ONE STEP CLOSER
We are looking forward to the next few weeks as we move to having all the children return from the beginning of Week 6. Before that happens we have one more week of “Flexible Learning”. I never knew there were so many different ways we can call “learning from home" – but Flexible Learning is this week’s buzz word.
Not enough can be said of how, wonderfully the teachers and parents have accepted the challenge of teaching children in the home setting. There have been many different ways of attacking the same problems but patience, good routines and flexibility seem to be very important. Communication is also crucial and it has been pleasing to see different channels have been well used. COMPASS remains and will remain the main form receiving and sending out messages. One strong message I have received from the teachers is that they are so much enjoying and relishing the opportunity to have their classes back in front of them.
As we move into Week 5, we will be open for children to attend Face-to-Face classes 3 days next week. The roster for classes will be:
- Kinder, Year 1 & Year 2 = Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday
- Year 3, Year 4 & Year 5/6 = Wednesday, Thursday & Friday
As has been the case during this whole event of COVID-19, children whose parents cannot provide adequate care for their children due to work commitments, are welcome to attend school to follow through with their online learning activities. We thank you for supporting the school's planning and staffing by keeping your children at home if possible on non-rostered days.
Let’s look forward to next week as we extend the contact between children and adults. The clear direction from the Diocese from the start has been to reach full time F2F by 1 June. It seems that we are on track for that. For those that are wondering why the State Gov’t have jumped from 1 day to 5 days as a staged re-entry to F2F and why we are not following the State Schools lead – you will have to ask Gladys that question. And just be reminded that Catholic Schools have been open 2 days a week for the last fortnight when Public Schools have only been open 1 day.
I refer you to the two communications from the Director of schools that you would have received via COMPASS.
SOME PROTOCOL POINTERS
With the returning to school full time, there will still be restrictions to the access to school for parents. Sadly, parents will not be permitted to enter the school grounds unless they have business in the office. We ask that parents drop their children at the gate. At pick up time, please continue to follow the social distancing guidelines by not gathering in a group. Kinder and Year 2 will exit via the bottom Lovell Pde gate separated by a couple of minutes and Year 1 will leave via the top Lovell Pde gate. We ask that parents move off without lingering for a chat.
We will still not be able to invite parents to our weekly liturgies or our special celebrations – Mother’s Day was very painful for everyone. There will be no excursions or interschool sport, athletics carnival, school camp etc until further notice.
When dropping off in the morning, it wouild be appreciated that those in cars move right to the bottom of the parling space outside the top gate -- Kiss and Drop is permeitted in the No Parking spot - please be mindful of the Disabled Parking spot.
RED DRESS DAY
For those children attending school tomorrow, it will be free dress – the theme is RED. Also be prepared to do some work around the garden if the weather is kind to us. I know there were some disappointed gardeners due to the showers last week.
We should be dusting off our winter clothes this weekend as we expect all children to be dressed in their winter uniform from next week. Please refer to the handbook for what is expected. Ties are compulsory. Sports day will still be Wednesday. Please ensure children are wearing the tracksuit with school logo.
A bad habit children have during winter is tossing their hats, jackets and jumpers as they play and not picking them up again when play is finished. Names on clothing will help reunite them with their owners.
We are currently taking enrolments for the 2021 school year for Kindergarten. If you have a child, or know of a family that does, that is looking to be enrolled at OLV in 2021, please contact Leanne in the office for an Enrolment Application. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we won’t be conducting interviews until Term 3.
If you are seeking enrolment in Year 7 for your child next year, please ensure you send your applications into the High School ASAP.
It has been great to see some of the activities with which children are involving themselves and sharing with me. Please don’t forget to fill in the hours worked in the passport and bring it along to school for a stamp and sign off.
Mary Help of Christians
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Australians’ lives, including their worship, the Catholic Bishops will entrust the country to the care of Mary Help of Christians on her feast day next week … Mary Help of Christians has been the official patroness of Australia since 1844. Her feast day is celebrated on May 24, which this year coincides with the Feast of the Ascension. The entrustment of Australia to Mary Help of Christians can therefore take place on the 24th or the 25th, the bishops agreed.
