Dear St John the Apostle families,
I have been enjoying all of the Kindergarten enrolments interviews again and leaving every one with a smile on my face. Children are amazing. It takes me back to when my own children (four of them now between 15 and 22) were enrolled in Kindergarten at St John's. I have to wear my 'Principal Hat' during the Kindergarten interviews and at the same time just enjoy how cute they are. They make the funniest comments. One pre-schooler 'interviewed' me all about the tuckshop! It seems food was the most important aspect of school.
Thank you to those parents who have completed the 'aspirations for our children' survey below. I have enjoyed reading the responses so far and will be sharing a summary of them, without names, at the Community Council meeting next week. The parent contributions will be combined with our staff contributions. Next week we will ask many of our students for their ideas as well. Together these will describe the shared vision we have for our students/children during their journey at St John the Apostle.
Feast of the Sacred Heart
This coming Friday we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart. It is our annual day to celebrate as a community, particularly with staff and students. Students can wear an item of red along with their usual sport uniform on Friday.
Next week, as part of a staged return to usual practices we will return to our normal morning line up and assembly routines on the rainbow top. We will be able to pray together, greet each other and celebrate birthdays as a school community. It won't quite be a full return to normal as we have been advised that staff are the only adults to be present at this time and parents are still not yet able to enter the school grounds in the morning.
Student Care Insurance
Every now and then students at school may have an accident on the playground or in
the classroom that results in injury. Catholic schools have a Student Care Insurance Policy with Catholic Church Insurance (CCI) that can be claimed against to help families cover any health costs not covered by Medicare related to the injury.
Please ring through to our Front Office or visit https://ccinsurance.org.au/Insurance/Pages/Student-care-information.aspx for morning information about when this might be relevant for you to access.
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?
Please 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.
Thank you, as always, for working together.
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.
It is always a part of every role in my life… teacher, mother, sister, wife and friend.
This week has provided many opportunities to communicate in different ways. There have been lots of difficult conversations which has caused me to want to withdraw and hide a little.
But yesterday, a difficult conversation turned into a blessing. The parent reminding me about how much of an impact teacher’s have when we communicate. Just a quiet word or a short conversation really makes a difference. I can remember the kind words spoken to me in moments of need.
We are wired to communicate and, at the moment our personal prayer is the strongest connection we have as we are unable to attend mass as regularly as we would like.
Jesus spent time in prayer often removing himself from the crowd to do so. Does personal prayer have a place in your everyday life?
Matthew 14:23 (NRSVCE)
23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.
These promises were revealed in one of many private revelations that Jesus gave St. Margaret Mary. Our Lord promised the following:
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state in life.
2. I will establish peace in their families.
3. I will comfort them in their trials.
4. I will be their secure refuge during life, and, above all, in death.
5. I will shed abundant blessings on all their undertakings
6. Sinners will find in My Heart an infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Lukewarm souls will become fervent.
8. Fervent souls will rapidly grow in holiness and perfection.
9. I will bless every place where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
11. The names of those who promote this devotion will be written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
12. I promise thee, in the excessive mercy of My Heart, that My all-powerful love will grant to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months, the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their Sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.
Number 9, I am sure, is why husband’s grandmother (and many others) had images of the Sacred Heart in their homes. Like this one! Did you have one in your house?
What are we learning about?
This week Clare, our Youth Minister, has visited Year 3 and Year 4. As she has gone into more classes, she is finding new and fun ways to engage the children with scripture.
Year 3 wrote thank you prayers and Year 4 have drawn images of themselves on grapes to become part of the Vine.
All of the children I spoke to have loved the experience and are so happy to have Clare visit them.
God bless,Steph Stewart
Religious Education Coordinator
Notices from the Parish
Managing separation anxiety at school drop-offs
Going to school for most children is a positive experience however some children can struggle making the transition from their home environment to school. It’s naturally distressing to see your child upset at school drop-off but there is a great deal you can do to make school drop-offs easier for you and your child.
Breaking the cycle of separation anxiety at school
A child’s clinginess, crying or tantrums at school drop-off can be disturbing for you as a parent. Despite putting on a brave face, you can feel guilty that somehow you’re the cause of this behaviour. Unless something traumatic has occurred then leaving your child at school is a normal part of life, something your child will get used to. The following strategies may help eradicate your child’s tears and fears when you take them to school:
Tell the story
Prepare your child thoroughly each morning for what will happen when you leave your child at school. Repeat the story each morning before school so they can fully prepare for drop-off.
It takes two
Involve your child’s teacher in the drop-off process as they will be the person who must deal with an upset child. In extreme examples, at the start of term or after a long absence, a later starting time may give your child a chance to say goodbye in more relaxed circumstances.
Give me five
Rituals are both personal and reassuring so develop a special goodbye ritual that you consistently use when you leave your child each morning. Your special ritual may be simple such as a special wave or kiss, or fun such as a high five, low five, fist pump bursting into a hand explosion. Then leave quickly without stalling or looking back. Avoid making leaving a bigger deal than it what it is.
Reduce the rush
Is your child a morning star or night owl? Many children are slow starters in the morning, which can mean that they’re frequently rushed and arrive at school in highly anxious states. Do all you can to reduce morning stress, which may include earlier bed and waking times; laying out school clothes the previous evening and making minimal demands on their time.
This is the place
Location carries memory so choose carefully the place you say goodbye to your child. If a kiss or hug at the school-gate means a happy child, then you’ve probably found your goodbye place. Experiment with your goodbye location until you find one that works.
It’s your job
If goodbyes continue to cause tears, tantrums or clinginess consider, if possible, saying goodbye to your child at home and allowing another adult – your partner or another parent – to take your child to school.
If separation anxiety continues
If your child’s separation anxiety interferes with their concentration and learning, prevents them from making friends, is excessive and goes longer than a month, consider getting professional support. Separation anxiety left unchecked can lead to school refusal and other anxiety disorders later on.
For professional support consult with welfare teacher at your child’s school, your local general practitioner or local council for suitable health care professionals in the area.
Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s an award-winning speaker and the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It. Michael is a former teacher with 15 years experience, and has 30 years experience in parenting education. He also holds a Master of Educational Studies from Monash University specialising in parenting education.