INFORMATION HANDBOOK

   St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, 1-33 Bridlington Avenue, Echuca VIC 3564
Phone: (03) 5482 1342, Fax: (03) 5480 2143, email:
                               Principal: Brendan Atley
     About St Mary’s Parish
     Our School
     Brief History of the School
     Deanery Map
     Why a Catholic School
     Our Vision
     Graduate Outcomes
     Enrolment Policy
     Enrolment Key Dates
     Year Six Exit Students
     Learning Technologies
     Library Learning Centre / Minnie Laing Centre
     Our Philosophy of Learning
     Learning Communities
     Victorian Curriculum
     Intervention & Enrichment
     Reporting on Children’s Progress
     Performing and Visual Arts
     Camps and Excursions
     Pastoral Wellbeing
     Family Liaison and Student Wellbeing Contact
     Positive Behaviour in Schools (PBIS)
     Bullying and Harassment
     School App
     Booking Online
     Absences & Attendances
After School Care
  Class Photographs
  Car Pick Up and Drop Off
  Court Orders
  Critical Incident Response
  Dismissal Procedure
  Early Leavers and Late Arrivals
  Emergency Information
  End Of Term Arrangements
  First Aid / Accidents
  Food and Water
  Evacuation Plan
  Head Lice
  Home / School Relationship
  Involvement of Parents in Curriculum
  Learning Conversations
  Lost and Found
  Infectious Diseases
  Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse
  Medical Services
  Messages to Teachers
  Newsletters and Notes
  Parent Class Representatives
  Parents and Friends Association
  Parents and School Partnership
  Parish Community
  Procedure when sending Money to School
  Safety Precautions at School
  School Banking
  School Board
  School Commencement Time
  School Hours Daily Timetable
  Sick Children
  Sign In / Sign Out Book
  Travelling to and from School
  What not To Bring
     St. Mary’s Parish Echuca
    Dear Parents,
    Whether this is your first child starting school or your children are coming to St Mary’s
    from some other school, there is always a bit of excitement and maybe even anxiety. How
    will my child settle in? What will the teachers think of her/him me? Will I have to work on
    a committee? Relax! Just come as you are. You and your child are most welcome and we
    thank you for choosing St Mary’s.
    St Mary’s is a Catholic school and that has everything to do with the atmosphere and ethos
    that prevails here. We don’t think that we have got it perfect yet, but we are most
    definitely and resolutely pointed in that direction.
    St Mary’s School is an integral part of the St Mary’s Parish Community and we want you to
    feel welcome and at home in your parish community. Someone has said that religion is
    caught, not taught. We invite you to join with your children in the religious life and
    practice of our parish and grow with them in faith, trust and love.
    Yours sincerely
    Fr Des Welladsen
    Parish Priest

                                  ABOUT ST MARY’S PARISH
                                   Welcome to St Mary's Parish! St Mary's Echuca is a vibrant
                                   community. We are part of the Diocese of Sandhurst and
                                   we always like to welcome newcomers and visitors.
                                   If you want to worship with us, or if you are new to the
                                   Echuca area, please come along and you will be made VERY
                                   There are many Parish Groups within our Parish
                                   Community covering numerous activities and programs for
                                   people of all ages and interests, there is sure to be
                                   something that appeals to you!
                                   Parish Priest - Fr Des Welladsen
                                   Parish Pastoral Associate - Christine Sebire
                                   Parish Office Hours:
                                   Monday: 9am - 12 noon,
                                   Tuesday-Friday: 8.30am — 3pm
                                   224 Anstruther Street, Echuca 3564,
                                   Ph: (03) 5482 1127, Fax: (03) 5482 1451,

Dear Parents and Guardians,
The most obvious recollection for me, when I joined St. Mary’s was the genuine sense
of welcome into the community. It was clearly something that had been developed,
fostered and valued for a long time.
People who come to this school, enjoy a sense of belonging and ownership that comes
from participation.
It is through this togetherness that we celebrate Catholic Education and everything it
stands for. We work hard to promote and foster what allows us to be successful. If we
attend to the key elements of spirituality and wellbeing, we believe all students are best placed to
achieve their best.
Catholic schools have a long and proud history of providing a well-balanced curriculum
supported by excellent staffing and quality resources.
As a school, we continue to pursue excellence. We are clear about who we are and where we want
to be.
I encourage you to contact us for a tour or a chat should you be wanting to see and
know more.

Brendan Atley

On 31 December 1887, the Bishop of Sandhurst, Most Reverend Dr. Crane OBS blessed the
cornerstone of the new primary school in St Mary’s Parish. This school was built on the site of the
present parish hall. About 40 children were in attendance in 1889.
On 23rd November 1919, the red brick St Mary’s School was erected along Anstruther Street. It
consisted of five classrooms and was blessed by the Bishop of Sandhurst, Most Reverend Dr
McCarthy DD. Thus, the school continued until 1963 when three additional classrooms and
staffroom were added, adjoining the red brick building. These were ready for use at the beginning
of the 1964 school year. At this particular time, the primary school children from St Joseph’s
College were transferred to St Mary's and St Joseph's became a secondary school only.
Two more classrooms were built in 1970, and a new classroom block and administration area in the
1975 Centenary Year of the Parish. It is interesting to note that up until 1963 the teaching staff at
St Mary’s consisted solely of four Brigidine Sisters, but by 1975 there were nine lay teachers and
two nuns on staff.
The refurbishment (1996) of the whole school provided new facilities of which St Mary’s was very
proud. In the year 2000, an adjoining building, the Wesley Church, was purchased and converted to
classroom areas, accommodating four classes.
Additional enrolments in 2004 required the addition of a relocatable classroom to be added to the
existing school buildings.
After many years of planning and following the sale of the Anstruther Street site, a new school was
constructed for St Mary’s during 2008. At the beginning of the 2009 school year, St Mary’s was
relocated to Bridlington Ave in Echuca West. The history of St Mary’s has begun a new chapter.
St Mary’s Primary School
is part of the Sandhurst Diocese and belongs to the Western Deanery/Northern Plains Cluster
At St Mary’s, we are concerned for the education of the whole person - spiritually, physically,
academically, emotionally, socially and aesthetically. We are concerned with the families of the
children we educate.

