St Patrick's Primary School Pakenham
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136 Princes Highway
Pakenham VIC 3810

Phone: 03 5943 9000


"That they may all be one, as you Father, are in me and I am in you"


Newsletter for 21st October 2021

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Newsletter for 21st October 2021

Dear Parents,

Over the last week you would have received communication from our governing body, DOSCEL, that Anna Viney and I have been seconded to St Catherine’s in Berwick next year.   Whilst this is a situation that none of us predicted occurring several months ago, it has eventuated on the back of the wonderful efforts from all of the staff at St Patrick’s over the last few years.  DOSCEL do not take these decisions lightly and they are very confident in Meg Escalante (Acting Principal 2022) and the leaders at St Patrick’s to continue to move the school forward.

Personally, I leave at the end of the year with a heavy heart, it is not a decision that came easy to me when I was approached about St Catherine’s.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at St Patrick’s. It is a wonderful school and I will miss everyone, particularly the students.  Leaving is made easier however, when you know that the person replacing you is exceptionally capable and will do a great job leading the school.  Meg and the leadership team will be very successful in 2022. 

A Message from Anna Viney

As Simon has mentioned earlier in the newsletter, I am leaving St Pat’s at the end of 2021. This is a secondment for 12 months and I will be going to St Catherine’s and assuming the Deputy Principal role.

It is a time of very mixed emotions for me. I cherish the opportunity to take up new challenges so that is very exciting. It is a bigger school and will present many new learning opportunities.

On the flip side, I have been at St Pat’s for 20 years and as a specialist I have got to know all the children in the school and many families. It has been a very rewarding experience and an honour to have taught the amazing students at St. Pat’s. The relationships I have with the children, staff and parents was the factor that weighed most heavily when making the decision to take up this new position.

St. Patrick’s is in very capable hands under the leadership of Meg and she is supported by some amazing middle leaders, who I have no doubt will step up and do a sterling job.

I wish to thank you all for your support over the years but mostly for having the honour of being involved in the education of your children.

Warmest Regards

Anna Viney

2022 Enrolments

If you know of anyone looking to enrol their child at St Pat’s for 2022 please encourage them to contact the school Office on 5943-9000 or email

Staggered Return Dates

Parents would be aware that the roadmap for students returning to school was adjusted recently.  The table below outlines the next few weeks.  We thank all families for your cooperation with the staggered return.

Term 4






Week 3  Monday 18th October




Grs 1 & 2

Grs 1 & 2

Grs 5 & 6

Week 4  Monday 25th October




Grs 3 & 4



Grs 3 & 4

Grs 1 & 2


Grs 5 & 6

Grs 1 & 2


Grs 5 & 6

Week 5

Monday 1st November

Closure day

Cup day public holiday



Grs 3 & 4

Grs 1 & 2


Grs 5 & 6

All grades back onsite.

Please note that when your child’s year level returns to school there will not be a remote learning program operating at the same time. Essentially, we cannot teach two different programs at once. Therefore, when your child’s grade is scheduled to be onsite the expectation is that the children are at school.  If your child’s grade is not rostered on to be at school your child will be remote learning at home, unless they are one of the very few children who meet the essential worker criteria to be onsite.


We understand that as students return for the last few weeks of the school uniforms may not fit as well as hoped and it is difficult to purchase uniforms at the moment.  We ask that parents are very respectful of our uniform policy and that students wear the uniform with pride, however, we understand that there may be some items that cannot be purchased.


Please remember that as we enter Term 4 it is compulsory for the students to be wearing hats when outside.

The following COVID Restrictions remain in place when anyone visits the school site;

  • Initially, to ensure the safety of children, parents will have to drop their children at the black gates (staff will be on duty) and cannot enter the school. As restrictions ease we hope that this requirement will as well.
  • Student Masks – As per Government regulations all students in Grades 3-6 are required to wear a mask whilst indoors (unless you have an exemption). Masks are encouraged for students in Grades P-2.
  • Adult Masks – Masks are required to be worn by parents at all times when in the school.
  • Both carparks will be open for drop off and pick up.
  • Please communicate with staff via phone or email.
  • The Office is physically closed to all but essential visitors, however, contact can be made by phone 5943-9000 or email  
  • All extra cleaning and hand hygiene that was in place is still being adhered to.
  • Please do not send food items to share with others when it is your child’s birthday as they cannot be handed out.
  • Bubble taps are operational at school.
  • An ample amount of sports equipment will be provided at school so we ask that students do not bring equipment from home.
  • COVID Exposure Sites – We ask that families please keep abreast of the COVID Exposure Site list and follow the Government requirements. If you have been exposed and are required to quarantine please contact the school.
  • If your child is sick, or displaying symptoms, please keep them at home. Children that present as sick or displaying symptoms at school will be sent home.  It is our preference that they gain a medical clearance or negative COVID test before they return to school.


Remote Learning / Onsite Restrictions

If your child’s grade is not rostered on to be at school your child will be remote learning at home, unless they are one of the very few children who meet the following criteria to be onsite.  

