St Brendan's School

Newsletter #18 - Thursday 18 May 2023

Dear Families and Caregivers,

I hope all mothers had a very special day on Sunday. Rightly so, mothers are held in the highest of esteem. They demonstrate love, selflessness, patience, kindness, caring and countless other qualities that are essential to our well-being and development. Mary, the Mother of Jesus, was the embodiment of these qualities. Like mothers all over, she sacrificed much for her son and others. To the mothers in the St Brendan’s community, I hope you had a wonderful day, it wa richly deserved.

I thank our wonderful family members who prepared and ran the Mothers' Day Stall and staff for preparing and serving during the luncheon.

As principal it is indeed heartwarming to see so many members of our commnity come together to enjoy and celebrate this significant community event.

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A commitment to our school's future.

In last week's newsletter I referred to a piece written by journalist Susie O’Brien concerning school closures. In the article key information was omitted and was not helpful to a number of schools. The potential closure of:

• St Bridget’s Primary - Balwyn North

• St John’s - Clifton Hill

• St Joseph’s - Black Rock

• St Mary Magdalen’s - Chadstone

does not reflect the different contexts that the listed schools operate within.

In response, Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools, MACS, has responded confirming the ongoing viability of St Brendan's School.

To read the full response, click on the button below.

Keeping Our School Healthy in the Winter Months

While COVID 19 restrictions now seem a distant memory, it has by no means been eradicated. This week’s reported numbers stand at 7,594 an increase of 18% from the previous week. I sit in my study at home, aware that the cold and flu season is also in full force and sick days at school are on the rise. It is a reminder that COVID is still with us and coupled with the cold and flu season, schools are at the front line.

Our aim is to always to provide high standard learning opportunities as well as balancing the wellbeing and health of our staff, students, and their families.

Each week we are noticing an increase in various infections with students and staff being affected. It is a challenging time replacing absent staff, juggling staff numbers, and dealing with sick students.

I thank families and caregivers for keeping their child home if they are sick as we are aware of the challenges for faced.

So, it is a reminder that if your child is sick, whether it be with COVID, a cold or the flu, they need to stay home.

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Best wishes,


Digital Ambition Plan

Family and Caregivers of children in a Catholic primary schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne are invited to share their thoughts and ideas to contribute to the Digital Ambition Plan for Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS). Family and Caregivers' views are critical to ensure that technology reflects the needs of students and school communities into the future.

Technology is changing at a rapid pace and the plan needs to reflect the changes as well as stay true to the direction of Catholic education.

Further information will be revealed when openning up the button below.

School Closure Day

The first school closure day for the year will be held tomorrow, Friday 19 May.

On this day our teachers will continue their professional learning in Literacy, Big Write and VCOP. The focus is on Assessment i.e. what a student has achieved and is working towards. Our teachers will learn how to identify any gaps within the Big Write philosophy to accurately inform the next steps in their teaching for student learning.

We will be exploring the Big Write assessment criteria that includes:

  • features of text type/genre
  • handwriting
  • spelling
  • grammar
  • punctuation
  • writer’s voice

This professional learning continues our Big Write journey that commenced in August last year.

During the second half of the day, our teachers will shift their focus to Mathematics, and in particular, the Maths Online Interview (MOI). The MOI is an online tool for assessing the mathematical knowledge of students in the early years of schooling and of 'at risk' students in the middle and upper primary levels.

Teachers will look at the growth point framework. Growth points describe key stages in the learning of mathematics. The data collected in the MOI provides teachers with powerful information to use when planning to meet student learning needs.

St Brendan's Day Celebrations

On Tuesday 16th May we celebrated the special day - the feast of St Brendan, patron saint of our school.

The students commenced the day attending mass and hearing how St Brendan travelled the seas to spread the good news.

We then came back to class to participate in a range of fun activities focused on learning about St Brendan. These included a comic strip about his timeline, an art activity and a meditation time.

The highlight for many students and staff was the baking of traditional Irish soda bread with Miss Sonya. The aroma of freshly baked bread was enveloping the whole school. The students were able to learn the origin of this recipe and why the bread is baked with a cross on top. Maybe parents could ask their children to explain this.

It was wonderful to watch the students eagerly waiting for the opportunity to taste and enjoy the warm bread lavished with butter.

We thank Miss Sonya for sharing her family recipe and this Irish tradition.

Some reflections:

Raymond - I loved the bread!

Maria Doolah - I made it at home with dad last night and loved it.

Jane - it was delicious.

Mr Steve - crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.

Miss Maryann - I saved my piece to enjoy with my dinner.

Miss Michelle - so good with vegemite on top.

Another exciting thing for the Year 5/6 Koalas was a zoom meeting with a class of students from St Brendan's School in Ganmain. Ganmain is a small rural town in the Wimmera, NSW. The students were able to share stories about the differences growing up in the city compared to the country. It was also interesting to hear the other students tell of the different ways they celebrated St Brendan's Day at their school.

A fun filled learning day for all.

Best wishes

Michelle Hewitt

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Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) On School Students with Disability

Schools must now complete the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD) every year. It counts the number of students who receive additional adjustments or “help” at school because of a disability. The NCCD helps governments plan for the needs of students with disability.

Visit the NCCD Information button below for further information

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Parent Calendar

Here is a link to our Parent Calendar. You will also find this on our website.



Term 2

Week 4

Friday 19 May

Staff Training

- School closure

Week 5

Sunday 21 May

Feast - St Brendan

Mass & Luncheon

10:30 am

Monday 22 May

Visual Arts

Physical Education

Performing Arts


Tuesday 23 May

School Photos

Early Years

Wednesday 24


Parishes in Partnership Meeting

Thursday 25

Breast Cancer Pink Bun Day

- Gold Coin Donation

Dental Van Visit

Friday 26 May

District Cross Country

- School Squad

Dental Van Visit

Prayer Assembly


2:20 pm in the Gym

Week 6

Monday 28 May

Visual Arts

Physical Education

Performing Arts


Tuesday 30 May

Early Years

Wednesday 31 May


Friday 2 June

Prayer Assembly


2:20 pm in the Gym

Prayer to St Brendan

Help me to journey beyond the familiar

and into the unknown.

Give me the faith to leave old ways

and break fresh ground with You.

Christ of the mysteries, I trust You

to be stronger than each storm within me.

I will trust in the darkness and know

that my times, even now, are in Your hand.

Tune my spirit to the music of heaven,

and somehow, make my obedience count for You.


Keep in contact with us

I ask that you continue to regularly visit our Facebook page for updates. If you have any queries or concerns, please contact me directly.

I may be contacted on

Best wishes,


St Brendan's Parish


Administration Office

103 Wellington Street

Flemington 3031

03 9412 8495

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