Dear St John the Apostle Primary School Community,
This time of year is quite busy in schools. I have 360 reports to read and conduct quite a number of 2020 enrolment interviews. I also have the good fortune of being part of the St Thomas Aquinas ELC enrolment interviews for those with the intention of attending St John the Apostle for Kindergarten in 2021.
I meet so many beautiful and amazing children. There are boys who love horses and girls who instantly start building with the connector pens in the room rather than draw. There are parents who are nervous because it is their first child going to school and there are those who are completely relaxed because it is their last. There are families who are relatively alone in Canberra after moving here and those who are third generation, surrounded by cousins and aunts and uncles and friends. There are children who speak a myriad of languages!
I am reminded every year that each family and child's story is unique and while I hear statements like "He's a typical little boy”, I know very well that there isn't really a 'typical' anyone, there isn't really a norm. There is only diversity and difference. Difference is actually the norm. Difference is good!
As we enter the final days of Term 2 I have noticed that there are a significant number of students who are wearing items of clothing that are not part of our school uniform.
School uniforms are a way of developing a sense of equality and belonging among students. They also make getting dressed simpler each day and provide families with durable and easy to care for items of clothing. There are so many benefits to our school uniform.
In the next two weeks, we will notify specific families about any non-uniform items that are currently being worn so that these can be rectified prior to or during the school holidays. Please use the Qkr! app to place an order or look out for the Schoolzine alerts to let you know when the clothing pool is open to pick up an item or two.
Next Friday Semester 1 Reports will be sent home with each student. The following Monday 1 July and Tuesday 2 July will be an opportunity for Parent-Teacher Interviews. These interviews are an opportunity to discuss the student report and see how your child is going since meeting at the three-way conferences earlier this year. Children are not expected to attend the Parent-Teacher Interviews. Early next term the students will prepare Learning Journeys where they will show parents a few pieces of their work and share their learning goals for Semester 2.
Thank you to the Community Council who approved the purchase of new barbecues for use at many of our school functions. The old barbecues have had a great workout over the years but are no longer easy to use and maintain. The funds for the barbecues come from the small profits that are made by the Clothing Pool. It is great to know that by using the Clothing Pool you are also supporting the school.
As the term is coming to an end I hope you are making sure that you find a little time for your own rest and recuperation.
Matthew Garton (Principal)
Sometimes when I am a bit stuck with the newsletter I ask the lovely Leanne for inspiration! This week she suggested I write about Disney on Ice. I laughed and tried to think of something else but as I have said before… the Lord works in mysterious ways.
I did take my younger sister, who is autistic, and my youngest son. I will admit that I was not really looking forward to it. I was pleasantly surprised. It was a Disney explosion…and yes I got suckered into buying Disney merchandise.
All of that being said, in the middle of ice skating, I had a moment. My little sister, who has been to Disneyland and had breakfast “WITH THE PRINCESSES!” (that is how she says it every time), was thrilled when Mickey and Minnie waved at her. Now, we were way, way up the back and with the lights shining in their eyes there is no way that the characters could have seen her. But it didn’t matter. To her the connection was made.
And there it is, connection. What we all need and crave. There are times when I am so connected to my faith it almost hurts and times when it hurts because I am not. I am much more okay with the ebb and flow of my faith journey than I ever have been. What I seek is a connection to that deep personal part of myself.
Where are you connected right now? Practise some self compassion if you are not where you want to be. Life is a journey. Hope is eternal. Disney events included.
Jeremiah 29:11 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
Religious Education Coordinator
Feast of the Sacred Heart Mass will be held in the school hall on Friday 28 June at 11.00am.
We would love for you to join us in celebration.
Reconciliation Action Plan [RAP]
The Parish Pastoral Council is developing a Reconciliation Action Plan and is seeking people who may be interested in being part of the development committee.
Sacrament of the Eucharist
Formation Evening for Parents
Monday 24 June 2019
7:00pm – 8:30pm
St John the Apostle Parish Centre
First Holy Communion will be celebrated at the following masses
Saturday 3 August 5:00pm
Sunday 4 August 10:00am
Saturday 10 August 5:00pm
Sunday 11 August 10:00am
arish office if you are interested in being involved in this initiative.
Freezing night in Canberra
Thursday 20 June 2019
“One night isn't a lot, but it can make a whole lot of difference”
our parishioner Ted Kell has participated in the SLEEPOUT this year.
You can still donate. To donate go to www.ceosleepout.org.au
and donate using his particular reference.