Please take some time and prayer the Entrustment Prayer on Sunday and Monday as a Family.
I have also attached a letter written by the Bishops to all Australians. Please take the time to read through this.
VOLUNTEERS AND WORKING WITH CHILDREN CHECK
All new volunteers who wish to volunteer at Our Lady of Victories (or any school/parish in the Diocese) are required to complete the Volunteer Induction Handbook. This hand book covers all aspects of volunteering at school from Induction through to Code of Conduct, WHS, Confidentiality and Privacy. Volunteers are required to complete a National Criminal History Check Consent Form (150 point of ID required), Working with Children Check Clearance, Registration Form, Volunteer Policy Declaration and Code of Conduct Declaration. Volunteers are only able to assist in schools once all documents have been received and cleared (this can take up to 3 weeks).
The steps to obtain a Working with Children Check Clearance Number are as follows:
- Fill out an online application from www.kidsguardian.nsw.gov.au/check
- When you have completed the application form, you will receive and Application number (APP by email.
- Take this Application number and proof of your identity to a NSW motor registry or Service NSW Office. As it is not paid work the $80.00 fee will be waived.
- Once your application has been processed and you are cleared, you will receive your Working with Children Check number (WWC) by email( or post if you do have an email address).
Science is very interesting this term as we continue to investigate the weather.
In Week 3 Kinder had to design and make a shelter that would protect a teddy bear or soft toy from the weather. They had to test their shelter for wind by blowing a fan on it, test for sun by shining a reading lamp on it and test for rain by squirting a water bottle at it. Andre built a simple shelter for his dog which passed all the tests and he shared his photos with the class. If you haven’t done this activity yet it is not too late as Science is extended to cover Week 4 as well. We would love to have some more shelters to share with the class. Andre’s photos are included to give you some ideas.
Religion was also very interesting in Week 3 as we viewed Aboriginal Dreamtime stories, tapped along with some Aboriginal spiritual music in class using our tapping sticks and created an Aboriginal art work using cotton tips to make the dots.
Most children are doing very well with Matific activities. In Week 3 we covered addition and subtraction concepts and there are lots of examples on Matific to consolidate this work. Please try to find computer time for this if you are not using it at present.
I am amazed at some of the Book work being returned to school. Although the children are at home they are still learning. This is evident in their improved reading ability.
Ariana and her little sister got creative and role played the story, Mr. Gumpy’s Outing. From the photos it is evident that they had enormous fun. Well done Ariana.
How wonderful to have had the Yr 1 children engaging in face-to-face lessons again over the last fortnight! We've got our little class community back again inside of the bigger school community and the children are so happy to be spending time learning and playing together. In Religion this term we are studying the unit, 'Values'. We've learnt about The Ten Commandments that were passed down from God to the Israelites, through Moses. They were God's special laws that taught the Israelites how God wished for them to live. We're also focusing on the good and bad choices that we make in our lives. We know that we grow closer to God and to others when we listen to our conscience and strive to make good choices.
In English we are sharing stories that feature Australian flora, fauna, language and culture. We've already covered language activities related to 'Wombat Stew' by Marcia Vaughan and 'Blossom Possum' by Gina Newton. We are currently assessing the children on their sight words and reading so as to re-establish our daily reading groups and rotation of writing/spelling activities as soon as possible.
In Maths this week we are using hands-on materials to demonstrate how to create 'groups of'. We placed equal groups of blocks on paper plates to show a variety of simple multiplication number sentences. We've also been drawing pictures on our mini whiteboards to help us solve related problems.
In Visual Arts last week we started some 'Possum' artwork to link in with our reading of 'Blossom Possum'. We look forward to putting the finishing touches on our possums next week!
I prayer for all our School Community and ask that you protect us and keep us healthy and safe even though we are all not at school together because of the COVID- 19 pandemic.
Please keep our families, friends and teachers safe from the coronavirus during our time apart from one another so that we can all be together in our homes and at school safe and happy once again.
I pray that the coronavirus will go away before my birthday so I can celebrate with my friends.
Please help us to stay together even when we are not together.
Thank you for making my school so good. And thank you for making my best friends because they like to play soccer with me. We pray that everyone stays safe during the virus and please let the virus go away soon so I can see my friends again at school.
Thank you for the teachers that teach me lots of good things and all the hard work they have done while I’m at home doing school work. Thank you for the lovely world and please let the rain wash away the virus and make sure there are no bad storms.
Please help us in this difficult time.
Please let us go back to school and back to normal so we can see our friends and family.
In music Mrs Gallagher asked the children to create their own musical instrument. The following photos are a few of the wonderful creations.
In Religion over the past two weeks, Yr 3 has been learning about the various groups that existed in Israel in the time of Jesus. Some of the groups Yr 3 has read about are: Pharisees, Sadducees, Levites, Zealots, Essenes, Men and Women. In Maths, the class has extended work for another week on addition and subtraction. This week Yr 3 has revised the ‘friends of 10’ and looked at the connection between addition and subtraction. Students have also focused on learning the multiplication tables – x2, x5, x10. In English, Yr 3 is reading the novel ‘The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane’ by Kate Di Camillo. After reading some chapters, the students complete activities relating to information they have read. In Science, Yr 3 join with Yr 4 every Friday to learn about ‘energy sources’. Over the last 2 lessons, the students have learnt about ‘heat’ and ‘light’ as sources of energy. Some great group work and discussions have made learning very successful. In Art, Year 3 has looked at various artworks of mythical creatures, particularly by Chinese artists, and have discussed the detail that is evident in each work. The students have also created their own image of a dragon, focusing on detail and colour.
How wonderful it has been coming back to school and seeing each other after such a long separation in isolation!
Year 4 have settled back in well and are really enjoying being back together in the classroom.
In Religion, we have been learning about The Beatitudes and gaining a deeper understanding of the messages they contain for us. It has been interesting to see how we can include those messages in our everyday lives through our actions and words.
In English, we are continuing with our novel, Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. It is a really special story that shows how friends love and support one another, especially during difficult times. We are also developing our punctuation skills to enable more effective use in our day to day tasks. We have been focusing recently on Persuasive Writing, and we are developing a clear understanding of the structure and the types of vocabulary that add strength to our point of view.
Our focus in Maths has been 3D Objects last week, and Capacity this week. We constructed prisms and pyramids using matchsticks and playdough – it was quite challenging! We also used nets of various prisms and pyramids, as well as cone and cylinders, to make a variety of 3D objects. It was a lot of fun!
We used various containers to measure the capacity of smaller and larger vessels and we made our own 1 litre measuring container at home by marking levels of 100ml on the side of a clear plastic bottle. We have become clever at converting millilitres and litres through a variety of tasks.
In History, we are studying Early Exploration and last week we learnt about early explorers of Australia, including Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch explorers. We discovered that many place in our country have names that are of Dutch origin, including Cape Arnhem (Kaap Arnhem), which was the name of the ship exploring the area and the name of a city in Holland (The Netherlands). We also learnt that Torres Strait was named after a Spanish explorer named, Luis Vaz de Torres who made the first recorded navigation of the strait in 1606.
In Science we are learning about States of Matter and we have experimented to observe changing states of matter. We know about the terms: condensation, evaporation, cooling, heating, freezing and melting.
We are working very hard, as you can see, and we are finding out lots of new things every day!
It was so lovely to see everyone’s smiling faces over the last two weeks, and Miss Gallagher and Ms McGann can’t wait to see them again next week.
In Religion, we have continued to work through our Values unit. We have looked at God’s call to us to be stewards of creation and how we can do this. We have looked at the 7 principles of Catholic Social Teaching and how we are able to make our small acts of kindness and compassion count towards a better world.
