Term 1 Week 6 Newsletter 2022
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those families affected by the recent floods. Thank you to all parents and carers for your understanding regarding us being able to keep the school open with minimal supervision last week. Unfortunately our two downstairs classrooms were flooded despite our best efforts with sandbagging. Stormwater drains back up and combines with the runoff from the oval to cause the flooding. This situation can only be rectified by major drainage work which will take place with the building of the new classrooms next to the hall. Unlike other schools in the Diocese we are fortunate enough to have the school hall as a backup space for the students. Hopefully we’ll be able to return to the rooms this term however we will ensure they are thoroughly cleaned and approved for use before rushing back in. It just makes us extra motivated to have our new classrooms built and no longer being dependent on the space under the hall.
For those families requiring support and assistance with the recent flooding, please refer to the flyer below for links to support services.
Schools affected in the Lismore Diocese:
- St Joseph's Primary, South Murwillumbah. Significant issues, site will not be operational for a number of weeks.
- Mount St Patrick Primary & College, Murwillumbah, significant issues. Expect to be operational Tuesday next week.
- St Anthony’s Primary, Kingscliff. Operational next week.
- St Ambrose Primary, Pottsville. Currently operational.
- St John’s Primary, Mullumbimby. Some minor issues, operational late next week.
- St Finbarr’s Primary, Byron Bay. Two rooms flooded and relocated. Fully operational from Wednesday.
- Our Lady Help of Christians Primary, South Lismore; St Joseph’s Primary, Woodburn. Extensive issues, sites will not be operational for an extended period. Alternative venues are being investigated for the short and medium term.
- St Carthage's Primary, Lismore. Extensive damage and will require some relocation in the short term.
- St Joseph’s Primary, Coraki. School currently being used as an evacuation centre and is inaccessible. Some damage has occurred and a full assessment is likely over the weekend.
- Xavier Catholic College and Holy Family Primary, Skennars Head. Following use of both schools as evacuation facilities will be re-opening for business as usual.
- St Mary’s Catholic College, Casino. Resolving some minor damage and is preparing to return to normal operations.
- St Mary’s Primary, Casino. Have a number of damaged classrooms but have been able return to normal operations.
- St John’s College, Woodlawn. Has been affected by access and inundation and is working towards student return next week.
- Following access issues, St Francis Xavier Primary, Ballina, St Brigid’s Primary, Kyogle and St Joseph’s Primary, Alstonville are returning to normal operations.
- McAuley Catholic College, Grafton. Currently closed due to access
- St James’ Primary,Yamba and St Joseph’s Primary, Maclean. Currently closed due to access.
- St Joseph's Primary, Laurieton. Minor flood damage, school is operational.
- All other schools business as usual.
Xavier Open Night Postphoned
In light of the current circumstances in the Northern Rivers. The decision has been made to postpone Xavier Catholic College's Open Night, scheduled for next Monday. Xavier will notify us regarding enrolment information sessions once they know what format these will take.
Canteen Information for Friday
Canteen will be operating again this Friday for orders. Cyra has asked us to let families know that she is beginning to run low on some canteen items, as delivery has not been possible due to the flooding situation. She will do her best to provide students with their correct order, but she may need to provide alternatives if she runs out of certain items. Thanks for your understanding.
In Psalm 46, we read these words of encouragement and comfort: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in distress .”
Almighty God, Creator, and preserver of our world. We ask you to hear our humble prayers for all those afflicted by our recent storms and flooding.
Protect both life and property and in your mercy, bring relief to all affected areas.
Heal those broken in body and spirit. Protect all those who are most vulnerable. Turn the hearts of all to you, the God of all comfort.
Mr Tim Bleakley,
Learning Through Play
Bishop's Flood Appeal
The school and Catholic Schools Office are receiving extraordinary amounts of offers for support for families impacted by floods. To ensure a coordinated response the CSO are requesting that all donations be channelled through Bishop Greg's Diocese of Lismore 2022 Flood Appeal (https://www.lismorediocese.org/)
Account No: 1061 5829
Account Name: DOL Flood Appeal 3 Transaction
Details: If you wish your donation to go to a particular school, please include the school name in the transaction details (ie. for St Joseph’s Primary, Woodburn). While offers of physical resources and equipment are appreciated, unfortunately we have nowhere to store, sort and distribute such forms of generosity.
Ways to support Children in flood impacted areas
Our thoughts and prayers are with those within our immediate and wider community who have been affected by the recent weather and floods. As we have witnessed, Natural disasters have a significant impact on both individuals and communities, as these events and the circumstances that follow - can be traumatic. Children and young people are especially vulnerable to the emotional impacts and often rely on adults around them to provide support, information and protection.
Here are some ways of supporting children in flood impacted areas:
Monitor media exposure
Children can become anxious after listening to or watching repeated stories about a natural disaster, and can come to believe that everywhere is under threat. Be confident in your role as a parent/ carer and limit their exposure to news and other programs with potentially distressing images and sounds.
Listen to understand how they are feeling and thinking
Encourage (but don’t force) children to talk about their thoughts and feelings about floods. Let them know that it is normal to think and feel that way. Expect that they might ask the same questions over and over as they attempt to make sense of events. Remain patient and provide truthful but simple and thoughtful explanations that will help them to develop a realistic understanding of things. Correct any misperceptions they might have about the events and likely risks.
Provide children with opportunities to express their feelings
Sometimes children can better express their feelings through play than through words, so make time to play with them. You may like to read this book published by Queensland Health with your child ‘Birdie and the Big Flood’. This may help your child to name Birdie’s feelings and their own as you read and discuss the images in the book.
Children need comfort, reassurance and support, and to know that they are safe and are being looked after. Reassure them that their reactions are normal and will pass in time.
Be aware of how you talk in their presence
Shield children from in-depth adult discussion about these events, especially if they cannot join in at their own age or stage of development. They can distort what they hear or see especially when the information is received through indirect communication (for example, overheard adult conversations about worrying things).
Pay attention to your own reactions
Children may respond to the anxieties felt and expressed by the people around them. They often see and hear far more than adults are aware of, and they will take their cues for how to respond from you. Signs that your child or young person has been negatively affected by information about a natural disaster like a flood might include:
- becoming clingier towards a parent or carer.
- changes to sleeping or eating patterns, or both
- the emergence of new physical complaints – such as stomach ache or headache.
- changes in mood – such as being more easily irritable, or shutting down
- appearing on edge and frightened.
Accept the child or young person’s responses, reactions and feelings. Don’t tell them to ‘stop being silly’, or to ‘be brave’. Do not make behavioural or emotional demands or have expectations the child might not be able to meet at this particular time.
Make sure you look after your own safety and wellbeing. It is okay to take a break from volunteering in order to rest as this is very important for you, your child and your community.
Mrs Lauren Magnus,
Last Sunday marked the beginning of Lent. In the Gospel we heard how Jesus spent 40 days in the desert. We reflect on times when we have had desert-like experiences and remember that God is always present in our lives when we are feeling sad, lonely and hopeless.
The experiences within our own and neighbouring communities, particularly over the past week, have led to many feeling lost and struggling to process the events that have taken place. However, these times of despair also highlight the beauty of kindness, compassion and love shown to those in need.
At St Finbarr’s we have witnessed and heard of so many acts of service offered from those in our catholic school community to help those in need. A snapshot of this service has included spending time assisting in evacuation centres, cooking meals for those who are too overburdened to feed themselves, cleaning, donating food, clothing and bedding along with child care and sourcing accommodation for those who were unable to return to their homes.
It is these acts of service, where we as followers of Jesus know we are never alone. It is in these difficult times where we can be of service to others by providing support, encouragement and hope. We pray that God will give us strength and courage so we can bring a message of hope and love to others.
We pray that you hold close to you all those whose hearts are heavy,
those who are sick or suffering and maybe separated from those they love.
May we look to their needs with tenderness and compassion,
ready to serve them with willing hands and generous hearts.
We ask this prayer through Jesus your Son,
Mrs Sonya Piccoli
Assistant Principal -Mission & Inclusion Leader
Well done to our St Finbarr’s Swimmers who competed at the Diocesan Swimming Carnival two weeks ago. Congratulations to the following students who have qualified for the Polding Swimming Carnival to be held in Sydney. We wish them all the very best in their respective events.
Diocesan Winter Sports Trials have been postponed until March 18th.
It may be a good idea for all students to dust off their joggers and start some running training for our up and coming Cross Country Carnival which is held later in the term. Students will do some extra running with their class and PE lessons but it is always a good idea to run at home after school or on the weekends to build up our stamina.
Stage 3 Augmented Reality
Written by Caitlyn O Donoghue and Hadleigh Unsworth (Year 6 students)
Stage Three had an amazing day of learning about AR (augmented reality) last week.
We were very fortunate to have Paul Hamilton visit our school to explain what AR is and how to use the AR app Reality Composer.
The day enabled us to learn how to expand our skills in technology using our new iPads to create a sculpture using a variety of 3D shapes to tell a story. Firstly we learned how to import a shape, change its appearance using colour and scale and move the shape in different directions and different planes. We then learned how to add behaviours to the shapes so it would perform different actions in real life! We added a voice recording to narrate our stories around our creations.
We each had to choose an area around our the school to showcase our creations and we screen recorded our work. There were many laughs and great ideas and we think everyone who participated had an endless amount of fun while creating our sculptures. We definitely used our imagination to create our designs and a growth mindset when we needed to solve a problem to bring our sculptures to life. We'd like to thank Paul and our wonderful teachers for this great experience.