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Principal News Term 1, Week 3

Welcome to our new year and all that it promises here at Sacred Heart in Highgate for 2021.

This is the first of our school’s fortnightly Newsletters, after what I’m sure has been a chance for families to enjoy a wonderful Summer break, enjoy plenty of rest and the opportunity to recreate together. Please ensure you have opted to subscribe to our Newsletter to ensure delivery to your phone or device every second Friday! On behalf of all our teachers and staff, I extend a very warm welcome to you all and to our new children and their families who have joined Sacred Heart this year.

My hope for you as parents, is that your association with our school is a long and happy one, and that you experience a partnership that enables you to offer your support and involvement to your children’s learning and faith development. It is now widely accepted that when a strong partnership exists between schools and parents, children fare better in their achievements and wellbeing.

This year, we are very privileged to welcome the following new staff members to our school:

Miss Mikaela Caruso to the role of Year Three Classroom Teacher for Term One, and we also welcome the return this year to Mr Steve Moore to his continued role as Education Assistant in the upper years. We also welcome to Sacred Heart Primary school this year: Sammi, Sadie, Benedict, Anabella, Anastasia, Carissa, Florence, Ivy, Jax, Michelle, Theodore and Xavier. I am sure that our School Community will make all our new and returning staff and students, feel at home and supported in their journeys here at our wonderful school.

Catholic Identity – Inspiring Christ centred Leaders (CEWA Strategic Directions 2019- 2021)

We began today with our Ash Wednesday Liturgy in the School Hall, and as always, were supported in this faith journey by our Parish Priest, Fr Mark Payton. Father spoke to the children about our challenge during this Lenten period, to wrestle with “Not being the villain, but trying hard to be the hero in our story.” Some of the tools we can call upon during this struggle will be our commitment during the forty days of Lent, to three special things: Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving.

As we continue with some of the restrictions that are necessary at this time, the distribution of ashes was not as we traditionally experience, with a signing of a cross on each person’s forehead. Instead, a small sprinkling of ash was distributed to the top of each person’s head.

Ask your children about what is different in our Church during this season of Lent, and what colour Father was wearing today – I’m sure they will be happy to share their knowledge with you! (Hint- The Catholic School Diary will also have some special and helpful information for you as a family to explore).

A special thank you to our Year Six students, for their preparations and service during this celebration. It was the beginning of their leadership roles and together with last week’s ushering at the gate of our new and returning junior students, I’m confident they are going to conduct themselves admirably throughout the year. The students experienced our special Blessing and Commissioning of our senior students for the 2021 year, at today’s Liturgy.

Our staff were also blessed and commissioned to their “vocation” or calling, to work in a Catholic School. Father Mark continues his role as Parish Priest of Sacred Heart, Highgate this year, and eagerly awaits his further involvement in all our activities here at school.

I chanced upon the following reflection some time ago, and in the context of us all trying to become more like Jesus during this Lenten period, it may be useful as we embark on our 2021 Season of Lent – I hope you enjoy it!

Fasting and Feasting (during Lent)

LENT should be more than a time of fasting – It should also be a joyous season of feasting. LENT is a time to fast from certain things, and to feast on others. It is a season in which we should:

Fast from judging others…feast on the Christ indwelling in them.

Fast from emphasis on differences…feast on the unity of all life.

Fast from thoughts on illness…feast on the healing power of God.

Fast from words that pollute…feast on phrases that purify.

Fast from worry…feast on trust.

Fast from discontent…feast on gratitude.

Fast from suspicion…feast on charitableness.

Fast from self-concern…feast on compassion for others.

Fast from anger…feast on patience.

Fast from pessimism…feast on optimism.

Fast from complaining…feast on appreciation.

Fast from hostility…feast on friendliness.

Fast from personal anxiety…feast on the power of God.

Fast from idle gossip…feast on silence or find a word of praise.

Fast from shadows of sorrow…feast on Christ’s glorious Resurrection.

Fast from unrelenting pressures…feast on unceasing prayer.

Fast from problems that overwhelm…feast on prayer and confidence in God’s help.

Our teachers have settled smoothly into routines, planning and timetables after their extended holiday break, and are delighted with the enthusiasm of their classes, as everyone tackles their studies.

In addition to my welcome accompanying today’s Newsletter, is a message from the Executive Director of Catholic Education (CEWA), Dr Debra Sayce. 

Education – Catholic Schools of Excellence (CEWA Strategic Directions 2019- 2021)

Despite a change/rescheduling due to the recent lockdown period, we were delighted to be able to conduct the 2021 Parent Information Sessions in classrooms on Wednesday of this week. These sessions are planned as an opportunity to inform parents about curriculum content, classroom rules and routines, homework expectations etc. Our Teachers prepared comprehensive handouts and digital presentations, and if parents were unable to attend, information materials were sent home. Additionally, the Curriculum Outlines for each level have been forwarded to all families via SeeSaw.

There were some materials distributed to parents that are required to be promptly returned – in particular, the Student Details form – please ensure that these have been updated if changes are necessary, or returned stating that the information is all correct.

We will operate on the premise that all parents are opting to continue to be included on the

P and F Parent Directory, unless you make contact with the School Office by Monday 22nd February, requesting to withdraw from this point of contact that Class Reps use to keep parents abreast of P and F events and fundraising initiatives.

These coming weeks in classrooms are important as a data collection period, and once assessments and standardised tests are completed, teachers are able to plan for both enrichment opportunities, and any necessary intervention strategies. As always, preparation for any testing situation begins with adequate rest – these first weeks at school can be very tiring, and combined with warm weather, can really affect our boys and girls – early nights are called for! All good work is grounded in good communication. I urge parents to always make contact in the first instance, with their child’s Class teacher, if they have queries regarding their child’s learning and progress. The expected warm weather that usually accompanies February, will see our school provide adequately for the children’s learning in their air-conditioned classrooms, and their break times will see the hall and its air conditioning being utilised. Please don’t forget to freeze water bottles and send along fruit for the afternoon’s Crunch and Sip break.

Community – Catholic Pastoral Communities (CEWA Strategic Directions 2019- 2021)

I value and appreciate the building of strong and positive relationships with all our community. It is so vital in a Catholic School that we communicate with each other through the eyes of understanding and compassion – our attitude each day, will be a model of reflection to our students, parents, and to our community.
I have been very impressed with the level of engagement that our students have already demonstrated this week.

Accompanying today’s Newsletter is all the information about the 2021 Welcome Event – The Night at The Museum, this Friday 19th February. Please join everyone for a fun filled and family night, where we can meet and engage with one another and meet the Parents and Friends Association Executive members, and hopefully confirm our 2021 Parent Class Representatives. Please indicate your RSVP by clicking on the following link:

Stewardship – Accessible, Affordable and Sustainable System of Schools (CEWA Strategic Directions 2019- 2021)

All classes have provided information regarding timetables and the 2021 Term One Planner – these can become the important fridge details! Please read these carefully and hopefully, the next weeks should run fairly smoothly. The Term planners are located on the school website, and we ask that you check this regularly for updates and changes.

Once again this year, Sports Uniforms on Friday will see our students wear their white Sacred Heart sports shirts, and their coloured Faction sports shirts are to be worn on Mondays or Tuesdays, at their Physical Education lessons with Miss Kate Witkowski.

Earlier this week, all families will have received the information regarding their Payment Plan options for the 2021 School and Tuition Fees. You are asked to attend to this and nominate your plan options in coming days.

Discipleship – How did I live out the teachings of Jesus today?

In the realm of discipleship, I have witnessed a genuine spirit of generosity within our school community as this year has commenced. As we strive to lead by example and follow the call of Jesus’ service to others, we unknowingly have a profound effect on others. I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and preparation that you, our parents and guardians have accomplished over the summer break. The love and care that you have shown for your children, helps them to show love and concern for their friends and family. Thank you for fulfilling your vocation as a parent and guardian. This has such a positive influence on our boys and girls.

In closing, can I call for prayers for all families within our school community who may need them, and wish everyone well for the weekend. I thank you all for your hard work in getting the children back to school so well prepared and fully equipped.

Enjoy next week!

Mrs Tanya McGuire


Sacred Heart Primary School


40 Mary Street, Highgate WA 6003
(08) 9328 8817