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30 July 2017 Principal’s News   21 May 2020   Dear Families   In line with the State Government’s plan for a phased return to onsite learning in Victorian Schools. Tuesday will be an exciting time as students reunite with their friends, peers and teachers, and our school begins to return to being a vibrant Catholic learning community.   As parents and carers you have been incredibly supportive of remote learning over the past several weeks, but I know many will join me in looking forward to the return to the school routine and classroom-based teaching. The period of remote learning, while challenging in some ways, has strengthened the sense of partnership we have with you in the education process. Your support, trust and faith in the school during these difficult times is acknowledged and appreciated.   I am very proud of our staff who have done an enormous amount of work to keep our students progressing with their learning and now preparing for their return. Our teachers are also very aware that some students will need extra support when they return and we will monitor each child’s progress closely.   A reminder about the following dates:   Monday 25 May            School Closure Day (As advised by the State Government and Catholic Education Office) Tuesday 26 May           Years Prep, 1 & 2 will return to school Monday 8 June            School Closure Day (Queens Birthday – Public Holiday) Tuesday 9 June            Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 students will return to school   Students in year levels 3, 4, 5 & 6 who cannot be supervised at home will continue to attend school as they have been over recent weeks.   GUIDELINES We will operate within the Victorian Government’s recommended COVID-19 safety guidelines, regarding hygiene practices, social distancing for adults and restricted access to the school site.   The following procedures and protocols will be implemented for the Stage 1 return for students in Years Prep, 1 and 2.   SCHOOL ARRIVAL Parents will not be able to enter the school grounds. Parents are asked to contact the school by phone or email as required. Non-contact greetings should be encouraged. Entry to the school administration will be limited to 2 people. Parents will be asked to walk their child/children to the front gates of the school (multiple entry points) where you will be greeted by school staff. School staff will then accompany children to their learning areas as required. A “Quick Drop and Go“ will be trialled during this period, where families stop their vehicle along the boundary of the Parish Hall, children exit the car and make their way to the school grounds. The “Quick Drop and Go” will not be a parking area and is for mornings only. A staff member will monitor this area daily. Student entry to school grounds will be from 20am – 8.50am each day. The Before School Program will continue to be available from 00am – 8.20 daily.   SCHOOL DEPARTURE Students in Year Prep along with siblings in other levels will be dismissed at 45pm each day Monday to Friday Students in Years 1, 2 and other year levels being supervised will be dismissed at 00pm each day Monday to Friday. Students will be accompanied by classroom teachers to designated exit points (school gates) at the end of each day at dismissal times. Parents will remain at the gates whilst waiting for their child to arrive. A reminder about social distancing expectations. The school’s after school program will remain available for students from 00pm to 6.00pm each day.   HYGIENE All staff and students will undertake regular hand hygiene throughout the day. Students will practice hand hygiene before and after each of the lunch and recess breaks. (Washing hands/access to hand sanitiser) Adventure playgrounds will remain closed. Playground equipment (sports equipment, etc..) will be used. All playground equipment will be cleaned each day as a minimum. Hand hygiene must be practiced before and after use of any sporting equipment. Non-contact sports will be maintained during Physical Education. Drinking fountains/bubblers will not be available. Students will bring their own water bottle for use (and refilling) at school.   CLEANING Extended and increased cleaning arrangements continue:   Learning Areas Doors Door handles Windows Benchtops Tables Technology - Devices Toilets etc…   MANAGEMENT OF AN UNWELL STUDENT OR STAFF It is important that any staff member or student who becomes unwell while at school return home. While it is unlikely that a staff member or student is unwell with flu-like symptoms will have COVID-19, there are steps we have taken while a student awaits collection by a parent or carer as a precaution.   Students experiencing compatible symptoms with COVID-19, such as fever, cough or sore throat, should be isolated in an appropriate space with suitable supervision and collected by a parent/carer as soon as possible.   If a staff member is unsure whether a student is unwell, it is advisable in the first instance to contact the parent/carer to discuss any concerns about the health status of the student and taking a precautionary approach, request the parent/carer to collect their child if concerns remain.   Families will need to provide a medical certificate indicating that their child is well to return to school after being unwell.   ADDITIONAL INFORMATION   Children will wash their hands regularly with soap throughout the day. The school has also purchased bottles of sanitizer for each child from Prep – 6. Once the bottle is finished we ask that families provide any further sanitizer required. Please notify your child’s teacher if you do not want your child to receive a sanitizer bottle. There will be no take home readers for the remainder of the term. There will be no borrowing of books from the library for the remainder of the term. Each child must have their own drink bottle, as drinking taps will not be used. We ask that children do not bring personal items to school including sports equipment and toys. Children will have specialist classes as per normal beginning Tuesday 2 June. Teachers of Years Prep, 1 & 2 will communicate with parents about Home Learning. More information about the return of our Year 3-6 students will follow over the next two weeks. All children are to wear winter uniform when returning to school.   Once a year level has returned to school, all students will be expected to attend school as normal. This means that if you choose to keep your child/children home after their year level has returned to onsite schooling, we can no longer support their learning from home.   We look forward to welcoming all students back to our St.Peter Chanel School community over the coming weeks.   Yours Sincerely   Armando Gagliardi   Principal         WISDOM UPFRONT “You know you really miss someone when you crave something so simple, such as the sound of their voice:   Dear Parents   We acknowledged our mothers and all special women in our lives last week with Mother’s Day. I hope all the mothers had a wonderful day spending quality time with their loved ones. May God continue to bless them all with the continued gifts of love, wisdom, strength and joy.   LEARNING AT HOME Thank you for your ongoing commitment and support to Learning at Home.  Our students continue to respond and remain engaged to their learning during this unusual time in education. Your willingness and ability to partner with the school and educators in making it possible is greatly appreciated.   To further strengthen our partnership, the school will commence with face-to-face connectivity with students using Google Meet. This has been a strategic decision not to do so until this point, allowing students the opportunity to adjust to the change in learning at home, become familiar with the learning grids and establish routines. Teachers will contact parents regarding the introduction of Google Meets for their students shortly.   Remote Learning guidelines and protocols have been established and will shared with parents via the Seesaw App, outlining expectations regarding the use of technology. Please read the information carefully and contact your child’s teacher if you do not want your child to participate in the Google Meet.    Thankyou to all families who completed the parent survey on Remote Learning. Your responses were greatly appreciated and have been considered as we continue to navigate our way through this way of student learning.   RETURN TO SCHOOL As our priority remains the health and safety of our school community, I want to reassure you that the school is well-prepared for the return of students.  All areas of the school have been thoroughly sanitized, furniture cleaned and carpets steam cleaned in anticipation of students returning.   As parents, you have a critical role in supporting the return of students to school:   Exercise good judgment by keeping children home if they are feeling unwell for any reason Talk to children about the situation, as they may be feeling anxious in returning to school. You have a key role in helping students feel prepared and safe. It is also important that you ensure that your child is aware of the need and expectation of good hygiene practises whilst at school.   As indicated by the Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, students in: Years Prep, 1 & 2 will return to school on Tuesday 26 May Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 will return to school on Tuesday 9 June   As a result: There will be no Learning At Home for students in Years Prep, 1 & 2 from Friday 22 May Learning at Home will continue for students in Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 (please note school closures below) Students in Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 who can Learn at Home must Learn at Home Supervision of students in Years 3, 4, 5 & 6, whose parents are deemed essential service workers will continue Parents / Carers will not be permitted on school grounds Students will be dropped off and collected at school gates and entry points Students will walk directly to their learning area upon arrival in the morning Educators will monitor /supervise entry and exiting of students each day School hours may be adjusted to accommodate social distancing requirements The school playground equipment will not be in use Students who present as unwell will be asked to be collected by parents from school   SCHOOL CLOSURES Parents are asked to note the following school closure days on:   Friday 22 May. The day will be assigned to teachers to finalise Semester One reports for students. Teachers will not be available to students on this day. No Learning at Home will be provided for the day.   Monday 25 May  (Directive from Victorian Government)     Preparation for staff / educators for the return of Year Prep, 1 & 2 students   REPORTING School reports for Semester One will be modified this year as a result of the shortened Term One and the Learning at Home that has taken place during Term Two.  Reports will consist of Learning Statements in each of the three areas: Religious Education, Mathematics and English, as well as a comment about the student’s general capabilities and work ethic.  School Reports will be sent home Thursday 25 June.  Parents who would like to discuss their child’s report are asked to contact teachers in Term Three.   