Dear St John the Apostle Community,This week we celebrated Reconciliation Week. Thank you to Mrs Stewart and the Year 6 leaders who prepared a beautiful liturgy, included a self-choreographed dance, for us all.
West Belconnen Child & Family Centre
On Monday morning I visited the West Belconnen Child & Family Centre at Kippax to learn a little more about the services they offer to families. When I walked in it was so incredibly warm, friendly and welcoming. I met one of the intake workers, Michelle, who was very, very helpful and who introduced me to the many programs they offer.
Did you know that you can simply drop-in? When you do, a trained professional will sit with you, listen to you and help either connect you to a service they offer or to another service they know of that will meet your need. This can lead to one-to-one support with Child and Family Workers. The service is free of charge. While the services focus on birth to 8 years old there are select services on offer to children up to 12 years old.
The West Belconnen Child and Family Centre offers advice around:
- general parenting
- adjusting to being a parent
- family relationship issues
- your child's behaviour development
Location: 6 Luke Street, Holt
Phone: (02) 6205 2904
If you would like to know a little more about the services they provide we have some of their pamphlets available in the Front Office area. I would encourage anyone with young children and who is looking for support to make contact with them and see what they can do for you.
Have a lovely long weekend.
Matthew Garton (Principal)
By the time you read this I will be another whole year older. My age is something of a laughing matter for the younger children at school. We often giggle about how much older I am than other teachers. They think 48 is ancient! I used to think that by 48 I would have it all together. I don’t know about that.
But I do know this…
It is true what they say about clean houses, no one actually cares.
Stepping on LEGO in bare feet comes out at a 9.5 on the pain rating scale.
Tea is better than coffee (who knew?)
Growth is essential. Hard but essential.
And love…well… it’s everything.
I LOVE my family.
I LOVE my work.
I LOVE my community.
St John the Apostle knew what he was talking about. The word "love" appears 57 times in the Gospel of John, more often than in the other three gospels combined. And Paul wrote to the Corinthians (13:13) (NRSVCE) 13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
How can you argue with that? God bless,
Stephanie Stewart (Religious Education Coordinator)
Congratulations to the following students who received an award for the fortnightly Positive Behaviour Focus 'Transitions - A clean finish' or another great achievement. The awards will be presented at the School Assembly on Monday 17 June at 2:15pm.
|KM||Noah M||Ethan Z|
|KB||Kiri F||Leo K|
|1M||Lorenzo S||Aston B|
|1B||Jack R||Sophia Y|
|2M||Eva G||Kobi S|
|2B||Ajay B||Sophie N|
|3M||Matthew H||Ameila F|
|3B||Vuyo N||Isabella T|
|4B||Jessica M||Evan P|
|5M||Sophia H||Jaxon R|
|5B||Tyler N||Maddison O|
|6M||Mercy L||Bryce C|
|6B||Amen E||Anotida Z|
|Performing Arts||Dihini S (6M)||Cooper P (2B)|
Karen Monck (Grandmother of Tyler and Cooper N) has kindly offered to take over coordinating the school banking for students at St John's. This means you can recommence sending in bank books as of next week. Banking days are on Tuesdays. If you would like to set up an account for your child please feel free to contact the office.
Not in front of the children!
The things parents say in front of their children have wide-ranging effects on their learning, confidence and behaviour.
Ever said something about another person in front of your children, only to hear one of the kids repeat those words in public when the subject of your comments is around? Yes, children’s blatant honesty can embarrass the hell out of their parents. We need to be mindful of what we say in front of our children.
But being embarrassed by our children is only half the communication story. As celebrated US psychologist Martin Seligman found in his ground-breaking research about optimism, children usually reflect the explanatory style of their primary parent by the age of eight. So, for instance, if a parent is a raging pessimist there’s every chance that their kids will pick up and convey the same ‘woe is me’ way of viewing the world from an early age. As parents, this means we need to be really mindful of how we present the world to our kids.
Kids take their cues from parents as trusted adults
But it’s not just with optimism or pessimism that we need to be careful about our messaging. Kids take their cues from their parents as they work out how to behave and belong in all sorts of ways. Tell a child he has a learning difficulty and he’ll believe it. Tell a child she has a behaviour problem and she will believe that. Tell them they are no good at maths and the message will more than likely stick. And why not? Children look at parents as wise, trusted adults who know a thing or two about the world. Even adolescents, who are renowned for wanting to challenge the authority and world view of their parents, still use their parents as significant reference points.
Parents who talk down other people – including teachers, friends and family members – in the vicinity of their children are teaching those kids to devalue those same people. Even when we vent about someone else out of sheer frustration we are shaping our children’s views about those people.
For all these reasons, as parents we need to be so careful about the messages we give out.
‘I don’t have to do that work’
Recently I heard how a thirteen-year-old girl refused point blank to work for a teacher as her mother had said that the teacher’s expectations were unreasonable. Miss 13 cited her mother’s views when she refused to get to work saying, “My mum says I’ve got a problem with learning. She says you need to take it easy on me but you don’t. I don’t have to do your work!”
This type of entrenched view is very difficult for a teacher to encounter without ridiculing the parents and the young person. However stories like this are more common than most people think. They reinforce the notion that parents need to be mindful of what they say in front of their children, whether that be about the child’s abilities, their teachers or anyone else.
Negative views can easily shut down kids’ learning. Some children are quicker than others to latch on to even a skerrick of their parents’ negativity as an excuse either not to work or to lower the expectations of others.
Sometimes it’s best to say nothing at all
As adults we have all sorts of opinions that don’t necessarily need to be shared with our kids. We may hold strong political views for example, but if young people are to formulate their own opinions then it may wise to curb our opinions when they are around.
Similarly, it may be smart to keep mum if our views about religion, sexuality and ethnicity are intolerant or don’t follow the mainstream. That’s not to say we don’t discuss these issues at home. Children and parents in healthy families are able to discuss all manner of issues, with even extreme views tolerated and challenged rather than mindlessly expressed and held as if they are the only possible truth.