Dear Parents and Carers,
At St Thomas More’s we aim to be inclusive; everyone has a special place in our school – teachers, students and parents. I believe STM is a welcoming and generous community. Being part of a family requires members to contribute. It’s important to be involved in your child’s school - the positive impact this has cannot be fully measured. Some benefits include: becoming more familiar with the routines, experiences and curriculum which can help you to support your child; providing opportunities to get to know your child’s peers and their parents, helping the school and teachers, sharing your gifts and talents with the children.
A strong sense of community allows us to support one another, interact, share experiences and our struggles. Having this open bond with others is what builds valuable relationships and gives us a deeper sense of belonging. In recent times we have handed out a number of meal banks to our families. (Thank you to those parents who roster themselves on at the beginning of the year). Just to have one meal that requires no thought or planning can help to ease the challenges. Being a part of something bigger than yourself is a humbling experience and brings you up against challenges on a daily basis. Challenges that can help you, and others, to grow in a positive way.
Thank you for coming along to our Remembrance Day assembly – your presence was very much appreciated. Thanks to Sonja Mingay for all her hard work behind the scenes.
Class Placements 2020
The teaching staff and Leadership Team will soon begin the process of creating the class groups for next year. When compiling classes, teachers are asked to take into consideration several factors; learning styles and abilities are of first concern; behavioural issues and special needs are also a high priority. To ensure the best learning environment for all, the teachers will determine which students should be together. This process takes many weeks. If you have a specific request regarding class placement that you would like to discuss with me, please contact Julie Ogden to make an appointment. If you made a request last year, you will have to make a time with me again – the requests do not carry over from year-to-year. I do not take requests for specific teachers.
in God’s Love
WE are a Community
CENTRED in FAITH
Welcome to Week 5.
This term, St Thomas More’s School community are focusing on being more centred in Faith.
Year 5/6 students were very much centred in FAITH when they prepared a Mission Rosary Liturgy for students in K – 4. The theme of this Prayer Liturgy was ‘Baptised and Sent: we are called to be Missionary Disciples.’
Students read Scripture and shared important messages from Pope Francis, one being ~ you are never too young to share your FAITH. Another aspect of the Liturgy was to inform K – 4 students of the reasons why it is important to MISSION, especially when the MISSION Fete is fast approaching.
Last week we prayed for our certain continents throughout K - 4 and we prayed a specific prayer to give our Continent strength.
We prayed the Rosary through the week, and asked Mary to help our Continent through their hard times.
On Thursday in week 7, STM will be having a Mission Fete to help support the Ghana Community. We will be having stalls to raise money for the things Ghana needs. Whilst you will be having fun, you deserve a pat on the back because your money is supporting fathers, mothers and children who want to have a life just like you.
Ruby, Jenna, Sienna, Jess and Elly
This year for mission fete we will be running a store that will be providing hair, makeup, food and drinks. The money we will be collecting will be going to a country in the continent of Africa, called Ghana. The Hair salon side will be providing glitter roots, face glitter and hairstyles. The Mini Cafe side will be selling Spiders (The drink), Cupcakes and Cookies.
Just remember the cupcakes/cookies are not Gluten-free.
There will be gluten-free options at other stalls.
Last week the year 5/6's ran a prayer liturgy in each classroom. We prayed the Rosary and shared Pope Francis’ message of ‘ being proactive and sharing the Gospel message of love and peace with all people.’
Students coloured in Rosary beads and the 5/6's shared information about a saint from our colour region that we studied. The regions were Africa (green) Asia (yellow) America's (red) Oceania (blue) and Europe (white).
Now we are preparing for Mission Fete where the 5/6’s will create stalls and your child will bring in money to help support poor people in Ghana. Each student will receive 10 tokens to spend on the stalls.
There is a variety of fun things to do, you can get your hair done, have a refreshing drink, attempt to win prizes in mini games, you can customise a donut and eat it, buy slime and much more.
The reason we are doing this is to raise money for people in Ghana. The money will buy them new schoolbooks and support them in education and farming so they can become a stronger place.
Enjoy the rest of your week.
Remembrance Day Liturgy
On Monday, 11th November our school remembered servicemen and women who died and have been affected by wars and peace keeping operations. We reflected on the preciousness of peace. Thank you very much to those who attended and in particular Barham Ferguson (father of Isobel in Year 6) who presented the Reflection. Barham spoke of the character of servicemen and women and helped us connect Remembrance Day with values of honour, valour and legacy that we are familiar with at St Thomas More’s Primary School. His speech is included in this newsletter. Thank you also to Matthew Jorgensen, (father of Charlie in Year 2) who read the Prayer of Remembrance and Jaki Kane who led the choir in beautifully singing ‘Let There Be Peace on Earth’. May we will always cherish and be thankful for our life and our freedom and peace.
