In a school we often have times when any one of our students can experience big emotions. It can be a lot of tears, frustration or even laughter. When those feelings are uncomfortable they can be overwhelming.
The human brain develops slowly compared to most other animals. It's highly sophisticated and needs the time. The areas of the brain that support emotional regulation take a long time to develop and so children take a while to learn how to recognise and respond effectively to their big emotions. The quote above is one of my favourites. It helps remind me that, as an adult, I have the capacity to regulate my emotions. The best thing I can do for students here at school and for my own children at home is to 'share my calm' with them and not 'join their chaos'.
It's a great pleasure to be able to work with the UR Fab team again this year. UR Fab is a wonderful early intervention program provided by ACT Health. It targets younger students and their families, providing an opportunity for children to learn how to experience and regulate their emotions a little more easily and for parents to learn techniques to support them in this. While we implement the Second Step Social Emotional Learning Program across the school. The UR Fab program provides a little more targeted support for those in the younger years.
This year UR Fab are offering to work with students from Years 1 and 2. A questionnaire went home this week for families in these classes and I would encourage parents to complete the form and return it as soon as possible to help the team identify which students and families might benefit the most from the program.
The word 'provoke' is not often used in a positive manner. We often think about actions or words that people may use to 'provoke' us to anger.
At school, to initiate student interest and curiosity in a particular area of learning we often plan a 'provocation'. A provocation is a deliberately planned activity to make students express an opinion, challenge their understanding or develop questions.
Our Year 6 students are learning about natural disasters and so this week they were asked to express their opinion and reasoning in response to the statement 'Volocanoes: creators or destroyers'. This statement generated a lot of discussion and interest.
When you think about how we learn as adults it is often after a provocation. When the belt on my drier broke I hit google and YouTube to work out how to fix it. When my son wanted to build his own computer far more cheaply than purchasing a pre-built computer he spoke with friends and used the internet to research as well.
Provocations are good. They make us learn. They are an opportunity to grow. What provocations does your child experience in their day that are an opportunity to learn?
Congratulations to our students who celebrated their First Reconciliation last night. It was a lovely celebration. Fr Kimi and Fr Michael reminded us all that Reconciliation is a joyful event, an opportunity to 'find God again' after we might forget God or do something that might make us more distant. They reminded us that God's love is always there for us, we just need to walk back to it when we get lost.
Thank you to the Parish Team of Frs Kimi and Michael, Marian England and Sharon Greaves for their support for families and children. We are blessed by their work.
Changes in Emails
We apologise if anyone has experienced a lack of response to their emails recently. Over the school holidays our email data was migrated across to new servers. In the process some of the settings changed and many emails have been going directly to staff junk mail. This is being rectified as we discover there is an issue. Please ring the front office if there has been a delay in response.
Please note that the email address for Sarah Collins (K Maroon Teacher) has been changed to email@example.com
We're looking forward to touching base with parents next week through our Parent-Teacher Interviews over Zoom. More information has been sent out via Schoolzine this afternoon.
Thank you for your partnership.
Matthew Garton, Principal
Nationally Consistent Collection of Data of School Students with a Disability (NCCD)
The NCCD happens every year in August as part of the annual census. This year this will take place on 7 August. Put simply, it is a process used to capture the number of students with a disability in a school who require adjustments to access and participate in learning, the year level they are in and the extent of the adjustments. It does not capture names or other personal details about students.
The process involves reviewing students' needs and their personal plans. We currently have 99 students on personal plans at St John the Apostle.
The depersonalised data from the NCCD is used by the Australian Government to allocate financial loading to support school in providing the adjustments needed for the identified students.
For more information about the NCCD please read the following fact sheet. Alternatively, you can visit the NCCD website. If you would like to know more information please feel free to contact your child's teacher, Ms Rebekah Brown (AP/Inclusion Teacher) or myself.
What are Students Learning About?
Last night the students in Year 3 made their First Reconciliation. It was unusual to see the priest wearing masks and to have limited numbers but showed their commitment to the health and safety of all present.
I love the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The children are usually nervous before they go up. You watch them timidly speak to the priest. Although you can’t hear what is being said, something happens and they suddenly relax. Their feet swing on the chair, their shoulders relax and they smile and sometimes laugh.
I am so grateful that their experience of God and forgiveness in this Sacrament is one they will remember with joy.
God bless to all those students and their families. Thank you to Ms van Kamenade and Mrs Ewyk for helping to prepare the students so beautifully.
What are Staff Learning About?
This week staff prayer was run by Ms Fletcher and Miss Brown. Taking the lead from Year 6’s decision to focus on the works of Mercy on Sacred Heart day, they chose to focus on Clothe the Naked. They took us on a journey this week from the practical aspect of donating clothes to clothing people with dignity. It was an eye-opening experience to see how people around the world care for each other in spiritual and practical ways.
Staff donated items to St Vincent de Paul and reflected on how we each contribute to the dignity of others.
It is tough being a parent isn’t it? Am I making the right decisions? Am I enough for my kids? How on earth am I going to get to dancing practice in Deakin and a play date in Watson at the same time!
Last night some time, actually physically present, in the church was just what I needed. I had forgotten how much peace it brings. Thankfully it also bought some perspective. Just trust that God has it all in hand. Don’t worry so much, don’t be so hard on yourself…ask for forgiveness when you need to. I left the church so grateful that my faith sustains me and for the gentle reminder to be present in my faith.
13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
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 3 August.
|KB||Akshaj P||Isabella S|
|KM||April M||Jenson C|
|1B||Vincent N||Gauri D|
|1M||Taylor M||Atharva P|
|2B||Lucius H||Adrienne M|
|2M||Chut D||Ethan B|
|3B||Charlotte H||Mason W|
|3M||Sam J||Xavier T|
|4B||Yusha A||Willow O|
|4M||Cooper N||Francesca M|
|5B||Ajang D||Briony F|
|5M||Isla B||Michaela H|
|6B||Nicholas A||Oscar P|
|6M||Thomas F||Cameryn K|
|Performing Arts||Adeliade N (4M)||Lachlan R (5M)|
Standing behind difficult decisions
by Michael Grose
Johan and Harry were both suspended from school for a day after willingly watching a schoolyard fight. Their school had a zero-tolerance policy toward fighting and believed that those who watched a fight were as complicit in the conflict as those engaged in the fighting.
The reactions of both sets of parents to the boys’ suspensions differed greatly. Johan’s parents supported the school’s actions and made the necessary changes to their work schedules to accommodate the suspension. Privately, they thought that the suspension may have been harsh, but as they agreed with the school’s zero tolerance approach to violence, they knew they had no option but to accept the suspension. They counselled their son against similar behaviour in future and made sure his time away from school was spent doing schoolwork.
Harry’s parents weren’t quite so supportive. Thinking that their son’s suspension was unfair, they contacted the school’s principal asking to have the suspension removed. The principal listened to their concerns however she didn’t remove the suspension. She reminded Harry’s parents of the reasons behind the school’s zero tolerance approach to fighting and urged them to support of their policy. Disappointed but obviously not deterred, Harry’s father took time off work to take his son on a fishing trip on the day of the suspension. This action showed little regard for the school’s efforts to encourage a culture of respectful relationships, as well as scant respect for the principal’s authority.
Make the most of learning moments
Both sets of parents thought that the suspension of their sons was harsh. However, only one set saw the situation as a learning experience for the son. Johan’s parents discussed with their son the place that bystanders play when violence breaks out. They reinforced the message that although it may take courage to stop a fight or bring it to the attention of teachers, it’s these sorts of actions that constitute positive leadership.
Harry’s parents couldn’t see past the injustice of the suspension and missed a great opportunity to teach their son any number of lessons. These include what he may do next time a similar incident occurs, how he might respond when he sees someone being bullied or even how to nip conflict between peers in the bud before it escalates. There are many discussions they could have had with their son due to the suspension. From an educative perspective, this was an opportunity missed.
Trust the process
Arguably, the bigger issue in this story is that just as Johan’s parents did, we parents need to trust the processes that teachers put in place at school, even when we don’t always agree. Family-school partnerships are strongest when parents stand behind the difficult decisions that teachers make, even though the wisdom behind them may not be immediately evident. Sometimes, we all have to stand back and trust a process that’s been in put in place, particularly when it’s been implemented after a great deal of thought and diligence.
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.
School photographs have been rescheduled for Wednesday 12 August. If you have already placed an online order from earlier in the year you do not need to do anything else.
You should have received an envelope from your child during the week. If possible it is our preference that ordering be completed online to reduce administration and potential security issues related to the return of cash and envelopes on photo day. Parents who place their order online do not need to return the order envelope.
Orders for packages and sibling photographs can be placed securely online at www.advancedlife.com.au using our unique 9 digit advanced order code 21X CFH 6YT. Portrait and group package orders are due by photo day.
Should you wish to purchase a sibling photograph online, the order must be placed no later than the day before photo day. Sibling photographs will only be taken if an order has been placed. Sibling envelopes are available at the Office if required.
Full winter school uniform (not sport uniform) should be worn on the day.
Should you have any queries concerning school photographs or online ordering, please direct them via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Scholastic Book Fair 2020
Our annual Scholastic Book Fair in on, although things will be a little bit different this year.
Students will have the opportunity to preview the book fair next week, and flyers will be brought home along with their Wish Lists.
Our Book Fair will run from Monday 10 August 2020 to Friday 21 August 2020 and will be open before school, at lunch and after school. Regrettably, we are only able to have students attend, so sales will be online (details to come) or cash only.
We will have a huge variety of books for sale for all ages, as well as stationery, posters and some great gift ideas. Books sold will be priced at a cheaper rate through Scholastic Book Fairs and a percentage of the takings come straight back to our school. This will go towards topping up our library books, class reading sets, and home readers.
Stay tuned for details about available books!