11 February 2022| Week 2

Upcoming Dates

  • 16th February: Parent Information Sessions (CoL, Years T-2)
  • 17th February: Parent Information Sessions (Years 3-6)
  • 18th February: Assembly led by Room 5 Year 1/2 NK
  • 1st March: Shrove Tuesday & Caritas Pancake Fundraiser
  • 2nd March: Ash Wednesday Liturgy led by Room 9 Year 4/5 GL
  • 8th April 2022: Catholic Education System Pupil Free Day
Please refer to SchoolStream for more details event details. Please check the EVENTS tab to add event details directly to your calendar!

Principal's News

Week 2, Term 1, 2022

Dear Parents and Caregivers

Congratulations to all our students for the happy and positive start you have made to our school year. As I visit classes around the school, our learners across all year levels have been engaged and cooperative and the feedback, thus far, has been overwhelmingly positive. I want to congratulate our youngest students in Transition, who have coped so well with the disrupted start. Overall, it has been a very promising sign for the year ahead.

At St Mary’s we continue to promote our mission of welcoming all. We encourage our students to acknowledge and accept diverse perspectives so we can all belong and feel safe at school. The current circumstances with people making decisions and choices about how they are managing Covid-19 and preventative measures for themselves and their family creates an opportunity for us to model and teach our children what being inclusive looks and sounds like.

Please help us to support this inclusive learning environment for all children by having conversations with your child about accepting people will make different choices about how they are responding to Covid. For example some students will wear masks and some won’t. These conversations might also include acknowledging every individual has different needs, which may not always be obvious.

Remember to have regular check in chats with your child and to remind them of who they can talk to at home or at school if they have overwhelming feelings. As we navigate the challenges going forward thank you for creating a culture where we support other’s choices.

The following websites might be helpful for you to explore the insights psychology and psychologists provide into challenges we face at work, at home and in society.
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for Australians | APS (psychology.org.au)
  • Return to school after isolation: children | Raising Children Network
Covid- 19 Updates: As we move into the next fortnight of our altered routines, it is important to draw your attention to the following matters. We return to school while the wider community is learning to live with COVID-19. This means we have to operate school as normal in some regards while also managing the likely presence of the virus in the school. In this context, we are focused on keeping students and staff healthy while also mitigating the risk of further infection.

A reminder to all our families that when coming onto school grounds it is your responsibility to:
  • Check in using the Territory Check In app;
  • Demonstrate vaccination status;
  • Wear a mask;
  • Physically distance from other children, parents and staff;
  • Practice good hand hygiene; and
  • Only remain on school grounds for the minimum time possible
Last week we sent clarification regarding the definition of a close contact in schools. ‘A close contact is defined as a person who has spent four continuous hours or more indoors with a Covid-19 positive person while they were infectious’. Given the clarification, and the time our children spend in class continuously, they are not considered a close contact.

Where your child is well, they are permitted to attend school. We request, however that you monitor their health and if Covid-19 symptoms present, please arrange for them to undertake a Rapid Antigen Test. These are available from the East Arm Drive-through facility at 26 Nebo Road, East Arm.

As per Northern Territory Government protocols, please inform our school on 8981 9796 should your child test positive to Covid-19. The wearing of face masks for our children is at the discretion of families.

For updates and further information around Covid, please go onto Government website: www.coronavirus.nt.gov.au

We shall advise you of new dates once we receive approval from NT Government and our Chief Health Officer.

Uniform: Thank you for your support around ensuring our children are dressed in correct school uniform. A reminder to everyone that it is plain black shoes and white socks with both formal and sports uniform. In addition, the length of shorts and skorts is to be appropriate (above the knees). A copy of our uniform policy can be accessed on the school website. Where children are not dressed in correct school uniform an ‘Out of School Uniform Notice’ will be sent home to families with a gentle reminder.

Student leaders for 2022: This morning our 2022 Year 6 student leaders were presented with their leadership badges in an online zoom ceremony. They will still be officially acknowledged at our Beginning of School Year Mass in week 6 with a blessing from Bishop Charles and commitment ceremony, however we felt that it was important for the leaders to have their badges to wear proudly over the next four weeks.

