St Ita's Primary School Drouin
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50 Victoria Street
Drouin VIC 3818

Phone: 03 5623 7222

T1 W7 2022 Newsletter

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T1 W7 2022 Newsletter


St Ita’s Catholic Primary School acknowledges and pays respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of this nation and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 



    As we head into our 7th consecutive week of school with no remote learning breaks, I am really proud of the progress all our children are making both socially and emotionally. In particular our little people in the Foundation and Grade 1 classes.

    It is this group of students that have been impacted most significantly due to COVID-19 related remote learning over the last 2 years. All kids of this age have had severe interruptions to their formative kinder and foundation school years and we need to support them to catch up and make sense of the learnings that were missed out.

    These early years between the age of 3-6 are crucial years where children learn the basic skills required for school. Friendships are formed, kids become active parts of the learning community, they develop their capacity to socialise effectively and work with other students in a collaborative manner, they learn how to share and take turns, to be inclusive and be respectful of one another.

    Some kids, through no fault of their own, have not been given the opportunity to fully develop these skills and as a school we will be committed to help educate and support all students in this area. We have seen the impact that not having these skills has had on some of our children and it is the job of all St Ita’s staff and you the parents, to help support all our students to achieve these goals above. Together in partnership we will get our kids to where they need to be.

    If your child is struggling in this space, please take the time to contact your child’s teacher and let them know how they are travelling. Likewise, if we see or identify specific anti-social or aggressive behaviours from students, we will always keep parents informed. The key when dealing with these behaviours always starts with, open honest and respectful communication at all times. That is something that we promote and expect from everyone in our learning community.



    One of the observations we have had since being back at school is the increase of incidents involving children being aggressive and hitting and kicking one another. We have noticed through school incident reporting (particularly with our younger students) that there is an increased tendency for kids to use their hands, feet and teeth in an aggressive manner on their peers when they get angry or upset. Whilst this sort of behaviour is considered totally inappropriate, it’s important to remember that a lot of children haven’t had the opportunity to learn and develop these social skills due to time away from their mainstream kinder and foundation classes due to COVID-19.

    Aggression in children can take many forms: Angry tantrums; hitting, punching, kicking, biting; hot-headed outbursts, aggressively destroying property, bullying, targeting individuals; verbal attacks and attempts to control others through threats or violence.


    In some cases, kids lash out because they’re frustrated by a problem that’s too big for them. They haven’t yet learned how to control their impulses, or work out conflicts in socially acceptable ways. In other cases, kids may be wrestling with special difficulties, like traumatic stressful life events, emotional regulation problems, attention deficits, autistic symptoms, oppositional defiance or hyperactivity. Yet in all cases, even where children have been diagnosed with serious conduct disorders, adults can have a powerful influence.

    Aggression doesn’t happen because we’re programmed to respond to the world with hostility. We all have the capacity to behave aggressively. Whether or not we do it depends on how we perceive the world. Aggressive tendencies are shaped by environmental conditions, the pressures, threats, opportunities, and consequences that children experience. By tweaking these conditions, we can improve behaviour and change the course of development. That doesn’t mean it’s your fault if your child is acting out. Genetic factors put some kids at higher risk for trouble. So, does early life stress or trauma.

    Studies confirm that genetic factors put some of us at higher risk for aggressive behaviour. And children are more likely to develop aggressive behaviour problems if they are exposed to lots of early life stress.

    Aggression in children is also influenced by environmental forces outside the home. Peers, teachers, neighbourhoods, media messages, ideologies, and cultural factors all play a role. And these environmental effects will vary depending on your child’s genes, prenatal factors, and early life exposure to stress.  Studies indicate that some kids don’t experience a normal spike of the stress hormone cortisol in response to stressful situations. Others might experience a surge, but take an unusually long time to recover. Both types of children are at higher risk for developing aggressive behaviour problems. But whatever factors put a child at risk, there is nothing inevitable about the outcome. When caregivers get the help they need, they can have an important impact

    Randomised, controlled studies show that aggressive kids change trajectory when parents get practical training and moral support. The interventions work, in part, because parents learn specific tactics for handling aggression. But they also work because parents learn to change their outlook.

