Hope you had a great week.
Hope you are keeping warm and cozy on these last few days of Autumn!
It’s amazing isn’t it how time passes by ? Sometimes an hour may seem like an eternity and yet weeks seemingly fly by with such speed that we are left wondering where the time has gone. Already we are nearing the conclusion of the fifth week of term, with staff busy writing reports and completing assessments for Semester One.
Over the past week I have been interviewing new Kindergarten students and their families who will join us in 2020. This will continue for the next few weeks with over 100 applications already.
It is perhaps timely - mid-year and asking new families why they have chosen our school- to ask the question what exactly do we expect of our school?
We have 488 families here at Good Shepherd and no doubt every one of these families would have different expectations at different times. But there is something special about parents sending their children to a Catholic School: a choice has been made. As a family you have specifically chosen this school for your child. For many in the Government education system choice of school is based mostly on the local offering, the school that is most convenient. But why have you chosen Good Shepherd for your child’s education?
Over the past 3 years I have interviewed hundreds of prospective parents and children for Good Shepherd and so have had the privilege of listening to many reasons why this school has been chosen. For some the reasons are purely practical; it’s on the way to work, my carer can collect easily from here, it’s a feeder school to various Catholic High Schools. For others the reasons are philosophical; we want “values based” education, we like the style of education here, we want structure or discipline for our child. Sometimes the reasons are bizarre; we like the uniform or the new playground!
Mostly, however, people speak deeply from their own spirituality and psyche. We want our child to belong, we want him / her to feel safe, to be loved and valued for themselves. We want our child to hear and know the stories of Jesus, to feel that they are part of a wider community – the Church. We want them to know right from wrong, to be treated with dignity and to be in an environment where they learn to treat others with respect and dignity. We want our child to be known and loved, to be part of the daily life and the special celebrations of the community. We want our students to be part of Good Shepherd: to be safe, to be respected, to be kind and to be their best!
All of these reasons speak powerfully of our own longing and need to belong, our need for inclusion and acceptance and a realisation that school is definitely part of the whole journey of learning about life and how we are a part of a wider world. Realistically we can’ t meet these expectations on our own. It is only through genuine partnership based upon the core principles, philosophy and faith that underpin our school’s foundation that we can together achieve great things at Good Shepherd!
A final reminder to those who are yet to submit enrolment applications for Good Shepherd Primary School. Your applications are due this Friday and, considering our numbers, you will be unsuccessful if they are late. We need these by Friday to secure your place for the new year.
Those who think they may not be at Good Shepherd Primary School next year (Year 6 exempt) are also asked to let me know your intentions, via writing. My estimates regarding predicted numbers for Good Shepherd in 2020 must be submitted to the Catholic Education Office soon. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
Facebook and School Staff
Catholic Education, the employer of our school staff, has a Social Media Policy that staff are required to follow. The policy states that for staff:
Inappropriate use of social media includes, (but not limited to):
- Inviting or accepting students into personal social media platforms, including ex-students or the parents of current students on these platforms
Essentially this means that staff cannot be Facebook friends with students, parents and ex-students. While it is common practice for staff to not have parents as Facebook ‘friends’, I am aware that some staff may inadvertently have. I also realise that this may be a tricky issue for staff who have children at the school, and are friends with parents. However, their professional responsibility takes precedent and I have asked staff to abide by the policy.
And please do not be offended if you ask a staff member to be ‘a friend’ and they decline.
If you have any questions or queries regarding the Catholic Education policy, please do not hesitate to contact me.
North Gungahlin Cross Country Carnival
Yesterday, Good Shepherd (along with Brindabella Christian College) coordinated and ran the North Gungahlin Cross Country Carnival at Stromlo Forest Park in freezing, cold and miserable conditions. A big thank you to the many parents and staff who assisted as marshals, timekeepers and recorders. The Canteen was run by our Community Council-thank you. A huge thanks to Mrs Philippa Brotchie who coordinated the whole event-a mammoth task.
Congratulations to the many students who represented our school yesterday. They did us proud and seven students have progressed to the next level. Full report next week.
I’m very aware that, unfortunately, 116,000 Aussies are struggling. They don’t have the basic safety of knowing where they are going to sleep tonight.
It’s why I'm taking part in the 2019 Vinnies CEO Sleepout in the middle of Canberra’s winter (20 June). To me, this is such an important event, because it raises money to give people who are struggling access to key services and support that can help to break the cycle of homelessness in Australia.
There are two simple ways in which you can help:
- Friday 14 June is our ‘Winter Woollies Day’. We encourage all families and students to bring a few dollars on this day (Gold coins are great, but so are polymer notes!) https://www.ceosleepout.org.au/fundraisers/david-austin/canberra
- Vinnies do an incredible job. You might want to learn more about where your donation will go, and you can do so here.
Thank you for your support!
Hats off in June/July
Because the Cancer Council ACT does not recommend sun protection in Canberra during June and July, Good Shepherd does not enforce the wearing of hats during this time. The “no hat, no play” rule is shelved for the next two months. Bring on that Vitamin D!
Students may wear navy beanies, as per our School Uniform Policy, for these winter months. (don’t forget to name them)
Wishing God’s blessing on you and your families,
First Eucharist and Reconciliation Dates for 2019
For children in Year 3 and above wishing to receive the Sacrament of First Eucharist in 2019
Saturday 29 June at 6:00pm or
Sunday 30 June 9:30am or 5:30pm
Celebration of First Reconciliation
Tuesday 27- Thursday 29 August
Celebration of First Eucharist
At Masses on weekends
14-15 September and 21-22 September
For more details please contact Sacramental Coordinator
Louise Johnson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, 29 & Sunday, 30 June - Reconciliation & First Eucharist Enrolment Masses
Ana Manenica (Acting REC) - Good Shepherd Primary School
On Tuesday this week our class finalists presented their Rostrum speeches to Years 5 and 6. The Year 6 finalists were Jess, Ruby, Dixa, Martina, Erin, Harry & Lanie. The Year 5 finalists were Emerson, Natasha, Sienna and Liam.
The finalists presented a wide range of speeches from a selection of topics. The students were impressive with their vocal delivery, impact and overall appeal. It was a tight contest and the judges needed some time to confer and deliberate before reaching their final decision. Congratulations to Jess E (Yr 6) who will represent Good Shepherd at the Rostrum public speaking competition. Also congratulations to Harry L (Yr 6) and Jontee vD (Yr 5) who will represent Good Shepherd at the Gungahlin Lions public speaking competition.
|KE - Hugo||KK - Loretta||KM - Zara||KT - Hannah|
|1C - Krisha||1C/P - Rachael||1M - Harry||1W - Luca|
|2A - Owen||2T/C - Oliver||2H - Ruhan||2W - Sophia|
|3D - Audrey||3I - Bethany||3K - Ronan||3T - Lachlan|
|4D - Felipe||4F - Sione||4R - Luke||4Z - Elijah|
|5D/D - Sebastian||5KY- Kaustubh||5KA - Riley||5R - Tyler|
|6BO'C - Kayleigh||6N/S - Sophia||6P - Haiden||6T - Riley|
Our Stars of the Week!!!!