St. Mary's eNews

Term 2 Week 9


Principal Message ~ 12th June

Dear families,

It has been wonderful to welcome back all students to school this week.  The excitement and enthusiasm of being back with friends, and of course reconnecting with their teachers, was certainly obvious with everyone.  It was almost like the beginning of the school year again.  

It was wonderful to come together on the netball court on Tuesday morning and have the school leaders lead us in the school prayer as a way of celebrating being a school community.  This gathering also provided a forum to congratulate students and staff on all their efforts over the time of remote learning and to acknowledge the amazing support provided by the parents in assisting their children with their learning.  Well done everyone.

Our pickup and dropoff routines seem to be working effectively.  We really appreciate the way that parents are saying goodbye to students at the school gate.  It's great to see children carry their own bags into school and get themselves organised for the day.  Thanks also for being on time to pick up your children and then promptly leaving the area.  We’ve had a number of parents tell us how much easier it is to get a park!  Guidelines from Catholic Education Melbourne state clearly that parents will not be able to enter the school grounds for the remainder of this term, and we will be informed by the beginning of Term 3 if these restrictions will be relaxed.

Staff also really appreciate the way that families have embraced the ‘nude food’ approach to packing students’ lunches.  Not only is this making students aware of being more environmentally friendly, it has certainly reduced the amount of rubbish generated at school.  Thanks for your support with this.  Speaking of lunches - a reminder that the school canteen is operating each day for lunch orders as well as over the counter sales. 

Leadership have prepared the 2019 Annual Report to the School Community You can read it via this link however it has also  been posted on the website for families to read.  It outlines all the work undertaken over the previous year and identifies the school’s successes, activities and areas for future focus.  It provides an excellent insight into all the work and achievements of the school community.

Whilst students have been working from home, we have taken the opportunity to do some upgrades and reorganisation around the school.  Shelving for readers has been installed in the Senior and Middle areas of the school, some grounds maintenance has improved the look of  garden beds and some different functional furniture purchased for classrooms across the school.  My thanks to the onsite staff, particularly the Learning Support Officers, who worked diligently to reorganise Literacy and Numeracy resources, prepare all classroom hygiene and cleaning requisites and generally ensure all classrooms were ready to welcome the students back.

The hanging racks that were used for reading materials are no longer required for school resources.  If any family has a use for one of those, please see Cathy Sims about collecting one.  A donation towards school resources as payment would be gratefully accepted. 

Since our return to school, we have noticed that a number of students have been arriving at school with takeaway / keep cups of hot chocolate.  Whilst we understand that this is very enjoyable, there is a safety issue that needs to be addressed.  Staff are not permitted to take hot drinks into any area of the school where there are students due to the risk that it could be spilt onto a child.  We ask that if you wish to purchase a drink for your child, that it be consumed before they enter the school grounds.  I’m sure you understand and will respect our reasoning for this.  

Our thanks to parents who notify the school if their child will be away from school by contacting the teacher, phoning the school or completing Absentee Form under the
Absences tab on the school website.  This is much appreciated as it ensures the student roll is marked accurately.  From the beginning of Term 3, if your child is absent without an explanation, and you do not respond to the school’s SMS in regards to this, one of the Administration staff will be required to contact you.  This is being done to ensure the safety of all students.  Your assistance in notifying the school if your child will be absent would be very much appreciated by Carolyn and Katrina.  

With returning to school so close to the end of term there are some important dates you will need for your diary as we plan for the end of this term and move into Term 3.

25th June: Reports sent home

Mid-year reports will be provided online for families this year.  Once reports are uploaded, you will receive an email with instructions explaining how to access them.

26th June:  End of term dismissal.  

Preps and their siblings:  1.10 pm

Years 1/2 and their siblings: 1.20 pm

Years 3/4 and 5/6: 1.30 pm

Please note:  Dismissal time is earlier due to the staggered finish times required under the COVID-19 guidelines. As some students would need to be dismissed prior to the end of the lunch break, the decision was made to finish students before they would eat lunch.   

13th July: Term 3 commences 

We are unsure at this stage if staggered dismissal times will remain in place.  You will be notified prior to the end of term in regards to this.  

20th July (1.45 pm - 8.00 pm) & 21st July (3.45 pm - 5.00 pm): 3 way student conferences

As the situation currently stands student / parent / teacher conferences are not able to be conducted in the usual manner.  To ensure that families are able to ‘meet’ with their child’s teacher, interviews will be conducted remotely.  Bookings will be made as usual through the school’s online booking system with a link sent to families to log into their meeting with their child’s teacher.  Once this has been sent up, you will be sent further information. 

You will be notified of your child’s dismissal times once this has been clarified, with 20th July’s dismissal no later than 1.00 pm.  Out of School Hours Care will be available from 1.00 pm.

5th August & 7th September:  Staff Professional Learning Days

Advance notice that there will be no school for students on those days.

I hope all families have a very enjoyable weekend and that your footy team has a win - unless they are the Sydney Swans.  I can’t believe it is now only 2 weeks until the end of tierm and my time at St Mary’s - how time flies when you’re having fun.

Regards and take care,

Kerin Thorneloe



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

Walk / Ride to School Day

So many children came to school in an active way this Thursday on our Walk/Ride to School day. In fact, lots of children have been braving the cold and coming to school in an active way everyday! 
Not only does it help us to keep fit & healthy, but it has alleviated traffic congestion. Congratulations to BLUE team who were the Most Active House team and to Year 3/4HK who were the Most Active Class.


Rarely - it means that something doesn’t happen often


Synonyms: seldom, infrequently, hardly

In the desert, we rarely saw any live plants.

My brother and I rarely played Monopoly together.

What are WOWs?

WOWS, or Words of the Week, are words that will appear every week both in the newsletter and in the display cabinets around the Prep/1 building as a way to help the students at St Mary’s Primary School build their vocabulary.

What we know from research about the importance of a large vocabulary is as follows:

  1. Having a large vocabulary helps children think and learn about the world around them.


  1. Vocabulary implications for literacy, in particular comprehension of written word essential for being able to answer questions about and successfully predict things from text.


  1. A child’s vocabulary growth is directly linked to his or her overall school achievement.


What can we do with the Word of the Week?

It is important to talk about the words of the week with your child. Initially, discuss what the word means and put it in a sentence. Use the word frequently throughout the week – at set times like in the car after school or at the dinner table but also incidentally throughout general conversation where appropriate. When the child has a solid understanding of the word, you can think about other ways to build upon this knowledge and further increase vocabulary by thinking about other words that mean the same thing (synonyms) and words that mean the opposite (antonyms) to the WOW.