From our REC

Holy Week Sacred Spaces

Thank you to everyone who joined us to celebrate the events of Holy Week. Our Kinder students did a fabulous job beginning the sacred week off with Palm Sunday. Our Year 3 and 4 students continued this with their reflections of Jesus washing the disciples feets, the Last Supper and the Garden of Gethsemane. Our Year 5 and 6 students led a moving liturgy reflecting on Jesus trial and crucifixtion. Our Year 1 and 2 students will lead our Sacred Space on Friday at 9am to share with our community Jesus' resurrection. 

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First Eucharist

Enrolment for First Eucharist has begun. The sacrament of First Eucharist is open to anyone who has been baptised, confirmed and made their reconciliation. There is a parent information zoom on Wednesday 10th April. 

The newly opened Central Coast Atrium is running Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for 3-6 year olds. The central aim is to help the child nurture their own personal relationship with God. Sessions run Saturdays 9.00am-10.30am, Our Lady of the Rosary, The Entrance. For information or to join our waitlist contact centralcoastatrium@gmail.com or call Ashleigh on 0466 255 033. 

Project Compassion and Mary Macs

Thank you to our whole school community for their generosity during the Lenten season. Congratulations to 2 White and 2 Green who raised the most money in their classes across the school. A special mention to Cove from 1 Green and Willow from 5 Green who individually raised a substanital amount of money for Project Compassion. Along side 2 White and 2 Green, Cove and Willow will be able to throw water balloons at Mrs Sellars sometime during Week 10. Our students raised $1667.90 for Project Compassion. Our Easter raffle was another huge success. We had many excited students on Thursday, when they won prizes in our raffle. Thank you to our Mini Vinnies team led by Mrs Shearwood and Mrs Brooks. We have raised $1984.40 for Mary Macs at Woy Woy. This is a local organisation who feeds and supports the homeless on the Central Coast. Thank you for supporting these charities to support people both globally and locally. 

ANZAC Day

Our school ANZAC Liturgy will be held on Tuesday 9th April at 10.15am. We have members of Toukley RSL coming to our school and a guest speaker, Flight Lieutenant Braydon Kocass. Please join us in the quadrangle if you are able to. 

Principal's Update

I hope you all enjoyed a happy and holy Easter long weekend. Thank you for your support while our staff have completed two days of professional learning around Assessment, Curriculum Reform and Explicit Direct Instruction yesterday and today. They have been two full days of learning for our staff. We look forward to welcoming back the children tomorrow. 

Last week we saw most grades share their Holy Week Sacred Space. This Friday 5th, we will see Year 1 and Year 2 students leading their Sacred Space 'The Resurrection'. This will be at 9.00am (weather permitting). In the event of rain at 9.00am Friday, it will be held next week (date tbc).

Our Term 2 School Calendar will be sent home next week, so that you can note the key dates of a number of events including the Year 5 Bathurst and Year 6 Canberra trips, our school Feast Day, Parent/Teacher meetings, Athletics carnival and much more.

Cross Country 

We enjoyed a fun Cross Country a few weeks ago, the children did a fantastic job of running such a long distance! Thank you to the parents who were able to assist by walking with the classes to and from Jenny Dixon Reserve. A huge thank you to Miss Dawson, who organised the morning so well. The presentation for the cross country will be held tomorrow morning 4th April (weather permitting) at 9.00am. In the event of wet weather, this presentation will be postponed until next Tuesday 9th April at 9.00am.

Cinema Under the Stars  

We are hopeful that the rain stays away until the weekend, so that our Cinema Under the Stars can begin – however, with the predicted forecast, we will confirm the arrangements by Friday morning at the latest.  

Mother's Day Stall   

We look forward to providing another wonderful Mother’s Day Stall in Week 2 of next term (Wednesday 8th May). Purchases of gifts are pre-paid only through the Qkr! app, and can be bought until Friday 3rd May only. Gifts are $10 each, with a maximum of 2 gifts per student. As always, we do hope there will be many mums or dads available to help - there is more information in the flyer below, but if you are available to help on the day, please use the sign up link https://signup.com/go/ZwtJLwG.  

ANZAC Day 

ANZAC Day is in our school holidays. We will be commemorating this significant occasion with our school meeting at Toukley Green at 9.15am on ANZAC Day, for our school to walk together and lay a wreath. You are welcome to join us. Next Tuesday 9th April, we will commemorate ANZAC Day with members of the RSL attending school at 10.15am for a school liturgy. Please join us if you can. 

School Photos 

Our dates for school photos are next week, 8th and 11th April. All children must wear their full school uniform (not sports) on both of these dates. A schedule for the days has not been finalised as all individual photos, class group photos, small group photos, Year 6 group photo and sibling photos need to fit. Class photos will take place on Monday 8th. We are not able to accommodate the many different family requests regarding the times of photos being taken on the day. School photos must be purchased before photo day. Please check your emails and Compass, as purchases are made directly through the Compass App to MSP Photography.  

Easter Raffle 

Our Easter Raffle was a lot of fun last Thursday – thank you to all of the families who supported our raffle by donating an egg. Also, a huge thank you to our five parent helpers, Kiara, Lauren, Emma, Sheree and Hayley, who wrapped all of the gifts for our children to receive.  

Our Mini Vinnies students have done a tremendous job, alongside Mrs Shearwood and Mrs Brooks, in selling tickets and collecting the prizes for wrapping - thank you Mini Vinnies!

Easter Hat Parade 

Thank you to all of the creative mums and dads who supported the K-2 children in creating Easter Hat masterpieces for our parade last week. The children had a wonderful morning cheering for each other.

Year 7 Taster Day

Next Wednesday 10th April, our two local Catholic High Schools will be hosting a 'Year 7 Taster Day' for our students. Year 6 parents would have received information via Compass about registering for the days. We know you will enjoy your high school experience at MacKillop and St Brigid's!

Year 3/4 Gala Day 

Next Wednesday 10th April, our Year 3 and Year 4 children will attend a fun soccer Gala Day at Adcock Park. The permission note has been sent out on Compass, please complete as soon as possible so teams can be finalised.   

From our REC

Holy Week Sacred Spaces

Please join us at 9am at morning assembly for our Holy Week Sacred Spaces. Our different grades will share with us the events leading up to Easter and then Jesus' resurrection. 

Year 4 Sunday Parish Mass

Thank you to all our families who joined us for Mass on Sunday. Our students took on the many ministries and sang beautifully. It was lovely to celebrate Sr Josie's birthday with her. Thank you to all our families who provided morning tea to share. 

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5 Gold Sacred Space

Thank you to Mrs Perry and our Year 5 Gold students who led our Sacred Space last week. It was wonderful to have our Lenten message shared with our school community. 


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4 Gold Sacred Space

Thank you to Miss Doyle and 4 Gold for preparing and leading Sacred Space on Monday. Forgiveness is such an important value to have. Our students were able to share this through the dramatisation of the story of the Prodigal Son. 

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Reconciliation

Tomorrow many of our students will make the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time. Please keep these children in your prayers. The service will begin at 3.30pm in the church. Students can wear the clothes they are wearing for Harmony Day or another shirt can be brought for them to change into. 

First Eucharist

First Eucharist enrolment is now open. Students in Year 4 (or above) who have received the Sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Reconciliation are eligible for First Eucharist (First Communion). Please read the flyer below for further information. 

Palm Crosses - Sr Jiji

This week Sr Jiji went into our Year 5 and 6 classes and made made Palm Crosses with our students. Our Year 4 students were invited to do this at lunch time. Our students are very talented and made many crosses! These crosses have been donated to our Parish for our parishioners for Palm Sunday this weekend. 

Stations of the Cross

We have had only a small handful of students volunteer for this liturgy on Good Friday. If you can spare an hour from 9am on Good Friday we would love some more students to be involved with this special liturgy. 

St Joseph Men's BBQ  - Friday 12 April 7-7.30pm

"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Prov 27:17.

All men over 18 are invited to an evening of gathering to share a meal and engage in discussion, camaraderie and personal growth. Share stories over a BBQ dinner before hearing from our Guest Speaker about authentic vocation. The evening is open to men of all/no faiths. Please register at rb.gy/bdrtjp or scan the QR code. 

Holy Week Masses

Please see below the Masses and Liturgies at our Parish over the Easter Season.

Merit and Star Awards

Principal's Update

NAPLAN

Our Year 3 and Year 5 children are currently sitting NAPLAN, which is held annually during a two-week window in March. This year, between March 13th and 25th, children sit national testing for Writing, Reading, Conventions of Language (Spelling and Grammar/Punctuation) and Numeracy. I am always impressed by the positive attitude and willingness to have a go that the children display. Well done on trying your best.

Cross Country

Our School Cross Country is this Friday 22nd. K-1 will be held at school (9.00-9.30am) followed by Year 2-6 at Jenny Dixon Reserve (leaving school approximately 9.35am, to hold events approximately 10.00-11.00am). Friday is a compulsory school day. Thank you to the parents who have volunteered to help on the morning. Please make sure children wear sunscreen and aeroguard to school, and bring their usual hat and drink. Year 2-6 children should also pack a towel to sit on at Jenny Dixon Reserve.

Harmony Day

This Thursday 21st is Harmony Day. Children are encouraged to wear orange and bring in a donation for their class Project Compassion Box. 

Playgroup

Yesterday we held our first Playgroup for 2024. What a wonderful morning it was! Lots of smiling faces coming together for some fun activities. Our Term 2 Playgroup dates are May 29th (Wednesday) and June 18th (Tuesday). We look forward to seeing you there.

Palm Sunday and Holy Week

Next week is Holy Week, a most significant week in the church's liturgical calendar. All grades will lead a Sacred Space over the coming weeks, retelling key events of Holy Week. Each are held at 9.00am, we hope you can join us:

    • Thursday 21st March: Palm Sunday (Kinder)
    • Wednesday 27th March: The Last Supper and The Garden of Gethsemane (Year 3 + Year 4)
    • Thursday 28th March: Trial and Crucifixion (Year 5 + Year 6)
    • Friday 5th April: The Resurrection (Year 1 + Year 2)

Easter Hat Parade

Next Monday 25th March we will hold our K-2 Easter Hat Parade. It will be held for approximately 20 minutes after our morning 9.00am assembly on the top playground. Children are encouraged to make a hat at home and wear it for a short parade in front of the school. Students in Years 3-6 are welcome to make and wear a hat of their own as they watch the younger children parade. 

Easter Raffle

This week is the last week our Mini Vinnies students will be selling raffle tickets for the Easter Raffle. It will be drawn next week before the Easter break. Thank you for the wonderful donations of eggs and cellophane. Donations are still welcome. If you are available, the PIP Team have asked for parent volunteers to help wrapping the gifts next Tuesday afternoon here at school. Please use the sign up link to offer your support – it is also a great way to meet other parents!

Mother's Day Stall 

We look forward to providing another wonderful Mother’s Day Stall in Week 2 of next term (Wednesday 8th May). Purchases of gifts are pre-paid only through the Qkr! app, and can be bought from today until Friday 3rd May only. Gifts are $10 each, with a maximum of 2 gifts per student. As always, we do hope there will be many mums or dads available to help - there is more information in the flyer below, but if you are available to help on the day, please use the sign up link: https://signup.com/go/ZwtJLwG.

Years 3/4 Gala Day

On Wednesday 10th April, our Year 3 and Year 4 children will attend a fun Soccer Gala Day at Adcock Park. The permission note has been sent out on Compass, please complete as soon as possible so teams can be finalised.

ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day is in our school holidays. We will be commemorating this significant occasion with our school meeting at Toukley Green at 9.15am on ANZAC Day, for our school to walk together and lay a wreath. You are welcome to join us. On Tuesday 9th April, we will remember this day with members of the RSL attending school at 10.15am for a school liturgy. Please join us if you can.

Bathurst

On May 2nd-3rd (Week 1, Term 2), Year 5 will be going to Bathurst on their overnight excursion to learn about the goldfields. A note has been sent via Compass with details to Year 5 parents.

Early Leavers

Unfortunately, we are regularly seeing children signed out early of an afternoon, particularly on a Thursday and Friday afternoon. Our school day, and student learning, is until 3.15pm. There are very few reasons that a child should be signed out before this time. 

Staff Development Days: Pupil Free Days

A friendly reminder that we have two upcoming Staff Development Days, Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd April. These days are pupil free days, while teachers receive professional learning on our new curriculum. Thank you for your understanding. Hopefully you can enjoy an extra-long Easter long weekend.

School Photos

Our dates for school photos are coming up quickly, 8th and 11th April (Week 10). All children must wear their full school uniform (not sports) on both of these dates. A schedule for the days has not been finalised as all individual photos, class group photos, small group photos, Year 6 group photo and sibling photos need to fit. We are not able to accommodate the many different family requests regarding the times of photos being taken on the day. School photos must be purchased before photo day. Please check your emails and Compass in the coming weeks, as purchases are made directly through the Compass App to MSP Photography. 

Year 7 Taster Day

On Wednesday 10th April (Week 10), our two local Catholic High Schools will be hosting a 'Year 7 Taster Day' for our students. Year 6 parents will have received information via Compass about registering for the days. We know you will enjoy your high school experience!

Cinema Under the Stars

Our PIP Team are excited to be hosting our Cinema Under the Stars in a few short weeks. It will be held on Friday 5th April. It is only $10 for a family ticket, so bring the whole family! Sit with friends, bring some snacks and a beanbag or comfy blanket and relax. A few food trucks will also be here on the evening for snacks. The family-friendly movie remains a secret, but will be enjoyed by all, so get in early to buy your family ticket (through Qkr!).

'Tech Team'

We would like to welcome and thank the following children who applied and were successful in joining the 2024 St Mary’s Tech Team: August K, Charlotte C, Sophie C, Billy H, Ashley L, Jace B, Dylan W, Harry B, Nikkita C, Coco O, Willow L, Charlie M, Archer G, Louis F, Ryan M and Corben D.  

Throughout the year these students will provide valuable support to classes across K-6 and will lead the safe use of technology.

Principal's Update

Open Day

Yesterday afternoon we held our Open Day for Kinder 2025. It was a huge success, and the preschoolers enjoyed looking around our Kinder classes and touring our school. We ask for enrolment applications to be returned as soon as possible, as places will fill fast. If a current family has a younger sibling who will start in 2025, please call the office to arrange the collection of your enrolment pack.

I would like to say a particular thank you to our amazing students in Year 5 and Year 6. Fifty of our amazing students volunteered their time yesterday afternoon, leading tours, handing out enrolment packs, interacting with the new students and running activities up until 6pm. These students were absolutely outstanding representatives of our school and I could not be more proud of them. Well done! We are also blessed with amazing staff who stayed back late to ensure the afternoon ran smoothly. Thank you.

Catholic Schools Week

This week, our school is reflecting on our wonderful Catholic School. We are so lucky to share a school community where parents, students, staff and parish work alongside each other, in an inclusive and welcoming environment. Our children love learning, enjoy time with their friends and thrive in our beautiful school. The children have reflected on what makes them their ‘best self here’, and these drawings are displayed around the school. A number of students led a beautiful liturgy on Monday morning to start our week, well done. We will be opening our classrooms from 2.30pm-3.10pm this Friday afternoon, for parents to visit their child’s classroom. We look forward to seeing you then!

NAPLAN

Next week, our Year 3 and Year 5 children will sit NAPLAN. NAPLAN is held during a two-week window where the children sit national testing for Writing, Reading, Conventions of Language (Spelling and Grammar and Punctuation) and Numeracy. They will complete one test a day, not multiple tests. We wish our students the best of luck during the NAPLAN window of March 13th-25th.

Cross Country

Our school Cross Country will be held in two weeks, Friday 22nd March. The morning will be split across two venues: Our School Oval (Kinder and Year 1) and Jenny Dixon Reserve (Years 2-6). Our Cross Country is a compulsory event, children can run or walk the course. Between 9.10am and 9.30am, Kinder and Year 1 will complete a course on our school oval, whilst being cheered on by the rest of the school. At 9.30am, Years 2 - 6 will leave to walk up to Jenny Dixon Reserve, with their races being held between 10.00am and 11.00am.

Please ensure the permission note, on Compass for all Year 2-6 families, is signed as soon as possible. All details about event times, what to bring etc. can be found on the permission note.

Staff Development Days

A reminder that we have two Staff Development Days approaching. Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd April will be pupil free days, where teachers receive professional learning on our new curriculum.

Cinema Under the Stars

Our PIP Team are excited to be hosting our Cinema Under the Stars event for 2024! It will be held on Friday 5th April. It is only $10 for a family ticket, so bring the whole family! Sit with friends, bring some snacks and a beanbag or comfy blanket and relax. A few food trucks will also be here on the evening for snacks. The family-friendly movie remains a secret, but will be enjoyed by all, so get in early to buy your family ticket (through Qkr!). Please see below for the poster, made by our Year 6 students, with further information.  

Library Update

In the next fortnight new carpet will be laid in our Library, to replace the carpet damaged by the flood over the Christmas break. Library lessons will continue for the rest of this term in your child’s class. From next term we hope to have lessons back in our fresh, newly refurbished library, when borrowing can resume.   

Easter Raffle

Thank you for the families who have donated an Easter Egg to our raffle. We hope to receive more so that we can have many prizes for the raffle – last year we were able to provide approximately 60 prizes for our students to win – so please keep those donations coming in!

We are also after a team of parents to help wrap these prizes. The Pip Team have a message below, so please follow their sign up link to offer your support – it is also a great way to meet other parents!

Easter Hat Parade

We look forward to the return of our Kinder-Year 2 Easter Hat Parade. This year it will take place on Monday 25th March at 9.10am on the top playground. Children in Kinder, Year 1 and Year 2 are encouraged to make an Easter Hat at home to bring in for the parade. Parents, you are welcome to join us.

Sports Spectacular

Beginning this Friday, our sport Captains will be acknowledging sporting achievements of our students each week at our Friday morning assembly. This will be done by children nominating themselves in the ‘letterbox’ in our school office. Their name will then be called out so they can come out the front to show their certificate or trophy. Thank you, Sport Captains, for leading this initiative!

Many Hands Make St Mary's - from our PIP Team

Our PIP Team ask for 'Just One Thing...' Our students look forward to the most anticipated event of the year! Our St Mary's Easter Prize Raffle...

We require helpers to sort prizes and wrap them in preparation for the prize draw. If you can spare an hour of your time on Tuesday, 26th of March between 2.00pm-3:15pm, we would greatly appreciate your help. Please use the 'sign up' link below to rsvp your commitment. https://signup.com/go/HnnkpKv

Our PIP Team say 'thanks' the many Mini Vinnie volunteers and coordinating teachers for their support in organising this year's raffle. They have sold hundreds of tickets! Who will have the winning one? 

Open Day

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REC Update

Class Sunday Masses

Please save the date for your child or children's Sunday Grade Mass. 

Year 6 and Kindergarten Sunday Grade Mass

Thank you to all our families who joined us for Mass on Sunday 25th February. Our Year 6 students read so well and our Kinders were adorable singing a Thanksgiving Hymn. It was so lovely to see our community connect with our Parish. 

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Year 4 Grade Sunday Mass

Our Year 4 Sunday Mass is on 17th March at 9am. Teachers will be handing out responsibilities this week. We look forward to celebrating with you.

Sacred Spaces

This year we are holding our Sacred Spaces on a Monday Morning at 9am. Please see the overview for the year below. We look forward to sharing our learning in Religious Education with our community. 

Holy Week Liturgies

As we prepare for Jesus' death and resurrection our students will preparing Sacred Spaces allowing us to reflect on this special time. These will all begin at 9am on the top playground. Below are when these will occur:

Kindergarten - Palm Sunday - Thursday 21st March

Year 3 and 4 - Washing of the Feet, Last Supper and Garden of Gethsemene - Wednesday 27th March

Year 5 and 6 - Trial and Crucification - Thursday 28th March

Year 1 and 2 - Resurrection - Friday 5th April

Please join us if you can. 

Mini Vinnies - Easter Raffle

Thank you to all our families who have donated to our Easter Raffle. Our Mini Vinnies students have been excitedly selling raffle tickets. Please continue to send in donations for this raffle.


6 Gold Sacred Space

Thank you to Mrs Doyle and the students of Year 6 who lead Sacred Space in Week 4. They reminded us of our St Mary's STARS and the importance of following them. 

Catholic Schools Week - Connecting in Faith and Community - be your best self here

This week we are celebrating Catholic Schools Week. We began the week with Sacred Space. We are having a focus each day for the people in our community. Our prayer each morning will reflect this.

Tuesday - Celebrating our Students

Wednesday - Celebrating our Families

Thursday - Celebrating our Staff

Friday  - Celebrating our Parish and Community

On Friday at 2.30pm we invite parents into their children's classroom to see the wonderful work they have been doing so far this year. 

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St Joseph Men's BBQ - Friday 12 April 7-7.30pm
"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Prov 27:17.
All men over 18 are invited to an evening of gathering to share a meal and engage in discussion, camaraderie and personal growth. Share stories over a BBQ dinner before hearing from our Guest Speaker about authentic vocation. The evening is open to men of all/no faiths. 

REC Update

Year 6 and Kinder Welcome Mass - Sunday 25th February at 9am

This Sunday Year 6 and Kindergarten will be leading the ministries at our Parish Sunday Mass. This will begin at 9am. Kindergarten having been preparing a Thanksgiving Hymn to share with everyone. Please bring a plate of food to share for morning tea after Mass. We look forward to seeing everyone there. 

Opening School Mass

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Opening School Mass. This was a wonderful celebration. All of our Year 6 students and Year 5 elected leaders pledged their commitment to our school, upholding our core values of Faith, Love and Understanding. Our Year 6 students also gave their Kinder buddies a special blessing as they begin their educational journey with us. 

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Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is an important celebration in our liturgical calender. We attended mass and received the ashes on our foreheads. Thank you to our Year 5 students who led our Mass so well. Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent for us as Catholics. During this time, we prepare for Jesus' death and resurrection. Father Baby spoke to us about three things we can do during Lent; prayer, fasting and almsgiving (giving to others). During Lent, Catholic adults and teenagers are asked to fast from meat on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. As our students here at St Mary's are under the age of 14, this is not an expectation. This could be something you choose to do as a family.

Project Compassion - Mini Vinnies

On Monday our Mini Vinnies team shared a special liturgy with our school. They explained the special work that Caritas Australia does all around the world to support communities in need. We will be raising money for "Project Compassion." This years theme is, "For All Future Generations." Our students will be learning about the amazing work in their Religion lessons. This year the class who donates the most money for Project Compassion will win the opportunity to throw water balloons at Mrs Sellars! In the past this has been a sort after prize. 

Sacred Space 2024

This year Sacred Spaces will be held on a Monday morning at 9am. This is a wonderful way to begin our week. Please see the flyer below for when each class will be sharing their learning with the school community. 

Catholic Schools Week - "Connected in Faith and Community - be your best self here"

During Week 5, Monday 4th - 8th March  we will be celebrating our Catholic Schools Week at our school. Our theme is "Connected in Faith and Community - be your best self here." Please see our flyer for further information. 

Mini Vinnies - Easter Raffle

From Week 4 we will begin selling raffle tickets for our annual Easter Raffle. Each year we ask families to donate Easter Eggs, bags, cellophane or Easter related items for this raffle. Our PIP team during Week 7 will bundle them into prizes for our raffle in Week 8. 

Parish Sunday Masses

Each grade is allocated one Parish Sunday Mass a year to attend and lead the ministries. All masses are on a Sunday at 9am. Below are the dates for 2024. This is a wonderful opportunity to connect with other families and our Parish. It is an expectation that all children from the grade attend this Mass. Please save the date for the grade your children are in.

Kinder and Year 6 - Sunday 25th February

Year 4 - Sunday 17th March

Year 3 - Sunday 23rd June

Year 1 - Sunday 25th August

Year 2 - Sunday 22nd September

Year 5 and Kinder 2025 - Sunday 1st December

Principal's Update

Swimming Carnival

Congratulations Red House on your win at last Monday’s swimming carnival. Our students are to be commended on their fantastic behaviour and sportsmanship and have-a-go attitude. We appreciate the hard work of the many parent helpers and St Brigid’s helpers; without your volunteering, events like this would not be possible. A special thank you also to our PE Coordinator, Miss Dawson, for her hard work and organisation of this terrific event.

CCC Swimmers

Congratulations to the 34 students who represented St Mary’s at the CCC Carnival on Monday. We were impressed by your dedication and attitude. Your tremendous swimming results ensured St Mary's was placed 2nd overall for the meet! Special congratulations to those students who were successful in making it through to the Broken Bay Swim Team; Harry B (200m IM, 100m freestyle, 50m freestyle, 50m backstroke and 50m butterfly), Ollie B (50m freestyle), Flynn B (50m butterfly, 50m backstroke and 50m breaststroke), Archie M (50m breaststroke), Rhani L, Lillian D, Summer G and Mia S (4x50m freestyle relay) and Byron H, Harry B, Flynn B and Archie M (4x50m freestyle relay). Harry B was also named Age Division Champion of the meet. Congratulations!

Welcome Sr Jiji!

I would like to warmly welcome Sr Jennifer (Sr Jiji) to our school. Sr Jiji has worked with MacKillop for the last few years, and we are excited that she will join us at St Mary’s each Tuesday. Please make her feel welcome and say hello when you see her around!

Mural

Have you seen our FANTASTIC new mural? We are so excited that @this_is_myhappyplace was able to brighten our playground area with a new mural that celebrates many elements of our school community.

Staff Development Days

As you would have read in previous communications, we have two Staff Development Days this term. Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd April will be pupil free days, while teachers receive professional learning on our new curriculum. Thank you for your understanding, I realise the strain it can add to families to find alternate care for your children. Hopefully you can enjoy an extra-long Easter long weekend.

Kinder Parent Workshop

This afternoon (2.20pm), and again this evening (5.00pm), our Kinder Parents will all be at school to participate in a parent workshop, learning about reading at home with their Kinder child and ways to support their learning. Our Literacy Coach, Kinder teachers and I look forward to working in partnership with you; thank you for attending and making your child’s learning a priority.

