Dear St John the Apostle Community,We've had a lovely day today at the Charnwood Athletics Oval for our own K-6 Athletics Carnival. Congratulations to all of our students for their wonderful participation. Thank you to the Year 5 and 6 teaching team who organised the event, particularly to Mr Jack Gibson who lead the team in this process. Thank you also to the parents who came to help the day run smoothly, we couldn't do this without you.
Review of Student Counselling and Wellbeing Services and Practice in CECG Schools
In the interests of ensuring our students have access to high quality programs and systems to support their wellbeing, Catholic Education is conducting a review of the wellbeing services and programs that are currently available in our schools.
Parents are invited to provide input into this process of review by completing a brief online survey that may be accessed by following the hyperlink:
At the conclusion of the process we will report to you on our findings and related plans for the future to ensure that the services available to our students are of the highest quality.
UR Fab...What's next?
The entire teaching staff have undertaken four and half hours of professional
learning with the UR Fab Team this term, learning about the functions of student behaviour, typical emotional regulation for children, the specific needs of students who experience diagnoses such as generalised anxiety or ODD and strategies to help all students to learn to regulate their emotions.
Year 2 and 3 parents and teachers were provided with a questionnaire to help identify students and families who might benefit from being part of the UR Fab small group program next term. The Action Team met this week to shortlist these students and families and some parents will receive a phone call very soon to invite them to be part of the program. Priority will be given to those students where both teacher and parent perceived that they would benefit from participation in the program.
Student Wellbeing Highlight: Next-Step Child Under 12 Program
The service is delivered by mental health professionals who are trained in working with younger children. Next Step provides:
- mental health assessment and intervention
- up to 16 sessions of individual, family or group programs
- a supportive and practical approach to assist parents and carers to identify and address the child's needs
The service is available at no charge to people who meet the eligibility criteria. Next Step program staff work together with the child and family to achieve the best outcomes for the child.
Catholic Care are the providers of the Next Step service in the ACT and more information is available at the Front Office or at https://www.chnact.org.au/next-step.
Have a lovely weekend.
Matthew Garton (Principal)
Last night at the Parish Pastoral Council we were talking about how people contribute to the life of the Parish as a way of expressing their faith.
Expressing faith is an interesting concept. How do people do that? At St John the Apostle Parish about 700 - 800 people per week celebrate the Eucharist. Many do other acts of service that are incredibly important to the community and to their own personal expression of faith.
Yesterday a small act reminded me how important those everyday expressions are. A teacher worked out that I was about to do my second duty for the day. It doesn’t sound like a lot that he offered to split it with me but it meant a lot. He was acting out of compassion and understanding.
Jesus was the same. When he saw a need he did something about it. I can’t tell you how many times that happens in our school day. Child to child, teacher to teacher, parent to teacher and all the other combinations that are possible.
When I see these things happen I realise how much good work we are doing to embed the radical compassion of Jesus in the life of all of our children, staff and families.
I am sure you do these things in your daily life too.
Together “We are on earth the heart of God.”
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,[a] you did it to me.’
Religious Education Coordinator
Managing your child’s anxiety
by Michael Grose
If your child feels anxious reassure them that these feelings are a normal response to new people, events or potentially challenging situations. Help your child understand that there is a great deal they can do to manage their anxious feelings, so they can get on with the activities they enjoy.
If your child is anxious they may struggle to explain how they feel. An important first step in anxiety self-management is explaining to your child how anxiety works.
• Teach your child that the amygdala, the part of the brain that protects them, is always on high alert when they are anxious.
• Explain that the amygdala sees danger where there is none, but the body prepares to fight for life or flee from danger as if it’s protecting them from a hungry lion.
• Talk about the changes that happen in their body to power them up to fight or flee including; increased heart and breathing rates and the pumping of the blood from the stomach to the arms and legs, which can cause nausea and even vomiting for some.
Help recognise anxiety-inducing events
Help your child to recognise the specific situations and events that make them feel anxious such as meeting new friends, sitting tests and fear of rejection. In this way you can help your child manage and minimise his feelings of anxiety.
