St. Mary's eNews

Term 1 Week 3


Principal Message ~ 12th February

Dear families,

We have made it to the end of another week. I hope you are all travelling well especially in view of today’s announcement regarding the 5 day lockdown in Victoria. 

We have sent a message via Operoo to all families letting you know what our plans are.  If you are an essential worker, please ensure that you book your child for supervision at school by answering the questions in the letter.

This week we heard the news that the Altona refinery will be shutting down. We know that many of our families and their friends will be affected by this news. Please know you are in our thoughts and if there is anything St Mary’s can do to help in any way, do not hesitate to contact us.

I have been asked to share a letter from the archbishop with you. You can find it here.

Finally, as we prepare to enter the season of Lent in our Church, I pray we all find time to work on our relationship with God and with each other and that this time of reflection be fruitful and sustaining.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Introducing Rishika...our School Cousellor

Rishika Sangeeta is the School Counsellor at St. Mary's, Altona for this year. Rishika has been working as a School Counsellor for the last 2 years and works privately as a Behavior Therapist to support the needs of children on the spectrum.

She works extensively with children experiencing grief/loss issues, anxiety and depression with a focus on developing children's social, emotional, and communication skills to promote holistic personality development. 

We are pleased to be able to offer counselling services for children who might benefit from support in these areas.

If you would like your child to see Rishika for individual or small group sessions, please contact Marg Masseni who will pass the referrral forms on to you.

If you have any questions or queries please don't hesitate to contact Marg for more information.

Community News

Click on the links to access a range of information across our community.  
Camp Australia had an overwhelming response to the Outside School Hours Care Virtual Parent Info Sessions, to meet demand, they have added two extra sessions.  Click on the link to find out more. 
  NEW this week...... Church Bulletin 14th February
Camp Australia - New information Sessions
Australian Girls Choir
Emmanuel College News
St Joseph's by the sea

Little Learners Love Literacy

Due to its success in Prep, we will be extending the Little Learners Love Literacy (LLLL) program to include the Year 1/2s this year. LLLL is a sequential, explicit teaching program broken down into 7 stages backed by research. This program focuses on synthetic phonics teaching to support all children to be successful readers and spellers. We have invested in purchasing a range of resources to support the development of each of the 5 pillars of reading (phomemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocubulary, comprehension) using this program.

You might notice a difference in the books your child is taking home in Years 1 and 2. This is becuase LLLL has a focus on decodable bools.

What is a decodable book?

A decodeable book is a story or non-fiction text that has been written only using the sounds and letter children have learnt to date. This means they have the tools they need to read every word in the book successfully without guessing.

How to use decodable books at home?
If your child has been taught the sounds and letters on the book cover then they can read it - so let them read it out loud and proud! To really master a LLLL stage, children must be really fluent and automatic in their reading so don't be afraid to read it over and over again (the more times the better). All of the books have notes at the back to support your too. So find a quiet, comfortable space and enjoy!

Watch this video of of one of the authors, Berys, reading with Ella for some hints and tips.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback, feel free to email me at

Brenda Lycke
Literacy Leader

Education In Faith: Sacraments 2021

After a year where we were not able to celebrate any parish Sacraments, I am very excited to be able to announce the dates for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation.

 While our aim was to hold Reconciliations in Year 3, Eucharists in Year 4 and Confirmations in Year 6, this did not happen last year and so the Year 4 students in 2021 will celebrate both Reconciliation and Eucharist.


This Sacrament will be celebrated by all eligible Year 3 and 4 students. It will be organised so that groups of 6 students and their families can book in with me to attend either the 9:15am or 6pm Saturday Mass in our parish Church and stay behind afterwards for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. More information on when and how to book will follow in subsequent newsletters. The following Saturdays are available for booking 1/5, 8/5, 15/5, 22/5, 29/5 and the 5/6 so please check your diaries and have a couple of options in mind for when bookings do commence.


This Sacrament will be celebrated in class groups by all eligible Year 4 students. This keeps the numbers manageable and allows plenty of room for children to have more guests/family in attendance than if we did fewer ceremonies. The Masses will be held in our parish Church on Saturday nights at 6 pm on:

 21/8 for Year 3/4S 

 28/8 for Year 3/4B

 4/9 for Year 3/4A

 11/9 for Year 4/5L



This Sacrament will be celebrated by all eligible Year 6 students. The Mass will be held on Saturday the 23rd of October at 6pm in our parish Church.

We are unable to announce further dates or details as we are still reviewing restrictions and current guidelines to see what parent/family information nights or workshops may be possible in 2021.  We thank you for your understanding at this time while we work to ensure the inclusion and safety of all concerned as best we can.

Yours in Faith

Matthew Taylor

Religious Education Leader

Picnic and Buddy Night

It is with heavy hearts that we announce we will be cancelling our Beginning of Year Picnic /Buddy Night. In light of the uncertainty surrounding COVID cases at the moment, we felt that it would be irresponsible for us to hold a whole school/family event.


We will be filming our beginning of year liturgy and leader presentations so that families can watch the recorded event.
More details to come.

Market Fresh Schools Program

Our Market Fresh Schools Program was a huge success today.  The kids loved the fruit and veggies they got to taste.  Let's hope they have all come home willing to try something new! Thanks to Diane, Christina, Tracy, Tracy and Nicola who came along to help prepare the food and to the staff who organised the incursion.

Check out facebook for some more photos.

Kelly Sports Dance Program

Our Kelly Sports Dance program will resume on Monday 15th February at lunchtime.  This weekly program gives children skills and confidence in a fun
and enjoyable environment. It also encourages their enthusiasm and participation and the life skills that such involvement brings – giving them increased confidence in the future.
Click here for more information and registration details.