STAYING SMART - ONLINE Every year, we are reminded about the importance of Staying Smart Online.  The importance of staying safe and secure online while using mobile devices – for social networking, banking, shopping and navigating the Internet is paramount.   A number of resources to promote the awareness are available from the Stay Smart Online website.  Stay Smart Online is the Australian Government’s online safety and security website, designed to help everyone understand the risks and the simple steps we can take to protect our personal and financial information online. The awareness is an opportunity to reinforce safe and responsible online behaviour with students and their families.   For more information see the Stay Smart Online website -www.staysmartonline.gov.au     ENROLMENTS Enrolments for Prep 2021 are now open.  To be eligible to commence school next year, children will need to be five years of age by 30 April, 2021.  Enrolments are also being accepted for other year levels.  Enrolment Packs are available from the school administration.   TERM DATES FOR 2020   Term 1         Friday, 31 January – Friday, 27 March   Term 2         Tuesday, 14 April to Friday, 26 June   Term 3         Monday, 13 July to Friday, 18 September   Term 4         Monday, 5 October to Tuesday, 15 December     Yours sincerely, Mr Armando Gagliardi PRINCIPAL  UPDATE Read More
29 June 2017 Religious Education   Welcome to the 2020 school year as we begin a new journey together with God by our side.   The excitement and uncertainty of the all the year has in stall for us is felt throughout the school.   The St Peter Chanel community is part of the Catholic community that encourages the children, staff, families and all those in our parish to live like Jesus taught us. The rituals we participate in when we pray, go to mass or celebrate the sacraments, allow us to strengthen our faith and learn the Gospel values that guide us in our everyday lives in the way we act, the choices we make and the way we treat others. We learn how and why we do this through scripture.  This is our Catholic Identity.  This is what makes our school unique.  Our Catholic identity is seen; is felt; is heard; is lived.   This term the children will be inquiring about our Catholic Identity. Take the time with your family to think about how your family expresses their Catholic identity through the way you live life, pray and celebrate.   Our Catholic Identity is who we are so let us ‘Love One Another’  and walk with God and strive to live more like Jesus each day.   Beginning of the School Year Mass On Friday, 7 February, the school community gathered in the church to celebrate mass to welcome in the school year. The mass was celebrated by our Parish Priest, Fr Felimon Libot CMF.  It was a beautiful celebration that focussed on the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit calls us to live with care and concern for others.  It is through the fruits of the Holy Spirit and our Gospel values that St Peter Chanel is the welcoming and respectful learning community we are today. We are guided by the Holy Spirit in everything we do.  Thank you to all those who participated in the mass and to all the families and parishioners who joined us in this Eucharistic Celebration. A special welcome to all new families and staff members.   Ash Wednesday Wednesday, 26 February, is Ash Wednesday. It is a significant day in the Church, as it marks the first day of Lent. Lent is the time before Holy Week where we take some extra time to stop and think about what we need to change in our lives to prepare us for the Easter season.   Lent lasts for 40 days. On Ash Wednesday, we will wear ashes on our forehead to show that we too are sorry for the times when we do or say the wrong things, and we think about how we can change to become better people.  The ashes come from the palm leaves and branches from last year’s Palm Sunday. These palms are blessed and burned for us to wear on this day. During Lent, the students are encouraged to try extra hard to do and say what is right. We will ask God to help us try harder in making the right choices, through penance, works of charity, fasting and prayers. We remember that God loves us so much that He gave up His only son for us.   We invite families to attend class liturgies for Ash Wednesday. Details regarding this will be forwarded to families shortly.   Please note the Parish Masses for Ash Wednesday will be held as follows:   8.00am:      Parish Mass. 7.00pm:      Parish Mass   Altar Servers Children who have celebrated their First Eucharist are now eligible to become Altar servers.  Notes will be sent out soon for those children who are interested.  It is a great opportunity for children to be active members of the church community.   Religious Education Term One Dates Ash Wednesday Liturgy                              Wednesday 26 February      9.30am Holy Week and Easter Liturgy                      Friday 27 March                 9.30am   2020 Sacramental Program The Sacrament of Confirmation                  Saturday 14 March         11.00am and 2.30pm   First Eucharist Evening                              Monday 26 May              6:30pm The Sacrament of First Holy Communion     Saturday 13 June            11.00am and 2.30pm   First Reconciliation Family Evening              Monday 26 August          6:30pm The Sacrament of First Reconciliation         Thursday 9 September     5.00pm Thursday 10 September   5.00pm   Invitation! If you would like to participate at either of these masses, please see your child’s teacher or come and see me.  You may like to do the Offertory with your child/ren or do a reading! We would love you to participate with us.   Important Dates in the Church Calendar Shrove Tuesday                                                  Tuesday, 25 February Ash Wednesday                                                  Wednesday, 26 February   Jesus be with you all this year as we embark on a new journey together to develop our faith!   Angela Giordimaina Religious Education Leader     Read More
