The School Newsletter, is emailed home every second Friday through Compass. Compass is an App which provides a prompt means of communication to parents by sending out 'alerts' to your device. It also contains many other features including event details, a calendar and class information and documents such as letters sent home. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask at the school office.
The School Facebook page provides excellent coverage of the many activities within the school community.
K-6 students have learning journals which are accessible through the Seesaw app. These journals allow families to share student learning throughout the years.
Family/Teacher contact is encouraged. Please contact your child’s teacher by making an appointment through the school office.
Parents / Students and Social Media
The school community should be aware that Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst and the school have policies with regard to appropriate use of social media when commenting or discussing issues involving the school, parents / carers and students.
Please note that Parents / Carers and students are not to engage in any social media / internet based communication that denigrate the school, staff or individuals connected with St Mary’s Catholic School.
Attendance at school is a legal requirement for children once they are six years old. The roll is a legal document and is marked electronically each day.
Absences must be explained. Parents/carers should enter an Attendance Note in Compass as soon as possible on the day of the absence or phone the school. An SMS will be sent each day requesting parents to enter the reason for unexplained late and absent students on Compass.
Permission must be requested from the Principal for planned absences of two or more weeks. Please contact the school office for the official form. It is expected that family holidays will be taken during the 12 weeks of school holidays each year.
St Mary’s Catholic School is administered by Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst, representing the Bishop of the Diocese. The Parish Priest is the appointed school manager. The Principal works in conjunction with the Parish Priest and is responsible for the operation of the School.
The school is subject to inspections by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to ensure that its mandatory learning and teaching requirements are being met. This is done in conjunction with a School Review conducted by the Catholic Education Diocese of Bathurst every five years. The School Review also helps the school evaluate its effectiveness as a Catholic School and to set plans for future directions.
The Principal is supported in the effective management of the school by a dedicated and committed school staff and an enthusiastic and active parent community. Assisting the Principal is an Assistant Principal, Religious Education Coordinator and Leaders of Learning. The Principal regularly meets with the Parents and Friends Association President.
St Mary’s is fortunate to have staff dedicated to providing educational and pastoral experiences in addition to those available in the classroom. Years 7 and 9 attend a three-day outdoor excursion and Years 5 and 6 attend a bi-annual excursion to Canberra. Primary classes also attend a variety of one-day excursions to attractions in our local area.
Other Co-Curricular Opportunities
Sport pathways, Music programs, Cultural, Agriculture, Cattle Showing, School Garden, Mock Trial, Excursions to Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle and Bathurst (in addition to local excursions)
ASEAN Bridge Link - Vietnam - our sister school
Social and Emotional Learning
Programs and Opportunities:
Kinder, Year 6 Buddies. In Kindergarten students are matched with a Year 6 student. These students become Buddies and their connection last for their time at St Mary’s
Pastoral care and check in programs for identified students
Second Step Social and Emotional Well-Being program - Kindergarten to Year 8
Centacare School Counsellor - available weekly to students and families
Our school wide Positive Behaviour for Learning program is a framework that is the overarching welfare, behaviour management, anti bullying and wellness policies and procedures in the school. This framework focuses on the four essentials of St Mary’s Behaviour Model – Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and Be a Learner.
This is supplemented by a Behaviour Management Plan that is based on a ‘rewards and consequences’ model. This model allows for the recognition, affirmation and rewarding of students who choose to follow and promote the school rules knowing that their actions will help to create a learning community which is supportive, creative and safe for all students. The plan also clearly outlines to the students, parents and teachers, the consequences if students choose not to follow school rules and expectations.
With Jesus as our model, our discipline procedures help students to take ownership of their behaviour by guiding them to understand the impact and consequences of their behaviour.
Rock and Water Program
From an early age, the Rock and Water program helps to develop the social competence that every child needs in a changing world. It is a type of skills training, where children learn to play together, work together and live together.
For each school year, we are aiming to deliver a minimum of 15 lessons linked together by the central themes of Rock and Water:
- learning to stand strong,
- finding peace and strength in yourself and
- learning to be respectful to others in play and in work,
as well as using Rock and Water as a framework for communication.
Rock and Water emphasises the enormous importance of play, sport and physical exercise. Therefore, the program is strongly physical in nature and supported by brief discussion sessions which offer space for self-reflection.
Rock and Water is currently applied across all year levels.