Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...

Page created by Anne Gill
Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...
St Mary’s Catholic Primary School

      Parent Handbook

              Page 1 of 30
Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...

In 1988, St Mary’s Catholic Primary School was relocated to the new site on the corner of
Byng and Park Streets, from the Edward St site including Year 3 and began as a new Primary
School. The building of four extra classrooms allowed classes to Year 6, and 1991 saw St
Mary’s a full Primary School once again. In 1995, a further four classrooms and an
administration block were opened to meet the school’s growing needs. The Year 2000
realised the completion of St Mary’s Primary School to a two stream school with the addition
of three extra classrooms, a new library and a new computer facility.
The Catholic Church has always recognised parents as the ‘first educators’ of their children.
It is the role of our staff to work in partnership with families to provide the best learning
environment for students to develop a capacity to become lifelong learners who will actively
contribute to creating a better world for all.

St Mary’s provides an environment where Catholic values are explicitly taught and practiced.
Students have an opportunity to grow in their Catholic faith, to develop their knowledge and
skills in seven key learning areas, to participate in sport and the arts and support their local
parish and wider community.

I hope the information contained in this handbook will be useful in helping you and your child
settle confidently into our school community.

Kerry Maher

Our Mission Statement

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School Orange is a professional learning community that works
in collaboration with family, church and community to celebrate high levels of learning for all.

We celebrate
   As part of a catholic community
   Effort and personal growth
   All levels of success
   Active learning

We are committed to
   A rich Catholic curriculum
   Positive relationships and pastoral care
   Quality education
   A learning culture that deepens insight and meaning.

We value
   Our faith
   Honesty and respect
   Life-long learning
   Collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication

Learning Statement
          As a Professional Learning Community we are committed to ensuring:
                              High Levels of Learning for All

                                          Page 2 of 30
Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...
School Dates and Routines

2020 School Term Dates

                    Staff commence, Tuesday 28th January 2020
           Term     Year 1 to Year 6 commence Wednesday, 29th January 2020
             1      Kindergarten commence Thursday 30th January 2020
                    School concludes Thursday 09th April 2020

           Term     School commences Monday 27th April 2020
             2      School concludes Friday 3rd July 2020

           Term     School commences Monday 20th July 2020
             3      School concludes on Friday 25th September 2020

           Term     School commences on Monday 12th October 2020
             4      School concludes on Friday 18th December 2020

Staff Development Days

For the purposes of staff development, the Catholic Education Office Bathurst allows four
days a year to all schools. On these days, teachers are involved in professional learning and
curriculum development. Dates of these days will be advised through the school newsletter
and school portal. You are asked to make other arrangements for the supervision of your
child/ children on these days.

                                         Page 3 of 30
Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...
Public Holidays

           Good Friday         Friday 10th April 2020 (during school holidays)
           Easter Monday       Monday 13th April 2020 (during school holidays)
           ANZAC Day           Saturday 25th April 2020 (during school holidays)
           Queen’s Birthday    Monday 08th June 2020
           Labour Day          Monday 5th October 2020

School Hours and Supervision of Students

                                    School grounds open for students
             8:30 am
                                    Students remain seated in the undercroft
             8:45 am                Playground supervision commences
             9:03 am                Children line up for class
             11:10 am - 11:33 am    Recess break
             1:00 pm – 1:45 pm      Lunch break
             3:10 pm                Dismissal and supervision until 3.30pm

Please ensure children are at school before 9.00am each morning. Lateness on a regular
basis will impede your child’s progress.

2021 School Term Dates

                   Staff commence, Wednesday 27th January 2021
           Term    Year 1 to Year 6 commence Thursday, 28th January 2021
             1     Kindergarten commence Friday 29th January 2021
                   School concludes Thursday 1st April 2021

           Term    School commences Monday 19th April 2021
             2     School concludes Friday 25th June 2021

           Term    School commences Monday 12th July 2021
             3     School concludes on Friday 17th September 2021

           Term    School commences on Tuesday 5th October 2021
             4     School concludes on Friday 17th December 2021

Public Holidays

            Australia Day       Tuesday 26th January 2021
            Good Friday         Friday 2nd April 2021 (during school holidays)
            Easter Monday       Monday 5th April 2021 (during school holidays)
            ANZAC Day           Monday 26th April 2021
            Queen’s Birthday    Monday 14th June 2021
            Labour Day          Monday 4th October 2021

                                       Page 4 of 30
Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...

The grounds are open to our students from 8.30am until 3.30pm Monday-Friday, with the
exception of a small group of bus students whose bus arrives a little later than 3.30pm,
supervision by the teachers is undertaken at these times. Written permission from parents is
required for any child to leave the school premises during this time. Children who arrive at
school before 8.45 a.m. must remain in the undercroft area. Children are not permitted to
play running games or ball games in the undercroft.

The school will not be responsible for supervising or caring for students on their journey to
and from school before they enter or leave the school grounds. Each student’s journey to
and from school shall be the responsibility of each student’s parent or guardian.

Daily Routines

School Uniform is to be worn on a daily basis and sports uniform will be announced for each
grade at the beginning of each term in the school newsletter. Each class attends Library,
Music and Environmental classes weekly. The Library days are publicised at the beginning
of the school year so that Library bags are brought in on the correct days.

On Tuesdays throughout each term classes and grades will attend the Parish Mass at St
Mary’s church. Year 3 to Year 6 will participate in the sacrament of Reconciliation.

