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Mary Queen of Heaven

Mary Queen of Heaven Newsletter – Term 3 – Week 4

3rd August 2023

Dear Families,

We continue to keep all of the World Youth Day pilgrims in our prayers, particularly Pauline who is representing our school in Portugal.  Pauline has shared her journey with us at varying times, she is learning, reflecting and is so grateful to have the opportunity to be there.  Pauline reflection on day 1 in Portugal:

We went off exploring with our small group. Our first stop was a visit to a local museum dedicated to St Anthony, we then went into the city Centre followed by an Australian gathering at a park where Archbishop Comensoli addressed the crowd.  Finally we attended the opening mass among approximately 2 million other pilgrims from all over the globe- an incredible event to be part of.

In the coming weeks, will celebrate the Feast of The Queenship of Mary, our school’s feast day August 22.  On this day we will host a whole school Mass at 12 noon, all families are invited to attend.  Special art works will be created on this feast day for the children to bring home to share with the family in honour of Mary Queen of Heaven.  This weeks prayer is dedicated to Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth.

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope.  To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.  To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us, and after this exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. 

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary – Pray for us.


Term 3 has got off to a very exciting start with so much to be proud of at MQH.  Our community came together for a fabulous 100 days of school, with our preps dressed at 100 year old’s and our 1-6 children dressing to reflect how they ‘Shine the Light’ at MQH.  The effort, creativity, colour and teamwork was so wonderful to see, reflective of the amazing community we have here at school.  



This special day culminated in burying our school time capsule which will be unveiled in 10 years time.  A moment in time captured by our staff and students about the first 6 months of MQH,  Each and everyone of you are represented in our time capsule.

This term we have so much to look forward to.  We celebrate Confirmation in the coming weeks, our school Colour Run, AFL Victoria and Netball Victoria supporting our PE program all term, ‘Stand Tall’ Basketball program visiting our year 3-6 students throughout the term to teach key basketball skills.  We have Krystina, one of our year 5 leaders selflessly involved in a Cancer Fundraiser, donating her hair to create wigs for children with cancer.  The assembly for Krystina will be Tuesday 15th August 2:30pm.  On this day we will donate all money from the Monday Zooper Dooper sales to contribute to this wonderful cause.  Thank you Krystina for actioning our school values of Love, Courage, Respect and Humility. 


At Mary Queen of Heaven we pride ourselves on our personalised approach to all learning.  This learning includes our positive behaviour support.  Some children require additional support in learning Maths, some in Reading and some with managing themselves and their behaviour.  Each approach to supporting a child meets their individual needs.  Sometimes this means that our levels of support look different.  Our positive behaviour support structure is very clear.  We have our school rules and a continuum of response.  Whilst this is always followed for all children, it is often, if not always done in a private setting to preserve the dignity of the child.  We ask that our families trust us in following this approach and work with us in supporting all learners.


Neurodiversity is the idea that there’s natural variation in how people’s brains work and how people experience, understand and interact with the world. This means there are natural differences in the way people learn and communicate. About 1 in 5-6 children have variations in their brain development. These variations include those seen in ADHD, Autism and dyslexia. These children can be described as neurodivergent.

At Mary Queen of Heaven, we embrace neurodiversity. Embracing neurodiversity is about accepting, including, celebrating and supporting neurodivergent children. Their differences are part of natural variation and don’t need to be treated or changed.

Why it’s important to embrace neurodiversity?

When families and communities embrace neurodiversity, it’s good for

neurodivergent children’s mental health, wellbeing, sense of self and identity. Embracing neurodiversity takes away the pressure for neurodivergent children to behave in neurotypical ways, hide behaviour like stimming, mask or hide who they are, or cope with sensory overstimulation. This kind of pressure can be physically and mentally exhausting. And it can make it hard for children to focus on schoolwork and take part in social activities. Embracing neurodiversity is also good for society. Just like the planet needs a diversity of plants and animals to survive, society needs neurodiversity to thrive. Neurodivergent people bring many strengths to society. These include strengths in creative, innovative and analytical thinking and expertise in areas of special interest.

How you may see us embrace neurodiversity at Mary Queen of Heaven

MQH may adjust things so that neurodivergent children can participate fully in learning and socialising at school. For example, you might notice changes like:

Support for all children to include neurodivergent children in interactions and play – supported problem solving may look different to how you may problem solve with a neurotypical child.

Changes to the environment for children with sensory sensitivities or high levels of anxiety – for example, perhaps the school will use quiet spaces, adjust lighting, or allow children to use sensory items like squishy balls in class.

Teachers will employ a range of teaching methods to suit diverse learning styles or needs.

How to embrace neurodiversity in the community

Explain to children that all people are different and have different strengths and challenges in life. Be aware of the language you use. It’s OK to ask if you’re not sure. For example, ‘Do you prefer ‘autistic child’ or ‘child with autism’?’ 

Challenge unhelpful attitudes. For example, you could speak up if you hear someone criticising a parent whose child is having a meltdown in the park. 

Avoid assumptions. For example, there could be many reasons why a child is eating only packaged snacks at a picnic or wearing headphones at the supermarket.

Look for ways to make your community more inclusive. For example, you could be part of a petition encouraging the local supermarket to opt into one ‘quiet hour’ a week, when lights are dimmed and no music is played.

Talk respectfully about neurodiversity and neurodivergence. You probably know people who are neurodivergent, even if they haven’t told you.

For more information on specific neurodiversity:


Learning and Teaching

You may have heard in the media, talk about Open vs Closed Classrooms and wondered about where Mary Queen of Heaven sits in this debate.  

At Mary Queen of Heaven, we are very much about offering children flexible learning spaces.  This is why we included bifold doors in the designs of our learning spaces.  This enables us to open doors when collaboration is required across grades, and close them during explicit teaching, when collaboration across grades is not required.  

Much like all the decisions we make with regards to learning and teaching, we refer to evidence to guide us.  Research shows that children learn best in environments that are conducive to the learning they are engaged in at the time.  Much like adults might work in varied workspaces depending upon the task they are engaged in, we set children up for success by providing working environments that provide them with the conditions that will enable them to be successful in their learning.

When the children in Prep are engaged in Discovery, they work across both classrooms.  The spaces that are set up are purposeful and designed to connect to and build on children’s learning.  Children have the opportunity to build wellbeing skills as well dispositions (such as persistence and perseverance).  They also have the opportunity to build relationships across the cohort, which is an important life skill! 

With Projects in 3-6, it is much the same.  Children have the opportunity to work collaboratively with children across grades 3 to 6 to build the skills of an Inquirer, learning from their peers and building relationships as they do so. 

Be sure to chat with your children about their day, what learning they are engaged in and how they feel about the learning spaces.

Prep – 2 Discovery (open spaces)

Explicit teach (closed spaces)

3-6 Projects (open, shared spaces)


The Learning Pit

Recently we introduced the concept of the learning pit with children.  It describes the various emotions we experience when we tackle a new, unfamiliar and challenging task.  It is a tool that builds emotional literacy, enabling children to label how they feel when they enact change as well as build an understanding of why we feel such emotions.  We also equip children with strategies for ‘getting out of’ the learning pit, such as asking for help, using a different strategy or persisting. 


The Learning Pit used in Grades 3-6 as a reflection tool during their reading session (when exploring Book Clubs)


You might like to use the analogy of the learning pit when talking to your child about their learning or any task they engage in that brings about feelings of frustration due its level of uncertainty or challenge.



The sacrament of Confirmation for our year 6 student Grace will be celebrated at Good Shepherd Parish on Saturday 19th August at 12 noon.  All families are invited to attend and share in this celebration.  We wish Grace all of God’s blessings as she is receives the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.  We already see so many of these Gifts in Grace in the way that she cares for and interacts with the younger students at Mary Queen of Heaven, exemplifying why she was chosen as one of our school captains.


Berry Street Education Model 

Many of our staff are trained in the Berry St. Education Model.  This model supports our Wellbeing Approach and our approach to  Student Behaviour Support. 

Part of the Berry St model is learning about the Body and strategies to support children to regulate their emotions, this can include a Mindful Moment.  We share with children how to create a mindful moment, providing them with an opportunity to bring their mind into the present moment. Thus can help to improve wellbeing and to support our children to be ready to learn.  

Some Berry Street examples of a mindful moment are:

  • Mindful breath – deep breath, long exhale
  • Mindful hands – 3 claps, 3 clicks, 3 shakes 
  • Mindful basketball shot – students pretend to shoot a goal
  • Mindful air graffiti -draw a picture in the air
  • Mindful balancing – hold a balance and breathe

Chat with your children at home about ways they can practise managing their own mindfulness.


Thank you for ‘Getting your Colour on!

Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Primary School is hosting a Colour Explosion School Fun Run fundraiser!

The Colour Explosion School Fun Run will be on Friday 18 August 2023 from 12pm to 2pm.

Not only are we hosting an awesome explosion event, students can win up to 15 awesome automated incentive prizes by fundraising via online sponsorship donations.

Students have received a sponsorship book with instructions on setting up their cybersafe, online fundraising profile at This is an entirely online fundraiser; all cash donations must be converted to online donations to redeem your prizes.

Extra Incentives to Fundraise!

«  Online Golden Coins – complete fun online tasks to redeem an extra $75 towards your prize credit.

«  Monty the Monstar’s Bonus Prizes – achieve milestones to unlock Monty’s bonus prizes.

«  $10,000 JB HI FI Spending Spree for one organisation’s highest fundraising student – it could be you!

«  Our school will win an extra $5,000 if we have the highest average fundraised amount per student in 2023.

«  A Play Station 5 Gaming Bundle – see your child’s sponsorship booklet for more!

For more information, please contact Felicity Valetini at or Steven Avis at

Currently we are SO close to our goal of $5000!


School Uniform

Thank you to those families who took note of the reminder in our last newsletter to ensure all uniform is purchased at Noone Uniform.  We have seen an improvement in the uniform our children are wearing. 



Please be reminded, if your child is going to be absent for any reason, please let the school know through the Audiri App as soon as possible as marking the roll is a mandatory obligation for all schools   This is also crucial for us to accurately mark the roll and ensure that we are accurately fulfilling the school’s obligation of recording student attendance.  If the absence is for an extended period of time, please indicate the dates and be specific with the reason, preferably before the extended absence.  It is also recommended that you advise your child’s classroom teacher when your child will be absent for an extended period of time.


Late arrivals

We have noticed a real improvement in the amount of children coming in late to school – THANK YOU!  A late arrival is disruptive to the child coming in late and can be quite anxiety inducing.  It is equally disrupting for the classroom.  We understand that every now and then things happen, however please make a concerted effort to be at school on time.  Children are expected to be in their classrooms by 8:45 am ready to commence the day.  Please note that children coming in late to school need to be escorted by a parent/guardian so that the late arrival can be recorded at the office by the person bringing the child to school.

School Fees Reminder

A friendly reminder to please pay any outstanding amounts as soon as possible. 

 School Apps

Have you downloaded our school apps?

We invite all families who have not yet signed up to our Audiri app or joined on Seesaw to sign up and join us!  Stay connected with our school and your child’s learning!



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