St Matthew’s School empowers children to embrace life-long learning and grow and develop as God intends.
End of Term Prayer
We thank you Lord, for this term.
For the challenges, the successes, and the mistakes from which we have
Be with us as we spend our time with family and friends.
Give us strength and courage to do what is right: to be witnesses of our faith.
Help us to be a practical Christian these holidays, to appreciate what others do for us, to give time and effort to help others.
To be peacemakers in our family.
Keep us safe in our activities; give us good rest and good fun.
Bring us back refreshed and ready for a new term.
We thank you for our classmates, teachers, parents
And a community that cares for us.
May we always be conscious of you in our lives.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to the last newsletter for the term. I think you would agree that this has been a very challenging term for many different reasons. However, I feel very fortunate that we have been able to gradually return to most of our regular routines. I am happy to announce, all going well, we should be able to hold normal assemblies and invite parent helpers back into our classrooms next term. Fingers crossed!
Electronic School Communication
It was impressive to see how quickly we adapted to using online technologies for school communication. Our Connected school app has now been downloaded more than 250 times and all classes are utilising Seesaw to share class information, celebrations and/or work projects. We should be proud of our commitment to reducing paper waste and to promoting more sustainable practices. It is our intention to continue to minimise the amount of paper notes going home and to maximise the use of our school app to share information, receive absentee notes and gather student information and necessary parental consents. To help streamline this process even further, beginning next term, the majority of school messages will be sent via the app and/or sms; we will no longer be providing these via email as well. Please feel free to contact the school if you feel this disadvantages your family in anyway, or if you require information on how to download and use the school app.
First Day Term 3
The staff return to school on Monday 20 July; students on the 21st. A term planner will be sent out electronically Week 1, next term. Please be aware that an online school calendar is available through the Connect school app. This is the most up-to-date means of keeping informed of important school dates.
This Thursday, children and staff get to spend the day rugged up in their winter jammies. This is an opportunity for us to not only be super comfy, but to, more importantly, take a minute to recognise how lucky we all are to have warm clothing this winter. Families are invited to donate winter items such as blankets, pyjamas, socks, jumpers, tracksuits etc. These items will be donated to local and state charities to be distributed to those in need. Pope Francis reminds us “generosity that supports the weak, consoles the afflicted, relieves suffering and restores dignity to those stripped of it, is a condition for a fully human life.” (https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/library/view.cfm?recnum=12376)
Kiss and Drop Term 3
Thank you to all of our families who supported our Kiss and Drop initiatives by abiding by their set pick up times. Thankfully, we will be able to return to our normal 3:00pm finishing time next term. We invite all families to collect their children from 3:00pm; however, I would encourage parents of older students to consider coming a bit later to help alleviate congestion.
2020 Australian Mathematics Competition
The Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT) has invited St Matthew’s School to participate in the 2020 Australian Mathematics Competition (AMC), to be held on Monday 3rd of August.
Entry into this competition is optional, but St Matthew’s School encourages as many children as possible, from Years 3 to 6 inclusive, to take part. If you would like your child to be entered, please complete the enrolment form on the school app by Friday 3rd July (paper copy available by request). The entry fee of $6.50 (cash only please) needs to be sent to school in envelopes labelled with your child’s name and AMC.
We have discovered some cases of headlice. This is not a cause for serious concern as your child may not be affected, however, headlice are extremely contagious and in the case that it is discovered that your child is infected, parents will be contacted and asked to collect your child from school.
Please check your children’s hair today for signs of nits/lice, and treat them today. If treatment cannot be effected immediately please keep them home until treatment complete. Most eggs must be removed before the child returns to school. More information about treatment has been sent to families via the school app.
Test Books Home Today
All children from Year 1 to Year 6 should have brought home their test books today. It is intended that this collection of tests will demonstrate your child’s development along his/her “Learning Journey” and provide parents with an opportunity to reflect and appreciate some of the content and processes that have been taught in English, Mathematics and Religious Education. It would be appreciated if these could be returned by Wednesday 1 July.
Semester One Reports
As you are aware, the Semester One report will be available to parents from 30 June. All parents of students from Pre-Primary to Year 6, should have received an email asking them to set up a username and password to Seqta Engage. Please contact Mark Tenney (firstname.lastname@example.org) should you require a new password, or if you have any difficulties logging into this site.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Marjoram
A huge congratulations to Mr and Mrs Marjoram who are preparing to welcome a new baby in January. We pray for God’s blessing upon them and their wee bub.
Principal Focus – Being cybersafe & cybersmart
As we head towards our Term 2 holidays, I thought it was timely to focus on the importance of helping our children to become cybersafe and cybersmart. Many children are understandably given extra time on devices over the holidays, and it is very important that we not only ensure that we are monitoring their online behaviour, but are also instilling in them the confidence to make safe and socially responsible digital decisions. St Matthew’s is committed to teaching safe online practices. We specifically address this as part of our whole school health programme, (Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum), and through our Digital Technologies curriculum.
The Australian Government eSafety website, contains a wealth of important and relevant information for parents to help guide them and their children in this cyberworld. Below is just a sample of this:
Encourage safe and responsible behaviour
- Work on achieving a healthy balance in your child’s online and offline activities and set boundaries for digital device use in your home.
- Remind your child of the importance of safeguarding personal information that can be used to identify or locate them.
- Explain why they should be suspicious of unsolicited messages and emails, and avoid clicking on pop-up ads on websites. Some pop-ups that seem safe can lead to inappropriate sites or ask for personal or financial information.
- Help them configure the strongest privacy settings on all the social media apps and sites they use. It is best that only their circle of friends can view their information, tag them in a photo or share posts. And get them to check their settings regularly as updates can sometimes change them back to the default.
- Ensure your child uses strong passwords on devices and accounts, and explain the importance of not sharing passwords, even with friends.
Signs that your child’s online activity may be having a negative impact on them or on your family include:
- less interest in social activities like meeting friends or playing sport
- not doing so well at school
- tiredness, sleep disturbance, headaches, eye strain
- changes in eating patterns
- reduced personal hygiene
- obsession with particular websites or games
- extreme anger when being asked to take a break from online activity
- appearing anxious or irritable when away from the computer
- becoming withdrawn from friends and family
Create a plan
- Involve your child in creating a family plan for leisure and entertainment time that balances time spent sitting in front of screens — including time online and watching TV — and a variety of offline activities.
- Work out the plan together. Young people are more likely to respond to rules they have contributed to and see as being fair and consistent.
- As well as agreed age-based time limits, the plan could include rules about which websites can be visited and online games can be played. It could also include control of access to the internet or devices, perhaps with daily passwords revealed once family time, homework and chores are complete.
- A minor reduction each day or a ‘15-minutes to switch-off’ warning can help the transition to a more balanced use of time.
Use the available technology
- Parental controls are software tools that allow you to monitor and limit what your child sees and does online. But be honest and open with your children about why and how you want to use these technologies.
- There are also apps and software to measure online time as well as set time limits on device use or internet access.