18 February 2022| Week 3

Upcoming Dates

  • 25th February: Assembly led by Room 13 Year 3/4 KC (via Zoom)
  • 4th March: Assembly led Room 16 Year 5/6
  • 1st March: Shrove Tuesday & Caritas Pancake Fundraiser
  • 2nd March: Ash Wednesday Liturgy led by Room 9 Year 4/5 GL
  • 11th March: Opening School Mass 9am at the Cathedral
  • 8th April: 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 3, Term 1, 2022

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Thank you to our wonderful teaching staff for the quality and professionalism they have put into the online Parent Teacher Information sessions this week. I was lucky to be part of all these sessions on Wednesday and Thursday evening and whilst we did indeed miss having parents present with us, there was certainly a positive, happy vibe for all things that are occurring within our classrooms at St Mary’s.

I came across an article titled “Student happiness linked to higher NAPLAN results” this week. This article grabbed my attention, not so much because it spoke of higher NAPLAN results but that it spoke of the important link between student wellbeing and happiness to success in learning.

This study from Australian National University collected data from 3,400 year 7 to 9 students. Whilst this study sample came from high school age children the exact same message is true for primary students. Students with a greater sense of wellbeing are far more likely to achieve well and achieve a higher test scores.

For us as educators at St Mary’s, our first focus in the school year is to ensure children are happy, well adjusted and ready to Learn. Every day we talk of our 4R’s – of being Responsible, Resilient, Respectful and Ready to Learn right across the school environment.

Well known for his work in teaching social emotional learning, Wilson McCaskill speaks of the 4 I’s for Parents to support their child’s learning Interest – Invest – Identify – Inspired

In his book –Children Aren’t Made Of China’, Wilson unpacks and explains the 4 I’s for Parents further.
  • INTEREST – We must show and action our deep interest in children. It is important to be observant of them and to notice their successes, failures, strengths, weaknesses, problems, concerns and improvements. Being interested in them helps them to be interested in themselves. Often the hardest thing is to listen. To listen to more than the things they say, but to the things they don’t say, won’t say, or can’t say. Make your children your subject of greatest interest. Be informed about them through all the different stages of their lives.
  • INVEST – We must invest time in our children. They mustn’t rule the timetable of our lives and they must learn to wait and be patient. However, our lives must have sufficient time for them and their needs. There must be the time to sit with them, either at the table, in the garden, the car, or end of the bed at night and just enjoy their company. They need to feel that we have the power to stop the world and give them our undivided attention. Be it to look at a picture they’ve painted, or to listen to a story streaming out of their imagination, or a lengthy explanation of why they think ants would make good pets, giving them the time is giving them the message that they are important to us.
  • IDENTIFY – We must see things from their point of view. To empathise and connect with them can be difficult. Often we are too busy trying to convert and control them and have no time to look at the world through their eyes. Shifting their perceptions and attitudes is often easier if we can first see why they have them in the first place. Using, “When I was a kid etc…” as a way of changing their thinking only creates resentment. They want us to understand what it’s like to be a kid now, in this place, at this school, at this time. Respect their point of view and work with them to create beneficial changes.
  • INSPIRED – We must be inspired by them. Their actions, ideas, outcomes and above all, effort, must inspire us. Children need to know that their existence and example as children inspire us to be better adults. This does not mean we need to act out great exuberance and enthusiasm for everything they try or achieve. To do so, would only weaken them by removing their self- motivation. What it means is that we should be on the lookout for those things, large or small, that happened because of a special effort, awareness or concern. Such as getting 4 out of 10 for spelling after trying very hard, or helping a friend who was being teased, or quietly playing when you had a lot on your mind, or winning the race and congratulating those who didn’t etc. Being inspired by these things is to do more than just mention them to the child. It’s to convey a sense of pride and to let the child see how your spirits have been elevated. In other words, for them to see they have helped to make your day.
Uniform: A reminder to all families of correct Uniform to be worn at school, especially footwear. A number of children have arrived at school this week wearing coloured shoes or joggers. Plain black shoes and joggers are the only accepted footwear with our school uniform. Whilst coloured stripes and white soles may be very fashionable – they are not part of our school uniform.

Invitation to be part of our School Board and P &F: In the coming weeks our first meetings for our school Board and P &F will occur. I encourage all parents to consider becoming a part of these vital parent bodies.

