Term 1, Week 4 Newsletter
Opening School Mass
Our opening school Mass last Friday was a beautiful occasion with the Year Six leaders processing in with their Kinder buddies. Our Kinder children settled into the occasion with reverence and respect. We thank Fr David for welcoming the children and their families and for his special words during the homily. Year Six looked fantastic in their new school shirts and were also presented with their leadership badges which were blessed at the end of the service.
Parent Information Meeting
Thank you for taking the time to attend the Parent Information evening recently. It was heartening to see so many here to meet the class teachers and gain a sense of the school direction for 2023. The first few weeks have been positive and productive with new students building friendships and adapting to their new surroundings. Teachers have been focusing on building positive relationships and setting the tone for a safe and engaging learning environment.Teachers are looking forward to meeting with you all with our Meet and Greet sessions planned for this week.
Opening School Mass
School Parent Body
As I reflect on the first few weeks of school I am reminded of what a supportive and involved parent community we have at St Finbarr’s. From Mass attendance to canteen help, impromptu working bees and even having Year Four parents involved in Friday sport and competing in the Beep Test, Well done!
At the Parent Information evening I spoke about our aim of reinvigorating the school parent body after a few years of inactivity due to Covid restrictions. If you would like to be involved in a group who will meet for one meeting per term, please contact the school office or email Mr Bleakley.
All parents are welcome to be involved and we are looking for people with commitment, spirit, fresh ideas, and a passion for helping to make St Finbarr’s the best we can possibly be. Our first gathering will be Monday 6th March at 5.30- 6.30 pm in the Hall. Below is an outline of what we are hoping to achieve:
What is the St Finbarr’s School Community Group?
- The St Finbarr’s School Community Group advocates for each student’s academic outcomes, pastoral needs, spiritual growth and the overall school improvement plan.
- It is Student-Centred and Community-Focused.
- It seeks to build partnerships with all members of the school community and wider community to meet the faith, academic and wellbeing needs of its students.
- It is welcoming and Inclusive and acknowledges the diversity of parents and carers within the school community.
- All parents and carers are invited to be a part of the group and participation will ensure there is an equitable voice for the community.
- The parent representative body seeks to engage parents/carers in ways that empower them to contribute their unique skills, gifts and insights to help the school achieve its Mission.
- The parent body regularly seeks voice from the wider school and parish community and there are clear processes for the parent body to contribute to school decisions where appropriate.
- The St Finbarr’s School Community Group aims to strengthen the relationship between schools and families, and improve the connection between learning at school and learning at home.
- It will provide opportunities to engage parents in a variety of learning initiatives which support families in achieving children’s educational, spiritual and wellbeing needs.
- It will provide opportunities for communication between the school, families and parish, and will promote regular, meaningful and ongoing dialogue about children’s educational, spiritual and wellbeing needs.
- It will ensure inclusive, transparent and clear communication with the wider community and the purposes and role of the St Finbarr’s School Community Group will be clearly communicated and understood by parents and carers.
See you on Monday 6th March at 5.30- 6.30 pm in the school hall
Nature Play before and after
A HUGE thank you to our parent helpers who have answered the call and helped move the mulch in the Nature Play space. The school and especially the students appreciate you giving up your time to assist. It is such a unique, creative and popular play and learning space.
Today kicked off our first canteen day for the year. Thank you to everyone for navigating our new Compass platform for canteen. It is always so special seeing our Kindergarten students becoming more independent with many of them making their way over to buy a treat, with a fist full of coins out in front of them asking, "What can I get with this much money?"
Thank you so much to Annabelle (Harrison, Roley & Violet's mum) and Jessica (Charlotte and Hannah's mum) who navigated this mornings orders. Thank you also to those who have kindly voluntered their time to help us run the canteen. The roster for this term is below and we still have a couple of spots to fill. If anyone else is available to help out on these dates please contact the office.
Bush School News from Rohan
The Bruns Bush School after school program on Wednesdays is off to a good start. We're spending more time in the reserve this term exploring and enjoying the Arakwal Nature Reserve adjacent to the school. Last week we were nature detectives, our task was to look for signs and evidence of animals. We found feathers, reptile egg capsules, plenty of swamp wallaby spore and animal prints. Then for a walk to Tallow creek for a cool wade across the creek, a great way to spend the afternoon. If you would like your child to have more nature time we have a few spaces left this term. We run from 3:30 to 5pm on wednesdays.
For more info and bookings contact Rohan on 0407898374.
Kindergarten 2024 Enrolments
We are taking enrolments for Kindergarten 2024, please go onto our website and download an application form, or call into the school office for a hardcopy.
School tours will be commencing in March.
Yours in Partnership
Ash Wednesday & Lent
Tomorrow we will celebrate Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent and a time for us all to reflect on what it means to follow Christ in our lives. It is a time to grow in and strengthen our faith.
Our Primary students, Years 3-6 will celebrate Mass at St Finbarr's Church at 9:30am, where all will receive ashes on their forehead in the shape of a cross. The cross is used to show that a person belongs to Jesus Christ and reminds us that God knows what is in our hearts.
Lent is a time for reflection and to make changes that help us to become a better version of ourselves, and to become more like Jesus.
be with us in a special way during this time of Lent
so that we can become people of hope and courage.
Help us to think about how we can treat others
as we want to be treated.
May our attitude to life show that we are
always supportive and encouraging of others.
We make this prayer through
Jesus Christ Our Lord.
All families are warmly invited to attend this special Ash Wednesday Mass the 22nd of February @ 9:30am, St Finbarr's Church, Byron Bay.
Ash Wednesday also marks the beginning of the annual Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal. Donations to Project Compassion allow Caritas Australia, the Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development, to work with local communities around the world to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.
The theme of Project Compassion 2023 is ‘For All Future Generations’ and reminds us that the good we do today extends to impact the lives of generations to come. It invites us to make the world a better place by working together now and finding long-term solutions to global issues. We encourage you to put your compassion into action this Lent through prayer, fasting and almsgiving in support of Project Compassion. The launch of Project Compassion will commence at our school assembly this coming Friday where each class will receive a project compassion fundraising box for their classroom.
Sacrament of Confirmation-Save the date
Dear Parents and Carers,
You are warmly invited to join Fr. David Gilbey, Parish Priest of Holy Spirit Parish and St. Finbarr’s school staff at the Confirmation Parent Meeting that will take place on Wednesday the 1st of March, 6.30pm at St. Finbarr’s Church, Byron Bay.
Any student in Year 3 or above who is a baptised Catholic is able to receive this Sacrament. Bishop Greg’s current Sacramental Policy for the Diocese of Lismore is for Confirmation in Year 3.
This meeting will provide you with information in respect to the Sacrament of Confirmation and give you an opportunity to register your child for the programme for 2023.
Sacraments are such an important part of your child’s faith journey, and therefore, it is necessary that at least one parent attends this meeting. This will enable you as parents and carers to understand and engage with the process your child will be actively participating in as part of their preparation of the Sacrament.
Children are not required to attend this meeting, however, part of the preparation will include parents and students together attending the dates below. Please note the dates below include Saturday Masses at St. Finbarr’s Byron Bay and the Sunday Masses at St Kevin’s Bangalow. You are only required to attend one of these Masses each weekend.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the meeting please contact the Parish Office on (02) 66 85 6260 or email email@example.com
Yours in Partnership,
Mrs Sonya Piccoli
Assistant Principal Mission & Additional Needs
Learning & Teaching
DIBELS - Literacy Screener
The Diocese of Lismore has this year introduced a new literacy screening tool called DIBELS. DIBELS stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills.
DIBELS are measures that help teachers and schools determine how students are performing on important reading skills. These measures are designed for students in grades K-6 following extensive research done by the University of Oregon, Centre for Teaching and Learning.
Over the next two weeks Mrs Magnus and Mrs Piccoli will be working with every student across Yrs 1-6 to screen students using the DIBELS measures to further support planning and quality learning and teaching at St Finbarr's. (Kindergarten students will be screened in Term 2).
Professional Learning Community
At St Finbarr's the teaching staff belong to a professional learning community (PLC) and smaller grade teams known as PLTs (Professional Learning Teams). Each week teachers meet in their teams for the purpose of collaboration, sharing and ongoing critical reflection of teaching practices in line with professional standards.
Our PLTs are learning-oriented and promote the growth of teachers, which in turn, leads to the growth of of our students. This week teaching teams are looking at the Mathematics Assessment Interview Data to set goals and design learning and teaching activities that target indivual student needs. The conversations have been extremely productive and our students are very lucky to have such dedicated teachers.
Thank you so much to all for your efforts in joining and navigating Compass. Well done to all the families who successfuly ordered lunches today it was a huge success. Booking our Meet & Greet meetings have also been a success on this platform.
A reminder that if you still aren't on them to please download the app and activate your account as soon as possible because this is our main form of communication here at St Finbarr's. It is our one stop shop for all things school: canteen, excursions, school fees, communication, newsletters, notifications, parent meeting bookings etc.
Students in Yrs 3 and 5 will be participating in NAPLAN in March this year (it has been brought forward from May). The students will begin their first assessment, writing, on Wednesday the 15th of March and assessment window will conclude on the 27th March.
If your child is going to be away at all during this time please email the classroom teacher and or myself: firstname.lastname@example.org so that I can record this. For further information on NAPLAN you may like to visit https://www.nap.edu.au/naplan
Yours in Partnership,
Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
Zone Swimming Carnival-Murwillumbah
Congratulations to our 36 students who represented St Finbarr’s at the Tweed Zone Swimming Carnival, last Tuesday. As usual, everyone participated with great enthusiasm and sportsmanship, with Roley being named as the Junior Boys Runner-Up Champion.
Well done to the following students who have progressed through to the Diocesan Swimming Carnival, to be held at Kempsey in March.
Hazel- 50m Freestyle
Ned- 50m Freestyle
Roley- 50m Freestyle, 50m Breastroke, 50m Butterfly
Ned, Roley, Oliver, Hugo- Junior Boys Relay
SIDESTEP KIDS FESTIVAL
Is a multi-arts festival for kids and families presented by Roundabout Theatre. Set over two days, this event will transform Banner Park into a magical participatory art playground on the banks of the Brunswick River.
Over the weekend there will be a huge array activities: arts and craft workshops, music, song, circus, dance, comedy, drama, game playing, upcycled dress-ups and much much more.
Program highlights include: giant cubby houses created live during the event, a kids cabaret, a huge interactive game and roving theatre by Roundabout Theatre, Delta Kay Arakwal tours, Arakwal dancers, Joel Salom – Eric the Dog Show, The Pitts Family Circus, Melia Naughton premiering her new kids album, Byron Youth Theatre, Spaghetti Circus & Byron Circus Arts, author book readings and storytelling.
All of our events and venues will be fully accessible, following government guidelines for wheelchair users, the deaf community, and the visually-impaired.