School Assembly usually takes place on Fridays and these are announced in the weekly
school newsletter and on the school Compass calendar. Each grade has the opportunity to
present an assembly throughout the year, which parents are invited to come and watch.

                                          Page 5 of 30
Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School
PO Box 8007, Orange NSW, 2800                 Ph:   02 6362 7926

Parish of St Mary and St Joseph                   Ph:   02 6362 2378

Catholic Education Diocesan Office                Ph:   02 6338 3000

NSW Education Standards Authority

NSW Catholic Schools Parent Council

                                   Page 6 of 30
Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...
Catholic Life

Parish Community

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School is part of the Parish of St Mary and St Joseph - Orange.
The parish mass held on Tuesday mornings, at 9.30am at St Mary’s Church, provides a
wonderful opportunity for our classes and parishioners to meet and pray together. From time
to time we combine with other Catholic schools to attend mass at St Joseph’s or James
Sheahan Catholic High School for special celebrations. We also work in collaboration with
the Parish to prepare the children for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Communion
and Confirmation. Details of these times, as well as other parish events and news, are
advertised via the school newsletter and school portal.


The liturgical life of St Mary’s school community is an integral part of our religious education
program and the faith development of our students. Liturgies are held on special feast days,
important national remembrance days and to conclude some units of class work. Parents and
friends are always welcome to attend class or whole school masses. Parents will be notified
of liturgies via the school newsletter.

Communication and Parent Involvement

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School offers opportunities for parents to become involved in the
school’s daily activities. Communication is most important in building a strong partnership
between families and the school community. Parent participation is also encouraged as part
of the Parents and Friends Association (P&F).

Parents and Friends' Association

The Parents and Friends Association of St Mary’s Catholic Primary School provides an
opportunity for parents to meet and become involved in the life of the school. The P&F is
involved in social functions, fundraising and support for educational programs, and contributes
to building the community spirit of the school. Meetings are held each term and the date of the
meeting and the agenda is included in the newsletter. We encourage all parents to attend
meetings, we value the input of all our families.

                                          Page 7 of 30
Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...

Visit our school website for information and weekly newsletters.

School App

St Mary’s school portal, Compass is available to download onto your phone. Click the ‘App
Store” / “Play Store” icon on your device and search “Compass School Manager”.
Newsletters, calendar, alerts and class update information are available on this free app. You
are also able to use this app to submit an absence form for your child, if they are away from
school. Your Username and Password will be sent to you in the first couple of weeks of the
school year and will be the same throughout the time your child is attending St Mary’s Catholic
Primary School.

Attendance and Absences

Regular attendance at school for every student is essential if students are to achieve their
academic competence, strong social skills, and increase their career and life options. Schools
in partnerships with parents are responsible for promoting the regular attendance of students.

Parents/carers are legally responsible for:
  Ensuring that their children attend school every day the school is open for their
  Explaining the absences of their children from school promptly by means such as a
    written note or via the Compass portal within 7 days from the first day of any period of
    absence. However, the school may contact parents if no explanation has been received.
  Working in partnership with the school to plan and implement strategies to support
    regular attendance at school, including communicating with the school if they are aware
    of issues impacting on their child's attendance or engagement with school.

Arriving at school before the first bell ensures students have some time to socialise with
their friends before school, that they are ready for the first lesson of the day and that they learn
the importance of punctuality and daily routines.

Parents are asked to make medical appointments outside school hours.
If a student is late for school, leaving the school early or absent for a short period throughout
the day, parents must accompany their child to the school office and the office will
complete a partial absence on Compass.

Families are encouraged to travel during school holidays. If travel is necessary during the
term, parents need to contact the office for approval. An Application for Extended Leave may
need to be completed. Absences relating to travel will be marked as leave on the roll and be
included in your child’s total absences for the year.


As communication is the key to successful school and home partnerships, parents are
encouraged to discuss any issues that may be associated with their child’s education or
wellbeing. Interviews can be arranged before or after school hours. Please contact the school
office to organise a mutually convenient time to meet with the class teacher. Interviews with
the Principal may be arranged during school hours.

                                           Page 8 of 30
Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...

Excursions are an important and valuable part of the school year as they enable students to
relate what they are learning to the real world. The cost of the excursion is always based on
the maximum number of students participating. The school will send home a permission note
for parents/carers to sign and return to the school prior to the excursion taking place. Parents
are invited to ask for further information about any major excursions that involve overnight

Fees Management and Communication

As part of the enrolment agreement, parents/carers sign a School Fee Agreement
acknowledging a commitment to the timely payment of school fees. Each year, school fee
information for the following year is communicated to parent/carers at the end of Term Four.

It is mandatory for all parties to sign the Enrolment Application, Acceptance Forms and School
Fee Agreement. It should be understood that parents/carers signing an Enrolment Form are
by law, jointly and severally liable for any debt incurred for their child’s education at a diocesan
school. As set out in the Diocesan School Fees Policy, families must provide information to
schools in relation to all children attending Catholic schools in the diocese in order to
determine eligibility and apply sibling/family discounts.

School Fees are set by the Bathurst Diocese and are payable over the year. Accounts are
emailed home at the commencement of the first 3 terms and payable in advance. This
includes the Activity Fee, Building Levy and Tuition Fee.

