Family Handbook

The St Mary's Memorial School Family Handbook provides our families with an easy to read reference of essential information, outlining school procedures and guidelines. The Family Handbook serves as a comprehensive guide to help families be informed and involved, as they navigate various aspects of school life. 

Family Handbook


Regular and punctual attendance increases the likelihood of success in learning. Students who have poor patterns of attendance are at risk of not achieving their educational, social or psychological potential. It is, therefore, important that you support your child to attend school regularly on time.

If your child is absent, please advise the school by phone, via our School App or by emailing the classroom teacher and the school office ( with the reason.

If your child is unwell it is important to keep your child at home. Children who are unwell cannot concentrate on learning tasks and may pass the illness onto others.

Held weekly, every Friday morning at 9:00 am in Our lady of Victories Church. Teachers are assigned a week, in which their class is to host/run the school assembly. This is determined at the beginning of each school term. The assemblies are centred around teachers' programs or other appropriate themes. They share a prayerful togetherness and are a celebration of teaching and learning. Parents are encouraged to attend and participate.

Student supervision and safety is a responsibility that each staff member carries out thoroughly, and although we welcome and encourage parents to be actively involved in their child(ren)’s education, we need to be aware of the people moving in and out, and about the school grounds.

We are fortunate that during school hours (8.45 am to 3.10 pm) there is really only one entrance onto the school grounds– a definite positive for supervising movement into and out of the school. All staff members are required to wear an identification badge—we trust this will be helpful for new families. We request that all parents visiting the school or volunteering in a class activity during school hours must come through to the School Office and ‘sign in’ and collect an identification badge before going to your child’s class.

Therefore, during school hours all parents must/should come through the School Office whenever coming onto the school grounds. This will also provide the office staff with the names of all those people who are not regularly on the school site for emergency evacuations.

St Mary’s Memorial School recognizes that issues related to the legal and physical custody of students are complicated and can impact the student's educational experience. Parents and legal guardians of students are strongly encouraged to stay involved with their student’s academic progress. Unless a court order decrees otherwise, either parent or a legal guardian may view student reports and attend school functions or school meetings regarding the student. Official notices and report cards will be sent to the parent or legal guardian with primary physical custody of the student during the school year.

It is the responsibility of the parent or legal custodian with primary physical custody to provide current copies of court orders to the school. Child visitation and exchange of custody should not take place during school hours or on school property. Our school will assume no responsibility for enforcing visitation or custody orders and reserves the right to prohibit parents or legal guardians from entering school board property if their conduct becomes disruptive to the school environment. Concerns regarding custody and visitation should be directed to the Principal.

Communication is the key to a successful working relationship with our school and each family.

  • Term Overviews will be sent home at the beginning of each term. Some form of Class Newsletter/Correspondence will also be sent home at least twice a term.
  • Email and class Apps such as Dojo or SeeSaw should be utilized to enhance communication between school and home.
  • An office bag is used for all communication to and from the School Office. The bag is sent to the School Office each day by 9.15 a.m. and is to be collected 15 minutes before school dismissal.
  • Money/Consent forms – if you are required to send money to school with your child please place it in a well sealed envelope, clearly marked with your child’s name and what the money is for.
  • A School Newsletter will be distributed to the eldest child in each class on Wednesday. The Newsletter will provide dates of coming events, school information etc. This is also a vital link of communication with the parents.

The areas of study in line with The Australian Curriculum are:-

  • The Arts – Drama, Dance, Music, Visual Arts
  • Design and Technology
  • English – Reading, Writing, Genres, Comprehension, Spelling, Grammar, etc
  • Physical Education
  • Languages Other Than English – Japanese
  • Mathematics – Number; Measurement; Exploring, analysing and modelling data; Spatial sense and geometric reasoning; Pattern and algebraic reasoning
  • Religious Education
  • Science / STEM
  • Humanities and Social Sciences (History/Geography)

Early application of enrolment of your child gives the school a better picture of its enrolment numbers for the following school year. Just before enrolling in Kindergarten is a good time to also enrol for Primary School. ‘Application for Enrolment’ Forms can be obtained from the School Office staff. Prior to starting school, information will be sent to each family detailing orientation times and dates before the child begins school.

Late enrolments, while accepted, may result in your child being unable to attend our school if class numbers reach capacity. Please enrol two years prior to your child commencing school.

Children baptised in a Catholic Church, within the Glenelg Parish are given priority entry into St Mary’s Memorial School, as do siblings.

In the compulsory years of schooling (from 6 years old) we will accept enrolments for students in year levels outside the Parish boundaries if we have spaces available. This depends on the number of students in each class at that point in time as class numbers are capped. In accepting students from outside the Parish boundaries it is important that balancing the gender ratio be addressed. Preference for enrolment will be given by proximity to the school.

Behavioral expectations are established to ensure the safety of all students and to create an environment where all students can effectively learn.

Students are expected to:

  1. Show respect for themselves and others.
  2. Solve problems peacefully.
  3. Listen carefully and follow directions.
  4. Do their personal best.
  5. Use positive language and good manners.
  6. Respect personal and school property.

Each teacher will also establish classroom expectations with their students. Students may be referred to the office if they do not respect the rules of the classroom or school. The Principal or his/her designee will discuss the situation with the student, stressing the good and bad choices that were made. Parents will be contacted to discuss the issue concerning their child’s choice not to follow the expected student behaviour code/school rules.

It is accepted and understood that there will be occasions during the school day when the weather will prove difficult. It may be extremely hot, cold or wet. Under these circumstances it is desirable to keep students out of inclement weather.


The safety, comfort and well being of students is a key feature of schooling life at St Mary's Memorial School. Catering for the Australian climate is an integral part of this, incorporating known safe practices from Australian Anti Cancer Council, the SunSmart Foundation and First Aid procedures from St John and/or Red Cross.


Safety of students is the most significant factor when coping with extreme weather conditions.

  • Sun screen cream and Insect repellent (if required on an excursion should be administered by parents before each students arrival at school).
  • Reapplication should be done by the students themselves but may be applied by staff provided the sun screen cream is clearly marked with the student's name to avoid allergy issues.
  • Staff must be fully aware of CEO regulations as set out in the CEO Guidelines for Excursions and Camps.
  • Students should be educated about safe practices in extreme heat and wet weather conditions.
  • Appropriate information must be provided to families regarding requirements for excursions, school sports days etc.

Duty of care overrides all of the guidelines relying on teacher judgment on all matters of students well being ie: should students not be wearing sun screen on an excursion teachers will apply it to avoid sun burn problems.

Wet/Cold Weather

In the case of very cold or wet weather:

  • Upon arrival at school, children are to go to their classrooms immediately. There will not be any early morning duty. Classrooms are to be opened at 8.3Oam. Teachers are to supervise children in their classrooms.

Recess and Lunch

  • Students upstairs in the main building will remain inside, and are permitted to move between the different classrooms.
  • Students from Rosary Cottage, Murphy House and the ground floor classroom will move upstairs in the main building and will stay predominately in the Library and Computer Area.
  • Students in the upstairs classroom, in the new section of the main building will move into the classroom next door (the classroom nearest to the Library).
  • Teachers on duty will share supervision, moving between classrooms, the corridor and Library/Computer area.
  • A warning bell will be rung approximately 5 minutes before the scheduled bell to end play. Students must use this time to pack up the area in which they had occupied during recess and/or lunch.

Hot Weather

In the case of hot weather:

  • Recess as usual; students are encouraged to find shade and not run around excessively.
  • Lunch -
  • Students upstairs in the main building will remain inside, and are permitted to move between the different classrooms.
  • Students from Rosary Cottage, Murphy House and the ground floor classroom will move upstairs in the main building and will stay predominately in the Library and Computer Area.
  • Students in the upstairs classroom, in the new section of the main building will move into the classroom next door (the classroom nearest to the Library).
  • Teachers on duty will share supervision, moving between classrooms, the corridor and Library/Computer area.
  • A warning bell will be rung approximately 5 minutes before the scheduled bell to end play. Students must use this time to pack up the area in which they had occupied during recess and/or lunch.
  • Outdoor Fitness / PE sessions to be cancelled or moved to the Hall.
  • Students will remain at school even if the temperature exceeds 38 0C (as forecast by “The Advertiser”). However, should parents wish to collect their child/ren, they may come and collect them at 1:00 pm. In some instances it may not be possible for parents to personally collect their children. Where parents have made alternative arrangements for the supervision and collection of their children on hot days, the Principal, upon written advice from the parents, may dismiss the children at 1:00 pm. This policy is according to the Catholic Schools Handbook. Parents must sign the early dismissal book.


Sporting practices will be cancelled if the forecasted temperature is to be 34 C or above.


South West Region sporting competitions are cancelled if the forecasted temperature is 34 C or above.

At St Mary’s Memorial School we believe that everyone has the right to feel safe from harassment at all times. Harassment may occur between any members of the school community. Stopping harassment is important. Every member of the school community has the right to feel secure and comfortable at school. Students have the right to learn and teachers the right to teach. No one has the right to interfere with any member of the school community's purpose or role.

St Mary’s Memorial School is strongly committed to facilitating a safe, caring environment, which respects the rights of all. Students, in particular, need to be made aware of their rights and responsibilities.

At St Mary’s Memorial School we have implemented a plan to:

  • educate students about the definitions and nature of harassment via Social Skills and Pastoral Care Programs;
  • make students aware of strategies for dealing with and stopping harassment;
  • identify and train contact persons e.g. grievance counsellors, student counsellors, class teachers;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of this approach in dealing with harassment.

The outcomes in developing and fostering an environment, which is free from harassment is:

  • a productive learning environment where everyone feels safe, secure and happy;
  • confidence and high self esteem are fostered;
  • there is an awareness, understanding and appreciation of other cultures;
  • a cooperative, non-aggressive environment where successful conflict resolution strategies are used will be evident.

St Mary’s Memorial School is an allergy awareness school, this means we are ‘NUT FREE’ environment. There are a number of students across the various year levels in our school who will suffer an extreme adverse reaction—life threatening – if they come into contact with any food product containing the slightest trace of nut substance! For that reason no nut products are to be sent to school.

When classes have ‘shared lunches’ parents will need to be mindful that the plate of food that is being sent to school is ‘nut free’. We appreciate this could be an inconvenience as some children love peanut paste and other nut based spreads. This inconvenience though is nothing compared to the extreme consequences and we ask for your understanding and care in this matter.

The St Mary’s Memorial School Out of School Hours Care Program (OSHC) aims to provide quality recreational care for all school age children in a warm, safe and comfortable environment while parents work, study or have respite.

Before School Care begins from 7:30 am until 8:30 am (between 8:30 am and 8:45 am, a teacher supervises the school playground). After School Care begins at 3:10 pm until 6:10 pm. The OSHC service is situated on the school property and utilises the school facilities.

All parents who attend St Mary's Memorial School are members of our Parents and Friends Association. However, there are some people who generously offer their time to work on the Parents and Friends Committee. The major aim of this group is to advance the interests of parents and children attending the school. This leadership group meets once a month to discuss ways to support the building of community in the school through social and fundraising events - both essential to the life and spirit of St Mary's Memorial.

New members to the committee are always welcome. It is important to have new ideas coming through. Once again, any parent can belong to this vital parent representative group. When the committee has been formed, the group selects a Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer to run meetings and look after the needs of the members. There is a staff representative on this group. This person liaises between staff and parents.

As a school we encourage parents to share in the education of their children and acknowledge how valuable parental support is. All parents are recognised as the FIRST EDUCATORS of their children and as a staff we believe in the importance of working in close partnership in the teaching and formation of all children.

Parent participation enables parents to better support their children in the home environment. Parents can assist in many areas, e.g. library, coaching sporting teams, excursions, beach walks and to assist with the formulation of school policies and educational objectives as members of specific committees. However, we must emphasize that classrooms are confidential sites and individual parents should therefore not be privy to knowledge about individual children’s development apart from their own.

In accordance with the Catholic Education Office directive on CHILD PROTECTION and OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SAFETY & WELFARE requirements and legislation we require all volunteers to:

  • familiarize themselves with the pastoral, safety and legal information required to work successfully with children;
  • provide successful strategies for working with all members of the St Mary’s Memorial School community;
  • inform volunteers of their responsibilities and the school’s responsibilities.

Parents wishing to volunteer in the following areas—hearing children read; sports coaching; transporting students; accompanying students on beach walks; helping in the classroom (eg cooking, cleaning, etc); canteen; etc., must participate in a school-based Volunteer Induction Session (approximately 40 minutes) and complete a confidential and free Department of Human Services (DHS) 'Working With Children' (WWC) online form. Parents who do not attend an Induction Course and have a Police Clearance will not be permitted to volunteer their services to this school community. Information can be obtained from the School Office.

The School Board meets once a month, except during school holiday time. Members of the School Board are elected at the Annual General Meeting of the School Community, which is held in February, each year.

The School Board, on behalf of the Parish Faith Community has the very special responsibility of maintaining and developing St Mary's Memorial School. It considers areas such as Policy Direction, Financial Management, Pastoral Care, Maintenance and Planning.

Permanent Board Members are the Parish Priest, Principal and a Staff Representative, and in addition there are a number of parents who may be elected to two-year terms. No special qualifications are necessary, just a desire to be involved in the running of the school and the will to be a committed member.


Supervision begins from 8:30 am in the morning, when 2 teachers will be present on the asphalt and oval/undercroft areas; supervising the areas until the 8:45 am bell is rung. Students at school before 8:30 am must be supervised in Before School Care or have a parent present. 

At the end of the day, a teacher will supervise the Milton Street pick up Zone until 3:20 pm. After 3:20 pm, students not collected by their parents will be escorted to After School Care. To summarise—no teacher supervision is provided before 8:30 am and after 3:20 pm—students on the school premise outside this time should be supervised by our Out of School Hours Care Service. Students are not permitted on the playground area before or after school.

Sports are an important part of each child’s development, and as such, are fully catered for at St Mary’s Memorial School. We organise all the students into four SCHOOL HOUSE TEAMS:

  • St Catherine - Red
  • St Dominic - Green
  • St Mary’s - Blue
  • St Thomas - Gold

Children are allocated to the School House Teams by the school and family groupings are always maintained. Children are encouraged to compete for their House Team throughout the course of the school year in a variety of opportunities.

Each school year, the school will hire an approved professional photographer to take individual, family group and whole class photographs of our students. Parents will be sent the appropriate information concerning prices and packages that they can purchase at least three to four weeks before the photographs are taken. Each individual student’s photograph will taken regardless of whether parents purchase any pictures.


Students are expected to wear the full school uniform at all times. Students are continually reminded of this and notices will be sent home when students are not wearing the correct school uniform.

The school sports uniform may only be worn on the designated sports day or on a day the student is participating in a school sporting activity/event.

Additional information

  • The only form of jewellery permitted with the school uniform is stud earrings or sleepers, watches, birth ring, plain signet ring, a small religious medal and chain and medic alert bracelet. Teachers will ask students to remove inappropriate items of jewellery.
  • Hair gel, bright hair colours and coloured sunscreen are unacceptable. Below shoulder length hair must be tied back at all times with navy ribbon or appropriate scrunchie.
  • Coloured nail polish, rouge, eye make-up and lipstick must not be worn with the school uniform.
  • All students must wear the school navy wide brimmed/bucket school hat (with logo) for all outdoor activities.
  • Children taking part in school sports teams must wear the official school sports uniform unless otherwise advised.

Students should be well-groomed and tidy at all times - staff will remind students of their responsibility to look after their school uniform and to wear it proudly.

FOOTWEAR – It is most important that all children attending school wear footwear that allows them to take part in all school activities, including vigorous physical activity. The school runs a specialist Physical Education program that means children will be engaged in physical activity several times each week.

ALL CLOTHES MUST BE CLEARLY MARKED WITH NAME TAGS. No responsibility is taken by the school for student clothing. Shoes must be clearly marked.

SUNSCREEN is provided for students to use. Should your child be allergic to common brands, then please see the Class Teacher and provide a suitable sunscreen. A ‘no hat—no play’ policy is also enforced in Terms 1 and 4 when students are outside. Only school uniform hats are to be worn.

SUN PROTECTION FOR EYES is strongly being suggested and encouraged by the Optometrist Association of Australia. Protecting childrens’ eyes by wearing sunglasses is highly recommended.