Dear St John the Apostle families,
On Wednesday and Thursday evenings we attended very beautiful First Eucharist celebrations at our Parish. Many of our Year 3 students received First Communion, along with a few older students from our school.
At each celebration a student was also received into the Catholic Church, Sophie N and Ryan S. What an amazing moment.
I would like to offer my sincerest thanks to our Parish team for the way they organised the celebrations over the two nights, ensuring they complied with all health regulations for the current climate. It was important to them that the children and families were able to celebrate this Sacrament together. Everyone commented at how lovely it was. Thank you also to the members of our parish who read, served at the altar and played music. It was lovely to have a welcoming parish presence.
Congratulations to all of our children who celebrated their First Eucharist.
Student safety walking home
Earlier this week a parent contacted me to let me know of some people that were
hanging around at one of the underpasses nearby, worrying some of our students who walk home. I was very thankful that the parent contacted me and I was able to gather these children and have a small chat with them, reminding them of the ways they can stay safe on their way home. I made sure the children understood the importance of stranger safety and the need to report any unusual incidents or approaches to staff and parents immediately.
While the situation caused students to feel a little worried, there was no actual incident. I would just like to remind everyone that if you become aware of an incident or notice anyone acting suspiciously around a school or child, contact police immediately on 131 444. In the case of an emergency, call 000. If you witness an incident or if you have any information that could assist police, you can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information can be provided anonymously.
Please support us to keep our children safe by having conversations with your child about moving safely around the community and what to do if they ever feel unsafe. You may wish to visit the Australian Federal Police website that contains child safety information. In addition, Safety4Kids is a non-government website that has useful information and links. The Constable Kenny website also has a number of child safety tips for parents.
Our social media presence
You may have noticed that in the past few weeks we have increased our social media
presence, particularly on Facebook. Facebook is an excellent way to share our school story with the wider community and for families to share school happenings with their family.
We are very careful with our use of children's photos on Facebook. We use the permissions provided on enrolment and updated at the beginning of each year. If you have any questions about photo use, please feel free to contact Leanne in the Front Office (Front.Office@cg.catholic.edu.au).
Father's day breakfast
Unfortunately, we won't be able to hold our traditional Father's Day breakfast this year. The current health restrictions recommend we don't have any large gatherings if it is not essential to the running of the school.
We look forward to when we are able to get together with all of our families again.
For the last three weeks of Term 3 I will be taking leave. Next week will be my last week of the term. Like many people, this leave was booked last year to travel overseas. I was to visit the Holy Land with a group of other Principals. Obviously this can't happen now so I will be taking the time to rest. It has been more than 10 years since I have taken any leave and I am looking forward to returning refreshed in Term 4.
During my absence Rebekah Brown will be Acting Principal, Stephanie Stewart will be Acting Assistant Principal, Alison Ewyk be Acting REC and Bree Dess will continue as Coordinator. This will mean a few small changes to the teaching arrangements for 3 Blue and 6 Maroon for those three weeks. I will write to these classes directly to inform them of the details.
Have a lovely weekend. Spring is nearly here!
Matthew Garton (Principal)
What have students been learning about?
This week we have had two first communion masses. A little different than usual but still lovely. I remember my First Communion; it was in Brisbane in the summer and I was bout 7. I had the full kit, veil, long dress with long sleeves and stockings! I remember it being quite scary (and terribly hot!).
It was a joy to see the children on both nights be so happy to receive the Sacrament for the first time. On Wednesday, Father Kimi read the Gospel of the loaves and fishes and reminded the children that one of the greatest miracles of Jesus started with a small child who was willing to share.
What staff have been learning about?
For staff prayer this week we have been led by Rebecca Stevenson and Charlie McIver. They have focused on the Prayer of St Francis, a favorite of many. We became aware recently that our partner school in Kenya, St George’s, has had to close until at least 2021 due to the impact of COVID 19.
Staff have reflected on the words of St Francis that call us to action, not for ourselves, but others. We have encouraged staff to skip a coffee or a bought lunch this week and make a donation. We will send this to St George’s and this money will actually go to the teachers who are not able to work and therefore have no income until at least 2021.
Catholic Life and Reflection
I have said it before (and will again I am sure)… I really love my job. I am so lucky to spend time with many different students. They bring great joy! This week when I called a junior primary classroom a student answered the phone. When I asked to speak to the teacher the response, in a very serious little voice, was “I am sorry, she is unavailable she is dealing with a child.” I did have a giggle as I hung up the phone.
Father Kimi reminded us of the gifts small children give us so freely. In the story of the loaves and the fishes the child was able to gift the food to share with everyone. I wonder in our daily lives if we are able to see the small gifts our children offer us?
Religious Education Coordinator
Notices from the Parish
All women are invited to participate in an Archdiocesan Women’s Reflection Afternoon which will be livestreamed to all corners of the Canberra Goulburn Archdiocese this Saturday 29th August from 2.00pm to 4:30pm. Gather with friends at home, in the parish or at school to hear inspiring talks and participate in short guided prayer experiences. Register for free at www.bit.ly/WomensReflectionAfternoon More info at https://www.catholicvoice.org.au/event/womens-reflection-afternoon/
Enquiries email email@example.com or ring/text Lara on 0429 192 869
This event is hosted by the Archdiocesan Women’s Taskforce https://womenstaskforceacg.org/
Clara Geoghegan is the Executive Secretary to the Bishops’ Commission for Evangelisation, Laity & Ministry. Clara has lectured in Church History and Spirituality at Catholic Theological College (Melbourne). Clara is also the Co-Director of the Catherine of Siena Institute, Australia.
