25 February 2022| Week 4

Upcoming Dates

  • 1st March: Shrove Tuesday & Caritas Pancake Fundraiser
  • 2nd March: Ash Wednesday Liturgy led by Room 9 Year 4/5 GL
  • 4th March: Assembly led by Room 16 Year 5/6
  • 4th March: Chief Minister's Reading Challenge launches.
  • 10th March: Parents and Friends Committee Afternoon Tea
  • 11th March: Opening School Mass 9am at the Cathedral
  • 17th March: School Board AGM
  • 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 4, Term 1, 2022

Dear Parents and Caregivers,
What a Week Four at St Mary’s!
The return of the monsoonal rain has brought with it very welcome cooler temperatures this week and the children have coped well with the many and sudden changes to routine with the downpours of rain. We love the smiling faces entering the school grounds in the morning and the waves to staff and friends on the way out of the school grounds. Our Transition students have joined our community beautifully, settling in so confidently to their new school routines. Similarly we are proud of the older students who come into school each day with such great manners in the morning, asking how staff are and wishing them a happy day. It is a pleasure to watch the younger students interact with the older children in play. We appreciate their patience and kindness towards our little people. Thanks to those families who are supporting their students to be well presented in their correct school uniform and following school policy regarding hairstyles and correct jewellery right from the start of the year.
We welcome Kathryn Fisher to our teaching staff as our Technology teacher each Tuesday and Wednesday. Kathryn brings to the role a wealth of experience and expertise having taught in regional Victorian schools in recent years.
As we approach the 5th week back at school, there is a strong feeling that normality is very much returning to school life. Classes are progressing well both indoors and outside for all our learners. Over this week, members of the school leadership have been visiting classrooms and engaging with our learners. One theme that consistently arises in these conversations is students' appreciation for the quality of teachers they are fortunate to have to look after them. Research completed by ACER and educational experts including John Hattie indicate that the single most significant influence on student educational performance is their teacher. Dr Tim Hawkes, Headmaster of King’s School in Sydney and a prolific educational author writes - that it matters little if the school is government run or private, free or expensive, co-educational or single sex. A great teacher can make these things irrelevant. A great teacher connects with their students and travels with them. It is unlikely that students will always have the perfect teachers for their learning style. Still, we place great importance on recruiting quality teachers who we believe can genuinely make a positive difference for their students.
Next week we hope to have an easing of the current COVID restrictions for schools across the NT. This will mean we can resume some of the activities such as our Assemblies, Playgroup and Masses with our whole community present. As soon as NT Government has informed us of these changes, we will communicate this information to families.
Last week information was shared around the two key parent bodies which supports our St Mary’s community development. Please consider getting involved in our School P and F or nominating for our School Board. Further information and nomination forms are available from the SchoolStream portal.

In faith and love,
Rosie Harrison

Religious Education News

Project compassion
Project Compassion: This week the season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which also marks the beginning of the annual Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal. Donations to Project Compassion allows Caritas Australia, the Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development, to work with local communities around the world to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.

The theme of Project Compassion 2022 is ‘For All Future Generations’ and reminds us that the good that we do today will extend and impact the lives of generations to come. It invites us to make the world a better place by working together now and finding long-term solutions to global issues. We encourage you to put your compassion into action this Lent through your prayer, fasting and almsgiving by supporting Project Compassion. Each family will receive a Project Compassion box and/or a set of envelopes for their donations or you can donate online via the Caritas Australia website at: lent.caritas.org.au. These will be handed out on Wednesday, 2nd March.

Lent: Lent is the period of 40 days before Easter. It starts on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Saturday. If you add up all those days, however, you will find that they come to more than 40! This is because we don’t count Sundays. For Christians, Lent is a time to prepare for Easter and to think about their relationship with God. It represents the 40 days when Jesus was tempted by the Devil in the desert. During this time, he didn’t eat or drink anything. Because of this, some Christians give up some food or ‘fast’ for Lent; for others, they may choose to give up a favourite food or drink, for example chocolate or coffee!

Lent is also a time for self-reflection. Many Christians take the time to explore their relationship with Jesus and reflect on how they can live their lives to be more like Him through their words and actions. Perhaps your family might want to make a pledge to do something together to make a difference, for example give up ice blocks on Thursdays and donate the saved money to Project Compassion. There are endless possibilities!

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.

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

Ash Wednesday

Room 14 News

Hello and welcome to 3/4 Room 14 with Miss Nakita!
It’s Week 4 and already we are off to a good start! In Room 14 we believe in having fun, trying our best and working collaboratively with our peers.
Here’s a look at some of the many things happening in our classroom...

Week 1: Math Superheros were seen in our classroom with students making masks and discussing what their ‘Math Superhero Power' is. We have been looking at place value with our MAB blocks and discussing BIG numbers! In year 3/4 we are big kids now who are responsible. That’s why each table has been allocated a real life plant to water and look after. In our classroom, we realise that we too are like plants, we are all growing together with love.

Week 2: In Year 3/4 we get what we get and we don’t get upset! We are very big on Zones of regulation in our classroom. We have discussed ‘The Hand model of the Brain’ and how when we are angry or upset, we can ‘flip our lid’ causing our responsible decision making to leave. We discussed and put into place, positive strategies that help support us overcome these big emotions that we feel as big kids, so we can deal with our thoughts and feelings in a positive manner.

Week 3: We are ready to learn and work so quietly in Room 14 that ‘quiet critters’ come out to watch our good work. Our work is so amazing that Miss Nakita has even made a "Wow Wall" to show off all our hard work to any visitors who visit our lovey classroom. We have also discussed what resilience and respect looks like, feels like and sounds like in the classroom, outside of the classroom and at home with our family.

