Dear Parent, Guardians and Carers,
Firstly, welcome back to ‘normal’ school! It is lovely to have everyone back onsite together again. To be able to return to our work and businesses and have the capacity to reconnect with each other is great. Thank you for the understanding you showed our staff as they adjusted to online learning last week and then yesterday when they needed to plan for the week back at school. It is not easy to keep changing like this at short notice and our staff are doing an amazing job at coping with this the best they can. Your support is appreciated!
The speed in which decisions are changing at the moment in this COVID world is huge. Like the staff here, you would have been mentally preparing for at least four days of lockdown this week and what that would have meant for you and your family when yesterday’s announcement was made.
This Special Report I have included below was spearheaded by Child Psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, and reflects new research and names the uncertainties families and young people are facing. It contains resources that as a family you can access to help support you as we pivot in and out of lockdown.
SPECIAL REPORT: COVID Fatigue & Youth Mental Health - Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg
As the nation remains to be on alert and in various stages of lockdown, restrictions continue to be mandated. And we, as a society, persevere to do the best we can to navigate this post-COVID era. Whilst some of us quietly take comfort from the availability of vaccines, it does introduce new uncertainties for families and young people alike. We continue to remain in a state of suspended animation, wondering when “normal” will return.
The physical impact of the pandemic has mostly spared our young people, however researchers are now reporting that children and adolescents are paying a heavy emotional and developmental price, being affected by a range of psychological disorders. According to Kids Helpline, emergency interventions to protect young people have skyrocketed over the last 12 months.
Being a young person today is hard, but so too is being the parent of one. A recent international survey reported that parents are struggling to keep their child’s mental health afloat. Young people are feeling like they don’t have much control over their lives. Their developmental processes have been interfered with and their trajectory has been interrupted. Unfortunately the emotional blowback of the pandemic cannot be vaccinated away. Young people can’t choose what happens to them, but they can choose how to respond. Some websites to assist with this are:
Calm Kids Central
https://www.calmkidcentral.com/ (videos, online access to psychologists, articles)
If your young person wishes to talk to someone outside of the family unit, encourage them to call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 - anytime, any reason. Alternatively, they can chat online at kidshelpline.com.au
Kids Helpline has also created some resources specifically relating to this topic for young people who may be struggling during lockdown. Click here to find out more.
I also received the following advice from Community Engagement and Financial Counselling Australia that free financial counselling is available through the National Debt Helpline (NDH) and Small Business Debt Helpline (SBDH). Financial counsellors provide independent and confidential advice to people who are struggling with debt and bills. They are thoughtful and kind professionals who are dedicated to getting people back on track financially.
The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns are having an enormous effect on children, parents and teachers. For many, the impact is also financial due to the loss of income or business closures. These two national not-for-profit services run free financial counselling helplines and chat services, to help individuals and small businesses cope with financial hardship.
Take care of yourselves and your families,
Means-tested concession cards must now be valid on either:
- the first day of Term 1 (Wednesday 27 January 2021)
- the first day of Term 2 (Monday 19 April 2021)
- the first day of Term 3 (Monday 12 July 2021).
The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payments for eligible students to attend activities like:
- school camps or trips
- swimming and school-organised sport programs
- outdoor education programs
- excursions and incursions.
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.
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 4 the School Wide Expectation focus was Honesty:
I always tell the truth.
I am honest when reflecting on my personal performance.
I take responsibility for my actions.
The award winners for Week 4 are:
|Kyle Kimani||Hailey Lourensz||Thomas Colaciello|
|Bruno Crivari||Ruby Lawn||Chaz Siemens|
|Virginia Sanchez||Jacob Zelenewicz||Olivia McInnes|
|Tayla Andrews||Imogen Rouget||Wil Walker|
|Blake Moloney||Sidney Sposito||Memphis Charles|
|Edelweiss Vickers||Kye Spiteri||Mikealy Ross|
|Quinn Chapman||Harrison Laurie|
|Sienna Hunter||Quinn Ross|
Mt 6: 25 -34
The readings for this week were chosen for the feast of Mary MacKillop (St Mary of the Cross), Australia’s first saint. In the gospel from Matthew, we are told to get our priorities in order and not be distracted by things that are less important than God’s kingdom. Our hearts should find peace in God. Can you see any parallels to the way that Mary MacKillop tried to live her life? St Mary of the Cross spent her life serving God. She was committed to educating the children who came from the lower classes. Mary believed that everyone deserved to learn. Throughout the challenges that Mary MacKillop faced in her life she had her priorities in order and stayed focused on the work that she was doing for God. One of Mary's mottos in life was to “never see a need without doing something about it” and she certainly lived up to this. Talk with your children about what this motto might look like in their daily lives.
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 51 students registered
947 books finished
120 Book Reviews
18 Students Completed
46 days left until it finishes on 17th September 2021
- I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book!