25 November 2022| Week 7

Upcoming Dates

  • 27th November: First Sunday of Advent
  • 1st December: Year 6 Graduation
  • 2nd December: Assembly led by CoL - Kangaroos Graduation
  • 4th December: Second Sunday of Advent
  • 8th December: Carols in the Cathedral
  • 11th December: Third Sunday of Advent
  • 13th December: Step Up Day
  • 15th December: End of Year Mass; Last day for students for 2023
Event details will be updated on School Stream closer to the event date.
Please check the EVENTS tab regularly and add event details directly to your calendar!

Principal's News

Week 7, Term 4, 2022

Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to the last few weeks of Term 4. With only 3 weeks of the 2022 school year remaining, all classrooms are striving to complete term content and looking at final assessments. It is important to have children attend school each and every day at this time. Obviously if they are sick and with the latest bout of vomiting and flu, please keep them home so as not to spread it throughout our community.

This term historically moves very quickly, and this year has been no different. Over the past three Tuesdays we have welcomed our 2023 Transition students for orientation. These orientation days will culminate with a special STEP UP Assembly and whole school welcome on Tuesday 13th December in our final week of school. This is a wonderful opportunity to see our future Transition students interacting in the St Mary’s environment and getting a taste of what school will be like at St Mary’s next year. In conjunction with the STEP UP day the leadership team will facilitate a parent information session to outline all the key things that our future Transition families need to know in preparing their child for school next year.

Year Six Graduation
Next Thursday evening, our Year Six students will gather to celebrate their graduation from primary school with a Mass, followed by supper. This is a significant milestone for our young people and their families, and I am sure our wider school community joins me in congratulating them.

I am very proud of our graduating students, and I know that the lessons they have learned throughout their time at St Mary’s will stand them in good stead as they move onto the next phase of their lives. I look forward to celebrating with them on Thursday night. On Wednesday, 14th December the Year Six class will celebrate the end of their primary schooling in a slightly less formal manner, with their BIG Day Out fun day.

Showcase of Stars
We have some star students who have made exceptional growth in the Mathematics and reading learning this Semester. To acknowledge and celebrate these students, they will be presented with Awards on Friday the 9th December at 8.30am.

Staffing 2023
Below is an outline of the current known staffing for 2023 as we expect to have some further positions finalised next week. These will be updated in the Week 8 newsletter.

Staff Moving on from St Mary’s next year: Grace Lucas, Michele Jia, Zara Pearson, Robyn Noble, Gurpreet Kaur and Jacqui Krek are leaving St Mary’s for new adventures.

We will welcome new classroom teachers Courtney O’Mara and Leonie Kane to St Mary’s as well as Tasha Robertson working as our acting Inclusion Support Coordinator.

Staff for 2023 at St Mary’s

Leadership Team:
Principal: Rosie Harrison
Deputy Principal: Christine Ferreira
REC: Clare Nolan

Inclusion Support Team:
Acting Inclusion Support Coordinator: Tasha Robertson
Inclusion Support Practitioner: TBA
Wellbeing Mentor: Karen Jerrett

Teaching and Learning Team for 2023:
Leonie Kane
Clare Nolan
Courtney O’Mara
Siobhan Taylor
Sarah Muller
Shannon Feldtman
Pascale Zufferey
Molly Kalchbauer
Chloe Tiss
Mel Bolwell
Kelli Coccetti

Inclusion Support Assistants:
Briony Bastin, Paula Raaschou, Emmylou Ivinson, Christina Trikoilis, Janelle Chin, Amanda Kilpatrick, Stephen Lyons.

Indigenous Education Worker: Stephen Lyons.

In Faith and Love

Rosie Harrison


Hope is the power to believe anything is possible.
Hope, believe, positive thoughts and prayers.
Never giving up. Perseverance and positivity always.
The voice in your head that says, 'You can do this'.
It is that friend who holds your hand and leads us through darkness.
Prayer, faith and love.
Hope is loving one another.
Jesus brought the rainbow back, to show there was colour in the world.
Kindness and compassion.
Love one another as I have loved you.
Enrol for 2023 (1)

Religious Education News

Thank you to Room 13 in leading us in our Advent Liturgy.
The month before Christmas has got to be the longest time of year for children! It doesn’t help that Christmas decorations seem to be hitting the shops earlier each year.

The Advent season can be a great time for families to celebrate "the reason for the season"— Jesus Christ.

Advent is a Latin word that actually means “coming.” In the Catholic church, Advent is a time of preparation and waiting for the birth of Jesus. Advent officially begins four Sundays before Christmas. Each Sunday of the Advent season, we focus on one of the four virtues Jesus brings us: Hope, Love, Joy and Peace. Here is an Advent guide for your family to help your family celebrate Advent and focus on Jesus. Advent guide for your family (just submit your name and email).

St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal
This week we have begun our annual St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal. As a school we will work together to collect gifts. The Vinnies Christmas appeal is all about bringing joy and festivity to families and individuals who may be in need of some extra support at this expensive time of year.

