Our school is safe, student centred and animated by our school values. We aim to Inspire Hearts and Minds.
"Children are the future of the human family: all of us are expected to promote their growth, health and tranquillity." Pope Francis 2021
Roadmap out of Lockdown
The table below outlines the Roadmap out of Lockdown for students returning to on-site learning at school. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the staggered return to school, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher, the school office or to email me directly email@example.com
On-site Supervision (Monday 18 October to Thursday 4 November)
In our Roadmap out of Lockdown, our school will continue to provide On-Site Supervision for students in the following categories:
Students of parents, guardians or carers:
- where there are two parents, guardians or carers, both must be essential workers, working outside the home
- for single parents, guardians or carers, the essential worker must be working outside the home vulnerable students including:
- children in out-of-home care
- children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm
- children identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service or mental health or other health service)
- children with a disability who cannot learn from home due to vulnerability or family stress.
Parents please ensure you register your child/children for On-site Supervision via Operoo, located in the Operoo Form Library as we need to prepare staffing rosters to accommodate student numbers. When students are attending On-site at school in the Roadmap out of Lockdown, they do not need to be registered for On-Site supervision.
Student Learning - Chromebooks
Students attending school in the staggered return, must bring their Chromebooks with them fully charged. We have limited charging facilities at school. When Remote Schooling concludes on Thursday 4 November, all Chromebooks and Family Chargers will need to be returned to school on Friday 5 November. Students will continue to be allocated their 1-1 Chromebook for learning.
The Parish Sacramental Team is working hard to consider a way forward with our Sacrament celebrations and current restrictions in place. More information will be shared with parents and students as soon as the information is available.
For our community safety, we are unable to have parents and visitors on-site at school until further notice. We also are required to minimise groups of people gathering and therefore, during school drop off and pick up times, we ask parents to remain in their car and to utilise the drop off / pick up facility at the front of the school OR Lowry Court.
Student Drop Off - Mornings
- Classes will open at 8.35 am and the school day will begin as usual at 8.45 am with Morning Meditation and Prayer.
- Lowry Court will be open for drop off of students ONLY at 8.30 am.
- A teacher will be rostered on at Lowry court to ensure parents do not enter the school.
- The main student entrance gate at the front of the school will be the only entry point for students.
- A teacher will be rostered on duty at the main entrance gate in the morning.
Staggered Student Pick Up – Afternoons (A-K 3.05 pm and L-Z 3.10 pm)
Parents are asked to remain in their car and to use the drop off/pick up lane outside the front of the school or to use Lowry Court.
Pick up will occur in the following way:
- A-K Families will be taken to the pick up lane at 3.05 pm. One teacher from the level to take A-K Surname students to the main entrance pick up lane outside admin area.
- One teacher from the level to stay with L-Z Surname students in the class until 3.10 pm.
- L-Z Families will be taken to the pick up lane at 3.10 pm.
- Students exiting via Lowry Court will be sent to the teacher on duty at Lowry Court.
- Lowry Court will be open from 3.00 pm for students to exit the school. Two teachers will be on duty at Lowry court in the afternoon.
Please note there is a NO STANDING Council sign at the bottom of Lowry Court. Parents run the risk of being fined by Council if they park their car in a NO STANDING area.
Sanitising Stations / Classroom Ventilation
Hand sanitising stations are set up at the entry of all learning areas within the school for students to sanitise their hands throughout the school day. Classrooms will be adequately ventilated according to our COVID-19 Safety Management Plan.
School events, such as Foundation and Junior Swimming are cancelled. Friday Assemblies are on hold for the next few weeks until all students return. It is anticipated that Friday Assemblies will be held via Google Meet when all students return. At this stage parents are unable to be on-site until increased vaccination rates are recorded in the school community. Our whole school athletics day will be rescheduled to later in the term. More information will follow regarding school events as these are considered on a week by week basis and are based on information received from the Chief Health Officer and DOSCEL. School events will be published weekly in the Newsletter.
Wearing of Face Masks
The Victorian Chief Health Officer has expanded the mandatory use of face masks indoors to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the population of school settings to include primary schools.
