Jesus is sent by the Father to save the world (Jn3:16-18) according to this Sunday’s Gospel and our second reading blesses us in “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.” (2 Cor 13:11-13)
Later in John’s gospel (Jn 14:26) Jesus assures us that in his name, the Father would send the Holy Spirit, which indeed he did in the Pentecost event we celebrated last week. So what is this “Trinity” we celebrate today all about?
Trinity, above all is about relationship. Understanding God as Trinity, as three distinct persons in unity, is fundamental to being a Christian. But of course we don’t really understand. By example and analogy we try to articulate our incomplete glimpses of the relationships between the Father - the Creator, the Son - who physically joined us in human time and history and the Spirit - who Jesus promised would guide us following his physical absence from us.
Pope Francis in his ground breaking encyclical Laudate Si (LS238) explains the relationship thus, “The Father is the ultimate source of everything, the Son, his reflection, through whom all things were created and the Spirit, infinite bond of love, is intimately present at the very hearts of the universe”.
And, amazingly, God invites each of us and the world into the relationship! Pope Francis continues, “the Trinity has left its mark on all creation”…..“the world, created according to the divine model, is a web of relationship.” “Everything is interconnected, and this invites us to develop a spirituality of that global solidarity which flows from the mystery of the Trinity.” (Laudate Si 240)
A Trinity relationship reminder from the Catholic Catechism is “in union with all creatures, we journey through this land seeking God.” (CC 339)
Deacon Mark Kelly
Next week, on Tuesday 9th June sees the majority of our grade 3-6 students return to school from off-site remote learning. I would like to offer a huge vote of thanks to all our students, parents and staff for supporting us to make sure we have been following the correct return to school guidelines in relation to social distancing, drop off and pick up, hygiene and keeping our school admin clear where possible. Everyone has done a terrific job making sure we are operating safely and in the best interests of all in our learning community. We have put in place very clear guidelines for our school to operate correctly in the Covid -19 space and I believe we have ticked all the boxes and then some. Well done to all! Don't forget Monday is a public holiday & students are not at school.
School pick up and drop off is now more balanced after having a week to iron out the wrinkles. These procedures will continue to the end of this term.
A – K Family Surnames to drop off/pick up their children up at the regular Victoria St staff carpark loop.
L – Z Family Surnames to drop off/pick up their children at the Drouin Rec Reserve car-line loop.
Semester One school reports will be available via NFORMA online. Parents will be able to download their child’s report from the NFORMA Report portal via a password to be sent by email on Wednesday 17th June. Please make sure your email address is correct in CareMonkey, if not, please advise the office of your correct email address in writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org & please also update your details in CareMonkey. Your child’s report can be viewed on-line at anytime, saved to your computer or printed as you need it. Reports from 2017 are also available, if applicable to your child. This new process will alleviate packaging of individual reports and will save an immense amount of time for teachers. Please check CareMonkey for further details.
PARENT TEACHER INTERVIEWS
End of Semester One, Parent-Teacher interviews will be conducted via a phone call during Week 11, the last week of term 2 on Monday and Wednesday for those parents that book an appointment time on-line.
Teachers will be onsite Monday 22nd June from 3.40pm to 6.00pm and 6.40pm to 7.30pm and again on Wednesday 24th June between 3.50pm and 5.30pm. Phone interviews will be 10 minutes in duration. Please contact your child's teacher if you require a longer interview time.
Please book in your preferred phone interview appointment time via the School Interviews website and enter the event code: 9mcc4
NEW SCHOOL WEBSITE
Our new school website is up and running and I have to say it looks ultra-classy whilst allowing ease of navigation. https://stidrouin.catholic.edu.au/
Thanks to Steve Pitt and Claire Garner for their collective efforts on setting up this professional looking platform for our school. We are now able to import the weekly newsletter onto the website for parents and staff. The new layout also allows parents to go to specific areas of the newsletter for ease of reading. Please subsribe to the newsletter to receive a copy each week.
WELCOME TO OUR NEW TEACHERS
The St Ita’s learning community would like to welcome this term Miss Hayley Roberts & Miss Meg Wiedermann to their role of class teacher.
Hayley is the new class teacher in Grade 1 to replace Mrs Monique Kiezenberg whilst on maternity leave. Whilst Meg will be taking on the role of class teacher to replace Mrs Kristy Telford who is taking extended leave in Foundation V. Hayley and Meg have both been in and around our school in a variety of different grades for the last 4 weeks of term supporting us through the onsite remote learning.
2021 SIBLING ENROLMENT FORMS Now Due
Foundation enrolments for the 2021 school year are now open & we request all existing St Ita’s families with a sibling due to commence school next year, to please complete an enrolment form and return to the school office by Tuesday 9th June.
Unfortunately, due to COVID -19, we are unable to have parent - student meetings and tours of the school at the moment, however they are still part of the enrolment process and will be conducted at a later stage, hopefully at the beginning of term 3.
Enrolment forms are available on Care Monkey, via email or collection from the office. Please contact our Admin staff via email on: email@example.com during school office hours; Monday – Friday between 8.30am – 3.30pm and we will get one sent out to you.
Any friends or new families to the school that are looking to enrol a Foundation student next year are requested to contact the school office this term, preferably by email and the enrolment information will be sent to them. They can also access the enrolment information via the school website. Click here to access our enrolment website.
The school canteen will be open this Friday 5th June for normal snack and lunch orders for the Foundation, Grade 1 & Grade 2 students that have returned to school. Please order on-line via Flexischools.
The school canteen will resume normal days of operation next week as of Wednesday 10th June and will be open each Monday, Wednesday and Friday, commencing on and after 10 June.
GETTING BACK TO SCHOOL CAN BE A CHALLENGE
For students, remote learning will have been one of the largest impacts to their day-to-day routine.
Now that kids and teens are slowly making their way back to school, many will struggle with the change - and some will be particularly anxious or reluctant about the return.
Parenting an anxious child can feel overwhelming and difficult, but there are ways you can help your child cope and reduce the stress.
It is important to recognise that to feel anxious is a normal experience among human beings. Anxiety can sometimes arise in response to a stressful temporary circumstance, for example, returning to school after being away for a few months, such as in these COVID-19 circumstances.
The anxiety may present as school reluctance such as crying, tantrums or refusing to attend school altogether. Anxiety triggers threatening feelings into our brain to respond with the flight, fight or freeze response. However, your child responds, here are some things you can do to support them:
TANTRUMS AND RESISTANCE
Whether your child is literally on the floor screaming and shouting, or they just will not get out of bed, this reaction can be difficult to deal with. It is natural to feel upset when we are told to do something we do not want to do, even as adults. In addition, going back to school may not just be something your child does not want to do - they might feel quite stressed about it.
It is important for parents to remain calm when their child is experiencing tantrums or resistant behaviour. An authoritative parent position will continue to trigger threatening feelings in your child’s brain, resulting in fight, flight, and/or freeze responses.
And try to understand what actually is happening. How is your child feeling? Be aware of your own thinking (perhaps you feel that your child is doing this on purpose). Their behaviour is a response of stress, and younger children in particular will not have the skills to articulate their feelings or manage their distress.
TALK ABOUT THE BODY’S RESPONSE TO ANXIETY
Discuss with your child how they might be responding to anxiety (physically and emotionally). When anxious kids and teens learn about how their brain is responding to a stressful situation, it can help them make sense of how they are feeling.
HAVE A PLAN
Have a plan of how you want to manage tantrums. For example, a statement such as: “I can see you’re really struggling with… How about you take some time to calm down and we will talk about it later?” and encourage a time out for your child to self-regulate. It is also good to plan and be consistent with your home routines. Time for play, bed, meals, technology use, etc.
Be consistent with your parenting. Remember that children are often seeking any attention (both positive and negative attention) from their parents as a result of their behaviour. Recognise, reward and praise good behaviour when you see it. For example, “I love how you are playing nicely with your sister there” and try as much as possible to ignore challenging behaviour within reason.
Crying is one of the many different physical and emotional reactions to stress and anxiety. In addition, like other reactions, it is completely normal. For younger children, crying will often occur in the morning before school, in the car on the way there, or during drop-off if they are worried about the day ahead and what it will (or won’t) involve. Take note of factors and events that seem to be triggering physical distress for your child.
COLLABORATE WITH SCHOOL STAFF
If there is something specific that is worrying your child, discuss this with their teacher. However, remember, while it is good to acknowledge their anxiety with them and let them know that you are there for support, they also need to build their resilience. In addition, you can help them with this.
Let your child know that they have the coping skills to get through the day. Try giving them a simple breathing or meditation exercise, which they can rely on as one of their coping skills. Breathing is a simple way to help feelings of physical distress such as hyperventilation, shortness of breath, crying and other physical behaviours of discomfort. By teaching your child to breathe correctly, you are empowering them with a technique they can use without drawing the attention of others. The breathing itself allows them to regulate and calm down.
REWARD AND DISCUSS
At the end of a day they were dreading, congratulate them for getting through it. “I knew you could do it! Well done for using your coping skills. How did it go? Was it how you expected?”
For older children and teens, crying can also be a sign of anxiety. Crying may be harder to pick up in teens, as they may try to hide it. If you can tell something is up, let them know you are there to chat. Alternatively, they might just like to sit with you silently so they are not alone.
QUIETNESS OR OUT-OF-CHARACTER BEHAVIOUR
Some kids and teens will internalise unwanted feelings. This may be because they do not know how to deal with these feelings, or because they do not want to show others that they are struggling.
ARE YOU OKAY?
If your child has been particularly quiet or out of character, asking the simple question ‘are you okay?’ is the first step, but it's okay if they don’t open up to you. It can be helpful to add onto that question "I’ve noticed that you've looked sad / been quieter recently, so I just want you to know that I’m here if you want to chat".
Your child may not want to open up immediately - or at all - so be patient and just be there for them. Your child has no obligation to tell you everything, just as there are things you would not discuss with them, too.
CHECK THEY HAVE SUPPORT
It is good to check with your child that they have someone else they can open up to, like another family member, a friend or a teacher.
Simple things like a hand squeeze, a warm smile, a big hug or a nice handwritten note can mean a lot for your child. Even if they do not want to talk, knowing that you are there and thinking about them can brighten their day and help them get through a stressful time.
When we feel anxious or we are internalising feelings of stress, it is natural for us to ‘hold’ this stress in different areas of our body. Kids and teens experiencing anxiety will usually hold tension in their stomach, face, shoulders and/or chest. There are different methods of muscle relaxation that can help to release tension from a specific group of muscles. Physical exercise can sometimes help in releasing muscle tension, too.
WHAT MORE CAN I DO?
If you child is reluctant to head back to school or they are showing signs of anxiety, try approaching a professional counsellor for advice. Together you may decide that counselling for your young child will be beneficial for them, or the counsellor may give you some handy tips and tricks to help you support them.
For older children and teens, it is important that parents do not force them to see a counsellor. Work with your child to find a solution that is best for them, and give them the means to find solutions for themselves. You might provide them with information on counselling hotlines or web chats, or resources for managing anxiety or depression. Alternatively, you might even share with them how you have dealt positively with similar feelings yourself. Let them know that it is okay not to be okay, that you are there to help them in whatever way they need, and that other sources of help are always available for them. If you need help in getting your child back to school, or you are noticing out-of-character behaviour in your child, chat with one of our counsellors today.
At Catholic Care we are currently offering free counselling sessions during the COVID-19 period, accessible without a referral and from the comfort of your own home (via phone or video conference). Ph: 03 9287 5555.
Next week the students will begin borrowing books from the library. Please ensure if you have any library books at home, they are returned by this Friday.
Its been great having the students back in the library!
The Foundation students listened to the story The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland. A great read for children and adults.
The Grade 1s and 2s compared the characters from the stories Peggy and Wendy to Whitney and Britney from last week’s National Simultaneous story time book.
Bookclub issue 4 is out now and available on-line. Click here for scholastic book club
By Mrs Cath McKenna
By Mr Paul Carroll
In Term One, St. Ita’s was very fortunate to receive federal funding through the Sporting Schools Grant. Some of this money has been allocated towards the Grade 5 and 6 students with a Golf program initially due to be conducted late in Term One and early in Term Two. This program will now be scheduled later in 2020. In conjunction with the Golf program, we have also been able to purchase some wonderful new Physical Education and Sport resources such as multi-purpose goals, hula hoops, racquet stands, modified golf balls, golf tees and flag belts. This equipment will certainly be put to good use over the coming years and has further enriched our already developing sports storeroom.
Back in Term One, St. Ita’s also benefited greatly from our undertaking of a Cricket Program during 2019 and received some free equipment from Cricket Victoria and the Melbourne Stars. These resources will be put to use in future Cricket Units at the school.
Next week, during Week 9, all St. Ita’s students will be encouraged to undertake the 5 minute running challenge each day with their class. This challenge will run for two weeks and Individual and class prizes are on offer.