Dear Parents and Friends
What was I thinking taking my laptop to our Year 6 Outback Splash excursion today? Like really, thinking there would be an opportunity to sit and start the last Donegal for the year. Much more important things to be doing, like being with the kids out and about the park, and speaking with our parents, some leaving our school at the end of the year. All round quality people, who seriously care about our school and their kids. I have to say, everything I now write about connects to all of this, with a little bit of a Christmas flavour.
I sit tonight reflecting on the year that has been 2021, I find this quote from Helen Steiner Rice catching my attention. She reminds us that Christmas is all about finding some quietness, finding peace and spreading kindness. I have found this year one of the busiest in my time as a principal. It has flown by. I know you have found the same. I have met so many of you over the last couple of weeks and everyone is feeling the same, busyness makes the days, weeks, months pass very quickly.
This is why this quote appeals to me, and hopefully for you. One of our goals is to find a quietness that allows us to enjoy the moments, enjoy the interactions we have with others. We all want to stop the rush. We all want it to slow down. There is not a person I know that does not wish for this. We all love Christmas, but funny how due to the expectations we place on ourselves around this festive time, we can miss out on what it is really about. Imagine being able to keep the focus on quietness of mind, an opportunity for patience (good luck with this one), and a time to offer kindness to those we are with.
This is what we want for our own children. Qualities that allow them to find quiet in their life, even as little ones, we wish them this great gift. To be patient and understanding of others, but also of the demands they have and that it is okay when things are not always as we wish. As for the third gift, we would love our children to have as part of their character that they were seen as spreading kindness.
Kindness can get a bad deal and can be seen as a little bland or a little soft…like kindness, really, not that strong a word anymore. If we stop for just a minute, if someone described you as a kind person, how does it make you feel? When it is said that you treated someone with kindness, what is that kindness? It is a forgotten hero. This word transforms people and lives. Best part was when I was teaching in Year 1 on Tuesday, I know, scary thought, Grace said to me, ‘Mr Lombardi, you know why you are the luckiest principal? It is because us kids give out kindness’. I am not making this up, it is exactly what Grace said. This is why the life of a principal is a blessed one. A little crazy at times, but blessings galore.
This leads me at this time of year to remember the connection of Christmas to Christ (Jesus, the J Man). Christmas allows us the time to find the Christ we have in us. It is why Christmas has such significance. Jesus was the type of bloke who always looked to serve others and looked for others happiness. This is what we all do during this time. You know how excited you get and the feelings of joy you receive by being there for others during Christmas, but also the smiles you see on the faces of your family and friends by you simply being present in their lives. You know this to be true. You know what the truth of Christmas is about. We all get the opportunity to reconnect with others. Through kindness, through quietness we make time to be with others. It is not about the presents (well maybe) it is about the relationships we have with our loved ones.
YEAR 6s and THEIR FAMILIES
Our Year 6’s and their parents move to their next phase of schooling into high school at the end of this year. We have a beautiful group of Year 6 students who have continued throughout their schooling to set high standards for others to follow. The importance of friendship, looking out for one another and being accepting of every person is what stands them apart. We thank our Year 6’s and their families, for the contribution they have made to life here at St Columba’s School and for the positive influence they have had on others that will follow their lead into the future. Our Year 6’s will be missed. May their transition around the next corner, be one that is smooth but filled with excitement. May you always find a quietness, a peacefulness and a kindness in your heart for all those who come across your path in the future.
We wish our Year 6s well as they move into high school and know that God will keep them safe, blessing them with much happiness and peace throughout their lives. To our Year 6 families who leave us at the end of the year, we wish you blessings of happiness also. For many of our families, it will be their last year here at St Columba’s. This is a time for all of us to be grateful for the many contributions you have made to our school and its people. Your presence here will be missed. We thank you sincerely, not only for your love of your children, but also your love for our school.
