St Monica's Primary North Parramatta Newsletter

Term 3 Week 4 - 12 August 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Parents and Carers,

In the craziness of the last few days, I felt the need this morning to reach out and look for ways that I can help manage the uncertainty around COVID-19 for myself, staff, students and families.  I found myself on the Beyond Blue website, where there are lots of tips and tricks for managing stress and anxiety during uncertain times.  Some of the tips include:

  • Focus on what you can control, broken down into small steps

  • Focus on your own behaviour i.e. how our individual actions can slow the spread of the virus

  • Limit news and social media to twice per day

  • Create routines, stay connected with loved ones and look after our physical health

So I am going to commit to these things and try to catch myself worrying about the things I cannot control, and remind myself of the things I can control.  I am going to limit my social media and news access and make sure I stay connected with my loved ones.

At St Monica’s, our priority is always the health and wellbeing of our staff, students and families.  If you have any concerns at all, please reach out and make contact.  The following websites have useful resources for adults and children.


Beyond Blue

NSW Health


Kids Helpline

Last Friday, I was humbled by and incredibly grateful to the staff and students of St Monica’s for acknowledging National Primary Principals’ Day.  I was spoiled with a beautiful morning tea, delicious KFC for lunch (my favourite) and a moving and emotional tribute by students in the afternoon.  Thank you!  I am so proud to lead this community of learners.

Lisa Howell

National Principal's Day

Friday 7 August 2020 was National Principal's Day!

St Monica's celebrated this special day with a staff morning tea followed by an assembly for Ms Howell with students reading messages of thanks and appreciation for all her hard work, support and dedication to our St Monica's Community. 

Thank you Ms Howell for all that you do for the
staff, students and parent community of St Monica's! 
We are lucky to have you!

Messages from students for Ms Howell on Principal's Day!

School Starting time

School start time is 8:50 am.  Gates will be closed after the morning bell. Students arriving after 8:50 am will need to be signed in at the office via Daking Street.  

Important Dates

Tell Them From Me Survey                   Mon 10 August- Fri 28 August
Sports Fun Day                                        Thurs 13 August  (W4)
Photos - Fathers' Day Liturgy due        Wed 19 August (W5)
Sacrament of Eucharist                          Sun 23 August (W6)
St Monica's Feast Day Celebrations     Thurs 27 August (W6)
Fathers' Day Gift orders due                 Wed 2 September (W7)  9:00 am
Fathers' Day Liturgy (live-streamed)    Fri 4 September (W7) 11:30am
Staff Development Day                          Fri 25 September (W10)

Term 4       

Staff Development Day                            Friday 6 November (W4)
Staff Development Day                            Thurs 17 December (W10)
Staff Development Day                            Friday 18 December (W10)

Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Partners in Learning Survey

12th August, 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

We would like to invite you to complete the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Partners in Learning survey. As we value the role of parents and carers within our school community we would greatly appreciate your feedback. The information you provide will be used to maintain our commitment to working together in partnership to further improve student learning and wellbeing at St Monica’s Primary, North Parramatta.

The survey is anonymous and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete.  The survey is open from 10th August - 28th August

You are able to access the parent survey on your computer or mobile device by using the URL below:

Many thanks for your continuing support,

Lisa Howell
Mary-Anne Stenning


Conquering kids’ self-consciousness

Self-consciousness can be awful. It’s the feeling you get that everyone is looking at you. It makes kids feel anxious about going into new situations, and impacts negatively on their quality of life.

Self-consciousness tends to come and go over the years.

Often eldest boys are extremely shy and self-conscious as early as pre-school. It can make them do silly things. The trait may fade for a while then revisit in early adolescence.

Early teen girls often suffer from self-consciousness too, particularly if they are early or late maturers.

Some kids just hate to do anything in public for fear of being noticed…….or laughed at. They think that everyone is looking at them. In a school concert, for example, most parents have eyes only for their own children. They won’t really take too much notice of any other children, unless of course, they fluff their lines or muck-up big time..

However, no matter how logical you are in your coaching, self-consciousness can still hold many kids back. Here are four ideas to help your child conquer self-consciousness:

1.  Help them prepare for public performances: They can practise a talk, or even rehearse an opening line, to help them break the ice in social situations. Practice leads to competence, which often alleviates self-consciousness.

2.  Use baby steps in social situations: If they feel uncomfortable meeting a whole bunch of new people, then perhaps they can meet just one new friend at a party. That can make it easier than trying to meet too many people at once, which can be overwhelming.

