Term 3, Week 2 Newsletter
Last Monday all school staff were involved in Professional Development led by Dr Dan White. Dr White was previously Executive Director in the Archdiocese of Sydney and now works with schools across Australia in the area of Religious Education. Staff from St Francis Xavier Ballina, St Anthony's Kingscliff and St Joseph's Alstonville also attended the day which we hosted in the school hall. It was a powerful day of learning as well as an opportunity for school staff to come together to share ideas and resources. The focus of the day centred on quality pedagogy, a deeper understanding of scripture, the power of storytelling and lifting engagement in the classroom. Students came back on Tuesday with happy smiles and straight to lost property for those jumpers and jackets to keep them warm! We are looking forward to another exciting and productive term. Welcome to our new students Alaska and Letisha and their families to the St Finbarr’s community.
Tell Them from Me Survey
In the coming weeks we will be inviting students, teachers and parents to provide feedback on their experience of our school using an online survey. The surveys are an important part of our whole school evaluation and planning process.
We would like to invite you to complete the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Partners in Learning survey. As we value the role of parents and carers within our school community we would greatly appreciate your feedback. The information you provide will be used to maintain our commitment to working together in partnership to further improve student learning and wellbeing at St Finbarr’s.
The survey is anonymous and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. You are able to access the parent survey on your computer or mobile device from 1st August.
After School Activities and Opportunities
Since losing our demountable buildings at Christmas we have been looking for quality after school activities to provide further fun learning experiences for St Finbarr’s students. With the support of some of our parents we are investigating the following options this term.
- Bush School
- Chess club
- Yoga and Pilates
- Fitness Club/All Sports: Byron Youth Academy
- Languages: Spanish & Italian
All of these opportunities will be run by trained, qualified staff from outside the school and fees apply. The school charges a minimal hire fee which helps purchase equipment and maintain the school grounds. Bookings would be limited and on a ‘first in basis. We are also currently supporting ‘not for profit’ organisations such as Byron Bay Netball and Suffolk Park Football Club through the use of school grounds for training purposes. Please contact the Principal if you have suggestions for other quality programs. At present the school is used for the following programs:
Tuesday: Soccer X (3.20-4.20pm) / Hapkido (Hall)
Thursday: Suffolk Park Football training / Hapkido (Hall)
Friday: Netball training
Expression of Interest:
Please contact the office if you would like your child to be involved in the following:
- Bush School (Possibly Wednesdays)
- Chess club
- Yoga and Pilates
- Fitness Club/All Sports: Byron Youth Academy (Mondays)
- Languages: Spanish & Italian
Class Parent Gathering
Our next meeting for class parents will be coffee at the Green Garage in Byron on Monday 1st August at 9.15am. Join us as we begin planning for our Fathers Day breakfast and updates on other gatherings and projects. All welcome.
Food Allergies and Anaphylaxis
At St Finbarr’s the safety of all students is a priority. Last term we changed student pick up arrangements, placed extra staff on playground duties, had vulnerable trees trimmed and removed from the playground and trained all staff in First Aid. Another safety issue which arose during our Anaphylaxis training was the danger of allergies in the school setting. After a food issue was raised last week it is essential that we continue to highlight the serious nature of allergic reactions and revisit school policies and processes. At our morning assembly yesterday all students were reminded of our rules regarding not sharing food, remaining seated while eating and good hygiene habits. Teachers will continue to focus on these discussions in class this week. All students at St Finbarr’s with identified allergies have a personal safety plan in place which is monitored rigorously.
The following information aims to answer frequently asked questions about preventing food allergic and anaphylactic reactions.
What is anaphylaxis?
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction which can be life threatening. Anaphylaxis is most commonly caused by peanuts, tree nuts, egg, milk, sesame and seafood as well as medications and insect stings. The majority of food allergic and anaphylactic reactions occur in preschool age children. Most food reactions, even to highly allergenic foods such as peanuts are not anaphylactic. An Australian survey of over 4000 children indicated that more than 90% of anaphylactic food reactions occurred in preschool age children. Deaths from anaphylaxis are rare. Teenagers are more at risk of death; rarely do deaths from anaphylaxis occur in young Children.
Frequently asked questions:
Is a child at risk likely to have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) through casual contact with an allergen on surfaces, other children’s hands or by smelling the food?
No. Severe reactions from casual contact are extremely rare. Recent studies have shown that placing peanut butter on the skin did not cause any severe reactions in a group of peanut allergic children.
