St. Mary's eNews

Term 2 Week 3


Principal's Message

Dear families,
CONGRATULATIONS to all members of the St Mary’s School Community.  You should all be so proud of the resilience, patience and flexibility you are demonstrating as we continue to adapt and adjust to the way we are presenting and undertaking learning.

In conversations with students, staff and parents it is obvious that as feedback is provided, it is being acted upon to continue to improve both the access to, and content of, student learning. 

Members of the school’s Leadership Team have been in contact with most families over the past couple of weeks.  If you haven’t received a phone call as yet, don’t worry you are on the list and we will get to you!  Your positive and constructive feedback has certainly been incorporated to our ever-changing and evolving way of operating.

The snapshots of home life during this time of lockdown have been a fantastic way for families to stay connected.  It has been terrific to see the many and varied activities undertaken by families and even to meet staff pets!  I’m sure that these posts provide ideas and inspirations to other families too.  In years to come, I’m certain looking back on these memories will be like opening a time capsule for your families.  We will all remember what life was like in 2020.  A special thanks to Marg Masseni for putting these albums together for us all to enjoy. 

As we continue on our remote learning adventure, we will be finding ways to remotely engage students in activities they would normally undertake at school such as our school assembly.  The School Captains and Leaders are working together to develop presentations and activities that hopefully will keep all students connected with the school.  Additionally, staff are conscious of using their online meeting times, not only for learning activities but to address some social and wellbeing issues students may be experiencing.  I am certainly looking forward to seeing what the next few weeks will bring.

I’m sure you will have noticed the changed layout of the school’s newsletter and eNews posts.  We are trialling this format as it is easier to read on mobile devices.  It also allows us greater flexibility in being able to post relevant articles, information and ideas for families.  We would love to have your thoughts and feedback about how you find having the newsletter presented in this way.  Our newsletter will continue to be sent out on a fortnightly basis with eNews articles updated on a regular basis.

If you have a child who is due to start school in 2021, or know someone who intends to enrol their child at St Mary’s, please complete the Enrolment Form that is available on the school’s website.  Tours, information sessions and family interviews will be conducted in Term 3.  If you have any questions regarding the enrolment process, please contact Carolyn McGuffie at the school office.

We offer our condolences to the Surbevski family (Daniel & Jamie) and the Dowling family (Ben) on the sad passing of their grandfathers and also to Marcus Wheelahan (one of our regular ETs) on the sad passing of his father, Peter.  Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers at this time.

Also, we wanted to let families know that Stella Solarino, one of our Learning Support Officers, was injured over the school holidays.  Stella took a tumble and has broken her right humerus bone, which is just below the rotator cuff in the shoulder joint.  She won’t require surgery but is in considerable pain at this time.  Once Stella recovers she will start working remotely with students in the Junior school.

I know that many families are wondering when schools will reopen and the conflicting advice given by the Federal and State Governments is confusing for many families.  We are required to follow the directives as issued by Catholic Education Melbourne in regards to student attending school to access their learning.  Our current advice is that the Victorian Government has been very clear in stating that children who can learn from home, must learn from home, with exceptions allowed for students whose parents/carers are required to work away from home, as such the child is not able to be supervised at home and on days when no other arrangements can be made.

We understand fully how difficult this is for some families as many of our staff are doing the exact same thing - teaching your children whilst supervising their own children’s learning.  It is the expectation that all families within our school community adhere to the Government regulations in regards to this.  It is certainly a justice issue for all members of our school community.  The school has the authority to issue an exemption for students in specific categories but this must be discussed with me before any final decision can be made.  Your adherence to this is both appreciated and expected.

We hope you enjoy browsing through the articles attached to our first eNewsletter and look forward to your feedback.


Kerin Thorneloe

Acting Principal

Education in Faith: RE in remote learning

Already this term in Religious Education so far, we have celebrated Grandparents Day linked to the Feast of Sts Anne and Joachim. The Prep & Yr 1/2 children spent time exploring how special these people are to them. Here are some examples of some of the work submitted by our Year 1/2 classes.


In the middle school, the Year 3/4 students have been exploring how important signs and symbols are as an expression of our Faith. Miss Barnes has provided them with some great activities linking art to Scripture and presenting a detailed Loom video so that all students saw a friendly face during remote learning.


Many of the classes have also been learning about St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, in the lead up to her Feast Day next weekend. The Preps did some wonderful work learning about Mary’s family and the Year 5/6 students went further to create a multigenerational family tree for Mary. Our senior students have also collected a wide array of information about the key dates and events in Mary’s life and used these to create timelines.



We are so very proud of all the work our teachers do to maintain our Faith links during this difficult time. We are also extremely appreciative of all the efforts of our students and families in sharing back many examples of the great work and beautiful experiences they have had as a part of their Education in Faith this term.

Yours in Faith


Matthew Taylor

Religious Education Leader


Click on the links to access a range of information & activities across our community, including news & information from the parish and local secondary schools as well as, this week, information about Creative Music and Workshops for parents re teens.
NEW this week...
Church Bulletin 21st October
Emmanuel College Update 21st October
Hobsons Bay Children's Week
Creative Music - Sign up for Term 4

Tuning in to Teens is heading into its Term 4 sessions so we’re getting the word out to parents who may want to join in. This 7-week program is designed to support parents in raising emotionally intelligent teens to improve relationships, communication skills and overall wellbeing.

Two Tuning in to Teens courses will be running in term 4:

  • Wednesday 6 to 8pm from 14th October to 25th November.
  • Wednesday 6.30 to 8.30pm from 28th October to 9th December.

Registrations essential. Learn more over on our

Emmanuel College Update - 16th October
Camp Australia
Joseph's Corner newsletter
Camp Australia