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Times of Uncertainty

Mr Brendan Gorman - Headmaster

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:25-26

We are certainly living in interesting times aren't we! 2020 has seen things that have both been encouraging and heartbreaking. 
 
From the devastation of bushfires in the Christmas break, to floods and storms and now the implications of COVID-19. I've heard many people comment that wouldn't it be great to start 2020 again!
 
We've also seen how communities can rally together in times of trial, and now how they can have an every man for themselves approach when it comes to stockpiling and avoiding unnecessary contact. 
 
As I indicated in my communication on Wednesday Message from The Headmaster, the decisions that we have made go against the grain of a school that values partnership and community. We take no delight in cancelling of postponing things that delight our students and their families.
Rest assured, we are planning for  the reintroduction of many things and continue to value your input and suggestions, as well as your understanding. 
 
A reminder to keep thinking big about what St. Peter's needs now and into the future. We've had parents suggesting changes in curriculum areas, facilities, structures and offerings. Some parents have suggested we take children from birth and keep them until adulthood.
 
Others have suggested expansion of camps, languages and co-curricular programmes. Nothing is too small or too big.  Please email any suggestions to externalreview@stpeters.nsw.edu.au
 
If I can be of any assistance to you at this time, please do note hesitate to contact me.  In these times of uncertainty, be assured we have a God who loves us and is in control.
 
Mr Brendan Gorman
Headmaster 

Friday Mufti Days

From next week until the end of the term, every Friday is a mufti day. 
 
We want to keep learning occurring and students who aren't focusing too much on fear and anxiety. 
 
The executive have approved that every Friday will be a Mufti Day for the remainder of the term.
 
No cost, no expectation, just common sense!
 
Enjoy. 

 

Supporting Children in the Wake of Recent Events

Mr Andrew Raft - Head of Students & Innovation

It's normal for children to be experiencing varying levels of awareness and concern surrounding COVID-19. Often children can find it difficult to understand and process what they are seeing on television, online and the impact on the community (why are the shelves bare in Woolworths?).

Our St. Peter’s School Counsellor, Mrs McKerral has outlined below a number of tips on talking with children in an open and supportive way that can help them better understand and cope during these unusual times.

1. Each child is different

How children respond in the wake of current events can vary greatly. Some may present as concerned and anxious, whilst other children may have very little understanding or awareness of what is happening. It's important not to minimise or avoid any concerns but rather to acknowledge their feelings and assure that it is natural to be concerned about these things. For some children, you may not need to talk about the virus specifically, but can take the chance to remind your child/ren about good hygiene practices without introducing new fears.  

2. Be honest in a child-friendly way

Children have the right to truthful information and adults have a responsibility to deliver this in a way that keeps them safe from distress. Using age-appropriate language and keeping an eye on their reaction and their levels of anxiety will assist in determining how to proceed.. If a child is asking questions that you don't know the answer to, don't guess or speculate. The World Health Organisation has clear and easy to access information. It's important to remind children that not everything they read online is true and that it is best to trust the experts.

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public 

3. Equip children with proactive skills

Don't assume children know how to wash their hands effectively, cover their mouths or use hand sanitiser. For all year groups, it is an important thing to re-visit and brings reassurance that they are not only protecting themselves but they are helping to keep other people well too.

4. Offer reassurance

When seeing lots of troubling images on TV or online, it can sometimes feel like the crisis is all around us. Children may not distinguish between images on the screen and their own personal reality, and they may believe they’re in imminent danger. You can help your child/ren cope with potential stress by making opportunities for them to play and relax, when possible. Remind children that they are not likely to catch the illness, that most people who have contracted coronavirus don’t get very sick, and that lots of adults are working hard to keep your family safe.

5. Take care of yourself

Take time to check in with yourself, assess your own level of anxiousness and be kind to yourself. Whilst this is a season, it’s also looking to be a prolonged one, so pace well!

Please continue to communicate with us if there is anything the School can do to support you at this time. Our dedicated community of teachers, wellbeing staff and school counsellor are here to partner with your family.

House Points Tally

Congratulations to Roxburgh for leading the  House  Points  Tally this fortnight. 

 

Harmony Day

Mrs Michelle McDonnell - Head of Development & Operations (Deputy Head)

We celebrated Harmony Week at St. Peter's a little differently this year, however, it was lovely to see students come to school in a mixture of cultural dress, orange clothing or comfortable mufti. 

This day reminded us of our unique community, one that is made up of students and teachers who come from so many different places around the world, but who belong to our wonderful school community. 

Students and teachers participated in discussions and activities in their class groups, focusing on the reality that while life outside our school gates is uncertain and unpredictable right now, at school "We Belong".

