Principal’s Report – 2019 Issue 06
Dear Parents – especially our Mothers
Welcome back everyone as we commence Term Two. I hope you all had a wonderful Easter with your family and friends. I trust that your holiday break was very restful and that you are now ready for a busy term ahead.
We can now rejoice in the glory of Jesus and the joy he has given us in his resurrection. Easter is not just one day. It is the whole season of 50 days, which will last until Pentecost. Easter time is about new life. We rejoice in the new life of Jesus.
The season of Easter is a very special time in our church year. The Resurrection of Jesus provides us with a great symbol of Hope. Jesus has triumphed over death and has returned to us to be a guide to the reality of His Father’s Kingdom of Heaven. His message of ‘love for God and each other’ is very simple but one that many of us fail to be able to completely realize.
Easter is a reminder that from death (failure) comes the possibility of new life (hope). I hope that you had the chance to celebrate the Hope of the Resurrection with your family over the break and that your time with your children was rewarding as they are living examples of the hope and freshness of New Life.
“I’d like to be an ideal mother, but I’m too busy raising my children” (Author Unknown)
Even though this might be the situation for you, make sure that on Mother’s Day you are not too busy to take time to rejoice in yourself, because:
Happy Mothers’ Day means more than have a happy day.
Within these words lie lots of things we never get to say.
It means, I love you, first of all, then thanks for all you do.
It means you mean a lot more to me and I honour you.
For many years now, psychologists have been saying that the bonding of a baby with its mother in the first few minutes of life is vital for stability of the new-born child. The mother-infant bond is an intense relationship of unparalleled human affection. It is the foundation of the child’s emotional and physical survival. No wonder the saying: “Mothers hold their children’s hand for a short time but their hearts forever,” and no wonder the Chinese proverb: “There is only one pretty child in the world and every mother owns it.”
There are many ways to answer the question, “What is Motherhood?” One of those ways might be that, Motherhood means sharing in the creative power of God. Conceiving, carrying and giving birth to a human being, is as close as any person can get to the act of creation. This is the beginning of Motherhood, but it is far from the end. Motherhood is about nurturing, sacrificing, loving and ultimately, letting go.
Jesus’ mother Mary experienced all of the above and had the added drama of losing her son for three days. Eventually, she and Joseph found Jesus in the Temple having a discussion with a group of Rabbis. When Mary rebuked Jesus “for treating us this way”, Jesus informed her that the Temple was the first place she should have looked: “Did you not know that I must be about the things of my Father?”
Poor Mary! Besides being embarrassed for Joseph, she probably found it hard to accept that Jesus was growing up with a mind of his own and his own sense of how his Father was leading him. Mary was caught up in the tension of fulfilling the daily responsibilities for her role of mother and parenting the Son of God. All mothers are caught up in a world of tension as they try and be all things to their children.
As a school community we celebrated Mother’s Day with a Mass and a delicious breakfast. At Infant Jesus School, we are so very fortunate to have the support and involvement of our MUMS in so many different facets of school life. Without this support, the opportunities for the students would be diminished. It was tremendous to see so many Mums (and grandmothers) at our Breakfast this morning. We hope everyone enjoyed the celebration. Thank you to all those involved, particularly the staff, for all their help and effort from the early hours of the morning.
Mother’s Day presents us with a chance to reflect on the many things that our mothers do for us and continue to do for us each and everyday. It would be a tremendously difficult task to count the number of meals they have prepared, the number of items they have washed and ironed and the number of tears they have wiped away. More significantly, to count the number of hugs, kisses and cuddles they have given to each of their children and loved ones would be insurmountable. A mother’s love for her child is never ending.
Mothers’ Day Creed
I believe in Jesus Christ,
the Son of the living God, who was born of the promise to a virgin named Mary.
I believe in the love Mary gave her Son that caused her to follow him in his ministry and stand by his cross as he died.
I believe in the love of all mothers and its importance in the lives of the children they bear.
It is stronger than steel, softer than down, and more resilient than a sapling on the hillside.
It closes wounds, melts disappointment and enables the weakest child to stand tall in the fields of adversity.
Thank God for mothers and thank mothers for helping us understand an all-loving God.
Happy Mother’s Day
School Behaviour Expectations
Over the course of Term One, the staff developed a set of Behaviour Expectations based around our Core Values of Uniqueness, Respect and Excellence. These ‘Behaviour Expectations’ apply not only to our students, but also to the staff and parents within our school community as they identify and convey the beliefs that positively influence our behaviour and the way we interact with individuals, groups and communities. They also represent the deepest beliefs and sentiments to which we can aspire, and they shape our school community. The following core values guide our behaviour at our school:
We value Uniqueness – This means we:
value every person as having been made in the image and likeness of God (CCC 27)
We value Respect – this means that we:
Treat others as we would want to be treated (Luke 6:31)
We value Excellence – this means that we:
‘No one after lighting a lamp hides it under a jar, or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lamp stand, so that those who enter may see the light!’ (Luke 8: 16)
We have discussed each of these values and expectations with the children and explained what this looks like in our school. A copy of the School Values – Behaviour Expectations are included in this newsletter. I encourage you to discuss these with your children.
i–Read – Principal’s Reading Challenge
I am pleased to say that the Principal’s Reading Challenge that was launched last week has taken off like a house on fire! It is fantastic to see so many children motivated to READ books. Children are reading before school, at recess and lunch and even while they wait for their parents after school. This level of interest is fantastic to see. I have been to every class and had a brief conversation with every child about their Reading Goal for this term. Some children are quite ambitious, others a little reserved. However, I have explained to them all that the ‘challenge’ is individual, and they are competing against no one!
