Principal’s Report – 2019 Issue 12

Dear Parents

“Love one another as brothers and sisters should, and, have a profound respect for each other,
if you have hope, this will make you cheerful.”

The above scripture quote offers us all a marvellously optimistic and challenging philosophy towards life. As teachers and parents we may not have any chance of influencing the world’s major events, but we can be powerful in our school and our home to instill in our children some of the great positive Gospel values such as love, respect, kindness, tolerance, sacrifice of self for another, gentleness, sharing and the list can go on.

These values are rarely taught by intellectual persuasion but by the manner in which Christ did it himself – he let the people feel his own personal power or conviction going out to them; he told them that there was so much good in them, that with his help they could be persons capable of reflecting God’s goodness onto others.

Human behaviour is driven by social values, so the development and presentation of a Christian values system will help children become happy, well balanced and positive human beings, capable of loving and caring for one another, their cultural heritage and their environment. Children will be able to do this, when they live within a desirable social pattern which reflects responsibility and partnership rather than self-interest. As a school we see our role as one of support of parents in these most precious life skills, attitudes and behaviours.

Lord, we thank you for people who bring hope to our lives
Help us to be like them for others
Help us to be contributors to a positive
Environment – whether it be at home, school or workplace –
by actions which are helpful, considerate and respectful.

School Behaviour Expectations
I take this opportunity to remind all within the Infant Jesus School community of our Behaviour Expectations based around our Core Values of Uniqueness, Respect and Excellence.

These ‘Behaviour Expectations 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 available on the school website. I encourage parents to discuss these expectations once again with your children.

iRead – Principal’s Reading Challenge
As parents are aware, last term we launched the i-Read initiative to inspire all children to love books (reading) and be highly motivated readers and successful literacy learners. I was certainly impressed with the efforts of so many children over the course of the term to ‘take up’ reading for enjoyment. Hopefully, Mums and Dads joined in the efforts of their children as they read a variety of different genres and text types.

The individual goals set by some of the students last term were admirable, but as I have constantly stated to the students, it is not a competition but rather an individual challenge as the they monitor their own progress. We believe that the i-Read initiative 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.

Feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop
This Thursday, August 8th we celebrate the life of Mary MacKillop. Mary MacKillop was canonised by Pope Benedict XVI on 17th October 2011. Mary MacKillop became Australia’s first saint.

Mary MacKillop was born in Melbourne in 1842.  After what was considered a challenging childhood, Mary was forced to leave home at the age of fourteen to work and provide money for her family. By the time she was fifteen, Mary had decided she was going to become a nun. She wanted to devote her life to God and to assist the poor.  Mary MacKillop truly lived and passed on the Gospel values.  Her love, faith, trust, commitment and enthusiasm live on in our lives today. 

Mary is a wonderful inspiration and model for all. Mary MacKillop truly lived and ‘passed on’ the Gospel values.  Her love, faith, trust, commitment and enthusiasm live on in our lives today.  Mary is a wonderful inspiration and model for all.

Feast of the Assumption 
Next Thursday, 15 August, we will join with the Parish to celebrate the feast day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a special Mass commencing at 9.00am at the Infant Jesus Church. Parents are asked to ensure that the children are at school a little earlier this day, so we can walk to the Church from 8.35am. This feast day celebrates Mary’s Assumption into heaven and the Church has made this a Holy Day of Obligation.

Mary loved God and always trusted in Him, doing all that God would want of her. Although she became the Mother of Jesus, Mary was a simple woman who lived according to the customs and traditions of her Jewish faith. On the Feast of the Assumption, we remember and celebrate that Mary was taken to heaven, body and soul, by God. This special privilege was given to her because of her sinless and exemplary life and total trust in God.

Infant Jesus Day 
Infant Jesus Day will be held on Friday 23 August. This year the theme is ‘A LEADing Learning School’ which will be reflected throughout the day. It is a significant gathering of the community of Infant Jesus School and both the staff, the students and the parents are looking forwards to welcoming families or extended family members. During the Mass, which will be celebrated by Fr Greg, we give thanks to God for the many blessings we have received.  

Our manta of ‘ExpectGreatThings’ inspires all in our community to be the best people we can be. As a school we strive to offer an environment of harmony, goodwill and opportunity for all. It is where staff, parents and students come together for the common good, which encompasses the welfare of all and the educational progress of each individual student.  

Parents, grandparents, extended family and friends are invited to attend our celebration. Some special guests including Fr Greg and members of the Infant Jesus Parish may join us for the Mass and the Morning Tea. They may also visit classes and stay for the afternoon activities. Please make them feel welcome and have a chat to them when you see them.  

A reminder to all parents of the safety of the children throughout the day. During the Classroom Open Sessions after recess, children are only permitted to visit other classes with their parents who will take responsibility for the time that the children are not in their class. Children will not be permitted to ‘go with a brother, sister or friend’ and teachers will record the names of children as they return to the class.

Absent Students 
Thank you to the parents who have followed the school absentee procedure. This is a requirement established by the Department of Education and all absentees must sent in signed notes.

To ensure the safety of children parents, are asked to notify the school by 9.00am if a child will be absent on a particular day. The Department of Education has confirmed that whilst a phone message is not a substitute for a signed note when reporting absences, an email meeting ( the following criteria is accepted.

Please make sure that these details are included in your email as this is a legal document. 

  • the name of the student
  • the class/roll group of the student
  • the reason for the absence
  • the full name of the parent/guardian at the end of the message (the ‘from’ email address is not sufficient as it does not necessarily have the full name of the person sending it).

Parent must provide the teacher with a written explanation as to the cause of a child’s absence or a doctor’s certificate. A note is also to be given to the class teacher if the child is absent for an extended period e.g. holidays.

Student Drop Off and Pick Up
As we settle into Term Three, I do believe that it is a good time to remind parents about dropping off and picking up students. Parents are reminded that the car park at the back of the library/tennis court should not be used as a drive-through or drop off and pick up area. There are many parents who choose to do this, particularly in the morning, causing frustration for other parents, but more importantly putting the safety of their child and other children at risk. 

I ask all parents, to PLEASE use the various school car parks, including the Church carpark for dropping off and picking up students in the interest of the safety of our children and to adhere to the speed limit of 8 km in the carpark.

Performing Arts
During the next few 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 includes students from Catholic schools around the state. It is a time of great excitement for our budding musicians as they share their hard work and talent, through voice or on 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.  The choral performances are as follows:

Sacred Choral
Date: Monday 19 August 2019
Session: 1:15pm – 2:30pm
Venue: St Benedict’s Church, Cnr Canning Hwy & Ardross Street, Applecross

Choral Singing Primary
Date: Monday 26 August 2019
Session: 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Venue: Vasto Club, Balcatta

Infant Jesus Family
Congratulations to Layla Middleton (Pre-Kindy) and family on the safe arrival of their baby boy Max Geoffrey. 

From My Readings This Week…
There was an article that appeared in a popular magazine that posed the question, ‘Are you a competitive parent?’ It caught my attention because I can’t tell you the number of conversations I’ve had over the years with parents who have raised this very issue. It seems that there is quite a culture of competition out there, with many parents becoming increasingly aware and sceptical of society’s tendency to reduce the meaning of life to how much can be produced and consumed.

Of course, it is not only parents feeling the pressure of this worldview of accumulation and competition; children are also feeling it. And why wouldn’t they, when they are surrounded by the symbols of status that come at them from all angles, from their peers, the television and social media. They breathe it in like oxygen these days. We all do. It’s hard to escape when multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns convince us that we can’t live without whatever it is they are selling. Does every child really need brand-name clothing and shoes? Half a dozen activities after school?

Well, they do, if we think that these things must be provided in order to be considered a good parent. It takes a strong awareness of what is important, a strong sense of moral purpose really, to hold firm against the inevitable pressure. Isn’t it time to bring these matters to the light of day, along with our unexamined beliefs, habits and patterns of thinking?

Perhaps it’s time we open our eyes to the economic mechanisms that are turning so many into victims. Will having these things and doing these activities help us to be better people, happier people, more enlightened people? Will they help us build strong, supportive and kind communities where solidarity is featured over competition? How do we open our children’s eyes to reflective practice if we fail to open our own? Each of us ideally comes to read the realities of life the way we come to read a good book. We ask ourselves, is there a subplot here? What is the author trying to achieve? What do I think/feel about this? How may this change me or influence my life? What decisions will I make accordingly? What view of the human person is promoted here? And so on…

In a world that has become so busy, so time-poor, so focussed on money-making and having everything now, on image and symbols of success, it is easy for children and their accomplishments to get sucked into the competitive mix.

‘I must be a better parent if my child is excelling,
if I am providing my children with every opportunity or everything.’

Should children be considered the measure of a parent’s success when each child is on his or her own timetable of growth and development? When each day is merely a point in time; one small part of a far larger story that takes a lifetime to unfold?

Ultimately each child will make his or her own decisions about the person he/she becomes; what we do, as adults who journey with children, is assist in equipping them to discover and deal with life’s ups and downs, with the pleasure and pain of it, the mystery of it when the unfathomable occurs, the fragility of ‘having’ (be it possessions, position, status, looks…) and ultimately the transcendent nature of life which has us find meaning in a relationship with our God and for Christians, that means through the person of Jesus.

In this way, children learn that it is okay that life lacks certainty, that life is fragile because we are a people of hope and can trust that there is a larger story enacting itself with, in and through each of us. That is something we share as human beings and something that draws us close to one another.

Why not get back to the basics? Mums and dads spending real time with their children, on activities that cost little (or nothing). Real time together – just talking while baking a cake, digging a flower bed or going for a walk along the beach. What about talking in the car instead of children watching a movie or using the iPad on the backseat? Why not ride the bikes and teach the children road safety? Watch a great movie together and discuss its meaning and moral. Aren’t children today in the care of others long enough? Isn’t it time to reclaim parenting by spending time with the children, to really get to know them and they, you? To have fun, relax and chill with them just because you love them and like them and want to be a positive influence. Is it any wonder there are so many anxious kids today? So many anxious parents? Maybe it’s time to step back and take stock.

When these children are grown up, what will be remembered (and valued) more – the new Nike sneakers or the regular Saturday afternoons with dad? The expensive birthday parties or the daily family meals around the table discussing life matters that changed as the years passed? The gymnastics lessons or the cartwheels and chasing games in the backyard with mum and siblings? Perhaps your family can do both? Great. But maybe you can’t and then the questions are, ‘Do I need to provide these things to be a good parent? To keep up appearances? Is this what my children really need? What really matters here? What am I teaching my children in the process?’

Prayer for the Week
Mary MacKillop Prayer
God of the pilgrim Mary MacKillop
trusted your guidance in her journey of life
and deepened her confidence in your will.
May we renew our trust in your Providence to lead us in hope.
May we relish the sacred in the ordinariness of our lives.
May we grow in the fullness of your love and the depth of your mystery.
We ask this through Jesus Christ the way, the truth and the life.

Thought for the Week
Some people grin and bear it; others smile and do it.

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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