Term 2 Week 6 2023
Giinagay Families and Friends of St Mary's,
As I read through a draft of this weeks Newsletter, I am filled with such a sense of pride. Our school community is achieving so much, in learning, culture, spirituality, community, sport and friendship. St Mary's is such a wonderful place for all the students who enter through our gates each morning. I am so grateful to lead this school, with the amazing team of Educators and Support Staff who work so exceptionally hard for the students in their care each and every day.
It has finally happened! The Playground is open! As most of you know we hit many hurdles during this build - from changing the plans to ensure we are WHS safe, to the rain, rain and more rain, to hitting the fibre optic cable... the list goes on! However, there was such a sense of joy, listening to the children playing on there this week. Lot's of excited children.
We are now taking enrolements for Kindergarten 2024. As most parents know, our biggest advertising card is YOU! Your word of mouth in community. So please, if you know any families who have a child starting school, have a word to them about our amazing little school! We would love to meet them.
Covid is once again going around our community. If your children have any symtoms, please test your children and keep them home. This is the only way we can stop the spread of Covid in our community. If you require testing kits we have some available at the front office, please just let us know.
This week is where we pause and acknowledge Australia’s entire story of nationhood and ponder our past and imagine our future. At St Mary's we gathered last Friday to acknowledge Sorry Day. This week we have prayed for a nation built on truth telling, healing and voice. Our students also contributed to the "Sea of Hands" in the main street of Bowraville, recognising our contribution to Reconciliation and what we can do to help move towards healing.
Miss Elsy has been a valued casual teacher at St Mary's for many years. We have had to say farewell to Miss Elsy as she is relocating to QLD. Our Students will have many wonderful memories of Miss Elsy.
Elsy will be greatly missed by St Mary's staff and students. We wish Elsy and Cole all the best on their big move to Harvey Bay.
Today students travelled to Scott's Head for our athletics carnival. They participated in Track events: 70m, 100m, 200m and 400m along with Shot Put, Long Jump, Discuss and novelty races. Our students did an amazing job participating in these events and the house chants from our 2 house teams Gaagal (Ocean- Blue) & Bindarray (River- Green) was great!
A big thank you to Uncle Richie for setting up the athletics field and helping throughout the day and to Mr Pascoe for organising the day and to all the teachers and support staff for making this day happen.
On Friday the 26th May St Mary's held a Sorry Day morning with our community members. Our special guest Ricky Buchanan did welcome to country in Gumbaynggirr. Students watched the sorry story before Staff read out the apology by Kevin Rudd and had a one minute silence. Aunty Brenda and Uncle Ricky rang the bell 5 times as a sign of respect to our past elders and for those from the five nations in the Lismore Diocese. Followed by a shared lunch with attending community members and students. Thank you Aunty Brenda for organising this important day and sharing with our students and community.
National Sorry Day is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors and reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and nation. While this date carries great significance for the Stolen Generations and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is also commemorated by Australians right around the country
Over the past few weeks our staff have been involved in training sessions which included training with Educationalist Lyn Sharatt, Sue Larky Autism learning, Anxiety support workshops, STEM academy and Leadership Development with the Brown Collective and Berry Street Education Model. Our teachers and staff are looking forward to implementing what we have learnt with in our school.
Over the past 6 weeks our stage 3 girls participated in a friendship group. The group discussed topics such as healthy peer relationships, navigating peer challenges, self esteem, change in bodies and body image.
The girls created items in these groups such as talking sticks, friendship jars and friendship bands.
Each week the girls were able to place a note in an anonymous box with questions or issues they would like to discuss at the following group.
In their last session the girls collectively iced and decorated cupcakes for each other. At the end the girls shared the cupcakes with Miss Mel, Aunty Brenda and Miss Amy.
"In the group I liked making and painting the sticks. It was fun decorating and eating the cupcakes" Shyliqua
On Monday this week the long awaited new playground was opened for students to play on.
Students were keen to share what they like about the new playground
"I like the balcony with the slides because I can pretend i'm the king of the castle with my knights at the bottom" Cory
"The water pump is my favourite" Jacob
"My favourite part of the new playground is the children's laughter" Miss Mel
"The platform is my favourite part because I can jump around on it" Kaden
"I like the slide because it's long and fast" Tayven
"I like the climbing rock wall and water pump" Jayden
"I like the rope walk because it's fun to walk across. It swings from side to side and you can't fall off it" Mia yr 3
"I like the bridge and sandpit. I make sandcastles in the sandpit and I can hang by my knees from the ropes" Violet
"The rock climbing wall is my favourite" Oakley
On Monday 22nd of May Year 5 & 6 had a visit from farmer Dave & Sheree who brought along their Australian Kelpie Bek. Students were able to learn about the farming life from working farmers. Dave & Sheree's insight into farming was very informative for our students who had many questions to ask.
Miss Nadine and our Year 6 students visited Bowraville Community Preschool to spend some time with our smallest community members. They enjoyed reading books and playing games with the preschoolers.
The Wildfire group entertained our students on Wednesday 17th May. Part of their session is live music as they play as a band. Students danced while the band played.
At the heart of the Ten:Ten experience is the proclamation of the Gospel through contemporary Christian music played by the Proclaim Lismore Wildfire Worship Team. The session themes of friendship with God, God’s love and encountering Jesus are brought to life by the Youth Ministry Officers from local secondary schools.
Tamsyn from Netball NSW visits St Mary's twice a week to conduct Netball clinics with our students. Years K-3 and Years 4-6 are grouped together for these sessions. We have students with many different levels of skills in Netabll and Tamsyn is doing a great job in catering for all skill levels.