Welcome to the start of the 2021 school year at St Mary’s. I hope that you all had an enjoyable break together as a family and are refreshed, ready to tackle another year. I would like to welcome our new Foundation students and their families to St Mary’s. Starting school is not always easy, however all of our new students have started amazingly well and we look forward to working closely with them and their families to provide them with a high-quality education.
I have been privileged to spend some time in each of the rooms over the past week and I have witnessed very settled and engaged students, eager to learn and do their best. In the Foundation and Grade 1 classroom I saw students enthralled as they were learning about volcanoes. In the Grade 2/3 classroom, students were actively engaged in the new SMART Spelling program, which we have implemented across the school. Finally, I was blown away in the Grade 4/5/6 classroom by the Grade 6 students that presented their School Captains speech to the whole school. All of the girls spoke openly about their time at St Mary’s, the positive impact the school has had on them and how they would make everyone else’s time at St Mary’s as good as theirs. They will all be great leaders of our school, regardless of whether they are elected!
I look forward to working with you all this year and remember that my door is always open if you need a chat.
2021 Class Structure
As mentioned at the end of 2020, we have a new class structure for 2021. This year we have three classroom environments, with Maria Moore teaching Foundation and Grade 1, Anthony Sheedy teaching Grade 2 and 3, and Deb Owens teaching Grade 4, 5 and 6. Maria, Anthony and Deb will be replaced in their classrooms each Wednesday by Sue Benc (Foundation and Grade 1), Hope Haughie (Grade 2 and 3) and Heather Flynn (Grade 4, 5 and 6) for their planning and leadership release. This year we are pleased to welcome Hope Haughie to the St Mary’s teaching team. She has been a member of the St Mary’s community for many years and it is great to now have her as one of our teachers. We know that she will be a great asset for the school. This year our teaching staff will again be ably supported by our Education Support Officers, Tracey Richards (Foundation and Grade 1), Jo Griffiths (Grade 2 and 3) and Sharon Garland (Grade 4, 5 and 6). Our Education Support Officer’s will work closely with those students who need extra support in a variety of areas of the curriculum. This year we are also pleased to utilise Sue Benc in a Literacy Support role. Sue will work closely with a select group of students, from all three classrooms, targeting their individual needs in reading, writing and oral language. This will have a significant impact on improving these essential Literacy skills.
St Mary’s uses the Victorian Curriculum to enable teachers to plan, monitor, assess and report on the learning achievements of every student. We provide an engaging curriculum that supports students who are experiencing learning difficulties, whilst also extending those students that have demonstrated success.
Reading, writing and oral language development is a high priority at St Mary’s. All students are individually assessed and monitored in this area, which allows teachers to target their teaching to meet the individual needs of all students. Mathematics is another key learning area, where students are individually assessed and taught according to their needs. Mathematics aims to develop proficiency in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. Religious Education is also an integral part of the curriculum, which aims to deepen the students understanding of the Christian Story and Catholic Tradition.
In 2021, St Mary’s has also altered the structure of its specialist classes. This year all students will be involved in our ‘Specialist Day’ each Tuesday. On this day, students will participate in 45-minute lessons in Visual/Performing Arts, Physical Education and Indonesian. Visual Arts and Performing Arts will be taught on a termly rotation by Maria Moore. Visual Arts allows students to create visual artworks that communicate and express their ideas through varied mediums, whilst Performing Arts will support students to develop knowledge and skills in a broad range of art forms, including dance, drama and music. Physical Education will be taught by Anthony Sheedy and will provide students with the opportunity to learn a wide range of sport skills, with the aim of developing an enthusiasm for sport. Indonesian will be taught by Deb Owens and will focus on communication skills and developing an understanding of the role of language and culture in communication. The specialist program will provide great variety to our school curriculum.
The St Mary’s Community
St Mary’s prides itself on its community atmosphere and welcomes all families and friends to be involved in day-to-day school life. Whilst COVID-19 is still presenting its challenges in this regard, we are endeavouring to involve and inform parents as much as we can. With many COVID-19 protocols and safety measures still in place to ensure everyone’s safety, your support in these areas is essential when participating in school-based activities.