Week 4: Snappy the crocodile has officially landed in Darwin NT and will be joining our classroom. Every Friday afternoon, Snappy will go on an adventure with one lucky student every Friday afternoon and sleepover their house for the weekend. When Snappy returns to room 14 on Monday morning, he will tell us all about his weekend adventure.

It’s only Week 4, but already some students have received a Merit classroom and St Mary’s Awards in Room 14 for displaying Resilience, good work ethic and helping others. In Room 14, we want to be leaders that inspire and support others in our everyday life!

Mathematics News


“Mathematising is not about mimicking or rote memorising, but it’s about thinking and reasoning, about creating and using mental relationships. Math class can be less like it has been for so many of us, and more like mathematicians learning and working together.”
—Pam Harris

We have had an exciting start to our school year with all of our students mathematising and solving lots of tricky problems. Mathematics in 2022 may look and sound very different than what we, as parents learned in school. At St Mary's we have a strong focus on Development of Mathematical Reasoning and problem solving skills. We are just as interested in the how and the why of a child’s Mathematics thinking as we are the answer. We understand that Mathematics is not about mimicking an algorithm, but rather Mathematics is about letting the numbers and the structure dictate the strategy. We see Mathematics as a process of building increasingly complex mental relationships to allow students to use real Mathematics in the real world.

If you are interested in learning more about this ‘new math’, Pam Harris and Kim Montague’s Math is Figure-Out-Able podcast have been talking directly to parents about how to help their children learn Mathematics.

Ep 55: For Parents. Why all the “new Mathematics”?
  • Why did the Mathematics we were taught in school look the way it did?
  • How generations became technology dependent.
  • Children need to understand Mathematics for the future of innovation.
Ep 56: For parents. Why does “new Mathematics” look different?
  • Reasoning about Mathematics is different from performing memorized steps.
  • We want reasoners, not calculators.
  • It is difficult to capture students’ thoughts on paper.
  • As we become aware of what’s possible, we can encourage better teaching.
Ep 57: For Parents. How can I help my kid?
  • We can all be 'mathy' people.
  • Your attitude towards math affects your child’s attitude towards Mathematics.
  • Allow your child more time to think and help them use what they know, instead of providing them steps to answer a problem.
  • Wonder aloud about math-related topics, such as time and money.
  • Be a part of the Mathematics education at your school.
Shannon Feldtman
Curriculum Leader - Mathematics

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 has been sent out via SchoolStream. Part of the nomination process includes completing a nomination form, meeting with the school Principal and Parish Priest prior to the AGM.

Parents and Friends Committee

P&F Afternoon Tea
Date Claimer: Pending Covid restrictions being lifted.
St Mary's Parents and Friends (P&F) Committee is a friendly, social group of parents and guardians who meet regularly to help our school in a variety of ways. We invite and welcome those in the school community to join our Parents and Friends Committee and pending the lifting of restrictions we hope to hold our first gathering of the year on Thursday 10th March 3-4pm. Children also welcome to come along and join us for an informal afternoon tea.

The P&F aims to:
  • Contribute to the well-being of the students, staff and other members of the school community
  • Promote the development of facilities for education and support the school leadership team
  • Raise funds for the purpose of providing amenities and enhancements for St Mary's Catholic Primary School for use by the whole school community
  • Endeavour to Promote St Mary's Catholic Primary School within the wider community
  • Promote interaction between all members of the school community
If you have any questions please feel free to contact the P&F via email at parentsandfriends@stmarysnt.net.

Chief Minister's Reading Challenge 2022

Reading Challenge

St Mary's is taking part in the Chief Minister's Reading Challenge!

The Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge encourages students to read more books for pleasure. Every student from Transition to Year 6 in the Northern Territory is challenged to read 12 books in 24 weeks. Eligible books include printed books, digital books and audiobooks. For younger children, a book that is read aloud by an adult counts towards their total.

The Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge starts on Friday 4 March 2022 (Term 1 Week 5) and closes on Friday 19 August 2022 (Term 3 Week 5).

Students who complete the Chief Minister’s Reading Challenge will receive a personal certificate from the Chief Minister recognising their achievement. As they complete Reading Challenges in future years, they will be recognised with medals correlating with the number of Reading Challenges they have completed.

Students can read any books, but books on the Reading Challenge booklist are recommended. Students can read books in a variety of formats including print, digital, audiobooks and graphic novels. For younger children, a book that is read aloud by an adult counts toward their total.

We will officially launch the Chief Minister's Reading Challenge next week at our assembly. Students will receive a copy of the record sheet and a bookmark in their library sessions next week!

Spirit of St Mary’s Update

Our Spirit of St Mary’s goal for this term is: 10,000 points! We are almost halfway toward reaching our goal for a super awesome Spirit Cup Fun Day.
Week 4 point check: 4754 points!
Shout out this week goes to Room 11 who received 300 points.

This term we are focusing on the value of RESPECT. In Week 5 the students will receive double Spirit of St Mary’s points when we see them showing respect for themselves, others, their school and the environment.
To be respectful we:
  • Listen to each other
  • Acknowledge others and say please and thank you
  • Accept that mistakes are part of being human and address these mistakes with kindness
  • Are thoughtful of other people’s feelings
  • Are thankful for each and every day and for those around us who help us see the beauty in difference
  • Being respectful is not just about showing respect towards people, but also our environment. Every time you tighten the dripping tap, turn the lights off in the empty room, ensure your rubbish is in the correct bin and recycle, is showing respect toward our environment.

School Uniforms

School shirts in all sizes are now available from the school office.
Price is $35 per shirt.
We are still out of stock of school dresses in Size 8.
Thank you for your understanding.

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.

Friendly February 2022

Circle of Security

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
NT Health
Girl power
Star grazing
Netball 1
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