Principal’s Report – 2019 Issue 03
Everything we do in our Catholic schools is about bringing the light
of Christ’s Gospel to children’s learning in all its dimensions.
We are called to let the joy of our faith shine through the gifts and talents, we bring to our work.
We are challenged to bring out the best in one another and in the children entrusted to our care.
Jesus calls us to discipleship. Discipleship means involvement. In our calling, as disciples, and as educators in a Catholic school, we make the Good News visible to all through our words and actions.
It’s nearly football season again! Sometimes members of a football team wear black armbands as a symbolic mark of sorrow for the passing of a close associate. Their supporters are decked in the team colours to show their willingness to be identified as a club supporter. True believers live the game with their heroes expressing their support physically and emotionally. In good times and bad they stick by their club.
Lent is here and we are presented with the opportunity to give expression to the type of supporters that we are. Some supporters celebrate only the happy time in Jesus’ life such as Easter and Christmas. As “true believers” we should also pray with him on Holy Thursday, stand by him on Good Friday and join him in prayer and fasting during the forty days of Lent.
Yesterday, as a school we celebrated Ash Wednesday, which in the Catholic Church marks the beginning of the season of Lent. It is a season of reconciliation, reflection and prayer, which prepares us for Easter Sunday. This period we call LENT means ‘spring’, and we celebrate it in memory of the forty days Jesus spent alone praying in the desert. Lent is a time for strengthening our faith, a time to reflect on who we are and where we are going. It is a time for quietness and prayer, a time of penance and meditation, a time to become aware of our strengths and weaknesses.
The season of Lent is one of those times when the Church gives us the opportunity to address the important elements of our lives in a practical way.
Lent provides many opportunities for people to choose to do renewing activities, such as visiting someone who is lonely, giving up something on television, remembering to say our prayers daily and/or as a family, attending Mass as a family regularly or perhaps even making the Stations of the Cross throughout the period of Lent. We need to remember that if we are choosing to do something this Lent it needs to lead us to a positive change, which in turn has a positive effect on the people who are daily in our lives.
It’s sobering to realise that if we “give up” watching TV, chocolates etc, we are “giving up” things that most people in the world have never had! What is really meaningful to us? Our time, given to assist people in need; Our pride, through an act of long due reconciliation; Our finance, given to an aid organisation. So how will you this Lent renew your Christian commitment and express Christ’s message of love, care and forgiveness?
The Daily Encouragement from Pope Francis
Lent is a fitting time for self-denial; we would do well to ask ourselves what we can give up in order to help and enrich others by our own poverty. Let us not forget that real poverty hurts: no self-denial is real without this dimension of penance.
Remember the concept of not only giving up during Lent, but taking up. What can we take up that will improve our lives and the lives of others this Lent?
A reminder about our Family Mass on Saturday 9 March at Infant Jesus Parish commencing at 6 pm. All families are encouraged to attend this Mass as it provides an opportunity for families to take time to pray together and it is yet another way in which we continue to build our school community. Families will be asked to assist with the Mass in small ways, either by reading or assisting with the offertory. The School Choir will be leading the singing.
This Mass will also be the Enrolment Mass for our Year 6 students wishing to be Confirmed this year. It would be wonderful to see as many families as possible at this Mass.
Next week our students in Year 6 will be placed in their respective ministries for this semester. I know each of them are excited about joining their ministry, as well as ‘getting their teeth’ into the work of the ministry. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to show leadership and responsibility around the school. One staff member is responsible for facilitating the children’s involvement in each of these areas.
- Christian Service Ministry
- Sustainability Ministry
- Pastoral Care Ministry
- Wellness Ministry
- Public Relations Ministry
We wish all our Year 6 students the very best as they undertake these leadership roles this year.
Parent Teacher Meetings
During Week 8 of this term, parents will have the opportunity to meet with their child/ren’s teachers to discuss their progress so far this year. Whilst a more formal written report will be issued at the end of the first semester, parent/teacher interviews are intended to enable parents to talk with teachers and receive valuable feedback on their child/ren’s general progress and to discuss any issues or concerns.
As parents are aware, we have many means by which we keep parents informed with their child’s progress over the course of the year, including:
- Formal and informal interviews
- Reports on student performance (in Term 2 and Term 4)
- Seesaw portfolio
- Parent information evening at the beginning of the year
- Learning Journeys
- Parent Teacher Interviews
This year we will once again be using the online booking program ~ Parent Teacher Online (PTO) a web-based online booking system for Parent Teacher interviews. Using this system, you will be able to book the interview times that suit you best from any internet-connected computer. A computer will be available in the Library, during school hours, if you do not have internet access at home or elsewhere.
Kindergarten 2020 – Applications are Now Due
Enrolments are now being taken for siblings and new students wishing to commence Kindergarten at Infant Jesus School in 2020. Families with children eligible for Kindergarten in 2020 are required to fill out a Kindergarten Enrolment Application Form.
Infant Jesus School will continue to operate two concurrent Kindergarten groups next year with the days of attendance being Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Kindergarten places are limited, so it is important that parents within the Infant Jesus School community submit their applications as soon as possible. Forms can be obtained from the office.
Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection
Attached to the Assistant Principal News this week is information regarding the 2019 Student Residential Address and Other Information Collection notice.
This information is given to parents to inform them that our school is providing the Australian Government Department of Education and Training with this data. These details are provided every year to inform Commonwealth school education policy, and to help ensure Commonwealth funding arrangements for non-government schools are based on need and are fair and transparent.
Please read the attached documents for further information and responses to frequently asked questions.
Our Catholic Community
The news last week of the conviction of Cardinal Pell has been deeply distressing for our community, particularly for those whose lives have been impacted by sexual abuse.
Out of respect for the ongoing judicial process, Catholic Education Western Australia will not be providing comment on the conviction and upcoming appeal at this time, other than to say that we must continue to acknowledge the pain of all victims and survivors of abuse and provide support to them and their loved ones wherever and however we can.
As a school community, this is a reminder that every student and staff member need a safe and supportive learning environment, and that the wellbeing of all in our school remains our highest priority.
This is indeed an extremely difficult and confronting time and I encourage you to contact me directly if you or your child requires support in dealing with this. Please see the attached Pastoral Letter from Archbishop Timothy Costelloe.
It is not okay to stay away from school for any reason except legitimate illness and extreme family circumstances. Any unexplained absence and extended holidays during school time, without a note of explanation, are all considered illegal by the Department of Education and the Federal government.
We are legally responsible to report via an electronic program, all absences every day, including continual lateness to school. Please make sure you are compliant with this legislation and please assist by contacting the school by 9am of the day of absence. Please also send a note upon return even if you have been contacted by phone from the school.
From My Readings This Week…
As we progress through the first term of the year and students settle in to their new classes, sometimes there can be moments of conflict or tension that may be experienced by students. These difficulties can come from any number of different sources such as peer conflicts, classroom and school expectations or learning difficulties.
As children experience these conflicts, there will often be times when they come home from school with issues or complaints and will naturally call upon parents for advice and guidance. As parents, the approach that you take can have a huge impact on your child’s ability to cope with frustrations and grievances and indeed their resilience to deal with disappointments or difficulties in the future. It can also impact on their future relationships with their teachers and peer group.
Michael Grose (www.parentingideas.com.au) suggests six points for parents to think about when dealing with children’s concerns. He recommends these steps to help parents remain focused and effective in dealing with difficulties:
- Stay Calm and Rational
It’s natural as a parent to protect, or defend your children, particularly when you think they’ve come in for some unfair or poor treatment. But acting when you are full of emotion is not always smart. Rather than getting on the phone straight away to organise a meeting at school, take your time to think through how you might assist your child.
- Get All the Facts
Once you’ve calmed down, get the facts about the situation. Kids are faulty observers and often only see one side of a story when there’s a problem with a teacher or a fellow student. They sometimes can’t see that perhaps they may have contributed inadvertently to a dispute at school, or perhaps said something that may have upset a teacher. It is the job of parents to help kids process what happens in an incident so that all the facts emerge, and they understand their place in any problem. Ask good questions to help the full story emerge.
- Assess whether to go to the School or Not
Kids, like adults, like to vent and will benefit from having told their side of a story to a trusted source. Often problems can be dealt with at home, simply by talking through an issue and giving kids some common-sense tips to help them cope. If your child has a recurring problem that they can’t solve themselves, or you think an adult intervention may be needed to sort out a relationship issue with a teacher or peer, then consider meeting with your child’s teacher.
- Go through the right Channels
Approach the school calmly, going through the school office to make time to see the teacher. If you have already established a relationship with the teacher concerned, then it’s often easier to approach them directly.
- Look for Solutions rather than Blame
State the problem as you see it and view your child’s teacher as an ally, not a foe. “I’m really worried about Jeremy. He’s been acting strangely lately, and I need some help” is the type of approach that will elicit a helpful response. Talk about your concerns and keep the discussion focused firmly on what is best for your child. Listen to your teacher’s viewpoint, valuing a different perspective.
- Stay in Touch
Be realistic with your expectations, remembering that some problems can’t be solved to your satisfaction, nor will they be resolved straight away. Be prepared to work alongside your child’s teacher over the long-term, which means you need to keep communicating with each other.
Prayer for the Week
God, our Father,
in spite of the fact that
you are all loving and forgiving to us,
our words and actions
do not always
express love and forgiveness.
Rouse up and sustain within us a friendliness and
cheerfulness that is fitting
for Christian people.
Did you Know?
- Kangaroos cannot walk backwards!
- Potato, the delicious and favourite veggie of children is the staple food in many countries and is the most cultivated vegetable across the globe.
- Venus is the only planet in the solar system that rotates clockwise, whereas all other planets rotate anti-clockwise.
- Australia is the only continent that has no volcanoes.
Thought for the Week
Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.
Have a gret week.
© Infant Jesus School 2017
17 Smith St, Morley WA 6062
Tel: (08) 9276 1769 | Fax: (08) 9276 2998
Website by Chameleon Logic