St Thomas' News
02 April 2020
Your desire is for our wholeness and well being.
We hold in tenderness and prayer the collective suffering of our world at this time.
We grieve precious lives lost and vulnerable lives threatened.
We ache for ourselves and our neighbours, standing before an uncertain future.
We pray: may love, not fear, go viral.
Inspire our leaders to discern and choose wisely, aligned with the common good.
Help us to practice social distancing and reveal to us new and creative ways to come together in spirit and in solidarity.
FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Dear parents and caregivers
'Easter at home is an opportunity for faith'. This notion was proposed by Cardinal Stella, a Vatican Official on March 17, as Catholics around the world prepare to celebrate the Easter Triduum at home.
We may not be able to attend Mass and celebrate Easter during this Lenten season due to the current pandemic, but we are blessed that we are united at home in virtual communion through technology. Technology has provided us with an avenue to live-stream Mass and provide online prayer communities.
Preparing for Easter and the resurrection of Jesus during Lent is centred around fasting, prayer and almsgiving; all three of which we can meaningfully engage in at home.
At St Thomas’, our connectedness as a school community, Christ-centred leadership, and our passion for providing a quality teaching and learning experience for our students, remains a core focus.
Pope Francis encourages all of us to care for each other and to be people of hope and joy. We know that Easter is the at the heart of the entire liturgical year and we will continue to hold everyone in the St Thomas’ community in prayer during this Lenten season.
Pope Francis led Catholics around the world in reciting the Lord’s Prayer on Wednesday March 25 at noon, to pray for the end to the coronavirus pandemic. At St Thomas’ students gathered on the oval to pray the ‘Our Father’ together. It was a beautiful, reflective moment for our school to unite in prayer.
Educational Delivery – Remote Learning Term 2.
The question you may all be asking is what is happening in Term 2? Will our schools be open?
Given the circumstances surrounding the current Coronavirus pandemic, we anticipate that students will be participating in remote learning at home in Term 2. We are directed by the Government and Chief Medical Officer so parents will be informed if there are any changes to educational delivery for students.
Staff have been working tirelessly to refine current remote learning practices. Remote learning packages for Term 2, will be available for pick up through the ‘Kiss and Drop’ on Wednesday 29 April from 8.30-9.30 am.
These packages will include a:
1. St Thomas’ Toolkit (one per family)
2. Reflection Journal (one per child)
3. Learning Journal (one per child)
4. Students in Years K-3 will also have packages (one per student).
5. Years 4-6 students will have learning activities uploaded to One Note by Friday afternoon 5 pm the week prior.
Technology tips for Remote Learning can be viewed at the end of this newsletter.
Further information about educational delivery will be forwarded by your class teacher closer to the commencement of the school term on Wednesday 29 April.
With all the events of the last four weeks, we are reminded of the importance of gratitude; gratitude for our amazing staff, who have collaborated together to provide quality teaching and learning for our students, and gratitude for you, our remarkable St Thomas’ parents and caregivers, for taking on the challenge of home schooling and for your support of our school community. We are all learning and navigating our way through this ever-changing situation.
As school holidays commence tomorrow Friday 3 April, I pray that you will all have a safe and restful holiday.
May God bless you during this Lenten season.
ST THOMAS' NEWS
St Thomas’ Easter Egg Raffle
The Mini Vinnies coordinated our Easter Raffle and did an excellent job of writing raffle tickets and recording guesses last week at school.
It was wonderful that we were able to participate in our annual fundraising and it brightened the spirits of children to see that some things weren’t cancelled! Many families also contacted me to purchase tickets online.
I thank the community for their support and generous donations. We purchased $170 worth of Coles Vouchers that were given to St Vincent de Paul to be given to people in need in our local community and $100 will be given to Project Compassion.
The number of Easter Eggs in a jar was one by Charlie D in Year 3 who correctly picked 229 eggs. The Easter raffle prize winners were-
1st Prize-William S: Year 2
2nd Prize-Alice R: Year 4
3rd Prize-Ashton O: Kindy
4th prize-Charlie J: Year 1
Thank you again! Wishing all families, a happy and blessed Easter!
Dr in the school!
On Thursday 12 March Dr. Chiara Curnow visited the Pre Primary class. Dr Curnow talked to the children about the importance of washing hands and hygiene. The children learned to wash their hands for 20 seconds and practiced sneezing and coughing into their elbows in order to reduce the spread of germs. It was a very valuable learning experience for everyone. Thank you Dr. Curnow.
Project Compassion is a demonstration of the faith, love and generosity of Caritas Australia's caring supporters, all in the name of justice and peace. The people of Australia come together in solidarity with the world's poor to help end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.
With your support, Caritas Australia and our partners help equip communities to support themselves in spite of every challenge and to thrive in this union of love and compassion. Project Compassion 2020 focused on working together for our global community. The women, men and children featured in the six stories shared during Lent, display incredible resilience and determination in improving their own lives and the lives of those in their communities.
