St Thomas' News
07 February 2019
Lord Jesus, You are with us as we commence our year’s work.
Help us to understand our importance in educating our children.
And bless this partnership between teachers and parents. Guide us in our decisions.
And open our hearts in friendship to each other.
May we show care to those who are most in need. May we be welcoming, especially to those who are new amongst us.
And may our union result in many benefits for the children on whose behalf we gather.
Friday 8 February – Opening School Mass (8.50am)
Monday 11 – Friday 15 February – Year 6 Camp
Friday 15 February - P&F Sundowner (6.00 - 10.00pm)
Monday 18 February - P&F Meeting (9.00am)
Wednesday 20 February – Parish Mass Year 4 attending (12.30pm)
Saturday 23 February – School/Parish Mass and sausage sizzle – Year 6 organising (5.30pm)
FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Dear St. Thomas' Community,
Welcome back for the start of the 2019 school year. Welcome to all our new students and their families. We hope your time at St Thomas’ will be rewarding and enjoyable. A warm welcome to all our new Pre-Kindy and Kindy students as well as those students who have joined us in other grades: Charlie, Ewa in PP, Karen, Tatiana & Stella in Y1, Saskia & Gabriel in Y2, Jake in Y4 and Jacob in Y6.
We also welcome to our school Mrs. Lisa Meyers (Assistant Principal and Year Four Teacher) and Mr. Ron Wray (Library Technician).
As a staff, we have been looking forward to the beginning of another year and I must say that as parents you should be very proud of the way your children have settled into their new classes. Not only do they look smart in their school uniforms, but are well organised and very enthusiastic.
I am sure the first week has been a little hectic for you as you settle into old routines or even the new ones that may pop up with your child moving into a new classroom setting. Please be gentle on yourself over the next week or so until these all fall into place. As always, if you have any issues please make sure you make an appointment and see your child’s teacher as they are willing and eager to help. I am more than happy to discuss classroom/playground issues that occur from time to time however; your child’s classroom teacher should always be your first port of call.
P&F Sundowner: Next, Friday 15 February, the P&F will be holding our annual Sundowner. This event will begin at 6.00pm and conclude at 10.00pm. This is a fantastic way for our school to come together as a community and welcome new families. As we know community doesn't just happen and that it is something we must work together to develop. I would like to thank the P&F Committee for organising the event and look forward to seeing you there.
P&F Meeting: Please note that the first P&F Meeting of the year will take place on Monday 18 February in the school library at 9.00am. It's always great to see new faces and hear new ideas. This is a wonderful way for you to contribute to your children’s education. So please come along and join in the planning for the year ahead and invite other parents to come along with you.
Former Students: We wish to congratulate ex-St. Thomas’ students who excelled in last year’s West Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) testing and therefore gaining significant Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) scores. Three ex-students received results that placed them in the top 50 students in the State: Erin Miller, Clare Hughes and Siena MacQuillan.Three other students received subject prizes as the top student in their subject: Riley Klug, Harry Foley and Jack Baker.Jack was also the top student at John XIII.These are the students I have been notified about I am sure that there are other that have excelled. If you know of any former students whom we should acknowledge please do not hesitate to inform either Julie or myself.
Year 6 Camp: We wish our Year Six students and the staff attending camp next week all the very best. I encourage them to attempt every challenge on camp and use this time away as a class to gain the very best out of themselves and their peers. Camp runs from Monday 11 – Friday 15 February. Mrs Sullivan and Mrs Meyers will be in charge of the school for this week.
Advanced Notice: Monday 11March is a Pupil Free Day. The staff of St. Thomas’ will be undertaking Professional Learning (PL) regarding ‘Aboriginal Education’.
Start of School Mass: Our first whole school Mass of the year will take place tomorrow, Friday 8 February, starting at 8.50am. All parents are invited to attend.
Parish Children’s Masses: Our first Parish Children’s Mass of the year will be on Saturday 23 February, commencing at 5.30pm. The Year Five children and their families will oversee the preparing and cooking of the sausage sizzle and organising aspects of the Mass.
St. Thomas' Mass Times: -
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 9am
Saturday 9am & 5:30pm
Sunday 7:30am, 9:30am and 6:30pm
ST THOMAS' NEWS
Health Care Cards
Please have this done prior to 15 February as late applications may not be able to be processed.