School Captains – Lincoln Mayes and Frederick Richards
Hartzer House Captains – Grace Dempsey and Makenzie Dutton
O’Sullivan House Captains – Lien Playford and Rachel Matthews
Chevalier House Captains – Luca Drysdale and Kim Nguyen
Little House Captains – Ethan Chirema and Samar Cheema

In faith and love,
Rosie Harrison
Captains no name2
House captains

Religious Education News

Making Jesus Real
Making Jesus Real (MJR) is a program that is centred around the belief that we are the image of Jesus to all people around us. We are His representatives and our actions should reflect His values.The MJR program aligns with the school Religious Education curriculum and Values Education/ Wellbeing/ Social Emotional Learning. At St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, MJR is not seen as an ‘extra thing’ to ‘do’. It is a values based philosophy, it becomes ’the way’ we do all things. MJR filters through everything we do and say during the course of any given day. For example the values and example of Australian Open champions Ash Barty and Dylan Alcott (Australian of the Year). They showcase the values that we strive to embody in our MJR teachings! Their values read straight out of the MJR workbooks including:
  • Humility
  • Humbleness
  • Hard work, be determined and mental toughness – winning the hard ball (pun intended)
  • Teamwork – together everyone achieves more is obviously Ash’s constant message
  • Resilience
  • Using your talents – understatement!
  • People skills etc.
The list could go on and on.
Here is a wonderful interview of Ash Barty by an aspiring nine-year-old at the 2022 Australian Open. https://youtu.be/HLzOii0ggiI
This could be a great conversation starter with your children at home.

Opening School Mass
We are hopeful that we will be able to go ahead with our planned whole school Mass later in the term. Parents are invited to join us for our Opening School Mass, which will be held at 9:00am on Friday, 11th March (Week 6). Please keep an eye on the newsletter for further information in the following weeks.

Key Dates
Shrove Tuesday Fundraiser - Tuesday 1st March
Ash Wednesday Liturgy - Wednesday 2nd March 8:30am in the Mary MacKillop Hall
Opening School Mass - Friday 11th March 9am in St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral
Holy Week Liturgy - Thursday 7th April 2:00pm in the Mary MacKillop Hall
God our Father,
be with us today
As we are living together,
loving You and each other
And learning in Christ
to follow Your way.
We make our prayer
through Christ our Lord
prayer 2

Classroom News - Room 7

The Transition students have settled quickly and enjoyed catching up with each other, making new friends and having fun together.
We have had an exciting and fun filled start to our class. The children are beginning to learn our classroom routines and expectations and have participated in a range of fun activities. We have been busy learning to write our names, lots of counting and Maths games and painting!

We have focused on developing friendships and looking after each other as well as how we need to be challenged a little to ‘grow our brains’! Ms Emmylou and Ms Paula have been run off their feet keeping up with 5 year olds!

Parent Information Sessions

parent information sessions
At the start of every year we enjoy welcoming parents into the school to meet your child's teacher and visit their learning space. This year with our Covid-19 restrictions we plan to go ahead with our start of year Parent Information Sessions, however they will be spread over two nights Wednesday 16th and Thursday 17th of February and be delivered online via Zoom. Information has been sent out to families via School Stream with the invitation links for the Zoom. These sessions are designed to provide important information to families around classroom routines as well as the Curriculum requirements of the year level.
We look forward to meeting with you virtually!

Learning from Home

It is understandable that some parents and carers may feel anxious about sending their children to school while COVID-19 cases are rising in the community; however, it’s important for children and young people to continue attending school to maximise positive learning and wellbeing outcomes. If your child is at home, isolating or recovering from Covid-19, the NT Department of Education has compiled several helpful resources and information which you can access from the Learning Together Website. These resources are designed to assist you in supporting your child to continue learning from home.

You can also download Learning from home packs for each year level from the Health Updates tab on our school website. Printed packs are also available from our school front office for those who prefer this option. We would also encourage and suggest daily reading, either home readers or books from home. Additionally, St Mary’s students are set weekly homework tasks by their classroom teacher which they can continue to engage with while at home.

We encourage you to be in touch with your child’s classroom teacher if your child is going to be away for more than five days so that you can discuss other ways that we can continue to support your child while learning at home.

