2023 Term 4 Week 6
Dear Parents and Carers,
As the last Jacaranda blossoms vanish from Grafton we would like to thank everyone who assisted and participated in the Jacaranda events this year, particularly Nick Brotherson and Troy Peppernell. We could not have decorated the float without these two! The combined efforts of all and dedication of our teachers ensures the continuing success of St Mary’s participation in the festival.
A number of students in our school also decided to spread a little Jacaranda cheer to some of those people in our community who may not have been able to join in any of the Jacaranda Festival events or activities. Our school delivered over 100 handmade cards to residents at Dougherty Villa Grafton to wish them a Happy Jacaranda.
Mini Mary’s children have been visiting over the last few weeks in either the morning or afternoon session. The Mini Mary’s program is an important stepping stone for these children into ‘Big School’. It has allowed them to meet new friends, form relationships with teachers and most importantly has made them excited to begin Kindergarten next year!
Students who nominated to participate in the swimming carnival travelled to Maclean to compete last Friday. Mr Tonkin has shared the results of the carnival in the Sport section.
We held our Remembrance Day liturgy on Monday morning at school. The students who lead the liturgy did a wonderful job! It was also lovely to have a number of parents, caregivers, grandparents and even some parishioners join us.
Our Mini Vinnies group have been working hard in the lead up to Christmas to support those in need in our community. The Mini Vinnies group have a number of fundraising events planned including the ‘Elf Yourself’ photos for a cause, collecting non perishable items, gift vouchers and toys to create hampers to be given to those in need and a gold coin donation Christmas Shirt Day. We appreciate your ongoing support of our mission efforts and it is through your generous support that we can continue to make a difference in our local community.
University of Newcastle Prac Students
This term we have welcomed two Teacher Education Students from the University of Newcastle into our school community. Miss Indiana Mulzer has been a great addition to the Year 2 teaching team and Miss Chelsea Collard has been working in both Year 1 as well as leading some of the Mini Mary’s sessions. It has been lovely to be able to share knowledge and help the teaching profession continue to develop by nurturing the careers of young teachers. Be sure to say hello if you see them around the school!
Work Experience Students
At the end of November we will welcome four McAuley College students to our school for work experience. It will be exciting to invite these former students of St Mary’s back to our school.
Tuesday 21 November 11:30am - Year 5 Leadership Speeches
Thursday 30 November 5:30pm - Combined Parish Celebration at McAuley Catholic College
Wednesday 6 December 6:00pm - Year 6 Grad dinner at the GDSC (date amended)
Thursday 7 December - End of Year Mass and Awards ceremony
Friday 8 December - Class Party and Christmas Shirt day
Thursday 14 December - Year 6 fun day
Friday 15 December - Year 6 farewell assembly and last day of the year for students
Further details of each of these events can be found on the Compass App and are recorded on the school calendar.
Previous Correspondence Shared on Compass
Spider Day - a Year 6 Fundraiser
Car Wash - a Year 6 Fundraiser
Elf Yourself Photos for a Cause
Combined Parish Celebration
Lolly guessing competition - a Year 6 Fundraiser
Please check COMPASS for further information about upcoming events closer to the dates.
Jas, Dale & Hannah
Results from our Swimming Carnival held last week in Maclean:
Winning House - Patricius
Overall Champions - Sophie Sutherland and Stella Skeels
Senior Boy Champion - Chase Harris
Senior Girl Champions - Sophie Sutherland and Stella Skeels
11 Years Girl Champion - Peyton Davies
Junior Boy Champion - Braxn Nipperess
Junior Girl Champion - Daisy Grayson
It was a fantastic day at Maclean. Thank you to the many people that assisted during the carnival, we had a wonderful time. All 50 students that attended did their best and were outstanding in their determination. Our two elite swimmers, Stella and Sophie were particularly outstanding, breaking numerous records throughout the day. This was not surprising as we know both Stella and Sophie train hard in swimming and we wish them both the best of luck into the future. Maybe we may see them at the Olympics in Brisbane in a few years time, who knows?
12 Years Girls 50 m Freestyle - Record Stella Skeels - 32.07. Previous record held by Kelly-Ann Burley 1996- 32.28
Senior Girls 50m Breaststroke - Record Sophie Sutherland - 44.33. Previous record held by Lara Nowak 2001. 47.46.
Senior Girls 50m Backstroke - Record Stella Skeels - 35.00. Previous record held by Anna Brotherson 2007 - 35.19.
Senior Girls 50m Butterfly - Record Sophie Sutherland - 37.24. Previous record held by Kelly- Ann Burley 1996 - 40.16.
Todd Woodbridge Cup Sydney
Our Stage 2 Tennis squad are preparing to travel to Sydney for the finals of the Todd Woodbridge Cup on Monday. It has been an amazing journey for this team who have won numerous games against many other schools. Thank you to all parents involved for your support and help with this group. We pray for their safe travels and wish them luck as they compete Olympic precinct at Homebush, Sydney.
Good luck team !
- If your child is arriving to the school after 8:45am please sign them in at the office.
- Please use Compass to record full day absentees. Partial absences are recorded by staff when students are signed in and out of the office.
- Students who leave a school event early will have a partial absence recorded.
- A medical certificate or other documentation may be requested where frequent absences due to illness occur.
- Generally, extended leave (greater than 10 days) during the school term would not be approved. These absences are recorded on the roll as unjustified and a completed Form 01 Extended Leave Notification Travel/Other Greater than 10 Days is required.
- In exceptional circumstances parents may complete an Form 02 Approved Extended Leave Application - Travel/Other Greater than 10 Days for consideration by the Principal, explaining why an absence for extended leave is in the best educational interest of the student. The Principal may decline or accept this application.
St Mary's Primary School P&F
The P&F are an important group within our school. We understand that it is not always possible to attend the meetings due to time restraints of family and work. We value everyone's thoughts and ideas, and therefore invite parents to use the link below to share agenda items with us.
The Australian Federal Police (AFP) are urging families to be proactive this school year and update the privacy settings on children’s devices to help prevent predators from contacting them online.
The AFP-led ThinkUKnow program – Australia’s first and only nationally delivered, law enforcement-led online safety program – has produced guides for parents and carers.
- Gaming devices and what you need to know
- Parent and carer social media starter kit
For more information, visit this website.
Parent Guide to DIBELS Assessment (Primary)
Kiss and Drop Zone in Turf Street
Just a reminder that the Kiss and Drop Zone is currently signed as a one minute parking zone. This means that you cannot park your car in the kiss and drop zone for an extended period. The students arrive at Kiss and Drop at 3pm and are supervised in this zone until 3.20pm. Please consider arriving closer to 3pm for collection.
The Kiss and Drop is designed for you to stay in your car while your child enters the car. If your child cannot open the car door and secure their own seatbelt, you need to park your car in the designated parking areas and walk to the gate to collect your child. Please drive through as far as possible to allow sufficient space for other drivers in the zone. The Kiss and Drop Zone does not function effectively and becomes congested if there are any hold ups or delays.
The school does not request the presence of the Grafton Police to manage traffic at the front of the school. However, there is a regular police presence on Turf Street monitoring the safety of the school zone. Please ensure that you adhere to all traffic signs in the area to avoid fines.
Please check out our school Safe Travel webpage that details all the processes for travel to and from school.
Parking in Hoof Street
There are a small number of parking spaces near the Sunrise Shop (corner of Hoof and Turf Streets) for use by their customers. To assist this small business we suggest parking away from the corner.
Child Safe Standards
Our school as part of the Diocese of Lismore Catholic Schools Limited (DLCSL), like all child-safe organisations, is implementing the Child Safe Standards. As a part of this work, we share our Child Safeguarding Commitment Statement which reinforces our dedication to the safety and wellbeing of all children.
St Mary's Primary School is committed to ensuring we provide a safe environment for students. We are required to meet the statutory obligations of the legislation relating to child protection and the policies and guidelines set out by the Catholic Schools Office. The Child Protection Policy can be found on the webpage.
Working With Children Check (WWCC)
At St Mary's we are committed to creating and supporting a culture of safety for children and ensuring that children are protected. All employees and volunteers are required to have a current WWCC.
NB - The vast majority of volunteers in schools are parents of a child attending the school at which they are volunteering (eg reading groups, fetes, camps, excursions and canteen) and therefore do not require a WWCC. Exceptions to this are
volunteers interacting one-on-one with a child not their own,
working with children who have a disability,
offering mentoring services,
when the volunteer is not a parent or close relative.
Anti-bullying and Wellbeing
Bullying is a serious offence and is not acceptable in our school. All alleged violations and every act of bullying will be duly investigated, and parents/carers informed.
The anti-bullying policy can be found on the school's webpage.