What a week it has been! We began our final week of school for 2017 with our Prep Christmas Concert. Those who were there witnessed a singing and lighting extravaganza from our youngest students. The highlight for me was definitely the Christmas rap and break-dancing. Congratulations to our Prep students for putting on a wonderful Christmas story and thank you to Mrs Rebekah Tayler and Mrs Tracey Grubb for coordinating it all.
Thank you to all the teachers and staff at St Anne’s for an amazing year. It has been full of excitement and challenges. I know our school community understand and appreciate the extra effort that you put in to make our school great.
To our parents and carers, thank you for being a part of the team and supporting your child. These strong relationships enable us all to provide the best for the students and allow them to grow and learn.
To our students, thank you for so many reasons. Thank you for challenging yourself when learning is tough, for making us laugh and smile and for having and sharing ‘lightbulb’ moments when you learn something new. Thank you for achieving amazing things and for demonstrating our CLERR values. Finally, thank you for being you and congratulations on a job well done!
Year 6 Valedictory
This morning we celebrated and said goodbye to our 2017 Year 6 students during a formal, and at times, emotional Valedictory service. These students have had a major impact on our school culture, with many starting their Gippsland Grammar education at our Early Learning Centre with Mrs Lisa Burgess. Personally, I would like to thank all of our Year 6 students and their families for the positive impact they have had on our Campus. Embrace the challenges of Year 7. Thank you to Mrs Julie Jago and Miss Prue McNaughton, our Year 6 teachers, for all of your efforts to ensure that the students final few days have been memorable.
For some Year 6 families, today signifies the end of their association with St Anne’s. To acknowledge this we have organised a plant for each family whose youngest child is graduating today. As we say, ‘plant the right seed and great things will grow.’ Thank you to the families listed below for the contribution you have made to St Anne’s over the years.
Nicole and Kingsley Bauer
Natalie and Rowan Blok
Annette Miller and Warren Cumming
Lauren and Nick O’Doherty
Christian Rush and Brendan Lestrange
Bronwyn and Claudio Segafredo
Tania and Simon Waixel
Kimberley and Shane Young
Christine Gilbert and Sean Pearce
Melissa and Steven Farley
Karen and Ian McMillan
Leeanne and Scott Pearce
Jodie Martin and Jason Pullman
Fiona and Adam Smith
Melissa Steele and Darren Brown
Julie and Ross Stothers and Lisa Yousif
On Tuesday this week our campus came together to acknowledge our Citizens of the Term and to say goodbye to some students and teachers. Based on our school CLERR values, Citizen of the Term is awarded to students who have consistently demonstrated these values, or have demonstrated real growth in one or more of the values. It is always a challenging decision for teachers to make. Congratulations to the following students for being awarded Citizen of the Term:
We said goodbye to three students from our school community who are departing St Anne’s - Milla Counahan, Maya Cairnes and Sophie Christensen. On behalf of the school community, I thank them for the positive impact they have had on our campus.
We also said goodbye to two important teachers. Miss Lauren Verde, our creative Art Teacher and Miss Sam Cooke, our energetic Physical Education teacher, are both leaving. Lauren has been teaching Art while Mrs Louise Hulls has been on Maternity Leave. She has done a wonderful job engaging our students with Art. This was most evident during our Art Exhibition in Term 3. Very fond of warm weather, Sam has accepted a teaching position in Darwin. She has been able to actively involve our students in a whole range of physical and healthy experiences. Both teachers will be sorely missed but we wish them well with their new adventures.
Parents will have received their child’s Academic Report this afternoon. These are a formal means to communicate how your child has grown socially, emotionally and academically. Please take your time to read your child’s report. Share and celebrate achievements and growth and reflect on areas for improvement and put strategies in place to address them.
2018 School Year
The School Office will close for the Christmas break on Wednesday 20 December and reopen again on Monday 8 January. School begins for students on Thursday 1 February.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all families a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year. I look forward to welcoming everyone back for another wonderful year in 2018.
Jie Van Berkel
A Christmas Message from Rev'd Rich ...
Sociologists suggest that—even though we are more ‘connected’ by social media and other forms of technology than at any other time in history—we feel more disconnected from others than ever before. We have a huge ‘Friends’ list, but few people we really trust or share with. We have worries about finances, safety, employment and relationships, but there isn’t always someone to share these concerns with.
We all have battles, challenges and mountains to climb; we all need to know where we will get the wisdom or strength to deal with these realities. Imagine what life would be like if we truly believed that we had to do all of this on our own; that we could only depend on the strength we could muster inside ourselves. It would be a lonely and draining reality, yet we are in danger of it becoming the norm.
The bible regularly uses the word ‘slave’. The two leading dictionary definitions of slave are:
1. Someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay.
2. A person who is strongly influenced and controlled by something.
One bible verse in the book of Romans tells us that we do not need to be slaves to fear. In the book of Galatians, chapter 4, verse 4, Paul says,”But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.
A quote I recently saw had the words “David didn’t need to know Goliaths strength, because he already knew God’s”.
Christmas is a time for us to remember, or know for the first time, that we are God’s loved children. Jesus comes to us as a baby who needs the love and care of his parents to survive. God gives us a model of both vulnerability and strength in the birth of Jesus. The vulnerability of a dependant newborn and the strength that comes from the love and care he receives from others. So let’s ask ourselves if we are ‘slaves’ to anything or subject to any thinking or behaviours that are detrimental to ourselves or others. Let’s look into our hearts and see if we feel free to be ourselves - because Jesus came to set us free from the things that destroy our hearts and souls.
Here is the light and hope: we are made to know God, we are made to love and be loved, and we are made to be there for others and to allow others to meet our needs as well. We are designed to thrive, not simply by our own strength, but by the strength, we receive from sharing our lives and our journeys with others. To know that we are not alone. To know that we are loved and valued. To know that the creator of the Universe calls us their ‘children’ and ‘dearly beloved’.
Christmas is the time to know that God loves us; not to live in fear but to know that whatever comes our way, God is with us, Gods Spirit is in us and Jesus has shown us how to live.
I pray you encounter Jesus’ love this Christmas.
God bless you and keep you.
Rev’d Rich Lanham