FAMILIES LEAVING END OF 2021
To other families within our school, who move on at the end of the year, thank you for what you have given to us as a community. Thank you for your support during your time here at St Columba’s School. May you be blessed with good times and much happiness. We wish you all the very best for the future. To our kids who leave us, your new teachers are going to love teaching you. You will always be St Col’s Kids. Always!
As families leave St Columba’s, we also have many new families coming to our school for the first time next year. There will be many new families in our Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and also throughout the school. We very much look forward to them joining us and the special qualities they will add to our school community.
Our prayers and thoughts are with Kristie Bishop and her family on the sudden loss of Kristie’s dad this week. We also keep Fran Da Rui’s family in our prayers and thoughts on the loss of Fran’s nonna recently. To all our families who have had loved ones pass this year, may they forever be in your hearts.
As you know from the Edudance evening, we do have staff leaving us at the end of this year. We wish Megan Dwyer, Sue Doble, Nat Smith, Mitch McGivern, Danni Rebelo and Mark Rafferty many blessings into the future. It has been a wonderful experience having you with us on staff and we know you enter exciting times in life, whether it be in retirement or continuing your teaching career. We are grateful for what you have brought to the lives of our children, their families and our staff.
We also farewell Tony Pizzata, our grounds person, after many years of service to our community. Tony will continue to do contracted works around St Columba’s School in 2022. We thank Tony for his commitment to the upkeep of our school grounds and his assistance in setting up many events throughout his time here. We welcome Joe Sandon to take up the role of our groundsman in 2022. You may have already seen Joe around in the morning doing pruning or doing some maintenance around the school. We look forward to having Joe with us in 2022.
NEW PRINCIPAL Semester 1
Sandro Coniglio will be leading our school community for Semester 1 in 2022. Sandro is a champion bloke who comes with a wealth of experience in principalship. I feel extremely blessed to know that Sandro will be taking care of all our community over the coming six months. I know you will make him feel a part of the St Columba’s family.
For me, well, it has been a wonderful four years, filled with so much good stuff. My life is certainly better for being with you, there is no doubting that. But right now, these next six months are for me to enjoy being Art and spending a heap of time with family and friends, especially Linda and my daughters Holly and Skye. I wonder how annoying they will find me having time to be around more. Maybe just a little. Yep, plenty of stuff to catch up on around the house, but also finding time to get the kayak back on the water, back on the bike and get running again. All the things that when you stop being in the habit of doing, takes a fair effort to get back into. I will miss the joy the kids bring to every day and the Kiss and Drive, plus all the people stuff that I love.
TERM PLANNER 2022
The Term 1 Planner is attached to this newsletter, with the full calendar being uploaded to the website before Friday 17 December. Please be aware that this may change over the coming months and that it is important to continue to check for updates in the Donegal and the website during the year. Whole year start and end of term dates are confirmed below, along with the Pupil Free Days being held during the year.
TERM DATES 2022
Term 1 Start Date Students Monday 31 January
Term 1 End Date Students Friday 8 April
Term 2 Start Date Students Tuesday 26 April
Term 2 End Date Students Thursday 30 June
Term 3 Start Date Students Monday 18 July
Term 3 End Date Students Thursday 22 September
Term 4 Start Date Students Monday 10 October
Term 4 End Date Students Friday 9 December
Pupil Free Dates Professional Learning Days (Staff) 2022
Friday 4 March
Friday 3 June
Friday 1 July
Friday 19 August
Friday 23 September
Please note, these dates are subject to change. If these dates for Professional Learning do require amending, parents will be notified well in advance.
START OF YEAR PARENT TEACHER INFORMATION NIGHT 2022
Parent information sessions will be held on the date below. At this evening, we will welcome all our parents to the new year at 6.00 pm. This will be followed by meetings in your classrooms at 6.15 pm. There will then be a second session in the classrooms at 6.50 pm on the same evening for parents who have children in two of the year levels. Kindergarten meetings have already been held at the end of this year.
Wednesday 9 February Sessions at 6.15 pm and 6.45 pm
SCHOOL UNIFORM –Predominantly white sport shoes plus a couple of other items
- Brilliant work with this in 2021 by everyone. Day 1 next year there will continue to be no exemptions with this school uniform rule.
