Expressing gratitude and thanks is important to our wellbeing. Practising gratitude on a regular basis helps us appreciate the people and things they do or the value of something. When we appreciate the value of someone, we’re less likely to take them for granted. I continue each week to be grateful for everyone in our school community. Recently a parent described our school as: “a small school with a big heart”
I am grateful for:
- our talented and skilled staff who constantly look for ways to engage our students in learning.
- our parents and families who have adapted so willingly to support learning at home, under very challenging circumstances.
- our students for preserving, developing resilience and trying their best.
Parent Wellbeing Workshop
Thank you to Rebecca Short Clinical Psychologist who conducted the first parent wellbeing session last Monday. One parent who attended said,
“I feel like I have just had a warm hug! The session created a feeling of care and acknowledgement of people's efforts which I think was appreciated.”
We still have a few places left for our next session.
PLEASE JOIN US FOR A FREE1-HOUR WORKSHOP FOR ST CATHERINE’S PARENTS
CARING FOR THEM, CARING FOR YOU: PARENT WELLBEING DURING COVID-19
WEDNESDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER 2020
Only 3 places left!
RSVP essential via email@example.com
Resilience and Mental Health
The Be You website has some great information for both parents and educators.
A child or young person who is resilient might:
- be optimistic
- use positive self-talk for encouragement
- have a positive sense of self
- identify and express their feelings and thoughts
- not hide away from strong feelings
- have helpful, age-appropriate strategies to manage their emotions when upset
- rearrange their plans to work around an unexpected situation
- have a sense of agency or responsibility
- keep on trying if something doesn’t work out and use their judgment about when to stop
- hold a sense of purpose or hope for the future
- actively ask for help if they need it
- feel a sense of attachment to family, their learning community and to learning.
See attached flyer on Resilience and Mental Health
Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM)is currently working with me to support increasing our enrolment numbers and marketing our school. Some members of the school board and staff will form a working group that will support developing strategies and actions to promote our school. Research from the National Catholic Education Commission indicates that word of mouth is the main influencer for prospective parents. In fact 92% of parents trust the recommendation of friends and family when it comes to choosing a school. If you know of family or friends with a child starting school next year, please let them know we still have places available. I am happy to meet virtually with any families that are considering enrolment and would like to know more about our school.
At our last school board meeting, Catholic Education Melbourne staff presented demographic information, outlined the Enrolment Maximisation Framework process and the support offered to our school over the next 3 years.
I would like to thank Darren Forner and Abbey Walters for coming forward as the parent members and Brittany Wrigley and Maree Hills will be staff representatives of the working party. The EMF working party will meet for our first meeting next term and will meet regularly each term next year. The role of the working party will be to support the school to:
- Set goals and objectives
- Identify key stakeholder priorities and key messages
- Develop engagement and communication tools
- Collect and analyse feedback
The working party will report back to the Advisory School Board each term.
We have a welcoming and friendly school, with highly skilled staff and a supportive parent community. Our school is a little hidden gem in Moorabbin and all we need to do is get the word out there.
Please like and share our new facebook page :
Program Support Group Meetings ( PSG)
PSG meetings will take place in the week beginning 5 October. These meetings take place each term for parents with students receiving additional learning support. Parents will be contacted by Carmel Donlon via email to set up a meeting time.
This current situation can be challenging in so many different ways.The resilience and perseverance all families are showing while continuing education at home is remarkable. Remember we all have days when things can become challenging and it’s ok to have a break, regroup and move forward.
The video attached is from Dr Michael Carr- Gregg, it is called “Riding the Corona Coaster” He has great advice for parents and highlights the need to maintain your own mental health to support your children. It talks about how we, as adults, can support children to manage the uncertainty by looking after ourselves. School TV is a resource parents can use to support their journey as parents with resources and videos from professionals.
During September, the “Action of Happiness” site is putting forward the idea of “Self Care September”. By looking after yourself you can role model self care. Maybe set yourself a goal to achieve some of the ideas and actions suggested. Go to Self Care September for more information.
Open our ears: to hear what you are saying to us today.
Open our eyes: to see where Jesus’ healing love is needed in our world.
Open our hands: to do your work and help where help is needed.
Open our lips: to bring comfort, joy, and laughter to your people.
Open our minds: to hear new truths about how you work in our world.
Open our hearts: to you, our neighbours, and ourselves as you love us
Welcome to Spoonville
What is Spoonville?
Melbourne's first lockdown saw teddy bears and rainbows appear in windows, now our second lockdown has another activity for children & their families as communities full of brightly painted wooden spoon characters pop up across the suburbs.
Originating in the English village of Winnersh, the Spoonville fad has spread across Britain and is finding its way into Victoria, where spoon villages are sprouting in parks and nature strips.
You may have seen small communities of spoony characters popping up in your neighborhood while out exercising. Well, St Catherine’s is going to join in on the fun of Spoonville by creating our own colourful community in front of our school. All teachers, students & families are invited to create their own wooden spoon/spatula character. The great thing is that you needn’t stop at one… the more the merrier!