3.  Practise strong self-talk: Self-conscious kids often have atrocious self-talk. They say everyone is watching them enter a room, when the reality if quite different. Help them develop some realistic and more assertive messages they can say to themselves.

4.  Catch kids being brave: What you focus on expands ,so make sure you highlight instances of kids being brave and overcoming possibly embarrassing situations. Also let them know that even though they may have stumbled, or fluffed a line or two, the room didn’t cave in. It wasn’t so bad.

Kids often grow out of their self-consciousness as they gain the confidence that comes from spreading their wings and enjoying new experiences. In the meantime, encourage them to try new experiences; coach them for social success and give them the tools to manage their anxiousness, which can be debilitating for many.

Mary-Anne Stenning
Assistant Principal

Michael Grose

Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s an award-winning speaker and the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It.  Michael is a former teacher with 15 years experience, and has 30 years experience in parenting education.  He also holds a Master of Educational Studies from Monash University specialising in parenting education.

School Fees 3rd instalment

School Fee statements have now been sent out by the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.  Kindly advise Mrs Rebello in the school office if you do not receive your statement or if you have any concerns regarding school fees. 

School Fees Relief

Thank you to those families who have paid their fees. We understand that many families are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of loss of income. Please do not hesitate to contact us as there are many ways that we can provide support to families. 

Fee Relief information and procedures to apply for Fee Relief can be accessed by clicking this link.

Alternatively you may contact Mrs Lata Rebello, School Finance Officer on 8832 4100 who will be able to assist you.   All conversations will remain strictly private and confidential.

Counsellor’s Corner

By Madeline Patrick 
(Student Wellbeing Counsellor)


Around the age of seven to eight, children’s brains undergo significant changes. Their frontal lobes start to become more developed and although this is a long process (the brains are not fully developed until the mid twenties) you might start to notice an increase in their planning skills and an ability to consider consequences in their decision making. It is no coincidence that the Catholic church allows children of this age to receive communion as it is assumed that they are slowly becoming more morally responsible and able to use reason. 

As parents we can enjoy our children being less categorical (“black and white”) in their thinking and appreciate that they are better able to manage their emotions and understand different perspectives, which will help their problem solving. This is not to say that it is an easy time for them or for us - it can be overwhelming to realise the world is more complicated than they thought especially with the pandemic. However it does make for interesting conversations and possibly less toilet humour! So the next time you are comforting your upset child, acknowledge their feelings and reflect with them how they could do things differently next time. Brain development is a long process - so it requires our curiosity and patience.

Sports Fun Day Thursday 13th August

On Thursday, St Monica’s will be having a sports fun day at school.  Students will participate in organised games and activities on the school playground with their peers.  The day will run as follows:

9:00 - 10:50am Primary
11:30am - 1:20pm Infants

NB: There will be less students participating in each session than is usually on our playground during recess and lunch times.  Dance Fever have assured us that their two members of staff will follow our COVID-safe practices whilst at St Monica's.

All children are to wear their sports uniform.

Let’s have a great day! 

Mrs Lauren Hartz
Leader of Learning / Sports Co-ordinator

Safety Rules on the Road

Here at St Monica’s we take the safety of our students seriously. Use the information below and discuss with your children the importance of road safety. 

When crossing the road safely Pedestrians have to share the road with vehicles so it is important they take care when crossing the road. 

As a pedestrian, plan where you will walk and always choose the safest place to cross a road. 

Stop, Look, Listen, Think 

Follow the safe road crossing procedure – STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and THINK.  

STOP one step back from the kerb or shoulder of the road if there is no footpath.  

LOOK in all directions for approaching traffic.  

LISTEN in all directions for approaching traffic.  

THINK about whether it is safe to cross the road – when the road is clear or all traffic has stopped. 

When crossing, walk straight across the road. 

Keep LOOKING and LISTENING for traffic while crossing. This information is particularly relevant to young people learning to cross roads. But it also provides a useful reminder to everyone particularly to those who may be distracted when crossing the road.

Fathers' Day Liturgy - Photos

We will be holding a Fathers’ Day Liturgy on Friday 4th September at 11.30am to celebrate all our dads and other significant males in our St Monica’s community. The Liturgy will be live streamed via YouTube for all of our community to participate.

** We are asking families to send in photos or videos (10 seconds only) which will be added to the Liturgy.

It would be appreciated if your photos or videos could be sent to the school email address before Wednesday 19 August

Fathers' Day Gifts Order Form

Father's Day Gifts are available for purchase.   

