As we enter into another unknown phase of remote learning can I thank our parent community for their understanding and support. It is such a challenging situation for all and I ask that you please operate Remote Learning in a framework that works best for your family unit.
The school will continue to ensure that the health and safety of students, staff and the wider school community remains the highest priority with physical distancing measures and hand and respiratory hygiene practises remaining in place for all staff and students in attendance for remote learning.
We thank you for your understanding and support as we continue to implement COVID-19 safe practices at our school during remote learning.
SUPPORTING YOUR CHILDREN THROUGH REMOTE LEARNING
Dr. Linda Carling is an Associate Research Scientist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education Centre for Technology in Education. She specialises in learning engagement and design and is a parent of a child with a disability.
As schools are faced with the challenge of providing learning opportunities for all students at a distance, parents are called on to be more involved than ever before, particularly for their younger learners and those with learning challenges and disabilities. Maintaining high levels of engagement can be challenging even for savvy adult learners.
How do we best help our kids make the most of these distance learning experiences?
The term “engagement” refers to the amount and quality of time students spend on distance learning activities. Distance learning activities can be in a synchronous (real-time) learning experience where students have some type of scheduled online interaction with a teacher or group, or asynchronous (not in real time) learning experience where students interact with online resources at their own pace.
Regardless of the mode of delivery, many students are asked to be engaged in a way that’s new to them. Teachers might hold live or video-recorded class lectures or activities, or perhaps parents are given digital learning resources to work through with their children. Without effective supports for children from teachers and parents in place at home, families can easily become disengaged and frustrated.
Here are eight tips to help your child maintain focus and stay engaged during this time of distance learning.
- Understand the expectation for distance learning. How much time should students spend online for learning purposes? There are screen time considerations for all students, and older students can handle longer amounts of time than younger students. Your child’s teacher or school should provide some guidance for what is reasonable. For young children, interaction and play is valuable for learning.
- Determine what type of activities work best for your child. Are their certain types of distance learning activities that your child prefers over others? For example, does your child work better with synchronous activities where they respond to a live instructor, or in person sitting one-on-one with you? What learning platforms seems to engage your child more than others? The answers to these questions can be valuable for you and your child’s teacher to help plan for learning experiences that work best for your child.
- Encourage movement. Kids need to move their bodies frequently throughout the day. Allow time for exercise before your child is expected to focus on a distance learning task. Some children are able to better focus on tasks when standing. Consider having your computer or tablet be on a raised surface so that your child can stand.
- Reduce distractions. Where possible, reduce distractions when your child is completing schoolwork. This includes noise as well as visual noise or clutter. A designated workspace that is comfortable for your child will be helpful.
- Adjust your schedule as needed. If your child is frustrated — or alternately, if your child is very engaged in learning — make a change in your schedule to allow for a break (and revisit at a later day or time) or to spend time delving deeper into the topic. Some learning activities will be easier to move through than others. Consider working with your child on those activities or subjects that are more difficult during the times of day when your child is most alert and engaged. Learning material that is easier for a child, and therefore moved through more quickly, can be completed at a different time (such as in the afternoon or even another day). It’s also helpful to share with your teacher what is working best for you and your child.
- Use a checklist for focus. For some children who really struggle with focusing, a basic visual checklist of tasks needed for a particular activity will be helpful. For example, if the child is asked to watch a lesson, read a prompt, and then provide a written response to the prompt, the checklist would have keywords for each of these required activities: watch, read, write. The child would check off each task with you as it is completed, and receive some positive praise or another reward when finished.
- Give your child (and yourself) a break. Your teacher does not want your child to be frustrated with or miserable about learning. In fact, teachers spend time trying to make lessons interesting, and to tailor instruction to provide the right level of challenge for their students. If something is too challenging, or your child has hit a frustration level, it’s okay to stop the activity and give them a break. It’s also okay to slow down the pace, which means giving your child time to think and process information. It also means participating in segments of learning one at a time rather than trying to tackle a whole lesson in one sitting. You can give yourself permission to pick that lesson back up another time or another day.
- Provide immediate positive feedback. Each time your child completes distance learning instruction, provide immediate and positive feedback! Something as simple as putting a check mark, star, or sticker on the work assignment can go a long way in helping to motivate your child. And don’t forget to celebrate yourself, as you are playing such an important role to help your child learn and grow.
Teachers should plan for a variety of learning experiences, online and off, and be able to support parents by modifying or adapting activities to meet the needs of their students. Schooling from a distance is as new a territory for teachers as it is for parents. Getting feedback from parents about what is working and where they need additional support is essential.
With creative thinking and effort by teachers and families as partners, children will continue to build their knowledge and skills, but also build confidence and a love for learning.
