We begin a very important season in the Catholic church with Lent beginning on Wednesday and Ash Wednesday celebrated on this day. Lent is a season of penance, reflection, and fasting which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection. Ash Wednesday comes from the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting. The practice includes the wearing of ashes on the head. The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us.This year our four school captains, Lauren, Johnny, Harry and Sienna represented the school at the St Christopher's parish mass. They received the ashes to be brought back to the school where each class held their own liturgy and each child received the ashes on their forehead.
Ash Wednesday and Easter took on a greater meaning on Wednesday. One of our chickens laid the first egg! We look forward to many more in the coming weeks.
It has continued to be a busy two weeks at St Augustine’s with the children in Yrs 3-6 commencing their swimming program. A number of these students also competed in the District Swimming carnival with great results. Many of them have progressed onto the Regional finals. Thanks to Miss Ashleigh for organising the students.
The St Augustine's Twilight Sports will be held next Thursday the 14th March at the Keilor Athletics track starting at 4.30pm. The Parents Auxiliary provide a BBQ for students and parents to buy a sausage or Hamburger. A number of requests have gone out asking for assistance at this BBQ and yet we only have a handful of people helping. It goes without saying that it takes a village to raise our children. This is one of those 'village' activities that has been organised to help raise your child. Volunteering at school events is one of those ways that I ask you to help. Perhaps you have yet to volunteer in the school so this could be your chance to help. We need you! Go to the 'Parents Auxiliary' page for details on registering your assistance.
It’s hard to believe but we have already conducted a Prep 2020 information session and tour for prospective parents. On Monday we had over 40 families come along to St Augustine’s to tour our school and listen to myself and Trish Walsh and Jacinta Fedoruk talk about out wonderful school. These moments allow us to reflect on the good work of all to create a peaceful and safe environment for our children. No wonder so many families wish to join us in 2020! There will be another evening information session on Tuesday 12th March at 7pm. These sessions are for new families. Interviews are also for new families. Existing families do not need to register for an interview, however, if you have a prep child starting next year please inform the office to secure their enrolment. Please inform myself, Trish or Jacinta if your child presents with extra needs. This way we can start the transition stage early and be aware of any modification or supports needed for your prep child in 2020.
Today Bishop Terry Curtin came to St Augustine’s to visit our Yr 6 children to talk about Confirmation. They will be completing the sacrament of Confirmation on the 29th of March. Bishop Terry has worked with our school for a number of years and always provides great insight and wisdom about this sacrament.
This year we have engaged with a Psychologist, Maria Sulaiman, who will work with our children by request. Read about Maria and her services in the ‘Wellbeing’ page.
There has been much media coverage about certain threatening pop up internet characters in recent times. As for any internet usage I encourage the following: Downplay and emphasise that these characters are fake, Place all devices in a public place where you can keep an eye on what your child is viewing, shut down immediately any threatening or inappropriate content, Use parental controls to block access for inappropriate or unsafe websites and apps, Talk to your children about how information is posted on the internet, During the talk, discuss with them what they can do if they ever feel scared or worried about something they have seen online. The school will be running a Cyber Safety night on the 20th of March where I urge all parents to attend. The children will be participating in lessons regarding this during the day with our guest speakers. Go to the 'Cyber Safety Information Evening' page for more information.
All families would have recently received a letter detailing an ‘Enhancing Catholic School Identity’ survey. This survey is administered every four years to staff, parents and Yr 5/6 children. The purpose of this survey is to gain insights into how the school views Catholic Identity today and how such identity might be shaped for tomorrow. This is one way that you can make a contribution towards school planning. Thank you in advance! Go to the ‘Noticeboard’ link for details to complete this survey.
Last Week the St Augustine's Education Board met for the first time in 2019. We were also joined by Phil Boland, a parish volunteer, who discussed with us the ‘Plenary Council 2020’. A Plenary Council is the highest formal gathering of all local churches in the country. A Plenary Council can discuss and legislate on a wide range of issues, including matters of faith, morals, and discipline. They are gathering to listen, reflect and prompt the church to review, analyse and discern the signs of the time, to listen anew to the spirit and to chart its course into the future. Phil Boland invited the Education Board to be part of this planning by asking the questions, “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?” “What questions do you have about the future of the church for the Plenary Council?” “Do you have a story of your experience of faith, or the Church you would like to share?” The Education Board robustly discussed these questions, leaving Phil with a number of discussion points and stories to report back to the Council for discussion. It was a unique forum for us to have a voice in the future of the church.
Our condolences to the Hadathy Family on the very recent passing of Ryan's aunt. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family at this time.