Principal News

Wellbeing Matters




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Dear Families & Friends,


What a first impression!  The overwhelming sense of welcome, energy, re-connecting, smiles, laughter and enthusiasm has certainly set the expectations of things to come for our fabulous school. This early indication at drop-off on Tuesday morning and again in closing out our week with KABOOM suggests our community is ready to open up for an incredible year of fun and learning, so let's buckle up and enjoy the ride - we're off to a flying start at Sacred Heart!


As we enter a new and exciting school year (and newsletter) for our Sacred Heart community, I would like to extend my heart-felt gratitude and thanks to the many students, staff and families who have so warmly welcomed me over the coming days. In particular, I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the staff for their professionalism and most responsive manner in embracing some gentle changes and refinements in these opening days. For some within our community this will feel very different as they adapt to my leadership and I accept that there will be period of adjustment as we build upon the wonderful work undertaken by Miss Macdonald. Through a different lens, collectively and collaboratively, we will look to clearly articulate a shared a vision and agenda for further school improvement over the coming years. Built on trust (in people & a process), and allowing sufficient time (patience/not rushing), these ingredients are key as we gradually implement and action some light changes across aspects of school life for our students, staff and families.  



Albeit in my ‘very’ early days, the signs are great and I congratulate the staff for their willingness to respond so quickly in welcoming opportunities and embracing my high expectations to grow their capacity as educators and leaders.  These observations and indicators bode exceptionally well for our students and families for the months to follow as we look to raise the bar again and become the best school we can be. 


With student wellbeing as the priority and refining the evidence based teaching and learning practices, these will be the drivers for student outcomes across the school. When our students and staff are socially and emotionally in the best place to learn, then the learning can happen.  Everything that we do as educators and families must have an impact (i.e. make a difference) and ultimately enhance the experiences for the students at our wonderful school. Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to share through various communication platforms some light touches and clarity around wellbeing and teaching and learning practices, and we will welcome your feedback. 

Week One Classroom Visits

Although it is only one week down, I must congratulate the students and staff on their remarkable and settled start to the school year - long may it continue. It has been wonderful to visit all the rooms throughout the week with Mrs Pennington and absorb and note the calm tone and warm welcome from the students and the staff. I spoke briefly to all classes about my simple approach/philosophy to life and how we should expect all members of this school community to interact. Our shared mission/responsibility is to treat others the way we would like to be treated. Treat people with kindness and respect, and expect this in return. “Your teachers and fellow students will look after you, so you need to look after them.” 


Five days into my journey at Sacred Heart, I’m thrilled to say this has been the most affirming and notable observation and has resonated across all pockets of the school. In addition, my best intentions will be to drop into the classrooms each day to see the students and staff in action. Be assured, in time, I will get to know your child (and family inc. name) extremely well - my core business. 

A few observations from afar

  • Uniform presentation looks fantastic, keep it up students. 
  • The welcoming and manners on the gate are first class.
  • Smart Watches and devices will require some consideration and a tight policy will follow. Students (and families) simply cannot contact families or other students throughout the day. 
  • Love the hats!
  • Michael the rabbit could not be in better hands. 
  • Miss Tench can dance. Mr Brown and Mr Collis cannot. 

Prep First Day

Congratulations to our stunning Preps and Miss Maloney on your remarkable entry to big school life. Typically we welcome families into the room to observe this amazing transition, however, again we need to work within the current requirements for schools. We simply could not have imagined a better start for our most junior students. Much of this credit must go to Miss Maloney and our families for creating the conditions for this settling period. It’s been exceptional! 

Staffing News

Although mentioned in a number of comms already, I’m indebted to Brigid Pennington (Deputy) and Karen (Office Admin) for their support, guidance and care as I slowly familiarise myself with my new community. From locating light switches, and finding passwords, to connecting with key people across the school community and routines, I cannot thank you enough for this generous level of support. These ladies do not have enough hooks for the many hats they wear.  


Well done and welcome Miss Healey for your superb start to your career.  We think we've struck gold and cannot wait to see you flourish at Sacred Heart.  Supported so well by the senior team and the most impressive mentor, Miss Mackay,  we are thrilled you've started your rewarding teaching journey with us. We also welcome Caroline Mathias in 2022. She will be a wonderful addition to the invaluable LSO team.

Congratulations staff on all successfully completing your Level 2 First Aid Training in Thursday afternoon. One in, all in approach at Sacred Heart.

Leadership News

A special call out to the leadership team (Mrs Pennington, Miss Rafferty, Mrs Collins, Mr Blake and Mr Brown) for their support and contributions to their teams and various roles and ‘many’ requests from me in these opening days. I am most excited to be working alongside our leaders and staff and look forward to harnessing and growing their capacity over this journey. I simply could not have asked for a better response.


As part of their role in 2022, the leadership team will work in the classrooms each week mentoring and supporting their team. In addition to administrative duties, they will also prepare contributions for the newsletter. We strongly encourage our families to read these (pages in the newsletter) as they will provide an invaluable snapshot across their levels. More importantly, it will be a celebration of the students' achievements.  


This year, Mr Brown will be instrumental in the roll out of the Respectful Relationships program for P-6. This aligns beautifully with the essential Personal & Social Capabilities curriculum and the explicit teaching SEL (Social Emotional Learning). In time we will collectively work towards introducing the Berry Street Model to work alongside this program. It’s been fabulous to see Mr Brown’s passion and drive to ensure these practices will be delivered and embedded across all levels.  

Specialist Program

Some families may have already noticed a gentle change to the specialist timetable as we have moved some classes to afternoon blocks to ensure we look to optimize the key academic disciplines of literacy and numeracy. We thank our specialist and teaching staff for being so adaptable. 

Assembly Time - Friday Morning 9am

Just another reminder we have moved the assembly to 9am Friday morning this year. This will be a very simple format: prayer, Acknowledgement of Country, a class presentation, awards, community news and birthdays.  We hope in time this will enable our families to attend more regularly before heading into work or attending to other commitments for the day. Please note our senior leaders will continue to play a significant role in this program. At this stage there will be some restrictions on assembly due to the current Covid guidelines and for the next few weeks it will be STUDENT only assemblies. 

The quick Monday morning gatherings will continue to start our week and parents are welcome to attend.

School Captains

What a delight it was to finally meet our School Captains this week. Bella, Ella, Delilah, Charlie and Hamish were so impressionable and will clearly represent (as role models) our students and school superbly in their final year of primary school. As well as presenting fortnightly at assembly, the captains will be responsible for regular entries in the school newsletter. Next Wednesday we will present all Yr.6s leaders with their badges at an 'outdoor' liturgy. This will take the place of opening mass for 2022. 

Covid Matters & Remote Learning

One week down and the odd set back for some families and staff with Covid related matters. We thank you for your support and understanding as we implement some well-considered plans to ensure interruptions are minimised across our school setting.


Perhaps the most notable change has been the rapid antigen program reducing the impact across large cohorts or whole classes for extended periods. Thanks Karen for rolling out this program in the front office. This is a big undertaking as we set up the new school year. 


Whilst there are some immediate challenges for families and staff, we sincerely hope this short-term inconvenience will enable our communities to experience a largely uninterrupted school year. For those students impacted, we have created some take-home packs to be collected from the office when required and established online platforms across some levels to support the students during this period of isolation. Classroom teachers will be in touch with families as cases arise and resources deployed accordingly. More information can be found via the ‘Covid 19 Remote Learning Resources and Links’ page on the school website. 

P&F and Working Bee

Many thanks to Nat and Lisa for organizing the special morning tea on Monday for Prep families. From all accounts the P&F are incredibly involved and invested in bringing our community together throughout the year and they cannot wait as we reopen and reconnect after two very quiet years.  In other related parent involvement matters, I was astounded by the response from the turn out last Saturday for the working bee. This many hands approach to these gatherings reflects greatly on a sense of ownership and investment in your child's school. Thanks Tony for rallying the troops and doing such an extraordinary job in preparing the grounds and surroundings for the students. Please keep an ear out for the Sacred Heart Dad’s Group as they have a pretty full agenda and are most excited about reconnecting in 2022. Refer to P&F Page. 


Year 6 Rugby Tops!

They've finally arrived. Thanks Amanda and Tanya for coordinating the very special Yr.6 rugby jumpers for 2022. We'll have some pretty excited students today. Good luck families washing these throughout the year as they rarely come off the students. Please make sure these are clearly labelled over the weekend.  

Parent Teacher Interviews 16th & 17th Feb.

Please note parent teacher interviews will be conducted in the classrooms this year. This is an important opportunity for the parents to share information about their child. Parent teacher meetings later in the year will be more teacher driven and student outcome focused. Please see PTO for bookings - the system will open for bookings on Wednesday 9th February at 9am. 


What a way to finish our first week. Nice work Mrs Collins for organising this special day for the students. They just love it, and I can see why. 

Open Days 2022 - 15th & 16th March

We strongly encourage our families to share the great word and happenings about our school within the community and networks.  Open Days will be held in March 15th & 16th and if families would like a tour outside of these two sessions, please contact the office on 9598 9322 and we would love to show you around our amazing school. 

  • Tuesday 15th 9:30am - 12:30pm
  • Wednesday 16th 12:30pm - 3:30pm

And finally...


Thank you once again for your warm welcome and kind words as our paths have crossed in recent days.


I'm so excited and privileged to join your beautiful community and look forward to building upon and establishing positive partnerships with our students and families as we share this precious journey together.


Here's to an amazing year at Sacred Heart. 


When you child enters the gate every day, so does the family,


Simon Collis