Term 1, Week 7: Thursday 17th March, 2022
Prayer for Lent
Teach me a new freedom.
Freedom to reject comparison
And to embrace uniqueness.
Freedom to cut ties with greed
And feast on love.
Freedom to abstain from overindulgence
And feast on self-control.
Freedom to leave behind selfish thoughts
And to focus on the needs of others.
Freedom to fend off insecurity
And to embrace grace.
Lord, at this time of Lent,
Thank you for the freedom you bring.
(a Lenten prayer for young people from www.lords-prayer-words.com)
The theme of Project Compassion 2022 is "For All Future Generations."
Lent is when we reflect on our own lives and how we can be better versions of ourselves. That's what God wants for us. God wants us to shine! To be the light in the world, especially when others are in darkness.
Instead of aspiring to have more, we can focus on how we can BE more. For example: be kinder, greener, more involved, more aware, more giving.
This Lent, let us consider how we can 'BE MORE' for our neighbours worldwide.
In this time of COVID-19, increasing global change, conflict and inequality, the principle of the 'common good' is now more critical than ever. We believe we are one human family and have a responsibility to help each person achieve their full potential. This is the Catholic Social Teaching principle of the common good.
So during this Lent, let's BE MORE in all we do…For all future generations!
There are many different ideas to help children understand the season of Lent. May you and your family be open to God's presence through this season of Lent, and may every moment, especially moments of sacrifice and challenge, be filled with the deep and true happiness that comes from God.
Thank you to everyone for their patience and continued support during these challenging times. It was lovely to see families walking their children down to class in a COVID safe manner and following the rules outlined by the school. We must take a slow and careful approach to ensure the health and safety of all involved. This is crucial in being able to fully open up and celebrate special events once again as a school community. Over the coming weeks we will closely monitor how things are going within the school and slowly begin to organise special events and activities. Please keep a close eye on the calendar in the school website, the newsletter, or your email when these activities occur.
A huge thanks to Lana Taylor and Fiona Trounce for taking on the role of coordinators. For now, we will be reopening our school canteen very shortly with an updated menu. Look out for a Seesaw message early next week to fill you in on all the details.
We are reforming the Parents and Friends group. There will be a meeting in the school hall on Tuesday, March 29th, to shape what this group will look like.
Assemblies are back, starting with a Year Six focus on school leadership. This will take place on Friday, March 25th. The school leaders will receive their leadership badges at this assembly. At this stage we are restricting the visitors to the parents and carers of the Year Six students.
In term two, we will welcome back classroom helpers to assist our teachers in our classrooms' day-to-day running, more information to follow very early term two.
Concerning parents/carers onsite:
Parents, guardians, carers, and other adult visitors who enter school buildings must be fully vaccinated or hold a valid medical exemption.
The following limited exceptions also apply:
- when attending to administer medical treatment to their child when the school cannot administer the treatment
- when attending to collect their child who is unwell and cannot leave the school building unaccompanied by their parent/carer
- when attending for a brief period that does not involve any sustained contact with staff or students, for example, to collect a completed art project, collecting a packet of rapid antigen test or similar.
- Parents, guardians and carers attending school sites for drop off and pick up who do not enter school buildings do not need to comply with vaccination requirements.
Parent-Teacher Conversations will be held from Monday 21st to Thursday, March 24th. These meetings will be an excellent opportunity to meet your child's teacher and discuss how your child has settled into the new school year. The meetings will be offered virtually. Parents will be able to select a convenient time for their meeting through PAM.
In partnership with the families, the school aims to educate the students on their roles and responsibilities as digital citizens, including awareness of the dangers and managing their online identities (digital footprint). We continue to teach them about safe, respectful, and responsible behaviours on the internet or using other mobile technologies and social media. The school has introduced tight protocols and expectations when using and accessing these devices.
Whilst we cannot ultimately control the use of such technologies outside our immediate school setting, we have become increasingly aware of the number of students who have access to and are participating in online gaming.
While there may be many positive aspects to online gaming, it's also important to be aware of some of the risks:
- Problematic internet use (also referred to as 'internet addiction' and 'internet gaming addiction')—by its very nature, online gaming is designed to hook and engage players, compelling them to go on to the next challenge or level. This can result in overuse and excessive screen time, impacting your child's sleeping pattern, eating, performance at school and relationships in the real world. In extreme cases, it can significantly impact a child's daily social and psychological functioning.
- Interaction with strangers—networked games involve multiple players (even hundreds or thousands of players). With these games, your child could be communicating with strangers (including adults) through webcam, private messaging or online chat, increasing the risk of contact from predators.
- In-game bullying and harassment—while online gaming can lead to positive social interactions, there is also the potential for harm through harassing messages and bullying, either from one player or a group of players. Anecdotally, we hear that girls and women, in particular, can be targets of harassment and bullying when playing online games.
- Gambling—some online games simulate gambling and can expose your child to a realistic gambling experience at a very young age.
- In-game and in-app purchases—young people can potentially run up large bills through in-game and in-app purchases. Some games may be free to download but require the player to pay real money to advance beyond a certain point or access additional content (like special powers for a character) not available in the free version of the game.
- Security vulnerabilities and viruses can include vulnerabilities with PC gaming through phishing, keylogging malware, or fake apps that can steal passwords and account details. A player may be prompted (and even pressured) to download and install an application or document to be a team member. They think they have been contacted by a friendly and helpful player when they have inadvertently fallen prey to malicious software.
BULLYING NO WAY
NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AGAINST BULLYING AND VIOLENCE
Friday, March 18th 2022, is The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence (NDA).
The theme for 2022 is Kindness Culture. By building Kindness Culture together, we can promote inclusion, respect and community belonging for all students in schools across Australia. As a community, we are fortunate that our students are extremely caring of each other, and therefore we do not have a bullying culture at St Augustine's. Still, it doesn't hurt to remind ourselves just how damaging bullying can be to an individual and our community.
The national definition of bullying for Australian schools says:
"Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and social behaviour that causes physical and psychological harm."
Bullying of any form or for any reason can have long-term effects on those involved, including bystanders. It can affect an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious or hidden.
Isolated incidents and conflicts or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not defined as bullying.
Bullying is defined as repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological harmful behaviour and involves the misuse of power by an individual or group towards one or more persons.
The keyword here is repeated. Children often tease or fight, which should not be confused with bullying.
Behaviours that do not constitute bullying include:
- mutual arguments and disagreements (where there is no power imbalance)
- not liking someone or a single act of social rejection
- isolated acts of meanness or spite
• isolated incidents of aggression, intimidation or violence.
Enrolments for 2023
If you have a pre-schooler turning five before April 30th 2023, please get your "application for enrolment" form filled in and delivered to the school office as soon as possible. This will help us with planning staffing and class groups for next year. If you know of families in the area thinking of enrolling at St Augustine's, please encourage them to contact us to formalise enrolment procedures.