   -    The Activity Fee is set by the school and covers entry and/or bus fare to some school
        activities throughout the year. This also covers requisites such as resource books,
        art & craft equipment, reading and library materials, duplicating material and pencils.
   -    The Diocesan Building Levy is paid in conjunction with school fees. This money is
        collected by the Diocese to service debts.

For further details, refer to the diocesan School Fees Policy available for download on the
CEDB website.


St Mary’s Catholic Primary School has adopted the Diocese of Bathurst grievance policy which
outlines the steps for dealing with any grievances that may arise with students, parents or staff
members. Please contact the Principal if you have any issues which can be dealt with in a
timely and professional manner. Copies of this policy are available from the school.

Information Evening

An information evening for each class is held early in Term One. At this meeting parents are
informed about the class program, procedures and expectations. A formal parent-teacher
interview is held during Term One, and again during Term 3, to discuss your child’s progress
and learning needs.


Whenever sending money for book club, donations etc. please place it in an envelope labelled
with the student’s name, what the money is for and place it in the student’s bag.

                                           Page 9 of 30
Orange - Parent Handbook - St Mary's Catholic Primary School - St Mary's Catholic Primary School ...

This is published on the school website and school portal, Compass, on Thursdays. It contains
important information, key dates and items about what is happening in the school. We keep
you informed about any special events your child may be celebrating in e.g. state sport
achievement / win in a spelling competition. Merit awards and other achievements are
communicated via the school newsletter each week.

Maintaining Professionalism

All staff/volunteers/parents are expected to act professionally and in accordance with the
school’s expectations regarding staff conduct toward children. Members of staff receive
guidance and professional development in relation to appropriate interactions with students,
how to exercise duty of care and how to maintain professional boundaries.

We understand that staff have a duty of care to:
   Ensure no child is exposed to foreseeable risk of harm
   Take action to minimise risk
   Supervise actively and
   If we see others acting inappropriately with children, report concerns to the Principal
      or seek further advice

School staff also understand that they are in a position of trust, authority and influence in
relation to children and that it is important that we do not take advantage of that position to
mistreat or misguide students either intentionally or inadvertently.

Staff strive to:
     Demonstrate appropriate relationships with children that cannot be misinterpreted as
        overly personal or intimate;
     Remain within the responsibilities of their roles and allow those appropriately trained
        to deal with student welfare concerns;
     Minimise physical contact with children unless it is necessary to exercise appropriate
        duty of care;
     Follow the school’s policies and procedures relating to pastoral care and wellbeing
        including serious incidents and reporting risk of harm.

Tutoring St Mary’s Students

Please be aware that staff from our school ARE NOT PERMITTED to tutor students from our
school in return for payment of any form. This is in accordance to our Diocesan Code of
Conduct and placing one of our staff members in this position places them in breach of
professional expectations.

Phone Calls

If you need to speak to a teacher, please leave a message with the office and your message
will be passed on. This helps to avoid any interruption to the class learning and teaching. If
there is a change in your child’s home travel arrangements, a phone call to the school
secretary before 2.00pm and your child will be notified of the change.

Permission Notes

At times, permission notes will be sent home. Parents will be asked to sign the note
acknowledging that they give permission for their child to take part in an excursion, sporting
team or other event. The note will explain whether costs are included in class charges or not.
Please fill in these notes and return them promptly to school.

                                         Page 10 of 30

St Mary’s offers opportunities for parents to become involved in the school’s daily activities
assisting in literacy and numeracy sessions, helping in the canteen, organising morning teas
after liturgies or special gatherings, and fund-raising activities.

All volunteers and visitors must present to the school office and sign in and out of the
school premises. This is to ensure the safety of both students and volunteers.

Working with Children Checks are undertaken by all staff working in our school. External tutors
and coaches working with students in dance, music, sport, art etc. are also expected to obtain
a check which is verified prior to engagement.

The participation of parents and close relatives of students at the school as volunteers is
welcome and appreciated for various activities in school. It is important that all volunteers are
aware that they are subject to child protection legislation. This means all volunteers must:

       sign on at the front office, and get a visitor’s badge from the office as per school
       check with the school what the current requirements are for the Working with
        Children Check (WWCC). Parents are usually exempt from needing a WWCC
        however any parent attending overnight excursions is required to hold a valid
        Working with Children Check.
       not engage in any inappropriate behaviour towards any children. In particular, although
        volunteers are technically not employed by the school, they are considered to be ‘staff’
        for legal purposes and need to be aware that complaints about inappropriate behaviour
        towards any child or young person must be investigated.

Volunteers who are not the parent or a close relative of a child at the school will be expected
to undertake a Working with Children Check.

       A ‘parent of a child’ includes a carer or person who has legal responsibility for a child.
       A ‘close relative’ includes a spouse or de facto partner, child, step-child, parent, step-
        parent, sibling, step-sibling, grandparent, step-grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece or
        nephew. In the case of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, a close relative includes
        people who are part of the extended family or kin of the child according to the
        indigenous kinship system.

Further information on the Working With Children Check can be found on the website for the
Office of the Children’s Guardian at

If you would like further information regarding any of the above, please speak to the Principal
first or feel free to contact the CEDB Child Protection Officer on: Phone: 02 6338 3000

All first time volunteers need to be provided with the WHS Brochure and familiarise yourself
with the safety procedures within our school.