    Struggling with a child’s behaviour problems is stressful and demoralising. It saps your resilience, your sense of optimism, competence, and goodwill. It can redefine the parent-child relationship in a destructive way, and prompt you to think about your child in ways that undermine your ability to cope. And counterproductive thoughts fuel the conflict, and make behaviour problems worse. Replace these toxic mental habits with positive, constructive, problem-solving thoughts, and you can stop bad behaviour before it erupts.

    So, whether children are merely going through the “terrible twos,” or struggling with more difficult problems, we should take heart: With the right tools, we can turn things around.

    Here are evidence-based tips for handling aggression in children.


    1. Don’t take it personally.

    When your child fails to comply with a request, it’s easy to feel disrespected. It’s easy to feel targeted when your child flies into a rage. But these emotional reactions, however natural, are wrong-headed.

    First, kids don’t process emotions and information the way adults do. If your child is very young, there’s a lot she doesn’t understand about her own feelings, let alone yours. If your child is older, it’s still likely that your child’s misbehaviour reflects impulsivity or incompetence– not malice. 

    Second, research suggests that our pessimistic social beliefs — the tendency to attribute hostile intentions where none exist — can become a self-fulfilling prophesy. People who assume the worst tend to provoke negative behaviour from others. And parents who make hostile attributions can end up creating the very problems they want to solve.

    In one study, mothers who made hostile attributions about their toddlers were more likely, three and half years later, to have children with aggressive behaviour problems.

    This link between maternal beliefs and aggression in children remained significant even after the researchers controlled for pre-existing child difficulties, as well as the negative parenting behaviour that tends to go accompany hostile attributions.

    Reminding yourself not to take it personally isn’t just good for your mood. It’s good for your relationship, and good for your child’s long-term development.

    2. Get realistic expectations about your child’s ability to follow rules and comply with requests.

    Young children have shorter attention spans, and they are easily distracted. They take more time to process verbal instructions. As I explain elsewhere, their opens in a new window working memory capacities — the sheer number of things they can keep in mind at any given moment — are more limited.

    Learning new information, and adapting to a change of rules or procedure, may take longer than you realise. Young children require more practice than older kids do, and older kids need more practice than adults.

    So, when we issue directions, we shouldn’t expect young children to respond quickly and efficiently. They work a slower speed, and it’s harder for them to transition from one activity to the next. They need us to provide them with clear, simple directions, and then give them the extra time they need to switch gears.

    Older children can handle more complexity and speed, but their attention spans, working memory capacities, impulse control, and task-switching skills are still developing.

    By tuning into your child’s pace and abilities — and providing patient, calm reminders — you reshape the task into one he’s got the equipment to solve. And your child will get to experience the social and emotional rewards for cooperating — a crucial experience for his long-term development. You invest more time, but it’s an investment that will pay off.

    3. Get realistic expectations about the development of empathy and kindness.

    Throughout childhood, kids are still learning about emotions — how to regulate their own moods and read the minds of others. Dependent, inexperienced, and vulnerable, young children are more easily threatened, and thus more likely focus on protecting their own interests.

    Older kids, too, may respond this way if they perceive the world to be hostile or unjust.

    And some kids are at a physiological disadvantage. They have the ability to learn about social signals, but their brains don’t reward them as much for doing so. As a consequence, kids are less likely to learn on their own. They need our help.

    So, while your child’s behaviour might look selfish, that doesn’t mean she’s incorrigibly self-absorbed. When children fail to show concern for others, it’s often because they perceive the situation differently, or don’t know how to control their impulses.

    4. Focus on maintaining a positive relationship.

    When kids misbehave frequently, parents tend to focus on all those daily conflicts. They feel obliged to answer every offence with criticism or punishment, and end up with a relationship that’s mostly characterised by negative exchanges.

    It’s a grim outcome, and it’s also counter-productive. Studies suggest that kids are more likely to learn desirable social skills when we provide them with positive feedback for making good choices — not threats and punishments for doing the wrong thing.

    Moreover, a diet of negativity can make kids become more defiant. Negative parenting can lead to a downward spiral of misbehaviour, punishment, retaliation, more punishment, and more misbehaviour.

    How do you stay calm and upbeat? It isn’t easy, not if your child seems stuck in “defiance mode.” You’ll need social support, and maybe some professional guidance. Studies show that therapists specifically trained in handling aggression in children can help reduce stress and improve behaviour.

    One approach, used internationally, is the so called “Oregon Model” of Parent Management Through weekly sessions of coaching and role playing, parents learn effective ways to set limits, foster cooperation, settle arguments in a constructive way, and inject daily life with pleasant, loving activities. But the first step is reorganising your priorities.

    Maintaining positive relations is more important than prosecuting every failure. Sometimes you need to choose your battles.

    5. Don’t sacrifice your own psychological well-being!

    Dealing with aggression is very stressful, and stress hurts. It makes us ill, clouds our thinking, and damages relationships. Stress is contagious: Even young infants pick up on our negative moods. And when parents are stressed out, it adds fuel to the fire: Their children’s behaviour problems tend to get worse. So, addressing your own well-being shouldn’t be an after-thought, or a luxury to be put off until your child’s behaviour problems improve. It’s a pressing issue, a central player in the crisis.


    Could I please ask all parents and staff to limit parking in the top tier of the Church Car Park on Tuesdays and Thursdays when mass is on between 9.30am and 10.30am. Please park on the bottom tier car park on these days.



    The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) will take place on line this year between Tuesday 11th May and Friday 21st May 2021.

    Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in the annual NAPLAN tests in reading, writing, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.

    The assessment provides parents and schools with an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of the tests.

    NAPLAN is just one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process – it does not replace ongoing assessments made by teachers about student performance.

    NAPLAN also provides schools, education authorities and governments with information about how education programs are working and whether young Australians are achieving important educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy.

    NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students are learning through their regular school curriculum. All government and non-government education authorities have contributed to the development of NAPLAN materials. Students are assessed on the same literacy and numeracy curriculum content, regardless of whether they complete the tests online or on paper. Results for both formats can be reported on the same NAPLAN assessment scale.

    All students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to participate in the annual NAPLAN assessment. Students with disability may qualify for adjustments that reflect the support normally provided for classroom assessments. You should discuss the use of any adjustments for your child with your child’s teacher.

    A student with a disability that severely limits their capacity to participate in the assessment, or a student who has recently arrived in Australia and has a non-English speaking background, may be granted a forma

    l exemption. Your school principal and your local test administration authority can give you more information on special provisions or the process required to gain a formal exemption.

    If a child is absent, schools may arrange for individual students to complete missed tests at another time during the school’s test schedule but not outside of it.





    We still have a number of students and staff presenting with COVID-19 in our school, and its important for all families to continue RAT testing from home.

    If students present at school with any cold or flu like symptoms, parents will be contacted to collect their child/ren, we encourage all our families to please keep your child/ren home home if they are unwell and continue to complete RAT tests.  Students should only be return to school when all symptoms have cleared. 



    There will be a whole school assembly this Friday 18th March starting at 2.30pm on the top basketball court. Parents, Grandparents and Carers please feel free to attend and bring your own deck chair if needed.



    Tomorrow, Thursday (March 17th) the grade 3-6 students will have their school house athletics day. We are asking for some parent volunteers to assist with the scoring and supervision of age groups throughout the day.


    f you are willing to volunteer, please bring a current and active working with children check (WWCC), along with evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination status.

    To express your interest in volunteering please contact either your childs classroom teacher or Joe Black via email (

    We appreciate any support parents can offer and are looking forward to a great day for our grade 3-6 students!





    We are pleased to announce that St Ita's have recently installed an EFTPOS Machine. We encourage families who would like to make payments over the counter to come in and do so, being mindful to observe the COVID safe procuedures, i.e. masks and social distancing. 


    Our lost property cupborad at the Admin Office is filling very quickly with unlabelled lost uniform.  If your child has lost a jumper or hat please ask them to come and check the lost property cupboard.
    It is also a timely reminder for parents to ensure that ALL of your child/rens uniform is clearly marked with your family name so that lost items can be return to you.


    Please contact the school office if you need to discuss your 2022 school fee payment.

    If any families would like to set up a weekly, fortnightly or monthly direct debit schedule for school fees, please complete the Direct Debit Form below and return to the school office. For any assistance regarding calculations of payments, please contact us via email on:

    For any families that have recently received a Government means-tested health care concession card, 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. 

    If your current Health Care card is due to expire this year and your card is re-issued, please send a copy of your new card details to the office as soon as possible for the concession to be checked and applied for next year's fees, if not already done so.



    On the weekend, Jake Jolly was selected to play in his first senior game of Polocrosse in Casterton, Victoria. Not only did he play well on the day, he was voted best Horse and Rider for the carnival.

    Jake was recently selected for the Victorian Junior side to play in the Australian Polocrosse Championships in Ballart next month. What an amazing achievement by a young person with a passion for the game.

    We are all very proud of you Jake and look forward to your successes in the future.



    Teacher: Mrs Catherine McKenna


    A few tips/reminders with Library Books

    Library books a great opportunity for your child to read and listen to stories or learn about a topic. It’s a book that is self-selected by your child because they are interested in the title or front cover.

    The book your child chooses from the library is not a reader like the ‘take- home’ book. It’s an opportunity to share and connect with your child over a book they have chosen.

    If you read aloud with enthusiasm and passion, your child will pick up on the story and unpack the picture book themselves through the pictures and text. They will begin to deeply absorb story and start to understand story when you read a book over and over again.

    If your child can read independently, it’s still an opportunity to see what they are interested in reading and to share the love of the story. Model expression and pacing and have fun with it- try different voices and accents.

    If you have been subject to reading books that you dislike because there are so many books in the series and your child keeps borrowing them, just remember that it’s usually a phase and they will find a new series to love!!

    During borrowing time in library, I encourage reading widely and choosing an age appropriate book. If a child doesn’t know what to choose, I always recommend a book to them, but in the end, it’s always their choice.   

    “There is massive evidence that self-selected reading, or reading what you want to read, is responsible for most of our literacy development. Readers have better reading ability, know more vocabulary, write better, spell better, and have better control of complex grammatical constructions. In fact, it is impossible to develop high levels of literacy without being a dedicated reader, and dedicated readers rarely have serious problems in reading and writing.”
    ― Krashen Stephen D.



    Book Club Issue 2 - CLICK HERE

    Orders close Friday 25th March for free delivery back to school. 

    You also have the home delivery option with an addition fee of $7.50



    This week’s Staff Profile are two of the most important cogs in the St Ita’s learning community. Our School Admin staff, Mrs. Paterson and Mrs. Bradley do a fantastic job supporting our school to be financially viable and look after the wellbeing of all our students. Mrs Paterson has been in St Ita’s admin for 18 years and started when the school was considered small with a student population of 130 kids.

    Mrs. Bradly has come to us with finance experience in both a legal firm and a very large secondary school, St Francis Xavier College which has a combined student population of over 2400 students. Together they do a great job to help keep our school running smoothly in all things Admin.




    Does God never give up?

    Our Exodus reading (Ex 3) touches on God’s consistent faithfulness while Paul in Corinthians (1 Cor 10) reminds us of human failure to be faithful in return, hinting at just consequences for failing to please God. But it is in Luke’s gospel we get a clearer picture of the extent of God’s faithfulness.

    In Jesus’ parable of the unproductive fig-tree we sense the frustration of the vineyard owner after an unproductive three years (Luke 13:1-9). We tend to agree with the owner: enough is enough! In justice it seems it is time to chop the tree. But the gardener pleads lenience for another year (and one suspects may do so next year and the next). Justice is all very well but in the fig-tree parable, Jesus gives a glimpse rather of God’s infinite mercy. It is difficult for us in our litigious society to comprehend our big-hearted Creator who waits for us with infinite patience.

    Richard Rohr explains, “Infinite love, mercy, and forgiveness are hard for the human mind even to imagine, so most people seem to need a notion of hell to maintain their logic of retribution, just punishment and a just world, as they understand it. God does not need hell, but we sure seem to.” 

    Though Jesus emphasises the Father’s mercy and Paul never references God giving up on us, somehow, over time, we have de-emphasised mercy and over-emphasised terrible retributive justice descending upon us by a wrathful God. Perhaps it was felt that God’s mercy would be taken as soft on sin and the justice model was intended to scare us into loving God. “Threats of hell are unfortunately more memorable to people than promises of heaven.”  Our Creator never gives up on us.

    Deacon Mark Kelly                                                                                              

    St Joseph’s and St Ita’s Junior Youth Group

    We’ve had a couple of fun times already

    and our next will be:

    5.30pm on Saturday 19th March at

    Marian Room, St Joseph’s Church, Warragul.

    Info: Olivia 0459790542// Dcn Mark 0427748646



    Check out our Catholic Parishes of Warragul & Drouin Facebook presence.