As school life slowly returns to normal, we hope term three will see the return of the many activities that make schools the vibrant places there are. We have been advised that from the beginning of term three students can undertake single day excursions. I know our year five and six students are keen to see if their Sydney camps in term four will be going ahead.
NSW schools have announced that school assemblies will be permitted and I hope the ACT Government will follow suit. This will allow us to plan for more than assemblies, with Grandparents Day, concerts and visiting shows scheduled which will no doubt be enjoyed by all.
Today most families will receive their child’s report. You will notice that due to the reduced time at school there is not as much information as usual in the reports. I ask parents to read the explanatory letter included in the report. The reports will be supported by parent-teacher interviews being conducted in weeks nine and ten of this term. Bookings have now closed. Please contact your class teacher via their email if you wish discuss arranging a time to meet before or after school hours if you have not booked a time to meet.
Mrs Macarthur has commenced maternity leave and this has resulted in several changes across the school to cover her leave. These are;
- Mrs Katherine Morris has taken on the role of technology teacher three days a week. Students attend technology classes while their teacher has release to carry out administrative tasks.
- Miss Ceccato and Mrs Hegarty have jointly taken on the roles of ICT support which gives them one day a week out of class. On their release days their classes will be taken by Mrs Turner and Mrs Matchett respectively.
- This week our current school counsellor, Lisa Vithalis, left her position and it has been filled by Sharon Lynch. Sharon has worked at MTS previously. I thank Lisa for the support she gave to students and families at MTS. I also welcome Sharon back to our community.
- We have a new administration assistant commencing next week. Her name is Sharon Cobcroft and she will be based in the student office from Wednesday to Friday. I also welcome Sharon to MTS.
On a lighter Note
Parents may have heard the children talking about ‘Challenge the Teacher’. The idea is that a teacher nominates an activity and students nominate to challenge the teacher in their chosen activity. A barrel draw chooses who will compete against the teacher. There is great excitement and aniticipation as the week builds until the challenge takes place on Thursday at recess.
Last week saw Mr Hart compete in one of his favourite sports, table tennis, against Riley from year six. Mr Hart came away with the win but Riley did not go home empty handed, scoring himself an iceblock for his efforts. Well done Riley!
Yesterday a large number of students gathered in the hall to watch Mr Smith have a dance off against two students, Naomi from junior primary and Roy from upper primary. There were some fantastic moves, lots of cheering and lots of laughter. The session finished with both Mr Smith and Kag, our student welfare officer having a dance off.
It will be interesting to see what future challenges take place over the next few weeks.
Congratulations to Brody Press who was the winner this week. Brody told me it was the eighth time he had be drawn out. This week’s problem is below.
On your first Monopoly turn, you have $1500. You land on the income tax space, which means you have to pay $200 or 10% of your money.
- Which would you choose and why?
- What if you had $2200: which would you choose and why?
- What is the minimum amount of money you could have for which paying the $200 would be less than playing the 10%?
School/Public Transport Changes
As mentioned in my communication on Szapp yesterday, there will be some changes to the public transport services in the next few weeks. From Saturday 18 July 2020, Transport Canberra will be updating timetables for bus services.
As a new timetable is being introduced, there will be minor changes for all students travelling to and from school on public transport across Canberra from the first day of Term 3, 2020 (Monday 20 July 2020). In most cases, this will mean that students will catch the same service from the same stop, but the times that services arrive and leave may change.
All schools, parents and students can find out more about the specific changes by:
- checking the information packs for each school, which are online at transport.act.gov.au
- checking timetables for each route (including school specials), which are online at transport.act.gov.au
- calling 13 17 10.
WHOLE SCHOOL FOCUS
The Whole school focus theme for this year is: Be Just Like Jesus This term we will be focusing on: Think Like Jesus: Jesus’ character and the way he lived offers excellent examples of ways we can model ourselves on him. We can do this by doing our best to live peacefully with others, study the scriptures, be gentle and humble, trust God, help others, make good choices, and always obey God.
We are excited that the restrictions have eased again as from midday 19 June 2020 we will be able to open our church for weekend Mass for up to 100 people at each Mass. We are respecting the practice of social distancing of 4sqm separation, hand hygiene through the use of a sanitiser and collection of name and contact details through our new booking system.
Please note that you must book to attend Mass in person. If you do not book, we will be forced to refuse entry. We are sorry to have to do this however we do need to be strict about the numbers to adhere to government rules. If you are performing a Ministry at Mass, you do not need to book as these numbers have been factored in.
Book here: https://www.holyspiritgungahlin.org.au/latest-news/mass-bookings/
If are not able to book online, please contact the parish office on 02 6242 9622.
For those who are not able to attend in person at this time, please continue to join us for Mass on Sundays at 9.30am via Zoom using https://zoom.us/j/824036573.
Youth Mass – For Young People and Their Families only!
Join the Holy Spirit Gungahlin Parish community on Sunday 28th June for our Youth Mass (5:30pm) and Youth Gathering (6:30pm)! Exploring the theme ‘Dream Again’, this is a chance for you to come back into the heart of our Church and have fun, faith and fellowship with our young Church. Food available and families welcome. Further information available by clicking here.
Mass this weekend
Please follow this link to make a booking to attend Mass in person.
This weekend’s newsletter is now available online. Click on the link here to access it: https://www.holyspiritgungahlin.org.au/20-21-june-2020-12th-sunday-ordinary-time/
SEASONS FOR GROWTH
Dear Parents and Carers,
Loss and grief are issues which affect all of us at some stage in our lives. Learning to deal effectively with these issues is central to personal wellbeing and happiness. Unresolved grief can also affect a student’s learning. ‘Seasons for Growth’ is an Australian education program, which supports participants who have experienced change in their family because of a death, separation or divorce. This program explores issues such as change, loss, managing feelings, coping strategies and support networks. ‘Seasons’ is an eight session program which concludes with an additional celebration session. Later in the year, each group will have the opportunity to meet on two further occasions to discuss issues arising from the program. We are now seeking expressions of interest. The program is available to students in years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6. Please contact email@example.com or your classroom teacher if you wish your child/ren to participate in the program. ‘Seasons’ will commence in Term Three.
|Please keep our Year 6 students and their teachers at Mother Teresa School and the Parish, in your prayers. The Confirmation Candidates have been preparing for this important event, Sacrament of Confirmation over the past 2 terms.|
First Reconciliation and First Eucharist Information Session:
Please save the date: Week 10 Term 2
Tuesday 30 June 6:30pm via zoom
Attention all parents who have a child in Year 3 who will be making the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist! Please be aware and ensure you do not book a parent teacher interview during this time, as we really would like you all to be available for this important zoom meeting.
Something to Think About
What makes you feel scared? Jesus tells us that we don’t need to be afraid because God is always watching over us.
God cares for us through the people who love us the most and who help us to overcome our fears and anxieties.
You might like to take turns composing “Don’t be afraid to…” statements.
In todays’ gospel from Matthew, Jesus continues to prepare his disciples to go and spread the Good News to those who have not heard it.
Jesus tells them, “Do not be afraid of anyone!”
This phrase (or similar words) occurs 366 times in the Bible.
Clearly, it is a message Jesus wants us to hear and observe.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 10:26-27, 29-31
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Don't be afraid of anyone!
Everything that is hidden will be found out, and every secret will be known.
"Whatever I say to you in the dark, you must tell in the light.
And you must announce from the housetops
whatever I have whispered to you.
"Aren't two sparrows sold for only a penny?
But your Father knows when any one of them falls to the ground.
Even the hairs on your head are counted.
So don't be afraid! You are worth much more than many sparrows."
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
THINGS TO DO THIS WEEK
As a family, talk about something you know about each other that maybe no one else knows. Jesus tells us that God knows and loves us even more than anyone in our family.
How does that make you feel?
Chat about who you talk to if you are worried about doing something new.
Remember that we can talk to God (pray) if we feel frightened or alone.
You will need pieces of paper for each person, pens, and a basket.
Gather the family together - it could be around the table, in a circle on the floor or at a park.
Each person writes or draws ways that they need God’s help for themselves, or for the family, or for someone else.
Collect the pieces of paper in the basket.
Remembering that God knows and loves us, someone takes a slip of paper from the basket, reads it to the family, and then all pray together for that need, “Loving God who knows and loves us, hear our prayer.”
You may choose to continue this as a meal or bedtime routine.
Peace and best wishes
Anne Leet REC
Live Streamed Marriage Seminars Sundays in June
The local Archdiocese has organised a series interactive live-streamed presentations for Marriage & Family Month immediately after the 11am Online Mass at St Christophers Cathedral for the next three Sundays (14th, 21st, 28th June).
Listeners will be able to interact online and ask questions of our impressive line-up of international, interstate and local Catholic couples speaking at 11.45am each Sunday from mid-June. See full program at https://www.catholicvoice.org.au/marriage-family-month-june-2020/
Free Online International Catholic Marriage Summit this week
Starting this Friday, 50+ high profile Catholic speakers & social media personalities will be appearing online with their spouses to share openly about the highs, lows and challenges of married life.
This free International Catholic Marriage Summit is the first of its kind. The instructions to the committed Catholic speakers was to ‘keep it real’. Talk topics include finances, grief, communication, conflict and sex. It should be a great resource for any engaged or married couple. Register for free here or at https://www.joyfuleverafter.org/
Award winning Canberra wine maker Tim Kirk and his wife Lara, a Catholic marriage educator, will be speaking on the topic: “I Can’t Make You Happy”.
Beating stress and worries about coronavirus (COVID-19)
by THE BRAVE TEAM on MARCH 15, 2020
There are a lot of negative and stressful events occurring in our world every day – but when something like coronavirus (COVID-19) becomes so pervasive that it affects almost every country in the world, and is talked about almost every hour of the day, our children and teenagers can become quite anxious.
They may worry about many different things related to the virus – whether they or their family members will get sick, whether schools will close, whether they will be asked to stay away from loved ones and friends, whether they will be safe, or whether the virus will ever end. Sometimes, it is simply not knowing what will happen that creates the most fear (for young people and adults).
Children and teenagers are very observant – they see things changing, they hear the news and they talk with whoever they can about what’s happening. For some young people, this is a natural and healthy way to manage their worries about the situation. But for other young people, excessive focus on the issue can increase their fears and become unmanageable. Either way, the chances are young people will have lots of questions and will be seeking reassurance from those around them, and those they trust. As parents and caregivers, you might be wondering how best to respond to these questions.
The BRAVE Team are a team of Clinical Psychologists and experts in child and adolescent anxiety and have put together a set of simple tips for you and your young person to manage the stress associated with the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Stay calm yourself
Children and teens look to their parents to work out how to respond. When parents are not calm it sends young people the message that they too should be panicking. Pay attention to how you talk about the virus to your children, each other and other people. Stick to the facts when talking about the virus. Speak calmly about it. Behave in a considered and rational way. Fear is just as contagious as this virus – and it is not helpful. The best way you can ‘vaccinate’ your child against fear around COVID-19 is to remain calm and rational yourself.
Think about the way young people receive their information
It can be helpful for parents to consider the way in which children and teenagers consume information about COVID-19 coronavirus. Constant exposure to news broadcasting can cause additional stress– children can’t always recognise fine differences between facts and messages designed to convey exaggerated threat. Help your child receive factual information in ways that are young-person friendly. Focus on the messages that are most important to children (think about what you want them to do – Regularly wash hands). Don’t forget to pay attention to how you talk about the virus to your children, each other and other people. Try not to panic – children are much more likely to keep calm if you do too.
Think about how you can answer questions
When young people are anxious, they tend to focus on the worst-case scenario and seek a lot of reassurance. Remind your children that there are a lot of people out there working hard to keep them and their loved ones safe, and we need to help in whatever way we can. Be there to listen and answer their questions, but try and keep an optimistic outlook. Help them see the range of possibilities and focus on what you can do right now to keep safe and manage stress. Try not to let them continue asking questions over and over – instead engage them in other activities and use the strategies from our Guide for Parents and Young people below, which you can use, print and share.
Remember that everyone worries about different things
We also need to remember that children may have different worries than teenagers and adults. For many younger children, their fears may focus on being separated from loved ones (including pets and toys) whereas older children and teenagers may worry about getting sick themselves or social isolation and missing out on things. It’s important to acknowledge their individual worries and help find strategies to manage these.
Help your young person find a strategy that works for them
Help your young person find some strategies for managing their anxiety. This might include family activities which can distract from fear and focus on positive experiences, or it might be things like encouraging your young person to listen to music, rediscover old hobbies, practice relaxation or mindfulness or connect with family and friends online. Encourage them (and all family members) to focus on other things during these activities. Remember, young people learn through experience – set a good example and try and remain calm as much as possible. Try and keep to your family routines as much as possible, stay healthy and active.
Finally, remember that it is normal to feel overwhelmed by such events. Reach out and find the right support for you and your child if required.
About The Brave Program
The BRAVE program is an evidence-based cognitive behavioural program which helps people understand how anxiety works and identify strategies for overcoming fears and worries. There are programs for Parents of young children (3-6 years), Children (7-11 years), Teenagers (12-17 years) and Parents of Children and Teenagers.
If you are in Australia you can learn more about how to help your child or teenager manage stress and anxiety generally by accessing the BRAVE Self-Help program at www.brave4you.psy.uq.edu.au .
Please note that the program is only available to Australian IP addresses at this time.
Useful Links – Australia
Kids Helpline: https://kidshelpline.com.au/ OR call 1800 55 1800
Reach Out: https://au.reachout.com/
Lifeline: https://www.lifeline.org.au/ OR call 13 11 14