Term 3 Week 10 - FRIDAY 17th SEPTEMBER 2021
From our Principal
I’ve mentioned many times this term how grateful I am for our community and the partnership we share with families who have juggled home responsibilities with supervision of remote learning and working from home. For many of us, it has been incredibly difficult to juggle the ever changing complexities that have been thrown our way.
I’d like to mention our staff team once again too. In each of the lockdown announcements, our staff get no more notice than anyone else in the public. Sometimes this has been announced during teaching time, sometimes after school hours and sometimes on the weekend. Our staff team has been required to pivot, adapt and change course within hours often calling meetings at lunch time, after hours or on weekends. Our educators have been required to plan remote units of work in manner that caters for a diverse range of needs, connect with students remotely to support learning and wellbeing, contact and support families, supervise onsite students and forward plan for the return of face-to-face learning, often while supervising their own children at home at the same time.
In all of this the other day-to-day school matters continue – professional development, our school audits, employment of new staff, assessment and reporting, new enrolments, compliance requirements, professional learning meetings - the list goes on!
I’d like to sincerely thank our staff team for maintaining a positive and flexible approach, for consistently putting the needs of our students first and for demonstrating such support and genuine care for members of our community. I feel so proud of the enormous effort and commitment shown by all.
I would like to thank our families who have provided feedback to us. While it has mostly been very positive, acknowledging the effort of staff in a range of ways, the constructive comments have provided us ways to tweak and adapt our approach to best cater for diverse needs and family situations. Obviously, we cannot please everyone all the time, but we have certainly taken feedback on board and attempted to regularly review our practices to provide work that will engage our students and keep them connected. There is no doubt that we are all in need of a rest and a recharge over the term break. I hope and pray that Term Four will be a smoother experience for all.
I would like to acknowledge Luke Kolakowski! Luke has been replacing Jo Price as she embarked on Long Service Leave. Luke’s calm, diligent and gentle approach has been most welcome this term. He has been able to continue the high standard of learning and expectation in the 5/6 class during this challenging term. And he has managed to do it with a smile at every turn. We wish Luke all the best as he continues his teaching career somewhere on the Bellarine coast!
As we continue our journey during the Season of Creation I share with you a fabulous quote on this feast of St Hildegard of Bingen.
"Glance at the sun.
See the moon and the stars.
Gaze at the beauty of earth’s greenings.
What delight God gives to humankind
with all these things .
All nature is at the disposal of humankind.
We are to work with it. For
without we cannot survive."
Book Week with Miss McMahon and Ms Taylor
After a long wait, St Mary's finally held their Book Week celebrations. The original plan was to celebrate during week 7 this term, but due to another round of remote learning we were hoping to postpone it until we were back...this also did not go to plan.
Remote Learning Book Week was held instead! Each day during week 10, staff members recorded themselves reading out one of the short-listed books for this year, as well as sharing an activity achievable for all students learning from home. It was great to see so many photos and videos from children, sending in their achievements.
A video was put together from the photos of our students dressed up at home, as well as photos of the dress-ups worn here on site. Check out the results on our Facebook page.
MONDAY 4 OCTOBER
Start of Term 4
Middle LC Camp @ Cave Hill Creek - depending on Covid restictions
TUESDAY 5 OCTOBER
Middle LC Camp @ Cave Hill Creek - depending on Covid restrictions
Wishing the following students a very happy birthday this week:
Joel, Theo, Dexter & Georgia
In Our Community
BreastScreen Victoria van visits Ararat with free breast screens
From 11-29 October 2021, BreastScreen Victoria’s hot pink van will visit Ararat for the first time to provide free breast screens to the community.
Women aged between 50 and 74 should have a free breast screen every two years. They are the best way to find breast cancer early, before there are symptoms and when treatment is most successful.
All breast screens are with a female radiographer, in a friendly and safe environment. You don’t need a doctor’s referral or Medicare card, and screens only take 10 minutes.
BreastScreen Victoria has safety measures in place to protect clients and staff against the risk of COVID-19. This includes mandatory face masks and spaced out appointments to allow for physical distancing, and more cleaning in between appointments. More information about screening during COVID-19 can be found on the BreastScreen Victoria website.
The van will be at Ararat Library carpark, enter via RSL carpark on High St.
Appointments for the Ararat van can be made online at breastscreen.org.au or by calling 13 20 50.
Bookings: https://bookings.breastscreen.org.au or call 13 20 50
Bus Fare Information
Please see the following information from Christians Bus Company:
The Department of Transport have advised that as from Saturday 11th September fares have been reinstated for all Ararat town bus services.