5 "Must Knows" from this week's newsletter
|Item||Brief Description||Further Information Located in.|
|School Improvement Plan for 2020||Adaptations have been made in light of the impact from the Covid Crisis||Principals Report|
|St Vincent De Paul Winter Appeal||Time to send in any winter woollens you can spare for families doing it tough this winter.||Religious Education Update|
|Wellbeing day||Friday 3rd July (Last Day Of Term) Out of Uniform Day (PJs, Beanies and Dressing gowns) with Hot Chocolate and Sausage Sizzle - linked to the St Vincent De Paul Winter Appeal||Reminders and Call Outs|
|Kinder 2021 Enrolment Timeline||An Alert to all families about the adapted Enrolment timeline and reminder to send in applications||Principals Report|
|School Fee Account||Have been issued this week. Further clarification in this newsletter||Reminders and Call Outs|
Welcome again to our latest newsletter. The weeks seem to be rolling by more and more. This week we have a slight change up in our newsletter format. We have added a "Newsletter at a Glance" feature that will identify 5 must knows to be highlighted in each issue. We appreciate that in our busy lives, there is not always time to read the full letter from top to bottom, at first glance. In the interest of ensuring the most pressing notices do get through when they need to get through, we have added a table at the start of every newsletter. Then parents have the opportunity to read the newsletter at their own leisure when they next sit with a cup of tea. It is important to note that there is a lot of different things to celebrate and talk about in our newsletters as we aspire to open communication with our parents, so the "Newsletter at a Glance" feature cannot possibly encompass all elements, just the most pressing. Another section which is always good to ensure you read is the "Upcoming Events and Reminders" article just below the Principals Report. A reminder that you can also use the index at the top of the newsletter to navigate to different articles throughout the newsletter itself.
When I reflect on some of the things that were gained during the recent Covid restrictions, I realise that what emerges is a plan to "Keep Doing". If our time in lockdown allowed us to make benefit of family time, exercise time and productive time around the house - lets keep doing it. If the period of home learning built skills of resilience, open communication and independence in learning - then let's keep doing that too. If our time in lockdown helped us appreciate the beauty of the country we live in, the ability to have adventures in the great outdoors and the enjoyment we get from interacting with a friend or extended family - then let's, most certainly, keep doing that.
I am mindful that as we ease restrictions, we do not to fall back into old habits. Specifically to school, when we are allowed to invite parents on site again (which I imagine will come soon enough and something we look forward to), lets keep doing the things that have developed such resilience in the students such as allowing them to walk into school on their own, carry their own bags and manage notes into the note bag. Yes, it will be easy to fall into the old habit of doing these things for them, but then we would lose some of the best benefits of what was gained during this period. I could go on about how the same can be applied in the home with family time, exercise, interaction with friends and appreciation for the great outdoors but I am guessing you get my meaning. There is a saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". Similarly, "If it's going well, keep doing it".
School Improvement Plan
I have attached a document that goes through each of the actions we had planned for 2020, evaluates the feasibility of still achieving this in the current year and if necessary postponing a few to 2021. I have every confidence that we remain on track to complete each strategy across the three years of the strategic plan.
We have also modified the staff professional learning plan to better reflect the unplanned tangent of professional learning that was undertaken as we adapted to the provision of remote pedagogy and home learning. Having said that we have realigned the original plan and are ready to relaunch with it in Term 3, albeit a little delayed and with every intention of carrying it over into the new year as well.
Kindergarten 2021 Enrolment Timeline
Over the final two weeks of this term and then into the first week of Term 3, I will meet with each family to continue the formal enrolment process but families must have submitted an application form to continue with this stage. It is important to note that these interviews will be conducted under strict covid hygiene practices and registration of all visitors. While they will involve a tour of the external buildings, we will not be allowed to visit the classrooms on this occasssion.
After these interviews, we will formulate the cohort for 2021 and send out first round offers for Kindergarten 2021. Families will have until a date (TBC) in August to confirm that enrolment. We will then be able to proceed with confidence with a full orientation program across the first four Thursdays of November.
Once again, I ask that any families who are aware of other families considering enrolment at Corpus Christi Waratah, to invite them to contact the school for more information and begin the application process as soon as possible to ensure they are considered as part of the current Enrolment timeline.
Have a great two weeks,
We will be serving hot chocolate with marshmallows which is the traditional way to end the St Vincent De Paul's Winter Appeal (See the RE Update for details), but we will also treat the students to a sausage sizzle for lunch. Classrooms will have some different wellbeing activities to finish off the term.
As mentioned in a Compass alert last week, School fees for Term 2 have now been issued to all families. During the COVID crisis, we have been mindful of the financial impact experienced by some of our families and so we delayed the issuing of these statements within the normal time frames (Week 1 of this Term). Similarly, we will issue the Term 3 school fees a little later than usual in Term 3 to allow for families to prepare and budget for these fees to be paid within reasonable time frames.
