NEWSLETTER 5 - 1st March 2022
The British philosopher, Bertram Russell, stated that, “To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.” As with most good quotes, the sentence is both a statement and a conundrum, a prompt for deeper thinking and even, of action. There is nothing wrong with wanting our loved ones to be happy, however, Russell highlighted the need for us to deeply consider the term, ‘happiness’ in a much broader and deeper interpretation and context than most of us would choose to consider. Two terms are of interest when exploring the complexity of happiness – ‘toxic positivity’ and ‘tragic optimism.’
Professor Brock Bastian from the University of Melbourne defines ‘toxic positivity’ as the idea for the expectation to be positive at all times, to maintain positive thoughts, a certain level of positive emotionality regardless of circumstances; that we fail a social standard when we invariably do feel unhappy and that we are made to feel that to be unhappy is unhealthy. When things are going wrong in our lives, there are certain platitudes that people tend to say which are perhaps meant to be helpful but often are not helpful. It is good to be able to find happiness in life, it is important to reframe situations if we are viewing them unnecessarily negatively, to reframe them in a way which allows us to respond or to manage them better, however, it is often the unhappiness that helps motivate a more honest appraisal of current circumstances in order to move towards a better and ‘healthier’ outcome.
Viktor Frankl, a psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor wrote, Man's Search for Meaning, and he coined the term ‘tragic optimism’ – as a concentrate camp prisoner he did not know whether he was going to survive so there was no outlook of, 'well, everything will be okay in the future, everything is going to be fine’. Frankl coined tragic optimism in that optimism in the context of a search for meaning in the face and recognition of tragedy. We should feel encouraged to embrace tragic optimism by making a daily effort to feel comfortable with feelings that are uncomfortable instead of what toxic positivity might lend towards where you would ignore these feelings and just focus on building positive feelings. The fact is we can't always be happy, and in fact the good life involves some negatives. Negative emotions are important emotions; for our wellbeing, it is good to be able to have things going well more often than not. But the negative emotions are often the emotions which really have information attached to them, they are the ones that really tell us something about what we need to pay attention.
As educators, to focus on ‘happy outcomes’ is disingenuous to the reality of a life well lived, a life that all of us lead that involves an experience with ‘wilderness.’ Edward Abbey was an American writer who had a great affinity for the vast, beautiful, arid areas of the southwest of the United States of America. We, too, are fortunate to live in a state that has abundant beautiful wilderness. To most of us, our relationship with wilderness is influenced by our perception of our mastery over it – we are prepared for our drives, walks or journeys through the wilderness so the term ‘wild’, which is at the heart of the word ‘wilderness’, may have lost its unsettling aspect. In chapter one of the Gospel of Mark, there is an outline of Jesus’s wilderness experience – an experience of being tempted or tested for a considerable length of time. The account highlights the notion that wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit. Wilderness times are moments of crisis – moments when choice and change are forced upon us - there is no reference in this chapter to happiness, only of experience which has intrinsic to it, agony and ecstasy.
It is rare that we walk willingly into a wilderness; usually it is the result of losing our way, or an accident; the Gospel tells us that Jesus was ‘driven by the Spirit’ into the wilderness. In other words, the wilderness for Jesus was to be an encounter with God, it was where God wanted Jesus to be. For all its starkness and inhospitableness, a wilderness can be an invitation to discover depths in ourselves that ordinary living can leave untapped, for a wilderness demands more resourcefulness than the everyday norm. This is why the wilderness is often used as a place for initiation in ancient religions, for here a person can meet the Divine reality with greater immediacy.
The important season of Lent begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. As we journey through Lent both as individuals and as part of ‘a collective’ – be it our family, school community or workplace – it is reassuring to remember that we are not alone in our ‘wilderness confrontations’, and that a singular goal of ‘to be happy’ is unrealistic and unhealthy; that Lent is a time for self-reflection, for facing difficult facts, for settling the ‘muddied the waters’, in order to come out of the wilderness experience strengthened by our encounters with the same confrontations that are part of living in any community.
Each morning during our assemblies, students and staff are challenged to set themselves a goal to ensure they make a positive influence on their world that day, with the full realisation that we can almost never achieve any worthy goal alone.
Term 1 - Thursday 3rd February - Thursday 14th April
Term 2 - Monday 2nd May - *Friday 8th July
Term 3 - Monday 25th July - Friday 30th September
Term 4 - Monday 17th October - Thursday 15th December
*Student Free Day Friday 8th July 2022
Our school photo day will be held on Tuesday 22nd March. Photos will only be available to order online this year. All families have received the online ordering information today as per the below link. The access key is the same for every student, you must use your child/rens enrolled name when ordering photos. Family photos must be ordered by NO later than Sunday 20th March at 5pm.
