Principal’s Report – Issue 20
Welcome back to school and to Term Three. Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable holiday and the children and staff are well rested and ready for a very busy term ahead. The Term Planner has been distributed with this newsletter, which has all the events we know of to date.
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’ and their endeavours. 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.
Developing Our Catholic Culture – Sacrament of First Eucharist
Catholics, generally, have always been a minority group in Australia and have been heavily represented amongst the poor and immigrant people. Many of these immigrants were of Irish origin and many more were educated by teachers who themselves were raised in Ireland. Of course, in recent times, with the advent of multiculturalism, this has somewhat changed.
Today, Catholic culture, along with Australian culture, are both seeking an identity that is a true reflection of who we really are. A group’s culture is the way it has of meeting its member’s needs, finding meaning in their lives and expressing that meaning. It is a mixture of ideas, values, symbols, customs and stereotypes that are shared. It is what we learn from those with whom we associate, it is life as people understand it and live it.
Our school, like all schools, is striving to develop and express its own Catholic Culture. The basis for such development is through the integration of all the different aspects of human knowledge taught through all areas of the curriculum, in light of the gospel. This is supplemented through the growth in Christian Values in all members of the school community. Our God needs to be kept at the centre of all our striving and all that we aim to become.
The school relies greatly on each of its students and staff members being able to actively contribute to this culture. This they do through the vibrancy in which they are true to the practice of the heritage of their Catholic Faith.
For such practice to be possible for students, it is necessary for parents to pass onto their children this heritage. Families who choose to place their children in Catholic schools have a responsibility to that school to add to its Catholic dimension. For our Catholic school to maintain itself, it must be able to count on the unity of purpose and conviction of all its members – staff, students and parents.
This weekend we continue our Catholic faith traditions with the Sacrament of First Eucharist (Holy Communion) 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.
We ask that as a whole school community we keep these children and their families in our prayers as they prepare to receive the Sacrament of Eucharist for the first time.
Infant Jesus Parish is hosting the Alpha program. Alpha is an opportunity to explore life, faith and God in a friendly, open and informal environment. Alpha is a series of interactive sessions that explore the basics of Christian faith. It is for everyone who’s curious to explore the big questions of life, faith and meaning. There are three keys things in Alpha—food, a short talk and a sharing of our own thoughts. There is no pressure or follow up. There is also no charge. Alpha Morley will begin on Tuesday evening 31 July and will involve 11 weekly meetings.
If you know someone who might be interested, then encourage them to try Alpha. Parishioners are very welcome. Please contact the Parish Office to sign up.
At the end of last term all parents should have received their child’s Semester One Report. We hope that you have taken the time to discuss this with your child/children as the information in the report indicates what has been achieved and what areas should be a focus for improvement this semester. We invite parents to make an appointment with the class teacher if there is a need to discuss any concerns they may have about their child’s education at this stage.
Tomorrow morning Infant Jesus Parish will host the Opening Mass for the 2018 Catholic Schools Performing Arts Festival. Schools from across Catholic Education will join together to celebrate the Eucharist. Infant Jesus School will be represented by two of our Year Six leaders.
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 Assistant Principals section of the Newsletter.
We welcome to our school Miss Sophie Keeffe and Mrs Mary Barclay. Miss Keeffe will be teaching in Year 6W for the remainder of the year as Mrs Janelle White takes time to recover from a nasty virus. Mrs Barclay will be teaching Year 6B as Mrs Edwards will be taking parental leave at the end of Term Three.
I am sure the Infant Jesus School Community will welcome both of these teachers to our school community with open arms!
The Kids Coach
This term our staff and students will embark on a new program called ‘The Kids Coach’ that we hope stimulates and energises our students and assists in their learning. Occupational Therapist, Roisin Sullivan, and her husband, Jamie Jones, a Kids Fitness Coach, developed ‘The Kids Coach’ with the vision to help all young children move more, get healthier and learn to love staying active. The activities are designed for the classroom, the hall or outdoors. We are trialling this program in our school as a way of increasing daily physical activity for our students.
The Catholic Education Commission of Western Australia has endorsed a process of performance review for Principals. I am one of a number of Principals in Catholic schools to be reviewed this year.
This Principal Review Process relates only to the Principal’s Duties and Responsibilities (as enunciated in the Principal’s Contract of Employment) and is not a School Review or Evaluation.
The aims of the Principal Review Process are:
• Accountability to the Employer
• Renewal of Contract and
• Professional Development
The process will involve the following members of the school community: Selected Staff; the School Board; the Parents & Friends Executive; and the Parish Priest.
This review will be conducted by means of written evaluation, followed by interviews with a review panel which will take place during Term Three.
In Our Prayers
We pray for the Gonsalves Family, Tenielle (6W) and Tahliah (4B) for the loss of their Great Grandmother who recently passed away. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families at this sad time.
We continue to keep Mrs Janelle White in our prayers. We pray that she is able to make a full recovery and we see her back at school for the beginning of next term.
We were also saddened this week to hear that Mrs Maria Tassone’s father passed away earlier this week. As parents would be aware, Maria has been a member of staff at Infant Jesus for some time, recently supporting the school in Year 6W, replacing Janelle. We keep Maria and her family in our thoughts and prayers. May he Rest in Peace
From My Readings . . .
Developing Responsibility in Kids
Many parents ask me how they can develop responsibility in their kids. The answer is simple – give responsibility to them! Let them feed the family pet, empty the dishwasher, clean up the living area at the end of the day. Most kids rise to a real challenge when it’s sincerely given, and backed by realistic expectations.
We tend to give responsibility to the kids who don’t need it – the easy kids. But we often ignore the kids in our family who really would benefit from having some trust – the difficult kids, those that require following up. Sometimes the extra parenting work they require can seem all too much.
Belong through contribution
Kids belong in two ways in families – they either belong due to their positive contribution or they belong through poor behaviour. The family pest has as much cache as the responsible child – their parents certainly know they are around!
It makes sense for parents to work hard to provide opportunities for kids to contribute to their family, so they feel valued for what they bring to their family, rather than for what they take.
Here are five practical tips to promote a sense of responsibility in your kids:
1. Start from an early age. Children as young as three are keen to help and take some responsibility but we often push them away and say, ‘You can help when you’re older.’ Train your kids from a young age to make a contribution so it becomes habit-forming. Remember, not every child will help equally. If your children are school-aged and do very little to help, then start with a few jobs each day and gradually increase the number.
2. Give kids responsibility that scares or surprises you. A neighbour gets her four-year-old to unpack her dishwasher each morning, plates and all. Another parent I know gets her five-year-old to help her younger sister get her breakfast each morning. Another gives over the weekly garbage to ten-year-old with no reminders whatsoever. In each case, the kids rise to the challenge set by their parents. Give your child or teenager something that makes you think, ‘NO WAY’! He can’t do that! Kids will often surprise adults with what they can do.
3. Make sure the responsibility is real. Setting the table, making beds, tidying rooms are jobs that others benefit from. Giving kids jobs because you think it’s good for them just don’t cut it with kids. However, giving jobs that others rely on teaches them that their help is needed.
4. If a child forgets then no one else does the task. If a child doesn’t empty the dishwasher then it still there when they come home from school. Sounds tough but that’s how the real world operates. When you empty it, it becomes your responsibility. When we’re time-strapped it’s usually easier to do kids’ jobs for them. Nothing wrong with this once in a while as we help each other out in families. However, if you are always doing a child’s job then it may as well be yours.
5. Place help and responsibility on a roster. The use of rosters has the advantage of placing responsibility on to kids and takes you out of the picture. Remind them to check the roster, not to do their jobs! It’s a subtle but important difference.
Many parents call this type of responsibility ‘jobs’ or ‘chores’. I prefer to call it ‘help’. It’s just a little rebranding, but it reflects what it’s about.
By Michael Grose
Prayer for the Week
As we begin a new semester we remember the time that we have spent with our families and our friends. The following prayer helps us to remember and appreciate all the special people in our lives and the special gifts we have been given.
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 called 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.
Did you Know?
• Did you know lemons contain more sugar than strawberries?
• Did you know 8% of people have an extra rib?
• Did you know Perth is Australia’s windiest city?
• Did you know the only continent with no active volcanoes is Australia?
Thought for the Week
What we are is a God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God.
© Infant Jesus School 2017
17 Smith St, Morley WA 6062
Tel: (08) 9276 1769 | Fax: (08) 9276 2998
Website by Chameleon Logic