Principal's Update - 6th April
As the first term draws to a close, we are pleased to share with you some of the highlights for our students and the community. It has certainly been a whirlwind, and we feel so blessed to have the support of our wonderful staff and families.
One of the major events of the term was our Easter Celebration "Meeting in the Market Place" where students gathered for a shared meal just like Jesus gathered with his friends for The Last Supper. A reenactment of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper and the 14 Stations of the Cross performed by each learning group followed.
We were also delighted with the participation in Caritas K's on Friday, 31st March despite the smoke alarm, relocating to the church and the rain!!! It was wonderful to see our school community come together to raise awareness for those less fortunate than us and raise funds for those in need. We are proud to report that we raised a $1237. 66 for this worthy cause. Well done to our Mini Vinnies Team and our Religious Education Team for their orgainsation of the event.
Our Easter Raffle and Hot Cross Bun Drive, also proved to be great fundraisers - all going towards our new playground.
We also held our annual Athletics Carnival at Llanberris, where students from all year levels demonstrated their athletic abilities and sportsmanship. The day was filled with exciting races, field events, and relays, and it was a great opportunity for our students to showcase their skills and compete against their peers.
We were fortunate to have the weather on our side for our wonderful School Picnic, where families came together to enjoy food and gather once more as a community. It was great to see students, teachers, and parents all having a good time and enjoying the school space together.
The Foundation School Alive Tours and the Foundation Information Session were also successful events that allowed prospective families to see our school in action and learn more about what we have to offer. We are thrilled to welcome new families to our community and look forward to seeing their children thrive here at St. Columba's in the coming years. Please note that Expressions of Interest for Foundation 2024 closes on Thursday 25th May, with first round offers sent out on Friday 2nd June. If you have a child ready for school in 2024, please ensure you visit the school website and navigate to the Enrolment Section. This will guide you placing your child on the list for Foundation 2024.
Finally, last week, our School Camp at Log Cabin Creswick was a fantastic experience for all involved. Students had the opportunity to participate in a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, canoeing, and team-building exercises. The camp provided a great opportunity for students to bond with their peers and teachers, develop new skills, and create lifelong memories.
Overall, it has been a busy and productive first term at St. Columba's, and we are proud of all that our students have achieved. We are grateful for your continued support, and we look forward to working together for the remainder of the academic year.
At the beginning of next term our Year 5/6's will participate in their camp experience at Anglesea. We look forward to this wonderful opportunity commencing Wednesday 26th - Friday 28th April.
Schoolzine App (SZapp)
We are aware that there have been some issues with families not receiving notifications from the Schoolzine app (SZapp). We have contacted the company who have advised us that an upgrade is in the final stages of testing and should be released in the coming weeks. We hope this will rectify any issues you may currently be experiencing.
School Photo Day
School Photos will be held on Monday 1st May. Students are required to wear full winter uniform.
This year MSP have moved to an online ordering platform. You will receive an email with your username and password. Envelopes are available from the school office for cash orders only.
School Advisory Council Update
As you will be aware, our School Advisory Council actively works together to promote and support the St Columba’s School Community. Whilst advisory in nature, our team has been working proactively to contribute to the life of the school and is an active forum for parent and community participation, providing support and advice in strategic planning, school improvement, educational outcomes, stewardship of resources and the implementation of policy and procedures.
As a DOBCEL (Diocese of Ballarat Catholic Education Limited) School, we intend to be proactive in our approach and ask all stakeholders to be aware of how they can offer support in partnership with the school to meet the needs of all within our care. The implementation of policies and procedures is just one way we can show our support. Over the course of year, we will update families with some policies that may be pertinent. Please read and familiarise yourselves with the content.
Parent / Child Complaints and Grievances Policy Processes & Reminders
At St Columba’s School, we ask that you contact your classroom teacher in the first instance should an issue arise involving your child and incidents at school. The school will support the resolution in a timely manner. In many cases, this would involve the classroom teacher in the resolution of the complaint, even if the complaint is not directly about them. The types of complaints could include:
- issues related to student discipline procedures
- issues related to learning and teaching
- damage /loss of personal property
- bullying and harassment
We ask that Parents please ensure they raise any issues with the appropriate person or persons and approach any issue in a constructive and respectful manner. One effective way to do this is by adhering to the parent code of conduct which is established to support schools and families in their communication. Following these guidelines can support interactions to be respectful and appropriate in manner.
It is also important for parents to avoid using social media as a platform for complaints, as this can often lead to defamatory comments and can negatively impact the school’s reputation. By communicating with school administrators and following proper procedures, parents can work collaboratively with the school to address their concerns and find solutions that benefit everyone involved.
We ask that parents refrain from contacting each other regarding incidents that occur within the school setting. These will be handled within the school setting.
If your concern is related to issues of school policy, these should be raised more formally (in writing) with the principal.
Suppose the complainant after meeting with the principal, believes that the school has not listened to their concerns or followed school processes. In that case, the complainant can take the issue to the Catholic Education Office in Ballarat. It is important to note that the school will make decisions that are not always accepted by all of the school community.
Parent / Carer Code of Conduct
As my child’s first and primary educator, I understand that I teach my child by my own example of faith, responsibility and respect. In conjunction with my child’s dedicated teacher and teachers within each community, I ask St Columba’s school to assist me in helping my child reach their fullest potential.
The positive contributions of parents are vital in strengthening positive home/school partnerships. The school cannot continue to flourish without positive parent cooperation and without a commitment to partnering for excellence.
Children require boundaries and expectations set by their parents, caregivers, school and teachers. Children need to know that boundaries and expectations are consistently applied and the consequences are applied fairly.
All parents are expected to:
- Recognize that the education of their child/children is a joint responsibility of the parents and the school community
- Show an active interest in their children’s school work and progress
- Encourage their children to be responsible and accountable at an appropriate level
- Encourage their children to show respect for all staff, students and parents and the wider community
- Ensure communication occurs through the proper channels when they have an issue to discuss
- If you choose to engage in public forums, please use positive language about the school
- Speak and act with kindness and courtesy with others in the school community
- Report all incidents of poor behaviour or bullying to the school when they become aware of them and do not approach another child or parent to address the situation themselves
- Be familiar with processes outlined in the Behavior Management Policy & School Wide Positive Behaviours
- Act as role models of caring and tolerant behaviour in word and action when participating as a member of the school community
- Cooperate with the school to achieve the best possible outcome for your child and all children
The parent Code of Conduct is intended as a guideline to ensure mutual understanding of expectations.
Important Dates for Term 2
|Monday 24th April
|Term 2 commences
|Tuesday 25th April
|ANZAC Day Public Holiday
|Wednesday 26th - Friday 28th April
|Year 5/6 Community Camp
|Monday 1st May
|Friday 5th May
|Mother's Day Stall
|Friday 12th May
9.15am Liturgy followed by morning tea in the Hall for Special People
|Monday 15th May
Confirmation preparation at 5:45pm (Session 1 & 2)
|Monday 22nd May
Confirmation preparation at 5:45pm (Session 3 & 4)
|Thursday 25th May
Confirmation Rehearsal at 3.45pm-4.00pm - St Columba's Church
|Sunday 28th May
Sacrament of Confirmation at 10.00am mass (Pentecost Sunday) at St Columba's Church
|Sunday 4th June
Sacrament of Confirmation at 10.00am mass at St Columba's Church
We thank each and every one of you for your continued support of our school this term. We wish you all a happy and holy Easter and a wonderful holiday break with your loved ones. We look forward to seeing you all back for the start of Term 2 and all that it may offer.
Go gently, and stay safe.
Bambi Afford & Shaun Mohr