On Friday 30 January we had a special liturgy in the Church for Years 1 to 6. The 2015 Student Council was inducted during the liturgy. Father Paul Winter had a very important message about leadership for the students. Mr Dent made an excellent point as well – ALL students in Year 6 are leaders at our school. They have made a great start to 2015 and our staff will be guiding them along the way.
Welcome back to all our students and especially to all our new families!
Our Principal, Dr Jake Madden will spend his last day at our school on Friday 15 August. He will be moving to Dubai to take up a Principalship at a K-12 school. Over the past ten years Mr Madden has navigated our school through an unprecedented time of change. Always ahead of the game, he is aware of what schools in the 21st Century need to be for learners and has inspired his staff to consider what learning dispositions students require to learn and take their place in the world.
Jake was not only seen as a leader of learning at St Augustine’s but also a leader within the Diocese of Lismore. His contribution to education was recognised more formally when he was awarded a Fellowship with the NSW arm of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders. This award recognises members who have made an outstanding contribution over a period of time to the improvement of student and organisational outcomes. Contemporary leadership is extremely challenging for Principals however Jake has responded to these challenges knowing that learning outcomes for students cannot be compromised. Our students come first. We thank Jake most sincerely for all he has done for St Augustine’s School. We wish him all the very best for the future.
Please join our staff and students for a special assembly for Mr Madden on Thursday 14 August at 2:00pm.
The St Augustine’s kindergarten classes were treated to a special visit by an author during their library lesson this week. Adam Wood is the author of the children’s book “Charlie”, but the best part is that “Charlie” was written for his own son Charlie who is in kindergarten at the school. While he was visiting Adam demonstrated how to draw the title character and talked about creating the story and illustrations.
The students were delighted to meet a real live author and illustrator and had many questions for Adam about the writing and production of his book. To meet a real author and illustrator is a great event but to personally know the inspiration for the subject of a book is a particularly unique opportunity in which the students were keen to be a part of.
The story was very popular with all the Kindergarten students who took great delight in sharing in the adventures of “Charlie”. Adam has kindly donated a copy of his first book to the St Augustine’s school library but for details on how to purchase your own copy of “Charlie” go to http://au.blurb.com/b/5130619-charlie
Year 1 at St Augustine’s School have been learning about how we can meet our needs.
After exciting discussion on needs and wants the students decided that they “want” some school playground equipment.
In response to identifying their want, the students studied pedestrian safety and set out on a walk to Brelsford Park to see the types of equipment that could be used.
At the park the children looked at the following aspects; enjoyment, safety, comfort and aesthetics.
They will use this knowledge to design and build their own playground which might be suitable for our school. We can’t wait to see their designs!
Pictured are an excited Year 1 group as they head off to explore Brelsford Park!
This week St Augustine’s joins Catholic schools across NSW and the ACT to celebrate Catholic Schools Week from 9-15 March. The main aim of the annual event is to build community awareness about the strengths and distinctiveness of Catholic schools.
The theme for Catholic Schools Week 2014 is ‘more than a great education’ which encourages schools to showcase for their local community the opportunities available to students, raise awareness, and celebrate the uniqueness of Catholic schools.
Catholic Schools Week is about strengthening relationships between all those who have a stake in our schools – students, staff, families, priests, parishioners, and members of the wider community – by showcasing what happens in our classrooms every day.
The commencement of the school year for 2014 for staff and students at St Augustine’s Primary School began with a Mass affiliated by Parish Priest Father Paul Winter on Friday 31st January. All students from Years One to Six joined in this celebration and witnessed the 2014 student council being sworn in to their new roles as leaders of the school community.
We wish our students leaders every success in their new roles and and know they will be positive role models for all students at St Augustine’s.
School Captains – Jaida Smith, Thomas Anderson
Vice – Captains – Poppy Smyth, Liam Berg
Student Council – Tia Bohringer, Ky Birmingham, Lilly Cook, Charlie Catling, Zachary Clarke, Paulini Kaidrokia, Lil Potter and Griffin Moore.
A wonderful gathering of students and their families arrived at our school today. Today is both an exciting and an anxious time as we start these first few days of school. We welcome each and every one of our students and hope they all had a fun-filled Christmas break with a lot of different activities that allowed them to explore their interests, relax under the sun, and re-energize their enthusiasm for this new year of learning.
As adults, we remember our own first days of school where we met our new teacher(s) for the first time, started the adjustments to new routines and schedules, and refreshed our friendships with hellos and smiles. As the professional educators at St Augustine’s we strive to ensure a very successful transition and we take pride in the many wonderful academic programs and activities that we provide throughout the year. We work diligently to ensure that we address a wide range of student interests and skills. We thank you for giving us your greatest gift and we take that responsibility very seriously.
At St Augustine’s this year, we will be looking at student performance on assessment measures in all we do including the use of technology and digital citizenship. We will be discussing these at length in our staff meetings, special parent workshops, P&F meetings, and on other occasions as the opportunity arises. However, we recognize that there is more that defines the success of each student. We are working to provide an environment that will allow each student to grow academically, emotionally, and physically in a comfortable surroundings of support and guidance.
We are cultivating partnerships with parents, community members, and our Parish to enhance the relationship of learning new ideas, the relevance of contributing and creating for the benefits of all society, and the rigor of exploring new concepts and solutions. Our culture of learning is shifting to a future of continuous engagement and participation in understanding, questioning, and construction of new possibilities.
We welcome our new families to this phenomenal school and we welcome back the many families who have been such a strong part of our daily success. Have a great start of the school year. I am glad that you are here.
Over the past few months our school has collected data from parent, staff and student surveys on areas of our school as part of the School Review and Development program. On Wednesday and Thursday this week a visiting panel comprising of our Educational Consultant, Ian Walton; Religious Education Consultant, Jenny Triglone; Additional Needs Consultant, Anne Bellert, CSO Teacher Educator, Karen Robson and St James Primary School Principal, Murray Macdonald interrogated the data, listened to presentations from staff, parents and students, and provided validation of our school’s next five year strategic plan.
There are many undeniable facts that should be shared with the wider community regarding our school arising from the summation of the visiting panel to the leadership team. Some of the comments are as follows:
- St Augustine’s is a lighthouse school in our diocese and your school’s commitment to the diverse learning needs of the student population is amazing.
- Through the interconnectedness of faith, learning and community you have been able to create a welcoming community focused on the needs of students and their families.
- The organisation of the school is both purposeful and efficient and with the central focus of the teaching and learning driving planning and development.
- It is evident that you have a proactive, caring and vibrant community.
- With a cohesive leadership team, the school has a clear vision that is focused on the implementation of the Diocesan Contemporary Learning Framework. The educational results are excellent.
- The children enjoy their learning and are particularly thankful for the variety of learning opportunities provided.
Once the school receives the final report from the Validating Panel I will share it at the next P&F Meeting.
I’d like to thank our Assistant Principal, Leanne Feltis, the Leadership team and the staff for their support in the SRD process. We are very fortunate to have a committed and dedicated staff.