Dear St John the Apostle Primary School Community,
Thank you to those parents who have responded to our Annual School Survey of Parents, Students and Staff. Yesterday we received notification that 67 parents have responded and 119 Years 3-6 students have responded (we've been giving them time at school).
We really value the feedback each year and take the time to see if there are any particular patterns and themes that emerge for significant consideration in our school improvement planning. I encourage everyone to participate.
An email invitation containing a link has been sent to all parents using the email address provided to the school. If you don't appear to have received one please check your junk mail folder or you can go to the following link:
Today our Year 3 students participated in the First Eucharist Retreat Day. It is a day for all Year 3 students, regardless of their faith background. It is an opportunity to participate in and learn about Eucharist as part of our Catholic Faith tradition as well as provide an opportunity for reflection for those who are actually preparing to receive their First Eucharist. We keep them in our prayers today and over the coming weekend as they celebrate in our Parish Masses.
Positive Behaviour For Learning
When you visit St John the Apostle you will notice a number of posters around the
school that describe the behaviour expectations we have of students (and everyone) in the school. We've added a new poster that names 'safe hands, safe feet, safe words'.
This poster doesn't tell children how to feel or what to think. It simply describes an action. We know that all children slowly learn how to recognise and describe their feelings and develop the language to express themselves. In the absence of the language to do this they can try to express their needs and wants through physical actions.
We are providing a message that physical contact is okay, it just needs to be in a way that people feel safe. Have hugs, pats on the back, hold hands and help each other. When your upset or angry, that's okay too, just deal with these feelings in a way that is safe for everyone, that includes the way you speak to them.
The poster is getting a little more attention at the moment as we learn to use these words consistently throughout the school. You may hear them at home.
It's been great to see the first week of UR Fab sessions for some of our Year 2 and 3 families be such a success. Thank you to the families who have accepted to be part of the program and committed to participating in it. We are very fortunate to have Karina and Charmaine from the program working along side Hannah (our school counsellor) and Allison Lock (Year 3 Maroon) teacher.
We're also fortunate to have our Year 3 Blue class undertake the 'whole class program' with the UR Fab Team.
At the end of last week we were required to submit our Terms 1 and 2 student attendance statistics to the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. You may be interested to know that overall our school had an average student attendance rate of 94%, with Years 3 and 5 having the highest attendance rates of 96% each.
A little more concerning is that 51 students across the school had an attendance rate of less that 90%, which equates to one day away from school per fortnight or a whole week each term or four weeks a year (as a minimum). Sometimes sickness hits hard and sometimes students go away on an extended holiday. However, that would account for much less that 51 students last Semester.
Consistent attendance at school has a very positive impact on children's learning, their relationships with friends and the teacher. In short, it has an impact on their well-being. We'd love to reduce the amount of students with less than 90% attendance. We'd be more than happy to chat with any families that are finding school attendance a challenge. If we ever contact you to check in about your child's school attendance it will always be in the spirit to help.
Just a reminder that next week parents will have the opportunity to undertake a Learning Journey with their child. A Learning Journey is a short visit with your child to the classroom so they can proudly show and tell you about some work they've selected.
There is no need to book in. Your child's classroom will be open for a visit on Wednesday 7 August from 3.00pm to 5.00pm and Thursday 8 August from 8.20am to 8.50am. The teacher will be in the room should you have any questions, however, this will be time just with your child.
Award Nomination for Mrs MacDonald
One of the awards celebrated at the 2019 Catholic Schools Recognition Awards is an
award for 'Untying Religion in Art', i.e. art that generates conversation about spirituality and religion.
We've nominated Mrs Kate MacDonald for the wonderful paintings she has produced for us over a number of years. Her paintings, displayed throughout the school, reflect various annual themes and reflections on scripture and the MSC charism.
We won't know for a while if she will win the Catholic Schools Recognition Award but she has already won in our eyes with her inspirational pieces that ignite our faith and conversation with students and staff at school. Good Luck Kate!
Year 4 Blue teacher, Mrs Alison Ewyk, has re-ignited our Robotics Club! Her own adult sons were enthusiasts of Robotics at SFX and she would love to support the next generation of students to see what they can develop. I look forward to seeing this continued to grow.
I also look forward to seeing many of you next week at our Learning Journeys. Have safe and peaceful weekend.
Matthew Garton (Principal)
I adore my job for so many reasons. The people, the creativity, the learning and the growth. MSC spirituality is ingrained in me because it's so simple, Be on earth the heart of God. Where I come unstuck is when it’s challenging to love or to suspend judgement. So, essentially on a daily basis!
To be human is hard work. So I try, fail, try some more sometimes all in the space of 20 mins. Strangely I’m ok with that.
I look back and see growth, compassion and purpose in my work. I try to share and show love as often as I can. When I don’t, I’m lucky enough to have people around me who remind me of what we are called to be.
1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."
Stephanie Stewart (Religious Education Coordinator)
FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION
St John’s Kippax
Vigil Mass Wed 14 Aug 6:00pm
Mass of the Day Thurs 15 Aug 9:30am
Mass at St John the Apostle Primary School will be at 12noon at the School.
St Thomas Aquinas Charnwood
Thursday 15 August 9:30am - 7:00pm
St Matthew’s Page
Thursday 15 August 6:00pm
Becoming CatholicRite of Christian Initiation of an Adult [RCIA]
St John the Apostle Parish runs an RCIA program all year. If you know someone who would like to become Catholic, please contact the parish office for more information.
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. Please contact the parish office if you are interested in being involved in this initiative.
Aston from 1M loves telling jokes so we asked him to share 3 of his funniest jokes with the St John the Apostle Community. Click on the link below to hear Aston's jokes. - Thanks Aston
Book Week 2019
Term 3 is always an exciting time in the school. Each year, schools and public libraries across Australia spend a week celebrating books and Australian authors and illustrators. Teachers and librarians conduct activities relating to a theme to highlight the importance of reading.
This year, Book Week will be held in Week 5 (19-23 August 2019) and the theme will be “Reading is my Secret Power.”
A Book Week Parade will be held during this week (date and time to be advised) and students will be able spend this day dressed as their favourite book character.
Book Week Competitions will be run through the Library with some great prizes to be won.
Scholastic Book Fair 2019
In Week 5 during Book Week, we will also be running a Scholastic Book Fair. It’s a fun event that brings the books kids want to read right into our school. There will be a wonderful selection of engaging and affordable books for every reading level and hope that families will support our students by visiting our Book fair. All purchases will benefit our school.
During Week 4, students will have an opportunity to preview the Book Fair and will be able to make a “Wish List”of books.
Families will be able to prepay books in advance (instructions on the Wish List your child will bring home). Books can then be collected at the Fair in Week 5 by bringing the receipt on the Wish List with you. If there are not enough copies of a book, we will make a bulk re-order at the end of the Fair.
Stay tuned for the Fair dates and times.
Mrs Georgina Jaram (Teacher/Librarian)
Mrs Vanessa Hallaj (Library Assistant)
Helping children who struggle with learning
by Michael Grose
Parenting is easy when you have a child who is talented and finds learning relatively easy. You can marvel at their performance and feel some measure of parental pride.
On the other hand it’s frustrating and, at times, heartbreaking to watch your child struggle to attain even mediocre levels of success at school, in sport or in leisure activities. It’s even more difficult if your child repeats a year of learning.
When your child has difficulty at school, your approach as a parent makes huge difference to their self-esteem, the relationship with their teachers and their attitude to learning.
Here are some ideas to keep in mind if you are parenting a child for whom success at school, or in other high-status areas such as sport, just doesn’t come naturally.
