Term 4 Week 4 2023
Assistant Principal's News - Mission
World Teachers' Day Celebration
Last Friday, we celebrated ‘Hats off to Teachers’ for the recognition of World Teachers' Day. I think Mr O’Brien’s email to our staff all the way from Roncesvalles in Spain sums up exactly how proud we all are of the team we have here at SMP:
“I would like to wish you ALL a Happy World Educators' Day. At SMP, alongside our Teachers, we are all Educators and all so important and valued in ensuring we have the best impact on our kids. Whether we are keeping the place looking safe and great, helping kids be well, or communicating with parents and kids in the office, we all play a huge part in the success of our school ... and our school is successful because of this. Our teachers, in particular, are truly dedicated to our kids and helping to change Casino for the better. Thank you."
Don’t ever forget to say a big thank you to our teachers for the “1 percenters” they go to every day to make sure our kids have the best learning and enjoyment here at SMP. I know this small act of recognition goes a long way!
P & F - Important Information
All schools in the Diocese of Lismore are required to review and renew their parent representative group by choosing one of two new models. At our school we currently have a P & F Association.
At a recent P & F meeting, the two new models for parent representation were presented and we would like to ensure all parents have the opportunity to indicate their preference.
The two models are outlined in the image below. Please read through the information and click on the links to vote for your preference.
Friday Church Visits
All students will have 2-3 visits to church to participate in a Liturgy of the Word during Term 4 which will be celebrated with Fr Peter. We will send parent invitation letters home the week before your child has their visit as we would love as many parents and family members to come along to celebrate as well. Dates are below that you are more than welcome to attend:
- Friday 3 November 1.00pm - 1.45pm (Kinder, Years 1, 2 & 3)
- Friday 1 December 1.00pm - 1.45pm (Years 4, 5 & 6)
Year 5 Camp
Today, our Year 5 students return from their 3 day, 2 night camp at Tyalgum Ridge Retreat. I’m pretty confident that all students and staff will be all pretty bleary-eyed when they get off the bus in the afternoon. A massive thank you to our staff: Nikki Hammond, Hannah de Silva, Tim Llewellyn, Gail Burley, Danny Parsons and Paula McIntyre for giving up time away from their families to make sure our kids had a great time at camp.
Student of the Month
The next SOM Assembly will be Thursday 9 November in the Relihan Centre from 2.10pm. All parents and family members are welcome to come along.
Remembrance Day - 11 November
Remembrance Day holds a special place in our hearts. It is a time when we come together as a community to honour the brave men and women who have made sacrifices for our freedom and peace. Their courage, dedication and commitment to our country is a testament to the values we hold dear.
It is essential for us to recognise Remembrance Day each year, ensuring that the stories of these heroes live on and inspire future generations. To mark this significant day, our school will be hosting a simple prayer service, allowing us to reflect and express our gratitude to those who have given so much for our nation from 1.20pm at school.
Last Friday we also celebrated Socktober Day for World Mission Month by wearing Crazy Socks and donating a coin. A number of students also set up their own charity stall which was organised ‘off their own back’ and without any teacher support or school financial assistance. These students sold items like handmade jewellery, cupcakes and lollies whilst others showed initiative by setting up fun carnival-like games and running these for our students at school.
We were so proud of our students on this day because all money that was raised (a mammoth $1625.45) was donated to Caritas to support families and children in Timor-Leste which is a small country just off the North-West coast of Australia.
Assistant Principal - Mission
Assistant Principal's News Teaching & Learning
Social Media and Our Kids
Whether we like it or not, Social Media is a large part of our children's lives and it is important that we, as educators and parents understand the impact that this can have on our children's developing minds. I am regularly working with children who have experienced negative impacts from exposure to Social Media apps, including those that are not age-appropriate.
The most common apps I am encountering, that are negatively affecting our children, are TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. All of these apps have an age restriction of 13 years, so should not actually be used by our kids. I do, however, completely understand the pressure to allow our children to access these apps but it is important to understand what we are giving them access to. I have included some information that all parents can make informed decisions moving forward.
While platforms like these offer opportunities for connectivity and self-expression, they also bring about some concerning challenges for primary school children.
Snapchat: Snapchat's allure lies in its temporary nature, with messages disappearing after viewing. However, this quick turnover can inadvertently promote a lack of accountability. Moreover, features like 'streaks' can create a sense of pressure, as students may feel obligated to maintain daily exchanges, impacting their focus on schoolwork and daily routines.
Instagram: Instagram revolves around visual storytelling, and it's here that some primary school students encounter issues related to self-esteem and body image. Constant exposure to curated, idealised content can lead to unrealistic comparisons and body image concerns, which can negatively affect their self-confidence.
TikTok: TikTok, with its endless stream of short, captivating videos, is highly engaging for youngsters. However, the addictive nature of the app can result in excessive screen time, potentially impacting sleep and academic performance.