Book Club - Issue 1

The first issue of Book Club for 2022 was sent home last week!
Book Club offers students a wide range of titles in each issue and is a great way to encourage independent reading for fun! Plus every order you place earns the school FREE books and learning resources. Book Club is released twice a term, so make sure you keep an eye out for when it is sent home.
It is easy for parents to pay and order from Book Club online using Book Club LOOP. Follow the link below or you can download the App. All book club orders for this issue are due Monday 14th February.

Sports Day

Please note the following Sports day for classes:
  • Transition and Year 3/4 Sports Day is Wednesday
  • Year 1/2, 4/5 and 5/6 Sports Day is Thursday
On this day your child is required to come to school dressed in their Sports Uniform.

Kiss and Go

Choose safety over convenience!
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, is committed to providing the safest possible environment for all children, staff and families. To assist parents and guardians with the safe drop off and pick up of children we have a dedicated Kiss and Go Zone on Cavenagh Street.

We strongly encourage parents to observe a 20km/h speed limit when using the Kiss and Go zone and to be mindful not to congest the Lindsay Street/Cavenagh Street corner. To learn more please take the time to watch our Kiss and Go Video below.

2022 School Book and Levy Fees

School fees

BYODD Program

Technology is an educational tool to support learning... it does not replace the learning of key fundamental skills!
Devices for Years 4 to 6 can still be ordered for our BYODD - Bring Your Own Designated Device program.
Ordering is made easy via our dedicated online portal. All information can be found in the BYODD Parent Information and device specification guide. We encourage you to learn more about our device supplier Edunet by watching the short video linked below.
For more information, please contact your child's teacher or our Deputy Principal Christine Ferreira via email christine.ferreira@nt.catholic.edu.au.

Kiddo Program (Years T-2)

In 2020 our school was awarded a Sporting Schools Plus Grant to expand our students’ Physical Literacy.
In response to this grant, our school has been implementing a Fundamental Movement Skill (FMS) program called KIDDO. Here at St Mary’s, KIDDO will be implemented in the early years (Transition - Year 2) during their PE lesson and throughout the week during brain and movement breaks. The KIDDO program allows us to teach, assess and report on each student by using an online assessment tool – KIDDO Challenge. This will allow us to assess and track each students’ FMS development and compare our students’ data against that of children the same age throughout Australia.

Throughout the year, students will be assessed individually on the Fundament Movement Skill of balance, run, jump for distance and also on the Object Control Skills of kick for distance, bounce and catch a ball. Once the assessment has taken place, student data will be sent to the University of Western Australia for them to collate each student’s personalised FMS Assessment report. We will begin collating these assessments during Week 3 Term 1. If you do not want your child’s data (first name, last name, date of birth) to be sent to the University please advise us ASAP by email directly to sarah.muller@nt.catholic.edu.au.

You can learn more about this program and how to support your child’s physical literacy by clicking the link below.

Pastoral Care and Well-being News

Mindfulness' means paying attention to the present moment. Practising mindfulness can help kids cope with everyday life and deal with tough times. At St Mary’s we practice Mindfulness through MJR, KIDDO, Social and Emotional Curriculum and MindUP.
Practicing mindfulness can assist with:
  • managing stress,
  • developing emotional resilience,
  • enhancing creativity,
  • enhancing decision making and problem solving, and
  • a sense of calm, clarity and contentment.
4 Fun Mindfulness Activities and Exercises for Children
Let’s start with these simple ways to attune children with their bodies. At a young age, humans naturally curious about the strength and flexibility of their bodies. It’s a great age to introduce body-mind awareness as a valuable way to take care of themselves.

Mindful Posing
One easy way for children to dip their toes into mindfulness is through body poses. To get your kids excited, tell them that doing fun poses can help them feel strong, brave, and happy.
Have the kids go somewhere quiet and familiar, a place they feel safe. Next, tell them to try one of the following poses:
  1. The Superman: this pose is practiced by standing with the feet just wider than the hips, fists clenched, and arms reached out to the sky, stretching the body as tall as possible.
  2. The Wonder Woman: this pose is struck by standing tall with legs wider than hip-width apart and hands or fists placed on the hips (Karen Young, 2017).
Ask the kids how they feel after a few rounds of trying either of these poses. You may be surprised.

