Term 4, Week 2: Thursday 14th October, 2021
End of Year Events
Many events mark the end of another journey through the school year, which are both enjoyable and seen as a 'rite of passage'. We have had to adjust and consider how we can do things a little differently throughout the year. With many events that are seen as highlights and essential on our calendar approaching, please know that staff are working on ensuring that we continue to honour what is important - in a COVID safe way. We will communicate information regarding such events as we make arrangements and decisions.
Summer Uniform - School Hats
Children will be required to wear their school hats during Term 4 whenever they are outside. Students are also encouraged to apply sunscreen daily, before school, before recess breaks and during outdoor activities. We have given the children this week to remember to bring their hats to school. Would you please ensure hats are clearly named so they can be returned if misplaced?
It would also be time to examine the cord that secures the hat, and if it has a large bulky knot at the end, consider replacing it with elastic.
Please note that we will not have the 'official' changeover to summer uniform until the week commencing Monday 25th October. In the meantime, children may wear either, their summer or winter uniform.
As October is mental health month, I thought that this would be a timely reminder.
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz. She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralysed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes." She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while, and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer, and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralysed – incapable of doing anything." It's important to remember to let go of your stresses. As early in the evening as you can, put all your burdens down. Don't carry them through the evening and into the night. Remember to put the glass down! (source unknown)
The other night, I was scanning the internet and came across an article that I feel is worth sharing. It was written by a psychologist working at the Children's Hospital.
Rider, in her article, encourages parents to be empathetic and present for their children. She encourages them to model healthy coping strategies such as physical activity, spending time outdoors, and seeing friends with appropriate COVID-19 safety precautions. She offers some age-specific tips to help families understand their child's behaviours at different developmental stages. These are listed below.
Infants and toddlers (0 – 3 years):
Infants and toddlers can sense adults' distress, even if they're too young to understand the reasons. Try to remain calm and reassuring.
Preschool children (3 – 5 years):
Preschoolers' main concerns are safety and separation from family members. Answer their questions. Reassure them that they are safe and can help stay healthy by washing their hands, wearing a mask, and keeping a safe distance from people outside the family. Keep them up to date about the whereabouts of family members.
School-aged children (6 – 12 years):
Older children may have many questions about the pandemic and may be concerned for their safety. Be open to their inquiries, and answer them directly and honestly. Ask their opinions. Encourage participation in family or community efforts to help.
Adolescents (13 – 17 years):
Adolescents understand the implications of the pandemic and may be worried, sad, angry, and fearful for the future. They may want to discuss more profound questions, such as social justice, economic and societal repercussions, and long-term health issues. Have the discussions: Ask what they're seeing and hearing, and try to provide context.
Maintain regular household routines as much as possible. If possible, limit or supervise children's exposure to media coverage of the pandemic. Respect and validate children's feelings about the pandemic because avoiding the subject will make it feel scarier.
"Receive the Holy Spirit!"
Jesus first utters these words in the Gospel of John (Jn. 20:22) as he appears to his disciples after the Resurrection. After many attempts, St. Augustine's Confirmation candidates are finally able to receive the Holy Spirit at a celebration on Thursday 14th October. We hope that you will keep them in your prayers.
The following COVID Restrictions remain in place when anyone visits the school site:
- Masks are required to be worn by parents at all times when in school.
- Please communicate with staff via phone, email or seesaw if possible.
- The Office is closed to all, but essential visitors.
- All extra cleaning and hand hygiene that was in place, is still being adhered to.
- Please do not send food items to share with others when it is your child's birthday, as they cannot be handed out.
- If your child is sick or displaying symptoms, please keep them at home. Children that present as sick or displaying symptoms at school will be sent home. We prefer that they gain a medical clearance or a negative COVID test before they return to school.
- Masks are required to be worn when inside by students in Years 3 and above.
- The back drive-through is open for pick up and drop off.
With a mixture of sadness and pride, we announce that two valued staff members are moving on at the end of the year. Emma Paterson and Estelle McLean will leave St Augustine's when Term 4 concludes. Emma has secured a place at St Alipius Primary School in Ballarat East, and Estelle is moving to St. Frances Xavier Primary School Ballarat East. We wish these outstanding teachers and staff members, all the very best in their new adventures.
Tutor Program 2022
The State Government has extended the Tutor program for 2022. This program is designed to help children who have been adversely affected academically by COVID and remote learning. Early in 2022, we will identify the most vulnerable children and provide them with one-to-one or small group extra support. As was the case this year, the school will also subsidise the program to reach more students than the funding would otherwise allow. This year Louise Morris expanded her intervention program to cater for the needs of those affected.
There have been reports of several disturbing close calls with students and traffic over the week. Please be vigilant and keep a close eye on your children as they leave our premises. This is particularly important when your child leaves the supervision of the crossing and makes their way to your vehicle.
- Terry Brennan -
Dates to Note!
Thursday 14th & Friday 15th: Year 5 & 6 students attend school
Monday 18th: Year 3-6 students undertake home learning
Tuesday 19th & Wednesday 20th: Year 3 & 4 students attend school
Thursday 21st & Friday 22nd: Year 5 & 6 students attend school
Monday 25th: FINAL home learning day for students in Years 3-6
Tuesday 26th: Year 3-6 students return to school full time!
Friday 29th: Year 2 Sleepover (more information to come)
Monday 1st: Student Free Day - School Closure (whole staff RE PD)
Tuesday 2nd: PUBLIC HOLIDAY - Melbourne Cup
Friday 5th: Foundation & Year 1 students excursion to the Halls Gap Zoo
Tuesday 9th: Parent Meeting for Sacrament of Eucharist (NOTE: Dismissal Masses will be replaced with a Retreat Day at school for Eucharist students - date to come)
Friday 12th: School House Sports Day
Thursday 18th: Student Free Day - School Closure (Staff Literacy PD)
Friday 19th: Teddy Bears Picnic
Sunday 21st: Celebration of the Sacrament of Eucharist
Wednesday 1st & Thursday 2nd: Life Education visit
Thursday 2nd & Friday 3rd December: Year 4 Camp at Lady Northcote
Tuesday 7th: 2022 Foundation Orientation Day / Moving Up Day
Monday 13th: Year 6 Fun Day
Tuesday 14th: Year 6 Liturgy
Wednesday 15th: Year 6 Graduation
Wednesday 15th: Last day for ALL Students - students finish at 3:15 pm!
Thursday 16th: Staff planning day
Friday 17th: Last day for Staff