St Mary’s school functions within the mission of the Catholic Church. We are open to all in our
community who respect and agree to support the Catholic mission of the school.

This mission is to continue the works and teachings of Jesus within our world - to be people of love,
joy and hope who show respect for all, are willing to serve, have the courage to stand up for what is
right and just, have the capacity to build and maintain relationships and to work for justice and
peace so that all may live life to the full.

Thus we are formed by the values of the Gospel, the teachings of Jesus. Social justice is a key focus
when dealing with people and resource provision. We follow the teachings of Church doctrine,
morals and ethics. We celebrate in prayer, ritual and worship, the traditions of the Catholic Faith. In
this way, we try to be that faith community of our vision.

Sacramental preparation and celebration is a Parish based approach. Parish Sacramental Team
members, made up of parishioners, teachers and parents, support parents as they journey with their
children in the next stage of their faith development.

Children access our school from St. Mary's Parish and St. Aloysius' Parish Moama, so both Parish
communities and their families work together to support children in preparation to receive the
sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist.
Enrolment forms for the sacramental preparation process, can be obtained from the Parish Offices
and need to be completed and returned by the due date.

St. Mary's, Anstruther St., Echuca, (03) 5482 1127
St. Aloysius, Francis St., Moama (03) 5480 0141.
St Mary’s Identity Statement

      A faith community learning together,
            spreading the Good News
                 of Jesus through
      positive relationships, trust and love.


       Graduate Outcnts who graduate from St Mary’s will:
St Mary’s School is open to all who seek a Catholic Education for their children and who are
willing to support the values and purposes of Catholic Education. Refer to policy on
Children are admitted at the beginning of the year in which they are five years of age, on or
before April 30th of that year, and is encouraged that children previously attend pre-
school. Parents are asked to present their child’s birth certificate and Baptismal Certificate
(if applicable). All children enrolling at St Mary’s Primary School will be required to present
a “Certificate of Immunisation Status for Primary School Enrolment” or an exemption
document. Both are available from Medicare.

Transition programs are important because they promote the assimilation of the child and
the family to the new school situation, encourage the child’s independence and successful
functioning in the new environment, and inform and support the family in the process and
promote collaboration between family and school.
We offer extra 'transition to school' sessions for some children. This is arranged through
the Special Education teacher. This program allows children to spend time in a variety of
different settings at St Mary’s and become familiar with some other children who will be
part of their Foundation (Prep) group. It is designed to support children as they build up to
the formal Foundation (Prep) Transition Program.

Transition programmes are organised by the respective secondary colleges for the senior
children leaving St Mary’s Primary School. They follow a similar pattern of information
sessions, orientation opportunities and familiarisation activities for children. These are
actively promoted by St Mary’s and all children and parents are encouraged to attend.
St Mary’s has developed good relationships with St. Joseph’s Secondary College to
encourage pathways in Catholic Education for students from Foundation (Prep) to Year 12.
Students in Years 4 to 6 are introduced to St Joseph’s through school visits and activities.
Senior students and parents are also given many opportunities to become informed about
College programs and facilities. All prospective families will be informed as to the timing of
these transition activities in advance of the due date.
     At St Mary’s we use the Apple Mac computer platform, using a range of technologies
     throughout the school.
     In each Learning Community there are available to all students: interactive
     whiteboards, a bank of laptops, digital cameras and wifi access throughout the
     school. Foundation students use iPads, Year 1 and Year 2 students have a 1:4 ratio
     for laptops and Year 3 and Year 4 students have a 1:2 ratio. Year 5 and Year 6
     students have a 1:1 Laptop program.
     All computers are linked to the Catholic Education Victoria Network (CEVN) and most
     recently to the Catholic Network Australia (CNA) Education Services portal which
     provides access to many contemporary learning and teaching resources such as The
     Learning Federation (TLF) website. The CEVN allows access the email facilities and
     the internet with highly monitored filters.
     Each child in the school has an annual paid subscription to the web based learning
     programs Reading Eggs Foundation—6 and
     Mathletics Foundation– 6
     Generation Safe™ (GenSafe)
     Our school is a Generation Safe™ school. In
     conjunction with the Catholic Education
     Office Sandhurst, staff and students engage
     in a responsible Digital Citizenship approach
     to learning and working with technology.
     The Generation Safe™ tools help the whole
     school community navigate the digital
     environment by providing a comprehensive
     set of resources for all stakeholders:
     professional development (online videos), incident management, and a
     comprehensive self-assessment.
     We constantly revise our policies and user agreements to ensure parents, students
     and teachers are all involved and take responsibility for the way they engage with
     technologies. The GenSafe Staff Team at St Mary’s comprises of our E-Learning
     Leader, Pastoral Wellbeing Leader, Chaplain and Deputy Principal.

     St Mary’s School has a Library/Resource Centre which is fully automated. Each class
     has a timetabled library lesson during the week. In addition children, parents and
     teachers are welcome to utilise the Library before school.


       In our Learning Community we believe…
       ♦ Learning best occurs in a happy and secure
           environment where all attempts at learning are positively affirmed and encouraged.
       ♦ Learning occurs through interesting and meaningful experiences.
       ♦ All students should be included in learning experiences
       ♦ Learning is a valuable and worthwhile pursuit and intrinsically rewarding.
       ♦ All individuals learn differently.
       ♦ In the importance of parental/guardian involvement in their children’s learning.
       ♦ Assessment and feedback are an integral part of the learning process.
       ♦ Learning is enhanced by a team approach.

