Handbook

PDF

Our Parent Handbook contains all the information you and your child will need.


It is provided to all parents/carers enrolling a child at St Patrick's. Parents/carers of children enrolling in kindergarten for the coming year, are provided with a handbook and other necessary information at the information evening. The information evening date is confirmed when you are notified of successful enrolment.

You can print a full version of our Parent Handbook, to read at your convenience, by clicking on the ‘Print to PDF’ button at the top of the page.

If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries, please feel free to contact the school.

School Worship and Beliefs

God our Creator, bless our school community.
Teach us forgiveness and understanding.
Help us to grow in faith and love
So that we may spread the Good News to all.
Amen.

Under your protection Mary, we will learn together,
Under your protection Mary, we will learn to live.
Here at St Patrick’s we do the best we can,
We use the gifts God gives to us, to make the world a happy place.
Under your protection Mary, we will learn together,
Under your protection Mary, we will learn to live.

General Information

St Patrick’s School has approximately 380 students, ranging in class groups from Kindergarten to Year 6.

The class groupings are as follows:

Early Stage 1 Kindergarten  Two classes
Stage 1 Year One  Two classes
  Year Two  Two classes
Stage 2 Year Three  Two classes
  Year Four  Two classes
Stage 3 Year Five  Two classes
  Year Six  Two classes
  Primary Blue Autistic satellite class
Term 1

Teachers
School commences (Year 1-6)
School commences (Kindergarten)

Friday 27 January
Monday 30 January
Wednesday 1 February

School closes Term 1

Friday 7 April

Term 2

School resumes Term 2
School closes Term 2

Wednesday 26 April
Friday 30 June

Term 3

School resumes Term 3
School closes Term 3

Monday 17 July
Friday 22 September

Term 4

School resumes Term 4
School closes for Term 4

Monday 9 October
Friday 15 December

School closes for Christmas vacation Friday 15 December.

Morning Bell 8:55 am (all children should be present)
Assembly (Mon & Fri) 9.00am
School Gates Closed
9:10am 
First Session 9:00 am - 11:00 am (10:00am Fruit Break)
Children's Lunch 11:00 am - 11:10 am (Supervised Eating Time)
Break 1 11.00 am - 11.40 am
Second Session 11:40 am - 1:40 pm (12.00 pm Angelus Prayer)
Recess 1:40 pm - 2:10 pm (Light Snack)
Third Session 2:10 pm - 3:10 pm
School Gates Opened 3:10 pm
Dismissal 3:15pm

The parish plays a vital role in the school’s everyday life. The construction and layout of the parish complex (which incorporates the school building), supports the parish/school community relationship. The parish priest and his assistants play an interested and supportive role in the school: visiting classrooms, meeting with the Principal and other staff members, as well as leading our Eucharistic celebrations and many of our school and class liturgies. The children are also encouraged to take part in parish-based celebrations.

An open line of communication is essential for the promotion of your child’s education. In order to ensure open communication, the following procedures are in place:

  • a Parent/information session for each of Years K - 6, in Term 1
  • a mid-year interview opportunity to discuss your child’s progress with the classroom teacher and any other teacher directly involved with your child
  • a Mid-Year Report
  • an End-of-Year Report

Teachers are willing to speak with parents on any matter regarding their child, however, they are not available for casual discussions within classroom teaching hours. Because they are often required to carry out supervision before and after school hours, it is necessary to set up a formal interview time through the school office. If you wish to make an interview time, contact the office and arrangements will be made as soon as possible.

St Patrick's Primary School does not have a school canteen/ tuckshop. Students are required to bring their own lunch, morning tea, fruit and drinks to school.

Playground supervision begins at 8:30 am. Parents should make arrangements for before school care if this is needed. Parents are permitted to drop their children in the Kiss & Drop area in the mornings. You must not park your car in this area.

It is very important to have your children at school before 8:55 am, as late arrivals cause disruption to assembly and classes. The first bell sounds at 8:55 am.

Parents are asked to collect their children by 3:15 pm. Please park your car in the car park and collect your child from the playground. If you are unavoidably detained please ring the office. Children not picked up by 3:30 pm are taken to the school office area and parents will be contacted to collect their child. If not collected by 3:35pm the parent will be informed (on the first late occurrence) that their child will be taken to our Catholic Out of School Care (COSHC), located in our school grounds, for after school care at a cost to the parent.

St Patrick's Bulletin is the communication link between school and home. It is sent home fortnightly, usually on Thursday. If you have any items of interest concerning the achievements of your child in activities outside of school, please let us know. If appropriate, they will be included in St Patrick's Bulletin. The Bulletin also contains important diary dates and parents are encouraged to keep these dates and the Bulletin readily available. The Bulletin is also posted on our school website each fortnight.

These are held regularly throughout the year, providing an opportunity for the children from specific grades to present aspects of the work being carried out in their classroom. Reading, singing, dance, poetry, mime, and drama may be involved in such assemblies.

Dates and times of these assemblies and the classes that are presenting are noted in St Patrick's Bulletin, sent home each fortnight. All parents are welcome to attend the assembly.

When a child returns to school after an absence of any kind, parents must notify the school of the reason for the absence via a letter addressed to the school. These letters are retained by the school and your child’s absence appropriately noted in official class rolls, according to legal requirements.

If you need to pick up your child within school hours, an early note must be picked up from the school office and handed to the classroom teacher before the child can be taken from the school.

If your child arrives at school after assembly, parents are to obtain a late note from the school office. A parent must hand this note to the class teacher who files the note for the attendance roll.

If your child is to be picked up by someone other than the usual contact (parent or someone known to the school), please include the details of the new contact in your letter. These precautions are for the protection of your child.

School banking is conducted each Monday. Banking will commence in Week 2 of Term 1. School banking is conducted through the Commonwealth Bank. Application forms are available from the school office.

It is most important that you inform the school office if there has been any change in address, telephone number or contact person, in case of sickness or emergency. Please put this information in writing and send it to the school office.

It is vital that we have the telephone number of one contact person, other than mother or father, in case of illness or emergency.

If required, all students in Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2, are eligible for free bus travel from home to school and from school to home. Students in Grades 3–6 are only eligible if they reside more than 1.6km from the school. If you are uncertain as to your child’s eligibility, please ask at the school office as we have a map supplied by the Urban Transit Authority. Application forms are available from the school office on request.

Once your child has been issued with a free bus pass, automatic issue occurs except in the following instance:

All students progressing from Year 2 to Year 3 who wish to travel by bus are required to complete a fresh application form in order to be eligible for free travel.

  • Busways provides the bus service between Blacktown Station and our school.
  • Busways also provides a direct service to our school from Doonside.

NB – Children travelling with any company other than Busways, who break their journey at Blacktown Station, will be required to fill out two application forms, as follows:

  • one application form for travel from their home to Blacktown Station stating the name of the bus company with whom the child will be travelling
  • one application form for travel from Blacktown Station to the school, stating that the child will be travelling with Busways.

If your child has to change buses, one from home to Blacktown Station and one from Blacktown Station to the school, and they are both Busways buses, you will only need to fill out one application form.

It is very difficult for the office staff to answer all your queries regarding which bus company services your area. If you are uncertain as to which bus company your child will be travelling with, or what the route number is, please make inquiries of the respective bus companies.

Please only take application forms if you are certain that your child will be travelling by bus. You can always ask for a form at the school office at any time during the school year, if it is required. The application forms are to be returned to the school office. Please do not post them directly to the bus company.

Lost bus passes – it is the responsibility of parents to apply for replacement bus passes. Forms for lost passes must be obtained from the school office.

The telephone numbers of the bus companies are as follows:

Busways 9625 8900
Hills Bus
8889 7000

All children who need to catch a train are eligible for a free pass. The application form for free train travel is available from the school office. This form must be completed at the commencement of each school year.

Student Responsibility

The staff of St Patrick's adopt a positive approach to student management.

We are currently in the process of developing an award system as part of an overall renewal of student management.

The new system will recognise students who are safe, responsible and respectful. The pointers below will be guidelines for appropriate student behaviour.

