Dear Parents & Caregivers,
On Tuesday 8 June, while all the children were enjoying an extra day off, the staff came together to look at how we can best support our children who have come to us from different cultural backgrounds. We invited Marisa Schiavi, CEWA Languages and EAL/D Consultant, to work with us to ensure we are developing programmes that are culturally sensitive and provide our new Australians with the support they need. Marisa focused on the importance of recognising the difficulties children may encounter when they are learning a new culture and language. She spoke particularly on how important it is to encourage children to continue to use their first language, whilst still supporting them to acquire Australian Standardised English.
Staff Changes Term 3 – Year 1, Year 3 & Year 4
Beginning next term, the wonderful Mrs Jessie Allington will be taking Long Service Leave for the remainder of the year. To ensure a smooth transition, the following staffing changes will occur:
- Mrs Adele Maartens with teach in Year 4 on Thursdays and Fridays
- Miss Carrie English will teach full-time in Year 1
Mrs Jane Dyke will be using her accrued Long Service Leave to reduce her teaching days by 1 day per week. This means in Year 3:
- Mrs Jane Dyke will teach Monday to Wednesday
- Mrs Caryn Tenney will teach Thursdays and Fridays
I would like to thank all of these teachers for being willing to make these adjustments to their teaching timetables.
NAIDOC week – opening of Harmony Garden & Nature Playground
NAIDOC Week celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This significant week is usually held in the first week of July and as such, this year it will be celebrated from the 4th of July 2021. As this falls within our Term 2 holidays, St Matthew’s is organising a variety of activities, celebrations and learning activities for Week 1 of Term 3. These activities will include:
- Tuesday 20 July Bilya Kaatijin Incursion
Journeying through global Dreaming stories, the show teaches its audiences about the importance of accepting others, the power of empathy and the impact of climate change to the land and the Noongar seasons.
- Wednesday 21 July ‘Our Story’ Whole School Art Project
All families will be invited to join us at school from 1:30pm on to paint a fence picket depicting their family’s story. The pickets will be combined to create a combined “fence” that depicts the many and varied backgrounds of our school community. Before the end of this term, we will send home a template so that families can use the school holidays to design their family picket. Rest assured, if you are not able to contribute, we will ensure that all of our beautiful families are represented.
- Thursday 22 July Whole school rotations
Community members who have a personal understanding of Noongar culture will be invited to come to school to share their story and lead the students in a variety of activities. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or pop into the Office, if you have a suggestion of a suitable community member who may be interested in donating their time.
- Friday 23 July Official Opening of Nature Play Area and Harmony Garden
Our school will come together to acknowledge and thank all of the community members who have contributed their time and skills to create these new learning and play environments.
The next P&F Meeting will be held Tuesday 22 June at 7pm in the Sr Mary Library. All parents welcome – babysitting available. The main topic to be discussed will be the up-incoming St Matthew’s Quiz Night. Hope to see you there.
,Winter Carnival Update
On Thursday, 24th June, all students in Years 4 – 6 will participate in the 2021 Winter Carnival together with other local schools. Each child will be playing one of four sports: hockey, soccer, football or netball. The event will be held at the sporting facilities on Clayton Road, Narrogin. Parents are encouraged to come along and support their children. First games will begin at 9.30am. Last week a note containing more information went out via the school app.
This event would be a great opportunity for you to be involved in school life and if anyone would like to assist in coaching a team, I would really appreciate your help. A St Matthew’s teacher will be at each sport to support you. Please email me if you can help in this role.
Play Cafe News
It is with sadness that I announce that Play Cafe will not be available during Term 3. This is largely due to there being a very low number of families who have attended throughout this term. I would like to thank the families who have supported this initiative and hope that you and your children have enjoyed the experience.
We would love to offer this service for 5 weeks during Term 4 as a lovely way for 2022 Kindy families to meet each other and introduce the children to the Kindy environment. We would require at least 10 families to commit to attending for this to go ahead. Please email email@example.com, or pop into the Office, if you would like to register your interest.
Student Background Data
St Matthew’s School, along with other Catholic, Independent and Government schools, collects Student Background Data (SBD) on behalf of the Australian Curriculum and Reporting Authority (ACARA). Data collected is for calculating the Index of Socio Educational Advantage (SEA) model that determines schools that qualify for special assistance. Collected student background data includes the following:
- The gender of your child
- The country of birth of your child
- Aboriginality, or other ethnicities
- Your occupation and educational qualifications (in very broad terms) and
- The main languages/dialect spoken at home by parents/guardians and your child.
Although this information may have been provided by parents and guardians when the child was first enrolled at St Matthew’s, to ensure that the data is accurate and complete, parents will be asked to complete a form. These forms will come home in the next few days.
Collected information will be confidential and used for its intended purpose only. No individual person or school will be identifiable and linked with the results.
Languages and Dialects
Capturing languages and dialects spoken at home is important for recognising and celebrating the cultural and linguistic diversity of students. and to provide them with relevant support (if required) and to ensure a culturally and linguistic responsive environment and resources. It is important for our school to identify:
students who speak another language or dialect as well as parents/guardians who speak another language or dialect at home, as this indicates that the student has a Language Background Other Than English (LBOTE). Dialects include dialects of English such as Pakistani English, Singaporean English, Ugandan English, etc.
students who speak Aboriginal English. Aboriginal English is the name given to the various kinds of English spoken by the majority of Aboriginal students from urban, rural and remote areas of Australia and is a powerful vehicle for the expression of Aboriginal connection and Identity.
This information will be requested on the Student Background Data form, described in the previous section.
Principal Focus – Our Multicultural School
Below I have attached a link to raisingchildren.net.au to enable families to view four videos. These clips show migrant parents from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds share their experiences of parenting and raising children in Australia. They also talk about speaking two languages and language barriers, drawing on diverse parenting traditions, feeling isolated and getting involved in local communities.
Next term, we will be holding an information session about the initiatives we are putting in place to help support families from different cultural backgrounds. Mrs Adele Maartens is currently undergoing additional training to become our EAL/D (English as an Additional Language/Dialect) Co-ordinator. Adele will run this information session and we hope that many parents will attend and help us to develop culturally aware programmes that enhance the learning of everyone. More information about this session will go out next term