KEEP WATCH, BE READY
We have so much of almost everything in our modern world. So much stimulation; so many options and alternatives; so many devices! The 40GB laptop of twenty years ago is laughable – an iPhone has over 500GB. All the written technical information of the mid twentieth century fits easily on the memory stick in your pocket today. Encyclopaedia Britannica would take up about 1 GB of that. So much information, but are we wiser in the things that matter?
Our technical interconnectedness and video calling loved ones has been a blessing during Covid crisis; perhaps less so attending many video meetings. But our data and our contact apparatus are only tools. At times we can relate a little to those foolish virgins (Matt 25:1-13), distracted by trivia and losing focus on the meaning of life. Jesus teaches us to, “Stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour”. (Mt 25:13)
Wisdom, often personified as female in scripture, waits for us, looks us in the eye, shows us what is important (Wis 6:12-16). But how rarely do we pause to reflect, to seek out that wisdom, to explore who, what, where, and why we are? All the data at our fingertips, all the purchasing options, all the swiping options to discover relationship, are as nothing come that day and hour. Nothing we’ve heard or watched, texted or googled can help us now. If we haven’t reflected on the only important matter, we’ll be like those flighty bridesmaids.
But if we seek wisdom now, we will be prepared come that day and encouragingly, “Even thinking about her is understanding fully grown (Wis 6:15).” Pausing to contemplate wisdom, we are already on the track to finding it. We reflect on the wise people we have encountered. What does their wisdom look like? What does it look like for me? How do I stay awake to the only thing of true importance?
Deacon Mark Kelly
INDOOR MASS TIMES
As of Wednesday 28th October, we are now permitted to gather inside our church in groups of 20 for prayer or Mass, taking the necessary precautions by making a booking to attend, keeping distant, wearing a mask and leaving your contact details. Please book your attendance with the Parish Office.
Under these new provisions Masses are now as follows:
5.30 pm at St Ignatius’ Neerim South
7 pm at St Joseph’s Warragul
9.00 am & 11.00 am at St Joseph’s Warragul
8.30 am & 10.30 am at St Ita’s Drouin
Monday, Wednesday and Friday:
9.30 am at St Joseph’s Warragul
Tuesday and Thursday
9.30 am at St Ita’s Drouin
Because of the restricted numbers indoors it will be necessary to book by phoning the Parish Office to attend a Mass.
Parish Office Phone: 5623 1642
WHOLE SCHOOL APPROACH TO POSITIVE BEHAVIOURS
At St Ita’s we follow a Whole School Approach To Positive Behaviours. This whole school approach is about creating an environment, which encourages effective learning through the development of a positive, calm and welcoming atmosphere. The approach is in place for everyone in our school community: Student, Teacher and Parent.
At St Ita's we encourage positive feedback to students and endeavour to teach students how to behave appropriately. We recognise that learning social skills and socially acceptable behaviours is a process, which everybody moves through at a different pace. Learning appropriate social skills is seen in the same light as learning how to read or complete maths. Some people need more assistance in some areas and less in others.
In the past, many years ago, discipline has focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehaviour by implementing punishment-based strategies e.g. reprimands, loss of privileges, and in very extreme circumstances, suspensions and expulsions.
Research has shown that the implementation of punishment and in the absence of other positive strategies is ineffective. Introducing, modelling, and reinforcing positive social behaviours is an important step of a student’s educational experience. Teaching behavioural expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehaviour to occur before responding. We use a restorative approach when dealing with all behaviours at St Ita’s.
WHAT IS A RESTORATIVE APPROACH?
At its core, the restorative approach is a philosophical shift away from the traditional, punitive approach to wrongdoing. The restorative perspective views misbehaviour as an offense against relationships. This approach maintains a focus on accountability of actions with a specific emphasis on empathy and repairing of harm. To that end, Restorative approach seeks to address underlying issues of misbehaviour and reintegrate wrongdoers back into the school and classroom community.
One of the more complex issues in schools today is how we deal with students who make poor choices and display poor behaviour or inappropriate behaviours. With the introduction of the Child Safe Standards and the Child Protection Act, it sets out very clear guidelines in how to manage and deal with behaviour issues in school.
As a Catholic Primary School, one of our core premises is our capacity to be forgiving. At St Ita’s we take a restorative approach towards all issues relating to behaviour. Where the perpetrator has to own (take responsibility) for their behaviour and there are always a consequence depending on the seriousness of the perpetrators actions.
Most behavioural issues are sorted out by the class teachers or yard duty teachers. On some occasions behaviour issues such as fighting, bullying are brought to the attention of the Principal or Deputy Principal and they will deal with it with the child’s teacher. In these situations one of the first things that we do is gather all the information and facts from all the parties involved; the perpetrator, the victim and any witnesses. This is always done in a calm setting behind closed doors away from other members of the school community. This is crucial as it protects the dignity and ensures confidentiality.
We also work with the child who has been impacted by the behaviour to make sure that they are ok and talk through what they expect from the perpetrator. It is important parents understand that it is the role of school staff to deal with issues relating to poor behaviour at school.
Over the last 12 months, a team of St Ita’s teachers and students have been working collaboratively to develop our Whole School Approach to Positive Behaviours plan. (WSAPB)
The WSAPB plan sets out a list of consistent expectations for all Students, Staff and Parents under the 5 values of; Respect, Resilience, Compassion, Inclusiveness and Team Work. The intent and purpose of the plan is to promote responsible and positive behaviours which creates a safe and respectful place for all within our learning community.
SCHOOL WIDE BEHAVIOUR EXPECTATION MATRIX
At St Ita's we are currently in the process of developing a Whole School Behaviour Expectation Matrix for teachers and students to identify the expected behaviours at St Ita’s Primary School. The matrix includes appropriate behaviours in specific areas of our school including:
- All Classrooms
- Oval and sandpit
- Play equipment
- Passive areas (outside gym, Library, under the rotunda)
- Moving around the school at recess and lunch
- School Assemblies
- Wider Community Excursions and Camps
These behaviours will be displayed around the school and discussed regularly with our students and families via assemblies and newsletter.
MANNERS MAKETH THE PERSON
A common piece of positive feedback I often receive as Principal, is that the children of St Ita’s have very good manners. This feedback is generally from adults in our community that see our children out and about on things such as school camps, visits to the elderly in our local community or excursions to places in our wider communities.
A well-mannered child will stand out in today's world for all the right reasons. Saying, "Please" and "thank you," and using good manners will get your child noticed for the right reasons. Teaching good manners can seem a little tricky, however. It can be hard to convince a child to follow basic manners when his/her peers might not be doing so. You can help your child master basic manners with the strategies outlined below:
- PRAISE YOUR CHILD’S USE OF MANNERS
Praise your child whenever you catch him using good manners. For young children, this may mean saying, "Great job remembering to say 'thank you.'"
Praise older kids for putting their phone away when they are at the dinner table or for shaking hands when greeting a new person.
If you have a younger child, provide praise right away. Say, “You did a nice job thanking Grandma for that gift.”
Do not embarrass a teen by praising him in front of other people. Instead, have a private conversation about how you appreciate that he behaved politely toward guests at a family gathering or give him positive feedback on how he handled an interaction with a store clerk.
- MODEL POLITE BEHAVIOUR
The best way to teach your child any new skill is to be a good role model. When your child sees you speaking politely to others and using your manners, he will pick up on that.
Pay attention to how you interact with your spouse or close family members. Sometimes, it is easy to forget to use manners with the people you feel most comfortable with.
Send thank you notes, ask for things politely, and show appreciation when people are kind. Whether you are in line at the grocery store or you are calling your doctor's office, your kids are paying attention to your behaviour.
In addition, be careful about how you handle situations when you are upset. If you are angry with someone, do you tend to raise your voice? Do you use harsh words when you think someone has treated you unfairly? Your message about the importance of using manners will not be heard if you do not model how to behave politely and respectfully.
- ROLE-PLAY TRICKY SITUATIONS
Role-playing gives kids an opportunity to practice their skills. It can be a helpful strategy when you are entering into a new situation or when you are facing some complicated circumstances.
If your 5-year-old has invited friends to his birthday party, role-play how to use manners while opening presents. Help him practice how to thank people for his gift and how to respond if he opens a gift that he does not particularly like.
Sit down with your child and say, “What would you do if…” and then see what he has to say. Pretend to be a friend or another adult and see how your child responds to specific situations. Then, provide feedback and help your child discover how to behave politely and respectfully in various scenarios.
- PROVIDE A BRIEF EXPLANATION
Avoid lecturing or telling long-winded tales. Instead, simply state the reason why a specific behaviour may not be appreciated.
Kids are more likely to remember their manners and specific etiquette rules when you provide a brief explanation about why a particular behaviour is considered impolite or rude.
If your child is chewing with his mouth open, say, "People don't want to see the food in your mouth when they're trying to eat." If you make a big deal about it, you may inadvertently encourage the behaviour to continue.
However, if you can just state the reason in a calm and matter-of-fact manner, it can serve as a reminder for your child about why other people may not appreciate what he is doing.
- KEEP YOUR EXPECTATIONS AGE-APPROPRIATE
Make sure that your expectations are appropriate to your child’s age and developmental level. You can start working with a toddler on the basics of saying “please,” “thank you,” and “sorry.”
By the time your child is a teenager, you should be focusing on advanced skills like phone etiquette and communication that is more complex skills.
Sometimes it is helpful to really focus on one area at a time—like basic table manners—before moving onto other skills. If you give your child too much to learn at once, he may become overwhelmed. It’s common too for previous skills to be revisited from time to time to make sure your child is remembering to use them.
FOOD DRIVE FOR ST VINNIES
During this term we are running a food drive to help replenish the shelves of the non-perishable food stocks in the St Vinnies Drouin Pantry. Families whom wish to donate any of the below non-perishable food items are asked to give the item/s to their child to bring along to their classroom for collection. Our Mini Vinnies team will organise a plain clothes day in mid-November to raise awareness to our students regarding Vinnies "good works".
One of the biggest issues Vinnies currently face is keeping their Food Banks stocked with basic food supplies. I was hoping as a school community that we could help support their food bank by specifically supporting them to stock up on the following basic foods such as;
- PASTA SAUCE
- UHT MILK
- TINNED FOODS
The St Ita’s community have always gone above and beyond to help support the amazing work of the Drouin branch of St Vincent de Paul Society. Our “Vinnies” group, as it’s affectionately known, is located within the St Ita’s Parish and works to support and assists those in our local community struggling with poverty, homelessness and tough times. Our student group, Mini Vinnies also works hand in hand to support this amazing group of volunteers.
Each year St Ita’s supports the St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal however due to Covid-19 we have not been able to help as much as we want to. We hope everyone in our school community can get together and help this amazing group who do so much for those in need in our wider Community.
This Friday 6th November, all our students will participate in a Google Meet Assembly on-line at 2.45pm in their classrooms. Our Liturgy team will run the Welcome to Country and prayer. Individual class awards and the Student of the Week will be read out to students by our School Captains. A copy of our Friday assembly will be posted on our new school website for parents to enjoy.
Remembrance Day: Buy a Poppy at school
On Wednesday 11th November it is Remembrance Day. On this special day, Australians observe one minutes silence at 11am, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.
On behalf of the Warragul RSL, Mrs Buttner (Grade 2) will be selling the following Remembrance Day merchandise from:
Wednesday 4th November to Wednesday the 11th November.
Student Representatives will attend each class daily selling the following merchandise. We request students have the correct money where possible for purchases.
RSL Remembrance Day Merchandise:
- $1 small metal poppy badge
- $2 fabric poppy badge
- $3 Wrist Band
- $4 Bag Tag
- $5 Fabric poppy badge
- $5 Pen
Thank-you for your support.
2021 FOUNDATION STORY-TIME SESSIONS
Our new 2021 Foundation students will visit St Ita's again this Friday 6 November, to participate in their second Story Time session to help with transitioning to school. The third Story Time session is on Monday 16th November. Bookings close tomorrow via the school website.
SCHOOLPIX SCHOOL PHOTOS
The Schoolpix School Photos will take place on Wednesday 18th November.
Please make sure all students are neatly presented, wearing their full summer uniform with black school shoes and school jumpers. Grade 6 students are required to wear their bomber jacket in place of the jumper. All students with long hair must tie their hair neatly back using our school colours: red, white, blue or black.
OPEROO / CARE MONKEY
Please remember to read and click on 'respond' if you receive any notifications via Operoo (previously Care Monkey). Once you click on respond and accept or decline the message, this will stop any reminder notifications being sent to you for this particular message.
ABSENCES via WEBSITE or SCHOOLZINEAPP - not Skoolbag
A reminder that we now use the school website or schoolzine app for student absence notification instead of the Skoolbag app. Please delete the skoolbag app from your devices for St Ita's. You can sign up to the schoolzine app via the school website. Please click on the link below for details.
Alternatively, absences can be sent to teachers by email or Class Dojo prior to 9am or by calling the school office. p: 5623 7222.
Term 4 school fees are now due & payable. For all families on a direct debit plan, all 2020 school fees must be paid in full by December 2020. If you are on a direct debit plan, please use the statement as a reference only and contact the office if you require any amendments to your plan.
The 2021 school fee schedule is also available on Care Monkey.
If any families would like to set up a weekly, fortnightly or monthly direct debit schedule for next year, please complete the Direct Debit Form and return to the school office at your earliest convenience or prior to 01 December 2020. Please calculate the total fees payable by the number of weeks/payments required. For any assistance please contact the school Admin office via email on: firstname.lastname@example.org
For any families that have recently received a Government means-tested health care concession card, please forward a copy of your card to the office to check your eligibility, as a fee concession may apply. The card must be in the name of the parent/fee payer for a fee concession to apply.
If your current Health Care card is due to expire this year and your card is re-issued, please send a copy of your new card details to the office as soon as possible for the concession to be checked and applied for next year's fees, if not already done so.
For any families impacted financially by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and/or have concerns about your financial situation regarding school fees, please contact Mr Andrew Osler on 5623 7222 during the hours of 9am-3pm Monday to Friday, or via email: email@example.com so that he can explore confidential financial support arrangements with you.
Would $500 assist you with education costs?
Saver Plus can help boost your savings for education costs by matching your savings dollar-for-dollar, up to $500 and provides free savings tips.
Check if you’re eligible: www.saverplus.org.au
Or Contact Rick t: 5120 2542 m: 0407 567 312