Is the child at risk of anaphylaxis likely to have a severe reaction if another child brings food to school that contains the known allergen?
Unless the child at risk of anaphylaxis shares or trades the food of others, the risk of anaphylaxis is negligible
What does the ‘may contain’ statement mean on food packaging and is it safe to have these products in school?
The ‘may contain’ statement is voluntary information provided by the manufacturer in order to inform the consumer that the product may have been inadvertently contaminated during the manufacturing process. It does not necessarily mean that the product will contain the allergen (this information is on the ingredient list). Some children who are at risk of anaphylaxis eat the products that have the ‘may contain’ statement while others do not. Products with the ‘may contain’ statement do not need to be removed from the school or the school canteen.
What precautions can parents take to help keep children at risk of anaphylaxis safe?
Awareness is one of the most important things. All parents can encourage their child to avoid sharing or trading food and sharing eating utensils. Encouraging children to wash their hands after eating may also be helpful to avoid mild allergy symptoms such as a skin rash. It is also helpful to tell children to get help from a teacher or other adult if another child looks unwell, even if they do not know what is wrong with them. Older children, can be taught about food allergies and anaphylaxis at appropriate times and of ways they can support their peers to avoid risk foods and to be safe.
Do we need to ban foods from the school?
A ban on peanuts and peanut products within the school is not required but may be agreed to by a school and its community. If a school does decide to ban peanuts or peanut products it should nevertheless not claim to be "peanut free". Such a claim could not reliably be made and, if made, may lead to a false sense of security about exposure to peanuts and peanut products. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that banning a food from a school is helpful in reducing the risk of anaphylaxis. To minimise the risk of exposure to a high risk allergen, schools should avoid the use of peanuts, peanut butter or other peanut products in curricular or extra-curricular activities. They should also review curriculum materials to make sure that they do not advocate the use of peanuts, peanut butter or other peanut products.
For further information schools should go to the relevant website:
Congratulations to Adam Price who has been selected in the Polding NSW Catholic Schools Rugby team, a fantastic effort.
New Quiet Play Space
We have created a wonderful new play space behind the Year Two classrooms. Cosy Corner is for those children who like a peaceful environment in which to ‘chill out’ with friends or by themselves.
Quiet play space
My name is Rohan Stewart, I run a business called Brunswick Bush School which has been running nature connection programs for kids aged 3-15 years for the last 7 years at Brunswick Heads. Some of you may have met up with us in our popular School Holiday Programs that we run, we also run term time programs as well. We are excited to announce a pilot program with St Finbarrs running an afterschool nature connection program for kids 6-12 years starting next wednesday, 3rd August and running from 3:30 -5:00 pm. The program will be outdoors based utilising the school nature play area and the reserve behind the school. We will explore a range of different bush skills such as bush tucker, tree climbing, plant and animal identification and use, responsible fire lighting, games and lots more, all based around natural themes. It will be a practical course with a mix of adult led and child led activities using the kids natural interests to guide us.
Initial numbers will be limited to 12-15 children.
The cost for the program will be $180 for the remaining 8 weeks of the term ($22.50 for an hour and a half each week). We will require a commitment for the whole program. You can book online via our website; brunsbushschool.com.au and go to the term times programs tab and look for the After School Programs and click on the link to book in. We look forward to this exciting new venture and hope to meet you next wednesday ready for an afternoon of nature connection!
Feel free to contact me for any questions and inquiries.
thank you,Rohan Stewart 0407898374
Bush School Images
Learning & Teaching
I hope you all had a restful break and enjoyed some down time with your family and friends (out of routine with no need to make lunches). Term 3 is shaping up to be an exciting term with lots of events planned. You will see a Term Planner attached - please print this and add it to your fridge. More information will come as events get closer but I have included a snapshot of some of the exciting activities on the calendar this term.
Madagascar Delivery - Writing Stimulus
We all arrived at school last Wednesday morning to a strange delivery on the playground. It appeared a TOP SECRET package from Madagascar had arrived. Some animal cages were empty and some appeared to still have dangerous reptiles and strange looking eggs inside. All the students were very engaged and excited to help us to solve the problem. Our Kindy students wrote all about what they saw, documenting the event. Our Stage 1 students had to write to persuade us what to do with the delivery and our Stage 2 and 3 students were tasked to write with the purpose to inform us about the animals and the delivery and to include all the facts. It was very odd because on Thursday the package seemed to have dissapeared......
Book Week conincides with the Byron Bay Writers Festival and therefore we have decided to mix things up with our Book Week celebrations this year. Instead of a character, students are invited to select a WORD and come dressed depicting that word for our VOCABULARY PARADE. I have attached some photos as examples for you. Get your thinking caps on, start your planning and get excited. Lots more information to come, closer to the date.
Vocabulary Parade Examples
It's that time of year again where we get to showcase the amazing talent of our students and staff. Our Creative and Performing Arts Showcase will be on Tuesday 20th September in the afternoon and evening so SAVE THE DATE. The theme this year is "Words make the world go round" and students will be performing a song / dance AND showcasing a piece of artwork.
Father's Day Breakfast
SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday 31st August
Yours in Partnership,
Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
The Feast Day for our Mary MacKillop is nearly upon us. Monday the 8th of August marks this solemnity. Mary MacKillop is Australia's beloved first saint and as the founder of the Josephites, foundational to our school, with her quote, 'Never see a need without doing something about it' echoing each day throughout St Finbarr's in words and deeds.
On this day, we celebrate the important role she played in making education accessible for children in our country. Mary MacKillop devoted her life to ensuring a holistic Catholic education for children from rural, poor families.
In order to mark this special Feast Day, there will be a whole school liturgy in the school hall Monday the 8th at 9:15am. Everyone is warmly invited to attend this liturgy.
On Friday the 12th of August we will celebrate a day of action where we ask our St Finbarr’s community to be like Mary taking action by donating to St Vincent De Paul to help raise funds for the homelessness and disadvantaged in our very own backyard.
Please support this fundraiser by clicking on the link below to help us reach our fundraising goal which will assist Vinnies provide support for those in our community who need it the most. Children are asked to wear their ‘Winter Woolies’ on this day.
First Holy Communion
First Holy Communion is the sacrament that completes the process of initiation (along with Baptism and Confirmation) and is when one can fully participate in the Eucharist by receiving Holy Communion. First Holy Communion is unique among the sacraments as it is at the heart of our faith. For Catholics, the Eucharist, or Mass, is the most powerful way we encounter the real presence of Jesus Christ.
Each weekend we gather to celebrate the Eucharist, the ritual in which, by the power of the Holy Spirit, bread and wine are transformed into the Body and Blood of Christ. We who celebrate are also transformed, becoming Christ’s presence to others, and recognising the presence of Christ in others.
If your child/ren have already received the Sacrament of Baptism, Confirmation and Reconciliation and you wish for them to participate in the Sacrament of First Holy Communion, there will be a Parent Meeting next Thursday the 4th of August, 6:30pm at St Finbarr’s Church Byron Bay. At least one parent/carer must attend this meeting to register your child/ren. If you have any concerns or questions in regard to this, please contact the Parish office by:
Phone:02 6685 6260
Save the Date
Whole school/Parish Mass
Monday 15th August
St Finbarr’s Church
Yours in Partnership,
Mrs Sonya Piccoli
Assistant Principal- Mission & Additional Needs
State Cross Country
Congratulations to Will S and Jack B on their exciting effort of making it all the way to the State Cross Country Titles held in Sydney last Friday. Their dedication to their training and drive to perform their very best is to be commended.We are very proud of them and their achievement.
A very big thank you also to their families for making this experience possible for them.
Tweed Zone Athletics Carnival
We wish all of our 43 students the very best of luck in their respective events in the Tweed Zone Athletics Carnival this Friday.
State Rugby Union Trials
Congratulations to Adam P on his selection into the Polding Rugby Union team which will compete at the State Selection Trials in Week 6.
We wish Molly all the very best at the State Soccer Trials which will be held in Sydney during Week 3.
Girls Basketball Clinic
Byron Bay Basketball is holding a girls basketball clinic. The clinic is on Tuesday 2nd August, at the Cavanbah Centre in Byron Bay.
4-5:30pm - primary school aged girls
6-7:30pm - high school aged girls
The Byron Bay Beez Basketball Association are hosting professional WNBL team the Sydney Flames for a basketball clinic, open for girls of all abilities and experience levels, from beginners to representative players.
The Flames will have two of their professional players in attendance to run the clinic, being Shyla Heal and Tiana Mangakahia.
At just 20 years of age, Shyla Heal is already a superstar of the sport, having played for the Australian Opals and professionally in both the American WNBA and the Australian WNBL.
Registration is essential, players can register here: