I think this week we we're all feeling the pinch. A bit like that mid point in a race when your energy level is just starting to stretch.
The week started quite relaxed. We all knew what we were in for this week. By the end of the week I think we're all feeling a little bit of lock down lethargy.
Today the Chief Minister expressed that schools are highly unlikely to return to face to face teaching before the end of the term. The Catholic Education Incident Management Team meets on a daily basis to review the current situation, listen to the advice from ACT Health and determine the best course of action and support in line with all restrictions. The Director, Mr Ross Fox, will inform Principals about what will be happening in Catholic Schools as soon as there is a clear direction from the ACT Government.
Thank you for all your support. We know it can be challenging at home with remote learning. We only ever expect families to do the best they can in their own circumstances and you are all quite amazing! Well done all.
Thank you to our staff and students for their enthusiasm and engagement. There's still a lot of laughing and celebrating happening. I'm very thankful for our community during times such as these.
Important Privacy and Safety Information for MS Teams meetings
While it can feel fun being online together and we are all getting very skilled at doing this it's important to know that child safety and privacy remains at the front of every decision regarding how we use it.
All virtual meetings on MS Teams are recorded by the teacher to be archived and stored in compliance with safety and child protection standards. During this recording students who have their camera on or who use the microphone to ask a question will have their image and voice captured in the recording. Once the meeting is stored the teacher will change the permissions on this video to restrict students from reviewing the content unless permission is granted by the teacher. The video will not be downloadable by students. If yo do not want your child to be recorded in a virtual meeting, please notify the teacher, and the student will be supported by allowing them to have their camera off and microphone muted during the meeting. This will limit student participation to the use of chat and Emoticons to respond to peers and the teacher during a meeting.
When students are online at meetings please help them:
- remain in the presence of a parent or carer;
- blur the background OR select a virtual background;
- ensure that they are muted so that the class or small group cannot hear family conversations in the background
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Welcome to Ms Jones!
Ms Elizabeth Jones has been appointed as our new Sustainability Teacher for Years 3 to 6 until the end of the year. Ms Jones began yesterday at school, assisting with supervision of students on site and also learning about our school. She then spent Thursday and Friday introducing herself to each class in their MS Teams. Ms Jones will be engaging students in Years 3-6 online each week until our return from lock down.
OSHClub at Home
Thanks to OSHClub for providing us with some ideas and activities as part of their free OSHClub at home program. Anyone can subscribe to their activity ideas at https://www.oshclub.com.au/oshc-at-home/
Thank you for continuing to work together to make our Canberra community safe and healthy for all.
A message for children in the ACT about Covid-19 lockdown
Everyone in Canberra is talking about COVID and lockdown. There's lots of information on the news and websites. But it can be hard to find anything just for kids that explains the things that they want to know. The Covid info for kids page has updated information for kids every few days.
In this morning's announcement I talked about this page and the video below. I let students know that if they had more questions about it, they could get you to show them the newsletter this afternoon. They can also access a Lock It Down! Newsletter available for students to read.
Some students may be interested in the Young Thinker forum, which is available for young people to have their say.
They want to know what it’s like for children and young people during lockdown. They ask the following questions:
- How is lockdown going for you?
- Is there anything that has really helped you? Is there help that you wish was available?
- Do you have questions about lockdown that you need an answer to?
- What are you doing for fun?
Students can write to them! Create an artwork or cartoon, submit video or audio, or send them a poem or song. They can do this on their own or with their friends. They are invited to have their say in their own way.
Enter via the form below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
League Stars Inspire
To support young people in the community, the NRL are offering the NRL League Stars Inspire Health and Wellbeing program online (Free). The workshops are facilitated by Alan Tongue with the assistance of NRL and NRLW players. The workshops which are targeted at Primary School aged students and aim to encourage young people who may be socially isolated or vulnerable to apply the knowledge and understandings, skills, attitudes and values that are central to being resilient, supported and grateful.
The program is a series over four weeks with one workshop released every “Wellness Wednesday” at 10:00 am AEST. These can be viewed live or at a later time.