1. Avoid using other children as benchmarks
Benchmarking your child's progress against that of other children is not a wise parenting strategy. Inevitably it will lead to frustration as there will always be a child who performs better than your own on any scale you use.
Each child has his or her own developmental clock which is nearly impossible to alter. There are slow bloomers, early developers, bright sparks and steady-as-you-go kids in every classroom. It’s the first group that can cause the most concern for parents who habitually compare the slow bloomer to siblings, friends’ kids and even themselves when they were in school.
The trick is to focus on your child’s improvement and effort and use their results as a benchmark of progress and development. “Your spelling is better today than it was a little while ago” is a better measure of progress than “Your spelling is the best in the class!”
2. Focus on your child’s talents
Be mindful that many successful people including Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg struggled at school. Traditional learning wasn’t for them. However they each had supportive adults in their lives who helped them find their interests and fostered their talents. Help your child see beyond any limits they put on themselves (“I’m hopeless at school”) to see the many other talents and strengths they have.
3. Develop a growth mindset
Recent research shows that people who believe they can increase their intelligence through effort and challenge actually do get smarter and do better in school, work and life over time. It’s exciting to know that your child’s talent and smarts aren’t fixed. Their brain can always learn more, continue to grow and be stretched. Communicate a growth mindset to your kids by focusing your praise more on their level of effort rather than on their natural abilities of talents. Praise the strategies they use and look for opportunities to stretch their capabilities.
4. Be your child’s cheerleader
Kids who have to work really hard to achieve need someone in their lives who is able to boost their self-confidence, particularly when they are struggling. Make a fuss over small successes so your child can puff up their chest every now and then. Many adults find it easy to encourage the kids who do well but baulk at encouraging kids who struggle or find learning difficult. But it’s these children who really need encouragement. As much as humanly possible, comment favourably about your child’s effort, contribution and improvement in all areas of life. You can do it!
5. Increase their time in activities where they experience success
As a young teacher I remember when a father banned his son from playing football as his school results were poor. I was incensed. This boy found school learning very difficult and football was one area where he was able to shine. I suggested to the father that his son should spend more time, not less, playing football, as this was the activity where he experienced the most success. Children who struggle at school benefit from spending more time in environments where they feel confident and capable, as those feelings can eventually transfer over to other areas – including the classroom.
6. Be mindful that persistence pays off
Children who have to work hard and persist learn an important life lesson: that success in most endeavours takes effort. Those kids who sail through their childhoods without raising a sweat can struggle when eventually they do have to work long and hard to succeed.
Raising kids who find life a breeze is easy. However, parenting kids who take longer to mature, or kids that must put in a 110% effort to achieve, is challenging for any parent. Parenting a child who struggles, or has to repeat a year level, requires you to develop a growth mindset, focus on kids’ strengths, be liberal with encouragement and have realistic but positive expectations for success.
Just a reminder that the Cancer Council has recommended that it's hats on from the beggining of August. From Monday it will be compulsory for students to wear their correct school hat outside during recess and lunch. Please make sure the hat is named! It will help it return to your child quickly if it is lost.
A reminder that a person may be eligible to join Saver Plus if they meet all the following the criteria:
- be over 18 years old;
- have a Centrelink Health Care or Pensioner Concession card;
- be in receipt of an eligible Commonwealth social security benefit, allowance or payment (many Centrelink payments are eligible)
- have some regular income from work (themselves or their partner) including casual, part-time, full-time or seasonal employment; and
- have a child enrolled at school (or enrolled to start school), or attend vocational education themselves.
Pied Piper Productions is a musical theatre school for children and adults. We are currently rehearsing Puss in Boots for staging in the October school holidays at Canberra College performing arts centre. We are looking for two children ages 7-9 who would like to gain experience in musical theatr in a small part. Rehearsals are Wed night 5 to 7.30. If there is anyone interested please contact me and I will send out a schedule and further information. Contact Nina 0409823640