St Brendan's School

Newsletter 11# - Thursday 30 March 2023

Dear Families and Caregivers,

Today, in the St Brendan’s Church, student Aliyah was baptised into the Catholic Church. As a school, we were fortunate to be present and witness this significant event in Aliyah and her family’s life.

On our return next term, we have a good number of students who will be attending Sacramental Presentation Masses over the weekend of Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April.

The preparation and presentation of children for the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation is the responsibility of their families and caregivers who are the primary educators of their children in their Catholic Faith. They will be supported in this role by Sacramental Programs run by our school and provide support for parents to teach their children about prayer and reflection within an ongoing Catholic life of faith and practice.

We’re blessed to have our Parish Priest Fr Thang supporting the program. Please keep these students in your prayers.

Stations of the Cross

Next Thursday, 6 April, commencing at 9:00 am in the Gym, our students will present ‘The Stations of the Cross’. The stations are a form of prayer used traditionally in Lent. Each of the 14 Stations retells part of Jesus’ Passion (his suffering and death) through images, actions and words.

The Stations of the Cross introduce children to Jesus’ Passion, breaking it down into stages that they can reflect upon and remember. The Stations are more than the retelling of a story: they are a prayerful participation in the event that lies at the heart of Christianity – Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

While we try to avoid suffering, it is a reality that everyone has to deal with in life. In Jesus, God entered into our suffering in order to save us. By walking with Jesus, we join our suffering to his, knowing that he will lead us through it into the new life of the Resurrection.

I invite all to join us and reflect upon the event that lies at the heart of Christianity – Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

Executive Director of MACS

This week the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools Board announced the appointment Dr Edward Simons as the Executive Director of MACS. Dr Simons has served as the acting Executive Director of MACS since October 2022 and has an extensive resume of experience in over twenty years of working in the UK and Australia. His appointment provides firm direction for Catholic education.

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School Uniform

St Brendan’s has an affordable, neat and functional uniform. Our distinctive uniform identifies members of our school community. It is expected to be worn correctly based upon the season and ‘sports’ days. When worn well, it creates a sense of pride and connectedness to our school.

We have a well-stocked supply of NEW uniforms as well as many good quality SECOND HAND uniform items. To support families to clothe their child in wearing the full school uniform correctly and with pride ‘all day every day’, three sales sessions have been made available in the coming days.

I invite you to join me for a ‘cuppa’ and top up the uniform needs of your family at a session outlined in the poster below.

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ANZAC Day, celebrated on 25 April every year, is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand. It commemorates all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations.

Each year, St Brendan’s plays a role in the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Flemington / Kensington Cenotaph, located opposite Woolworths in Racecourse Rd. Our senior student leaders lay a wreath on our behalf and in recent years have played significant roles in the service having the honour of taking on readings. This year we continue the tradition and invite other interested families to join us.

As a part of the commemoration, there is an appeal for donations to help improve the lives our veterans and their families. Families and Caregivers may wish to purchase a lapel pin or wrist band, available in the Office. Prices range from $2 - $5.

Parish Easter Ceremonies

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Harmony Week

Dressed in our self-designed and decorated orange t-shirts, Harmony Week concluded last Friday with Prayer Assembly. Lead by our Platypus class, we were taken on a world tour as our students identified their families' countries of origin.

The week was truly one in which we focussed upon ‘belonging’ and ‘community’ celebrating each other and the different cultures that make up our school.

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Make sure that you take the time to read next week’s newsletter as will contain a calendar of important events that take place during Term 2.

The Easter Raffle, and there are many prizes, will be drawn in the Gym at 1:15 pm. Make sure that you’ve returned your tickets to ensure that you a good opportunity to win.

Term 1 concludes at 1:30 pm, next Thursday 6 April. I wish all a very happy, safe and holy break and look forward to working with you all in the new term.

Best wishes,



Echidnas and Wombats

This week the Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 students have been very busy learning so many lifelong skills in Maths.

They have been identifying, sorting and recording numbers. This is something that you can encourage them to practice at home quite easily.

Some ideas may include looking at:

  • Numbers on houses, buildings, trams, bus stops, etc.
  • Counting games
  • Card games
  • Drawing clocks, recording times
  • Matching numbers with a collection of objects

They have also been learning about the language of location. This includes words like forwards, backwards, left, right, etc. Learning this language is a necessary skill which enables students to give and follow directions. The students begin doing this with simple directions in the classroom. E.g., stand beside the door, put the book on top of the table. Building upon this knowledge students complete simple grid activities with directions and work towards learning to program technology. You may wish to ask them about this fabulous learning at home. In the photos you can see the students practicing these skills to program the Bee-Bots.

Kind regards,


Numeracy Leader

Big Write & VCOP

At St. Brendan’s, we are committed to ensuring every child is literate. We believe every child should learn to write… and write well to achieve this. Learning to write is such an essential skill to find success in school and thrive in society. We want every child to be successful in writing! The research we’re learning about and implementing is based on oral language as an essential and underpinning skill to improve writing. It is called Big Talk, Big Write and VCOP.

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Big Write and VCOP is a fast paced, fun filled writing program that is based around talk. At the heart of Big Write is the development of the writing voice. Big Write and VCOP creates a positive ethos towards writing for all students. Writing improvement is achieved through a series of highly motivating, differentiated lessons that embed all the basic skills and knowledge that children require to be successful and continue to improve.

VCOP stands for Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation. Speaking and listening along with games and explicit instruction are used to build the four elements of VCOP, which students then get to practise and utilise in their Big Write sessions. Big Writing lessons are also characterised by a ‘special’ atmosphere with a calm and quiet environment created in the classroom. Thus giving our students time to write reflectively and create masterpieces.

Teachers have been using new and exciting strategies and games to enhance our writing lessons. We are excited to get the programme established, having many discussions about displays and stimulus ideas.

Additionally, I will hold a ‘Cuppa on the Kerb’ session on Monday 8th of May to discuss the programme in more detail and model a lesson in one of our wonderful classes.

Kind regards,


Literacy Leader

Motivating Your Child for Excellence

The request to “Wake up for school please Ashton” was met with a groan...

“I don’t want to go to school mum.”

Most parents will experience a child who is not motivated to be at school at some point in their lives. Many parents were that child!

Trying to stimulate your child’s motivation at school is extremely difficult for parents, primarily because so much of what happens at school is out of your control. The environment provided by the teacher, other students, and the school community can have a powerful impact on your child’s level of motivation. There are, however, several things that parents can do to increase their child’s motivation at school:

Remember, relationships matter

Encourage your child to develop positive relationships with other students at school. If the peer environment is one that is safe, fun, and comfortable, then your child will be more motivated to be at school than if bullying or teasing is common place.

A positive student-teacher relationship

Your child’s relationship with the teacher should be positive. Look for ways to speak with your child about what the teacher is doing well, and the positive aspects of the student-teacher relationship. By building a positive perspective on classroom relations, children are likely to be more motivated at school.

Speak positively about the school

When our children hear us openly criticise school, the teachers, or the principal, we undermine their faith and confidence in the people who are influencing and teaching them each day. Look for things that the teacher or school are doing well, and emphasise them publicly. When your children hear you speaking positively about their school, they will experience your enthusiasm as an endorsement and respond accordingly.

Encourage mastery and mistakes, not performance and perfection

Developing competence requires practice, mistakes, and a long-term approach to mastery. If you’ve ever had a boss watching over your shoulder you will know how your focus on perfect performance can cause you to unravel. It also probably reduced your motivation! When children know they will not be judged on their performance, they feel free to experiment, make mistakes, and try again. By reducing pressure for perfect performance learning becomes an enjoyable process, and motivation goes up.

Emphasise effort

When your child brings home a report card (or when any evaluation is occurring in relation to schoolwork), emphasise the effort that they’re making over the results they’re achieving. Ask questions such as, “Do you feel like you’re working hard?” Point out what a teacher says about your child’s effort and ask, “Is your teacher right about this? Are you putting in less effort than you can?” Emphasise that you care more about effort than outcomes.

Share your child’s successes

When your child demonstrates competence, let him/her hear you telling other people about what was accomplished.