School Uniforms

The St Patrick's Blacktown school uniform items are available for purchase from Lowes at Westpoint, Blacktown.

Uniform items available from the school office include:

  • School hats
  • Girls winter uniform ties
  • Metal school badge
  • Winter wind jacket with crest
  • Vest with crest.

Boys Summer Uniform

  • Short sleeved school blue shirt
  • Navy shorts
  • Navy ankle cotton socks
  • Black shoes
  • Navy zip front jacket with school emblem
  • Navy surf hat

Boys Winter Uniform

  • Long sleeved school blue shirt
  • Navy serge long trousers
  • Navy zip front jacket with school emblem
  • Royal blue tie
  • Navy socks
  • Black shoes

Girls Summer Uniform

  • School tunic
  • Navy blue socks
  • Black shoes
  • Navy zip front jacket with school emblem
  • Navy surf hat

Girls Winter Uniform

  • Tartan tunic
  • Blue long sleeved blouse
  • Navy blue socks
  • Black shoes
  • Tie (only available from school)
  • Navy zip front jacket with school emblem

Girls/Boys PE Uniform

  • Blue/navy polo shirt
  • Navy shorts
  • White socks
  • White sports shoes
  • Navy zip front jacket with school emblem
  • Navy track suit pants
  • Navy surf hat

Please make sure to label all articles of your child’s clothing and belongings with their name. This will help your child and the teachers identify any lost items.

Unwanted items of school clothing are sent to the school for our second-hand clothing pool. If you wish to browse through and purchase any items of clothing, please contact the school office.

Homework Policy

Homework reaffirms the role of parents as partners in education. It is a valuable part of schooling as it provides a link between home and school. It allows parents to connect with classroom learning and to take an active role in their child’s learning. Homework is set by teachers to assist parents create a climate of learning that extends beyond the school and to develop home study habits.

Homework should be an interactive experience for students and their parents, or other learners in the home. It should enhance family life not intrude on it. Homework must be manageable for parents, teachers and students. Homework involves an element of choice enabling students to evaluate and take responsibility for their learning. Homework needs to be purposeful and to reflect the learning needs of each student.

Homework is handed out every Friday, and returned the following Thursday for Years K-6.

Early Stage 1 and Stage 1
Students should read or be read to each day. This can be recorded in their reading diaries. They should be encouraged to talk about their day at school to develop their oral language skills.

Stage 2 and 3
Students in Years 3-6 are expected to read every night and record this reading in their school diaries. Open-ended numeracy and literacy tasks are provided to enable each student to complete the homework. This will include a variety of numeracy tasks that reinforce what has been taught in class, as well as literacy tasks that may include writing and responding, class blogs or comprehension activities. The literacy tasks may also be integrated into other KLA’s, including Science, Human Society & its Environment or Religious Education.

The approximate duration for homework per night for students in Years 3-6:

Grade Literacy & Numeracy Tasks Reading
Stage 2 – Years 3 and 4 25 minutes 20 minutes
Stage 3 – Years 5 and 6 30-40 minutes 30 minutes

Occasionally, unfinished class work may need to be completed at home. Students may also be required to individually complete assignment tasks, particularly in Years 5 and 6.

Health and Medication

Anaphylaxis is the most severe form of allergic reaction and is potentially life threatening. It usually occurs rapidly after exposure to a food, insect or medicine to which a person may already be allergic. Anaphylaxis must always be treated as a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment with adrenaline.

