Farm Safety Calendar winner

Each year our students have the opportunity to enter the Queensland Farm Safety competition. Kelly Ostwald from Queensland Workplace Health and Safety attended our assembly this morning to present certificates to all students who entered the competition. This year Isabelle Sheridan is one of 12 students from Queensland to be selected to have their artwork featured in the Farm Safety calendar for 2023. Isabelle was presented with a certificate and a gift card for $250. The school also received $500 prize money.

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Students of the Week - Week 7

Congratulations to Angus Bennett (Year 5) and Connor McPherson (Year 4)!

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Library News

                Year 6 students sharing their book recommendation last week.

           We enjoyed hearing from other students today.

Year 3 - 6 Inquiry Work

Inspired by the award winning book "Iceberg" students posed questions about Antarctica based on their curiosity for this continent. Today, they shared the information they located to answer their particular year level question. Facts from reliable sources were collated and applied to anwer the following questions;

Year 3 - What food and water sources are there for animals in Antarctica? Give an example of a food chain.

Year 4 - What threats exist in Antartica from oil spills and other human activity?

Year 5 - What changes happen in Antarctica across the seasons of the year?

Year 6 - How does climate change threaten life on Antarctica?

Summer Holiday Borrowing Next Week 

Summer holidays are almost here. Please encourage your students to return their library loans, all due Friday 18th so they can borrow a fresh supply of books on Monday 28th to have at home over the long break ahead. Students will need their library bags and a safe place at home to keep their loans together.  I hope you as parents and caregivers have some time to relax with a book too in the coming weeks. 

Using Online Resources over the Holidays 

Access the library database at https://au.accessit.online/STM33/#!dashboard 

Students sign in under the Guest dropdown by clicking the blue single sign on (SSO) button 

Select Online Resources under Dashboards  

The log in details for Clickview (educational video, G and PG movies and TV), Storybox Library (Australian children’s literature read aloud), Wheelers e-Platform (e-books) and Britannica Online are provided in this section.  

PLEASE NOTE: Once students are signed in, they can select borrowing details under their name to see their loans and loans history. 

 Thanks Parents and Family Members 

A key function of our library is to enable and encourage free choice reading. Thank you for supporting our work by continuing the effort at home so children are reading something they enjoy each day. 

Happy Reading this Summer! 

Anne Anderson  

Teacher Librarian 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mathletics Certificates

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Students of the Week - Week 6

Congratulations to Evie Douglas (Year 1) and Riley Mead (Year 5)!

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Sight Word Certificates

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Notices

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Our Lady of the Southern Cross Parish - Mass Times

Sunday 20th November - 9am Lay Lead Liturgy

Sunday 27th November - 9am Mass

Monday 28th November - 9:30am SMG Year 6 Graduation Mass

Sunday 4th December - 9am Lay Lead Liturgy



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Parent Partnership Forum

Chairperson: Christine Apted

Secretary: Corinne McPherson

Next meeting: To be advised

Please see Christine, Corinne or Casey if you would like anything added to the agenda.


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From the Principal

Dear families,

Welcome to Week 7 and our last newsletter for the 2022 school year!

We still have many exciting events to look forward to including our Whole School Camp to the Gold Coast, Graduation Mass, and Awards Night. 

Students are very busy finalising their assessment items for the term. From Book Reviews to Science Investigations, I  am pleased to witness our students showing commitment to their learning.

At St Maria Goretti, we know that learning is our business!

Staffing 2023

As you are already aware, I was successful in my application for additional funding from Toowoomba Catholic Schools for a third classroom teacher. This means, we will have a P/1, 2/3/4, and 5/6 classroom in 2023. We are currently in the process of ensuring all classrooms are equipped with new learning materials, and technology to cater for our growing school. If we are able to continue our positive school enrolment growth, we will be able to continue with three classrooms into the future.

Miss Madison Spencer, our new P/1 teacher, visited today to meet the students.

    The position for the 2/3/4 teacher has been advertised on SEEK, social media and internally with Toowoomba Catholic Schools. I will continue to keep our community updated throughout the recruitment process. I am sure that we will find a suitable teacher for the position. In the Pupil Free Days leading up to the start of school, we will hold a 'Meet & Greet' where the 2-4 students can meet their new teacher. 

    Next year, the school will be funding a teacher to visit us fortnightly (on a Wednesday) to teach German to our students. Ms Ina Winter is an experienced teacher from St Mary’s Goondiwindi. We are very excited to offer this opportunity to our students.

    Benefits of multi-age classrooms

    After attending a small school as a student, teaching P/1/2/3, and now being a Principal of a school with composite or multi-age classrooms, I have been lucky to experience the many positives of these classrooms structures.

    Research, which has been mostly conducted in primary schools, suggests there is no difference between composite and straight grade classrooms in terms of academic performance. However, benefits relating to student independence, responsibility and study habits have been highlighted. For example, younger children within a multi-age class generally aspire to emulate older children in their work, and older children enjoy leadership and mentoring opportunities that lift their self-esteem. Multi-age classrooms are more flexible; allow children to work at their own pace; offer a wider range of friendship opportunities; and encourage more co-operation and tolerance.

    In a multi-age class, students are able to be delivered a more personalised curriculum. If they're performing well in their age-group cohort, they'll be able to be natually enriched as they're exposed to the next year curriculum in their classroom. If they're struggling with their age-group standards, they'll be given the opporunity to fill in gaps and to revisit some of the content and processes from the previous year.

    Pupil Free Days 2023

    The school office will be open from Tuesday the 17th of January 2023 as our staff will be completing professional development days before students return. These days will consist of an induction of our new teaching staff, mandatory training, English planning, and Religious Education PD.

    The uniform shop will be open during this week if you would like to purchase any new uniform items. 

    School Camp - school supervision arrangements 

    While students are on camp from the 23rd to the 25th of November, the school will be open for students to attend school for supervision. Miss Elizabeth Key, our school officers, and Mrs Mead will all be at school. Students will be marked as absence if they are not attending school camp and not attending school. Please let the office know if you do not intend to send your child to school on these days. 

    Semester 2 Report cards

    Report cards will be sent home on the last day of term. If your child is not attending on the last day of school, these will be posted to you over the holidays. 

    Other

    The school budget for 2023 is still being finalized, larger items that we are planning for in 2023 include concreting in the Big Shed, updating the playground (with support from the PPF), new technology for the classrooms (including some new laptops for students), and salary/wages for school officers.

    I wish everyone a very happy and holy Christmas. 

    Yours in education,

    Casey Robinson

    Principal

    "Let us try to keep God with us by charity in thought, word and act." (Mary MacKillop 1890)

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    Mathletics Certificates

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    The 5 C's Awards

    Congratulations to Charlie Brown (Commitment Award) and Jordon Callaghan (Care Award)

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    Library News

    Life in the Library during Term 4 is fast and furious with a focus on as much free choice reading as possible. Please support this important reading practice at home.

    Year 3 - 6 students have been giving their book talks as a way to share what they have been reading with their classmates. They are always enthusiastic about their book and able to answer questions from the floor!

    We are making progress with locating information to answer our questions about Antarctica and each year level will be sharing their learning with the class in Week 7.

    Prep - 2 classes are working on finding the best book for their free choice reading and are learning to  recognise fiction books from non-fiction books.

    Student Borrowing - Browse and Borrow Sessions and Summer Reading

    Week 6 is the last class browse and borrow time with all student loans due by the end of Week 7. Returning students with no outstanding loans are invited to borrow books for the Summer break on Monday or Tuesday of Week 9. 

    To date, staff and students from Prep to Year 6 have borrowed a total of 3,132 Fiction and Non-Fiction books this year! Our students are certainly huge library users. Well done everyone but remember to make time to read the books while they are in your home.

    Happy Reading this week

    Anne Anderson

    Teacher Librarian

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    Students of the Week - Week 5

    Congratulations to Rory Alderman (Year 6) and Addyson Williams (Year 1)!

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    Sight Word Certificates

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    Notices

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    Our Lady of the Southern Cross Parish - Mass Times

    Sunday 6th November - 9am Lay Lead Liturgy

    Saturday 12th November - 5:30pm Mass

    Sunday 20th November - 9am Lay Lead Liturgy

    Sunday 27th November - 9am Mass



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    Parent Partnership Forum

    Chairperson: Christine Apted

    Secretary: Corinne McPherson

    Next meeting: Wednesday 16th November, 3:30pm at the Inglewood Bowls Club. This will be our Christmas breakup meeting.

    Please see Christine, Corinne or Casey if you would like anything added to the agenda.

    PPF News

    A huge thank you to everyone who helped with the organising and running of our very successful Cent Sale. While final figures are still a work in progress, we did raise over $8000 towards our playground upgrade!

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    From the Principal

    Dear families,

    Welcome to Week 5's newsletter! 

    Thank you goes out to our families for their support at our Cent Sale. I also want to shout out to the many businesses from local or surrounding areas that donated. Whether you volunteered your time, or a prize for the night, we are very appreciative of your generosity.

    Berry Street Model Traning Day 3 &4

    Last week, Mr Zahner, Mrs Smith 2 and I went to Toowoomba to participate in the final two days of the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM).  During the course, we covered the three domains below: 

    Engagement - Motivating students with strategies that increase their willingness to learn.

    Stamina - Creating a culture of academic persistence by nurturing resilience, emotional intelligence and a growth mindset.

    Character - Harnessing a values and character strengths approach to instil students’ self-knowledge for future pathways.

    We endeavour to implement various strategies across our school to enable teachers and staff to increase engagement of students with complex, unmet learning needs and to successfully improve all students’ self-regulation, relationships, wellbeing, growth and academic achievement.

    One of the first strategies we will be implementing will be a whole school understanding of what it means to be 'Ready to Learn'. Each classroom will implement a Ready to Learn scale - a standard system used by students in classrooms to identify difficult emotions and stress, both collectively as a whole class and individually. 

    Something we have already started implementing in each classroom are our 'Morning circles' - a daily routine that includes rhythmic activities, healthy touch, positive affirmations, intention setting and gratitude reflections.

    The Learning Pit

    The learning pit explains the reality that when you learn something new, you may make a mistake, you may fail, and it may be difficult, but it doesn't mean you can't learn it. It just means you are in the learning pit and need to try again in a different way until you can get out of the learning pit.

    Introducing the learning pit - Whole school lesson

    We started the lesson by asking the students to get in pairs and replicate an origami lotus flower without any instructional help. This task was chosen to intentionally frustrate our learners.

    As students began working, we took note of what they were saying/thinking/feeling in response to the challenge. After some time, we heard things such as "this is really hard", "I give up", "I don't know how to do this." This phase is when students are 'going into the pit', where students struggle the most and quite often quit the activity.

    Next, we demonstrated how to create the lotus flower using step by step instructions. Upon completion of the lotus flower, students felt a sense of success and achievement. We discussed how we feel when we achieve something after working hard at it. 

    Afterwards, we identified the stairs/steps that we went through to get ourselves out of the pit. These included; asking questions, working as a team, persisting and not giving up.

    We will be revisiting the learning pit regularly as a school and diving deeper into the concept of the learning pit in our classrooms with the aim to create more persistent learners. You can find our whole school learning pit hanging up in our staffroom. I encourage you to ask your children about what they have learned about the learning pit.

      Our finished product!

      Staffing 2023

      After a successful application for additional staffing in 2023, I am very excited to announce that we will be moving to three classrooms! We have almost doubled in enrolments since 2020, so it is very exciting to announce that we are catering for our growing school.

      Beginning next year, our new classroom arrangements will be as follows:

      P/12/3/45/6
      Miss Madison SpencerMiss Sophie TilburyMiss Elizabeth Key

      This change will allow us to ensure that we are achieving the following at St Maria Goretti:

      • Increase the appeal of the school to prospective families looking to enrol their child at a Catholic school
      • Recruitment and retention of teachers
      • Allows teachers to plan for age-appropriate pedagogies
      • Will result in social and emotional benefits for our students
      • Ability to prepare our Year 6 students to be ‘high school ready’
      • Teachers will be able to support individual student needs more effectively
      • 3 classrooms will help continue our positive enrolment trend moving into the future

      Please see Miss Spencer's welcome letter, below. Miss Tilbury will be sending out a letter to the 2/3/4 class shortly.

      Welcome, Miss Spencer, to P/1!

      We are delighted to welcome Miss Madison Spencer to our team in 2023. Miss Spencer will be teaching P/1 in 2023. Miss Spencer will be visiting our school on Thursday the 17th of November to meet the students. Parents are more than welcome to come and say hello after school.

      I am sure our school community will help make Miss Spencer feel very welcome. 

      School Camp Parent Info Session

      I request that all parents attending school camp to please come for a meeting after school on Thursday the 17th, 3:15pm in the P-2 classroom to discuss the ins and outs of camp. This is an important session to attend so that you are aware of your role and responsibilities when attending school camp.

      Next week, I will be away in Toowoomba at the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Leadership Forum. In my absence, Mrs Twidale and Mr Zahner will be deputising. Please direct any matters of urgency to them.

      Yours in education,

      Casey Robinson

      Principal

      “May God bless you and keep you strong and help you in your anxieties.” (Mary MacKillop, 1900)

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      2023 School Fees

      The 2023 Fee Schedule was endorsed at yesterday's PPF Meeting. This information has gone home to families today. Please see below for the breakdown of 2023 Tuition Fees and Levies.

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