Dear Parents and Carers,
2020 continues to present challenges for families and children and this is having a notable impact at school. The effect of bushfires, drought, COVID 19 and floods we feel is contributing to an increase in need, and a decline in our children’s health and wellbeing and behaviours for learning.
As parents and teachers, we are aware these disasters and the pandemic can have psychological impact on children including (but not limited to):
- Mild, moderate and acute stress
We have been noticing a change in the behaviour of students across the school.
Some of the behaviours we are noticing include:
- Mild to extreme fatigue
- Reduced capacity to manage emotions
- Heightened emotional responses
- Fight, flight, freeze responses with increase in physical reactions
- Tears and sadness with no identified cause
- Separation anxiety and children seeking / needing contact with parents during the school day
What we have in place
- Student Welfare Worker – Ms Spicer (Monday)
- Group Program ‘Together we are strong’ – Denise Wright (2nd Wednesdays)
- School counsellor – Rose Trew (Thursday)
- Empowered –Ms Spicer (Friday)
- We are running a short Term 3 Boys and Girls program for Year 3 to Year 6 students (3 Fridays) with a longer (5 week) program in Term 4.
What we ask of you:
Please talk with your children.
Please notice their needs or changes in their demeanour.
Please look into ways to support them..…
- Let their class teacher know they need to belong to one of the above programs
- Make a meeting time with class teacher or Classroom Support Teacher (Mrs Grant) to discuss needs
- Earlier bed time and sleep-ins where possible this could include a PJ day once in a while
- More healthy food in their lunch box
- Go to the doctor for your child to have a check up
- Make an appointment with a psychologist
Thank you for working together to support the mental health and wellbeing of our St Pat’s kids during 2020.
We are creating a culture of learning. How can you help?
Raising Resilient Problem Solvers.
By Michael Grose. #2
Ask good questions to prompt problem-solving
A problem-solving approach relies on asking good questions, which can be challenging if you are used to solving your child’s problems. The first question when a child brings you a problem should be:
‘Can you handle this on your own?’
Next should be, ‘What do you want me to do to help you solve the problem?’
These questions are not meant to deter children from coming to you; rather, to encourage and teach them to start working through their own concerns themselves.
Last Sunday our First Eucharist candidates participated in an Enrolment Mass. During the mass the candidates were invited to present prayer cards to parishioners to ask them to pray for them throughout their preparation.
Please note there may be sudden changes to these dates as circumstances in the school community change and advice is received from Catholic Education.
Family Retreats – Sunday 23rd & 30th August 4:30-6pm
Retreat – Wednesday 16th September 9am-3pm
First Eucharist – Thursday 17th September at 6pm
First Eucharist Thanksgiving Mass – Sunday 20th September at 9:30am
Term 3 School Fees
School fees have been emailed out this week and are due by Friday 11 September.
Please note that the Fee & Finance Committee have endorsed a $50 reduction per student against the student resource fee for term 3. This funding comes from the Commonwealth Drought Grant that St Patrick’s received this year.
As you may be aware there is a number of ways you can pay your school fees; weekly, fortnightly, monthly, by using BPAY, QKR, Direct Debit (see the office for a form) or Centrepay.
Please contact the school office if you require help in setting any of these payments up, or if you are having difficulty making payment towards your school fees.
Community Council Meeting
The Community Council meet via zoom for its meeting on Wednesday 5 August.
It’s with much anticipation and excitement we announce the Senior playground is completed! Children have been able to explore this wonderful new play space this week. With reports of beaming smiles, laughter and physical limits challenged, we can safely say it’s a hit! We are proud to have supported this project and we would also like to thank the former P&F committee for their support.
You will recall feedback was sought from the school community regarding families feeling connected and supported within our school community. Thank you to all those who offered feedback. Given continuing COVID restrictions, the Community Council has decided to revisit these ideas at a later time, once restrictions ease.
The Community Council is seeking input from the school community regarding the proposed use of Social Media for sharing celebrations and positive learning experiences with the broader community. Please keep an eye out for a survey being sent home with the eldest child from each family.
A request from an external Music Educator to conduct private music lessons in the school hall has been approved. More information regarding this opportunity will be made available via SkoolBag shortly.
The Community Council continues to explore several grant funding opportunities with the aim to further support our St Patrick’s School Community in numerous ways. A grant application through UNICEF was recently submitted.
We are grateful for the support of Catholic Education’s Student Welfare and Counselling program, which has been increased from 1 day per fortnight to 6 hours per week.
The tender process for the new toilets was extended to 7 August. Further information regarding this project will be available after our next meeting.
The next Community Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 9 September, via zoom.
We are here to help so please reach out if we can support you in any way. Take care.
The Community Council Team
Kat, Donna, Antoinette, Wendy, Sarah, Tamara, Carmen, Jo, Caz & Fr Luke