We are less than two weeks away from Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, which falls on 26 February this year. Lent is a reminder of the importance of sacrifice, prayer and looking after those in need and helps us more deeply understand the Easter event that is at the centre of our Christian faith.
We can use this time to consider how our actions are defining our relationship with God, with others and with our deepest self. Lent is a time for renewing those relationships based on compassion, truth and justice.
It was wonderful to see so many families join in the fun and catch up with friends and meet new families at the Welcome Picnic in Week 2. A special thanks to Claire Stanley and Libby Dewar, our Parents and Friends Co Presidents and their team of helpers, who ensured that everyone was warmly welcomed and that we had plenty of snags and bread to make it a great night. A very special thanks to the dads who did the cooking and then enjoyed their first get together at the Bowling Club after the picnic.
Last Monday night was the first of the Federated Board Meetings for the year. Board members from all three schools met to meet each other from all three schools. Michael Juliff went through the role of being an advisory board, child safety and the Federations. Edward Dooley presented the Sacramental program for 2020. We then had time to meet as individual boards to discuss the future agendas for 2020.
St Paul’s Board members for this year are Meghan Speers, Suzanne Commrford,Craig Schneider, Greg Ryan, Helen Skinner and Steve Savva. I thank them for their continued support and commitment to being a voice for families and for their advice and support to Fr Jacob, Michael Juliff and myself.
A word from the Chair:
On behalf of the Parent Advisory Board, we warmly welcome you all to a new school year. For our new families joining our community this year, welcome and thank you for choosing St Pauls.
As a reminder, the Parent Advisory Board is a passionate group of parents who assist the Parish to provide support to the School on matters of governance and to provide a parent voice to School discussions. Please consider the Parent Advisory Board as an additional avenue available to you as parents, to voice any concerns you have and to have an opinion around the governance of the School. For example, this may include sharing ideas you have on improvements to our school policies or nominating parent seminars that you may want to have conducted at school to learn from and engage with other parents about.
So on behalf of the Parent Advisory Board, we welcome your comments and look forward to working with you to further strengthen our school community.
(Chair of the Parent Advisory Board)
Parent Teacher Meetings
Parents received a warm welcome over two nights last week as they spent time with their child’s teacher discussing the many wonders that make their child who they are.
This is an important step in forming a vital partnership between home and school, where positive outcomes are made possible by working together. By now all families will have received the class newsletter outlining the curriculum content for Term 1. Testing is underway across the school as we gather data on where each child is in their learning and plan for how they will be supported through differentiated teaching.
In 2020 we are moving into our third year of using ‘Seesaw’ as a digital portfolio for student learning. We have had very positive feedback from parents who are regular users of the App. A reminder that Seesaw is not a communication tool between home and school but rather an opportunity to connect with your child’s learning in ‘real time’. Please contact your child’s teacher or Anna if you are having issues accessing Seesaw.
Our first Assembly will be on 25 February at 2.45pm. All parents are most welcome to attend. Assembly is held in the Hall every fortnight and is hosted by the Year 6 Leaders. Each class has the opportunity to present what they have been learning in class throughout the year. At the first Assembly, the Year 6 students will receive their Leadership badges and SRC students for Semester 1 will also receive their badges and be announced to the school community.
Thank you for the generosity of those parents who have volunteered to be class reps for 2020. What a wonderful way to be involved in supporting your child’s teacher during special events, communication and bringing the parent community together. Many thanks.
Prep M - Janine Kekich & Lizzie O’Shannessy
Prep B - Belinda Benvenuto & Michelle Williams
1BK- Zoe Holland
1M - Dianne Johnson
2B- Gina Rainford
2H - Tegan Lloyd
3AW - Donna Campbell, Shannon McAuliffe & Georgia Allen
3K - Courtney Bolton
4LT - Sharni Lee Kim & Sarah Easton
4GM - Vanessa Bevacqua & Bec Belej
5L - Jayne Maguire & Josie McCormick
5O - Jess Loft & Jess Clynes
6W - Carly Heggie
6H - Yvonne Kerridgesio & Teresa Torcasio
Could all parent reps touch base with their child’s teacher when they are next at school.
Prep Information Evening
On Tuesday 25 February, at 7pm, we welcome our Prep parents to join us in the open learning area outside the Prep classrooms. The evening is aimed at providing parents with ‘next step’ information on the main curriculum areas, home reading, parent helpers in the classroom, communication, resilience and an opportunity to ask questions. We hope at least one member of the family can attend.
Year 6 Information Evening
While the Prep families are meeting in the junior area, we invite our Yr 6 families to join Jess Walker, Liz Heath and Cath Knights in 6W, also at 7pm on 25 February. This meeting will cover Year 6 expectations, curriculum areas and the exciting one to one Chromebook program that has been introduced this year.
This is the first time we have had a Yr 6 meeting to look at the year ahead with parents and teachers. We aim to build a strong and supportive relationship between home and school as we prepare all students for high school next year. We hope that one parent from each family is able to attend.
Sweet Treats for Birthdays
There has been a very positive response from families in supporting issues around sharing food and healthy snacks. The matter will be further discussed at the upcoming Board Meeting. Thank you for your response.
Earn & Learn
Thank you to all parents who diligently collected dockets for the Woolworths Earn and Learn Program last year. Today three large boxes arrived with lots of games, building materials and problem solving puzzles.
The library is open this Term each Tuesday and Wednesday. The games will be a great resource for those students looking to come inside for part of their lunch break and enjoy some down time with their friends.
School Fees have been emailed home. If you have not received your account or would like a hard copy sent home via your eldest child, please contact Mary (Business Manager) as soon as possible. Mary’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Total charges are billed in Term 1 and are payable over 3 terms, unless using a payment plan. Payment plans are available from the office or can be emailed upon request.
Paying by 3 Instalments
The payment dates for instalments are: March 15, May 15 and July 15. A reminder statement will be sent at the beginning of each term. We ask that families with children in year 5 & 6 pay the camp fees with the first instalment. If you wish to vary these dates please advise by email to either Mary email@example.com or Anna firstname.lastname@example.org
Paying by monthly/fortnightly/ weekly instalments
If you wish to spread the payments over the year you need to complete a payment plan giving the school permission to make payments from either your credit card or bank account. Each year a new payment plan needs to be completed. Please contact Mary or Anna a.s.a.p. to organize this facility.
Paying by EFT /Eftpos
The school office has an Eftpos machine at reception to receive payments by Credit or Debit card. Families are also able to pay using internet banking to the following account:
BSB BSB: 083-347
Name of Account: St Paul’s Bentleigh General Account
Please use your surname and Internet payment reference (listed on your statement) so that your payment can be identified.
All fee payments should be completed by November 30, 2020
Health Care Card holders may be eligible for a concession under the State Government’s Camps, Sport and Excursions Fund. An application form is available from the office. Applications close at the end of Term 2.
As always, parents experiencing difficulties in meeting their commitments to the school are urged to contact us as soon as possible so that we can discuss the situation with you.
I was recently asked by a parent if I could include a photo of all staff members and their position in the Newsletter. What a great idea! I am working on it and will have photos in the next Newsletter.
Have a great week.
PUNCTURED BY GOD
One of our major foci for 2020 in the realm of Mission and Faith is Spirituality. Our
ECSI data from 2019 across the three schools highlighted a need to up the ante in
this area. This is something very positive and an area that deep down we all want to
know more about but are often afraid to ask, search and find. Finding the answers to
the unknown can be scary. The 1970’s era was a time to be passive about
spirituality let alone anything! But today our young ones are wanting to know and
many older people feel inadequate to answer questions asked of them. To say I
don’t know can be confronting for some people.
Joan Chittister assists us by saying that in prayer you don’t need to do much except
‘be’. Just be by being breathing in God and hoping that you can breathe out God.
I believe we all pray in some capacity. The fact we think means that we pray. The
fact that we all have a conscience means we are all the time making decisions.
Often subconsciously but often enough consciously. Unless we lack wisdom and
maturity we don’t make decisions in isolation. We seek advice. For me I seek
advice from family but I also seek advice from God. God speaks in my heart. I say to
others “Go with your gut”. I believe our stomach tells us a great deal about our inner
and deep thoughts. Listen and feel to what is happening and often enough our gut is
speaking to us. For me that is God.
Recently I bought online from Singapore some 1837 TWG Black Tea leaves (not
bags!) I love tea leaves because it means I have to stop and make a real pot of tea.