My Body Can! Parent Workshop

You are invited to attend the ‘My Body Can!’ Workshop held here next Wednesday (28th, 5.30pm) and Thursday (29th, 1.00pm). The workshop will be run by one of our school counsellors, Verona and our PEC, Nicole. Please see the flyer below for more information about this worthwhile workshop.

Kinder 2025

Our Open Day for Kinder 2025 will be held on Tuesday 5th March, from 4.00pm. Enrolment applications are invited from this date. Classes fill quickly, so if you have a child turning 5 years old this year and you are looking for them begin at St Mary’s next year, please contact the office early in March.

School Carpark Safety

There are several parents who are still dropping off into the bus bay of a morning or pulling up near the oval to drop off. There are also parents who continue to park in spots that are not designated parking spots in the afternoon for pickup, or who park in the bus bay. While this continues, it increases the risk to our children. Please follow our carpark rules, and park rear to curb in a parking spot to drop off and pick up your children.

Residential Address

If you have moved or changed phone numbers, could you please email the office to update your residential address, phone number or emergency contacts.

Online Behaviour - Parents

I would like to remind parents that if there is ever a question, comment or issue around our children or a school event, please call the school to talk to a staff member. There have been instances I am aware of, where parents have talked in a negative way about the school on social media and closed parent forums, eg Messenger. Much information that is spread has been false. Your questions, queries and feedback are always welcome. I acknowledge there may be occasions when parents need to express a genuine concern. I am always open to hearing about any issues or receiving feedback which is delivered appropriately and focused on a shared desire for a respectful resolution.

Cinema Under the Stars

Our PIP Team are excited to be hosting our Cinema Under the Stars evening on our school oval on Friday 5th April. More information to come in the following weeks, but please, save the date!

Fire Drill and Lockdown Drill

Each term our school practices a Fire Drill and Lockdown Drill with our students, to ensure that in the case of an emergency we have a clear understanding of what to do and how to act. Your child may come home and discuss this with you, please do not be alarmed.

Piano Tuition

There are currently vacancies for piano tuition during school hours. Please contact Mr Chris Hochkins for further details. Ph. 0414 186 044

REC Update

Opening School Mass

This Friday at 9.15am we will be celebrating our Opening School Mass. All our leaders will pledge their commitment to our school and will receive a special blessing from Father Baby. If you are able to join us we would love to see you there. 

Ash Wednesday Mass

Next Wednesday, 14th February we begin the season of Lent. We will begin by having an Ash Wednesday Mass. This will begin at 10am. Year 5 are leading this celebration. If you are able to join us, we would love to see you there. 

Year 6 and Kindergarten Welcome Mass

On Sunday 25th February our Year 6 and Kindergarten students will be leading our Sunday Parish Mass. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet new families and for our Kinder students to see their buddy outside of school. Year 6 will lead many of the ministries and Kindergarten will sing a Thanksgiving Hymn. We are very excited for our Parish to meet the newest members of our St Mary's family.

Reconciliation Enrolment

Children who are in Years 4 - 6 who have been Baptised and Confirmed are invited to prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our Sacramental Program is run by Sister Jennifer, one of our Parish nuns. Information sessions will be run at St Mary's on Thursday 15th February at 3.30pm or 7pm. Please use the QR code to enrol or the link https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing/1143692? For further information please contact the Parish Office on (02) 4396-4455. 

Principal's Update

Welcome back to the new school year. Our children have come back to school ready to learn, settled in their behaviour and excited to be in their new grade. If you’ve been at school at 9.00am this year, you will have noticed a new line up area! All of our students fit easily into the new area. The children have made this change perfectly. Well done, children!

We are so glad to welcome our new Kinder students... Louie, Pia, Parker, Rory, Billie, Vaida, Lanikai, Miles, Evie A, Ada, Jay, Havanna, Nash, Ace, Tyson, Koa C, Corbyn, Sally, Santino, Kyan, Ruby, Lucca, James, Grayson, Zahli, Effie, Liam, Reggie, Costa, Jimmy, Harry, Jake, Odin, Oliver, Sam, Will, Priyah, Lexi, Asher, Evie J, Thomas, Evie K, Zander, Cruz, Harvey, Jay Jay, Kiarni, Koa M, Manix, Harlie, Lily, Lacey, Penelope, Katea, Jenson, Domynick, Boston, Leo, Brianna, Elki, Kingston, Lolaina, Reyna, Hannah, Bodhi, Lara, Finch, Kyron, Sonny, Patrick, Daxton and Archie. They have made a wonderful start at big school.

I must also recognise our fantastic Year 6 students – the example they are already setting to the rest of the school is quite exceptional. And they are being such kind buddies! Well done, Year 6.

Swimming Carnival     

Next Monday 12th is our Swimming carnival, which is for Year 2 - Year 6 students at Mingara. It is a fun day of activities which Miss Dawson has organised. All children will have plenty of time to swim in events (10m, 20m and 50m) and novelty events. It is a compulsory day for all students.

Parents can attend however there are very restricted viewing opportunities. To ensure that all children are safe, parents are not permitted into the grandstand or along the sides of the pool. It is simply too crowded and unsafe to do so; during our carnivals, children are busy swimming for the majority of the day. If you choose to attend, please keep in mind that parents will only be able to watch from limited spaces, such as the concrete area between the 50m pool and the 'whirlpool', or from the grass area outside. I realise this is far from ideal but we are short of space once our 360 students plus teachers and helpers are poolside. Thank you for your understanding.