After an exciting start to our disco (our barbecues set off the fire alarms) I think it was one of our best. We would like to thank everyone who answered our call out for volunteers. We had so many first-timers, which was fantastic to see. A big thank you to our regulars that help each disco. A special thank you to Jack & Dave who are our main sausage cookers at every disco. It was freezing out there! Thank you to Anthony our DJ and for the first time we had Yr 6 students rostered on to help with the junior disco. They did such an amazing job and we are very proud of them. Thank you to everybody that helped make it a great night.
See you at next disco.
From the Disco Community!
When kids experience problems at school
Every parent wants the best for their children, and that includes wanting them to have great experiences at school. By and large, Australian schools deliver on that expectation. They are generally safe places for kids, staffed by hard-working teachers who have the best interests of their students at heart. Achievement, discipline and student wellbeing are high on the list of priorities for most teachers.
Nevertheless, despite the best teaching practices things do go wrong at school. Most kids experience learning difficulties from time to time. Conflict and peer rejection are a normal part of school life. The developmental nature of childhood means that there will always be some turbulence, particularly around key transition ages such as the start of adolescence. During these times young people frequently experience a dip in their learning as well as significant relationship difficulties. Kids will often come home from school with grievances, and call on their parents for assistance.
Your approach as a parent when your child has difficulty at school can make a huge difference to their resilience and to their future relationships with teachers and peers. This includes not only any advice you may give and the way you give it, but also the way you approach the school, if that becomes necessary. Unfortunately, anecdotal evidence suggests that there’s been a significant increase in aggressive incidents at schools involving parents reacting to their children’s grievances. This presents a danger to teachers, harms the all-important teacher-parent relationship, and sets a bad example to children about how to resolve differences.
Here’s a seven point checklist to help you stay focused and be effective if your child experiences difficulty at school.
1.Be empathetic first
Kids, like adults, like to vent. They will often benefit simply from having told their side of a story to a trusted source. Often they just want their parents to understand what’s happening, so your first response should be an empathetic one. That is, your child should feel you understand them and take them seriously. “That’s awful. I’d be upset too if someone stole my lunch” is the sort of response kids want to hear when they are genuinely upset.
2.Stay calm and take your time
It’s natural as a parent to want to protect or defend your children, particularly when you think that they’ve come in for some unfair or poor treatment. But acting when you are full of emotion is not always smart as emotions make us prone to over-reaction and jumping to all sorts of possibly incorrect conclusions.
Rather than getting on the phone straight away to organise a meeting at school, take your time to think through how you might assist your child. Time generally provides greater perspective, which will likely lead to a better response from you.
3. Get the all facts
Getting the facts about the situation can be really tricky. Kids are faulty observers and often only see one side of a story when there’s a problem with a teacher or a fellow student. They sometimes can’t see that perhaps they may have contributed inadvertently to a dispute at school, or perhaps said something that may have upset a teacher. It’s your job to help your child or young person process what happened in an incident, so that all the facts emerge and you can fully understand their place in any problem. Keep asking questions to enable the complete story to unfold.
4. Assess whether to go to school or not
Often problems can be dealt with at home, simply by talking through an issue and giving kids some common sense tips to help them cope. However, if your child has a recurring problem that he can’t solve himself, or you think adult intervention may be needed to sort out a relationship issue with a teacher or peer, then consider meeting with your child’s teacher or year-level coordinator.
5. Use the right channels if you take the issue to school
Approach the school calmly, going through the school office or directly to your child’s teacher if that is the usual protocol. If you have already established a relationship with the teacher concerned, then it’s often easier to approach them directly.
6. Look for solutions rather than blame
Parent-teacher meetings usually get nowhere when either party blames the other. State the problem as you see it and view your child’s teacher as an ally, not a foe. “I’m really worried about Jeremy. He’s been acting strangely lately and I need some help” is the type of approach that will elicit a helpful response. Talk about your concerns and keep the discussion focused firmly on what’s best for your child. Listen to your teacher’s viewpoint, valuing a different perspective.
7. Stay in touch
Be realistic with your expectations, remembering that some problems can’t be solved to your satisfaction, nor will they be resolved straight away. Be prepared to work alongside your child’s teacher over the long-term, which means maintaining communication with each other.
Parenting is easy when things are going well, but testing when your children struggle or experience difficulty. Stepping back and taking a long-term, reflective view is often the best approach when your child experiences difficulty at school.
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.