Week 7, Term 4 - 2023
Dear St James Community,
There are 15 days remaining in the 2023 school year!
There is a well-known saying that refers simply to the phenomenon that time appears to pass more quickly when engaged in something you enjoy....time flies when you're having fun!
We've certainly had a fun, busy, and successful year, but the next 15 days will see us engage in the swimming program, Graduation, step-up to 2024 grades session, Light the Way, assembly, end-of-year liturgy, Year 6 Dinner Dance, Christmas carols, Semester 2 reports, end of year celebrations, swimming carnival, farewell to our Year 6 students, and our academic learning....it's not quite over yet folks!
Today our Church celebrates the Feast of our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the universe, which emphasises the true kingship of Christ. It is also the time in the Church's liturgical calendar when we move from one year to the next. Currently, we are moving through Year A readings, and after this feast, we move to Year B readings, which begin with Advent; our time of waiting and preparing for Jesus' birth at Christmas.
I pray that the final few weeks of school pass by positively in a spirit of community, joy, and learning so that everyone can experience a strong sense of belonging to the St James 'Family in Christ.'
Year 5 Camp
Our Year 5 students thoroughly enjoyed their camping experience at Lake Ainsworth earlier this week. From all accounts, they superbly behaved and they engaged in all the activities in a spirit of friendship, teamwork, and joy - well-done kids! We thank our staff for giving their time and energy to this activity.
Year 5 Camp
Kinder 2024 Transition
Our 2024 Kindergarten students attended their 3rd transition session on Thursday, November 23rd. During this visit they met with Year 6 (2024) buddies (our current Year 5 students); joy was everywhere!
Kinder & their buddies
2024 staffing matters
It is my pleasure to introduce Mrs Jaelee Reynolds, as a new teacher to our school. Mrs Reynolds is replacing Ms Lauren Ayres who will be taking Maternity Leave in 2024. Jaelee is an experienced teacher who currently works at Beenleigh State School as the Enrichment Coordinator and her recent classroom teaching experiences include educating children in Years 2, 3, 5 & 6. Jaelee is local to the area and is married with two children, and she is very excited to join the teaching team at St James and support our children to live, learn and grow in God's love. Please join me in welcoming Jaelee to St James Primary School.
As outlined in late Term 3, our full staff for 2024 is:
- Kindergarten: Michelle Clarke, Holly Veitch & Maddie Smith
- Year 1: Jo Ryan, Bianca Maxworthy & Lewis Capellari
- Year 2: Michael Keating, Megan Robinson & Jo Pickett
- Additional Stage 1 Teachers: Mandy Barone & Tarri Johns
- Year 3: Daniel Sutherland, Kate Quinton & Jaelee Reynolds
- Year 4: Marisa O'Connor, Josh Sudiro & Monique Rochester [Mon-Wed]/Alisha Faga [Wed-Fri]
- Additional Stage 2 Teacher: Tracey Ryan
- Year 5: Bradley Bugden, Karri von Mengersen & Alison McClymont
- Year 6: Gavin Holmes, Neisha Sharp & Michelle Dermody
- Additional Stage 3 Teacher: Lisa Fitzhugh
- Specialist Teachers: Lisa Fitzhugh (Art), Monique Rochester [Stage 3], Alisha Faga [Stage 1] & Mandy Barone [Stage 2] (Science/Technology), Tarri Johns (Science/Technology), Tracey Ryan (Music/Performing Arts) & Kylie Cane/Karen Sanderson [Kindergarten Science & Technology/Art/Music]
- Inclusion Teacher: Rosemary Vickery
- Leader of Pedagogy: Jacqui Malone
- School Assistants: Anastasia Scott (Student Wellbeing Officer), Kelly Styman (Wellbeing Support), Melissa Everingham (Wellbeing Support), Amanda McTaggart (Canteen, Uniform Shop and Parent Engagement), Cathy Reid (Canteen), Kat Rogers & Tracey Smith (Admin), Jacinta Condon (Finance), Amelia Daley (IEW), Thane Harriott, Mark Klein, Steven Ely & James Kerr (Maintenance) and Sasha Kruse (School Counsellor)
- Assistant Principals: Kylie Cane & Karen Sanderson
- Principal: Nic McTaggart
Students will "step up" into their 2024 classes on November 30th (9am-10:30am) to meet their teachers and explore their new learning environment.
As listed above we have 4 new teachers joining our beautiful community in 2024; they've introduced themselves below.
I am blessed to be joining you all and Teaching Year 3 next year. I live locally with my husband and our two beautiful children. We love going for bike rides and sharing coffees and cookies along the way.