Our first small step towards welcoming you back as a part of school community will commence this Friday, 5th February with our school liturgy. The liturgy will be held in the Grade 4, 5 and 6 classroom and all parents are invited. At the liturgy this week, we will welcome our new Foundation students to St Mary’s and also announce our 2021 School Captains and School Leaders. If you are attending the liturgy you will need to enter through the school administration area and sign in using the QR code with your mobile phone. You will also be required to wear a face mask.
School Swimming Program
Our school swimming program will be held next week from Monday, 8th February through until Thursday, 11th February at the Yarram Pool. All students will be involved in a one-hour lesson each day, that focuses on water familiarisation and safety. You should have all received a note on Tuesday regarding this. Please make sure this note is returned as soon as possible if you have not already done so. Parents are welcome to attend and watch, however you will need to follow COVID safe protocols and sign in using the pools QR code. This swimming program will be an additional one and not replace our usual swimming program which will still be conducted at the Toora Pool in Term 4.
Family Picnic Night
Next Friday, 12th February, all families are invited to St Mary’s for a family picnic night from 5:00pm – 7:00pm. This will be a good opportunity for our school families to come together and celebrate the start of another year. Families are asked to bring their own food (maybe your favourite takeaway), drinks and picnic blanket. As this event will be held outside, please remember to dress for the conditions. All families will need to sign in using the schools QR code, practice good hygiene habits and eat in family groups. We hope to see you all there!
2021 School Closure Days
A number of school closure days have been set throughout the year to allow school staff to continue to develop their knowledge and skills and work on school improvement. The St Mary’s school closure days for 2021 are as follows:
Friday, 5th March
Friday, 30th April
Friday, 11th June
Friday, 30th July
Friday, 3rd September
Monday, 1st November
Friday, 17th December
Please put these dates on your calendar.
School Advisory Committee Meeting
Next Tuesday, 9th February at 5:15pm we will have our first School Advisory Committee meeting for 2021 in the Grade 2/3 classroom (last year’s meeting room). Those that are attending will need to sign in via the QR code at the front office and wear a mask. It would be great to see some new parents interested in joining the committee.
Equine Assisted Learning Program
Our Grade 6 students will be involved in an Equine Assisted Learning Program throughout Term 1. This program uses horses to develop leadership, communication and other core skills. Being able to provide this program for our Grade 6 leaders is a real asset to the school and we look forward to the experience and seeing these skills develop in our students. More information regarding this program will be shared with our Grade 6 parents in the near future.
Fun Events to Look Out for in Term 1
We have a number of fun events planned for Term 1. These include:
-The School Swimming Program
-The Equine Assisted Learning Program (Grade 6)
-Family Picnic Dinner
-World of Maths Incursion
-Trev McLean, author visit
-Clean Up Australia Day
-Icy Pole Friday
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
TERM 1 2021
5th School Liturgy 2.45pm in the Senior Classroom. All Welcome.
Icy Pole Friday
8th School Swimming Program
|9th School Swimming Program School Advisory Committee Meeting 5:15pm All Welcome||10th School Swimming Program Foundation Rest Day||
11th School Swimming Program
Lunch orders neeed to be in by 3.15pm
12th St Mary's Family BYO Picnic @ 5.00-7.00pm
Icy Pole Friday
Lunch order Friday
|15th||16th||17th Equine Learning Program - Year 6 Students Foundation Rest Day||18th||
19th Book Club Due Back
Icy Pole Friday
|22nd||23rd||24th Equine Learning Program - Year 6 Students Foundation Rest Day||25th Fun Maths Workshop- Interactive and Engaging Activities||
Icy Pole Friday
|1st||2nd||3rd Equine Learning Program - Year 6 Students Foundation Rest Day||4th||5th School Closure Day|
|8th Labour Day Public Holiday||9th||10thEquine Learning Program - Year 6 Students||11th||
Icy Pole Friday
|15th||16th||17th Equine Learning Program - Year 6 Students||18th||
Icy Pole Friday
|22nd||23rd||24th Equine Learning Program - Year 6 Students||25th||
Icy Pole Friday
|29th||30th||31st Equine Learning Program - Year 6 Students||
1st April Last Day of Term 1
TERM 2 2021
|19th Term 2 Starts||20th||21st||22nd||23rd|
|26th||27th||28th||29th||30th School Closure Day|
|14th Queens Birthday Public Holiday||15th||16th||17th||18th|
|21st||22nd||23rd||24th||25th Last Day Of Term 2|
SCHOOL FEES SCHEDULE 2021
School fees are important for the school to meet its financial commitments. School fees are set annually in consultation with the School Board and Parish Administrator. Families who experience difficulty in paying school fees please do not hesitate to make contact with the Principal or Administration Officer to make alternative arrangements.