As parents are aware this is an initiative to inspire all children to love books (reading) and be highly motivated readers and successful literacy learners. This program provides an exciting opportunity for all children to be further engaged in reading enabling them to set individual goals and to monitor their own progress. I-Read will assist in further developing excellent comprehension skills (school focus area) that will then be applied across all curriculum areas to improve outcomes and enable all children to flourish.
I hope that parents will also be involved through discussing their own love of reading with their children. This will indeed, demonstrate interest, excitement as well as the importance of READING for enjoyment in our life. Parent support with this initiative is critical in assisting and motivating your child to reach the Reading goal for each term.
We are very grateful to our P&F Executive and the many helpers who have volunteered to assist at the Colour Run at the end of last term – What a Day! The children (and parents) had so much fun, it was great to witness. The funds raised at this year’s event were over $5000. Well done to all and many thanks for your support of this Fundraiser for the school.
The money raised from the Colour Run by the children will go towards reading resources, upgrading classrooms with some new furniture and technology equipment.
Year 6 Camp
It is an exciting time for our Year 6 students as they prepare themselves for their school camp. The students and staff will be setting off early next Wednesday morning to Forest Edge Bush Camp in Waroona.
The purpose of this camp is fundamentally about developing the leaders of the school. The school camp builds confidence, resilience and responsibility, turning students into empowered, inspiring leaders.
All children learn from the unique experience of community living; sharing, working and living as a team. Being inter-dependant with peers affords the child an opportunity to make new friends, to view each other out of the context of school, and to witness and appreciate the different talents of others. School camps expose children to different environments that they would not normally experience in daily suburban living. Out of this they build personal competencies such as self-identity, self-worth, self-esteem, leadership and self-respect.
Camps help develop self-esteem as children learn to try different activities in a supportive and friendly environment. Professionally trained, outdoor instructors help children feel secure and capable. This will help children grow by providing a supervised, positive environment that has safety as a primary commitment.
Students participate in activities they have never experienced before and are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and self-worth. Camp is therefore a wonderful experience for all children as they learn new skills and develop a sense of autonomy and trust in their decisions.
The aims of the camp are:
- to develop within the students their leadership skills.
- to build and develop new friendships.
- to build personal competencies such as self-identify, self-worth, self-esteem and self-respect.
- to participate in activities that perhaps students have never experienced before.
- to develop new skills and develop a sense of autonomy and trust in their decisions.
Staff members attending the camp:
- Mr Frank Colangelo
- Mrs Renee Babac
- Mrs Dianne Scoble
- Miss Lauren Jenkins
- Miss Kate Witkowski
- Mrs Irene Baginski
- Mrs Kerry King
- Mr Paul Hille
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) assesses literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in the annual NAPLAN tests in reading, writing, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
These assessments provide class teachers, the school, the system, the State and the country with valuable information about student ability and needs and are used in conjunction with other assessment data to inform decisions across all levels. NAPLAN tests are just one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process; they do not replace ongoing assessments made by teachers about student performance.
In 2019, our students will once again sit NAPLAN online. NAPLAN Online will not be a test of keyboard skills. There are variations in how fast and well a student can type – just as there are variations in how fast and well a student can write by hand. Year 3 students will continue to complete the writing test on paper.
Pre- 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 Pre-Kindergarten Enrolment Application Form.
Infant Jesus School will continue to operate half day Pre-Kindergarten groups next year with the days of attendance being Tuesday & Thursday.
Pre-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.
A reminder to all parents that next term all students are required to be in winter uniform. To assist parents and students in this transition, a two-week change-over period will be permitted. However, all students are required to be in full winter uniform by the commencement of Week 3. Please refer to the Uniform Policy on the school website for further information.
Our school canteen is back in operation this term. The Term Two menu is posted on the website. If you are able to volunteer for one or some of the days over the term, please contact Fran Ienco, Canteen Manager, at the school.
Federal Election – Catholic schools – contributing to stronger WA communities some information for you to consider
Catholic Education Western Australia is the second largest education provider in the State with approximately 76,000 students and 15,000 staff across 162 schools.
- 110 primary schools
- 52 secondary or K-12 colleges
- 90 3-year-old Kindergartens
- 3 long day care services
- 60 schools offering Outside School Hours care
- 13 Aboriginal families as First Educators playgroups
Our system caters to students whose needs are not met in mainstream education through our Curriculum and Re-Engagement (CARE) schools as well as providing a range of services including learning support teachers and education support centres for students with a disability.
- 23 special education support centres
- 4 CARE schools
- 1 intensive English centre
Education is an important topic at every election. It is therefore hugely beneficial for anyone involved in Catholic schools in any capacity to understand key issues, especially how schools are funded, according to the National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC).
The NCEC recently published a page on its website dedicated to providing relevant information about the upcoming Federal election along with the Commission’s campaign to highlight the needs of Catholic schools. Regularly updated, the page has news and details about the policies which will affect Australia’s 765,000 Catholic school students and their families.
Collectively Catholic schools are the nation’s largest provider of primary and secondary education after public systems, and today Australia’s 1750 Catholic schools educate one in five students and employ more than 96,000 people.
The key issues for the NCEC ahead of the upcoming Federal election are:
- increased capital funding
- more resources for early childhood education
- religious freedom in schools
The NCEC has prepared two easy to follow factsheets on school funding and other matters which are available through this newsletter.
- The Facts on School Funding
- Frequently Asked Questions (Please Attach to the Newsletter)
Many people ask why governments fund non-government schools. The NCEC has offered the following reasons:
- Affordable choice: A school education costs more than $11,000 per primary student and more than $14,000 per secondary student each year, regardless of sector. Most Australian families could not afford this cost, especially if they have two or more children. There would be no real educational options in Australia if only wealthy families could afford to choose.
- It’s fair: All families pay taxes and therefore deserve some taxpayer support of their children’s education. Fairly funded non-government school sectors ensure families can afford a school that reflects their values and beliefs – an important feature of a pluralist society.
- It shares the load: One-third of Australia’s 3.9 million students attend a non-government school. Government schools are already stretched in many areas. Without non-government schools, taxpayers would need to build (or buy) and staff enough schools to accommodate an extra 1.3 million students.
- Healthy competition: Given that schooling is compulsory, it is sensible to have a network of affordable schools to provide educational options.
- Taxpayers save: On average, Catholic school communities pay almost 30 per cent of the annual cost of their children’s education and almost 90 per cent of capital works. In 2017, our schools raised $3.6 billion in fees and $1.27 billion in capital costs – a huge saving to taxpayers.
- Taxpayers fund non-government activities: Governments also fund other private sector activities that have social benefits and high underlying costs such as GP visits, medicines, hospitals, aged care, child care and private bus services. All schools are a public good and deserve support.
CEWA is committed to delivering Catholic education that supports students in their spiritual, intellectual, social and emotional, physical and creative development.
From My Readings This Week…
Daily lessons in resilience for kids
Recently, I saw a mother give a simple, yet profound resilience lesson to her three-year-old. The toddler fell into his dog’s bowl, saturating his t-shirt and giving himself a fright. His mum quickly helped him saying, “Oh well!” The three-year-old bravely parroted his mother, saying, “Oh well!” and dashed off to play.
Adult reactions matter
It’s in our reactions to these and other every day mistakes, mess-ups, muck-ups and hurts where the big lessons in resilience are taught and reinforced.
The lessons for the three-year-old were simple but profound. “Oh well” meant:
- Stuff happens
- Don’t look for fault or blame
- Keep your perspective
- Pick yourself off and continue with what you were doing
How to react
The resilience lesson for this mother was equally as profound. When a minor mishap with a child or teenager occurs:
- Match your response to the incident
- Stay calm and be positive
- Don’t look for fault or blame
- Remember, stuff happens
Resilience lesson for parents – “Oh well”
Every day there are opportunities for parents to give their children lessons in resilience.
A child misses being picked for a team that he had his heart set on joining. “Oh well. Let’s see how you go next time.”
When a boy experiences rejection in the playground at school. “Oh well. You’ll find that some people don’t want to be your friend.”
When a teenage girl doesn’t get the mark, she thinks she deserves in an assignment. “Oh well. Sometimes we don’t get the marks we think we deserve.”
Match your response to the challenge to promote resilience
There are times when “Oh well” won’t cut it.
When a child is bullied, he needs your continued support.
When a student’s continuous efforts at improvement are constantly met with criticism then you may need to act on his behalf and meet with a teacher.
When a child always struggles to make the grade and is never picked for a team then you may need to help him make different choices.
These types of situations also present opportunities for daily lessons in resilience, but they require more parental support and teaching.
The resilience lessons learned are deeper and include concepts such as ‘things will eventually go your way,’ ‘there are times when you need to seek help’ and ‘this too shall pass.’
Promoting personal resilience focuses on helping kids cope with life’s hurts, disappointments and challenges in the present, while building strengths for the future.
Daily lessons in resilience are everywhere. You need to be ready to make the most of these valuable lessons when they come your way. (by Michael Grose)
Prayer for the Week
I may forget You;
Please don’t forget me.
You are the only one who walks with us through all the stages of our life.
Your Spirit was with us at our birth.
You give us courage to stand against wrong,
Talents and gifts to use to help others,
Hearts to desire to know You,
Minds to seek to understand You and souls that want to rest in You.
You have lead us to friends who support us as we travel the hills and valleys of life.
Be with us always as we bear witness to Your name.
Thought for the Week
“My mother gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person. She believed in me.”
Have a great week.
© Infant Jesus School 2017
17 Smith St, Morley WA 6062
Tel: (08) 9276 1769 | Fax: (08) 9276 2998
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