St Thomas' News
22 February 2023
Project Compassion Prayer
God of generations
We thank you for those who have gone before us,
especially those who have cared for your earth
and who inspire us to help respect your creation and contribute to its healing.
We thank you for those with whom we share our lives today
especially those who work for justice and peace.
May we welcome the opportunity that Lent brings to walk more closely with you,
especially through fasting, almsgiving, and prayer.
We thank you for the challenge of the future.
May the cross of Jesus remind us that only love finds a way forward.
As we work with big hearts, may we join with Mary in her hope
that from now on all generations will experience the great things you will do through us.
We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Friday 24 February - Swimming Trials
Friday 24 February - Choir Yrs 3 - 6 Hall 8:30 - 9 am
Saturday 25 February - Parish Mass lead by Y6 @ 5:30 pm - all welcome followed by sausage sizzle
Monday 27 February - Italian Club (PP - Y2) 3:15 - 4 pm
Monday 27 February - Homework Club (Yrs 1 - 6) 3:15 - 4:15 pm
Wednesday 01 March - Parish Mass 12:30 pm, parents welcome
Thursday 02 March - Coding Club (Yrs 4 - 6) 3:15 - 4 pm
Friday 03 March - Pre Primary Speech Screening commences
Friday 03 March - Choir Yrs 3 - 6 Hall 8:30 - 9 am
Friday 03 March - Pre Primary Pyjamas Party Day
Monday 06 March - Labour Day Holiday (school closed)
Wednesday 08 March - Pre Primary Speech Screening continues
Wednesday 08 March - Parish Mass 12:30 pm, parents welcome
Thursday 09 March - Yrs 3 - 6 Badminton Sporting Schools
Thursday 09 March - Coding Club (Yrs 4 - 6) 3:15 - 4 pm
Friday 10 March - Swimming Carnival (Yrs 3 - 6)
Friday 10 March - Choir Yrs 3 - 6 Hall 8:30 - 9 am
Friday 10 March - P&F Sundowner (adults only event) 6:30 - 9:30pm. Please book child minding early!
Monday 13 March - Italian Club (PP - Y2) 3:15 - 4 pm
Monday 13 March - Homework Club (Yrs 1 - 6) 3:15 - 4:15 pm
Wednesday 15 March - Drama Club (Yrs 4 - 6) 3 - 4:15 pm
Wednesday 15 March - P&F Meeting 7 pm - school library, all welcome
Thursday 16 March - Yrs 3 - 6 Badminton Sporting Schools
Thursday 16 March - Coding Club (Yrs 4 - 6) 3:15 - 4 pm
Friday 17 March - St Patricks Day
Friday 17 March - Choir Yrs 3 - 6 Hall 8:30 - 9 am
Friday 17 March - Swimming Training
Please remember dates of events can be subject to change
(Full 2023 term dates at the end of this newsletter)
From the Principal
Dear Parents and Caregivers
It was lovely to see our parent helpers at school yesterday cooking pancakes for our students to celebrate Shrove Tuesday. A big thank you to everyone that assisted, and to the P & F for their generous donation to this event.
Today is Ash Wednesday. It is a time to gather our thoughts as we prepare for our journey during the Lenten period. At Mass this morning, students were sprinkled with some ashes. This is an expression of our faith and a sign that we are asking God for forgiveness during this Lenten period.
Ash Wednesday also marks the beginning of the annual Project Compassion Appeal. Donations to Project Compassion, allow Caritas Australia, the Catholic agency for International Aid and Development, to work with local communities around the world to alleviate poverty, hunger, oppression, and injustice.
A Project Compassion box has been distributed to each family today. We encourage you to put your compassion into action this Lent through your prayer, fasting and almsgiving by supporting this worthy cause.
Catholic School Advisory Council
On Tuesday evening, our School Advisory Council gathered for the first meeting of the school year. I am pleased to announce our council members for 2023.
Chair: Susan Swift
Secretary: Paul Indiamo
Treasurer: Daniel Della Vedova
Finance Committee Chair: Peter Lorbeer
Risk & Audit Committee: Trish Coniglio & Frank di Latte
P & F Representative: Clare McIIree
Ex-offio Members: Natalia Thomson, Heath Nankivell & Fr Wayne Davis.
A summary of every meeting will be included in our school newsletters, the first of which will be in our next newsletter.
From my reading: ‘Making sleep a priority’
Research shows that making sleep a priority is important for parents who want their children to succeed in school.
Recently staff have noticed that many students are returning to school on Monday after the weekend tired. Sleep experts say that a lack of sleep reduces cognitive abilities and impairs school performance.
Sleep needs vary by age. For school age children aged 6-12 years, the National Sleep Foundation recommends 9-11 total hours of sleep per day.
We ask for your support in ensuring that your child arrives at school each Monday morning refreshed and ready to learn. More information can be sourced on this topic in the article ‘Improve your child’s school performance with a good night’s sleep.’
P & F Sundowner
Please join us as we come together as a school community to welcome in the new school year at our parent Sundowner on Friday March 10. Information on this event can be viewed below.
