Term 4 /Week 8 | 22nd November 2023
Principal - Mrs Katrina Dunne
It's that time of year again. December is almost upon us, and with it all the joys of Christmas. But what is the real meaning of Christmas? Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, seafood and chicken feasts with family and friends, cricket in the backyard, hanging out at the beach, and shouts of "Merry Christmas" to those who pass us in the streets? Is this really Christmas?
For many people, Christmas is a time of sorrow. They don't have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends. Many are saddened at Christmas time when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. Turkey dinners may be only a wish and not a reality for some.
Here is a beautiful story that typifies the ‘Real Message of Christmas’:
Just a week before Christmas I had a visitor. This is how it happened. I just finished the household chores for the night and was preparing to go to bed, when I heard a noise in the front of the house. I opened the door to the front room and to my surprise, Santa himself stepped out next to the fireplace.
"What are you doing?" I started to ask. The words choked up in my throat and I saw he had tears in his eyes. His usual jolly manner was gone. Gone was the eager, boisterous soul we all know. He then answered me with a simple statement . . .
"TEACH THE CHILDREN!"
I was puzzled. What did he mean? He anticipated my question and with one quick movement brought forth a miniature toy bag from behind the tree. As I stood bewildered, Santa said,
"TEACH THE CHILDREN!"
Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that now-a-days Christmas has forgotten. Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a FIR TREE and placed it before the mantle.
"Teach the children that the pure green colour of the stately fir tree remains green all year round, depicting the everlasting hope of mankind, all the needles point heavenward, making it a symbol of man's thoughts turning toward heaven."
He again reached into his bag and pulled out a brilliant STAR. "Teach the children that the star was the heavenly sign of promises long ago. God promised a Saviour for the world, and the star was the sign of fulfilment of His promise."
He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE. "Teach the children that the candle symbolises that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great light we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness."
Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH and placed it on the tree. "Teach the children that the wreath symbolises the real nature of love. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection."
He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself. "Teach the children that I, Santa Claus, symbolise the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December."
He then brought out a HOLLY LEAF. "Teach the children that the holly plant represents immortality. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Saviour. The red holly berries represent the blood shed by Him."
Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT and said, "Teach the children that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son." Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift.
Santa then reached in his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE and hung it on the tree. "Teach the children that the candy cane represents the shepherds' crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane is the symbol that we are our brother's keeper."
He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL. "Teach the children that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Saviour's birth. The angels sang Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and good will toward men."
Suddenly I heard a soft twinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL. "Teach the children that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell symbolises guidance and return."
Santa looked back and was pleased. He looked back at me and I saw that the twinkle was back in his eyes. He said, "Remember, teach the children the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me in the centre, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD."
Student Free Day and Modified School Days for Term 4 Semester 2 Report Cards All Semester 2 report cards will be released via Parent Portal at the end of next week. Please ensure your Parent Portal app is active to access your child’s Semester 2 report. If you are experiencing difficulties with your Portal app, please bring your device to the school office before Tuesday of next week for support in rectifying the technical issue. Teacher and Class structure for 2024 We continue to recruit for teachers and have the following teachers secured for 2024: Prep – Bernie McPhee Year 1 – TBC: Recruitment continues as no suitable applicants in round one. Year 2 – Imogen Hunt Year 3 – Katherine Spalding Year 4 – TBC: Recruitment continues as no suitable applicants in round one. Year 5 – Holly Price Year 6 – Taylor Morrison Teacher Librarian – Michelle Sheehan The Arts – Leilani Thomas HPE – TBC: Recruitment process begins today Learning Support – TBC: Recruitment process begins today due to Amy’s resignation this week. Middle Leader: Curriculum – Vanessa Alexander APRE/Learning Support and Class Teacher – Kirsty Lines Wishing you a fabulous festive season 😊 Cheers, Katrina
Student Free Day and Modified School Days for Term 4
Semester 2 Report Cards
All Semester 2 report cards will be released via Parent Portal at the end of next week. Please ensure your Parent Portal app is active to access your child’s Semester 2 report. If you are experiencing difficulties with your Portal app, please bring your device to the school office before Tuesday of next week for support in rectifying the technical issue.
Teacher and Class structure for 2024
We continue to recruit for teachers and have the following teachers secured for 2024:
Prep – Bernie McPhee
Year 1 – TBC: Recruitment continues as no suitable applicants in round one.
Year 2 – Imogen Hunt
Year 3 – Katherine Spalding
Year 4 – TBC: Recruitment continues as no suitable applicants in round one.
Year 5 – Holly Price
Year 6 – Taylor Morrison
Teacher Librarian – Michelle Sheehan
The Arts – Leilani Thomas
HPE – TBC: Recruitment process begins today
Learning Support – TBC: Recruitment process begins today due to Amy’s resignation this week.
Middle Leader: Curriculum – Vanessa Alexander
APRE/Learning Support and Class Teacher – Kirsty Lines
Wishing you a fabulous festive season 😊
Library - Mrs Michelle Sheehan
The proof is in the photos – how lucky we are to have such a great library space!
Many thanks to the Nixon family who donated foam for our new library seating and to Aaron for creating our new green cushions.
We have also been successful in our second attempt to secure funding through the Gambling Community Benefit Fund to finish our library refurbishments. Many thanks to Katrina Lehmann for developing and submitting the application on our behalf.
Looking forward to 2024 and finalising our library revamp.
Learning Support - Mrs Belinda Phillips
It’s been a jam-packed and busy term with so much student support and learning taking place. The students have worked hard this term, and the results show it! We have worked with students across many different learning areas, and I am immensely proud of the dedication and commitment to learning and improving these students have shown this term.
Throughout last week and this week, I have worked with teachers to provide a thorough handover of student information to ensure their individual academic, social, emotional and physical needs are adequately supported as they move onto their next year level of schooling.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the school community for being part of this great team at St Mary’s. It has been wonderful to be able to provide support to the students, parents and teachers at the school, albeit in a different way, over the last two years.
I am very grateful for having very capable and hard-working teachers and school officers at St Mary’s. They have been flexible, supportive and driven for excellence over the last two years, while keeping the students at the forefront of everything they do. I’ve learnt so much from this great team!
My Auslan sign for this newsletter is Merry Christmas
Clasp hands together twice. Make an action of having a beard
Thanks for a fantastic two years!
All the best,
Curriculum - Mrs Vanessa Alexander
After what has seemed like a massive term for me, swimming has finally come to an end. I would like to congratulate all the students on their wonderful behaviour and excellent attitudes towards swimming this term. I would like to take a moment to thank all of our wonderful parents who came along to help out: Michelle Ebsworth, Michelle Cameron, Row Winks, Katie Chang, Marianne Wilson, Danielle Wright, Jess Baldwin. Without you and your time, it would not have been as easy. I would also like to thank Mick Winton for his support with lessons this term. And finally, a big thank you to our school officers who ensured our students were at their lessons on time: Mrs C, Miss Kelly, Mrs Williams and an extra big shout out to my swimming offsider – Mr Pete! Just one more - thank you, Ms Mac, for coming in and working with us in the last week. We now look towards our swimming carnival on Friday afternoon. All the best to all swimmers!
In the following week, student report cards will be posted to parent portal for all students. This is a fantastic time to ensure you have access to Parent Portal.
As the year finally comes to a close, I wish you all a wonderful break from school and I look forward to seeing you again next year.
Middle Leader: Curriculum
Prep - Miss Imogen Hunt
Wow!!! Where has this year gone. We are heading into our last few weeks of Prep.
In Prep we have been busy completing many assessments to show and grow in our knowledge of different concepts.
It has been fabulous to see students push themselves in achieving their goals this term, especially with our English writing.
Students have really enjoyed the Deadly Choices lesson on a Thursday morning where they engage with healthy eating, painting, games. It's fabulous to see their keen interest in these lessons.
Awards Night was a huge success. I was so beyond proud of Preps for getting up on stage to a big audience and signing ‘Hand to Hold’. What a heart warming moment for our Preps.
What a wonderful few weeks it has been for the Prep students, and we can’t wait to celebrate some more success over the next week.
Signing off for 2023,
Year 1 - Mrs Bernie McPhee
2023 school year is almost over. How fast did it go? In Year 1 we are now counting down to Christmas; 34 more sleeps to go!
In week 5 we visited Historic House to have a look at a museum. The students loved looking around and touching some of the amazing items they have there.
There has been lots of things happening over the last 4 weeks, with Deadly Choices still happening on Thursday each week, our Prayer Assembly with our Year 4 buddy class, Awards Night dance practise and most exciting was the “Move up a class” day last week. Year 1 students got to try out Year 2 with Miss Hunt. They were very excited and are looking forward to working with her again next year.
I am so proud of all our award winners! Congratulations to you all. But I have to say that I am SUPER proud of all my Year 1 students who have made such progress over this year.
I would just like to wish all our families a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.
Year 2 - Miss Holly Price
Thank you all for an amazing year! Thank you to everyone who has volunteered in our classroom throughout the year, and to all the students for trying their best to reach their individual goals.
We have been continuing to learn to make healthy choices with Deadly Choices, and through healthy snacks that we enjoyed with our Year 3 Buddy Class.
We are busy completing our final assessments for Year 2 – looking at the history of the Cobb and Co for English and HASS. Students have planned and created their own Rube Goldberg machines to explore forces such as push and pull. We have been revising spelling and math topics throughout this term.
Wishing you all a very safe and enjoyable Christmas break.
Miss Holly Price
Year 3 News - Miss Katherine Spalding
Another year has come to an end! Over the past fortnight the students have been working hard as they have been finishing assessments and preparing for the end of the year.
In English we are in the process of publishing our stories as we print and illustrate our narratives. Keep an eye out for these amazing year three narratives- hopefully they will be published in our very own school library!
During mathematics we have been exploring symmetry in our natural and man-made environments. From this investigation, the students have designed a symmetrical mural that complements our surroundings.
In science we have been conducting experiments as we explored how heat is transferred and which materials are good conductors of heat.
Last week we had a fabulous time in one of our final year 2 buddy sessions as we got to eat LOTS of delicious fruits and vegetables. Being healthy has never looked so fresh!
And that’s the 2023 news from year three! What a vibrant class to enjoy my first year of Charleville with😊
I hope everyone has a safe holiday and looking forward to seeing everyone in the new year!
Year 4 News - Miss Taylor Morrison
Welcome to the final newsletter for 2023. We can’t believe how quickly this year has gone!
In the past fortnight, we celebrated our students' successes from this year at our annual awards ceremony. Thank you to everyone who came. It was a wonderful night.
Year 4 students have been working hard at finalising all their work from this term. Please see photos below of their science games that incorporated magnetic force!
We were lucky enough to have some very cute visitors this week! See below.
As the year comes to an end, I would like to congratulate all our St Mary’s students on a wonderful year full of growth! We have begun the pack-up process and get ready for next year's adventures.
To my Year 4 children and families, thank you for a fabulous year together!
Year 5/6 News - Miss Sophie Saffy
Wow, what a term we have had in year 5/6! I just wanted to throw out a special thanks to every single student for making my first class the best I could have ever imagined. From a laughter-filled classroom, to arguing over the seating plan, to playing a game of odds to get our work done, this term has been one of the best!
A big congratulations to my year 6’s who are on to their next big adventure. Take the world by the arm legends; this is the best time of your life. To my mates in year 5, congratulations, and how exciting it is to be the leaders of the school next year!
Peep my little mates in year 5.
This term, we smashed out English narratives on the Stolen Generation, created informational posters on Human Rights, discovered we all have a big, brilliant mathematics brain (Even me, who would have thought?).
We performed ‘As It Was’ by Harry Styles for our end of year performance, and in the wise words of the boys “Never again Miss”. I am so extremely proud of every student in this class, for never giving up, believing in themselves, and making me laugh along the way.
Here are some photos of the laughs and memories from my time with my mates from this term!
While I am departing at the end of the term, I have had a blast and thank everyone who played a part in my journey at St Mary’s, and to my mates, you will all hold a special place in my heart always!
Be safe, have a great holiday, and Merry Christmas.
YOU’RE THE BEST
Instrumental Music - Mr Harry Mulhall
As we approach the close of the year, if your child has taken part in Instrumental Music throughout the year, please ensure that any instruments or books are returned to the school. Students who learnt with Mr Whatling (Woodwind/Brass/Percussion/Bass Guitar) earlier in the year should ensure to return their instruments and books as soon as possible. Strings (Violin/Viola/Cello/Double Bass) lessons will conclude in Week 8, and all instruments and books will need to be left at school following lessons. Thank you to all for supporting our Instrumental Music Program in 2023!
Outside School Hours Care service will close on Wednesday 20 December 2023 and reopen on Tuesday 23 January 2024. Parents wanting to enrol their children for 2024, to start on Tuesday 23 January, will need to enrol prior to 15 January.
For enrolment enquiries email email@example.com
Enrolment phone contact details: 0436 381 304
P & F News
Term 4 P & F Meeting | Monday at 3:00 pm | Week 4 and Week 8