Dear Parents and Carers
Welcome back to Term Four. I hope you at least had a break from the routines associated with Home Learning during the holidays. One child told me that he was getting very good at mastering the Monkey Bars at his local park! Personally, I spent several days grieving after the NRL Grand final but have now pulled myself together.
As I indicated through my correspondence during the holidays, we now have a staged plan for returning to school, which is fabulous.
If you missed this correspondence, the return to face to face schooling will be as follows:
- Kindergarten, Years 1, 2, 6 from 25th October (Week 4, Term 4)
- Years 3, 4, 5 from 1st November (Week 5 ,Term 4)
A Message from Catholic Education
During the next few weeks Catholic Education will instigate plans for the safe return of students and staff. Like all schools, St Matthew’s follows various COVID-19 Safe requirements as advised by ACT Health which seek to prevent and minimise the transmission of COVID-19.
I want to emphasize that the safety and wellbeing of students and staff is the primary consideration of any decision related to re-opening schools. These requirements are designed to:
- minimise unnecessary physical interaction between students on school grounds;
- ensure that students learn and play only with those in their cohort, wherever possible;
- minimise opportunities for transmission and enhance contact tracing; and,
- minimise the potential for widespread infection across the school and wider school community.
All our school staff have been encouraged to be vaccinated, and I can advise that many of our staff are vaccinated or in the process of organising to be vaccinated.
Due to Australian privacy law requirements, we are unable to advise the vaccination status of individual schools or school staff.
I would like to welcome Miss Hannah Beissner to our staff. Hannah commenced working with her Year Four class on Tuesday, and is replacing Rachel Powell whilst she is on Maternity Leave. It seems strange to be welcoming a staff member who is not actually on site, just another example of the odd circumstances in which we now live. Hopefully we can welcome Hannah in person in the not too distant future.
Year Six Farewell
I am remaining very hopeful that our annual Year Six Farewell will be able to proceed with due consideration to COVID restrictions. With that in mind could I ask all parents of Year Six students to save Tuesday 14th December on your calendar? We have booked the Apollo Room of the Hellenic Club as our venue. This is a huge room and will allow for social distancing rules and regulations to be followed. Clearly we will be guided by ACT Health regulations as to our capacity to stage this event.
As we move closer to this time I will also be in contact with our Year Five parents with the intention of forming a committee to organise this event.
Congratulations to Seth Grey who was contacted by Sydney FC (A-League Team) during the holidays to be advised that he was being offered a place in their Academy.
These positions are offered to players who are identified by talent scouts and not through any application process. As you can imagine, Seth is VERY excited.
Once again a former student of St Matthew’s shares her childhood memories of her time at our school. This week the contributor is Kelli Gowland. Kelli is an accomplished Scientist having attained a Doctorate in her chosen field. She is married to Cameron Johns who was until recently was Principal of St Thomas Aquinas Charnwood. Kelli and Cameron were married at St Matthew’s church and they have three daughters.
“I started at St. Matt’s in year 4, in 1985. The first person I met at the school was Mrs Gaynor, who suggested I join the netball team, because I was pretty tall for my age. Then I met Sister PJ, who, I believe was firm and fair and taught the school how to sing “Dance” without the Australian twang on the ‘a’.
My first teacher was Mrs Plunkett-Cole who taught me my times tables, awarded me my pen licence (my hand-writing is still not the neatest!) and introduced me to the sport of orienteering. In year 5 I had Sr Karen, who I remember as a kind and nurturing person. In year 6 I had a new teacher to the school, Mr Fletcher, who brought his guitar to class and taught us to sing ‘wim-o-weh’. Mr Fletcher taught us about fairness and introduced us to softball (although I was the scorer rather than the player’).
Many friends and great teachers are remembered from this time.