Dear St John the Apostle families,
I hope everyone has received their child's Semester 2 report and had the opportunity to look through it. If you haven't then please contact your child's teacher to ensure that it gets to you immediately.
Our teachers are looking forward to talking with parents at the Parent-Teacher interviews during the next week and a half. It is always a joy to tell parents how much their child has grown during the year, and after such an amazing year we want to celebrate every success!
Please be sure to book in for your child's Parent-Teacher interview using the following link:
Where are we heading?
One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
'Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.
Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
'Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
This is the last half of a poem by Ella Wheeler Cox that I often refer to with the Executive Team. It always reminds me that a clear vision and direction is essential in ensuring that our school continues journeying forward rather than swinging from crisis to crisis. It was this clear focus, accompanied with flexibility, that allowed us to navigate successfully through remote learning this year and continue with our eyes on where we wanted to go.
This week the school Executive Team have been meeting to draft the Strategic Plan for St John the Apostle for 2021 to 2023. To do this we have been pouring over assessment data for students, annual survey data, statistical data for the school cohort, Catholic Education's strategic plan, our own past plans, etc.
We'll be presenting an initial draft of the Strategic Plan to the Community Council next week and it will be published next year for the whole community. Our Strategic Plan covers many areas including our Catholic culture and identity, grounds and resources, community well-being and partnerships with local schools and organisations. Some of the exciting plans in teaching and learning alone include:
- continuing to embed the current literacy practices that have supported students' growth in reading and in spelling, e.g. Daily 5 and Sounds~Write;
- enhancing our already excellent inclusion support with new evidence-based intervention strategies including, e.g. Mini-lit and Mac-lit;
- introducing a Daily 3 Mathematics structure supported by a large increase in hands-on resources for students, a robust Mathematics curriculum and access to coaching that ensures every teacher is supported to teach Mathematics effectively;
- introduction of new opportunities to use technology every day for learning, particularly in Years 4 to 6;
- a re-focus on becoming a truly sustainable school through building knowledge and awareness in our inquiry curriculum, sustainable practices in waste management and energy use and increased engagement with ACTSmart Sustainable Schools program to support student action and leadership;
- the development of a high quality Physical Education program for all students from K-6 through teacher professional learning and increased access to experts and excellent programs; and,
- the development of more opportunities, both in and out of the classroom, for high achieving students to be further challenged and grow in their areas of strength and capacity.
These are just a few of the plans for teaching & learning in the coming three years. While we have already begun working to achieve some of these, we look forward to starting this important work next year. I will continue to share other intentions in the Newsletter each week as we set the sails for the future and continue our journey to growing as an outstanding educational choice for all local families.
Year 6 and coming to the end
As we near the end of the year our Year 6 students are beginning their end of Primary School celebrations. With COVID-19 implications it has been a different experience for them than for most Year 6 cohorts and that hasn't changed at the end fo this year.
For a number of years now we have been able to hold a whole group graduation at the church each year and then a group of parents organise a relaxed dinner at a local club where families and teachers have an open invitation to come and celebrate together. This year we have many more restrictions placed on us and so our graduation must look a little different.
On Tuesday 15 December we will hold our Year 6 Graduation during the morning at school. Parents will be able to attend. The exact details will be sent to Year 6 families early next week.
Thank you to those parents who provided an opportunity for all Year 6 parents and families to get together last Monday evening. Thank you for helping to make the end of Year 6 special for them.
Year 6 will celebrate with a fun day and sleepover on Friday 4 December. They will also share in the Whole School Fun Day on Thursday 17 December and the Passing of the Light Ceremony (involving Years 6 and 5) on Friday 18 December, our last day of the year.
As we come to the end of our time together this year let us focus on and celebrate all we have achieved.
This clip is a short and powerful reminder of the true meaning of Advent. So I will let it speak for itself.
What can you do during Advent to be on earth the heart of God?
Catholic Life and Reflection
This week staff prayer has been led by Mr Garton and Ms Norris. They focused on the Parable of the Talents Matthew 25:14-30. Click on the below to read the parable.
Sharing our talents that God has given us is so important. It builds community. It shares the love of God. In many cases hiding our talents causes damage to who we are. Fear, embarrassment and lack of time are all factors. For me being creative is so important and when I don’t have the time I feel it. For others it is exercise and how that affects their mental health. What is it for you?
I thought I was doing a pretty good job of encouraging kids to share their talents. This week I was blown away by the talent of two of our Year 6 students, Jedd W and Eseta T. God has many blessings in our life.
Religious Education Coordinator
Notices from the Parish
Celebrating Christmas Masses 2020 Style
* Family Mass - 7pm
* Youth Mass - 9pm
* Midnight Mass
* Christmas Morning - 9am
Happy birthday to Vuyo N, Emma M, Jessica M, Nuer A, Sienna V, Harrison H, Rudraansh D, Jenson C and Leo J who all 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.
Thank you to the students who brought in their Christmas costumes. Your dance and drama items for "Technology Through Time" were fantastic!
