Newsletter February 2, 2021
We give you our school.
We give you all the teachers and staff who work here,
We give you all the children who study here.
We pray our school will be a place of great discovery, adventure and creativity.
May it be a place where we love to learn and where we learn to love,
A place where every one is respected and all are deeply valued.
We ask all this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dear Parents and Friends,
On the feast day of our patron saint, St Brigid, it is so wonderful to be welcoming everyone back to school in 2021. Each of us was challenged in some way by 2020 and so we begin 2021 with a strong sense of optimism and hope as our world continues to manage, and sometimes struggle with, but importantly learn to live with Covid-19.
While for some there is the feeling/frustration that “I just want things to be like they used to be” - sadly our world does not remain static and unchanging. Nothing is really ever going to remain the same. We all certainly crave some stability in our lives and I think that is why Covid has challenged us so much - everything changed and became unsettled very quickly. Hopefully throughout 2021 we will all be able make the adjustments necessary and learn to accept and acknowledge that everyone can’t always remain the same.
Today we welcomed a small but very enthusiastic cohort of Prep children:
Alice Fodor, Scarlett Hems, Maeve Lakey, Fletcher Louey, Jaxon Mulgrew, Eli Seketa, Lukas Stancliffe & Ruby Tatchell
Additionally we also welcome a number of children and their families who have joined other classes in the school:
Anniston Clarke - Year 2, Jack Riddell - Year 2, Ciara Paolini - Year 2 & Isaac Healy - Year 5.
We welcome all to our school community and know that everyone will help to make their transition both happy and safe.
All of the timetabled events (to date) for the school year can be found on our school calendar which can be accessed through PAM and via this newsletter.
Some Key dates for Term One 2021.
Thursday February 11th: Opening School Mass 1.30 p.m
Thursday 25th February: Colour Run and Welcome Barbeque
Tuesday 30th March: School Photos
Thursday 1st April: Last Day of Term One
Please note: Given the changing regulations regarding Covid-19 there may be changes or restrictions around some of these events - we will keep you informed as the dates draw closer. At this stage however, it is unlikely that parents will be able to attend our Opening School Mass due to the present density requirements (one person to two square metres).
A reminder that our Prep students have a rest day every Wednesday up until the long weekend in March (Monday March 8th). After this, the Prep students will attend school on a daily basis.
Our Specialist Days will remain the same as in previous years - on Wednesdays, so all children will need to wear their sports uniform of a Wednesday. Visual Arts is also conducted on this day, so please ensure your child has an art smock (or old shirt etc) for this.
Late last year our school captains for 2021 were selected through a ballot process with both the students and the staff involved. Congratulations to:
Just as importantly, congratulations and thank you to all of the students who “put their hat in the ring” for this role. Each of them should be proud of their efforts in being prepared to ‘have a go'.
In Terms 1 & 4 we ask that students wear school hats when they are playing in our school grounds. We ask that your child’s hat is clearly labeled to ensure it can be returned to them if it lost in the yard. Please note that if your child does not have a hat at school they will be asked to sit in the undercover area during recess and lunch breaks.
A reminder to all families that supervision for all children commences at 8.30am each morning, when a teacher goes on duty in the playground. We are encouraging all children not to come to school before 8.30am as prior to this the teachers are busy preparing for the day. We do also recognise that there will be family circumstances that mean children do need to be dropped off prior to 8.30am. If you could let us know this will be the case it would be most appreciated. These children will be asked to sit in the office area until supervision time commences.
Last Friday our staff joined with those from St. Alipius, Ballarat East and St Michael’s, Daylesford to participate in a professional learning day facilitated by Corwin Australia. This day marked the beginning of a three year commitment where we will focus on Visible Learning. One way to think about Visible Learning is children taking ownership of their own learning.
Visible Learning is the result of the research undertaken by John Hattie to understand what provides the most success in learning. It is based on over 68,000 studies and 25 million students. John Hattie defines Visible Learners as students who can:
- Articulate what they are learning
- Explain the next steps in their learning
- Set learning goals
- See errors as opportunities for further learning
- Know what to do when they are stuck
- Seek feedback
The staff are really excited about what we are embarking on, so you can expect to hear much more about Visible Learning in the weeks and months to come.
As can be seen, our outdoor project continues to move along - although for both staff and the students it feels as though it has been moving much too slowly for our liking. There have been a few hiccups during January (including the weather) but hopefully we will all begin to see the project really take shape over the coming weeks.
We are happy to advise that we can offer our families After School Care for students again at St Brigid's, Monday to Friday, throughout the school terms in 2021. We are grateful for all the work Teagan, Karen and Caz put into the program making it a huge success and fun for all the children attending. Our numbers continue to grow and we welcome new families. If you are interested please contact Jodie in the office for further information.
2021 School Fee Statements will be emailed out this week. A reminder that for 2021, all families must complete and return a fee payment arrangement form. The form and corresponding information was sent out at the end of last year and was due on Friday 18th December. Thank you to those families who have returned these.
If you have not yet returned your forms, could you please return these by the end of this week, Friday 5th February. The forms are attached again for your reference. Please contact the office should you have any queries.
In all Ballarat Diocesan Catholic Primary Schools, a Family Fee Assistance Scheme is available to families eligible for a means tested Health Care Card, Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card or Veteran Affairs Pensioner Card. The scheme is available to both catholic and non-catholic families and reduces the cost of the Family Tuition Fee and Capital Levy to a combined maximum of $520 per year ($10 per week). The Curriculum Levy, Technology Levy and Excursion and Camp costs are then added to this to give a total fee amount for the year.
The Victorian Government offers a Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) providing payments to assist eligible families to cover the costs of camps, sporting events and excursions.
If you hold a valid means-tested concession card you may be eligible for CSEF. The allowance will be paid to the school to use towards expenses related to camps, excursions, or sporting activities for the benefit of your child.
The annual CSEF amount per student is currently $125 for primary school students.
Please see the attached information regarding Family Fee Assistance and the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF). For further information, please contact the school office.
Please complete this form if you hold a valid concession card
Currently, two school buses operate to and from St Brigid's School Ballan
Bus 1 serves Greendale
Bus 2 serves the Mt. Wallace and Bunding areas
To be eligible to use the bus service, students must live at least 4.8 km from the school on the bus route.
If eligible, parents are required to complete and sign the attached permission form to access the service. Hard copies are also available from the school office.
Students who already travel on these services and will have previously completed the form, do not need to complete a new application.
Due to insurance issues, non-bus travellers who need to use the bus occasionally must complete an adhoc travel form at least two days before the date of intended travel.
Please note the following recent changes to the Department of Education and Training’s Code Red Day policy and procedures.
Any school bus routes that are within, or pass-through, weather districts where the fire danger is determined to be Code Red will be cancelled.
Based on the experience of the 2019 Code Red day in Mallee and Northern Country weather districts, the Department has decided that all school bus routes will be cancelled on future Code Red determined days in impacted weather districts.
The Department’s primary rationale for making this policy change is to protect and preserve the lives of students, staff and education communities by taking the most prudent approach to the risk posed by the most catastrophic bushfire conditions.
The Conveyance Allowance assists families with the cost of transporting their children to and from school. To be eligible to receive a conveyance allowance you must:
- Be aged between five years (by 30 April in the year that the allowance is sought) and 21 years.
- Live more than 4.8km by the shortest practicable route from the nearest Catholic school attended, or, live more than 4.8 km from the nearest bus service.
Further information regarding the Conveyance Allowance can be found in the link below. If you believe you are eligible, please contact the school office.
|1st Sunday||2nd Sunday||3rd Sunday||4th Sunday||5th Sunday|
|Saturday 6.30pm||Dunnstown||Springbank||Dunnstown||Clarkes Hill||Springbank|
Gordon Parish Sacramental Program 2021:
Thursday, Feb 18 – Parent Information Night, 7pm St Patrick’s School Gordon – Reconciliation Preparation
Sunday, Feb 28 – Enrolment Mass – Reconciliation, Gordon – 8.45am / Ballan – 10.30am
Thursday, Mar 25 – Reconciliation Ceremony, 4pm - St Patricks Church, Gordon
A warm welcome to our Parish to Mr Paul McDowell, Principal of St Patrick’s Primary School Gordon.
Bank Details for Weekly Collections at Mass:
If you would like to make a deposit directly into our Bank account for the weekly loose collection at Mass, our details are as follows:
Bendigo Bank BSB 633 000 - A/c No: 1602 757 98