Term 4 Week 5 Newsletter 11.11.22
You are so good to us. You have blessed us with buildings for our children to learn and grow in. You have blessed us with amazing staff that are wholly dedicated to our students.You have blessed us with devoted parents in our community that care about their children’s education and school experience.
We pray that you will guide us through this meeting and help us to be open to discussions in the best interest of our community and of the students in our care.
We ask this through Christ our Lord,
Parent Consultation Sessions
Thank you to all our families who were able to attend one of the consultation sessions this week and be part of the conversation about the future of our school. It was wonderful to hear from so many of you about why OLHC is so important to you and your family, what the future may look like and what things are needed in the short term to make our current site at OLOL even better for our children as we continue to strive to provide the best Catholic education possible for our children.
For any families who were unable to attend, please find the information below that was discussed and the questions that parents were asked to provide their thoughts and feedback on. I would love to hear from all our school families and if you would like the opportunity to express your views, please have a look at the questions and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the Flood Review?
The Bishop of Lismore wants to ensure that every child receiving a Catholic education will continue to be able to access a Catholic school. After the floods the Bishop set up the Lismore Diocesan School Review Commission (LDSRC) to make recommendations to him on the future of Catholic schools in flood affected areas.
Is OLHC closing?
No. The Catholic Schools Office (CSO) will continue to work in partnership with the school and offer support to ensure the school continues to operate effectively at Dibbs St and will continue to do so. Together we have fully fitted out the classrooms with new equipment, “grassed” the playground and we are looking at what can be done to improve- learning spaces, staff areas and student toilets.
It is the job of the LDSRC to make recommendations about both the immediate and long-term future of Our Lady Help of Christians. Using Dibbs St is helping to continue the Church’s educational mission while we work on interim and longer-term solutions.
The LDSRC recognises that things are tight at Dibbs St and is keen to hear from parents and staff about any other measures that could improve the teaching and learning experience.
We thank parents for their patience and support, and also acknowledge the great work of Michael and his staff are doing in giving students a quality education in difficult circumstances.
Why is it taking so long to reach a decision about the future?
In the nine months since the floods the CSO in partnership with school communities has fully relocated 3 schools (like Our Lady Help of Christians) and got another 4 schools operating again.
The LDSRC knows that our school communities are looking for certainty. Given the long-term nature of decisions that may come out of the review it is important that we take the time to look at the full range of options and talk extensively with school and parish communities.
This is an opportunity to ensure we continue to deliver the very best education for the students entrusted to our care. In 20, 50 or 100 years we hope that students and families in in our schools, will look back and see the significant positive outcomes of the work of the LDSRC.
What about the long term? If my child starts school here next year, will they see out Year 6 at Our Lady Help of Christians current site?
We are unable to make any long-term commitments at this stage of the process. That is the work of the LDSRC and the Bishop.
Whatever the outcome of the review, the LDSRC wants to reassure all in the community that Catholic education will continue to have a strong presence across the Lismore Diocese and will do its best to ensure that every child wishing to have a Catholic education will be able to access a Catholic school.
We thank staff, families and parish communities for their patience as we undertake the review and for their work in ensuring students in flood affected schools continue to get the best quality education and support.
Should I not send my child to Our Lady Help of Christians?
We certainly hope not. We all know it is a great school. The LDSRC and the CSO will do all we can to support the school and ensure Our Lady Help of Christians continues to provide a safe and positive learning environment. That way the support of the school’s dedicated staff and the friendships between students will be a constant in the life of students and families throughout rebuilding and recovery.
Is the insurance decision final?
As with many other community organisations, businesses, and residents in the Lismore region, whether a property can be insured is a big consideration in making decisions about the future.
Advice from the Church insurer is that schools in high-risk flood areas are uninsurable. At this stage, these schools include:
- Our Lady Help of Christians, South Lismore
- St Joseph's Primary, Woodburn
- Trinity Catholic College, Lismore (both campuses)
- St Joseph's Primary, South Murwillumbah
The LDSRC has put some questions back to the insurer and will take this into account in the review.
That said, we can’t hide from the fact that without insurance and with the announcement of buy backs in South Lismore, in the long term it will be very challenging to operate a school on the current South Lismore site. The LDSRC will be exploring options for relocating the school elsewhere in a flood free area.
1. What do parents and students value about OLHC as a school, that the LDSRC needs to know about?
2. What are your concerns around the current site at Dibbs St?
3. What are some opportunities to improve things for staff and students at Dibbs St?
4. If OLHC were to move from South Lismore to a flood free location what are some things that would make it the right location?
5. Thinking about the South Lismore site at Rhodes Street- What were some of the things that worked about this location as the home of the school?
What things didn't work?
In the coming week we will be begin the process of placing students in classes and allocating
teachers for 2023. A great deal of thought and planning is involved with these decisions. We take
into account social groupings, academic performance, intervention needs, previous teachers the
children have had as well as a number of other factors.
To ensure that this process is done with every student’s best interest at heart, a collaborative
process is undertaken with all school professionals who have relevant knowledge of any of the
students to be grouped into new classes and teacher allocation. This includes the current class
teachers, intervention teaches, Additional Needs teacher, and members of the leadership team.
We are extremely proud of the emphasis that is placed on learning and the school wide structures
that we are putting in place and constantly refining to promote high levels of learning across the
school. Staying true to this vision and keeping our students at the heart of everything we do
enables us to make the best decisions for our school community when it comes to stang,
school priorities and school structures.
I thank you in advance for your continued support and understanding with this important aspect
of school life. I have every confiddence in our staffing allocation, class distribution process and in
the quality and care afforded all students at OLHC.
If there are genuine reasons for parent requests in regards to stage or class placements, these
should be addressed in writing to the principal.
Semester Two Report Cards
Towards the end of Term, Reports will be sent home for every child in the school. These are
important to keep parents informed about the learning that is taking place at school and how
each child is progressing through the curriculum.
Reports cover a lot of what we do at school, however, it is not possible to report on all learning
that takes place. Children learn so much during a semester that it would take more time to report
on the learning than it would to plan the learning experience itself.
Therefore we report in the main subject areas and the main strands in each subject. Literacy and
numeracy are reported on in more detail as these are the subjects to which we devote the most
We are building a culture here at Our Lady Help of Christians where we view all learning as
important whether we report on it or not. Indeed, not all learning can even be assessed and
therefore reporting on that makes it even more difficult.
Students are encouraged to develop a love of learning where the experience of discovery is a
greater reward than reading a good mark or grade. Of course good marks and grades are
important but all learning is important whether it is assessed and reported on or not.
As we draw closer to the end of the school year, we are still learning at school and this learning is
valuable. What we learn may not appear on a report card but the knowledge and skills gained are
equally as important now as at any other point during the year.
Remembrance Day Liturgy - 2L
A huge thank you and congratulations to 2L who led our Remembrance Day Liturgy. It is a wonderful achievement for students in Year 2 to lead a liturgy like this; I am so proud of Year 2 and very grateful to Mrs Bradfield for their leadership and reverence in preparing and celebrating this liturgy with our whole school community.
2022 Sacramental Program
Students will receive their Sacrament of Reconciliation at 11am on Tuesday, 22nd November in our Parish church. Families are invited to attend this special occasion.
The Sacrament of First Holy Communion will complete our 2022 Sacramental program and will occur on THURSDAY, 24th November at 5.30pm in our Parish church. Families and friends are invited to support our candidates in receiving this most holy sacrament.
Please contact Mrs Hague through the school office for any enquiries about our Sacramental Program.
Making Jesus Real Awards
Archer D - For always being on the lookout for opportunities to help others. Your thoughtfulness brings sunshine to our days Archer, thank you.
Lennox H - For being a kind and thoughtful member of our class. Thank you for brightening our day with your smile Lenny!
Oliver Boyd - For always being a kind and considerate classmate, who is always willing to help others. Thank you, Oliver!
Rhett P - For being a 'bucket filler' and going out of your way to make sure others feel included. You're a super start, Rhett!
Charlotte F - For always showing a positive attitude towards school work, peers and teachers. Charlotte always comes to school with a contagious smile. Thank you Charlotte.
Ethan R - For always bringing the face of Jesus into our classroom. Thankyou for your kindness and brightening our classroom with your smile!
Harper J - For consistently being a kind and caring classmate who gives up her time to help others.
Anneliese F - For your excitement, enthusiasm and participation towards Exuro and the Yr 5 Leadership day. You are a real stand out!
Ellanor W - For her beautiful caring nature towards all those she encounters. Keep shining your light!
Jimmy A - For his happy and gentle nature towards his peers. Thank you for being so kind and caring to those around you.
Learning & Teaching
Picasso Cow Design Challenge
We had a large number of students enter our cow design competition. It was a very tough choice for our judges to shortlist just 5 designs for our students to vote on. Our finalists were:
Archer Donnelly- Kinder
Grace Howard- Year 1
Harper Jasmin- Year 4
Tully Sedelaar- Year 5
Claire Gough- Year 5
After collating votes from all of our students and staff, we had two designs that were only a few votes apart. The decision was made to combine our two winners' designs to create one design that represents how our school was affected by the floods and how our school community is stronger together. Congratulations to Grace Howard in Year 1 and Harper Jasmin in Year 4 on being the combined winners of our cow design challenge!
We also had a competition between classes to name our cow. One name came out on top by a huge number of votes. Our cow has been named Bessie.
Mini Macks and Year 5 having fun playing games and singing nursery rhymes.
Kindergarten - Creating closed shapes and working out the surface area using informal units.
Year 1 - Creating their own three-dimensional objects.
Year 2 - Published persuasive writing, and gymnastics.
Year 3 are learning to add and subtract money.
Year 4 have been unpacking words to describe the personality traits of The Grinch.
Year 5 learnt how to be change agents with Arielle and Janine this week.
OLHC Achievement Awards
Hudson F - For working hard to improve his reading fluency. Your hard work is paying off Hudson, keep it up.
Rory S - For cosistent application to reading tasks to develop his fluency. You should be very proud of yourself Rory.
Lylah M - For her responsible attitude to learning and willingness to make the most of every learning opportunity. You are achieving great things through your dedication Lylah, Keep it up.
Seraphine C - For consistent effort to include learned vocabulary in her writing, resulting in very descriptive and engaging texts for her reader. You're on fire Seraphine, keep it up.
Grace B - For consistent application to writing tasks resulting in interesting texts with a clear message for her reader. Keep up the great work Grace.
Riley M - For your focus and hard work to plan your persuasive writing piece. Well done Riley!
Darcy S - For composing a great persuasive writing piece incorporating interesting words to support your opinion. Well done Darcy!
Michael W - For being actively involved in our dance activities. Keep it up, Michael.
Finnan M-T - For his persuasive piece of writing about why the boy should save the ant. Keep up the great work, Finnan!
Ariana P-B - For her outstanding effort during Reading. It has been wonderful to watch your expression improve this term. Well done, Ariana!
Clancy L-P - For fantastic use of persuasive devices in writing your sales pitch for a haunted house. Great work Clancy!
Brody B - For your dedication to mathematical problems involving money. Fantastic effort Brody.
Lily B - For great use of descriptive language when describing your haunted house. Well done Lily.
Nash B - For a big improvement in your dedication to learning in reading and writing. Keep up the hard work Nash.
Sebby S - For the descriptive detail and adjectives you used in your persuasive writing. Keep up the fantastic work, Sebby!
Noah C - For the determination and strong work ethic you show during Mathematics. Keep on working hard, Noah!
Ryder H - Thank you for independently taking ownership of your own learning and setting yourself learning goals.
Isaac S - For your persistence during writing lessons. Well done, your hard work is paying off!
William D - For applying multiplication facts to solve division problems. Awesome work!
Flynn W - For showing excellent mathematical skills by calculating the area of irregular shapes Awesome work Flynn.
Marlie H - For using adjectives and her senses to perfectly describe a setting. Fantastic work Marlie!
Archer A - For your enthusiasm towards your writing pieces this term and your use of our anchor wall to improve your work. Great Job!
Levi P - For your increased use of figrative and descriptive language in your writing pieces. Well done Levi. Keep moving in this direction.
Isaac G - For his mature attitude and work ethic towards all tasks. Congratulations on your great work!
Harvey P - For a wonderful impromptu speech that entertained and engaged the audience. Well done!
Jack C - For a wonderful impromptu speech that entertained and engaged the audience. Well done!
Georgie W - For always putting 100% effort on all learning tasks. Your excellent work ethic and pride you take in the presentation of your work is a credit to you.
It was wonderful to witness the smiles and enthusiastic attitudes from the children as we started gymnastics last week. The children are working on mastering a variety of skills specific to their learning stage on all apparatus and on the floor. Skills are based on rotation, locomotion, spring and landing, swing, static poses and composition. By the conclusion of each School Gymnastics program (5 weeks), the children will have participated in, and be competent with, a huge variety of skills.
Summers Sports Trial
Congratulation to Reid Simes who trialed for cricket on Thursday the 3rd of November at the Summer Sports Trials. Reid was selected and he will now progress to the next stage. Well done Reid.
Competitive Swimming Event
This is just a friendly reminder that if your child has been nominated for the Competitive Swimming Event on Wednesday the 7th of December, please ensure their note has been returned and the money has been paid by Wednesday the 23rd of November.
Please note, parents are able to attend the event and I will send out a timetable closer to the date.
Term 4 - Events
Week 4 to 8 - Gymnastics Program
Wednesday the 16th November - Newcastle Permanent Primary School Gala Day
Wednesday the 23rd of November - Year 6 Basketball Gala Day (Nomination ONLY)
Wednesday the 7th of December - Competitive Swimming Event
BOOK CLUB ISSUE 8
Book Club Issue 8 has gone home with your child/ren this week. All orders are due back Tuesday 29th November. No Cash Accepted. Order online using the scholastic Loop App. This will be the final issue for 2022. Thank you for all you orders over the school year. Your orders have given us the ability to help restock the learning resources and books for our in class Library.
Please contact Kim in the schools office on 6621 5490 if you need any more information.
Creative Writing Holiday Masterclass for Kids in Grades 5 and 6!
Does your child love being creative? And would you like for them to experience a device-
free day during the school holidays - playing with words and stories amongst a tribe of like-
This is a unique North Coast holiday opportunity for Grade 5 and 6 students to enjoy a fun,
jam-packed day of participating in an in-person creative writing masterclass with the author
of over fifty nationally and internationally published Childrens and YA books, Melaina
Kids adore her workshops and stories, with Melaina delivering masterclasses and
workshops in schools, writers centres, writing camps, classes and festivals throughout
Australia to stellar feedback and repeat invites.
Known for making writing dynamic and exciting - Melaina genuinely engages with young
people so that they return brimming with inspiration and infinite imaginative possibility,
while having learned new writing skills and techniques. A qualified teacher with a WWCC,
she is caring and inclusive, with priority given to creating an atmosphere of safety and
These holiday workshops are one-off offerings and a great chance for you to use any 2022
Creative Kids Vouchers before expiry on December 31st, or you can use your fresh 2023
vouchers! Numbers are deliberately capped to ensure the optimal experience for your child.
From past experience these masterclasses will book out quickly. To book and for more
information please go to the following: