St Brendan's School

Newsletter #15 - Thursday 27 April 2023

Dear Families and Caregivers,

The term has commenced with extraordinary autumn sunshine and warmth however today we received a glimpse of what is to come, windy, wet and bleak. With autumn well underway, it is a timely reminder of the inevitable coughs and colds that will present.

An upside of COVID has seen us become more aware of our hygiene with coughing into our elbow and the sanitising of our hands. Another important practice to continue is to properly wash our hands with soap and water.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, health experts ask that families keep sick children at home. Even mild symptoms like sore throat, cough, or a headache can be signs of a COVID-19 infection that can spread to teachers or other children. Children should stay home when they have symptoms including fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, or trouble breathing.

As principal, I have a duty of care to ALL of our students and staff and ask that families and caregivers keep their child at home if unwell. Resting at home will quicken their recovery and protect other members of the community form the illness. I thank you for your support in this matter.

Informed by KidsHealth


I am excited to welcome Annalisa Druda onto our team. Annalisa joins us to work in the administration two days per week, Thursday and Friday. She comes with a front of house and financial administration background that will add value to our school.

Diana is supporting Annalisa in her induction and in the coming weeks she will reduce her days to Monday Tuesday and Wednesday.

I encourage you to take the time to drop in, make yourself known, and welcome Annalisa.

School Closure Day

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

On this day our teachers will continue their professional learning in Literacy, Big Writing 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.

Staff Leave

We have a short term change taking place with Miss Jess, Echidna’s class, taking four weeks leave commencing on Wednesday 10 May. During this, Julie Hyde will work with students and staff to continue the learning program. Julie has worked in our school on many occasions and is very familiar with our processes and practices.

Our world is ever changing. Preparing the next generation for change is an essential part of an educational journey. Here at St Brendan’s, we are fortunate to have teachers with diversified talents and expertise who are released from class to be involved in whole school commitments which directly benefit all students in the school. Allowing children to experience different teachers and teaching styles helps them learn to cope with change and different ways of approaching and doing things which in turn enhances independent, creative and innovative thinking skills. This is a big ingredient of the ever changing world we live in.

Sacramental Presentation Masses

I remind families and caregivers of children preparing for a sacrament this year that the Presntation Masses will be held this and next weekend.

St Brendan's

Saturday, 29 April

6:00 – 7:00pm

Holy Rosary

Saturday, 6 May

5:30 – 6:30pm

St Brendan's

Sunday, 7 May

10:30 – 11:30am


Across Australia, tens of thousands of Australians took part in Dawn Services to commemorate the 108th anniversary of the landing of ANZAC troops at Gallipoli in World War I. They also honoured Australia’s servicemen and women who have served and continue to do so in war and peacekeeping

As first light broke over Flemington, a crowd of 450 gathered at the Flemington / Kensington Cenotaph to witness the veteran’s march, commemorative address, laying of wreaths, the sounding of the Last Post, one minute’s silence and the national anthems of New Zealand and Australia.

Our student leaders, Jade, Rohan, Maria and Andrew laid a wreath on our behalf and were joined by Georgia, Josephine, Skylar and teacher Steve.

A big thank you to them and their wonderful parents for forgoing a precious sleep in to bring them along to represent us all.

They did St Brendan’s proud.

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Best wishes,


Home Talk at St Brendan's

Big Write

Every two weeks , every child will participate in a Big Write.

The Big Write will be a time in class when they will produce a start-stop piece of independent writing to be proud of. It will be their chance to show off all of the writing tips they have learned during the week.

Students will be encouraged to participate in Home Talk before their Big Talk and Big Write sessions to help clarify their thoughts and ideas.

Home Talk

Home talk is an opportunity for the students to discuss their thoughts, feelings and ideas with others outside of the classroom. Teachers have said they can tell straight away who has completed home talk and who hasn’t. But we also understand how busy life is, so we want to ensure you know how easy it is to complete.

Home Talk is just as the title suggests…talking!

It might be 2 minutes or 20 minutes, but make sure it’s enjoyable and not stressful. Big Talk/Big Write is a celebration of their learning, not a test, so we want them excited to get started!

Home Talk might be completed as a family at mealtime or on the way home from school. It might be while waiting for a sibling to finish after school activities or as part of your nightly debrief before bed. But these tips might help you get started:

  • Encourage as many family members as possible to join in to get a variety of ideas discussed.

  • For multiple siblings, complete one topic at a time. (In most cases, different year levels will have different topics linked with classroom learning).

  • When giving your opinion, model the ‘because’ word to explain why you think that.

  • Show that it is OK to have different views or opinions.

  • Ask your child for their opinions after expressing yours.

  • Encourage the use of standard English with no slang or incorrect use of grammar.

  • If the text is for a formal audience, try role-playing using posh voices for fun.

  • Develop your child’s vocabulary through the use of wow words, but ensure they understand what you are saying. ‘It was a disaster. The papers were scattered everywhere. Scattered means they went everywhere in all different directions.’

Helping your child with VCOP at home

V - Vocabulary (Wow Words)

Wow words are words and phrases that we don’t usually write or say. When we do, it sounds more sophisticated. Start listening to what words your children use regularly, and then help them build on them by modelling higher-level language.

  • Talk about and write down interesting (wow) words you hear on T.V, the radio or in the stories you are reading at home.

  • Try using the words in your own sentences.

  • Have a family 30-second challenge: You have 30 seconds to think of as many different words instead of: good, bad, happy, sad, mad, sad. Put each one in a sentence.

  • Give your child a Wow word to put in a sentence. How many different sentences can you make?

C – Connectives

Connectives are used to join one part of a text to another. They can join thoughts, ideas, and paragraphs together to create flow within the text and add more detail. Connectives can be conjunctions, prepositions or adverbs. The simplest connectives to use are and, because and then. More complex ones are after, so, or, while and however.

  • Try searching for connectives in the stories you are reading at home. See if you can use them in different sentences.
  • Listen to the connectives your children use in their speech and prompt with higher-level ones to extend their sentences.
  • See if you can rearrange sentences to start with the conjunction.
  • Give your child a connective to use in a sentence.

O – Openers

Openers are the words and phrases used at the start of sentences. When children start on their writing journey, most sentences begin with 'I' or incorrectly 'Me'. To develop this, first of all, correct the grammar, then build on it by using varied openers.

  • Search for openers in stories and use them to start your own sentences.
  • Give your child an opener and ask them to complete the sentence. Some good openers are: Next, Although, Eventually, Finally, If.
Search for power openers to borrow - they end in 'ly' and 'ing' or are connectives

P – Punctuation

Punctuation helps us to create fluency in the piece. It tells us where to start and stop and how to say the words.

  • Look at the different types of punctuation in your home readers.
  • Ask your child to name the different pieces of punctuation.
  • Ask them to use their Kung-Fu Punctuation to act the punctuation in the air.
  • See if they can use different punctuation in sentences.
  • Can they use their voice to act out the punctuation?

Please join me for a ‘Cuppa on the Kerb’ on Monday 8th May 2023 at 9:00am to learn more about the programme and see a lesson in action.

Kind regards,

Sonya Bambrick

Literacy Leader

Australian Dental Health Victoria Visit

On Tuesday 4th April your child took home a form from the Australian Dental Health Team. This service is planning to visit our school in the week of Monday 22nd May, 2023.

Australian Dental Health VIC is an Independent Initiative providing all school students dental treatment beyond the Medicare eligibility criteria, meaning all students are able to participate. ADHV is an independent, stand-alone company that can see both non-eligible children alongside those who are eligible. The organisation runs on its own accord to ensure all children across the board are receiving vital treatment.

Oral Health Diseases disadvantage Australian Children across all states. The status of oral health is a significant reflection of children’s overall health and well being. Enabling children to maintain a healthy mouth allows children to speak, eat and socially develop with confidence. Not having to wait for treatment, is the impact that Australian Dental Health aim to develop.

The focus is on the finest quality dental treatment while making it fun, positive and memorable. The vans are fitted out with state of the art equipment and include entertainment systems to provide a stress-free environment for kids of all ages.

We encourage you all to take advantage of this free initiative. Please return the form to your child’s classroom teacher by Friday 28th April, 2023 (tomorrow).


Steve Dalton

Student Wellbeing Leader

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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 1

Saturday 29 April

Presentation Mass

St Brendan's - 6:00 pm

Week 2

Monday 1 May

Visual Arts

Physical Education


Tuesday 2 May

School Advisory Council

Wednesday 3 May

Perfoming Arts

PSG Meetings

Thursday 4 May

PSG Meetings

Friday 5 May


'Filter the the Future'

Saturday 6 May

Presentation Mass

Holy Rosary - 5:30 pm

Week 3

Sunday 7 May

Presentation mass

St Brendan's - 10:30 am

Monday 8 May

Visual Arts

Physical ERducation


Cuppa on the Kerb

Big Write 9:00 am


Wednesday 10 May

Perfoming Arts

Thursday 11 May

Kinder @ School - Ascot Kinder (1)

Friday 12 May

Kinder @ School - Ascot Kinder (2)

Mothers' and Special Friends' Day

Luncheon 1:30 followed by Prayer Assembly at 2.20pm

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

Parish Bulletin