                                          Page 11 of 30
Uniform Code


The school uniform is a distinguishing symbol of belonging to St Mary’s Catholic Primary
School and it is expected that students wear it with pride at all times. The assistance of parents
and staff is sought in maintaining a high standard of dress and presentation by all students.

Students not wearing the correct or incomplete uniform are required to provide a note from a
parent/guardian giving reasons and an expected date when the uniform will be corrected.
If students continually choose to wear incorrect uniform or ignore our dress code a parent
meeting will be requested.


     Uniforms                     Summer                                Winter

                                                             Navy polo shirt with logo
                        Navy polo shirt with logo
                                                             Navy track pants
  Sport Uniform         Navy shorts
                                                             Navy Sports Jumper with logo
  Girls and Boys        White socks
                                                             White socks

                                                             Maroon tunic or trousers
                                                             Maroon Jumper
                        Pink checked dress                   Fawn long-sleeve shirt
 Regular Uniform
                        White socks                          School tie
                        Black shoes                          Knee-high fawn socks,
                                                             or fawn tights
                                                             Black shoes

                                                             Maroon Jumper
                        School blue short-sleeve shirt
                                                             School blue long sleeve shirt
 Regular Uniform        Grey shorts
                                                             Grey trousers and socks
      Boys              Grey socks
                                                             School tie
                        Black shoes
                                                             Black shoes

 Hat – Navy bucket hat with school logo
 Black shoes - leather, polishable, classic style, low heel - no black joggers
 Socks - no sportlet or cut away styles
 Shorts - no cargo, corduroy, jeans type, Canterbury or polycotton / cotton shorts
 Trousers - grey poly / viscose serge trousers only

No Hat No Play

Our school has a ‘No Hat No Play’ policy. Students must wear their hats before school, during
breaks and when leaving the school daily. Students without hats during play periods will be
asked to sit in a designated shaded area.

Hairstyles and Accessories

Hairstyles should be neat and appropriate for school. Long hair that touches the shoulders or
covers the face should be tied back with a navy, pink or maroon clip, ribbon or scrunchie.
Nail polish and makeup are not appropriate. Jewellery should be simple – sleeper earrings
or studs and one per earlobe. Medical, gold or silver bracelet and signet rings only. No other
jewellery should be worn.

                                          Page 12 of 30
For safety reasons, students who wear inappropriate accessories will be asked to remove
such items and take them home in their school bag.

Labelling and Lost Property

All uniform pieces including socks and shoes and other personal items are to be clearly
marked with student’s names. This way, if these items are found in the playground or left
behind in classrooms, the owner can be quickly identified and items returned.

Any unmarked clothing items found in the playground or classroom will be placed in the Lost
Property boxes. The lost property is cleared twice during the term and any unclaimed items
are added to the school uniform clothing pool.

Uniform Clothing Pool

St Mary’s Catholic Primary school has a clothing pool. Many parents donate second hand
school uniforms to the clothing pool making these very affordable for others to purchase. If
you are able to donate uniforms, send items to the school office.

Personal Devices

All mobile phones and personal devices, including smart watches are to be handed into the
front office on arrival at the school. These are to be collected at the conclusion of the school
day. No devices capable of taking photos or messaging are to be kept in bags or on the
student themselves.

                                         Page 13 of 30
Wellbeing and Student Safety

St Mary’s school prioritises the safety and well-being of all students. All members of the school
community approach the task, of ensuring students are protected, by following carefully
planned on site security systems, policies and procedures. Staff regularly review and discuss
any changes to legal requirements such as the Child Protection Act. We respond promptly to
any WHS issues and staff regularly update their qualifications in CPR and first aid.

Car Park Safety

Parents are requested NOT to park in or drive through the school bus bay at any time
to avoid injury to any students entering or leaving the school grounds. Parents are also
requested not to park in the staff carpark located in the church grounds.

Drop off and Pick Up

Parents driving their children to school are requested to use the Park Street, Byng Street or
PCYC gates to access the playground.

All students are encouraged to be at school by 9am to allow for some play and socialising
before lessons begin.
When picking up children from school, parents are asked to meet their child inside the school
playground. There are designated meeting spots on the Primary & Infants playground that
can assessed via the Park Street, Byng Street and PCYC gates. Children are not permitted
to leave the grounds without a parent unless a note indicating other arrangements, has
been received by the school.

Bullying and Harassment

At all times, students, parents and staff have the right to be treated with dignity in an
environment free from intimidation, bullying, harassment and discrimination. Anti-bullying,
Restorative Justice initiatives and a sense of ‘fair play’ are promoted and practiced, at our
school, to create a positive school environment. Prevention of bullying, modelling appropriate
behaviour and respectful relationships at all times, contributes to the prevention of bullying.
For further information, refer to the school’s Anti-bullying policy.


We take complaints seriously and try to resolve them in the most appropriate, efficient and
confidential manner possible:

  If you or your child has a complaint about a student other than your own child, you should
   contact the office, so that this can be directed to the appropriate person.
 If you or your child has a complaint about the inappropriate behaviour of a staff member
   towards any child or young person, your concern should be directed to the Principal and
   confidentiality must be maintained (see Child Protection).
See “Child Protection: Schools, families and community working together.” Brochure

                                         Page 14 of 30
Child Protection

We take our responsibility to protect children seriously. All staff are expected to promote child
safety by having a clear understanding of their legal child protection responsibilities and act in
accordance with those responsibilities.

