Dear St John the Apostle Community,
We've had a great transition back this week. Thank you for supporting us during this time of change. We know that it has been a challenge for those with more than one child. This is why we kept it to one week rather than two.
I was recently sent a letter of thanks by a parent that I am happy to share. Just like you, this parent did the tough yards of working with their children at home and at the same time saw how much work the staff put into providing the online learning to students over past months. Thank you to this parent, who wishes to remain anonymous.
Letter to teachers
I just wanted to send my thanks to our wonderful SJAPS teachers who have been working ridiculous hours to make sure our children have a set daily work program.
You may occasionally have heard grumblings across social media channels about parents complaining that they have to ‘home school’ their kids and that teachers are getting off easy, but please don’t pay attention to that noise, as there are also lots of parents out there who realise how much extra work that teachers have put in across this period. Please know that you are still much appreciated.
What those parents don’t see is that it can take 2-3 hours just to produce a single video clip after all the editing and hyperlinks. Looking at the daily package which usually has about 6-8 videos, that puts you at about 18 hours’ worth or prep-work and even split between two teachers for a year, that’s still 9 hours each. Then add on the class contact time and meetings, following up with children’s and parent questions and I’m wondering when do you sleep? I’m not surprised that I see the packages being loaded at midnight and 5am for the two classes I have visibility of. I even had to turn off notifications so I could get some sleep (LOL).
So thank you for going above and beyond during this time, thank you for using your own personal down time to learn new skills and make sure our children are properly educated, and thank you for being there to help out whenever one of our children reach out to you.
Yes as parents we have had to supervise, maybe even learn some new tech skills ourselves, and even done some home schooling (especially for the little ones), but we still get to relax after our child’s school day is over…while you are still working.
Please know you are truly valued and appreciated by the parents of SJAPS.
A thankful parent
A letter to parents
On that note I would like to write a letter to those of you who supported your children:
Dear parents and carers of the students of St John the Apostle Primary School,
Thank you for the many ways you supported us and your children during the time of remote learning that we all found ourselves in rather suddenly. You modeled how to be adaptable, patient and optimistic.
Thank you for when you recognised just how big a task we were undertaking and gave us the time and encouragement needed to keep going. You modeled understanding and empathy.
Thank you for the many times you sat with your child to check in with them or walk them through some of the tasks provided and help them feel a sense of accomplishment. You modeled responsibility, organisation and mentoring.
Thank you for allowing us to enter into your homes via online means and keep building that important teacher/assistant/student face to face relationship.You modeled the value of good communication, relationship and belonging.
Thank you for learning new technological skills and knowledge alongside us and your child. Thank you for when you just 'tried again' when things wouldn't work the first time. You modeled patience and perseverance in the face of a challenge.
Thank you for the times you cooked with your child, cut and glued with them, collected objects for counting and science experiments or recorded them telling a story. You modeled that learning comes in many, many forms!
Thank you for the times you said something like "that's enough for today, let's go for a walk." You modeled the value of balance and moderation.
Thank you for the times you helped them share their learning with their teacher. You modeled partnership and collaboration.
Thank you for every time you showed and told your children that you value their education by supporting them in being involved. There are many students in other countries who would do anything to have that same opportunity. You modeled the importance of learning.
Lastly, thank you for working together in the most extraordinary of circumstances. We have been truly teaching your child together in the past weeks and months. We have a sense you know just how hard we have worked to provide you with this opportunity and we really do know how very challenging it has been for you to support your child at home.
Our community stays at its healthiest and strongest for your children when we work as one. I like to think this has been a great opportunity to show that. Thank you.
Matthew Garton, Principal
It's enrolment time!
Just a reminder that it is enrolment time for 2021! We already have a number of enrolments with a few new families looking to join the St John the Apostle Community. Just a reminder if you have a child looking to start Kindergarten in 2021 to jump on our website and complete an enrolment form.
Please spread the good news about our school. The best marketing a school can do is through their current families. Word of mouth is very powerful when it comes to families choosing a school for their child. Please recommend us and basically, talk us up please. I will be starting to do personal zoom meetings with new families, taking them for a virtual tour and answering any questions they have. I am happy to do this for any new families’ wanting to know more about St John's. I can't talk enough about how great our school is. It's very easy for me to sell the school in the best light possible.
A great way to share about us would be through our social media sites. Please click on the following to visit them.
Today there is lots of activity and lots of energy in the school. It has been a long time since we have felt full and happy like this. We have missed laughing together as a staff and have done lots in the last few days (maintaining social distance of course!).
The best part of being in a Catholic school is being part of a community. Jesus said “20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20 (NRSVCE)
I am pretty sure that it is even better when there are a few hundred happy teachers and kids back together.
God bless you all, rest well this weekend. It has a big, joyful, rollercoaster of a week.
Religious Education Coordinator
Congratulations to the following students who received an award for the fortnightly Positive Behaviour Focus. To watch the online video presentation login to your child's Google Classrooms on Monday 1 June.
|KB||Valentino M||Edith B|
|KM||Alex S||Liam R|
|1B||Jordi M||Charlie W|
|1M||James T||Penelope P|
|2B||Roy A||Adrienne M|
|2M||Felicity B||Jamie S|
|3B||Kelly K||Tyler R|
|3M||Mason F||Ngawang C|
|4B||Duoot D||Sally W|
|4M||Zachary G||David O|
|5B||Tai J||Hayden S|
|5M||Jasmine K||Zeke N|
|6B||Jigme C||Natalia S|
|6M||Eseta T||Joshua P|
School fee statements were emailed home on Tuesday. Term 2 fees are due Friday 19th June, unless paying by direct debit. If you did not receive your statement please contact the school and we will get a statement to you. Please ensure your email address is up to date.
If you are paying by direct debit, fees need to be paid in full by the end of the year. Please click here to see the 2020 fee schedule break up. This schedule is based on 26 fortnights as the year has commenced you will need to increase the payments to cover the remaining weeks in the year. We ask families to set up their own direct debit through your banking institution.
If you would like to discuss your fees please contact Debbie Milne either by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 6258 3592.
Finance office hours are: Monday to Thursday 8am – 4pm.
Charting a new course for kids post COVID-19
While we’ve been denied access during the COVID-19 pandemic to activities such as playing group sport, spending time in a café or meeting with friends, there’s been plenty of upside too.
Discussions with friends reveal that family life has been a big beneficiary from the physical distancing measures. Comments such as “It’s so good to slow down,” “I cherish the time I’m spending with my children,” and “I’m discovering the joy of having real conversations with my teenager” point to the positive side of getting off the family roundabout many of us have been on.
Though the restrictions placed on society are of course challenging, the imposed period of social isolation has provided an opportunity for parents to forge new habits that have potential to bring more joy and less stress to their children’s lives once the threat has subsided. Here are some ideas to consider while charting a new course for kids post COVID-19.
Significant personal hobbies
Our previous reliance on organised, adult-initiated activity to keep kids busy came at the expense of child-initiated hobbies and interests. The rise of personal digital entertainment and communication technology in recent years has also contributed to the demise of hands-on hobbies such as collecting, crafts and music.
The Scandinavians have long valued the positive impact of hobbies on a person’s wellbeing and quality of life. In turn they encourage (and in Sweden’s case heavily subsidise) the uptake of hobbies and personal interests from a very young age.
Personal learning centres
Experts agree that the future of work will be characterised by constant change, requiring workers to continually learn and upskill if they are to adapt. Our children will need to see themselves as continuous learners if they are to succeed in this uncertain future.
The home is a great place to plant this concept in young minds and there’s no better way to do this than establishing their own personal learning centre. Start small with a bean bag, a small book shelf and build from there. It’s the idea rather than the physical setting where the learning significance lays.
Mental health practices
This period in isolation has offered an opportunity to embed good mental health practices in children and young people. Three key health practices to continue include healthy eating, plenty of exercise and good sleep patterns. Add regular mindfulness practice, deep breathing and the opportunity to spend plenty of time in nature and you’ll be establishing a strong mental health and wellbeing framework for life.
Mix of alone and group activities
Life in social isolation has meant family members have had to compromise. Extroverts who love to be surrounded by people have had to give parents and siblings the space they need. Introverts who prefer their own company have been sharing their time, space and company with other family members. Post COVID-19, consider encouraging kids to experience a mixture of alone time, allowing for personal reflection and family time, which promotes family connection. Both are essential for healthy wellbeing.
Deep eldership connection
Increased one-on-one time between parents and kids has been a positive side effect of life in social isolation. The opportunity for parents to connect with children and young people with greater depth and meaning is a return to eldership, practised by past generations. Eldership, where parents shared their wisdom and their vulnerabilities with young people, when combined with healthy rites of passage is a time-honoured way of preparing young people for adulthood.
This period of social isolation has provided a rare opportunity for parents to renew and refresh their children’s lifestyles, and in some circumstances, reboot family lives as well. It would be a waste to climb back on the busy roundabout of life once the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided, without making some positive changes to the way we live.