St. Mary's eNews

Term 4 Week 2


Principal's Message ~ 16th October

Dear families,

What an absolute joy this week has been!

It seemed that students, parents and teachers alike were equally ecstatic about the students returning to school (albeit for different reasons, I’m sure!)

St Mary’s was buzzing with the sound of truly happy children and staff. As they did last time, the children once again proved just how resilient they are. While teachers were preparing to receive hesitant, sad and perhaps anxious students, it appears we too, have underestimated how strong they are.

While we are all no doubt tired at the end of this first big week back, it has been a most successful transition.

I spent as much time in classrooms as I could this week and I was amazed at how settled the place was once the shrieks of reacquainting with long-lost friends wore off (especially in the senior rooms!) 

Our focus this last week has been on re-settling into school and spending time with friends and classmates, re-establishing class routines and once again getting used to a ‘regular’ school day. Teachers will begin assessments in earnest this coming week, in order to hone in on student needs over the coming months. This information will also form decisions around staffing and student intervention for 2021. It was welcomed news last week that schools will receive extra funding for tutors next year.  As a school, we have also decided to have smaller class sizes  heading into 2021.  While this will place extra financial strain on resources, we feel this is an important decision in further assisting students in bridging any gaps that this year may have formed. It is also why ensuring our fee collection rate is strong, even in this currently difficult climate.

We will soon be issuing revised fee statements for 2020 to families. The school will be crediting families all excursion, camps, swimming, graduation and other extra levies (besides family fee & curriculum levy) that have been paid, even if some of these did/will take place. If you are yet to pay these levies, we will be re-issuing statements minus these soon. Please remember that if your family is experiencing genuine financial hardship, we will be able to assist you in setting up a manageable payment plan.

At this stage, we are working hard on finding ways to run transition programs for our new prep students and graduation for our Year 6s. We will await the Premier's announcements this weekend to see what these important milestones will be able to look like. We are determined to find creative ways to work within our boundaries to ensure our new prep students feel ready for their commencement and our Year 6s get a truly memorable send off.

Have a wonderful weekend


Book Week 2020 

Book Week is from the 19th - 23rd October.

The theme for this year is Curious Creatures, Wild Minds!

To celebrate Book Week:

 We will be having a Dress Up day on Thursday. You can come dressed as a book character or a footy player in  preparation for the Grand Final on Saturday. 


Due to Covid restrictions we will only be able to parade in class levels and unfortunately parents will be unable to attend.

Students will be involved in class activities that will explore the many books nominated for awards during Book Week.

Virtual performance will be shown at school for all students. This has come out of the excursion budget and is $3 per child. Please see below for an outline of the show!


What’s in the box?  That’s the question on everybody’s lips when students bring to school something they’ve uncovered that has been put in a storage box – in a cupboard, in the shed, at the back of an old second hand store… 

Both Claire and Jonno believe they have found something that is sure to be the winner of ‘Greatest Discovery’ on the day.  Is it Jonno whose imagination has run wild or Claire, who has an incredible story to tell, who will win the day?  Get ready to cheer, sing, dance and get involved as these two lovable characters go head to head and everyone rushes along with them towards the moment we hear the announcement of who has made The Greatest Discovery!


Walk / Ride to School Day

Our next Walk / Ride to School day will be on Thursday 19th November.

 Come to school in an active way and earn points for your house team. 

  Remember to see the house captains on the netball court to get your name written on the house team charts.

Parent Feedback

As mentioned in last week's Principal's news, it would be a great shame if 2021 looks exactly like 2019. This year has been difficult for so many reasons, but there have also been some great things we have managed to achieve.
We'd like to hear from you about what's worth taking with us into 2021.   


We invite you to fill out this form to share some of your ideas with us.

Wellbeing: Getting learning mojo back

This year of fear has resulted in many students feeling anxious, isolated,  overly-reliant on screens and under-motivated for learning. In his article "How to get your child's learning mojo back", Andrew Fuller gives his insights & ideas to help reingnite children's passion for learning. It will take some persistence on your part to inspire your child or teen back into the world of learning and achievement. You are your child’s circuit breaker be gentle – but don’t give up.
Click here to read the article.

Specialist Classes

As of next week specialist classes will revert back to how they were in Term 1 unless otherwise notified.

PE: 3/4L, 3/4B, Prep L & D
Performing Arts: 3/4B, 3/4HK, Prep L & D

PE, Perf Arts & Art: Year 5/6
PE: 3/4HK & K
Performing Arts: 3/4K & L
Art: 3/4L & HK

PE, Perf Arts & Art: Yr 1/2
Art: Prep L & D
Italian: Yr 1/2, 5/6 & Prep L

Art: 3/4K & B
Italian: Yr 3/4 & Prep D


The Word of the week is...



To scatter means to throw something in lots of different directions; or to move quickly in lots of directions

Synonyms: disperse, to separate.

I scattered the coconut over the icing. 

The crowd of people scattered when they saw the policeman coming.

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.
  2. Vocabulary implications for literacy, in particular comprehension of written word essential for being able to answer questions about and successfully predict things from text.
  3. 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. 


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