        At St Mary’s we aim to:
        ♦ Encourage personal responsibility for learning and develop independent learners.
        ♦ Create a challenging, open and stimulating learning environment.
        ♦ Promote positive values and attitudes through the learning experience.
        ♦ Encourage deep levels of thinking about concepts and issues.
        ♦ Implement all aspects of assessment to guide and measure learning.
        ♦ Understand and respond to the different needs, backgrounds and interests of learners.
        ♦ Develop respect through learning for all within our school community.
        ♦ Engage students in e-learning through a range of 21st Century Learning Technologies.

        At St Mary’s we operate as one Learning Community. Within our community we have
        centres for each year level. Each community has a learning and teaching team that
        includes classroom teachers and Learning Enhancement Teachers (LETS)
        Healy Learning Community      (Foundation to Year 2)
        Brennan Learning Community (Years 3 and 4)
        Moore Learning Community       (Years 5 and 6)
        Hayden Learning Community (Specialists, Administration Staff and Senior Leaders)
        Within each Learning Community Centre, each child is aligned to a specific homeroom
        teacher but is still considered part of the whole learning community. Teachers work as a
        professional learning team, working together to plan programs, analyse data, map the
        journey of each child and to support each other in their teaching – all of which will
        consequently benefit each and every child in the learning community.
Victorian Curriculum
St Mary’s plans and reports to the Victorian Curriculum.
The Victorian Curriculum is the foundation to Year 10 Curriculum for Victorian government
and Catholic schools, with full implementation from 2017.
The Victorian Curriculum F-10 sets out what every student should learn during their first
eleven years of schooling. The curriculum is the common set of knowledge and skills
required by students for lifelong learning, social development and active and informed

Religious Education
The Catholic school plays its part by providing a Catholic culture
and climate within which its students grow in true wisdom. The
religious symbols and activities of school life, the shared prayers
and liturgy, and the way people treat each other, all provide a
framework of Christian living.
Within the formal curriculum, Religious Education has a central
place. Here it is a course of formal study. The Religious Education
curriculum of the Sandhurst Diocese is appropriately titled, Source
of Life.

English & Mathematics
At St Mary's we develop learning experiences within the framework of the Victorian
Curriculum, using best practice pedagogy based on current research.

All students engage in the use of technology within each learning area to develop specific
skills as well as participating in a responsible digital citizen course. This covers topics such as
‘be safe online’ and cyber-bullying.

Children participate in the Specialist programs in the following areas:
   ● Visual Arts.
   ● Health and Physical Education.
   ● Performing Arts.
   ● LOTE (Language Other Than English) - Indonesian.
   ● Social and Emotional learning.
Working in Learning Communities enables fluid and flexible groupings of children to meet
their individual needs, as such, teachers prepare programs striving to develop a more
personalised learning program.
At St Mary’s we have developed a whole school response plan to Intervention.
Teams of teachers work in conjunction with the class teacher and the learning community
to provide opportunities to extend or supplement each child’s learning through Focus
Groups. These groups are informed by evidence of children’s learning and target specific
skill development.
Progress is constantly monitored to enable differentiated learning programs. This is
facilitated through Focus Groups within the Learning Community and enables the extension
of learning.
For children with specific learning or physical disabilities, personalised learning program
(PLP) is developed in conjunction with the Special Needs Coordinator. For each integration
child, a Program Support Group (PSG) is formed. The PSG is made up of Parents, their
Advocate, the Class Teacher, Student Support Person and Special Needs Coordinator. The
Principal can also be involved. The PSG meets at least once per term.
Reading Recovery is a Literacy Intervention program for targeted learners at Year 1.
We also have visiting Speech Pathologists who works in conjunction with staff.

The communication to parents over the yearly period will be in the form of:
   ● Learning Conversations—Meetings with teacher/student/parent. Twice a year.
   ● Formal Reports to The Victorian Curriculum and Religious Education. Twice a year.
   ● Ongoing goal setting and feedback via the parent access module (P.A.M.).
We encourage you to have an ongoing, regular communication with the class teacher,
regularly login to P.A.M to access your child’s Learning Goals, teacher feedback and student
reflections and to have active input at Learning Conversation time. We would hope that all
parents are well aware of where their children are at in the learning journey at all times.
Children are given the opportunity to display their talents in public performances through Music
Concerts, Whole School Productions, School Assemblies and Art Exhibitions.
We alternate between Whole School Production and Art Exhibition.


Our Program involves
participation in:
        Annual Athletics Carnival (P-6)
        Annual Swimming Carnival (Years 3 – 6)
        Swimming Program : Years 3-6 beginning and end of year,
        Foundation – Year 2 end of year.
        Interschool Sport: Years 5 & 6 Term Two and Three
        (Football, Netball, Softball, European Handball)
        Cross Country (Years 3-6)
Our school provides the opportunity for children to extend their
sporting talents by participating in zone competitions and

Camps and excursions are considered to be an important part of the
school curriculum, in which all children are expected to participate.
The School Camping Program provides for an ongoing development
in independence and responsibility as each child moves through the
primary school. The programs are for Children in Years 4-6.
At St Mary’s we:
            ● Recognise the fundamental importance of student’s mental health, their learning and
                wellbeingPromote quality relationships between students, staff and families.
            ● Educate students to become resilient with levels of social competence.
            ● Identify and support family needs.
            ● Develop a positive, safe and happy environment for our children and staff.
Our Pastoral Wellbeing team consists of a Pastoral Wellbeing Leader, a Family Liaison / Wellbeing
contact and a Special Education Leader.
Our programs are based around the components of Community, Relationships, Social Emotional
Learning, Parent Resources and Education and Prevention and Early Intervention strategies.
We are guided by relevant policies are these are available on our website or from the school at your
request. e.g. Behavioural Management Policy, Bullying and Harassment Policy, Grievance procedures.
        Programs used are:
        You Can Do It
        Making Jesus Real
        Positive Behaviours                                                                    in
        Seasons for Growth.
We are committed to providing a safe and nurturing culture for all children and young people at St
Mary’s through:
   ● Upholding the primacy of safety and wellbeing of children.
   ● Empowering families, children and young people to have a voice and raise concerns.
   ● Implement rigorous risk-management and employment practices.
   ● We also follow strict guidelines when engaging volunteers including;
   ● All volunteers need to complete school based induction program.
   ● Have a current Working With Children Check.
   ● Are familiar with ALL Child Safe Policies.
Our commitment is to create a school environment where children and young people are respected,
their voices are heard and where they feel safe and are safe.

At St Mary’s we have a Family Liaison & Student Wellbeing contact. This contact works in
conjunction with our school Pastoral Wellbeing Leader and communicates with the school
families on a range of issues. The contact is also responsible for facilitating parent
information sessions, our pre-schoolers and parent playgroup each Monday morning, the
Seasons for Growth grief program and works with individual students.
Currently, Mel Slattery is our contact and is at our school two days per week (Mondays and
St Mary’s staff has been using the online
portal called SIMON. This resource informs
staff and students of their daily timetable,
lists the daily notices, school calendar
events and reports. It also ensures that
students have quick and ready access to key
learning links. P.A.M., the "Parent Access
Module" allows you as parents and
guardians to access your child’s Learning
Goals, teacher feedback and rubrics
demonstrating progress in learning.
You can also access timetables, calendar of
school events and daily notices. P.A.M is an
integral connection between school and
home learning.

Parents are able to receive electronic permission forms for excursions and camps and can
reply instantly without filling in a single form. The CareMonkey system is located in a highly
secure environment.
It is important to ensure these details are up to date at all times.

Learning Conversations
Learning Conversations are a three way discussion between student, parent and teacher
regarding the students learning, progress, challenges and future learning. We encourage
parents and guardians to embrace these opportunities to share time with your child and
their teacher.
We use PAM for the booking of Learning Conversations.
Children are expected to attend school every day that the school is open unless there is a
reasonable excuse for absence. A phone call to the school on the day of absence is required.
If we have not received notification of absence, a text message is sent to parents/guardians
notifying them of absence. No child is permitted to leave the school grounds during the
school day without written parental approval and the permission of the Principal/or Class
Parents who pick up children during the day are asked to sign the child/children out in at the
School Office and if returning that same day sign them in again.

YMCA of Greater Murray run an Outside School Hours Care Service. All educators are fully
qualified and in line with the Australian Children’s Education & Care Rebate. This serves
operates from Echuca Central Primary School, students travel by bus to this location with a
staff member from After School Care. Operational Hours: Monday—Friday 3pm—6pm. For
enrolment and bookings please call YMCA Children Services Director 5482 2517.

Some children's health can be affected by being allergic to particular products, foods, plants
or animal bites or stings. If your child is affected by an allergy, we ask you to inform your
child's teacher at the beginning of the year of all relevant documentation and treatment
procedures. In this way we can inform all staff of the special needs of particular students
with regard to allergies.

Every child needs an art smock. They need to cover sleeves and top and be roomy enough to
fit over the winter uniform. An adult shirt is fine. They can also be waterproof underneath.
Please make sure your child’s art smock is clearly named. This can be left at school and
taken home to be washed at the end of each term.

Children will assemble as a whole school every fortnight to share events of interest, notable
achievements and pray for their school. These assemblies are held on Tuesday afternoon at
2.10 pm in the Auditorium, also to provide a means of regular contact between the classes
and the Principal. Parents are always welcome to attend.

Class photographs are taken each year. Pre-paid orders are placed for individual, class group
and family photos. School Photo Day is usually during Term 1 and students are expected in
full Uniform.
Parents and Guardians are
asked      to    observe     the
following rules in relation to
dropping children at school in
the morning and collecting
them in the afternoon.
Do not exceed 20km/h speed
limit in the school grounds.
Pick up and drop off
arrangements as explained
above show courtesy and
consideration      for    other
drivers and be cautious and
Please do not park in front of
neighbour’s driveways.

In the event where a court order applies to family situation, the custodial parent is obliged
to present the school with a copy of the Court Order to ensure that the school is aware of
any custody arrangements. Where there are no court orders in place and parents are
separated, the school needs to be notified of current mutual access arrangements.

In the event of a critical incident the school follows established procedures that are
supported by Sandhurst Diocese. We will use relevant and appropriate communication
methods to inform and update parents.
Students will not be allowed to leave the school before 3.05pm without their
parent/guardian signing the “Student Sign In/Sign Out kiosk” located in the School Office.

In the event of parents and carers wishing to collect their child early from school, they will
be required to report to the School Office to complete the “Student Sign In/Sign Out kiosk”.
Carers will need a signed permission note from the parents authorising them to collect the
child. In this way class teacher can be assured that all appropriate notification has been
observed and that the child’s whereabouts are fully known.

Information needed in the case of emergency is kept in the School Office. This information
needs to be updated constantly. It is therefore important that any alteration of contact
persons, phone numbers or addresses be brought to the attention of our school
School finishes at 2.05pm on the last day of term.

Our school is equipped with a sick bay. When illness or accident occurs, parents are notified
and when necessary, are asked to take their child home or to a doctor. All Staff regularly
complete courses in First Aid with specific Asthma, Anaphylaxis and CPR training.

At St Mary’s we encourage healthy food and only water to drink. Lollies or junk food are not
recommended. Children are encouraged to drink water throughout the day.