We will continue filming in Week 8 Monday-Wednesday in Performing Arts. If you can, please leave costumes in your classrooms. If you didn't have a costume for Week 7, please organise one for next week.
I am looking forward to seeing the finished product of our Christmas Movie "Technology Through Time".
Performing Arts Teacher
Welcome to St John the Apostle OSHClub!
At OSHClub, we pride ourselves on providing children with fun, play-based learning experiences that meet all your family’s needs. You can be confident that your child is in safe hands with our experienced and passionate educators. Whether your child attends OSHClub daily or only occasionally, each visit is an exciting new adventure with healthy, nutritious food, awesome clubs, activities and so much more.
How to enrol
Enrolling with OSHClub is easy and completely free. We don’t charge any annual registration fees.
Click here to create an account and complete our online enrolment form. Select the OSHClub service for your child’s school and enter all required information into the relevant fields. Once enrolled, you can manage your bookings and cancellations with ease online.
Your child’s enrolment must be confirmed before attending their first session with us. If at any time your family details or emergency contacts change, please update them through our website so that our records remain current.
Child Care Subsidy (CCS)
Many families are eligible for Child Care Subsidy, which can reduce the cost of Outside School Hours Care by up to 85%. All our services are CCS approved, so we encourage all families to find out whether they are eligible. To establish what level of CCS you may be entitled to please contact the Centrelink Family Line on 13 61 50.
Join the fun at OSHClub
For more information speak to our friendly service coordinator on 0437 921 666, or email email@example.com or visit our website: https://www.oshclub.com.au/st-john-the-apostle-primary-school-act/
We look forward to meeting you and your family.
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Managing the mother load
“The mental load means always having to remember.”
Emma, a French cartoonist summed up the mental load that most mothers carry in her 2017 viral comic, ‘You should’ve asked’. In the opening scene a very hassled mother was preparing for a dinner party, while feeding her two young children, dealing with a noisy dog and answering the phone, all while she was hosting a colleague for dinner. As the dinner boils over the stove and onto the floor she looked at her partner imploringly. He unwittingly answered, “But you should’ve asked! I would have helped.”
This scene artfully exemplifies the many invisible layers of responsibility that mothers carry including arranging most household tasks, managing the family home and being on top of the fine detail in every family member’s life.
This is not the case in all families, but current research reveals that the great majority of women bear the load when it comes to housework (mums do twice as much as dads), caring for children (again, mums doing twice as much as dads) and carrying the mental load for their family.
There’s only so much we can manage. For those of us who are anxious, there will be times our plates will fill, and overflow. While there’s no single way to ease the mental load that mothers carry the following ideas will help to make life more manageable:
Stop making life easy for others
Anecdotal evidence suggests that many mums will overdo preparation rather than expect others to step up and help. I have been known in the past to cook and freeze up to a week’s worth of meals prior to travelling for work. Not any more though. Magically, my husband and two school-aged children have become very capable in the kitchen as I’ve stepped back.
Delegate and let go
Delegate some household jobs to your children. Leah Ruppanner, professor of sociology at Melbourne University says, “Unless death is impending from poor domestic decisions, step back, support and allow others to learn from their mistakes.” Letting go of jobs and allowing kids to do things in their own way is hard for perfectionist personality types, but it’s essential if you are going to last the parenting journey. Surprisingly, both guilt and perfectionism ensure that many mums keep their children dependent upon them.
Diarise and check
One way to ease is the mental load is to lessen the number of mental notes and details that you carry around. Set up recurring electronic calendar entries for routine tasks and check regularly. This way you have less to remember and a place to find what you need, which is more efficient and mum-friendly way of being organised.
Lower the bar
Many mothers confess that they constantly feel guilt. if they don’t put their children first. That’s a heavy burden to carry. If anxiety is a constant companion, it’s essential to lower the bar on your self-expectations. Unfulfilled expectations are proven stressors for mothers so take away tasks, rather than add to your mother load.
There’s little doubt that many mothers carry an overwhelming mental load that adds to their anxiety and stress. I’m not suggesting that you abandon your job entirely but rather to look for ways to make the mental load you carry a little lighter. In doing so, life will become easier to manage. As with all behavioural change its easiest to start small. But whatever you do, if you’re straining under the mother load make a start at releasing and sharing the load.
Parents can learn more about minimising anxiety as a mum in Dr. Jodi Richardson’s book Anxious Mums: How mums can turn their anxiety into strength published by Penguin Random House.
Dr Jodi Richardson
Dr Jodi Richardson helps people to reduce their anxiety, strengthen their wellbeing, live by their personal values and achieve resilience and lasting happiness. Her research-based advice is grounded in a career of extensive university studies, clinical practice, education and endless compassion. Jodi is the co-author of the highly acclaimed book Anxious Kids. Her latest release is Anxious Mums: How mums can turn their anxiety into strength. For further details visit www.drjodirichardson.com.au
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