St Patrick’s is an Allergy Aware school. Foods that contain any of the following ingredients must not be brought to school:

  • all nuts
  • peanut oil - cold pressed, expressed, or expelled (note - Arachis oil is peanut oil). Highly refined peanut oil is unlikely to cause a reaction in those with a peanut allergy
  • all peanut products e.g. peanut butter or nutella
  • crushed / ground peanut - in sauces or coating on food (cakes, buns, ice-cream) satay sauce and peanut sauce.
  • Children who are prescribed medication by a registered practitioner need to have a facility which allows that medication to be administered at nominated times.
  • Parents/guardians need to be aware of the school’s procedures regarding supervising children who take prescribed medication.
  • Parents/guardians must complete and sign all documentation relating to prescribed drugs. All medication must be marked with the child’s name, by the pharmacy,.
  • Parents/guardians must provide the prescribed medication in a container that designates the days of the week.
  • Parents/guardians must notify the school when the course of drugs has been altered.
  • All medication is stored in a locked cupboard.
  • Parents/Guardians must be aware that while nominated school personnel supervise the administration of prescribed medication, they are indemnified against legal action.
  • Medication is dispensed by two office staff, who are paid an allowance from the Catholic Education Office.

Infections are common in early childhood. Below are regulations with regard to the time any student must remain away from school, should a particular illness occurs.

Chicken Pox

Exclude till fully recovered – minimum exclusion for 7 days after the first spots appear

German Measles

Exclude till fully recovered – minimum exclusion for 5 days from appearance of the rash

Infectious Hepatitis

Exclude until medical practitioner certifies recovery

Measles

Exclude for at least 5 days from appearance of the rash

Mumps

Exclude till fully recovered – minimum exclusion for 10 days from the onset of the swelling

Streptococcal Infection

Exclude until fully recovered

Whooping Cough

Exclude until fully recovered – minimum exclusion for 3 weeks from the onset of the whoop

Conjunctivitis

Exclude until discharge from eyes has ceased

Impetigo

Exclude until sores have fully healed. The child may return provided that appropriate treatment is being applied and that sores on exposed surfaces such as scalp, face, hands or legs are properly covered with occlusive dressings

Head Lice

Exclude until hair is completely cleaned, neither nits (eggs) nor lice being present. Children who have such problems may not be re-admitted to the school without a note from parents or guardian indicating that appropriate treatment has been given.

 

For more information visit the Children’s Hospital Westmead website.

Why immunise?

Years ago, whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus were the killer diseases of children. In 1900, when vaccines were unavailable, more children died from whooping cough and diphtheria than from all causes of death today.

Vaccines have almost eliminated these diseases from our society, but if we become complacent about vaccination, these diseases could take hold again.

Measles, German Measles and Mumps vaccines are also now available.

Recommended Australian childhood immunisation schedule

Age Disease Immunised Against
Birth Hepatitis B
2 months Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis/Whooping Cough (DTPa/HepB), Haemophilis Influenzae type B (Hib), Polio, Pneumococcal
4 months DTPa/HepB, Hib, Polio, Pneumococcal
6 months DTPa/HepB, Polio, Pneumococcal
12 months Hib, Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR), Meningococcal C
18 months Pneumococcal (depending on state), Chicken pox (varicella)*
4 years DTPa, Polio, MMR
10-13 years Chicken pox* (for those not vaccinated as children and who have not had the disease), Hepatitis B (for those not vaccinated as children)
15-17 years Adult Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (dTpa)

 

An immunisation certificate is required for all children starting primary school in Kindergarten.

immunisation

In the event of a slight accident (e.g. graze or knock), simple first aid such as antiseptic and a bandaid strip will be administered.

However, in the case of a more serious accident (e.g. suspected sprains, fractures, bumps to the head, etc.) immediate first aid procedures will be put into action, whilst attempts are being made to contact parents to inform them of the accident.

If parents are unable to be contacted in the case of an emergency, the school will seek immediate medical care on their behalf. Written permission for the school to take this action is sought at the beginning of each school year.

There is a sick bay adjacent to the school office. If a child becomes ill in the classroom, he/she is sent to the office to rest in sick bay. If, after 10 minutes, the child does not respond to the special care given, parents are contacted and requested to come to the school and take the child home.

In cases of asthma attacks, the child, with the express permission of parents, may be put on the nebuliser. The actual medication, as well as the dosage and any other relevant details concerning the medication and use of the nebuliser, must be provided by parents before action is taken at the school office.

Should your child be able to attend school after sickness, yet still be in need of medication during school hours, a letter is required stating the dosage and the time of administration, and the number of days the child is required to take the medication. This procedure protects your child and the administering staff.