Welcome to the newsletter for Week 8 of Term 3. In my report this week, I cover the important issue of child protection following the National Child Protection Week last week and leading into the Perpetual Day of Remembrance this Sunday. It has some vital, albeit heavy information and announcements regarding the different elements of child protection in our schools and families. I ask that parents take the time to read this. In the Student Welfare Update, we will cover some more factors that contribute to well being. Our Teaching and Learning Update will examine Learning Intentions and Success Criteria while our classroom update celebrates Kindergarten's wonderful excursion to the wetlands, the sporting update looks at our Netball Gala day and the Community Update looks at the Father's Day Celebration. Its a busy newsletter. We hope you find it informative.
Child Protection Week 2019
Last week, was a national Child Protection Week (1–7 September). This year, the national theme is built around supporting parents to raise thriving kids. It celebrates the many ways – big and small – everyone in the community can make a difference in the life of a child.
As part of my reading during Child Protection Week, I was directed to a website known as NAPCAN (National Association for Prevention of Child abuse and Neglect) which is a great site for resources in supporting parents and community members to raise children in a safe, supportive environment that is clear of any form of child abuse or neglect.
This is a sensitive area to discuss as parenting styles and decisions regarding discipline differ across family groups and even within families, and yet they remain within the recommendations of laws for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. It remains important to be mindful of all the different strategies parents might employ in raising their children in an increasingly busy life. Having said that, we have a very clear mandated responsibility within schools that corporal punishment is never to be part of our disciplinary procedures. Given some of those differing parenting styles and the professional conduct regulations we have here in schools, I have selected three pertinent brochures that parents might like to have a read through. A link to the full library of brochures from theNAPCANN website is located here.
Office of Safeguarding
The Diocese used last week's Child Protection Week on the calendar to launch a new branch of child protection in our Diocese - The Office of Safeguarding for the Matiland Newcastle Diocese. Previously Zimmerman Services, established in 2007, maintained a dual role in both a response to the emerging tragedy of child sexual abuse in the past and to establish clear protection processes for all children currently in our care. This was in line with and governed by the government's Office of Children's Guardian. While Zimmerman Services will remain in its capacity for healing and support of past injury, establishing the Office of Safeguarding with its expanded mandate and increased resources is the next logical evolution of this respected and effective service of protecting our young children from harm.
The Office of Safeguarding’s new website is a key component of the promotion of safeguarding principles and practices. Parents and community members are encouraged to access this website, which will provide our clergy, religious and laity information, professional Development and support. You can access the website at:
One more immediately relevant resource on the Office of Safeguarding's website is the a padlett of resource for parents to explore and even share age appropriate content with their children. The link for this is below
It is important that we all remain vigilant in the protection of children in our care. This new Office of Safeguarding will continue to support schools in that vigilance through essential PD, resources and communications in this area.
Reporting is an essential component of Child Protection and the role of the Office of Safe Guarding. I want to remind parents that all staff members are considered by law to be mandatory reporters (outlined below).
"A mandatory reporter in NSW is an individual required under Section 27 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998 to report to the Child Protection Helpline when he/she has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child or young person, or a class of children/young people, is at risk of significant harm from abuse or neglect, and those grounds arise during the course of or from the person’s work."
Perpetual Day of Remembrance
The third component of last week's focus during Child Protection Week extends to this Sunday, the 15th September, where the Diocese of Maitland Newcastle will hold its annual Perpetual day of Remembrance outlined below in a communication from the bishop, last week.
"The Perpetual Day of Remembrance is for those who suffered Child Sexual Abuse in our Church and for all affected by those crimes. It is an act of solemn remembrance of a great human tragedy, marked by sadness for those who suffered, certainly, but also an occasion to commit ourselves to remembering what happened so as not to allow those things to be repeated".
We will be holding an age appropriate liturgy next Monday morning to commemorate the Diocesan Perpetual Day of Remembrance. The resource provided to schools as part of the day allows us to be sensitive to making it a child based liturgy based on the adult complexities of the tragic events that we will be remembering and praying for. I have provided a link below that is an individual or household resource developed by the Diocese that parents might like to view. We invite parents to join with us as we remember and pray for vitvims of this tragic part of the Chruch's history, much as we do for the wars, for the stolen generation and the history of land rights for the indigenous people of Australia.
We hope you have found the information in this report useful. It certainly is essential to the various aspects of child protection that remains our focus here every day at Coprus Christi.
Have a great two weeks,
School Chaplaincy Program - Pastoral Care Worker Survey
Up until the end of 2017, Sr Jenny filled the formal role of Pastoral Care Worker here at school where she worked with numerous students who were experiencing certain changes, challenges and stresses in their life that was impacting on their wellbeing and learning here at school. The role was in partnership with families and classroom teachers as we attempted to support the students to the best possible experience of school and life by helping them deal with what was sometimes significant change and occasional trauma such as grief. Sr Jenny continues to work in our school as a volunteer in this area and teachers continue to work with parents for the same level of support when needed. The Federal Government has called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) for schools wishing to formalise the role within their school once again; this time calling it a School Chaplaincy Role.
"The purpose of the NSCP is to support the wellbeing of Australian school students through the provision of pastoral care services and strategies to support the wellbeing of the broader school community."
After considerable reading of the role, it is very much the role that some families know as the Pastoral Care work the Sr Jenny filled. Admittedly some of our newer families may not be familiar with it.
Part of the EOI application that I hope to submit requires some community feedback about the role and the impact it might have on our school. I have developed a survey that I hope might gather some data about whether our school would benefit from formalising the role once again. I imagine many schools will be following suit but it is worth attempting to get involved in such a positive initiative from the Federal Government. EOI application close on September 30th. I would like to have ours submitted by Monday 23rd, so I will close this survey by Friday 20th September. The more parents we hear from the better the community feedback can direct our participation, if any, in this program. I very much appreciate your contribution. The link is below.
We are calling for all helping hands to assist with some rubbish clean up, gardening and grooming of the front of school and the Dominic Courtyard on Saturday 21st September from 8am. All done by 11am.
We will send out a list of jobs we hope to achieve on the day at the end of this week. Fingers crossed we will get as many hands on deck as possible to make our playground and school, the best it can be.
Disco Term 3
OOSH has also announced that they will hold vacation care for the next school holidays for families wishing to use the service. They have devised an itinerary of activities including excursions with other St Nicholas OOSH sites (Mayfield and Shortland) that give the kids an opportunity to participate in engaging and different experiences during the holidays. Please find a copy of the planned itinerary below. Enrolment forms to follow.
Our school has long been involved in the Crunch and Sip program which allows students to reach for a fruit of vegetable snack (snack) during the longer morning session. This is especially important if they have a particularly early breakfast. The "sip" component refers to allowing students access to their water bottles in the classroom. When something becomes embedded in our culture it has a tendency to develop a life of its own and it is important to remind ourselves of and return to best practice in introducing the program in the first place. Students who are not hungry and are well hydrated perform better in the classroom, show increased concentration, and are less likely to be irritable and disruptive.
What makes up Crunch?
The importance of the crunch program is based on a focus on a balanced diet of 2 pieces of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables a day because studies show that students generally get reasonable serves of other food groups such as grain, dairy and protein. Not surprisingly, it is the 5 serves of vegetables that is the hardest to meet quota for, especially in summer when our fruit is so readily available and delicious. - we tend to forget about vegetables.
When we allow 'crunch' it is important to note that this refers to unprocessed fruit or vegetables, obviously parents can cut the fruit/vegies into containers but it should not be commercially processed. For example, fruit cups/tins in syrup or juice do not qualify. Nor does a vegetable snack box that includes cabanossi and cheese qualify. While making great lunches, these are not classroom snacks.
Ultimately it is ideal if the 'Crunch"snack is in a separate container so students do not need to bring their whole lunch box into the classroom as it takes up room and tempts them to snack on other food int he lunch box.
When should we crunch?
While the drinking water is important throughout the day, the 'crunch' snack is only essential during the morning session as the other two sessions are sufficiently short enough for there not to be a need for it. Each classroom teacher will designate the best time for students to have their 'Crunch'.
We are finding that students are cutting their eating short during the lunch break assuming they can munch continuously during class for the whole day. Not only does this mean a constant distraction from learning, this habit of 'constantly grazing' outside of main meals, which then may be skipped or reduced, is not viewed as a healthy habit to develop. Obviously there are circumstances that might mean a child needs to snack but it is not necessary for all members of the class.
And the Sip?
The sip must only ever be water. Fruit, cordial or milk drinks contain sugar, protein and dairy. The body processes them as energy while the body processes water for hydration. It is the body's hydration we are attempting to maintain by allowing students access to water during class time. Again, there is nothing wrong with a fruit drink for lunch if that is the choice but not for the classroom. Additionally, it is important, especially in the older grades, that students don't drink so much that excessive toilet breaks begin to interrupt learning (the body is more than hydrated at this point).
In the coming weeks, teachers will begin to moderate Crunch and Sip practices in classrooms to align with the above information. For your references, I have attached an information sheet from the Healthy Kids website which is a joint initiative between the NSW Ministry of Health, NSW Department of Education, Office of Sport and the Heart Foundation (NSW Division).
Wellbeing is about balance in all aspects in life. This week, we complete our 3 part series focusing on aspects that promote positive wellbeing. In Week 2, we looked at Mindfulness, Self Management and Resilience. In Week 6 we looked at Confidence, Decision Making and Using Technology. This week we will conclude with how nutrition, physical activity and play are important components of wellbeing.
Nutrition and Mental Health
- How are nutrition and mental health linked?
- Several reasons for how diet may affect mental health
- Australian Dietary Guidelines
- What can we do to encourage healthy eating
- How does exercise affect mental health and wellbeing?
- How much exercise do children and young people need?
- What can your service or school do to promote exercise?
- What is Play?
- Why is play important to mental health?
- How does play achieve this?
- How do children play?
- When should adults join in?
- How can adults support children's play?
We also have some news about the new sacramental programme with an official invite from Father Stephen Hill.
Father Valerian’s New Appointment
As you would already know Father Valerian has taken up his new appointment in the Chisholm Region in Maitland. We have just heard that his replacement in our parish will not begin till the beginning of 2020. This means that unfortunately our first Tuesdays of the month masses will have to be put on hold. It saddens me that this is the case. To be Catholic is to be Eucharistic and celebrating Mass is Eucharistic. We may need to gather in prayer through Liturgy in the absence of clergy.
Lk 15:1-32 Parable of the prodigal son
Who has ever seen real pigs? What are they like?
The boy in the Gospel today who left home and spent all his money ended up looking after pigs and wishing he could eat as well as them. How sad must he have been?
How did his father show he loved his son when he returned home?
When we return to God because we are sorry, how does God treat us?
Quite often the focus in this parable is on the foolish son and the forgiving father, yet this parable introduces a further character: the older brother, who reacts so angrily to his father’s reinstatement of his brother to full status as son. His attitude shows the difficulty human beings have in coming to terms with such a vision of God. Conversion is not just a matter of turning from overt acts of sin. It can also – perhaps even more radically – mean confronting one’s own anger and resentment at God’s unbounded generosity to others. The older brother did not think his younger sibling deserved to be treated so indulgently. But what human beings might or might not ‘deserve’ does not control the action of God?
For the younger children!
Sacramental Program - Year 3 into Year 4
The Sacramental Programme for 2019-2020 is beginning. So…….. Why should you let, or encourage, your children to receive the sacraments? What’s the big deal?
We are all aware that receiving the Sacraments is an important part of being Catholic. Yet sometimes we forget the truly transformative effect that the Sacraments have in our lives. The Sacraments are not symbols or rites of passage or something just to tick off.
In the Sacraments, God reaches out to us and we in turn open our hearts to Him. Through each Sacrament we are truly changed.
In the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Communion), we are born again in Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit, and united with the Body of Christ. In Confession, our sins are forgiven and we are reunited with God. In Sacramental Marriage, a man and a woman are bound together forever and given the grace to love one another and their children. In Holy Orders, men and women are ordained to share in the ministry of the apostles, bringing Christ to the world. Through Anointing of the Sick, our souls and bodies are strengthened. These are not merely symbols, but moments of conversion when our souls are actually changed.
Corpus Christi is a member of the Holy Trinity Parish. The TRI -Parishes of St Therese’s New Lambton, St John’s Lambton and ourselves at Corpus Christi Waratah. As stated earlier, the current Year 3 class is the target group. However, any child primary age and even high school is welcome.
This is a wonderful opportunity for the children to receive the sacraments together. It helps you as the school will support you in their preparation. Don’t worry if you feel a little overwhelmed. As any parent who has been through it and they will testify that it is easy.
All you need to do is attend 3 information sessions. 1 for each of the sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist. Purchase the 3 work books( $30) and make the commitment.
It’s not difficult task but it is more manageable at this age then later in life.
If you have any questions or queries please feel free to contact me or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parent Information Evening - 25th September 7pm @ St John's Church Lambton
Commitment Mass - weekend of 19 / 20 Oct and 27 Oct Families must attend any Mass over the weekend commit to the programme.
Reconciliation Liturgy - 3 Dec: Reconciliation 7pm @ St Theresess New Lambton or - 4 Dec: Reconciliation 7pm @ Corpus Christi Waratah
Have a great week!
Religious Education Coordinator
Perhaps you have seen them displayed in the classroom, you may have heard your child or teacher talk about learning intentions or success criteria. If you have ever wondered why your child’s teacher uses these in the classroom, hopefully I can provide a brief overview of the importance and reason for the use of each of these.
When students know the learning intention of a lesson, they:
- can focus on the purpose of the activity, rather than just completing the activity;
- know where to focus their efforts – i.e. which part of the activity involves the learning;
- are more likely to stay 'on task' and less likely to be confused or distracted;
- can take more responsibility for learning.
Once teachers have decided on the learning intention, teachers plan a series of teaching and learning activities to help students learn the knowledge and/or skills and achieve the understanding described.
The learning intention for a lesson or series of lessons is a statement, which describes clearly what the teacher wants the students to
- understand; and
- be able to do
as a result of the learning and teaching activities.
Learning Intentions directly assist students to self-regulate their learning.
The learning intention of a lesson or series of lessons tells students what they should know, understand and be able to do, and the success criteria helps teachers to decide whether their students have in fact achieved the learning intention.
Importantly, the success criteria also answers the same question from the point of view of the student. How will I know whether I've achieved the learning intention?
Examples of success criteria are:
- I can compare the volumes of two or more objects made from cubic-centimetre blocks by counting blocks
- I can use scaled instruments to measure and compare capacities
- I can identify three of the ways in which heat can be produced
- I can classify heat sources according to how they produce heat.
Learning Intentions and Success Criteria help students to be self-regulated learners and remain focussed on what they are learning, not what they have to do.
At 9.30am on Tuesday 3rd of September Kindergarten excitedly boarded the bus to the Shortland Wetlands Education Centre for their very first school excursion. Our Science unit this term is called “Living Detectives”.
At the Wetlands the students were able to have hands on experiences investigating what is living thing and what are its basic needs. The students had lots of fun dip-netting for living creatures that live in the dam and were very excited when visited by a friendly eel!
Next it was off to the “Laboratory” were the children placed on lab coats and became scientists using the microscopes, magnifying glasses and petri dishes to observe the characteristics of the living creatures! Fabulous!
Then it was off to the “Investigating Classroom” where the students used their skills to build a bird’s nest not with their hands but with special beak gloves! It was a lot harder than they thought!
Tummies were grumbling so it was time for a quick lunch and a play in the “Tree House” before the students headed out on an adventure sensory walk to the Bird House where they used their binoculars to spot the many different kinds of wildlife that call Shortland’s Wetlands home! On the walk students spotted some baby swans and learnt about the plants that the “Aboriginal culture” use as food for cooking and eating.
All the students agreed as they boarded the bus back to school it had been the best day EVER!
Another great sporting event was held in Week 7 with the Annual Diocesan Netball Gala Day at National Parks Netball Courts. For once, the weather was spectacular and our netball teams represented our school proudly in the spirit of friendly competition and teamwork. Thankyou to our wonderful parents who assisted with managing/ coaching our different teams and to the staff who organsied the day so that it ran smoothly. A few snaps of a busy day are below.
Father Day Breakfast and Liturgy
Thankyou to all the wonderful men in our lives. We hope you all had a great Fathers Day. We loved having you join us for breakfast on Friday of Week 6. The video below has snapshots of the breakfast morning. What a great community event.
Fathers Day Stall.
A huge thankyou to the volunteers that organised and ensured the Fathers Day stall went so well in the lead up to Fathers Day. It is a wonderful opporunity for children to personally shop for the important men in their life and we are grateful for the support of volunteers in the P & F to help keep that tradition alive.
Below is another link to the Mango fundraiser the P & F are currently holding. It does say on the flyer that orders are due by the 29th Septemebr but many have realised that this date is the holidays so we will be seeking final orders by Friday 27th September.
Congratulations to the following students who have been recognised for great learning, awesome achievements, impressive improvements and stand out moments.
All parents are welcome at our Awards Assembly on Friday Mornings from 8.50am but if you are unable to attend, watch this space for when learning that is great.