As you read this I am at the Year 6 Camp enjoying spending time with the students and staff.
The Year 6 Camp is such an important part of the way we set up our eldest students for the school year. They test their capacity to problem-solve and to collaborate together. Most importantly, it places them in such a differnet environment that they see aspects they never knew about each other. They see that others have the same vulnerabilities as themselves and they also see unexpected strengths in their peers. For those who embrace it, it is a profoundly positive experience.
Parent Information Night
Thank you to all the parents and carers who attended on Monday evening, for those who came to the hall session and for those who came a little later. We work very hard to provide easy opportunities for you to engage with your child's classroom and school experience. It was such a lovely evening and had a wonderful buzz about it. Thank you to our wonderful staff who prepared so well and to Mr Ganley who cooked a lot of sausgaes that kept families full for the evening! Thank you for the lovely feedback about our new staff and the newly painted areas.
We noticed on Monday evening that approximately half of the parents in some year levels turned up. I like to think that this is because a) some people are yet to download the new app to see the calendar and newsletter, b) the night clashed with too many family commitments to attend, or c) many people are very comfortable and confident in their child's teacher this year and what will be happening in the classroom. The next day we sent home packs to parents who did not attend. In the meantime we have aslo received questions and emails about school and classroom that would have been answered at the information evening and in the packs.
Thank you for reading this Newsletter today and keeping up with what is happening in the school. We very much appreciate your effort in your busy life. Please encourage others around you to connect in with the SZapp to keep abreast of news and information. Simple permission slips will begin appearing soon and we would prefer these to be filled in online. Remember also to look at the information in your child's pack about connecting with Seesaw. Over the course of this year you will see some wonderful pieces of work from your child through this new means.
Please remember the following:
The Community Council AGM will be held on Wednesday 20 February at 6pm. All parents, carers and members of the community are welcome to attend.
The Community Council provides an opportunity for members of the school and parish communities to support the vision of the school, and is an amalgamation of the roles of the P&F and School Board.
Membership is made up of the school principal, assistant principal, elected parent representatives, staff representative and a representative from the Parish and we all come together twice a term to meet.
This year, the Council is seeking a new Chairperson. If you are interested in this position or being a part of the Community Council, please nominate by contacting Veronica (current Community Council Chair) CommunityCouncil.email@example.com or see me for further information.
Have a lovely weekend.
Matthew Garton (Principal)
As I was driving home today with a chattering 8-year-old in the back of the car it occurred to me that one day I will miss this. The stream of conversation that includes Pokémon, how much he loved his lunch and the new friend he made today. To be honest there are times I wish for a quieter ride home but having an 8 year old means I know that time is brief, when he wants to tell me everything. So, I try to be as present as I can and show that I really am terribly interested in who would win a battle between Spiderman and Superman.
And I pray for my kids. I pray because I am so grateful for these two humans. I pray they will always love me like they do now. I pray they will always want to chatter and share their life with me.
Jeremiah 29:12 (NRSVCE)
12 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.
God bless you all and your families.
Stephanie Stewart (Religious Education Coordinator)
Please update your profile on QKR under the 'Profiles' 'Manage Profiles' tab to reflect your child/childrens' class for 2019. The tuckshop is receiving many orders with students assigned to their 2018 class which is causing much confusion amongst the tuckshop and students.
School photographs are scheduled to be taken on Tuesday 2 April. Whilst an envelope and flyer will be distributed shortly, if possible it is our preference that ordering be completed online to reduce administration and potential security issues related to the return of cash and envelopes on photo day.
Orders for packages and sibling photographs can be placed securely online at www.advancedlife.com.au using our school’s unique 9 digit advanced order code (see above). Portrait and group package orders are due by photo day.
Should you wish to purchase a sibling photograph online, the order must be placed no later than the day before photo day. Sibling photographs will only be taken if an order has been placed.
Should you have any queries concerning school photographs or online ordering, please direct them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tuchshop is looking for a volunteer to help out on a Thursday. It is a great opportunity to get to know others and become involved in the St Johns community. If you are available and would like to help please contact the school.
Top five strategies to improve your parenting this year
By Michael Grose
The start of the year is a great time for making changes and improvements to the way you raise kids. But it's difficult to know where to begin.
To assist with the change process we've carefully selected five practical strategies that will have a positive impact if acted upon. We've organised webinars in the first half of the year to assist you to implement each strategy.
1. Switch on your child’s strengths
Most of us have been conditioned to focus on what kids can’t do. There is a better way. The Positive Psychology movement lead by US-based psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman showed that when we can unearth kids’ strengths we are, in effect, unlocking their true potential for success and happiness. Three elements come together to make a strength and parents need to be mindful of all three: performance (being good at something); energy (feeling good doing it); and high use (choosing to do it).
Professor Lea Waters, author of the wonderful new book The Strength Switch and current President of the International Positive Psychology Association will show you how to focus on kids' strengths in her
webinar ‘Switching on your child’s strengths‘.
2. Balance kids’ extra-curriculum activities
Alongside social media and news events, being busy is now recognised as a major stressor for many children and young people. The choice of activities to keep kids busy after school hours is mind-boggling.
Having so many options is wonderful but it does place a new set of pressures on parents and kids. The cost of loading kids up with scheduled activities is that many don’t get the chance for free play, or simply ‘vegging out’ on the couch.
Parenting Ideas expert Dr.Jodi Richardson will help you find the right balance of activity for your family in her webinar ‘Balancing extra-curricular activities‘.
3. Focus on friendships
Friendships are an important part of the road to adulthood for a child or young person. Friendships can also be problematic. Not every child is naturally outgoing and makes friends easily. If your child has difficulty forming friendships and is worried by that, then there are many ways to approach this including: encouraging kids to spend one-on-one time with others, making extra-curricular activities fit their interests, and coaching kids to develop friendly behaviours.
The wonderful Sharon Witt will conduct a webinar ‘Teach girls to build each other up‘, focusing on friendship skills especially for parents of girls.
4. Give kids tools to manage anxious moments
Currently we have a childhood anxiety problem. A big one! And it’s mostly undetected as community understanding of anxiety is low. It’s our experience at Parenting Ideas that many parents are anxious and they don’t know it, and many children routinely experience anxiety, which goes unrecognised.
Parenting Ideas founder Michael Grose is conducting a webinar ‘Managing your child’s anxiety‘ to help parents on this challenging but important topic.
5. Develop rights of passage
Community changes have largely eradicated many traditional rights of passage, making it harder for a young person to know when they’ve become an adult.
Fortunately, many families are now creating their own to mark events such as the end of primary school, the move into the teenage years, and mark different stages of adolescence. These traditions are now becoming legitimate rights of passage for young people.
Internationally recognised expert on rites of passage Arne Rubenstein will outline practical ways you can recognise a young person's important life markers in his webinar ‘Creating 21st century rites of passage‘.
Will anything be different this year? Change and improvement in anything worthwhile generally comes incrementally rather than in one giant leap. We've pointed you in the right parenting to take this year. With our webinars we’ve made it easy to take that vital first step. Have a great parenting year.