Dear Parents and Carers,
SHEPHERD’S CORNER by Fr Josh
It is beautiful to see so many children beginning to make their home in our parish of St. Thomas More’s! Where there are children, there are families. Where there are families in a parish, there is life. Where there is life, there is a future! I write this Shepherd’s corner particularly to the parents of our young children who join us for Mass.
My dear parents with young children: At times we can get a bit self-conscious about our children and how they wiggle and just be children in Mass. Let me tell you, God put the wiggle in your children. Don’t feel that you have to suppress it in God’s house. All are welcome! Try bringing your kids toward the front one week to see and hear what is going on at the altar. They tire of seeing the backs of others! Quietly explain the parts of the Mass and the actions of the priest, the servers, readers and the choir. Help them through the hymns and prayers in the hymn book. Sing the hymns! Don’t worry if you think your voice is bad, let me assure you that many bad voices merge into one good one! Participate in the Mass, follow it by using the Mass card and encourage your children to do so with you, and of course don’t forget to pray! Children learn about worship and behaviour within the Mass by copying their parents/caregivers. Let’s give them the best example and form our kids to be the best young people they can be!
If you have to leave Mass with your child, feel free to do so, but please come back! As Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me…” Remember that the way we welcome children in the church directly affects the way we respond to the church, to God, and to one another. Let them know that they are at home in His house of worship!
To those without young children: The presence of children is a gift to the church and a reminder that our parish is growing. Please welcome our children and give them a smile of encouragement and support their parents. Again, you are most welcome!
Mother’s Day Breakfast
Thank you to the wonderful 5/6W and Kinder parents who helped with the Mother’s Day breakfast. Special thanks to Frances Crews (Zoe Yr 6) and Sonia Skinn (Alyssa, Kinder) for their help and organisation. It was a great community event.
Students are allowed to wear a navy beanie, navy gloves and navy coat when the weather is cold.
Term 2 Overviews for each year level can be found on our website. Click on the Curriculum tab, then you will find it under Term Overviews.
Children and Anxiety
An email has been sent to all families informing you of an upcoming workshop. Please fill in the RSVP slip if you are attending.
We have completed most of the tests. Yr 3 will sit the Numeracy test tomorrow and Yr 5 will sit Numeracy on Friday. **Please note the change of day for Yr 5.
Professional Learning for Staff
Tomorrow most of our staff will be attending professional learning with James Nottingham, at Manuka Oval. Teachers will have the opportunity to explore strategies that help them challenge their students to think skillfully and logically. The PL will examine effective teaching strategies including the FACTS, the Teaching Target model and the Learning Pit model that are supported by up to date research and theory from a range of leading experts.
Heroes of Faith
How can the story of Joseph encourage me to be strong and courageous?
Welcome to week 3.
I hope the term has started well for you and your family.
Staff and students are continuing to look at the many ways that you can be strong and courageous. As Christians, we look to our faith to inspire us to be people who have courage to love as well as being able to encourage others to be the best person they can be.
It is our faith, which can give us the strength to move beyond our hurt and have the courage to mend broken relationships.
Joseph is a perfect ‘hero of faith’ as he had the courage to not allow anger, resentment and hurt to overshadow his love for his brothers, even though his brothers had betrayed his trust in them.
At St Thomas More’s School, students are inspired by Josephs’ ability to forgive and show mercy and compassion towards others.
This term we pray for our First Holy Communion candidates who are learning about the Mass and what it means to be ‘heroes of faith.’
Last Friday, Fr Josh celebrated Mass with Year 3/4 and taught the students the name of various items of Liturgical clothing he wore to celebrate Mass as well as explaining more deeply the parts of the Mass. On behalf of Mrs Mance, Mrs Tarleton and Year 3/4 students, I would like to say ‘thank you’ to Fr Josh for taking the time to explain the rituals and traditions of the Mass.
When: Friday, 18th May
Where: St Thomas More’s Church
Students in Year 2 warmly invite you to attend Mass this coming Friday.
I wish you all a very happy and peaceful week ahead.
Religious Education Coordinator
Battle for Coral Sea Commemorative Ceremony
Our School Captains and Sports Captains were excellent ambassadors of our school for the Battle for the Coral Sea Commemorative Service at the Australian-American Memorial at Russell Offices on 11 May 2018. The students heard several addresses, the first delivered by the Governor-General, His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) AK MC (Retd) AK MC (Retd). He spoke about the significance of the Battle of the Coral Sea in our region, Australia’s close relationship with the USA and gave homage to the fallen. Alexandra Faul laid a posy on behalf of the youth of Australia and all students cast poppies into the moat surrounding the memorial in remembrance.
Invictus Games Event
The Invictus Games is an international sporting event for wounded, injured or sick armed servicemen and women, both serving and veterans. The Games uses the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation, and generate a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their country. The word ‘Invictus’ is Latin for ‘unconquered’.
The Invictus Games were created by His Royal Highness Prince Harry who was inspired by his visit in 2013 to the Warrior Games, a similar event held in the United States USA. The first Games took place in 2014 in London UK, followed by 2016 Orlando USA, 2017 in Toronto Canada and this year they are to be held in Sydney over the period 20-27 October.
