St. Mary's eNews

Term 1 Week 7



Principal's Message 12th March 2021

Dear families,

I hope you managed to enjoy the long weekend and that this week wasn’t too difficult , as some short weeks tend to be!

I ask that you keep the Meerza family in your thoughts. Logan’s grandmother passed away last week. 

We send our condolences and prayers to Logan and his family during this difficult time.

Last week the Curriculum leadership team began its work on the year-plus long process of implementing the Intervention Framework. This work is centred around ensuring equity for all students and that we ensure we are providing learning opportunities that challenge and extend all our students, regardless of their needs or starting points. We will continue to inform you of our progress in this area and welcome any questions about the process.

From Monday, the Prep-2 classes will begin using their external doors as both entries and exits into and out of classrooms. We have noticed the double doors into the bag areas of the classrooms are becoming increasingly busy in the mornings and children are often pushing and shoving to try and get in. We are also hoping that by doing this, any children who are anxious about leaving you in the morning will be able to smoothly transition to their teacher as they will be there to greet them each day. We ask for your cooperation and hope this will go a long way to assisting the children who are finding the mornings a little tricky.

If your child is celebrating a birthday and you are bringing along a treat, could you please ensure the treats are easy to distribute?  It is often difficult for a teacher to cut and distribute a  whole cake in the classroom. Please consider individual cupcakes or pre-sliced cakes to help with distribution.

The Parent and Friends will be hosting their first meeting in a very loooonnnnggg time! All parents are  welcome to come along on Thursday 18 March at 7:30. See the eNews for more information.

Have a wonderful weekend,



As we know, the way Maths is taught today has become quite different to how most of us learnt it ourselves. Research tells us that the way we engage with Maths tasks is just as important as the end result or answer. One area of Maths our staff worked through last week was “Multiplicative Thinking”.

Whilst you might imagine that this is about how to multiply numbers or knowing times tables, there is more involved. “Multiplicative Thinking” can be thought of as the capacity to work flexibly and efficiently with an extended range of numbers. 

A student developing multiplicative thinking will move from being able to efficiently solve a problem such as: 

3 bags of sweets, 8 sweets in each bag. How many sweets altogether?

to efficiently solving problems such as:

Julie bought a dress in an end-of-season sale for $49.35. The original price was covered by a 30% off sticker but the sign on the rack said, “Now an additional 15% off already reduced prices”. How could she work out how much she had saved? What percentage of the original cost did she end up paying?

As part of our new learning, we have embarked on a journey to assess and target teach, in this area. This evidence based approach, involves teachers identifying students within zones on a framework based on an assessment and then targeting activities to cater for student learning needs within this zone. 

Follow this link to find an example of working flexibly and efficiently in this area.


Lisa Said 


Cyber Safety Project Parent Webinar

On Tuesday 16th March we are fortunate enough to have Trent and Sam from 'The Cyber Safety Project' come to our school. During the day they will run workshops for all our students, as well as run our staff meeting. 
Trent and Sam will then run a live Parent Webinar beginning at 7pm.

The session will run for an hour and aims at providing parents and guardians with the insights and important information about popular social networking platforms and the online world that young people today have access to. Building a positive and healthy family environment where digital use is encouraged but managed effectively can be a tough balance. We will discuss ways you can ensure your children stay safe through making use of an application’s privacy settings and help them to build positive digital habits through your family’s digital user agreement.

This is the third year we have had Trent and Sam work with our school and they are always highly engaging and informative. The feedback from the parent evenings in the past has been extremely positive so be sure to sign up for the live webinar event. 

Please register for the webinar via this link.

Orange Day ~ Friday 19th March

The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence is an important day in our school calendar to join with other schools across Australia to say ‘Bullying. No Way!’. 


  • Get a SPLASH OF ORANGE for your child to wear with their school uniform
  • Give someone a SMILE 
  • Show someone that you CARE about them
  • Talk with your children about Bullying

 We’re proud to be an NDA school! We’re proud to say ‘Bullying. No Way!’ We are putting our bullying prevention initiatives in the spotlight and calling on our school community to stand with us on Friday 19 March 2021.

At our school, we encourage students to take hold of the issue and talk about what works. 

Students will be talking about bullying in their classrooms – what bullying means, what to do if they are bullied, what to do if they see someone being bullied and most importantly about the importance of respecting and getting along well with others.

And to help with your discussions...

What is Bullying?

Bullying is repeated negative behaviour towards someone else.

Bullying is not a one-off case. A one-off case is really a conflict.

Bullying is much more than a conflict over some issue. It happens over and over again. It’s this relentless nature of bullying that wears people down.

Sometimes the form of the bullying changes, for example, name calling may change to threatening someone or destroying their belongings. Some victims have reported being mistreated in several different ways by the same bullies.

Easter Raffle

Our EASTER RAFFLE will be held at a special assembly on the last day of term, 1st April at 12:45pm.

