Newsletter - 2024 Term 1 Week 2
Mon 12 Feb
|Tue 13 Feb
|Wed 14 Feb
|Thur 15 Feb
|Fri 16 Feb
Mon 19 Feb
Tue 20 Feb
Fri 23 Feb
Wed 28 Feb
Fri 1 Mar
Wed 13 to Mon 25 Mar
From the Leaders
Lent is one of the five seasons of the Catholic liturgical calendar, along with Advent, Christmas, Easter and Ordinary Time.
It precedes Easter and is a solemn period centered on prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. While Lent is often associated with the Catholic faith, many Christians–including Protestant and Orthodox–observe it. This year, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday 14 February and runs until 28 March, the day before Good Friday and three days before Easter.
There is no better time to reconnect with or deepen one’s faith than Lent. During this time, we can draw closer to God as we prepare for the joyous celebration of Christ’s resurrection at Easter. Lent can be an incredibly rewarding time for our faith lives.
Welcome To Kindergarten
We have been so lucky to welcome our Kindergarten students this week. They have settled into life at St Agnes’ beautifully. There has been so much fun, laughter, a few tears and some hilarious questions! Right from day one, they have started Maths Groups using their MAI data, so we sincerely thank all of those parents who took the time to bring their children in for their Best Start and MAI sessions. Our Kindergarten students have loved getting to know their buddies and we congratulate Year 6 for their patience and kindness. We are so excited to see our newest community members building strong relationships within their Aggies family. We remind our Kindergarten parents that there are no silly questions, please don’t hesitate to speak to your class teacher if you need anything.
Welcome New Students
Ash Wednesday is a holy day of prayer and fasting in many Western Christian denominations. It is preceded by Shrove Tuesday and marks the first day of Lent, the six weeks of penitence before Easter. We will be having an Ash Wednesday Liturgy at 10:30am on Wednesday 14 February, where ashes will be placed on each of our foreheads to symbolize the grief for the death of Jesus.
Families are most welcome to join us to receive their ashes.
SRC and Sports House Captains Badge Ceremony
We look forward to presenting our Year 6 student leaders with their Student Representative Council and Sports House badges on Monday 12 February at 2:30pm. We welcome families to join us for this short ceremony.
Class Representatives for Term 1 will receive their badges at next Friday’s Whole School Assembly at 2:20pm in the School Hall.
2024 School Fees
Your child's school fees will now be billed each term by the school and due at the end of the term. These can be paid via the Compass App, BPAY, EFTPOS or cash. BPAY is the preferred method of payment. Please ensure you use the BPAY details on your statement. Statements are issued at the beginning of each month and have been sent to families this week. Fees can also be viewed via Compass and will give you the most up to date balance.
Classpacks will be billed to families in February and will appear on your next statement.
Fee Assistance remains available for families and all enquiries regarding this should be directed to CSO-Hastings Regional Office on 6583 6038.
School Days - Term Dates 2024
|Thursday 11 April 2024
|Monday 29 April 2024
|Thursday 4 July 2024
|Tuesday 23 July 2024
|Thursday 26 September 2024
|Tuesday 15 October 2024
|Wednesday 18 December 2024
Pupil Free Days
During last year, we had some parents offer feedback that they would love to have a full list of 2024 dates available at the start of the year. Earlier this week we publicised this information through Compass. As a response to the implementation required for the new curriculum, the Catholic Schools Office have offered schools an additional two days of staff professional learning. This year, our school is also engaging in the School Review and Improvement processes which comes with an additional pupil free day for staff to work together on the development of the next three year plan. We thank families for supporting our staff in these very important learning opportunities.
Help your child have a positive start to the year by building the habit of good attendance.
Building the habit of good attendance is crucial for a positive and successful school year. Here are some tips to help your child develop this habit:
- Establish a Routine. Set a consistent daily routine for your child, including wake-up times, breakfast, and a specific time to leave for school. Having a predictable schedule helps your child understand the importance ofpunctuality.
- Create a Positive Morning Environment. Make mornings enjoyable by creatinga positive atmosphere at home. Encourage open communication and express your enthusiasm for the day ahead.
- Establish Clear Expectations. Clearly communicate your expectations regarding attendance and emphasise the importance of being present at school every day unless there's a valid reason for absence.
Help your child establish a positive and consistent attendance habit, setting the foundation for a successful 2024 school year.
Watch the below clip by Michael Hawker for strategies to help an anxious child return to school.
2024 Syllabus Changes - Updates for 3-4
After the successful rollout of K-2 English and Mathematics curriculum in 2023, this year brings the change for Years 3-6. We are excited that these changes bring greater alignment between our infants and primary classes and ensures that all of NSW schools are using the most effective teaching strategies that are aligned with the most current evidence base. This means that certain aspects of English and Mathematics will look different. In Kindergarten to Year 2, we are continuing with our systematic, synthetic phonics approach with Initial Lit. Years 3-4 have joined the Multi-Lit Partnership, with the newly released Spell Ex. Across the school, we are using highly effective, explicit teaching strategies for decoding words, spelling, reading fluency, and understanding and creating texts. We look forward to sharing more of this learning with you as the weeks go on. Keep an eye out for our upcoming parent sessions. We will be beginning with Kindergarten and Stage Two.
Incitāre means to stir up, incite, urge, spur - when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives we are invited to spread the good news to all we encounter. This will be a one-day retreat using various group processes and student discussion led by the Youth Ministry student leaders from local secondary schools. Students will experience faith nurturing activities and skilling for being faith leaders in their respective schools. 14 Year 6 students will have the opportunity to participate in Incitāre and then return as Group leaders to present this day for the rest of their grade later in the term.
Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion
This week, a letter was sent via Compass from St Agnes' Parish regarding the Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion that will take place this year.
If your child is a Baptised Catholic, who has not made either of these Sacraments, please click on the link in the Parish letter or contact Vanessa Denham at the Pastoral office on 0447 992 986 for more details.
Please note access to the online form will close at 5:00pm on Wednesday 21 February 2024.
Additional Needs/Pastoral Care Processes
We have a high number of families making requests for external therapy providers to come during school hours. Please know that we understand how challenging it is to find time for these appointments, however, our number one priority is always engaging all students in their school based learning. If you are seeking this support, we ask that you email a request to firstname.lastname@example.org . We no longer have an internal space that is not used on any day of the week, so these are becoming increasingly difficult to honour. Where possible, we ask families to make arrangements for appointments outside of school hours, however, if this is not possible, we may only have shared learning spaces available for therapy. If a more quiet, private space is required, then school may not be the best place for this therapy to take place. Please contact the office if you have any questions or concerns. We are currently processing requests from the end of last year and will be in contact soon.
Year 3 and 5 will participate in NAPLAN in March. Please see the key dates listed below. Please do not be concerned about NAPLAN if it is new to your family. It is a snapshot of your child’s learning in time and we will support the children if they are feeling nervous. It is really important to speak about NAPLAN positively!
If your child currently receives adjustments to assessments, then you will be sent home a form to sign to approve the adjustments for NAPLAN. Please know that all children are required to have working headphones for NAPLAN so if you haven’t sent yours in yet, can you please do so as soon as it is convenient. If you have any concerns about your child participating in NAPLAN, please contact the front office so that we can support you.
Have you connected to your child’s Seesaw journal for 2024?
Family and School Partnerships - Mission
Have you heard about the Council of Catholic School Parents website and newsletter?
CCSP is the voice and advocate for parents and carers of children in NSW Catholic schools. The website Communicates developments in education, wellbeing and the life of the Church through the Parent Talk newsletter.
The recent newsletter has many great articles to support families including articles about:
- Budget and child friendly food for families videos : Luscious Lunchboxes.
- Enrolment in a Term One Esafety webinar for Parents and Carers. This 30-minute webinar provides an overview of different types of parental controls and how to set them on smart devices and computers, in apps and on gaming platforms for your child’s safety.
- Vaping and ways we can talk to our children about this issue.
If you’d like to know more about Council for Catholic School Parents website and subscribe to the Parent Talk Newsletter, click on the link below.
Positive Behaviour Support
Welcome to a new year and a fresh new start. This week our focus has been on learning about our whole school expectations by following the 4R’s at St Agnes’, knowing where our calm down corner is in our classrooms and where we can find our Zones Toolbox to help us regulate our emotions.
It has been great to see how many Dojo points the students have been receiving for recognition of making good choices and following our school expectations of being Respectful, Responsible, Resilient and Resolute. A total of 2931 Dojos were given out this week.
Zone Swimming Trials
Approximately 80 students will travel to Wauchope on Monday to participate in the Zone Swimming Trials. This is a pathways sport, and students who gain selection will go on to compete at the Hasting Zone Carnival in Macksville on Tuesday 20 February. We wish all our swimmers the best of luck on Monday.
Winter Sports Trials
On Monday 19 February, students in Years 5 and 6 will compete in the Winter Sports Trials. Netball is at the Port Macquarie Indoor Stadium, Rugby League and Soccer are at St Joseph's Regional Collage, and Hockey is at the Port Macquarie Hockey Fields.
This year, the Diocese are running the Rugby League and Rugby Union separately so that students can compete in both sports. The Rugby Union trials will be held on Wednesday 28 February in Kempsey, and families will be required to organise transport for their child. We wish all our students competing in the Winter Sports Trials the best of luck.
Diocesean AFL Trials
Best of luck to Henry Fryer and Flynn Wehlow as they contest the Diocesean AFL trials on Friday 23 February in Grafton. Henry and Flynn will compete against AFL players between Laurieton and Tweed Heads for selection into the Polding AFL team.
2024 KM Club
This term, we welcome back the KM club with a new challenge for our students. The KM (Kilometre) Club is a school-based physical activity program. It encourages physical activity by allowing students to run, jog or walk outside on a track at a self-selected pace. Students will receive a ‘punch card’ to record their distances. Each completed card will be 5 km. The KM Club is also an opportunity for our Year 6 Leadership team to oversee the club's week-to-week running and support the younger students.
Because of the Swimming Trials on Monday, we will kick off KM Club on Wednesday 14 February. The KM Club will be held Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings between 8:25am and 8:50am on the bottom oval. This will also be an excellent opportunity for students to train for the Cross Country Carnival towards the end of Term One. Below is the Term One KM Club scenario for students.
2024 Term One KM Club Challenge
St Agnes' Primary School students want to plan a tour of some popular destinations in South-Eastern Australia. First, some students wanted to see the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, so we will run there. It's only about 555 km. Then, they wanted to visit Australia's Capital Territory. They want to meet the Prime Minister, Mr Albanese, go to Questacon and visit the Australian War Memorial. So we will run from Dubbo to Canberra. It's only another 423 km. Finally, we want to visit Melbourne to see the Storm play South Sydney and view the Wurrdha Marra exhibit at the NVG International Art Gallery. So we will have to run there too. It's just another 686 km down the highway. But don't worry, we have a flight booked back to school from Melbourne. (Unless you want to run. It's only 1,237 km via the coastal route.)
|Lauren Van Boxtel
|Melanie McMahon and HELP PLEASE
|Alison Neale and HELP PLEASE