In particular, the school will:
    1. Maintain professionalism in our interactions with children at all times by exercising
        appropriate duty of care and maintaining appropriate professional boundaries.
   2. Follow an established process to address allegations of inappropriate behaviour by
      staff towards children.
   3. Ensure all people working in our school who are required to undertake a Working with
      Children Check have a valid clearance.
   4. Respond appropriately when we suspect a child is at risk of significant harm due to
      possible abuse or neglect by a parent/carer or other adult.

The school expressly prohibits corporal punishment and does not explicitly or implicitly
sanction the administering of corporal punishment by non-school persons, including parents,
to enforce discipline at the school.

Responding to risk of harm

All school staff are mandatory reporters. This means that if there are reasonable grounds to
suspect that a child is at risk of ‘significant harm’ from abuse or neglect, then a report must be
made to the Community Services Child Protection Helpline (CP Helpline).

School staff are expected to inform the Principal if they are concerned that a child may be at
risk. It is the role of the Principal (or delegate) to make the report to the CP Helpline.

In making a report the Principal will consider all of the information and seek appropriate advice
from the CEDB Education Officer: Wellbeing and Safeguarding. Any information about a child
at risk is kept confidentially by the Principal.

In situations where a child is considered to be at risk the school will work with the child and
family to assist them as much as possible.

If you have concerns about a child who you consider may be at risk, please discuss your
concerns with the Principal as soon as possible and maintain confidentiality.

Student Positive Behaviour for Learning - SPB4L

St Mary’s Primary promotes positive behaviour based upon four Principal rules:
  Be Respectful
  Be Responsible
  Be Safe

Our school encourages students to work for rewards by demonstrating positive behaviour

                                          Page 15 of 30
Student Awards

Our school encourages students to maximise their potential by participation in the many
experiences offered at the school. The awards system recognises the efforts, achievements
and positive changes made by students on a daily, weekly or term basis. The awards
presented at our school include:

      Class Awards are awarded to students by the class teacher for excellent classroom
       work and effort.
      Merit Awards are awarded by the class teacher for 5 Class Awards and these are
       presented at the school assemblies for all their peers to see.
      Bookwork Awards are awarded to students who have completed work in their exercise
       books to a very high standard. Promoting pride and care in their bookwork.
      Christian Leadership Awards are given to students that embody the catholic values in
       their day to day life at school. Contributing to the student example that we try to instil.
      School Representation Awards Encourage and recognise children who represent the
       school in the number of areas available to them.
      House Points are given to a student or group of students from each house for great
       house achievements, at the end of each term House points are announced and there
       is a winning house at the end of each school year.

Internet Safety

The Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst (CEDB) Bathurst provides web filtering
technology via Catholic Network Australia (CNA), which seeks to prevent students from
accessing inappropriate material on the internet and connected email system.

Students learn about online safety, being cyber smart and the responsible use of technology
as part of PDHPE lessons and/or organised webinars and guest speakers to the school.

At the beginning of the school year, students sign a ICT agreement which outlines appropriate
online behaviour and use of technology. If the student breaches this agreement, their parents
will be contacted and an appropriate consequence will be given.

                                         Page 16 of 30
Wellbeing and Student Health

Healthy Eating at School

Parents have an important role to play in helping their children to stay active and develop
healthy eating habits. Personal Development, Health and Physical Education programs
support parents in this important task.

Students bring their own water bottles to school each day and some fruit or vegetables for our
“Crunch n Sip” time.


St Mary’s Catholic Primary School Canteen is committed to providing healthy food choices.
Parents can support these initiatives by packing only healthy foods for their children to eat at
recess and lunch. The canteen follows the Healthy School Canteens Guidelines - for healthy
foods and drinks supplied in school canteens - to ensure students have plenty of healthy
options to choose from including fruit, salads and gluten free foods.

The school canteen is open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for lunch.
The canteen is operated by our Canteen Manager, and relies on parent volunteers to keep it
operational. This is a valuable service to our school community and parents are encouraged
to help. Lunch orders may be pre-ordered via Flexi-schools.

Canteen Flexi-schools

Flexi-schools is our school’s online lunch ordering system. This system allows you to pre-
order lunches and pay online. Go to:

                                         Page 17 of 30
Crunch and Sip Program

Students are to bring fruit or vegetables for their Crunch and Sip break at approximately 10
am daily. Students eat their fruit or vegetables and have a drink of water.
If you would like to read more about this program visit

Accidents and emergencies

At times a student may become ill at school or is injured in an accident. We will immediately
contact parents so they can collect the student or approve the appropriate medical attention.
In the case of emergencies, medical attention may be sought and parents are always
notified. It is most important that personal details and contact numbers are updated
regularly by parents so that the school can contact you or an emergency contact as quickly
as possible.

For small injuries and accidents, we administer basic first aid.


Anaphylaxis always requires an emergency response. Staff are regularly trained to use an
auto-injector to administer adrenaline and will immediately call an ambulance. Parents are
responsible for providing an Epi-pen for their child to be kept at school.

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School has students attending the school who have a severe
allergy to nuts. We are committed to providing the safest environment possible for all
concerned. All parents/carers are requested to help us in this task by not sending any food
containing nuts or traces of nuts.

Students diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis must have an emergency response plan, ASCIA
Action Plan for Anaphylaxis, completed and signed by the child's doctor as part of their
Individual Health Care Plan (IHCP). Current plans and an epi-pen are required to be kept at
school. Plans and epi-pens will be taken by the class teacher when students leave the school
or attend excursions.

