Welcome back to a bright year of new beginnings and possibilities! It has been a calm and ordered start to the year with our 38 new prep children starting last Friday and 16 new families starting at the school. We welcome the Psalia, Buhagiar, Barca, Demetriou, Murray, Aprile, Christopher, Jackson, Tosev, Saba, Jurilj, Malekizad, Purcell, Baxter, Rust and Zammit families who have joined our school community this year. We hope you find St Augustine’s to be the welcoming, innovative and caring school that we are known for. We also welcome seven new staff members. New classroom teachers are Adele Mifsud in year 3/4 and Sharon Lee in 5/6. We welcome four new Learning Support staff; Rebecca Ballingal (also Library Assistant), Silvia Surace, Amanda Ali and Bernadette Pappas. Bernadette will be working primarily in literacy intervention.
This year we celebrate our 40th anniversary. St Augustine’s was founded in 1979 by the St Augustine’s community led by the Marist Sisters. We have a number of activities and celebrations planned so keep an eye out for details regarding these.
Our motto in 2018 became the very stirring, ‘Make a Difference..Everyday’. This resonated with so many people including staff, children and the wider community. This year we have kept with this theme but to extend it by sending a personal invitation to everyone to, ‘Be the Difference’ The children have been discussing this in class and talked about how they can be the difference. Our school awards will reflect and honour those students who step up and be the difference throughout the year.
Alongside our theme of, ‘Make a Difference...Be the Difference” we are introducing our school values. We spent last year consulting with students, families and staff about the values that we hold most true at St Augustine’s. The following will be rolled out over the the term and embedded throughout the year.
Holiday Work The holidays always prove to be an ideal time to refresh the school and engage contractors to do maintenance work. During the holidays the Prep/1 classes had new furniture installed with fresh new tables to brighten the rooms. The schools computer server was relocated into a dedicated room where switches and hardware were updated to assist with a smooth running and connectability of all things IT. Some rooms had carpet repaired while others had pinboards installed.
Parent Teacher Conversations Parent teacher conversations will be held next Wednesday 13th February. This year children will be dismissed from school at 12.30pm with interviews commencing at 12.40pm. As indicated in the letter sent home, the school will still provide childcare for those children who cannot be picked up before 3.15pm. These conversations are to begin the relationship between yourself the teacher and the child and to assist the teacher with any information you feel is needed to promote a successful and positive year. To book a meeting time with your child's teacher go to the 'Learning Matters' page for details.
Communication At St Augustine’s we encourage ongoing communication between home and school. Children will often come home with stories about their day that bring joy but at times may concern you. The appropriate way to communicate with the school is to first make an appointment with the teacher to discuss the concern. We know that stories can be misconstrued or take on a different perspective through the eyes of a child. A teacher can help clarify the issue and assist in helping the distressed child. Email is an efficient and effective tool that supports timely communication. It strengthens the goodwill and the positive partnership between parents, students and the school to enhance the well being and learning opportunities for students.Emails are an efficient way to set up a suitable time to speak to a teacher rather than become a discussion about your child’s academic progress, learning expectations or behavioral issues. Emails should be short, to the point and contain only essential facts. Teachers will take the discussion offline and call for a meeting if they feel that ongoing discussion is required. Be aware that ‘out of hours’ or ‘in class time’ emails may not be answered immediately nor will staff respond to abusive or aggressive emails. Parents should contact the office to inform a teacher of matters of immediate urgency eg. a child needing to go to after care, a change in pick-up arrangements as emails might not be read in time to act upon requirements.
Focus for 2019 This year we are embarking on a schools collective where six schools will come together to share learning, resources and wisdom while exploring and implementing ‘Evidence Based Learning’ (EBL). EBL is centred on the research of Professor John Hattie. Working in this space we will ask, ‘What are the attributes of schooling that truly make a difference to student learning?’. We will be focusing on the ‘Mindframes’ of teachers in order to maximise student success and ensuring learning is visible to students through Learning Intentions and Success Criteria that students co construct and engage with. Look out for more information as the year progresses.
Parents Auxiliary St Augustine’s has a long history of partnership with our families. The Parents’ Auxiliary are a very active group in the school who organise events such as lunch orders, mothers and fathers day stalls, fundraising drives, Twilight Market , Bunnings BBQ and more. As with most years we often see a turnover of participants as children move from the school. We are always looking for new members with fresh ideas and energy. The first meeting this year will be Tuesday 12th February at 7.30pm in the staff room. I encourage you to come along with a friend and join this dynamic group. We really need your help to ensure we can continue to provide these events for our school community.
Condolences to the Vukovic family on the passing of Rosanna's father, grandfather to Daniel, Anton and Kayla.
Also to the Puli family on the passing of David's father, Alan, grandfather to Lauren and Madeleine.
Please accept our sympathy and prayers on your recent loss. May you find comfort in knowing our community is thinking of you at this time and find comfort in the memories and stories shared. May God's love be a source of strength and give you hope in your sadness.