Term One Week Six 2023
We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We commit ourselves to actively working alongside Aboriginal people for reconciliation and justice.
As you know with are in the church season called Lent. Please read the following article that was in our weekly Newsletter from the Catholic Schools Office. This reflection from Mahatma Gandhi gives us another perspective on fasting.
Lent is our 40 day season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at sundown on Holy Thursday. Many know of the tradition of abstaining from meat on Fridays during Lent, but we are also called to practise self-discipline and fast in other ways. Monica Dutton suggests two other practical types of fasting this week, relating to the modern dilemma of busy-ness and speed; and many people’s (including the media’s) preoccupation with negativity:
Fasting from speed and negativity
“Mahatma Gandhi said ‘There is more to life than
increasing its speed; Not everything has to be done fast.
In fact, some things deserve to be done slowly – like
reading a bedtime story to a child, eating lunch with a
friend, cooking a special meal, pottering in the garden,
watching the sunset… Slowing down nurtures patience’.
Slowing down gives us a chance to also become positive…
Negative people see the world through grey-coloured
glasses. They focus on what’s wrong with the world instead
of what’s right. They complain. They shoot down every new
idea and every expression of hope. Yes, life has
disappointments. Yes, life has pain. But life is also filled
with goodness, joys, and beautiful surprises. If we tend to
look at life negatively, then Lent is a good time to get a new
pair of glasses”.
International Women's Day
We hope all of our mums, carers, grandmothers and all of the women in our school community felt acknowledged on Wednesday - a day of recognition and acknowledgement for the inspiration role they play in the lives of their families and friends.
Last year our school underwent the School Improvement and Review process. As part of this we reviewed and refined our school vision. This was a detailed process where we had to take a deep dive into where and what we would like our school to be like in 5 years time. This statement is aspirational and future focussed but allowed us the opportunity to think about our students and school community and where our priorities lay. There was very robust and collaborative discussion around the wording of out statement but I would like to share with you what we achieved;
At St Carthage’s Primary school we commit ourselves to
the teachings of Jesus Christ, enabling students to achieve the fullness of life. (Jn:10:10)
We foster an inclusive and supportive environment by
embracing positive and collaborative partnerships.
We provide quality and innovative learning and value the highest standards of behaviour.
We strive for excellence in all we do.
Let your light shine!
We will display this statement around the school as a visible reminder of vision for St Carthage's.
We were also involved in developing our 3 Year Strategic Plan 2023-2025 and our 2023 School Annual Improvement Plan (SAIP). This was a lengthy process that involved all staff in reviewing our data, deciding our priorities and setting goals. We will share this with you in the coming weeks.
Welcome Barbeque and Disco
It was great to see so many of our families join us last Thursday evening for our barbeque and disco. After a shaky start to the day the weather gods shone down on us and we were able to enjoy an afternoon of fun, dancing, socialising and eating! It is a great feeling to be able to reconnect with our school community and enjoy some social time together.
School Photos Reminder
Our School photos will be taken on Monday 13th and Tuesday 14th March. School Photo envelopes have been sent home. Please return these envelopes on Monday, with correct payment enclosed, as these will be handed straight to the photographers. We do not handle photo money. Sibling envelopes are available from the School Office.
All students are to wear their full school uniform on Monday for class photos. Sibling photos will be taken on Tuesday. Uniform for sibling photos is at parents’ discretion.
Professional Development Days
Our first Professional Development Day for 2023 will be on the last day of Term One, Thursday 6th April. The first day of Term 2, Monday, 24th April will also be a Professional Development Day.
We thank you in anticipation of your support. Active Kids Care will be available on these days.
It was wonderful to see so many parents and carers book interviews this week. Working together in partnership helps to clarify goals for your children, inform about areas of strength and areas to work on as well as clarify any issues or concerns which we may not be aware of. We thank you for taking the time to attend these important sessions.
National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)
Students in Years 3 and 5 will undergo the National Assessment Program on Wednesday 15th– Monday 27th March. All students in all states and
territories in Australia will participate in these tests over this period. All assessments, with the exception of Year Three writing will be done online. Please note that there is 10 day period for these tests to be completed.
If you do not wish your child/children to participate please notify the school and we will provide you with the necessary form.
