My Education Patch

A principal reflecting on life at St Brigid's Primary School

Remembrance Day 2018

There is a beautiful quote from Czeslaw Milosz that says: ‘The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them.”

On the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice that ended the First World War (1914-1918) let us remember the sacrifices made by those who died or were injured in their efforts to defend our country and protect our freedom. The sacrifices these men and women made are still felt today with the loss of more than 60,000 who died during the First World War and the effect that it had on their families and their livelihoods and the impact on a young country and communities during the post war decades and beyond.

We commemorate these heroes and the heroes who have suffered in modern today conflicts and peacekeeping operations.

Express Yourself!

Last Term our students were involved in units of work that focused on expressing yourself in a variety of ways and explored artistic expression and performance styles. Our learning communities studied how different forms of art have changed over time and how they are used to convey a message.

The impetus for this was our whole school concert: ‘We are All in this Together’ that featured music and dance routines that the students learned through the Footsteps Dance Company. The enthusiasm among the learning communities was amazing.

The excitement of performing in front of large audience of family and friends at Bunjil Place in Narre Warren was incredible.  It was a wonderful evening. We received many positive comments about the performance and the way in which our students participated.

We were also blessed to have Mrs. Julie Mullins work with our students in Creative Arts throughout Term 3. Students responded well to our Artist in Residence Program and they produced artwork that some tried for the first time while also building upon skills they already have established.

Many of our students took the opportunity to continue their expression during lunch time with Julie who was only too eager to work with students to provide further opportunities to be creative and enjoy art.

Now in Term 4 we have the pleasure in welcoming our new Foundation students for 2019 as they continue the orientation process and we prepare them for the exciting challenge of beginning their primary years of schooling. Our Year 6 students are preparing for their transition to secondary schooling while we celebrate the successes and growth in all our students as teachers prepare their End of Year Reports.

 

 

 

 

Our School Gardens

World renown horticulturalist, garden designer and writer Gertrude Jekyll said: “The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.” I am inclined to agree with her.  Gertrude Jekyll created magnificent gardens and inspired many others to follow her love of hardy flower borders in the early 1900’s.

Our school gardens are no way near the magnitude or the grand design of a stately English manor, however our small patch is thriving and developing with each new day.

A new Japanese inspired garden with cherry blossoms is being created by our Gardener Mark that will reflect the commitment we have to our Japanese Language program. The Lone Pine is of significance and was donated by a past pupil’s grandfather. We hold our ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day tributes around this important tree.

We have a large group of students who choose to work in the vegetable garden during recess and lunch times, digging, watering and weeding who are happy to feel the earth between their fingers and see growth from their effort when the seeds begin to pop up or the vegetables are ready for picking.

Our chickens are happy to have visitors come to play with them and collect their eggs.  The children delight in seeing them and are more than willing to clean their coop and see they have food and fresh water.

The activities within our vegetable garden are positive and it is encouraging to see a new generation of gardeners developing so that our environment, our world will always be cared for and the beauty of gardens will continue thrive into the future.

Happy Mother’s Day

 

 

 

On behalf of our St. Brigid’s School community I wish every mother and that special person who takes on the role of a mother figure in the life of a child a Happy Mother’s for this coming Sunday, May 13th 2018.

Thank you to the mothers who share their love unconditionally, who inspire their children to be kind and thoughtful, to be supportive of each other and appreciate life in all the ups and downs that comes their way.

School Attendance

School Attendance in Victoria is compulsory for children and young people aged from 6 to 17 years unless an exemption from attendance has been granted. Whilst it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian to ensure the child in their care attends school we have a shared responsibility to support them in doing this.

Applications for exemption are considered on a case by case basis, with the student’s best interest as the guiding principle for decision-making. The potential benefits or negative consequence of granting the exemption to the student’s education progress, wellbeing and development are also considered.

For absences where there is no exemption in place, the parent/guardian must promptly provide an explanation on each occasion to the school.

We have an obligation to our school community to express the importance of school attendance and ensure our responsibilities of recording student attendance is in accordance with all regulations.  

Attending school is important for students as it maximises life opportunities and provides a support network.

 

 

Senior Camp

It has been a fabulous start to Term 2 with our Year 5/6 School Camp at Phillip Island.

It is the first time we have been to Camp at the Phillip Island Adventure Resort  and it was such a pleasure to see our students adapt and challenge themselves in a new environment away from the regular school environment.

Camps are a great way to support student learning in ways other than just in the areas of literacy and numeracy.  They build so many skills and show students just how capable they really are while encouraging physical fitness and an active lifestyle.

Over the many years I have attended school camps I have seen students face their fears.  They have been very hesitant about approaching a task or trying the flying fox and to see their expressions change once they have achieved what they thought was impossible is just pure joy.

Providing opportunities to develop a wide range of social skills strengthen relationships and develops new ones. Through the group and personal activities undertaken such as low ropes, canoeing, team rescue, archery, crate climbing, ponding to the cooperation building exercises of tidying cabins and helping at meal times students learn a wide range of social skills and independence.

Being away from their families and the usual parental decision making and support they learn to to rely on their team. Being able to to get along with each other throughout the day and night is character building. Over coming homesickness is another challenge and we find that the outdoor environment and fun activities helps students form really strong, positive relationships.

Congratulations to our students who made the most of every opportunity presented to them.

      

 

 

 

 

Easter Message

Pope Francis said on March 28th 2018 that “Easter is the most important celebration of our faith.” He explained that it is the celebration of our salvation, the celebration of God’s love for us, the celebration of His Death and Resurrection.

