- Recent School Calendar Updates
- School Focus & Positive Behaviour
- Principal's Corner
- Teaching & Learning and Inclusion
- Catholic Life & Reflection
- Happy Birthday
- Celebration of Positive Behaviour
- Library News
- Athletics Carnival Special Lunch
- Hamper Raffle Donations
- The Marriage Course
- Parenting Ideas
- Young Engineers After School Club
- Community Notices
- Soccer Clinics (weeks 2-6)
- ThinkUKnow Presentation Yrs 5-6 (week 4)
Please go to our school calendar on the website or SZapp for more details.
We've had a lovely start to the term. I'd like to offer a big welcome to our new students Bailee, Jeremiah,Samarvir and Ebuka and their families. Welcome to our school community. We hope you enjoy your time with us and we look forward to helping you grow and learn.
Professional Learning Day
Thank you to all of our families who provided us with the opportunity to have a Professional Learning Day on Monday about High Impact Teaching. It was a pupil free day across our whole system and we know it meant an extra day of care for you. The learning we participated in was excellent and will directly help your child every day here at school. Rebekah Brown will let you know more about our learning in her section below.
Changes to our Positive Behaviour for Learning Policy
Last term we worked with Ian Luscombe of Behaveability to refine the ways we support students in learning positive behaviour here at St John the Apostle. Ian provided us with plenty of positive feedback including:
- The positive culture of the school.
- How settled and silent students were at our whole school assemblies either in the hall or on the rainbow top.
- The support of students from the entire staff community. There was an obvious care and concern for their learning and well-being.
- The engagement of students in the classroom throughout the day.
- The detailed and structured system we have for teaching positive behaviour as well as responding to inappropriate behaviour. It has had a positive impact across the school.
He also made a few suggestions for how we can increase our effectiveness further. We've reviewed those recommendations and I'd like to explain the most important points about what will be happening from next week onward.
Why 'respect' is at the core of our mission
We are a Catholic School, whose mission remains 'We are on earth the heart of God'. God is Love. Our mission is to help everyone love God, love themselves, love others and love the world.
We are also a community, with a shared purpose, to help students to learn and grow. More than just academically. Physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually as well. As a Catholic community we also look to Jesus and the gospel values to guide us in our work.
Just like every community, whether they be a sport team, a dance company, a family and a large community like Canberra, we have a set of shared values, expectations and rules to help us work together successfully. These expectations ensure everyone can feel happy, safe and learn.
Our expectations at St John the Apostle, informed by Jesus' teaching, are to Respect Others, Respect Self and Respect the Environment.
This is a community that we all choose to be members of. I choose to be a member because I love the spirit, the people, our charism and our purpose. Our staff choose to work here. Families choose to send their children here. We have all found something that we love and want to be part of in this school community. I feel privileged to be a member.
We can talk about 'respect' but one has to learn how to respect yourself, others and the environment. Children learn how to do this from the adults around them and by their own successful and unsuccessful experiences.
In primary school 'respect' is a complex concept to learn. So we teach it. Every day, in many ways.
We have developed posters which provide practical examples of 'respect' in various situations in our school community. We use these to teach from every year. We go over these with students. We pick a focus every week to share at morning assembly. We actively observe when students are displaying these actions and we acknowledge them through brag tags and celebrations. We give positive feedback.
Our students know our school community's values and expectations clearly, they know why they are important and how they help us all be happy, safe and to learn.
What happens when we don't 'respect'?
We also know that as human beings and children we sometimes forget or even choose not to respect ourselves, others and the environment. When that happens we have an impact on the happiness, safety or learning of the community, including ourselves, other students, our parents and teachers.
When students make these choices our role is to help them return to using respectful behaviour in a positive and productive way that they can learn from. We have a series of steps we will follow to help them acknowledge their actions, recognise their impact on themselves and others, understand more respectful actions they can take and make things right with anyone affected.
It is a teaching and learning moment. Our goal is to help them learn from any mistep and grow to become respectful young adults. We've created a safe, loving community, with clear boundaries, where they can learn from these important moments.
