Dear Parents and Carers,
I think you have received enough information regarding COVID-19 for the day! All parents should have received a FAQ sheet from Catholic Education this morning. Please call if you have any concerns. Catholic Education confirmed again today that schools will not be closing. If this changes , you will be notified immediately via email and the Schoolzine App. I will also advise of steps in place so that learning can continue.
Whilst we have had to cancel all of our upcoming events, please be assured that the day-to-day teaching and learning is still occurring. Our teachers and school staff at STM are doing such a wonderful job as they continue to provide a high level of care and support to your children. You can be assured that they are absolutely committed to teaching students during this time of significant community concern, public health challenges and having to implement tough policies and processes. My appreciation and thanks to each of them.
Swimming Carnival House Results
Interim reports went home on Monday. The interim report is an overview of your child’s work and study habits at this time. We will not be able to meet for Parent/Teacher Interviews. If you have anything you would like to discuss regarding the interim report, please email your child’s teacher.
Centred in Faith Gathering
Unfortunately this will not go ahead this week.
Mum's Night Out
This social get-together has been cancelled. We'll aim to set another date in the future.
Wendy Rix- Visiting Artist
On Thursday and Friday of week 5 Wendy Rix, an Indigenous Artist, visited St Thomas More’s. Next time you are in the foyer please take a moment to look at the art work she created for our community. The art works that the children completed with her are hanging up in classrooms.
Centred in Faith Gathering
The Year Twos are disappointed that we are unable to hold our Centred in Faith Gathering this Friday. We were going to talk to you how both Jesus and St Thomas More, our patron saint, were people of courage. Hopefully Year Two will be able to run a Centred in Faith Gathering later in the year.
Year 1 Mass
Year 1 will no longer be attending the Parish Mass this Friday.
Reconciliation Retreat Morning
Father Emil will join the Year 2s on Thursday 26th March to run a retreat morning to help them prepare for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Children’s Liturgy During Sunday Mass
Christine Washington along with Rossen de Ramos, our Youth Minister, ran the Parish’s first Children’s Liturgy during Mass on Sunday. At the moment the plan is to hold Children’s Liturgy every fortnight.
Yours in Christ,
Religious Education Coordinator
In our meeting on Friday 6 March our new Mini Vinnies for 2020 unanimously voted once again to run a Fair Trade Easter Egg Raffle this term.
A note was sent home last week to families of our Mini Vinnies requesting donations of Fair Trade Easter Eggs. Fairtrade Easter Eggs can be donated to the School Office until Wednesday 1 April (Week 9) and the raffle will be drawn on Wednesday 8 April (Week 10). Raffle tickets will be sold before and after school on the playground in Week 8 and can be purchased at 1 for 50cents or 3 for $1. Our fundraising will go towards the Kitenden Preschool Project, to support a community in Tanzania, Africa that has been struggling due to drought and modernisation which our school has sponsored for the past four years.
Fairtrade Easter Egg Raffle
The aim of our Mini Vinnies Fairtrade Easter Egg Raffle is to raise awareness of the global social justice issue of child labour and slavery in the chocolate industry, particularly in West Africa where the majority of the world’s cocoa production occurs. It is very sad to think that child exploitation has occurred in the production of the Easter Eggs we are enjoying.
Baptist Word Aid Australia and World Vision Australia produced a report in 2016 titled ‘A Matter of Taste’ on the topic of child labour and slavery in the chocolate industry. In this report it was estimated that 2.26 and young people worked as child labourers. It was common for children to be trafficked into cocoa bean farms and subjected to unfair and exploitative treatment. This situation is exacerbated by poverty and unfair trade conditions whereby farmers are not paid sufficiently for their cocoa beans.
There is a push for change for the better. Fairtrade, UTZ Certified and Rainforest Alliance are three certification bodies in Australia who identify companies using ethically sourced cocoa beans from farmers engaging in good labour practices and sustainable farming methods.
