4 March 2022| Week 5

Upcoming Dates

  • 4th March: Chief Minister's Reading Challenge launches
  • 9th March: Playgroup begins
  • 10th March: Parents and Friends Committee Afternoon Tea
  • 11th March: Opening School Mass 9am at the Cathedral
  • 17th March: School Board AGM
  • 18th March: Assembly led by Year 1/2 Room 6
  • 22nd/23rd March: Parent/Teacher/Student Goal Setting Interviews
  • 8th April: Catholic Education System Pupil Free Day
  • Week 9 & 10: School Swimming Program
Please refer to SchoolStream for full event details. Please check the EVENTS tab to add event details directly to your calendar!

Principal's News

Week 5, Term 1, 2022

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

How exciting it is to announce that many of the NT Health restrictions will be eased in the coming days. As we go to print, we have news that the current mask mandate will be lifted from Monday 7th March. This means it is no longer compulsory to wear a mask within the school grounds. Whilst the mask mandate has lifted, we must still remain vigilant around washing of hands, sneezing into our elbow and covering our mouth when coughing. There are still few cases of COVID occurring within our school community, so I ask parents that if your child/ren are unwell, to please keep them at home and get tested.

After almost two years, our daily routines of a morning and afternoon can now include welcoming parents back into our grounds both before and after school. Gates will open in the mornings at 8am and in the afternoon at 2.50pm. In doing this, our priority is still to keep staff, students, and parents safe, compliant, and healthy.

Thank you to our wonderful parent community for your continued kindness, consideration, and polite adherence to COVID compliance requirements over the past two years.

In the coming weeks there are are number of important school events to draw to your attention:
  • We join with the St John's School community to welcome the new school year for our Opening School Mass on March 11th. This will be our first opportunity to come together as a community again to celebrate the beginning of the school year, welcome new staff and families. Mass starts at 9am at the St Mary’s Cathedral.
  • Don’t forget our upcoming Parents and Friends afternoon tea. This will be a relaxed social event, where you can get to know the new families that have joined us this year. We look forward to seeing you all there.
  • Information about our upcoming School Board Annual General Meeting and how to nominate for a position on our School Board is also included later on in the newsletter.
  • Later on in the term we are planning a Harmony Day Cultural Dress and Open Morning on 21st March. More information regarding this will be shared in the next few weeks, however mark the date in your calendars so that you can join us for breakfast!
Please remember to ensure your child presents at school each day wearing correct uniform. I ask that parents check that jewellery and coloured hair accessories are left at home.

There are still quite a few students choosing to wear the wrong footwear to school. This aspect of the uniform requirement has been well communicated for some time now and is very simple and the most cost effective - all black school shoes and or joggers. Any coloured or white soled shoes are not permitted.

In faith and love,

Rosie Harrison

Religious Education News

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Lent: This week at St Mary's we acknolwedge the start of Lent. Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, when Catholics typically fast between meals and abstain from eating meat.

Lent is a forty-day period in which Christians prepare for Easter. It reminds us of Jesus' forty days in the desert before to beginning his ministry. He fasted and prayed at this period. For us, Lent is a time of self-denial and prayer. During this time, we are encouraged to focus on being closer to Jesus by praying a little more, doing good things for others, giving generously to those in need, and going without something we enjoy. It's a wonderful idea for us to consider what we can do to grow closer to Jesus during Lent.

Pancake Fundraiser: A huge THANK YOU for supporting our pancake fundraiser this week to mark Shrove Tuesday. We raised a total for $163 for Caritas Australia. Well done to our student leaders who helped out and gave up their time to serve the pancakes and to Mr Prem and Miss Kaitlyn in our canteen for preparing them! Project Compassion brings thousands of Australians together to raise funds for people living in some of the most vulnerable communities around the world. This week your child has been sent home a Project Compassion Box. We strongly encouage families to donate generously to this Lenten Appeal.
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:
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

Room 9 News!

Hello from 4/5L with Miss Grace!
It’s the end of week five so that means we are officially halfway through term 1! Wow how that has flown by! In Room 9, we have been busy learning, but most importantly we have been getting to know each other, learning about our own strengths and weaknesses, as well as establishing positive relationships and behaviour expectations to set us up for a great year ahead!
Here a snippet of what we’ve been up to.
Room 9 is loving Mathematics this term. The students especially love our warm ups, which involve partner games or conjecture powerpoint slides that focus on their estimation skills. We have also loved the large whiteboards that allow us to work collaboratively in small groups to solve problems.
In Reading we have been working on deepening our knowledge of the comprehension skill of ‘making connections’. There are three ways to make connections between a text we’re reading, yourself, other texts and the world. As a class we participated in an activity where we read a book and we made connection chains. This is displayed in our classroom.
Ash Wednesday Liturgy
I am very proud of the Year 4/5s for their amazing efforts leading St Mary’s first Liturgy for the year. They showed great responsibility, leadership and pride in their participation through singing and reading.
Visual Art
We have also completed our first art piece for the term! Our class was introduced to the concept of linear perspective, and used One point perspective to create the illusion of 3 dimensional buildings seen from a very low point of view. The art pieces look fantastic and will be displayed in our room.

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
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 we will be holding 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.

Students have received a copy of the record sheet and a bookmark in their library sessions this week!


This month’s Action For Happiness calendar is focused on mindfulness. By teaching children mindfulness skills we help them increase their well-being and enable them to meet the stresses of the world with presence, self-compassion, and openness. Learning to be more mindful and aware can do wonders for our well-being in all areas of life – like the way we eat, the things we notice or our relationships. It helps us get in tune with our feelings and stops us dwelling on the past or worrying about the future – so we get more out of the day-to-day. It can also help us identify what we’re grateful for, which has been proven to help boost your happiness levels.

Some of the ways we practice mindfulness at St Mary’s is through KIDDO movement breaks, art, reading, meditation, guided meditation, mindful breathing, prayer and reflection, zones of regulation and sensory walks. Our social and emotional curriculum, Making Jesus Real philosophy and school values provide a framework for mindfulness and wellbeing at St Mary’s.

See the calendar attached to this week’s newsletter or visit the websites below to see lots of ideas to have a ‘Mindful March’.

Artfully Mindfully
Spiritual Meditation
Smiling Minds
MindUp For Life
Mindfullness in Nature
Cosmic Yoga

Spirit of St Mary's Update

Our Spirit of St Mary’s goal for this term is: 10,000 points! We are almost at our goal for a super awesome Spirit Cup Fun Day. Well done St Mary’s students!

Week 5 point check: 7606 points!

Shout out this week goes to Room 6 who received 1200 points.


The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. NAPLAN is the measure through which governments, education authorities, schools and the community can determine whether or not young Australians are meeting important educational outcomes. As a school we utilise Naplan results to guide our future direction and goals. The data is analysed to determine our strengths as a school and to identify areas of need.

NAPLAN tests skills that are critical for every child to progress through school and life. These include reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy. The assessments are under taken every year across all schools in Australia at the same time in May. In 2022 the testing period for Naplan is 10th to 20th of May.

As directed by the NT Board of Studies, in 2022 all Naplan tests at St Mary's will be completed online except for the Year 3 writing test. This week Years 3 and 5 students have been sent home information about Naplan tests, including details of test duration and requirements.

In Week 8 of this Term Year 3 and 5 students will participate 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.

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.

Play Group

Playgroup is back for 2022!

We are so excited to be running our very own Playgroup sessions at St Mary’s!
When: Wednesdays 9.30-11.30am
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

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

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