Dear St John the Apostle Community,
We had another great Kindergarten Orientation session this week, full of laughter and excitement. Thank you to all of our students' families who have been so supportive of their children and the teachers in helping their child learn about starting school.
I would like to thank the teachers and support staff who prepared for and helped our new Kindergarten students have such an enjoyable time. We have a wonderful team.
Reflecting on our improvement goals
This week our Executive Team have been reviewing our achievements against our Annual Improvement Plan for 2018. One of our goals was to develop Staff Professional Learning Teams where we reflect and share about student achievement and also explore effective teaching strategies. We're very pleased with the work out teams have undertaken this year. They are currently mapping the curriculum at each year level and developing intriguing and compelling inquiry units for implementation next year.
We have also begun planning the focus improvement areas for our work in 2019, including Literacy and Numeracy targets. I'm looking forward to sharing these early next year.
Outdoor Education Masterplan
On Wednesday afternoon Phil and Jenni from Wellspring presented a fabulous Concept Design for our Outdoor Learning Environment Masterplan. They presented it to students, parents and staff who shared my own excitement about bringing many of the ideas to reality.
If you would like to provide any feedback in the next week, before the final plan is developed, then please view the plan at our website and complete the simple survey questions via the link. We will be sure to pass these on. Alternatively, you could come into the Front Office to view the plan and provide some feedback to help guide Phil and Jenni in the last phase.
We're always looking around for grants to support the development of learning
opportunities for our students in a variety of areas. This week we have applied, in collaboration with Camp Australia, for the Woolworths Landcare grants to help us develop the Kindergarten courtyard area with interactive, native, bird attracting species, more permanent edible food garden beds and spaces for students to relax and work together.
With the development of our outdoor learning environment, we are keen seek outside funding wherever possible to make our vision a reality. If you hear of any grants that you think the school may benefit from, for any area, then please let us know so we can provide the best possible opportunities for our students.
Thank you everyone for your wonderful support for our school community.
Have a lovely weekend.
Matthew Garton (Principal)
A blank piece of paper is never a good start to a reflection in the newsletter! My mind is racing. Full and busy with many different things, school, Christmas, Year 10 camp, Year 2 Reconciliation meetings. It is all happening. But my heart is full.
I love reflecting on children’s learning. I love the thought of starting the Sacramental journey with my youngest child. I love watching new Kindergarten students arrive and wondering what their part of the St John’s story will be. These are all things I treasure for I know they are so intensely important to the story of life.
Matthew 6:21 (NRSVCE)
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
May you find in your daily story, your treasure and your heart.
Stephanie Stewart (Religious Education Coordinator)
A Liturgy of Forgiveness
This Liturgy is a communal celebration of God’s love and forgiveness. It will be an opportunity to express our sorrow and be open to God’s healing as we make our Advent journey toward Christmas.
Thursday, 6 December, 7:30 pm
St John the Apostle Parish Church
St Vincent de Paul - Urgent Call for Summer Holiday Volunteers.
Vinnies Centres need volunteers able to work about 5, 4-hour shifts between the 22 Dec and 1st of Feb. Contact us by phoning 6234 7348 or by emailing email@example.com.
Awards are presented at the school assembly each Monday at 2:10 pm.
|KM||Abbey R||Sean O|
|KB||Olivia A||Dhvanya B|
|1M||Izabella H||Sophie N|
|1B||Emry W||Cameron M|
|2M||James H||Gabriela V|
|2B||Daniel S||Cooper N|
|3M||Matilda P||Emma T|
|3B||Ronan H||Lachlan S|
|4M||Cooper M||Nicolas P|
|4B||Leonardo B||Andrew H|
|5M||Bryce C||Tyson B|
|5B||Anastasia M||Lillie W|
|6M||Jarrah K||Kaleb D|
|6B||Connor D||Xavier S|
|Performing Arts||Alex P (6M)||Amelia M (1B)|
As previously advised, this week is the last week for borrowing this year. Please ensure that all books are returned to the school by Week 8.
Overdue Notices were also sent out this week. If you are having trouble locating a book or have a query regarding overdue books, please contact us.
Orders for Book Club are due by 30 November 2018.
Why developing emapthy in your child matters
by Michael Groose
Parenting is a socialisation process during which parents develop in their children and teenagers the skills and attitudes that will enable them to fit into the different groups they encounter. These groups will exist inside the classroom, in friendship groups, during sports and leisure activities and elsewhere.
This socialisation process needs to begin from a young age
Initially, most kids believe that their world and everyone in it revolves around them. "I want" is their mantra. Patient, firm parents will continually remind children that they need to think of others.
"It’s your brother’s turn."
"Nana doesn’t feel comfortable listening to that language."
"Think about how your behaviour affects others."
These are the types of appeal to a less self-centred approach that many parents make.
The socialisation process operates on two levels. On one level its focus is on teaching and helping kids to follow social rules or conventions that exist to help them get along with each other. At a deeper level, successful socialisation develops empathy in a child or young person.
Empathy – the ability to understand how another person is feeling or how they respond to a behaviour or an event – is the basis of all respectful relationships. Without empathy, it’s impossible for someone to enjoy a relationship based on respect and equality. It’s easy for a person who doesn’t practise empathy to reject, bully, intimidate or hurt someone else.
Empathy learned in childhood carries on to adult life
Empathetic adults enjoy better personal relationships and experience less stress. They also make better leaders who are more likely to get the best out of people than self-centred, result-focused leaders.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that empathy, if neglected in childhood, can be difficult to develop in adulthood. In some adults it takes a traumatic event or a 'road-to-Damascus' moment for them to adopt an empathetic perspective.
So, rather than wait until adulthood, let’s focus on developing empathy in your children and adolescents. There is a good chance they will benefit very soon in terms of enjoying better friendships, improved wellbeing and more success at school. Here are five ideas to get you started:
- Model empathetic behaviour. Be kind even though the person in front of you in that queue is slow.
- Read fiction stories to kids or encourage them to read fiction. People who read fiction score highest on tests that ask them to infer other people’s thoughts and emotions.
- Praise kind and compassionate behaviours. The behaviours that parents focus on, even with teenagers, are those that tend to expand, so bring their empathetic behaviours to the fore.
- Validate your child’s feelings. When a child shares difficult stories or emotions let them know you understand, without offering solutions or advice.
- Invite your child to walk in someone else’s shoes. Occasionally ask your child a question like, "What would it be like to be feel tall like Tanya?"
Empathy is too important to wait until adulthood so make it a priority to develop a sense of 'other' in your child from an early age.