Issue 17 | 6th November 2018
St Michael's Primary School, Blacktown South
Dear Parents, Carers, Students & Friends,
I want to thank all the St. Michael’s community who have made me feel very welcome this week. I look forward to working with each and every one of you as we strive to educate your child by looking at the whole person – academically, physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually.
I am sure that you have heard the belief that, “A positive attitude attracts positive energy”, just as I am sure that like many, you believe that in most circumstances there are two ways to look at life, positively or negatively. Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us. A positive attitude is the outward expression of a mind that dwells on positive matters: “As a person thinks in his heart, so he is”. Proverbs 23:7
If we have a mind that conjures up images of difficulties and failures, we need to do something about it. We need to elevate our thought processes and install mental pictures of success and achievement. In this way we can look down on our problems instead of looking up to them.
St Paul encouraged the people of Ephesus to...“Put off the old self .... to be made new in the attitude of your mind”. Eph 4:22
By changing the inner attitude of our mind, we can change the outer expression of our life. Attitude is contagious. Positive attitude gives energy to you and to those around you. So what type of attitude training do we give our children? Do we offer them encouraging thoughts? Do we lead them to read and view positive material that will inspire? Do we encourage them to be outward in their thinking? – There is much more to think about in life than themselves. Do we provide for them the ‘triple goodies’ of good nutrition, good sleep, good exercise? Do we encourage them to focus on the ‘good things’ they have in life and to be content?
Samuel Johnston reminds us that, “Our attitude is the expression of our values, our beliefs and our expectations.” How is our attitude perceived by our children? It is important for our children to realise that no matter how hard they try to develop positive attitudes, they don’t live in a vacuum. They will surely come across people who have an unenlightened view on life. However, it doesn’t matter what kind of attitude other people present to them, what matters is how they deal with it and how they perceive its worth.
Hopefully, they will have us to look up to for their models for positive living.
Mrs Sue Veling
ATTENDANCE - EVERY LEARNER - EVERY DAY
At St. Michael’s, we continue to promote student attendance. Thank you to our parents for the support and value that you place on your child being at school each day. Regular school attendance plays a critical role in ensuring that every student has access to the same learning opportunities. When students are not at school, are late to school or leave school early, they are missing out on so much that can impact on their future learning.
Our school average this week is 85.8%, which is below the CEDP target of 90%. No grade displayed excellent attendance which we need to work at. We love seeing all our students at school!
Absence Explanation Note: If your child is away you will receive an SMS from the school which we ask that you reply to with an explanation which is then uploaded to your child’s attendance record. If you are unable to reply please send a note explaining their absence which is required within 7 days of returning to school. If no note is received the absence is recorded as ‘unexplained’. Parents can use the Skoolbag app to email an absence note to school.
Partial Absences (PA) are recorded for each child every time they are late to school or leave early from school. Partial Absence from school does add up to time away from learning, settling into routines of the day or saying goodbye at the end of the day. It is important that all children are at school by 9am when our school day starts. A Partial Absence is recorded from this time and an explanation is required by parents or a carer to be signed in through the Office.
PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE SKOOLBAG APP
Skoolbag is a free app that can be downloaded to your phone, iPad and computer as a form of communication with the school. Skoolbag IS NOT a social media app. It is available from iTunes and Google Play. Just search for St. Michael’s Blacktown South and you will see our school crest. All school notes and newsletters are updated onto this site and you will receive an alert when something is uploaded or there is an important or urgent announcement.
A MESSAGE FROM THE POLICE
ARE YOU SCHOOL SAFE?
Illegal parking around schools endangers children's lives.
If you've heard the expression "it’s only a matter of time until someone gets hurt" then you'll understand why it is important for EVERYONE to obey the road rules.
School opening and closing hours are busy times for pedestrians and vehicles outside the school. Park safely even if it means walking further to the school gate. Schools provide information in school newsletters and emails to promote safe behaviour and this includes parking legally during drop off and pick up times.
Always take extra care in 40km/h school zones, which operate on gazetted school days. Observe all parking signs. They are planned with children’s safety in mind.
Illegal parking around schools puts lives at risk. That's why Council and the Police take a 'zero tolerance' approach. Council Rangers, Parking Officers and Police regularly patrol schools across the Blacktown area.
Parking in a No Parking area - means you can stop to drop off or pick up passengers for a MAXIMUM of 2 MINUTES. You must stay within 3 metres of the vehicle.
Parking in a No Stopping area - means you CANNOT stop in this area for ANY reason.
Parking in a Bus Zone area - means you CANNOT stop or park unless you are driving a bus.
Wed 7th Nov Diocesan Basketball Gala Day - Cambridge Park
Wed 7th Nov Year 2 Excursion to Rouse Hill House and Farm
Wed 7th Nov Kinder 2019 Orientation Morning - 9.30am-12.30pm
Fri 9th Nov Kindergarten Excursion to Calmsley Hill City Farm
Wed 14th Nov Year 3 Excursion to Auburn Botanic Gardens
DATES FOR BEGINNING OF 2019:
Mon 28th Jan PUBLIC HOLIDAY
Tues 29th Jan Years 1-6 MAI student testing - 1/2 hour appointment
Kindergarten 2019 Early Years Assessment - 1 hour appointment
Wed 30th Jan Years 1-6 MAI student testing - 1/2 hour appointment
Kindergarten 2019 Early Years Assessment - 1 hour appointment
Thurs 31st Jan Years 1 - 6 commence school
Kindergarten 2019 Early Years Assessment - 1 hour appointment
Fri 1st Feb Kindergarten 2019 Early Years Assessment - 1 hour appointment
Mon 4th Feb 1st day for Kindergarten - 9.30am-2.30pm
Tues 5th Feb Kindergarten whole school day begins - 9.00am-3.00pm
THE CURIOUS CHILD: How Curiosity Helps With Learning
Every teacher loves it when children ask questions and then start exploring the answers. Their minds are awake, they sit up in attention and their curiosity is piqued. The lights are on. When children are curious, they are far more likely to stay alert and engaged.
So why is curiosity so important, and why does it make the brain so stimulated?
According to a study from the University of California, when we become curious our brain chemistry changes, which helps us to learn and retain information. The brain is a fascinating organ. Every day we are faced with mountains of information, but even those with excellent memories will remember just a fraction of what they were exposed to.
So why is it that we remember some things and forget others?
Researchers discovered that when an individual’s curiosity was aroused, the parts of the brain that regulate pleasure and reward fired up. There is also increased activity in the hippocampus, which is where memories are created. When we are stimulated, this part of our brain lights up and dopamine releases, which gives us a type of high. Dopamine is a chemical that is released when we are exposed to a variety of pleasurable or dangerous activities such as receiving rewards, money, gambling, taking certain drugs or sugary foods. Thankfully, it is also released when we are curious. When this happens, it improves the connections in the brain required for learning (the limbic system), making it easier for us to learn.
How does this help with getting children to learn?
Stimulate children and pique their curiosity, and you will enable them to learn more easily and to retain the information. What’s more, the study confirmed that curiosity helps with remembering the more boring information, too. For example if a child is in a class which they find stimulating and they are inspired, and then move straight into a less interesting class, their brains will continue to be more receptive to understanding and recalling the information in the second class.
Some teachers use this process by inspiring children with interesting questions that will get them excited before launching into a less stimulating activity. A teacher may ask a string of questions about a favourite subject to get kids thinking and stimulated. Then, when the kids are on their ‘learning high’ the teacher can introduce a more complex concept that is important to remember – with positive results!
For many teachers, this is something they’ve been intuitively aware of and have been practising for years. Now though, it’s been tested and backed up by science!
How can parents help their children to become more curious?
1. Teach them to be flexible thinkers and doers. Remind your children that there is always more than one perspective to look at an issue and they should consider more than one whenever possible.
2. Ask them to practice suspending judgments about people. Teach them to always remain curious, don’t fall prey to stereotypes, and continue learning about other people.
3. Provide an environment that supports their autonomy. Children are more curious and find it easier to persist in the face of obstacles, and are more creative when they are given support to make personal choices. When parents attempt to identify their child’s interests and be responsive to what they care about, curiosity has a chance to flourish.
4. Help your child feel competent. Creating opportunities for skill-building and success is an important process. One way to do this is to allow time for play, free of constraints such as the fear of failure and mistakes. It is also important to dole out praise and constructive feedback to your child.
5. Be your child’s safe haven. To take risks, act on our curiosity, and experiment with new ways of thinking and acting, we need to feel safe. Be responsive when your child shares past explorations or future plans with you. If they feel uncomfortable, let them know that anxious thoughts and feelings are natural when trying new things and taking on just manageable challenges. When you are accepting of their negative feelings, they will learn to do the same. Not only will you enhance their curiosity and tolerance of pain, you will also strengthen your relationship with them.
6. Schedule regular doses of novelty and challenge. Help them select activities that require them to stretch their skills and knowledge to the limit. By repeatedly being curious, our children become more open to new experiences, more comfortable dealing with tension and anxiety, and more intelligent, wiser, and resilient.
Your children can’t feel good all the time but they can almost always be profoundly aware, open-minded, and curious. With this mindset, they are liable to catch happiness, meaning in life, wisdom, and plenty more of what a good life entails on the way...
How do you nourish curiosity in your child?
ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL REPORT
KINDERGARTEN 2019 - We have limited spaces for Kindergarten 2019. At this stage we are holding places for siblings only. If you have a child who is due to start school next year, please come and get an enrolment form and an interview time in preparation for next year.
SCHOOL UNIFORM: (School uniform requirements and hairstyles)
At St Michael’s we pride ourselves on instilling pride in our students. One way of showing pride is to ensure we are wearing our uniform with pride. This term Mrs Veling and myself will be reminding students of this. Please refer to our Parent handbook as to the requirements of our school uniform and hairstyle expectations:
School Locker operates the Uniform Shop and they are the only provider of school uniforms and accessories for our students.
The School Locker Uniform Shop is Monday and Wednesday mornings 8:00am to 10:30am.
Blue short sleeved shirt with crest Navy blue shorts with crest
Navy blue socks with yellow stripe Black polishable school shoes School hat
School dress with crest Short blue socks Black polishable school shoes
Unisex Sports Uniform:
Sports shorts with crest Sports Tracksuit pants Sports Jacket with crest
Sports polo shirt with crest White socks Sports shoes
Library/Excursion bag School Bag with crest Girls hair accessories
Please note: It is school policy that if a child does not have a hat they will not be able to play at recess or lunch time.
SCHOOL HATS - At St Michael’s there is a strict “NO HAT NO PLAY” rule. Please ensure that your child always wears their hat to school. The school logo is screen-printed on the front and are available from the Uniform Shop.
SCHOOL BAGS - The most appropriate school bag for your child is a backpack – preferably Navy Blue in colour with your child’s name clearly marked on it.
Please note, school bags can be obtained from the Uniform Shop. Navy school bags with school crest on flap.
LIBRARY BAGS - Library bags are available from the Uniform Shop. Your child must have a library bag to borrow from the library.
HAIR - Hair styles should be appropriate to the school setting, e.g. no colours or shaved cuts, rats tails, mohawk are permitted. Shoulder length hair or longer must be tied back with a navy blue scrunchie/hair elastic. The St Michael’s Uniform Shop has the school approved and appropriate hair accessories available.
JEWELLERY - Children are allowed to wear a watch and chain with cross. One pair of sleepers or small studs are the only earrings to be worn.
LOST PROPERTY - Lost property is a source of great distress to a young child starting school, and a source of frustration to parents. There is a lost property bin located in the student foyer in the office.
Please ensure that all of your child’s property is clearly labelled (tracksuit tops as well as bottoms). The chances of the lost item finding its way home are significantly increased if there is a name attached.
This week notes will be going home to parents if their child does not have the correct uniform. Our uniform is a representation of our school community and we ask for your support in ensuring all children are in the correct uniform at all times.
What is Plenary 2020??
The last time the Catholic Church in Australia held a Plenary Council was in 1937. It has been more than 80 years since we gathered all of the Church together and much has changed. In 2020, we will have a Plenary Council about the future of the Catholic Church in Australia. What are we called to do? Who are we called to be? How do we need to change?
Pope Francis has spoken of the need to engage in the world and respond in faith. He said:
“Our previous ways of explaining the world and relationships, good and bad, no longer appears to work. The way in which we locate ourselves in history has changed. Things we thought would never happen, or that we never thought we would see, we are experiencing now, and we dare not even imagine the future. That which appeared normal to us – family, the Church, society and the world – will probably no longer seem that way. We cannot simply wait for what we are experiencing to pass, under the illusion that things will return to being how they were before.”
The journey toward the Plenary Council will help us to prepare to listen to God by listening to one another. We invite all people to engage, to be a part of the listening and dialogue encounter in the next two years.
If you want more information about Plenary 2020 or to add your voice and opinion to the Plenary visit: http://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/
Mrs Anne Easton
RELIGIOUS EDUCATION COORDINATOR
Basketball Gala Day – Wednesday 7th November
Tomorrow we send 6 basketball teams to the Parramatta Diocesan Basketball Gala Day in Penrith. We would like to thank Miss Estepa, Miss Lepatu, Mr Ng and Mrs Budd for training and preparing the teams at school during recess and lunch times. We know the children are looking forward to the day. The teams will all be wearing our brand-new sports singlets that have been provided by the P & F this year. We thank them very much for their support in ensuring our teams look fantastic!
Twilight Swimming Carnival- Wednesday 28th November
Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre (formerly Emerton Leisure Centre)
This is our last sporting event on the calendar for 2018. All information/permission notes were sent home last week to children in Years 2 to 5. These permission notes are due back to school by next Monday 12th November. Returning these notes on time allows us to be organised for the event. If your child has misplaced or did not receive a note, please see Mrs Budd or Mr Ng for a new note.
Summer is Coming!!!!!
Throughout Term 4, dependent on the weather most of our PE lessons are outdoors. A few reminders for your child’s sport day: -
- Please ensure they have a labelled hat
- A drink bottle filled with water
- Apply sunscreen prior to coming to school
All these measures ensure healthy sun-safety care for your children.
Yours in Sport
Mrs Cristy Budd / Mr Joe Ng
St Michael's Primary School