As parents and educators, it is essential to be aware of these challenges and take proactive steps to mitigate their impact:
Screen Time Management: Establishing clear rules about screen time and promoting tech-free periods can help maintain a healthy balance between online and offline activities.
Media Literacy: Teaching primary school students critical thinking skills and digital literacy can empower them to discern between real and idealized online content, reducing the influence of unrealistic standards.
Open Communication: Encourage open and non-judgmental conversations with your child about their online experiences. Being an approachable source of guidance can help address any concerns that arise.
While social media has its merits, it's crucial to be mindful of its potential negative impact on our primary school students. By taking a proactive and informed approach, we can better equip our children to navigate these platforms safely and responsibly, ultimately ensuring their overall well-being.
I have included some fact sheets to give you a better understanding of these apps. PLease do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or require support in this area.
AP Teaching & Learning
Leader of Faith
World Day of Prayer For Peace
Last Friday all classes joined as one at 9.00am in response to Pope Francis' request for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in the world. Each class gathered around a single candle set up in their classroom and together, with Mr Irvine leading us through the school PA system, prayed The Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for peace in our world. Our time of prayer ended with all students and teachers spending a minute in silent prayer. It was a very moving period of reflection and solidarity. We encourage all families to pray for peace in our world.
November - A time of Remembering those who have died
Our Church dedicates the month of November to those who have died. This week we celebrated All Saints' Day on Wednesday All Souls' Day on Thursday. At Monday's school assembly we prayed together as a school community for our family and friends who have died. Each class prepared a special leaf with the names of groups of people they wished to pray for written on it. These were placed on a special tree during our assembly, with the tree now in our school chapel for the month of November.
Fr Peter will celebrate a special Mass this Friday 3 November at 6.00pm at the Casino cemetery for the deceased members of our Casino community. All are welcome. Please bring a chair.
St Mary's Catholic Church Mass times
November weekend Mass Saturdays 6.00pm Sundays 8.00am
Saturday 9.00am followed by Adoration
Reconciliation Saturdays 8.30am - 9.00am
Country Mass at Bonalbo Sunday 12 November at 10.30am
An invitation to Adoration in our Catholic Church
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every Wednesday between 5.00pm - 6.00pm. Could you spend 5 or 10 minutes before the Blessed Sacrament in silence?
Peace within our world
Peace within our community
Peace within your family
Peace within your heart
Leader of Faith
Swimming Timed Heat Finals
The Swimming Timed Heat Finals (Monday 20th November, Week 7) nominations have been sent out to those students who have expressed their interest in 50 m Butterfly, 100m Freestyle and 4 x 50m Individual Medley. If your child would like to enter these events and has not received a nomination form on Compass please contact me. These are Juniors (8, 9 10) Boys/Girls, 11yo or Senior Boys/Girls.
School Swimming Carnival (Years 3 - 6) Monday 4 December
Our Year 3 - Year 6 Swimming Carnival will be held on Monday 4 December. This is a compulsory school event.
Where: Casino Memorial Pool
When: Monday 4 December
There is also an option for Years 1 & 2 swimmers to attend the carnival as well. They must be competitive swimmers with some experience e.g. involved in a Swimming Club and can swim 50m competitively. More information will be provided closer to the date.
NSWPSSA State Athletics Championships
Congratulations to Rocco Jenkins, Marcos Barber, Chase Roberts and Finnan Martin for competing at the NSWPSSA State Athletics Carnival at the Sydney Olympic Park in the 4 x 100 Metre Relay. Well done boys Leading the way in Sport.
Leader of Love and Community
It’s almost Christmas time! We will be holding our annual Christmas Concert on Thursday 23 November in the St Mary’s Catholic College grounds. The afternoon will start at 5.00pm and finish at 7.00pm. The children are asked to wear Christmas colours for the night. Please see attached flyer for all other information. We hope to see you there!
Leader of Love and Community
Term 4 Tuition Fees have been processed. Payments can be made via the compass portal and app or via BPay. BPay is the preferred method of payment. You can also make payments at the school office.
Dates for your diary
Thursday 9 November: Student of the Month Assembly @ 2.10pm
Monday 13 November to Friday 17 November: Year 6 Brisbane Excursion
Monday 20 November: Kindergarten 2024 Information night
Thursday 23 November: Christmas Concert
Friday 24 November: Student free day
Friday 24 November: Year 7 2024 St Mary's College Orientation Day for Year 6
Monday 4 December: School Swimming Carnival
Wednesday 13 December: Year 6 Graduation
Friday 15 December: Last day of the school year
Happy birthday t0 Milly Maroney Granger Kook Calla Ring Beau Darragh Harpah Baker Willow Moss Alexis Martin Finn Irvine Mason Newby Blake Simeoni Benjamin Johnston Iyla Farr Aurora Silver Milla Constable Isabella MacMahon Charlotte Deegan Bree Randall Ella Rippon Jasper Edwards and Jett Crane who have recently celebrated their birthday.