Student Welleing Dear Families,   It has been inspiring to see the amazing work the students have shared with us over these last few weeks. Every family is doing an amazing job. The conversations between families and staff emphasise the strong relationships that we have at SPC.   In these very challenging times, it is so important to take care of our wellbeing (physical, mental and spiritual). There are many ways that we can improve our wellbeing. It is great that many people are exploring different ideas to help lift their spirits. Many families, staff and friends have taken the opportunity to reconnect, to stop and ‘smell the roses’, to reflect, to just be. As difficult as it may be not to physically visit our loved ones, it has been wonderful to see the creativity of families in the use of technology to stay connected.   Our way of being has definitely changed. Educators, parents and carers are endeavouring to create calm and safe places for all our families. Mindfulness is a wonderful way to promote a sense of calm and safety.   Mindfulness is about being in the moment and learning to approach life in a calm and positive manner. Studies have found that mindfulness reduces anxiety, even in people who have not practiced for very long. It suggests that kids and adults who do mindfulness activities cope better with life’s challenges.   Here are some simple suggestions to try at home: When practiced regularly Mindfulness can slowly and steadily, begin to calm our minds and bodies.   A framework for healthy eating includes eating real rather than processed foods, consuming small and regular meals, starting each day with protein and complex carbs, drinking plenty of water and keeping kids away from caffeinated drinks. Get plenty of exercise Exercise not only promotes good mental health. It is also a tool that kids can use to manage their mental states. Exercise and movement send endorphins through their bodies improving mood and relieving tension and stress. Exercise and movement relax the muscles and reduces feelings of anxiety that build up over time. A framework for exercise includes starting the day with some movement, taking regular movement and game breaks, finishing the school day with movement that gets their limbs moving and hearts pumping. Maintain good sleep patterns The benefits of good sleep patterns are immense and far-reaching, impacting kids’ learning, memory and emotional stability. Sleep restores the brain to optimum conditions and rejuvenates the body, allowing hormone levels elevated during the day to return to normal. Consequently, sleep-deprived kids experience greater anxiety doing routine tasks and have a propensity for pessimistic thinking, which is associated with anxiety and depression. A framework for good sleep patterns includes finding an optimum bedtime; creating a regular, relaxing routine, eating and exercising at the right time, creating a sleep sanctuary and getting up at regular times each day. Add the pillars of good mental health Mental health is complex and is impacted by many factors including a child’s social and emotional wellbeing. The following four pillars have an insulating effect on your child’s mental health, acting as circuit breakers when life becomes difficult and complex. Maintain social connection As social beings, we long for connection to others and a sense of belonging to groups. While time alone can be restorative, sharing experiences, thoughts and stories with others is essential to your child’s happiness and wellbeing. A framework for social connection includes one-on-one time with family members and other loved ones, having shared family experiences to confirm a sense of belonging, having shared time and experiences with peers from school and the neighbourhood, and a connection with the broader community through shared experience, cause or goal.   Stay in the present The human mind is restless, taking us all over the place. It can make us feel happy recalling memories of loved ones or happy times and it can also drive insecurity connecting us to events in the past or future that fill us with dread, and make us feel anxious. Kids’ wandering minds need to take a rest and settle in the present, stopping their mental chatter, giving them the chance relax. Mindfulness is an essential mental health tool that enables children to keep their minds in the present moment, allowing them to feel safe and secure. A mindfulness framework includes regular mindfulness exercises, doing one thing at a time, using mindfulness during an anxious moment, practising self-kindness and forgiveness. Enjoy yourself at play The term ‘child’s play’ is demeaning to children and dismissive of the place of play in our lives. Play is critical to our happiness and wellbeing. Borrowing from the work of Dr. Brene Brown, play is defined as any activity that is fun (therefore highly anticipated), free (that is, self-directed) and involves flow (we do not want it to stop). Play helps kids manage anxiety and depression as it lifts their mood and is therapeutic by nature. A play framework includes space and time for play, child-initiated activities, a mix of lone play and group activity, and some social or physical risk may be involved. Spend time in nature Recent