Week 1, Term 4
Dear St James Community,
Welcome to Term 4; I trust that everyone has enjoyed their holiday break and have returned to school refreshed for the final part of the 2021 academic school year.
On October 4th, during the break, our Church celebrated the feast of St Francis of Assisi. Saint Francis of Assisi abandoned a life of luxury for a life devoted to Christianity after reportedly hearing the voice of God, who commanded him to rebuild the Christian church and live in poverty. Francis was born in 1181 in Italy and after his canonisation, he become the patron saint of animals and the environment. St. Francis’ peace prayer reminds us that goodwill, love and harmony are aspirational elements of life that we all need to action……...we pray:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Settling into Term 4
Our students have settled back into Term 4 very calmly and positively; I especially acknowledge our Year 6 students who have commenced their final Term of Primary School and I wish them well as they journey with excitement (and some sadness) towards ending their time with us.
2022 Staffing announcements
I am pleased to introduce 4 new teachers who will be joining the St James learning community in 2022.
- Bradley Bugden.
Bradley says that he is very excited to begin his teaching journey at St James Primary in 2022. He was born and raised in Lismore and since graduating university earlier this year he has been relief teaching at various schools across various grades in the Northern Rivers. He loves spending time with family and friends, playing soccer, watching sport and keeping active. Bradley said that he is really looking forward to being a part of the community at St James Primary and helping students be the best version of themselves.
- Elaine O'Gorman
Elaine is originally from Ireland and moved to Australia in 2012. She has taught in the Sydney, Wollongong and Brisbane Dioceses for the past 6 years and is currently a relief teacher at St James. Elaine says that she feels blessed to be joining the St James team in 2022 and is looking forward to guiding students on their learning journey. In her free time, Elaine enjoys exploring new places, going on adventures and spending time with her family and friends. She says that it is a privilege to be part of the St James community and she awaits the opportunity to meet and work with you and your family next year. Until then, Elaine sends her blessings:
May You Always Have... Lucky stars above you, sunshine on your way, many friends to love you, joy in work and play, laughter to outweigh each care, in your heart a song, gladness waiting everywhere, all your whole life long. (Irish Blessing)
- Holly Veitch
Holly says she is so excited to join the St James Primary community in 2022. She was born and raised in the Lismore area where she attended local Catholic schools. Whilst studying at the Australian Catholic University, she has been relief teaching at schools in Lismore and Casino which she said has been very rewarding. Holly is passionate about teaching and she loves watching students experience ‘lightbulb’ moments. She aims to provide an inclusive and fun learning environment for students to flourish in and she can’t wait to begin establishing relationships with all those involved in the school community. Holly loves going to the beach, going for walks, seeing friends and spending time with family, especially Franklin, her little puppy!
- Samuel Kerlin
Sam is currently teaching in Geelong (Victoria) and is the Catholic Identity Leader of the school. He says that he is very excited to be joining the community at St James Primary in Banora Point. Sam tells us that he grew up in a little country town called Myrtleford in North-East Victoria, and he has a brother and sister who are the same age, he’s a triplet!!! Sam enjoys running and is currently training for a marathon which uses up a lot of spare time. He is very passionate about teaching and he loves the work he does. Sam enjoys the connection with the students he teaches and building a rapport with every child in the school, their families and the wider school community; he is very much looking forward to a move to warmer weather in 2022 and the exciting opportunities that it will bring.
I also take this opportunity to also announce that Mrs Stamp (Teacher's Assistant) and Mrs Anderson (Teacher's Assistant/Libary Technician) are leaving St James Primary at the end of the year after many years of dedicated loyalty and service to our school. There will be opportunities to acknowledge and thank them both later in the term.
Our new teachers
2022 Staffing Roles and Responsibilities
Listed in the illustration is the 2022 roles and responsibilities for our staff.
COVID update/Term 4 Scheduling
Luckily and thankfully, our students had an opportunity to return to face-to-face teaching for the initial stages of Term 4. This is likely to continue now that the Government's stance on the situation is changing, however, we are prepared for rolling snap lockdowns/blended learning in the event that things change!
