Dear Parents, Guardians and Carers,
Last week our grade five and six students participated in the Traralgon District Winter Round Robin, representing our school with pride and had an enjoyable day. We are very proud of them. Thank you to the many parents and helpers who volunteered their time to coach or umpire on the day. Your help was greatly appreciated. Quite a few of our teams made finals in their sports with the boys soccer team winning through to the Regional finals.
What You Need To Know About Girls And Their Frenemies
The following information is adapted from an article from the Santa Maria college in Western Australia. It explains the challenges parents and teachers face in dealing with relational aggression.
Relational aggression is the psychologist’s name for what the rest of us call ‘mean girls’ behaviour. It is a pattern of behaviour typically played out by school age girls, but it is not exclusive to them, boys and adults can also experience it.
Chances are, you’ve experienced relational aggression. You know it when it happens to you. It’s an emotional slap in the face and you often feel a sense of shame and confusion. What distinguishes relational aggression from just being mean, is that it focuses on damaging a person’s sense of social place. It can be explained as using relationships as weapons. It may include:
- The silent treatment
- Belittling (Often hidden behind the expression ‘just joking’)
- Conditional friendship
The first four are self-explanatory, but ‘conditional friendship’ is more difficult. The child knows there are unspoken rules about behaviour and ‘going along’ with the group. It is why many lovely girls behave very poorly. Inclusion is incredibly important to their developing psyche and they will do anything to remain within the inner circle.
Why does it happen?
Part of being an adolescent is finding your place in social networks. Your peers become incredibly important and there is less focus on parents and significant adults. As a result, impressing and belonging become very important. Traditionally boys have achieved this pecking order with physical strength and humour. Girls use their communication and interpersonal skills.
Girls learn from a very young age that when you create exclusion you create inclusion. And if you can knock someone else off balance emotionally, it defines you as balanced. It is an interesting, if not disturbing, phenomena to watch in a school yard. From the cliques of socially elite ‘it’ girls to the mixed mob of outsiders, there is a power dynamic constantly at play. None of this has anything to do with friendship. Hence the creation of the term ‘frenemies’.
This is not to say that girls don’t have genuine friendships, they do. Some kids are lucky enough and emotionally literate enough to enjoy relationships with genuine understanding, and empathy. They support one another and spend time sharing common interests. In my experience these kids are usually involved in a lot of sport, have varied interests and are exposed to a lot of different people of varying ages. The focus is on participating and being involved. However, even these kids come face to face with relational aggression from time to time.
How can parents help?
It isn’t all hopeless. This is learned behaviour and learned behaviour can often be unlearned. But there are commitments that need to be made by parents. We need to:
- Make friendship cool. Modelling by adults is the most powerful way of doing that. Talk about the great qualities of your friends to your kids. Too often we niggle at our friends’ weaknesses instead of verbally celebrating their greatness.
- Explicitly teach kindness, compassion and empathy. We know kids have the capacity for these qualities. They are often evident at home or with people of different ages, but they are not being engaged in their relationships with peers.
- Explicitly teach emotional intelligence. Help kids recognise who is loyal and who is safe. Talk to them about relational aggression. They should be able to recognise it and name it.
- Teach kids to be:
- Upstanders –These are people who stand up for victims. It’s been proven that if you can stand up to a bully for 8 seconds, they are likely to back down. Some kids are stronger than others. We need to make it cool to be strong and able to defend others.
- Distracters – It is important that kids be able to recognise when a mean moment is coming and distract participants away from it. It’s a skill that adults eventually learn themselves, but if kids are given instruction on how to do this it can be learnt more quickly.
- Supporters – Kids can be encouraged to do something as small as make eye contact with a victim while aggression is happening. That shows the victim that the behaviour is seen and acknowledged. It makes the victim seen and acknowledged. They aren’t alone.
- Carefully manage on-line activity. A lot of relational aggression happens out of school hours, in cyberspace. Kids need a break from their friendship groups.
- Create opportunities for children to meet lots of new people outside of school and get to know them well. I love sport for this reason and many more. Team mates are people you have to understand and communicate with. Assumptions about people get tested.
- Please…. Never say, “That’s just girls”, or “boys will be boys” for that matter. We can be better than that. Or at least we can try.
Food on the yard
A key element of our anaphylaxis management plan is banning food from being eaten on the school grounds. During the school day time is allocated for the students to eat their snack and lunch in their classrooms so that these areas can be cleaned and kept free from contaminants.
The same rule applies to the times before and after school - food is not to be consumed inside the school ground. Thank you for your assistance with this matter.
Caritas India COVID 19 Appeal
Bishop Greg has asked that our Parishes take up a collection to go towards helping the dreadful situation which Covid-19 has brought to that country. To support this we have set up a fundraising section on CDFpay for anyone wanting to donate to this appeal to support the work being done in India by Caritas. All donations will be forwarded to the Parish next week.
Billy G Cookie Dough Fundraiser
We are once again running a Billy G Cookie Dough Fundraiser! An email was sent out yesterday and a note sent home including the range of options available their prices, so please read through that for extra information. Orders will close on Tuesday the 8th of June at 10pm. Collection will be on Wednesday the 23rd of June just in time for school holidays!
We always need helpers for these events to go ahead, so if you are available to help out on the day, please follow the link in the email sent out to register your availability. Someone from the P&F will be in touch closer to the day to confirm times/numbers.
Thank you for your ongoing support!
It's great to see so many people engaging with the event reminders, information and photos on Facebook. If you haven't already followed our Facebook page, head on over to St Michael's Primary P&F Events Page! This is a great way to keep up to date with school events and information.
Just a friendly reminder that if you have any label requirements or are
looking for personalised kids products, our school gets back a percentage
of sales when you use our unique coupon code: AFRDB-VZLX-CWMTWC
Sunday was Pentecost, which is celebrated fifty days after Easter, and this is the time that we celebrate the birthday of the Church. Jesus promised that he would not leave us orphans so, when he left our world, he breathed his own life into us through the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who lives in us, guides and helps us live the gospel from age to age. We know that the church, because Jesus is the Lord and giver of life and wisdom, will always be guided in the spirit of Jesus. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus breathes his own life into us and we become members of God’s family. Think about how you can make time to listen to and speak with the Holy Spirit living in you. In doing this, you will choose the peaceful, kind and forgiving way to live with each other.
St. Michael’s Primary School has a long tradition of supporting our local St. Vincent de Paul Society. Each year we support two collections for St Vinnies: June, for the Mass of the Sacred Heart and December, for the Christmas Appeal.
Due to COVID restrictions, we are unable to attend the Church for the Giving Mass as a whole school community. However we feel that it is important, now more than ever, to support the local community through our donations.
Each child is asked to bring an item of non-perishable food to school by Friday 11th June.
Any support you can offer at this time would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions please speak with your classroom teacher.
Thank you for supporting this worthwhile cause.
Each week students from each class are awarded Student of the Week certificates. These children are nominated for the example they have been within the school based on the School Wide Expectation focus for that week. The weekly focus will be from Wednesday until Tuesday the following week. Awards will be presented to students on Friday at assembly.
In Week 5 the School Wide Expectation focus was Resilience:
I view mistakes as a learning opportunity.
I persist through challenges and difficulties in my learning.
The award winners for Week 5 are:
|Tessa Rouget||Marietta Kornet||Tyler Siemens|
|Nash Winkler||Oliver Sutherland||Isla Rabette|
|Logan Suter||Pippa Roscoe||Jake Furlan|
|Leni Rayner||Ariana Riseley||Layla Darby|
|Rylee Martin||Haylee McInnes||Makayla Price|
|Grace Ketchion||Chloe Quail||Alex Yeates|
|Harper Rode||Jesse Affleck||Elly Traill|
|Isaac Huffer||Leah Kalapurackal||Audrey Goicoa|
|Miller Campbell||Leigham Frendo||Rachel Lim|
|Brock McInnes||Kumen Konyi||Campbell Milliner|
|Jacob Zelenewicz||Jaymes Johnstone||Nekeisha Piening|
|Alexis Lia||Anika Roscoe|
|Jordan Marcou||Ella Van Der Meer|
Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge
The Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge is now open and St. Michael’s Primary School is excited to be participating. A new application is being used this year that offers a range of exciting features including:
- access to a library catalogue (including book images and blurbs)
- a modern user-friendly interface
- rewarding students with badges as challenge milestones are achieved
- the option for students to mark books as a favourite, give them a star rating or complete a book review
The Challenge is open to all Victorian children from birth to Year 10 in recognition of the importance of reading for literacy development. It is not a competition; but a personal challenge for children to read a set number of books by 17 September 2021.
Children from Prep to Year 2 are encouraged to read or ‘experience’ 30 books with their parents and teachers. Children from Year 3 to Year 10 are challenged to read 15 books.
All children who meet the Challenge will receive a certificate of achievement signed by the Victorian Premier and former Premiers.
To see the Premier’s message, view the booklists and for more information about the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/prc
Victorian Premier's Reading Challenge 2021
We have 32 students registered
211 books finished
2 Students Completed
116 days left until it finishes on 17th September 2021