- Students in Grades 3 to 6 will be required to wear a face mask when indoors on school premises, including when attending an Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) program, unless a lawful exception applies.
- Whilst not required, it is strongly recommended by the Victorian Chief Health Officer that students in Foundation to Grade 2 wear a face mask indoors at school, including when attending an OSHC program.
Parents, guardians and carers are required to supply their child(ren) with an appropriate face mask that covers the nose and mouth. Appropriate face masks include single use face masks (commonly called surgical masks) or cloth face masks made from three layers of a mix of breathable fabrics. Further information on face masks, including what face masks you can and can’t wear, can be accessed from the Coronavirus Victoria website.
All school staff are required to wear a face mask, including whilst teaching (wherever practicable), unless a lawful exception applies, to protect the health and safety of all students, staff and the wider school community. School staff are permitted to remove their face mask when necessary for effective communication.
Parents, guardians and carers are encouraged to inform their child(ren) of the face mask requirements, and to continue to reinforce with their child(ren) the need to keep 1.5 metres apart from other people, to wash and dry hands thoroughly and regularly, and cough and sneeze into a tissue or their elbow.
Parents, guardians and carers will also be required to wear a face mask when dropping off or picking up their child(ren) or if required to collect an unwell child(ren) from the school.
Wearing of School Hats – Sun Protection Policy
Just a reminder that students are required to wear their school hats in Term 4 as part of our Sun Protection Policy.
The canteen is OPEN for student orders via CDF pay on Mondays and Fridays beginning Monday 18 October.
School Fee Relief for families
Many in our school community continue to face financial impacts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to supporting families experiencing financial challenges through our School Fee Concession programs, and encourage any parent/carer/guardian experiencing difficulties to contact us regarding fee assistance. Please contact Jacqui Meunier – 8794 5777 firstname.lastname@example.org to explore confidential financial support arrangements or to obtain further information.
VRQA (Victorian Registration & Qualifications Authority)
As part of our year in Review, we will be undertaking VRQA on Friday 29 October. In Victoria, all schools must meet the minimum standards for school registration.
The minimum standards provide a foundation for quality schools through the following areas:
- Good governance
- Strong financial management
- Effective curriculum
- Sound teaching practices and
- Safe environments for our students
Our school website has been continually updated to reflect VRQA guidelines, including policies and updated Child Safety information.
School Advisory Committee Annual General Meeting (SAC AGM)
The SAC AGM was due to be held next Tuesday 19 October at 7.00 pm. As the next three weeks are focused on getting our students and staff back on-site and keeping our community safe throughout this staggered return, it has been decided to postpone our SAC AGM to a date in November. More information will follow in upcoming newsletters.
DOSCEL Christmas Card Design Competition 2021
Students have been invited to enter the Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited 2021 Christmas Card Design Competition.
- Entries are open to all students from Prep to Year 6
- The due date has been extended! All entries are to be on the paper Entry Form attached and emailed to your child’s class teacher by Monday 18th October, 8.30am.
- Entries become the property of DOSCEL and may be used for publicity purposes. The artist will be acknowledged at all times.
This year’s theme for the Christmas Card Design is:
'… they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh' (Mt 2:11)
- Only religious images are to be used, not images of Santa, Christmas trees or presents
- The Artwork must not be decorated with such things as leaves, cotton wool, sparkles etc.
- No words are to be written on the picture.
Please contact your child’s class teacher or the school office for further details.
October Month of Mission - Socktober
While the epidemic has disrupted our plans once again for many events during the month of October, please spare a thought for the work of Catholic Mission. When all students return, our school plans to take part in Socktober, an initiative of global mission. As an aid agency Catholic Mission Australia raises awareness and funds for critical projects supporting vulnerable children in developing countries.
The focus of the learning and fundraising efforts that the students will carry out will aid a Kindergarten in Bangkok that provides a safe learning environment for children and life-changing empowerment for their mothers. Class teachers will continue to let families know of our Socktober Event Day.
Concluding Statement from the Plenary Council
The First General Assembly of the Plenary Council
The Journey so Far..