In faith and love,
Rosie Harrison

Meet the School Leadership Team

Rosie Harrison - Principal
I grew up in the far west of Queensland and all my schooling was in Catholic schools as a boarder. My own education experience developed in me, a love of learning and a commitment to Catholic education. Since completing school and university, I have worked in solely in Catholic Education across regional NSW and Qld where I have held senior leadership roles in Catholic Schools over the past 20 years. My work has involved both adult and student education and also 4 years working in the Toowoomba Diocese leading Children’s Ministry. I am extremely privileged to lead the community of St Mary’s as Principal. My role presents a wonderful opportunity to shape and guide our school community where optimal wellbeing and learning for everyone is our primary goal.
Christine Ferreira
I am the Deputy Principal and Curriculum Coordinator at St Mary’s. I have worked in Catholic Education NT since 2010. This is my fourth year at St Mary's and I am very fortunate to have both my children attend school here as well. In my roles, I am responsible for coordinating many of the day to day operations of the school. In addition to this I oversee the teaching and learning programs and support teachers in their data informed teaching practices. I value the importance of community engagement and forming strong connections with families to support your children.
Clare Nolan
I am the Religious Education Coordinator and Year 5/6 Classroom teacher. I have been part of the St Mary's community for 2 years and part of Catholic Education since 2015. I am responsible for the implementation of Religious Education in the classroom and school community. I am passionate about education and strive to help children become life long learners.
Sinead Walsh
My name is Sinead Walsh, I am the Inclusion Support Coordinator and Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Leader at St Mary’s. I have worked in Catholic Education Northern Territory since 2016 and I started at St Mary’s in 2021. I am passionate about inclusive education and implementing key practices and supports that will meet students at their point of need and allow them to flourish. I work collaboratively with students, educators, and families to support learning and wellbeing at St Mary’s. I feel blessed to be a part of the St Mary’s Community.
Shannon Feldtman
I’m Shannon Feldtman and I am the Mathematics Curriculum Leader and Instructional Coach. I have been at St Mary’s since 2012. I am passionate about developing our students Numeracy and Mathematical understanding, and making Math enjoyable for all.

Religious Education News

Laudato Sí’: This year our school will be working towards adopting the principles of Laudato Sí’. Laudato Sí is an encyclical penned by Pope Francis about how we are called to be stewards of creation. This not only means by reducing waste and landfill (although that’s a great place to start), but it also encompasses reflecting on our own practices towards consumerism (do we really need a new phone every time one is released?), ethical purchasing of products, and caring for the poor and marginalised so they too can enjoy life to the fullest. There is certainly a lot to consider on this journey, and we invite all in our community to take up the challenge and meet us wherever you are at in your journey.

As part of ‘Laudato Sí’ at St Mary’s, we endeavour to link this into the curriculum and help us address the Cross Curriculum Priority of Sustainability and General Capability of Creative and Critical Thinking from the Australian Curriculum. We teach these essential skills through a Catholic perspective with the intention of growing global students who want to make a difference in our world.

Sacramental Program: This year, St Mary’s students will be offered the opportunity to participate in a school-based Sacramental Preparation Program, run in collaboration with St Mary’s parish.

Children from Years 3 and above are able to receive the sacraments of Communion and Reconciliation. Those who have made these sacraments can receive Confirmation.

There will be a parent and student information sessions on the following dates:

Reconciliation on Saturday April 2nd at 3pm - 4pm in the Mary MacKillop Hall.

Confirmation on Saturday May 14th at 3pm - 4pm in the Mary MacKillop Hall.

The sacramental program will run during Term 2 with lessons being held after school from 3pm-4pm on a Thursday.

If you would like further information about dates, cost and sessions, please contact Clare Nolan on clare.nolan@nt.catholic.edu.au.

Ash Wednesday, Lent and Project Compassion: This year Ash Wednesday falls on 2nd March... yes, that’s only two weeks away! This year to launch the season of Lent, we will hold a pancake sale on Tuesday 1st March for our Project Compassion fundraiser for Caritas Australia. Children are encouraged to donate a gold coin on the day.
We will celebrate Ash Wednesday with a liturgy on Wednesday, 2nd March at 8:30 am and will be led by 4/5 GL Room 9. This will be pending any change in restrictions whether it be via zoom.

Key Dates:
Shrove Tuesday Fundraiser - Tuesday 1st March (Gold Coin Donation)
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

Clare Nolan
Religious Education Co-ordinator


Welcome to Room 5

Room 5 have had a wonderful start to the 2022 school year!

We have been busy settling in to our classroom, learning about each other and our expectations. We begin our morning with social skills where students interact with one another through board games, fine motor skills and a daily STEM challenge.

We are focusing on building a positive mindset by drawing out a positive affirmation card that we repeat to ourselves throughout the day.

Room 5 are trying really hard to follow Laudato Si' this year and reduce our paper usage, this means we are doing a lot of hands on and interactive activities and using our workbooks to consolidate our learning which helps reduce our printing.
Room 5 1
Room 5 2
Room 5 3
Room 5 4
Nikolah Kenny

School Board Nominations

The St Mary's School Board Annual General Meeting is scheduled for
17th March.
Once again the St Mary's School Board looks forward to a busy year providing support and guidance in school planning and direction setting. The School Board is an advisory body, which shares in the genuine leadership of the school community. Meetings take place once a month during school terms and members are elected for a period of two years.

The School Board works in partnership with the Principal to shape and monitor the school’s key objectives, priorities and general policy to enhance the education provided by the school. Our Board members share a variety of perspectives and expertise, and bring the views and context of the wider school community to the school. The Board also has a role in promoting the school within and across the community.