“Ella has been making such a big effort at school, and today she received an award for it.”

“Jack got 22 out of 25 on his weather project.”

“Matt just did his first serious high school exam. I’ve never seen him put in so much effort before. We still don’t know what he scored, but I’m so proud of him for working so hard.”

By telling people about the successes your child experiences, and by finding the good in what they do, your child will be more motivated to continue to work hard, practice, and develop good academic outcomes.

Kidspot - September 9, 2015

Kind regards,


Wellbeing Leader

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Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge

The Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge continues this week. The PRC application offers a range of exciting features including:

  • access to a library catalogue (including book images and blurbs)

  • a modern user-friendly interface

  • rewarding students with badges as challenge milestones are achieved

  • the option for students to mark books as a favourite, give them a star rating or complete a book review

The Challenge is open to all Victorian children from birth to Year 10 in recognition of the importance of reading for literacy development. It is not a competition; but a personal challenge for children to read a set number of books by 8 September 2023.

Children from Prep to Year 2 are encouraged to read or ‘experience’ 30 books with their parents and teachers. Children from Year 3 to Year 10 are challenged to read 15 books.

All children who meet the Challenge will receive a certificate of achievement signed by the Victorian Premier and former Premiers.

To read the Premier’s letter to parents, view the booklist and for more information about the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge, visit:

Kind Regards,

Sonya Bambrick

Literacy Leader

Eastewr Raflle

Reminder to sell yuour raffle tickets and return them for your chance to win one of many Easter Basketss.

Good luck!

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2024 Enrolment Referral Incentive

I remind all of our Enrolment Referral Incentive as we we enter the Prep Enrolment 2024 time period. There is a significant gain to our school and a fee credit to the family on a recommendation turning into an enrolment.

2024 Enrolment Referral Incentive

This year, we would like to acknowledge those parents that recommend our school to a new family that results in an enrolment, to receive a fee credit for their efforts.

How the referral incentive works:

If you have referred a new family to the school and as a result, that family enrols their child/ren and they remain at the school for the 2024 school year, your eldest child’s Curriculum Levy will be credited back to you for the 2025 school year.

For every family you have referred, which results in an enrolment for the 2024 school year, a further credit of the same value of your eldest child will credited.

Best wishes,


Lenten Offering


As the lenten season draws nearer to a close, I thank all for their generosity in their 'almsgiving'. On a daily basis, donations are added to the parish pantry where they are gratefully collected by Flemington community members.

On behalf of the local chapter of St Vincent de Paul, we are collecting non-perishable foods to distribute to the less fortunate persons in our area.

Non-perishable foods include;

  • UHT Milk
  • Tea & Coffee
  • Pasta
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Rice
  • Tinned Tuna/Salmon
  • Tinned Baked Beans/Spaghetti.

Each of our classes will be collecting non-perishable foods to provide support the initiative. The donated foods will form a part of our weekly Prayer Assembly.

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Parent Calendar

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



Term 1

Week 9

Friday 31 March

Uniform Sales

From 2:30 pm

Week 10

Monday 3 April

PE & Visual Art


Uniform Sales

8:30 am

2:30 pm

Tuesday 4 April

Early Years

9:15 - 10:30 am

School Advisory Council

7:00 - 8:30 pm

Wednesday 5 April

Performing Arts

Thursday 6 April

Whole School Reflections

Stations of the Cross

9:00 am

Easter Raffle Draw

1:15 pm

Term 1 Concludes 1.30pm

Friday 7 April

Good Friday

School Holidays Commence

Sunday 9 April

Easter Sunday


Term 2

Week 1

Monday 24 April

Staff Professional Day

- School Closed

Tuesday 25 April

ANZAC Day Public Holiday

Wednesday 26 April

Term 2 Begins

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

Appointment of Executive Director

This week the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools Board announced the appointment Dr Edward Simons as the Executive Director of MACS. Dr Simons has served as the acting Executive Director of MACS since October 2022 and has an extensive resume of experience in over twenty years of working in the UK and Australia. His appointment provides firm direction for Catholic education.