25 March 2022| Week 8

Upcoming Dates

  • 1st April: Assembly led by Transition Rooms 7 & 8
  • Week 9 & 10: School Swimming Program
  • 7th April: Holy Week Liturgy led by 5/6 CN Room 11, last day for students Term 1
  • 8th April: Catholic Education System Pupil Free Day
  • 19th April: First day for students Term 2
Please refer to School Stream for full event details. Please check the EVENTS tab to add event details directly to your calendar!

Principal's News

Week 8, Term 1, 2022

Dear Parents and Carers

Parent Partnerships - The poem below speaks to the importance of a strong connection between school and home in raising well adjusted and happy children. Neither home nor school can achieve the learning goals we aspire to for our children if we work in isolation from each other.
It has been wonderful to see so many parents attending our 3 Way Goal Setting Interviews throughout the week. This is a great time to share the success of our students, set learning goals for the future and continue to affirm the important partnership between home and school as we support all the children of St Mary’s as a learning community.

Another saying well known to us ‘It takes a whole village to raise a child’ has also been very much at the heart of our school community as we celebrated Harmony week this week. It was wonderful to welcome our parents into school on Monday morning with our Brekkie BBQ and Coffee Van and to see so many of the children dressed in their cultural dress. Harmony Week celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity. It’s about inclusiveness, respect, and a sense of belonging for everyone. We are privileged to be such a diverse multicultural community – A place where everyone belongs.
Harmony day
As a fitting end to Harmony it is great that the students of St Mary’s have reached or rather have overreached their Spirit Cup point target by 4000 points!!! Well done everyone on this fantastic achievement for Term 1. Spirit Cup Fun day activities will go ahead next Friday for all students.

Welcome to Zunayrah in Room 8 and family who joined our school community this week.

In faith and love

Rosie Harrison

Group 3

Religious Education News

Project Compassion
This week through Project Compassion we learn about Rosalie, who lives with her husband and seven children in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Forced to join the army when she was just 15-years-old, Rosalie experienced significant trauma and hardship during her years in the military. After she was demobilised from the army, Rosalie, like other ex-combatants, was left to fend for herself in the community.
With your generous support and through Caritas Australia's partners, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) and Caritas Bukavu, Rosalie was able to connect with other members of her community and participate in business skills training to help her to reintegrate into society.

She joined a savings group which helped her with a loan to start her own small business selling second-hand shoes and natural remedies.

“I can eat, dress, maintain my health and help others. My children study and manage to eat twice a day. I have learnt to work hand-in-hand with other members of the community. Really, there is more joy in sharing with others.” - Rosalie

Watch a short film about Rosalie’s story here.
Please support Project Compassion: lent.caritas.org.au
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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:

Sacramental Program Information Session on Saturday April 2nd 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:
Holy Week Liturgy - Thursday 7th April 2:00pm TBC
Easter Resurrection Liturgy – Tuesday 19th April 1:30pm in the Mary MacKillop Hall
ANZAC Day Liturgy – Tuesday 26th April 8:30am in the Mary MacKillop Hall

Clare Nolan
Religious Education Co-ordinator
Prayer for Peace in Ukraine

Peace is a precious gift which must be promoted and protected… Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence. - Pope Francis

God of Peace
Our hearts ache for the people of Ukraine as their country is invaded by power and military force.
We pray especially for the vulnerable and marginalised communities who will be most severely impacted by war.
We pray for Caritas Ukraine as they continue to support communities with emergency relief such as shelter and food.
We pray for Australia, that we may make a positive contribution to peacemaking in our world. We pray for ourselves and people everywhere: help us to stand shoulder to shoulder with those who suffer, raising our voices in solidarity against injustice.
Loving God, keep alive within us the flame of hope so that, with patience and perseverance, we may always opt for dialogue not war.

Room 6 News

chloe 2
chloe 3
chloe 4
Hello Parents and Friends of Room 6,

In our classroom we have been really engaging in hands on Maths activities to get our brains thinking, while also practicing and applying the ideas we have learnt. Term 1 has been very busy and the next two weeks will continue to be with swimming commencing next week. Thank you to all parents who made the time earlier this week to attend our goal setting interviews it was lovely to meet you and discuss you children’s earning goals. I hope you all have a lovely and restful weekend.
chloe 1



School Board Nominations

Our School Board officially met last week for our AGM. We thank those parents who have committed and dedicated time to supporting our school through our School Board. There is still one place available for anyone who may still be interested in joining our School Board. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday 6th April.

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.

2022 School Swimming Program

Kids having a swimming lesson in indoor pool
A reminder that our school swimming program commences next Monday 28th March.

Please ensure that you have completed the online permission form and made payment by Friday 25th March.

The easiest way to pay is online through the School Stream App at the time of completing the permission form.

Swimming reminders:
  • Transition Rooms 7 & 8 students wear their swimmers, thongs, rash shirt to school, with their school uniform (including socks and shoes) in their school bags. They will get changed upon returning to school. Please ensure that these students have arrived at school prior to 8.40am as the bus will depart at this time.
  • All other students will need to bring their swimmers, thongs, goggles, rash shirt and towel in a plastic bag. Please ensure that swimming outfits are sun safe with no bare shoulders.
  • Please provide a labelled plastic bag to place all wet clothing after each lesson.
Please refer to the 2022 Swimming Lessons Parent Information note for further details.

Spirit of St Mary's Update

Our Spirit of St Mary’s goal for this term is: 10,000 points!
Week 8 point check: 14, 682 points!
Shout out this week goes to everyone at St Mary’s. We did it!

To celebrate reaching our goal we will have a Free Dress and Movie Spirit Cup Fun Day. See the poster and School Stream post for details.
movie day

Pastoral Care and Wellbeing News

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My child is "addicted to screens": Working with families with concerns about technology use in their child
One of the most common stressors for parents/caregivers in recent years is managing their children's device or technology usage. This is true for all families, but particularly true for families with children with behavioural, social and emotional challenges. It can be particularly difficult for these families because:
  • These children/teens are sometimes managing their distress/overload/stressors by using screens/devices/gaming to cope
  • Parents/caregivers of these children/teens are dealing with more stress than average and find it hard to have the emotional resources required in managing this already tough issue
  • These children/teens may be more likely to experience strong frustration and disappointment when technology is limited or when something goes wrong with technology use
  • These children/teens may have particular challenges which make it more likely that they experience problems associated with technology/device use
It's not surprising then that putting limits on these activities is extremely difficult for parents/caregivers and young people. Most parents understand they need to do this – but it’s one of the hardest issues parents face.

As professionals, we will often hear (if we work with parents/caregivers directly) about this distress. Here are statements commonly heard:
  • I can't get my children off screens
  • Is he/she addicted?
  • What can we do to reduce his/her gaming/time on their phone/device?
  • I'm sure that you know as well as I do that there are no easy answers. Unfortunately as professionals parents are often desperate for help, and it can be tough working with these families when we don't have any quick/easy fixes for them.
As with all issues in this job, I remind myself that there is no "one size fits all" solution. I feel our role is to not necessarily give specific advice about exactly what rules/strategies parents should use, but instead be prepared to work through the various options with families.

I start by asking many questions of parents/caregivers to help them identify their biggest concerns, previous strategies and what they most want from me. For example:
  • How much/when/what is your child doing on devices?
  • What are the different concerns you have about device/tech use (getting at least 3 or 4 specific problems - ie not enough sleep, exposure to violence, potentially increasing defiance, sibling conflict, no creative activities etc etc)
  • If you had to choose 2 of these which concerned you most, what would they be?
  • Is there anything you'd like me to do/What would you most like my support with?
  • Do you have specific questions for me about this topic?
  • What have you tried?
  • What has worked to some degree, and for how long?
  • What else have you considered (in terms of their response/ways of managing) - and what makes it hard to do this?
  • What do you think is the next step?
I tell parents/caregivers that there are a range of different ways families manage this issue, and encourage them to experiment with these approaches to see what works best for their family.

Below are 10 ideas which I've used before with families who are finding this issue difficult. Please note that I’ve described these as “ideas”, not as “rules” – because not all of the points below will be useful or essential for all families. However, hopefully some of them might be useful in the work you do with families.

