Principal’s Report – 2019 Issue 11

Dear Parents

Welcome to the start of another school term. I hope all families were able to spend some time together over the two-week break and stay warm and dry and enjoy some family time. It was very pleasing to see all children arriving at school happy, enthusiastic and revitalised. No doubt, the students were eager to return to school to catch up with friends. Mums and Dads were probably just as keen!

At the end of last term all students received their Semester One report. Hopefully all parents had have the opportunity to discuss these reports with their children and look for opportunities to affirm their child for their good work. It also presents an opportunity to look for areas of development and improvement over the next six months.

As we begin a new Semester, I encourage all students to continue to work hard over the term, consistently applying themselves to their studies and taking pride in ‘their school’, “Expecting Great Things” of themselves and others. I believe that education is a partnership and effective communication is important. Research shows, that when schools and parents work closely together children are more likely to be successful. It is important that teachers and parents continue to work together to ensure the best outcomes for the students at our school. 

School Charisms
Throughout Australia is a vast network of Catholic Schools. Much of this network was set up through the generosity and hard work of Religious Orders of Priests, Sisters, and Brothers and the devoted support of the Catholic population. On Monday of this week we gathered as a staff to listen to Fr Greg Burke (Carmelite) and Sister Margaret Scharf (OP Dominican) share with us their vast knowledge about the origins of their Orders, as well as the charisms of both the Carmelites and Dominican Sisters. This was a very interesting and fact-filled day as we learnt about the history of both the Carmelites and Dominican Orders.

One of the important saints with whom we recognise as a school is St Therese of Lisieux or more affectionately call St Therese of the Child Jesus. Therese was born into a middle-class French family; her father was a watchmaker and her mother was a lace maker. At 15 years of age, Therese received special permission to enter the enclosed order of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Lisieux. Discalced refers to not wearing shoes, only open sandals or bare feet. She took the religious name Sister Therese of the Child Jesus. Living a hidden, simple life of prayer, she was gifted with great intimacy with God. Therese’s life was brief; she died from tuberculosis at the age of 24. St Therese is a Patron Saint of Australia.

Throughout her brief life, Therese had enormous admiration for those who gave their lives to be missionaries. She lived each day with an unshakable confidence in God’s love. “What matters in life,” she wrote, “is not great deeds, but great love.” Therese lived and taught a spirituality of attending to everyone and everything well and with love. She believed that just as a child becomes enamoured with what is before her/him, we should also have a childlike focus and totally attentive love. Therese’s spirituality is of doing the ordinary, with extraordinary love.

Therese loved flowers and saw herself as the “little flower of Jesus,” who gave glory to God by just being her beautiful little self among all the other flowers in God’s garden. Because of this beautiful analogy, the title “little flower” remained with St. Therese and she and is often depicted holding the lily or rose flower. Her inspiration and powerful presence from heaven touched many people very quickly. She was canonized by Pope Pius XI on May 17, 1925. Had she lived; she would have been only 52 years old when she was declared a Saint.

The message of St. Therese is beautiful, inspiring, and simple. It provides our students, and all associated with Infant Jesus School and wonderful model on whom we can use as an example and approach to life.

Sacrament of First Eucharist
This weekend we continue our Sacrament of First Eucharist program with the various Commitment Masses and I thought the following article may be of interest to our school community.

In modern language, Christ says to us at every Mass: “Here I am, poured out in love for you. Take Me; I’m one with you.” In the year 413, St Augustine wrote that the Mass was about three things: goodness, unity and charity. Augustine taught that if we were not better people working for unity and loving each other once away from the Eucharist, then, the Mass fails to achieve its purpose.

The God who comes to us at every Eucharist as real food, is the same God who asks: “When I was hungry, did you feed me?” Just as God feeds us, so we too, should feed each other. We should link the reception of the bread of life in the Eucharist at Mass with the giving of bread away from the Mass. In other words, is the Eucharist for Sundays only or does the Eucharist live through the actions and deeds of our daily lives?

This weekend we continue our Catholic faith traditions with the Sacrament of First Eucharist (Holy Communion) program Commitment Masses. The Commitment Mass for this Sacrament is on this Saturday evening at 6.00pm or Sunday morning at 9.30am or 6.00pm. All students making their First Communion are required to be at one of these Masses.

As we prepare to watch our children receive Communion we are thrilled by the beauty and simplicity of their belief in who it is they are receiving. However, as we progress through life, the routine of Mass and the Eucharist can dull our spiritual senses.

For the Mass and the Eucharist to be life-giving for us as Christian people, we need to give them our total attention. Our hearts and minds need to be fully open to Christ living in us, to us assuming the mind of Christ and taking Christ’s values with us into our daily lives. Then the Eucharist can change us into people who are good, unifying and loving; then Christ can walk beside us as our strength and our food for the journey and enable us to become witnesses of hope.

Interschool Cross Country
Congratulations and good luck to all the runners who will be representing our school at the interschool carnival next Tuesday.

Performing Arts
Over the next five weeks students from Infant Jesus School will participate in the Catholic Schools Performing Arts Festival. Children will represent the school in the Choral (School Choir) and in the Liturgical sections of the festival. The festival incorporates students from Catholic schools around the state.  It is a time of great excitement for our budding musicians as they will assuredly share their hard work and prowess, through voice or upon dedicated instruments, with the wider community.  

In the next few weeks the music students will be diligently polishing their performance pieces to ensure they are well prepared for their scheduled performances. Please be advised of the important dates to note in your diary which are outlined in the Class News page of the Newsletter.

Important Notice – Whole School Assembly
Our School Choir will be performing at our whole school assembly next week. This assembly will be on Friday morning (8.45am) and not Thursday as normal.

Parking Around School Grounds
This is a general reminder to 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.

P&F Reserved Parking Bay – Administration Carpark – Congratulations to Jessica Favaro (Term Three) and Daniela Piotto (Term Four).  Thank you for your support and cooperation in ensuring the safety of our children. 

Term Planner
The Term Three Planner is now available on the school website. Please familiarise yourself with important dates and events for this term.

From My Readings This Week…
My daughter, who had a sleep averse baby couldn’t believe her ears when a new mum in a mother’s group proudly announced that her four-month-old slept through the night. My daughter thought, “What am I doing wrong?”

Approaching this mother to discover her sleep secret, my daughter learned that this boast was made on the back of some questionable data. The four year old had slept through the night once, but this mother thought it was worth boasting about.

I welcomed my daughter to the politics of parenting where benchmarking of kids’ physical and social development, their behaviour and academic progress can become a constant.

The pitfall of benchmarking with other children
Comparing your child with others is a stress-inducing and, ultimately, useless activity. It’s hard to resist, as we tend to assess our progress in any area of life by checking out how we compare with our peers.

When you were a child in school you probably compared yourself to your schoolmates. Your teachers may not have graded you, but you knew who the smart kids were and where you ranked in the pecking order. Now that you have kids of your own do you still keep an eye on your peers. Do you use the progress and behaviour of their kids as benchmarks to help you assess your own performance as well as your child’s progress? Or perhaps you compare your child to yourself at the same age?

Benchmarking children’s progress with that of other children is not a wise parenting strategy. Inevitably, it will lead to parent frustration, as there will always be a child who performs better than your own on any scale you use.

Kids develop at their own rates
Each child has his or her own developmental clock, which is nearly impossible to alter. There are late bloomers, early developers, bright sparks and steady-as-you-go kids everywhere. It’s the first group that can cause the most concern for parents who habitually compare children to siblings, their friends’ kids and even themselves when they were in school.

The trick is to focus on your child’s improvement and effort and use your child’s results as the benchmark for his or her progress and development. “Your spelling is better today than it was a month ago” is a better measure of progress than “Your spelling is the best in the class!”

Gender matters
It’s no secret that different architects developed boys’ and girls’ brains. One major difference lies around timing, or maturity. The maturity gap between boys and girls is anywhere between 12 months and two years, and seems to be consistent all the way to adulthood.

Quite simply, girls have a developmental head start over boys in areas such as handwriting, verbal skills and relationship skills. Boys benefit greatly from teaching strategies designed for their specific needs. They also benefit from having teachers and parents who recognise that patience is a virtue when teaching and raising boys, as it seems to take longer for many boys to learn and develop.

Kids have different talents, interests and strengths
So, your eight-year-old can’t hit a tennis ball like Novak Djokavic, even though your neighbour’s child can. Perhaps your neighbour’s teenager is a piano virtuoso, while your fourteen-year old’s idea of musical talent is listening to Spotify while doing homework. Comparisons are stressful, as they can bear no relationship to children’s interests and talents.

It’s better to help your child or young person identify his or her own talents and interests. And also recognise that strengths and interests may be completely different than those of his or her peers and siblings.

Avoid linking your parenting self-esteem to your child’s performance
Take pride on your children’s performance at school, in sport or their leisure activities. Seeing your child doing well is one of the unsung pleasures of parenting. You should also celebrate their achievements and milestones such as taking their first steps, getting their first goal in a game or getting great marks at school.

However, you shouldn’t have too much personal stake in your children’s success or in their milestones, as this close association makes it hard to separate yourself from them. It may also lead to excessive parental pressure for kids to do well, which is an acknowledged source of anxiety for many children and young people.

The maxim “You are not your child” is a challenging but essential parental concept to live by. Doing so takes real maturity and altruism, but it is the absolute foundation of that powerful thing known as ‘unconditional love’.
By Michael Grose

Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father,
At the commencement of this
new semester,
we praise and thank you for the
gift of life and for the opportunity
of growth awaiting us.
We thank you for love – the love
and concern of our families, our
friends, and our teachers.
We ask you to bless each of us
in the semester ahead.
Help us to grow in faith, in
goodness and in generosity.
Create in us a capacity for giving
that will make us worthy to be
call Christian.
Keep us strong and steadfast in
the face of temptation.
Let wisdom be our guide.
May each of us be a messenger
of peace, of truth and of joy.

Thought for the Week
Jesus gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like yours
St Therese

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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