November 3rd marked a very special occasion with the official opening and blessing of our completed Stage One building project which included the renovation of our Siena Hall, a new staff room, two new flexible learning areas and meeting rooms. We were delighted to have the blessing officiated by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan with The Honourable John Gardner and Professor Denis Ralph declaring the building open. Our event was well attended by a number of distinguished guests with many classes viewing the service through MS Teams. Our senior students were pleased to represent our school community and the School Choir were outstanding in their musical contribution. While these areas within our school have already been in use this semester, the significance of this occasion was thoughtfully explained by Archbishop Patrick O’Regan as he addressed the importance of a schools foundation and the fundamental role which is played by each member of the community. We were reminded of the work of the Dominican sisters and those who helped first establish our school, and the way that has impacted the mission of our school today.
Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students of St Catherine’s,
Last week was a busy one with students participating in swimming and water safety lessons at Woodside Pool. We have been fortunate with the weather on the whole, however as you would be aware made last minute arrangements to reschedule the Swimming Carnival day, due to the inclement weather, to this Tuesday 17th November. I acknowledge that this change may have caused inconvenience for some, but I am sure the students will appreciate and enjoy the time at the pool when the weather forecast to be a little warmer.
On Tuesday 3rd November we held an official Blessing and Opening ceremony for the Siena Hall extensions and Masterplan Stage 1 upgrades which was attended by several distinguished guests including Archbishop Patrick O’Regan, Minister for Education - The Honourable John Gardner, Local MP - The Honourable Josh Teague, The Chair of the South Australian Commission for Catholic Schools - Professor Denis Ralph and Director of Catholic Education SA - Dr Neil McGoran. It was great to be able to share these wonderful new facilities and our guests all spoke very highly of the students and their engagement with the ceremony.
I shared with our guests that one thing is clear from my relatively short time as Principal of St Catherine's and that is whilst the school has continued to grow and evolve since it's beginnings in 1947, the things that were important to the community throughout the history of the school continue to be just as important today. There continues to be a strong Parish and parent involvement with a common desire to be able to gather together, to pray, to celebrate, to share, and to learn as a community in a hope and faith filled environment. Despite the challenges that 2020 has delivered, we continue to be a thriving school community with over 200 students and now with the additional Stage One facilities completed, are in a wonderful position to continue to grow and provide a quality Catholic education for years to come.
My sincere thanks to our P&F volunteers who offered their time to provide a morning tea at this special event.
Year 6 Camp
Two weeks ago our year 6 students travelled to Pt Hughes where they spent four days enjoying a range of aquatics and team building activities. It was great to see the smiles on their faces throughout their time away and, although a somewhat different experience to the usual year 6 Canberra trip, a great time was had by all. Thank you to Nikki Hall and Steven De Giovanniello for their support of this camp experience.
Term 4 Special Lunches
This term we have trialled having a lunch option available on a more regular basis. The Subway lunch option has been an effective and efficient arrangement given all the restrictions we are required to adhere to due to COVID. The hall kitchen renovation is just about complete and our P&F are continuing to explore various lunch options that could be made available in 2021. I am very grateful for the time, effort and commitment our volunteers make to supporting a viable lunch option for our students. Stay tuned for more information in the new year.
Semester 2 Student Achievement Reports/ 2021 Class Structure
Semester 2 student achievement reports which will be sent home on Monday 7th December. These reports will be a summary of the progress your child has made throughout Semester 2. I encourage you to use the reports as another learning opportunity for your child. What do they feel proud of? What has been a challenge for them? Can they think of an example of when something was difficult, but they stuck at it? These type of questions help reinforce that learning is an ongoing process.
Over the coming weeks we will be establishing our class structures for 2021. The class structures will take into consideration the number of students enrolled in each year level along with other factors such as gender balance, student sociogram information, academic and social emotional learning needs. There will continue to be a mix of composite and straight year level classes across the school and students will have the opportunity to meet their 2021 classmates and teacher on Monday 7th December.
Classroom Pulse Check Survey
Last week all students participated in the Term 4 CESA Classroom Pulse Check Survey. Teachers will analyse the responses over the coming weeks to continue to track individual student engagement and wellbeing at school.
Initially, we considered not holding a carols event this year given the uncertainty of how the year would play out. As the COVID restrictions have continued to ease we have decided to hold a simple carols evening involving our Reception to Year 4 students. The evening won't be a concert as such, but more a way of providing an opportunity for our school community to gather together to reflect on the season of Advent and message of hope that it brings, through the birth of Jesus.
Finally, a reminder that the last day for students this year is Wednesday 9th December and school will finish at the usual time of 3.05pm on this day.
St Catherine's School