St Monica's Primary North Parramatta Newsletter

Term 4 Week 4 (5 November 2020)

Principal's Message

Dear Parents and Carers,

On Sunday, we celebrated the Feast of All Saints and heard the Gospel of St Matthew “The Sermon on the Mount” (Mt 5:1-12), Jesus’ message of happiness.  In 2018, I was fortunate enough to visit the Mount of Beatitudes as part of a pilgrimage with Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.  We celebrated Mass outdoors on the mountain and I felt a deep connection to my faith that day, imagining what it was like for Jesus, presenting the attitudes for life, or the Beatitudes, to his disciples and the crowd that had followed him.

The Beatitudes describe the character or attitudes of people of the Kingdom of God.  Today, we would liken the Beatitudes to positive reinforcement, rather than rules or commandments.  Those who live with these attitudes in life are to be celebrated “Happy are you,” for they will be saints.  They will be welcomed into communion with God in heaven. 

May we remember all saints, those recognised by the church and those who were known and loved by their families and friends for influencing lives by living by the Beatitudes.  

Our teachers were celebrated on Friday for World Teachers’ Day.  They give a ‘glimpse of God’ every day through their work within our community.  Thank you to St Monica’s parents, for acknowledging their strengths and characteristics that make St Monica’s such a wonderful learning community.

Yours sincerely, 

Lisa Howell

School Starting time

School start time is 8:50 am.  Parents are advised that the gates will be closed after the morning bell at 8:50 am. 
Students arriving after 8:50 am will need to be signed in at the office via Daking Street.  

Early Arrivals

Parents are reminded that morning supervision commences at 8:20am
It has been noticed that a number of students have been arriving at school well before 8:20am. 

If you need your child/ren supervised before this time, please contact COSHC.  (Details below)

Phone: 0429 990 179
Morning 6:45am to 8:45am            Afternoon 3:00pm to 6:30pm

Important Dates

Term 4 
Friday 6 November (W4) Staff Development Day
Wednesday 18 November (W6) Stage 1 and Stage 3 incursions
Thursday 19 November (W6) ES1 2021 Orientation (Day 1)
Tuesday 24 November ((W6) Parent Information Meeting via Zoom (ES1 2021)
Thursday 26 November (W7) ES1 2021 Orientation (Day 2)
Thursday 3 December ((W8) ES1 2021 Orientation (Day 3)
Thursday 17 December (W10) Staff Development Day
Friday  18 December (W10) Staff Development Day

Student Absence Requirements

A standard email will be sent to all families who have children absent from school. 

If your child is absent from school, one of the following must be done BEFORE they may return to school: 

If they displayed flu-like symptoms during their absence or were sent home with flu-like symptoms:

Return a negative COVID-19 test and be symptom free.   Provide us with a copy of the NSW Health or COVID-19 Testing Centre correspondence (e.g. SMS screenshot or email).

If they were suffering from a medical condition without flu-like symptoms:

Provide us with a Medical Certificate or Letter from a Medical Practitioner, clearly detailing medical condition and clearance to return to school.

If they were absent due to a non-medical reason:

Provide us with a detailed description of the absence.

Thank you for your support and understanding as we continue to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community.

Counsellor’s Corner Curated By Madeline Patrick (Student Wellbeing Counsellor)

Parenting Kids who Struggle (by Michael Grose - more information about Michael Grose below)

One of the unwritten laws of family-life is that talent and ability is unevenly distributed between siblings.

In most families there is one child who seems to have more than his or her fair share of ability. Everything some kids turn their hands to – whether schoolwork, sport and socialising – is done successfully and effortlessly.  

If you have such a child then there is a fair bet that you will also have a child who struggles in the same areas. For these children achieving success takes more effort and concentration than it does for their sibling.

Just as it is easy for parents to marvel at the talented child, it’s frustrating and, at times, heart-breaking to watch your child struggle to attain even mediocre levels of success at school, in their sport or leisure activities. 

It’s harder still when you know that no matter how hard your child tries they just can’t be as successful as their sibling who gets all the glory and accolades from relatives and friends.

As a parent it’s important to be realistic about what each child can achieve so keep your expectations in line with their ability and maturity, and avoid making comparisons between siblings.

Here are some ideas to keep in mind if you are parenting a child where success, at school, sport and other common childhood activities, just doesn’t come naturally.

  • Be your child’s cheerleader. Kids who have to work really hard to achieve need someone in their lives who is able to boost their self-confidence, particularly when they are struggling. Make a fuss over small successes so they can puff up their chests every now and then. Increase the time they spend doing activities where they excel so these feelings of confidence expand. Learn about the art of real encouragement.
  • Focus your comments on contribution, improvement and effort. It’s difficult praising kids when the results aren’t there but you can always focus your comments on their contribution to the team rather than kicking the winning goal, improvements shown in reading or the effort they are making at art.
  • Remove or minimise sources of discouragement. While encouragement is a powerful confidence builder eradicating sources of discouragement in your child’s life is part of the encouragement process. Sibling comparisons, spoiling, criticising and using derogatory labels (You’re a dope!) are common discouragers to be avoided, even in jest.
  • Remember that persistence pays. Children who persist learn an important life lesson – that is, success in most endeavours takes effort. Those kids who sail through their childhoods without raising a sweat can struggle when eventually they do have to work long and hard to succeed.
  • Help kids identify their strengths. Kids are like niche marketers – they define themselves by their strengths. “I am a good reader,” “I’m sporty.” “I’m really good at art” are some of the labels kids will use. As they move into adolescence the number of options for success opens up, so help them find one or two areas that they enjoy and can easily achieve success in.
  • Don’t put kids on pedestals. It is difficult living in the shadow of a superstar so avoid making a huge fuss over the achievements of a particular child – it makes life difficult for those who follow. Recognise results but balance that by focusing equally on their efforts as well.
  • Scaffold their way to success. The busier we get though the more likely we are to neglect this vital part of parenting. Simplify tasks so that they learn bit by bit how to make a bed/prepare a meal/learn to read. Alternatively, spend time doing things together and move them from “You watch me” to “I’ll watch you.”
  • Raising kids who find life a breeze is easy. However parenting kids who take longer to mature, or kids that must put in 110% effort to achieve is challenging for any parent.

    Raising the family underdog requires parents to focus on kids’ strengths, be liberal with encouragement and have realistic but positive expectations for success. And, of course, never, ever give up or lose faith in them.

    Michael Grose

    Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s an award-winning speaker and the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It. Michael is a former teacher with 15 years experience, and has 30 years experience in parenting education. He also holds a Master of Educational Studies from Monash University specialising in parenting education.

    Staff Development Day - tomorrow

    A reminder that tomorrow (Friday 6 November 2020) is a Staff Development Day. 

    Students DO NOT ATTEND SCHOOL tomorrow. 

    Staff will be engaging in Professional Learning around Numeracy, in particular Multiplication & Division.


    We remind students that there is NO SHARING OF FOOD at St Monica's. 
    Parents are requested to please send only healthy food options for your children to eat at recess and lunch. 

    Chocolates, lollies and lollipops are treats for home and should not be sent to school.  

    Thank you for your support. 

    Reminder - Orientation Days for Kindergarten 2021

    Kindergarten 2021 Orientation Days will be held on

    Thursday 19 November 2020
    Thursday 26 November 2020
    Thursday 3 December 2020
    Under the new COVID-19 guidelines, children will be able to attend in person for the Orientation Days (small groups) which will be held over three weeks. 

    Due to COVID-19 restrictions however, the Parent Information Evening will be held via Zoom on Tuesday 24 November 2020 commencing at 6:30 pm. 

    An email has been sent to all ES1 2021 families with details regarding the Orientation Days as well as the Zoom link for the Parent Information Meeting.