With regard to Term 4 events and dates, we can not plan too far ahead until we receive further advice around restrictions, so for now I reiterate the following scheduling:
Term 4 (Confirmed events/dates):
- Thursday, October 14th: 3-Way Conferences
- Monday, October 18th: Book Week
- Friday, October 22nd: Book Week Dress up day
- Friday, October 29th: Mission Fair
- Thursday, November 4th: Pupil Free Day
- Friday, November 5th: Pupil Free Day
Term 4 (Tentative events/dates):
- Monday, December 6th: Year 6 Graduation Mass
- Thursday, December 9th: Christmas Carols
- Monday, December 13th: Year 6 Celebration Day
- Tuesday, December 14th: Celebration of Learning Day
- Tuesday, December 14th: End of Year Mass
- Tuesday, December 14th: Year 6 Dinner Dance
- Wednesday, December 15th: Final School Assembly / Last day for 2021
Events such as the student disco, musical spectacular, student electives, camps, excursions and the swimming program will be developed in accordance with COVID guidelines.
Our postponed Book Week will be celebrated from Monday 18th October and closing with our annual Book Week Dress-Up Day on Friday 22nd October. Students will be able to dress up in their favourite literature character, which supports engagement in reading as a lifelong adventure. We thank Mrs Anderson for organising this event and our staff who will help make it a success for all students.
The Book Fair will be open to students from Tuesday 19th October until lunch time on Friday 22nd October. Students will be able to bring in cash or they can fill out their 'wish list' form when they visit the fair with their class and parents can then pay online from home. The Book Fair will be open for students to visit before school, recess and at lunchtime. Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions parents will not be able to visit the Book Fair this year.
Ginny is Mr McTaggart's 1 year 0ld Cavoodle and she started visiting the school during the recent lockdown and on the final day of Term 3 she spent the day with us.
Evidence shows that just being near a dog can reduce anxiety and in recent studies, 92% of students said they felt more relaxed at school when a school dog was present; and we all know when children are more relaxed and less stressed, they’re going to learn more!
Ginny will start coming into school from time to time, spending her day as the "Principal's Personal Assistant" and visiting the classrooms. Ginny will always be on her lead whilst at school and our students have been asked not to touch Ginny as she settles into her new surroundings. Of course, if anyone is afraid of dogs or has allegies to them can let Mr McTaggart know and he'll help. Ginny has been extremely calm whilst at school and we look forward to her becoming our little well-being pup and school mascot.
We have successfully secured a grant from the Catholic Schools Office for the refurbishment of the Kindergarten/Year 1 & 2 toilets. The Grant, for $145,000 will enable us to create a new entry/exit point from the Kindergarten playground (for ease of access and safety) into the existing girl's toilets that will be refurbished. It also enables us to create modern style toilets in a refurbished space for the Year 1 & 2 students using the existing boy's toilets. We are currently in the planning and negotiation phase with our builders and we hope to have this project completed in readiness for the 2022 school year. On behalf of our community, I thank the Catholic Schools Office for their support with this important project that ultimately supports our students' wellbeing, safety and security.
Our new front sign
Our beautiful new front entry sign, depicting the joy, learning and community of St James was installed on the final day of Term 3. It is a striking piece of artwork that welcomes everyone to our school and makes a wonderful statement about the central elements of our community.
Please be aware of our student presentation standards and requirements, and ensure that your child/ren are 'wearing it with pride' at all times. We have noticed that some children are not in the correct footwear and families have been notified of this (shoes must be fully black, polishable leather runners). We thank those who are correctly adhering to the uniform policy.
- All students for returning to school with joy-filled and positive attitudes;
- Our maintenance crew who worked tirelessly during the break to ensure our learning environment is clean and tidy;
- The Catholic Schools Office for gifting St James Primary a $145,000 grant for the refurbishment of the Junior School toilets.
October 5th was World Teacher’s Day; a time to give thanks to the dedicated people who gift our community with care, support and education of our students. At St James, we are very blessed to have staff who ensure that our children are safe and known and loved each day as valued members of our ‘Family in Christ.’ On behalf of our community, I thank our staff for the dedication and joy they bring to our community.