Special Assembly Invitation to Parents: Launch of the new Landscaped Playground Plans!

Date: Tuesday 12 September 2017
Time: 8.20am – 8.40am

Mrs Michelle Carroll invites parents to attend the Junior School Assembly commencing at 8.45am for a special launch of the new landscaped architect plans for the Village Green. Mrs Michelle Carroll invites all parents to join her for a cup of tea/coffee from 8.20am in the Junior School Library, the perfect location to view every aspect of the building works.

Important message to parents

The safety and security of students is of the highest priority and we are committed to maintaining a safe environment for staff, students and visitors. The following key initiatives support the safety and welfare of all persons on the school premises:

  • Parents/carers are reminded that students must be signed in and out by an accompanying adult if arriving at school late or leaving the School during school hours.
  • Please refrain from contacting your daughter on her mobile phone to advising her to meet you in the car outside the School grounds. Staff cannot give permission for this to occur.
  • Parents who are spending time at St Catherine’s during School hours are asked to sign in and out of the office. You will be required to collect and display a St Catherine’s ‘Community Member Pass’. If not visible, please understand you may be asked by staff to identify yourself.
  • All students have been instructed that all staff or official visitors to School will be wearing passes or identification.
  • Students, regardless of Year level, will not be permitted to wait unattended outside the School gates after an activity. Should you be held up and anticipate being more than 10 minutes late, students will be taken to Out of Hours Care (Program operates in the Campbell House building) and you will informed by telephone. Please note that the usual Out of Hours Care charges will apply.

Parents are reminded of the above, not in response to any incident but in the interests of addressing our concerns about the need for all adults to take an active role when it comes to student and staff safety. Safety is an ongoing priority for the School and other measures are being investigated by the school to ensure we maintain a safe environment.

Thank you to families in advance in anticipation of your understanding.

Mary Davis Café Outstanding Accounts

From time to time, students arrive in the office to advise that they have no morning tea or lunch. Where possible, we will contact parents to make alternative arrangments, to bring lunch in or grant permission for the student to purchase lunch in the Mary Davis Café on credit, with the account to be paid to the Office the following day.

Reminders have now been emailed to those with outstanding accounts and we thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

Mrs Alana Moor
Head of Junior School and Early Learning Centre
Victorian Schools Music Festival – Epstein Choir

The Epstein Singers recently attended the Victorian Schools Music Festival and took part in the Upper Primary Choral section. The Festival took place at Deakin Edge, Federation Square and attracted many schools from Melbourne and country Victoria.

We were thrilled to have 48 students from Years 4 – 6 performing two choral pieces before the two adjudicators and other schools in their section. Following their performance of The Lachlan Tigers and When She Loved Me, the Epstein Singers were given a mini master class with one of the adjudicators, Jodie Spooner-Ryan. The girls responded positively to the suggestions made to improve their vocal technique and overall choral sound. It was a valuable learning experience for everyone involved.

Both adjudicators remarked on the outstanding accuracy with the rhythm, melody and articulation in both pieces. The Epstein Singers were praised for their beautiful tone, the blending of the parts and the overall musicality of their performance and were awarded a Gold rating for their performance at the Festival. Congratulations to all those involved and a special thank you to the conductor Mrs Lyn Henshall and accompanist Mrs Kate Denmead.

GALA Concert – Fact or Fiction

The Gala Concert held at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Friday 1 September, showcased a wide range of music ensembles, both choral and instrumental. The concert provided a wonderful performance opportunity for our Junior School students who were featured in the massed choral items – The James Bond Medley and Zadok The Priest, the two Primary Choirs: Epstein Singers (Years 4 – 6) and the Barbreck Choir (all Years 5 & 6) and students from Years 3 – 6 in the massed string item. It was a wonderful evening with many highlights for the students and the audience to enjoy.

There were 98 Junior School students taking part in various items throughout the evening. I would like to acknowledge the work these students put into the preparation for the concert and extend my sincere thanks to all who attended the evening. The support that you demonstrate for all musical events throughout the year, is very much appreciated.