The steps we will take will include:
- Reminders and prompts - we will always initially just redirect students to the actions they need to be taking, e.g. "Mary, pop that away and start on your reading thank you." or "Jason, listen when I'm giving instructions thank you." Most often that is all it takes.
- Consequence - Occasionally a teacher will have to repeatedly remind or request a student to change their behaviour. When this happens, they may need to add a consequence to focus a student on what is happening, help them be more conscious of the impact of their actions and ensure they return to the expected respectful behaviour, e.g. after a number of reminders they may say "Fred, the instruction was to put the book down and listen. You need to do this or the consequence will be..." From there they may choose to have a consequence of a brief 'thinking time' away from the rest of the class, a two-minute 'detention' at the next play time or if necessary request an Executive Staff member attend to help redirect the student. When any of these happen the student will need to:
- Discuss what went wrong and what they need to do.
- Apologise to anyone impacted.
- Ask to join back in.
- Go back and do whatever was the last instruction given to them.
This is always very calm, very brief and private. It's an opportunity for the student to spend a couple of minutes with the teacher remembering the expectations in the school community and to re-align with these. Our aim is to 'keep it small'. It is a minor consequence. Teachers won't worry parents by contacting them every time this happens. We will only contact parents when it is a regular occurrence and we need to work together to provide some extra support for a student.
- Time Out - When there have been repeated minor consequences for a student or there has been a more major behaviour by a student that does not match the school expectations then an additional consequence of a ten-minute Time Out during lunch play time will occur that day or the next. Students will eat their lunch first and then spend ten minutes in a supervised space with an Executive Team member. This is an opportunity to have a more serious conversation about what happened, what they should have been doing and what they need to do to make things right. Most students will not likely require this consequence. Students will come home with a 'Time Out' sheet that shows the conversation that was had and parents will always be contacted when this occurs.
- Suspension - Occasionally there will be a need for a student to be suspended. This could be for a duration of one or more days. They are not permitted to come to school for that time. The purpose is to mark the moment and behaviour as very important, perhaps to break a cycle of behaviour, and for the student, parents and school to engage in a more serious conversation about the school's expectations, the student's behaviour and the impact of their behaviour. This will involve a re-entry meeting where there will also be an opportunity to make things right with people impacted, the student ask to re-join and then be welcomed gladly back in to the school and class.
While almost every time we will always work through the processes above, there are very occasional situations where the consequence of a student's behaviour will result in bypassing reminders and brief consequences and go straight to Time Out or Suspension.
- Swearing - some people swear. They may swear in some contexts and they also know that in certain contexts they wouldn't dare swear, e.g. with grandparents at a family gathering, at a work meeting, at Mass, on the soccer field. School is one of those contexts. If the school is a place where we respect ourselves, respect others and respect the environment then that includes using respectful language to talk with people and express ourselves. Swearing is not necessary to communicate. Students who swear accidentally (e.g. stubbing a toe) will simply have a Time Out. Students who swear directly at a teacher or another student out of anger will be suspended. Swearing is not necessary. It's a habit. We want our students to understand that while it may appear acceptable in some circumstances it is not at school. Learning this distinction is a great social skill.
- Physical violence - Very young children find it hard to express their emotions and needs with words and resort to physical expressions that sometimes hurt themselves or others. But children all learn eventually to use words, to negotiate, to be more assertive rather than aggressive. Punching, kicking, hitting to express one's anger and frustration is not acceptable in families, in society and certainly not in school. At our school any physical violence of this nature will result in a suspension that includes a process of learning other ways to solve issues and making things right with those impacted. (What about the idea 'boys will be boys'? Being a boy isn't an excuse for physical violence. Boys will become whatever we expect them to become. Expect them the learn to use words and self-regulate when they are angry and they will learn to do that. They just need high expectations, good modelling and support to do this like every other child, not excuses.)
Always about learning and belonging
While outlining the above steps for responding to inappropriate behaviour for school, supporting students begins with having a clear set of values and expectations for the community. More time is spent focusing on and supporting students to know these, learn these, live these and celebrate these.
At the same time we must have a clear, predictable plan for responding to inappropriate behaviour that helps students re-learn appropriate respectful behaviour at school. A predictable series of steps helps all students know what happens following inappropriate behaviour. All children, even those with complex needs, respond positively to clear expectations, boundaries and predictable consequences.
In the end our goal is to help our students feel a sense of belonging to our St John the Apostle Primary School community, to understand the expectations of community members and to learn the values and skills to be happy, safe and learn with us. We know that sometimes things will go wrong. Regardless, our approach will always support them to learn and return to positive behaviour and help them understand that they will always belong. In doing so 'We are on earth the heart of God'.
Yesterday I went through much of these expectations and processes with students at our school assembly. We are now in the process of updating our Positive Behaviour for Learning Policy with these changes and I will let you know when this appears on our website.
Thank you for always working in partnership with us to support your children.
Enrolments for 2022
We are still accepting enrolments for 2022.
If you have a child currently in pre-school and will be enrolling them for Kindergarten then please do so as soon as possible. Please go to our school website to lead you through how to do this or contact Leanne at the Front Office with any questions.
Teacher Professional Learning Day
Firstly, thank you to each person who had their child at home with them on the pupil free day on Monday. We appreciate the opportunity to participate in Professional Learning that will help us improve our practice, which will ultimately improve your child's experience at our school.
In our Professional Learning Day we continued to learn about High Impact Teaching Practices. We started our morning working through an online Catalyst Module. This module centered around Rosenshine's Principles of Instruction. The module broke apart the four strands and each of the ten Principles which are (please see below image for more detailed information):
- Reviewing Material
- Daily Review
- Weekly and monthly review
- Ask questions
- Check for understanding
- Sequencing concepts and modelling
- Present new material
- Provide models
- Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks
- Stages of Practice
- Guide student practice
- Obtain a high success rate
- Independent practice
After we had worked through the Catalyst Module and had the opportunity to break each of the principles open through watching examples of each of the principles and having in depth discussion, we created Professional Learning Teams. We broke up into four Professional Learning Teams and worked through further research around Daily Review (one of the High Impact Teaching Practices and Rosenshines Principles).
As you may be aware some of our teachers started delivering daily reviews in their classrooms, with great success. As part of our Professional Learning Teams, we all decided upon specific daily reviews that we would implement in our classrooms this Term with the support and collaboration of our Professional Learning Teams. We are all very excited about this new structure for collaboration, to implement the High Impact Teaching Practices and to continue to learn and become better, more effective practitioners.
A big congratulations to Apjok in 6B who represented St John’s in the quarter finals at Rostrum, yesterday evening. Rostrum has been running a Primary Schools Speaking Competition for nearly 50 years for schools in the ACT and surrounding areas of New South Wales. Last Term, each Year Six member presented a speech to their classmates on one of the below topics:
- A better way
- Assistance Animals
- Cars of the future
- Escape from the city
- Going to Mars
- I took a big risk
- The Year of the Ox
Tabitha-Jane Wormald and Serae Love (Year 6 Teachers) then selected 6 finalists to present their speech to the whole school. Apajok was the student selected to go to the next round and represent St John’s in the quarter finals.
A big thank you to Miss Wormald and Apajok’s family who were there to support her last night.
This is such a big achievement, well done Apajok! We are all very proud of you and your confidence in presenting your speech on ‘I took a big risk’.
Assistant Principal and Inclusion Coordinator
What the students have been learning about
Although it is only Week One, a great deal of learning is already happening at St John’s.
Yesterday we celebrated NAIDOC week. Richie Allen and his daughter Shanice came in to run exciting activities that helped us to deepen our understanding of traditional indigenous culture.
We made bracelets from raffia using a traditional method. Shanice told us that it is also used to make baskets and fishing nets. It was challenging but some students were very good at it!
Richie came into some classes and showed us different symbols used in Aboriginal Art. Then we had to remember what they were! It was tricky but so much fun!!!
He also played the didgeridoo and we had to guess what animal sounds he was making. That was tricky too!
Spending time exploring different aspects of indigenous culture helps everyone to feel more connected to our First Nations people.
Many years ago I was privileged to attend an indigenous professional development opportunity near Narooma. It went for three days and involved curriculum, prayer and meeting with the local indigenous people.
The most powerful experience was being taken to the top of, what was then called, Mt Dromedary, now Mt Gulaga, and being told the story of the area.