                                         Page 18 of 30

Parents need to inform the school if their child has asthma. An Asthma Plan and inhaler are
required to be kept at school. Current plans and inhalers will be taken by the class teacher
when students leave the school or attend excursions.

In cases of severe asthma, the Principal will consult with parents and staff in developing an
individual health care plan (IHCP) for the student.

Common childhood diseases

Diseases requiring students to remain isolated include:

 Chicken Pox        for 7 days after spots appear and blisters have dried
 Conjunctivitis     until discharge from eyes has stopped
 Fever              until fever has resolved
 Gastroenteritis    for 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhoea
 Hand Foot
                    until blisters have dried
 Head Lice          until head lice management in place
 Hepatitis          readmitted to school with a medical certificate
 Impetigo -         until antibiotic treatment starts. Sores should be covered with
 school sores       watertight dressings
 Influenza          until they look and feel better.
 Measles             for at least 4 days after the rash appears
 Meningococcal       seek medical attention immediately
 Mumps              for 9 days after onset of swelling
 Ringworm           until the day after fungal treatment has begun
 Scabies            until the day after the treatment has begun
                    until at least 24 hours of treatment has begun and the child is feeling
 Scarlet Fever
                    until the first 5 days of a special antibiotic have been taken.



All children should be fully immunised (diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps, rubella,
whooping cough and haemophilus influenza type B /Hib) and the school should be supplied
with a certificate signed by a doctor or local council immunization officer. Meningococcal
vaccinations are free to any student under the age of 16.

The school must be informed if your child is not immunised.

Head lice

During the year, there may be students who present with head lice. Cooperation between
parents and the school is sought to manage the problem. Early detection is the key to
preventing any outbreaks, so parents are asked to check their child’s hair regularly, take
appropriate action if needed and keep the school informed. The student may return to school
when the problem is resolved.

                                         Page 19 of 30
Ear Infections

Otitis media is a common middle ear infection. If undetected it could cause hearing loss and
affect a student’s learning. Professional medical advice should be sought.


If a student is prescribed medication to be administered during the school day, parents must
complete a medication request form.

All medications must be handed in at the office by a parent/guardian. They are not to
be carried by students in their bags or when travelling to and from school on a bus. Asthma
inhalers may be carried on the bus journey’s but must be handed in to the office and
collected from the office. Medications are locked securely away and a record of
administration of the medication is kept.

School Counselling

A Centacare Psychologist visits St Mary’s two days a week. Permission must be obtained from
parents/ guardians before a student can be referred to a counsellor. Please contact the school
if you would like to arrange an appointment for yourself or child. Students may be placed on a
waiting list depending on the availability of the school counsellor.

Teachers appreciate being informed of any significant changes that may occur at home so
that they can offer understanding and support when needed.

Learning and Teaching - Stages of Learning

The primary curriculum is organised into four learning stages:

       Early Stage 1   Kindergarten
       Stage 1         Years 1 and 2
       Stage 2         Years 3 and 4
       Stage 3         Years 5 and 6

Key Learning Areas (KLA)

St Mary’s Primary school follows the guidelines set by the Catholic Education Diocese of
Bathurst (CEDB) and NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). The aim of each KLA is
to develop student’s values and attitudes, skills, and knowledge and understanding. Units of
work are completed each term with content and assessment tasks linked to unit objectives
and outcomes.

Religious Education

The Religious Education Program K-6 focuses on developing student’s knowledge, skills,
values and attitudes in the traditions of the Catholic Church. Students learn about creation and
the scriptures as sources of God’s revelation and God’s word, fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
Students learn about and participate in prayer and celebrations throughout the Liturgical

Students learn to identify, clarify, analyse and think critically about their own values and
attitudes enabling them to understand and live out their faith considering self and others.

                                         Page 20 of 30

In English, students learn to read, write, speak, view and represent language. They learn about
the English language and literature through working with a wide range of spoken, visual,
multimedia and digital texts.

Students learn how language varies according to context, and how to communicate with a
range of audiences for different purposes. They learn to read for information and pleasure.
Students gain a sound grasp of language structures, punctuation, spelling and grammar and
learn to think in ways that are imaginative, creative and critical.


Mathematics in K–6 focuses on developing student’s Mathematical Understanding, Fluency,
Communication, Reasoning and Problem-Solving through their study of Number and Algebra,
Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.

Working mathematically enables students to respond to familiar and unfamiliar situations,
using strategies to make decisions and solve problems relevant to their further education and
everyday lives.


Science across K- 6 focuses on developing knowledge, understanding of and skills in applying
the processes of Working Scientifically and skills in applying the processes of Working
Technologically. Students learn about the Natural Environment through the Physical World,
Earth and Space, and Living World and the Made Environment through the Material World.


History K–6 focuses on developing knowledge and understanding about the nature of history
and key changes and developments from the past. They learn key historical concepts and
develop the skills to undertake the process of historical inquiry.


Geography K–6 focuses on developing students’ knowledge and understanding of the
features and characteristics of places and environments and the interactions between people,
places and environments. Students learn to apply geographical tools for geographical inquiry
and develop skills to acquire, process and communicate geographical information.

Physical Development, Health and Physical Education

Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) develops the knowledge,
skills and attitudes students need to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives.

Students learn about the importance of good food and regular exercise and develop positive
attitudes towards a healthy lifestyle. Students learn how bodies grow and change over time.
They learn skills to play individual and team sports and the values of sportsmanship and

                                         Page 21 of 30
Creative Arts

Creative Arts gives students experiences in the Visual Arts, Music, Drama and Dance. They
have opportunities to explore their creativity in each of these areas. Students learn to
appreciate the meanings and values of each art form, as they perform and express

Assessment and Reporting

The NESA K–10 syllabuses for the Australian curriculum continue to promote a standards-
referenced approach to assessing and reporting student achievement in NSW and the
importance of assessment for, as and of learning as essential components of good teaching
and learning. (NSW Syllabus 2013)

Teachers assess student’s work, throughout the year, both formally and informally and make
decisions about next steps with students learning after considering collected data and samples
of student work.


The National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual
assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. The tests cover skills that students are
already learning through the curriculum in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation
and numeracy. The tests are undertaken in the second full week in May. Schools receive
student’s reports mid-August to September and individual reports are sent home to parents.

NAPLAN is not a pass or fail type test. It is designed to illustrate the range of student
performance across the country. The performance of individual students can be compared to
the average performance of all students in Australia. At the classroom level it is one of a
number of important tools used by teachers to measure student progress.
                                        Page 22 of 30
Teachers ensure that students are familiar with the test formats and will provide appropriate
support and guidance. If you have any questions about your child's preparation for NAPLAN,
you are encouraged to make a time to speak with their teacher.

Interviews and School Reports

 Term 1             Parent interviews with class teachers

 Term 2             Semester One Report

 Term 3             Parent Interviews with class teachers

 Term 4             Semester Two Report

 Parents may request an appointment with their child’s teacher as needed before or after


Parents, as the foremost educators of their children, play a vital role in the learning process
and the school relies on the support of parents in this. The support that can be offered
through effective communication between home and school in matters of homework is
critical. In order to provide a broader view of education the child’s learning should not be
restricted to the school environment.
Aims of Homework
To reinforce the learning in the classroom
To practise & develop research skills
To develop time & resource management skills as well as study patterns
To give children a greater responsibility for their learning
To encourage a three-way communication involving the student, parents and teacher.
To broaden children’s educational experiences

Frequency and Duration of Homework
Homework is set on most weeks of the year. Exemptions include the first week of Term
One, the last week of each term and during assessment weeks. Week 5 of each term has
been designated “Wellness Week”. No homework will be assigned in this week.

The following times are a guide to how long children are to spend on homework each night.
Early Stage One (Kindergarten):      5 minutes + reading
Stage One (Years One & Two):         10 minutes + reading
Stage Two (Years Three & Four):      15 minutes + reading
Stage Three (Years Five & Six):      20 minutes + reading
Length of time spent on homework should be at parents’ discretion.
                                         Page 23 of 30
Children who go on holidays during a school term
Parents who wish their child to complete homework while they are away during school time
are requested to have their child keep a journal of the holiday and to read on a regular basis.
Consistent with rationale and aims, work will not be set for children who will be away on

Books and Equipment

A list of requisites for the following year will be sent home in December. Items should be
replenished as they are needed during each term. All items should be labelled with permanent
marker or adhesive name labels.

Supporting Students

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School assists students with additional learning needs by
implementing Individual Education Programs (IEP) within the school. Student services
provided by regional health staff (such as psychologists, speech pathologists, district nurses
who assess vision and hearing impairment) may be accessed by our school staff through an
established referral process. Parents are consulted, by the staff at the school, and asked to
approve any direct involvement of specialist support staff with their children. Parents may be
advised to consult directly with regional service providers.

Aboriginal Education, Support and Community Partnership

St Mary’s Catholic Primary School provides ongoing educational, pastoral and cultural support
to Aboriginal students through school based curriculum initiatives. Our school's Aboriginal
Education Workers (AEW) work closely with class teachers and the support teacher to monitor
the development, implementation and evaluation of individual learning plans for Indigenous
students. The AEW establishes effective links with parents and student support schemes,
and applies for funding where available.

Disability Learning and Support

Students with learning difficulties, disabilities or behaviour disorders are referred to as
‘students with special learning needs’. These children may have autism, hearing impairment,
an intellectual disability, language disorder, or physical disability. If parents have concerns
about their child’s development they should speak with their child’s teacher/s.

If a parent believes their child has special learning needs that require additional assistance,
they should contact the school Principal. The Principal will discuss the child’s needs with the
Learning Support Teacher.

Learning Support Team

The Learning Support Teacher works with classroom teachers and school assistants to help
students with special learning needs. Team meetings are organised with parents and teachers
and, when applicable, other professionals to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) to
meet the learning needs of a student who needs additional support or extension.

Literacy and Numeracy Interventions

St Mary’s School Support Team monitors the learning needs of students with class teachers,
especially those students experiencing difficulties with literacy and numeracy. After
assessment has taken place, teachers collaboratively develop a program of learning that will
improve the participation and learning outcomes of the student. Communication with parents
is an integral part of this process.

                                         Page 24 of 30
Gifted and Talented

The Catholic Education Office Bathurst offers educational consultation and access to
resources which assist our school to identify gifted students, assess specific resources and
make appropriate programming recommendations to our school staff. Staff promote the gifts
and talents of students by differentiating the curriculum and encouraging students to
participate in competitions, performances or enrichment activities.