In English we have been deconstructing persuasive texts, particularly discussions. We have planned and written a discussion of our choosing, and are now planning and writing a discussion based around the main character of our novel and the difficult, but incredibly important, decisions he has to make.
In Maths, we have been looking at converting time from 12hour to 24 hour and back and time zones. We have also been looking at using positional and directional language, reading and interpreting maps, locating and describing position using a grid reference system, including latitude and longitude, which links wonderfully with our geography unit.
In Geography we have researched an Asian country, looking at its location, flag, population, climate, language, religion and other facts, and are now creating a poster based on that information.
In Art we are recreating the cherry blossom tree. In class this week, we used straws and liquid paint to create the branches of our tree. We were given crepe paper to take home and will be using this to create the cherry blossoms to add to our branches.
In science we have been researching about the Newcastle earthquake. This week, we will be conducting an interview with somebody who experienced the earthquake in 1989. We have also began looking at which instruments scientists use to measure earthquakes and how they measure the magnitude of the quake.
We look forward to seeing everyone for another productive and fun filled week of learning.
Sadly, no sport happening at this stage. Our Athletics Carnival will not be going ahead at this stage. Swimming Carnival status is unsure.
Congratulations to Gemma Mooney who wil be presented with a certificate tomorrow for achieving 1st Place in the Diocesan Swimming Carninval. This would have qualified her as a DIO representative at the Polding Championships. Well done Gemma -- there is always next year.
We all live in this time of Covid19. There is a lot of fear and a lot of panic. But we can make a choice. We can choose to live in a place of faith and trust. We can use our energy to worry, be negative or we can use our energy to believe that God is in control of everything. His love and mercy is bigger than we can ever imagine.
Love for our families is fundamental, especially in such a strange time. It could make us fearful and feel powerless as we care for our beloved one’s health, our finances and future. We cannot control and predict what will happen next. It is not easy to live out of negativity when we listen to information about the impact of Covid19 around the world.
I think it is important to get the news, so that we are up to date with what is happening to us and others. It is also good to see what positive things have happened in this special time of lock down. I believe it is also a time when we have to tune out to that negativity and live positively – take time for a walk, to talk or play with your children, watch something entertaining or listen to music. We can stay faithful, positive and grateful. We can step up to make a difference, to be a blessing to our children, family and those around us.
Our faith in God and His providence will help us to build the future.
Prayers for your families in this difficult time.
SMS/EMAIL NOTIFICATION OF ABSENCE
As part of Our Lady of Victories’ commitment to student safety and welfare, our school has begun notifying parents of their child’s unexplained absence via SMS message & email.
This service provides an SMS / email notification to parents of children who are marked absent from school without explanation once the roll has been checked in the morning.
Where possible, it would be appreciated if parents can notify the school at their earliest convenience regarding a child’s absence.
If a child is going to be absent for the day or is intending to arrive late (e.g. medical appointments etc.), then parents are asked to use the COMPASS APP or call the office to notify the school before 9:30am on the day rather than sending a note afterward.
It is hoped that by providing this service and in partnership with families we can continue to ensure all possible mechanisms are in place to maintain the safety of our students.
USING THE ATTENDANCE NOTIFICATIONS
COMPASS is the preferred method of informing the school that your child is away. By sending it through COMPASS, it is immediately synced to the class roll. Teachers endeavour (technology permitting) to have their rolls marked by 9:30am. If your child is not present and you have not sent a compass notification (or contacted the office of an absence) you will be sent an SMS to advise that we have not received an absence “note” and your child is not present.
Please refrain from using other electronic forms of notifications such as email, Schoolzine or other APPS we have used in the past. If in doubt, call the office.
You will be able to access the school newsletter here and notifications will come through Schoolzine. Please DO NOT use the old SkoolBag App. It is no longer used for communications of notifications and messages..
Go to this link to download the Schoolzine App: