As has been the tradition each term this year, the following list of highlights illustrates the exciting and wonderful programs that have occurred in Term 4.
This week we have had our Year 6 Graduation Dinner — what a fantastic night for staff, parents and students. We wish the children and their families all the best for the upcoming transition to Secondary School. During these last weeks of term, we will celebrate individual achievements, as well as the efforts of all our students in the Primary School. I hope you will be able to join us for one of these events.
St Columba is undoubtedly a ‘World of Opportunities,’ from performing highlights such as Matilda, String and Band Soirees and Capture concerts, to HRIS teams competing in Debating, Chess, Basketball and Touch Football. We all enjoyed a week of Maths in the Fact-a-thon, Led by Mrs Stephanie Cairns, and various competitions throughout the year challenged our academic achievers. Students received High Distinctions and Distinctions in ICAS English, Mathematics and Science, as well as the Mathematics Olympiad and Newcastle Permanent Mathematics Competition. Our Year 6 Robotics team competed in the First Lego League Robotics Tournament, Year 5 had a Leadership Day, and our Stage 1 students undertook the Learn to Swim program. A big highlight for Year 2 was the Camp, where they were able to sleep at the School!
The SCAS Art show has been an incredible culmination of the work of students and Mrs Pip Catlin, assisted by Mekayla Newell. The quality of the art was outstanding and impressed even our Secondary Visual Arts staff. The SCAS Art visual arts display will be open next Monday 9th December until 2.00pm.
Our Year 6 students visited Emmaus Nursing Home to spend time with residents. Students spent the year writing to our new friends, and we hope to continue this connection in 2020, with letter writing and visits to our campus as well as their home. Our Knitting Club also united with a local seniors’ group called Seniors Alive to knit a blanket for those in need in the mountains of Thailand.
Kindergarten Orientations for 2020 happened this term, and we are very excited to have a whole new cohort of enthusiastic young learners joining us soon.
Sustainability has been a significant motivator for change in the Primary. Led by Mrs Kylie Rosenbaum, the students presented at a Waste Wise parent workshop, made T-shirt shopping bags and beeswax wraps and raised much-needed funds for the Koala Hospital. Nude lunchboxes and the removal of red bins in Stage 3 will continue to strengthen the sustainability focus of our school culture in 2020.
As the end of term rapidly approaches, it is time for me to let you know about the members of staff who will be leaving the School at the end of 2019.
Mrs Julia Jenkins has been on Long Service Leave this year, and she has made the decision not to return to St Columba in 2020. She is taking a position at Hastings Library, and we know she will be excited to see familiar faces down there. Mrs Deb Templeton, another long-standing staff member, finished work earlier this year to commence her retirement. We thank both of these ladies for their commitment to SCAS. Mrs Jenkins commenced in 2007 and Mrs Templeton in 2006, both having greatly contributed to the life of our School. In 2020 Mr Rob Lund will be taking a well earned year of Long Service Leave. We wish him all the best and know he will enjoy this well-earned break. On another note, our Stage Coordinator and Year 5 teacher, Mrs Fiona Writer, will be changing her name to Ms George in 2020.
We know that all our students and staff enjoyed 2020 Step-Up Day. Class lists and staffing will be announced to parents in the week before the commencement of Term 1. Students working with our Learning Support department and requiring a transition meeting are encouraged to make contact with Mrs Georgia Cummins.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the students and their families for their wonderful support throughout 2019. It has been such a rich and rewarding experience for our students in so many ways, made possible through the support of the School by our families. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the dedicated team of staff in the Primary School who all work so tirelessly to enhance the educational experience for your children.
I wish you all the very best for the summer holidays and holy season. I look forward to welcoming you all back, refreshed, for what will be an exciting new year.
Head of Primary, St Columba Anglican School