Dear St John the Apostle families,
We've had a very big week here at school. We have our re-registration coming up very soon. It happens every 5 years. Preparation involves very early mornings or very late nights for a number of weeks. Schools don't tend to easily let one work on the paperwork required for re-registration during the day. Our core business of working with children and families continues on, and gladly.
One of the great moments in preparing for re-registration has been to so easily provide for the panel the teaching programs and work samples of students. Our teachers are extraordinarily collaborative. They work hard together in their teaching teams to provide rich and engaging programs across every year level.
This week I walked in to see Year 3 sharing a breakfast together as a way of engaging students in an experience where they can talk about Eucharist as sharing a meal. Year 5 have also been producing some fabulous art, inspired by poetry. What a great way to engage students in the evocative language of poetry.
Thank you for being so well prepared for school photos on Wednesday. It was great to still have the opportunity to create these mementos of the year with each class. It was difficult to set a new date with the photographers and despite it being on a Wednesday, almost everyone came in the correct uniform! Well done.
Our understanding is that everyone can still order online if they need to. Please see the details later in this Newsletter.
The Book Fair continues to be a hit among our students. Thank you to Vanessa Hallaj and Georgina Jaram for finding a way to continue with it in the midst of our restrictions in schools. The Book Fair will continue for one more week.
Again, orders can be made online. We have have limited stock provided to us so if the online orders surpass the number of books we have in stock, more will be sent through to us. Please allow a few days between placing the order and expecting to pick it up. Our Library staff are not Amazon, they work part-time and not overnight to pack orders. Every online order placed will be filled when they are next in to organise them.
Earlier this week we had a visit from Gordon Ramsay MLA. He spent a great deal of time walking around the school with four of our student leaders Eseta, Abbey, Abhinav and Leonardo. Our student leaders were excellent representatives. They were welcoming, confident and informative.
Below is a picture of the Minister with some of our students in the Kitchen Garden (practising social distancing).
ACT Election - Saturday 17 October
There are 8 weeks until the ACT Election and I am sure you are seeing candidates from all parties at shopping centres (or even receiving phone calls from them). I encourage you to approach candidates at the shopping centres and mention or discuss the value of ACT Catholic Schools and quiz them on their party’s support for ACT Catholic Schools.
In the ACT, there are 29 systemic Catholic Schools who educate 15,000 students. In Canberra, Catholic schools are very similar to public schools, with our schools having almost exactly the same average ICSEA score (1077-1076). Our schools are inclusive, support families from all backgrounds, and operate on a modest budget.
Did you know that when you compare the total funding that Catholic schools in each state/territory receive, the ACT are the second lowest funded Catholic schools in the country? This is particularly impacted by the ACT Government’s low funding of Catholic schools.
Have a chat to the candidates and mention that you are a parent in an ACT Catholic School and funding of Catholic Schools is an important issue for you.
Matthew Garton, Principal
Annual Survey for Parents, Students and Staff
An annual satisfaction survey of parents, students and staff will be conducted on behalf of all Catholic schools in the Diocese this term. The surveys are designed to gather feedback from parents, staff and students about our school and will be used to inform school improvement. Responses are confidential and individuals can not be identified.
The surveys were launched via email on Friday 7 August 2020 using the email addresses supplied to the school. If you do not receive an email with a link to the survey, you can access and complete the survey at the following link.
Year 3 parents and all of the Year 3 teaching team, attended a Parent Formation Night for the Sacrament of the Eucharist last Monday. Marian, the Pastoral Assistant, always provides an insightful and thought provoking presentation. This year she didn’t use the Last Supper as the mediation but instead the appearance of Jesus to the disciples on the beach of the Lake of Tiberus, after his Resurrection, John 21:1 -14. I have included the scripture here for you to read, so you can see why she chose this story to share.
Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples
21 Jesus later appeared to his disciples along the shore of Lake Tiberias. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas the Twin, Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, and the brothers James and John,[a] were there, together with two other disciples. 3 Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing!”
The others said, “We will go with you.” They went out in their boat. But they didn’t catch a thing that night.
4 Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize who he was. 5 Jesus shouted, “Friends, have you caught anything?”
“No!” they answered.
6 So he told them, “Let your net down on the right side of your boat, and you will catch some fish.”
They did, and the net was so full of fish that they could not drag it up into the boat.
7 Jesus' favorite disciple told Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon heard that it was the Lord, he put on the clothes that he had taken off while he was working. Then he jumped into the water. 8 The boat was only about a hundred yards from shore. So the other disciples stayed in the boat and dragged in the net full of fish.
9 When the disciples got out of the boat, they saw some bread and a charcoal fire with fish on it. 10 Jesus told his disciples, “Bring some of the fish you just caught.” 11 Simon Peter got back into the boat and dragged the net to shore. In it were one hundred fifty-three large fish, but still the net did not rip.
12 Jesus said, “Come and eat!” But none of the disciples dared ask who he was. They knew he was the Lord. 13 Jesus took the bread in his hands and gave some of it to his disciples. He did the same with the fish. 14 This was the third time that Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from death.
Year 3 were inspired! The next day the children arrived to a picnic blanket set out in the middle of the classroom and breakfast for each them. They chatted and laughed, wondered what was going on and were captivated by the scripture. They identified the symbols they could see and the similarities between this story and the Last Supper. What a powerful encounter!
I have a vision in my mind of them in the future, turning to the person next them when they hear this scripture and saying “OH, I love this scripture, my Grade 3 teachers did this really cool thing...”
I am sure the disciples would have reacted in a similar way spreading the joy of the Risen Lord sharing a meal with them.
God bless you all and especially those preparing a child for an upcoming Sacrament.
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 17 August.
|KB||Ernest E||Katie W|
|KM||Aluel A||Jayden A|
|1B||Thomasina N||Cassidy S|
|1M||Noah M||Aashna A|
|2B||Naveliangel S||Vanessa O|
|2M||Sophia Y||Michael H|
|3B||Sophie N||Cooper P|
|3M||Byron H||Tobias P|
|4B||Marley A||Vuyo N|
|4M||Mia A||Elizabeth D|
|5B||Emma M||Evan P|
|5M||Archie B||Lachlan R|
|6B||Ayual D||Brianna R|
|6M||Tyler N||Dakoda L|
|Performing Arts||Hanah N (1M)||Tom G (6M)|
It’s been a busy week in the Library and we thank you so much for the overwhelming support received for the Book Fair. It’s been a little different this year, with only students being able to visit the fair, but there has been a lot of excitement nonetheless.
The Book Fair will be open until Friday 21 August 2020.
Just to clarify, the books we have at the Book Fair are not the same ones in Book Club. We will have some of the titles from Book Club, but not all as we are just sent a random selection. You are welcome to email us to see if we have titles available at Vanessa.Hallaj@cg.catholic.edu.au
Check out the hot reads we have sent out in the SZapp.
Looking for a great book?
Check out these great reads!
Mrs Georgina Jaram (Teacher/Librarian) and Mrs Vanessa Hallaj (Library Assistant)
Encourage kids to occupy themselves
A child’s ability to fill in their own time and cope with moments of boredom are important independence skills to develop. Children have less practise at keeping themselves occupied than those of past generations. You have many jobs as a parent, but constantly entertaining your child, should not be one of them. These ideas will help:
Invite them to keep themselves busy
When your child tells you that he or she is bored they are bringing you a problem to solve. Boredom is your child’s problem, not yours. If this happens, encourage your child to keep themselves busy by asking questions such as “How can you keep yourself amused?”
Make a list
If your child is stuck for ideas make a list of activities that they can refer to when they’re bored. Include a variety of activities such as creative tasks, performance tasks, crafts, sports, indoor and outdoor games, music activities, reading and helping. Place the list in a convenient place with easy access and visibility.
Make a boredom buster jar
Cut up a list of boredom busting activities and place them in a jar. When your child is stuck for an idea to keep him or herself amused invite them to select an activity from the boredom buster jar. Ask your child to add enjoyable activities to the jar over time.
Encourage plenty of green-time
Today’s children spend more time in front of screens, and less time outdoors than those of previous generations. Not only is time spent in natural environments refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating, but It’s also a wonderful way for kids to relieve boredom. Encourage your child to spend some of their free time outside in natural environments to promote good mental health and develop their confidence.
Help find their interests
If your child struggles to keep him or herself occupied, consider helping them identify a hobby or interest that they enjoy. Often finding that one activity a child loves or excels in makes a huge difference to their self-esteem and wellbeing, and can become the driver for future career choice.
Build in downtime
A trait common among healthy families is the propensity for everyone to enjoy spending downtime or unstructured time together. It’s during downtime that parents and children share activities together, which promotes better relationships and helps children’s informal learning.
Most children when given unstructured time will rise to the occasion (even after some complaining) and will find interesting things to do. By encouraging them to find something “to do”, other than filling their time with screen-based activities, you are promoting a fabulous life-skill in your kids.
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.