AUSTRALIAN EARLY DEVELOPMENT CENSUS AEDC) NATIONWIDE DATA COLLECTION
WHAT IS THE AEDC?
The Australian Early Development Census AEDC) is a nationwide data collection of early childhood development at the time children commence their first year of full-time school. The AEDC highlights what is working well and what needs to be improved or developed to support children and their families by providing evidence to support health, education and community policy and planning.
The AEDC is held every three years, with the 2018 AEDC data collection being the fourth collection.
The census involves teachers of children in their first year of full-time school completing a research tool, the Australian version of the Early Development Instrument. The Instrument consist of about 100 questions and collects data relating to five key areas of early childhood development referred to as ‘domains’, these include:
- Physical health and well being
- Social competence
- Emotional maturity
- Language and cognitive skills (school-based)
- Communication skills and general knowledge
Data is collected for individual children and reported for groups of children at a community, state/territory and national level.
WHY IS THE AEDC IMPORTANT?
The AEDC provides a national measure to monitor Australian children's development.
It provides information for schools, communities and government to pinpoint the services, resources and support needed for children and families to help shape the future and well-being of Australian children.
The community that children grow up in, the education or care before school, school and other health services they interact with play a key role in supporting optimal development. When schools, communities and governments invest resources during these early years, it brings life-long benefits to children and the whole community.
With four sets of AEDC national data collected in 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018, we now have an indication of the national progress towards improving the development of Australian children. With each successive wave of data collected, the AEDC will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the state and progress of early childhood development in Australia.
2022 SIBLING ENROLMENTS NOW OPEN
This is our final reminder to all our current parents that Foundation enrolments for the 2022 school year are now open and we are now taking bookings for enrolment interviews and school tours.
If you require an interview and school tour with your child, please contact our school Admin on 5623 7222 as soon as possible to book a time.
All parents will be required to complete a student questionnaire prior to the commencement of your interview (this takes a couple of minutes and you will receive it on arrival). You will also receive an enrolment pack with an enrolment form enclosed.
All sibling enrolments are given first preference of a place in the 2022 school year and therefore we strongly advise you to book your interview and return your application form promptly to guarantee enrolment for next year.
WHOLE SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES
Until we get through this next stage of COVID-19 remote learning, our whole school assemblies will not be operating VC. Once we have clarity and are back on site we'll revert back to VC whole school assemblies.
PARENT TEACHER INTERVIEWS
Parent teacher interviews will be on-site in the Hall on Monday 21st June from 3:40pm until 7:00pm and Wednesday 23rd June from 3:40 pm until 5:00 pm. The school reports will be sent out on-line Friday 18th June. Information for booking online will be sent next week. Jessica Carroll will run her Foundation Interviews next week on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Please see her ClassDojo notice for booking instructions.
In preparation for the Concert we have puppeteers coming to school beginning Tuesday 22nd until Friday 25th June, and on Wednesday 12th July they will be making the props for the Concert. Jenny Adrichem will be coordinating the School Concert for her last time this year. Auditions for main cast for Grade 6 students will begin over the next few weeks.
SPEED LIMITS IN OUR SCHOOL
I have had a number of parents contact me, concerned about car speeds at drop off and pick up time. In the interest of child safety, could I please ask all parents using drop off and pick up to adhere to the 10km speed limit. In line with our Whole School Approach to Positive Behaviours, we ask all parents and carers to exercise patience and respect during drop off and pick up within our school community.
BUS FREE DAYS
School buses will not be operating in the Drouin network on the following days in Term 2 & Term 3. All bus travellers will need to make alternative arrangements to/from school on these days.
Term 3 - Monday 16th August 2021.
SCHOOL CLOSURE - 11th JUNE
Early Notice - We have a Religious Education whole school closure day on Friday 11th June (this is the Friday of the Queens birthday long weekend). The school is closed for all students and students will not be at school on this day.
Monday 14th June is the Queens Birthday public holiday and the school is also closed on this day.
Students will finish school at the normal time of 3.20pm on Thursday 10th June and return to school on Tuesday 15th June.
SCHOOL FEES & FEE CONCESSION
Term 1 School Fees are now overdue & Term 2 School Fees are due by Friday 14th May. BPay details are available on your school fee statement. School fees are due by the 4th week of each term and must be paid in full by the end of the school year they are due, December 2021.
If any families would like to pay off their fees either weekly, fortnightly or monthly, please set up a direct debit schedule by completing a Direct Debit Form and returning to the school office at your earliest convenience. Please calculate the total fees payable by the number of weeks/payments required for your fees to be paid by December 2021. For any assistance please contact the school Admin office via email on: email@example.com
For any families that have recently received a Government means-tested Health Care Concession Card and have not already advised the school office, 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 with the student details listed on the card. A CSEF (Camp, Sport & Excursion Fund) form must also be completed. Application forms must be completed each year.
