Principal’s Report – Issue 26

Dear Parents

“Happy Father’s Day!”

This Sunday, 2 September is Father’s Day! Today we celebrated the occasion with a special Father’s Day Breakfast. Father’s Day presents each of us with the opportunity to focus our attention on our dad and make him feel “extra special”. But what is Father’s Day?

A few thoughts are shared below:

  • According to one astute 10-year-old, “It’s a bit like Mothers’ Day, only it doesn’t cost as much!”
  • A more advanced concept of Fathers’ Day would be that this special day is an opportunity to celebrate theimportant role that fathers play in the lives of their children; a role that cannot be played by any other person. The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. (Author Unknown)
  • Both parents are of vital importance to a young child’s development. In one study, young boys whose fathers engaged in physical, affectionate and stimulating play were found to be more popular as school children. Mothers influenced their sons’ popularity through a different route, by providing verbal stimulation. Even if fathers spend less time with their children than their mothers, fathers can become meaningful and special to their children through play. In fact, when fathers are good at playing with their young children, these children score higher on tests involving thinking and problem-solving skills. (Radin. The Influence of Fathers.)
  • Our astute 10-year-old put another question, “Dad, you’re the boss in our family, aren’t you?” A smiling and pleased Dad answered, “Well, yes”, only to be told, “That’s because mum put you in charge, right!”
    What an insight from a 10-year-old, for the time of the uninvolved father has long gone; it takes a team effort for a married couple to cope with the joys and challenges of parenthood.
  • Studies have shown that when fathers are affectionate and helpful, their children are more likely to get on well with each other. When children have fathers who are emotionally involved, so that they acknowledge their children’s emotions and help them deal with bad emotions, they tend to have better relationships with children outside of their family and behave less aggressively. (Gottman, Katz & Hooven. How Families Communicate Emotionally)
  • Fathers with a strong commitment to their family provide a model of responsible behaviour for their children. As a consequence, their children tend to take more responsibility for their actions and rarely blame others for their mistakes.  Fathers also influence their children’s moral development by being good models for their children to admire and desire to resemble.  This results in their children developing a strong respect for rules and authority figures. (M.L. Hoffman. The Role of the Father in Moral Internalisation.)

Day in and day out, we probably do not appreciate all the little things that our fathers (like our mothers) do for us. Their love, their care and their guidance all go towards making our lives enriched.  The thoughtful little deeds, the play times and fun times are all memories we cherish.  And it is true on most occasions that whenever we are in trouble or upset, dad always seems to be there to help, guide and support us.

The following poem is dedicated to every man out there who proudly wears the name DAD.

What Makes a Dad?

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
And then there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it—Dad.

Father’s Day Breakfast

Many thanks to all the staff who assisted with the preparation, setting up, cooking and serving the Father’s Day Breakfast this morning. It was tremendous to see this level of support by the staff at this school. Some of the staff even came in on their day off.

It was fantastic to see so many DADS in attendance this morning with their children! We hope all dads enjoyed the opportunity to share a special time with their child/ren as well as catch up with a few of the other dads within the school.  Thank You also to Fr Greg, our Year 3 students and the School Choir for leading the Mass this morning at Infant Jesus Church.

Infant Jesus Day 2018

Congratulations to everyone for their efforts last week with Infant Jesus Day. What a wonderful celebration of our community.  It was a really special time to recognise our past, present and future, and at the same time appreciate all the people who have contributed to making Infant Jesus School the vibrant community that we have today.

I really want to thank the members of the Extended Leadership Team, (Melissa Myles, Amanda Edwards, Renee Allegretto and Kerry King) for coordinating and organising the whole day. I also want to thank the teachers and staff who put so much effort into the day, their classrooms and their stalls. We raised a total of $2,338 which was a fantastic effort. Well done to everyone and many thanks to all our parents, grandparents and friends of Infant Jesus School for making it such a wonderful celebration.

Family Mass

Many thanks to the families that came along to support the Family Parish Mass on Saturday evening. While it was a small representation of the families within the school I was very appreciative to the members of the choir that came along, the staff who supported the school and parish and the families. It is hoped that these Masses will continue to grow and become part of the culture here at Infant Jesus School.

Climate Surveys

This week members of the school community are invited to participate in a survey to provide information that the school can use to plan for future improvements. This survey is an aspect of the National School Improvement Partnerships Effective School Improvement program and is an initiative out of Curtin University. The development of this program has been based on many years of research in improving the performance of schools in Australia. The survey provides valuable data and information relating to whole school improvement and change to ensure that each student achieves their best.

Effective parents and caregiver involvement can play a critical role in students’ academic success – a growing body of research indicates that the engagement of parents in the school supports children’s learning and leads to better outcomes.

This survey will provide feedback about a wide range of dimensions important to parents. This then helps the school leaders to consider how they can foster greater involvement of parents, as key stakeholders, in the life of the school.

All parents are invited to complete the online survey.  Please be aware that the survey will only be accessible until Friday 7 September 2018.  The link and code to access the survey have been posted via the app.

Grandparents Day

Italians have a cherished proverb that says, “If nothing is going well, call your grandmother.” The following story might give an insight as to why this proverb is cherished.

An educational psychologist was on her way from Perth to Adelaide to conduct a series of seminars and workshops for parents who were experiencing difficulties with their children. Sitting next to her on the flight was an eighty-year-old woman who was prone to short outbursts of conversation. During one such occasion she declared, “I’ve had a wonderful life. I have six children, thirteen grandchildren and eighteen great grandchildren.” As she was completing her statement, she cast an eye over the paper and notes in front of the psychologist and said, “That all looks very important. What do you do?”

The psychologist thought, “Oh no! If I tell her what I do, I’ll be saddled with three generations of problems for the remainder of the flight!” However, she decided to tell the old lady what she did and what she was about to do. As the old lady settled back into her seat, her response was, “Now, isn’t that interesting. If you want to know anything, just ask.”

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 geographical 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.

A reminder to all grandparents of Infant Jesus School that we will be holding a special morning tea on Tuesday 4 September @ 8.45am.  We would love them to come into our classrooms to be with their grandchildren at school, to see their wonderful work, to read with them and to share some of their stories with the children.  There will also be a morning tea in the hall at 10.15am.  for catering purposes please ensure you have added your name and details on the form. Click this link here

Performing Arts

Congratulations to the following students on their fantastic achievements in this year’s Catholic Schools Performing Arts Festival. They are as follows:

Individual and Duet

  • Emma Cosa & Aurelia Leach – Excellence Award in the Instrumental solo/duet section.
  • Ruben Dewitt – Merit Award in the Primary Piano Performance (solo) section.
  • Alexis Chan – Excellence Award in the Instrumental Solo (Primary Strings) section.
  • Carmen Chan – Outstanding Award in the Instrumental Solo (Primary Strings) section.

Choir and Bands

  • Concert Band – Merit Award in the Concert Band section
  • Choir – Merit Award in the Sacred Choral Music section
  • Merit Award in the Primary Choral Singing section.

The Infant Jesus School Choir will also be participating in Carnivale later in the term.  The outdoor event co-ordinated by the Performing Arts Festival will also showcase the talent of students at Catholic Schools in WA.


From My Readings . . .

Father to Father: Seven tips for Fathering Success
By Michael Grose

Fatherhood is life-changing. It’s a very personal journey that a man experiences when he takes on the responsibility of parenting his kids. It’s also a vital role, and it’s all too easy to neglect the positive impact a father can have on his children’s lives.

Every father’s parenting journey will be different, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer to its challenges. But Father’s Day is just around the corner, so this is a great time for some tried and trusted parenting tips to help you be the best dad you can be.

  1. Play to your strengths
    Fathers often parent in a more active or action-oriented way than mums, so games, play time and physical activity become important parts of a man’s parenting repertoire. Your partner may not always appreciate your more active approach, particularly if you play with kids just before bedtime and then leave it to her to calm them down.
    How to make it happen: Be yourself but be smart about it!
  1. Lighten up – don’t take yourself too seriously
    It’s easy to get caught up in your own importance, taking yourself and your work too seriously. For many men a bad day at work translates into poor or, at best, distracted experiences when they’re with their families. Consider putting a strategy in place, such as exercise, to help you leave work, and the bad moods it may engender, behind.
    How to make it happen: Be present in mind as well as in body when you’re with your kids.
  1. Find something in common with your child
    It would be wonderful to say that you can always connect with your kids, but family life is never that straightforward. There’ll always be a child who we struggle to connect with, or a developmental stage during which the child feels alien to you. In these times it helps if you share a common interest (such as a love of sport or music) with them, so that you always have something that will bring you together, even though you may not always see eye to eye.
    How to make it happen: Take an active interest in what interests your child.
  1. Go easy on your son sometimes
    Many dads are tough on their boys and have expectations that go way beyond their son’s interest and abilities. Remember, it takes boys a little longer to mature. Resist the temptation to turn every game and every father-son activity into a lesson and avoid giving advice when your all your son wants is to be understood.
    How to make it happen: See the boy as he is now, not the man you want him to grow up to be.
  1. Enjoy the outdoors with your daughter
    The biological nature of fatherhood causes most men to be very protective of their daughters. But that doesn’t mean you should put your daughter on a pedestal and treat her like a little princess. Expect a lot from her. Play with her, and get her outdoors as it will do wonders for her confidence and independence.
    How to make it happen: Enjoy spending time outside with your daughters on a regular basis.
  1. Be ready for kids to knock you off your pedestal
    Most children in the preschool and middle-to-late-primary school years look up to their dads. “My dad is bigger and better than your dad!” is a type of mantra that’s familiar to many men. Make the most of this admiration as the Superman Syndrome won’t last. Young children soon turn into adolescents, who generally go to great lengths to prove that you’re just Clarke Kent after all. Expect them to stop laughing at your jokes, roll their eyes at your well-intentioned advice and even give you the cold shoulder in public. Ouch! It can be hurtful to a man who just wants to be the best dad he can be.
    How to make it happen: Don’t take yourself too seriously, and give them room to be grumpy sometimes.
  1. Give your kids a compass and a map
    One day your children will become truly independent individuals. Don’t worry! You won’t be irrelevant, you’ll just be taking the backseat in a more practical and managerial sense. There are two things you can do to help your kids safely navigate the world when you’re not around. First, help them develop a set of positive values including integrity, honesty and respect that will act as their moral compass when they have difficult decisions to make. 
Second, reveal your a personal story over time, as this narrative will become ingrained like personal map that will guide them when life gets tough. It’s good to know that they won’t be in uncharted territory when they finally strike out on their own.
    How to make it happen: Take the time to tell kids your story and own it – don’t make them guess it or learn it from someone else.

Father’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how men shape the lives of their children. It’s a very personal reflection as each man’s experience of fatherhood is as unique as the children they are raising. Take the time to reflect on your own fathering style as well as the contribution that a father (either your own dad or someone else’s dad) has made to your own life.

Prayer for the Week

Today, god our Father, we ask your blessing on all fathers
For new fathers, coming to terms with new responsibility;
For those who are trying to balance the demands of work, marriage and children;
For those who have to struggle to be a part of their child’s life;
For those who are unable to feed their children due to poverty;
For those whose children have physical, mental or emotional disabilities;
For those whose child has been placed for adoption;
For those whose love and support has offered healing;
For those that have adopted a child into their family;
For those who have lost a child;
For those who care for the children of others;
For those whose children have left home.

Bless all fathers, that they may be able to commit themselves selflessly
as mentor, protector and provider, shaping the direction
of their child’s character by giving love, care and guidance.

Bless all fathers, that they may lead their children to know and do what is good,
living not for themselves alone, but for God and for others.

Did you Know?

  • Coffee, as a world commodity, is second only to oil.
  • Despite a population of over a billion, China has only about 200 family names.
  • Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine.

Thought for the Week
‘Safe, for a child, is his father’s hand, holding him tight.’

Best wishes

Paul Hille


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

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