St Matthew’s School empowers children to embrace life-long learning and grow and develop as God intends.
Holy Father, God of Love,
You are the Creator of all things.
Give us the courage to accept the realities of our history so that we may build a better
future for our Nation.
Teach us to respect all cultures.
Teach us to care for our land and waters.
Help us to share justly the resources of this land. Help us to bring about spiritual and social change to improve the quality of life for all groups in our communities, especially the disadvantaged.
Help young people to find true dignity and self-esteem by your Spirit.
May your power and love be the foundations on which we build our families, our communities and our Nation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group 13 March 1997 Brisbane, Qld).
Dear Parents and Carers,
HOORAH! On Friday, I received the welcome news that parents and carers will be allowed to enter school properties again from Monday 8 June.
Kindy and Pre-Primary Pick up/Drop off
On Monday, our Kindy gate will be open for parents to collect and drop off all our Kindy friends. Pre-Primary parents will once again be able to drop off and collect their children from the Pre-Primary verandah; however, as we are all now trained in good Kiss and Drop etiquette, parents are welcome to continue to use this process before and after school. Pre-Primary children will continue to come out and sit on the verandah ready for collection. Parents are asked to please wait for the Pre-Primary teacher to bring their child to them, whether this is via Kiss and Drop or in person on the verandah.
National Reconciliation Week – In This Together
Last week, all of our classes completed learning activities to focus on the importance of Reconciliation Week. The activities were designed to promote and facilitate respect, trust and positive relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal peoples. Students watched relevant movies, wrote stories, sang songs, completed artworks and talked a lot about the importance of saying sorry for the wrongs committed in the past. Beginning on Sorry Day, and throughout National Reconciliation Week, the Catholic Education Centre in Leederville will be lit in purple, the colour of the native hibiscus, in recognition of the Stolen Generations.
St Matthew’s Intraschool Winter Carnival for Years 3 to 6 will be held on Thursday 25 June. The children will elect to play netball, soccer or hockey. Netball and soccer will be held onsite, with hockey being played on the Clayton Road hockey turf.
Ideally, we would love to invite parents to be spectators on the day, however, we are still waiting to be given the all-clear for this to be allowed under new Government directives. We will provide this information as soon as it comes to hand.
COVID-19 School Response
All families should feel confident that St Matthew’s School has a thorough action plan in place should we be advised by the WA Health Department’s Chief Health Officer that we have a positive COVID-19 test result of a student or staff member. The Chief Health Officer may close the school temporarily while assessment and tracing of exposure are conducted. A thorough school clean will then be carried out to make the school safe for the return of students and staff. In this situation, the Leadership Team will receive direct advice and support regarding the closure process. Part of this process would be to ensure that parents are able to collect their children from school in a timely and safe manner. In the event that this was to occur during the school day, St Matthew’s would establish two Kiss and Drop areas – the usual lane on Fathom Street and the Bus lane on Glyde Street:
- Fathom Street – Collection of students surnames A – K
- Glyde Street – Collection of Students L – Z
Parents would be informed of the need to close the school via school app, email and SMS.
Winter Appeal PJ Day
One of our goals at St Matthew’s is to inspire our students to show kindness and support for those in need. We aspire to teach our students the importance of being the hands and feet of Jesus every day. On 2 July, our staff and students are invited to wear their PJs to school and donate winter items, such as blankets, jackets, PJ’s and jumpers. St Matthew’s will donate these items to St Vincent de Paul Society and local charities. It might be a good opportunity to clean out your cupboards whilst speaking to your children about the importance of giving.
Semester One Reports
Semester One reports are scheduled to go live through Seqta Engage on 30 June. Naturally, due to the interruptions to learning this semester, the reports have been modified. The School Curriculum Standards Authority produced a Pre-primary to Year 10 Teaching, Assessing and Reporting Policy Amendment for 2020. This amendment explains:
Due to COVID-19 and the disruption to learning and teaching in Semester 1, 2020, the following amendment to Section 5.3 Reporting (page 4) of the Authority’s Pre-primary to Year 10: Teaching, Assessing and Reporting Policy has been made:
- use plain language to report to parents/carers on the achievements of Pre-primary to Year 10 students at the end of each semester during 2020:
- the Semester 1 report must include information about the students:
(i) general learning progress to date (against the year-level Western Australian achievement standards) without the need to use a five-point scale (ie. A, B, C, D, and E grades)
(ii) performance in relation to their peer group
- the Semester 2 report must be made in accordance with the usual minimum reporting
requirements outlined in the Pre-primary to Year 10: Teaching, Assessing and Reporting Policy
- continue to provide informal feedback to parents/carers in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons.
This means, that the reports for this semester will not feature grades (A-E) but instead use the following statements to reflect on the student’s achievements:
- Working towards target
- Working at target
- Working above target
In order to access the Semester One report, parents will need to login to Seqta Engage. If you are new to St Matthew’s School, are a Pre-Primary parent or have never used Seqta Engage before, you will receive an email asking you to set up a user name and password. For all other users, it is important that St Matthew’s has a current email address and that you remember your Seqta Engage user name and password. It would be appreciated if all parents could log in to Seqta Engage prior to 30 June to ensure that everyone is able to access this site –
Please contact Mark Tenney (firstname.lastname@example.org) should you require a new password, or if you have any difficulties logging into this site.
P&F Vacancy – next meeting 15/06
Last Tuesday, St Matthew’s P&F held their first meeting for this term. Due to restrictions, this was a small meeting attended by less than 10 parents. The next meeting will be on 15 June. All parents are invited and babysitting will be available. There is an opportunity to elect a new P&F secretary at this meeting. Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to call the school.
Principal Focus – The Power of Words
We all know the saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”. Although this may be a good chant to encourage resiliency, we also know that in reality, words are actually very powerful and do indeed, have the power to hurt us. This week, I would like to focus on swear words and why the use of these words is inappropriate in our school.
The Australian parenting website, raisingchildren.net.au, explains that children swear for many different reasons. This can be very dependent on the child’s age and the circumstance in which they swore. We recognise in today’s modern world, children may be confronted with more and more inappropriate language. However, we feel strongly that this does not make it acceptable. We want to support parents in helping to model appropriate word choice in all situations. Michael Grose (founder of Parenting Ideas and one of Australia’s leading parenting educators), explains:
Teaching kids to use appropriate language is trickier now than in the past. For a start, standards have changed where many words, such as the F word, that were deemed inappropriate in the past are often heard on radio and seen in mainstream newspapers. And words that everyone agrees are inappropriate are frequently used in public forums, to the point that the boundaries of appropriateness have become blurred.
Standards may change, but the job of parents hasn’t altered. That is, to teach kids to use language that doesn’t offend others. Whether it’s teasing or swearing – it’s all the same. If it’s offensive, then choose other words, or say nothing at all is the message to get across to the next generation. https://www.parentingideas.com.au/blog/what-do-you-think-when-you-hear-kids-swear/
At St Matthew’s, we teach our students that everyone has the right to feel safe and having to hear loud, nasty words can make people feel unsafe. Our Behaviour Management Plan outlines students’ rights and responsibilities. Those that relate to language use are as follows:
- Work and play in a safe, secure, friendly and clean environment.
- Respect, courtesy and honesty.
- Display respectful, courteous and honest behaviour.
- Behave in a way that protects the safety and well-being of others.
- Ensure their behaviour does not intimidate others.
Below, I have included several different websites which may assist in helping to teach your children appropriate word choice.
- Preschool aged children (3 – 5 years)
- School-aged children (5-8years)
- What do you think When you Hear Children Swear?