Principal’s Report – 2019 Issue 07

Dear Parents

Supporting the Parents in the Faith Education of the Children
The primary role of a Catholic school is to support parents in the faith education of their children. Parents play an essential role in the life of the school and contribute in many positive ways to the education of their children. Our Religious Education program is based on the Religious Education units of work produced and issued by Catholic Education WA with the approval of the Archbishop of Perth and and the Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia. Parents are encouraged to attend the various Masses and prayer services, that are an integral part of life in a Catholic school.

Notices of school and class Masses and prayer services are given on the term calendar and upcoming liturgical celebrations are noted each week in the school newsletter.

We are reminded that as parents, we have made a conscious decision to send our child/ren to a Catholic school. Therefore, when we enrol our children in a Catholic school we agree to:

  • Be supportive of a full Catholic education
  • Support the educational and spiritual programme of the school
  • Be actively involved in the life of the school

At this particular time of the year, we are called to keep in mind the Year Six and Year Four students, their families and teachers who are preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation and Sacrament of First Eucharist (First Holy Communion). This is a most significant time for each individual child and one of the most special celebrations and gifts that they have an opportunity to receive. Further information about the Sacraments will shared in the coming newsletters.

Apple Distinguished School Notification 2019 – 2021
We received notification last week that Infant Jesus School has once again been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School. There are only 470 of these schools in the world, from 34 different countries.

“Apple Distinguished Schools are centres of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment and have documented results of academic accomplishment.

” Excerpt From: Apple Education. “Apple Distinguished Schools Program 2019 Handbook.” Apple Books.

This year our team chose the very difficult task of representing our innovation, technology and educational excellence through a four-minute video. This video will be shared on our school website in the near future for our community to enjoy, but at this stage I would like to thank Mr Frank Colangelo, Mitzi Phoebe, Melissa Myles and all the staff of Infant Jesus School for the continual efforts with the program. Congratulations and Well Done!

Morning Routines
As our mornings are getting colder and darker the challenge of getting our children off to school is more difficult. Believe me, I know!

“Come on Sarah! Get a move on.
School starts in ten minutes and you’re not even dressed yet!”

If this scenario sounds familiar, then you are not alone. Anecdotal evidence suggests that getting children to school or Pre-school on time can be one of the most difficult tasks for parents. Missing a few minutes each day may not seem like a big deal, but your child may be missing more than you realise if he or she is continually late. Current research shows that mornings for most children are the most productive time of the day with 10.00am the peak period for productivity.

When children arrive late and take time to settle, as they inevitably do, precious minutes are lost. A child who is fifteen minutes late to school each day misses one week of school every year.

How can you get your dawdling kids out the door without yelling yourself hoarse? Here are a few techniques and ideas for you to try to get your punctually-challenged children to school on time:

Establish a morning routine
Make sure your children know what is expected of them in the morning, and also what you will do. Resist nagging, but be willing to take them to school even if they have not fully prepared for the day.

Identify and remove distractions such as television
If the children are regular watchers before school change the routine and keep the TV off. It should only be turned on when children are completely ready for school.

Teach some of the basics of time management
The average adult underestimates by about 25 per cent the time it takes to do various jobs. Make sure you have realistic time estimates and stop packing so much into the time you allocate. Encourage older children to estimate how long it takes to do activities such as getting ready in the morning. Then they can measure the time taken to do these tasks and compare their estimates with real time.

Arrive at school ten minutes early
Plan to arrive at school early rather than be there on time. This idea works well for perpetual latecomers, whether young or old. Our classes open at 8.30am each morning so all children should be at school by this time.

Model a good routine
It is pointless expecting children to be organised in the morning if you are in a muddle yourself. Set a good example by being as methodical as possible and avoid sleeping in unless your children are so organised that they get you breakfast in bed!

Parking Around the School Grounds
Parking problems and congestion around the school is probably the number one topic of conversation at any given P&F Meeting. We discussed this topic for some time at our most recent School Board and P&F Meetings. Therefore, I once again ask all parents to be aware of the traffic situation at the school and the need to work together to ensure the safety of our children. We have a high proportion of children who are commuted to the school in vehicles and we have very restricted parking within the area.  

Because of these and other difficulties and as the ongoing safety of our children is of primary importance, the following guidelines are provided for your information.  Whilst compliance with these rules may at times prove to be a minor inconvenience, it is a little price to pay to ensure that our children arrive and leave school in the safest possible circumstances.  

Parents are asked to:

  • Park safely in the Church car park.
  • Observe all parking signs in and around the school.
  • Note that in order for traffic to flow smoothly and safely during pick up and drop off, it would be appreciated that once the car in front of you has moved forward that you do also.  This will hopefully enable a steady flow of traffic through our school drop off areas.
  • Ensure the vehicles are not left unattended for any reason, as this will hinder traffic flow.
  • Note that there is no double parking or standing at any time in the school entrances in Smith Street, Russell Street and Lovegrove Way.
  • Note that there is no parking or standing on the grassed street verges in Smith Street, Russell Street, Peters Place or Lovegrove Way.
  • Please do not park in private residential driveways.
  • Observe the No Parking or No Standing in the marked bus bay in Smith Street.
  • Remember the speed limit around schools is 40km/hour.  

Also, in the interests of the safety of all students, parents are requested NOT to pull into the staff car park or the small car park at the front of the school at any time.  Before and after school are very busy times and children are continually accessing these areas on the way into or out of the school.  

Thank you for your support and cooperation in ensuring the safety of our children.

Occupational Therapy Parent Information Night
On Wednesday, 29 May 2019 we will be hosting a Parent Information Night on the topic of Occupational Therapy, with a particular focus on areas of development in the early years

Occupational Therapists from Therapy Focus will be presenting a Parent Information Session highlighting and providing more information about:

  • milestones and norms for young children
  • foundation skills to develop and support fine motor skills such as writing
  • strategies to develop fine and gross motor skills  

Therapy Focus provide services that are delivered by allied health professionals, including Speech pathologists, Physiotherapists and Occupational therapists. 

As an organisation they aim to give children the best possible start in life and provide parents and/or carers with the correct information and resources to support their child.

Therapy Focus offer a wide range of services one of which is Early Intervention where information is shared to help with all areas of child development in the early years. Please use the following link to register your attendance.  Click on this link

Reading Comprehension and Life-Long Learning
This year a priority across the school is to further develop skills in Reading Comprehension. Comprehending and understanding what we are reading is an important skill that is crucial for learning every day at school. The ability to successfully comprehend what we are reading is also an essential skill for life – long after we leave school!

To learn more about the importance of Reading Comprehension Infant Jesus School Staff will be providing some information during a workshop on Wednesday 12 June 2019.

In the workshop we will:

  • look at what Reading Comprehension is
  • explore why Reading Comprehension is vital for all students – both at school and for life
  • find out what Reading Comprehension ‘looks like’ in the classroom across various year levels from classes in the early years through to classes in upper primary
  • discover why Reading Comprehension is an important skill that is needed in all learning areas

During the workshop there will be many ‘hands on’ and interactive tasks for parents to ‘have a go’ at some Reading Comprehension activities. A variety of resources will also be shared with parents with some activities that can be used at home to further support the development of Reading Comprehension.

More information to register will be sent out soon.

School Fees
Thank you to the many parents who have made an effort to pay their school fees early this term. This term’s accounts have been sent and all families are asked to pay these accounts as soon as possible. If any families are experiencing difficulty paying their fees, they are asked to contact the office (Irene Baginski) to make an appointment with Mr Hille.

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.  

From My Readings This Week…

Managing your Child’s Anxiety

If your child feels anxious, reassure them that these feelings are a normal response to new people, events or potentially challenging situations. Help your child understand that there is a great deal they can do to manage their anxious feelings, so they can get on with the activities they enjoy.

Explain anxiety
If your child is anxious, they may struggle to explain how they feel. An important first step in anxiety self-management is explaining to your child how anxiety works.

  • Teach your child that the part of the brain that protects them from danger (the amygdala – pronounced ahh-mig-dah-la), is always on high alert when they are anxious.
  • Explain that the amygdala sees danger where there is none, but the body prepares to fight for life or flee from danger as if it’s protecting them from a hungry lion.
  • Discuss that the amygdala can’t differentiate between a hungry lion and public speaking or some other task they must face.
  • Talk about the changes that happen in their body to power them up to fight or flee, including increased heart and breathing rates and the pumping of the blood from the stomach to the arms and legs, which can cause nausea and even vomiting for some.

Help Recognise Anxiety-inducing Events
There are many things that can evoke anxiety in your child, including:

  • Stressful events
  • Life changes
  • Transitions
  • Difficult experiences
  • New or unfamiliar situations

Help your child to recognise the specific situations and events that make them feel anxious such as meeting new friends, sitting tests and fear of rejection. In this way you can help your child manage and minimise their feelings of anxiety.

Respond with Empathy
When your child feels anxious, the part of the brain that controls rational thinking, decision-making and concentration temporarily goes offline. They can feel easily overwhelmed by simple, everyday events and situations. Rather than protecting your child by allowing them to avoid meeting these challenges, or dismissing them as trivial, validate their feelings with statements such as:

  • “I can see you’re feeling worried about going to camp without your brother.”
  • “Thanks for telling me you feel nervous about the test. It’s understandable.”
  • “I see you’re really anxious about this right now. I know it’s hard for you.”

Resist the temptation to rescue or fix a situation. Respond with empathy and understanding to your child’s concerns.

Manage Anxious Moments
Help your child develop the tools to regulate and push their anxious feelings to the background. Practise these anxiety management tools when your child is feeling calm, and it will be easier for them to practise when they are nervous. These include:

  • Taking some deep breaths: Deep belly breathing from the diaphragm calms the amygdala, reducing feelings of anxiousness.
  • Bringing their attention back to the present: Use their senses to bring their attention to the present moment and away from their worries – “Tell me five things you see, four things you hear and something you smell.”
  • Getting them moving: Physical exercise is not only a great distraction, but it releases feel-good endorphins that help children and young people feel better and more optimistic about the future.
  • Defusing their thoughts: Anxious thoughts can get stuck, refusing to budge no matter how unwanted they are. Help your child to distance themselves from their thoughts by placing distancing statements in front of their thoughts. Replace “I’m going to fail the test” with “I had a thought that I’m going to fail the test.” Rather than changing their thinking, assist your child to distance themselves from unhelpful thoughts.

Get the Fundamentals Right
Sufficient sleep, good nutrition and exercise are essential for anxious kids. Support your child to adhere to their optimal bedtime so they wake naturally each morning, reduce sugar, take care of their gut health through good nutrition and encourage regular exercise for optimal mental health.

There is a great deal you can do to help your child manage their anxiety. Start by assisting your child to understand the fundamentals of anxiety, show your genuine understanding of their feelings and be ready to support them emotionally to push their anxiety to the background.

Prayer for the Week
May today there be peace within
May you Trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received.
And pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.
Let this presence settle into your bones.
And allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.

Thought for the Week
“Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by smiling look, there be a kindly work;
always doing the smallest right and doing it all for love.”
– St. Therese of Lisieux

 Have a great week.


Paul Hille


© Infant Jesus School 2017
17 Smith St, Morley WA 6062
Tel: (08) 9276 1769 | Fax: (08) 9276 2998

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