- From the Principal
- Catholic Life & Reflection
- Celebration of Positive Behaviour
- Happy Birthday
- School Fees
- 2019 Student Residential Address Collection
- Swimming Carnival
- Multicultural Twilight Fete
- Clothing Pool
- School Photos
- Harmony Day Special Lunch
- St Johns Garden Produce
- Parenting Ideas
- Community Notices
It is only Week 3 but it certainly feels like Week 4 or 5! We've covered a lot of ground so far this term, thanks to the hard work of our staff and many parents. Thank you to the parents who were able to help at the Swimming Carnival on Wednesday. Your assistance made it run very smoothly. Thank you also to the Year 6 parents who attended the Opening Mass today and helped us to celebrate the start of our year.
Student School Leaders
Congratulations to our student school leaders for 2019. Today all of our Year 6 students were presented with Student Leader badges that signify the special leadership role they take in the school among the student body. It is a privilege for them to take care of the younger students and help make school a happy place for all.
Congratulations also to the following students who have been selected by their peers to undertake an additional role as Peer Leader. This role involves extra responsibilities in various portfolios. They are:
Congratulations also to our two School Captains for 2019 who have been identifed by their peers as having the leadership skills for harnessing the energy of the Year 6 cohort and making a positive impact in the school. Our 2019 School Captains are:
|Olivia Monaghan||Lidia Swiderski|
A new Community Council
On Wednesday night we held our Community Council AGM. It was once again an opportunity to thank Veronica Sammons and Natalie Nicholson for their service as Chairperson and Vice Chairperson in recent years.
We also welcomed new members to the Community Council. Congratulations to all of our 2019 Community Council Members. Thank you for supporting our school and all of its families, students and staff.
|Vice Chairperson||Craig Neiberding|
|Parish Representative||Fr Gerard McCormick (or delegate)|
|School Staff/Executive||Anthony Ganley|
|Parent Representatives||Tegan Campbell|
|Heather Rattenbury (Clothing Pool)|
|Belinda Duke (Fundraising)|
I look forward to working alongside this wonderful team throughout the year as we continue to grow our school.
Three Way Conferences
In Week 5 we always send out Interim Reports that gives an indication of how students have settled in for the year. Students also indicate on the report how they think they have settled in. We want to increasingly assist students to understand their own responsibility for their learning and so on Monday March 4 and Tuesday March 5 we are holding Three Way Conferences at which the Interim Report will be provided.
These are similar to Parent-Teacher Interviews but will involve the child in the discussion. They can be a little more relaxed and the student will have an opportunity to share a piece of work, discuss this Interim Report and, with both the teacher and parent(s), determine a learning goal for the first Semester.
These conferences are 10 minutes long and only one parent need attend though both are very welcome.
Bookings will be available online through SZapp. We expect to have a Three Way Conference for every child in the school. A flyer went out today to remind everyone to download it so that they can make the booking of their choice.
The shape of our community
At the Community Council I reported a little on some of the diverse nature of our student population. I thought I would share some of that with you here. So that you can better understand the community to which you belong.
The enrolment numbers for the beginning of the year are:
- Kindergarten 40 (21 boys, 19 girls)
- Year 1 46 (26 boys, 20 girls)
- Year 2 52 (31 boys, 21 girls)
- Year 3 51 (22 boys, 29 girls)
- Year 4 54 (31 boys, 23 girls)
- Year 5 56 (25 boys, 31 girls)
- Year 6 60 (31 boys, 29 girls)
- TOTAL 359 (187 boys, 172 girls)
The increase in class size over time happens as people move to our school for various reasons. We often begin to have waiting lists in the middle and upper year levels.
Some statistical information includes:
- Our students live in 33 different suburbs in ACT or NSW including
- Florey – 55 students
- MacGregor – 64 students
- Dunlop – 40 students
- Higgins – 23 students
- Holt – 29 students
- Flynn – 16 students
- Murrumbateman & Yass – 12 students
- 57% identify as Catholic, 23% identify with another denomination or faith back ground, 20% identify with no particular faith background.
- 6% of students have a diagnosed disability, 22% students are on a Personal Plan.
- 20% of students identify English as an Additional Language or Dialect (EAL/D).
- 1% of students identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander.