The League Stars Inspire Health and Wellbeing program will be delivered over four 30 minute online workshops:
Workshop 1: League Stars Inspire Resilience – Wednesday 18th August 2021
Workshop 2: League Stars Inspire Support - Wednesday 25th August 2021
Workshop 3: League Stars Inspire Gratitude - Wednesday 1 September 2021
Workshop 4: League Stars Inspire Questions and Answers with NRL and NRLW players - Wednesday 8th September 2021
You may have missed the Workshop 1 and Workshop 2 but these are recorded and available at the below link.
Assistant Principal and Inclusion Coordinator
What students and staff are learning about
Teaching remotely provides us with opportunities to explore topics in Religious Education in a different way.
The Catholic Education Office provided us with some very interesting learning grids based on the Brisbane Curriculum to help engage students. For this week I have asked staff to choose one of the grids for their class. They follow a simple process of Reflect, Act and Create. I will seek feedback from staff and students to share with you next week.
Year 3 were asked to create a collage of things they were grateful for. They must have read my mind! Look at this beautiful collage by Leo in 3B. Thank you Leo.
Things I am grateful for....
The weather whether it’s rainy or sunny. A reminder that the world is still turning and spring is on its way.
The people in our community who continue to support those most vulnerable like my brother and sister.
Technology, without it where would we be?
My 18 year old son who supports my 11 year old son with remote learning with grace and patience.
My sister and brother in law for zoom games night (even though they won Trivial Pursuit!)
My husband who brings me a cup of tea each morning to start my day.
Scrapbooking that keeps my creativity flowing and reduces my worries.
The list could be much longer. Once you start focussing on gratitude, you find it everywhere. To me it is a form of prayer. By acknowledging the gifts we have in our lives we are also identifying where God is present. God in all things.
If you haven’t read The Resilience Project by Hugh van Cuylenburg it is a wonderful read. An Australian, who found himself faced with a challenging time and how he got out of it. Funny and heartful. It contains some very practical ways to use gratitude to find happiness.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Go gently, stay safe and well. God bless,
Stephanie StewartReligious Education Coordinator
Notices from the Parish
Live Streaming of Mass
Praying the Rosary
Happy birthday to Aashna A, James H and Ekluvya G who 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.
Congratulations to the following students who will receive an award for the fortnightly Positive Behaviour Focus.
|KB||Archie A||Kristiano J|
|KM||Daniel K||Oskar E|
|1B||Chloe L||Hugo G|
|1M||Samuel O||Alexander N|
|2B||Leo K||James T|
|2M||Ethan Z||Alyssa S|
|3B||Anabelle T||Michael H|
|3M||Ekluvya G||Ziva Z|
|4B||Thomas J||Aisling S|
|4M||Nikhil S||Izabella H|
|5M||Lachlan A||Vuyo N|
|6B||Madeline H||Cooper W|
|6M||Matilda P||Rebecca C|
|Sustainability (K-2)||Penelope A (1M)||Lewis B (1B)|
|Library||Mau'lupe M (5B)||Apajok G (6B)|
Find out what is happening in our School Library Community
We hope that everyone has settled into their Remote Learning routines. We really miss seeing all the students coming through the Library doors and hope that everyone is keeping healthy and safe. This week St John’s celebrated Book Week! Our wonderful teachers recorded videos of themselves reading the nominated Picture Book of the Year entrants. They had a lot of fun recording these, and we hope the children enjoyed watching them! A big thank you to all parents and carers who helped create such amazing costumes at home!
Book Week at St John’s 2021 ~ Costumes at Home and at School
Can you guess the books / characters that these students and teachers have dressed up as?
Prioritising mental health in the digital world
Whilst there may not yet be conclusive evidence linking digital media use to poor mental health outcomes there’s no denying that it’s one of the chief concerns facing parents and educators of children and adolescents, growing up in a digital world. The contradictory research findings confirm that this is a complex topic.
