Dear St John the Apostle Community,
While we've had a very settled start to the school term, today was a sad day for many of us in our community. Today a number of our staff and families attended the funeral of Bella Duggan, 2018 graduate of St John the Apostle Primary School.
Bella was well known by many of our students. She was a bright, bubbly and generous person. She was a conscientious learner and happy to help and support many others. A very pragmatic peer leader, she would easily help younger students in the playground by mediating any conflict. She had a very quick wit and when you spoke with her she was always very 'present' with you. She was a loved big buddy for a number of our younger students. It has been a joy to have Bella be part of our school story and a privilege for our school to have been part of her story.
Today was a beautiful farewell. Her family and close friends remain in our prayers and thoughts over the coming weeks and months as they learn to continue living without her by their side. Her spirit will leave a lasting impact on many for the longest time.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her.
May her soul and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Emergency notification system
Yesterday we closed the school due to contaminated water that was the result of a local issue. It was an excellent test of our system for emergency notification to families. Many parents responded quickly. Thank you.
We did have to make many phone calls to specific parents as well. In the end, it took three hours for all of the students to be picked up. This was not ideal and should there have been a more pressing emergency we are concerned that a larger than expected number of parents and carers are going to be difficult to contact.
There are a number of ways that you can really make sure that the notifications get through to you in a timely manner:
1. Download the SZapp on your phone. Simply search 'SZapp' in the App Store or Google Play and you will find the free app for you to download.
2. In the app itself make sure you register and include an email address you want emergency notifications sent to. Make sure it is also correct. This means that should you not have access to your phone you will also receive an email.
3. In the app, go to the 'Manage' section and make sure Push Notifications are on and that the correct Year levels and other categories are selected as well. This will ensure you receive the alert and/or email notifications for your target groups and not notifications that are irrelevant to you.
Teachers yesterday needed to contact some parents through SeeSaw. SeeSaw is wonderful for sharing learning but is not our preferred system for a broad, focussed sweep of emergency communication, especially in a hurry.
Please help us to help you. Follow the above three instructions and you will have much more reliable communication from St John the Apostle Primary School.
The enrolment period for those children seeking a placement in our 2020 cohort will commence next Monday and continue for the following three weeks. Our school will hold three Open Days (Wednesday 8 May, Friday 10 May and Wednesday 15 May) during this period. Please encourage any relatives, friends or neighbours who are considering enrolling their child to attend an Open Day and approach our Front Office regarding the enrolment.
Have a peaceful weekend everyone.
Matthew Garton (Principal)
At the very beginning of the new school year, I often find myself gazing across the oval searching for the familiar faces of the Year Six children. A small pang of sadness hits when I realise they have gone off to high school and are no longer playing footy or netball or some other crazy running game.
Just this week, a little later than usual, a small child walked past me on the playground just in my peripheral vision and I thought “Oh that’s Bella.” Instant sadness came upon me and my eyes teared up as I realised not only was Bella not a St John’s student anymore but she was the student who passed away during the holidays from a heart condition.
How very sad we are to attend the funeral today of one of our own students. A child who was and always will be part of the St John’s story. All of our children, staff parents and extended families will always be part of the continued story of our community. I am so grateful that my story is intertwined within this community.
Our prayers and thoughts are with Bella and her family as they say their final farewells today.
Matthew 19:14 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”
Religious Education Coordinator
Sunday 19 May
11:30am Cotter Picnic ground near the Dam Wall.
Please bring a salad OR dessert to share. Sausages will be provided.
Happy birthday to Keijo K, Gabriella D, Samson S, Vincent N, Awur A, Ameila F, Amen E, Ronan H, Sarah B, Olivia C, Grace H, Erin V, Rebecca C, Jedd W, Olivia M, Gabriela V, Star H, Aiden S, Amelia S and Bianca L who all celebrated a birthday over the last three weeks.
Congratulations to Sasha (6M) and Samsara (4B) Rauraa who have both been selected to represent St John the Apostle Primary in the PSSA National U12 Track and Field Championships team to be held in Darwin 18th - 23rd September 2019.
Helping kids feel good by doing good
We all want our kids to feel good. Ice cream, days at the beach and play dates may bring kids joy, but once they’re finished the good feeling often disappear.
These feel-good activities give kids a rush of euphoria, but leave them craving for more. This can lead to an addictive cycle known as ‘the hedonic treadmill’ where one cookie isn't enough. They'll need two. Maybe the next week, they’ll need three.
Doing good, however, is the key to living a more meaningful and happier existence. The ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle knew it was true, and modern research bears out the fact altruistic behaviours are associated with better wellbeing, health and longevity. In short, we feel good when we do good.
Every parent wants happy kids. The easiest way to help kids attain happiness is to encourage them to be kind.
Many studies show that our kids want to be kind. They know it makes them happy! Research shows that children from as young as fourteen months want to help others achieve individual goals and cooperate with others to achieve shared goals. This desire to help is something they’re born with – even that child of yours who doesn’t seem to want to help anyone!
A recent landmark study showed even very young kids find helpful and kind acts to be intrinsically rewarding. Two year olds showed greater happiness when they gave treats to others, compared to when they received treats themselves.
Teaching Our Kids to Do Good
If kids want to help because it helps them feel great, it’s our job to help fulfill this natural inclination by guiding them to age-appropriate opportunities to do so.
Here are 5 ways to do just that:
• Role model helpfulness and kindness. Children and teenagers learn to be helpful and kind by copying the significant adults in their lives.
• Encourage them to perform small acts of kindness. Being kind, giving a compliment, helping to tidy up- these small acts are just as powerful and effective as larger tasks such as mowing the lawn for a neighbour.
• Make helping a family project. Get your kids involved when you take a meal to a family who have just had a new baby, or visit a sick friend in the hospital.
• Be a good neighbour. Help your kids learn to keep an eye on others, whether it is a neighbour, or a boy on their sports team. Teaching your kids to notice what’s going on in the lives of people in their community promotes awareness and empathy.
• Be grateful. Expressing gratitude is one of the best ways to do good. In fact, nothing can improve your life (and the life of others) like gratitude.
Doing good deeds is what makes us human. It lifts burdens from others, and lifts us by activating the joyful part of our brains. Teaching your kids to do good is the best way to help them have lasting ‘feel good’ feelings. Of course, they should eat cake too. Even better, share it with a friend for a lasting feel-good effect.
The Woolies Earn and Learn program is back running from 1 May till 25 June. For every $10 spent at a Woolworths store you will be given a sticker, the stickers can then be placed on a sticker sheet (stickers were sent home to the eldest child today and are available from the Front Office). The stickers will then be redeemed for resources from Modern Teaching Aids. Start collecting today to enable us to receive some great resources.
JUNIOR COACHING & COMPETITIONS - Term 2
- FREE Tennis Racquet for new players
- South & North Canberra Venues
- Programs for students of all ages and abilities
- Junior Competitions Available www.tenniscanberra.com.au/competitions
- FREE Coaching Trial Available www.tenniscanberra.com.au/try-tennis
Old Parliament House Tennis Club - OPEN DAY
- Saturday May 4th
- Time: 12-3pm (Free Junior & Adult Coaching 12-30pm)
- BBQ & Open Court Session 12:30-3pm
- Bring family & friends!