Uniform Matters

The beginning of Term 2 marks the change over point to Winter Uniform.  As of Tuesday, 28 April, students will need to wear their full Winter Uniform. This includes their full Winter Sports Uniform each Wednesday. 

Our Uniform Shop will be operating as a phone or internet order service only from next Monday, 23 March. Please email: shop@stpeters.nsw.edu.au
 
Shop staff will visit Kindergarten classes to fit blazers and send size recommendation for all winter uniform items via a sticker in the student diary. 
 
If you have a child in an older grade requiring new Winter uniform items and you are unsure of the appropriate size, shop staff are able to also assist with this process.
 
You will then be contacted for payment over the phone, and items delivered to student classrooms.  
 
We thank you for working with us at this time.
 

From the Dean of Stage 2

Mrs Nerida Hadfield - Dean of Stage 2

Stage 2, consisting of Years 3 and 4, sees students grow into expressive, informed learners. They engage independently in learning opportunities in order to create a variety of presentations to share their learning with their peers. Students also continue developing self-confidence in their ability during this time. Our Units of Inquiry allow for this to be nurtured. They are encouraged to develop a ‘growth mindset’ which goes hand in hand with our learner profiles for risk-taking, thinking, inquiring, caring and being open-minded. 

Students begin to  independently read more challenging texts. They identify literal information in texts and make inferences as they begin to understand that words are not always on the page but are implied. As a teacher, reading the students’ writing is really exciting as they begin to create well-structured texts, while learning to include imagery such as metaphors. Sometimes reading their stories takes a long time  because they write a lot more, but their teachers love it! Their handwriting continues to develop with cursive NSW Foundation Style and during Year 4, students earn their very own ‘pen licence’. They receive this amid lots of clapping and cheering from their classmates who share the excitement, whilst secretly praying they will be next! You should be able to see this shared on Seesaw for your own child.

During Stage 2, students use efficient mental and written strategies to solve problems in Mathematics, as well as technology to investigate mathematical concepts and check their solutions. The excitement around mathematical inquiry is being explored further this year as we investigate measurement and geometry concepts and create graphs to display data for statistics with authentic links to our Units of Inquiry.

Learning opportunities are both challenging and exciting with our Units of Inquiry. We look forward to showcasing our learning during our Open Classrooms. This year Stage 2 will open our doors on the last day of Term Two. Year 3  will be investigating and presenting a variety of issues involving the sharing of natural resources with other living things as part of our inquiry into ‘Sharing the Planet’. Year 4 will take on an Aussie Notable to present a bioriddle and their learning centre to visitors as part of our inquiry into ‘Where we are in Place and Time’. You are all welcome to come along!

The excitement of playing “Rep Sport” is also introduced in these years, which builds great teamwork skills and instils the importance of sportsmanship when representing our school in a positive manner. 

As a passionate educator for almost 30 years (I know I don’t look that old!), I never get tired of seeing the joy on children’s faces as they learn new things through independence and as they get their creative juices flowing when demonstrating their learning. These years see a growth in maturity as responsibility grows.

I have had the joy of teaching Stage 2 since coming to St. Peter’s!

Mrs Nerida Hadfield
Dean of Stage 2

Staff Professional Development Day/Pupil Free Day

Please note our Staff Professional Development Day/Pupil Free Day is on Monday, 27 April 2020.

Our School Office will be open 9.30 am - 4.00 pm

Position Vacant

School Bus Driver - Applications close on 3 April 2020.

 https://www.stpeters.nsw.edu.au/discover/employment/

Prayer Points

  • Pray for the concerns and fears people have regarding the Coronavirus, that we will be filled with peace and put our trust in God.

  • Pray for our Prime Minister and our Headmaster as decisions are made as leaders of our country and our school respectively.

  • Pray for the development of our new playground equipment - that it will continue to go smoothly and in great time so students can use it soon.

Winter Uniforms at OSHC

Mrs Lana Schwigtenberg - OSHC Coordinator

Next term the children will be wearing their winter uniforms.  Could we please ask you to ensure your child's blazer and hats are clearly labelled with their name. The children are also required to hang up their blazers on our coat racks.

We kindly ask all children to bring a labelled coat hanger for use in OSHC.    

School Calendar - Tuesdays, 28 January 2020 - Thursday, 9 April 2020

Week 9

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Prep Messy Days - Possums, Koalas & Kangaroos 

Thursday 26 March 2020

Maths Olympiad Years 4,5 & 6 Ext

Prep Messy Days - Possums, Echidnas & Wombats

Friday 27 March 2020

Steps Assessment Day for Prep

 

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