OLHC News Issue 30 Term 4 Week 4 - 27 October 2022
WELCOME TO COUNTRY...
Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School acknowledges that God has been walking with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, making God's presence known through a continuous living culture over many thousands of years. We pray in thanksgiving for these ancient peoples who have enriched and sustained our continent over all that time. In particular, we praise God for the people who nurtured the lands where our schools are built and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families who continue to support Catholic schools.
As partners in Catholic Education and open to God’s presence, we pursue the fullness of life for all. Our Lady Help of Christians Primary School is committed to the safety and well-being of all students.
We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Victoria and pay respect to the ongoing living cultures of First Peoples. This newsletter comes to you from the lands of the Wotjobaluk, Jaadwa, Jadawadjali, Wergaia, and Jupagalk Nations.
Dear Parents, carers, families, and parishioners,
Monday 31st October - NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS - Pupil Free Day: Staff Professional learning on SWPBS (School Wide Positive Behaviour Support)
Tuesday 1st November is Melbourne Cup Day. Our school will be open as usual. Murtoa College is closed for the day, however buses will be running on Tuesday, 1st November.
The Power of Prayer
We have all been sharing prayers related to the current flood situation in Victoria. We pray for all who have been affected by the rains of recent weeks and the rising water levels that have followed and now slowly lowering in some areas.
Compassionate God, source of all comfort,
We pray for the people whose lives have been devastated by rain and flood.
Bring them comfort, we pray.
Protect the vulnerable.
Strengthen the weak.
Keep at bay the spread of disease.
Have mercy on all those working to rescue the stranded and to feed the hungry.
And may our response to their suffering be generous.
For we ask it in Jesus' name,
Important Upcoming Dates:
- Wednesday 7th December to Friday 9th December: Year 5/6 Camp to Creswick. More information when it comes to hand.
- School Christmas Concert - which was scheduled for the 8th of December needs to be rescheduled due to the date change of the Year 5/6 Camp. Once a new date has been set we will let you know.
- Wednesday 14th December - Graduation Mass at St Mary's Church, Murtoa at 6 pm
- Friday 16th December - Last day of school for students
Mrs. Cathy Grace
Last Sunday was world Mission Sunday so a little more this week about Fr Habte and the work he is doing in Emdibir, with the support of Catholic Mission.
In a community where opportunities for skills training and employment are scarce, Fr Habte and the Church are coming alongside their community to make a change. Through the expansion of the current Deberety Farm to include a goat rearing centre, their vision continues beyond providing nutritious milk to families in need to include agricultural skills training and employment – opportunities that will allow families to provide for themselves.
Many community members do not have the skills or opportunities to secure a bright future for their families. Sadly, the Youth (15-24) unemployment rate is approximately 27% with young women twice as likely as young men to be unemployed. Fr Habte sees firsthand the challenges his community faces and is compelled to act, doing his best to provide them with life-changing opportunities. Our partnership this World Mission Month can help build brighter futures for families in Ethiopia and around the world.
The end result of our help and cooperation is to provide items of need to children who do not have access to the necessary items and treasures that we do. This year, our major support is centred around the Samaritan Purse (Operation Christmas Child) project. By partnering with this project, we are being a witness of Jesus Christ, as He has called us to be in Acts 1:8, and making a life-changing difference for families/children in need.
As Fr Habte says, “A person who understands the idea that God is love, a believer who cares about his fellow man, grieves, and makes every sacrifice possible.” With our support, we are helping to build brighter futures for children of different ages around the world.
Thank you so much to the families who have made a valuable contribution with the Christmas shoe boxes - you certainly will put a smile on a child's face on Christmas day - a true gift of 'giving life' on this special day. This project is certainly reaching out for the common good of people and addressing poverty in children's lives. So thank you!
Managing your child’s anxiety by Michael Grose
If your child feels anxious, reassure them that these feelings are a normal response to new people, events, or potentially challenging situations. Help your child understand that there is a great deal they can do to manage their anxious feelings, so they can get on with the activities they enjoy.
If your child is anxious he may struggle to explain how he feels. An important first step in anxiety self-management is explaining to your child how anxiety works.
"Sufficient sleep, good nutrition and exercise are essential for anxious kids. Support your child to adhere to their optimal bedtime so they wake naturally each morning, reduce sugar, take care of their gut health through good nutrition and encourage regular exercise for optimal mental health."
- Teach your child that the part of the brain that protects them from danger (the amygdala – pronounced ahh-mig-dah-la), is always on high alert when they are anxious
- Explain that the amygdala sees danger where there is none, but the body prepares to fight for life or flee from danger as if it’s protecting them from a hungry lion
- Discuss that the amygdala can’t differentiate between a hungry lion and public speaking or some other task they must face
- Talk about the changes that happen in their body to power them up to fight or flee, including increased heart and breathing rates and the pumping of the blood from the stomach to the arms and legs, which can cause nausea and even vomiting for some
Help recognise anxiety-inducing events
There are many things that can evoke anxiety in your child, including:
- Stressful events
- Life changes
- Difficult experiences
- New or unfamiliar situations
Help your child to recognise the specific situations and events that make them feel anxious such as meeting new friends, sitting tests, and fear of rejection. In this way, you can help your child manage and minimize their feelings of anxiety.
Respond with empathy
When your child feels anxious, the part of the brain that controls rational thinking, decision-making, and concentration temporarily goes offline. They can feel easily overwhelmed by simple, everyday events and situations. Rather than protecting your child by allowing them to avoid meeting these challenges, or dismissing them as trivial, validate their feelings with statements such as:
- “I can see you’re feeling worried about going to camp without your brother.”
- “Thanks for telling me you feel nervous about the test. It’s understandable.”
- “I see you’re really anxious about this right now. I know it’s hard for you.”
Resist the temptation to rescue or fix a situation. Respond with empathy and understanding to your child’s concerns.
Manage anxious moments
Help your child develop the tools to regulate and push their anxious feelings to the background. Practice these anxiety management tools when your child is feeling calm, and it will be easier for them to practice when they are nervous. These include:
- Taking some deep breaths: Deep belly breathing from the diaphragm calms the amygdala, reducing feelings of anxiousness
- Bringing their attention back to the present: Use their senses to bring their attention to the present moment and away from their worries – “Tell me five things you see, four things you hear, and something you smell.”
- Getting them moving: Physical exercise is not only a great distraction but it releases feel-good endorphins that help children and young people feel better and more optimistic about the future.
- Defusing their thoughts: Anxious thoughts can get stuck, refusing to budge no matter or how unwanted they are. Help your child to distance themselves from their thoughts by placing distancing statements in front of their thoughts. Replace “I’m going to fail the test” with “I had a thought that I’m going to fail the test.” Rather than changing their thinking, assist your child distance themselves from unhelpful thoughts.
Get the fundamentals right
Sufficient sleep, good nutrition, and exercise are essential for anxious kids. Support your child to adhere to their optimal bedtime so they wake naturally each morning, reduce sugar, take care of their gut health through good nutrition and encourage regular exercise for optimal mental health.
There is a great deal you can do to help your child manage their anxiety. Start by assisting your child to understand the fundamentals of anxiety, show your genuine understanding of their feelings and be ready to support them emotionally to push their anxiety to the background.
More information can be found at https://www.parentingideas.com.au/blog/managing-your-childs-anxiety/
Operation Christmas Child
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan’s Purse. It is a hands-on way for you to bless children in need across the world by filling shoeboxes with toys, hygiene items, school supplies, and fun gifts. The boxes will be collected and distributed in the name of Jesus Christ to children living in vulnerable situations.
Thank you for your generous support of Operation Christmas Child boxes!
The deadline for boxes is tomorrow, Friday - Please return all boxes, so we can send them off to the Operation Christmas Child Project.
" In all things, I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive."
What is happening in the Senior Room?
In Literacy this week the focus has been on story writing. We started with a "50 Word Story Challenge", where students were set the task of writing a story with a maximum of 50 words including the title. Students chose a topic, brainstormed key words and a plan that had to include a beginning, middle and end. They then got to work writing the story. Finally they edited to the 50 word requirement developing their editorial skills. Amazing, entertaining stories were produced by all students.
Students have now been tasked with writing their own children's book, focusing on short, sharp and entertaining sentences for a younger audience. Once completed the students will print and then illustrate their stories, the goal being to have a complete books to read to the kindergarten children.
In R.E. students are reseaching Saints. Christmas play rehearsal has begun with reading lines and practising songs.
What is happening in the JuniorRoom?
It’s so good to be back at school and with all the children again.
On Monday, we began with the whole school together. We drew circles with just a ruler and pencil. Then we put on coloured circles which represented different ingredients on a pizza. The children calculated the cost of each ingredient and their pizza. Finally, the children divided their pizza into equal shares for each member of their family. A big ‘thank you’ to Mrs. Curran and Mr. Anderson, who helped and, with the student leadership team, made pizzas for each child to enjoy. All the children worked well together and we had a great day.
The children in the Junior Room have continued to learn from InitiaLit and have worked from the picture story book called ‘The Day the Crayons Quit’.
They have expressed what their favourite colour is and have persuaded why their colour is the best colour.
In R.E. we are learning about the Trinity and The Sign of the Cross.
Maths learning involves Equaling, 3 digit & 4 digit numbers.
Child Safe Standards - Commitment Statement
Below is a link/file attachment that is the updated Statement of Commitment to Child Safety from the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV). This statement has been updated in light of the revised Child Safe Standards that came into effect on July 1st.
Please take the time to read the updated statement.
We are committed to continuous improvement in our approach to child safety and wellbeing and welcome feedback from families and members of our school community on ways we can further
strengthen our child safety policies, procedures, and practices.
If you have any suggestions, comments, or questions, please contact Cathy via phone or email..
This Wednesday 26th October, four of our leaders were to attend St Michaels & Johns, Horsham (Parish Centre), for a School/Parish workshop unpacking the Child Safe Standards (CSS), identifying what they mean and what action we can all take. Unfortunately due to the weather forecast and safety reasons, this workshop was cancelled. A new date has been scheduled for early 2023. Our Year 6 students will have an opportunity to participate in Child Safe Standard Workshops in Year 7 regardless of the Secondary School they attend.
Upon completion of the workshop, our leaders will then come back to school and facilitate learning for everyone else. This is one way to empower our students and enhance their understanding of CSS. Therefore, all our students will have learning opportunities around the Child Safety Standards in 2023
Mass Times & Parish Information
Mass: St Mary's Church, Murtoa
Saturday 29th October Mass at 6.00pm
Just a reminder that our SunSmart Policy is now active. Therefore everyone needs to wear a hat whilst outside - 'no hat, no play'.
Any child who doesn't have a hat on will need to stay on the verandah in the shade.
Please click on the link below to take you directly to our School Calendar.
Changes to Pandemic Orders & Easing of Requirements.
The Victorian Government has announced the end of the pandemic declaration and associated pandemic orders. This change also saw an easing of masks and isolation requirements, becoming strong recommendations.
An updated CECV School Operations Guide is now available to schools. The School Operations Guide: Term 4, 2022 (17 October 2022) has been significantly reduced considering the end of the pandemic declaration and associated orders.
Included in the revised Ops Guide:
- COVIDSafe measures for schools: continue to implement important practices to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission
- COVIDSafe Plan: Schools must keep their COVIDSafe Plan in place, which should be regularly reviewed and updated as required.
- Ventilation: continue to direct inquiries to email@example.com.
- Vaccinations: Vaccination is no longer mandatory, however staff and students are strongly recommended to keep up-to-date with all recommended and available COVID-19 vaccinations
- Rapid Antigen Testing: It is recommended that rapid antigen tests (RATs) are used by students and staff when symptomatic. Positive results for staff and students should be reported to the school.
- Face Masks: Staff and students who wish to wear face masks should be supported to do so, and schools should continue to make face masks available for staff, students, and visitors. Face masks are strongly recommended for close contacts if leaving home and for 7 days after returning a positive test if leaving home.
- Infection Prevention and Control: Continue to practice good hand hygiene, noting staff should direct or supervise young children where required.
- Management of Suspected Cases of COVID-19 in Schools: Anyone who is symptomatic should be recommended to undergo testing. Schools should seek to have symptomatic students collected from school and kept at home until no longer symptomatic.
- Management of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Schools: The Department of Health recommends that a person who tests positive to COVID-19 report the results to their employer, school, and household. Students and staff who test positive are strongly recommended to isolate for 5 days.
- Students who may be Medically-At-Risk: Schools must ensure students with medical needs have an up-to-date Student Health Support Plan and accompanying condition-specific health management plan.