Dear Parents and Carers,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the School Community Council for all their work this year. Sonia Skinn, Fr Josh, Fr Emil, Narelle Luchetti, Daniel Johnston, Michael Castrission, Dan Kenny, Bek Richardson, Mhanda van Engelen, Nicole Mikkonen and Kristy Poole have shown such dedication to our community and our students. Each member is a strong advocate for continuous improvement in student learning and in the community engagement at STM.
I would also like to thank our parent helpers this year, particularly in Term 1 before COVID hit! Although it’s been a tricky year regarding parent participation, I have appreciated your support throughout remote learning, not being able to come onto school grounds and for keeping your child at home when they have been unwell.
Yr 6 Graduation Liturgy
Tomorrow night, we celebrate the end of Primary School for our Year 6 students. We wish them courage and wisdom as they embark on their High School education.
Christmas Nativity Story
We will assemble in Holy Faith Hall on Friday at 9:30am for our annual presentation of the Nativity story, led by our Kindergarten students. This year we can only have the Kinder families in attendance.
End of Year Mass
Our final Mass was held this morning. The Mass was celebrated by Father Josh. It was Fr Josh’s last Mass with us before moving to South Tuggeranong. We will miss Fr Josh and we hope his next parish and school appreciate his support and involvement as much as we have!
The Home Reading Program has finished up this week to allow our wonderful Classroom Support Assistants to complete a stocktake and prepare for 2021. I encourage all families to maintain a reading regime during the holidays – it’s amazing how much progress can be lost if reading is abandoned during the long Christmas break.
Next Wednesday afternoon, the students will have their “Step-Up Afternoon”. It will start after lunch once children have packed their bags. Children will spend the afternoon with their new teacher and classmates for 2021. This will benefit many students, but particularly our students who become anxious about change.
Staffing will be announced in next week’s newsletter.
Next Thursday the 17th of December we will have pizza lunch. Log into Qkr! to order. Instructions in Community News.
Congratulations to Madeleine Butcher (Yr 4) and Riley Joost (Yr 6) on receiving the Principals Affirmation last Friday.
Today we celebrated our Thanksgiving Mass. It was a beautiful service and the children showed reverence and respect.
Even though this year has been a challenge for many in our community and around the world, we were reminded to be grateful for the little things that we have received. The children expressed that they were thankful for books, friends, family, teachers and many other things that bring them JOY.
We acknowledge the wonderful gift that Fr Josh has been in our community. He has been present for us the past three years, always willing to take his time to listen to our thoughts and concerns and also play a sneaky game of handball when we ask. It has been a great privilege to have Fr Josh in our school, working with us, and we wish him all the best as he moves on to the Corpus Christi Parish in 2021.
Christmas at St Thomas More Parish
Christmas will be celebrated here with a 6:00pm Vigil Mass, outside. Please bring your own chairs.
There will be no Christmas Day Mass at St Thomas More Church. There will be an 8:00am Mass at Braddon, and a 9:30am Mass at Dickson.
The following is a poem written by one of our Year 5 students. It is a timely reminder for us to celebrate the gift of giving to those in need this Christmas.
By Ava White
The helpless cries of children, ringing in your ears.
Sleeping on hard ground, park benches, cold cement.
Sleeping close to death.
Give them shelter, light.
Give them love, warmth.
Give them warm meals.
Give them water, and hold them close.
Take them away from the edge.
The edge of hunger, of thirst and of sadness.
Give them the help they deserve.
When did their life become less valuable than yours?
Give them hope.
Let them speak.
Give them a chance.
Their opinions matter.
Since when does anyone deserve to sleep on the streets?
Restless, sleepless nights worrying.
When might the next meal come?
No one can survive on nothing.
This is what goes on in their heads, on those cold, sleepless nights spent worrying.
Don’t ignore them!
Share the love!
Don’t judge a book by its cover.
They are people too.
People who deserve kindness.
This world is out of sight to them.
They live somewhere different.
They don’t often see clean water.
This is the way they live.
We must change this unfair world.
We must step up.
Altogether, let's bring them away from the edge.
May God bless you and keep you safe these holidays. Merry Christmas!
Religious Education Coordinator
Christmas Hampers for St Vincent de Paul
The staff here at St Thomas More’s would like to say a huge thank you to all the families who donated to our annual St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hamper collection. Your donations have been overwhelming and will go to some families in need within our community during this holiday period.
We will be presenting the hampers to the St Vincent de Paul Conference of our Parish after the Kinder Nativity this Friday. Again, many thanks once again for your generosity.
Feel welcome to visit or contact me on 6249 8869 or send an email to email@example.com
As your Defence School Mentor, I would just like to say that I have truly loved getting to know your children throughout this year. The year did not exactly go as planned but I believe I was able to get to know your children during this school year and I look forward to continuing to build on those connections in 2021.
I send my best wishes to our St Thomas Morel’s families who are relocating this year, I wish you a quick settling in period and smooth transition into your homes.
I know that moving can be a time of mixed emotions for everyone in the family with the sadness for leaving good friends, apprehension about what lies ahead, but also excitement for the new opportunities for your family to experience. It is good for children to understand it is natural to have a range of feelings during this time and communication is so important at this time. I have included a link below to the DCO website which gives some tips for relocating with your children.
For more information about guiding children through relocations, contact the all-hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608.
Thank you to all our families for your participation and contribution to the St Thomas More’s community this year. Please accept my best wishes for a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. Extra special wishes to the families who have a deployed parent.
Please feel welcome to visit me at school or contact me on 6249 8869 or, alternatively, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Defence School Mentor
Pizza Lunch - Ordering by QKR
Qkr is our new and efficient way of taking donations and collection money for school events. Due to COVID no cash will be accepted at the office. If you have not done so, here is the "How to" guide below.
Qkr!™ by Mastercard® is the mobile phone payment app designed for Australian schools, delivering an advanced and competitive online payment solution. Qkr delivers convenience to parents, efficiency in payment methods and is effective in assisting to streamline payments.
The STM Community Council have endorsed the use of this application for future payments in line with moving to a cash free school. This will include fundraising events, special food days, donations and will also extend to payment of school fees in the future. QKR will allow parents to make payments from the convenience of their mobile or device at any time.
A How to Guide for parents is included below and also some FAQ's.
If you require any assistance with downloading or using the application please contact Julie Ogden in the Front Office.
Congratulations to Annabelle Graham for receiving an award for her Tennis Competition last Sunday. Annabelle came runner up in her ACT Division 6 Grand Final. Well done Annabelle!