St Mary’s School does not have a canteen. We outsource our lunch orders on a Monday,
Wednesday and Friday. Orders, together with child’s name and class must be written on a
brown paper bag with correct money inside. Orders are to be placed in the blue lunch order
bag in each classroom by 8:45 am or orders can be made online. A current lunch order list is
available on our school website St Mary’s promotes a
healthy eating lifestyle. Children are actively encouraged to bring fresh fruit daily to eat at
“fruit stops”. Parents are asked to send only nutritious foods to school. ‘Junk food’ is not
allowed including chips. Children are also encouraged to drink water only. Drinking
sufficient water to hydrate the body and the brain is an important part of classroom
practice, so children are asked to have a water bottle or “sipper” with them at school.
Parents are also encouraged to send children’s lunches with minimum packaging.
Classrooms have a three bin system—LANDFILL, PAPER and FOOD SCRAPS

No flavoured Drinks or Fruit Juices. Chewing Gum and Bubble Gum are not permitted.

We follow a sun smart policy. All children are required to wear a school hat from January to
April and then again from September to December. “No Hat / No Play” - children must then
sit in a designated shade area. We encourage children to leave hats at school so they have
them at all times.

Head lice can be suspected when there is itching and scratching of the scalp and the back of
the neck or when a live infestation is known in the community. It is your responsibility to
check your child’s hair regularly and notify the school of any infection. The child must be
kept at home until treatment has been carried out. For further information contact the

Our school has an “Open Door” Policy where parents are invited to assist in any way in any
curriculum area. If parents wish to discuss their child’s program, an appointment should be
made at the office.
A Certificate advising whether a student’s immunisation is complete, or incomplete, must be
provided to the school prior to commencement.

Our school has taken out a blanket Student Accident Insurance with Catholic Church
Insurance covering the total school enrolment. This policy covers students “whilst at school”
only—that is, on the school premises during school hours only and whilst participating in
school camps or authorised activities away from school. It does not include travel to or from
the school. There is no additional cost to parents as this expense is built into the fee
structure. Full policy details are available from the school upon request.

Parents are involved in a wide number of activities in the school. Assistance is needed in
areas such as excursions, camps, library, physical education and sporting teams.
Grandparents are also a very important part of our school community. We ask that all
volunteers have a current Victorian Working With Children’s Check and complete the St
Mary’s Induction course.

Lost property is located in the First Aid Room and may be inspected by parents at any time.
It is important that all clothing is clearly marked with the child’s name. This makes it much
easier to identify articles of clothing in the first instance.

Teachers have the responsibility of contacting Child Protection Services if they believe a student at
their school is harmed as a result of child abuse or is at risk of harm. Child Protection Services is part
of the Department of Health and Community Services and is responsible for investigating reports of
child abuse. From 1994, all primary and secondary teachers and school principals in Victoria came
under a legal obligation to tell Child Protection Services of their concerns if they believe a student is
at risk of harm through physical injury which results from abuse or neglect or sexual abuse.

The School Nurse from Health and Community Services visits each year to check Foundation
(Prep) children (and other children referred by parents) for sight, hearing and general
medical problems. Echuca Regional Health has a School Dental Clinic. It is situated in
Leichardt Street. This service is available whilst the children are in primary school. Contact
no is 5485 5820.

If a child requires medication, medication must go to the School Office and be entered in
the Student Medication Record book located in the First Aid Room. Both, the class teacher
and School Office need to be aware of this information. Please ensure that if you have a
child with anaphylaxis or asthma that their Action Plans and medication are up to date and
sent to the school.
Everything sent along to school for the class teacher or School Office should be in an
envelope or bag clearly marked with the teacher’s name and the child’s name. If money is
sent, the envelope should also include the amount and purpose.

A newsletter is compiled weekly and emailed home to each family on Thursdays.
Alternatively, families may access the newsletter via PAM or the school website. In doing so,
you support our endeavours to reduce paper use and “read from the screen”. If you do not
have email access, the newsletter will go home with your eldest child. The newsletters is a
major communication link between school and home and contains information of coming
events and other matters we wish to bring to your attention. Please read the newsletter
carefully. Newsletters and other useful information are available for viewing on our website.
Please go to (News and Events). Deadline for newsletter
contributions is Wednesday midday.

The Parents & Friends’ Association has two major roles. Firstly, a social one, where
opportunities are provided to bring the school community together for members to enjoy each
other’s company and to get to know each other better - to build our school community through
social interaction.
Secondly, it has a financial role. Funds are raised to provide programs and improve facilities in the
school. It is aimed to keep the amount spent on general running costs to an absolute minimum.
The Parents & Friends' has a number of groups that take responsibility for the major
fundraising events. These include the Fete Committee, Golf Day Committee (Aug/Sept), Craft
Group, Catering Group, and St Mary's Ball Committee.
All parents are invited to be actively involved in the Parents & Friends' and will be made very
There is an executive committee of a Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, Treasurer and
Assistant Treasurer. We prefer to see these roles being shared among parents to share the
The meetings are held monthly and dates are circulated via our School Newsletter. A large
number of families attend our school and we would like each parent to become involved in
some way with the Parents & Friends' Association activities.

We invite and need a contribution from all parents. Make an effort to understand what the
school is trying to do. Express your support for the aims of the Vision & Mission statements.
Join the Parents & Friends Association, or the School Board. See the school as ‘your’ school.
Encourage your children to see it in the same way. Offer constructive criticism and
suggestions, but direct your comments to the appropriate people. If concerned, contact
your class teacher in the first instance, School Principal or School Board member.
Go to school activities including open days, plays, concerts, picnics, sporting functions, and
celebrations of any kind.
Welcome new parents. Help them feel that they belong. Build their confidence in the
school. Support a broad and balanced curriculum. Encourage your children to cooperate
fully, to join in all school activities and to take pride in the buildings, the grounds and the
school community as a whole. Support class teachers when they call for help on excursions
or classroom activities. Reading the Newsletter is a great way to stay informed about daily
activities at school. Working Bees are called on a periodic basis to address needs of the
school. Please support when possible.

