Dear Parents and Friends,
Next Sunday, we will enter the season of Advent, a time for us to reflect on our lives and to prepare to celebrate the gifts given to us through the birth of Jesus at Christmas. In the first week of this time of preparation, we are called to be people of joy and hope – joy in all that has been given to us and to have hope in our daily lives, knowing that God is always with us.
The Advent Wreath focuses us on our preparation for the great celebration of Christmas. It’s candles remind us that Jesus is the light of the world and that his coming brought new hope to the people. As Christians, we believe that Jesus has come into our world bringing the good news of the Father’s love. He continues to come into our lives, inviting us to live in this way, through the day to day interactions we have with each other. Every time you experience the kindness, support or a reassuring smile from another person, you are experiencing the presence of Christ in your life. As we enter into the season of Advent, take some time with your family to reflect on the true and wonderful meaning of Christmas and how each of us can bring joy and hope to others.
RESILIENCE – a Key to Success
As we draw closer to the end of the 2015 school year, students often become a little anxious about what the new school year will be like for them – who will be my teacher and will I know the other students in the class? Change can be challenging, especially for children, although some children seem to have the natural ability to “roll with the punches” and move on with whatever comes their way. These are the children who can cope with disappointments and will be ready to give the next challenge a go.They display independence, problem solving, optimism and social connection. But others need to be supported and taught how to manage change inorder to develop resilience. It is through enabling our children to work through changes, disappointments or rejection that they grow and develop the life long strategies that allow them to manage the many obsticles they will encounter in life. Parents can support this process by being there as a supporter and encourager but not as the “fixer.” Below Michael Grose (Child Psychologist) offers suggestions as to ways resilience can be fostered.
From a resilience perspective parents need to coach children through some of their more challenging moments and reviewing what they may have learned for next time. Avoid solving all their problems for them.
You can promote a lasting sense of resilience in your children by:
1. Having a positive attitude yourself. Your attitude as a parent impacts on their ability to bounce back from some of the difficulties they face. Make sure you model a ‘you can do it’ attitude for your child when he/she meets some of life’s curve balls.
2. Look for teachable moments. Many learning opportunities for children are disguised as problems. Make the most of these opportunities so that children can grow and learn from some of the challenges they face.
3. Make children active participants in the family. Active participation in a family develops the self-help, problem-solving and independence skills of children that are necessary for resilience.
4. Build coping skills. There are plenty of strategies you can pass on to children to help them cope when life doesn’t go their way, including acceptance, getting away for a while, and normalisation.
Promoting resilience in children is not a single event but a continuous process that requires adults to be supportive and empathetic when things don’t go their way. It also requires you as a parent to have an understanding of resilience, so you have faith in yourself, and your child’s ability to cope.
Our Parish Fete which was held last Saturday was a huge success. The weather eventually came out sunny for us, there were a variety of stalls and activities and the buzz around the place was indicative of the good time being enjoyed by all. With all events such as this, there is always a core group of people who give many hours to the planning and organization and also those who assist on the day. I thank all these people and express real gratitude for all that you do for our community. A special thank you to the Fete Committee who tirelessly worked over many months to bring about such a wonderful day for all of us. Thank you to Belinda Thomas (Coordinator), Janet Laing, Sarah Lorkin, Connie Inturrisi, Melanie Mayne, Mary McEntee, Francis Wood, Catrina Studdert, Denise Chang Faux and Elyse McHardy.
Following the development last year of our Vision Statement, we recently re-visited our Mission Statement and re-wrote it in light of our Vision Statement. Our Mission Statement is the “how” we go about our work as educators in a Catholic school. I trust it resonates with you as parents of our students.
With Christ as our central focus and model, and believing in the uniqueness and dignity of each person created in the image of God, our mission is to:
Engage with faith and Catholic traditions, relating them to contemporary culture and life whilst nurturing a distinctive Christian spirituality.
Promote respect and justice, creating a climate where all feel welcomed, secure and valued.
Provide excellence in education that is rich in content and meets individual needs
Create a learning environment that encourages personal growth and a love of learning
Empower our students to meet the demands of an ever changing world while fostering a hope for the future
As citizens of Australia, prepare our students to participate fully in our contemporary society and to uphold the Australian Constitution
Work in partnership with parents and caregivers who are the prime educators of their children
On Wednesday 2 December, we will hold a Parent Forum along with a morning “cuppa”, where we will discuss and reflect on the year that has been and listen to parents’ ideas for how we move into 2016. This Forum will be held in the end room of the Languages and Arts Centre – a room we are looking at using as a room where parents can gather over a morning “cuppa”. The Forum will run from 9.15am to 10.30am. We are planning to run further Forums throughout 2016. Please come along and share your ideas.
On Wednesday 9 December we will gather together to join in the celebration of the birth of Jesus - our savior. Carols will commence at 7.00pm. (students are to arrive at 6.30pm)This event will be held at the Outdoor Entertainment Centre, Diamond Valley Sports Complex, Civic Drive Greensborough. (Melway Ref: 11 A10) BYO drinks, nibbles, chair/rug and be ready to enjoy the peace and goodwill of Christmas. We have been directed by the Centre that we are to park on the grassed area accessible through the open gate near the Library.
Our final Working Bee for the year will be held on 12 December. This Working Bee is for all families. So if you haven’t been able to attend one throughout the year, this is an opportunity for you to come along and assist as we prepare the grounds for Christmas and to enjoy some pre-Christmas spirit at the barbeque lunch. Hope to see you there.
ST MARY’S FEAST DAY
We will celebrate St. Mary’s Feast Day on Tuesday 8 December when we will gather together for Mass at 9.15am. The students will all participate in Fun Day activities on either Thursday 3 December or Friday 4 December.
FOOD FOR ST. VINNIE’S APPEAL
As we approach the season of goodwill, families are invited to provide a food item that can help another family in need to celebrate Christmas in a joyful manner. Items that you may like to donate are packets of biscuits, Christmas cake, chips, chocolates, long life custard or milk, coffee, tinned ham, jelly, lollies, shortbread, soft drinks, serviettes, tinned fruit, tea mince pies and bon bons. Sharing our good fortune with others is a great thing to do at Christmas.
FINAL SCHOOL MASS AND MORNING TEA OF APPRECIATION
We will attend Mass at 9.15am on Wednesday 16 December to celebrate the closure of the 2015 school year. At this Mass we will farewell staff and students who are leaving, give thanks for the year that has been and introduce our new student leaders for 2016. Following Mass, the Staff will be hosting a morning tea of appreciation for parents and friends as a small way of saying “thank you” for all that is done by you in supporting us in our work with your children. This will be held in the Gathering Space following Mass.
SACRAMENTAL DATES 2016
First Eucharist 16/17 and 30 April and 1 May at Parish Mass times
Saturday 6.30pm Sunday 8.00am, 10.00am, 5.00pm
Confirmation 23 October at 1.00pm and 3.00pm
First Reconciliation 5 November at 10.00am, 8 November at 5.30pm and 7.00pm
SCHOOL FEES 2016
Student Levy $350 (per student per year)
Capital Levy $350 (per family per year)
Tuition Fee $1600 (per family per year)
Following discussion at School Advisory Board and ratification through the Parish Finance Team, school charges for 2016 have been set as above. Each year it is necessary to increase charges to keep abreast of increases to educational costs which run at 5%. This year it was decided that Fees needed to be raised higher than our usual level of increase to enable us to keep providing technology resources that support students to be actively engaged in their learning. Any parent who has difficulty in meeting Fees are encouraged to make an appointment to discuss with Fr. Steven.
As a sun smart school, all students and teachers are to wear hats when in the Playground throughout Term 4.