Dear Parents and Carers
Yesterday’s Swimming Carnival was an outstanding success, made so by excellent support from our parents, wonderful staff organisation and very favourable weather.
I would particularly like to thank Mrs Powell, Mr Hornby and Mr Payne who jointly organised the carnival. Those children who have recorded qualifying times will now proceed to the District Carnival.
Just a reminder that we ask thatall mobile phones be kept in children’s bags until they leave the school grounds. The staff are monitoring students’ use of Smart watches, fit bits and similar devices with cellular, photographic and film capabilities.
Community Council Representatives
We are currently seeking two new members to join our School Community Council. The Council meets on Tuesday evenings of (school) Weeks Three and Eight at 6.00pm in our Staffroom.
I have detailed below some of the functions of the Community Council:
- Supporting the development of the Catholic identity, ethos and mission of the school
- Supporting pastoral care strategies in the school community
- Promoting the school in the local community
- Developing, approving and monitoring the annual budget, including school determined levies, loan commitments and the fees collection and remission policy
- Developing and monitoring school enterprises, eg Outside School Hours Care (OSHC), sports associations, hall hire
- Developing capital and maintenance programs
- Developing local strategic plans (finances, buildings, resources) and contributing to Archdiocesan educational strategic planning
- Facilitate local school community debate in response to System leadership by the CEC and the CEO in lobbying governments in school funding campaigns
- Approving school uniform items decided at school level
- Ensuring that expenditure of the Community Council levy aligns with the Strategic directions of the Schools Annual Improvement Plan
If you would like to be considered for membership of the Community Council please email me.
Friday’s Family Gathering
Our Annual Family Gathering will be held on the Junior Playground this Friday February 12th commencing after school and finishing around 5.30 pm. A (COVID compliant) BBQ will be available and there will be the Nerf Gungames for the children. Please bring your own drinks, chairs and a picnic blanket.
Please let me know if you can assist on the BBQ
May God bless you and your families
St Matthew’s has a variety of lunchtime clubs in which our students are welcome to participate.
Mrs Cathy Talbot hosts the Environment Club at lunchtime. Students plant vegetables, look after the flower and vegetable beds, and care for our chickens. There’s also the opportunity to play with musical instruments, puppets and the dress up box. The chickens find all this very entertaining, and also enjoy a cuddle every-now-and-again.
The Sydney Academy of Chess runs Chess Club from the school library. All interested students are welcome to attend the Academy sessions. Our Academy trained instructor teaches chess moves and tactics, and students are then provided with opportunities to practise and play with partners and small groups. If your child is interested in taking part, email firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the enrolment form, or have your child just come along, and speak with our instructor.
Our librarian, Miss Sally Judd supervises the library at lunchtimes on Tuesday. This is a great opportunity for your child to speak with her about book selections! Miss Judd knows just about everything there is to know about children’s literature, and her library displays are amazing!
Robotics is offered in the library at lunchtime for Years 4-6, and run by Mr Kel Hathaway and Mr Daniel Hunt. Students build Lego Robots and manoeuvre their robots on set courses using computer coding.
Mrs Veronica Ellis holds an Arts Club at lunchtime on Thursdays. She offers dance, drama and drawing on a rotational basis throughout the year.
Students from Years K-6 are invited to bring an activity of their choice to school for Friday Club. This is the only day students are permitted to bring toys from home for play during school hours. Students join their friends in the hall at lunchtime and are supervised by Mr Graham Pollard.
Please chat with your child about lunchtime clubs, and pop a weekly reminder on your fridge or calendar.
Welcome back to 2021. I hope you has a restful and blessed Christmas break with your family and friends.
We are off to a flying start in Religious Education for 2021 at St Matthew’s. The staff spent Friday 29 January working together to begin refreshing the St Matthew’s school Mission statement. We had an enthralling presentation from Br David Hall in the morning. He grounded us in the theology of St Matthew as both an Apostle and Evangelist. The theme of the session was informed and inspired. Br David Hall reminded us that it is our sacred work as teachers to help students to encounter Jesus in their everyday lives. We ended with this very inspiring quote from Ann Patchett on what her Catholic upbringing gave her:
That idea of magic, the idea of a reality that is not the reality that you are living,
the possibility that there is something larger and deeper out there,
that you believe in what you can’t see. That’s it.
The Tablet, 23 May 2020, page 13.
We will continue to work as a staff of refreshing the mission and will ask for community comment later in the term.
2021 School Theme
For with God all things are possible…
This year we are capturing the idea that with faith and through prayer we can seek strength in God especially when things may seem overwhelming or difficult. We need only ask for help for with God all things are possible.
Teachers are unpacking this Scripture in their classrooms using Three Worlds of The Text. Our Year 6 Youth Ministry students have also begun training to run prayer circles each morning in all classes throughout the school. Each day they will focus on a different form and ritual of prayer asking students to pray both in communion and alone. The Year 6 students will also help to unpack our theme and scripture for the year.
Inquiry in Religious Education
This term all grades are beginning the year with an inquiry unit based on prayer. Classroom teachers have been busy unpacking their conceptual understanding with the students, gaining an idea of what they already know and what the students would like to find out. The inquiry is raising many interesting wonderings and revelations with one student developing an understanding of “Christian Meditation as a time to be still with God, let your worries wash away and listen to what God is saying to you” (Charlotte Year 2).
Developing a strong sense of number in our learners
Number sense is so important for your young learners because it promotes confidence and encourages flexible thinking. It allows children to create a relationship with numbers and to talk about them using accurate mathematical language. If we relate numbers to the way we learn to read and write, numbers are just like letters. Each letter has a sound and when you put them together they make words. Well, every digit has a value and when you put those digits together they make numbers!
Children with strong number sense think flexibly and fluently about numbers. They can:
Visualise and talk comfortably about numbers. Number Bonds are one tool to help them see the connections between numbers.
Take numbers apart and put them back together in different ways — e.g. breaking the number five down several times (such as: 5+0=5; 4+1=5; 3+2=5; 2+3=5; 1+4=5; 0+5=5 and so on), which helps your children learn all the ways to make five.
Relate numbers to real-life problems by connecting them to their everyday world. For instance, asking how many apples they've picked at a farm. For example; “Andy and Maria picked 10 apples. What different combinations of apples could they have each had?”
Answer: Andy had 3 apples and Maria had 7 apples OR Andy had 5 apples and Maria had 5 apples. When there is more than one answer to a maths question, it helps children to see numbers as fluid and flexible.
Solve problems mentally. Instead of relying on memorisation, children are encouraged to use mental maths. (calculating problems in their head). So, if they know 6+6=12, then they know 6+7=13. They can use their double fact knowledge (6+6) to help find a harder fact (6+7) and build on concepts they already know to think about more complex problems.
Strong number sense helps build a foundation for mathematical understanding. Focusing on number sense early in life helps build the foundation necessary to compute and solve more complex problems as children grow. Building a love for maths in your children begins with building an understanding of numbers.
At St Matthew’s we aim to get your children thinking about connection to maths in a variety of ways. Gone are the days of children filling out worksheets, correcting as a class and then celebrating or lamenting depending on the number of ticks or crosses they received.
It is important that children are encouraged to look at mathematical problems and solutions in a multifaceted way. We can achieve in a variety of ways.
(Making Connections with maths ideas)
(Saying the maths)
(Writing the maths)
(Making Connections with maths ideas)
Welcome to the 2021 school year. I am excited to be working at St Matthew’s this year as the Teacher Librarian. I have already enjoyed meeting and working with your children during their library lessons.
Our school is participating in Scholastic Book Club again this year. Twice a term, during the school year, I will send home the Book Club catalogue with a different selection of books offered for all ages. You’ll find award-winning books and bestsellers, as well as old and new favourites. I recommend them because the books span a wide range of children’s reading levels and interests and are inexpensive (some books cost as little as $2). The best gift any parent can give a child is the love of books and the joy and benefits of independent reading for fun. Children who read at home, or are read to, have a head start on reading success in school.
It is easy to order. The Book Club LOOP platform for parents allows you to pay by credit card. Your child’s order is submitted directly to school and the books will be delivered to class. You can place your child’s order at scholastic.com.au/loop or by using the LOOP app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play.
Owning your own books is something special! Each order helps earn free books and teaching materials for our school, however there is never any obligation to order. I know of no better way to encourage reading than to allow children to choose the books they want to read.
Your children would have come home with the Issue 1 2021 catalogue last week. Please ensure all orders are completed by Tuesday February 16th.
Happy birthday wishes to Zachary L, Lucy C, Shona O, Charlotte N, Hugo S, Audrey Z, Chayan M, Matilda K, Rhys W, Taika T, Anuva I, Hector S, Josephine P, Andre S, Imogen C, Alessandro F, Ellis B, Lachlan L, Jemima S who celebrated birthdays in the holidays and to Grace D, Willow C, Maxwell C, Alexie K, Ava L, Mikayla P and Grace G, who recently celebrated birthdays.
Thank you to our holiday chicken helpers!
I would like to say a BIG thank you to the Whitton family, from the parish, Rachel Powell and Christine Answerth, from school, who helped me feed and look after our chickens over the Christmas holiday period. The chickens bring so much joy to a number of students in the school and are a valuable addition to our school community. Without help over our holiday periods we would be unable to keep our chicken coop going.
With appreciation for all your help,
Classroom Support Teacher
St Matthew’s Clothing Pool
Please contact the front office if you haven’t received your fees or you have any questions.
FROM THE FRONT OFFICE
Please contact Mary or Chris in the Front Office to:
- Provide updated plans if your child has asthma or anaphylaxis.
- Lodge consent forms for administration of medication or an inhaler, together with the medication or inhaler. Please ensure these have not expired. They should not be kept in children’s bags.
- Let the school know of any sensitivities to bandaids. We have stocks of hypo-allergenic bandaids.
Student Information and Permission Checklists have been sent home for each child.
Please return the forms to your child’s class teacher by Friday March 3
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