Idea 1. Help parents/caregivers to talk positively about screens, gaming and technology – at least some of the time.
Idea 2. Help parents/caregivers to talk calmly with children about the problems and pitfalls that screens, gaming and technology bring to children – in an ongoing, “non shaming” way.
Idea 3. Talk calmly with children about the benefits of non screen-based activity.
Idea 4. Help parents/caregivers to talk compassionately about the difficulty in reducing screen and technology use.
Idea 5. Help parents/caregivers create several specific tech/device/gaming rules and apply them consistently.
Idea 6. Remind children about rules or systems before, during and after screen time.
Idea 7. Focus on the minimum levels of “screen alternative behaviours” rather than the maximum levels of screen/device use.
Idea 8. Coach children to cope with transition times.
Idea 9. Help parents/caregivers think through having device/screen/gaming free periods.
Idea 10. Encouraging parents/caregivers to be tech savvy and play games/be on devices themselves.

As I said in the beginning, there are no "one size fits all" approaches to managing device/tech/gaming use in children, but it's definitely a topic we need to be aware of when working with families, given the distress it can potentially cause many of them.

By: Kirrilie Smout
Kirrilie Smout is a clinical Psychologist, member of the Australian Psychological Society and of the College of Clinical Psychologists and Director of Developing Minds.
Article Source: https://developingminds.net.au/

P&F Update

Copy of Easter Egg Special - Made with PosterMyWall
This year the P&F will again host an Easter raffle, we are asking our wonderful families for a small donation of Easter eggs and other Easter goodies that can be used to make up many small prize packs. We will run our raffle in a similar format to last year where there will be prizes drawn from each class, so lots of opportunities to win a prize or two!

We really appreciate your support! Donations can be sent into school to the Front Office.

Raffle tickets and further details will be sent home next week!

Naplan Practice Tests

This week Year 3 and 5 students have participated in a number of online Naplan practise tests. The purpose of these tests is to ensure our school's technical readiness. Additionally, they allow for students to gain familiarity with the online testing portal and to experience the types of questions they will experience during NAPLAN testing.

As parents, it is important to remember that NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students have already learnt through the school curriculum over their years of schooling. Excessive preparation is not useful and can lead to unnecessary anxiety. NAPLAN test days should be treated as just another routine event on the school calendar. The best way you can help your child prepare for NAPLAN is to reassure them that NAPLAN tests are just one part of their school program, and to advise them to simply do the best they can on the day!

ACARA have created a public demonstration site which allows parents and students to familiarise themselves with the type of questioning and related functionalities in the NAPLAN online assessment. You can access this site by clicking the button below.

For more information regarding Naplan please contact our Deputy Principal Christine Ferreira.

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.

Back to School Vouchers

Back to School Vouchers - $150 per student.
The NT Government supplies a $150 back to school voucher for students enrolled in primary schools during term 1, 2022.

If you have not used your voucher this year please contact the school office phone 8981 9796 or admin.stmarys@ntt.catholic.edu.au

Vouchers must be used by Friday, 8 April 2022

Play Group

Next week Wednesday 30th March will be our last playgroup for Term 1.
Playgroup resumes for Term 2 on Wednesday 20th April.

We are so excited to be running our very own Playgroup sessions at St Mary’s!
When: Wednesdays 9.30-11.30am (Term weeks)
Where: Mary MacKillop Hall
Cost: $2 per family

St Mary’s playgroup is the only playgroup in the Darwin CBD registered with Playgroup Northern Territory. Our playgroup sessions allow children to explore through play, enjoy story time, morning tea and create a masterpiece too!

These sessions are open to families outside of the school and cater for babies and toddlers of all ages. You can find us every Wednesday (school term only) in the Mary MacKillop Hall, please enter via the Parish entrance from Smith Street.
Copy of Childcare services - Made with PosterMyWall

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.

Mindful March 2022

Mar 2022
Circle of Security

Team Talk

Team Talk 1
Team talk 2

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

Library 1
Library 2
football april
Youth conference
Inclusive games
Star gaxze
Waratah Netball Club will be running the NETSETGO program for 5-7 year olds from the 9th May until 29th August. The Program will be held on Monday afternoons 4-5pm at Marrara Indoor Netball stadium and is open to both girls and boys.

To register your interest please email waratah.netball@gmail.com
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Cupcakes 1
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