All fees and levies for the entire school year will be invoiced in February. Fees are to be paid in full by the end of Term 3. Alternatively, you can pay in equal instalments over 12 months from January to December.
Family Fee Assistance Scheme
All families in which the fee payer holds an eligible health care card or pensioner concession card are eligible to apply for the Family Fee Assistance Scheme.
This allows for a significant reduction of your school fees. Application forms are available from the school office or click on the following link: School Fees Concession Application
For more information about concessions, please contact the school.
This is a government assistance scheme for families with an eligible Health Care Card. Applications are available at the office or click on the following link: CSEF 2021 Application Form
Victorian Conveyance Allowance is available for children who reside in Victoria and are more than 4.8 kilometres from the nearest free school bus service. Please call at office to complete an application form.
Terms of Payment for School Fees Accounts
Fees can be paid in one lump sum, by term, monthly, fortnightly or weekly. At the beginning of the year you are asked to nominate a payment frequency eg. Weekly, fortnightly, per term. If no payment mode is nominated it will be presumed that you will pay by the end of term 3, Friday 17th September 2021.
There are numerous options available to pay your school fee account. Money can be received via:
- Cash, Cheque or Credit Card at school office
- Direct Credit to our account from your bank.
- Centrepay-Centrelink can deduct school fee payments prior to paying you Centrelink.
Applications forms are available at the school office or click on the following link:Centrepay Deduction Authority
We would ask that you consider all the payment options available to you and make a commitment to one of them.
2021 SCHOOL FEES
Fees per Family (per annum)
Family fee - $1000.00
Capital fee -$150.00
Fees per Student (per annum)
Tuition Fee - $150.00
Swimming - $60.00
Camp Fees per Student
Year 2, Sleepover $20.00
Year 3 & 4, Phillip Island - $390
Year 5 & 6, School Camp - to be advised of Camp destination and cost
$25.00 per student
This fee is for Catholic children who participate in the Sacraments.
Please contact Heather at the school office if you would like to set up a payment plan for 2021 school fees. For families who already have one in place this will continue this year.
YEAR 6 - Captain Speeches.
Congratulations to all our Year 6 students for presenting your leadership speeches this week. Tomorrow at our school liturgy, we will announce our school and house captains for 2021. We invite all family and friends to join us in this celebration.
SCHOOL CANTEEN STARTS FRIDAY 12th FEBRUARY
School canteen lunches are every Fridays. All lunch orders are to be in by Thursdays at 3.15pm.
Please contact the school office if you would like a price list sent home. Prices are the same as 2020.
SCHOOL NEWSLETTERS & INFORMATION
A primary source of communication between home and school is our weekly newsletter. This will be sent home with students and emailed every Thursday. The newsletter is also available on our school website. https://www.stmyarram.catholic.edu.au/
We are no longer using SkoolBag App. All school information, updates and news will be on our new SZapp only.
Please go to our website https://www.stmyarram.catholic.edu.au/
click onto Get Our School App and follow the Installing Szapp Instructions.
- Download the SZapp App from the the App Store
- Click on Australia
- Type in Yarram and St Mary's will come up
- Enter a password and confirm
- Enter Code 2485
I ask that parents notify me if they are not receiving the weekly emailed copy of the newsletter. It is important that I have correct email addresses on our school system.