Dear Parents and Carers,
We are probably all aware that today is St Patrick’s Day. But did you know that this week we also celebrate the feast day of Saint Joseph? St Joseph is a model for us of good living, of living and acting in such a way that reflects God’s goodness and love by constantly doing what is right and good.
2021 -The Year of St Joseph
This year the Catholic Church marks the 150th anniversary of the proclamation of St Joseph as the patron saint of the universal church. Pope Francis has declared 2021 as the Year of St Joseph.
Pope Francis reminds us that Joseph loved Jesus with a Father's heart and that all four Gospels refer to Jesus as the Son of Joseph. There is not one record of a word spoken by Joseph in the Scriptures yet aside from Mary the mother of Jesus, no other person is recalled more in the teachings of the Church up and down the centuries. Joseph put his family before himself; his actions speak louder than his words. St Joseph was content to be hidden because he was not all about himself. St Joseph was all about God.
This Friday is Bullying.No Way! Day and as part of this nationally recognised day we have been refreshing our understanding of what bullying is and what it is not. We have been practicing strategies for when we experiencing or witness bullying. This is something we continually revisit on a regular basis with our students.
At St Benedict’s we have an Anti-bullying Policy and it can be found on the school website. But an Anti-bullying Policy is only one part of the whole school strategy to reduce and respond to bullying.
A Positive School Culture
It all starts with building a positive school culture and values. A positive school and strong values creates healthier relationships amongst the community. Relationships where bullying doesn’t fit in.
We have strong values in our school:
Our values underpin our 5 Ways of Being.
These were developed with students and are continually revisited in classes. We wanted to simply define what our values call us ‘to be’ at school as students, parents and staff.
Recognising the Positive
We like to recognise when students are displaying actions, attitudes and words that are examples of the 5 Ways of Being and remind them of the positive contribution they make to their own learning or the school community. At the end of each term we recognise one person from each year level in each class that has significantly demonstrated one of the Ways of Being with a 5 Ways of Being Award.
Responding to Bullying
At times we need to recognise that bullying is occurring in our school between students. It is important to understand what bullying is. It involves three critical components:
- A repeated pattern
- The misuse of power in a relationship
- Behaviour which causes harm
This can be between individuals and/or groups. It can be obvious (physical, verbal) or hidden (exclusion, intimidation). It is not always obvious and can often be unacknowledged by adults. Not all conflict and aggression is bullying. Sometimes the conflict is between equals, and this is not bullying. Regardless of the context, all conflict is responded to.
Our Anti-bullying Policy outlines how we respond to any bullying that may occur.
Early intervention is the key for us. Where bullying is happening, we need to know and address it before more serious habits of behaviour form and we need to determine the best form of response for the situation.
Bullying is complex and challenging to deal with. Short term, quick fix solutions like punishment don’t assist to break the cycle of the bully-victim social relationship.
Our response will always require some analysis – identifying when and where it occurs and rectifying any power imbalance; relationship-focused – building positive relationships and learning successful social strategies for both bully and victim; and open communication – students, parents and staff are all engaged openly in working towards a positive and optimistic future.
At St Benedict’s we stand together against any form of bullying.
If you would like to be a little clearer about what bullying is and how you can help your child to respond to bullying then I encourage you to visit www.bullyingnoway.gov.au . There are some outstanding resources. In particular I encourage you to read "What is bullying"?
May St Joseph and St Patrick bless our school community this week with a desire to always do what is right, and with a firm faith in God’s loving presence within and among us.
Please keep in your prayers Mrs Sue Anderson, our Italian and Library teacher. Mrs Anderson’s father passed away last week. Please also keep Mrs Jeanette Skaff, our Classroom Support Teacher, in your prayers, as she will be away for the remainder of the term following recent surgery.
For a number of years school banking programs have operated across Australian schools. In December 2020 the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) Review of School Banking Programs Report was released and the ACT Legislative Assembly has recently passed a motion to discontinue school banking programs in ACT Public Schools from 30 June 2021. The review states;
- Young children are vulnerable customers and are exposed to sophisticated advertising and marketing tactics;
- A key strategic objective in offering school banking programs is for commercial gain;
- School banking programs claim to help children develop long-term savings habits: however, providers were unable to demonstrate that these programs in and of themselves improve savings behaviour; and
- School banking program providers fail to effectively disclose that a strategic objective of these programs is customer acquisition.
Based on the findings from the review, ASIC asks schools to seriously assess the appropriateness of school banking programs. To this end, St Benedict’s will withdraw from the School banking program with the Commonwealth Bank from Monday 29 March 2021. I thank Jennifer O’Shea for the many hours she has voluntarily worked for the Commonwealth Bank.
It is VITAL that we maintain accurate and current contact information for all families. If you change a phone number, email address, postal address or emergency contact, you must inform us immediately.
Our primary and most effective form of communication is via the SchoolZine App. (SZapp). Emergency announcements will be communicated via the app.
Please ensure you have installed the app on your devices, enabled notifications, and checked the settings for the correct year levels and class groups.
If you would like help accessing or installing this, please contact the Front Office.
Afternoon Pick Up
I ask that at afternoon pick up time that if parents want to enter the school grounds prior to the unlocking of the school gates at 3.10pm, they do so via the oval gate. Please do not ‘jiggle’ and use your feet to open the locked single gate adjacent to the 5/6 building. By doing this, we are damaging the gate. Also a reminder that if parents are here longer that 10 minutes they need to check in with the Canberra App. Thank you for your support with this.
Thanks to some wonderful parent volunteers, we are now able to offer apple slinkys on a Tuesday morning for fruit break. Please send your child with an apple if they would like an apple slinky. It does make eating apples and fruit break much more exciting!!
Term Two Starting Date – Tuesday 20th April
Catholic Education Canberra Goulburn has declared Monday 19th April as a pupil free day for all Catholic schools in Canberra. Students will commence Term 2 on Tuesday 20th April.
Fourth Sunday of Lent
In this week’s Gospel, Jesus tells Nicodemus that the Son of Man will be raised up so that those who believe in him will have eternal life. We learn that Jesus made up for all our sins by dying on the cross. It wasn’t fair that he should die for sins he didn’t commit, but he wanted us to be able to start over. After he died, he gave us the Holy Spirit so that we could be strong enough to say no to sin. The Gospel says that if we believe all that Jesus did for us, we will someday live with him in heaven.
As a family, pray this prayer together the Act of Contrition-
I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong
and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you
whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help,
to do penance,
to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Saviour Jesus Christ
suffered and died for us.
In his name, my God, have mercy.
Sacraments- Important Term 1 Dates
Date & time
Sacrament of First Reconciliation
Wednesday 31st March
St Benedict’s Church
Candidates and their parents/carers
Palm Sunday Liturgy
Next Friday (26th March, 10.30am) 5/6 Blue will be leading our school in a Palm Sunday liturgy. All are welcome to attend.
Mini Vinnies Social Justice Workshop
Last Thursday, our Mini Vinnies participated in a Social Justice Workshop run by our St Vincent de Paul Youth School Liaison Officer. K-2 students looked closely at the meaning of the St Vincent de Paul logo and explored some of the social justice issues in our local community. 3-6 students explored the Principles of Catholic Social Teaching and began to reflect on how these relate to some of the ‘good works’ that Vinnies does for others.
Our Mini Vinnies are currently planning a special event for the Knock On Effect Appeal. More information to be sent home soon!
Year 1/2 Needs Guest Speakers
Year 1/2 are currently learning about role models, their characteristics and values. We seeking parent guest speakers, particulary those who are in vocational careers (nurses, doctors, fire fighters, carers, police officers, social workers etc..). Please email Nat Wright if you are able to help.
Want to know more about the latest apps and games your child is using? Visit the safety guide https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/esafety-guide It includes social media, apps and games with helpful information on online safety and links to report inappropriate content.
On the safety website, parents can also find support for dealing with the big issues. https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/big-issues Be sure to check out these great resources.
There are also a lot of interactive activities and supports for children. https://www.esafety.gov.au/kids/be-an-esafe-kid The eSafety website is definitely worth a look and is a wonderful resource for supporting both parents and children when navigating safety issues and the world online.
NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST BULLYING AND VIOLENCE
The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA) is Australia’s key bullying prevention initiative, connecting schools and communities to find workable solutions to bullying and violence.
