Dear Parents

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Season of Lent. It is a season of penance, reflection (or prayer), almsgiving (something given in charity to those less fortunate) and fasting, which prepares us for Christ's Resurrection on Easter Sunday. We receive the ashes on this day "to humble our hearts and remind us that life passes away on Earth". Ashes are a symbol of penance made sacramental by the blessing of the Church, and they help us develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice.

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year. They are christened with Holy Water and scented by exposure to incense. Ashes symbolise penance and contrition, they are also a reminder that God is gracious and merciful to those who call on Him with repentant hearts. God's mercy is of utmost importance during the season of Lent, and the Church calls on us to seek that mercy during the entire Lenten season with reflection, prayer and penance.

Project Compassion is one of the Catholic Church's tangible ways of almsgiving through its collection of money to be later distributed to those in need around Australia and the world. In addition to what families are giving through the Parish and at home, each class at Orana has been presented with a Project Compassion box providing children with an opportunity to also contribute in this way at school.

Sacramental Programme Enrolment Weekend

For families who have a child who will be preparing for a sacramental programme during this year (primarily Years 3, 4 & 6 with Reconciliation, First Holy Communion and Confirmation) it is expected that as a family you either attended one of the Masses last weekend at the John Paul Willetton Parish or you will attend this forthcoming weekend. Sacramental programmes within Catholic schools are integrated into the larger parish programmes, therefore there needs to be every effort made by families to attend at least one of these Masses over the two weekends.

Yr 3 & 5 Parents - Urgent

We are currently in the process of registering students in Yrs 3 & 5 for the 2014 NAPLAN tests to be held in May. If you believe that your child has a reason to be exempt from the test or would like to withdraw your child please contact Andrea Woodgate TOMORROW, 6th MARCH either by email woodgate.andrea@cathednet.wa.edu.au or on 9457 4907. We apologise for the short time frame but we have a very small window of opportunity given to us to complete the paperwork.

Leadership Day (Year 6)

The Year 6 students will be attending a Leadership Day next Tuesday 11 March at the Perth Convention Centre. GRIP Leadership, a student leadership training organisation, is conducting the day's event, our students are participating in as part of their training and development as school leaders.

Absentee Notices

The school's attendance register and system is fully operational now after it's initial implementation at the beginning of the school year. Notices are being sent home this week requesting written advice for a specific date when a child was marked absent and no notification given to the school. Should there be inaccuracies with the dates, or indeed absentees have not occurred, please accept our apologies in advance and we ask that you correct these as necessary and send the note back to the office. One may well expect with any new system in place that there be some glitches along the way.

Life Education Programme

The Life Education Van will be visiting our school from 24 - 28 March. During the week all classes will spend some time in the van learning about keeping ourselves healthy. The van will also be open for parents to visit on Wednesday 26 March (Parent/Teacher Interview Day) from 1:00 - 3:00pm. All parents are encouraged to pop in for a look.

Assembly

This Friday's whole school assembly will commence at 8.50am. Honour certificates will be presented to children in the junior classes. All welcome

David Barns / Principal