I would like to name our Year 5 Sport Vice Captains for 2024; Red: Josi C and Koa F, Blue: Ashlee S and Flynn B, Green: Sophie C and Noah B and Gold: Sienna H and Hayden T. Congratulations!

Opening School Mass

This Friday at 9.15am we have our Opening School Mass, our first for 2024. Parents are welcome to join us if you can.

Staff Development Days

As you would have seen in a recent Compass update and also our school calendar, we have two Staff Development Days this term. Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd April will be pupil free days, while teachers receive professional learning on our new curriculum. Thank you for your understanding, I realise the strain it can add to families to find care for your children. Hopefully you can enjoy an even longer Easter long weekend.

Parent Meetings

Our staff look forward to meeting those families who have made an interview time next week. Bookings close on Compass this Friday afternoon. As a reminder, if you need to contact your child’s teacher through the year, you can either email the school office or call the school. Teachers will then contact you within 48 hours. Teachers will not respond via email, they will call you to discuss the matter.

Uniform

Thank you for sending your children back in their correct school uniform, with the correct school shoes and socks. They are looking quite impressive. Our uniform shop operates each day between 8.15-9.45am only. Orders outside this time must be emailed to the school office for processing.

Canteen – Volunteers needed!

Our canteen is supported by volunteers and can only operate when there are enough volunteers. We need more for this term, especially a Friday which is the busiest day for lunch orders and therefore requires the most volunteers. To ensure the canteen can operate and fulfil orders, we need you! If you can give some of you time once a month or once a term, please contact Gina, Canteen Coordinator, via the school office to register your interest.

Mobiles and Smart Watches 

Each year, there are several students who need to bring a mobile phone or smart watch to school as it is required for them to safely get home. Please note, the only reason a child should be bringing a phone is due to possible risky circumstances that may arise when arriving to school or going home from school. If your child does require a phone, I request that you send in a letter to the office. The phone must then, each day, be taken to the school office on arrival and picked up at 3.15pm.  

School Carpark Safety

Thank you to the parents who have ceased pulling into the bus bay, due to the increased risk this creates. It is everyone's collective responsibility to use a parking spot when dropping off your children in the morning, only parking in designated parking spots, parking ‘rear to curb’ (this is signposted) and to look closely at both of the pedestrian crossings.

Kinder 2025

Our Open Day for Kinder 2025 will be held on Tuesday 5th March, from 4.00pm. Enrolment applications are invited from this date. Classes fill quickly, so if you have a child turning 5 years old this year and you are looking for them to begin at St Mary’s next year, please contact the office early in March.

Cinema Under the Stars

Our PIP Team are excited to be hosting our Cinema Under the Stars evening on our school oval on Friday 5th April. More information to come in the following weeks, but please, save the date!

Library

During our January holidays, our library experienced some localised flooding. While we busily undertake the process of replacing damaged items, the library itself will be out of action. Library lessons will continue, however they will be in your child's classroom, and book borrowing will not resume for a number of weeks. It is our priority to have this space fully functioning as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Survey

I encourage you to please complete the following short survey, giving us feedback on the role of our parent team, PIP, in our school in 2024 and the future.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdRFW3I-Rzx6Mt9j4eXsjVKNVJU0Ph_o7O4wGnPvQQPs4NsYA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Principal's Update

And just like that, another fantastic year of learning has come to an end. I would like to sincerely thank all of you, parents, for your support of our school over the last 12 months. It has been a wonderful year of many activities and celebrations together, carnivals, gala days and our school concert. In 2024 we are have been busily filling our diary with additional opportunities for parents to come into our school; for workshops on Reading, Spelling and Maths, to another Colour Run and school disco, to engaging with parents more deeply around what your children are learning each term in class.

We look forward to seeing you in 2024. Have a wonderful break and a joyous, safe and holy Christmas.

Volunteers:  I would  like to also thank and acknowledge our PIP Team Leaders, Tenille, Corrine and Eileen. These ladies have worked tirelessly this year leading, organising and coordinating our many school events. In additon to this, so many of you volunteer for stalls, breakfasts and canteen; a school the size of ours would not function without the many parent volunteers. We rely heavily on our parent community and appreciate the many efforts of so many people  - THANK YOU!

Year 6:  To our Year 6 student group - good luck in high school and enjoy your time ahead. There are so many wonderful opportunities awaiting you. Our Year 6 Thanksgiving Mass will be tomorrow Friday 8th December at 9.15am, and our Guard of Honour will be next Friday 15th at 2.45pm.

Christmas Carols and Christmas Clothes: Next Wednesday evening is our school Christmas Carols. Carols begin at 6pm, with a visit from Santa at 5.30pm. Bring a rug and some snacks: please note, children sit with their class during the singing, not with parents. Next Wednesday, children are encouraged to wear Christmas clothes to school instead of their uniform.

