- Recent School Calendar Updates
- School Focus & Positive Behaviour
- Principal's Corner
- Teaching & Learning and Inclusion
- Catholic Life & Reflection
- Happy Birthday
- Celebration of Positive Behaviour
- Parent Privacy Notice
- 1B - Praying Mantis Visit
- Chicken Naming Competition
- Parenting Ideas
- Entertainment Book
- Community Notices
- Hats to be worn again at school (Week 4)
- National Simultaneous Reading Time (Week 4)
Please go to our school calendar on the website or SZapp for more details.
From Tuesday evening to Wednesday afternoon I participated in Siloam, a Principal's Retreat providing a moment in the term to pause, pray and connect with other Principals. It was a nourishing time and I returned to school on Thursday with much news to celebrate!
Austin and Tom, two of our Kindergarten students, showed me what they wrote that morning. The class wrote about food they like to eat. Of course, the food they want to eat is not at all the food they are allowed to have but it was a highly motivating topic to practice their budding writing skills.
My first five years as a teacher was teaching Kindergarten/Year 1. I know what to expect from students in their youngest years.
Later in the afternoon I spoke with Ms Watson and Miss Collins about how Kindergarten are developing. Their achievements to date are fantastic. Every child, regardless of their starting point or the complex needs they may experience, keeps growing stronger and more confident in their literacy and numeracy every day. Congratulations to the children and teachers in Kindergarten.
Year 6 leaders continue going from success to success
Not only do I keep hearing excellent feedback from visitors about the behaviour of
our Year 6 students, yesterday they also showed great maturity in the way they led the school at a prayer assembly about Mary Help of Christians. They explained the historical significance of this feast day and helped our students engage with the concepts and ideas through song, prayer and reflective dance.
Our Year 6 students continue to be a willing positive example to our younger students.
On Wednesday I had the privilege of being on the judging panel for our Year 6 Rostrum finals. Our finalists were Briony, Apajok, Emma, Samson and Evelina. Their speeches were well structured, imaginative and informative and delivered in a humorous and engaging way. The five finalists were excellent representatives of the high quality of speeches by the whole cohort. Congratulations to Apajok, our first place winner, who will represent our school at the local competition and also to Evelina who is our runner up.
1 to 1 Chromebooks in Year 4
Our Year 4 students are pioneering our 1 to 1 Chromebook program. On Monday they went home for the first time with their Chromebooks, chargers and a new schoolbag.
They have been very excited to participate in this program. The very first homework task was to develop a Parent-Child Agreement about the use of the Chromebook at home. This was submitted on Google Classrooms. Thank you to all of our Year 4 parents for supporting this program, ensuring it will have a positive impact on the learning of all of our students.
If you're curious about developing a family charter or agreement about technology use at home I highly encourage you to visit the Parents page on the e-safety Commissioner website. This website contains plenty of very easy to read information that supports you in ensuring your child engages with technology safely and responsibly. There is an example of a family tech agreement (inclusive of very young children) and an e-safety guide dedicated to explaining for parents the features and risks associated with the many online platforms available for children, including Among Us, Tik Tok, Roblox and many more. I highly encourage a glance at this page to help you make sure your child is using these in a safe and responsible way. You will feel more at ease with this knowledge.
Tell Them From Me (TTFM)
From Friday 28 May to Friday 11 June we are inviting students, teachers and parents to provide feedback on their experience of our school using an online survey. The surveys are an important part of our whole school evaluation and planning process.
We would like to invite you to complete the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Partners in Learning survey. As we value the role of parents and carers within our school community we would greatly appreciate your feedback. The information you provide will be used to maintain our commitment to working together in partnership to further improve student learning and well-being at St John the Apostle Primary School.
The survey is anonymous and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. This morning we sent out a link directly to you via SZapp to enable your access to the survey. If you didn't receive this then please contact our Front Office for the URL link.
Monday is the ACT Reconciliation Day Public Holiday as part of Reconciliation Week that began on Thursday and finishes this Wednesday. There are many activities to enjoy this weekend and a large number of them family friendly, including those listed at the following sites:
We are celebrating Reconciliation Week all next week. One of the books we're reading with all classes is 'Respect' by Aunty Fay Muir and Sue Larson. We talk about 'Respect Others, Respect Self and Respect the Environment' at St John the Apostle. This book will help our students understand this same respect from an indigenous perspective.
Kindergarten 2022 Enrolment Interviews
This week I began conducting enrolment interviews for our 2022 Kindergarten classes, starting with the families new to our school. Those families already members of our school community with Kindergarten enrolments for 2022 will be contacted shortly to organise an enrolment interview at a later date.
I absolutely love meeting all of our new Kindergarten students and parents. It is one of my favourite times of year. Everyone comes to us with a different story and I am always reminded of how much it is a privilege to be trusted with such treasured souls.
Hats Off for June and July
Just a remninder that we have 'Hats Off for June and July' in ACT schools so that students have the appropriate amount of safer sunlight to remain healthy during the winter months. This guidance comes from the Cancer Council ACT.
Students are welcome to wear navy blue beanies, gloves and scarves when they are outside.
Please enjoy a lovely long weekend and take the opportunity to enjoy one of the Reconciliation Day activities if you can.
Enrolments for 2022
We are now in the enrolment period for 2022.
If you have a child currently in pre-school and will be enrolling them for Kindergarten then please be sure to do this before 28 May. Please go to our school website to lead you through how to do this or contact Leanne at the Front Office with any questions.
If you have a child in Year 6 and look to enrol them in St Francis Xavier College for Year 7 then you will need to do this by 28 May. Please go to their website for all of the information you need.
Catalyst - Daily Review
As part of Catalyst (system-wide approach to teaching and learning), six of our teachers have been working closely with Toni Hatten-Roberts from COGLearn to develop their knowledge and skills in the High Impact Teaching Practice, Daily Review. Daily Review is one of Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction (High Impact Teaching Practice) and is supported by the Cognitive Load Research. By the end of this year, Daily Review will be a practice in all classrooms across the school.
"Daily Review is an important component of instruction. Review can help us to strengthen the connection of the material learned. The review of previous learning can help us recall words, concepts and procedures effortlessly and automatically when we need this material to solve problems or understand new material. The development of expertise requires thousands of hours of practice and daily review is one component of this practice.
Daily review was part of a successful experiment in elementary school mathematics. Teachers in the experiment were taught to spend eight minutes everyday on review. Teachers used this time to check the homework, go over problems where there were errors, and practise the concepts and skills that needed to be practised until they become automatic. As a result, students in these classrooms had higher achievement scores than did students in other classrooms.
Daily practice of vocabulary can lead to seeing the words as a unit, to seeing the whole word automatically rather than as individual letters. When students see words as a unit, they have more space available in their working memory, and this space can now be used for comprehension. Mathematical problem-solving is also improved when the basic skills (addition, multiplication, etc.) are overlearned and become automatic.”
Sherrington, T. (2019). Rosenshine's Principles in Action. Woodbridge: John Catt Education LTD.
Our sand play stations have just been delivered! Thank you to the wonderful families who have donated so far.
Sand play for our younger students has many benefits, as it enhances motor skills, improves language and speech, enhances social and emotional awareness, introduces concepts of mathematics and science and sparks creativity.
To ensure we have a variety of toys/equipment for sand play we would appreciate any of the below to be donated (new/used ):
- Mini shovels/rakes
- Small buckets
- Play cooking utensils
- Measuring cups
- Plastic sieves
- Plastic toy dinosaurs/animals
- Plastic fossil sets
- Mould sets
If you are cleaning up any old toys from home that your children are not using anymore and are still in good condition, please consider sending them to school for children here to use.
We are also always looking for donations of lego/duplo. If you have any lego sitting at home that your children don’t play with anymore, please consider donating it to St John’s.
We would really appreciate any of the above donations!
Assistant Principal and Inclusion Coordinator
What the students are learning about
Each year we get very excited about The Feast of the Sacred Heart. On the day we always celebrate Eucharist together at Mass, usually have some sort of fun activity involving the whole school and we wear lots of red!
Part of the day is also about raising funds for our partner school St George’s Academy in Kenya. You can read the newsletters and see photos here of how we have helped so far. https://www.globalschoolpartners.org.au/st-georges-academy
This year we are aiming to raise $1500 so the boys can have new bathrooms to maintain COVID safe pracitices. Another $50 is needed to build 100 new desks (yes $50 for 100 desks... those figures are correct!)
Our Year 6 are practicing creating video messages. Below is there promotional message about fundrasing for St George's Academy (edited by Bradley).
Catholic Life and Reflection
Sometimes I am not sure of the impact of my work. I try really hard to connect students to scripture and to help them to understand how to “be on earth the heart of God.” It is heartwarming to hear stories like this.
This is Logan.
Logan is in Kindergarten. When he gets money he has two jars. One for spending and one for giving. He decided, on his own, to put half of the money into the donation jar. When he heard about our fundraising for Global School Partners he brought in all of his donation money.
One of my favourite stories of Jesus is in the book of Matthew 19:14
14 but Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.’
Ain’t that the truth.
Religious Education Coordinator
Notices from the Parish
Happy birthday to Gauri D, Sophie R, Lachlan S, William S, Luca V, Alek A and Thomasina N who celebrated their birthday this week.
Please note that we ask students to not bring home made cupcakes to share with the class for their birthdays. This is a precautionary measure for health and hygiene. The Canteen offers a number of options to share with the class. Purchases can be made through the QKR app.
Congratulations to the following students who will receive an award for the fortnightly Positive Behaviour Focus at next week's assembly.
|KB||Frances C||Mackenzie K|
|KM||Charlotte M||Daniel K|
|1B||Steven P||Madison S|
|2B||James K||Cassidy S|
|2M||Alex S||Harvey I|
|3B||Brenda G||Ethan C|
|3M||William B||Alexa C|
|4B||Tom J||Bianca L|
|4M||Faith L||Aliya S|
|5B||Isabella T||Anna G|
|5M||Vuyo N||Toby F|
|6B||Evelina T||Bradley L|
|6M||Michaela H||Harrison H|
|Sustainability (K-2)||Evie M (2M)||Hugo G (1B)|
|Sustainability (3-6)||Otis H (5M)||Lucas M (5M)|
Welcome to Our New Chickens!
Chicken Naming Competition
We are very excited to welcome two new Australorp chickens to keep our Kylie (the white Silkie Chicken) company. These chickens were kindly given to us by Mrs Melanie Monaghan. In order to welcome our new chickens and make them a part of the St John’s community we are going to have a naming competition. If you would like to enter you will need to write your name, your class and the name you would like to call one of the chickens. Place your piece of paper into the container in the Library. For the two winners there will be a prize. The prize will be a free lunch order from the Canteen.
Chicken A Chicken B
Anxiety requires understanding
Typical responses such as ignoring their worries or encouraging them to ‘get on with it’ are unhelpful. Allowing a child to avoid an activity that makes them anxious is another unhelpful option. Avoidance may help kids feel safe in the short term, but it risks the establishment of a long-term pattern that can be impossible to shift.
Regardless of the source every child and young person needs an adult in their life that understands them when they are anxious. It may make little sense that an activity makes a child anxious, you just need to understand that they are anxious. They need someone to witness their anxiety without dismissing or ignoring their feelings.
Anxious kids frequently look to parents and teachers for reassurance when they feel anxious. This shows in many ways, including kids continually seeking the opinion of others, wanting parents or teachers to make decisions for them, and continually asking for praise. Adults don’t have to fix kids’ problems, but we do have to understand they are anxious.
The use of ‘Ahhhh’ statements to validate how an anxious child is feeling, is a practical way to show that you are trying to understand them. It’s also a great way to help a child develop a more nuanced emotional vocabulary. Here are some examples:
‘Ahhhh, you’re feeling anxious about going to school camp . . .’
‘Ahhhh, you’re having one of those “I might mess it up” thoughts . . .’
Each child’s anxiety is unique. The first and most important response from an adult is to show a child that you ‘get’ that they are anxious. Having someone understand that they are anxious is an enormous relief, particularly if they haven’t been taken seriously in the past. Sitting alongside a child who feels anxious is an underestimated act of compassion that makes a huge difference to their immediate emotional state.
Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s an award-winning speaker and the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It. Michael is a former teacher with 15 years experience, and has 30 years experience in parenting education. He also holds a Master of Educational Studies from Monash University specialising in parenting education.
A message from the Coordinator – Ally McKinnon
I’d like to take the opportunity to share a little about myself with our St John the Apostle community. I grew up in Albury and moved to Melbourne when I finished school, before transferring to ANU and moving to Canberra in 2017. I am currently completing my teaching degree at UNE, specialising in secondary education with teaching areas in English, History and Society & Culture. I have worked in the education and care industry for several years now in both educator and management positions. I am passionate about child-lead education and love designing programs that are diverse, inclusive, interest-based and actively support children’s personal, social and emotional growth.
What we have been up to.
To support our creative children and sustainable practices, we would love to take your recycled materials. If you have anything we could used for craft and construction, especially any boxes, lids or cardboard, please considering dropping them off to our OshClub room before or after school. We would greatly appreciate them and put them to good use!
Rearranging our space.
Menu and Cooking
We are incredibly lucky at St John the Apostle OshClub to have our very own kitchen. Throughout the rest of term 2 we will be implementing regular cooking activities and investigation sessions during BSC and ASC. These will be inspired by children’s current interest and will focus on healthy choice making, where our food comes from and how we can make our favourite yummy recipes better for us. So far we have made biscuits, prompting discussions around healthy ingredient alternatives. We have also been researching where popcorn comes from and how it is made. Did you know there are six main types of corn, but only one can make popcorn?
Get to know your OSHClub Educators – Gemma Hudson
Gemma is a valuable of our OshClub team, working every morning and afternoon to support the children and their needs, aproviding fun, engaging and challenging activities. Gemma grew up in Albury and has been living in Canberra since 2021. She holds a degree in psychology and is passionate about helping others.