Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students of St Catherine’s,
Welcome to the 2024 school year and our first newsletter for the year. A very warm welcome to our newest families joining the St Catherine's community. We look forward to getting to know you and your child and working together to help them grow and flourish as capable and confident young people. We also welcome two new teaching staff members to St Catherine's - Jenna Coates in Year 1/2 and Stefan Butler in Year 4/5. It has been a fantastic start to the year with students getting to know their teachers and classmates during these first two weeks of term.
R-4 Water Safety Program
We certainly have hit the ground running with our Reception to Year 4 students participating in Water Safety lessons at the Woodside pool each afternoon this week. The children have thoroughly enjoyed their time at the pool and we have been blessed with good weather each day. Thank you to all the parent volunteers who were able to assist throughout the week.
2/3F Whole School Mass
Well done to all the students in Miss Foote's class who hosted the first Mass of the year on Tuesday this week. Pope Francis has designated 2024 a 'Year of Prayer' and Fr Fred spoke about the importance of prayer and the simple ways in which we might engage in prayer throughout our daily lives. It was lovely to have parents and relatives join us for the Mass - please know that all parents and relatives are warmly welcome to attend our Masses and Liturgies throughout the year.
Parish and School Picnic - Sunday 25th February
As a Catholic school, we have a strong connection with our local Adelaide Hills Catholic Parish. Fr Fred Farrugia, the Parish Priest, visits our school weekly to celebrate Liturgies and Masses with the students. On Sunday 25th February, we are holding our first Parish School event for the year. The Parish School Picnic is held at the Oakbank Racecourse from 9.30am - 1.00pm and is a wonderful opportunity for families to gather, meet new people and enjoy a range of activities. We hope to see you there.
Parent Teacher Information Sessions
Thank you to the many parents who made time to attend our parent teacher information sessions held on Tuesday. These sessions are an important part of supporting your child/ren to be set up for success with their learning for the year.
Our formal communication about student achievement in 2024 is as follows:
Week 2: Parent Information Session
Week 2: Parent/ Teacher/ Student Learning Conversation meetings
Week 10: Semester 1 Student Achievement Report
Week 8: Parent/ Teacher/ Student Learning Conversation meetings
Week 9: Semester 2 Student Achievement Report
Additional meetings can also be requested throughout the year by teachers or parents/ guardians as required on an individual basis.
As we begin the year, it is important that you are aware of the following policies and guidelines, that provide information about the work schools do, in partnership with families to ensure there is a safe environment for all. Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with these documents which are available via our school website:
- Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide Safeguarding Children and Young People Policy
- Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum information for parents and carers
Student Safety Before and After School
It is important that children are not dropped and left to wait unsupervised at the front of the school prior to 8.30am. The school has a duty of care which commences with supervision from 8.30am when students can enter the school grounds and be supervised by school staff. Similarly, we have staff on duty after school until 3.30pm. Camp Australia provides before and after school care for those families that require it. If your child/ren needs to be at school prior to 8.30am, or after 3.30pm, for their own safety, please ensure they are booked into the OSHC service. https://www.stcaths.catholic.edu.au/community/oshc
CESA Partners in Practice Project
I am pleased to share that we have been able to recruit an Occupational Therapist to continue the work across St Catherine's School, St Joseph's School, Murray Bridge and St Francis de Sales College which commenced at the beginning of 2023. Briony Lucas is an experienced Pediatric Occupational Therapist who will join our staff in a 0.2FTE role providing support to staff, students and families. We look forward to welcoming Briony to our site in the coming weeks.
Annual General Meeting (AGM)
The AGM will be held on Tuesday 20th February at 6pm. The AGM provides an opportunity each year for our community to hear from the School Board about achievements and challenges from the previous year. It is also at the AGM that any new nominations for positions on the School Board are elected. Please note that in 2024 there are no current vacancies on the School Board. All parents and guardians from the school community are invited to attend. Please register your attendance via our website: https://www.stcaths.catholic.edu.au/community/parent-attendance-registration-form
We are fortunate to have a very active Parents and Friends team at St Catherine's, creating and coordinating various activities throughout the school year to build our school community. Thank you to Lucia Clements who will oversee the work of the P&F as Coordinator this year. Our Monday Tuck and Friday Lunch very much depend on the support of our parent volunteers, so I encourage you to consider being involved in whatever capacity you have to support this service for our students. P&F meetings generally take place twice a term and parents can volunteer for particular events throughout the year that fit with their own schedules.
2024 Learn to Play After School Sports Program (Reception to Year 2)
Children in Reception to Year 2 have the opportunity to participate in various after school 'Learn to Play' sports. There is a different sport focus each term held on Tuesdays:
Term 1 R-2 Learn to Play First Serve Tennis
Term 2 R-2 Learn to Play Net Started Netball
Term 3 R-2 Learn to Play Jump Start Basketball
Term 4 R-2 Learn to Play Super Soccer Skills
Further information regarding cost and times will be shared via Audiri throughout the year. For any questions about the program please contact Steven DeGiovanniello (PE teacher): email@example.com
2024 Instrumental Program
If your child is interested in learning a musical instrument, please contact Kathryn Thomson (Performing Arts teacher): firstname.lastname@example.org
Pupil Free Day - Monday 12th February
Next Monday our staff are undertaking Fire Extinguisher training which is a WHS requirement for school sites. We are also engaging in Strategic Planning workshops, establishing our future directions and priorities for St Catherine's School for 2024-2026. Following work with our School Board, we look forward to sharing these plans with the community in the coming weeks.
Term 1 Calendar
Our calendar of events for Term 1 was sent to all families via Audiri last week. Please be aware that from time to time the calendar is updated and re-sent, so make sure you refer to the most recent version. If you have any queries about particular events, please contact Cathy Fischle: email@example.com
Together in Faith, Learning and Community