We had to wear a red string around our wrists to indicate we were entering sacred ground. When I sat on the rock looking out towards the ocean there was a moment when I leaned back and placed my hands flat on the rock. It was gently humming. I pulled my hand away with shock and did it again but it had stopped.
In that very brief moment I was able to feel a connection to the earth that I had not before. I believe that may have been a brief insight into the deep connection to country that indigenous people feel. It was certainly a God moment for me.
I have always treasured this experience.
16 for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him.
Notices from the Parish
Happy birthday to Chloe L, Alex S, Nicolai L, Henry J, Austin P, Tai J, Imogen C, Katie W, William S, Isabella S, Nathaniel G, Cameron M, Riley M, Sophia C, Noah W, Seth W, Finn P, Natalie S, Lorenzo S, Sophia Y, Thomas J, Vincent N, Samiya C and Annaleise S who all celebrated a birthday over the last 3 weeks.
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||Oliver W||Amaan G|
|KM||Iylah B||Lilah J|
|1B||Sophie P||Akshaj P|
|1M||Penelope A||Elspeth S|
|2B||Jackson D||Vincent N|
|2M||Samiya C||Jonah T|
|3B||Bailee K||Leo J|
|3M||Lucius H||Te-Aroha B|
|4B||Jessie A||Aiden S|
|4M||Sophie R||Olivia T|
|5B||Bernic K||Nicholas K|
|5M||Claire B||James H|
|6B||Annaleise S||Miles M|
|6M||Jacob P||Lacey S|
|Sustainability (K-2)||William L (1B)||Fiesita M (1B)|
Find out what is happening in our School Library Community
Welcome back to the Library for Term 3! We hope that everyone has had a safe and restful break and we thank everyone for the books that have already been returned from holiday reading. This will be a very busy term in the Library with some fun and engaging activities on the agenda. If you could please make sure your children have returned their overdue books, this will allow them to continue to borrow each lesson and not have to miss out. If you are unsure whether your child has overdue books please don't hesitate to contact us.
Family Borrowing - Wednesday 2:50 -3:30
The Library is now open every Wednesday for Family Borrowing time. We hope to see you here! We have some lovely new books in the Library and a range of parenting and helpful books that parents and carers can now borrow.
Book Fair - Week 3
St John’s Book Fair will be occurring in Week 3 (from the 26th July untill the 30th July). Next week students will be able to walk through the Book Fair and create a wishlist of items they are interested in. Students can pay with cash, online (see the instructions below), or via credit/debit card with an adult. The Book Fair will also be out of school hours for family visits.
Book Week - Week 7
The theme for this year’s Book Week is “Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds.” This will be taking place in week 7 this term. Children are encouraged to dress up as a book character that fits into this theme - thankfully the topic is quite broad! More information on this will be included in the Library newsletter later in the term. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Lauren Hudson or Kirsty Vera.
This year due to COVID restrictions we were unable to hold our annual fete and instead we will are holding a number of smaller fundraising activities that we will look for your support with.
The first of these will be the hampers raffle. This is the same type of raffle that we have at the fete each year with different types of hampers raffled off. This year the hamper raffle will be held during your child’s/children’s learning journey evenings, expected around Week 4 after the July school holidays. We will confirm the date early in Term 3.
Like before, we are looking for donations for these hampers and are asking for each child to donate a new item or items for the hamper theme allocated to their class.
We would appreciate your contribution of any non-perishable hamper items, as the money will go directly to benefit the children. The money raised will be used to pay for some items in the next stage of the playground development happening later this year.
Could you please bring your non-perishable items for the hampers (as per your child’s year below) into the front office this week or in the first two weeks after the school holidays.
Examples of donation types
Chews, pet toys, pet treats, food, leads, collars, bowls, etc.
Wraps, clothes, nappies, rattles, baby toys, wipes, etc.
Kids Toys & experiences
Puzzles, fidget toys, board games, balls, bowling voucher, iPlay voucher, etc.
Delicious treats, chocolate, chips, biscuits, popcorn,
Bath salts, chocolates, loofah, face mask, scented candles, body products, nail products, gift card, etc.
Wine, beer, chocolates, nuts, champagne, gift card, etc.
tools, cleaning products, technology, camera, door mat, Bunnings gift card, etc.
Please note the examples above are just suggestions as we are happy to accept any non-perishable new items that you think fit well with the themes.
If you have any questions please email our fundraising coordinator Belinda Duke at Belinda.firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to leave any donations during the holidays, please email Belinda to arrange a Florey drop off point and time.
Thank you for your kind donation
SJAPS Fundraising Committee 2021
How can you strengthen your marriage/relationship?
Nicky Gumbel says “There’s no marriage that can’t be improved.”
You’re invited to a short, fun course of 7 sessions designed to strengthen your relationship.
Whether you’ve been together six months or 40 years, married or in a long-term relationship. Whether you’re in a good place or struggling, The Marriage Course offers practical support and ideas to strengthen your relationship, in a fun-pact format offered online in the comfort of your home via zoom.
The course is open to any couple in a committed relationship, wanting to have fun, spend time together and even get to know some other couples. We are advertising in St John the Apostle Primary School and St John the Apsotle Parish, Kippax, however feel free to invite anyone.
To find out a little more watch The Marriage Course Trailer here: Marriage Course Trailer
You can also come and discover more at a
Wine and Cheese Information Night (FREE):
at St John the Apostle Primary School (Library), 9 Pawsey Cct, Florey
Thursday 22nd July (Week 2, term 3); 6.00-6.45pm
Children welcome - baby sitting and pizza will be provided
Please RSVP to email@example.com for catering purposes (advise number of adults and children attending)
The course commences online Thursday 29th July at 7.15pm (Week 3, Term 3) and runs for 7 consecutive Thursdays.
Venue: Your place – course is facilitated through Zoom.(All the important conversations between couples are private, however each session begins with a group ice breaker on zoom).
You can register for the 7 week course here: https://www.cgcatholic.org.au/sjaps/ or wait until the information night.
The course is free, however you will need to purchase 2 course booklets at a cost of $25 each (available for purchase at the information night, or at the Catholic Bookshop in Manuka for $22 each).
The course is being facilitated by Carl and Cathy Madsen and Marina and Andrew Philip.
A social dinner will be organised in September.
This has been a tough parenting year. On a personal level it’s been challenging, but when you add the extra difficulty of helping children and young people navigate this year, you’d be forgiven for feeling like you’ve had enough.
It’s timely to look at US-based academic Dr. Brene’ Brown’s research that informed her book The Gift of Imperfect Parenting. Brown’s core finding was that the best parenting strategies rely on modelling for them to be adopted by children. That’s a little scary as it means we need to be the adults that we want to our kids to become.
There is great power in kids watching us practise how we manage hardships, frustrations and difficulties. Whether we use self-kindness or self-put downs, either will leave an impression on our kids. Not only do they see how we react when we stumble or make mistakes, but we give them permission to act in the same ways.
It’s hard to be self-kind
If you’re a goal-oriented type of person, highly-judgemental or someone who likes to get things done, then self-kindness can be difficult to befriend. It goes against the grain to laugh at your mistakes or miss a deadline, even though it won’t be the end of the world as you know it. If you recognise this type of rigid approach then it may be time let go of some old ways. Inflexibility is the enemy of healthy wellbeing, which thrives on adaptability and self-forgiveness.
Let them hear the process
Giving a child or young person insight into your thinking is a powerful parenting strategy. Sharing your struggles and mess ups with kids in age-appropriate ways takes vulnerability and promotes empathy. It takes courage to share a comment such as, “I keep putting myself down, which is not helpful. I’ve got to talk to myself as if I’m talking to someone I love.” Disclosing this type of self-talk is only useful if it’s done in a safe, matter of fact way and a child is comfortable with the message.
Self-kindness means acting compassionately toward yourself when you are struggling to meet your own expectations, meeting with unexpected difficulties and/or met with failure. It’s time to drop the stiff upper lip, put aside the strict schedule and stop berating yourself. Instead say to yourself, “This is really tough right now. How can I take some comfort and look after myself?” This is a message worth modelling particularly, if you are living with a perfectionist or a child with tendencies toward anxiety.
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.