studies highlight what we already knew – that time spent in natural environments benefits our happiness, our sense of wellbeing and reduces stress and tension. The rejuvenating benefits of time spent in the bush or by the sea may be difficult to acquire during times of physical isolation but walks to the park, spending time under a favourite tree or even bringing some green shrubs inside have proven to be just as beneficial to children’s mental health. A time in nature framework includes management and reduction of screen time, exposure to natural environments in the neighbourhood, bringing the outdoors inside, and spending some time each day outdoors. Practise protective behaviours Our daily habits contribute to our wellbeing and mental health. Some habits such as spending too much time in front of a screen may be detrimental. There are a number of behaviours, when practised continuously, build our resilience and resistance to daily difficulties. These include: Keep foundation behaviours Routine behaviours such as waking at the same time, having breakfast, exercising, showering and dressing get us ready for the day ahead. They underpin productivity, learning and wellbeing. Remove the structure provided by these foundation behaviours and many children and young people struggle, particularly those who are prone to anxiety and depression.   Maintaining kids’ mental health during the coronavirus pandemic Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He is an award-winning speaker and the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It.   While there are concerns about the negative impact of physical isolation is having on children’s learning, we should also be concerned about their mental health. Teachers and health professionals report that the strain of physical isolation is starting to show for many children and young people. Any anxiety and fear they experience is heightened by isolation from friends, lack of access to their usual sports and leisure activities and a lack of certainty about the future. In these challenging times, kids’ mental health needs to be a high priority. The following plan will show you how to lay a solid foundation for good mental health, and outline key behaviours that will help build the resilience and psychological strength that kids need in these difficult times. Build the foundations for good health A healthy diet, plenty of exercise and good sleep patterns are basic to good physical and mental health. Get the foundations right and you establish optimum conditions for your child to flourish even in difficult circumstances. Eat a healthy diet The ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ mantra that we grew up with needs to be updated to ‘healthy gut, healthy brain’. Recent research has revealed the links between a child’s gut health and good mental health. Kids who experience anxiety and depression typically have imbalances of adrenaline (which keeps the brain alert) and GABA (which calms the brain down), that can be rectified with good gut health.   Keep foundation behaviours Routine behaviours such as waking at the same time, having breakfast, exercising, showering and dressing get us ready for the day ahead. They underpin productivity, learning and wellbeing. Remove the structure provided by these foundation behaviours and many children and young people struggle, particularly those who are prone to anxiety and depression. A foundation behaviour framework includes morning routines and rituals to prepare for the day, after school and evening wind down routines, and routines that prepare children for sleep. Practise deep breathing Recognition of the benefits of deep breathing dates back to ancient Roman and Greek times when deep belly breathing was used to rid the body of impurities. Modern science informs us that deep breathing instantly engages our capacity to relax and stay calm. When a child becomes anxious or fearful their breathing becomes shallow. Taking deep, slow breaths when they become overwhelmed by anxiety is the quickest way to return to a calm state. Deep breathing has great preventative powers helping the mind stay in a state of focus and calm. A deep breathing framework includes practising deep breathing spontaneously throughout the day, combining deep breathing with mindfulness practice, using deep breathing to restore energy when tired, and breathing deeply during an anxious moment. Check in on feelings If children and young people are not tuning into their emotions they are missing a rich vein of information that will assist decision-making, learning and importantly, their wellbeing. It is relatively easy to tune to into behaviour and our thoughts, but much harder to detect our emotions. The skill of emotionally checking in, developed by Prof. Marc Brackett from the Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence, helps children and young people to identify how they are feeling at any given time. It requires kids to stand still, close their eyes, take some deep breaths, identify and give a name to their feeling. This simple habit of checking, once practised and learned is a wonderful life skill to acquire. Looking after your child’s mental health may seems like a mystery at times. However, we can do a great deal. By laying a foundation for good general health and then working at maintaining the pillars of mental health and teaching kids the protective mental health behaviours you provide them with a solid framework for maintenance of good mental health that they can take into adulthood.   Jackie Rushen Student Wellbeing Leader/SEL Specialist/Outdoor Education Leader Read More
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