I am coming from a school in QLD where I’ve spent the past 5 years on many different year levels. I am passionate about explicit instruction and differentiating learning so all students can flourish. See you all soon!
I am so excited to introduce myself as Josh Sudiro, your new Year 4 teacher at St James' in 2024. With four years of experience in Primary Schools in Queensland, I am thrilled about the opportunity to bring my passion for education to Banora Point.
I grew up in Northern NSW and enjoy spending time with my family from Lennox Head. I've heard wonderful things about the students and the warm, supportive community here at St James', and I am eager to become a part of it.
My name in Ali McClymont and I am very excited to introduce myself to you as a new member of the St James staff in 2024. Outside of school I enjoy DIY projects around the house and catching up with my friends for sunset picnics.
At school, seeing students growth is the reason I love what I do and I am so excited to see this in 2024. I am looking forward to meeting and working with the teachers, children, and their families over the year!
I am delighted to become a part of the St. James community for 2024 in Year 6. I am Neisha Sharp, some of you may have already seen my face around school. This year I’ve had the pleasure of working as a casual teacher at St. James allowing me to work with students and teachers across all year levels. Over the last 4 years I have worked in Lismore Diocese schools as a teacher’s aide and casual teacher. My journey in education so far has been incredibly rewarding, and I am eager to continue making a positive impact on the lives of my students.
Beyond the classroom, my passions include the beach, being active, dancing, art, music, travel and spending quality time with my family and friends. I look forward to incorporating my enthusiasm for movement and the arts into the classroom and school community.
I extend my gratitude to the entire St. James community for the warm welcome. I am really looking forward to working in Year 6 and filling their final year of primary school with endless opportunities and unforgettable memories. Here’s to a fantastic 2024!
Our New Staff
Please note the following arrangements for the commencement of the 2024 school year.
- Tuesday, January 30th: Teachers begin (Pupil Free Day).
- Wednesday, January 31st: Pupil Free Day (Staff only attend school)
- Thursday, February 1st & Friday February 2nd: Mathematics Assessment Interviews (Y1-Y6).
MAI assessments for current students will be booked via Compass.
- Monday, February 5th: First full day of school for Year 1-6 students (8:40am-3pm).
- Thursday, February 1st - Tuesday, February 6th: Beststart Kindergarten Interviews.
Beststart assessments for Kindergarten students will be booked directly through Compass.
- Wednesday, February 7th: First full day of school for Kindergarten students (8:40am-3pm).
After Kindergarten drop-off our Year 1 families will host a special welcome morning tea for Kindergarten families (Cheers & Tears); this will be held in the MPC at 9 am. Further information for Year 1 families will be sent soon.
We are currently updating the parent handbook, which outlines all known information, dates, and events, along with information on the policies, structures, and operating procedures of the school. The parent handbook is located on the school website and I encourage all families to be familiar with this resource. (https://www.bpplism.catholic.edu.au/communication-reporting).
Chicken Roster - Christmas Holidays
Our school chickens (Rosalind, Henrietta, Marigold & Petunia) need care over the upcoming holiday break, so, we invite families to go on the roster as explained below.
- Attend school for a period of days during the holiday break (according to the roster); feed the chickens food scraps from home and give them some seed (provided). Check their water and feeder. Check the eggs and take them home to enjoy some yummy scrambled, poached, or fried eggs!
Families who join the roster will have access to the school with a key for the side gate and an outline of what to do. If you'd like to join the upcoming holiday roster, please email the school by Friday, December 1st (firstname.lastname@example.org). In advance, thank you for helping us take care of our little chicks!
Term 4 Dates and Events
Please note the upcoming events scheduled for Term 4:
- Saturday, November 25th: Stage 1 Family Mass
- Monday 27th, Wednesday 29th November and Friday, December 1st: Swimming Program
- Tuesday, November 28th: Yr 6 Graduation Mass, 5:30pm @ St Joseph's Church
- Thursday, November 30th: Kindergarten 2024 Transition & K-Y5 step-up session
- Monday 4th, Wednesday 6th and Friday December 8th: Swimming Program
- Tuesday, December 5th: Swimming Carnival [Y3-Y6] @ Kingscliff Pool
- Thursday, December 7th: Christmas Carols
- Monday, December 11th: Yr 6 Celebration Day
- Tuesday, December 12th: Kindergarten Graduation
- Thursday, December 14th: End of Year Liturgy & Yr 6 Dinner Dance
- Friday, December 15th: Final School Assembly, Yr 6 celebration day & final day for 2023
- Everyone involved in the Kindergarten 2024 transition-to-school program.
