Thank you to our staff and students for their outstanding flexibility in adapting today's Athletics Carnival to be held at school after assessing Charnwood Oval as being unsuitable.
Congratulations to all of our students on their achievements today and thank you to the Year 5 and 6 teaching team for organising the event. Having the school Athletics Carnival at the same time as the Olympics is very motivating!
Thank you to Vernonica Sammons who helped with the set up and 800m this morning and to Michael Rix and Rochelle Irvine who helped with the preparation and distribution of the special lunches.
Thank you to the students from SFX who were an enormous help at all of our events. They were outstanding.
Changes in School Apps: Are your details correct at school?
Next term we are launching a new school app called COMPASS. COMPASS is a new student management program being introduced throughout our entire catholic system of schools. Parents will be able to:
- view the school calendar
- notify of absences
- email teachers directly
- receive student reports (there will be no printed reports anymore)
- follow notifications for the school, year or class
- book parent-teacher interviews
- provide consent for excursions
Some of the benefits include that all information about absences, late arrivals and early pickups will be automatically added to the attendance system rather than manually added by staff; sick bay, parent-teacher discussion notes and other communication will all be kept together for easy access; parents with shared care arrangements will be able to equally check in and access relevant student information; parents will be able to access nearly everything they need from one portal through both an app and a web based portal on any device.
In short, it will replace a lot of what we currently do in SZapp. We will still use Schoolzine (SZapp) to maintain our website and our Newsletter.
What do I need to do now?
- We are preparing our family, parent and student data for upload into COMPASS. Please make sure that we have your latest email address and contact number. Please send through any updates to FrontOffice.SJAPS@cg.catholic.edu.au.
- In a few weeks we will send out a notification to all parents on how to access and register for the COMPASS portal/app. We will use your current email and phone numbers to do this. There is no need to download anything at present until you hear from us.
We'll lead you through the transition process so please don't worry too much. Just make sure your contact details are correct with us.
Well done everyone on remembering to wear hats on Monday! Our new school hates with the school name look fantastic as well. Students are welcome to wear their old hats for the time being. Hats must be either the new or old school hat. These are specifically designed for sun safety in a school environment and other hats are not permitted.
I hope there is plenty of sun and fun for people this weekend!
What a great way to be in the spirit of the Olympics by participating in our own St John the Apostle Athletics Carnival today. The Athletics Carnival was a big success. Even though we were unable to have our carnival at Charnwood, the Year 5 and 6 teachers did a wonderful job of organising to have it at school. A big thank you to the Year 5 and 6 teachers for all of their organisation.
The school spirit was in full force. In the morning, while I was helping run the 800m races, there was a large proportion of students who stopped playing before school and stood around the perimeter of the race course and cheered the participants on. It was such a nice way to start the day and I was very proud to see the support and school spirit of so many students. Well done to all of the students for participating and for cheering each other on!
Learning Journeys and Donations - A Reminder
Learning Journeys will take place in Week 6. To ensure we abide by COVID restrictions we will have a number of options for parents and families to attend. Learning Journeys will run at the following times in Week 6:
Tuesday (17 August) - 3:15-4:30pm
Wednesday (18 August) - 8:30-8:50am and 3:15-4:30pm
Thursday (19 August) - 8:30-8:50am
Learning Journeys are an opportunity for families to visit their child's classroom and see what they have been learning about. Children prepare for the visit. They show parents different pieces of work they are proud of and discuss with their families what they have been learning. Learning Journeys are a fantastic celebration of your child's learning, growth and achievements.
Alongside our Learning Journeys, the Community Council will run a fundraiser event. The Fundraising Committee have sent out two notifications requesting donations for a hamper raffle we will be running in Week 6. We will have raffle tickets available to purchase during the Learning Journeys. If we are unable to run Learning Journeys due to a change in COVID restrictions, we will have an online option to purchase raffle tickets.
We have already received a number of donations for the hampers. Thank you to the families who have already donated. We are still looking for non-perishable, new items. Below are the themes for each hamper for each year group:
Kindergarten - Pet hamper (eg. chews, pet toys, pet treats, food, leads etc.)
Year 1 - Baby hamper (e.g. wraps, clothes, nappies, rattles, baby toys, wipes etc.)
Year 2 - Kids Toy hamper (e.g. puzzles, fidget toys, board games, balls etc.)
Year 3 - Snack/movie night hamper (eg. delicious treats, chocolate, chips etc.)
Year 4 - Pamper hamper (eg. bath salts, candles, body products etc.)
Year 5 - Parents hamper (eg. wine, beer, chocolates, nuts etc.)
Year 6 - Home hamper (eg. tools, cleaning products, Bunnings gift card etc.)
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
This week I have been completing the Year One Phonics Screening Check with each of the students in that year.
Phonics knowledge and skills are essential for learning to read and write. To be effective readers, students need to learn how to blend sounds together in words quickly so that they can read and understand the meaning.
About the assessment
The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is a quick assessment that tells teachers how each Year 1 child is progressing in phonics. Each child is asked to read 40 words aloud. These words include 20 real words and 20 nonsense words. The test normally takes a few minutes.
Phonics is important for students who are learning to read. This screening check observes how each child can read words with different letter combinations. The main purpose of the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is to provide the Year One Teachers with information which will allow them to plan for learning.
Why is phonics important?
To be successful readers, students need to learn the code for the English language - the sounds represented by individual letters or different letter combinations - and the skill of blending these sounds together to read words.
It is important for students to develop quick recall of the sounds represented by different letters and letter combinations, to support successful reading.
Developing blending skills, which is the ability to blend together sounds to read words, is also important. Beginning readers need to learn how to blend sounds together in words quickly and fluently, so as not to disrupt the flow of reading and their comprehension of the text. How will I support my child?
Children need frequent opportunities to practise and apply their developing phonics knowledge and skills. You may like to try some of the following activities at home with your child:
- Encourage your child to play games with letters such as bingo, snap or scrabble. Support them to say the correct sound represented by individual letters and different letter combinations.
- Practise blending the sounds in simple, one syllable words together. For example, by first pointing to each letter in the word cat and saying each individual sound ‘c-a-t’, then reading again by blending all the sounds together ‘caaaaat’, and finally reading the word nice and fast ‘cat’. When your child is confident with blending 3 letters together, support them to blend and read 4 letter words like frog (f-r-o-g, fffrrrog, frog).
- Model being a word detective and point out special letter patterns found when reading with your child. For example words with a ‘ch’ sound on the end are sometimes spelt with the letters tch, like the words match, catch and hatch.
- Support your child’s reading success by providing them with plenty of opportunities to practise their phonics knowledge and blending skills by reading decodable books together. Decodable books are written using words with letters that your child has learnt. Ask your child’s teacher to suggest decodable books with the correct phonics focus for your child.
- When reading books encourage your child to look at the words and ‘sound out’ any unfamiliar words, blending those sounds together, from left to right, to read the word. This is the best strategy and more helpful than looking at the pictures to guess the meaning.
Assistant Principal and Inclusion Coordinator
Catholic Life and Reflection
During the last few weeks I have spent a lot of time at Mass. Sometimes for lovely reasons (First Communion and Sunday Mass) and other times for sad reasons.
Regardless each time it brought great comfort to be engaged in scripture and reflection. So I was looking for a way to engage daily.
I use the YOUCAT resource for planning and stumbled across an app: YOUCAT daily. You can also look at it online here. https://www.youcat.org/daily/
A few days ago the story of Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14: 22-33) was followed by this quote.
“I am convinced that there is an area in the life of every Christian where God Calls us to do something special with him, something we could never do without him. But it is up to us whether this actually takes place. Because here is the problem with the whole thing: If you want to walk on water, you first have to get out of the boat.” Christopher Kreitz
It really struck a chord with me. Vulnerability and risk taking is always an area I am curious about.
I shared the quote with a friend. She sent me back an “LOL” and “What if I like the boat?” We both had a good giggle at that. But it is a fair point. Safety, security, stability is so much more desirable than the risk of stepping out into the unknown.
Faith, especially in uncertain times, is the stepping out of the boat and knowing that Jesus is with us. That we are surrounded by Him in our family, friends and those people in our lives who are there for us.
God bless,P.S. A sense of humour in difficult times also helps!
Religious Education Coordinator
Notices from the Parish
Happy birthday to Emily T, Liam M, Shanaya S, Jari K and Charlotte M 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
It’s been a busy week in the Library and we thank you so much for the overwhelming support received for the Book Fair. It was a great week and we saw so many happy faces come through our doors. If you have placed an order for a book we will notify you as soon as they have been delivered.
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 Week - Week 7
Now that Book Fair has finished, the students are starting to get very excited about Book Week in week 7 (August 23-27) and what characters they would like to dress up as. We encourage all parents and carers to have a conversation with your child about appropriate costumes for Book Week. The categories are incredibly diverse and cater to just about any character you can imagine! We do, however, recommend that students dress up in a costume from a book that they have read or are already familiar with. They do not need to bring a copy of the book with them, but can if they want to.
Looking for a great book?
Check out these new reads in our library from the CBCA Shortlist for 2021!
Lauren Hudson (Teacher/Librarian) email@example.com
Kirsty Vera (Library Assistant) firstname.lastname@example.org
Fees were emailed out last week.
Fees are due Friday 20th August unless you are paying by direct debit.
If you are paying by direct debit please ensure the amount you are paying will cover your fees by the end of the school year.
Please click here to see the fee schedule for reference to the amount you need to be paying.
Please contact Debbie Milne ( finance Officer ) for all school fee enquires email@example.com
Building Fund statements:
Building fund statements were sent out 15th July.
If you did not receive one please contact Debbie Milne (finance Officer) via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 4 1 – to – 1 Technology:
Term payments for Year 4 students technology program are due Friday 13th August, week 5
Payments are to be paid on the QKR app. Please ensure these payments are paid on time.
A reminder that the Uniform Shop is open each Friday morning between 8.30 - 9.30 am The Uniform Shop is located in the demountable buildings which are located at the top of the school through the black gates near the student drop off area.
Please remember to use the Canberra Check in app before entering the school.
Why family rituals really matter
Family rituals strengthen the sense of warm connectedness in families. This makes sense, given that the number one biological need for every human is the hunger to belong, and to be accepted, valued and loved.
The disruption of life in 2020 saw many families unable to go about their normal activities, and for many, family rituals reclaimed their valuable position. For some, it was simply going for walks together, riding bikes together, baking, or watching movies together complete with home-made popcorn.
So how can families create and maintain small rituals that make such a difference?
Turn routines into rituals
Bedtime routines that include such things as reading to your children, singing special bedtime songs or even just lying beside your child do far more than help them to fall asleep. When these routines are repeated, they create neural pathways which enhance loving connection. As a nanny to several precious little ones, I absolutely love being a part of their bedtime rituals.
Reign in the chaos
Family rituals bring a degree of predictability and certainty into our sometimes chaotic lives. They are important for teenagers as they provide a sense of control at a time of change and challenge. Families who are struggling with any uncertainty and stress should regularly connect with a much-loved board game or family movie and dive into it with enthusiasm. Leave work and worry behind and spend a couple of hours with those you love the most.
Create greeting rituals
Greeting and goodbye rituals within families are also important. How you welcome and reconnect to children after a day away shows them that you have missed them and still love them. With little ones, some parents leave a kiss on their child’s palm. For others there are special handshakes. I can still remember my dad saying goodbye to us with the oldie but goodie “See you later alligator!” To which we naturally replied, “in a while, crocodile!” This is a ritual that happens now with my grandchildren.
As an authorised celebrant, I have conducted many funerals and one of the things that brings joy to broken hearts are the shared memories of family rituals. The repeated nature of ritual helps to anchor memories deeply in our minds. I remember a beautiful funeral for a man where everyone wore a beanie and a scarf, including his youngest grandchild. This simple act was a nod to the fact that whenever this grandfather watched football on TV, he always wore a beanie and a scarf and so did anyone else who was watching with him. A simple but powerful act.
Never underestimate the importance of family rituals in your home.
Commonly known as the ‘queen of common sense’, Maggie Dent has become one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators, with a particular interest in the early years, adolescence and resilience. She has written seven major books including the bestselling Mothering Our Boys and her 2020 release, From Boys to Men. Maggie is host of the ABC podcast, Parental As Anything. She is the mother of four sons and a very grateful grandmother. For further details visit maggiedent.com