Throughout this past week, the week known as Holy Week, we have made the journey with Jesus from his humble, yet triumphant entry into Jerusalem to the standing at the foot of the cross. 

Our journey with Jesus took us through the great jubilation of people laying down their cloaks, waving palm branches, welcoming their king and celebrating to one of darkness, suffering and death. The chief priests and teachers of the Law secretly plotted to get rid of Jesus. They arrested him and crowds turned on Jesus. Jesus reached the lowest depth of suffering. The sorrow we feel will soon turn to joy as we celebrate the glorious resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday.

Our walk with Jesus throughout this week has revealed the immeasurable love of God, A love, in which God gives Jesus, his only Son, to the entire world to suffer and die on the cross for our salvation.

May this greatest Feast that is at the heart of what we believe as Christians fill us with Easter joy and empower us to be people of hope to others.  

 

Catholic School Enrolment

The Enrolment process for Foundation Year students has commenced for the western cluster of schools in the Diocese of Sale. It is a difficult time for parents as they wish to make the right decision about schooling for their child.

As parents consider their options and choosing a school for many and varied reasons, why should they consider a Catholic School?

Our faith in Jesus Christ is why Catholic schools exist and we are challenged to foster a distinctive culture, educational vision and practice. As our school Statement of Beliefs and Values states: ‘The membership of the school community is diverse. Some are conscious and active members of their Catholic community, some belong actively to other Christian traditions or religious faiths. Some are not explicitly Christian, but nevertheless have sought enrolment for their children in a Catholic school. Many students come from households, in which the adults belong to different churches, or one partner is intentionally Christian and the other is not. A large number of children and parents are baptised Catholic who may not participate consciously in a community of faith or deliberately attend to the religious dimension of their lives. The school is challenged to find appropriate ways to engage all members of its community in conversation about Christian identity.”

We are committed to developing our students into strong individuals academically, socially, physically and spiritually in a nurturing environment guided by faith and knowledge. Each student has strengths, interests and talents that need to be encouraged and developed so they are able to make a positive contribution to the world in which they live. Optimal learning takes place where the dignity, safety and uniqueness of each student is valued.  Our teachers provide personalised learning experiences for our students to achieve their personal best.

Promoting student wellbeing through building self confidence, self respect and respect for others, self discipline and resilience prepares students to be good stewards of God’s creation and prepares them for active participation in their faith community and civic community.

We share in the education of your children and foster a partnership with parents and guardians to support their child’s education. A student’s wellbeing is enhanced when the gap between home and school is minimal and all parties communicate, respect and cooperate with each other. We welcome parents and guardians to join with us on our journey of educating your children.

Our dedicated Parents Retreat is a space for parents to gather for social and school purposes. This area aims to enhance the welcoming culture of our school and parents and friends get to know each other and develop lasting friendships.

We believe students experience a unique faith-filled, nurturing environment in a Catholic school where there is a focus on the skills needed for the contemporary world today, tomorrow and well into the future.

 

 

 

 

Enhancing Parent/School Relationships

We all share the common goal of educating children and at the heart of learning is the child’s wellbeing.

A student’s wellbeing is enhanced when the gap between home and school is minimal and all parties communicate, respect and cooperate with each other.

Each child is unique and teachers work extremely hard to learn about their students, to understand how they learn and what makes them motivated and engaged. When parents share information about their child’s interests, their health, family situation or just their daily routine it assists teachers to get to know their child and understand why they may be feeling a certain way, or why they are enthusiastic about a task or at times wanting or not wanting to come to school.

Working in a positive partnership, our communication is meaningful and we become grounded in a sense of belonging to our school and our Parish. We understand that there are parents who are unable to be active participants in the school setting during the day and we recognise the valuable contribution all parents can make through their support at home.

Ways to enhance a positive school relationship:

  • Recognising that everyone can contribute in different ways.
  • Listening and talking to one another.
  • Making an effort to understand and trust a point of view.
  • Having face to face meetings, when needed.
  • Treating information with confidentiality and respecting a person’s privacy.
  • Sharing information unique to your child.
  • Attending school functions and allowing your child to participate in these extra curricula activities with their classmates.
  • Showing support for the school by being happy and positive about your child’s education.
  • Supporting learning at home.
  • Valuing their education by ensuring their daily attendance at school.
  • When a child is going to be absent, notifying the school of their absence.

Building partnerships and professional relationships with staff is an ongoing process and requires effort and commitment from each party.

Above all, it is worth remembering that children’s mental health and wellbeing benefits from a positive environment and a respectful partnership when we interact with each other.

Home and School Partnership

We have reached the midway point of Term 1.  Our students settled back into the routine of school quickly and those starting school for the first time have also adapted to their new environment. 

It was pleasing to see our parents take the opportunity to meet with their child’s home group teacher recently and share information pertaining to their child that may assist the teacher in understanding more about their child.  These insights are imperative. Each child is unique and valued and we do our best to meet the individual needs of every child. 

The partnership between home and school can never be underestimated.  It is in fact vital. Parents and families are the first and continuing educators of their children and the school shares in that responsibility of ongoing learning in a formal setting. St. Brigid’s is committed to providing our students with every opportunity to succeed.

If strong partnerships exist between parents and teachers and the school, communication is more effective and meaningful. The key to building successful relationships is having a connectedness to school, a sense of belonging that requires mutual respect and trust.

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