Congratulations to the following students who have received Student of the Week.
Prep: Jayce Jarman for his diligent application and attitude towards learning. Well done, Jayce!
Year 1:Lincoln Smith for his positive engagement and contributions towards class discussions. Well done Lincoln.
Year 2: Angus Anthony for taking great care with his Science cover page.
Year 3: Violet Furley for demonstrating compassion and kindness towards her classmates.
Year 4: Sienna van der Hulst for consistently applying herself in class.
Year 5: Rose Evans for cleverly using powerful adjectives to enhance her descriptive writing piece.
Year 6: Ekam Gill for her outstanding attitude and application towards all tasks.
Congratulations to our House Raffle winners this week:
Dooley - Chloe Anthony Martyn - Omar Abdelgayed
Byrne - Hamish Crawford
The school canteen will commence this Thursday 3rd March and, until otherwise notified, only be operating Thursdays at this stage until we secure family support.
We have moved to an online ordering platform this year (QKR). This will be the only way that you will be able to order canteen, orders must be received by no later than 8.00 am on Thursday mornings. There will no longer be any cash sales available all orders must be made via the QKR app.
Please see the attached information in regards to downloading the app and adding the required details to order the canteen. The full canteen menu is now available via the app.
We still require parent volunteers who can commit to assisting on Thursdays and Fridays in the canteen. If you are able to volunteer some time on either of these days. Please confirm your availability via the following Google document link.
Mrs Hayes will be on leave for her usual Friday HPE this year, however, she will still be teaching HPE on Mondays. As a result of this leave, Miss Brown will now be teaching HPE on Fridays, with her focus for planning and implementation of HPE being Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 classes; Mrs Hayes will focus her planning and implementation of HPE on Mondays for Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6. Students in all grades are welcome to continue to wear their sports uniform on both Mondays and Fridays. IMPORTANT NOTE FOR THIS WEEK ONLY: HPE will be offered this Thursday rather than Friday this week only to support Miss Brown’s representation of a state championships sport event on Friday.
Karlie will be at St Patrick's this Thursday and Friday. Please contact Mr Linhart or the school office if you require any further information in regards to accessing the school counsellor.
As communicated last week our primary (Years 3-6) swimming trials will be conducted at the Devonport swimming pool. Students in Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 will travel to the pool by bus, leaving at 9.00 am, participating in events that will be used for selection in the Catholic Schools Regional Swimming Carnival, which is proposed for Thursday 17th March. Both the school and Inter-school swimming events are closed to spectators/public– a reflection of the COVID Safety Plan. Permissions and details regarding these events will be communicated to families via Compass.
The aim of our school reading program is to begin to support students in their development of the knowledge, skills and strategies they need to become independent readers in the future.
Reading is important. Children learn about the importance of reading as they watch family members use reading and writing for everyday purposes including reading for pleasure, using a recipe, writing a birthday card or sharing a story with a child. Listening to your child read at home is also a good way of supporting your child’s reading. Staff regularly assess children’s reading proficiency and each child will be provided with readers that reflect the skills they need to develop. Students are tested regularly throughout the year and any inquiry regarding testing protocols can be made to your child’s teacher. As part of our whole-school literacy program reading resources are available.
A range of readers is available for home use through the Home Reading system.
- Each child has an envelope and a reading logbook.
- Books may be exchanged daily through your child’s classroom.
- Please record the date and the book title in the booklet and return this to the classroom for redistribution.
The aim of our home reading program is not for children to read more difficult books as quickly as possible, but rather to enjoy reading and to practise some of the skills and strategies they have learnt at school. Children may read a book more than once, in fact, it is recommended that a child read a book up to three times before moving on.
Some of the books that children bring home as home readers may appear fairly easy to read. In class, children will read similar texts to develop specific skills and reading strategies. Home reading is aimed at enjoyment and practise. Please read the texts more than once. Repeated reading has huge benefits.
To develop greater reading fluency children practise their:
- oral language as they speak about and listen to literature.
- phonological awareness as they hear sounds.
- phonics as they segment and blend letters and sounds in words.
- fluency as they learn to read texts accurately, with expression and attention to punctuation.
- vocabulary as they come across new words in a written context.
- comprehension as they develop their ability to understand what has been read and to make inferences from texts.
Classroom teachers provide learning experiences throughout each year level to develop these skills. According to the level of reading proficiencies that are displayed by a student and the skills students are developing the Home Reader resources are grouped by colour and phonics (decodability). Students may find some texts easier than others and some more challenging. A more detailed description of the skills that are being learned by your child will be available with their home reader pack.
LEVELLED READING TEXTS
The levelling of texts in our Home Reader resources is based on the NELSON PM Benchmarking program, the FIRST STEPS reading development continuum and The Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards and learning progressions. These texts provide experience with high frequency words, spelling patterns, word types, sentence structure, text types, punctuation and a variety of vocabulary.
DECODABLE READING TEXTS
A decodable text is a type of text used in beginning reading instruction. Decodable texts are sequenced to progressively incorporate words that are consistent with the letter–sound relationships that have been taught to students. These readers have been sequenced to support the grade level phonics expectations based on the Australian Curriculum.
If you have any questions or would like further information please do not hesitate to contact your child’s classroom teacher, Mrs Badcock or Mr Linhart.
- Online learning will only be provided for students who are required to isolate as a result of a positive COVID test, have been directed to isolate by Public Health or have been deemed a household close contact. More information on how this will be accessed will be provided in due course.
- Online learning will not be provided if parent/carers choose to keep students at home where there is no underlying medical or educational reason for their absence.
Mitch visited St Patrick’s last week and below are some responses from his time with Years 3 and 4:
Question 1: Where or who showed you the Spirit of Jesus (SOJ) moments and name the gospel message you got from your story e.g. I saw the SOJ when….and my gospel value I got was…
- When Cloe as me to play with her and that made me very happy (Including).
- When Cooper picked up an apple core that wasn’t his and he put it in the bin. (Kindness).
- When Taylor calls me most nights. (Friendship)
- When Annabelle asked me if I needed help picking up her lunch box.( Thoughtful).
- When Miss Stuart went and found a pencil for me to write with. (Helpful)
QUESTION 2. What did you do to show the SOJ to others and name and underline the gospel value did you demonstrated to others. e.g. I saw the SOJ in me when I….
- When I said thanks to my mum for my tea last night and she was very happy. (Grateful).
- When I gave my brother some lollies with my money as he didn’t have any money. (Generous).
- When I volunteered to fold the washing up for mum. (Helpful team player at home).
- When Harry hurt his leg and I asked him if he was OK. (Compassion).
- When I said “Hello to Hamish, Harry and Will. (Welcoming).
QUESTION 3 What small things can you do to be a better team player at home?
- Don’t moan and groan as much and be more cheerful.
- Help more at home, be more kind, happy and loving.
- Say thanks 4 times a day at home every day.
- Not fighting my siblings as much. Keeping my room tidy
- Say OK with a smile and not fighting with my brother.
QUESTION 4. What small things can I do to be a better team player at school and in Year 4.
- By saying a personal, ‘Good morning’ to my teachers and others.
- By listening to my teacher better and not talking when others are talking.
- GTS treat and speak to others as I want to be treated.
- Help others when they need help. Say more encouraging words to people.
- Thank people and use their names. Volunteer more at school to help.
QUESTION 5 What was your “Oh Yeah” moment or the main thing you learned today?
- Jesus works through me each day in the little things I do and say.
- Depends which Spirit you feed. Keep feeding the positive one.
- To be more “switched on” to the Spirit of Jesus around me.
- The little things we do and say make a big difference,
- To be the Spirit of Jesus to others by being kind caring and loving.
This week the season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, which also marks the beginning of the annual Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal. Donations to Project Compassion allows Caritas Australia, the Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development, to work with local communities around the world to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.
The theme of Project Compassion 2022 is ‘For All Future Generations’ and reminds us that the good that we do today will extend and impact the lives of generations to come. It invites us to make the world a better place by working together now and finding long-term solutions to global issues. We encourage you to put your compassion into action this Lent through your prayer, fasting and almsgiving by supporting Project Compassion. Each family will receive a Project Compassion box for their donations or you can donate online via the Caritas Australia website at: lent.caritas.org.au
On Ash Wednesday (tomorrow) Project Compassion Money Boxes will be sent home to collect money for people who are less fortunate and are in desperate need of help. We encourage you to give if you can and to return your box by Palm Sunday (8th April).
Today children enjoyed pancakes to mark a day of preparation for the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednesday. The children were very appreciative of the pancakes and many comments were heard remarking on how nice they tasted. Many thanks go to the Mini-Vinnie students who cooked and distributed our beautiful pancakes!
During Lent we try to make a conscious effort to prepare ourselves for Easter. We can do this by increasing our prayer, helping others, fasting, giving up things we particularly like, and supporting Project Compassion. Lent urges us to identify and walk with Jesus as he travels towards Jerusalem and the place of his death and resurrection. In the spirit of renewal and conversion we observe Lent by reflecting on the central events of Jesus’ life and welcoming the opportunity to grow through changing our lives.
