St Mary's Newsletter

Term 1 - Week 2 (12 February, 2021)

Dear St Mary's School Community

Yesterday was a difficult day for our school community.  The loss of a life, especially one so young, is never easy to comprehend.  Thank you for your offers of support and care for not only Emmett’s family but also for the staff and students.  We started today with a special prayer for Emmett in classrooms and on Monday we will have a whole school liturgy in lieu of Monday morning assembly.  Please continue to keep Emmett and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Mark 1: 40-45

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus cures the sick man.  In the time of Jesus, people believed that disease was a punishment from God.  Compassion means that to feel sorry for the suffering of others and to want to help them.  Jesus had compassion for the people who were sick and suffering and healed them.

Value in Focus

Faith – we believe strongly in God and with each other.

Children’s Liturgy

This Sunday is the first Children’s Liturgy for the year.  Childen’s Liturgy takes place as part of the 10.30am Mass.  Mrs Cooper and Mrs Kermode will be leading it this week and all are welcome to attend.

Valentine’s Day

Sunday is Valentine’s Day.  The origins of Valentine's Day are not clear but many sources believe that it stems from the story of St Valentine, a Roman priest who was martyred on or around February 14 in the year 270 CE. An emperor called Claudias who persecuted the church at that particular time. He had an edict that prohibited the marriage of young people. This was based on the hypothesis that unmarried soldiers fought better than married soldiers because married soldiers might be afraid of what might happen to them or their wives or families if they died. "The idea of encouraging them to marry within the Christian church was what Valentine was about. And he secretly married them because of the edict." Valentine was eventually caught, imprisoned and tortured for performing marriage ceremonies against command of Emperor Claudius the second. There are many myths and legends surrounding Valentine's actions. He remains the mythical symbol of love throughout the world.  I hope that you all have a ‘lovely’ Valentine’s Day on Sunday with your loved ones!

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday signals the start of Lent.  Lent is a time of fasting, prayer and works of mercy for others.  In the Early Church, people preparing for baptism spent 40 days fasting and praying as an act of repentance.  It grew into a time for the whole church to repent and renew their baptismal promises.  Jesus himself spent 40 days praying in the desert.  Lent finishes on Easter Sunday.  Due to COVID19 restrictions, we will celebrate Ash Wednesday a little differently this year.  The Year Three to Year Six students will be attending Mass in the Church which will be led by the Year Six class Mass and begin at 11.30am (to minimise disruption to swimming lessons.)  The Kindy to Year Two students will receive the ashes from Fr Andrew in their classroom.

Welcome Back Function

Thank you to everyone that joined us for the Welcome Back Function at Merredin Pool on Friday night.  Despite the cooler temperature a great time was had by everyone.  Thank you especially to Mrs Riethmuller and Mrs O’Malley for cooking the sausages, Mrs McDonald and Miss Walsh for being the lifeguards and to Mrs Jefferys for being the pool manager!  St Mary’s raised $340.00 which will go to Project Compassion.

Change of Date

Due to an unforeseen circumstance, the St Mary’s Faction Swimming Carnival will be held on Wednesday, 3 March at the Merredin Pool.  More information will follow.

P and F

The first P&F meeting for the year was held on Monday evening.  The 2021 Executive is:

President:  Daina Sutherland

Vice President:  Kristy Sharpe

Secretary:  Naomi Thomas

Treasurer:  Meg Gethin

The P&F have many exciting things planned for this year.  Coming up on Tuesday night, 16th February, is a talk by Clark Wight to be held at the Merredin Bowling Club – tickets are $10 and on sale through the P&F Facebook page.  The Ladies High Tea will be held on Saturday, March 27 at the Merredin Recreation Centre and tickets for this event go on sale on Friday, 19 March.  More information can be found on the P&F Facebook page.

School Advisory Council

The School Advisory Council met on Wednesday evening for the first time this year.  The School Advisory Council for 2021 is as follows:

Chair:  Erica Carlson

Treasurer:  Melinda Carr

Secretary:  Marie Bartlett

Elected Members:  Marie Bartlett, David O’Neill and Luke Growden

P and F Rep on the School Advisory Council:  Kylie Cox

Parish Rep on the School Advisory Council:  John Jefferys

Parish Priest:  Fr Andrew Bowron

Leadership Team:  Adriana Coniglio, Pauline Riethmuller and Zoe O’Malley

Strategic Plan

A published copy of the St Mary’s School Strategic Plan for 2021-2023 was sent home to all families (via the eldest child) on Thursday.  The school community underwent an inclusive process, facilitated by Caroline Robinson from Wheatbelt Business Network to come up with this document which will drive school planning and improvement for the next three years.  Thank you in particular to Caroline for all hard work and wise counsel throughout the process but also to the 2020 School Board, staff and parents for their input.

Fee Statements

Fee statements were emailed out to all families on Wednesday 10th February.  If you have not received them please contact Mrs Ryan in the office.  The fees are set up a little different to previous years and the Payment Option Form must be returned to the office or emailed to the finance email by Friday, 26th February 2021.

Did you know?..

..that St Mary’s has been an Accredited Waste Wise School for five years!  We have a strong sustainability program that includes a school garden, worm farm, recycling and Containers for Change, this is coordinated by Mrs Sonya McCormack.

God Bless and have a lovely weekend with your families,

Ms Adriana Coniglio


Religious News

Welcome back to Term One for 2021! I trust everyone had a wonderful break with their families.

Wednesday the 17th of February marks the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday. Students from Year Three to Six will be attending Mass at the Church at 11.30am. The readings will be presented by the Year Six class. Due to Covid restrictions, we unfortunately cannot have the whole school in the Church at once. Father Andrew will come to see students in Kindergarten to Year Two to administer the ashes.

Lent is a time where we give to others and reflect on our own lives and how we can live more like Jesus. All classes at St Mary’s School will begin to learn about Lent and what we can do for others during this time.

Project Compassion has a Lenten Appeal with opportunities to fundraise and donate to those people across the world who are less fortunate. There is lots of information about the works Project Compassion does, which can be found on the website below:

Kind regards,

Mrs Zoe O'Malley

Assistant Principal

Class News

Year Six Class News

The Year 6 class have been busy settling into the routines of school life. We have been super organized doing our school jobs, including putting up the flag, setting up the sports equipment for the rest of the school to play with, and collecting and delivering the Junior Primary lunches! Phew!

We completed these Personal Coat of Arms on the first day of school, to share with our teachers and each other who we are and what our hobbies are. Don’t they look fantastic?

Year One RE Corner

In Year One for Religious Education we are focusing on the Church.  We have begun to look at the way in which Jesus taught people and how we learn from different people.  In class we looked at different things that we have learnt to do and the people that have taught us.  We have been learning from each other this week with the new routines and expectations of Year One.  Learning about respecting ourselves, respecting other and respecting our learning and what that looks like in our classroom.  In the coming weeks we will be looking at learning from stories, and that the Bible includes the special stories that Jesus wanted us to learn from and that these are the stories we share at Mass.


Welcome back to Music for 2021, it’s been great having you all back in the Performing Arts room again. Here is a quick run-down on what’s been happening for the first two weeks back!


We have sung lots of silly songs and done lots of moving to the beat using all sorts of shaking, stamping, twisting and hopping. We got to have a go at using the instruments such as shakers, tapping sticks, tambourines, bells and drums.

Year One

We have been learning the clap song- and making our own silly movements to go along with it! We have been learning some new rhythm patterns and using instruments, movements and some funny songs to demonstrate them.

Year Two

We are learning a Polynesian song called “Tongo”. We are learning about the Polynesian culture and how they used this call and response song to keep together as they rowed their rowing boats when fishing. We have used the Xylophones to play some rhythm patterns with the song and also body percussion and some cool dance moves!

Year Three/Four and Year Four / Five

We have also been learning the clap song and having a good laugh at the different movements that the class have come up with to go along with it. We have looked at different styles of Music and the elements that make different styles have different “feels”. Over the coming weeks we will look at the rhythms, movements and instruments of Funk, Calypso, Hoe-down and Boogie-Woogie.

Year Six

This term we have started off learning about the “Pacific blues”. We are learning about the culture, rhythms, movements and instruments that create the specific moods and sounds of that particular style of music.

Year Six Environmental Group

Our Sustainability Program at Saint Mary’s will be continued as per last year.  We will be promoting the concept of Waste and how we can use the waste we produce.  Our schools rural setting provides us with many opportunities.

We will continue to collect leftover scraps from the students to feed our worms and add to our Compost tubs. 

We will also use our recycling bins in each classroom to collect and put leftover recycling into the recycle bins.   

Please remember to use our school code when taking your recycling to the depot or put it into our bins on the trailer in the back- car park at school.

Other News & Important Dates

Let Us Pray

God our Father,

you have promised to be with us forever.

Help us to have compassion for each other.


Community Notices