St Matthew’s School empowers children to embrace life-long learning, and grow and develop as God intends.
Lord awaken us,
To see your presence with us in each moment.
Lord open our hearts,
To see the suffering of others.
Lord open our eyes,
To see how we can serve you this day.
Lord help us,
To see the value that we have in your great kingdom on earth.
Lord open our souls,
To accept the grace that you have already extended to us.
Lord make us aware,
Of how we can share your grace with those around us.
Lord awaken us,
To live our lives in anticipation of your return or our being called home to you.
Dear Parents & Caregivers,
Today’s Catholic schools strive to be Christ-centred and child-focused. I feel there could be no better evidence of this at St Matthew’s than the amazing community spirit that runs through our beautiful school. This term, we have had parents and staff donate their time, money and resources to ensure that our students have the best learning opportunities and resources available. This has included volunteering at swimming carnivals, working hard at the BusyBee, making lunches for P&F fundraisers, volunteering in classrooms, listening to reading, attending assemblies and services, as well as supporting students by attending parent interviews this week. It is this community response to education that I believe will continue to enhance our school and empower children to embrace life-long learning, and grow and develop as God intends.
BusyBee and Garage Sale
A massive thank you to all of the families who contributed their time and/or resources to the BusyBee and Garage Sale. Thanks to this amazing support, we were able to prepare the site for our Nature Playground, establish our new veggie gardens, establish the site for our bush tucker garden, install the new flagpole, and prune the Pre-Primary and Centenary garden. We were also able to successfully run our first-ever Garage Sale which raised over $750 for our Nature Playground.
A very special thank you to Glen Batt who not only donated his time, but also supplied the machinery to clear the Nature Playground site. We are very aware that without his help, this would not have been possible. Thank you, Glen – we truly appreciate it!
Holy Week Prayer Service
As part of our Holy Week reflections next week, the upper primary classes will lead the school in the Stations of the Cross on Thursday 1 April. This will take place on the basketball court at 9:30 am. We encourage all of our parents to come and share this important service with us. Seating will be available for parents.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Leadership Team has been revising our Uniform Policy. Based on the findings from the Parent Survey and the discussions with students and staff members, the following change will be made:
Black leather sports shoes may be worn as an alternative to black leather “dress” school shoes.
Black leather sports shoes may be worn with the sports uniform.
This means that both boys and girls can wear black leather sports shoes with all uniforms and thus reduce the financial burden on families and simplify the uniform for everyone. Please be aware that this does not mean parents must change to this style of shoe – the formal school shoe is still allowed, as is any colour sports shoe.
I would like to thank all parents who provided feedback on the uniforms. It is not my intention to respond to all of the comments; however, I would like to clarify some points of the policy that were raised as concerns:
Comment: finding neutral joggers can be difficult.
Sports shoes do not have to be neutral or white. Any colour is acceptable as long as the dominant colour is not fluorescent (embellishments are acceptable). However, we would now encourage parents to buy the black leather sports shoe so as to alleviate the necessity of having two sets of school shoes.
Comment: boys do get hot in the pants when they are running around,
The 2020 uniform change allows boys to wear shorts or long pants as part of their summer and winter uniform, allowing boys the freedom to dress according to the daily weather forecast.
Comment: Will the same rule apply for girls who choose to wear winter trousers so they’re able to wear shorts if the weather permits?
The girls have an option to wear the navy blue pants or the skirt in winter. This allows them a cooler option, as they do not have to wear tights under their skirts. Therefore, both the boys and the girls have two options. We appreciate that there are girls who may not feel comfortable playing in a skirt and we will continue to discuss alternatives for future uniform adjustments. Girls are encouraged to wear navy blue bike shorts/bloomers under their skirts/dresses so modesty is not compromised.
Comment: The winter uniform(shirts) should be long sleeve.
There is a long-sleeve shirt option; however, most children find this uncomfortable under their jumpers.
Parent-Teacher interviews will be conducted during Week 8 (beginning Monday 22 March) and Week 9 (beginning Monday 29 March). We would naturally encourage all parents to attend these interviews as it provides an opportunity for detailed discussions about your child’s achievements and challenges this term. To book an appointment with your child’s teacher, please access the below link and follow the prompts.
Please email Mr Tenney via email@example.com if you have any questions or encounter any problems.
School photos are on Monday 29 March. Please ensure children are dressed in their Formal Summer uniform, including hair and jewellery. All photo packs are to be ordered online by visiting www.msp.com.au and using your child’s unique Shoot Key, as listed on the handout that went home previously. Please be aware that the last day for orders is 4 April.