If your current Health Care Concession Card has expired, or is due to expire and your card is re-issued or any details have changed, please send a copy of your new card details to the office as soon as possible for the concession to be checked and applied to your fees.
RESPONSIBLE PET HANDLING
Last week our Grade 1 students had the opportunity to participate in the Living Safely with Pets Program. Kerri Piper and her beautiful Border Collie Solan came and visited the Grade 1's and the students really enjoyed the program. They learnt some great life long skills about pet safety and how to look after the well being of their pets. The Grade, with the use of Kerri's Border Collie Solon, were taught how to approach a dog that they do not know.
MINI VINNIES BADGE PRESENTATION
On Thursday, our St Ita's Mini Vinnies team were presented with their badges by Drouin St Vincent de Paul President, Mr Vin Bibby after the Thursday Mass service. Our Mini Vinnies team do a great job working with the Drouin St Vincent de Paul society to assist and support those in our local community who need our help. Our students did a great job with our Pyjama Day to restock the food pantry which is now full and available to those in need.
FLESH AND BLOOD
Corpus Christi, this feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, which we celebrate this weekend is of huge importance to Christians. We forget sometimes, but Eucharist is the “source and summit’ of our Christian life and it is impossible to overstate its importance. It is not a localised, limited event. Eucharist is a manifestation of the Kingdom of God. Pope Saint John Paul II calls the sacrament “cosmic! Because even when it is celebrated on the humble altar of a country church (like ours in Warragul, Drouin and Neerim South), the Eucharist is always, in some way, celebrated on the altar of the world.” Pope Benedict asserts it “joins heaven and earth; embraces and penetrates all creation … in the bread of the Eucharist, creation is projected towards divinisation … toward unification with the Creator himself.”
Eucharist is entwined with Jesus’ incarnation, his “en-fleshment” as part of creation. In the sacrament of his body he actually gives us his own flesh, which he has united to his divinity. Both the Incarnation and the Eucharist reveal to us that God actually wants to abide in us and us in Him. As the Creator is in Christ and Christ is in us, so we find ourselves in unity with the Creator. What is the Creator’s purpose in uniting us to himself? That, nourished by his body and blood, we act as Jesus did during his earthly life: serving his children, especially the poor, sick, dispossessed and marginalised. Is it only the flawless who are to be so nourished? Emphatically not! Pope Francis tells us: the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.”
Deacon Mark Kelly
Unfortunately this new development has meant we need to restrict numbers for the actual First Communion Masses. We will need to keep numbers to immediate family: Parents, siblings, Grandparents and Godparents. At present, we are waiting on the Victorian Government’s direction.
Take care and please know your families are in our prayers.
For any inquiries please contact Thérèse on 0499 116 428
OUR TEACHING MASS WILL BE HELD ON:
Teaching Mass 2: Saturday 5th June, 7pm St Joseph’s Church, Warragul
(Liturgy of the Eucharist)
Sunday 6th June, 9am St Joseph’s Church, Warragul
Sunday 6th June 10:30am St Ita’s Church, Drouin
Combined - 2nd Rite Reconciliation:
St Ita’s Church, Drouin: Wednesday 9th June, 7pm
St Joseph’s Warragul: Thursday 10th June 7pm
We are looking forward to seeing you all at our 2nd Workshop.
We ask all our school families to please keep our First Communion Candidates and their families in your prayers as they continue their faith journey.
For any enquiries please contact Thérèse on Mobile: 0499 116 428 or by email at Warragul.firstname.lastname@example.org
AN INITIATION OF ADULTS
- Who want to find out more about the Catholic faith
- What Catholics believe and why
- Considering possibly becoming a Catholic
- An Adult Catholic who has not received First Communion or Confirmation.
If you know of someone that may be interested please bring them along to this session.
For more information you can contact:
Fr. Peter Slater: 56231642
Joan Robertson at St. Joseph’s Parish Office, Warragul: 56231642
Deacon Mark Kelly at Marist Sion College: 56235944 or 0427748646.
WOMEN AT THE WELL (Women’s Spirituality group)
If anyone is interested in coming along and finding out more you are invited to a Meet and Greet session on Thursday 17th June 10.30 am Marian Room at St. Joseph’s Church Warragul. In a supportive and encouraging setting we pray and reflect on the Sunday Gospel and listen to each other’s unique encounters with Christ. Mums are welcome to bring their children.
Contact: Joan Robertson at the Parish Office: 56231642 or
Michelle Blackwood: 0427 290 683 for more information or just come along.