As we head in to the last three weeks of the school year, we still need to be vigilant regarding our COVID precautions. As many would know, there was a COVID positive case at the First Eucharist celebration last Friday evening which was attended by a number of year three students from Good Shepherd School. This forced all who were present (50 students, parents, grandparents, teachers and priests) into quarantine, many for two weeks as the students were not vaccinated. I would hate to see members of our community have to go into isolation for two weeks particularly in the last week, as this would mean Christmas Day would be in isolation.
While generally restrictions have eased across the ACT, they have not eased in primary schools given the students are not vaccinated. Masks must still be worn when entering the school, including the front office. When we returned from lockdown, we changed certain practices to minimise the risk of a whole school lockdown. Sadly, some of these are being ignored by parents.
Parents are reminded that they need to pick their children up of an afternoon as they will be sitting either with their cohort or in their family group. Once you have collected your children you are asked to leave school grounds immediately as COVID restrictions for primary schools still prevent parents from entering school grounds. We also have a number of parents collecting their children from the pick-up zone. This is not supervised so I again ask parents to leave their cars and walk to the pick-up area. At approximately 3.15pm all students that have not been collected will be brought to the front of the school, where they will be kept in their cohorts to be collected.
We have a number of events occurring in the next few weeks involving members of our school community. The Candle Ceremony involving our senior students and their parents, and the Carols Night will follow the COVID protocols of the school while the Year Six Graduation will follow COVID protocols for the community as it is being held away from the school.
I know there is a bit of COVID fatigue but from a school’s perspective we need to persevere for another three weeks to ensure everyone has a great break. As I have said before, it will require a combination of good practices and good luck.
Planning for the 2022 staff structure has been underway for a considerable time. This year, a number of staff have accepted positions in other schools, the latest being Wendy Ceccato who has accepted a position at St Patrick’s, in her hometown of Griffith. We congratulate Wendy on her appointment and thank her for her work at MTS.
We are still to finalise arrangements for 3 Turquoise as the advertisement for this position closes at the end of next week. Mrs Turnbull will return to 3 Turquoise in a part-time capacity from the commencement of term three 2022.
Last week’s problem was the last math’s problem of the year with the only entry coming from Selina Li who has won another handball and a free lunch.
Thank you to all that have entered over the last seven years and thank you to the parents that have encouraged their children to participate.
WHOLE SCHOOL FOCUS The Whole school focus theme for this year is:
1st Sunday in Advent
28 November 2021 - Year C
“Your redemption is near at hand.”
Something to Think About
Can you remember a time when you had to get ready for a special celebration?
How did you prepare? How did it feel to wait for that special time?
Jesus predicts a time of destruction when some people may be frightened, but Jesus tells his disciples not to be afraid. He encourages the disciples (and us!) to pray for strength. We may have difficult times in our lives, but when we pray we find comfort and courage.
Reflecting on the Gospel
Talk about some of your hopes and dreams for the holidays and for Christmas.
Consider ways of making both the holidays and Christmas a time to think of others.
You will need: a template for each child, purple paper in different shades, pink paper in different shades, green paper in different shades, yellow and orange paper, glue sticks.
- Tell the children about the Advent wreath. One candle is lit on each of the Sundays of Advent. The first, second and fourth candles are purple. The third is pink (rose), the liturgical colour for joy.
- Rip paper into small pieces. Start with the purple.
- Put some glue on a small area at a time and cover with the small pieces of paper.
- Then move to the pink candle, then the flames, then the green wreath.
- For an extra special effect, you could glue the completed artwork to black construction paper to create a framed look.
Peace and best wishes
Religious Education co-ordinator
Supporting Children with Anxiety
All children experience feelings of anxiety sometimes, especially during new or challenging situations. However, when anxiety starts to take over and effect day to day life, this can be a sign that they may need some support and guidance to build some coping strategies.
Some signs that your child may need some support to cope with their anxious feelings are:
- Their worries seem out of proportion compared to the situation they are in
- Anxiety is interfering with their ability to participate in activities that other children their age do
- They start to avoid situations that cause them to feel anxious such as school, social activities, sports
Whilst avoiding situations may seem like a good short term solution, the dilemma is that this avoidance tends to make facing that situation feel harder next time.
Here are some tips from Kids help line and Beyond Blue to support you in supporting your child.
- Find out more about anxiety
- Acknowledge your child’s feelings. Try not to tell them not to worry or to ignore it.
- Help your child notice when they are feeling anxious and how anxiety can sometimes be felt in the body Eg. Stomach aches, headaches, sleeplessness
- Emphasize giving things a go rather than focusing on success or failure
- Teach them about anxiety and why we have it. A great resource to explain anxiety is the book Hey Warrior by Karen Young
- Tell your child that you’ll figure it out together
- Help your child to notice the worried thoughts they are having about the situation and support them to come up with some calm and more realistic thoughts instead.
- Set small goals with your child to help them to face their fears slowly over time
- Encourage and acknowledge their success when they face a situation they were anxious about
- Learn some calming strategies with your child like slow deep breaths or listening to a mindfulness app such as Smiling Minds
Remember that there is support available if you feel that your child could benefit from it. The goal isn’t about eliminating anxiety completely, but rather, supporting children to build strategies for coping with their anxious feelings so that anxiety doesn’t get in the way of them participating in things they enjoy.
For more information, please visit the Kids Help Line or Beyond Blue websites or contact your School Counsellors Bron and Jess if you feel that your child could benefit from any further support.
What better way to celebrate summer holidays approaching than to buy an Entertainment Book. Not only will you be supporting Mother Teresa School, you can get access to the very popular Single City to Multi City Membership upgrade offer! Perfect for holidays and catch ups with family and friends.
The Multi City Membership upgrade offer ends 11:59pm 9th January 2022 AEDT.