Principal's Update - 26th May
This week our schools in the Ballarat Diocese are celebrating Catholic Education Week. The theme this year is Let the words you speak always be full of grace’ – Colossians 4:6
How we speak and how we are open to being changed through dialogue has been subject to deep consideration in many different circles – political, social, ecological, and theological. Dialogue opens us to the other, to learn and to change – it is an openness to being moved or influenced and allow for the spirit to be present – this is the invitation our theme offers.
The way we live and act and the words we speak provide insight into the very essence of our individual being. Our use of language, with expression and gestures, brings us into engagement with others. Most regularly, this engagement is through conversation or dialogue. For Christian people, sometimes this dialogue maybe with the divine.
Grace is the gift of God’s presence in our lives. How we engage, speak, and dialogue with others can bring God’s presence into being.
St Paul’s letter to the Colossians was written to a community receiving distorted accounts of Christian conduct and belief. St Paul was urging Christ’s followers to be above the misrepresentations. His words could be seen as inviting people into dialogue about Jesus and the Christian message in the world. We are invited to do that again today by Pope Francis, who provides three fundamental guidelines to help us dialogue or speak with grace:
“The duty to respect one’s own identity and that of others, the courage to accept differences, and sincerity of intentions.”
Our students celebrated a Liturgy together in Family Groups this morning to mark the occasion. Sr Veronica Lawson, a member of the Sisters of Mercy Congregation, joined us to celebrate the occasion and speak to our students about her role in Catholic Education over the years. We had initially planned a cross-school session with Our Lady Help of Christians in Wendouree as they are part of our Parish. Unfortunately, due to the high number of illnesses within their school, they had to cancel their involvement.
At this time of the year, when colds, flu and COVID seems to be everywhere, can we please ask that our community does all we can to protect each other. All staff, students and visitors to our school are encouraged to ensure high levels of hygiene are maintained daily with hand washing and use of sanitiser before eating and after blowing noses or using the toilet.
Anyone who is symptomatic is recommended to utilise Rapid antigen testing and test kits can be collected from the front office if required.
A reminder for everyone to please not send your children to school if they are feeling unwell, and ensure they remain at home for 48 hours after symptoms have stopped as per health guidelines to ensure your child is clear of infection. Thank you to our families who are following these guidelines and working to ensure the safety of everyone in our community.
Following these guidelines and working to ensure the safety of everyone in our community.
As Winter takes hold, we would like to remind all families that our school has now transitioned to our winter uniform. It is important that we all take pride in our uniform and appearance, as it reflects the values and identity of our school community. Wearing the correct uniform is also a way of showing respect for ourselves, our peers, and the school, and helps to promote a sense of unity and belonging. Thank you for your continued support in making this school one we can all be proud to be a part of. A reminder for children to wear socks that do not have visible branding and are the correct ones for either the sport or winter uniform.
Some reminders from our Crossing Supervisor
Please ensure that no child or parent steps onto the crossing until directed to by the Crossing Supervisor at the Lydiard Street crossing. This is for your safety, as traffic can be quite heavy and, at times, unpredictable. Please also use the school crossing on Armstrong Street to ensure personal safety for everyone. Whilst this crossing is not manned, we ask for your patience and vigilance here. Please also be mindful of reversing safely.
We ask that you refrain from gesturing for your child to board your vehicles whilst on the crossing for safety reasons. Please also ensure that you walk your child across roads rather than calling them across. Thank you for your support in keeping your child safe.
Enterprise Bargaining Agreement
Work continues with the IEU and workplace representatives around the negotiation of the new EBA for Catholic Schools. You may have seen, and are likely to be seeing more around this in the news in coming weeks as it nears completition. There is likely to be a period of adjustment and some impact on the operation of the school as part of this. These may relate to school hours and particularly events that operate outside these such as camps. As we get a better understanding of exactly what the new award will look like we will work with our School Advisory Council around how this may play out in the day to day and ongoing functions of the school.
Piety Store at St Columba’s Church for Confirmation 28th May & 4th June
The Piety store in the Church will be selling gifts for these occasions at 10 am Mass each Sunday and on the days of Confirmation and Eucharist. We extend an invitation to all families to attend a special mass on Sunday, the 28th May or the 4th June, when these children will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
Here are a sample of what are available to purchase:
St Columba’s Feast Day
Students across our school Community will gather together to celebrate the Feast Day of St Columba on Friday, the 9th of June.
For this special Feast Day, we invite the grandparents and special people of our community to join us from 2:00 pm to gather in Liturgy and participate in an activity with their grandchildren relating to St Columba’s Peace Prayer.
Our celebration of St Columba will take place in Family Groups. For those who are new to our school or unfamiliar with Family Groups, they are cross-school groupings that allow for siblings and cousins to all gather together in one space. Grandparents will be greeted by staff at the two main entry gates (Howard & Gregory St) and directed to the Learning Group, where their grandchildren will be waiting. The celebration will conclude at approximately 3.15 pm.
We look forward to welcoming all the extended family of our community to our school for this special occasion.
Gate Opening Times
A reminder that you are welcome onsite at the beginning and end of the days once the gates have been opened. Howard Street Gates will now open at 8:20 am for early drop-offs pre-arranged with the Principals, whilst both Gregory Street and Armstrong Street will be open at 8:30 am. Students will be supervised from 8:30 am, with classes commencing at 8:45 am. Please be aware that children arriving early must remain seated near the Year 1/2 Community until supervision commences.
Please note that ALL gates will be locked from 8:45 am. Students arriving at school after 8:45 am must enter through the Administration Office to ensure they are marked as present for student attendance.
Important Dates for Term 2
|Sunday 28th May|
Sacrament of Confirmation at 10.00am mass (Pentecost Sunday) at St Columba's Church
|Friday 2nd June|
Eureka Soccer - Wendouree West Recreation Reserve
|Sunday 4th June|
Sacrament of Confirmation at 10.00am mass at St Columba's Church
|Friday 9th June|
St Columba's Feast Day
|Monday 12th June|
King's Birthday Public Holiday
Bambi Afford & Shaun Mohr