The theme for the NDA 2021 is Take Action Together. This theme aims to elevate student voice, empowering young Australians to join the conversation. With the help of our Liturgical Leaders and Miss Slocomb, St Benedict’s will recognise this day on Friday.
Bullying is never ok. It’s hurtful and can impact someone for a long time. If being bullied, whether face to face or online, remember that you’re not alone. There are people you can talk to and things you can do to stop the bullying.
Important dates to note for this term are:
25 Mar Learning Showcase
26 Mar Yr 5/6 Blue Palm Sunday Liturgy, 10.30am
Ways of Being Award Ceremony, 2.15pm
28 Mar Palm Sunday
31 Mar Sacrament of First Reconciliation 5:30 - 6:30pm
1 Apr Holy Thursday
1/2 Gold, 3/4 Blue and 5/6 Gold
Holy Week Liturgy, 10.00am
Outdoor Education day
Term 1 concludes
Thank you to all the families that have already paid their school fees. School Fee reminders will be sent home next week. If you have any concerns regading paying your fees, particularly due to COVID-19, please contact either Ms Rachel Smith or Mrs Belinda McRae at the Front Office.
A Lens on Learning
Year 5/6 Go Out and About : National Museum of Australia
Last week Year 5/6 students had an action packed week with two excursions to support their current learning. On Wednesday students visited the National Museum of Australia to see the Endeavour Voyage exhibition. Here students explored the untold stories of Captain Cook and First Australians.
Some notable experiences of the visit included:
- Students saw transcripts from Cook’s account of the Endeavour’s voyage up the east coast in 1770. They also viewed artworks created by Indigenous communities and school children, and memorabilia collected over many years.
- They saw how Australia’s Indigenous peoples and the Endeavour voyages looked at the same night sky but read different meanings into the stars.
- Students learnt about life onboard the Endeavour and what happened before the ship sighted the continent.
The students and teachers learnt a lot on the excursion and enjoyed the opportunity to make informed observations about varying perspectives of the same events.
“It was fun going on the scavenger hunt at the National Museum of Australia. We got given objects to investigate and we had to find what Captain Cook named the island.” Edie Q
“It was cool. We saw many different things like the Endeavour, turtle shells and Captain Cook’s diary.” Alain
The museum was adventurous, creative and a really good story.” George
Parliament House and the National Electoral Education Centre
Two days later, students were out and about in Canberra again but this time visiting Parliament House and the National Electoral Education Commission. During this excursion students learnt about democracy and government in Australia. They took a tour of Parliament House (and saw a giant Lego model of it which was created by ‘Brickman’ himself) and took part in a role play to learn about the process of passing a bill in the House of Representatives. This gave some of our buddy politicians a chance to shine!
Students then strolled down to Old Parliament House where they enjoyed a relaxing lunch and play in the Rose Gardens. Whilst at the National Electoral Education Centre at Old Parliament House they then completed an interactive program about Australian democracy, voting and representation. Students conducted their own simulated election and then counted the votes (using the preferential voting system) to achieve a result and learn about the voting process in Australia.
“We did voting and arguing. We learnt how to vote in an election and how to pass a bill in the House of Representatives.” George
“The Electoral Education Centre was very interesting. It showed us how they count the votes in elections.” Marissa
“Old Parliament House is a great place to learn about democracy. It teaches you the history of democracy and how voting used to happen.” Mia N
As most of you may know, Friday the 5th of March was Clean Up Australia Day for schools. First of all, thank you for your phenomenal effort and great cleaning skills! It was amazing to see everyone so engaged and excited about a cleaner future. We would also like to congratulate the ‘Champion Class Cleaners’ from each class:
1/2: Thissa and Zoe
3/4: Charlie and Tyler
5/6: Michael, Ava, Niora and Tessa
And a BIG congratulations to our ‘Champion Cleaner’ award recipient, 3/4 Gold. They have been awarded with some gloves and Woolworths seed pots to give their garden plot a boost!
Once again thank you, and keep cleaning, in school and out!
The Environmental Leaders
Extra curriculum music lesson are provided at the school by the following businesses. If you are interest please contact them directly.
