Dear Parents, Carers, Students and Staff,
This week we gave Caritas Australia over $700 to assist the children of Myanmar. Thank you for supporting this cause. Thank you to Year 6 for organising the Mini-Missions day.
Many of our students are attending their final excursions for the year. Year 3 recently went to the War Memorial. This was particularly important in preparing them for the Remembrance Day Assembly they will lead us in on Monday afternoon. Year 1 visited the Arboretum and Year 4 visited the Waste Management and Recycling Centre. Photos from some of these excursions are available in a gallery further along in this Newsletter.
Thank you to the parents who were able to attend these excursions and help make them an enjoyable learning experience.
Plenary Council 2020
The Plenary Council 2020 is an opportunity to reflect on the work and role of the Catholic Church in Australia and develop a clear vision for the future.
The question being examined is 'What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?'
The Parish held the first of two listening sessions last night and the next is this Sunday at 3.00pm at the church in Kippax. If you would like to participate in the Parish reflection on this question I encourage you to join us on Sunday to contribute to the discussion and future of our Church.
Yesterday I was home sick after suddenly becoming ill overnight. I needed to stay home because I knew that I wouldn't be at all helpful to my staff, families and students and I didn't want to spread it. It was a tough decision to make because I knew that the first Kindergarten Orientation was happening. In the end, I am back today bright and recovered because I took the time to allow myself to recover.
It is the same with students. When they are sick they really do just need a day at home to recover rather than come to school. When they come to school sick they tend to just stay sick for longer. Their attention and capacity to do their work also declines rapidly.
We've had a lot of children come to school sick and have to be sent home over the past three weeks. Please do keep children at home when they are sick. It means that they recover quicker and are at their best when at school. They also don't spread any illness to others. Thank you.
The following section is a repeat from last week:
Classes for 2019
As there are two streams of classes at St John the Apostle there are different combinations of children in classes each year. When forming the class lists the following factors are taken into consideration: gender, learning needs, work habits, friendships, behaviour, health considerations, social-emotional well-being, religion (to assist in achieving a balance between classes, especially in Sacramental years) and common names. Ideally, we aim for an equal spread of both positive and challenging characteristics.
Where practical, parental requests based on educational concerns will be considered. At St John the Apostle, the staff and parents will follow these principles and guidelines when considering placement of students each year:
- Every care will be taken to ensure that each child is placed in the best situation to enhance learning and social development;
- Parents who wish to discuss particular concerns regarding the placement of their children in particular classes should put the concern in writing (email is preferred) and addressed to the Principal only by Friday of Week 5 (Friday 16 November);
- Parent concerns will be seriously considered during the process. It must be clearly understood, however, that no definite guarantees can be given regarding parent’s requests;
- Please be aware that requests for particular teachers or for a particular gender of teacher will not be considered. Which year level each teacher will be teaching is still yet to be determined as staffing recruitment processes are still underway;
- Where appropriate, advice will be sought from the Classroom Support Teacher, School Counsellor, etc. during this process.
Taking into account all of the factors listed above, the current class teachers compile class lists during the first week of December and hand to the Principal for confirmation. Children will be informed of their class placement for the following school year in December (usually the last week of school) and the opportunity will be provided for them to spend some time with their new class teacher. No changes are made after this time; and throughout this process the Principal, after appropriate consultation, reserves the right to make final professional decisions regarding the placement of children.
PLEASE SUBMIT ALL EMAILS BY FRIDAY 16 NOVEMBER.
Have a lovely weekend.
Matthew Garton (Principal)
Thank God for the rain. Sure, it means the kids are inside, lunch and recess, and that provides some challenges! But the joy of hearing the rain on the roof far out ways any inconvenience
10 He gives rain on the earth and sends waters on the fields;
. If, like me, your washing is on the line still, oh well it will dry eventually!
Religious Education Coordinator
Awards are presented at the school assembly each Monday at 2:10 pm.
|KM||Emily T||Chut D|
|KB||Joseph G||Ziva Z|
|1M||Mason W||Aisling S|
|1B||Aizen D||Harry P|
|2B||Adelaide N||Daniel S|
|3M||Michaela H||Briony F|
|3B||Jessica M||Madeleine H|
|4M||Mark G||Alicia O|
|4B||Holly C||Olivia G|
|5M||Amen E||Isabell U|
|6M||Alexander P||Samuel K|
|6B||Annabella M||Dylan W|
|Performing Arts||Hayden S (3M)||Renee H (5B)|
Be careful who you take parenting advice from
It's not until you have kids that you realise that everyone has an opinion about how they should be raised.
The rise of the internet has just multiplied the number of voices, giving many unauthorised people a voice in the parenting space. It is no longer just our close family and friends who share their opinions with us as occurred in the past. Now there are countless expert pieces, parent blogs, chat rooms and articles on any topic you can imagine.
It's confusing enough when your kids are born without special gifts and challenges, but more so when you are a parent with a child on the autism spectrum. They have to deal with many voices including those who can be non-accepting and judgemental. It's my belief that everyone has an opinion, but not everyone has earned the right to share it.
If you're a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, how do you drown out the noise? Who do you listen to? Here are some thoughts.
Listen to autistic voices
Look the advice, stories and opinions of people on the autism spectrum. Their voice shouldn't be discarded. They have lived experience and have incredible insights for you as you parent and your child. Also listen to what your child has to say. We can all learn a great deal from their lived experience. If they can share it (and this may be when they are older), then embrace this knowledge.
Listen to understanding professionals
Identify a support team of professionals including your child' teacher, general practitioner, specialist health workers. They can provide you with not just greater knowledge of autism but provide you with insights into your child's capacities and strengths. Staying focused on your own child can help drown out the noise. It is easier to shake off the voices of others when you have quality support telling you the truth about your child specifically, as opposed to others expressing their general opinions.
Listen to family and friends who love you
Gravitate toward friends and family who will love and support you and your child and steer clear of those who have a need to send you the latest article they've found on autism, or tag you in a random on social media. Seek out people who genuinely want to help and who are willing to spend time with you and your child. If someone's opinions are not real, positive or helpful, then you don’t have to listen to them.
After a child is diagnosed, it can be so easy to go into overdrive and research for hours on end. This is normal! We want to be equipped to do our best at parenting our children. However, set boundaries when it comes to taking on other's opinions about autism and your child.
Steer clear of unhelpful discussion groups
It's common for parents with children diagnosed with autism to hit online discussion groups. It can be so overwhelming to have so many voices telling you what ‘they’ think you need to know. Politely move on from conversations that make you uncomfortable, unless you can take the opportunity to share your perspective and use them as educational moments.
As an active parent and professional in the online space I've often experienced outlandish statements from well-meaning people. I use these situations to share my personal experience (and the strengths of my child) to debunk myths such as autism is caused by bad parenting. Be clear about how you use discussion groups. Use as a way to feel a part of a community, a source of knowledge and inspiration and a place to share your story and experiences.
All parents need to be mindful about protecting their emotions and accepting advice from trusted, knowledgeable sources. I'd suggest that it's even more important to choose well when you're raising kids with autism. Protecting your heart and listening to quality voices is an ongoing journey. But it is essential to looking after your own mental health and ensure that the main thing – your child – remains the main thing.