Reflecting on Mid June 2019 | go to Calendar »
1. From The Principal
Welcome to the Reflection for the middle of June that was intended for the end of last week, apologies for the delay. We are almost at the end of the second term and the first semester of learning for this year. The teachers are finalising reports and we are endeavouring to get these out to you on Friday, barring any unforeseen circumstances.
Parent Teacher Meetings or Three Way Conferences are scheduled to take place next week on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons to discuss achievements and progress to date and to look forward to next semester. Notes have gone home for parents to indicate favourable times for these meetings, if you have not received one as yet, please contact your child’s teacher. As the notes are returned to school, teachers will advise parents of their allocated times.
We also have our annual School Feast Day Mass on Tuesday morning to celebrate the Feast of the Birth of John the Baptist, the patron saint of our school and church in Clifton Hill – please check the calendar for more details.
Archbishop’s Address to Catholic School Leaders 29th May 2019
At the end of last month, I was fortunate to attend a meeting of Principals and Governors of Catholic schools from across the Archdiocese. At this meeting our newly consecrated Archbishop, Peter A Comensoli, spoke to us about his vision for the place of the Catholic school in the modern world. Archbishop Peter stated that “The idea of Catholic schooling for today and tomorrow requires more than finding ways of combining ideas around the words ‘catholic’ and ‘school’…. We do not need more catholic schooling, where the catholic is the icing that can be peeled off the top of the schooling cake. No, what we need is ‘schooling catholic’ – a way of schooling that is infused with a catholic vision and is imbued with all that our Catholic intellectual tradition offers. We have a way of educating and forming our young people that ought to look different from other ways of educating. We have an understanding of the deep meaning and value of our humanity that ought to be reflected in our teaching and learning.” It would be my hope that this is what can be found at St John’s School and that it is one of those qualities valued by members of our school community and visitors alike. To read more of what was said by Archbishop Peter at this meeting, please click here.
Pentecost Sunday 9th June 2019
Two Sundays ago, the Church concluded the Season of Easter for this year with the celebration of Pentecost, commemorating the coming of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the apostolic tradition. According to Simon Stevens from Catholic Education Melbourne, “Pentecost, like many of the Church’s feasts, is a ritual that actively triggers the memory. This liturgical moment then enables us to reflect on those everyday moments as disciples of Jesus and take up the intentional act of being radically equal and radically inclusive. When we encounter the other we are enabled to love.” The story of the first Pentecost is one of the disciples suddenly overcoming their fear and other human limiting factors and going out into the world to proclaim Jesus message of love and inclusion, of respect and dignity for all. We too can often be held back by fear and other emotions that prevent us from connecting with others but, just as the Blues Brothers were clearly on a “Mission from God”, so too are we called to act as the apostles did and embrace life and each other in ways that lift us up and create life for others. Simon’s article in a recent edition of the Directors News can be found by clicking here.
National Catholic Safeguarding Standards Launched
Catholic Professional Standards Limited (CPSL) has released the historic National Catholic Safeguarding Standards in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
The National Catholic Safeguarding Standards and their supporting criteria build on the Royal Commission’s child-safe standards and harmonise with the National Principles for Child Safe Organisations. In addition, the National Catholic Safeguarding Standards include seven further criteria unique to the Church. These criteria have been developed in response to the Royal Commission’s recommendations and informed by a series of consultations.
The ten National Catholic Safeguarding Standards are:
- Committed leadership, governance and culture
Child safeguarding is embedded in the entity’s leadership, governance and culture.
- Children are safe, informed and participate
Children are informed about their rights, participate in decisions affecting them and are taken seriously.
- Partnering with families, carers and communities
Families, carers and communities are informed and involved in promoting child safeguarding.
- Equity is promoted, and diversity is respected
Equity is upheld and diverse needs respected in policy and practice.
- Robust human resource management
People working with children are suitable and supported to reflect child safeguarding values in practice.
- Effective complaints management
Processes for raising concerns and complaints are responsive, understood, accessible and used by children, families, carers, communities and personnel.
- Ongoing education and training
Personnel are equipped with knowledge, skills and awareness to keep children safe through information, ongoing education and training.
- Safe physical and online environments
Physical and online environments promote safety and contain appropriate safeguards to minimise the opportunity for children to be harmed.
- Continuous improvement
Entities regularly review and improve implementation of their systems for keeping children safe.
- Policies and procedures support child safety
Policies and procedures document how the entity is safe for children.
A set of criteria and accompanying indicators has been developed for each standard to support Catholic Church entities (including schools and parishes) to understand the standards and their implications for the life of the entity. More details can be found in the above document by clicking here.
Friday 28th June is the last day of this term and also the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is a day that is traditionally set aside in the Church – and our school – for taking up a collection of non-perishable goods for those who may be struggling to provide basic needs. I was recently contacted by members of our parish community and advised that the Vinnies shop in Vere Street, Collingwood, is short of canned soup, baked beans and spaghetti, and that the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre need more supplies of personal toiletries. We will set up collection tubs in the office later this week, and send another note home as a reminder, so that those families willing and able to donate to assist others may do so.
Hot Food for Lunches
With the cold weather upon us, we are getting more requests to heat up food or toast sandwiches in the staff room. We have also had children with perfectly nice lunches wanting toast and other items. Staff have discussed these issues and we will no longer be heating lunches for children. Children who want hot lunches are encouraged to speak with you as parents about this to see whether, as a family, solutions can be equitably arrived at. Food thermoses are readily available in many stores these days and may be one solution (just make sure that your child’s name is on these so we can ensure you get them back if they are left lying around). While food is available in the staff room for children who have forgotten their lunch or, as a one off, need a little extra, this should not become a habit. If children are presenting to us regularly we acknowledge that this is something that you would rightly want to know about and we will be in touch accordingly.
Cross Country Divisional Trials
Congratulations to Zion and Ned who represented themselves and the school in the recent Divisional trials for school cross country. Both boys competed very well and ended up with highly credible results. Ned qualified for the Regional trials scheduled to take place tomorrow and we wish him every success for a great run.
Congratulations to Paolo, who competed in School Sport Victoria soccer trials today. Paolo also did very well in making it through to the next stage of qualifying and we wish him every success too.
Two Thursday’s ago we were pleased to host the group Water Water Everywhere. This trio of musicians presented a concert to children in Grades Prep to Four and water featured prominently as an instrument and as a source of acoustic enhancement. Responses to the spooky sounds produced by the instrument known as a waterphone were mixed, with some children intrigued and others horrified, but all of them were fascinated with the various ways water could be used as a drum and delighted in the finale involving a pasta strainer waterfall. The resources provided to support this concert by Musica Viva have been used in Performing Arts lessons over the last few weeks to explore a variety of musical concepts.
Upcoming Before End of Term
Do not forget to put our Learning Celebrations, on Thursday and Friday, into your diaries and calendars. Notes have gone home from teachers around these and the children are eager to share their work with family members.
Next week, on Thursday, our SRC have organised to hold a Genius/Inspiration Day. A note will go home about this in the next couple of days. Children will be asked to dress up as someone who inspires them (other than a sports person as this will be a focus of a day next term). Teachers are organising rotating STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths – activities for the children to complete in multi-age groups across the course of the morning.
The next Reflection will be a small one and will come out on the last day of term. A reminder that school finishes next Friday, 28th June, at 1:30 p.m. for the mid-year break of two weeks.
Until next time, respectfully, Daniel 🙂
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4. Extra Curricular Noticeboard
Young Writers School Holiday Programs!Based in our beautiful writing studio in Fitzroy North, our programs are aimed at equipping and inspiring young writers with the skills they need to get writing and to develop their storytelling craft. Our creative writing courses and school holiday programs are a journey into story, an insight into character and an exploration of ideas and creativity.
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An Art Exhibition of Moira Kelly’s Kids art groupJune 29th at Our Lady Help of Christians
Nicholson street East Brunswick
6pm opening by Mr Andrew Greensmith
Plastic surgeon and artist
Music by Patrick Evans & Ewan Baker
Come along and see some amazing drawings paintings and creativity from some amazing kids some of the paintings are for sale but not on the day contact Br David O’Brien