Dear Parents and Carers,
I would like to express my deepest thanks to each of you for your support and loyalty to the school, during what has been a challenging time for you and your families. You have been fantastic supporting your child/ren with their learning during this period. Staff have been magnificent in the way they have adapted to provide a remote learning program in such a short period of time. We all became teachers to work with children and have really missed our daily interactions with them. We have missed their constant energy, humour, laughter and the joy they give each of us. Teacher training could never have forecast ‘remote teaching’ and it doesn’t matter how much experience you have had teaching students, this is new territory for us all. I am very proud of their efforts thus far and appreciate the support we have received.
As you may be aware, the current lockdown in the ACT has been extended until Friday 17th September the last day of Term 3. In relation to Term 4, St Benedict’s will continue to be guided by ACT Health guidelines, and information regarding Term 4 will be provided to our community in due course, with ACT Health providing further guidance in the first week of the upcoming term break.
We are mindful that in most households, parents are also working from home with their children. Please be assured that all families have our support as you continue to strive to find the harmony between rich, rigorous, and stimulating online learning whilst not becoming overwhelmed with the at-times challenging learning and working environment.
Unfortunately, the Delta variant of COVID-19 seems to spread easily among children and young people, as has been evident in the recent outbreaks in both NSW and the ACT, resulting in both direct and indirect impacts on schools. Just some reminders please:
- no parents are to enter the school buildings at any time (including TeamKids);
- we have a skeleton staff at school each day. This is to ensure that we keep staff safe, limit numbers at school and ensure we strategically know which staff are ‘rostered on’ and accessing the site. This is in case staff must isolate for 14 days and other staff can then attend school;
- we are strongly encouraging all students to stay off site and work from home. As mentioned, we only have a small number of staff on site each day during the lockdown period to prioritise the health and safety of our students and staff. Please continue to keep students away from school unless you are an essential worker. We are available on site for families who are essential workers and/or for students who are vulnerable only.
Information for parents regarding payment of Term 3 fees
Catholic Education will again support families who have been financially impacted as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in Term 3. The position of Catholic Education is that no child will be denied a Catholic education because of financial circumstances.
Where your family is experiencing financial stress due to job loss, being stood down, reduction in work hours, business downturn or closure resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, full or partial fee relief is available for Term 3. To apply for fee relief, please contact Office.StBenedicts@cg.catholic.edu.au . Your level of fee support will be confirmed as soon as possible.
Families whose employment situation has not been affected by COVID-19 can support the school by continuing to pay school fees as they fall due. This will support our school to continue providing quality learning in a connected community that nurtures and cares for each other.
Your family is an important part of our school community. Your financial circumstances will not compromise the place of your children at our school. If you are experiencing any difficulties, I will confidentially ensure your child is not disadvantaged.
Stay safe and healthy.
Fathers’ Day Mass
Thank you to all those families who were able to join us online for Father’s Day mass last Friday. Thank you to Father Rem for leading us through this celebration.
School counselling is still available during lockdown. The CECG’s school counselling service providers have adapted their delivery to be available via Zoom and Microsoft Teams. This is an important resource that is available, not only for students, but also for parents and caregivers during remote learning and lockdown. The counselling service has undertaken a more proactive wellbeing case management approach to include wellbeing check-ins. Due to this change in approach and the move to a telehealth platform, a new Informed Consent will be required. All CECG school counsellors are now using updated forms for this purpose.
For more information about the school counselling services check out the links below;
Learning from Home Info Sheet
Counselling and Informed Consent Flyer
Looking After Your Mental Health During Lockdown
Leaving St Benedict’s
If you anticipate that your child will leave St Benedict’s at the end of this year, could you please notify the Front Office. We need to begin planning for staffing and class configurations for 2022. Thank you to those who have let us know already, this is very much appreciated. Naturally Year 6 parents need not respond to this request.
Sacrament of Confirmation
New date for the Sacrament of Confirmation
Weekend of 20th-21st November 2021
More information to follow.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Global School Partnership Day
Postponed until Term 4
Please pray for Global School Partners school Gesore Preparatory (Kenya)
A Prayer for World Peace
Dear Father of all,
Help us to see the world through your eyes, without dividing lines,
To see just land and water, mountains, trees and skies.
Help us to lay aside our class and skin, our background and race,
To know our shared humanity, to see a brother or sister in every face.
Help us to wear forgiveness, to lay down our pride and pain,
To seek first to understand, Lord may peace and reconciliation reign.
Help us to feel your compassion so we can freely forgive.
May we weave new threads of grace and cause seeds of hope to live. Help us to play our own small part, with acts of kindness and of care.
May we arise as your children and seek out what is just and fair.
Cause us to make new bonds of trust with neighbours near and far,
And so to fashion a world where peace comes to Earth in this hour.
Religious Education During Remote Learning
Check out the incredible learning that our students are engaging in Religious Education during Remote Learning.
Year 1/2 have been reflecting on creation as a sacred gift and an expression of God’s love for us, the interconnectedness of living things and how we can make responsible choices to care for it.
This week is ‘National eSmart Week'. It is a week where schools, public libraries and communities come together to promote the smart, safe and responsible use of digital technology, and this year we’re celebrating ‘Responsible Action’. By taking responsible action, we can demonstrate how we all keep kids safe online and offline.
This week’s piece from the eSafety Commissioner Government website gives our students advice about being safe when online.
There are 10 key tips listed below that provide practical advice about being safe and smart when online.
- Explore together — ask your mum, dad, carer or a trusted adult to play new games or apps with you at first.
- Stay close by — when you use a phone, tablet or computer by yourself, make sure your mum, dad or carer is nearby so you can get help if you need it.
Bonus tip — don’t use your device alone in your bedroom or in the bathroom.
- Ask before you download, install or buy anything — check with your mum, dad or carer first.
- Keep your personal information private — don’t give out your address, which school you go to, which sports team you play with, your phone number or passwords.
- Check your privacy settings and talk about what to share — make your online accounts private and talk to your mum, dad or carer about the kinds of photos and information it is OK for you to share online.
- Cyberbullying — if you receive a mean message, or a message that is mean about someone else, try not to respond and don’t forward it.
Tell an adult you trust about it.
- If you see something online you don’t like — show your mum, dad, carer or a trusted adult immediately.
- If someone you don’t know sends you a message or you receive a message that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe — tell your mum, dad, carer or an adult you trust straight away.
- Only ‘friend’ or add people you know in real life — remember that not everyone online is who they say they are, so don’t accept friend requests or followers you don’t know.
- Don’t meet up with online friends — it is best to keep ‘online friends’ online, so if you do chat to other kids in online games don’t meet up with them in person.
I would encourage you to share the link listed below with your child/children.
Important dates to note for this term are:
9 Sep Learning Showcase, 2pm to 4pm
9 Sep Kinder Health Screeening
10 Sep Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
11 Sep Sacrament of Confirmation, 3pm
14 Sep School Board Meeting, 6pm
17 Sep Ways of Being Award Ceremony, 2.30pm
17 Sep Last day of Term 3
Yr 5/6 Camp has been moved to Term 4, Wk 4.
All relevant communication/information/notes have been sent via Compass.
Please log into the Compass Portal to view them. Information on how to log in is the School News section of this newsletter.
Thank you to all the families who have already paid their fees for 2021. Term 3 school fees are now due and fee reminders were sent out yesterday. If you are experiencing any difficulties paying school fees, particularly term 3 fees please contact Ms Rachel Smith or Mrs Belinda McRae at firstname.lastname@example.org
We ask parents to log into the Compass Portal as this is the main way of communicating during this time. Please see the information below on how to log in.
All Merit Awards have been posted to relevant recipients.
Year 1/2B: Julian W, Lydia P, Lorenzo F and Nicolas C
Year 1/2G: Pragna L and Zoe N
Year 3/4B: Geordie B, Alexander H and Hector V
Year 3/4G: Charlotte W and Vivienne K
Year 5/6B: Joshua L and Grace R
Year 5/6G: Michael R and Ava W
Parent Representatives 2021
A reminder to families who their Parent Representatives are this year. If you wish to liaise with your Parent Representative or be put on their email list please contact the front office.
The Parent Representatives for 2021 are:
1/2 Blue (Ms Wright) – Chris Harrop & Sally Veikkanen
1/2 Gold (Miss Maple) – Courtney Ball
3/4 Blue (Miss Walshe) - Erosha Bakmiwewa
3/ 4 Gold (Miss Slocomb) - Clementine O’Sullivan
5/6 Blue (Mrs Quirk & Miss Reedy) – Kellee Rollston Francis
5/6 Gold (Miss Donaghue) – Mella Wilkins
St Benedict's Parish
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Onela Iruthayaraj (Parish Secretary)
For the extent of the lockdowns, the Archbishop invites all to pray the Rosary as a community via Zoom each Wednesday and Friday at 4pm.
Zoom details: Simply click on the link Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn Rosary. Or enter in the details below after opening the:
Zoom app Meeting ID: 850 2245 8332
Passcode: 5436 755 43675
The 12.15pm Monday to Saturday masses and the 11am Sunday mass at St Christopher's Cathedral will continue to be livestreamed as normal at the following link:
Online parish mass link: