Dear parents, students and families
Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas. Advent means 'Coming' in Latin. This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas. This Sunday marks the first Sunday of Advent. While 2020 has been a very unusual year it is not the worst year in human history (nor the best). This year taught us to treasure family and the small joys of being able to gather with those closest to us and to appreciate the freedoms that our life normally gifts us as everyday. This year as we reflect on the coming of Jesus we should do so with a thankful heart, a positive mindset and love for others.
In the next few weeks our Year 6 confirmation candidates will celebrate the final sacrament of initiation. We wish our candidates a blessed celebration as they become adults in the Catholic church. May the Holy Spirit work through them in life to act as agents of Jesus' mission in life.
A school the size of St Thomas' often has movement in staff. We have some changes coming up for 2021.
Mr Declan McDermott - appointed as Deputy Principal at St Thomas More in Belgrave - we congratulate Declan on his appointment
Mrs Leah Hirt - appointed as Faith and Liturgy Coordinator at Padua College in Mornington - Leah was on leave from St Thomas' in 2020 and we wish her well in her new role.
Mrs Teresa Fraraccio - we wish her every success in launching her new music business into schools.
Mrs Sasha Lucas - moving to a Year 1/2 position at Rivercrest
Mrs Catherine Backhouse - taking up additional days at St Agatha's Cranbourne (she currently works there and here)
Taking long service leave in 2021:
Mrs Caroline Dunlevie
Mrs Leonie Torossian
New staff joining us:
Mr Andrew McDermott - Religious Education Leader
Mrs Sarah Chappell - Foundation teacher
Mrs Bianca Wolverton - Foundation teacher
Ms Emily O'Kane - Middle teacher
Mrs Nicola Bailey - Senior teacher
Mr Benjamin Walsh - Senior teacher
Mrs Annette Papas - Junior teacher (Mrs Papas is currently teaching our Foundation students and we are pleased she is continuing with us in 2021)
Our school continues to grow and we have a projected enrolment of 750 for 2021. This means we have outgrown our current classrooms. Rather than put more portables in which further reduce the available play area we are instead moving Senior classes into the hall, Bethany. New furniture and exciting plans for the teaching team are well underway.
The Foundation level will be in Bethlehem, the Junior students will be in three communities: Galilee, Jerusalem and Damascus. The middle students will be in two communities in Ephesus and Jericho.
We are currently preparing class lists. This is work that takes significant time as we consider the academic, social, emotional and behavioural needs of all children, identify particular staff skills and talents, and work to creating harmonious communities.
by Michael Grose
At this time of the year we are thinking about the students and their transition to another class or school for 2021. We all wish for our children to grow up Independent and resilient!
For some valuable ideas: