- Recent School Calendar Updates
- School Focus & Positive Behaviour
- Principal's Corner
- Teaching & Learning and Inclusion
- Catholic Life & Reflection
- Happy Birthday
- Celebrating Positive Behaviour
- Inquiry - Year 3
- The Uniform Shop
- School Fees
- Family Photo Fundraiser - Friday 12 & 19 Nov & Sat 20 Nov
- Parenting Ideas
- Community Notices
Dear St John the Apostle families,
Yesterday we all participated in a whole school Remembrance day service while being in separate classrooms. Thank you to Mrs Stewart and several Year 6 students for leading us through the day.
Mrs Stewart has written about the service and activities below.
Our Year 6 students were catching up on some of their student leadership actions missed in lockdown and organised a fundraising activity to support the valuable work of Catholic Mission with disadvantaged communities. In their enthusiasm it was organised for yesterday as well. It was very successful, however, we recognise that this could easily have become the focus today, instead of Remembrance Day. We apologise for organising these to occur on the same day, potentially distracting students from the importance of Remembrance Day. This was an oversight on our behalf and won't occur next year.
We can assure you that teachers have been preparing students all week for Remembrance Day through stories, art and prayer and it was the only whole school focus yesterday.
Increasing COVID cases in schools
As the restrictions ease across the ACT we are all enjoying more freedom. At the same time there has been an increase in the number of cases occurring in schools.
I would just like to assure everyone that the COVID safe practices we have in place are not easing. We understand that we hold in our school a large population of unvaccinated children, who are our own family and community members.
We will continue to maintain all of our health and hygiene practices including cleaning, hand washing and sanitiser use. We will continue to have students separated into cohorts with dedicated entry points to the school, classroom and play spaces as well as dedicated times to go outside to play. We will continue to limit non-essential visits from those not part of our community or essential to supporting students.
What we know from other schools' experiences that should a case occur, it's these practices that ensure a school remains open with minimal impact to all. ACT Health and Catholic Education have worked very effectively with each other, supporting schools to take quick and clear action to contain any case and minimise any further risks.
I would like to say a big thank you to SFX and the Canteen Staff and volunteers who have been so supportive in adapting to the temporary, staggered eating and play timetables. They have been outstanding.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Together, we will continue to keep St John the Apostle a healthy place for all.
We were very fortunate to have the first of two scheduled Kindergarten Orientation mornings recently. It was wonderful to meet all of our future students and have fun with them. With the increasing number of schools that are experiencing COVID-19 cases we have decided to cancel the second Kindergarten Orientation session next week. We know that bringing together a group of young students from many different pre-school and day care centres creates higher risk.
We have emailed all of our Kindergarten 2022 families information on the alternative Drop In sessions that have been organised. Thank you to our wonderful staff and families for being flexible at this time.
Class placements for 2022
At this time of the year I welcome parent communication regarding any specific needs they would like considered when placing their child in a class group next year. Parents wishing to communicate this are asked to email me directly (not the classroom teacher) with the considerations they would like kept in mind as part of the class creation process. These will be treated confidentially and viewed only by me. Specific teacher requests will not be considered. The cut off for communicating these considerations will be Friday 19 November.
Thank you all for being such a fantastic community to belong to.
World Kindness Day
Tomorrow (Saturday 13 November), is World Kindness Day.
World Kindness Day is an internationally-observed day of kindness that was started in 1998. It is held on 13th November every year.
World Kindness Day is all about acceptance, diversity and love. This is done by taking opportunities to perform acts of kindness towards others. Below are some ways that you could show kindness tomorrow and every day, to make kindness the norm!
Community Council Hamper Raffle - Tickets now available in the front office
We now have tickets avaiable in the front office, as well as the Qkr app under Community Council Events/Fundraising.
The Hamper Raffle will be drawn on Thursday 9th December (Week 10).
If you can't make a decision on which hamper to choose, then the "All Hampers" ticket is the one for you. Purchase one ticket for $10 and you will get one ticket in each hamper.
The price of tickets are as follows:
1 ticket = $2
3 tickets = $5
5 tickets = $7
Assistant Principal and Inclusion Coordinator
What students are learning about
This week we all spent time honoring those who have served and died for our country.
Kinder created an amazing display that included different coloured poppies and what they represent.
Evelina and Apajok read the Ode and led us through the Last Post, Minute of Silence and the Revell.
Here are some great clips that explain the symbolism and importance of the day if you would like to watch them with your family. We found them helpful.
What is Remembrance Day?
The Story Behind John Macrae
For the little ones
Kindergarten and Year 1 talked about what the different colours mean and who they represent. This includes indigenous nations and animals.
Religious Education Coordinator
Notices from the Parish
Happy birthday to Aisling S, Matthew H, Jessica G, Sophie J, Ajay B, Roger P and Mathew H who all celebrated a birthday over the last week.
Please note that we ask students to not bring home made cupcakes to share with the class for their birthdays. This is a precautionary measure for health and hygiene. The Canteen offers a number of options to share with the class. Purchases can be made through the QKR app.
Congratulations to the following students who will receive an award for the fortnightly Positive Behaviour Focus.
|KB||Summer L||Amaan G|
|KM||Kyler A||Andrew S|
|1B||Jackson M||Madison S|
|1M||Ewan G||Harvey I|
|2B||Austin P||Grace P|
|2M||Roman D||Gauri D|
|3B||Joseph G||Anabelle T|
|3M||Jamie S||Kelvin N|
|4B||Jordan D||Grace H|
|4M||Raph I||Olivia T|
|5B||Evan M||Mau'lupe M|
|5M||Claire B||Toby F|
|6B||James J||Maddi H|
|6M||Rebecca C||Will S|
|Sustainability (K-2)||Roman D (2M)||Jenson C (1M)|
|Evelina T (6B)||Phoebe B (5M)|
|Library||Lincoln A (2M)||Jonah T (2M)|
This term, in Inquiry Year 3 have been investigating living and non-living things. This has included looking at what living things need to survive. During this unit, Year 3 have researched a zoo animal to see how they are provided with what they need, this included different enrichment activities that they are provided with. All students worked very hard to complete their diorama on Wednesday and had a great day making the enclosure.
The Uniform Shop is now able to have customers attend in person. Please make sure you check-in using the CBR Check-in QR code, wear a face-mask and abide by all social distancing requirements set by ACT Health.
Uniform orders can still be placed for ‘Order for delivery’ which will be sent to your child's classroom.
The Uniform Shop is open below during the following times:
- Friday 19 November: 9-10am
Please note that the Uniform Shop will not be open on Wednesday 17 November between 9-10am as previously advertised.
If you have any questions or concerns, please email the uniform shop on email@example.com.
A reminder that school fees are past due and prompt payment would be appreciated.
The financial burden of maintaining the school is shared across the whole school community. It is unfair for some families to shoulder the burden for others, unless there is particular financial stress as to why your school fees have not been paid.
As the end of the school year approaches we would like all outstanding accounts finalised.
Please contact Debbie Milne via email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to discuss your school fee account.
My working days are Monday – Thursday 8am – 3:30pm
Family Photo Fundraiser – Friday 12 & 19 Nov and Sat 20 Nov
Bookings are now available for this years fantastic family photo fundraiser.
For only $20 you get a professional family photo shoot with multiple shots plus a A4 sized (10″ x 13″) professional family photo. You also have the option to buy more however there is absolutely no obligation to buy. (Payment through QKR is available now).
Sessions will be outside this year at the Lake Ginninderra Western Foreshore to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines.
To make it easier on families we have made bookings available across three days:
Fri 12 Nov 4-7pm,
Fri 19 Nov 4-7pm and
Sat 20 Nov 3-7pm.
Places will fill fast so BOOK NOW by going to https://sjapsfundraising.com/family-photo-fundraiser-1-nov/
If you have any questions please email our Fundraising coordinator Belinda at Belinda.email@example.com
Screen time habits for good eye health
Research suggests that there has been an increase in myopia (nearsightedness) rates for children and teenagers during the pandemic. Myopia is a vision condition in which someone can see objects near to them clearly, but objects farther away are blurry.
One study revealed an almost 400% increase in six-year-olds presenting with myopia symptoms during the 2020 lockdown. The phenomenon referred to as ‘quarantine myopia’. Experts believe that screen time may be to blame. HCF Health Insurance data shows over 20% more school-aged children had claims entered for glasses or contact lenses in 2020, compared to five years ago.
While it may seem logical to blame these negative impacts solely on screens, there’s emerging evidence to suggest that screens alone may not be triggering or causing eye strain or myopia. The pandemic has not only led to an increase in screen time but has also resulted in kids spending more time inside and less time outdoors in natural sunlight. Family history is also a known risk factor for children developing myopia.
Given that kids will need to continue to rely on digital technologies for their learning and leisure, parents, carers and educators need to equip them with the strategies that will support their eye health and reduce the impacts of screen-related eye conditions such as eye strain and myopia. Following are some simple strategies to help keep screenagers’ sight healthy and in optimum condition.
Keep an eye on their eyes
Be on the lookout for symptoms such as headaches, blurry vision, squinting, or rubbing eyes, as they may indicate potential eye issues. Take your child to an optometrist if symptoms persist.
Teach them the 20/20/20/20 rule
Every 20 minutes, they should take at least a 20 second break, look into the distance for 20 metres to develop depth of vision, and blink 20 times – because when they stare at a screen their blink rate declines by 66%.
Remind them to close their eyes
Learning through screens is mentally taxing, depleting the two regions of the brain which process what they see and hear online. Encouraging kids to close their eyes, even if just for 10 seconds, gives these regions of their brain a much-needed break. It increases alpha waves in their brains, leaving them feeling focused and alert after a short break.
Remember the arm’s length rule of thumb
Remind your kids to keep all their digital devices and reading materials at least an arm’s length away from their eyes.
Make sure kids read with appropriate lighting, as poor surrounding light increases eye strain. You may need to adjust the brightness on the screen they are using, or the lighting in the room.
Encourage them to head outdoors
Research shows that young children who spend more time outdoors are less likely to be short-sighted as teenagers, so ensure your children get at least two hours of ‘green time’ time a day. Evidence also reveals that just 40 seconds in nature will reduce stress levels.
Given that technology plays a pivotal role in kids’ lives, it’s essential that parents, carers and educators equip kids with the skills and strategies that will protect their eye health. This requires strategies to deploy when kids are using devices and ensuring that their tech time doesn’t displace vital offline experiences, such as time in nature. Yet another reason why we need to balance their ‘screen time’ with their ‘green time’.
Dr Kristy Goodwin
Dr Kristy Goodwin is a digital wellbeing and performance speaker, author and researcher (and mum who also deals with her kids’ techno-tantrums!). She’s the author of Raising Your Child in a Digital World, and a media commentator who doesn’t suggest that we ban the iPhone, or unplug the gaming console (digital abstinence isn’t the solution). Kristy translates research into essential information and realistic strategies for parents to ensure kids and teens thrive in the digital world. For further details visit www.drkristygoodwin.com.