MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL
As we edge closer to the end of Term 1, we can see that families are slowly starting to feel more comfortable chatting to each other in the car park or while waiting at the walkers’ gate. I can see the feeling of community returning! It goes without saying that this has been particular difficult over the past two years and the initiatives we have tried to create have been restricted from outbreaks or limitations from Covid-19.
At St Ita’s we have a tradition that we celebrate the Stations of the Cross as we enter closer to Easter and the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. The 20-minute liturgy is run in our school church and role-played by our Grade 6 children. Along with our outdoor assemblies it is sometimes about making the effort to be seen celebrating religious events just as you might celebrate an assembly or sporting event. Building connections with others and the wider school community in our school church is a great way to see your children and other members of our community living the Catholic faith in a modern, yet spiritual performance.
This invitation to join us and celebrate the Stations of the Cross, along with being able to attend school assemblies, sporting events and open days is a great opportunity to reconnect with the school and those within it. Having spent the last 5 days in Queensland gave me the opportunity to connect with friends that I haven’t seen in over 2-3 years. It was so good to catch up with my mates who at times have seemed so far away. I felt not only connected to them, but also to their families and their friends who have all shared similar stories about catching up and sharing the joy of being connected.
Our Lenten focus this Easter is to look at ways we can connect with our families within our learning community. Bringing people back together to help celebrate Jesus’ life through the Lenten story.
CHURCH CARPARK ON MASS TIMES TUESDAY AND THURSDAYS
Could I please ask all parents and teachers to limit parking in the top tier of the Church Carpark on Tuesdays and Thursdays when mass is on between 9.30am and 10.30am. Please park on the bottom tier carpark on these days.
LAST DAY OF TERM
FRIDAY 8TH APRIL
9am – 9.40 – Dance Practice Session Grade 1/2
9.40-10.20 – Dance Practice Session Grade Prep
10.20-11am – Dance Practice Session Grade 3/4
11am – 11.25am – Recess Break
11.30-12.10pm – Dance Practice Session Grade 5/6
12.30 – 1pm – Dance Performance
1pm – 1.30pm – Lunch Break
1.45-2.15 – Assembly & Easter Raffle Draw
2.20pm – School Concludes Term 1
Kinect2Dance have been choreographing and teaching student’s new dances and songs to share with families at our end of term concert. The performance will take place outside on the top basketball with parents invited to come along on the last day of term to watch the 30-minute spectacular at 12.30pm.
END OF TERM EASTER RAFFLE
We will have an Easter Raffle Plain Clothes Day on Friday 1st April. We encourage children to bring an item for our Easter Raffle, this may be in the form of an Easter Egg or Easter item. (basket, colouring book etc) We plan to create several hampers with the help of some wonderful volunteers and these will be drawn on Friday 8th April at the conclusion of our Final Assembly.
SCHOOL PHOTOS CHANGE OF DATE
Due to 65 students in Grades 3-6 selected to represent St Ita’s at the District Sports in Warragul and a number of staff and students out, we have moved school photos to the Thursday 7th April. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and made the decision based on what was best for our children. All current bookings are still honoured and allows parents an extra week to decide whether they would like to purchase a photo package.
While schools play a large role in teaching, modelling, and creating opportunities for educating children, all learning, including social-emotional learning, starts in the home.
From day one, our children are learning about themselves, their needs, and the responsiveness of others around them to those needs. As toddlers, children experience sensations and, when they don’t recognize the sensations or when they do not know what to do with them, their brainstem is activated. In the brainstem, a child's "fight, flight, or freeze" impulse is activated, and we see a dysregulated child who isn’t listening. And while our children are born with these sensations and urges, actually expressing, and managing them takes practice.
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING STARTS EARLY
Research shows that by the time a child is three-years-old, their brain is already 80% of their adult size. By the time children are school-aged (3 to 5), adults are increasingly asking them to "sit still, be quiet, and listen", but if young children have not been taught the skills required to carry out these requests, then expecting children to perform them is like expecting a newborn baby to tie their shoes or a toddler to solve an algebra equation.
The good news is, that with modelling, children can be taught the fundamental components of social and emotional skills before they are asked to apply them; things like self-awareness, impulse control, emotional regulation, and more can be taught in age-appropriate, play-based and child-led ways long before children are placed in a school or group learning environment.
When schools and families collaborate to help children learn, a bridge is formed that helps close the learning gap that exists in our society today.
WHAT IS SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING?
There are 5 key skills to social-emotional learning:
- Self-awareness: This is your child’s ability to notice feeling sensations within their body and name them. I feel mad because he took my toy or I feel happy when I work hard.
- Self-management: When we teach our children how to manage the sensations in their bodies, they learn the skills of regulation. Eventually, this co-regulation leads to self-regulation of emotions and behaviours and develops skills such as problem-solving and impulse control. When I felt mad, I took three breaths or When I felt determined, I focused on my project.
- Social awareness: This is when your child moves from “me” to “we” and understands, empathizes, and feels compassion for others. My friend looked sad so I gave her a hug.
- Relationship skills: Making friends is a skill that involves many higher-level functions such as conflict resolution, open communication, and seeing others’ viewpoints. We want something different. How can we both win?
- Responsible Decision Making: This is when your child explores and understands her values and beliefs and uses her ethical compass when making decisions. If I choose not to study, what are some likely outcomes?
SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING AND SCHOOL READINESS
Children cannot learn when they are struggling to follow directions, get along with their peers, and control their emotions in a classroom setting. When children struggle with these skills, they are more likely to have social troubles at school, resorting to inappropriate expressions of frustrations such as hitting, biting, and screaming. Why? Simply put, they are stuck in their brainstem.
For a child to shift out of their primitive brain into a high-functioning learning brain, they must first have the tools for noticing, naming, and calming their emotions. A child who does not yet have these skills often experiences challenges in the learning environment because, just like a baby or toddler, when they feel over or underwhelmed, or have an unmet need, they express it with whatever tools they have been given. And if a child doesn’t yet know how to shift from the brainstem to higher parts of the brain, their protective responses will hijack learning. For our children to learn, they must know how to regulate.
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 formal 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 have had a sharp increase in the number of students and staff contracting Covid-19 this week. Could all families please do their best to RAT test twice weekly, and in an effort to keep all in our community safe by following the procedures below.
- If your child presents at home with any cold or flu like symptoms please keep them at home and RAT test them, sending them back to school when all symptoms have gone.
- If your child presents at school with cold or flu like symptoms parents will be contacted and the expectation is that you come and collect your child, RAT test them and return them once all symptoms have gone.
- Students in Grades 3-6 should, where possible, wear a mask whilst indoor and unable to comfortably social distance, with the exception where an exemption applies.
The classes with students with positive students have been Grade 3/4O, Grade 3/4V and Grade 1G.
GIANT EASTER RAFFLE IS BACK ON IN 2022
It is with great pleasure that I can announce the world-famous St Ita’s Giant Easter Egg Raffle is back in 2022. Next Friday 1st of April all children will have a free dress day at school and the cost for free dress is a minimum of ONE Easter Egg donation (you can offer more eggs if you wish).
We will then hamper up all the Easter Eggs collected and raffle them off on our final assembly for the term (our last raffle had 36 hampers!).
Tomorrow all St Ita’s families will receive a book of 10 tickets which are sold for $1 a ticket. All the sold tickets and money will need to be returned to school by Thursday 31st March at the absolute latest. If any families would like more booklets please contact administration via email or phone (email@example.com or 56237222).
Good luck to all and I hope you are a winner!
Commencing Wednesday 29th March till Friday 8th April (last day of term), Mrs Buttner will be organising the sale of Anzac Day merchandise on behalf of Warragul RSL.
The following items will be available to buy;
$3 wrist band
$4 key ring
$5 bronze badge
$5 Rosemary badge
SCHOOL FEES & CONCESSIONS
REMINDER: School fees need to be paid by 31st March 2022 to be eligible for the 5% discount.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
AUSSIE OF THE MONTH AWARD
Dillon Jagoe needs a big round of applause for her outstanding work leading into Anzac Day. Dillion has been acknowledged for her outstanding fundraising by the Drouin branch of the RSL. Each year Dillon makes Anzac cookies and sells them in the local community to raise money for this wonderful group. You’ve done an amazing job Dillon and your local community is very grateful and proud.
This week’s Staff Profile are our two of our Education Support Staff! Joel Smith came to us in the middle of last year and has probably been seen walking the yard in his Fluro coloured - aboriginal inspired shirts on the hot days. Joel has been with us for nearly 12 months now after arriving from working at the Warragul Special School. Joel has his nose back in the books undertaking study for a career in Archaeology while also managing his newborn baby Mateo.
Mrs Alice Thomson started her time at St Ita’s at the beginning of the school year and has brought with her a wealth of knowledge including a Bachelor of Education and Masters in Counselling. Alice has returned to Education after a few years off raising her two children. Alice has a high level of knowledge, including child and adolescent development. Keep up the hard work troops!
Lightness of Mercy
Frequently we hear the whinging: “how come this person or these people are assisted by the government or the church etc. when they haven’t earned it the way we or I have?” “I’m getting cheated! I’m an honest, hard-working taxpayer and these marginal layabouts are parasites “on the system’”. No empathy or fellow-feeling here! They would enforce harsh law – “justice” – over compassion. They visualise a bucket of goodies. “If anyone else shares it, then we will lose out.” Or maybe they just enjoy feeling superior.
The same people feel particularly cheated, quite affronted and resentful at God’s mercy too. At the notion of “sinners” (other people) being forgiven. “I’m an upright God-fearing, church attending citizen. I’ve always paid my bit to the poor box. I live by the rules.” “These are the rules and I live by them!”
Their subtext is, “I’ve earned my salvation. I’ve ticked the boxes and I’m entitled to a place in God’s Kingdom, both now and in eternity.” Close on the heels of this notion is, “How come these other characters who haven’t been righteous like me earn a place?”
And of course the answer is illustrated in this week’s gospel (John 8:1-11). Firstly, no-one but Jesus is perfect, so no wonder the accusers drift away in shame. Jesus doesn’t interrogate the woman caught in adultery and she doesn’t deny her sin. He doesn’t suggest she hasn’t sinned but what Jesus shows is a mercy, not dependent on ticking boxes or technical righteousness, but on God’s unfathomable love. God’s mercy defeats our sins. She is sent to live her life sinning no more.
Pope Francis compares God’s mercy to the sun: “we look at the sky, the many stars, but when the morning sun comes, we don’t see the stars. Such is the mercy of God: it is a great light of love, of tenderness”. (Pope Francis Forgiveness in a caress 7 April 2014)
Deacon Mark Kelly
FIRST HOLY COMMUNION
The final celebration for First Holy Communion will be at the following Mass
Sunday, 3rd April 10:30am St Ita’s Church Drouin
This is such an exciting time for our candidates and their families, we ask you to please keep these families in your prayers as they continue their journey of faith together. May they find Jesus’ peace and love in their hearts and homes, and may they grow in their love for the Eucharist.
Sacrament Enquiries: Mrs Therese Meggetto
Mobile: 0439 306 642 Email: Warragul.email@example.com
HOLY WEEK TIMETABLE 2022
Sacrament of Reconciliation: (2nd rite)
Tuesday, 12th April 7.30pm: St. Joseph’s Church Warragul.
The Way of the Cross. Good Friday. April 15th
Warragul: St. Joseph’s Church 10.30am.
Drouin (Civic Park) 10.30am.
Neerim South: (Anglican Church) at 10.30am.
HOLY THURSDAY: April 14th
Mass of the Lord’s Supper:
7.30 pm at Warragul, Drouin, and Neerim South.
GOOD FRIDAY: April 15th
Service of the Lord’s Passion
3.00 pm at Warragul, Drouin, and Neerim South
HOLY SATURDAY EASTER VIGIL: (April 16th)
7.30 pm at Warragul and Drouin
EASTER SUNDAY MASSES: (April 17th)
Warragul: 9.00 am
Neerim South: 9.00am
EXTRA INDIVIDUAL RECONCILIATIONS.
Warragul: Wednesday: 9.00am– 9.20
Drouin Saturday: 9.45am - 10.15am
Warragul: Saturday: 10.30am – 11.00am