Principal’s Report – 2019 Issue 08
Sometimes when major Feasts of the Church come around, such as Pentecost there is a tendency to regard them as purely historical events which occurred many years ago and which were a relevant only to the persons who were on the spot at that time.
However, that would be to deny the specific message that Jesus gave to us when he said, “As the Father sent me so I am sending you”. At Pentecost the spirit that poured from his side on the cross is the spirit that was breathed forth he died and is now here and breathed over us, his “2019” Apostles. Our Christian community shares the power of Jesus to spread God’s healing power to other people.
Perhaps Pentecost is the time to pray especially that the great spiritual potential that is in us through Baptism and Confirmation, be more fully activated so that the love, kindness, patience, tolerance and all other virtues that Jesus exercised during his life, might stay alive in the world through our efforts.
Spiritual potential is an opportunity that exists with each person, but is it often overwhelmed by other “potentials” such as striving to be rich, constantly seeking pleasure, focusing solely on what is of benefit to me. “It is only when we truly know understand that we have a limited time on earth and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up, that we begin to live each day to the fullest as if it was the only one we had.”
When the apostles gathered in hiding after Christ’s death, they probably thought that because they were his closest friends, they would be next. No doubt they would have looked a pretty sorry lot. However, there are always strengths to be gained from situations of sorrow. This was to be realised when the Holy Spirit came to them with the fullness of the Gifts.
Our Year Six students will receive the fullness of the gifts of the Spirit this weekend when they become confirmed Christians. As such they have the potential to become the Christ of today to other people. As Jesus was preparing his Apostles for when He would no longer physically be with them, He promised to send them the Holy Spirit: “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper who will stay with you forever. He is the spirit who reveals the truth about God.”
This weekend when the “Spirit” comes in the fullness of gifts received during the Sacrament of Confirmation to our group of the young people within our community, it will not be the end of the sacrament, but only the beginning as it was for each of us. It depends on each individual to keep the Spirit alive within us by calling on the Spirit’s assistance, whether it be for Courage, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Right Judgement, Piety or Fear of the Lord, whenever the need arises in our lives.
So no matter in what predicament we might find ourselves in; whether it be falling out with a friend, a difference of opinion with a family member or relation or just plain mid-year loss of energy, the gifts of the spirit are within us to help us deal with these matters in a dignified manner.
We ask God’s blessing on each of our Year Six students and their families as they prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this weekend.
“May the Spirit of Our Lord, Jesus Christ
be with the students and their families who are receiving the
Sacrament of Confirmation this weekend
And may each of you go in peace to love and serve the Lord.”
Confirmation Mass Details
This year our Parish Priest Fr Greg Burke will be conferring the Sacrament of Confirmation on our students. Fr Greg has met with the students at the retreat as well as in class over the course of the year to discuss with them their preparation and readiness to receive this Sacrament of Confirmation. Our students will be presented by the parish to Fr Greg this Saturday. There will be two Confirmation Masses this weekend:
Confirmation Mass 11.30am – Students are asked to be at the Parish Centre by 10.30am
Confirmation Mass 3.00pm – Students are asked to be at the Parish Centre by 2.00pm
Grandparents have the experience and knowledge that come from surviving a great many years of life’s battles and, hopefully, they have the wisdom to know when to share this experience and knowledge with their grandchildren. Jimmy Carter once observed that, “Because grandparents are free to love, guide and befriend young people without having to take daily responsibility for them, they can often reach out beyond pride and fear of failure and close the gap between generations.”
Besides being the keepers of family traditions and history, grandparents provide grandchildren with examples of hard work and family loyalty. Grandparents’ stories contribute to family identity by sharing knowledge about relatives, important events, family traditions, the grandparent’s childhood and the childhood of the grandchild’s parent. As these stories are passed on, the grandchild can gain a positive image of their place within the family and a positive image of ageing.
When we become parents, we automatically give our parents a new position in life, that of being grandparents. At the same time, we give our child the added security of belonging to an extended family. The relationship between grandchild and grandparent can be very life enhancing: a grandchild can bring love, energy, optimism, laughter, youthfulness and sometimes purpose to the life of their grandparent. At the same time, a grandparent can provide maturity, knowledge, stability, a wise ear and unconditional love to a grandchild.
Nowadays, being a grandparent might not be as simple as you would like due to divorce, remarriage or geographic distance. However, whether you are a grandparent, step-grandparent or even a grandparent raising a grandchild, you are a most important person in your grandchild’s life and as you well know, it’s not only Italians who ring their grandmother when things aren’t going so well.
On Friday 14 June we will recognise the special gift of our grandparents. The morning will commence with a gathering and Liturgy in the hall commencing at 8.45am, followed by classroom visits. Grandparents will be able to see the children’s wonderful work, read with them and share some of their stories about school ‘in the olden days’. There will also be a special Morning Tea in the hall at approximately 10.15am.
For catering purposes please ensure you have added your name and details on the form. Click on this link
Over the next few weeks I will be reading every student’s Semester One report. I look forward to seeing the improvement by individual students and reading the comments that teachers make about their performance and the achievement of the various outcomes. This week, I would like to share with you some information on the curriculum within Catholic schools, and ways parents can support their children through school.
As has been highlighted many times before, collaboration between home and school is vital in providing our students at Infant Jesus School with the best possible educational advantages and it is an area that we are always endeavouring to improve.
The curriculum is the program of teaching and learning that leads to desired educational outcomes. Catholic schools follow the same curriculum as government schools; however, there is a religious dimension in everything that is taught in a Catholic school. This creates the additional and most important learning area of Religious Education.
How is the Curriculum Organised?
Infant Jesus School implements the Kindergarten to Year 10 Western Australian Curriculum and Assessment Guidleines to meet the learning needs of all students. The Western Australian Curriculum is based on the Australian Curriculum. It has been designed to meet the specific needs of students in Western Australia. Subjects are grouped in key learning areas and teachers within our Catholic schools refer to the Western Australian Curriculum (English, Mathematics, Science and HASS) and other documents to develop their teaching programs. Schools and teachers are responsible for organising student learning. To effectively deliver the curriculum, teachers respond to their students’ needs and interests, which inform their approach to teaching, learning and assessment.
How does the Pre-Primary to Year 10 curriculum work?
Schools use the Western Australian curriculum for Pre-Primary to Year 10 to:
- plan student learning programs,
- assess student progress, and
- report student achievement to parents.
The Western Australian Curriculum outlines the content for students to be taught each year. It is designed to be coherent and comprehensive. Achievement standards describe expected student performance in relation to the curriculum content for each year level.
The curriculum is organised into nine learning areas. Each learning area contains a year-level syllabus. This syllabus includes a year-level description, specific curriculum content and the Achievement Standard for each year of schooling, from Pre-Primary to Year 10.
Subjects and courses taught in schools today are outcomes based; that is, they are given direction by clear descriptions of what students should know, understand and value and be able to do as a result of the learning experience provided by the teachers at the school.
Outcomes are explicit statements of what students must demonstrate to show they have achieved the required knowledge and skills. Each learning area lists specific outcomes that students must cover over the years of K – 12. Teachers then use a range of fair, valid, explicit and comprehensive assessment processes to inform and evaluate the progress of student learning against the outcome prescribed for the particular learning area. This is how the student’s achievement levels are determined for each learning area. Teachers also make comments on the effort a child has applied to their learning for a particular learning area.
School Cross Country Championship
Just a reminder to all parents that the Infant Jesus School Cross Country Championship will be held on Friday, 28 June at Lightning Park in Noranda. Currently the children are preparing for the Carnival during Physical Education and at our Running Club. Running Club is held every Wednesday and Friday morning.
Long distance running is an integral part of the Physical Education Curriculum and all children in Year One – Year Six are encouraged to participate. The aim of the carnival is participation, so all children are encouraged to give it a go. Please see further information in the ‘Sport News’ section of the Veritas. This carnival will begin at 9.00am with our Year 6 students running 2000m.
Pre-Kindergarten 2020 – Applications are Now Due
Enrolments are now being taken for siblings and new students wishing to commence Pre-Kindergarten at Infant Jesus School in 2020. Families with children eligible for Pre-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 and 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…
Below is another interesting article by Michael Grose outlining the friendship skills children require titled
“12 Friendship Skills Every Child Needs”
Friendship skills are generally developmental. That is, kids grow into these skills given exposure to different situations and with adult help. Kids can be picky about who they play and mix with. Popularity should not be confused with sociability. A number of studies in recent decades have shown that appearance, personality type and ability impact on a child’s popularity at school. Good-looking, easy-going, talented kids usually win peer popularity polls, but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee they will have friends.
Those children and young people who develop strong friendships have a definite set of skills that help make them easy to like, easy to relate to and easy to play with.
In past generations ‘exposure to different situations’ meant opportunities for children to play with each other, with siblings and with older and younger friends. They were reminded by parents about how they should act around others. They were also ‘taught’ from a very young age.
There are twelve essential skills that children have identified as being important for making and keeping friends:
- Ability to share possessions and space
- Keeping confidences
- Offering to help
- Accepting other’s mistakes
- Being positive and enthusiastic
- Listening to others
- Starting a conversation
- Winning and losing well
- Listening to others
- Starting and maintaining a conversation
- Ignoring someone who is annoying you
- Cooperating with others
- Giving and receiving compliments
The NEW CHILD grows up with fewer siblings, fewer opportunities for unstructured play and less freedom to explore friendships than children of even ten years ago. A parenting style that promotes a high sense of individual entitlement rather than the notion of fitting in appears to be popular at the moment.
These factors can lead to delayed or arrested development in these essential friendship skills, resulting in very unhappy, self-centred children. Here are some ideas if you think your child experiences developmental delay in any of these essential skills or just needs some help to acquire them:
- Encourage or insist that kids play and work with each other: Allowing kids the freedom to be kids is part of the message here, but parents have to be cunning with the NEW CHILD and construct situations where kids have to get on with each other. For some kids “go outside and play” is a good place to start.
- Play with your kids: Interact with your kids through games and other means so you can help kids learn directly from you how to get on with others.
- Talk about these skills: If you notice your kids need to develop some of these skills then talk about them, point out when they show them and give them some implementation ideas.
Kids are quite ego-centric and need to develop a sense of ‘other’ so they can successfully negotiate the many social situations that they find themselves in.
As parents, we often focus on the development of children’s academic skills and can quite easily neglect the development of these vitally important social skills, which contribute so much to children’s happiness and well-being.
Prayer for the Week
Breathe in me O Holy Spirit
that my thoughts may all be holy;
Act in me O Holy Spirit
that my works, too, may be holy;
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit
that I love but what is holy;
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit
to defend that is holy;
Guard me then O Holy Spirit
that I always may be holy.
St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430)
Thought for the Week
Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it,
but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.
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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