BUILDING OUR SCHOOL CULTURE
Last week I was invited by the Member for Narracan, Wayne Farnham to a meet with Shadow Minister for Education, Jess Wilson and talk about a number of issues currently relating to Education. This meeting gave us the opportunity to talk about topics such as school funding, students and families returning from Covid, children dealing with trauma, inclusive education, teacher shortages, school culture and building respectful school communities.
It also gave me the opportunity to reflect on where St Ita’s is as a school community, as we have worked really hard to build our school culture over the last 5 years with the introduction of our WSAPB (Whole School Approach to Positive Behaviours)
We have spent significant time developing and promoting a positive culture that encourages and celebrates student success, as well as builds high standards of positive student interactions and behaviours.
At St Ita’s we have high expectations for all our students within our learning community. This is a key ingredient of our success as a school. Building an aspirational community, engenders a culture of high expectations and high achievement. We are a learning community that has high expectations of each other.
As a community we respect and admire the commitment of St Ita’s teaching staff and in turn, this creates an environment where all teaching staff feel appreciated, valued and respected. In a culture such as this, there is an expectation amongst staff that all will contribute in a significant way to the accomplishments of the school, and all will share in the pride of the resulting successes of our students.
At St Ita’s we support our students to have high expectations of each other. This essential element is crucial in maintaining an orderly learning environment that is encouraging of high levels of achievement. We have high behaviour expectations for all our students and our school is a place where daily interactions between students, parents and teachers are respectful, inclusive and courteous.
There are some really tough challenges relating to education at the moment, but after last week’s meeting and the conversations that came from it, I felt really proud that we are a positive learning community which provides support, encouragement and growth opportunities for all.
St Ita’s is a learning community that we can all be extremely proud of as we move forward.
HEAD LICE AT SCHOOL
As we come into the warmer months we have had incidences of headlice coming up within different levels at our school.
To stop a severe outbreak of headlice in our school community could please ask all students with hair length over shoulders use a hair tie as outlined in our summer uniform policy and could we ask all students to refrain from sharing hats. Thanks for your support with this.
2024 CLASS STRUCTURES
We have finalised our class structures for 2024 school year, and they will be as follows:
3 x Foundation
3 x Grade 1’s
3 X Grade 2’s
5 x Grade3/4’s
5 x Grade 5/6’s
Over the coming weeks, our staff will be working on sorting children into class groupings. Parents have been given the opportunity to make requests based on the specific needs of children, however any requests relating to placing children in grades based on social acquaintances or friendships will be considered but not guaranteed. Grouping of students into classes is an extremely complex and time-consuming process. We base our decisions on a number of key factors such as:
- Current educational philosophies of the school and education
- Social, emotional and academic needs of the children
- A balance of gender, social, emotional and academics in each grade cohort.
Each year teachers have conversations with children asking them about students who have a positive impact on their learning. We do not group our children by asking them to name their best friend/s as best friends does not always equate to best learning.
It is important that there is a collective understanding by both parents and children that being in the same class with their ‘best friends’ or social acquaintances outside of school is never a given.
Teachers will use their professional judgment on what they see each day within the cohort and, more importantly, the positive or negative impacts that friendships can have on an individual students learning.
STAFFING CHANGES FOR 2024
As the 2023 school year draws to a close, I would like to highlight some staffing changes for the 2024 school year at St Ita’s.
Mrs Kiara Lehman will be taking maternity leave in 2024
Mr Jimmy Ollington will be taking up a leadership role at St Mary’s Newborough in 2024
Mrs Robyn Fogarty will be taking 12 months leave in 2024
Miss Meg Wiedermann will be taking 12 months leave in 2024
Miss Ines Moita taking up a position in the Melbourne Diocese in 2024
Mrs Therese Meggetto will be retiring at the end of the 2023 school year
Miss Meg Osler will be taking up a teaching role with the Education Department in 2024
On behalf of everyone in the school community, I would like to thank all the above staff for their generous contributions and support that they have provided to our learning community. We wish them well on their new journeys in 2024.
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face and the rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
St Ita's Principal
Friday 17th November - School Colour Fun Run (This aligns with Rainbows for Rose)
Friday 17th November - Parent Information Session (New Families)
Wednesday 22nd November - Reconciliation prior to First Holy Communion (Drouin @ 7pm)
Thursday 23rd November - Reconciliation prior to First Holy Communion (Warragul @ 7pm)
Thursday 23rd November - Whole School Photo/Grade 6 Photo
Friday 24th November - Marist Sion Orientation Day - Grade 6
Monday 27th November - Andrew Chinn Christmas Concert commencing 5.30pm
Wednesday 29th November – Parents & Friends Meeting
Thursday 30th November - Grade 3/4 Excursion Cranbourne Botanical Gardens
Sunday 3rd December – First Holy Communion (Drouin 10.30am)
Tuesday 5th December – Grade 6 Graduation Mass & Dinner
Wednesday 6th December – Board Meeting
Thursday 7th December – Grade 6 Celebration Day - Gumbuya World
Friday 8th December – Triathlon (Grade 3-6)
Sunday 10th December – First Holy Communion (Drouin @ 10.30am)
11th December – Kinect2Dance Concert
12th December – Statewide Orientation Day
15th December – Final Day of School Concludes 3.20pm (Assembly @ 2.30pm)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION WHOLE SCHOOL/GRADE 6 GRADUATION PHOTO DAY
On Thursday 23rd November, Schoolpix will be attending to capture our whole school photo and our Grade 6 graduate’s photos. It is important that all students are dressed in full Summer school uniform.
All students must also be wearing black school shoes and their jumpers. Grade 6 students will need to wear their Grade 6 Bomber Jacket.
Please do not send your child to school dressed in sports uniform. Children who usually have PE classes on a Thursday are asked to please bring their sports shoes in their schoolbag. It is most important that all students are dressed in a presentable and uniform manner.
DANIEL'S DONUTS FUNDRAISER
IMPORTANT DATES 2024 FOUNDATION ENROLMENTS
Friday, 1st December 2023 - 9 30am – 10.45am
Thursday, 7th December 2023 - 9 30am – 10.45am
Tuesday 12th December 2023 - 9.30am – 12.15pm
No booking is required to attend the Transition/Orientation Day and although the first two sessions are optional, the third session on Tuesday 12th December 2023 is the statewide transition day and we would love for all students to attend this session.
What to wear: Children are welcome to wear their new school uniform if they already have it, or something comfortable for the day. Children will also need to bring a hat for outdoor play.
What to bring: Foundation students will need a water bottle, and a snack or small lunch.
ST VINCENT DE PAUL / ST ITA'S PRIMARY SCHOOL CHRISTMAS GIFT APPEAL 2023
Christmas is quickly approaching with just seven weeks left of our school year.
In past years, the families of St. Ita’s have helped bring joy and hope with donations of gifts to children in less fortunate situations within the wider community, at Christmas time. This charitable act invites you, as a family, to be involved in a simple, hands-on project while focusing on the true meaning of Christmas, Jesus Christ, God’s greatest gift. Last year we were able to support well over 200 children that are under the care of St. Vincent de Paul within our Parish and local areas, and we have been asked if we are able to help a similar number again this year.
This year, families who wish to support our Christmas Gift Appeal, will have the options of either purchasing their own gift in their chosen store for a child / children aged between 0 - 13 years, or by visiting the Warragul Toyworld to purchase a gift and leave them there to be collected.
Alternately, families can donate an amount of money to an account held at Toyworld and a St. Vinnies member will select toys to the value of any financial donations. Please do not wrap your gifts as they will need to be sorted and labelled for the appropriate aged child.
Our school Mini Vinnies Team will be assisting the St Vincent de Paul team with this, this year. Simply pop your gift into a gift box or a Christmas gift bag and drop it into the school to be placed under the Christmas tree in the foyer. It is preferred where possible for you and your children to select gifts, to give children the important life lesson of the joy of giving to others. We will require all gifts to be dropped in to the school by Wednesday, 6th December at the latest, for collection by the St Vincent de Paul team.
Please support the St Vincent de Paul team to continue their work in our Community, the need this year is greater than ever. Thank you all for your continued support, and a happy and blessed Christmas to all.
ANGLICARE ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE ONSITE ON THURSDAY
Every family needs a little help from time to time. Are finances stressing you out? Is parenting feeling a little too hard some days? Your children’s emotions difficult to manage? Is their behaviour disrupting the whole household and impacting their time at school? Anglicare Victoria Family Services are now located on site every Thursday to provide support in these areas, or even if you just need to have a chat.