Congratulations to Niora who last weekend competed in the State Athletics Championships at Woden Athletics Centre. Niora performed extremely well, winning gold in Discuss and bronze in 400m. Unfortunately the events on Sunday were cancelled due to rain – Niora was to compete in Shot Put.
Kindergarten: Ace H and Jackson K
Year 1/2B: Thisagari R and Mia C
Year 1/2G: Eva S and Catelin S
Year 3/4B: Georgia W and Finn M
Year 5/6B: Lucia M and Joel S
Year 5/6 G: Rafael V and Edith Q
Parent Representatives needed
We are still in need of volunteers for parent representative in:
- 1/2 gold (Miss Maple)
- 3/4 Gold (Miss Slocomb)
- 5/6 Blue (Mrs Quirk/Miss Reedy)
The role of parent representative is important (but not time consuming) within the individual classes as an avenue of communication between teachers and families and also a connecting point between families. This role does not require attendance at any Parents & Friends meetings (unless you choose to) nor attendance at school events. We need parent representatives to touch base with your classroom teacher from time to time to find if there is any information that may need to be distributed amongst families, coordinate morning tea for class Masses, distribute information about school/P& F events and organise and out of school class catch ups. As Parent Representative Co-ordinator I will help you in your role. If you are interested please contact Belinda McRae in the front office. Please consider volunteering for this role within our school community.
Hannah Norgrove (Parent Representative Co-ordinator 2021)
Cookie Dough Fundraising
This fundraiser is finishing tomorrow 18th March - So hurry up and get your order in. All orders should arrive before the end of term. What a great activity to do over the holidays.
In our transition out of the COVID-19 restrictions we ask for your support in social distancing, logging onto the CBR App and signing in at the front office. Until we are able to confirm the new clothing pool arrangements we ask that you please email the school firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Mrs McRae with a list of items required. We will endeavour to fill your order and reply to you as soon as possible.
PLEASE ENSURE YOUR CHILD/REN'S CLOTHING IS LABELLED WITH THEIR NAME.
Please check that your child/ren are bringing their uniform home as it is an easy mistake to pick up someone else's uniform. Please place the incorrect uniform in the lost property box or return it to the student.
Our school tuckshop is still currently closed.
We will let you know as soon as it is open and students are able to order from the tuckshop.
A reminder that when the tuckshop opens counter sales only occur at Recess time and lunch orders must be ordered in the morning. Don’t forget to use the Qkr! App to place your child’s order. Volunteers are always welcome. No amount of time is too small.
Apple slinky Tuesdays
We would like to thank the wonderful parents that have offered to come and do slinky apples for students each Tuesday morning. There is no cost, we just ask that students bring their own apple to be slinkied for fruit break.
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Monica Nulley-Valdes and Cathy Schneider (Parish Secretaries)
Saturday Vigil - 6pm
Sunday - 9am
- 6pm Charismatic Mass
Youth Mass every 4th Sunday (6pm)
Baptisms: 11.00am, 2nd and 4th Sundays of the Month.
Easter Timetable in our Parish
Holy Thursday: 5.30pm Supper of the Lord
followed by Adoration at the Alter of Repose
Good Friday: 10.00am Stations of the Cross
3.00pm Solemn Liturgy
Easter: 7.00pm Blessing of the Fire, Procession and Exsultet, Baptismal Liturgy
Easter Sunday: 9.00am
6.00pm Charismatic Mass
Children & Youth Ministry Training Day
There will be a ChildSafe Accredited Training & Ministry Skills Workshop run at St Benedict’s on Saturday 20 March 8.30am—3.30pm. For more info or to register, please visit https://suact.org.au/training-day/
Men Alive Men’s Weekend
When was the last time you felt really alive? The Men Alive conference will be held on 27 –28 March in the Collin’s Wing at St Benedict’s. The cost is $50, which includes workshops, morning and afternoon tea, lunch and BBQ dinner on Saturday. Please rsvp for catering purposes, to Benjamin Spurr 0400 772 858 or email@example.com
Join the Archbishop and the clergy of the Archdiocese on Monday 29 March 2021 at 5.00pm in St Christopher’s Cathedral for this most important Holy Week ceremony. During this Mass the Holy Oils used in the various Sacramental Rites of the Church are blessed and consecrated. Bookings are essential using the following link https://www.trybooking.com/BPFAJ