Dear Parents and Carers
What a wonderful start we have had to the school year at St Anthony’s. It was really nice to be able to invite parents and carers to meet their child’s teacher and key staff in person over the last week or so. Quite a number of people took the opportunity to visit the school and their child’s classroom for a brief orientation session to start the year.
Next Friday, 5 March, will see the first year level assembly for 2021 (and quite a while). Year 1 students and teachers will present their assembly to the school students at 12.00 and then to the parents and carers only at 2.00pm. This will allow visitors to attend and meet the 2m2 rule for COVID restrictions. We are all excited that parents and carers of the year level involved can attend this assembly and future assemblies.
Successful Year 6 Camp
Last week students in our two Year 6 classes and their teachers attended an outdoor camp at the NSW Sport and Recreation Centre at Narrabeen in Sydney. The camp was a huge success with students participating in a range of activities and team building challenges. The summer weather was lovely and the students were lucky to be able to do a number of water sports on the nearby lake including kayaking, sailing and stand up paddleboarding. They also did initiatives requiring problem solving skills, bushwalks, archery, sports activities and damper cooking.
I also had the pleasure of attending the camp with the students and can attest to their beautiful manners, respect for each other and their willingness to engage in activities. Our Year 6 students have made a great start to the year as our school leaders and the camp will have further assisted them for the year ahead.
Thank you to the staff that attended the camp including Mrs Naylor, Mr McDevitt, Miss Whitfield and Miss Lehmensich.
Archdiocese Celebration of 200 Years of Catholic Education in Australia
Miss Lehmensich and I had the pleasure to take our new school captains Kailey C. and Xander B. to a special mass at St Christopher’s Cathedral on Wednesday this week to celebrate 200 years of Catholic Education in Australia. Representatives from our 56 archdiocesan schools were represented in some way in the mass.
Catholic Education has a long and rich history in Australia and we are proud that St Anthony’s continues this tradition and all of our schools continue to educate and support students across the country.
First Catholic school
The first Catholic school in Australia was founded in October 1820 by Irish Catholic priest Fr John Therry and run by convict and lay person George Marley. The school, which Catholic historians believe was in Hunter Street, Parramatta, taught 31 students. By 1833, there were 10 Catholic schools in the colony.
Celebrating the legacy
Over 200 years, Catholic schools have grown to become the largest provider of schooling in Australia (outside government) with one in five school age students attending a Catholic school. This represents some 768,000 students in 1,751 schools across the country and employing 98,000 teachers and staff. Nearly 40 per cent of Catholic schools are located outside of metropolitan cities in regional, rural and remote communities.
The early days classroom!
New classroom 2021
The School Board is working on a new communications policy in conjunction with the P&F Association which will address the purpose and audience of each form of communication and media used. Communication is a vital part of the administration of the school. Online and ‘real-time’ forms of communication appear to suit the majority of stakeholders in our community, in line with the changes of most organisations today. Users tend to want to be able to access information on their mobile phones and devices and often prefer to only ‘pull down’ the information relevant to them or their child. For this reason, schoolzine and Class Dojo are our main platforms of communication. School newsletters are no longer the main source or place of day-to-day information. Therefore, school newsletters will be provided on a fortnightly basis, currently even weeks.
St Anthony’s Car Parking and Drop Off/Pick Up Arrangements
St Anthony’s has engaged Transport Canberra in a traffic study of our school and the adjacent streets. Officers from Transport Canberra have completed a formal observation of the school at peak times and are in the process of providing feedback to our School Board. They may have recommendations on how traffic can be better managed but their initial feedback is that the school has a reasonably safe and sound system in place. No school I have ever seen has a perfect traffic flow process in place! All schools have their own issues in regard to traffic flow and parking. We have to work with the local roads and infrastructure around the school.
St Anthony’s has a number of options for parents and carers to drop off and pick up students at school. The school has families that has students that attend both Early Learning Centre (ELC) and the Primary School.
