Dear St John the Apostle families,
We are playing catch up a little at the moment and so this week we have had our Reconciliation Week virtual liturgy and participated in a few activities in classes.
At our staff meeting this week we began having a lengthy discussion to define the aspirations we have for students when they complete their journey in Year 6 and head off to high school. We talked about the values we want them to hold, the skills, the knowledge, the understandings, the memories, the feelings (See more information below to learn about how you can contribute to this discussion).
I spoke with staff last week about how important Reconciliation Week is to celebrate with our students. It can't be 'something extra' we do. It has to be a genuine (age appropriate) conversation in our classes. These children are a future generation. They will influence their own families and friends, community groups and organisations they belong to. They may even influence whole states, territories and the country. The values and understandings they have about our indigenous people and their history and tradition will be essential to bring healing where it is needed in our country. The values and understandings they develop begin now.
There has been so much in the media about the response by the American people to death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and how it reflects the racism that is inherent in the cultural fabric of their country. Plenty has already been said. I want us to weed out of our own country any of the values or behaviours or systems that limit the lives and potential of our aboriginal brothers and sisters. As parents and educators we may not always be able to feel we have a great public influence over all of the limiting an devaluing experiences that aboriginal and other people may have in our country right now, but we can shape the next generation, who will be able to make a far wider difference for many people. We play the long game.
Let's show our children the value of Reconciliation. Our mission at St John's after all is 'to be on earth the heart of God'. What's in the heart is often seen in the hands and heard in the mouth. Let's help our children have the next wave of positive impact in healing a reconciliation in our country.
COVID-19 Restrictions Update
We continue to not gather as a whole school community in the mornings or Monday afternoon assembly. Our Year 6 leaders run the morning assembly over the PA system. Thank you to Mrs Stewart who has prepared a virtual assembly each week, including scanned copies of merit certificates. We want to maintain our school routines for students.
Some of the community groups who hire our school hall are beginning to return with small groups for their evening classes. They are following the guidelines that have been directed by the ACT Government and developed their own procedures and practices.
We're also keeping with our drop off and pick up arrangements at the moment, asking parents to not come into the school grounds each morning and respect the 1.5m physical distancing where possible at afternoon pick up.
Thank you to everyone who has returned a borrowed device used during remote learning. Almost all came back in the same condition they were borrowed out. We have been able to get most of them back in place for every day use by students.
Our cleaners are continuing to conduct extra cleaning on top of the normal routine, including cleaning and disinfecting high touch areas and spraying child safe disinfectant on playground equipment and students' desks at the end of each day. It has meant that our school budget has had to change a little to accommodate these extra measures but this is a small price to pay to keep us moving forward in containing COVID-19 here in the ACT.
We continue to ask that no home made items are sent in to share with classes for student birthdays. Rather, students are welcome to bring in individually wrapped items such as Freddo frogs or order a birthday pack from the canteen using Qkr.
Aspirations for students
Often when parents come for a school tour to consider enrolling their child they are taken around the school by Year 6 students. They often come back commenting on how wonderful they have been. They begin to build a picture of what their own child may be like in Year 6 and feel excited about that.
So we want to hear from you. What do you wish for your child at the end of Year 6 at St John the Apostle Primary School. What are your aspirations for them?
Pleas let us know in this very simple survey. We will combine your aspirations with those of the staff to see all that we as a community want for our children/students.
I hope you all have a lovely long weekend....again!
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.
There are many reasons why I am a teacher. I love learning, I love kids, I love the chaos (yes really!).
The thing I love the most is the relationships that are created in the time we have together. You see, after all this time of being a teacher, almost 25 years, I am still connected to many of my students and families.
It is a joy to see them grow, finish school and create their own lives and families. Really, teaching is all about connections to each other. Remote learning has had an impact on many little people, and I am not surprised. No screen can share the wonder of learning, the crazy jokes or the love we have for our students.
When new prac students come to school I always say to them if you don’t love this job right now, you need to do something else because you can’t do this job if you don’t love it.
We are so happy to have all our students back and to be building our community again. Jesus was all about building community, no one left out and everyone loved. Our mission “To be on Earth the Heart of God” is definitely guiding us right now.
Sister Margret Mary Alaocque in the 1600’s was blessed with visions of Jesus. She was asked by him to establish a Feast day for the Sacred Heart. It occurs every year 19 Days after Pentecost which means it always fall on a Friday but moves each year. In fact the entire month of June is devoted to the Sacred Heart.
Understood in the light of the Scriptures, the term "Sacred Heart of Jesus" denotes the entire mystery of Christ, the totality of his being, and his person considered in its most intimate essential: Son of God, uncreated wisdom; infinite charity, principal of the salvation and sanctification of mankind. The "Sacred Heart" is Christ, the Word Incarnate, Saviour, intrinsically containing, in the Spirit, an infinite divine-human love for the Father and for his brothers.
Excerpted from the Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy
As we move towards our Feast Day on the 19th of June our Year Six students are helping to prepare our celebrations. They will look a little bit different this year as we are unable to celebrate Mass together.
What are we learning about?
This week Clare, our Youth Minister, has visited Kinder, Year One and Year Two. She spent about half an hour with each grade reconnecting them with their “I am statement”. She really enjoyed working with the students and can’t wait to go into Year 3 and 4 next week.
Our focus on the "I am statements" is to help all students and staff see and understand that Jesus is present to us in all aspects of our lives. As shepherd, as gate, as vine, as truth, as bread, as light and as resurrection. At different times in our lives we relate to and understand each image differently. My hope is that the children always maintain a connection to the scripture they have worked with this year.
God bless,Steph Stewart
Religious Education Coordinator
Notices from the Parish
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 8 June.
|KB||Theo C||Chloe L|
|KM||Shanaya S||Penelope A|
|1B||Sophia C||Riley M|
|1M||Roman D||Allira R|
|2B||Joseph G||Ziva Z|
|2M||Apryl P||Awur A|
|3B||Grace H||Kobi S|
|3M||Uasi T||Diosa M|
|4B||Daven M||Emily N|
|5B||Miles M||Lacey S|
|5M||Diamond M||Zella K|
|6B||Izabel S||Hannah S|
|6M||Andy H||Maddison O|
|Performing Arts||James M (1B)||Emma T (5M)|
Conquering kids’ techno-tantrums
So, what makes technology so psychologically appealing for kids and how can we help them to unplug so that screen-time doesn’t end in scream time?
Technology is so appealing
Technology has been intentionally designed to cater for our kids’ most basic psychological drivers. As humans, our three most basic psychological needs are the need for connection, competence and control.
Technology caters for these needs in very clever ways. For example, our need for relational connection explains why many of our boys are obsessed with multi-player video games and girls are infatuated with social media. These online tools have also been designed to help young people experience competency- gamers see tangible measures of their performance by their levels of attainment, or battles won. Scrolling through YouTube and ‘selecting’ which video they’ll watch next also enables young people to experience a sense of control and agency over their lives – something they biologically crave.
Here’s what technology does to their brains and bodies
Digital technology impacts on children and young people in the following ways:
‘It feels good’
When our kids use a screen it’s usually a pleasurable experience for them. Their brains secrete the neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes them feel good. This means, when you demand that they turn the device off, you’re terminating their production of dopamine (pleasure response). It’s better to provide a choice of more appealing transition activities when you want them to move away from a screen. For example, suggest that they ride their bike, or walk the dog after they’ve switched off the device.
‘I want more’
The online world has no stopping cues, so our kids and teen never feel ‘complete’ or ‘done’. They can always refresh social media; continue to play to attain another level in a game; or watch another YouTube clip. This is also referred to as the state of insufficiency.
One parenting tips that works is to give your children and teens hard end points. Rather than giving them a quantity of time (for example, you can watch an hour of TV today), give them the finish time (for example, I’d like you to switch off the TV at 4:30pm).
‘It’s so novel’
Our brains are wired to seek out new and interesting stimulus. The online world is always instantly gratifying, fast-paced and requires minimal cognitive effort. In comparison the offline, real world doesn’t always offer novelty. The real world is a lot slower-paced, and it’s not always instantly rewarding and interesting like our kids’ digital world.
Ensure your kids and teens have ample time to experience boredom. Our brains were never designed to be switched on and processing information as they are in the digital world. Opportunities for boredom allow the brain time to reset and help our kids become accustomed to not always being ‘switched on’.
Our school has a membership with Parenting Ideas. As part of this membership, you can attend the upcoming webinar ‘Understanding techno tantrums’ at no cost.
In this webinar Dr Kristy Goodwin helps parents and carers understand why children and teens emotionally combust when they digitally-disconnect, and how to establish new, healthy technology habits.
17 June 2020 8:00pm AEST
1. Click this link: https://www.parentingideas.com.au/parent-resources/parent-webinars/webinar-understanding-techno-tantrums
2. Click ‘Add to cart’
3. Click ‘View cart’
4. Enter the voucher code TECHNO and click ‘Apply Coupon’ Your discount of $37 will be applied.
5. Click ‘Proceed to checkout’
6. Fill in your account details. These details are used to login to your account and access your parenting material
7. Click ‘Place Order’
The voucher is valid until 17 September 2020.
Dr Kristy Goodwin
Dr Kristy Goodwin is a digital wellbeing and performance speaker, author and researcher (and mum who also deals with her kids’ techno-tantrums!). She’s the author of Raising Your Child in a Digital World, and a media commentator who doesn’t suggest that we ban the iPhone, or unplug the gaming console (digital abstinence isn’t the solution). Kristy worked as an educator for fourteen years before becoming an academic and speaker who’s on a mission to help children, teens and adults tame their technology habits so they’re not a slave to the screen. For further details visit www.drkristygoodwin.com.