Staff Professional Learning
On Thursday and Friday of last week, the staff of St. Thomas’ were involved in professional learning. One of the areas we spent considerable time looking at was child safety, in particular St Thomas’ Code of Conduct Policy. The aim of this document is to ensure that all people who work, attend and visit our school abide by a detailed set of ‘rules’. The St. Thomas’ Code of Conduct is on our school website and I urge everyone to make themselves aware of its content. Please be assured that the staff of St. Thomas’ take the safety of each and every child at our school as ourkey priority.
Absentee Routines and Procedures
The following information regarding Attendance is applicable for 2019: Children are required by law to attend school on school days. When children are absent, parents/guardians are required to notify the school by 9:00am. This may be done through phone call or email to administration email@example.com the classroom teacher. If phoning administration to notify of an absence, upon returning to school a written note or email is required giving reasons for the absence. Absentee notes/emails must include:
The name, class and reason for absence regarding the student.
The full name of the parent or guardian at the end of the message and a Signature (if written note)
If the school is not notified of an absence by 9:20am, the administration officer will contact parents via an SMS.
Classes begin at 8.45am each morning for all children from Pre-Primary to Year 6. Children who arrive at school after 8.45am must be signed in at the front office by their parent/guardian. If you are collecting your child earlier than the 3pm finish they must be signed out at the front office prior to leaving the school grounds.
The school assumes duty of care for each student from the time recorded at the front office. Children in Pre-Primary and Kindergarten classes who arrive late for school are to be taken to the classroom by their accompanying adult.
Swimming Trials and Training 2019
This year we are having swimming trails on the following days for each year group:
Thursday 21st Feb – Years 3 and 4 (only)
Friday 22nd Feb – Years 5 and 6 (only)
To be selected for championship points for the St Thomas Carnival and Interschool swimming team it would be advisable to attend these trials.
Swimming Training will commence Week 4, Thursday 28th February and thereafter each Thursday and Friday morning from 7.30 – 8.15am.
Can parents please ensure students are picked up no later than 8.30am as staff have classes to teach.
If you would like to participate in swimming training they need to have completed stage 6 from the Department of Education Swimming Program and parents must sign a permission slip.
Perth Scorchers Bus - Students in Years PP to Year 3 will be involved in some fun activities and giveaways this Friday 8th February as the Perth scorchers bus is coming to St Thomas’.
St Thomas’ Swimming Carnival – Friday 8th March – Notes will be going home next week.
We require a number of parent helpers on the day. If you are able to assist with the running of the carnival can you indicate on the form please.
Year 5 & 6 Tennis and Cricket Carnival – Wednesday 27th March
Interschool Swimming Carnival – Monday 8th April – If parents are able to assist with the running of this carnival please contact Sharon Seaman via email on Sharon.firstname.lastname@example.org as we are the host school for 2019.
AFL Football – If you would like to child to participate in AFL football for Claremont Junior Football Club contact www.claremontjuniorfc.com.au
Physical Education Teacher
We are desperately seeking a person to take on the volunteer role of Netball Coordinator for 2019. Alex Gavranic needs to step down however she is more than happy to give you all the information, support and to help with the initial organisation. This includes attending the PNA AGM (Perth Netball ASS Annual Meeting) with you!I This is an easy role and a fun job.
Netball is a amazing sport that the girls really love, if we don’t get a co-coordinator, we don’t get netball, so please do it for the girls!
If your interested in the role or would like further information please contact Alex on: email@example.com
Top five parenting tips for this year by Michael Grose
The start of the year is a great time for making changes and improvements to the way you raise kids. The trouble is, our good intentions towards change often become derailed around March, and we return to our default mode of parenting. So nothing much changes from year to year.
At Parenting Ideas, we have selected the five tips that we think will have the most positive impact on kids this year.
1.Switch on your kids’ strengths
Most of us have been conditioned to focus on what kids can’t do. It’s not your fault. You were trained by teachers and parents who were adept at picking up your poor behaviours, highlighting errors and encouraging you to eliminate your faults.
There is a better way. The Positive Psychology movement lead by US-based psychologist Dr. Martin Seligman showed that when we can unearth kids’ strengths we are, in effect, unlocking their true potential for success and happiness. Three elements come together to make a strength, and parents need to be mindful of all three: performance (being good at something); energy (feeling good doing it); and high use (choosing to do it). Rather than locking on to your child’s weaknesses, set your antennae to your child’s strengths.
2. Balance kids’ extra-curriculur activities
Alongside social media and news events, being busy is now recognised as a major stress for many children and young people. Over-scheduling kids’ lives is a relatively new phenomenon. Go back a couple of generations and a few sports, music lessons and things like scouting movements were the mainstays of after school life for most kids. Now the choice of activities to keep kids busy after school hours is mind-boggling.
Having so many options is wonderful but it does place a new set of pressures on parents. Many complain that family life is like now living in a hamster wheel, always in constant motion, with hardly a time to catch their breath. The cost of loading kids up with scheduled activities is that many don’t get the chance for free play, or simply ‘vegging out’ on the couch. The benefits of all this activity in terms of kids’ skill development, personal growth and broadening social horizons is well-founded. However finding a balance is tricky as every child, like every family is different.
3. Focus on friendships
Friendships are an important part of the road to adulthood for a child or young person. With families shrinking in size peer relationships are now fundamental in providing kids with a sense of belonging, a place to hone their identity and a group upon which they can develop their future relationship skills such as tolerance, empathy and forgiveness.
Friendships can be problematic. Not every child is naturally outgoing and makes friends easily. If your child is like this, but generally seems happy, then there may be no need to do anything. If your child has difficulty forming friendships and is worried by that, then there are many ways to approach this including: encouraging kids to spend one-on-one time with others, making extra-curricular activities fit their interests, and coaching kids to develop friendly behaviours.
4. Give kids tools to manage anxious moments
Let’s just say it upfront. We don’t have a childhood resilience problem as many teachers and professionals say, but we do have a childhood anxiety problem. A big one! And it’s mostly undetected as community understanding of anxiety is low. It’s our experience at Parenting Ideas that many parents are anxious and they don’t know it, and many children routinely experience anxiety, which goes unrecognised.
Everyone feels worried from time to time, but these feelings pass when the stressful situation has passed. Anxiety occurs when these anxious feelings don’t pass, and happen for no obvious reason. It’s a serious condition that can be managed and minimised with their right tools.
5. Develop rites of passage
Why are young people, like moths drawn to a flame, attracted to that annual end of school year beach and booze fest known as schoolies? Why do young people who for the best part of a year put their future self first and study hard to achieve best possible school results, put themselves at risk for a solitary week? It’s more than letting their hair down.
In the absence of adult-initiated rites of passage young people will always fill the void and create their own. For many young people schoolies is the rite of passage. As a community we’ve struggled for many years to create meaningful rites of passage for young people. Once a young person’s first job, or their twenty-first birthday were significant markers of maturity, offering a sense that they were entering into the adult world. Community changes have largely eradicated these traditional markers, which make it harder for a young person to know when they’ve become an adult.
There are many healthy ways to recognise a young person’s growing maturity and mark his or her journey into adulthood. Many families are now creating their own rituals to mark key events such as the end of primary school, the start of the teenage years or various stages of adolescence. These traditions are now becoming legitimate rights of passage for young people.
Monday: “My Me Cube” decorating
Tuesday: The Kissing Hand Story and Pop-Up Card making
Wednesday: Would You Rather Questions- Group Game
Thursday: Find A Friend Activity/ Scavenger Hunts
Friday: “Me Stick Puppet”/ Beach Ball Icebreaker Game
The Extend Superstars are…
Lauren…. for being friendly, warm and welcoming to others
Rebecca….. for displaying creativity in making a beautiful dollhouse out of recycled materials.
Grace… for being a great organiser and leader in our group activity and for creating an awesome spinner for the game. Clever!
What’s Been Happening?
As we commence the first week of Term 1, we have been doing activities such as getting to know you and making friends activities. A highlight was “Would You Rather” Questions Group Game initiated and facilitated by Grace, we all had fun!
Enrol and book now: extend.com.au
St Thomas' Community Partners
Keyed Up Music
Keyed Up Music will be teaching during school times Keyboard lessons and Drum lessons. Lessons start from $17.55 for a group lesson. If you are interested please ring Therese on 1300 366 243 or enrol at www.keyedupmusic.com.au/enrolment-form