It is a priority that St Anthony’s is a safe environment for all members of the community. I am concerned that some parents have resorted to parking in adjacent streets and crossing parts of Wheeler crescent, rather than use the school drive through or parking processes. Together we can all make the traffic flow better and keep our school surroundings safe. In regard to the car park and the drop off and pick up arrangements, our aims are to:
- Ensure safe and effective processes are in place, given the design of the school and the available resources.
- Reduce the risk of an accident or harm to students, parents, carers and staff.
- Provide options to suit the needs of the students and adults transporting students i.e. drive through, parking, disability parking, bus access, bike and scooter computers, road crossings etc.
- Allow parents and carers with children in our ELC to be able to park and sign their child in and out of the ELC in a timely manner.
- Reduce traffic congestion on Wheeler Crescent by limiting the number of vehicles that wait or are stationary on this road waiting to enter the school grounds. (Wheeler Crescent is an arterial road to other schools and a link to Athllon Drive and Drakeford Drive for other members of the public).
- Ensure students and families are able to safely use the crossing on Wheeler Crescent.
- Build confidence for adults to use the school procedures in place and reduce the temptation for parents and carers to park on the school nature strip or in adjacent streets.
The morning drop off period usually runs satisfactorily due to the fact that students at the school are permitted to be dropped off over a longer period from 8.30am - 8.55am. The afternoon pick up period is much busier.
ELC parents and carers require priority access to park and sign their students out at 3.00pm. These parents also need to be able to exit the car park safely and promptly shortly after this time.
How can I help? Parents and carers are encouraged to use the Wanniassa Oval car park for ‘oval pick up’ to help reduce congestion in the school car park and surrounding areas.
How can I help? Pick up is open from 3.05pm until 3.30pm so if you can, stagger your pick up time to a bit later in this period when the traffic is flowing.
There are two lanes available for drive through pick up. The shorter lane (right hand lane as you enter the school) only has a limited number of cars that can access this line. Please do not queue back onto the ‘Zebra’ Pedestrian crossings or Wheeler crescent. You are encouraged to use the left hand lane as you enter the school which now includes a larger loop around our internal car park. This lane still moves well and will bring you to the front of the school where you children are waiting. There is actually very little difference in waiting time between the two lanes. Using this left lane allows more cars to come off Wheeler Crescent and then enter the queue for drive through.
Staff have been asked to park at the rear of the car park in the overflow area in an attempt to free up vacant parking spaces adjacent to the ELC entrance and crossing. This will allow ELC parents and carers to pick and load their car more quickly and leave the car park earlier.
How can you help? Parents and carers are asked not to arrive at school before 3.05pm to wait in the drive through lanes. Early arrivers block the driveway for those wishing to pick up ELC students or have another reason to leave at this time. I have observed cars coming to school as early as 2.30pm to wait in drive through. If you have to arrive early take a park in the school car park and enter the drive through line at 3.05pm
How can you help? If you regularly arrive at drive through at 3.05pm and like to pick up your child early on, let your child know to be at the pick area PROMPTLY!
** Teachers in orange vests carry out a range of duties at the front of the school.
** A school staff member will now be assigned to ask parents and carers that arrive at drive through pick up before 3.05pm (too early) to do another loop of the internal car park or take a park and wait until the drive through starts flowing.
Please drive slowly through all areas of the school watching for pedestrians, cyclists, staff on duty and other members of the community.
How can I help? Follow the legally enforceable signs at the entrance to the school and don’t turn right from Wheeler crescent into the school at peak times.
How Can I help? Students that use drive thru pick up must be able to indepentaly enter the vehicle and put on the seat belt on their own. Children should be entering the vehicle only on the the left hand side (kerb side) of the vehcile.