Clara hopes to inspire the women of the Archdiocese to respond to their baptismal calling to intimacy with Christ and to co-responsibility for the mission of the Church.
Brigid Cooney Official Delegate from the Archdiocese of Canberra Goulburn to the Plenary Council of Australia Brigid is a 21-year-old native Canberran. Since working on the Youth Mission Team in 2017 and 2018, Brigid has been studying a double degree in History (ANU) & Teaching (ACU) and hopes to make a difference to young people by teaching history and religious education.
Brigid will share her personal journey of discovering her own baptismal calling to intimacy with Christ and co-responsibility for the Mission of the Church. She will also explain why she put her hand up as a delegate for the Plenary Council and what she hopes will be achieved.
As well as these inspiring talks, the Women’s Reflection Afternoon will be punctuated by short guided prayer experiences lead by the following groups:
- Winniefred Rebello, Women Alive (Indian, Pakistani & Sri Lankan Catholic women’s prayer group)
- Anne Hartwell, Mothers Prayers
- Bronnie Schlager, Call to Connect
- Karen Doyle, Sisterhood National Catholic Women’s Movement
- Vikki McDonough, Christian Meditation
Register for free at www.bit.ly/WomensReflectionAfternoon
Enquiries text Lara 0429 192 869 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
|KB||Matthew H||William L|
|KM||Hugo G||Tyler H|
|1B||Josie A||Isabelle J|
|1M||Penelope P||Aravindya P|
|2B||Ziva Z||Lorenzo S|
|2M||Knox K||Kelvin N|
|3B||Aiden S||Celine M|
|3M||Alek S||Bior A|
|4B||Alexis M||Seth W|
|4M||Isabella T||David O|
|5B||Keyna O||Evelina T|
|5M||Annaleise S||Jansen V|
|6B||Sienna V||Nicolas P|
|6M||Georgia S||Chris P|
|Performing Arts||Indiana E (3B)||Emilio C (4B)|
School fees were due Friday 21 August unless paying by direct debit.
If you are paying by direct debit please ensure the amount you are paying covers your fees at the end of the school year.
If you need to discuss your school fees please contact Debbie Milne either
by email: email@example.com or phone 6258 3592.
A topic you can’t ignore
Respectful relationships is currently a topic of conversation in schools across Australia and New Zealand. Encouraging children and young people to develop relationships with each other based on mutual respect and equality is at the heart of gender quality.
In a recent wide-ranging interview I asked prominent Australian psychologist Collett Smart to identify the impediments parents face when teaching kids about respectful relationships. Collett identified pornography as the biggest challenge parents had to overcome when developing respectful attitudes to gender and sexuality.
Smart says, “Children as young as nine have been exposed to pornography, even when they did not intend to access it. It’s safe to assume that most kids already know what it is. The flood of porn, so easily available online, has become our children’s primary source of sexual education.”
Talking to children and young people about sexuality is often challenging particularly when they don’t wish to engage in such conversations. But Smarts warns, “If pornography is not specifically addressed, it is likely to erode young people’s healthy development.”
Smart points out that many parents discover that their upper primary school or secondary school aged child has accessed porn, so the topic can’t be ignored. She provides this advice for parents who discover their child or young person has accessed porn:
Be armed with knowledge. Take your time, but don’t avoid talking about it.
Most kids are very embarrassed or fear adverse parental reaction so don’t be surprised if they deny accessing porn.
Let your child or young person know that you are not angry. Explain calmly what you found and tell them that you are there for them and you will now work through this together.
Check the tech
Check that you’ve set up blocking software and parental controls on children and teens’ devices. Although difficult, keep internet connected devices out of bedrooms.
Create a plan
Sit with your child or young person and draw up a plan for what they can do when future exposure occurs.
Smart believes that no matter how well prepared parents may be, they never feel ready when they realise that porn infiltrates their own family. She advises, “It’s okay to feel confronted by the fact that this ‘statistic’ is now a reality in your house. Take a little time before responding. Don’t jump straight in and blurt out your fears. Go for a walk if necessary, to think about what you might say next. If you messed up, clammed up or even yelled – apologise and start again!”
Smart is correct. Your kids won’t remember that you fumbled the parenting ball. They will remember the overarching atmosphere of your relationship – that you cared and that you were prepared to talk to them about anything, including the hard stuff!
Our school has a membership with Parenting Ideas. As part of this membership, you can attend the upcoming webinar ‘Teaching young people about healthy relationships’ at no cost.
In this webinar Collett Smart gives parents the tools to build a strong relationship with their child where no topic is off-limits and they can come to them with any questions.
9 September 2020 8:00pm AEST
1. Click this link: https://www.parentingideas.com.au/parent-resources/parent-webinars/webinar-teaching-young-people-about-healthy-relationships
2. Click ‘Add to cart’
3. Click ‘View cart’
4. Enter the voucher code HEALTHY and click ‘Apply Coupon’ Your discount of $37 will be applied.
5. Click ‘Proceed to checkout’
6. Fill in your account details including our school’s name to verify your eligibility. These are the details you will use to login to your account and access your webinar and resources
7. Click ‘Place Order’
This offer is valid until 9 December 2020. If you’re unable to make the broadcast time, just register anyway and you will get access to the recording. The recording will be available in your Parenting Ideas dashboard so you can refer to it at anytime.
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.
Canberra Health Services is offering a targeted kindergarten health check concentrating on vision and hearing.
These health checks are performed in clinics at the City Health Centre Mondays and Fridays and there will be appointments most days in the school holidays.
An appointment can be made by phoning the Central Intake Line on 51249977.