Co-curricular Programs

Library Learning Centre

The school library is at the centre of our learning environment at St Mary’s Catholic Primary
School. The library has 1000’s of items that can be borrowed by students, teachers or parents
including fiction and nonfiction books, magazines, audio books, posters, games, teacher’s
resources, readers, as well as access to online resources. The learning space is used by
students, teachers and parents for meetings, professional development sessions or other
learning opportunities including video-conferencing.

Classes K-6 receive formal lessons focused on developing research, comprehension and
writing skills. Story-time is also an opportunity to introduce students to a variety of quality texts
to engage the audience and foster a love of literature. Our teacher librarian co-ordinates the
school’s Premier’s Reading Challenge, our annual Book Week activities and Book Fair and
book club purchases.

The Library is open twice a week at lunch times so students can select and return books,
find a quiet place to read, join in playing board games, or catch up on some homework or
research activities.

Reading Program K-2

St Mary’s is committed to meeting and improving the literacy needs of every student in its
care. Readers and library books are sent home weekly with students with our Kinder, Year 1

                                           Page 25 of 30
and Year 2 students. Parent / carer support our early reading program by reading to and
listening to their child read daily. Parents are asked to:
          read to their child daily,
          read with their child, or
          listen to their child read the text independently.

The parent/carer signs and dates the student reading record in their diary which is returned to
the child’s teacher daily as an ongoing record of the texts read.

Premier’s Reading Challenge

This challenge aims to increase student engagement with reading and enjoyment of a wide
range of literature. The NSW PRC website has lists of suggested texts that are suitable for
students K-2, 3-4 and 5-6. Our school library has many of these titles. Students will be
informed about the annual challenge during library lessons and advertised in the school

Information Communication Technology (ICT)

St Mary’s school recognises the importance of digital technologies as part of an integrated
curriculum. Students are able to access class sets of iPads and Chromebooks from Kinder
to Year 2 via our 1:1 device to student program. Students in Year 3 to Year 6 have their own
Chromebooks for which they are responsible. These are purchased through the school and
are for use as directed by the class teacher. Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) and projectors
are in use as well as interactive televisions. Students are engaged in digital platform
activities such as Mathletics, Bug Club, Sound Waves spelling and stepping stones Maths
Technology is integrated throughout the curriculum, building skills and confidence in this

Robotics and Coding

This activity is currently held during one lunchtime per week. Students are introduced to
basic coding and move onto programing with Bee Bots and Edware apps with robotic
devices. Collaboration and creative problem solving are key skills learned through engaging
and fun activities.


Students have opportunities throughout the year to participate in academic challenges
including mathematics challenges, writing and poetry competitions and creative arts, drama
and music competitions and sporting events. Students are informed about these competitions
and they are also advertised via class emails and the newsletter.


St Mary’s participate in and attend drama, music and dance performances including the
Eisteddfod, Assembly items, Count Us In, Aboriginal Dance and Music, in conjunction with

CWA Public Speaking

                                         Page 26 of 30
This is an annual competition for Primary students held at class, school and regional levels.
Information on Topics are sent home in Term 1 and all Primary students are required to
prepare a speech for class on their chosen topic.

Spelling Bee

This is an annual competition held at class, school and Diocesan levels. Information and
word lists are sent home during Term 2 for the students to prepare for the competition.

                                        Page 27 of 30

Students have an opportunity to learn about and participate in a number of different summer
and winter sports at school, at carnivals, gala days, and interschool competitions. Students
are able to compete, and if successful, progress from school level to regional, Diocesan, State
and National competitions.

School and Community Events

St Mary’s school community has a number of events that are planned throughout the year to
celebrate family life including Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We participate in national events
such as ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day.

All events are advertised in our school newsletter.


St Mary’s Catholic Primary school offers a range of opportunities for students to develop
leadership skills. When students participate in planning, decision making and implementation
the whole school community benefits. Students can be leaders in the classroom, through their
actions in the playground, through their support for others, or their involvement in academic,
sporting, cultural or local community events or projects.

Buddies Program

New Kindergarten students are assigned a buddy from Year 6 to assist them with settling into
their new school environment. The Year 6 class and Kindergarten class meet for informal
activities in the first few weeks of school and join in peer support and sport days. These
friendships blossom and continue into the following school year.

                                         Page 28 of 30
Student Representative Council SRC

Students from Year 2 to Year 6 have an opportunity to be elected as a representative on the
Student Council each term. Two members from each class meet together with the Principal,
or their SRC lead teacher, during the term to discuss ideas, bring issues forward or contribute
to surveys about the school and its improvement. The representatives report back to their
class and gather ideas for their next meeting.

Peer Support

During Term 2 or Term 3 students are organised into mixed K – 6 social groups to have an
opportunity to get to know each other and learn from one another as they participate in a range
of activities promoting social development and responsibility. The sessions take place one
afternoon a week for a 30-minute period.

                                         Page 29 of 30
School Policies & Procedures

The following policies and procedures are set expectations of St Mary’s Catholic Primary
School and on acceptance to our school, parents/carers need to read and accept the
conditions of these policies. Please visit St Mary’s website to download and read these
policies as a condition of your enrolment.

             Anti-bullying Policy
             Homework Policy
             Medication Policy
             Pastoral Care Policy
             Student Welfare and Behaviour Management Policy
             Enrolment Policy

All other policies are available from the school office.

                                          Page 30 of 30
You can also read