The Holy Family Merewether Beach Community strives to develop an atmosphere of acceptance, forgiveness and reconciliation

General Information

ADDRESS: 19 Janet Street, Merewether  NSW  2291

PO Box 153, Merewether  NSW  2291

Phone: (02) 4963 3009   Fax:  (02) 4963 4065

EMAIL ADDRESS: admin@merewetherbeach.catholic.edu.a
WEB ADDRESS:  www.merewetherbeach.catholic.edu.au
 

ADMISSION TO KINDERGARTEN

There is one general admission to Kindergarten each year. A Parish Enrolment Policy has been developed and a copy is normally inserted in each application form. Parents are advised to read the Enrolment Policy carefully. In particular, parents are reminded that the acceptance of a child into the school does not give automatic entry rights to siblings. The school and parish community does, however, strive to keep siblings at the same school to the best of its ability within the Parish and Diocesan enrolment guidelines.

ABSENCES

The Board of Studies Attendance Requirements 2011 requires that daily attendances be recorded in the Class Roll.

Parents, guardians and care providers are to ensure that the students attend school on each day that instruction is provided.  The Act requires that whenever a child is absent from school, a declaration regarding the leave be provided within seven days of absence. Please send a note to your child's teacher after an absence from school.

If the declaration has not been furnished within seven days of the absence then the child will be marked ‘absent without sufficient reason’ in the class roll, which is a legal document.

If a student is absent for more than twenty days an ‘Application for Exemption from Attendance at School’ document must be completed. In the case of illness, a medical certificate must be provided and where exemption from school includes long term travel arrangements, copies of travel documentation should be included with the application.

Excursions / incursions and sports carnivals are part of the planned learning activities for the children and are not considered valid reasons for a child's absence.

A small number of absences may be justified.

Absences on a specific occasion, unjustified lateness over part of the day or unexplained absences, are also recorded in the Class Roll.  A record of the date and duration of the partial absence is maintained and hence, the Principal is required to contact parents concerning continued lateness or absences.

AFTER SCHOOL CARE

Holy Family School is fortunate to be able to offer the valuable service of After School Care which operates on site here at Holy Family Merewether Beach, under the name Holy Family Merewether Beach OOSH.

The centre operates before and after school.

After School Care provides quality child care in a safe and fun environment, for those children who cannot be with their parents after school, or who just want to come and play.

The centre is staffed by qualified and experienced child care workers, who provide activities such as:

  • Art and Craft
  • Outdoor sports
  • Cooking
  • Indoor games and activities
  • Group games.

* Afternoon Tea is supplied each day.

For further information contact the centre on 0423 638 232 or drop in after school time.

BOOK CLUB

Periodically throughout the year, parents are given the opportunity to buy reasonably priced books suitable to the child's age through the Ashton Scholastic Book Club. Order forms are sent home and returned to the school for processing and ordering. This Book Club is a service offered to parents to assist them in their endeavour to instil in their children a love of books and reading. There is no obligation to buy these books.

BOOK POLICY

A section of the school's Book Policy states that each child will have all books covered. It is our aim to develop in each child a pride in their books and the work that goes into them. We ask for your cooperation in ensuring that your child's books are neatly and attractively covered.

BUS TRANSPORT

It is our policy to instil in the children, the behaviour that would be expected of them whilst travelling on the bus. We need your constant support to assist our endeavours to maintain consistent and acceptable behaviour. If, at any time, you have concerns about bus travel or behaviour please contact the school and we will help in any way we can.

Bus numbers:
            712 - Merewether Heights
            201 - Newcastle Station - Hamilton Station

Information on times for the public buses can be obtained from Newcastle Buses.

BUS PASSES

Application forms for a school Opal Card are available at transportnsw.info/school-students . The School Opal Card is only for travel to and from school. New applications must be made if you change your address.

If your child loses his/her Opal Card you will need to apply for a replacement pass online.

All children from Kindergarten to Year 2 are eligible to receive a bus pass at no cost. Children from Year 3 to Year 6 who live outside a 1.6 km radius from the school are eligible for a bus pass.