Our school could not exist without our Parish. We expect children and parents to be active
members of our Parish. Almost all children and families live within the Parish boundaries
and can therefore affiliate with our Parish. Our Parish Priest, Father Des Welladsen, is
deeply involved within our school which gives the children a sense of belonging.
Parish Masses are held weekly at St Mary’s School on Thursday mornings. These Masses are
prepared for and attended by different year levels or communities.
Each year level also prepare for and attend a Mass at St Mary’s Parish church at least once
each year.

We hold an informal playgroup every Monday at 9am. New parents are invited to come
along. Bring your friends as well. It is not exclusive to St Mary’s families only, bring your
friend and their kids along as well. Please call Mel Slattery on 0417 822 589 if you would like
more details.

We are guided and informed by Government and Diocesan Policy. Policies are to be
reviewed on a regularly and can be viewed on school website or on request.

All money must be sent to school in an envelope clearly marked with the child’s name,
grade and purpose of the money. This is then handed to the teacher for sending to the
school office

Children are encouraged to follow the school rules which avoid the possibility of accidents and the
development of dangerous situations.

Our school banking day is Thursday. Children bring their bank books to the School Office.
For more information please contact the School Office.
St. Mary’s School Board is an important element in the leadership of our school. It
recognises that community members have a right to participate in the education process
and a responsibility to accept the Church’s call to its ministry in the Catholic education of its
young people.
The Vision statements of the school focussing on shared beliefs, aspirations and
commitments along with the School Improvement Plan provide direction for Board
Members. The primary purpose of the School Board is to establish, monitor and implement
the school improvement plan.
No special skills are needed to become a School Board member – a willingness and
desire to be part of our school community in a real and practical way, to add your voice to
making our school grow and function to the best of its ability.

The School Board consists of:-
               Parish Priest
               Six to Nine parent members
The School Board welcomes new parents to St. Mary’s and invites them to take an active
part in the development of our school.

It is very important that parents see that their children arrive at school no later than 8.40am
so that they can unpack and get organised in order for school to start promptly at 8:45am.
Children who arrive late, not only miss important lessons but more importantly, disturb the
entire school routine. It is also important that parents not send children to school any
earlier than 8.15am (first bus arrival time) as the school takes no responsibility for
supervising children before this time.

8.43am         Music plays: students move to classrooms, prepare for start of school
8:45am         Bell rings:   morning program begins
9.00am         School Gates Locked
10:45am        Bell rings    eating time
10:55am        Bell rings    morning recess
11.25am        Bell rings    morning program continues
1.25pm         Bell rings    eating time
1.35pm         Bell rings    lunchtime
2.05pm         Bell rings    classes resume for afternoon program
2:50pm         School Gates Open
3.05pm         Bell rings    School dismissed
Home is the best place for a child who is unwell. Parents are asked not to send sick children
to school, as we do not have adequate facilities to care for them. The school keeps a record
of each child’s medical information and emergency contact numbers if parents are
unavailable. It is the parents’ responsibility to inform the school of any changes to this
information and are asked to do so immediately a change occurs.

There is a “Sign In / Sign Out KIOSK” in the School Office. When children arrive late or leave early the
accompanying adult must make an entry via this kiosk.

Children are supervised by teachers from 8.15 am until 3.25 pm Teachers are rostered for yard duty
before school (in the yard and meeting buses); at recess and lunchtime, and after school (front and
Car Park gate). If children have not been picked up by 3.25pm, they will be taken to the
Administration Area. During extreme heat and wet weather periods children are supervised in their
classrooms at recess and lunch times, where they are encouraged to participate in quiet activities.

For transfers during the year, please contact the Principal personally or in writing.
If wishing to enrol a student at St Mary’s, Enrolment Forms are available at the School Office.
If you wish to transfer your child to another school, you should inform the Principal in
advance and ask for a transfer note.

If children are either walking or cycling home, parents should expect them home by a certain time
each day. If the child’s mode of travelling home is to be changed, please send a note with a young
child, or inform the school if alterations are made during the day.

Children walking home from school are advised not to loiter, to observe road rules and not to talk to

Bicycles / Scooters
Children need to be proficient in the area of bike riding and to know and demonstrate
correct behaviour in accordance with road safety rules before being allowed to ride to school. When
arriving at or leaving school, children walk their bicycles in the school ground and across the
footpath. Bike racks are provided.
The Road Traffic Authority strongly recommends that children under 10 years do not ride bicycles
independently of adult supervision. Children cycling or scooting to and from school are advised to be
a competent cyclist / scooter, observe road rules, exercise care, not talk to strangers and wear a
Detailed information can be found on
Traffic Lights
The school is situated in close proximity to the Murray Valley Highway. Children, riding, scooting or
walking to school may need to cross this highway to access Bridlington Ave. A set of traffic lights is
situated at the intersection to allow children to cross safely. These include pedestrian lights. Children
should be actively encouraged to utilise these lights for crossing the highway. The crossing is
provided for pedestrian safety and good modelling is vitally important.

A car park is provided on the western end of the school property. Parents are asked to utilise this
park when coming to school.
A ‘quick’ drop off/pick up lane is provided for parents who do not wish to park. To utilise this
effectively, parents are asked to only drop off or pick up in the first bay. The other two bays are
‘waiting bays’. This provides an orderly access/exit as well as ensuring children can safely get in and
out of the car without interference from moving traffic. Each afternoon, a staff member will be on
duty to supervise this traffic flow.