Of course, if you are paying weekly or fortnightly then fees are being covered across the remaining weeks of the year. In these cases, the current statements are just for your information.
The Diocese has established an online form to either defer your school fee payments or to apply for a COVID Concession to reduce your school fees. This process is still available to our families. Please contact the Catholic Schools Office directly for assistance or find further details provided with your statements.
We are very appreciative of those families who have continued and will shortly resume their commitment to school fees as these funds are integral to the continued running of our school.
At this stage there is no due date on the school fees which is another consideration to families at this time. However, it is noted that Term 3 fees will follow (albeit a little later than the usual week 1, approx Week 5) so families could consider that timeline as a guide. The important thing to note is that we do not send school fees home for Term 4, having already covered the cost across the first 3 terms. Usually, this allows us to finalise our accounts well before the end of year. However, in a Covid effected financial year, families may like to consider a propotion of Term 4 as an additional period of time during which to cover the fees across the year.
Please note: We are currently in discussions and planning stages on how we can best utilise the elements of the resource fee that are collected for the purposes of excursions, given that the restricitons are limiting the potential of these. I hope to have a proposal for parent's consideration in the Week 10 newsletter.
A reading from the letter of St Paul to the Romans
God's gift to us is nothing like our sin against him.
Sin entered the world through one man, and through sin death, and thus death has spread through the whole human race
because everyone has sinned. Sin existed in the world long before the Law was given. There was no law and so no one could be accused of the sin of ‘law-breaking’, yet death reigned over all from Adam to Moses, even though their sin, unlike that of Adam, was not a matter of breaking a law.
Adam prefigured the One to come, but the gift itself considerably outweighed the fall. If it is certain that through one man’s fall so many died, it is even more certain that divine grace, coming through the one man, Jesus Christ, came to so many as an abundant free gift.
This week's reading prompts us to think about?.....
Growing up Catholic we realise that we are all sinners and can sin at various times in
our lives. We are all human, and because of this, we know very likely we will sin again – but we still vow to try not to in the future.
It is important to model this for our children, that even as parents and teachers, we all make mistakes. It is what we do
How do we know when we are sorry for our sins? We become aware that we have hurt others through our sins. We are willing to admit our sins. We hate what we have done wrong! We never want to do it again. We promise to change and be more loving. We remember that God still loves us!
unhealed, then its power over us is increased. It remains the thing about which we can never speak. The bad spirit has a field day with this sort of stuff, feeding our fears and lowering our self-esteem.
Jesus encourages us to reveal our secrets to God. Rather than judge or condemn us, he will free you of your sin and allow you to move forward and learn from your mistakes. This is an important strategy to teach children and an emotional health tool we can all use throughout our lives.
CHILDREN'S DISCUSSION STARTERS TO ENCOURAGE MAKING THINGS RIGHT AGAIN.....
- What did you do wrong?
- Who or what did you hurt?
- Do you feel sorry about it?
- How can you make it better?
- For St Vincent de Paul
- Please donate to our Mini_vinnies Winter Appeal in Friday 3 July 2020.
- Friday 3 July 2020 PYJAMA DAY
- Wear your warmest PJ’s, dressing gown, Ugg boots or tracksuit.
- Must wear closed in shoes.
- Hot chocolate for those who donate a GOLD coin or Winter Woolies
- FREE sausage sizzle for all students.
- DONATIONS NEEDED- Winter Woolies
- Items must be in good pre-loved condition or brand new.
- Please wash pre-loved items and send in a sealed plastic bag.
- Items may include….. blankets, scarves, sleeping bags, sheets, doonas, jumpers, coats, cardigans, gloves, warm clothing in adult or child sizes....etc
Have a great fortnight and be kind to yourselves!
Mrs Lisa York
Religious Education Coordinator (Acting)
We need to focus on what truly matters in education – the people and our relationships with them
Schools are mini examples of society; they mimic what is happening around them. Corpus Christi Waratah and education in general, is adapting as we navigate these uncertain times.
I was reading an article recently by Maggie Dent. The article spoke of schools being the key to our children’s recovery. The 3 C’s, connection, calmness, and cohesion.
I was intrigued by the 3C’s abbreviation. How would the 3 C’s meet their needs? I was thrown a little to begin with, because most recently, our focus had been on another group of C’s including collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. And who could forget the abbreviation for reading, writing and arithmetic? The three Rs, either way I was hooked, so I read on…..
The article spoke of the next six months as being a critical window in which to shape our children’s futures. Given that this virus will continue to impact families, communities, workplaces, shopping centres and public transport for quite some time, schools will be the bridge between families and the outside world.
Many students in Corpus Christi are returning to the classroom after isolation, will have depleted energy and may show signs of fragility. With a greater need for proximity and being ‘on guard,’ until they are again able to feel safe and restore their previous sense of security.
Children may be struggling either overtly or invisibly and can create some significant challenges in terms of their capacity to learn if unchecked. If schools attempt to hurry ‘to catch up’, with what may have been missed, they could unintentionally cause more damage and delay the recovery of children to be ready to learn.
If schools prioritise the 3 C’s of connection, calmness and cohesion they can seriously improve student wellbeing, especially mentally and emotionally. The sooner students feel safe, in a predictable environment, with positive relationships with their teachers and staff, their brains can begin to function more calmly so they can learn more effectively.
Relationship fulfils our most fundamental need as humans and until that need is met, the nervous system will be in a state of hypervigilance. Children love predictability around relationships, and they need to feel a sense of normal, so they can relax. The more connected students feel, the safer they feel and the more energy they have to contribute to the learning process.
Stressed brains simply cannot learn well.
Calmness needs to be a priority. Mindfulness opportunities can also really help all children, especially those who are struggling, every single day, to feel safer in their little bodies. When we are stressed we are much more likely to be reactive in our responses – to be angrier, use a louder voice and look for ways to reduce the tension like drinking, eating or secretly wanting to run away and hide!
When schools bring calmness into the curriculum, everyone wins
Where there is a strong sense of belonging the is Cohesion. We have tried many ‘new’ things to make the children feel welcome of a morning. We have relaunched our schools Wellbeing framework and we have even been having whole school exercises to some familiar tunes. It’s rewarding to hear that the music and teacher at the gate has been well received by all. You’ve heard the add on Television, ‘we’re all in this together” could not be truer in Corpus Christi. The social connections that can exist between the students, the parents and the teachers can provide everyone with the emotional support, material help and information they need to thrive. Each of us is navigating this journey differently. Some have thrived learning in isolation, while others found it really difficult, but everyone has been doing the best they can.
Schools at their most effective when they are places where students feel a sense of belonging, and safety in an environment that is meeting their wellbeing needs.
So it’s through the 3 C’s of connection, calmness and cohesion, that will show children that we have hearts that care; enabling them to mimic us and fill their toolboxes with the necessary mechanisms to cope the best way we can.
- Reflecting on past experience and remember if it worked out badly
- Look for general information around by using common sense, logic and general knowledge
- Think if there might be an alternative explanation for an event
- Once you’ve gathered these facts, use the evidence to think of a calm realistic thought.
The Stepladder Approach is an effective strategy to help children face fears and anxiety. The process is carried out in a step-by-step manner so that the child can become gradually confident to face and manage situations that are difficult for them. The following links have more information about the stepladder approach.
The following book is a very helpful tool for working with anxious children. Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents by Ronald Rapee, Ann Wignall, Susan Spence, Heidi Lyneham, Vanessa Cobham.
The Future is in their Hands.
In light of recent world events, and in conjunction with our Religion unit on Justice, Year 6 were asked how we could respect creation and promote the dignity of all .
Here is a small collection of some of their thoughts.
The future is in their hands and it looks bright!
Meeting Our Staff
In the absence of whole school community events to celebrate in the newsletter, we are going to use the Community Update section to introduce some of our hardworking team members who may not be known to all. This week we would like to introduce Miss Sophie King, our Pastoral Care Worker.
Want to find out more about St Dominic’s Centre, Mayfield?
St Dominic offers two forms of enrolment:
- Kindergarten to Year 10 accepts enrolments for students with a primary disability of Moderate Cognitive Disability or who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Kindergarten to Year 3 for students with primary diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder we offer specific classes.
* Our class ratios are up to 7 students for 1 teacher and 1 LSA.
* We are a systemic Catholic School though we accept students of all denominations who meet our enrolment criteria.
* Each student has a Personalised Plan that is student-centred and focuses on goal-setting across various domains. These goals are then embedded into our program and teaching, both in and out of the classroom. We offer structured opportunities through our multi-disciplinary team for students to focus on social skills.
* Our team consists of specialist teaching staff, specialist learning support assistants, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist and a psychologist who adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to our student’s education.
* Our facilities are purpose built and include specialist teaching areas; spaces for self-regulation; prac room for teaching living skills and flexible learning areas. We have both inside and outside learning areas that are fully utilised for different purposes such as gardening for our Paddock to Plate program.
* Students enrolled at St Dominic’s are eligible for Assisted Travel, which is a government program that provides free travel by car to and from school within a 40km radius.
* For more information please watch the following clip - St Dominic's Centre - a snapshot
We encourage parents and their children to attend to see our setting, speak with the staff and ask any questions you may have. Please phone 4968 1295 if you would like to attend or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to sharing our very unique and vibrant setting with you.
Due to COVID-19 Open Days will be taking place early Term 3. Please contact us to register your interest.
P & F Meeting
The P & F trialled a zoom meeting in order to resume the monthly P & F Meetings that were suspended as a result of the Covid Pandemic. It offers us some interesting options as to opening up a wider parent attendance at these meetings and one that we will consider as a broader option for our parents when time comes for the August Meeting (Tuesday 11th August, 2020). We will present these options at the newsletter prior to then. For now, please find a summary of the information discussed at the June Meeting in the attached document.