Dear Parents, Guardians and Carers,
The Victorian Government is helping parents, guardians and carers manage Remote Schooling and to stay resilient during the coronavirus pandemic by providing a range of free online webinars. These webinars are aimed at providing parents, guardians and carers with practical skills, knowledge and strategies for managing the lockdown period and Remote Schooling, and will focus on strategies and tools to help families manage their wellbeing, including establishing a supportive parental role and dealing with uncertainty and disappointment.
Places are available for Managing the Coronacoaster – Tips for building resilient families webinar on Tuesday 15 September at 7:30 pm. For more information and to register, visit the Eventbrite website.
The government has also partnered with Raising Children Network and funded a 10-episode podcast called Raising Learners featuring parenting experts from organisations including the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Career Education Association Victoria and the eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman-Grant.
Raising Learners will provide parents with practical advice, tips and ideas for supporting children’s health, wellbeing and engagement at school. Topics will include connecting with your child’s school community, how to best support your child’s learning, what to expect for VCE and VCAL students and how to keep your child safe online.
These themes were drawn from common parent questions received by the Department of Education and Training’s coronavirus hotline and parentline. The first three episodes will be launched on Tuesday 1 September 2020 with the remaining episodes available throughout Terms 3 and 4, 2020. Raising Learners will be available via the Raising Children Network and podcast Apps.
Fr Francis has asked me to share with you the above flyer for an online Liturgy which the Parish will run on Wednesday 2nd September at 7:30pm. The liturgy is being prepared with school staff and parents as the focus. We hope you can join us!
It was great to see so many children in their bright coloured clothes last Friday. Funday Friday this week is ‘Pyjama day’, one of my favourite dress up days!
Onsite Intention 7th September 2020 - 11th September 2020
Pandemic Parenting – It’s OK to Do Less.
Pandemic parenting. It’s intense and surreal (and sometimes claustrophobic). There are so many new expectations on parents at the moment. Many of us are working from home, managing our own stresses in a new environment with more or less technical difficulties.
Many of us are schooling our children at the same time (also with more or less technical difficulties). We’re trying to keep our kids mindfully entertained at a time where playgrounds are closed and playdates are banned and without letting them turn into screen zombies. And we’re still trying to teach our children manners and kindness.
I hear from parents everyday who feel under prepared, overwhelmed, and out of control. I want to tell those parents… it’s OK to do less. Nothing in our lives has prepared us for parenting in a pandemic. Do less, or in some cases, nothing at all.
You don’t have to be a full time entertainer.
It’s OK for your kids to watch more TV, play more video games, and create more Minecraft worlds. I’ve talked a lot about screen time and its downsides, but I’m also a parent. I know how challenging it can be to keep kids off screens when they’re stuck at home all the time. Give everyone a break, and loosen the rules a bit.
If you can, continue to guide them toward high quality programs and inspirational activities, and try to keep a balance in their day. Focus them on creation and connection more than consumption.
We’re all consuming more social media – it’s natural as we try to keep in touch with friends and family during isolation. But it’s also easy to slip down the rabbit hole of comparing ourselves to others.
Other people may look like they’ve got it all together. They may seem to have happy children who move from online yoga classes, to maths worksheets, to outdoor time while the parents sit back and get all their own work done in their tidy house. This may make you feel an anxious drive to do more and more each day.
Don’t. Instead of doing more things, consume less social media. And when you are on social media, use it for good – to keep in touch with your friends and your family and to read and spread positive messages.
Relax about schoolwork.
I had a mum tell me today that she is doing schoolwork with her kids from 8.30am until 4.30pm and they’re still not getting it all done. That is too much. Primary aged children should be doing one or two hours of school work a day when they’re home with you – maximum! The rest of the time they should be playing, or exercising or reading or just hanging out. Just because the school sends home that work doesn’t mean you have to do it!
Instead of doing everything, focus on a few things:
Getting active, especially outside, will change your mental outlook and that of your children.
There is much research that shows that exercise helps support children’s mental functioning that is central to cognitive development. It helps relieve stress and develop better mental health. And it just plain makes us feel good. That’s a great thing, especially right now.
Focus on making connections.
You and your children both need to stay connected with friends and family even while practicing physical distancing. This could be in the form of Zoom calls, writing letters and emails or dropping by little gifts, cards or cookies they’ve helped make. Some teens I know have even been secretly ‘heart attacking’ each other’s cars and houses (covering them with paper hearts).
Strong social connection is associated with increased longevity, a strong immune system, lower rates of anxiety and depression, higher self-esteem and greater empathy. So, while it’s OK to do less, perhaps this is the one area where we should be doing more.
Choose a few priorities each day.
Choose just a few priorities each day and make sure you get them done. Life feels better when we can tick a few boxes. I recommend exercise or activity for an hour, learning for an hour and a project around the house for an hour. Doing less, in this case, will actually yield you more because you’ve created a list and checked the items off.
At the end of the day…
It’s not only OK to do less, I strongly encourage it! We’re living in a pandemic. Take each day as it comes. Be gentle on yourself. Be gentle on your kids. The house will be messier. Your time will feel stretched. You will worry about not doing enough. But you are.
A message from Phoebe, 2020 school captain.
Hi everyone. As you all know, Father’s Day is just around the corner and the school captains along with Mrs Hanrahan have come up with a fun list of activities to make your Father/special person feel extra special. Our Date with Dad/special person (stay at home version) will be sent to all families on Friday. Even though we can’t gather together like we usually do for this event, we hope the ideas we have put together will enable you to hold your own Date with Dad/special person at home.
During COVID it is really important that you keep yourself occupied by finding little activities to do around the house. I quite enjoy baking, walking the dog or doing some painting and I mustn’t forget completing my school work.
Here is a joke to hopefully make you laugh!
What do you call an alligator in a vest? An investigator.
As per the fee letter sent to families on 6th April 2020, Important Message about School Fees, there will not be an automatic reduction in school fees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
School fees are an essential portion of resources for the operation of our school and assist our leaders and staff to enhance curriculum and teaching programs. Therefore, we are asking, for those who can, to continue to support the school financially.
If you have concerns about your financial situation, please contact Maria Churton, School Administration Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can explore confidential financial support arrangements to enable your child(ren)’s education at our school to continue.
Cancellation of Student Activities
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic school camps for the remainder of 2020 have been cancelled. This includes the Gr 3, 4 and 6 camps. Swimming programs (Gr 3-6) scheduled for term 3 have also been cancelled. Diocese of Sale Catholic Education Limited (DOSCEL) will continue to monitor the advice of the Victorian Government to ensure that the health and safety of staff and students remains the highest priority. This may mean that swimming programs and excursions remain suspended during Term 4, 2020.
Credits for camps and the Gr 3-6 swimming program have been applied to fee accounts. Further credits will be applied as activities are cancelled. If this credit results in your fee account being overpaid a refund may be requested. Such requests must be submitted in writing, via email to email@example.com.
In this Gospel we are asked to be obedient to the will of God. Jesus was destined to suffer death in order to rise again on the third day in accordance with God’s plan. Jesus warns his disciples in this gospel that following him will lead to persecution. This persecution, however, will lead to God’s glory.
For our children this is a difficult concept - what does that look like? At school we speak to the children about following in the footsteps of Jesus. This may involve helping a sad child in the school yard, helping a sibling to learn a skill or putting the rubbish out without being asked. There are many ways that we can be like Jesus: helping someone, saying a simple ‘hello’, showing compassion, not judging someone for what they look like.
It is important that children understand the need to help other people without worrying about receiving any personal gain. This is more important in this current climate, where COVID-19 is taking such a toll on us all physically and mentally, than it has been before. We can all follow in the footsteps of Jesus in our quiet way to make someone else's life a little brighter.
Remote Learning - Religion
During Week 7 the children focused on the gospel reading from Matthew 16:13-20 where Jesus asked his disciples “Who do you think I am?” To begin with Fr Francis shared some of his ideas about the Gospel in his weekly video message to the children and then the children responded in various ways. The Grade 3/4 children had to answer the question “Who is Jesus?” and then design a bumper sticker to answer this question. Here are some samples of the work that was done at home this week.
Remote Learning - Art
Here are some examples of some of the fantastic Artwork received by Mrs Hanrahan and Mrs Hill during remote learning.
Olivia (Grade 1) Pastel flowers
Blake (Foundation) Playground Sculpture
Ashleigh ( Grade 5 ) Kendone Inspired art
Welcome to the 2020 Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge.
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 19th September 2020.
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 read the Premier’s letter to parents, view the booklists and for more information about the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge, visit:www.education.vic.gov.au/prc
As you know, reading helps ensure children develop important foundational skills –
setting them up for school and for life. Just as importantly, reading also helps our kids imagine, explore and learn more about the world around them.
This year, everyone who completes the Challenge will receive a Certificate of
Achievement – and with more than 12,000 titles on the Challenge’s reading list, there really is a book for everyone.
For children not yet at school, the Challenge invites parents and carers to experience
40 books with their child. For students from Prep to Year 2, the Challenge is to read or experience 30 books and for students in Years 3 to 10, the Challenge is to read 15 books.
I also encourage you to visit the Challenge Facebook page: facebook.com.au/VicPRC
There you can join the community of avid readers to share stories, stay informed and