While on the subject of superheroes, this can be a related “next step” to teach kids how to stay present.
Instruct your kids to turn-on their “Spidey senses,” or the super-focused senses of smell, sight, hearing, taste, and touch that Spiderman uses to keep tabs on the world around him. This will encourage them to pause and focus their attention on the present, opening their awareness to the information their senses bring in (Karen Young, 2017).
This is a classic mindfulness exercise and encourages observation and curiosity—great skills for any human to practice.

The Mindful Jar
This activity can teach children how strong emotions can take hold, and how to find peace when these strong emotions feel overwhelming.
  • First, get a clear jar (like a Mason jar) and fill it almost all the way with water. Next, add a big spoonful of glitter glue or glue and dry glitter to the jar. Put the lid back on the jar and shake it to make the glitter swirl.
  • Finally, use the following script or take inspiration from it to form your own mini-lesson:
“Imagine that the glitter is like your thoughts when you’re stressed, mad or upset. See how they whirl around and make it really hard to see clearly? That’s why it’s so easy to make silly decisions when you’re upset – because you’re not thinking clearly. Don’t worry this is normal and it happens in all of us (yep, grownups too).
[Now put the jar down in front of them.]
Now watch what happens when you’re still for a couple of moments. Keep watching. See how the glitter starts to settle and the water clears? Your mind works the same way. When you’re calm for a little while, your thoughts start to settle and you start to see things much clearer. Deep breaths during this calming process can help us settle when we feel a lot of emotions” (Karen Young, 2017).
This exercise not only helps children learn about how their emotions can cloud their thoughts, but it also facilitates the practice of mindfulness while focusing on the swirling glitter in the jar.
Try having the kids focus on one emotion at a time, such as anger, and discuss how the shaken verse settling glitter is like that emotion.

The Safari exercise is a great way to help kids learn mindfulness. This activity turns an average, everyday walk into an exciting new adventure.
Tell your kids that you will be going on a safari: their goal is to notice as many birds, bugs, creepy-crawlies, and any other animals as they can. Anything that walks, crawls, swims, or flies is of interest, and they’ll need to focus all of their senses to find them, especially the little ones (Karen Young, 2017).
A similar exercise for adults is the mindfulness walk. This exercise provokes the same response in children that a mindful walk elicits in adults: a state of awareness and grounding in the present.
If you’re interested in more information on how to encourage the practice of mindfulness in children and teens, you can check out the other exercises from this website. Otherwise, head on to the next section where we lay out key tips for teaching these concepts.
Taken from: https://positivepsychology.com/what-is-positive-psychology-definition/
For more useful articles and resources see:

    Friendly February 2022


    In the Event of a Cyclone

    As we are now in the cyclone season in the Top End, families are reminded of our school procedures in the event of a cyclone. School closures are announced by the Department of Education and are broadcast to the public on the local TV and radio stations. In the event that government schools are closed, Catholic schools will also be closed. Please listen to the radio or TV for updates in relation to school closures and reopening. We will endeavour to keep families informed via our school app – school stream, facebook and email, but this will be dependent on the availability of power and personnel.

    Visit www.securent.nt.gov.au for more information or visit the app store and download the SecureNT app.

    For up to date weather alerts please refer to www.bom.gov.au.

    A free service for all Territorians. Log into https://www.tiofi.com.au/alerts and register. Information can be received directly to your phone or email.

    Download our School App


    Why download the App?

    • Receive instant notifications for important news and classroom updates.
    • Complete permission and absentee forms.
    • Keep up to date with events and save event details directly to your own calendar.
    • Order from our school canteen.
    Don’t forget to turn your notifications on – so you don’t miss any important notices!

    Canteen Online Orders & Update

    To streamline processes across the school, in 2022 we are now only accepting online orders for lunches.
    All families need to set up an account for online ordering through Flexischools, which is linked directly in the School Stream App. Details on how to set up an account can be found in the “CANTEEN” tab of School Stream. There is no need to download the Flexischools App, it can all be accessed from the School Stream App.

    For those with an existing account, you will need to update your child's class and room number for 2022 before placing your first order. Please refer to the instructions in School Stream.

    You can find the updated 2022 Canteen menu in School Stream. Please note daily orders close at 8.40am. Any orders received after this time, will be fulfilled subject to availability of stock and may be substituted for a basic sandwich.

    Please note that at this time our school canteen has been impacted by supplier shortages. Some items may be temporarily unavailable and will be marked as 'out of stock' when ordering. Thank you for your understanding.

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