Respond with empathy
When your child feels anxious, the part of the brain that controls rational thinking, decision-making and concentration temporarily goes offline. They can feel easily overwhelmed by simple, everyday events and situations. Rather than protecting your child by allowing them to avoid meeting these challenges, or dismissing them as trivial, validate their feelings with statements such as “I can see you’re feeling worried about going to camp without your brother.”
Managing anxious moments
Help your child develop the tools to regulate and push their anxious feelings to the background. Practise these anxiety management tools when your child is feeling calm, and it will be easier for them to practise when they are nervous. These include:
• Taking some deep breaths: Deep belly breathing from the diaphragm calms the amygdala, reducing feelings of anxiousness.
• Bringing their attention back to the present: Use their senses to bring their attention to the present moment and away from their worries – “Tell me five things you see, four things you hear and something you smell” .
• Getting them moving: Physical exercise is not only a great distraction but it releases feel-good endorphins that help children and young people feel better and more optimistic about the future.
• Defusing their thoughts: Help your child to distance themselves from their thoughts by using distancing statements. Replace “I’m going to fail the test” with “I had a thought that I’m going to fail the test.” Rather than changing their thinking, assist your child to distance themselves from unhelpful thoughts
There's a great deal you can do to help your child manage their anxiety. Start by assisting your child to understand the fundamentals of anxiety, show your understanding of their feelings and be ready to support them emotionally to push their anxiety to the background.
As your school has a membership with Parenting Ideas, you can attend the upcoming webinar - Managing your child’s anxiety - at no cost!
About the webinar
Join Michael Grose in this webinar where he will help parents better understand the nature of anxiety, equip them to recognise it in children, and provide practical tools to help children and young people manage and minimise their anxious states.
Tuesday 25 June 2019 8:00pm AEST.
This webinar is $37 per person to attend, and is free of charge to families at schools that have a membership.
How parents can redeem the voucher
1. Click this link: https://www.parentingideas.com.au/parent-resources/parent-webinars/webinar-managing-your-childs-anxiety
2. Click ‘Add to cart’
3. Click ‘View cart’
4. Enter the voucher code ANXIETY and click ‘Apply Coupon’ (valid until 25 July 2019). Your discount of $37 will be applied and the webinar will be free of charge.
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.
It is back! Earn and Learn for schools.
Thank you to all the families who are supporting our school by sending in their stickers. Please keep them coming in.
Last year we collected nearly 30,000 stickers as a community, which meant we were able to get many resources for our school.
Starting Wednesday 1 May, anyone can collect stickers to support our school when they shop at Woolworths, whether they’re staff, parents or friends.
Stick together and collect more
With every $10 spent* at Woolworths, one sticker is collected. These can be placed onto the Earn & Learn sticker sheets and dropped into the collection box at St John The Apostle Primary School. You can also bring the stickers in and we will add them to sheets at school.
Earn great equipment from MTA
Woolworths will be partnering with Modern Teaching Aids, Australia’s largest supplier of educational equipment. This means we will be able to choose equipment for our schools own learning needs across Arts & Craft, Digital Technologies, Maths, English, Science, Outdoor and Indoor Play and more.
Get bonus stickers with Fresh Food Kids Discovery Tours
This year if you book and attend a Fresh Food Kids Discovery Tour between 18 March and 25 June 2019, you’ll receive up to 1000 bonus stickers! Book at woolworths.com.au/discoverytours.
Thanks for your support in collecting the Earn and Learn stickers for our school.
As part of Merici College’s 60th Anniversary celebrations, a very special concert and fundraiser will be held on Friday 9 August and Saturday 10 August in the College Auditorium, Wise Street Braddon. The concert starts at 7.00pm (arrival and seating at 6.30pm) on both nights. Walk down memory lane as each decade is revisited through dance, music, drama performances, Alumni reflections and current students highlighting life at Merici College. Tickets and refreshment packages available at www.trybooking.com/BCWAY. All funds raised will be used to improve indoor and outdoor learning spaces for students.