Please select from the options below.

Gifts range from $3-$7.


  • Limit of 3 gifts per family.
  • Limit of one of each item.
  • Colour/style selection will be random.

When items have sold out, they will be removed from the order form. First in, best dressed.

Orders are due by 9am on Wednesday 2nd September. 2nd round orders (if any gifts left) will be accepted on Thursday 3rd September.

Orders will be sent home from school on Friday 4th September with your child/ren.

EXACT MONEY needs to be in a sealed ziplock bag or envelope with your eldest child's name on it.

Change will not be provided.

2020 Fathers' Day Gifts Order Form 

Thank you.

Sacrament of Eucharist

Please pray for the following children who will be receiving the Sacrament of the Eucharist (First Holy Communion) on Sunday, 23rd of August.  

Congratulations to: Helen Elias, William Stewart, Lukas Lozancic Babic, Calista Soriano, Theresa Wong, Manda Lu, Eva Tran, Georgia Fernandes, Elijah Corera, Abigail Corera, Amelia Corera, Alexis Crame, Nina Talty, Olivia Hekeik, Mia Siemsen and Amelia Wong.

As a school community, we pray that you will be nourished by the gift of the Eucharist as you grow spiritually as a member of the St Monica’s faith community.

Therese Coutinho
Religious Education Coordinator

St Monica's Day Celebrations

Thursday 27 August (Week 6)

St Monica's students and staff will celebrate St Monica's Day with a Liturgy at 11:30 am on Thursday 27 August (live streamed to the Learning Space). 

Students will also participate in games and activities during the afternoon.

Stage 2 PBL Entry Event

Stage 2 has been learning about the importance of celebrations and commemorations in our country. We will be investigating significant people and events  in our wider community to understand the value and importance of our celebrations and commemorations. Our entry event into this unit was a class party where we were able to share in the joys of celebrations.

Miss Catherine Shaw and Mrs Lauren Hartz

Stage 2 Teachers

Stage 2 students enjoying their class party celebration!

Merit Awards

Congratulations to the following students who received Merit Awards at our recent assembly.


Joshua Boutros, Oliver Cox, Keira Filgate, Elise Inigo
Year 1Evangeline Hbeiche, Archie Levins, Evelyn Wong, Noah Abi-Daher, Gabrielle David, Olive Duffy
Year 2Amelia Bavell, Alessia La Macchia, Sarah Vasanth
Stage 2Ruby Elias, Cadence Metierre, Onur James Unver, Marley Austin, Manuela Salib, Olivia Szymanski,
Stage 3Riana Arredondo, Evan Michael, Gabriela Andrade, Alicia Youssef, 

                                   LIBRARY TIMES  

Monday-Thursday: 8.30am-8.50am  (OPEN TO ALL CLASSES)

Extra Borrowing Times for Classes:

Monday:     YEAR 2  Recess 

Tuesday:    YEAR 1   Lunch 

Wednesday: STAGE 2 & YEAR 5 Recess

Thursday:   ES1 & YEAR 6 Lunch (storytime)

We have a great range of new books in the library to suit all age levels

Please encourage your children to come & borrow - 
a ‘bee’ for their class reward jar is given when a student borrows a book and then another given when the book is returned!

Mrs Rita Davino, Library Assistant

PBS4L Reward System at St Monica’s


Students have been working hard to earn "bees" from teachers acknowledging the appropriate behaviour they see in the classroom and on the playground. 

Each grade/stage is rewarded with a fun classroom game or an extra 5 minutes of play as soon as they fill their class jar. 

Students encourage each other to contribute to the class jar so a whole class reward can be enjoyed. 

Bees can also be earned in the library when borrowing & returning books and even when students visit the office and display respectful behaviour!

The outdoor bee boxes are closely monitored by students to see who will be the next winner and what fun activity they will get to enjoy. 

Mrs Rita Davino on behalf of the PBS4L Committee

PBS4L Playground Awards

Congratulation to Stage 2 who are this week's winners!!

Stage 2 will celebrate their win with a movie afternoon on Monday 17 August. 

The students will be watching the movie "Hoodwinked" which relates to their English unit of Fractured Fairytales. 

Well done Stage 2!

St Monica's Lifesavers for Weeks 3 & 4

Thank you to our Lifesavers for Week 3 & 4.

