Principal’s Weekly Message

Dear Students, Parents & Carers,

This is our final week of Term 3, and it has been a busy and exciting term.  It is the first term for 2020 that we have all been at school full-time for the entire term.  The children have been getting very tired over the past 2 weeks, so will need a good restful and relaxing holiday.  I know many parents continue to work from home and many are still looking for work, as COVID has resulted in so many job losses.  Please look after yourself and if we can support you in any way please contact us at your earliest convenience.

Best Wishes to our Year 12 Students

Many of you may have children, or relatives and friends in Year 12.  Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all these young adults.  The academic effect of COVID, has been felt the greatest for these students.  Not only has their year been interrupted, but long-held traditions such as Graduation Ceremonies, school formals even “schoolies” have either been cancelled or modified.  I thank Mrs Helene O’Neill, and the Years 6 teachers and students for organising cards for the Year 12 students at St Francis Xavier in Hamilton.  I ask you to keep the Year 12 students and their families in your thoughts and prayers as they begin the final preparation for the HSC, which beings on the 20th October.

Cyber Safety

Last week I watched a documentary on Netflix called The Social Dilemma.  I urge all parents to watch this with your children, especially those in Years 5-6, or any who have access to their own devices.  There are a number of interviews with either the creators or employees of some of the major social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as well as dramatized scenarios that address the major concerns for young people in relation to social media.  As a parent of a 14 and 17 year old, the information presented in the documentary was extremely concerning especially around issues such as:

  • Online bullying and harassment
  • Mental health difficulties including depression
  • Social isolation

Social media can be extremely positive, as it allows us to connect with important people in our lives, that may be separated from us geographically.  However, we all need to ensure that we use it appropriately.  Almost all social media sites have a minimum age of 13 years, yet many of our students, some as young as Year 4, already have social media accounts.  We have been contacted by many parents about inappropriate behaviour that occur on social media, after school hours.  I have contacted the Police Liaison Education Officer, who has confirmed that issues that arise outside school hours, fall under parental responsibility.  Next term I have organised for some in-school presentations by the Police Liaison Education Officer for students in Years 5 & 6, we are also looking at how this information can be shared with parents, perhaps via Zoom.  More information will be sent early next term.

Good News Story “Keeping our School Clean”

Last week I was approached by some very industrious students in Year 2; Hamish L, Charlie L, Hamish Mc, Louie B, Rosie W, Ella M, Jake M, Annabel J and Orson M.  These children have been collecting rubbish at lunch and recess that other children have left around the playground.  I applaud these children for looking after our school.  I also ask that all children take responsibility for their own actions and clean up after themselves, rather that expecting others to do this for them.  I think these nine children in Year 2 are true Environmental Warriors!  They have written a song to help us remember to tidy up after ourselves, to the tune of “I’m a Little Tea Pot”: I’m a piece of rubbish short and stout.  Put me on the ground and I’ll pollute the world out!”.  So come on St Therese’s put all your rubbish in the bins and keep our environment beautiful for all to enjoy.

Farewell

Last week we said goodbye to Tristan H-L and his family who have relocated to Brisbane, we wish Tristan all the best in his new city and school.  We also farewelled Mr Fox, who has been doing his internship on 1W.  This Friday we farewell Miss McMillan (3W) and Miss Towns (KL) who finish their internships also.  All three interns have been wonderful on staff and we wish them all the best as they start their teaching careers, hopefully we will see them for casual work in Term 4 and beyond.

Kaylene Maretich

Acting Principal