Also a number of organisations are doing great work in advocating for better practices in the chocolate industry:
Stop the Traffik Australia and Baptist World Aid Australia have produced an excellent report on this topic titled ‘A Matter of Taste’ which can be viewed at
ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious against Trafficking in Humans) advocate strongly and have great resources:
A guide listing Easter Eggs that are free from trafficked labour is at https://baptistworldaid.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/goodeggguide2016.pdf . It includes:
- Aldi's UTZ Certified Dairy Fine, Choceur, Moser Roth and Specially Selected Easter chocolate ranges.
- Chocolatier Australia's Fairtrade milk and dark chocolate 100g eggs, available through Coles, Woolworths, David Jones and other chocolate suppliers.
- Coles also has a range of branded UTZ, Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance-certified Easter chocolates.
- The Haigh's Chocolate-made Easter egg range is UTZ Certified.
- Divine chocolate eggs and bunnies are Fairtrade certified and are available through IGA, other selected stores and online.
What can we do?
- Choose chocolate with Fairtrade, UTZ or Rainforest Alliance certification.
- Advocate by writing letters to:
- chocolate producers requesting they work towards 100% ethically sourced cocoa. (Worthy of mention is Nestle, the first company in Australia to achieve 100% ethically sourced cocoa for their chocolate bar range).
- retailers requesting they stock 100% certified chocolate. (Aldi and Haighs entire Easter Egg range are certified against human trafficking).
Feel welcome to visit or contact me on 6249 8869 or send an email to email@example.com
It was with deep regret that we have had to cancel the St Thomas More's Anzac Day Liturgy which was to be held on Thursday 9 April 2020 (Week 10). It has been cancelled due to the restrictions put in place by the Federal Government as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. We will, during class time, take the time to reflect on Anzac Day and what it means to our school and greater community.
Feel welcome to visit or contact me on 6249 8869 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Wow! We’ve certainly started the year with a huge interest in reading and borrowing books at St Thomas More’s Library. Encouraging students to develop a love of reading and helping them to discover new reading material that suits their current interests and reading abilities is one of the many positives of my work as Teacher Librarian as STM.
I highly recommend checking out our online reading platform that offers a variety of e-books as well as audio books to support your child’s development in reading. If you’re looking for reading inspiration for your children, check out The Children’s Book Council of Australia shortlisted books for 2020. https://www.cbca.org.au/notables-2020
SORA- Digital Library
The large collection of Sora/Overdrive eBooks and audiobooks is available 24/7 to students. https://soraapp.com
STEP 1. Download the SORA APP from the Google play or app Store
STEP 2. Click on the green button
‘Find My School’
STEP 3. Click on the link at the bottom that says
‘My school isn’t listed’
STEP 4. Type using capitals
STEP 5. Click on the drop down menu and select
‘ACEN MEMBER COLLECTION
STEP 6. Click on the green Button
‘ACEN MEMBER COLLECTION’
STEP 7. Students will need to log into their school account using their school username and password.
STEP 8. You are now in our SORA electronic borrowing platform and can now explore the thousands of ebooks and audio books on offer!
Each student can borrow up to three books at a time. Please use the navigation buttons at the bottom of the page to navigate.
Reading with your child
Reading with your child is one of the most important factors in developing lifelong learners and lovers of reading. There is a vital link between reading ability and the success of students. The example you set, the priority you place on the importance of reading, and the bond you create lasts a lifetime.
Mem Fox says “When we take the time to read aloud to the children in our lives, we bond them close in a secret society associated with the books we’ve shared.”
And SCIENCE proves reading to your child changes their brain.
Consider these tips for helping your child become a successful reader.
- Surround your child with books.
- Read- it is important that children read to you each day, as per your class teacher’s recommendations.
- Show enthusiasm, expression and emotion. You are setting an example of the sounds and rhythms of our language
- Share stories that you enjoy reading because children are very adept at detecting reluctance and boredom.
- Choose picture books with well written stories, rich vocabulary and appealing pictures. Look for rhythm, rhyme and repetition (K-2).
- Talk about the story and what happened in it.
- Ask them what they think will happen next.
- Reflect on what happened in the story and whether it was enjoyable.
- Look for other books by the same author if your child really enjoyed the story.
- Join your local library – there are riches galore!
- Read your own books in front of your child so they see that you enjoy reading too and value it as a worthwhile activity.