- Families in the school include:
- 147 families with one child enrolled in the school
- 72 families with two children enrolled in the school
- 18 families with three children enrolled in the school
- 3 families with 4 or more children enrolled in the school
Of particular note is that while our general percentage of students with a disability and of particular genders have not significantly changed, our percentage of students on Personal Plans has significantly increased in two years and our percentage of students with EAL/D has more than doubled in the same time. We welcome this continuing to grow and the opportunities this provides for our students to be part of a more culturally rich environment.
Statistics like those above determine funding for our school. Recently we were audited regarding our 2018 August Census details (much like those above), particularly in regard to the supporting documentation/records that validate the statistics above. The auditors were very impressed with and pleased with all of our documentation and I would like to thank Leanne Griffiths (Front Office), Anthony Ganley (Classroom Support Teacher/AP) and all of our staff for their excellent efforts in maintaining this documentation, enabling us to receive the best possible funding outcomes to support our students. It is hard work amidst the core job of teaching and we have an outstanding team here.
This week we have set the sails for a great journey ahead. I'm very excited about what we will achieve in our school this year. On this note let me share with you a section of a poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox that I often use with the School Leadership Team to remind us about the importance having a strong direction.
One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
'Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
Have a lovely weekend.
Matthew Garton (Principal)
“You are welcome to leave your foot prints on this country … for you are standing on sacred ground”.
This quote is a combination of the Ngunnawal greeting and a reading from Exodus. Our focus for 2019 is to understand the concept of 'sacred ground'. We are blessed to have another image painted by our talented teacher Kate MacDonald. It is a multilayered artwork that is significant for the children and the staff in different ways.
The most prominent image is the rainbow serpent. Today it holds great meaning for us as we walk to the church. The circle at the bottom of the rainbow serpent represents the school and the head the church. The body is the journey we take between the two, physically and spiritually.
Underneath you can see the purple cross representing both the Lenten and Advent seasons. The rows of three white dots, the Trinity. There is a stone for each teacher, office staff member, classroom support assistant and parish priest. And finally, there are footprints from each grade level. In essence this painting encompasses the sacred ground that is St John the Apostle Primary School.
Each person who views it finds something different to connect to. What strikes you in this image?
Stephanie Stewart (Religious Education Coordinator)
Sacrament of Penance
PRESENTATION MASSES are this weekend, 23/24 February. Please look at your packs for details.
Please hold all the children and their families in your prayers.
The Refugee Resettlement Committee (RRC) will hold a morning tea after the 10am mass on Sunday 3 March in the parish centre. This is to say thank you to our wonderful volunteers and others who have helped us over the last year. However, all parishioners are invited to come along, to find out more about the RRC and the work it does.
New volunteers are always welcome.
Congratulations to the following students who received an award for the fortnightly Positive Behaviour Focus 'We use our manners' or another great achievement. The Awards will be presented at the School Assembly (presented by Year 6) on Monday 25 February at 2:15pm.
|KM||Xavier G||Amelia S|
|KB||Riley M||Ivy S|
|1M||Olivia A||Roy A|
|1B||Lucius H||Toni O|
|2M||Matilda M||Raphael I|
|2B||Emry W||Cameron F|
|3M||Yusha A||Neroli D|
|3B||Claire B||Seth W|
|4M||Emma T||Nelson K|
|4B||Briony F||Jacob P|
|5M||Jack G||Natalia S|
|5B||Eseta T||Thomas G|
|6M||Mia G||Alex S|
|6B||Charlie M||Max M|
|Performing Arts||Olivia A (1M)||Brodie S (6M)|
School fees have been sent out, if you have not received your statement please contact our Finance Officer, Debbie Milne, via email email@example.com.
School fees are due Friday 8th March unless paying by direct debit. If you are paying by direct debit please ensure your payment plan is covering your school fees. Please see details attached further in this newsletter. The fortnightly payment listed on the fee schedule is based on 26 fortnights. If you started your direct debit after the start of the year you will need to pay a little more to cover your fees.
Year 6 camp
Payment in full for Year 6 camp is due Friday 8th March, unless you have made other arrangements with the Finance Officer, Debbie Milne. If you need to discuss payment options please contact Debbie via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Debbie Milne (Finance Officer)
The 2019 St John's Multicultural Carnevale FETE is just one week away. We still need more support to ensure our Fete is a huge success and that we can begin work on our Outdoor Playground Masterplan, including updating the oval and the play areas on the blacktop. Your support is greatly appreciated. Below are some areas we will need support with in the coming days.
- Chocolate for the chocolate toss.
- Any glass jars you may have that can be sent in for tombola.
- Any books that you think we could sell at the book stall.
- Bottles of wine for the wine tombola.
- If you have a specialty dish you make that you would like to see sold at the FETE, please feel free to contact us.
- Remember to bake this weekend or the days leading up to the Fete for our cake stall. Plates to go home soon.
- If you have any spare plants, we would love to have them for the plant stall.
- If you have an esky we could borrow please label it and drop it at school next week.
Anything that needs to be dropped at school can be done from Tuesday 26th February from 9am.
Please email email@example.com or call 6258 3592 if you require further information.
Thank you to the businesses who generously donated prizes for the silent auction to be held at the Fete on 1 March. This Canberra Raiders jersey will be one of the items available to bid on at the auction. See below for more fabulous prizes to be won.
Movie Tickets x4
Gift Card x2
Waves Car Wash
Double Pass x2
Gift Card x2
Southern Cross Club
Voucher (max. 10 ppl)
Harbour Cruise for 2
Captain Cook Cruises
Canberra Indoor Rock-climbing
Luna Park Sydney
2018 Signed Jersey
The Framing Store
3 Pack Mixed Wine
Lake George Winery
½ Hour Massage
Day Pass x2
The Bloc Haus
Family Pass x2
National Dinosaur Museum
Round of Golf for 2
Gold Creek Country Club
30 day membership x2
Canberra Labour Club
8 visit voucher x2
Next Gen Health Club
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
Moving beyond asking, “What did you do at school?”
By Michael Groose
Ever found yourself asking your child the same bland question about school?
“So, how was your day? What did you do at school today? What did you learn?”
If these are your default questions the chances are that you’ll get a one or two word reply along the lines, “Fine!” “Good!” “Okay” “Nothing much.”
These answers don’t really tell you a lot. On the other hand, these types of questions don’t ask a great deal.
So how can you move beyond the mundane when you talk with kids about their school days?
Set the atmosphere
It helps to create the right atmosphere for conversations. A quick “How was your day?” as you pick a child up from school is a rapport-builder or mood checker, but little more.
If you drive you may learn a bit on the trip home, particularly if you keep the radio off and are able to keep some distance between kids and mobile devices. Alternatively, walking home together may loosen up your child’s tongue and put them in the mood for talking.
Give kids a chance
Most kids need some time and space to unwind before expecting them to talk about their day, particularly if you are going to ask them questions. This makes sense as most adults would feel annoyed if they were assaulted as soon as they walked in the door about their day, “How was your day? What did you do? Who did you see?” Ahh! Stop!
Create conversations rather than ask questions
The dinner table makes a great place to talk, if all televisions are off, mobile devices are left behind and you take the time to make it more than a pit stop. One way to kick off a conversation is to ask kids if they’d like to hear about your day. From my experience kids are often interested in the most mundane things that go on in an adult’s day so don’t think you have to make it sounder grander than what it is. This gives kids permission to talk about their own days; your story can stimulate conversations which provides openings for kids to ask questions and share a little or in some cases a lot about their own day at school.
Interesting questions lead to interesting conversations
The questions you ask to prompt a conversation will often say a great deal about you and what you value. If you focus only on academic or learning questions, then it indicates that’s what you value. It helps to take conversations and your questions in different directions to get a multi-faceted window into your child’s school life but also an indication of your child’s interests, social skills and welfare. Here are some examples of question starters that may prompt different responses from kids about their time at school:
• Tell me what made you laugh today?
• Who did you play with at recess today?
• Did you do anything that was brave?
• If I spoke to your teacher, what would she tell me about you?
• What did your teacher talk about today?
• Is there anyone in your class who needs to be in time out?
• Where’s the best place to hang out/play at school?
• Tell me one good thing that happened to you today?
• Who were you nice/kind/friendly to today?
• Did anyone push your buttons today?
• What did you do that you were proud of/happy with today?
• What’s something you learned with a friend today?
• What’s your teacher’s most important rule?
• If today was musical instrument what would it be? Why?
• If you were a teacher tomorrow, what would you teach the class?
Next time you’re ask a cliched and dull question about your child’s day stop yourself before you utter the words. Instead think outside the square and ask questions that may stimulate a response beyond “Fine” or “Nothing.” And remember they may not feel like talking, which is fine too. Like adults, kids need to be in the right mood and the right environment if they are going to share a meaningful conversation about their day.