Leaving Staff:  I would like to acknowledge and thank a number of staff who leave St Mary's at the end of 2023. During thier time with our school community, they have shown care, understanding and have impacted greatly on the lives of our students. Mrs Lauren Zahra has worked in the canteen, always ensuring our children are well nourished and happy. Thank you for all you have done for our school! Mr Brendan McMahon has capably taught Year 4 in Term 3 and Term 4, while Mrs Maiden has been on maternity leave. Thank you for your kindness and your dedication to our school and your students during this time, and best wishes for your role in 2024 at St Brendan's. Mrs Sammantha Hutchinson has taught Year 5 this year, thank you for always striving to do your best for your students, we appreciate your hard work this year. Miss Jasmine Todd has taught Year 1 this year, and we thank you for your kind and cheerful manner, your dedication to your students and the care you show. Best wishes in your move from the Central Coast. Mrs Megan Laing has been both a classroom teacher and a release teacher at our school over a number of years. Thank you for the patience, professionalism and focus on results. Enjoy your move to OLR. Miss Gioia DiDonato has taught Italian at St Mary's for the last 9 years. Thank you for growing our student's love of language and the passion and for the fun your brought to the lessons. Ciao! Mrs Kellie Walker has been a classroom teacher and member of the school Leadership Team for 9 years. Thank you for your dedication to our school and students, your focus on Wellbeing which you have capably led school-wide and your humour. Your impact on our school has been significant, and you are held in high regard by all those who know you. Best wishes in your new role at St Xavier’s Primary School, Gunnedah. Mrs Liz Bain, your dedicated, compassionate and hard-working nature has been experienced by every single person in our school. You are greatly respected and appreciated by our students, parents and teachers; you are so genuinely interested in every single child’s achievement, and your calm, patient interactions and manner will be sorely missed in the future. Thank you for what you have given our school over the last 23 years and the memories you have fostered in our students. Mrs Debbie Burns has been at St Mary's for 24 years in the role of classroom teacher, Leadership Team member and Literacy Coach. You are an extraordinary teacher, leader and educator at St Mary’s. Thank you for your dedication, your gentle, kind and nurturing personality and your highly effective teaching skills. Mrs Burns leadership and exemplary teaching skills have been instrumental in our school's success in Literacy. You have made such a difference to those who have known you, and we thank you for that. Enjoy your retirement! 

Award Ceremony: Yesterday we held our annual Award Ceremony. Below are the recipients of the major awards, our School Parliament for 2024 and Sports Captains for 2024. 

Sports Captains for 2024: Abel N, Summer G, Levi M, Ayla C, Harry B, Ayla B, Thomas M and Arlie M.

Rotary Citizenship Awards for 2023: Willow F and Vanessa M.

NSW Blues Award: Elizabeth C for Swimming.

Catholic Values Award: The highly commended awards go to: Milla A, Elizabeth C, Elise C, Olivia D, Sienna G, Oscar L, Darcy M, Vanessa M and Thomas R. The winners of the Catholic Values Shield for 2023 are Beau T and Coco T.

Community Spirit Award: The highly commended awards go to: Isla C, Elizabeth C, Elise C, Olivia D, Kirrilee F, Willow F, Ruby K, Vanessa M and Joshua S. The winner of the Community Spirit Shield for 2023 is Milla Atwell.

Student Parliament 2024: Andy B, Ellie C, Piper E, Louis F, Archer G, Henry H, Sonny I, Aila K, Rhani L, Cochella O, Addison P, Luke P, Stephanie M and Caspian W.

School Captains for 2024: Andy B, Ellie C, Addison P and Luke P.

Semester 2 Reports and Classes 2024: Tomorrow afternoon your child will learn about their class for 2024 and you will receive their Semester Two report via Compass. Please spend time reading your child's report and celebrate their achievements.   

REC Update

Second Week of Advent Liturgy - Year 4

Last Monday, Year 4 led us in the Second Week of Advent. The focus of the week was peace. The students did a wonderful job. It was a moving experience for us when our Year 4 students, followed by the whole school joined Zara singing her original piece, "Compassion Is."

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Year 5  and Kinder 2024 Sunday Mass

Thank you to our Year 5 students who led our final Sunday Parish Mass so well. The feedback we received from our parishoners on how well you read and sang was outstanding! Our 2024 Kinder students who participated in the offertory procession were so grown up and adorable. They showed everyone how they are ready to begin big school next year. We are so proud of our Year 5 students and know they are going to be great leaders and buddies next year.

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Kinder 2024 Welcome Liturgy

Thank you to our Year 5 and Kinder students who led our Kinder 2024 Welcome Liturgy so well. It was wonderful to see you all participating in singing and dancing to The Rainbow Song and These Hands. You are such an inclusive group of students. Thank you to our current Kinder families who provided morning tea for our new Kinder parents. A special thank you to Sam, Amy and Nicole our PEC for setting up the morning tea. 

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Third Week of Advent - Kinder and Year 1

Thank you to our Kinder and Year 1 students who led our Third Week of Advent Liturgy. The theme was joy. The students did a wonderul job reading and singing. Thank you to Bob Steele from St Vincent DePaul who came and spoke to our students. He was very grateful for all the donations we had collected and called us "Mighty Vinnies" as opposed to "Mini Vinnies" for the tremendous work we do. We are so blessed to have such a generous community who are willing to support those in need. 

Congratulations to the following students who received special awards for their dedication and service to our Kids4Community initative. 

Silver Award - Summer G, Nikkita C and Addison P.

Gold Award - Mia H, Willow F, Phoebe E and Cynthia A.

In addition to these awards. The following three students were awarded the Blessed Frederic Ozanam Award in sincere appreciation of their proven commitment to bringing diginity, comfort, confidence, hope and joy to thoe who need it most. Congratulations Mia, Phoebe and Cynthia!

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Christmas Eve Mass and Nativity

Our children have begun preparing for our Christmas Eve Mass and Nativity play. This will be held Christmas Eve at 6pm. Please join us if you can.