Reflection – 11 November 2019
Today, you have heard how it came about to have a “Remembrance Day” both with the end of the Great War, and the need to never forget what a cost it was to so many, to stand up for the lives of so many others. We remember the fallen and the families they left behind; we remember those who returned, and passed away soon after, from injuries both mental and physical; and we also remember those who still choose to offer their service to their country.
But even more so today, I’d like to talk about the type of Australians that fought in the First World War, because one hundred years ago is a long time ago, and at your age that sometimes feels like the beginning of time itself.
When we think of the soldiers, sailors and airmen and women of the First World War, we often think that because they had those titles and wore uniforms, that they were career soldiers who chose the military life. But they weren’t.
In the lead up to the First World War, training was done in schools around the country. Boys aged twelve and up would receive this training, a little older than your six graders. Yes, we had just formed a regular army but we were going to need much more.
In the First World War, we didn’t have such a large number of ‘regular’ troops to send off to war in Europe and the Middle East. We did have a large number of volunteer troops and militia that were combined into major units and some would gain experience in the Boxer Rebellion in China and the South African Boer War. Some of these men would go on to serve and lead in the Great War. But when it came time to send troops at the declaration of that war, Australia enlisted 20 000 troops for the first Australian Imperial Force. That would almost fill the seats at the Canberra Stadium.
Over the course of the War, we would send over 330 000 men. Over thirteen Canberra stadiums full of men. With some training before departure being less than three weeks, and not with real rifles or uniforms due to the shortage, a lot of their preparation was done at sea as they travelled on crowded civilian ships towards the conflicts on the other side of the world.
But these men were just ordinary Australians. Members of families and communities. Robert Kearney, a member of the First Imperial Forces Expeditionary Force wrote of the men he enlisted and trained with: “There were fruitpickers, schoolteachers, fisherman, blacksmiths, shearers, woodcutters, drovers, accountants, clerks, railway men and labourers to name a few… But they all came and worked together.” As all who serve are.
So if you want to know the type of people we remember when we attend a service like this, by all means look at your family and friends in military uniform for they have made an active choice to serve their country and leave a very important legacy. But remember, any soldier or sailor, or airman who performed an act of valour, who served with honour and strived to leave a legacy of peace did so because of their character. Who they were as a person. Military service gave them opportunities and sometimes no choice, to show their character, but these core values were already inside them. As they are inside of you.
Today we remember those who have fallen, in their ultimate sacrifice. From the very first World War through to the most recent losses in Afghanistan. They have died so that we may have a life of peace. There is a reason that sounds very similar to Jesus’ story.
So when you remember them today and any other day you wish to, don’t just think of them as military personnel. They were and still are, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. Their courage to serve is indeed worthy of remembering every day. They were just like the young adults and in some cases the teenagers you know and see around you, but who displayed valour, honour and left a legacy for us, that they will never enjoy.
In growing these values within yourself, you will always be honouring their memory and their sacrifice, and I know they would be very proud of you.
The St Thomas More’s School Choir also sang beautifully for the Remembrance Day Ceremony at Southern Cross Care. Lachlan Jaensch (Year 4) reverently read the poem In Flanders Fields and Ethan Golder (Year 5) adeptly lowered and raised the Australian Flag for the occasion.
Feel welcome to visit or contact me on 6249 8869 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sonja Mingay DSM
Work hours: Mon-Wed 9am-3pm, Thu 9-11am
Our next Mini Vinnies meeting will be held this Thursday, 14 November. We will be starting preparations for our Christmas Concert for the residents of Southern Cross Apartments on Friday 29 November (Week 7).
Annual Mini Vinnies Social Justice Day
Mini Vinnies from around the Archdiocese have been invited to attend the Annual Social Justice Day on Friday 22 November (Week 6) at the Australian Catholic University. Twenty-six of our students have been invited to attend based on their outstanding commitment to Mini Vinnies throughout the year.
Christmas Hampers for St Vincent de Paul
Notes will be distributed to all the children next week requesting donations for the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hampers. These hampers are distributed by the St Vincent de Paul Conference of our Parish to families in our local area who are in need. Often these families are living in hardship due to disability, sickness or old age or because of circumstances such as single parenting, loss of work or low income. Donations are requested by Wednesday 4 December (Week 8) and can be placed in the box provided in the children's classroom. Please note use-by-dates of donations. 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 .
Work hours: Thu 11am-3pm, Fri 9am-3pm
Chilada, is a locally owned business in Majura Park, specialising in school uniforms. Chilada is now stocking St Thomas More's uniforms.
Vital information for parents:
- If you spend over $100 you’ll receive a chilada membership, meaning you’ll receive 10% off storewide from then on.
- During December, all Chilada’s school uniforms attract a 20% discount.
- To get advantage on the of the December sale, winter stock can be ordered in advance.