For most of us, Christmas is a time of celebration with family and friends; the joy of exchanging gifts, making precious memories, and enjoying delicious Christmas food. However, for many Australians, including families and children living below the poverty line, Christmas can be a time of struggle. We invite you to share in the spirit of Christmas by donating a small gift for a child and place it in the front office.

Thank you for your support and helping us bring joy to those in need during the Christmas period.

Key events and dates for remaining of the term:
First Sunday of Advent - Sunday, 27th November
Second Sunday of Advent - Sunday, 4th December
Carols in the Cathedral - Thursday, 8th December
Third Sunday of Advent - Sunday, 11th December
End of Year Mass – **Thursday 15th December at 8:30 in the Cathedral. Please note the change of date for the End of Year Mass.

Clare Nolan
Religious Education Co-ordinator

News from Room 7

All about Chickens!

As humans we share our wonderful planet with many other animals. Taking the time to really look at another species can provide a window into the similarities and differences among living beings and can help us to appreciate how we are all part of a single, gloriously complex ecological system. Transition students have been exploring the life cycle of a chicken, watching chicken eggs hatching and growing.

We had a great opportunity to participate in the wonderful world of hatching baby chicks in our classroom. The students explored the life cycle of chickens. incubated some eggs, watched some of them hatching and growing.
chickens 1
chickens 3
The students showed great patience waiting for 21 days before the chicks hatched. Every morning I was welcomed by the children asking, ‘have they hatched yet?’, while crossing another day off our chick hatching calendar. They also showed resilience when not all the chicks hatched which led to discussions about why they may not have- were they not fertilized or some other reason.

The cute little chicks have now gone to be free range on a lovely property at Girraween and we have been promised some photos as they grow more.

The children and I had a lot of fun and it generated some wonderful learning not just in the area of Science. They learnt about informative texts and how to write information reports, learn new vocabulary and how to research for special facts. The children particularly enjoyed sharing their reports with some of the older classes.
chickens 4
As part of design and technology they had to design a chicken coop which would help the chicks to grow healthy and happy. The next related activity is to write a letter to the Girraween ‘farmer’ asking about how the chicks are going.

I’m sure this scientific experience will stay with your children for life and hopefully allow them to connect to many future scientific endeavors.

Pascale & Room 7
chickens 2

Carols in the Cathedral - Save the Date


Fred Hollows Humanity Award

Last week students from Year 5/6 had the opportunity to support their peer Kim as we virtually took part in the 2022 Fred Hollows Junior Ambassador Award ceremony.
Kim Fred Hollows Award
Kim's nomination from her teacher:
I would like to nominate Kim Nguyen from St Mary's Catholic Primary School for the Fred Hollows Humanity Award in the Northern Territory. Kim has shown all the attributes of caring, understanding and support of those around her. Inituitively and always without a fuss she displays an incredible capacity for compassion and kindness in someone so young. She has the ability to sense when someone is feeling uncomfortable, unsupported or needing help​ and without a second thought is by their side to offer advice, kindness or a listening ear usually without the recipient even knowing. I have witnessed first hand her acts of kindness with children in the Early years of schooling in the playground or during buddy class activities. She is a wonderful peer tutor in the classroom no matter what he task. She is always willing to include others who may not be part of a group and has been a wonderful companion for a new student at our school last term. I believe Kim has directly helped her settle into our school beautifully. I see Kim’s warmth and empathy on a daily basis. Kim has responsibilities at home as well as she tutors her twin brothers who are in Grade 1. They attend a different school closer to the family's home. She is giving them the best possible start in improving their English and honouring their Vietnamese heritage as well as being a caring, fun Big Sister. The attribute I acknowledge most in Kim is her modesty and humbleness in making such a huge difference in the lives of those around her.

Congratulations Kim, we are very proud of you and your achievements in receiving this award!

Chief Minister's Reading Challenge

Last Friday evening (18th November) some of our staff and students were invited to attend Parliament House to celebrate the completion of the inaugural Chief Minister's Reading Challenge.

As a school we had 38 students complete the reading challenge - which was to read 12 books in 24 weeks. We are very proud of all of these students. Students were presented with their certificates this morning following our Advent Liturgy.

Photo 1
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2022 School Fees Reminder

School fee statements were sent out early in Term 4. We would appreciate all families finalising outstanding school fees as soon as possible. Banking details are listed below or you can pay in person using card at the Front Office.

BYODD Program 2023



In 2023, we will be expanding the BYODD program to students in Years 3 to 6. Children moving into Year 3 next year are eligible to join the BYODD program.

Please find linked below the documents that were shared at our Parent Information Session last term:
- BYODD Parent Letter 2023
- Parent Information & Frequently Asked Questions
- Edunet Device specifications & ordering instructions

These documents contain all the information that you need to know regarding our 2023 BYODD program.

Our BYODD purchase portal is now open and taking orders for devices for pre-Christmas delivery. You can learn more about our supplier Edunet by watching this video.

