The song ‘We are one but we are many’ continues to fill our living rooms as it plays on national television throughout the day. Australians singing together in isolation inspiring a feeling of solidarity throughout this pandemic.
As you are not yet able to walk your children onto the school grounds, a solidarity in the partnership between school and home continues to be of high importance as we work together in providing the very best for all children in the school. I take my role as principal very serious and always have the best interest of every child at heart. That means that I let your child know when they are not being the best version of themselves and that, in addition, I provide support and teaching to all children to help them achieve their full potential. I take many opportunities to connect and build relationships with all children in the school. I would hope that anytime you have any concerns you would contact me to have a conversation.
I continue to encourage all adults to maintain 1.5m distance between each other, including during pick up and drop off. While we have been supporting parent choice and providing online learning during this pandemic, we now expect all students who are well and not considered vulnerable to COVID-19 to attend school. If your child is feeling unwell I ask that you keep them home, this way we help our school community to stay healthy.
On Wednesday we celebrated the 2019 school year with the School Board’s AGM. In honouring the date that had already been set for the AGM and with covid-19 restrictions still in place, innovation led us to have OLOR’s first electronic AGM. The School Board most importantly enables a spirit of partnership within the school community. I thank outgoing board members Phil Cresp and Rowan Cresp for their work on the board last year and congratulate Teresa Colligan as she joins for 2020.
On Sunday 24th May it has been 5 years since Pope Francis wrote his first encyclical ‘Laudato Si’. Laudato Si is focused on the idea of ‘integral ecology’, connecting care of the natural world with justice for the poorest and most vulnerable people. OLOR operates in the spirit of St Mary MacKillop through whom we are invited to experience caring for others, to love God and His creation and to appreciate our own special talents.
What mattered to Mary was people. And in people, what mattered most was the heart which is open to love and be loved. Wherever Mary went she met children in schools and encouraged those who taught in schools and cared for poor children. She saw each human being as important in God's eyes and her meetings with each person always spoke of God's love. Mary showed a special concern for the welfare and education of Aboriginal peoples and her legacy continues today.
Next week we celebrate National Reconciliation Week. At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. At OLOR all students participate in an Acknowledgement of Country every day. This is one way in which we help students develop awareness and respect for the ongoing relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have with their land. Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward. The theme #InThisTogether2020 is now resonating in ways nobody could not have foreseen. Yet it reminds us that whether in a crisis or in reconciliation we truly are all #InThisTogether.
Nanda de Winter
Thankful Thursday – Thank You Cards
Each year, our school celebrates Catholic Education week, which is a week set aside to promote our schools in the wider community, and celebrate all the terrific things we do in Catholic Schools daily. Traditionally we gather with the four Riverland Catholic Schools to celebrate Mass together and host a number of different activities for our schools and our families. However, this year that was not possible, so the four schools worked together to create a digital Liturgy of the Word, that we all celebrated in our own schools.
Making our Gratitude cards was one of the activities the students participated in during Catholic Education Week. Together with the school captains I personally delivered some of the cards, while others were delivered from other students and also in the post.
The aim of this activity was to show our appreciation to those vital community members that have persevered during these worrying times, to provide essential services that have kept our community afloat.
Our thank you cards were happily received by members of our community. It is amazing how such a simple gesture like sending a card can make a difference in people’s lives and we thank you for taking the time to let students and staff know how these cards have impacted positively on your spirits.
This has been a fantastic opportunity to show the students the ripple effects one simple act of kindness can have.
The Brainy Bunch
Last Year, when our class met for our transition days, we asked the students what they would collectively like to be called. They liked the idea of ‘Superstars’ but, due to our Mind Up curriculum, they really wanted it to be something that referenced their brains and the commitment we made to work together as a team in the year ahead. The teachers then put their minds together to generate a collective name for our class, and so the idea of “The Brainy Bunch was created.
Together the Brainy Bunch brainstormed their class code of conduct, which very creatively, when written as an acronym is the word brains.
While learning is their common goal, their ultimate goal is to learn in an environment that is happy and fun. So fun, that they don’t even realise that they are learning. One example of this is how we worked together to produce our digital assembly. Students have been voice and video recording their contributions to our assembly. So much time and effort has been put into this production, and we are extremely proud of it. It was an amazing opportunity for students to see what life might be like for the talented people that work in media to bring us news daily.
Another example of the terrific team work in the year three class, was how well students collaborated to learn and record our parody of the ‘Brady Bunch’ theme song, which we renamed ‘The Brainy Bunch.’
We hope you enjoy our parody.
This year the Challenge is even more accessible with additional flexibility in the approach, instead of having to read 8 PRC books and 4 free choice - all books will be free choice.
Don't forget you can include audiobooks, comics, non-fiction texts, short stories and stories in different languages.