Principal’s Report – Issue 31

Dear Parents

In the busy-ness of the day-to-day task of keeping our heads above water, I pray that each of you has a wonderful few months, and finds time to enjoy and savour the special moments, the friendship and support of one another and the chance from time to time to celebrate who we are and what we do. We need to take some time to remind ourselves that we are not alone; that as people of faith it is important to acknowledge the spiritual side of our lives and spend some time in prayer to our God. Despite how difficult and troublesome we may find things there is always something we can be grateful for in our lives, so let’s not forget that. Remind your children of this often.

All good schools have a sense of unity. A sense of being “all in this together”. This should be especially present in Catholic schools as they are centred on Jesus Christ. This was never more evident to me than on two occasions in the past week. Last Friday, I stood back at the lunch break and took in the landscape of the athletic carnival. I was amazed to see so many people in attendance and even more impressed with the level of enjoyment and excitement on both the parents and the students faces.  It was wonderful to see so many people (our community) come together in support of our school.  It really was a fantastic celebration for the students, staff and parents of Infant Jesus School. Secondly, on Monday night of this week, the School Board, members of the P&F Executive and some staff workedtogether with an external consultant to assist in the development of our Strategic Plan.

This group of people were posed with some rather challenging questions.

  • Reflecting on the Aims & Collective Ambition of staff, parents and students
  • Understanding the context & expectations of others
  • Feedback – what are the big issues & what will make a difference?
  • How do we compete with other schools? Catholic Schools?
  • Why would a parent want to choose to send their child to Infant Jesus School?
  • What is our point of difference etc?

It was very humbling to hear the representation of parents speak so admiringly about their school. You could just about “touch” the ‘sense of pride’ they had in the school, acknowledging the opportunities their children have been given, as well as recognising how fortunate their children were to be educated at Infant Jesus School.  In some ways, the full enrolment at Infant Jesus School is a tremendous barometer of parent satisfaction. Whilst the positive direction of the school was recognised and accepted, the parents at this workshop had a very sound understanding of challenges presented to the school and the strategic direction of our school in light of:

  • Community Expectations
  • Australian Government Agenda
  • State Government Standards and Registration
  • External Environment (Competitors, demographics)
  • Internal Environment (maintaining our strengths and addressing our weaknesses)

I thank all these parents for their efforts with the Strategic Planning Workshop and I look forward to being able to present this plan to the community in the near future.

Our Lady of the Rosary
The month of October each year is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. This coincides with the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and was instituted to honour the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection that she gives the Church in answer to the praying of the Rosary by the faithful.

The word rosary comes from Latin origins and means a garland of roses, the rose being one of the flowers used to symbolize the Virgin Mary. We’re familiar with the images: the silently moving lips of the old woman with her beads; the oversized rosary hanging from the waist of the wimpled nun; more recently, the merely decorative rosary hanging from the rear-view mirror.  After Vatican II the rosary fell into relative disuse. The same is true for Marian devotions as a whole. But in recent years the rosary has made a comeback, and not just among Catholics. Many other Christians now say the rosary, recognizing it as a truly biblical form of prayer—after all, the prayers that comprise it come mainly from the Bible.

The rosary is a devotion in honour of the Virgin Mary.  It consists of a set number of specific prayers.  The following link will help you if you are interested in learning more about this.

Faction Athletics Carnival
Congratulations to all our students and particularly to Miss Kate Witkowski on a very successful athletic carnival last Friday.

As I said at the end of the carnival, it was wonderful to see all the children having fun, trying their best and supporting each other on the day. The sense of anticipation, nervousness and the unknown in the eyes of all children as they lined up for their races was really something! You could tell that this was a ‘big deal’ to them all, no matter if they were in “A” division or the last division. The fact that they had to make it to the other end of the track, in front of their parents and peers and give of THEIR best, makes it always a very exciting day.

I think some of OUR STAFF and PARENTS wanted to take a walk(run) down memory lane with the staff /parent / student race . . . showing off their speed, capabilities and style! Well done to the people that participated in this race.  So much talent!!!

Thank you to the staff and parents that came along early in the morning to assist with the setting up. It really was amazing to see so many people helping out. Thank you to our P&F Association for running the canteen throughout the day. This was very much appreciated by all.

New Funding Package Means Families Will Have Affordable Schools
As many parents would be aware, The Federal Government yesterday released its new funding arrangements for non-government schools after weeks of discussions with representatives of the national Catholic education sector. The new package of measures will significantly improve the funding situation for our Catholic Education system. Though it does not resolve all our concerns, it does provide a firm basis for the future and remedies many of the deficiencies of the 2017 school funding model. The Media Release below is from Dr Debra Sayce, Executive Director Catholic Education Western Australia.

Media Statement
Catholic education will continue to thrive as a viable, accessible and affordable education option for Western Australian families under the new schools funding arrangements announced by the Federal Government yesterday.

Catholic Education Western Australia’s (CEWA) Acting Executive Director Dr Debra Sayce said the new funding package was a significant step forward in ensuring the accessibility of quality, Christ-centered and affordable education is available for all young Western Australians.

“Catholic Education WA has 162 early learning centres, schools and colleges throughout the State with around 76,000 students,” she said.

“The new funding arrangements will not only provide certainty for the many families whose children are in the Catholic education sector, but also our valued and committed staff who deliver a world-class education.”

Dr Sayce said the changes were welcome relief after the 2017 funding model, which put at risk the future of WA’s low-fee, faith-based schools in remote and high SES areas.

“CEWA is committed to supporting all families of varying financial means and this new funding package provides a much firmer foundation for this and ensures a bright and positive future for Catholic schools across the State,” she said.

Dr Sayce said the Federal Government’s new funding arrangements would support low-fee schools, whether independent or Catholic, and deliver a variety of education choices for families.

Nationally, Catholic schools educate more than 765,000 students – or one in five Australian students – in 1741 schools, the vast majority of which are low-fee schools.

2018 CEWA Marketing Campaign
We are excited to present the Catholic Education Western Australia 2018 campaign! The messaging highlights the benefits of Catholic Education around our beautiful state. It promotes our community’s calling to provide a quality, Christ-centred education while being focused on each individual child. For more information go to “Discover Catholic Education”

When I Grow Up Dress Up Day
As part of this campaign we will be joining all other Catholic Schools in Western Australia and will host a “When I Grow Up Dress Up Day” on Thursday 25 October. We look forward to seeing our children come to school dressed as Their Future! What do they want to be when they grow up? Maybe some of them will want to be a Principal!!

2018 Residential Address Collection
Attached to this newsletter is further information about the 2018 Residential Address Collection Click on this link here. The Government accepted the National School Resourcing Board (NSRB) recommendations to move towards using a direct income measure to assess the capacity of a school community to contribute to the recurrent costs of schooling. This requires schools to provide additional information as part of the collection to assist in the development of the direct income measure.

Therefore, schools are required to provide information to the Australian Government as part of the collection to assist in the development of the direct income measure.  The information includes the names and residential addresses of parents and/or guardians (i.e. the persons responsible for students at the school.

The notice is from the Australian Government Department of Education and Training (the department), and advises parents that the department has requested that your child’s school provide a statement of addresses, in accordance with the Australian Education Regulation 2013.

A statement of addresses contains the following information about each student at the school:

  • Student residential address (not student names)
  • Student level of education (i.e. whether the student is a primary or secondary student)
  • Student boarding school status (i.e. whether the student is boarding or a day student)
  • Names and residential addresses of the student’s parent(s) and/or guardian(s)

P&F Meeting
A reminder that the October P&F Meeting has been rescheduled to Tuesday, 23 October, at 7pm. All are welcome.

School Disco
I am sure our students do not need any reminders, but the School Disco is tomorrow evening. This event coordinated and organised by our wonderful P&F Association is a tremendous occasion for all children, from Kindergarten to Year 6, to have fantastic and fun-filled night. Have a GREAT Night!

From My Readings This Week…

Developing Emotional Intelligence In Children
By Michael Grose

Recently while riding on a tram I overheard a conversation between two girls in their late teens. Referring to an exam she was about to take, one girl simply said, “I feel crap!” She repeated this on a number of occasions with no variation on vocabulary.

Her friend on the other hand said, “I was so anxious when I got up this morning, I felt sick! I went for a walk and felt better. My little brother kept bugging me about how this was my last exam and I’d better not stuff it up. That just made me feel even more nervous, he was soooo annoying. I’m not feeling too bad now…just a little worried, but also kind of excited. This is going to be my last exam! Whoa!”

One girl gave a running commentary on her moods that morning, including their causes and the subtle shifts. The other girl couldn’t get past a vague response to sum up her emotional state. The second girl is clearly better equipped to manage her moods than the first, if indeed what I heard is a true representation of their emotional intelligence.

And what a head-start she’s been given by the parents and teachers who helped her build her emotional smarts. They’ve given her the tools for building successful relationships, for maximising her earning potential (I kid you not) and behaving like a champ, not a chump when competing in sports or any other high-performance activities. There’s no doubt that emotions matter.

So where do we start exploring this unfamiliar emotional landscape, this new frontier of parenting? Here are five tips to help you explore this brave new world.

Listen without judgment
When your child fusses and fumes about some wrong-doing or hurt they’ve experienced, clear your mind and hear them out. Avoid trying to fix the situation; just show them compassion and understanding. There is no better feeling then being understood.

Contain, rather than manage, their feelings
Children’s behaviour is often tangled up in their upsets and disappointments. It can be hard to separate their actions from their feelings. Sometimes as a loving, caring adult, you just have to absorb their frustrations, and give them the time and space to vent and soothe their own souls. We don’t have to process their emotions for them.

Know that emotions can be pleasant and unpleasant
We often place value judgements on emotions by portraying some emotions as good or positive (happy, motivated, energised) while some are bad or negative (sad, worried, sullen). Avoid passing judgements like these. Recognise that emotions span a whole range of pleasant and unpleasant feelings, and that all emotions are acceptable. But certain behaviours (such as hurting someone when you are angry) are unacceptable.

Build a vocabulary around emotions
Just as feelings have words, there are names and terms for emotionally intelligent parenting methods. For instance, I-messages* are a type of communication used by parents and adults who take an emotions-first approach.
 It’s worth taking the time to understand some of these concepts and terms and letting them inform your parenting approach.

Help your kids recognise, then regulate emotions
Emotional intelligence is best learned when it becomes part of your family’s culture, or way of doing things. When it becomes part of your family’s cultural DNA then emotional intelligence will be passed down from generation to generation. You’ll know it’s had generational impact when your children credit you as the person who taught them the skills of emotional intelligence. How cool is that?!

In Our Prayers
We pray for the Tutt Family (Austin 4B and Abigail 1B) for the loss of their grandfather who recently passed away.

Prayer for the Week

Mary, you gave us Jesus.
You were his mother on earth and you are our mother in heaven.
When we think of you, we think of a woman of great faith and gentle, motherly love.
We believe that you are always there for us and that you love us with a great love.
We ask you to help us love your Son Jesus
as we ought and to follow your example of faith and trust in God.
Mary, be always a mother to us – a mother in whom we can confide,
A mother who helps us on our way, a mother we can pray to each day.

Cyclic Review
I will be away from the school tomorrow (Friday) and the early part of next week as I am a panel member in Cyclic Review of another school within our system. Participating in other schools reviews are important roles each principal play in supporting the system, each other and our schools. Please see Clare Moffat or Frank Colangelo for any urgent matters. I hope all the students (and parents) enjoy the disco tomorrow night and have a great weekend. A reminder to our Year 3 Parents about the Parent Information Evening on the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Monday 22 October at 7pm in the Parish Centre.

Did you Know?

  • A giraffe can go without water longer than a camel can
  • Of all the words in the English language, the word “set” has the most definitions
  • Ninety million people survive on less than $75 a year
  • Eggs sink in water when they are fresh and float when they are expired

Thought for the Week
We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how.

  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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