Pick-Up and Drop Off Arrangements
Before and After School
The following areas have been designated as safe areas for the children to be dropped off before school and to be picked up after school:
- School grounds:
Parents may collect children from the school grounds. Children will wait on the Library steps for collection.
This should lessen the confusion and temptation that some children have to play on the playground equipment when the bell rings. Parents, this equipment is out of bounds until the Cathedral Line and the Bus Bay Lines have moved off. However, no child should be on the equipment at any time if their parent is not supervising them.
- Cathedral grounds (preferred option):
Children being picked up from the Cathedral of an afternoon, line up near the Bus Bay 18-21 line. Teachers will escort them, via the underpass, to the Cathedral. All children are asked to walk in an orderly manner.
A “Drive-Through” operates as outlined below.
Cathedral Pick-up and Drive-Through Guidelines
Please note: Whilst it is not signposted a 10km/h speed limit should be adhered to as there are children crossing.
- All children must sit on the grassed area and wait for parents to collect them. (No children are to run off to meet their parents).
- ONE WAY TRAFFIC only.
- The Drive-Through-Lane is only for parents of children who do not need assistance getting into cars. Parents, please do not leave your car. Teachers will direct your child/ren to your car when it is time and safe to do so.
- NO CHILD is to enter a car from the right hand side of the vehicle when using the drive-through.
- If your child needs assistance, parents must park in the “Pick-up Parking” area on the far side of grounds and walk over to pick up your child.
- All pedestrian access via Cathedral steps and paths. Please do not cross in front of queuing “drive-through” traffic.
- Vehicles exit “Pick-up Parking” area on inside lane of Drive-Through queue (see diagram below).
- Parents in Drive-Through-Lane have RIGHT OF WAY.
- Please do not block driveway access to the Presbytery, Parish Office or Priest’s residences.
- Parents who need to park and collect children may wish to stagger their pick up time until after the initial rush.
- At 3:40pm any children still waiting to be picked up will walk back to school with the supervising teachers.
- In the event of funerals at the Cathedral, wet weather or storms, children are to be collected from the Library steps. A message will be placed on Seesaw and sent out through Compass.
We would appreciate it if all parents could read and share guidelines with other people who might pick up your child and support us in this endeavour in keeping your child safe.
DO NOT PARK:
Parents are asked to avoid blocking bus zones or private driveways and are not to park in the Police Youth Club Car Park, the Service Station or the Staff Car Park including the driveway access (located off Dawson Street).
We were very proud of our Leaders from Year 6 - Ruby Edmonds, Tyler McLennan, Noah Tatton and Chelsea Gosling - who recently participated in a Zoom QandA with Caritas - the Catholic Church's international aid and development agency in Australia. Caritas works alongside the most vulnerable.
A member of Caritas staff speaking with our students
Mrs McFadden's class 6 RED spent time discussing Laxmi's Story. Laxmi lives in Nepal and is one of the people our children learn about and raise funds for during the time of Lent. During their learning the class developed a number of excellent questions to pose to the staff and volunteers they spoke with from Caritas.
Our students were able to engage directly with Caritas Australia’s program staff learn more about the impact of their generous donations.
St Patrick's Feast day - 17 March - Casual Clothes with a hint of Green! (Gold Coin donation will go to our Project Compassion fund-raising)
Incitāre retreat for selected Year 6 students
In late February the annual Incitāre retreat for Year 6 students was held. The students had a wonderful experience and were involved in a variety of activities - as you can tell by the photos below!
These students are leaders of the school and certainly behaved in that manner. I was very impressed with their willingness to volunteer answers in front of a large group and contribute in a very positive way to the activities.
We thank the students from Woodlawn College who helped run the day which was sponsored by the catholic Schools Office.
Christian Meditation at St Carthage's
Our students have been involved in the practice of Christian Meditation for many years now. As the students progress through the years they are introduced to this prayer practice which has many benefits. A connection with God spiritually is a very healthy practice and has many benefits for our wellbeing. We hope that students eventually leads each child to a place where they can meditate for even a few seconds as a way of connecting with both their inner 'quietness' and a God who loves them.
Why Christian Meditation?
Busyness and noise have become so much apart of our lives that many of us are uncomfortable with periods of stillness. Eliminating activities and noise is an essential way to remove the clutter and hush the rush so we can focus, rest and relax. Then we'll be prepared, from within our inner selves, to a sense the divine presence.
