Dear Parents and Carers
The school year is quickly drawing to a close. At the moment the teachers are involved in meetings to assist in the transitioning process for all children.
During the week the teachers began a process to handover their current class to next year’s teachers. Each teacher created an informed summary of their current class, this information will be invaluable in developing an understanding of how to prepare for the following year. The meeting included the current teacher’s assessment records, anecdotal notes and information concerning those children who are on a Personalised Plan.
The afternoon will conclude with children receiving their Semester Two Report in a sealed envelope including information about their 2021 class teacher and classmates.
I feel confident that these steps will enable a smooth transition from 2020 to 2021 at St Matthew’s.
Next Wednesday 9th December our Kindergarten children will perform the annual Nativity Play. The performance will be held over two sessions to allow all children an opportunity to see the Play. Unfortunately COVID restrictions have meant that we are unable to invite parents to this year’s performance. The Plays will however be live streamed and recorded which will allow for the entire family (including the stars) to watch the performance at a later time.
Community Council Morning Tea
Thank you once again to our Community Council who provided a Thankyou Morning Tea for all staff today. The Council has been extremely supportive of the staff’s efforts during this challenging year, their generosity has not gone unnoticed or unappreciated.
May God bless you and your families
We did it! Our first Exhibition Celebration was a roaring success, and evidence of the benefits of inquiry learning! These benefits include the development of engaged, confident, competent learners who have increased initiative, self-direction and empathy.
As I wandered through the exhibits, I listened carefully to students as they answered this question: Now that you know what you know, how will you make the world a better place?
Here is a sample of the wonderful responses:
Year 3 student: When I’m older, I’ll make sure that Aboriginal people have a greater voice in parliament.
Year 1 student: I would like to continue some traditions in my family - like wearing my Mum’s wedding veil on my wedding day.
Year 6 student: I’ll make sure that I’m there after a disaster to help and contribute.
Year 4 student: I’ve written a letter to the prime minister to encourage him to consider using some Indigenous practices for caring for the environment.
Kindergarten student: I’ll make sure that I look after my special place.
Year 2 student: The lakes and rivers need to be clean, so I’m never going to litter!
Year 5 student: I’ll encourage my friends and family to maintain a balance between screen time and physical activity.
We’re looking forward to continuing our inquiry journey together next year.
The first week of Advent began this week on Sunday 29 November. During Advent we are waiting for Christ to come. How do you feel when you are waiting for someone special to arrive? We get excited when we think about the wonderful things that are going to happen.
In our scripture readings during Advent we hear about people who are also waiting. Mary who is waiting for the birth of her son Jesus. John the Baptist who was sent to get people ready for the day when Jesus would begin teaching them. In the Gospel for the First Sunday of Advent, we heard that Jesus will come again at the end of the world. We can rejoice and not be afraid of the end times because Jesus showed us how to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God.
What do the candles in our Advent wreath mean?
The Advent wreath, four candles on a wreath of evergreen is shaped in a perfect circle to symbolize the eternity of God. In some churches, four candles, one for each week in Advent are used with one larger white candle in the middle as the Christ candle.
During each Sunday of the Advent season we focus on one of the four virtues Jesus brings us: Hope, Love, Joy and Peace. The white Christ candle is lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day reminding us that Jesus is the light of the world. The wreath continually reminds us of whom we are called to be as followers of Jesus.
Week 1: We lit one purple candle for hope.
Week 2: Light a second purple candle for peace.
You may wish to pray this prayer as a family while lighting the candles.
In this second week of Advent, keep us in perfect peace as our mind is stayed on the truth of your powerful love. Help us to trust fully in you and rest in the peace that you offer. Amen.
On Friday 20 November, our Year 6 Youth ministry students participated in an Illuminate Youth Ministry Retreat. The retreat was centred round shining Christ’s light into the world,illuminating the lives of all those around them. The students enjoyed
participating in games, listening to testimonies, and breaking open scripture. Thank you to Mr Samuel Hornby and out CSYMA Youth Ministers that made the day a success.
Thank you for all your generous donations for our St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hampers. Please start sending in your gifts so teachers can begin putting together their class hamper. A conference member will be collecting the hampers on Tuesday 15th December, Week 10.
Youth Ministry Bowling Night
All St Matthew’s families are invited to join youth ministers on Saturday 5th December for a bowling session at AMF Bowling Belconnen before Mass at 4pm. Please RSVP via email to email@example.com or Claire.firstname.lastname@example.org
Restorative Practices at St Matthew’s
Since the beginning of the year, the staff at St Matthew’s have been working on changes to our Behaviour Management Policy. We have decided to let go of some of the elements of our previous approach and replace them with strategies that are in line with Restorative Practices. Restorative Practice is a whole school teaching and learning approach that encourages behaviour that is supportive and respectful. It puts the onus on individuals to be truly accountable for their behaviour and to repair any harm caused to others as a result of their actions.
A restorative approach focuses on building, maintaining and restoring positive relationships, particularly when incidents that involve interpersonal conflict or wrongdoing occur.