The Australian War Memorial has invited our school choir to perform Russell Tredinnick’s song ‘We Will Remember’ at a special event to be held for competitors of the Invictus Games at the AWM. Russell is a teacher who wrote this song for his class as a tribute to the Anzacs for the Anzac Centenary, however, his words also speak of encouragement, perseverance and resolve: “hold on now, be strong now, hold your heads high, give it everything you’ve got.”
Sarah Tarleton and Elly Grace report:
On Monday a group of Year 6 students went on an excursion to the AWM. We were interviewed on our knowledge of the Invictus Games which
was filmed and will be made into a short video. This will be presented at a special occasion for the competitors. It was a very exciting experience to be able to personally give our best wishes to the competitors.
Feel welcome to visit or contact me on 6249 8869 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Work hours: Mon-Wed 9am-3pm, Thu 9-11am
School Chaplain/Mini Vinnies
At our last Mini Vinnies meeting on Friday, 4 May (Week 1) we ‘wrapped up’ our letters of petition to Cadbury requesting they make Easter Eggs with Fairtrade chocolate in 2019 as well as using Fairtrade chocolate in all of their range of chocolate bars. The letters have been posted and we hope to hear back from Cadbury.
Our next meeting will be held this Friday, 18 May where we will plan for our next focus and also the Winter Clothing Appeal which we will be at the end of this term.
Seasons for Growth
Nomination forms have been returned and the response allows for the program to proceed. A note with details of the program will be sent home to by the end of Week 4.
Feel welcome to visit or contact me on 6249 8869 or send an email to email@example.com .
Work hours: Thu 11am-3pm, Fri 9am-3pm
Chief Minister's Reading Challenge.
I have had a wonderful response from students who are participating in this years reading challenge. Students have until the 7th of September to read 15 books so make sure you write down all the titles you have read or are reading with your family. If you need a new record sheet you can get one from the Library.
Tips for reading for Parents and Carers
Reading with older children
- Let your child choose their own books
- Visit and join your local public library
- Relax and enjoy reading time with your child, discuss with them what they are reading & what they are enjoying about the book or the characters.
Reading with younger children
- Read the books together with funny voices, or take turns to read different characters
- Talk about your favourite parts of the books and which authors you like the most
- Try reading in different locations like the backyard, coffee shop, and lounge room floor
- Allow your child to choose how to read the book. They may like to do echo reading with you (parent reads and the child echoes back), shared reading with you (taking turns to read) or independent reading (read to you or to themselves).
We are so excited to have Robyn Bromley and her beautiful dog Dashi visit our school to run the Story Dogs program every Friday. The children that are participating in this program from Year 2 are loving the time that they have to read to Dashi. We are the first school in the ACT to have Story Dogs so it is very exciting.
Thank you to all the families who generously support Book Club. A large percentage of commission goes directly back to our school library, helping us maintain fresh and quality literature for our students to read. A big thank you to Kerryn Gordon who volunteers her time to coordinate the program & collate the orders.
Meet the St Thomas More's Community Council Members
In this newsletter edition, we are taking the opportunity to "meet the parents" on the STM School Council. You can always raise issues with the parent reps or send any ideas and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. The STM Council meets twice a term in weeks 3 and 8.
Name: Margaret Deerain
Children at STM and their class: Shoebridge kids - Gabrielle (y6), Leah (y3) and Dominic (y3)
Job on Council: Chair
The best thing about STM is .... there is a great community at STM, and the school balances being small while still offering plenty of opportunities and learning experiences for children across all the years. The teachers are incredibly dedicated and committed.
Name: Lee Kormany
Children at STM: Erin in Grade 5 White
Job on Council: Treasurer
The best thing about STM is the welcoming environment that supports children's growth and development, and of course the wonderful teachers!
Name: Brooke Curtin
Children at STM: Amelia is in Grade 5/6G, Thomas is in Grade 2 and Ryan is 4 and will be at STM next year.
Job on Council: School Council Secretary and Pizza Day Coordinator .I joined the school council with the aim to try and increase the exposure of what children are learning in the class room so that parents can provide relevant assistance via their home learning activities. I also wanted to support the school community.
The best things about STM are the academic development of the children, the professionalism of the teachers and support staff, the pleasant school community and the size of the school.
Name: Moira Clancy
Children at STM and their class: Daniel Clancy, Year 2
Job on Council: Parent Network Coordinator
The best thing about STM is .... That my son feels happy, safe and supported to learn in an accepting and nurturing environment.
Name: Michael Castrission
Children at STM and their class: Francesca Castrission, year 1.
Job on Council: Parent Representative
The best thing about STM is ....being part of a fantastic community and being privileged to meet the committed parents, the friendly students and the dedicated staff.
Name: Daniel Johnston
Children: Hunter Johnston Year 2, Tasman Johnston Kindy
Job on Council: Parent Rep
The best thing about STM is.. the sense of community you get when you walk through the gates. There is a clear and evident focus on children’s development both in and outside of the classroom.