    PRC Representative

    A big thank you to Mrs Genevieve Smith who has been our PRC Representative for many years. Thank you for your generosity of time and commitment to the role. 

    As Mrs Smith's daughter in Year 6 will be leaving the St Monica's community at the end of this year we would like to see if anyone would be interested in becoming our Representative for 2021.

    If you would like some information about the role, please contact the office on 8832 4100 where we will be able to assist you. 

    New Religious Education Curriculum

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    Our students have made a great start in their Religious Education this term. They have begun to explore their new Learning Cycles and have already had some great insights.

    Therese Coutinho
    Religious Education Coordinator

    Below are some examples of the work that our students have been doing!

    Early Stage 1 - How is God the Father present to all in our world?

    Early Stage 1 have been talking about how they are unique because of the gifts and talents that God has given them. They have also looked at how we are all the same in terms of our needs.

    Year 1 - How can we care for Creation?

    Year 1 welcomed some baby chicks into their learning space and cared for them for two weeks. They discussed how creation is a gift to us from God and that we have a responsibility to care for it. They identified some of their own responsibilities as well.

    Year 1 define responsibility!

    Year 2 - What is Sacred Scripture?

    Year 2 have been looking at Sacred Scripture and have been discussing the scripture passage:

    "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God"   John 1:1

    Year 2 have shared some their insights into this passage:

    Stage 2 - Why are people hungry in a world full of plenty?

    In Stage 2, they began their Learning Cycle by exploring the distribution of wealth in the world. They were shocked by how many people go hungry everyday and participated in an activity to help them experience the injustice of poverty. 

    The class was broken up into three groups where the largest of the groups got the least resources and had to share them as best they could. In contrast, the smallest group had more than enough to satisfy each person’s individual needs. The group in the middle were given enough for them to survive.

    Stage 3 - How do we find hope and joy?

    Stage 3 has been looking at the definitions of Hope and Joy. They discovered that these terms can often be misunderstood and did some research to find out what it means to have authentic hope and joy.

    Hope is a deep, strong, determined emotion which drives you as a person, and that you believe will last forever. That you will never give up on. With no doubts.    ~ Liam

    Joy is constant happiness. Joy is when you know God will love you and protect you, that is real joy. Joy is when you feel loved.     ~ Ruby G.

    Joy is to have a positive mind and a happy heart.      ~ Menuk

    We look forward to sharing more of our learning with you soon.

    Kind regards,

    Therese Coutinho
    Religious Education Coordinator

    Merit Awards

    Congratulations to the following students who received awards at our recent Assembly.


    Cassiel Moncada and Jonathan Hekeik
    Year 1Caleb Caga-Anan, Daniel Nolan, Jonathan Cong and Annria Jeenson
    Year 2Elijah Essey and Madalena Sarantakos
    Stage 2Joanna Huynh, Ziyang Lin, Christopher Sadek, Zachary Dy and Enzo Inigo 
    Stage 3Maureen Haddad, Max Lukasik, Abbi Meale, Parmida Foroutan and Ryan Malatag

    2021 Team Sports Trials - Information for Parents of CURRENT Year 4 and Year 5 students

    Parramatta Diocesan Primary Students enrolled in Year 5 and 6 in 2021 are invited to participate in the Parramatta Diocesan Team Sport Trials during Term Four in 2020 and in 2021.  It is important to note that these trials are generally for those children who display an above average ability an/or have representative experience in their chosen sport. 

    While teams are open in age it strongly recommended that only children of a representative standard in Years 5 & 6 in 2021 be invited to attend.  
    Please click on this link for more information.

    Term 4 - Ice Blocks and Popcorn

    Ice Blocks and Popcorn will be available for sale during Term 4.

    Zooper Doopers (Monday - Thursday)          50c each   (lunchtime)

    Icy Poles  (Fridays)                                            $1 each     (lunchtime)

    Popcorn (Monday to Friday)                            50c each  (recess)


    TERM 4 WEEK 6

    Monday 16th, Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th November

    With COVID restrictions still in place in the school - our Scholastic Book Fair will be a bit different this time,  but there will still be a wonderful selection of affordable books for families and students to purchase.

    A newsletter with more details will be sent out next week!


    Monday:            YEAR 2           Morning & Recess 

    Tuesday:            YEAR 1           Morning & Lunch 

    Wednesday:      STAGE 2        Morning & Recess

    Thursday:           STAGE 3        Morning & Lunch 

    Friday:                ES1                 Morning

    Morning Borrowing from 8.30am - 8.50am.

    Students who want to borrow will go upstairs with Mrs Davino at 8.30am.

    Mrs Rita Davino
    Library Assistant

    St Monica's Lifesavers

    Thank you to our Lifesavers!

    For Weeks 3 and 4  

    We would like to thank:
    Kobe, Tiara, Ashleigh, Ashton, Lola, Kenzh, Charbel, Charli, Abbi, Noah, Sophie, Yiannis, Monica, Peter, Elizabeth, Gabriela, Aimee Akiko, Sara, Ruby G, Theo, Parmida, Andrew, Ruby K, Siria, Jessica, Manson, Menuk and Alicia.

    Therese Coutinho, Ivana Algeri and Kellee Bagnall
    Stage 3 Team


    Congratulations is extended to the Perera family on the safe arrival of their baby son Eli.  A new baby brother for Dominic (ES1).  

    Coming Events!

    The following events will be coming soon!

    More details will be available shortly!

    • Fun Food Day - Sushi
    • Krispy Kreme Fundraiser

    PBS4L Reward System at St Monica’s


    Students have been working hard to earn "bees" from teachers acknowledging the appropriate behaviour they see in the classroom and on the playground. 

    Each grade/stage is rewarded with a fun classroom game or an extra 5 minutes of play as soon as they fill their class jar. 

    Students encourage each other to contribute to the class jar so a whole class reward can be enjoyed. 

    Bees can also be earned in the library when borrowing & returning books and even when students visit the office and display respectful behaviour!

    The outdoor bee boxes are closely monitored by students to see who will be the next winner and what fun activity they will get to enjoy. 

    Mrs Rita Davino on behalf of the PBS4L Committee

    Playground Bee Boxes

    The outdoor bee boxes are also being closely monitored by students to see which class will be the next winner and what fun activity they will get to enjoy!


    For all urgent enquiries, please contact the school office on 8832 4100 or as teachers do not always access their emails during the day. 
    Please do not email teachers directly unless it is a specific enquiry related to learning.

    Anaphylaxis - Nut and Eggs

    Anaphylaxis is a serious and rapid allergic reaction usually involving more than one part of the body. St Monica’s currently has students who can suffer severe allergic reactions (life-threatening) through contact with nuts and eggs.

    As we endeavour to provide for the different needs of all our students your co-operation is invited to assist the school in supporting and catering for the needs of these particular students, and any future students, by providing your child only with foods that are NUT FREE.

    EGG AWARENESS:  There are a number of students who have EGG ALLERGIES at St Monica's.  Parents are requested to be mindful and aware of this when preparing your child's lunch.

    School Travel for 2021

    2021 school travel applications are now open

    Applications for student travel in 2021 opened from Monday 12 October 2020.

    Students who require a School Opal card or travel pass for 2021 can now apply online. A new application should be submitted if a student is applying for a school travel pass for the first time or requesting an additional pass as a result of a new shared parental responsibility situation (e.g. joint custody).

    Students who have changed school/campus, changed address, repeated a year or received an expiry notification from Transport for NSW for their school travel entitlement should re-apply or update their details.
    *Applications must be completed by the student's parent or legal guardian if the student is aged under 16 years. Students 16 years and over must complete the application form themselves.

    Where there is a change of distance eligibility based on a student’s grade, the system will automatically update a student’s entitlement if they meet the new criteria. If they do not meet the new eligibility criteria, they will receive an expiry notification via email.

    Students who have an entitlement approved under a medical condition which is due to expire will receive a notification advising them to re-apply.

    Term Bus Pass holders will receive a notification to re-apply. If a student needs to update their information or re-apply, they should go online to

    Applications need to be submitted before 31 December 2020 to ensure that current student entitlements are updated and their current entitlement/card remains valid. If their application is submitted after 31 December 2020, the system will automatically cancel an entitlement/card and a new one will need to be issued.

    Students in the Opal network applying for a SSTS or Term Bus Pass entitlement for the first time will receive their card at their nominated postal address. Cards will be mailed out from January 2021. Students residing in Rural and Regional (R&R) are

    Kiss and Drop- please drive safely!

    Parents are requested to drive safely and slowly through the Kiss and Drop Zone.  To ensure the safety of our students please observe the speed limit and drive safely. 

    Please be patient and mindful that only one parish carpark gate is open at the moment.  This may cause delays when exiting the carpark 

    School Fees

    School Fees 3rd Instalment

    School Fee statements have now been sent out by the Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta.  Kindly advise Mrs Rebello in the school office if you have  not received your statement or if you have any concerns regarding school fees. 

    School Fees Relief

    Thank you to those families who have paid their fees. We understand that many families are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of loss of income. Please do not hesitate to contact us as there are many ways that we can provide support to families. 

    Fee Relief information and procedures to apply for Fee Relief can be accessed by clicking this link.

    Alternatively you may contact Mrs Lata Rebello, School Finance Officer on 8832 4100 who will be able to assist you.   All conversations will remain strictly private and confidential.

    NEW Building Child Safe Communities - Volunteer/Contractors Undertaking

    Dear Parents/Carers 

    All Volunteers/Contractors who now visit St Monica's School must have a BCSC number before they will be allowed to enter the school grounds.

    In Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta (CEDP), we see parents and carers as partners in your child's learning journey. Parents and carers are encouraged to become involved in our schools in many important ways such as supporting classroom learning, being part of advisory groups, mentoring programs, coaching sporting teams and supporting other extra-curricular activities, canteen support and other kinds of help.

    Please see the link below for more details.

    CEDP has launched a new Building Child Safe Communities form and online training module that all volunteers/contractors are required to complete

    ALL Volunteers/Contractors  will require a  BCSC status that is APPROVED to provide services to our school.

    • You must provide your BCSC number to the school prior to assisting at an event. (Please forward the automated email to the school email address or provide a hard copy)
    • No Volunteer/Contractors (parents included) will be granted permission to assist with a school event without a valid BCSC number. 

    Uniform Supplier

    Oz Fashions supply all our student uniform requirements. 

    115-127 Parramatta Road, Granville  (Corner of Parramatta Road and Good Street)

    Phone:  9897 3121         Fax: 9897 3222



    Opening Hours

    Monday—Friday 9:00am-5:30pm

    Saturday 9:00am-4:00pm

    Sunday CLOSED

    Feedback and Complaints

    We always welcome feedback and ideas from the parent community.

    Please note that at any time that you would like to make a complaint/grievance in regards to any school matter, a form is available on our school website or you may request a copy from the school office. 

    All matters brought to our attention will be attended to under strict confidentiality.

    Please note: St Monica's North Parramatta follows the CEDP Complaints Handling Policy

    Lost Property

    Has your child lost clothing at school?  It is easy to return items that are clearly marked with a child’s name but we have many items where the name is not very clear and some which do not have any name on them at all.

    Please check that all your children’s belongings are clearly labelled so that they can be returned to your child (including lunch boxes and drink bottles).

    Welcomeasy Winter Menu

    Parents can order student lunches online.  Lunches are delivered to school each  day.


    The SkoolBag app is the easiest way keep up with school events, last minute notices, newsletters and all school communications.