- Families and staff for engaging in our final learning conferences for the year.
- To our lovely year 4 Grandmother Annell, who sewed our cloths for our new prayer space.
- All students for continuing to 'greet, treat, and speak with kindness' at school.
- Manouk [Issac] and Langan [Hazel & Henry] Families for helping care for Petunia, Rosalind, Marigold, and Henrietta (our beautiful chickens) over the past two weekends.
Our Year 6 students will Graduate from Primary School on Tuesday, November 28th; we extend our heartfelt congratulations to them on this significant occasion. During their 7-year Primary School journey, they have lived, learned, and grown in God’s love and have shared many special moments that they will cherish. We wish them all the best at High School and we look forward to hearing of their many adventures and successes as they reach for their dreams and experience life in all its fullness.
We pray that the road rises up to meet them,
that the wind will always be at their back,
that the sun shines warm upon their face,
that the rains will fall soft upon their fields
and that until we meet again, God holds them in the palm of His hand.
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PLANNING
The safety of our students, families and staﬀ is our highest priority. In order to best ensure this, the St James Primary leadership and staﬀ, supported by the Catholic Schools Oﬃce, plan for a number of possible incidents, emergencies or natural disasters that could take place at school or during the school term. The events of recent years have reinforced how important this planning is and we all have a role to play when it comes to emergency management, including families.
Our students participate in various safety drills and staﬀ participate through training and safety drills. We’d like to share with you the role of parents and families in emergency management.
A number of the situations we plan for include a school lockdown as one of the immediate safety actions to ensure the safety of our students and staﬀ. We understand that some may understand the word ‘lockdown’ to mean there is an immediate safety risk to all students. It is important to understand that when a school initiates a lockdown this may not be the case.
Depending on the situation, the purpose of a school lockdown will diﬀer. A school lockdown may be a preparation step for an evacuation, or a school lockdown may allow emergency services access to an area of the school without having to navigate past students. Regardless of the purpose of a school lockdown, no one can be admitted to the school grounds other than emergency services.
Should we initiate a school lockdown, parents and families will be informed via text message and Compass notiﬁcation. We will also inform parents and families as soon as the school lockdown has been lifted or if there are any actions required of parents and families. It is important that you do not attempt to attend the school during a school lockdown. We understand that you may be concerned however attending the school may also add risk to a possible emergency situation, block emergency services or impede an evacuation.
In the event of a natural disaster, such as ﬂood or bushﬁre, the school leadership, supported by the Catholic Schools Oﬃce, will determine if it is safe for the school to open. If there is a probability the school may have to close part way through the day, the school will not open for that day as it is extremely diﬃcult to evacuate a school site and ensure all students are able to go directly home safely.
In a bush ﬁre or ﬂood event it is important that parents and families have a plan to get your child/ren home from school, or into your care, at short notice. Please be aware that school buses may not be running and the school can not allow your child/ren to go home to an empty house or home with another parent without your permission.
How can you help us prepare for emergency situations? Please ensure that:
- You have downloaded Compass and have allowed notiﬁcations.
- Any changes to your contact details or custodial arrangements have been updated with the school.
- You have a bush ﬁre/ﬂood plan in place that all members of your family understand.
- In the event of a school lockdown or evacuation, directions in the parent notiﬁcations are followed.
It is always our hope that these measures will never be needed but it is also our responsibility to ensure our school community is prepared and informed should the need arise. We thank you in advance for your support and cooperation.
Nic McTaggart and Nigel McIntyre, Work Health and Safety Manager, Catholic Schools Oﬃce
Autism Camp Australia (ACA) has developed a program which includes a range of activities to improve the health and wellbeing of participants. The program caters to Autistic young people, aged 7-14, diagnosed ASD levels 1, 2 and 3 under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM V), and their families.
Autism Camp Australia supports families of Autistic young people through a comprehensive evidence-based capacity building and life skills development program for the whole family.
They have developed a program which enables
> Autistic young people, to take part in a program of therapies, social learning and life skills activities;
> Autistic young people to build connections easily by socialising with their peers;
> Autistic young people to explore sensory and emotional regulation in a dedicated sensory and proprioceptive space;
> siblings to take part in a program of outdoor activities and adventure challenges and a peer-to-peer sibling support program; and
> parents to enjoy a break (while the children are in activities between 8.30am-4.30pm) and take part in parent/carer educational support and self-care programs.
Please find information regarding a camp experience for any families with children aged 7-14 with autism and NDIS funding, at the following link:https://www.