There’s certainly consensus in the research that young people are heavy technology users, which comes at a cost of their psychological and physical needs. Their digital behaviours eat into the time that was once available for three pillars of mental health – sleep, relationships and exercise.
Minimising sleep disruption
Sleep is vital for mental wellbeing and emotional regulation in childhood and adolescence. Inadequate amounts or poor-quality sleep can cause mental health issues. Studies consistently show that Australian children and teens aren’t getting enough sleep. Digital device use is also linked to sleep disruption, impacting the sleep-wake cycle. The Lancet study suggested that nearly 60% of the impact of young people’s psychological distress could be attributed to disrupted sleep and exposure to cyberbullying.
Parents need to remind children and young adolescents about the critical role sleep plays in their psychological wellbeing. Parents can help adolescents foster healthy social media habits by establishing a digital curfew, keeping devices out of bedrooms and discouraging teens from ‘bookending’ their day with social media as it can easily trigger the stress response at these times.
Maintaining healthy relationships
Positive relationships are fundamental to a young person’s psychological wellbeing. Adolescents are biologically wired for relational connection. They want to be part of a tribe. Whilst teens and pre-teens may insist that technology connects them and caters for their relational needs, if used excessively or inappropriately, technology use can compromise their relationships and deteriorate their mental health.
Parents need to encourage and sustain opportunities for real interactions amongst adolescents. When we connect in-person the brain releases oxytocin, the social bonding hormone, which isn’t replicated online. The need for keeping a balance between digital and face-to-face interactions is paramount.
Ensuring sufficient exercise
Sedentary social media and digital consumption frequently replaces physical movement on weekends and after school, which are the opportunity times for kids’ sport, free play and outdoor activities. Brain science now informs us that physical exercise boosts serotonin and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine that play a critical role in regulating adolescents’ mood.Lack of exercise is now being linked to the current anxiety epidemic that we are seeing in young people.
Parents need to ensure that children experience a minimum of 30 minutes exercise, and teens a minimum of 60 minutes. “Go outside and play” is a term that this generation needs to hear as frequently as children in past eras.
The research into the links between kids’ digital technology use and their mental health presents a complex picture that defies simplistic conclusions. Blanket statements and headlines that suggest screens and social media are to blame for kid’s poor mental health aren’t helpful as technology is now a part of all our lives. However, there is enough evidence to suggest that the key pillars of mental health outlined above can be severely impacted by the overuse of digital technology. All things in moderation, a common guideline for healthy living, is best when considering kids’ social media and digital technology use.
Dr Kristy Goodwin presents a related webinar: Taming digital distractions
Our school has a membership with Parenting Ideas. As part of this membership, you can attend the upcoming webinar ‘Taming digital distractions’ at no cost.
In this webinar, Dr Kristy Goodwin helps parents and carers understand why children and adolescents are vulnerable to digital distractions. She provides science-backed solutions to help kids and teens develop healthy digital behaviours so that they can focus, learn and thrive online.
Wednesday 8 September 2021 at 8:00 PM AEST
1. Click this link: https://www.parentingideas.com.au/parent-resources/parent-webinars/webinar-taming-digital-distractions
2. Click ‘Add to cart’
3. Click ‘View cart’
4. Enter the coupon code TAMING and click ‘Apply Coupon’ Your discount of $39 will be applied.
5. Click ‘Proceed to checkout’
6. Fill in your account details including our school’s name to verify your eligibility. These are the details you will use to login to your account and access your webinar and resources
7. Click ‘Place Order’
This offer is valid until 8 December 2021. If you’re unable to make the broadcast time, just register anyway and you will get access to the recording.
Dr Kristy Goodwin
Dr Kristy Goodwin is a digital wellbeing and performance speaker, author and researcher (and mum who also deals with her kids’ techno-tantrums!). She’s the author of Raising Your Child in a Digital World, and a media commentator who doesn’t suggest that we ban the iPhone, or unplug the gaming console (digital abstinence isn’t the solution). Kristy translates research into essential information and realistic strategies for parents to ensure kids and teens thrive in the digital world. For further details visit www.drkristygoodwin.com.