  • Children where both parents and or carers are considered authorised workers who cannot work from home, work for an authorised provider and where no other supervision arrangements can be made.
  • Where there are two parents/carers, both must be authorised workers, working outside the home in order for their children to be eligible for on-site provision.
  • For single parents/carers, the authorised worker must be working outside the home in order for their children to be eligible for on-site provision.
  • Children experiencing vulnerability, including: in out-of-home care, deemed vulnerable by a government agency, funded family or family violence service, and assessed as requiring education and care outside the family home
  • Identified by a school or early childhood service as vulnerable, (including via referral from a government agency, or funded family or family violence service, homeless or youth justice service or mental health or other health service)
  • Where a parent/carer indicates that a student with a disability is vulnerable because they cannot learn from home, and/or informs the school the student is vulnerable due to family stress.

If you are one of the few families who meet the above criteria you must complete your Intention to Send Your Child(ren) to St Patrick’s Primary form. This will enable us to ensure that we have sufficient staff on duty to supervise students in attendance.

Classroom Google Meets operate between 9.30-11.30am and 1.00-2.00pm each day.  Once again, all work will be uploaded to Google Classroom.  If you have any questions about this, please contact your child(ren’s) classroom teacher.  We ask that parents remain within the vicinity of where their children are on the Google Meets and that parents please support their children to submit the required tasks for each learning area, including specialists.

Please note; due to the added children and staff onsite over the next couple of weeks Wednesdays will no longer remain as an allocated Specialist Day.  Your child’s grade will complete their specialist lessons when it fits within their timetable.  Wednesdays will still have Google Meets (when not onsite), but they will be facilitated by your child’s classroom teacher.

2022 Enrolments

If you know of anyone looking to enrol their child at St Pat’s for 2022 please encourage them to contact the school Office on 5943-9000 or email


As mentioned last week the Parish is still awaiting the easing of restrictions before new dates can be organised for any of the Sacraments.   Noleen Chalmers (REL) will inform families of the new dates once they have been arranged.  If you have any questions please email Noleen

Reimbursement for Activities Not Undertaken / Fee Assistance

Currently we have rescheduled many activities that have been missed throughout the year for this term.  At this stage we remain hopeful that they will go ahead.  If they cannot proceed parents will be reimbursed the cost.  If you are experiencing difficulties due to the pandemic please contact Fil at the Office for a confidential discussion regarding fees.








Thomas 3M, Elizabeth 6C, Constance 2DG, Pearl 6R, Ava 2V, Gak 5SA, Fletcher 6L, Ryan 4M, Biak 5RS, Lowanna PrC, Eamonn 4M, Ronan 5SA.



Friday - All Term

  Assembly - Cancelled for Lockdown
Thursday 21st October

Grs 1 & 2 return for on site learning 

Thursday and Friday's

Friday 22nd October 

Grs 5 & 6 return for on site learning 

Friday only for this week, Thursday and Friday next week

Monday 25th October

Preps on site learning

Monday - Wedensday

Tuesday 26th October 

Grs 3 & 4 return for on site learning

Tuesday and Wedensday's

Thursday 28th October

Grs 5 & 6 on site learning

Thursday and Friday

Monday 1st November 

School Closure Day - no students

Tuesday 2nd November

Melbourne Cup public holiday

Friday 5th November 

All Students return to on site learning 


"Emerging Minds is dedicated to advancing the mental health of Australian children, with free online courses, programs and resources."   


Please read the article below in regards to helping children to cope with uncertainty during  COVID.

Using Play to support Children during COVID


Things are hard right now and if you need to talk about it or would just like to read some information on how to look after ourselves and our children, the following services will help you and articles will help you. 

The Be You website has some great articles about anxiety.  Please see the link below. 

If any families are struggling at this time and would like to reach out for a chat or support please contact Meg Escalante, our Wellbeing officer, via email on

You can also visit the Be You website which has contact numbers for you to call. 


Device Loan - returns

We are very pleased that you have been able to borrow a School Device to assist your child(ren)'s learning during this extended period of Remote Learning. 
The device will remain with your family to further assist your child(ren)'s learning during the staggered return to onsite learning.
With the above considerations in place, your Loaned Device will be due for return - Monday 8th November, 2021
Device Return Procedure: 
  • All devices and chargers will be accepted week beginning  Monday 8th November 2021
  • your prompt return of the Device will be much appreciated
  • Please hand-over the Device and charger to a member of Staff at Carline and they will give it to ICT Leaders
  • ICT Leaders can then mark your name off the Device Loans register
  • please inform in advance if the device has succumb to any damage, mistreatment or signs of wear and tear
Kind regards,
The ICT Team

    Hi Everyone,

    Now that the weather is getting warmer and we are spending more time outside being active we need to remember to be Sun Smart.  I wanted to share some sun activities with you to help you remember.

    This week I have include the 5 Steps Countdown song and a fill in the blank worksheet for you to fill in.  

    These activities are optional but a fun way to remember to be Sun Smart!

    Don't forget to send me any finished work or photos of you being active. 

    Keep up the fantastic effort!
    Mrs Breeden
    Click on the link to hear the Sun Smart 5 step song and follow along with the lyrics. Then down load the fill in the blank worksheet to see if you can remember the steps.  Then send it to me when you are finished and we will include it in next weeks newsletter. 


    Have you set up your PAM account yet!

    From the start of 2022 PAM will be our main form of communication.  All emails, Student Attendance, Sick Bay notes, School Reports, commonly used forms, excursion/camp permission notes and Family Learning conversations, will all be communicated via PAM.  

    A new app (SimonEverywhere) will soon be available to download to allow easy access to PAM but for now please save the PAM log on screen to the home page of your device or bookmark it in your browser.  

    Access PAM via this link   Link to PAM 

    SIMON -  a Learning Management Software solution for schools.

    St Patrick’s Primary school is now using SIMON in the classroom to keep track of your child’s progress and learning as well as attendance.  SIMON will also be used for School Reports and Student Wellbeing.

    PAM, SIMON’s Parent Access Module

    PAM (Parent Access Module) is our new Parent to School communication platform.   PAM will provide real time access to keep parents updated with their children’s progress, important dates and messages. Relevant resources – calendar events, student reports, parent notified absences, absence data and sick bay notes will all be accessed via PAM.

    Parents will be able to easily book Parent Teacher interviews through PAM, and access teacher email addresses. 

    PAM accounts are linked via your email address that we have in our systems.  If you have recently changed your email,  please call or email us on

    Click on the 'forget password' link to set your password and then verify your email address.  (Email addresses must be verified for PAM to work properly).  Once your email is verified, your email can be used as the username for your account.

    Once you have successfully logged in, you can save PAM to your homescreen on your device.

    If you have any issues or need help with PAM please contact the school via email,

    PAM Instructions

    Parent Notified Absences via PAM

    Once you have PAM set up and saved to your home screen you can easily send in Parent Notified absences.   Please use this platform going forward as this automatically syncs with the class roll.   This will fix the issues of receiving SMS notifications even though you had already notified the school. 

    News from the RE (Religious Education) team!

    First Communion - Still no update
    New dates to be confirmed. 

    Confirmation - Postponed - Still no update. 
    21st August 2pm and 6pm.   Confirmation masses have been postponed & we shall inform families of the new date/s once the Parish knows more.

    Reconciliation - Grade 3 Students

    News from Fr Janeesh

    The parent workshop for the sacrament of reconciliation is due to take place on the 14th of October. I spoke to Fr Janeesh yesterday and he said, that with all that is going on at the moment, we will cancel the parent workshop for this year.

    14th October - Parent Workshop - Cancelled

    20th and 21st October - Reconciliation - New Dates to be confirmed

    4T - Haiku Poems

    Haiku is a type of Japanese poetry. It is usually about nature. It consists of only 3 lines. The first line has 5 syllables; the second line has 7 and the last line has 5 syllables. Here are a few examples.

    Aged  trees skin is not 

    Wrinkles we don’t want to have

     It is the wisdom 


    Winter by the pond

    Ice hangs from a craggy tree

    Where did the frogs go?


    Between the two trees,

    Looking up at the branches

    Which one should we climb?


    Gurnaaz Dhillon  4AT

    St Patrick's P & F (Parents and Friends Committee) offers parents opportunities to meet each other and to become involved with the school through school events and fundraising activities.
    The P & F are responsible for organising many school community activities such as the Mother's and Father's Day stalls, discos, and the school’s major fundraising event, and the bi-annual School Fete.
    Thank you
    P&F Committee 

    The current committee is as follows: 

    Morwenna Harder - President
    Karen Duiker - Vice President
    Amy Condon - Treasurer
    Tanya Fernandes - Secretary

    Upcoming Events
    Bunnings Sausage sizzle - 13th November 



    Operoo is still our main platform for communication!  All correspondence will continue to go via the Operoo email platform.  In most cases it will be in Operoo that you will first be notified of any upcoming excursions or events.  Most of these events must first be approved before they appear on any calendar.  

    Please remember to update any details in Operoo, for example change of address or phone number,  this will send us a message that your details have changed and we are then able to update our database.

    Don't forget to upload your child's hayfever letters including symptoms specific to your child!

    If you have any problems using Operoo, please call into the school office preferably on a Monday, Thursday or Friday and we will be able to help you.  

    Have you installed the new SZapp?   

    Skoolbag is no longer being used, install SZapp now! 

     Follow the installation guide below to install the new app on your smart devices.  

    Please remember to update your contact details and any relevant medical details for your child.  

    This can be either done via Operoo or contacting the school office.

    The medical profile section of PAM has also now been turned on.   Please update this at your convenience.  We will still be using Operoo for any medical issues until the end of this year but as of the start of next year we will be moving to PAM for all communication and medical needs.