Expressions of Interest 2022
Parents and carers are encouraged to nominate for positions in 2022. In making this commitment, prospective Board members should be prepared to:
  • Be willing to donate their time and expertise.
  • Contribute to the work of the School Board and to act in the best interests of the school.
  • Commit to the School’s Catholic Ethos.
  • Contribute and support the development of strategic plans and goal setting of St Mary's Catholic Primary School
  • Demonstrate confidentiality and sensitivity to differing views and have the ability to work in a spirit of cooperation.
If you are interested in joining the St Mary's School Board, further information will be sent out via SchoolStream next week. Part of the nomination process includes completing a nomination form, meeting with the school Principal and Parish Priest prior to the AGM.

Teaching & Learning at St Mary’s: Australian Curriculum

This week we sent out our Term 1 Parent Newsletters via School Stream. Included in these was a detailed overview of the teaching and learning units your child will engage with this term for their year level.

When planning and programing for teaching and learning teachers at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School refer to the content outlined in the National Australian Curriculum. The Australian Curriculum sets the goal for what all students should learn as they progress through their school life – wherever they live in Australia and whichever school they attend.

At St Mary’s our focus is on learning and teachers develop their unit plans based on what the students need to learn. We work through cycles of learning where teachers are driven by these key questions:
  • What is it we want our students to know?
  • How will we know if our students are learning?
  • How will respond when students do not learn?
  • How will we enrich and extend the learning for students who are proficient?
By responding to these key questions, teachers meet students at their point of need, in line with the requirements of the Australian Curriculum.

You can learn more about the Australian Curriculum and download an overview of the learning content and skills outlined for your child’s year level by visiting the link below.

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.

Library Borrowing

The timetable for library borrowing is listed below. Students come to the library each week. The Transition to Year 2 students borrow 3 home readers as well as one picture book. Year 3-6 can choose 2/3 books each week.
Students will not be able to borrow if they do not return their books from the previous week.
If they have not finished the book, we can extend the borrowing for those items.
Any books that are lost or damaged will need to be either replaced or a dollar value paid to the school so that we can source a new copy.
With this said, it is important that all students have a library bag, does not need to be expensive, but something that is big enough and waterproof to assist us in protecting the books whilst they are in school bags.

Kangaroos Tuesday 10.00am
Joeys Tuesday 10.30am
Room 5 Monday 11.00am
Room 6 Monday 11.30am
Room 7 Friday 9.00am
Room 8 Friday 9.20am
Room 9 Friday 12 noon
Room 11 Friday 11.00am
Room 13 Tuesday 12.00 noon
Room 14 Tuesday 11.00am
Room 16 Friday 9.40am

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.

What is the Spirit of St Mary’s?

The Spirit of St Mary’s: At St Mary’s Catholic Primary we are focused on developing and educating the whole person within safe, supportive and respectful environments. Student learning and well-being is centred around quality evidence-based pastoral care and well-being practices that are modelled on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ and ensure students gain essential social and emotional skills for life. One of the ways that we promote student well-being and positive behaviour is through the ‘Spirit of St Mary’s. The spirit of St Mary’s encompasses our Making Jesus Real philosophy, the gospel values and the Four R’s;
At St Mary’s we are expected to be:
  • Responsible
  • Respectful
  • Resilient
  • Ready to Learn
We adapt a Positive Behaviour For Learning, whole school approach to teaching and managing behaviours. It is designed to increase academic performance, improve safety, decrease problem behaviour and establish a positive school culture. It teaches these behaviours by consistent and frequent acknowledgment of appropriate behaviour and constructively and specifically addressing negative behaviour.
We use Spirit Cup Tokens to celebrate and reinforce positive behaviours and the Spirit of St Mary’s. In previous years the students received paper tokens that they collected to work towards a Spirit Cup Fun day where students took part in various fun activities such as waterslides, free dress, movies and popcorn, robotics. In keeping with our move towards more sustainable practices and embedding the Laudato Si’ principles, St Mary’s has decided that the ‘Spirit Cup Tokens’ will go digital. Students will receive points through a school app when they show the Four R’s or they ‘Make Jesus Real’.
This term we have set the students a goal of 10,000 Spirit Cup Points in order to have a Spirit Cup Fun Day later in the term.
Shout out this week goes to Room 5, who have a whopping 1167 points! Well done Room 5. We will update everyone with the whole school points at assembly each Friday and share with families through our newsletter.
Thursday, February 17th was Random Acts of Kindness Day. This ties in beautifully with our ‘Friendly February’ themed calendar attached to this newsletter and our Making Jesus Real philosophy. The students took part in a colouring and poster competition to promote kindness around the school. The winner will be announced next week.
For more fun ideas to celebrate kindness click the link below:

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.

What is happening in Darwin

Cupcakes 1
Healthy lunch
Star grazing
Netball 1
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