For Week 3, we would like to thank: Ashleigh, Ruby K, Liam, Michael, Max, Ashton, William, Sophie, Charlize, Theo, Noah, Gabi, Sara, Jessica, Charli, Peter, Menuk, Abbi, ZiHan, Maureen and Lola.

For Week 4, we would like to thank:  Riana, Ruby K, Ruby G, Parmida, Tiara, Madeline, Monica, Alicia, Manson, Yiannis, Charbel, Evan, Simon, Jessica, Alicia, Nika, Siria, L’Lysse, Ryan, Theresa, Tiara and Aimee-Akiko.

Therese Coutinho, Ivana Algeri and Kellee Bagnall

Stage 3 Team

Thank You

Term 3 Book Club orders were sent home with your child this week. 

Thank you to Mrs Kimberly Graham, our Book Club Co-ordinator for co-ordinating and packing all the orders for the children. 

Kiss and Drop- please drive safely!

Parents are requested to drive safely and slowly through the Kiss and Drop Zone.  It has been noticed that some cars are moving very quickly (on the left) while other parents are stopped to let their children out of their car in the mornings.  To ensure the safety of our students please observe the speed limit and drive safely. 

ACARA Collection Student Background Data Notice

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) collects data from schools to determine the Index of Community
Socio-educational Advantage (ICSEA). CEDP is currently working to provide relevant details to the Catholic Education Commission of NSW.  Data collected is de-identified of personal information.

Parents and caregivers must advise their school if they don’t want their child's data included in this report by 28 August 2020.

Copies of Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) Standard Collection Notice and Privacy Policy can be obtained from the school office.

Parish Sacramental Programme

Important dates for the Sacraments of First Holy Communion and First Reconciliation are available. 

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Children who have received the Sacrament of Baptism, and are in Year 3 or above, are eligible to register for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Registration form available here.

Please contact if you have any further questions.

Building Child Safe Communities - Volunteer Undertaking

Dear Parents/Carers 

In Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta (CEDP), we see parents and carers as partners in your child's learning journey. Parents and carers are encouraged to become involved in our schools in many important ways such as supporting classroom learning, being part of advisory groups, mentoring programs, coaching sporting teams and supporting other extra-curricular activities, canteen support and other kinds of help.

 A range of checks and undertakings are required for people who work for or provide services to CEDP. These checks reduce potential risk and form part of our strategy to build child safe communities.

CEDP has launched a new Building Child Safe Communities form and online training module that all volunteers are required to complete. 

The purpose of this training is to inform you of the standards of behaviour and other requirements that must be adhered to when volunteering for CEDP.

The undertaking should take no more than 5 minutes to complete and the training module approximately 10 minutes. Once the form and training modules are submitted, an automated email will be sent to you within two business days to confirm the status of your submission.

The undertaking form will expire within two years or when your Working With Children Check expires (if applicable), whichever is sooner.  At that time you will need to complete the undertaking form and training module again. You will receive an automatic reminder email when this occurs. 

Further information on the new online form and training module can be found at and clicking on About Us/Building Child Safe Communities.  Within the form you will also find help sheets and a video tutorial to assist you. 

Thank you in advance for your support.

Lisa Howell


If you wish to assist with school events, it is a mandatory requirement that you complete the Building Child Safe Communities (BCSC) form and Online Training Module prior to assisting.  

Once your form has been “Submitted”, the system will generate an automated email to  confirm the status of your submission within 24 hours.  All Volunteers need a BCSC status that is Approved to provide services to our school. 

You must provide your BCSC number to the school prior to assisting at an event.  

No Volunteer (parents included) will be granted permission to assist with a school event without a valid BCSC number

Lost Property

Has your child lost clothing at school?  It is easy to return items that are clearly marked with a child’s name but we have many items where the name is not very clear and some which do not have any name on them at all.

Please check that all your children’s belongings are clearly labelled so that they can be returned to your child (including lunch boxes and drink bottles).

Welcomeasy Winter Menu

Welcomeasy's new Winter Menu is now available. 

Parents can order student lunches online.  Lunches are delivered to school each  day.


Uniform Supplier - Oz Fashions

All school clothing requirements are available for purchase through Oz Fashions  

 Oz Fashions location:   115-127 Parramatta Road, Granville                           Phone:  9897 3121

 Opening Hours:        Monday-Friday   9:00am - 5:30pm                         Saturday  9:00am - 4:00pm

 Parking is available on site.    

The SkoolBag app is the easiest way keep up with school events, last minute notices, newsletters and all school communications.