You should have received your raffle tickets yesterday or today. 

If not, there are spare booklets available at the office. 

  To make this raffle great fun for all of the children, we ask that you kindly donate an Easter gift (per child). 

This could be in the form of chocolate, a toy, or allergy free option. 

Please give this gift to your child, to give to their teacher over the coming weeks or take it to the office.

All raffle tickets and money need to be returned by Monday 29th March. 

Many thanks. 

We really appreciate your support!!!

Parent & Friends

After a huge hiatus the Parent and Friends will be having their first meeting since 2019!!

 This will be held in the school staffroom commencing at 7.30 pm on Thursday 18th March.
 We will be welcoming back all our current members but would love to see some new faces.

PLEASE consider this a personal invitation to any existing and especially new families to come along and see what is involved.

No obligation or commitments involved - but we can guarantee fun and laughter though!!!

See you there.......

National Ride to School Day

This Friday 19th March is National Ride to School day. 

 On this day we ask students and their families to come along to school in an active way. 

 As with all of our Walk/Ride to School days, house captains will be on the netball court ready to take students' names to earn house team points.
We hope you enjoy your ride, skate, scoot or walk!

Introducing ~ Cathy Sims: Learning Diversity Leader

I was born in Sydney and moved with my family to Altona when I was 2 years old. My parents still live in our family home here

I am one of 5 children who all attended St Mary’s. When I started here, there were quite a few Sisters of St Joseph still teaching here - all dressed in their brown habits.

When I got into the senior school, one of my favorite jobs was going down to Noonan’s Bakery before playtime to buy the morning tea and milk for the staff room. Another exciting thing was being responsible for walking around the school ringing the real bell to let everyone know the day/recess/lunch was either ending or starting!!

After leaving Mount Saint Joseph’s, I trained to be a teacher. I have taught at a number of schools in the west including Queen of Peace, St Margaret Mary’s, St Leo’s and Mary MacKillop in Keilor Downs.

I have two children Carl who is 21 and Meg who is 19. Carl is completing an electrical apprenticeship and Meg is in her second year of nursing. Even though they are older they still manage to keep me busy!

I love shopping, reading and walking. I also love to travel with my husband Anthony. We are looking forward to the time when we can again travel together overseas especially now that our children are older.

MacKillop Family Services Programs

MacKillop Family Services are running some great Parentling programs in Term 2 around Managing your finances, Interactive Music sessions and Understanding children's emotional needs.

  Check out the flyers below for further information.

Sing & Grow: Interactive Music
The Circle of Security Parenting Group: Understanding emotions
Money Minded
Calendar of Events

Community News

Click on the links below to access news from around our community for this week including news about school holiday programs in Port Melbourne and one in Hobsons Bay and also about how you can help shape the future of Hobsons Bay. Church Bulletin 14th March
Emmanuel College News 12th March

Here is more information about the school holiday program:

Hobsons Bay - April Holiday Program
~ Register your interest at

Help shape Hobsons Bay's future

Council has started working on the 2021-25 Council Plan and they want to understand our priorities for the city over the next four years. They are inviting people who live, work and study in Hobsons Bay to provide input into the Council Plan for 2021-25.
Read more by clicking here

Camp Australia's Handball Competition

Interschool Sport

This week in Interschool Sport we played against Altona North Primary.  Altona North joined us at home for our games of Hot Shot tennis, volleyball and basketball. They didn't field any softball teams so our softball team engaged in training today.
The results were as follows.  Congratulations to everyone on putting in your best efforts.

Mixed Softball: Won as Altona Nth didn't field a team
Girls Softball: Won as Altona Nth didn't field a team
Mixed Volleyball: Won 2 - 0
Girls Volleyball: Lost 0 - 2
Mixed Hot Shots Tennis: Won 8 - 4
Girls Hot Shots Tennis: Won 5 - 4
Mixed Basketball: Won 40 - 2
Girls Basketball: Won 20 - 6

Next week we play away against Sacred Heart Newport.  Hot Shots tennis and softbal will be played at the Bryan Martyn oval, while basketball and volleyball will be played at the school in Newcastle St.

Footy Tipping 2021

Footy season starts soon so be sure to sign up to the St Mary’s Primary School Footy Tipping Competition.  Please note that it is a new competition from previous years.  St Mary’s Primary School Altona, 2021

The password to enter the competition is: smaltona


You will need to have an account with to join the competition.

It will cost $20 per person, $35 for two or $50 a family (up to 6 members of a family). Money can be sent to the school office in a sealed envelope marked
Footy Tipping with the names of ALL the tippers. There is a $5 weekly jackpot if you select 9 winners for a round. No amounts smaller than $5 will be distributed.

Half the money collected is distributed in prizes at the end of the season and the other half is presented to the school as fundraising. 

A great way to have some fun throughout the year and also support our school. 

If you have any questions, issues or difficulty signing up please email Ronnie Tucker