Hello to all our families and friends,
As Week 9 draws to a close, it is now more apparent than ever that we have only a few weeks to go before the end of the 2022 school year. We have many exciting events planned for families and students to engage with including Year 6 Graduation, Year 5/6 Mass and Year F-4 Mass, the family picnic and Christmas Carols as well as Orientation next Monday morning.
Michael Gross, founder of Parenting Ideas suggests ‘children and adults need a set of core skills to manage their daily lives. These skills include planning, ability to focus, self-control, self-awareness and adaptability. When children and young people are under extreme stress it’s difficult to apply these core skills so the ability to manage even simple tasks can be compromised.
Parents can strengthen these skills in children and young people by:
- building daily organisational skills at age-appropriate levels including the use of schedules, timetables and other visual organisers
- encouraging children to relax and enjoy regular downtime
- developing anxiety-management tools such as deep breathing and mindfullness
- embedding wellbeing strategies of relaxation, exercise and play into family life
- finding time where children can openly share their feelings and concerns about what is worrying them
Please also speak to your child’s teacher, if you have any concerns or questions. We look forward to continuing the partnership between home and school with you.
Advent Week 2!
Catching fish one day…catching people the next
The Bethlehem Community hosted the celebration of the Mass on Wednesday this week. It was the feast day for St Andrew. It’s a very special celebration in the Church as he was amongst the first apostles to respond to Jesus’ call. The focus for the students around this feast day was the idea of fishing for people, instead of catching fish.
Andrew, his brother Simon (aka Peter), James and John were all fisherman before they met Jesus. Jesus’ call meant they would change their profession in an instant, to learn what it means to be fishers of people. People who can take Jesus’ message and make it appealing to others and allow people to ‘meet’ Jesus are doing this. Some do this by writing books or using social media to spruik the message. Some do this by how they live their lives. There’s a lovely quote from St Francis who said, ‘Preach the Gospel. Use words if you have to’.
Leadership & Thanksgiving Mass - 7th Dec
The Year 5 and 6 students share the celebration of a Mass for the two-fold purpose. The Year 5s will be stepping up to leadership for the next year, and so it is a bit of a handing on the light of leadership from the year 6s to the year 5s. The other purpose for this Mass is that the Year 6s are expressing their thanks for their years of education at St Thomas the Apostle. If you are a parent of a year 5 or 6 student, you are most welcome to participate in the Mass this coming Wednesday at 9:15am.
Christmas Carols 13th Dec
The students have been practicing for their Carols item. A stage and a sound system have been hired to raise their voices. Families can bring their picnic gear to enjoy the Carols and have an afternoon tea. The Lions Club will be there to sell food, as per the form that went out recently to gather potential numbers. It is set to be a lovely occasion to gather as an entire school community.
Foundation to Year 4 Mass - 14th Dec
Also coming up near the end of the school year is the Mass for all of the other learning communities at our school. Galilee (Foundation) will lead us with this end of year Mass but any parents of Foundation to Year 4 are welcome to participate in the Mass on this day, 9:15am.
Adventure Camp 2022
What do we learn on camp? I learned that we have a magnificent group of year 6s. The Phillip Island Adventure Resort staff were really impressed with our students, commenting on their beautiful manners and great behaviour. As one of the supporting teachers, you really do get to see the students in a different light.
The challenges they face on camp are real but fun – making a raft that floats and carries people across the water, finding your way out of a maze, flying across the site in a Flying Fox at extreme height and of course getting to sleep presents its own challenges! The photos will tell more of the story.
I’m sure the stories of camp are still unfolding. It is such a rich experience and it will stay with them forever. We took a moment, around the campfire, to stop and be mindful of our surroundings and be grateful for our time at camp. The students contributed with words of gratitude that suggested they really understood the amount of work that goes into an event such as this. A massive thankyou to the staff of St Thomas the Apostle who planned and supported the camp. It is a very big undertaking to go to camp and I’m sure the students appreciated the effort too.
Transition day will take place on Monday, 5th December at 9:15 am. On this day the children will spend 90 minutes in their new classroom. Children joining St Thomas from other schools next year will also have the chance to come along and meet some new friends.