Dear St John the Apostle families,
What a fabulous Book Week we've had, including a dress up day yesterday and a scavenger hunt today. We know that parents missed the opportunity to view the Book Parade so we took plenty of photos and shared them over Facebook for everyone.
A big thank you to Mrs Georgina Jaram, Mrs Vanessa Hallaj and Ms Ellen Fletcher for organising the activities. Thank you also to our wonderful staff team for entering into the spirit of the dress up day.
Meeting our Archbishop
Today our Archbishop visited St John the Apostle Parish and celebrated Mass and morning tea with a small group of parishioners. He is travelling to every parish in the Archdiocese to see how they are while recovering from bushfires and in the midst of the pandemic. It was a lovely opportunity for our student leaders Darcy and Eseta to represent our school. You may find them on the Catholic Voice website being interviewed about their experience of remote learning.
A Staff Farewell and Welcome
Our Library Assistant, Mrs Vanessa Hallaj, has accepted a full-time position at St Francis Xavier College. Mrs Hallaj has been working at both schools for a few years and our loss is SFX’s gain.
Mrs Hallaj began in the Library as a parent volunteer a number of years ago, always interested in supporting children reading great books. Over time Mrs Hallaj has thrown herself headlong into learning every aspect of managing the Library. She has maintained a continuously up to date collection, written library policies, managed book fairs, accessioned and covered so many books, created engaging displays, kept teachers and students informed of the latest arrivals, put together collections for classes and year levels and written regularly for the Newsletter. Mrs Hallaj is gold! We will miss her enthusiasm for great literature. We're looking now to explore the potential opportunities within the Library, continuing to make it an engaging, warm and well-resourced space for students.
We will also welcome the return of teacher Mrs Tamika Norris next year. Ms Norris joined us earlier this year as part of the Year 6 teaching team. She is an enthusiastic teacher that has built lovely relationships with her students and we know she'll be a great addition to our staff team.
Class placements for 2021
We are currently in the process of finalising which classes each teacher will have next year. Some teachers will remain in their current positions and some will move. Changing year levels is an excellent opportunity for professional growth for teachers. It stretches our knowledge of curriculum, learners and good pedagogy. We also try our best to match teachers to specific cohorts of students based on their needs. An announcement about the teachers for each year level will be made in the Newsletter later this term.
In the meantime, I welcome parent communication regarding any specific needs that they would like considered in placing their own child in a class group next year. Parents wishing to communicate this are asked to email me directly (not the classroom teacher) with the considerations they would like kept in mind as part of the class creation process. These will be treated confidentially and viewed only by me. Specific teacher requests will not be considered. The cut off for communicating these considerations will be Friday 13 November.
Thank you for continually working together to help your child learn and grow.
Catholic Life and Reflection
What the children are learning about.
Clare, our amazing Youth Minister has created a weekly PowerPoint “Prayer with Clare”. Each grade level chooses to use it differently. Year 6 have it up every day and journal about what Clare has chosen. Kindergarten enjoys Tuesday Tunes and often play the song throughout the week. If you would like to see it, it is in the stream on Google Classrooms.
Clare is such a wonderful resource for our school. She has also started Youth Ministry meetings on Tuesdays. Her first meeting was a huge hit!
She is also planning some exciting lessons for Year 5 to develop their leadership skills in the coming weeks.
What staff are learning about.
Religious Education and Faith Formation are two different aspects of our faith at St John the Apostle. Put simply, faith formation is those activities that are part of the religious life of the school and parish. Religious Education is a curriculum area that we assess to an achievement standard like all other areas of the Australian Curriculum.
This year has been our trial to complete our implementation of the new Brisbane Curriculum.
To facilitate this we have met in small teams, had staff meetings and attended professional development, all with a view to deepening our own understanding of the new curriculum and to ensure interesting and relevant learning for our students.
2021 will provide more opportunities to refine and adjust our understanding to ensure we keep our students engaged and learning in the curriculum area of Religious Education.
I spend a lot of time looking for inspiration for all aspects of my life. My Pinterest feed is full of quotes, scripture and crafty ideas. (See some examples below). I am talking to Year 6 at the moment about high school and how important it is to do what you love. I am so blessed that that my job allows me to be creative. Remember to embrace your passions because we are “so loved” (John 3:16).
Religious Education Coordinator
Notices from the Parish
Happy birthday to Henry T, Alicia O, Maddison O, Madeline O, Mikayla S, Henry K and Xavier T who celebrated a birthday over the last week.
Please note that we ask students to not bring home made cupcakes to share with the class for their birthdays. This is a precautionary measure for health and hygiene. The Canteen offers a number of options to share with the class. Purchases can be made through the QKR app.
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||Billy S||Henry K|
|KM||Lily L||Alek D|
|1B||Zain G||Lachlan L|
|1M||Noah D||Olivia C|
|2B||Emilio V||Sean O|
|2M||Elizabeth C||Bronson D|
|3B||Joshua W||Olivia T|
|5B||Sena H||Jackson K|
|6B||Izabel S||Fergus S|
|6M||Catalina G||Tobden T|
|Performing Arts||Ethan C (2M)||Willow O (4B)|
Parenting in challenging times
Life has a way of throwing curve balls that really test the strength and resilience of families. Personal tragedy, natural disasters and global pandemics are the types of events that challenge us all to the core, testing our emotional and social resources.
When difficulties occur children look to the adults in their lives to maintain their security and safety. When change and uncertainty reigns, kids want strong, empathetic leadership from the significant adults in their world. As a parent it can be difficult responding to a child’s needs when you’re trying to adjust to changes that are forced on you.
Following are some elements to consider when parenting through times of challenge, change and difficulty:
Like a television antenna your attention is tuned to pick up the strongest signal. In times of difficulty a child may not necessarily signal that they are struggling, so you may need to fine tune your attention to pick up their needs. Start to notice the small comments and subtle behavioural changes, as they may not be small at all, and can provide helpful clues to their state of mind.
In challenging times your focus may need to shift away from schoolwork, household neatness and chores. If can move toward relationship building, maintaining wellbeing and helping each other out. Parental priorities need to shift to the immediate rather than the future, the emotional instead of the behavioural and from thriving mode to survival mode in tough times.
Children and young people often struggle to express their feelings and thoughts in the face of adversity. They look to the significant adults in their lives for guidance about how they should respond to change, loss, uncertainty and disappointment. Allow them to speak about how they are feeling. Prompt conversations through closeness and connection. Display your own vulnerability and in doing so give your kids the permission they need to express themselves in safe ways.
Difficult times will invariably suit a family that enjoys a collaborative, close parenting style. In collaborative families kids feel listened to and also have an ability to impact family decision making. Shared mealtimes and regular family gatherings are generally a prominent feature of collaborative families. In difficult times those families that prosper are those that value and promote close connection between siblings and parents.
Child and parent wellbeing becomes paramount in times of hardship. That may mean reprioritising the importance of school and work, doing something joyful every day and practising regular wellbeing strategies such as exercise, mindfulness, deep breathing and spending time in nature. The wellbeing bucket needs to be regularly refilled during challenging times.
These five elements form the basis of a planned parent response when major difficulties occur. Be patient, be kind to yourself and be willing to reach out to the wider community for help.
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.