Completely confidential, non judgemental, we are here to support you and your family. Contact Heath on 0499 007 031 or ask for Heath at the office any time on Thursday.
PARENTS WORKING ONSITE AT ST ITA'S
A reminder to all parents who are entering the school as classroom helpers or parent support during speech and or OT sessions;
- You must enter via the Admin Office and sign in via the iPad, where you will be required to enter your Working with Children WWCC) details.
- Please ensure you have your WWCC card with you at all times as it is a requirement of DOSCEL that you carry this card with you whilst you are onsite.
SCHOOL FEE STATEMENTS
School Fee statements have been forwarded to all families via Email, if you have not received your statement please make contact with us so that we can check your details and ensure we have your correct Email details.
All fees are due and payable now, please ensure your account is finalised as soon as possible.
Direct Debit and Credit Card payments can be set up at any time, please contact School Admin to assist with putting these options in place.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (03) 5623 7222
ST ITA’S MEDALLION
The winner of this weeks St Ita’s medallion is Chase Blencowe from Grade F-L.
ST ITA’S STUDENT AWARDS
Week 3 & 4 - Awards for Resilience
|Foundation F||Alec Giles||Hugh O'Brien||
|Foundation L||Lukah Drain||Iylah Piening|
|Foundation M||Braxton Berry||Harrison Crees||Mila Burrage|
|Foundation M||William Leighton|
|Grade 1G||Zoe Marchant||Ray Hart|
|Grade 1GL||Kinsley Paterson||Evelyn Onus|
|Grade 2AK||Thomas Hudgell||Eadie Braham|
|Grade 2M||Holly Hateley||Annabelle Lyall|
|Grade 2ST||Axel Proctor||Seth Fitzgerald|
|Grade 3/4D||Patrick Broughton||McKenzie Miller|
|Grade 3/4HN||Dustin Bills||Chanel Crawford|
|Grade 3/4K||Whole Class Award|
|Grade 3/4M||Aiden Chugg||Lily McGibney|
|Grade 3/4O||Parker Paterson||Rio Puncher|
|Grade 5/6A||Harley Brodonaro||Beni Greco|
|Grade 5/6MW||Ruby Jose||Lucas Jinks|
No-one knows our make-up better than our maker. We ourselves hardly know our own unique combination of talents and abilities, strengths or weaknesses.
Until we try, we don’t know what we are capable of, but our Creator knows precisely the skill set we have been given, and it is always greater than we think. The Creator loves us absolutely, intimately and infinitely, never expecting the impossible of us, just what is possible.
This famous gospel about the talents (Mt 25:14-30) is not so much about who has the most gifts but about getting the best out of whatever we do have. The Master in the parable is angry at the servant who wastes the talents he has been given and so God expects us to use our gifts, bravely, adventurously and confident in the glow of His approval and support.
God wants the best for us but he has given us free will. If, out of fear of failure, or a desire to be cool, or plain laziness, we refuse to even try using our gifts – what can he do with us? He encourages us to develop our talents and abilities and often this requires patience, self-discipline, and courage. And these too are talents. We have to stretch out of our comfort zone and into our limitless possibility zone. As we progress, we realize more fully our potential and become better at loving God and our neighbour.
Followers of Jesus should be brave and outgoing, using our talents for the Kingdom. Pope Francis in Laudate Si quotes the South African Bishop’s Conference urging us that, “Everyone’s talents and involvement are needed to redress the damage caused by human abuse of God’s creation.”(LS 202) Many are more concerned with selfish desires than the common good. In his newer encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, the Pope counsels us that “the heroes of the future will be those who can break with this unhealthy mind-set and determine respectfully to promote truthfulness, aside from personal interest.” (FT 202)
Deacon Mark Kelly
SACRAMENT OF FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
Please pray for the following First Communion candidates as they continue their faith journey.
Elysian Admiraal, Tahlia Atkins, Connor Gregory, Natalie Hateley, Eleanor Noonan, Patrick Reidy, Eli Rushbury, Claire Upston, Georgia Wassenberg and Theia Wells.
PARISH SACRAMENT ENQUIRIES
Phone: (03) 5623 1642 Email: Warragul.email@example.com