This means making time but it also means making time to stop and reflect. Often as
I wait for the tea to brew I read.
May I encourage you to read this article from Joan Chittister which highlights the
need for all of us to pray but also the realisation that if we think praying is work we
miss the true meaning of what it means to pray.
Edward Dooley (Mission and Faith Leader)
Punctuated by God
The hallmark of a Benedictine community lies in its prayer life. The community
gathers for choral prayer at least three times a day—morning praise, noon praise,
and vespers. In Benedictine communities that devote themselves to the recitation of
the more ancient Liturgy of the Hours, the times for communal prayer are even more
often than that. To beginners in the life, the schedule can be a shock.
When we were in the novitiate, the older sisters delighted in telling us the story of the
young postulant who came to the monastery full of zest for the life—and then, six
months later, simply got up and left. “I like it here a lot,” the young woman said, “but
there’s never a minute’s rest. And every time I do get time, the bell rings.” Then the
old sisters would bubble over with laughter.
It took a while before I caught on to the joke. The funny part was that the postulant
had the ideas confused. She couldn’t understand why it was that every time the
chores of the day were finished, just when she thought she wouldn’t have anything to
do for a while, the bell rang to call the community to another period of prayer. Prayer
for her was work, an intrusion into her private time. But for those whose life is
centred in prayer, prayer is time for resting in God. It is the “work” of the soul in
contact with the God of the heart.
Prayer is what links the religious and the spiritual, the inner and outer dimensions of
life. Every spiritual tradition on earth forms a person in some kind of regular practice
designed to focus the mind and the spirit. Regular prayer reminds us that life is
punctuated by God, awash in God, encircled by God. To interrupt the day with prayer
is to remind ourselves of the timelessness of eternity. Prayer and regular spiritual
practices serve as a link between this life and the next. They give us the strength of
heart to sustain us on the way. When life goes dry, only the memory of God makes
life bearable again. Then we remember that whatever is has purpose.
Prayer does not simply reveal us to God and God to us, I came to know after years
of apparently useless repetition. It reveals us to ourselves at the same time. If I
listened to myself when I prayed, I could feel my many masks drop away. I was not
the perfect nun; I was the angry psalmist. I was the needy one in the petitions. I was
the one to whom the hard words of the gospel were being spoken. I was the one
adrift in a sea of darkness and uncertainty even after all these years of light.
“I don’t pray,” people say to me. And I say back, “Neither do I. I just breathe God in
and hope somehow to learn how to breathe God out, as well.” The purpose of prayer
is simply to transform us to the mind of God. We do not go to prayer to coax God to
make our lives Disneyland. We don’t go to prayer to get points off our sins. We don’t
go to suffer for our sins. We go to prayer to be transfigured ourselves, to come to
see the world as God sees the world, to practice the presence of God, to put on a
heart of justice, of love, and of compassion for others. We go to become new of soul.
Maybe we are forgetting to centre ourselves in the consciousness of God who is
conscious of us all. Maybe that’s why the world today is in the throes of such brutal
violence, such inhuman poverty, such unconscionable discrimination, such self-
righteous fundamentalism. Maybe we are forgetting to pray, not for what we want,
but for the sight, the enlightenment, that God wants to give us. And if I pray, will I be
able to change those things? I don’t really know. All I know is that the enlightenment
that comes with real prayer requires that I attend to them, not ignore them.
—from Called to Question: A Spiritual Memoir, by Joan Chittister
Our first Fete Dress Up Day for the year is on Friday 21st February.
Children can wear casual clothes and bring a gold coin donation for Spinning Wheel prizes.
Grade 1 Mums
A great turnout for the first Dad’s night with 20 to 30 dads, which included a good mix of old dads, current dads and new dads. For those who have not attended, be assured you will be welcomed with open arms and lots of enjoyable banter. Stay for an hour…or more.
The Next Dad’s Night will be on Thursday 5th March, at the Bentleigh RSL:, from 7.30pm. All Dads welcome. If you are not receiving emails from me, then please email your details to: email@example.com.
- There is an enrolment icon on the front page and a large notice will be placed on the lower right of the landing page.
- the enrolment icon will always be on the home page for visitors to our website, the notices area on the lower right will change from time to time.
- Enrolment Criteria for Year 7 entry
- Enrolment Policy
- Key Dates