Today, the number of people fleeing war, persecutions and conflict exceeds 70 million, which is more than at any other time in human history. The World Bank informs us that 10% of the world’s population lives on less that $2.75 a day and the majority of the global poor live in rural areas, are poorly educated, employed in the agricultural sector and under 18 years of age.
Thank you for supporting Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion Campaign. Your generosity will work for the freedom of those living in poverty, challenge unjust structures, and empower people to work for a sustainable way of life.
Please return all Project Compassion boxes to the school office on your next visit to school or when we return or make a donation online via the Caritas website at lent.caritas.org.au. Thank you.
We think the fake plant can read without them!
Curriculum Corner Numeracy
Children begin to develop numeracy skills from a very early age. You can introduce mathematics skills and ideas into everyday activities with your child to help build early numeracy.
Numeracy is the ability to apply mathematics concepts in all areas of life.
Numeracy skills involve understanding numbers, counting, solving number problems, measuring, sorting, noticing patterns, adding and subtracting numbers and so on.
Children start learning numeracy skills from the time they are born. This learning happens through everyday play and activities – for example, when you encourage your child to: count fingers, toes and recognise numbers on objects.
As your child develops, they learn more complex numeracy and mathematical skills, including size and measurement – for example, when they help set the table, fill a water bottle, divide food into equal shares, compare things, use words to describe where things are – ‘over’, ‘under’ and ‘next to’.
When you talk with your child about mathematical concepts in your everyday activities, it helps him/her understand how and why mathematics is useful. For example, this happens when you point out big and small (size), high and low (height), heavy and light (weight), fast and slow (speed), close and far (distance), first, second and last (order).
Encourage your child to develop a love of mathematics through every day activities for example while measuring in cooking, working out area and measurement in gardening and by talking about distance and measurement whilst driving.
More importantly have fun with your child while exploring the wonder of mathematics.
Its free to join if you are not already a member. Online resources for both children and adults are available through your local libraries and State Library. There are educational and fun reads for everyone. Its well worth a look.
Now is the perfect time to catch up on the classic's, do some research or just sit back and lose yourself in a great read.
Digital Technology Tips for Parents
TIP: 1. Get in the Game!
Make an effort to understand the basics of the technology that your child is (or will be) using on a daily basis. Technology is such a big part of kids’ lives that no parent can afford to just step away from their responsibilities in this area.
Tip 2. Talk to your children.
Talk to your children about technology and in particular about Internet safety. Agree on a set of rules for using the computer and going on the Internet. Surf the web together. Stay involved; your child’s tech and online activity will increase and become more complex as they get older and technology continues to evolve. Keep the conversation going.
TIP: 3. Be informed
Know what technology your child uses, what games they play, which websites they visit, and with whom they are communicating. For young children, give them an approved list of web sites.
TIP 4: Be Interested
Ask your child what he/she is doing and what programs they are using. Ask your child to show you how the technology toys work and what they do with them.
Tip 5: Encourage Playtime
Similar to other activities in your home, it is essential that you set reasonable limits for media use. In addition to setting limits, encourage regular playtime and make it an everyday priority. This is especially important for your younger children as it stimulates creativity.
Tip 5: Keep devices out of the bedroom from the beginning
If you keep mobile phones and other devices out of your child’s bedroom at night, your child won’t be able to stay up late playing games or messaging friends. This can also stop your child being disturbed in the night by messages or notifications. It is important to create a bedroom atmosphere conducive to rest as many young children are in a constant sleep deficit as it is without bringing digital devices into the mix.
Tip 6: Discuss online safety and respectful relationships
Have conversations with your child about how to stay safe online, how to show respectful behaviour and be aware of the pitfalls of the internet, particularly social media applications. Each of these topics is an important issue. This kind of digital exposure can have enormous ramifications on the growth and development of young people, especially when it comes to the quality of their relationships and well-being.
Tip 7: Never give out personal information over the Internet.
Explain to your child that he/she must never give out personal information. Family e-mail addresses, phone numbers, names, birth dates, home addresses, family details, photos, are private. Although social networking sites ask for and encourage sharing this information, your child should know that protecting his own and his family’s identity should be his/her top priorities.
Tip 8. Empower yourself.
Use Internet filtering or monitoring software. You don’t have to check in on what your child is doing every day, but the fact that you can – and they know you can – helps set the right tone for responsible behaviour.
Tip 9. Set a good example.
It’s no good setting limits on your kids’ screen time if you spend all day with your eyes glued to your laptop or firing off hundreds of texts from your iPhone. Similarly, don’t ban devices from the dinner table if you reach for your smartphone every time it buzzes. Children take their lead from their parents’ behaviour and interacting with technology is no different.
Tip 10. Talk to other people about your children’s technology experiences and online safety.