In the chance that you have purchased a previous BYODD device for an older child who will be moving into Middle School next year and will not be requiring the device, it can be passed on to the younger sibling. If you have any further questions regarding the BYODD program, please do not hesitate to contact Christine Ferreira christine.ferreira@nt.catholic.edu.au
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Pastoral Care and Wellbeing News

PC wk 7 1 2
PC wk 7 2

New Ways November


Spirit of St Mary's

Our Spirit of St Mary’s goal for this term is: 50,000 points!

It’s a big goal for our students but we are confident that if we work together as a team we can achieve this goal and have a super awesome Spirit Cup Fun Day!

Week 7 point check: 43,570 points!

Shout out this week goes to the incredible leaders of Room 13 Year 3/4 for leading our school in our Advent Liturgy this morning and singing so beautifully!
pirit of St Marys 29-7-22

Rights on Show Arts Exhibition

We are so excited to be entering our collaborative Art Piece into the Rights on Show Arts Exhibition at the NT Supreme Court.

Thank you to Ms Zufferey for writing the following blurb which describes this beautiful Art Work:

"This wonderful painting was created by students from St Mary’s Catholic Primary School students under the guidance of Mr Lyons and Ms Zufferey. Students ranged from 5 to 11 years of age. Originally the idea was for the Indigenous students from the school to create an artwork for Reconciliation Week. Once started it seemed appropriate, in the spirit of reconciliation to invite interested students, from a range of different backgrounds to collaborate and share in the painting of the artwork.

Reconciliation certainly is ‘the future we want’. Children are our future and what we do today as individuals and as a community will have a huge impact on the future; strengthening relationships between all Australians, affirming the importance of freedom, peace, security and respect for all human rights.
The artwork was made and displayed for Reconciliation Week. We tried to use a variety of art styles to represent those used in the desert, coastal and Islander communities. For example, cross hatching is generally used in the Top End while dots are more common in desert artworks.

The design depicts our school logo in Indigenous art style. The blue crescent shapes represent the St Mary’s Community. Just like a waterway, everything in this artwork flows to a point in the center. This is like Aboriginal culture where waterholes are often shown as important meeting places. The flowing lines meeting in the center representing all different cultures working together and being one."
We are so fortunate to have Ms Zufferey and Mr Lyons work with our children on this project. Be sure to go and view the Art Work on display during the first two weeks of December.
Poster FINAL

Music News

Please note that lessons for this term will finish in week 8, Thursday, 1 December. There won't be lessons in weeks 9 and 10.
Lessons for 2023 will resume in Term 1, week 2: Thursday, 9 February.
Piano lesson enrolment forms for 2023 are now available from the front Office.

Thank you
Carolyn Gray
Piano Teacher


Disruption to School and Urban Bus Services

Due to driver shortages, some school and urban bus services may be cancelled or experience changes at short notice.

The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics is working with CDC Northern Territory (NT) to limit these disruption and we apologise for any inconvenience caused.
For the latest updates and changes to routes of travel, go to the CDC NT Facebook page or call 08 8944 2444.

Start of the 2023 School Year

New School year
The 2023 school year begins on Wednesday, 1 February 2021 at 8.15 am for all students. Children are asked to be at school at least ten minutes before classes begin in order that they may find their classrooms and be ready to begin classes at 8.20 am. Please remember to pack lunch, fruit break and recess separately as lunch goes in a container in the cool room in the canteen. The children are also able to have a water bottle in the classroom with them each day.

The School Book Room will be operating from Wednesday, 25 January 2022 (closed Thursday, 26 January public holiday) from 9.00 am to 3.00pm each day. All uniforms and book packs can be purchased from the library from this date.

Please note, book packs are paid for at this time and will be distributed to teachers for use in the classroom.

2023 School Terms

Term 1, 2023 Monday, 30 January 2023 - staff return
Wednesday, 1 February 2023 - students return
Thursday, 6 April 2023 - last day term one

Term 2, 2023 Monday, 17 April to Friday, 23 June 2023

Term 3, 2023 Monday, 17 July 2023 - staff return
Tuesday, 18 July 2023 - students return
Friday, 22 September 2023 - last day term three

Term 4, 2023 Monday, 9 October 2023
Thursday, 14 December 2023 - last day for students
Friday, 15 December 2023 - last day for staff

2023 School Fees

School fees 2023

Outside School Hours Care and Early Learning Centre Fees

Fee increase

Year 7, 2023

SJC 21-9-22
OCC 6-9-22

St Mary's Playgroup

We are so excited to be running our very own playgroup sessions at St Mary’s!

When: Wednesday 9.30 – 11.30 am (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 terms only) in the Mary MacKillop Hall, please enter via the Parish entrance from Smith Street.

Download School Stream


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!

Want to avoid fees when topping up your Flexischools account?

Click below to download a step-by-step guide on how to top up your Flexischools account without a surcharge via Electronic Bank Transfer
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.

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.

Cyclone Season

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 school stream, but this will be dependent on the availability of power and personnel.

Visit www.securent.nt.gov.au for more information.
For up to date weather alerts please refer to www.bom.gov.au . (http://www.bom.gov.au/)
Cyclone season

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