- When buying new sport shoes over the holidays, please follow this policy.
- Black shoe shoes for the academic uniform, not black sport shoes.
- Sport socks can be purchased from the JFE uniform shop.
- Academic socks can be purchased from retail shops. Girls, white socks and boys, grey socks.
- Thank you in advance for adhering to the rules around uniform and these expectations.
SHAKING OFF THE NERVES
- On Thursday 27 January, the school will be open from 9.00 am to 10.00 am if you wish to pop in with your children to shake off the nerves. Our Kindergarten staff will not be here, but all other teachers will be working in their classrooms during this time.
- This is optional if you feel like breaking the ice before Day 1 on Monday 31 January
The uniform shop will be open on Thursday 27th January as follows:
8.30-9am pick up pre paid and on line orders from basketball court near lift.
9.00-10.00am Uniform shop open for general purchases.
Normal term opening hours (Wednesday 2.30pm to 3.15pm) will commence in Week 1.
- Enrolments for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten 2023 are filling quickly. Please note interviews take place in Term 1 next year for 2023.
- Pre-Kindy 2023 – children born between 1 July 2019 and 30 June 2020.
- Kindergarten 2023 – children born between 1 July 2018 and 30 June 2019.
- If you have younger children in these age brackets and have not submitted an application, please ensure this is completed at your earliest convenience.
WHOLE SCHOOL START OF YEAR MASS
At our first school Mass of the year, Friday 4 February, at 9.00 am, we will present our 2022, student leaders from Year 6. Our Catholic School Advisory Council and Catholic School Parents WA Executive members will be commissioned for the year.
May you all be blessed for your tremendous work as parents of your children and our school. God will shower you with many special blessings of peace this Christmas. Happiness to you all over the Christmas holidays and enjoy your children and the time you will get with them, without having to rush to get to school, make lunches and, the big one, not washing and ironing school uniforms. On a personal note, thank you for the difference you make to my life as a principal. It is at times overwhelming. It is one of the things I find a very special part of my life.
I look forward to seeing you all around the middle of 2022. Thanks for the kindness.
Stay safe! God bless you during this special time.
P & F News
Together we’re making a difference
At Pharmacy 777, your support makes a difference to your school.
We understand how much your school means to you, that’s why at Pharmacy 777, we’re passionate about making a difference. Our Community Spirit Program makes giving back to your school easier. As a Community Spirit member, for every transaction you make at Pharmacy 777 Bayswater and Maylands, they will give part proceeds back to the school. This contribution accumulates over time and funds raised support causes at the heart of your school. We would encourage all school community members to visit Pharmacy 777 Bayswater and Maylands and join up.
Happy Birthday to:
To the following students who will be celebrating this coming week:
Sebastian Strachan 2G
Mason Harper 2W
Scarlett Fernandez 3W
Tyson Hayward 4G
Milan Dimitrijevic 6W
Oliver Bonnett 6W
And to all the students and staff who will be celebrating birthdays of the Christmas holidays.
Term 4, Week 8
PP Green – Spencer Landis, Jack Michael
PP White – Brooklyn Hamilton, Owen Metherell
1 Green – Alexander Lilleyman, Senumitha Ratnayake, Henry Webb
2 Green – Andrew Gai, Leo Kennelly, Hunter Sardelich, Emmanuel Wai, Agnes Zoou
3 White – Scarlett Fernandez, Hannah Gai
4 White – Xavier Brandis, Kaleb Smart
5 Green – Esther Coates
We have been advised by Kapture Photography that all portraits and class groups, sports and/or special team photos taken this year are still available for purchase. Sports and or special group photos will not be available for viewing and purchase after this school year.
Please visit www.kapture.com.au using our school code; QH3THZ
Bayswater Tennis Club have 5 weeks of school holiday clinics in Dec and Jan
Contact Anthony on 0400 64 33 55 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details