13.4 and the results are listed below.
1st - Lachlan Ottobrino – 14.7
2nd - Conor Ward and Leon Smith – 14.1
3rd - Casey Weeden – 13.10
Fitness club is all finished for the year. A fantastic effort was put in by many students with up to 60 students attending each session. Students all put in a mammoth effort at each session and achieved an increas the in their aerobic fitness levels.
Zone and Darling Downs Trials
All Zone and Darling Downs trials have been cancelled at this stage until future notice. Parents will be kept up to date as more information becomes available. Any questions, please contact me at email@example.com.
Prep – 8-year-old Swimming Carnival
The St Saviour’s Primary Junior Swimming carnival has had to be cancelled. We are hoping to reschedule it later on in the year. Parents will be kept up to date as more information becomes available. Any questions please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The St Saviour’s Primary Cross Country has had to be cancelled. We are hoping to reschedule it later on in the year. Parents will be kept up to date as more information becomes available. Any questions please email me at email@example.com.
Orienteering which 30 St Saviour’s Primary students were involved in is now finished for the term. Students learnt how to read a map and navigate themselves around the school to different station points. In the last week students took part in a competition at the school competing against each other. The students had a wonderful time at this after school program and we thank Dominic from Orienteering Queensland for coming along to run these sessions.
Lachlan Ottobrino, Hayden Jeffery, Cameron Dennis and Dom Seaby made it to the finals and achieved runners up for the Challenge Cup. The Challenge Cup is a six-week competition held around the Darling Downs. The boys participated in a 40 over game of cricket a week and faced off against South West Country in a close final finishing second overall. Great work lads.
- 9 - 12 year olds 200m and 800m Athletics (1/2 day at O'Quinn St Oval) – 18th June 2020 (9am -12pm)
- Prep - 6 Whole School Athletics Carnival (All Day) – 19th June 2020
Thank you to our Wonderful Volunteers
We acknowledge the following people for their tireless work in the library and the many hours spent covering new resources for guided reading in Prep and for the student collection;
Kerri Rowling, Claire Zull, Meryll Nunn and Michelle Standing
The total number of new resources added to these areas is 629 and they all required covering! Your dedication is outstanding and our school community extends their gratitude.
Highlights from the Term 1 Library Learning Program
Our Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 students have;
*shared their library choices and made progress on their journey to independence as library users.
*learnt library terms
*explored the difference between fiction and non-fiction titles
Our Year 3 students have;
*developed search skills using our library database AccessIt
Our Year 4 to Year 6 students have;
*reflected on their library choices and been challenged to make suitable free reading choices
*revised and used search within AccessIt. We have over 2 000 searches via the web app this year!
Keep your family reading and listening to stories over the holidays
www.storyboxlibrary.com.au (ssps, stories)
*Borrowbox app (download for free and use your TRC library membership number to access audiobooks)
*Find great information on Britannica School Online (access from the Resources Online page at www.ssplibrary.weebly.com with password learn)
*Check the AccessIt Homepage (au.accessit.online/STS02) for information on Australian authors and new books
Easter blessings to you all,
Message from Music Bus
Over the weekend, the Government has imposed new social distancing measures where there must be four square metres provided per person in an enclosed space. The Music Bus will need to cease operating our regular program at St Saviour's Primary for the safety of our staff and students and to comply with these new regulations. Parents who have children enrolled in the Muisc Bus have been notified of this.
St Saviour's Primary School APP:
Please ensure you have access to the St Saviour's Primary School app SZAPP.
Information on how to download this app is below.
School Phone Number:
Please note our new phone number at St Saviour's Primary. Please update accordingly.
Skool Dayz Uniform Shop:
Please note that Skool Dayz Uniform Shop will only be operating via appointment only. Please contact Dan Eagleson directly during business hours on 0481 318 398 to arrange a suitable time for uniform purchasing. Winter stock has arrived for parents wishing to purchase jumpers etc.
Photos from the Individual Chess Competition recently held at Highlands Christian School on Tuesday March 3, 2020.
Pizza Treat Day:
Thank you to everyone who supported Pizza Treat Day on Tuesday. Special thanks to our P&F helpers, who helped arrange the delivery of all pizzas and treats. The children always look forward to Pizza Treay Day at St Saviour's Primary.
St Saviour's Primary School is no longer hosting tomorrow's polling booth for the local government elections. Thank you to everyone who registered their interest to help on the day.
Hall-Thorpe Before and After School Care:
Hall-Thorpe will still be providing before and after school care. If you wish to book your child in, please contact them directly on 4638 7965 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tuckshop will be operating as normal for the last week of school. Opening days will be Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Ordering via Flexischools. NO CASH SALES.
Thank you to all our wonderful volunteers who have helped in the Tuckshop this term.
Natasha and Michelle