Thank you for the positive messages on Facebook and via email regarding the unexpected passing of Mr Anthony Ganley, former Assistant Principal of St John the Apostle. It's lovely to hear about the positive impact Mr Ganley had on many of our current and past families.
Thank you also to the staff who have supported each other and their students as they fondly remember Mr Ganley. Their compassion and care has been wonderful.
Mr Ganley's funeral will be held at 1.30pm next Tuesday, 27 July at Holy Spirit Parish Church, Berdekin Street, Amaroo. We expect it will be attended by many people from a number of school and community organisations who have worked with Mr Ganley.
For those in our community unable to attend and yet would like to farewell Mr Ganley we are holding a Memorial Mass at 4.00pm, Wednesday, 28 July in our Parish, St John the Apostle Catholic Church, Blackham Street, Kippax. This will be followed by a cup of tea. All are welcome.
COVID-19 and Remote Learning
We are preparing ourselves for the possibility of a short time of remote learning in the near future. It is best to be prepared.
Should we move to remote learning, Kindergarten to Year 3 classes will use Seesaw as the main learning platform while Years 4 to 6 will use Google Classrooms. We will spend a little time with Kindergarten to Year 3 next week preparing them for using Seesaw.
Wet weather pick up
In recent weeks there have been a number of times that it has been raining at pick up time. When this happens we moved to a wet-weather pick up routine that involves:
- Students catching a bus or walking home meet the supervising teachers under the verandah off the hall.
- Students riding bikes leave as per usual arrangements.
- Students accessing OSHClub meet the team in the hall.
- Students being picked up in the carpark go and wait under the verandahs at Performing Arts and then parents must park and come in to collect their children.
We understand that there are a lot of cars to navigate around at a wet weather pick up. We also need to ensure that it is calm and safe. Thank you for your patience during these times.
When some parents and carers anticipate a wet weather pick up they like to collect their children early from the Front Office to avoid the traffic. Some days Leanne can receive quite a few phone calls from 2.15pm onward asking for children to make their way to the Front Office to be met by the parent/carer. The impact is that there are a myriad of phone calls to classrooms (or announcements over the PA) disturbing learning in classrooms; students are constantly being signed out and Leanne cannot physically keep up with the demands of parents and carers to retreive students, look after the sick bay, receive phone calls and manage other end of day tasks. She's often amazes us but it is a challenging, and also unnecessary, stretch. Even for her!
If parents and carers wish to avoid the traffic on wet weather then please feel free to come a little later than usual. Teachers are on duty until 3.30pm. There is a half hour window available for everyone. Please feel to come any time in that window.
Late arrivals at school
Just a small reminder that students dropped off late at school must be signed in by a parent/carer. Please do not drop studets in the front car park and go after 9.00am.
I hope everyone stays warm and dry as much as possible this weekend.
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.
High impact Teaching Practices
On Tuesday, we had Toni Hatten-Roberts from COGLearn come to our school for the day to lead professional development with our staff.
She modelled Daily Review in 5 Maroon, 3 Blue, 2 Maroon and Kindergarten Blue for a number of staff across the school. Her feedback about our implementation of Daily Review was very positive. We then had the opportunity to discuss specific aspects of our implementation of Daily Review that are strengths and some further opportunities for us to work on.
The staff at St John's are so grateful to have so many wonderful learning opportunities that will continue to have impact on student achievement.
Assistant Principal and Inclusion Coordinator
As a way of helping our students process their grief we have asked them if they would like to write a letter or draw a picture about Mr Ganley. I hope their funny stories and heartfelt drawings will bring a smile to their faces. It seems Mr Ganley dressed as a neon pink crayon for book week was a favourite.
There is an odd feeling when someone passes away that there is really very little one can do to make it better. It is important to just be present to those who feel the loss. Being present to ourselves and our own grief can be overwhelming. So let's be present to God as God shows us a way through this difficult time.
Mr Ganley by Faith and Jacob
Notices from the Parish
Happy birthday to Leo K, Nelson D, Emily N, Tymon A, Akshaj P and Ethan C who all celebrated a birthday over the last 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.
Find out what is happening in our School Library Community
First of all, we just wanted to clarify the dates for Book Fair and Book Week. There seems to be some confusion amongst the students between these two different Library activities.
Book Fair - Week 3 - this is the display of books, stationary, posters and other book accessories from which the students and their families can purchase. We have this set up in the Workspace off the Library and during Library lessons this week, all classes have been walking through the display and completing their Wish Lists. They will be able to buy next week. The Book Fair will be open at the following times for families:
Monday 8:20-8:45 and 3:05-3:30
Wednesday 8:20-8:45 and 3:05-3:30
Thursday 8:20-8:45 and 3:05-3:30
Friday 8:20-8:45 and 3:05-3:30
All families will have to check in at the Front Office before coming to the Library and due to COVID restrictions, we will have to stagger the entry into the Display to minimise numbers. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and patience.
Students will also have the opportunity to purchase from the display during recess on Tuesday. They will be only able to purchase using cash. Cards are welcome when adults come to the Book Fair, but students will not be allowed to purchase using their parents’ cards, so please do not give them to them. If you’d rather not use cash, there is also the option to purchase online using the following link:
Book Week - Week 7 - Book Week is when students will have the opportunity to dress up as a character from a book. 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. It is not the same time as Book Fair, and it is not the same thing as Book Fair. Some character suggestions include:
Old Worlds - fiction books set in the past, historical non-fiction books, prehistoric people or animals, ancient cultures, Aboriginal people.
New Worlds - any character from the modern world, future characters.
Other Worlds - anything mystical and magical, things from space (Star Wars), witches, monsters, unicorns.
Lauren Hudson (Teacher/Librarian) firstname.lastname@example.org
Kirsty Vera (Library Assistant) email@example.com
Riding the COVID waves
The disruption caused by the pandemic continues, with the scale of its impact dependent on geography. Families in the nation’s two most populated states are no strangers to lockdowns and the disturbance they bring to normal life. Regardless of where you live, the sense of the pandemic is always present, ready to disrupt daily life at short notice.
We crave connection and certainty
Human beings crave certainty and human connection, both of which are severely impacted by the current pandemic. Just when life appears to return to normal, COVID case numbers can flare, sparking changes to our daily lives. As demonstrated by the massive increase in people seeking psychological support services over the last 18 months, these are difficult times for us all.
Every family has its own COVID related story consisting of loss, disappointment, hardship, frustration of some kind. While there is no magic bullet that will make living through these uncertain times easy, here are some strategies to help you and your family stay upright while you ride the COVID waves of uncertainty and change.
Model a coping mindset
Let’s start with a coping mindset, the hardest and most important strategy. The leader in any group is the person who remains calm in a crisis, so as parents we need to do all we can to keep our acts together, or at least look like we are in control. Kids of all ages, but especially primary-aged students, take their cues from parents, the most important people in their lives, about how to view events. If catastrophising, anxiety and anger are modelled, then inevitably younger family members will mimic these behaviours. More significantly, these behaviours contribute to their feelings of lack of control. Alternatively, when acceptance, perspective and optimism are on display, kids learn how they can cope with uncertainty and change. This is not to suggest that parents aren’t struggling, and that we shouldn’t show our vulnerability to children. However, children and young people feel safer and more secure when their parents radiate a sense of calm and composure in the face of difficulty. Challenging, but essential.
Act like a middle born
Despite the negative press that middle-borns receive including ‘middle child syndrome’, and ‘middle-child complex’, this cohort is generally very resilient. Their flexibility as a result of fitting into a life pattern set by an elder sibling enables them to more easily adapt to change. Often considered less ambitious and driven than first-borns, middle children generally expect less of themselves, and are more inclined to bide their time, letting the big waves pass before riding the more accessible, easier waves to achieve success. Birth order research reveals that middle children tend to have broader social circles than children born in other positions enabling them to form social connections in many different settings. Their adaptability, lowering of expectations and wonderful approachability are examples of how to survive challenging times.
Embed wellbeing strategies into family life
If ever there was a time to make wellbeing come alive in a family, it’s now. If you have previously believed kids’ wellbeing is less important than homework, music or sports lessons and chores then it’s time for a priority rethink. Mental health practices are most successful when they are embedded into family life, rather than being focused on when life gets hard. While no means limited to these, the most significant wellbeing practices include sticking to daily routines (to maintain feelings of control), taking regular exercise (to get rid of built-up stress and promote feel-good endorphins) and prioritising sleep (to maximise the brain’s capacity to manage stress).
Only sweat the big stuff
If you find that you’re arguing with your child over minor issues such as leaving clothes around the house, then it’s time to let the small stuff go and focus on the bigger issues. You may need to set the parenting bar a little lower, focus less on academics, even relax screen time limits for a time if they are a source of conflict. Expect behaviour blow outs from children who have lost their own bearings – in some cases access to friends, school, and schedule. Give kids space if they regress, rather than reward tantrums with plenty of your attention, which will reward and keep the behaviour going.
Connect with your village
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What about your kids? It matters because each group reacts differently during lockdowns. Those on the introvert end of the spectrum can feel a little too comfortable being home and away from work or school. Scheduling regular digital catch-ups with friends and family can overcome reluctance to connect. Extroverts, on the other hand, can really struggle being away from friends and need little encouragement to stay in touch, which is vital during times of uncertainty.
There are no hard and fast rules about living through this pandemic. COVID didn’t come with a ‘how to’ manual, so most of us are writing our own rules as we go. Embrace any ideas that work for you and your family and let go of those that aren’t right for you. Be mindful, that the tide will eventually turn, the waves more predictable and our capacity to deal with hardship will have been enhanced by this experience.
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.
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