Australia is a vibrant and multicultural country — from the oldest continuous culture of our first Australians to the cultures of our newest arrivals from around the world. Harmony Week is a time to celebrate Australian multiculturalism and the value our diversity contributes to our communities. The message of Harmony Week is ‘everyone belongs’; a message that is consistently promoted at St Benedict’s where we believe that ‘Everyone who presents themselves are to be treated as Christ.’
Australia is one of the most successful multicultural countries in the world and we should celebrate this and work to maintain it. Harmony Week is about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background, united by a set of core Australian values.
Earlier this week we celebrated Harmony Day by students wearing orange and black clothes or cultural dress, and by participating in a variety of activities that included Aboriginal storytelling and gum leaf painting, a cultural scavenger hunt and artwork focused on multiculturalism. We were fortunate to be supported by Mrs Katrina Cambridge (Catholic Education Aboriginal School and Community Officer) for our celebration of Aboriginal culture.
Our school is committed to contributing to a community of wellbeing and love that fosters respect for everyone and provides a safe and caring environment for all. Respect is to consider the feelings, rights and wishes of others. We are advised to view things from the perspective of others, seek to understand why they may feel as they do and how it might be appropriate to respond to their behaviour before making a judgement about how to respond to them.
We also promote that poor behaviour should not be accepted and that we should be ‘upstanders’ rather than ‘bystanders.’ We should always try to show kindness and compassion to others and ‘be the living Gospel.’
just as you chose your Apostles from all walks of life,
we pray that we may follow your example
and embrace the unique qualities that each of us possess,
so that we may bring about harmony on this earth.
This week our Catholic Education Director, Ross Fox, announced that I would be continuing in the role of Acting Principal for the remainder of this year. The position of Assistant Principal (Acting) will be now be advertised.
I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to continue working alongside our community. I am greatly looking forward to a time when our community can gather together again and celebrate our students and the wonderful things that have been happening this year at St Benedict’s.
Staff Professional Learning
Yesterday we were fortunate to have Andrew Pirie (staff coach – CogLearn) visit our school and work with classroom teachers on their use of high impact teaching strategies. Andrew visited most classes and watched staff teach using Daily Review, before debriefing with them and providing feedback. Staff also viewed demonstration lessons (using Daily Review) presented by Andrew in both an upper primary and junior primary class. The day was a celebration of the wonderful work our staff are doing in classrooms with high impact teaching practice. It was fantastic to hear from Andrew that many other CE schools would be jealous of the expertise, collaboration and collective commitment shown by our staff as we work to refine our practice and strive to provide the best education we can to all our students.
Our gardens are in need of a little love and attention, especially in the lead up to Catholic Schools Week and enrolment period early next term. We will be holding two working bees in the near future; one on Friday 1st April @ 3:30 – 4:30pm and the other on Friday 6th May @3:30 – 4:30pm. We have a large pile of mulch to be spread onto garden beds and some general garden tidying to be done. Any time you or your family can contribute would be greatly appreciated. Please bring along a wheelbarrow, garden fork, rake or shovel if you have one!
We will be holding a Tuck Day on the last day of term. A note will go home soon regarding this special lunch.
Thank you to our community for your commitment in adhering to COVID restrictions and procedures.
The ACT Government is making some changes to the way rapid antigen tests (RATs) are distributed to ACT school communities for the remainder of Term 1. RATs will continue to be available through our school but will be provided to staff and students on an as-needed basis - or in response to increased cases as necessary. If you require additional RATs please contact the Front Office.
You are reminded that staff and students cannot attend school if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19. These include fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of smell/taste, muscle/joint pains, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting, extreme tiredness, unexplained chest pain or conjunctivitis (eye infection).
If symptoms occur at any time, you should not attend school and should undertake a Rapid Antigen Test. If a Rapid Antigen Test is positive, you/your child should isolate as someone who has tested positive to COVID-19. If you cannot access a Rapid Antigen Test, you can attend a PCR (nose and throat swab) testing clinic.
Please remember to inform the Front Office or myself if there are any positive cases, and a reminder that further information can be obtained from the ACT Health website.
Please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher/s directly if you have any concerns or questions.
Caritas Project Compassion
Please continue to fill your Caritas Project Compassion donation boxes! Here are some things that students can do to earn donations at home:
- Unpacking the dishwasher
- Taking the washing down off the line
- Caring for pets
- Drying dishes
- Taking out the rubbish
- Helping a sibling with their homework
- Cleaning their bedroom
- Putting away groceries
- Setting the dinner table
St Benedict's Parish
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Onela Iruthayaraj (Parish Secretary)
In line with the ACT Government easing COVID-19 restrictions, there are no longer density limits in the church, the CBR app is no longer required upon entry, and face mask are no longer mandatory indoors. If you are unwell it is still better to stay home, for those with immunity issues. Holy Water Fonts and receiving Communion on the tongue are now re-instated.