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Our Administrative Assistant, Mrs Phillipa Dobinson, is appointed to this school for 31.5 hours per week. Her hours are published in one of the early school bulletins each year.

TERM DATES FOR 2017

The following are the gazetted dates for the above year as supplied by the Catholic Schools Office.

NB: The first day of TERM 1 is a pupil free day. Kindergarten children begin after the New Start assessment has been completed.

Term 1

Commences: Friday, 27th January for teachers only
                     Monday, 30th January for students Year 1 to Year 6
                      Monday, 6th February for Kindergarten

Concludes:    Friday, 7th April

Term 2

Commences: Monday, 24th April

ANZAC Day: Tuesday 25th April
Concludes:    Friday, 30th June
 

Term 3

Commences: Monday, 17th July
Concludes:    Friday, 22nd September
 

Term 4

Commences: Tuesday, 9th October
Concludes:    Tuesday, 19th December
 

LIBRARY

We are very proud of our school library. 

The children visit the library at least twice a week - once for borrowing on a Tuesday and once to have a lesson with Mrs Janet Carmichael, the Teacher Librarian (TL), who teaches a half day on Mondays and all day Thursday and Friday.  During lessons, the children will learn valuable research and IT skills, which are closely integrated with units of work studied in the classroom.  Mrs Carmichael and the classroom teacher work collaboratively to integrate these units of work to teach appropriate skill development, meeting curriculum requirements.

The library is open during the second half of lunch time every day except Tuesday.  Children are welcome to participate in Monday Lunch Club, Wednesday Design and Build Day and to join others for quiet activities on Thursdays and Fridays.

Kindergarten children may borrow one book a week for the first semester.  To ensure that books will be well protected on their journey home and back to the library, each child must have a library bag.  Library Bags are available from the school office or Uniform Shop.

Library Lessons

During these lessons the children learn valuable research skills.  Kindergarten students begin with simple skills such as logging on and logging off the network system, advancing toward Year 6 to independent research assignments.  All skill development is closely integrated to units of work studied in the classroom and curriculum requirements and are cooperatively planned and taught by both Teacher Librarian and class teacher. The school’s Computer Lab is used for the development of ICT skills in each grade.

Library Staff

The Teacher Librarian, Mrs Janet Carmichael, is here on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays.  Her role is to support classroom teachers in planning and providing opportunities for information skill development within the context of curriculum units.

Our Library Assistant is Mrs Tracey Newcombe. Mrs Newcombe's role is to process and maintain all school resources and assist in coordinating parent helpers.

LOST PROPERTY

Parents are strongly requested to CLEARLY MARK EVERY ITEM OF PROPERTY BELONGING TO THEIR CHILD.

This will help alleviate the problem of lost property accumulating at the school. All lost property is stored in a "Lost Property Box" and children are encouraged to check this box for any lost item.

MEDICATION

Parents are requested not to send medication to school with the children. If your child needs to be on long term medication, then it is your responsibility to give the medication to Mrs Dobinson, our Administrative Assistant. Parents wishing their child to be administered medication at school must complete the appropriate forms from the office.

Medication such as aspirin, panadol etc. will not be administered to any child until a parent is contacted by a member of staff. Parents are requested not to give such medication to the children to bring to school as they can easily come into the hands of other children or be misused by the children themselves.

PHONE CALLS AND MESSAGES

If you wish for a message to be passed on to your child, could you please call the school during office hours. No child will be permitted to receive personal messages. As you are aware teaching time is very valuable and it is unfair to the staff and the children to be expected to answer the phone in class time.

PAYMENTS

Any money sent to school with your child should be contained in an envelope clearly labelled with the following information:

Child's name: May Brown
Class: Year 1
Reason for money: Book Club
Amount enclosed: $2.50 enclosed

As money can often slip out of the sides of envelopes, it is requested that "gaps" be sealed with tape.

PUNCTUALITY

It is most important that parents ensure that their children arrive at school prior to the commencement of the first lesson each day. Children who arrive late on a regular basis are missing important lessons and this will be detrimental to the child's learning. The morning bell rings at 8.47am with the school day commencing at 8.50am.

Also, in the afternoons it is important that children are picked up at the appropriate time. The bell for afternoon dismissal rings at 2.50 pm (2.55 pm in wet weather). This means that children leave the grounds at approximately 2.55 pm - 3.00 pm.

Parents need to investigate which dismissal line their child will be dismissed from and ensure that they are there to meet their child at the correct time.

Staff arrival time is 8.20 am. As school begins at 8.47am and finishes at 2.55pm, no responsibility is taken for the safety of the children on the playground before the arrival or after the departure of the staff. Lunch break is from 11.00am to 11.50am and afternoon recess from 1.25pm to 1.50pm.

SCHOOL BANKING

The Diocese of Maitland Catholic Development Fund offers the children the opportunity to save each week with their Supersavers Club. Supersavers day is Tuesday. Parents are also welcome to open an account or join the Christmas Club.

The Supersavers Club offers students:

  • the opportunity of learning basic money management and financial planning skills
  • a very attractive interest rate
  • the opportunity to contribute to the growth of our Diocese in a practical manner

SCHOOL CANTEEN

The Holy Family School Canteen is operated by a canteen committee made up of volunteer parents.  Parents also volunteer to work in the canteen on its opening days which are Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  The canteen follows the NSW Healthy School Canteen Strategy “Fresh Tastes @ School”.

When ordering lunch from the canteen, parents are asked to have the order clearly written on a paper bag large enough to fit the order in, including the child’s name, class, order and amount enclosed.  Your child places the bag in the class lunch tub located in the classroom. Orders can also be placed using the QKR App.  Information on how to download the App is available in the office.

SCHOOL EXCURSIONS

From time to time, class excursions are arranged to broaden the children's experience, and to make lessons and units of work more interesting. Cost is kept to a minimum and written parental consent is required before any excursion beyond the immediate school locality can be conducted.

SCHOOL NEWSLETTER - “ Between The Flags ”

Our school newsletter is emailed fortnightly on a Friday to keep parents informed of school activities and coming events. The newsletter is available on this website.

SCHOOL PHOTOGRAPHS

Class, individual and family photographs are taken at the school annually.

SICK CHILDREN

It sometimes happens that children are sent to school sick. Unfortunately, school facilities are unable to cope with the supervision of these children. If your child is obviously ill at home, they should not be sent to school. Should a child become ill at school, contact will be made with the parents and a request made for them to collect the child. Please ensure emergency contact information is accurate and updated when necessary.

SPORTS DAY

Holy Family holds its sports day on Fridays for all classes. The school also invites outside organisations to assist with the implementation of the PE curriculum. There are usually programs each term. The cost of these programs is included in each terms’ school fee account.

STAFF INSERVICE DAYS

Each year the school is allowed five pupil-free days, with the last two days of the school year allocated for staff inservices. These days are for the staff to develop school-based curricula, professional development or opportunities to develop their own spirituality. Application for these days must be made to the Catholic Schools Office and once approved, notice will be given to the parents of the intended date.


SUN SMART POLICY

During 2012, the staff further developed a ‘Sun Smart’ policy in consultation with the Cancer Council.

The aim of the policy is to promote among students, staff and parents, positive attitudes towards skin protection and education on the importance of reducing the level of exposure to the sun. The school provides sunscreen for the children to use at school.

REPORTING TO PARENTS

At the beginning of each school year, an Information Night for Parents is conducted. Teachers provide an outline of learning programmes for the year, expectations in regard to homework, pupil responsibilities and also details of parental involvement in their child’s education.

A new reporting policy was developed in 2006 in accordance with new government legislation.

Two school reports are sent home to parents, one at the end of Semester 1 (Term 2) and the second towards the end of Semester 2 (Term 4). Reports are intended to inform you of the skills taught in each Key Learning Area and your child’s competency in each area. The reports also inform you of your child’s social and emotional development. Teacher’s comments should highlight your child’s strengths and weaknesses as well as their personal qualities.