Upcoming School Events
Term One is a short term at just 9 weeks! Below are some of the upcoming events planned for Term One (COVID permitting):
- Monday 1 March - Canberra Raiders NRL Visit to Years 3-6 (mental health/wellbeing focus)
- Friday 5 March - 2pm (parents) Year 1 Assembly
- Monday 8 March - Canberra Day Public Holiday
- Tuesday 9 March - Giants AFL Visit to Years 3-6 students
- Wednesday 10 March - 6pm School Board Meeting
- Wednesday 10 March - 8pm P&F AGM and first general meeting (online)
- Thursday 11 March - Year 6 ‘Journey with Jesus Retreat’
- Thursday 11 March - AFL Gala Day
- Friday 12 March - St Anthony’s Swimming Carnival Years 3-6 at Tuggeranong
- Friday 19 March - Feast of St Joseph
- Tuesday 23 March - Tuggeranong PSSA Swimming carnival at Stromlo
- Friday 26 March - Term One Interim Reports home to parents
- Monday 29 March and Tuesday 30 March - parent/teacher interviews
- Holy Thursday 1 April - Stations of the Cross (students only)
- Holy Thursday 1 April - Last Day Term One (school holidays commence)
Wishing you all the best for the next two weeks.
Wok it up Tuck Day Wednesday 3rd March 2021
Tuck day orders close this Sunday at 9pm, order are through Qkr! app.
Student Contact Cards (Blue)
Please return student contact cards to your child's classroom teachers as soon as possible, this is to ensure taht we have up-to-date information for you family
Can all families please complete the online SZapp form for your child's photo and media permission as soon as possible. If you require any further information please contact your child's teacher.
Tues 2/3 Niki Best 9-12, Nigel Gentry 9-11.30
Weds 3/3 TUCK DAY – Oslinda 12-2, Kristy 12-2, Marsha Rutten 9-2, Niki Best 12-2, Selina Walker 12-2
Thurs 4/3 Carole Coulton 9-2, Donna 9-2
Fri 5/3 Rachel Esler 9-10.30, Ed 9-10.30, Dianna Young 9-2, Lisa Fairlamb 11.30-2, Courtney Guy 11.30-2
Tues 9/3 Megan Doherty 9-12
Weds 10/3 Kelly 9-12
Thurs 11/3 Carole Coulton 9-2, Natasha 9-11.30
Fri 12/3 Ed 9-10.30
Statements for Term 1 have been sent via email and are due on the 12th March 2021. School fees payments can be paid using credit card, EFTPOS, Bpay or Qkr! We do discourage paying with cash. If you experience difficutlies in meeting your commitment please don't hesitate to come and speak with me, or make an appointment with Mr Greg Walker.
The Building Fund Contribution is a donation collected and sent to the Catholic Education Building and Maintenance section. This enables the Catholic systemic schools in the ACT to be supported through a central body. All the schools electrical, plumbing, painting, glass repairs and internal maintenance work is undertaken through this CE department. We would not operate without it.
Families who have older siblings at MacKillop, St Clare's or Merici Colleges and have notified us by completing the form on schoolzine have received a sibling discount on their primary school fees. If you failed to complete a form and we are required to credit and readjust your account a $50 fee adjustment will be charged.
Mrs Katie Akers
Emily R, Dhanveer R, Henry D-E, Marcel Y, Roman O, Annabelle R, Max R, Alexandra W, Eleanor C, Chloe E, Dylan H, Saandhni D, Douglas B, Ella K, Layla G, Elizabeth N, Elizabeth F and Jessica W.
Medical alerts for 2021 have been updated and are now displayed in the sick bay area. During a medical emergency this allows all staff members to quickly access alerts.
If your child does have a medical condition and you have not yet provided information please contact Sarah Waller in the office asap. Sarah.Waller@cg.catholic.edu.au.
If you child requires medicine during the school day there is a form available on Schoolzine to complete. All medicine and EpiPens need to be supplied by parents.
School afternoon pick up is our peak traffic congestion time. Unfortuantely our roads and carparks are not built to meet the high demand over a short timeframe. Recently we had a inspector evaluate the procedure the school has in place, the outcome of this was highly satisfactory.
We must reinterate the following:
- Drive very slowly, maximum 10km/h and be alert for children at all times
- Never park in the pick-up zone
- Children should have their bags and other items readily available so they can quickly enter the car.
- Be patient and courteous
- If your child is not ready for collection please do a lap and re-join the line.
Our staff wear high visibility vest during drive through and provide clear instructions to students and to motorists. To reduce the congestion please consider utilsing Wanniassa Oval for pickup, the buses, walking or having your child ride their bike home.