St Ita's Primary School Drouin
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50 Victoria Street
Drouin VIC 3818

Phone: 03 5623 7222

T3 W1 2023 Newsletter

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T3 W1 2023 Newsletter


St Ita’s Catholic Primary School acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 



    Welcome back to all the staff, students and families of St Ita’s. I hope you’ve had a restful break and feel relaxed rejuvenated and recharged. Term 2 was a very busy term as we navigated our way through yet another outbreak of Covid-19 thankfully without any long-term closures or shutdowns. I’d like to thank all our families for their support testing and communicating with the school. The outbreak was well-managed and we are grateful to all for working collaboratively to keep everyone in our learning community safe.

    Once again, the St Ita’s staff did an amazing job working with your children last term and were prepared for the possibility of any changes that arise due to Covid-19. If and when, this happens please remember your children are at the core of everything we do and we will make a committed focus to ensure the well- being of every person in our community is central to our cause your children will be kept as safe as possible whilst under our care.

    At the end of last term, I sat through my Principal Appraisal and the whole process was a very affirming and gave me clarity on my personal development needs. To the students, parents and staff that provided feedback to the panel, thank you. The commendations, recommendations and feedback were all really positive.

    This term, our focus will be the Official Opening and Blessing of our school Foundation / Admin Building. The opening and blessing will be held onsite on Thursday 13th July starting at 10.00am in the School Admin area. Father Confidence will be onsite to conduct the Ceremony and Blessing.

    Our Grade 4 students will be attending camp to Phillip Island which will be held on the 13-15th of August.

    Our Father’s Day sausage sizzle Breakfast will be held on Friday 1st September starting at 7.30am

    Our Book Week Dress Up Day is on 25th August and our book theme is “Read, Grow, Inspire"



    I am pleased to announce that previous to the holidays, our second Rose McMahon friendship seat was delivered to school. This beautiful seat is the legacy of a beautiful student who will always live on in our hearts at St Ita’s. The friendship seat is inclusive of all and will be located on the middle tier of our school looking out over the bottom oval and playgrounds.



    Children have different levels of resilience and different ways of responding to and recovering from stressful times. All behavior is communication, and our children’s behavior gives us clues as to whether they are regulated and in their learning brain, or if the demands of stress are greater than their capacity to cope.


    When children are dysregulated, they may become emotional, withdraw, or become defiant, angry, or resentful. When we become curious about behavior, we are able to meet children where they are to help them regulate and learn new skills.


    1. Model resilience.

    Research tells us that the presence of at least one reliable, supportive relationship is paramount in building resilience in children. When a child feels upset, angry, frustrated, or scared, the way they see their “secure person” respond communicates to them how to think about and deal with problems that are stressful. Additionally, spending 5-10 minutes a day of focused connection with your child helps them feel safe and can empower them to seek guidance when they are stressed or having a hard time. 

    1. Teach kids about their emotions.

    During stressful moments and in the face of unpleasant emotions, children may not be able to quiet their amygdala to activate their prefrontal cortex. Because the prefrontal cortex is early in development, they can easily fall into a fight, flight, or freeze state. By helping children notice and label their emotions, it brings them into their bodies. As they understand that all emotions are acceptable and useful, they can honour what they are feeling and choose effective calming strategies to help them regulate and move forward.

    1. Embrace mistakes.

    When children fear failing, they develop a fixed mindset - we either win or we lose, pass, or fail. This type of thinking can enhance stress and lead to risk avoidance. When we teach that all mistakes are normal - ours and theirs - it becomes safe for them to step out of their comfort zone to try new things. Embracing a growth mindset encourages that our traits are not fixed, but rather grow with practice, and mistakes then become the building blocks to learn and grow.

    1. Ask children for their opinion.

    When we ask our children for their opinions or ask for their help, they feel powerful and valuable. In these ways, they can also practice communicating their wants, needs, and thoughts. As children discover who they are, they learn what they are made of.

    1. Encourage healthy risk-taking.

    Healthy risks are situations that encourage children to step outside of their comfort zone but result in little harm if they are unsuccessful. This may include trying a new sport that they show interest in, participating in the school play, or striking up a conversation with a peer. When children embrace risk-taking, they learn to challenge themselves, knowing they are powerful and capable just as they are and especially when they mess up.

