On Monday, 24 July, the entire staff met in Adelaide for a Staff Retreat Day led by Josephite Sr. Mary Ryan rsj. The purpose of our formation day is to provide space for reflective and formational experiences with a particular focus on our school values and how we intentionally live out our school values at Our Lady of the River School. In line with our diocesan theme of being called to community, we explored how Mary Mackillop is a model for our school staff and follows the call of God, even when faced with adversity and challenges. We met upon and walked on the sacred land of which St. Mary lived and worked, responding to people in need with courage, generosity and compassion, always presenting the face of God to those she encountered. We contemplated how to continue Mary’s story and legacy as a Josephite school actioning the calls of our hearts. We spent the afternoon exploring the history of St. Mary and the pioneering Josephite sisters with a visit to the Mary Mackillop Museum in Kensington.
Next Tuesday, 8th August we celebrate St. Mary Mackillop’s feast day with a liturgy of the word hosted by the 4-5 students at 9:00am in the hall. Everyone is most welcome to join our celebration.
This week our students have been participating in our MITIOG program, which is build on the foundational belief that we are all Made In The Image Of God and loved infinitely. This belief underpins the Church's teachings about the dignity of the human person and the sacredness of sexuality.
The MITIOG curriculum has been developed to ensure that human sexuality education is accessible to all students in Catholic schools, and that it is delivered in an age appropriate and culturally sensitive manner. It is respectful of an individual’s right to make healthy and informed choices about their bodies and their relationships.
Your children may have questions or want to talk about their learning; this can sometimes be confronting; the following tips and guidelines may be helpful.
- Be attentive and respectful.
- Teaching children about their bodies must happen in an age-appropriate way. Read the information letter sent hom so that you are aware of the content your child will be learning about.
- Know what you really believe and why.
- Anticipate how you will respond if your child asks what you did.
- Talk often but not necessarily long.
- Know their world.
- Take time when they want to talk.
- Use correct terminology even when it makes you a little uncomfortable.
- What is the real question?
- Talk about risk behaviours.
- Use story to deepen dialogue.
- When you talk about human sexuality, talk about human beings.
- Create a trusting relationship.
- Connect sexuality and spirituality.
- Tell the truth.
If you have any questions of the curriculum, please make a time to meet with me.
The current edition of the Catholic newspaper put out by the Archdiocese called,' The Southern Cross,' is available at; The Southern Cross, August 2023
We have had a great start to Term 3 and everyone is back in the swing in the classrooms. We have welcomed 6 students into our Foundation class as part of our Mid-Year intake, as well as 4 new students to other classes this term. We also have 3 new Bright Start students joining us for the first time as they begin their journey to starting at school at the beginning of next year. It is great to see the interest in our school. If you know anyone who is considering sending their child here next year, tell them to get in contact with us to get the process started soon.
On our Student Free Days we began with a Staff Retreat to the Mary MacKillop Precinct in Adelaide. Sr Mary Ryan RSJ led us in some learning and reflection about St Mary of the cross MacKillop and her story which led to the beginning of the Josephite Order and also Josephite schools like ours. It was great to hear about how her original reasons for setting up our schools are still relevant to us today. St Mary treated all students and families as equals, no matter their background, social status or financial status. At OLOR we still welcome families from all different backgrounds and support all students to achieve their best.
This week we received our NAPLAN results for our Year 3 & 5 students who sat the tests this year. As a staff we have looked at the data and will use this to inform and guide our future staff professional development and focuses for improvement. We were pleased that our results mostly were as expected, and we performed well when compared to other schools in the Port Pirie Diocese, particularly in our Year 5 cohort. We look forward to using the data to help support school improvement going forward.
Our Wakakirri troupe has been busy finalising their performance in preparation of their showcase at the Norwood Concert Hall in Week 4. Miss De-Gregorio has been fine-tuning the dance and the students are excited for the opportunity to perform with other schools on stage in Adelaide. It promises to be a big day, but also a fun one. We thank Miss D for her co-ordination and mentoring of the group and bringing all of the plans together. I can’t wait to see the final product!
Miss De-Gregorio has also been busy finalising the school choir for the Riverland Music Festival in Week 5. This involves lots of practice at school, as well as with our cluster, in preparation for the big night at the Chaffey Theatre. As we head towards the performance night we wish the choir well in their final preparations.
Next week we have our Year 3 camp to Monarto Zoological Park. This promises to be a great adventure as well as learning experience for our Year 3s as they get to learn more about the animals at the zoo, as well as what goes into caring for them and how conservation is a big part of zoos nowadays. School camps are a great way for students to experience different learning than what we can offer at school and a thing that students will remember forever. We look forward to hearing all about their adventures- stay tuned to our Facebook page!
Mr Michael Slagter
Physical Education News
In Physical Education we have Nigel Stoeckel working with our school for Weeks 3 through to Week 6 to develop skills and game play in Table Tennis. We look forward to these sessions and having someone from the community sharing their expertise in our lessons. We may have some future champions in the making!
Congratulations to Charlie Kregar and Isaac Martin who were two of eight students who competed at the Riverland Golf Carnival. Charlie qualified for the state Golf Day in September, Congratulations and good luck!
We have two teams competing in the Riverland Basketball Championship. The games at the carnival were modified to three individual fouls per game and the game was played in 13-minute lengths. Our boys are in Division 1 and the girls in Division 2 and competed strongly in tight competition. Thank you to Bella Gates for coaching the boys' team and giving some great tips to our girls' team too!
Next week our Yr 4’s will compete at Hot Shots Tennis in Berri. This will be a great opportunity for them to represent the school and compete in a fun atmosphere in modified tennis. Mr Dunn and Brad are looking forward to the day of Tennis in Berri!
This week we had our final cluster rehearsal for our choir performance. Our students are sounding great and we are very proud to have three students representing us in special roles at the upcoming performance.
Host: Siri Gudipati
Soloist: Grace Heuzenroeder
Instrumental soloist: Lily Fan
If you would like to come and watch our students in action, we are performing on Wednesday 23rd of August at the Chaffey Theatre. Tickets are available on the Chaffey Theatre website. They are selling fast, it will likely be a sell out show!
We will be sharing a sneak peak of one of our songs at assembly next week – Friday 11th of August.
Our Wakakirri performance is fast approaching. We will be heading to Adelaide on Tuesday 17th of August for our final rehearsal and performance. We look forward to sharing our performance with our school community at our school assembly in Week 5.
College Principal’s Twilight Tour
6pm Monday 21 August
New Families Information Session
7 pm Wednesday 23 August, Mahoney Room, Berri Town Hall,
7 pm Wednesday 6 September at St Francis of Assisi College,