With the closing of this First Assembly, the Plenary Council process now enters a time of prayer, reflection, maturation and development. This will involve continuing reflection by the Members of the Council, and consultation with the wider Church community, as propositions are developed for presentation to the Second Assembly of the Council next July. This will be coordinated with Australian preparations for the 2023 Synod, For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, and Mission. Dioceses across Australia will this weekend hold launches to mark the commencement of local participation in the two-year journey towards the 2023 Synod of Bishops. Keep in your prayers all those involved in this important event. A Prayer for the Synod is attached.
Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B - Sunday, October 17, 2021
Mark 10:35-45 (shorter form Mark 10:42-45)
Jesus teaches that those who wish to be great must be the servant of all.
In this Sunday’s Gospel, we continue to read from the section of Mark’s Gospel that reports Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. Jesus talks about leaders. Jesus said that some leaders act in ways to show that they are better or more important than other people. Then he talks about what it means to be a leader in the Kingdom of God. Jesus came to teach us about God’s love and forgiveness and to save us from sin. He gave up his life so that we would have life forever in heaven with God. He shows us how to be a Christian leader by being helpful and loving to others. We can be leaders too. When we put others’ needs before our own and look for small ways to be helpful each day and to get along with others, we are being leaders.
Child Safety and Wellbeing
At Mary MacKillop Primary School, we believe that ensuring the safety of the students in our care is an integral part of who we are as a Catholic faith community. We adhere to Victorian Child Safe Standards and Ministerial Order No. 870. We embed a culture of child safety and the matter is taken very seriously.
“Children are the future of the human family: all of us are expected to promote their growth, health and tranquillity,” Pope Francis 2021
Resources to support parents and carers
eSafety parent guide to digital technologies and mental health
Between 19 October and 18 November, the Australian eSafety Commissioner’s office is offering a series of webinars to provide parents and carers with an understanding of how online activity can affect young people's mental wellbeing. These webinars will cover:
- current research on young people, time online and mental health
- what to do about accidental exposure to content about suicide, self-harm or eating disorders
- using games, apps and social media to support mental wellbeing
- the pros and cons of digital mental health platforms
- strategies for young people to support friends online. Register now
October is Mental Health month, with one of the themes being, ‘Tuning in means being present’. The MacKillop Institute is a part of MacKillop Family Services. The MacKillop Institute provides a suite of evidence-informed programs and services to support those who have experienced change, adversity, loss, grief and trauma. To support families feeling present and connected, the evidence encourages families to pause and using the five senses, mindfully notice the colours and shapes, sounds, smells, flavours and textures in your surrounds. Being mindful of family members’ thoughts and emotions can support well-being. Supporting Children’s Social and Emotional Wellbeing provides helpful ways to support children (evidence-based tips). The handout is attached below:
Children’s Week is a national celebration of children’s rights, talents and citizenship and complements Universal Children’s Day. Each year the theme of Children’s Week highlights a particular Children’s Right. The Theme for 2021 is Article 15 – ‘Children have the right to meet together and to join groups and organisations, as long as this does not stop other people from enjoying their rights.’
Due to current restrictions the celebration of this event in our school community will coincide with the return of all students to face to face learning on Friday 5th November. An Operoo permission eform will be sent out tomorrow. Please ensure that you respond by the due date in order for students to participate in our special event, celebrating National Children’s Week.
City of Casey Join the fun of Children's Week There's a packed calendar of events for Casey kids to enjoy as part of this year's Children's Week celebrations. Held from 25-29 October, children aged from 0-12 can enjoy activities including discos, science, coding workshops, scavenger hunts, story time, cooking and more. Activities are all free and held online. Find out more at the City of Casey website
Our Lady Help of Christians Parish Information
Mary MacKillop Primary School is one of the three Parish Primary Schools belonging to the Parish of Our Lady Help of Christians, Narre Warren within the Diocese of Sale. Fr Brendan Hogan is our Parish Priest and Fr Isuru Weliwatte is our Assistant Priest. We are grateful for their ongoing prayers, involvement and support of the students, families and staff of Mary MacKillop School.
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Families who hold a library card with their local library may be interested in the attached resource offered for free through Casey Cardinia Libraries. Enjoy over 300 stories to watch and be engaged with from 'Story Box Library'!