Dear Parents and Carers,
Last Sunday was Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost is part of church tradition - not only
our denominational tradition, but the tradition of many churches. Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples of Jesus - it is the Church's celebration of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost is a powerful reminder of how the Holy Spirit leads, guides and empowers us.
The Spirit is peace in the midst of restlessness, confidence in the midst of discouragement, joy in sadness, youth in aging, courage in the hour of trial. Amid the stormy currents of life, (the Holy Spirit) lowers the anchor of hope.” Pope Francis
Pentecost comes from the realisation that God's very life, breath and energy lives in, with and among us. A passage from the Pentecost readings tells of a visit of the Risen Christ to the disciples huddled in fear. "Peace be with you," Jesus says. "As the Father sent me, so I am sending you." After saying this, Jesus breathed on them and added, "Receive the Holy Spirit." The breath, the life, of Jesus himself. Pentecost celebrates that reality.
The Mini Vinnies team met last Friday. There were many excited students! Thanks to Brenda Galvin (our Chaplain) and Rossen (our Youth Minister) for facilitating these meetings. The first item of business will be the " Winter Woollies" for the SVdP Night Patrol Van.
In Canberra, May is when we start to witness daily UV levels take a nose-dive during certain times of the day, to what is considered "low" levels (under 3). This generally occurs during the morning and afternoon periods; however, by the end of May UV levels drop and remain low (under 3) ALL DAY. In winter, by exposing some skin most days of the week during the middle of the day (i.e. lunch time), students should be able to maintain the bulk of their summer vitamin D. In June and July our students do not have to wear their hats when playing and doing sport outside.
Thank you for ensuring your children are in correct uniform. It is very much appreciated.
Thank you for following our procedures during the COVID-19 restrictions. We appreciate parents’ efforts, especially keeping your children at home when they are unwell. I look forward to having parents back on school grounds – it’s just not the same. Fingers crossed that will be at the beginning of Term 3.
The enrolment period for the 2021 school year has officially closed. If you know of anyone who is interested in sending their child to St Thomas More’s for next year, please let them know they must enrol as soon as possible. I anticipate that we will have waiting lists due to the number of enrolments already received.
I would like to extend a very special thank you to the School Community Council for their kind and generous words, and gift, that all staff received this week in appreciation for all their efforts during remote learning. The STM staff were overwhelmed and extremely appreciative.
Library Borrowing Day: Thursday
What to bring: Returned books and a Library Bag (helps us care for our books)
At St Thomas More’s I am constantly amazed by the reading culture and love of reading I see at our school each day. The ‘book chat’ between students and the sharing of newly borrowed books is lovely to be party to. Providing students with the opportunity to borrow each week allows students to be part of the borrowing process, where they are learning how to locate and borrow books they are interested in, helping them feel a part of our reading community by selecting, sharing and reading in the Library each week.
To lift literacy performance children need to be exposed to the classics and 'real literature’; not just standard reading texts (home readers). Students need access to interesting books and materials. Sometimes, students get in a rut and don’t read beyond their favourite genre or author. When students are provided with the opportunity to borrow from our school Library each week, they interact more with books, spend more time reading, exhibit more positive attitudes toward reading, and generally exhibit higher levels of reading achievement.
Some of the ways I promote reading as my role as Teacher-Librarian include:
- A ‘Bookflix’ wall showcasing all the new and popular reading titles with reviews and recommendations.
- Previewing ‘NEW’ books each week- students can easily view ‘new’ book titles, as they are displayed each week.
- Constantly updating our Library collection with new and interesting books.
- A book request list, where students can write down their book requests.
- Reading aloud to students each Library lesson. (That doesn’t exclude reading to older students, too. Occasionally reading more difficult texts aloud provides opportunity for rich discussion and vocabulary development).
- Themed Library Displays- like our current ‘Ocean’ book display. It’s incredible how showcasing books in creative ways increases the loans on these titles!
- Peer recommendations- the opportunity for students to share their favourite reads and recommend books to others.
Some events and activities to look forward to next semester:
- Term 3- STM Student Book Club (Years 3-6) - It’s more fun to read the same book with your buddies! More information to follow.
- 17-23 October- Book Week ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds’
- 27 August - Storyteller visit: ‘Valanga Khoza’:
Our STM Mini Vinnies are organising a collection of Winter Woollies for the SVdP Night Patrol Van. The SVdP Night Patrol Van Team is made up of enthusiastic and compassionate volunteers offering friendship, support and refreshments to homeless people every night of the year.
As a group, our Mini Vinnies are asking our school community to donate the items listed below so that we can pass them on to the SVdP Night Patrol Van who are always struggling to have enough of these items, particularly during the winter months.
New socks - Kinder, Years 1 and 2
New Gloves - Years 3/4 and 5/6
Collection boxes for donations will be placed in each classroom. Items for men are usually most needed. If you would prefer to donate a different item than allocated to your class, i.e. scarves or beanies, that is fine, all donations will be very gratefully received.
At this time of year, we normally collect for The Winter Clothing Appeal but due to COVID-19 restrictions we are unable to receive donations of secondhand items.
Donations will be accepted until 26 June (Friday Week 9).
As always thank you for your ongoing support.
‘See, Think, Do’