Thank you and God bless
Congratulations to our Merit Winners
Code of Conduct
A reminder that every member of the St Thomas’ Primary School (STPS) community is expected to adhere to our STPS Code of Conduct which can be found on our school website here.
Our Code is like the 40 km/h speed limit outside our school in the mornings and afternoons. It defines behaviours that keep our students safe, at school and elsewhere. Children surrounded by adult and peer behaviours described in the Code are more likely to recognise and choose healthy relationships for themselves.
We keep our students safe by following our Code of Conduct and encouraging and reminding each other to do so. For parents, compliance is a condition of entry to our school premises.
From the Assistant Principal
All Year Three and Year Five students will take part in National Literacy and Numeracy testing between Wednesday 15 March and Monday 27 March (Weeks 7, 8 and 9). There will be an opportunity for catch-up testing within this time frame, which will be handled during school time. Teachers have worked with students on test-taking skills as well as building skills in the assessed areas. During this testing period, please can parents of Year 3 and Year 5 students ensure their children have good sleep routines, a filling breakfast, and adopt a positive attitude centred around the idea of ‘doing your best’ and reducing any undue stress surrounding completing these tests. If you have any queries, please contact me or your child’s teacher.
Term One clubs are an exciting way for your child to involve themselves in areas of interest or passion under the direction of St Thomas’ staff. I am sure parents join with me in whole-heartedly thanking the staff for sharing their gifts, talents, experiences and interests with our students, which is often completed during their own lunch-time, or out-of-school hours.
Please see the document for Term One’s offerings here.
Thank you to parents of Years 3-6 students for supporting your child’s appropriate use of technology, by discussing and signing of the ICT User Agreement. I encourage those who have not done so already, to complete the iPad Rules/Contract for Home document, so that your expectations are clear. The school rules may assist you in defining these rules, as well as websites such as (my personal favourite) the Office of the e-Safety Commissioner, found at: https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents. I also take the opportunity to throw in my two favourite rules for home iPad use – Never take the iPad into your bedroom, and keep the charger in the kitchen powerpoint. Please contact me if you would like to discuss other support measures we can assist you with.
A short note to inform parents of the change in our timetable for 2023. Towards the end of last year, the staff discussed the opportunity to stagger break times for Pre-Kindy and Kindy students; Pre-primary students; Years 1-3 students; and Years 4-6 students. This has taken a significant effort and change in thinking from the staff and pre-existing school organisational structures but ultimately has proved to be overwhelmingly successful for giving students more space to run and play, in what is a compact campus. The space students now have to move about more freely, with fewer interruptions in and between various games and activities, has been significant, along with greater ease of access to various equipment and areas of the school.
Religious Education (RE) at St Thomas'
Dear School Community,
As a Catholic school, St Thomas’ Primary aims to nurture and enrich our students' religious and spiritual development through daily prayer, the celebration of liturgy and sacraments, faith formation, and social justice activities.
Students are also involved in the school-based sacramental program. In Year 3, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is offered, and in Year 4, the Sacrament of First Eucharist.
Religious Education is an expression of a faith-filled partnership with parents, teachers, students and the Church community. It is also a curriculum area that all students undertake, as it helps develop deep knowledge, understanding and specific skills.
The prayerful times are essential to building our community and celebrating that we are all part of God's family. Therefore, always know that all families are invited to join us in the church (St Thomas the Apostle) for our Whole School Liturgies and the Wednesday Parish Masses at 12.30 pm.
As a parent, how can you support our Religious Education Program?
Help your child to learn the prayers that we teach in our classroom.
Pre-primary The Sign of the Cross School Prayer Simple prayers of thanks, Hail Mary
Year 1 The Sign of the Cross School Prayer Hail Mary Glory Be to the Father (Gloria Patri)
Year 2 The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father), Hail Mary, Morning Prayer & Blessing before and after meals
Year 3 The Angelus (The angel’s prayer to Mary and her response) Prayer of Sorrow
Year 4 Rosary
Year 5 Four prayers of intentions Recall prayers taught in Years 1 to 4.
Year 6 Apostles Creed & Come Holy Spirit
Support our Sacramental Programs for students in Years 3, 4 and 6.
It is a special year for these students as they look forward to celebrating the Sacraments with their families and school community. We believe that parents are the first educators in their children's faith.
At St Thomas’, the family is supported by the Religious Education program taught in class. In Year 3, students are taught the content for First Reconciliation; in Year 4, the content for First Holy Communion; in Year 6, the content for Confirmation.
Our school-based sacramental programs also involve students attending the school commitment Mass, parents and students participating in an evening workshop and students attending a whole class retreat prepared by Sr Catherine Warner PVBM.
Dates worth saving!
Commitment Mass - for all children wanting to receive their sacrament and organised by the school and parents are welcome to attend. Sat. 20 May at 12.30 pm.
First Holy Communion Parent and Student Workshop – Mon. 22 May Student Retreat – Tues. 23 May First Eucharist Mass - Fri. 26 May
Confirmation Parent and Student Workshop – Mon. 21 Aug. Student Retreat – Tues. 22nd Aug. Confirmation Mass – Fri. 25 Aug.