    1. Teach problem-solving.

    Rather than telling children what to think, we can teach them how to think. Reflecting back on what you hear and asking questions is a great way to encourage problem-solving. By bouncing problems back to the child, it gives them opportunities to practice thinking through the issue to come up with solutions. Here are some questions you might try:

    What did you learn?

    What did you do today that made you think hard?

    What are some other ways you can solve this problem?

    How can we look at this from a new perspective?

    Resilience and grit don’t prevent stress from occurring but they do equip us with tools to cope and transform something challenging into something beautiful or new. At the very least, resilience can help us know ourselves, set boundaries, and practice self-love. When we love ourselves through all emotions and situations - pleasant and unpleasant - then we step into who we are meant to be - and that person is exactly who the world needs.


     “What kids do and post online, the sites they visit and the things they say is permanent. This digital footprint denotes their digital reputation and there’s nothing to stop someone from saving and storing that information about your child.” Dr Michael Carr-Gregg

    Social Media and staying safe online

    Social media can offer many benefits to adolescents, connecting them with friends. We often hear or read about the dangers of young people logging on to social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, and other online spaces where they can socially interact, including Youtube, virtual worlds and gaming sites. In the online world, we know children and adolescents can be exposed to cyberbullying, harassment, sexting, privacy breaches and sexual predators.

    Despite these negatives, many parents are surprised to discover there are also many real advantages for adolescents in connecting through social media. Research tells us that social media networking can play a vital and positive role in the development of young people and their lives.

    As children progress into their adolescent years, the way they interact with their family, friends and the wider world changes. These developmental changes also influence how they use social media.

    Moving into adolescence

    While the age at which children transition into adolescence varies from child to child, it typically begins at around 12, 13 and 14. During these years, young people experience significant brain growth and development.

    We notice young people becoming more independent, spending an increasing amount of time alone and investing in their friendships, while devoting less time to their parents. This is a pivotal stage when peers begin to have a major impact on adolescents. Peers typically influence young people’s choices, attitudes and behaviours, from the clothes they wear to the movies they see and their taste in music.

    Adolescents also begin to see their parents through adult eyes, which can lead to a sense of embarrassment and withdrawal. As a result, many parents often feel a sense of loss and believe they may have ‘done something wrong’ to provoke the change. In actual fact, this process is a natural psychological development in the adolescent’s journey to becoming an adult.

    Social media

    Social media is an extension of what goes on in the real world. It enables young people to develop friendships and connect in ways like never before. Unlike adults, many adolescents see no difference between their online and their offline worlds.

    In early adolescence, social media plays an incredibly important role. It has fast become an essential tool that adolescents can use to socialise and connect with their peers.

    Social media has a range of benefits. It allows young people to establish their identity with pro-social peers at a time when they are laying the foundations for their independence.

    Young people are able to communicate with their friends online and engage through common interests, such as following and interacting with their local sports club or dance, music or drama groups. Social media enables young people to research and share information online, showcase issues and opinions, stay up to date with school events, to socialise and to flirt.

    Adolescents are also creating, uploading and modifying content. Many adolescents use social media to take photos to document what they are experiencing when they go out, before they post it online. While previous generations also documented their activities, those photos were placed in frames and albums and were not instantaneously available to their wider circle of friends.

    Social media also enables young people to develop real world skills, such as managing their online presence and team collaboration.

    A Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre literature review shows there are significant benefits that come with social networking services for adolescents. Social networking can help with identity formation, deliver educational outcomes and facilitate supportive relationships.

    It can promote a sense of belonging and self-esteem which has the potential to build resilience, enabling adolescents to better cope with change and stressful events.

    Maximising these benefits can work to protect young people from the risks of online interaction.

    Peer influence online

    Studies show that peer influence during adolescence is far more powerful than parental influence. We know that peers help shape the behaviour and attitudes of young people offline and online, driving their social media use.

    Sexting is an online trend where adolescents send, receive or forward sexually explicit messages or photos. While parents may find this behaviour bizarre and high-risk, research reveals more than half of adolescents are engaging in sexting. For many young people, sexting is a common form of flirting.

    The downside of sexting is that the images and messages can be rapidly distributed via devices and social media platforms, leading to long-term reputation damage and legal issues. Several Australian teenagers who consensually filmed themselves having sex before distributing it online were later charged under child pornography legislation and have been added to the sex offender register. Unfortunately, their online actions will now have consequences that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

    Staying safe online

    Young people’s brains are continuing to grow and develop throughout their adolescent years. Especially in early adolescence, many young people are unable to predict the consequences of their actions.

    It’s imperative that parents continue to teach, monitor and protect their children when it comes to cyber safety. Adolescents must learn how to use the internet in a safe, smart and responsible way. It’s just as important for parents to teach their children about cyber safety as it is about teaching them how to swim or to safely cross the road.

    Unfortunately, this is a message that we’re still struggling to communicate. Many parents find addressing cyber safety overwhelming and, all too often, it’s relegated to the too-hard basket.

    We need to get smarter about how we educate children and adolescents, parents and schools about social media and cyber safety. The government is making vital inroads through the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner but there is still much room for improvement.

    Parents need access to greater education and schools need to better implement their cyber safety policies. We need improved regulation of cyber safety education in schools, with transparency around the qualifications of accredited training providers.

    Despite these challenges, social media needs to be seen as an important asset for adolescents at a crucial stage in their development. The positive psychology movement tells us that one of the most significant contributors to wellbeing is equipping yourself with a rich repertoire of friends.

    There are clear downsides to young people tapping into social media but we know the benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.

    Dr Michael Carr-Gregg,

    Andrew Osler

    St Ita's Principal



    School Refusal: Is school refusal turning your home into a battleground?

    Is your child experiencing separation anxiety?

    Would you like to understand some of the reasons for school refusal? Would you like to know what works for other parents?

    Anglicare Victoria is running sessions either school in person or on-line at no cost to families.

    Tuesday 18th July on -site here at school 9:30-11:30 am (in the old library) Enter via Admin

    OR Via Zoom Tuesday 25th July 6:00- 8:00 pm

    Register via

    For further detail contract Heath Mills on 0499 007 031

    (Watch out for further sessions in coming weeks: Raising Resilient Kids, Parenting Anxious Kids, Dealing with Feelings) Flyers were sent home, please check your child’s school bag.


    A parent and child information session for students in Grade 6 wishing to make the Sacrament of Confirmation will be held in St Ita’s Church in Drouin on Wednesday 19th July at 7:00 pm or Thursday 20th July at St Joseph’s Church in Warragul @ 7:00 pm
    (Letters were sent home last term with details)



    Well it was four years in the making but it was great that we could finally have our official Opening and Blessing of our Foundation Admin area. Thanks to everyone in our school community for attending and supporting this event. There was a real family feel to the ceremony and it was great that our new Director of Catholic Education Sale Diocese, Mr. Paul Velten could attend and be a part of the event.



    Every family needs a little help from time to time. Are finances stressing you out?  Is parenting feeling a little too hard some days? Your children’s emotions difficult to manage? Is their behaviour disrupting the whole household and impacting their time at school? Anglicare Victoria Family Services are now located on site every Thursday to provide support in these areas, or even if you just need to have a chat.

    Completely confidential, non judgemental, we are here to support you and your family.  Contact Heath on 0499 007 031 or ask for Heath at the office any time on Thursday.

    Through Anglicare Victoria we are also able to provide free parenting groups to develop and strengthen parenting skills and create positive change within your family.

    In Term 3 Anglicare Victoria Parentzone will be running 4 groups – in person at school and also online.

    The 4 topics that will be covered are School Refusal, Raising Resilient Kids, Parenting Anxious Kids and Dealing with Feelings.

    Stay tuned for further information and how you can register your interest!

    The dates will be 

    School Refusal – At school Tues 18th July or Online Tues 25th July

    Raising Resilient kids – At school Tues 1st August or Online Tues 8th August

    Parenting Anxious kids – At school Tues 15th August or Online Tues 22nd August

    Dealing with feelings – At school Tues 29th August or Online Tues 5th August


    Parents are reminded that students must not be dropped off at school, and left unsupervised prior to the school gate opening at 8.30am.  If you need to drop your children off prior to 8.30am, we recommend that you contact Camp Australia and access before school care.


    All student absences should be communicated to the office by 10am daily.  In addition to Class Dojo, student absences can be communicated via the Parent Access Module (PAM) which come directly to the Administration Office.  In addition to daily absences, PAM can be used to record family holidays, and occurances which are likely to be multiple day absences.


    A reminder to all parents who are entering the school as classroom helpers or parent support during speech and or OT sessions;

    • You must enter via the Admin Office and sign in via the IPad, where you will be required to enter your Working with Children (WWC) details.
    • Please ensure you have your WWC card with you at all times as it is a requirement of DOSCEL that you carry this card with you whilst you are onsite. 


    School Fee statements have been forwarded to all families via Email, if you have not received your statement please make contact with us so that we can check your details and ensure we have your correct Email details. 

    Term 1 Fees & Term 2 fees are now overdue, please make arrangements to bring your account up to date as soon as possible.

    Direct Debit and Credit Card payments can be set up at any time, please contact School Admin to assist with putting these options in place. 

    Contact: or (03) 5623 7222



    Congratulations to Kobi Aitken who umpired the little league at half time of the Essendon and Adelaide game. Kobi loved his opportunity and has had strong feedback that he is doing a great job. Even more special, he got to watch his beloved Bombers beat Adelaide. Keep up the great work Kobi. 

    If anyone in our community has a success story they would love to share, please let us know




    Do we listen to the Word of God proclaimed at Mass? Why does Jesus teach in parables? Can’t he just announce his message as a seventeen second grab like a news item?

    But God’s Word is rarely on social media and secular media platforms, which we might have in the background. Jesus tells us we need to do more than just listen to twitter or the daily news. Hopefully the increasingly crazy news will slide right off us; we might latch on to an item that interests us, but it is not that important. It doesn’t really have implications for us. There will be another twist in an hour or instant anyway.

    When the people of God listen earnestly and openly to the proclamation of His Word, it washes around and through us. We are at one with Abraham and his descendants in our Old Testament reading as they strive to understand and make sense of God’s Word. We are with Paul and the earliest Christians as they live and explore the Christ event, which some of them have personally experienced, and which has profoundly affected them all. Particularly the parables such as in today’s gospel (Matt 13:1-23) are Jesus’ teaching for us.

    Jesus identifies four categories of hearer, from those crowds interested in quick fixes and spectacles to those who are tripped up when life gets difficult and those who are distracted by worldly concerns and finally those who allow God’s Word to connect with their hearts. Jesus first disciples didn’t pretend to have all the answers but with their hearts they had certainty in the advent of God’s Kingdom in and through Jesus. Scripture speaks of those who “understand with their hearts (rather than their media attuned brains) and be converted, and I would heal them” (Is 6:10 ).

    When we sit at his feet, yearning to go more deeply into the truth of the Kingdom, we are listening with our hearts and this is what Jesus asks of us.

    Deacon Mark Kelly



    Combined Parent/Child Info Session

    Drouin: Wednesday 19th July 7pm

    Warragul: Thursday 20th July 7pm

    Commitment Masses

    Drouin: 30th July & 6th August 7pm

    Warragul 29th & 30th July 7pm & 9pm

    Child Workshop 1:

    Drouin: Wednesday 9th August 7pm

    Warragul: Thurs 10th August 4pm,7pm

    Retreat Day at Marist: To be advised

    Child Workshop 2:

    Drouin: Wednesday 23rd August 7pm

    Warragul: Thurs 24th August 4pm,7pm

    Combined Reconciliation Rite:

    Drouin: Wednesday 30th August 7pm

    Thursday 31st August 7pm


    Warragul: Marist Sion Hall

    Friday 8th September 7pm

    With Bishop Greg Bennet


    Phone: (03) 5623 1642 Email:


    Check out our Catholic Parishes of Warragul & Drouin Facebook presence.





    Camp Australia Co-Ordinator: Carmelina De Cesari

    Contact Number: 1300 105 343