Parent Handbook

The Sacred Heart Parent Handbook covers all the information you and your child will need.


You can print a full version to read at your convenience by pressing the "Print to PDF" button at the top of the page.

If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates or other general enquiries please feel free to contact Sacred Heart Primary by phone on (02) 8633 4500 between 8:30 am and 3:30 pm from Monday to Friday.


Welcome to Sacred Heart Primary

The Catholic School strives to hand on our cultural heritage, to educate children in faith, to develop in the student a sense of mission and the desire to live out a Christian commitment. In doing this, they would try to live as a community of faith and exhibit the qualities of a Christian community.

A characteristic feature of each Catholic school is the priority given to the religious education program and to the fostering of a community of faith.

The Principal and the entire staff of Sacred Heart School are involved in this endeavour.

 

School

Address: 12 Ralph Street, Westmead 2145.
Phone: (02) 8633 4500
Principal: Mrs Natalie Mifsud (Acting)
Email: sacredheartwestmead@parra.catholic.edu.au
Website: sacredheartwestmead.catholic.edu.au

Parish

Address: 14 Ralph Street, Westmead 2145
Phone: (02) 9635 9262
Parish Administrator: Father Walter Fogarty
Email: office@sacredheartwestmead.com.au
Website: www.sacredheartwestmead.com.au

 

General Information

The Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta, has issued all schools with procedures for the approval of leave applications consistent with amendments made in June 2009 to the Education Act 1990. First and foremost, under the Education Act of 1990, I must remind all parents that you have a legal responsibility to ensure your child(ren) attend school. In the Act, the delegated officer (Principal, Executive Director of Schools or the Minister of Education) are the only officers who may grant exemptions from school attendance.

As such, Catholic Education, Diocese of Parramatta, has developed the following procedures for the application of extended leave:

Step 1: Parents are to complete an Application for Extended Leave (Leave between 5-100 Days)
Step 2: Send the completed form to school for approval.
Step 3: If leave is granted, a Certificate for Extended Leave will be signed by the Principal and sent home with your child(ren).

Please note that the Certificate cannot be granted retrospectively, and if the application is not received with at least two weeks notice the Certificate of Extended Leave may not be granted.

 

If your child is absent from school due to illness or other unavoidable circumstances, you must send a note to your child’s classroom teacher as soon as your child returns to school containing the following information:


Child's Name
Date(s) of absence
Reason explaining absence

The attendance roll is a legal document and written documentation to support a child's absence from school, is required. If your child is on extended sick leave, that is over 3 days, please inform the school office.

 

Our school Athletics Carnival is usually held in Term 2. All students from Kindergarten to Year 6 participate. They may nominate to participate in longer distance races if they wish.

 

Sacred Heart Primary school has a COSHC located on the premises offering before & after school care. This is only for students of Sacred Heart Primary and is run by Parramatta Catholic Education Office. For further information please contact our COSHC Centre by:

Phone: 02 9840 5643
Email: COSHCSacredHeartWestmead@parra.catholic.edu.au
Website: www.coshc.catholic.edu.au

 

Once a term, we distribute Scholastic Book Club's specially compiled list of reasonably priced books to the students. Details on how to purchase the books are included in the forms. This is an entirely voluntary purchase.

 

At our Kindergarten transition days, our prospective Year 6's are assigned a Kindergarten Buddy.

Their first task is to welcome the new Kindergarten students as they arrive for their transition days. The students also write to their buddy over the Christmas Holidays to welcome them to our school.

The Year 6 students play a vital role in the first few weeks of school, helping their buddy to settle in and learn the routines and procedures of school life, while gaining confidence in a new environment.

 

The Sacred Heart canteen is run by the generous parents who donate their time for the children. The canteen is open most lunch times for snacks. Once a week the children are able to pre order a "Special Treat" lunch order from the canteen. A roster of canteen helpers is organised each term and we appreciate all the help we can get.

 

The school is responsible for the care and safety of students between the hours of 8:30am and 3:30pm. In the event that it is necessary to collect your child during school hours (e.g. Doctor/dentist appointment), we ask that you do not go directly to the classroom. Please make your way to the school office, where staff will contact your child(ren)'s classroom directly and ask for your child to be sent to the office with their bag to meet you. A pink partial absence note must be completed at the office before you take your child.

Students arriving at school after the bell must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, and go directly to the school office and complete a pink Partial Absence Slip. Your child will be given a late pass so they can make their way directly to the classroom.

If your child is to be collected at any time by someone other than parents, please contact the school office, or provide written permission to your child's classroom teacher with the name/s of persons collecting your child. We are not permitted to release children into the care of anyone other than their parents without this authorisation.

For the safety of all students and staff members, parents/visitors entering the school grounds during school hours must identify themselves at the school gate intercom before being let in by the office staff. They must then make their way directly to the school office. Parents must not go to any classroom without first going to the school office. The school gates are locked at 9:00am and reopened at 2:45pm. These provisions are in place to ensure that all staff and students are safe at all times.

 

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

Chicken Pox  Exclude for at least 5 days after onset of rash and all blisters have dried Not excluded
German Measles Exclude for at least 5 days from appearance of rash or until a medical certificate or recovery is produced.
Not excluded
Mumps Exclude for 10 days from the onset of the swelling.  Not excluded
Ringworms  Exclude until 24-48 hours after appropriate treatment has begun. If condition is not completely cured, children are allowed to attend school if infected area is covered. Not excluded
Conjunctivitis  (Eye infection) Exclude until treated and discharge from eye has ceased.  Not excluded
Impetigo Children are allowed to attend school if appropriate treatment has begun and sores are effectively covered.
Not excluded
Pediculosis (Lice) Exclude until hair is completely treated & eggs removed, neither nits nor lice being present, approximately 1 day.
Not excluded
Whooping Cough Isolate immediately. Exclude from school for at least 3 weeks from the onset of the whoop, or until 5 days after anti-biotics and a medical certificate is obtained.  Unimmunised contacts should stay away from school for 21 days after the last exposure to infection.
Scabies  Notify the school. Keep your child home until you have seen a pharmacist and begun suitable treatment. The school may ask for a medical certificate to say that this has happened. Not excluded (but they need to be inspected regularly for signs of scabies.)

For more information please see the www.health.nsw.gov.au website.

 

The following procedures are in place to provide structures for the effective communication of issues and concerns.

Parents are advised to contact the school office if they wish to make an appointment to see their child's classroom teacher. The office staff will pass this information on to the relevant teacher, who will then contact you to make a suitable mutual time.

If further assistance is required, parents are advised to contact the school office who will organise an appointment to see the Assistant Principal or Principal.

 

If you have a note to send to the School Office, please place it in an envelope with your child's name, class and nature of contents. Your child will then place the envelope in the Office Bag provided in each classroom. Please try to send the correct monies as the school has very limited change.

 

Sacred Heart is committed to developing a Catholic school community based on mutual trust and respect. Whilst most issues can be resolved through direct discussion with the parties, there may be instances in which this is not possible. The school has formal written protocols in place to address complaints and grievances. A copy of the Complaint Handling Policy is available from the school office on request.

 

Excursions and Incursions are an important part of learning and are planned to support the curriculum. It is important that all students participate. Separate notes will be forwarded by the school seeking your permission and outlining the nature of the excursion. These excursions and incursions are funded by the excursion fee that is part of your school fees, exceptions include: swimming lessons, dance lessons, gymnastics and the Stage 3 Camp. A permission slip must be signed by a parent or guardian and returned to the school prior to a child being allowed to attend.

 

Occasionally the school will conduct an Evacuation Drill or Lockdown. Please do not be alarmed if you hear of this practise as it is a training exercise.

 

Please click here for the latest copy of our homework policy.

 

The Intensive Swimming Program is a component of the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education Syllabus. Students are taught skills in the area of aquatics dealing with water familiarisation, water confidence, water safety, floating, movement skills, basic swimming strokes, water safety and rescue skills, stroke development, diving and emergency procedures. This program usually takes place in Term 4 for all students. The 10-day Intensive Swimming Program is run by the Olympic Aquatic Centre at Homebush.

 

Part of our mission at Sacred Heart is "to acknowledge and accommodate the different stages and styles of student learning in the implementation of the curricula by providing a challenging and relevant curriculum and utilising appropriate technology." The Sacred Heart Westmead Acceptable Use Policy demonstrates our commitment to the development of skills and attitudes in the use of computers and the Internet for staff and students.

 

Sacred Heart Primary follows the NSW Educational Standards Authority (NESA) curriculum documents for the six Key Learning Areas: English (Literacy), Mathematics (Numeracy), History, Geography, Science and Technology (S&T), Creative Arts (CA) and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE). Students also learn about Religious Education (RE) using the Sharing Our Story program from Catholic Education, Parramatta Diocese.

 

Your child's name should be clearly and permanently marked on all items, including clothing (especially hats and jackets), raincoats, drink bottles, lunch boxes, pencil containers, school bags, shoes and sand shoes. Often items are misplaced or easily picked up by another child. Families are encouraged each holidays (and throughout term) to re-mark items, as regular washing fades the names.

Lost property is placed in a basket outside the school office.

 

If your child is ill and requires medication during school hours, they must remain at home until the prescribed course is completed. If your child needs to take ongoing medication during school hours, it must be administered by the office staff.

All prescribed medication must be sent to the office in the original container, clearly marked with the student's names, the name of the medication, dosage, frequency of administration, and prescribing doctor's name.

For long-term medications, there are forms that must be completed before administration of the medicine can take place. These are available from the school office and will be sent home on request. A formal action plan will then be established. The Catholic Education Office advises that Sacred Heart staff will not administer non-prescribed medicines, such as cough mixture or pain relievers bought over the counter.

 

The school may be accessed via the gate near the church on Ralph Street.

Students are supervised on the playground in the morning from 8:30am. Students should not be dropped off before this time. At 3:00pm students are walked from their classrooms to the undercroft for a 3:10pm dismissal. Students are not permitted to exit the school grounds without a parent or guardian unless prior arrangements have been made. It is important to notify the school office before 3:30pm if you are going to be late.

If you are running late you will need to collect your child from the school office. Your support in ensuring that students are collected by 3:30pm is greatly appreciated, as staff have meetings and planning commitments after school.

 

When the school has a Mufti Day it means the students do not have to wear their school uniform.

They may wear smart casual clothing and a hat to school on that day. Often we have a mufti day as a fundraising event, as a special celebration or reward. As a fundraiser Mufti Day each child is asked to bring along a gold coin or the privilege of wearing ordinary clothes. This money would then allocated to that fundraiser.

 

The school has a 'No Hat No Play' policy in place to protect students from the harmful UV rays of the sun. If a hat is not worn before school, recess, lunch or for outside activities/sports, a student must sit in the shade and cannot play in the playground. Due to hygiene reasons we do not have spare hats available to students to use.

 

Formal Parent/Teacher interviews occur at the end of Term 2 after students have received their Semester One Report. Your child's progress and goals are discussed with you at this interview. Interviews are booked online using the School Interviews website.

 

The Parish Hall is owned by the Parish and is located on the school grounds. It is often used by both the school and parish for events such as meetings, gatherings and morning teas.

 

Once a term, schools in the Parramatta Diocese are allocated pupil Free days by the Catholic Education Office.

The staff engage in professional development but students do not attend school on that date. This allows staff an opportunity for spiritual reflection, to review curriculum changes, study a new methodology, or brainstorm and formulate policy for relevant issues.

The focus of the Staff Development Day is usually discussed in the school newsletter and parents are notified in advance of the date. The first pupil free day of each year is always the first day staff return before school resumes for students.

 

Before 8:30 am             Legally, students should not be in attendance before official supervision begins.
8:30 am-8:50 am Supervision begins and students move onto main paved area.
8:50 am School begins, students line up in class groups for morning assembly then proceed to class
10:50am Recess
11:15am Play ceases, student clean-up, go to the toilet and wash hands
11:20am Classes resume
1:20pm Lunch
1:30pm Play begins
1:55pm Play ceases, student clean-up, go to the toilet and wash hands
2:00pm Afternoon classes begin
3:10pm Classes dismissed

Please note:

  • All students are to be collected from the undercroft area after school; no student is allowed to leave the school grounds unless supervised by an adult or to walk home with their parents consent.

  • Supervision of students ceases at 3.30pm. Parents should endeavour to pick their children up by this time.

 

The Sacred Heart newsletter, News From the Heart, is available each Thursday. It includes the Faith Page, information about teaching and learning, school events, awards, achievements and our school/parish community. A hardcopy of the newsletter is available on request. News From the Heart is sent to parents via email, the Skoolbag app or available to download from the Sacred Heart website.

 

Notes are sent home as an additional means of communication between school and home. In some cases, notes will have a tear off slip to return to school – generally permission notes. Please check your child’s bag each day for notes and other correspondence.

 

You may purchase second hand school uniforms in good condition from the school office at a reasonable cost.

 

One of our key modes of communication between home and school is the Sacred Heart Skoolbag App. We use this app to send alerts and the weekly newsletter directly to your smartphone. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices. To locate the Sacred Heart Skoolbag App go to your App store and simply search Sacred Heart Westmead.

 

When your child attends a specialist for eyes, ears, speech therapy etc., a copy of the report should be sent to the school so that any specific needs may be provided for.

 

Students experience a wide range of sports and may compete in Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics at Zone, Diocesan and Inter-Diocesan levels. Students also have access to all levels of representation, from local to national, in their particular sport. Details regarding representative sport opportunities are distributed in Term 1 and Term 4.  Further details are available at www.primarysportparra.catholic.edu.au

 

We are committed to maintaining the highest level of privacy in handling information you provide. The Standard Collection Notice advises you about the reasons for collecting information and the way the information will be used. For more detailed information about privacy in the Parramatta Diocese, please refer to www.parra.catholic.edu.au or contact the school for a copy.

 

Students are able to open a Commonwealth Bank Dollarmite account for student banking. Students bring their bank books to school each Friday with the deposit they wish to make. Banks books are returned to students that same day.

 

Personal accident insurance is provided at no cost for all students enrolled in systemic schools in the Parramatta Diocese.

The insurance policy, known as School Care, covers students while at school and includes travel between school and home, and any activities sponsored by the school (such as school organised sport or excursions).

The cover is broad and includes up to $5,000 towards medical and hospital costs not covered by Medicare, up to $1,000 for emergency transport, up to $1,000 for home tuition and varying amounts of compensation for a range of serious injuries.

 

This is held at the beginning of Term 1 each year. Students from Years 3-6 (and selected Year 2 students who fall within the competitive age group and are competent swimmers) attend the carnival and compete in their preferred events. There are novelty events to cater for beginner swimmers. Parent spectators and parents helpers are always welcome at these events.

 

From time-to-time, you may wish to speak with your child's teacher. Please make an appointment to ensure you have enough time to discuss the relevant matters. To make an appointment with you teacher please contact the school office.

 

School term dates and holidays are generally the same as government schools.

Term Dates
2019 2020
Term 1 Tuesday, 29 January to
Friday, 12 April
Term 1
Tuesday, 28 January to
Thursday, 09 April
Term 2 Monday, 29 April to
Friday, 05 July
Term 2
Monday, 27 April to
Friday, 03 July
Term 3 Monday, 22 July to
Friday, 27 September
Term 3
Monday, 20 July to
Friday, 25 September
Term 4 Monday, 14 October to
Friday, 20 December
Term 4
Monday, 12 October to
Friday, 18 December

*School development days occur at the beginning of Terms 1, 2 and 3 and the last two days of the school year. Check with your school, as schools may vary some of these dates.

 

NSW Public Holidays

2019 2020
New Year’s Day Tuesday, 01 January Wednesday, 01 January
Australia Day Monday, 28 January Monday, 27 January
Good Friday Friday, 19 April Friday, 10 April
Easter Saturday Saturday, 20 April Saturday, 11 April
Easter Sunday Sunday, 21 April Sunday, 12 April
Easter Monday Monday, 22 April Monday, 12 April
Anzac Day Thursday, 25 April Saturday, 25 April
Queen's Birthday Monday, 10 June Monday, 08 June
Bank Holiday Monday, 05 August Monday, 03 August
Labour Day Monday, 07 October Monday, 05 October
Christmas Day Wednesday, 25 December Friday, 25 December
Boxing Day Thursday, 26 December Saturday, 26 December

 

All items of uniform are available from:

OzFashions
115-127 Parramatta Rd
Granville  NSW 2142
p (02) 9897 3121
w www.ozfashions.com.au
e joe@ozfashions.com.au

 

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