All you have to do is grab yourself a wooden spoon or spatula & get creative… it’s as easy as that! Perhaps there is an old one from the kitchen you could use or you could ask Mum or Dad to buy a new one next time they are doing the grocery shop from the supermarket. The possibilities are endless… but there are a few important rules to remember while you’re busy building your colourful character.
Make sure bits & pieces won’t blow off your spoony person. We don’t want to litter so use lots of glue!
Make sure your spoony people can take the rain. Clear nail varnish is good for faces. Legs and arms can be sticks from your garden.
As you can see from the photos I’ve collected on my neighborhood walks you can use markers, wool, pipe cleaners, buttons, glitter, ribbons, fabric, paint & even feathers… wow! Remember you have the 2 week school holidays to finish your spoon so take your time, don’t rush & have fun!
The plan will be that upon returning to face to face learning in term 4 you can bring your decorated wooden character to school & dress-up the front nature strip with your colourful creation. This will be a fun way to not only brighten up the landscape & cheer us all up but to send an uplifting message to our local community. They may want to join in too!
If you have any questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m more than happy to help.
I know Mrs O’Donnell and all the staff can’t wait to see just how many spoons we can make! We may even make it into our local newspaper… fingers crossed!
The theme for Science Week this year was the Deep Blue. All year levels from Foundation to Grade six participated in lots of fun activities and learnt lots of interesting facts about our oceans and how we must care for them.
All the years 4, 5 and 6 did some really awesome things for science week this year. We got to have fun and learn at the same time. Just a little shout out to Tracy, Mrs Berends aunt who is also a Marine Biologist, for making an amazing video for us as well as doing an hour long question and answer session. We absolutely loved it! In the video we were able to see where Tracy worked and all the different types of Sea Algae she studies - some were from 100 years ago. Tracy taught us facts about sea algae (seaweed). Did you know that even though people call it seaweed it isn’t actually a weed?
The 4s, 5s and 6s also played some games that involved science. We did a couple of Kahoots and a scavenger hunt. On Thursday, lots of kids dressed up as scientists. It was a lot of fun and very enjoyable. We had an awesome time doing it. On the other days we watched a short film called Piper. It was very adorable. We talked about it in our Google Meet groups. On another day we got to create a sea creature! It was very fun. There was a competition for the best sea creatures. I’m sure the prizes will be fantastic.
By Anika McGuire
LIFE AT HOME
By Nicholas Stamatakos
My life during remote learning has been a roller coaster ride and there have been both ups and downs. The ups are that I can do a lot more things on my breaks; I can eat whenever I want to and I don’t need to ask to go to the bathroom!
Being at home all the time brings downtimes as well. It can get really boring at times because I can’t talk to my friends whenever I want to (not that I do during class though!) and sometimes I wonder if the world is ever going to be the same again.
Overall, I have been happy with remote learning but my hope is that the world becomes the same again and we can all return to school together.
MY REMOTE LEARNING EXPERIENCE
By Miles Brown
So here we are, three-quarters of our way through Term 3 and we are still doing remote learning. I am finding remote learning enjoyable because you can eat whenever you want, watch YouTube during the day and sometimes even watch television during your lunch breaks. The days go extremely fast and I can’t believe the term is nearly over.
I feel that being organised has really helped me with remote learning. I always know what time to be in a Google Meet; I am able to follow my daily class timetable and I find Arrowsmith easy because I know what to do and the timetable is the same each day.
Even though I am travelling well, the thing I am missing the most is my friends and family because we can’t see and play with each other. I am looking forward to this the most and hopefully it will happen next term.
Well done to everyone who entered the competition. All entries were amazing, making it a very difficult choice for the staff at St Catherine’s. Each winner will receive a 12-month subscription to National Geographic kids - delivered right to their door.
Our three chosen winners are -
Prep to 2: Duke G
Duke created a firefly squid, complete with lights.
Year 3-4: Lex Lovegrove
Lex created an angler fish - look at those teeth!
Year 5-6: Anika McGuire
Anika created a beautiful coral reef made completely of sponges - very creative.
Dear Parents and Friends,
I hope this finds you and your families safe and well. While this has been a difficult and strange yearfor all of us, I am heartened to hear how our community continues working together to support eachother and keep connections alive between the children and adults alike.
The Caring for Them, Caring for You: Parent wellbeing during COVID-19 parent sessions have been very well received. The feedback from the first session has been really positive with one parent saying that they felt like they’d had a ‘warm hug' and another telling us that they felt that they understood so much more of why their family was interacting the way it is. We still have a couple of spaces for the session this Wednesday evening, please email me if you would like to attend.
Father’s Day will bring mixed feelings this year for many of us, some joyful and some sad. On behalf of the Parents and Friends, I would like to wish all the Fathers a Happy Fathers’ Day. While our usual Father’s Day breakfast and stall is not possible this year, we hope that your children make your day special in their own way. To those not able to spend the day with your Father or children, we are thinking of you.
Although we are not fundraising this year, we have recently applied for sponsorship through the Highett Bendigo Bank. We are hoping to secure funds to continue to redevelop our outdoor spaces to create welcoming play spaces for children when they return to school and to provide opportunities for outdoor learning.
If your company has grants or sponsorship programs available, please let us know as there are many projects we would like to explore.