Meditation is a universal tradition found in all the great religions. Many Christians have been helped to recover contact with their own tradition of meditation, or contemplative prayer, because of the work of Fr. John Main, who is the inspiration of the World Community. His teaching of ancient tradition of prayer is rooted in the Gospels and the early Christian monastic tradition of the Desert.
Jesus got away from activities and noise to enjoy some stillness and silence with God. "Come a part lest you come apart." (come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest: Mark 6:31)
Our commitment to Christian Meditation echoes the example of Jesus who sought silence with God.
Each class meditates every day and Year 3 Blue, after coming into the library after lunch spend a few moments in quiet Christian meditation
St Carthage's Parish Sacrament Program
Students who are baptised are invited into the Parish Sacramental Program through St Carthage’s Primary School.
- Sacrament of Confirmation (Year 3 - 21 June, 2023)
- Sacrament of Reconciliation (Year 4 - Date to be confirmed)
- Sacrament of the Eucharist (Year 4 - Date to be confirmed)
Note: Children who have missed the opportunity to participate in any of these Sacraments may still enrol in a Sacrament e.g a Yr 6 student may be enrolled in any of these three Sacraments. Simply use the nomination form (below) and return to the School Office.
Students in Years 3 and 4 have received an enrolment form directly from their classroom teacher.
Note: Copies of Baptismal Certificates need to be provided to the school unless your child was Baptised in the Cathedral Parish or you provided this Certificate to St Carthage’s school during enrolment. If this is not the case please provide a copy as soon as possible. You may need to contact the Parish where your child was baptised.
A reminder that the Stormbirds Program will be made available this year once again. This program was developed following Black Saturday fires In Victoria and is based on the belief that change, loss and grief are a normal and natural part of life. The program is delivered to small groups of their peers over four sessions. The group is led by a 'Companion' who stays with the group for the four sessions. The program is not therapy and students in the program get to...
1) Share their experiences of change and loss in safe ways
2) Come to understand and attend to their feelings
3) Learn skills for adapting and recovering
For more information go to
We invite parents and carers to nominate students who might benefit from Stormbirds Program via the link below:
If you, or a teacher, nominate your child to participate in Stormbirds, a Permission Form and Information Letter further outlining the Program will be sent home with your child.
Feast of the Annunciation - 25th March
St Patrick's Feast day - 17 March - Casual Clothes with a hint of Green! (Gold Coin donation will go to our Project Compassion fund-raising)
Palm Sunday - 2 April
Sunday April 2 at 3.00pm - Lismore Symphony Orchestra performing in the Cathedral - For bookings visit their website https://www.lismoresymphony.org/events/2023-renaissance/
Holy Thursday/Good Friday - 6/7 April
St Carthage’s Feast Day - 15 May
Our Lady Help of Christians - 24 May
Ascension of the Lord - 29 May
Sacrament of Confirmation - 21 June 6pm - Cathedral
New Online Resources To Help Parents Engage In their Child's Learning (NSW)
As part of the NSW Curriculum Reform, parents and carers of children from Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 have access to a free online library that contains information, interactive games and activities to support learning in the classroom. Please see attached the media release from Education Minister, Sarah Mitchell which contains information about this library as well as the link.
Mathematics Olympiad - Years 5 & 6
This year we are excited to register a team to compete in the Maths Olympiad. This is a competition where students participate in six separate contests over the year, completing challenging problem-solving questions.
Each contest comprises of 5 questions, worth 1 mark each, and must be completed in a specified time frame of 30 minutes. Questions are completed individually under exam conditions. The first competition will be held in early Term 2.
Students were nominated based on past NAPLAN and whole-school testing results as well as teacher recommendations. Parents have been notified if their child is participating in this competition. Students will work with myself leading up to and between each contest, preparing and reviewing practice-style questions.
I know the students are excited (and a little bit nervous) about this opportunity and I look forward to working with them throughout the year.
In Week 4 we had Uncle Gilbert Laurie perform an Aboriginal Smoking Ceremony at our school. Uncle Gilbert is an artist, language speaker and teacher of his culture. He is well respected in our local community and has visited us several times. The smoking is a tradition to bring in the good and to cleanse an area of the bad. In recent times we have had floods in the Lismore area and the Covid virus. The ceremony was part of the healing of the land and its people.