School Bus
The school is serviced by town and country buses. The town bus is run by a local company, while the
country buses (except NSW buses) are organised by Echuca College. All children travelling on buses
are dropped off and picked up in the bus lane adjoining our car park. There is a teacher on duty
after school, to supervise this exit. Should a young child be travelling home this way, we pair them
up with a ‘buddy’ until they are confident. Casual Country Bus Travellers Victoria:- A Casual Bus
Traveller Form must be completed two days in advance of the travel with explicit travel reasons and
must be signed by the parent and stamped and signed by the school. This note must then be
handed to the driver on boarding the bus. Forms are available from the School Office.
Contact numbers for bus routes and information in application process:

James Newton’s Bus Service 5484 1129

From time to time, children feel compelled to bring their latest treasure to school for play purposes.
This could be a new or popular toy, computer game, latest swap card fad etc. We strongly advise
against this action because we cannot guarantee their safe return or in the case of swapping, that
fair transactions will be negotiated. Encourage children to leave their toys at home and invite
friends to your home to share the joy and excitement.
In the circumstances of the school needing to be evacuated a designated coordinator,
usually the Principal, will take charge.
Evacuation Instructions:-
 The Co-ordinator will issue evacuation instructions to classes as the emergency dictates. In some
circumstances classes closest to the danger zone will be evacuated first, followed by classes further
away. When moving to the designated evacuation area students will be moved away from the
danger zone and not towards or through the affected area. Teachers should not evacuate unless
instructed to do so by the Co-ordinator.

Teacher Responsibility: -
Teachers are responsible for the safety and supervision of their students during the evacuation and
for the duration of the emergency. No teacher is to leave students unsupervised. If a teacher is
directed by the Co-ordinator to perform a task, which prevents effective supervision being
maintained, it is the teacher’s responsibility to arrange for alternative supervision before engaging in
other tasks.

The Co-ordinator will specify the type of evacuation required from one of the following within the
building; to another building; within the school ground; beyond the school.

Evacuation: - within the building may occur when the danger is confined to a section of one learning
community (pod) of the school.

Evacuation: - to another building may occur when the danger is confined to one learning community
(pod) of the school.

Evacuation: - within the school ground may occur if the danger zone extends to all school
buildings, but not to open areas elsewhere around the school.

Evacuation: - beyond the school may be required if the emergency affects the whole school.

Food, water, shelter and toilet facilities will be required if evacuation occurs in adverse weather or is
likely to be prolonged. Arrangements have been made to use Victoria Park Oval and surrounds,
which has toilet and drinking facilities. If necessary, the Co-ordinator will arrange lunch to be
supplied as required.

No student is to leave the school or evacuation area with a parent or other adult unless specific
authorisation to do so has been issued by the Co-ordinator.

Parents attending the school are to be directed to the Information Centre. The Co-ordinator will
designate the area to be established as an Information Centre. A member of staff nominated by the
Co-ordinator will be available to provide information concerning the welfare of students and other
information about the emergency.
Disease                     Regulation
Chicken Pox:                Until fully recovered. NB - Some remaining scabs are not an indication for continued exclusion.

Conjunctivitis              Until discharge from eyes has ceased.

Diphtheria                  Until receipt of medical certificate of recovery from infection.

Hepatitis (Infectious)      Until receipt of a medical certificate of recovery from infection, or on subsidence of symptoms.

Hepatitis B                 Until recovered from acute attack.

Impetigo:                   Until sores have fully healed. The child may be allowed to return, provided that appropriate
                            treatment is being applied and that sores on exposed surfaces such as scalp, face, hands and legs
                            are properly covered with occlusive dressing.

Leprosy:                    Until a medical certificate, satisfactory to the commission is produced.

Measles                     For at least seven days from the appearance of the rash or until a medical certificate of recovery
                            is produced.
Meningococcal Infection     Until a medical certificate of recovery is produced.

Mumps:                      Until fully recovered.

Pediculosis/Head Lice:      Until appropriate treatment has commenced, supported when requested by a medical certificate.

Poliomyelitis               Until at least fourteen days after onset of illness and until receipt of a medical certificate of
                            recovery from infection.

Whooping Cough:             For two weeks or until a medical certificate of recovery is produced.

Ringworm:                   Until appropriate treatment has commenced, supported when requested by a medical certificate.
Rubella-German              Until fully recovered at least five days from the onset of the rash.
Scabies:                    Until appropriate treatment has commenced, supported when requested by a medical certificate.

Streptococcal Including     Until a medical certificate of recovery is produced.
Scarlet Fever:
Trachoma                    Until appropriate treatment has commenced.

Tuberculosis                Until a medical certificate is produced stating that the patient is no longer infectious.

Typhoid & Paratyphoid Until three successive negative faecal and urine cultures are obtained at 24 hour intervals,
Fever:                commencing at least 72 hours after cessation of specific therapy.

Schools of the Future Reference Guide: The regulations require the parent/guardian to inform the
Principal as soon as possible if the child is infected with any of the diseases listed in the table, or has
been in contact with an infected person. It should be noted that in cases of diphtheria, typhoid and
paratyphoid fever, exclusion and determination of recovery will be matters for the municipal
medical officer of health.
                                      St Mary’s is our school our holy space.
                                       The Murray River is our sacred place.
                                   Where the waters meet and gum trees grow.
                                   It’s a place where love and friendship flow.

                                     We’ll read and write and dance and sing.
                                          Thank our God for everything.
                                      Delight in what each new day brings,
                                            As we journey on together.

                                     We’ll strive to do our best in all we do.
                                  Show faith and love and always seek the truth.
                                     Working hard to earn each other’s trust.
                                  We’ll build a school for all that’s safe and just.

                                     We’ll read and write and dance and sing.
                                          Thank our God for everything.
                                      Delight in what each new day brings,
                                            As we journey on together.

                                        The Brigidines sailed across the sea.
                                   To teach young children just like you and me.
                                         Our history continues everyday.
                                      Our stories shared in all we do and say.

                                     We’ll read and write and dance and sing.
                                          Thank our God for everything.
                                      Delight in what each new day brings,
                                            As we journey on together.

                                    St. Mary will protect us through the years.
                                     Her love for us will wash away our fears.
                                         Living as she showed us everyday,
                                        Inspiring us in all our work and play.

                                     We’ll read and write and dance and sing.
                                          Thank our God for everything.
                                      Delight in what each new day brings,
                                            As we journey on together.

                                     We’ll read and write and dance and sing.
                                          Thank our God for everything.
                                      Delight in what each new day brings,
                                            As we journey on together.

Written by Performing Arts Teacher Judy Stewart & Year 5/6 students 2008/2009

Catholic Schools receive funding from both the State and Federal Governments on a per
capita basis. Unfortunately the level of funding provided does not meet all the costs
associated with operating a school on a year by year basis. Schools are required to
contribute to their own running costs through parent fees, levies and fundraising.

School fees are reviewed and set annually. Parents are given notification of any changes made to the
annual fee structure. Flexible payment options are available – fortnightly, Term by Term, Direct
Debit, Eftpos, Credit Card and Internet Banking. Please advise the School
Office of your preference. Fees are due on the first day of each term.
Accounts will be sent as reminders. It is an expectation that where possible families meet their fee
commitments. However, no child will be denied a Catholic education at St Mary’s due to an inability
to pay fees. Families experiencing financial difficulties should contact the Parish Priest or Principal to
discuss the situation and to make suitable arrangements.

A Student Fee is charged for each student, for costs associated with curriculum expenses, this Fee
includes excursion/incursion programs.

When making payments, it is necessary for all monies sent to school to be enclosed in a sealed
envelope with the child’s name, class and purpose of the payment written on the
outside. The school currently provides Direct Debit, EFTPOS and Credit Card facilities as a wider
range of payment options for families.

Apart from the fundraising, which is done by the Parents and Friends Association, we occasionally
support other organisations not directly associated with the school. We are committed to Caritas’
Project Compassion which runs throughout Lent each year. Organisations supported in the past have
included Pontifical Mission Societies, Centacare, MS Read-a-Thon and National Heart Foundation.
Your support for these fundraising activities, whilst entirely voluntary, is encouraged.

To assist families to calculate their full fee commitment for the year, camp fees are now itemised on
the Fee Account.              Camp attendance is part of curriculum instruction and
children are expected to participate in these activities.

Fees are inclusive of:
School Fee:
1 child                                                    $1300
2 children                                                 $1600
3 or more children                                         $1850
Student Fee: Foundation to Year 6                          $375 (per student)

(The Student Fee is inclusive of, excursions, curriculum materials and resources, computer
resources and photocopying)
Capital Fee:
Family /year                                               $250

Camp Fees
Year 4 Camp Fees
Year 5 Camp Fees 2018                                      $220
Year 6 Camp Fees 2018                                      $300

1:1 Laptop Program
Year 5 and 6                                               $340 Annual laptop lease

Opening the Doors Foundation for Indigenous Students Criteria for Consideration of
The foundation was formed to help cover the gaps in existing funding, not to duplicate or take the
place of existing services. As a result, applications requesting support for school uniforms, book lists,
levies, VET & VCAL subjects and extra-curricular activities will take priority. The Applicant (student)
must be of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent and supply a Confirmation of Aboriginality.
It is an expectation at St Mary’s that all children wear our school uniform.
Girls Winter Uniform
Navy pants
Optional: navy shorts
Navy and Gold polo with school logo.
St Mary’s School Jumper
Navy blue tights or white socks
Dark navy pleated tunic
Girls Summer Uniform
St Mary’s School Dress
Dark navy tailored shorts
Navy and Gold polo shirt with school logo
St Mary’s School Jumper
White socks
Boys Winter Uniform
Grey school pants - long/short
Gold polo shirt with school logo
St Mary’s School Jumper
White socks
Boys Summer Uniform
Grey school pants – long/short
Navy and Gold polo shirt with school logo
St Mary’s School Jumper
white socks
School shoes and boots are required to be all black.
Black running shoes are acceptable as school shoes, provided they are completely black.
Brown /Black sandals may be worn with summer uniform with no socks.
Broad brimmed hats with school logo.
St Mary’s School follows SunSmart Guidelines so school hats are to be worn for protection.
St. Mary’s School Hat is compulsory for all children from January to the end of April and from
September to December but can be worn at other times during year if required by weather
Sports Uniform—Years 3—6
Boys: navy sports shorts only
Girls: navy sports shorts only
All shorts should be short-legged sports shorts, No logos/stripes on shorts.
Navy track pants (No stripes/logos)
White socks (no colour/logos on white socks)
Sport shoes
Wearing of Navy Sports jacket (with school logo)
Optional for all students
The following guidelines regarding personal grooming are expected to be followed
by all students at St Mary's School.
It is considered unnecessary to have extremes in hairstyles e.g. spray colouring, excessive
spiking. Long hair should be tied back while at school. Children should wear the school
colours blue or yellow for ribbons, clips etc. Jewellery such as bracelets, necklaces and
earrings should not be worn to school. Children with pierced ears are permitted to wear studs
or sleepers. Nail polish must be removed prior to attending school.
If for any reason your child cannot wear any part of the uniform, a note of explanation is to be
sent to the class teacher. Our uniform standard is as stated.
If you have any queries, please contact the School Office.
Uniforms may be purchased from Lords Fashion Centre, 198 - 200 Hare St, phone: 54821364
Monday-Friday 9:00am - 5:30pm, Saturday 9:00am - 1:30pm
Subject to change
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