The rationale behind this approach is that when offenders reflect upon their harm to victims:
- They become remorseful and act restoratively.
- Practitioners can focus on the unacceptable behaviour of offenders rather than their moral character.
- This can lead to healthier interpersonal relationships among members of the school community and more effective learning.
The Restorative culture within our school offers a transformative view of the human person. It focuses on the behaviour and its impact rather than on the person, moving away from models that use shame and punishment to externally control behaviour. Grounded in experiences of relationships and community, students learn to understand their own behaviour and its impact on others, and they develop the skills needed for resolving conflict and building healthy relationships. As a community, we have a responsibility to provide the educational and supportive framework to maximise all children’s wellbeing and their capacity for positive mental health and flourishing relationships. Restorative Practices are a series of processes premised on the innate dignity of each person.
For this reason, when we make a phone call home to inform parents about behaviour issues that have occurred throughout the day, we will only discuss your child. If your child has been harmed, we call to inform you that we are aware of the issue and are following our Restorative Practices protocol. We cannot and will not talk to you about the other student or students involved. If your child has harmed another student we will call to inform you that we have followed the process with your child and that the issue has been resolved. We will no longer be sending home Communication Notes. We will continue to closely monitor and track behaviour issues within the school so that we are able to ascertain if problems that occur are happening on a regular basis.
We will only call if the behaviour is of an ongoing nature or something serious (intentional physical harm) has occurred. We are seeking to build resilience and self-efficacy among the students at St Matthew’s. When little bumps in the road occur, quite often, children simply need time to reflect on their behaviour and move on. Placing too much emphasis and attention on a single act or poor choice causes children undue stress and does more harm than good.
We will share the more formal elements of our approach to Restorative Practices at St Matthew’s in the new year. Restorative Practices can also work for you at home. You may want to use the restorative questions to help your child move through disagreements or behavioural issues.. We have developed the following reflection for you to use at home if you wish. We will also use this at school when appropriate.
Before the end of the year, we will send home a parent survey. We invite you to take part in this survey to enable us to further improve our practice.
Happy birthday wishes to Anya G, Imogen F, Savina B, George M, Eleanor G, Carys S, Rushad S, Myra S, Daelin r, Benjamin L, Archie R, Will M, Eimlie C, Gemma M, Charlee D, Jensen B, Jaydan A and Hazel L, who recently celebrated birthdays.
Thank you to the following families for your efforts on Sunday 29 November to help tidy and improve our school grounds:
Thankyou in particular to James Montero who has coordinated these initiatives for our community this year.
We are planning a giant Working Bee in March of next year (COVID depending) please watch this space for a date early next year.
Do you recognise any of this clothing?
As the end of the year is fast approaching could you ask your child to check the Lost Clothing cupboard outside the Library.
All unclaimed items of uniform will be donated to our Used Clothing Pool at the end of the year.
St Matthew’s Clothing Pool
To assist our new families the clothing pool will be open from
2.15pm—3.00pm on Friday 11 December 2020
Schoolzine App (SZapp)
Class communiqué for families
Parent Reps: Larissa Woolfield
Parent Reps: Kylie McNamara
Parent Rep: Kristy Marks
Parent Rep: Jess Kolbe
Parent Rep: Quyen Pindral
Parent Rep: Olivia Hutchison
Christmas Party, Sunday 6th December at 3pm
Parent Rep: Leisl Taylor
Christmas Party, Sunday 6th December at 3pm
Parent Rep: Help needed!
Parent Rep: Liesl Taylor
Parent Rep: Lizz Boniwell
Parent Rep: Help needed!
Parent Rep: Margie Sciacca
Parent Rep: Ann Brann
Sushi Day at St Matthews
Please note that the CUT OFF for ordering is 9.00am on Tuesday 8 December.
There will be NO other food available to order for that day.
To assist with your financial planning for next year, notification of 2021 School fees have been distributed to families this week.
A worksheet was included to help you calculate instalment repayments between February and November 2021. If you have a student in Year Five or Six, please also factor in the fees for your child’s camp. These will be invoiced in full in Term 1.
Your family may choose to set up a recurring weekly, fortnightly or monthly BPAY payment. Other Payment options include: Qkr, Cash, EFTPOS, Credit Card or Cheque.
Please complete the 2021 Family School Fees (Systemic Letter) showing where all school age children in your family will be attending school in 2021 and return this form to the front office by Friday December 4, 2020.
This form must be completed each year as the information affects the amount invoiced for the CEO Tuition Fee and the Building Fund Levy. Discounts on CEO Tuition fees are available for siblings attending Systemic Primary and Secondary Schools. Failure to return this form may result in no family discount, therefore full CEO Tuition Fees and Building Fund Levy will be invoiced to your account in 2021.
Please note. The five CEO Systemic Secondary Schools are St Francis Xavier College, Merici College, St Clare’s College, John Paul College and St Mary MacKillop College. (St Edmund’s, Marist and Daramalan are not systemic schools).
Please return the 2021 Family School Fees (Systemic letter) by Friday December 14, 2020.