Hero Image

Message from The Headmaster - Friday , 3 April 2020

Mr Brendan Gorman - Headmaster

Online Safety Advice

Mr Andrew Raft - Head of Students & Innovation

The global impact of COVID-19 means that many young people will be spending more time online. There are lots of great ways children can use connected devices to learn and play, but there are also risks. As parents and carers, you have the best opportunity to support and guide your children to avoid online risks and have safer experiences. 

It's important for children to maintain social contact with their peers during this time of remote learning. The School provides opportunities for students to maintain a level of connection with their peers through teacher approved Seesaw and Google Classroom posts related to their work. We recommend that any additional, non-work related contact between students is best arranged and monitored at the discretion of each family. 

Below are some helpful tips from the eSafety Commissioner that may be of assistance in supporting your child to better navigate the online world: 

  • Build an open and trusting relationship around technology. Keep communication open and supportive so your child knows they can come to you if  something goes wrong or does not feel right online. 
  • Where possible, co-view with your child online. This will help you better understand what they are doing and why they enjoy an app, game or website, as well as providing a great opportunity to start conversations about online safety. 
  • Empower your child wherever possible. Help them make wise decisions for themselves, rather than telling them what to do. Try to provide them with  strategies for dealing with negative online experiences that will build their confidence and resilience. 
  • Use devices in open areas of the home. This can help you manage and be aware of who your child interacts with online through phones, tablets,  smart TVs, gaming consoles and other connected devices. 
  • Know the apps, games and social media sites your kids are using, making sure they are age-appropriate, and learn how to limit or monitor messaging or online chat and location-sharing functions within apps or games. Restrict who can contact your child or ask them to check in with you before accepting new friends. 

 For further online safety advice for parents and carers please follow the link below:

https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/covid-19/advice-parents-carers

Stage 3 (Years 5 and 6)

Mr Peter Stevenson - Dean of Stage 3

Stage 3 (Years 5 and 6), is such an exciting time in a student’s life. These pre-teen years present both challenges and opportunities, yet the fact remains that these students are still ‘kids’ who want to play and laugh.  Students are often eager to engage in interesting and thought provoking conversations about complex social and political issues, whilst at the same time laughing at their jokes. This diversity makes teaching Stage 3 an exciting and rewarding experience. 

Students are independent, dynamic workers who are curious and constantly questioning. We also want them to grow in their independence and take on many responsibilities, remembering to bring homework, diaries, instruments, sporting equipment etc on the correct days. We expect them to be ready to go and be on time. Independence and responsibility are key.

Stage 3 usually has lots of exciting experiences to look forward to. Both grades are planning on significant camps, with Year 5 up to the Crusaders site at Galston Gorge, and Year 6 down to Canberra and the Snow. During these camps the relational aspects are so important, students make friends and memories that remain with them for life. I can still remember my own Year 6 camp, and still keep in contact with a few of my mates from camp to share stories. 

The independence that students experience during camp is also a vital skill. Teachers go to great lengths to provide assistance in daily personal organisation, however, logistically we can not stand next to each student and make sure they brush their teeth, or comb their hair for example. The expectation is that students are prepared and ready to go at scheduled times. 

During these camps, students also get to experience many significant and interesting places, including Parliament House, Museum of Australian Democracy, Questacon, Perisher Snow Fields. In addition, they experience a range of recreational activities such as abseiling, high ropes and canoeing. A favourite of mine is always the War Memorial. The students participate in a tour of the site and witness the ‘Wall of Honor’ and ‘Hall of Memory’. It is interesting to observe students as they process all of the names of fallen soldiers and the significance of their sacrifice. Every single student goes in and leaves different. They understand that this place is important, and they see the sacrifice that has been made for us in the past and present through war. Asking students to reflect on the way out is so interesting; the range of the experiences is invaluable. In the past students have shared an overwhelming sense of sadness but also of pride. I love the Year 6 Camp, and that our school values the camp experience as an essential part of schooling. 

Throughout Stage 3, there is also an emphasis on preparing for what is next, including high school, and riding the waves of decision making for their future. We emphasis the importance of using the student’s diary, and not leaving things to the last minute. We aim to capture those right of passage moments that happen during this transition time. These events are important, and like all adults, we made it through, and so will your children (even if there are a few bumps in the road).

(This article was written prior to COVID-19.  It is our hope that camps will be able to continue in 2020, although acknowledge those may occur at different times than planned).

 

Remote Learning

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

What a strange time we are living through at the moment.  Teachers are in classrooms with students working remotely and students are at home participating in a variety of learning tasks, both online and using their home resources which teachers are very interested to see.  It has been amazing to see the work that has been posted on Seesaw and in Google Classroom from our very youngest learners, all the way through our school to our Year 6 school leaders.

Our teaching staff have done a phenomenal job moving their teaching programmes to a Remote Learning platform.  I think I speak for all of our School Staff when I say that we are learning things at the same time as our students.  On the weekend, I had to learn to record myself to send out announcements to our staff and today, I learnt how to set activities for Kindergarten library on Seesaw.  It is a steep learning curve for us all, but a journey we are on together as a school community.
 
Can I encourage you to pray for our school, for our students and staff as we work remotely, but still as a school community?  Can I encourage you to pray for those working in our Health system, for those who are making sure we can still purchase food and other essentials, for those who are making deliveries and for those who are having to make decisions that effect our whole country?

 

Please know that I speak for all our School Staff when I say, we can't wait for the time we can all be back at St. Peter's together once again.

Uniform Matters

As you are aware, Term 2 marks the change over to Winter Uniform in our school.  Currently our Uniform Shop is closed, and will remain so until further notice. This includes the advertised holiday dates. When students return to school, there will be a change over period to allow families to purchase the necessary uniform items.  If items have already been ordered, we will communicate with you directly regarding this once the shop is up and running.

Videos for Students and Parents

Mr Stuart Connell - Dean of ICT
Video 1: Hey St. Peter's
This is a special message from Teachers to Students at home. We had a number of parents letting us know that their child(ren) were not being overly cooperative with their remote learning activities. So Mrs Gillette and Mr Connell rewrote a song to sing and play to the students. 
 
Video 2: Seesaw for St. Peter's Parents
This is a short video from Mr Connell to help students and parents log into their home learning Seesaw accounts, particularly for Years Pre-K, Kindergarten and Year 1. 
 
Video 3: Google Classroom for St. Peter's Students
This is a short video from Mr Connell to help students and parents understand and navigate their Google Classroom accounts, particularly for Years 2-6. 
 
Show more

Our Remote Learning Journey!

Mrs Melinda Richardson - Head of Learning & Music / PYP Coordinator

Haven’t the past few weeks been a crazy whirlwind? Waiting daily, and at times even hourly, to hear Government recommendations has made a staggering impact on life as we know it, and has required great flexibility from us all in order to take action and comply.

In a matter of days, we as a School Community, have been forced to respond and adapt to a new way of learning and we are incredibly proud of the progress that has been made in such a short period of time.

We consistently acknowledge that what happens here at school is in partnership with you, our parents - your child’s first teacher, and this partnership is now vital. We thank you immensely for the role that you have played in our journey so far, for your commendations and recommendations, for your patience, understanding and support. 

A large number in our community, parents and staff alike, are now balancing the role of working from home alongside home learning with their children. This is a massive change to our day to day lives, and provokes complexity in a number of ways. For this reason, along with a desire to prioritise the welfare and well being of our students and staff, we are utilising an asynchronous remote learning model. This style of learning is student-centred, of which the IB Primary Years Programme promotes. It acknowledges that our students (and their extended family) need convenience, flexibility and support in navigating learning at this time. It also complements aspects of learning and pedagogy that naturally takes place here at school.

We know that learning is all around us and happens at any time, whether that is within formal, curriculum focused lessons in class, or by learning a new skill out of these hours. This model allows students, supported by their families, to choose when formal learning occurs within their day amidst the other family commitments, and to do so at their own pace. It also allows permission, so to say, for families to recognise life skills, such as cooking and cleaning, as valuable learning opportunities at this time.

The materials and lesson activities provided by our teachers for formal learning are available for a period of time, rather than within strict time frames. There is flexibility in what is required to be completed, how student learning can be shared and when. There is a balance in the activities provided, utilising digital platforms, hands on activities & games and PDF’s to be printed and completed, to ensure students retain a healthy approach to screen time and a variety of teaching approaches to meet their individual learning needs. Teachers may include instructional videos within tasks to support learning, which can be viewed as many times as necessary by students, rather than provisions of live streaming, which may be a case of ‘blink and you miss it!’.

 

Show more

Premier's Reading Challenge

Mrs Deborah Nash - Head of Learning Enhancement

All students should have received their log-in details for the Premier's Reading Challenge, either on a sticker on the 2nd front page of student diaries, or through Seesaw. If you haven't received these details, please call the Office and these will be provided for you.

The closing date for all books to be recorded online is Friday, 28 August 2020.

The St. Peter's Challenge is to encourage students to keep reading beyond the 20-30 books required for the official challenge. These additional books may be recorded on a sheet of paper, or on the Reading Record attached to this newsletter.
 
This needs to be returned to school on Monday, 31 August 2020. Parents must sign the bottom of each page to indicate that the student has read the books listed.
 
Happy Reading!

TeachThis Home Learning Activities for Students

TeachThis has made sets of activity sheets available free from their website to download and print for students to complete if they are looking for some extra activities to do at home.  These packs cover a range of learning areas including Maths, English, Health, Science, Geography, History.

You may access these Activity Packs for each grade level (Preschool, Foundation, Year 1....Year 6)

 
(Close the window asking for your name and email address, and you will see all the packs that you can download).

2021 Term Dates

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

2021 Scholarship Application Due Date Extension

Please note we have extended the due date for all 2021 Scholarship Applications.  Families now have until Friday, 22 May 2020 to submit a Scholarship Application.
For more information regarding Scholarships for 2021 please see our website or contact the School Office.

Position Vacant

School Bus Driver - Applications close on Friday, 1 May 2020.

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

Staffing Update

A huge congratulations to Veronica George (3C) and her husband Victor who have announced they are expecting their first child later this year.

Congratulations also to Nurse Danielle Sultana and her husband Damien who have also announced that they are expecting another child in September. 
 
May God continue to strengthen both Veronica and Danielle as they prepare for their children. 

Walk For Autism

Our amazing St. Peter's Learning Enhancement Team are Walking for Autism.

If you would like to help support our St. Peter's Team with this worthy cause, please feel free to donate: Walkforautism.org.au

We wish our St. Peter's Team success for this worthy cause.

Well done ladies!

Prayer Points

  • Pray for the current situation and that decisions being made are wise and informed. Praying for our leaders, and our students as they deal with what's happening.

  • Pray for our Year 6 students as they deal with their final year being dramatically changed.

  • Pray for our teachers as we care and lead the students and teach them in this time.

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 - Tuesday, 28 January 2020 - Friday, 3 April 2020

Week 10  

Last Day of Term 1

Friday 3 April 2020

Week 11 (Holidays brought forward due to Government announcement)

 

School Holidays - Monday, 6 April 2020 - Friday, 24 April 2020

Monday 27 April 2020

Staff Professional Development Day - Pupil Free Day

9.30 am - 4.00 pm: School Office Open

Tuesday 28 April 2020 - Students Commence Term 2

Please be aware: These dates are subject to change. Please ensure you read all emails sent from St. Peter's.