Term 1, Week 3 2022
It certainly has been an interesting return to school. Thank you for your continued support and for the way you have managed the combination of ‘remote’ and ‘face to face’ learning. Thankfully we have now been able to return to our ‘normal’ mode of teaching and learning. Please keep in mind however, that things change very quickly, and we need to adapt and change depending on the advice of SA Health and Catholic Education SA. It is important that we remain calm throughout these changes and reassure our children that, no matter what, things will be okay. We want this year (and in fact every year) to be the best year of learning that your child has had at school!
With the return to school, it is likely that there will be an increase in the number of students, parents or staff who get COVID-19. Anyone who develops symptoms or tests positive must stay at home, notify the school immediately and follow the advice of SA Health. Also remember that parents are still required to use the QR Code at the gate or in the front office and wear a mask. Parents are still unable to enter any classrooms until further notice. We know that we are unable to have any agencies visit or hold any gatherings or events until at least Week 5. It is important that we continue to follow the rules and keep ourselves and others safe.
I would like to thank and congratulate our staff on the great way that they have prepared for this different start to the year and how they have supported our children, whether they have been at school or at home. I know that it has been a challenge for them but they have managed it really well and endeavoured to touch base regularly with every child in their care. Our teachers are always prepared to make themselves available to chat at any time that you have questions about your child’s learning. However, it cannot just be ‘unannounced’ at the beginning or end of the day, rather it needs to be a time set via email or a phone call.
Our staff this year is as follows:
Reception: Laura Drewett Physical Education: Sebestyen Maglai
Year 1/2 Jade Shapcott STEM / Library: Janie Gosling
Year 2/3: Heather Petersen Music/Choir: Rosemarie Villano
Year 3/4: Sameera Sekhon Counsellor: Shannon O’Toole
Year 5/6: Amiee Tullio Front Office: Lisa Daniele
Leader of Learning Michelle Menadue Front Office: Charli Poole
Co-educator: Nick Doube Bursar / Finance: John Mathew
Co-educator: Ged Hughes APRIM: Melissa Musolino
Co-educator / OSHC: Esther Feast Head of Campus: Peter Mercer
Principal: Christopher Platten Community Hub: Kerryn Chambers
Grounds: Andrew Scott
Most of you have already seen me in the yard, either before or after school. Thank you to those who have come and said ‘hello’ and made me feel welcome at St Mary Magdalene’s School. I really have appreciated it. In fact, I almost feel as though I have come home! I was Principal at St Thomas More School at Elizabeth Park for nearly eleven years and my wife was a teacher here and worked as the pastoral associate in the parish many years ago. I certainly know the place well and look forward to working with you and your child(ren) as we endeavour to make this place the best place it can be.
You may have noticed some of the changes that we have been making, and will continue to make, in order to provide a learning environment that we can all be proud of. We have replaced the tired and old fence along the back of the oval, installed new taps in the wet areas where children can fill up their drink bottles with filtered water, we refurbished the Playgroup space, moved OSHC back into the Hall, purchased some new desks, book boxes and trolleys and a new tv for the Year 1/2 classroom. We will continue to reflect on what other changes or developments we might need to undertake so please come and see me if you have some good ideas and thoughts.
I would like to finish by focusing on the ‘Mercy Values’. St Mary Magdalene’s School was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1958. The foundress of the Sisters, Catherine McAuley, lived in Ireland from 1778 to 1841 and with the Sisters developed values around the areas of Hospitality, Respect, Compassion, Courage, Service and Justice. These values are central to what we believe and what we do in our school. While we all come from different starting places and different backgrounds, I am confident that we would all want these values nurtured in our children. It is your job as a parent and our job as a school, to work together to support our young people in, not just understanding, but also developing and displaying these values in their interactions with others. If this is what we want for our children, then it is essential that both you and I model and live these things every day. The challenge is that it takes time and it is difficult for some of us, children and adults alike, to put ourselves ‘in the shoes of others’.
Working in Partnership
Acting Deputy Principal / Head of Campus
As we gathered for prayer to begin our school year, we gathered as staff via video links as we learnt to quickly adhere to the covid restrictions placed upon us. It doesn’t stop us from praying though. That is something we can do anytime and anywhere and in a variety of ways.
The theme of our prayer was based on the gospel reading of “The Mustard Seed.” This seed is one of the smallest, yet the tree which grows from this seed is one of the largest.
Staff were invited to imagine for a moment that this seed was an impact you have on a child, parent or staff member in our school community.
Just as tall trees from tiny seeds can grow, so can we contribute to the lives of those around us – in our words and actions, through small acts of kindness and love, through compassion and care - making a difference so large we may not even recognise. Jesus’ words and actions in this gospel are central to all that we are and all that we do in our schools.
Throughout the school term we have the opportunity in our weekly classroom prayer to stop reflect and celebrate the patron Saints. Saints provide us with a guide as to how to live out our faith. Students learn that Saints are people who love Jesus and share his love with others and that we can all live like the saints even while we are still on earth.
This term we take time to think about:
14.2.22 St. Valentine
17.3.22 St. Patrick
20.3.22 St. Joseph
Sacramental Program 2022
Please note that the Information Session on February 18 for those interested in joining our Sacramental Program for 2022 has been cancelled. A new date will be advertised in the coming weeks.
CARITAS – Project Compassion
This year, Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion theme is ‘For All Future Generations’. This Lent, we are encouraged to make simple lifestyle changes and act with care for each other and our environment. Our challenge is to respond with love and hope, now and for all future generations.
To prepare to fast during Lent, some people use up the extra food they have that are traditionally restricted during the season of Lent. One custom on this day is to ‘feast’ on pancakes. Shrove Tuesday continues to remain an important day of observance for Catholics and Christians to prepare for the Lent and the Lenten fast so we invite you to…
Pancakes will be served to classes at 1st Lunch on March 1st to celebrate Shrove Tuesday in preparation for the Season of Lent.
On Ash Wednesday we receive the mark of the ashes. The ashes are the blessed burnt palms from the previous Palm Sunday. They are a symbol of repentance and are placed on the forehead of Catholics around the world. They are a physical sign that Lent has begun. Ash Wednesday is a day of abstinence (going without meat) and fasting. Lent is a time to rediscover the meaning of life and prioritise what is important in how we live our lives. We try to simplify our lives (fasting), take time out to reflect and pray (prayer), and listen and respond to those in need (almsgiving). Prayer, fasting and almsgiving are concrete ways in which can demonstrate our relationship with God.
This year due to Covid restrictions, classes will celebrate Ash Wednesday in their individual classes. Students will be given a badge to wear representing the ashes that would normally be placed on our foreheads.
Welcome to Reception 2022
It has been very exciting to some familiar faces returning and lots of new faces beginning.
It was certainly a different start to the year than we had imagined, but I am so proud of how the children have taken it in their stride and helped each other.
I asked the children what they have enjoyed about the start of the school year, and this is some of what they had to say;
“I have enjoyed getting to meet new friends” – Tilda
“I have enjoyed playing with my friends” - Elias
“I have enjoyed helping some of the new Receptions” – Islah
“I have enjoyed coming to school” – Hallie
“I have enjoyed being nice” – Garang
“I have enjoyed making my circus character” – Hannibal
“I have enjoyed playing on the monkey bars” – Xavier
“I have enjoyed playing on the slide” - Mercy
Welcome to our new space!!
This year we have made the move from the previous OSHC space, to the hall. We are really enjoying this new area. Our old space was wonderful, however, as our numbers keep growing and growing it was time to move on.
We have so much more room in the hall to run, jump and play. We also have a table tennis table that the children can access all the time.
Offering food to the children is also made very easy with the kitchen area. It has a full-sized stove and dishwasher. This makes it easy to create yummy snacks and offer cooking activities with the children.
If you require OSHC and have not already made a booking, please do so ASAP. We are filling quickly so please make sure you book your child/ren in. If you don’t have a booking you are not guaranteed a spot.
We are looking forward to seeing you all soon.
SMMS OSHC team.