First Reconciliation Parent and Student Workshop – Mon. 9 Oct. Student Retreat – Tues. 10 Oct. First Reconciliation - Mon. 16 or Tues. 17 Oct.
TOGETHER IN CHRIST - ASH WEDNESDAY
Today our community gathered joyfully to celebrate Ash Wednesday. Christians around the world mark the beginning of Lent with the celebration of Ash Wednesday. This ancient day and season have a surprising modern appeal. It is said that outside of Christmas, more people attend church on Ash Wednesday than any other day of the year—including Easter. But this mystique isn’t reserved for Christians alone.
The customs surrounding the season have a quality that transcends religion. Perhaps most notable is the act of fasting. While Catholics fast on Ash Wednesday and on Fridays during the Lenten season, many people, religious or not, take up this increasingly popular discipline during the year.
Pope Francis asked us to reconsider the heart of this activity during the Lenten season. According to Francis, fasting must never become superficial. He often quotes the early Christian mystic John Chrysostom, who said: “No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting or how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually if you do no good to others, you do nothing great.” Something for all of us to consider.
Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolise the dust from which God made us. The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year.
Our Year Six students participated in the Project Compassion launch, online in their classroom on Tuesday, 21 February. Project Compassion is Caritas Australia’s annual Lenten Appeal which funds the continuing work of Caritas Australia in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Latin America and Australian Indigenous communities. T
his year, Project Compassion focuses on Food for Life. It highlights global food issues and how Caritas Australia empowers the world’s poorest people to establish sustainable food sources. Project Compassion is an opportunity to share what we have with those who have less.
Every family will take home a Project Compassion box. This is an excellent opportunity for families to model compassion and the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. It is amazing how faith finds expression in concrete everyday actions.
Year 6 Project Compassion Launch
Our Students Leaders & Mrs Thomson
Today at our Ash Wednesday Mass, our Mini Vinnies distributed the Project Compassion donation boxes to all classes. The eldest child in each family will be bringing home a mini donation box and a pamphlet for the family home. Let’s try to ‘End Poverty, Promote Justice and Uphold Dignity’ together!
Thank you, St Thomas’ Mini Vinnies.
Thank you, St Thomas’ Mini Vinnies.
Swimming Trials – This Friday 24th February
All information has been sent via email.
Years 4 and 5 - from 12 noon until 1.30pm
Years 3 and 6 - from 1.30pm – 3pm
Students will be dropped off and transported back to school via bus on Friday 24th February for the swimming trials.
Food - Students will require a few snacks in the afternoon and students will eat lunch either before the trials or after depending on what group they are in. Plenty of water is also essential.
Swimwear and equipment
All students are required to come to school in their St Thomas Physical Education Uniform. They will change at school into their St Thomas’ swimwear/appropriate swimwear with their sports uniform over the top. Students may also wear slip on shoes to the pool only not during the school day. Students will be required to bring their own towels and goggles for the time trials.
Thank you to all the parents who volunteered as once again the support was overwhelming. Parents are welcome to watch, however they must stay on the opposite side of the pool unless you are volunteering. If you are coming along to watch, there is a small fee for entry.
UPCOMING SPORTING EVENTS
St Thomas’ Swimming Carnival – Friday 10th March
Please keep an eye out next week for the information and permission form via email.
Interschool Swimming Carnival – Friday 31st March
UPCOMING SPORTING EVENTS TBC
Year 5 & 6 Tennis and Cricket Carnival – Day TBA
AFL Football – If you would like to child to participate in AFL football for Claremont Junior Football Club registrations are open and you may also contact www.claremontjuniorfc.com.au
UWA WA Cricket – Pop up Program
Please refer to the flyer for more information
Physical Education Specialist Teacher
The Green Team
Meet our staff
Name: Lisa Keatch
Position: Science Specialist.
Gifted &Talented Coordinator
Year 3 Thursday and Friday
Interests: Outdoor pursuits ie camping, SUPing, travelling
Football Team: Eagles
Favourite Food: Thai
Currently Reading: Leanne Moriarty – Apples Never Fall
Favourite Holiday Destination: Croatia
3 people you’d invite to dinner: Matthew McConaughey (I could listen to him all day), Carol Dweck (American psychologist studying Growth Mindset) and Stephen Hawking (English theoretical physicist)
What would you do with your last $50? Purchase essentials to be self sufficient, ie seeds, soil
Favourite Movie: Titanic
Favourite Quote: “Not words, but deeds” Nano Nagle
Someone I admire: My mum
John XXIII Open Day
2023 TERM DATES
- TERM 1
- Wednesday 1 February - Thursday 6 April
- TERM 2
- Wednesday 26 April – Friday 30 June
- TERM 3
- Tuesday 18 July – Thursday 21 September
- TERM 4
- Monday 09 October – Friday 9 December
Pupil free days:
Monday 24 April
Tuesday 06 June
Monday 17 July
Friday 18 August
Friday 22 September
Monday 6 March (Labour Day)
Friday 7 April (Good Friday)
Tuesday 25 April (ANZAC Day)
Monday 5 June (WA Day)
Monday 25 September (Kings birthday)