Mrs Melissa Dods
Coordinator Junior School Music
Year 2 Technology and Pasta Making Day

Our Pasta Making Day was a huge success! As part of our History unit covering technology, we tested different devices utilised over time to make pasta. From a machine invented in the 1850s to a present day electric KitchenAid, the girls were engaged in kneading the dough, rolling the pasta then turning it into spaghetti, fettucine, rigatoni and ravioli. The buzz in the room was infectious and the pride was evident in the huge smiles on their faces. Parents were there to assist in making and cooking the pasta and their help was greatly appreciated. Everything was eaten and the only disappointment was felt in the staffroom as there were no leftovers to share with the teachers!

This learning provided the girls with the catalyst for discussion about how life in the past was so different to the present day. We discussed the differences and similarities between students’ daily lives and perspectives of life during their parents’ and grandparents’ childhoods. The girls were thoroughly intrigued by the different traditions, leisure time and communications. It has been enlightening to hear that many homes are now made pasta making a family event! Enjoy!

Mrs Loretta Iacuone
Year 2 Teacher
Prep and Fire Safety

Prep have had an exciting few weeks at School and Wednesday 23 August was no different. It was to be our second visit from the Fire Education Program where our Prep students learnt what to do in case of an emergency. Each student chanted “000 is for emergencies only” and we were reminded how important it is that we know our address. We crawled around the classroom to ‘get down low’ and witnessed what a real fire fighter looks like when they come to rescue you, oxygen tank and funny breathing mask included!

Out of the classroom and a short walk took us to St Catherine’s Lane. It was here that each student had an opportunity to hold the hose and water the garden. With sirens flashing and hands covering our ears, we giggled as Mrs Carroll came to join in the excitement. The prep students explored the ins and outs of the fire truck and watched a demonstration of how to use the equipment.

The Fire Education program is all about informing young students on how to be fire safe and what to do if they find themselves in an emergency situation. Prep loved learning about fire safety.

Miss Annie Taylor
Prep Teacher
St Catherine’s School – St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School Teacher Exchange Program

Last week we were pleased to welcome Mrs Georgina Stevenson to the Junior School, as part of an on-going partnership and exchange program with St Margaret’s Anglican Girls’ School in Brisbane.

While with us, Mrs Stevenson was hosted by Year 5 and Ms Alyssa Flint. In addition to observing and working closely with Ms Flint and the Year 5 students, Mrs Stevenson was interested to hear more about the Junior School spelling program from Mrs Glenda Lingard, our Year 6 to Year 7 transition program from the Dean of Year 7 Ms Kanako Yokouchi, our Humanities program and our weThrive Wellbeing program, in particular the partnership with Swinburne University to incorporate the teaching of Emotional Intelligence competencies. In return Miss Flint will be heading to St Margaret’s during Term 4 to look at how St Margaret’s are incorporating ICT and STEM within the junior school setting – two aspects of teaching and learning that she is particularly passionate about. The exchange program is a wonderful way for teachers to gain new skills, experiences and professional understandings by working in a different school setting.

Mrs Catherine Samuel
Deputy Head Junior School
Shedding light on ‘STEM in the Morning’

The Year 3 students have thoroughly enjoyed their Periscope Project. The girls began by creating symmetrical designs on their periscope nets. Taking great care to be precise at this stage, they used Math-o-Mats to draw two-dimensional shapes, and mirrors to ensure that their designs incorporated symmetry. Many designs were very complex with some symmetrical on two axes. Once the designs were completed, the focus turned to discussions on optics and the reflection of light. The girls folded and glued their nets and added the mirrors to form their own periscope, before the real excitement… the peeking around corners!

The Year 4 students have also been having fun while exploring light, reflections and symmetry during STEM in the Morning sessions this term. The girls at this level have been working on a Kaleidoscope Project. To begin with, they produced a design that incorporated two dimensional shapes and repeating patterns. Following this the mirrors were joined together to form a triangular prism and inserted into a cardboard tube. Colourful transparent beads were then placed inside and the ends attached before the design was pasted around the outside of the cardboard cylinder to complete the process. We have all enjoyed the beautiful colours and different symmetrical patterns formed by every girl’s kaleidoscope.

All students are welcome to attend these sessions where girls work on activities and projects that promote learning in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). The sessions commence at 8.00am with Years 5 and 6 held on Mondays, Year 3 on Wednesdays, Year 4 on Thursdays and Year 2 sessions are on Fridays.

Mrs Chris Hogan
Extension and Learning Support Teacher