Test books will go home to families on Thursday 25 March. These provide parents with an insight into their child’s achievements in English, Maths and Religious Education this term. Please be aware that the Test Books contain only a small sample of the assessments teachers complete.
Please ensure Test Books are returned to class teachers on Monday 29 March.
School Photos – need info from school note
Interschool Swimming Carnival
The Interschool Swimming Carnival team will travel to Williams to compete this Friday. We are all sure they will represent our school wonderfully, both in sportsmanship and talent in the water. We require 4 St Matthew’s parents to assist with timing on the day. If you can help, please contact Mrs Kilpatrick at school.
Next Term, St Matthew’s School will be co-ordinating the District Cross Country Event on Friday 28 May. This event is for students in Years 4 to 6. Our team will consist of 4 girls and 4 boys from each year level and I have encouraged all students to try out for this event.
If this is something that your child would like to challenge themselves to do, I am very happy to help design an individual training program for them and give them some tips and encouragement. I have advised interested students to start doing a bit of training over the holidays so that they feel super fit at the start of Term 2.
Distances for the event are:
Year 4 – 2km
Year 5 & 6 – 2.5km
From Week 3 next term, I will be taking 5 weeks of Long Service Leave. In my absence, Mr Mark Tenney will be Acting Principal, with Mr Mark Collins continuing in his role as Assistant Principal. Whilst I am away, Mrs Colleen Quartermaine will be teaching an additional one day a week in Year 6; Monday to Wednesday. We are currently looking at options for the remaining two days in Year 6. This information will be shared with the community as soon as decisions have been made.
Principal Focus – Saying goodbye
Most mums and dads have experienced the anguish of hearing their little people beg them not to leave. It can be truly heartbreaking. For the majority of children, this is a normal developmental stage; however, there are choices we can make as parents that will help both us and our little people cope with this experience:
By the time children are 3 years of age, most clearly understand the effect their anxiety or pleas at separation have on us. It doesn’t mean they aren’t stressed, but they certainly are vying for a change. Be consistent; don’t return to the room based on a child’s plea, and certainly don’t cancel plans based on separation anxiety. Your ongoing consistency, explanations, and diligence to return when you say you will are tantamount.
Create quick good-bye rituals. Even if you have to do major-league- baseball–style hand movements, give triple kisses at the cubby, or provide a special blanket or toy as you leave, keep the good-bye short and sweet. If you linger, the transition time does too. So will the anxiety.
Be consistent. Try to do the same drop-off with the same ritual at the same time each day you separate, to avoid unexpected factors whenever you can. A routine can diminish the heartache and will allow your child to simultaneously build trust in her independence and in you.
Attention: When separating, give your child full attention, be loving, and provide affection. Then say good-bye quickly despite her antics or cries for you to stay.
Keep your promise. You’ll build trust and independence as your child becomes confident in her ability to be without you when you stick to your promise of return. The biggest mistake I ever made in this regard was returning to class to “visit” my son about an hour after a terrible transition. I was missing him, and although the return was well intended, I not only extended the separation anxiety, we started all over again in the process. When I left the second time (and subsequent days) it was near nuclear.
Be specific, child style. When you discuss your return, provide specifics that your child understands. If you know you’ll be back by 3:00 pm, tell it to your child on his terms; for example, say, “I’ll be back after nap time and before afternoon snack.” Define time he can understand. Talk about your return from a business trip in terms of “sleeps.” Instead of saying, “I’ll be home in 3 days,” say, “I’ll be home after 3 sleeps.”
Practise being apart. Ship the children off to grandma’s home, schedule playdates, allow friends and family to provide child care for you (even for an hour) on the weekend. Before starting child care or preschool, practise going to school and your good-bye ritual before you even have to part ways. Give your child a chance to prepare, experience, and thrive in your absence!
It’s rare that separation anxiety persists on a daily basis after the preschool years. If you’re concerned that your child isn’t adapting to being without you, chat with the paediatrician. Your paediatrician has certainly helped support families in the same situation and can help calm your unease and determine a plan to support both of you!
Always remember that all of us at St Matthew’s are here to support you and your family through the ups and downs of childhood. I encourage all of you not to hesitate to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s social, spiritual or emotional development with the classroom teacher. We strongly believe that happy kids learn and as such, the happiness of our students is of paramount concern to all of us.