Since school began less than four weeks ago, 64 of our students and 11 staff members have had to quarantine for a period of time and have been involved in our school-supported learning at home support due to being either testing positive for COVID or being close contacts. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support of our staff in supporting flexible learning programs in addition to their other responsibilities during what is usually one of the busiest times of the year. I am especially grateful to our school leadership team (Mr Atkins, Mrs Marshall and Mrs Badcock) for continuing their usual responsibilities and teaching in classes to cover numerous staff absences. Our office staff of Mrs Leonard and Mrs Harris have also risen to the increased challenges superbly – there is much to be grateful for as we approach the fifth week of a very buy term. The cooperation and collaboration between school and home has also been a very impressive feature of the last almost four weeks of school, with communication between school and home beginning in mid-January – staff are enormously grateful for the support of families in their own efforts, and our joint efforts, to enhance student outcomes while respecting our staff and parent welfare.
- When a member of a particular class tests positive for COVID-19 that person (a confirmed case) is required to isolate at home. When we become aware of the confirmed case we will contact the parents / carers of the other students in the class to inform them of the situation and to request that they monitor their children for symptoms. If the child is symptom free, he or she can continue to attend school.
- Should the number of confirmed cases in a class reach five over a seven-day period we will notify Public Health of the situation. We will also contact the parents / carers of the other students in the class and request that they test their child using rapid antigen tests (that we will supply) on the day of us contacting them, then again two days later, followed by a third test three days after the second test. The classmates of the confirmed case can continue to attend school provided they return negative test results and are symptom free.
- Should we have three or more classes over a seven-day period with five or more confirmed cases in them we will notify Public Health. We will also apply the three tests per classmate approach described above in the classes with five or more confirmed cases. In addition to this we will liaise with Public Health regarding any required additional testing. Additional testing requirements will be communicated to parents / carers and the necessary rapid antigen tests will be supplied. Children who participate in additional testing, and who test negative and are symptom free, can continue to attend school.
Advice for confirmed cases
Should your child test positive for COVID-19 using a rapid antigen test:
- They must not come to school.
- You must register the result with Public Health using their online declaration formor phone the Public Health Hotline 1800 671 738.
- Your child must isolate from other persons including family members for a minimum of seven days. If your child still has symptoms on day seven, then they must continue their isolation for a further three days.
- Family members living in the same house are deemed to be close contacts.
- Close contacts need to quarantine for seven days and to maintain isolation integrity between themselves and the confirmed case.
- The seven days of isolation starts the day after your child tested positive. The seven days of quarantine for close contacts starts on the same day as the isolation period provided there has been no close contact between the confirmed case and other family members after receipt of the positive test result. If the confirmed case and other family members can maintain isolation integrity for the seven days of isolation then quarantine will also end when isolation ends.
- Having completed isolation, should your child come into contact with someone with COVID-19 in the four weeks following completion of isolation and your child is not immunocompromised or symptomatic, they will not need to quarantine or isolate.
2022 Soccer registrations are now open to families. Registrations and payment need to be completed online this year at https://www.playfootball.com.au/ The cost per child to register for 2022 is $70.00 - Ticket to Play will also be available for families to use this year. Please provide the school office with a copy of your Ticket to Play voucher once you have redeemed it. Please contact Tameka if you have any problems with the online registration process. Registrations close on Monday 14th March.
The 2022 soccer season will commence on Saturday 2nd April with an initial two week roster as per previous years. All teams will be required to have a nominated coach, who holds a current WWVP card prior to teams being entered into the competition.
Wednesday 2nd March: Ash Wednesday
Friday 11th March: School swimming trials Years 3 to 6 – bus to Devonport ‘Splash’
Monday 14th March: Eight Hour Day holiday.
Thursday 17th March: St Patrick’s Day - NW Swimming Carnival, Burnie.
Tuesday 22nd March: School Photo Day.
The 2022 Devonport Basketball winter primary school roster commences on Wednesday 23rd March for grades 1 and 2 and Friday 25th March for grades 3 – 6. For further information on the upcoming rosters and to register please go to www.devonportwarriors.com.au Registrations close Wednesday 9th March 2022. Should you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the DBC Office on 64242440.
1.5 hour basic Referee training for Grade 5+ Children will be conducted at the DJSA Clubrooms.
New referees: Monday 7th or Thursday 10th March 6pm to 7.30pm.
Returning referees Monday 21st or Thursday 24th March 6pm to 7.30pm.
Queries may be directed to Referee Coordinator, Ros Dell – email@example.com.
‘Inquiring Minds’ Birth to 5 program - a ‘Set-Up for Success’ Catholic Education Tasmania initiative.
Usually, our ‘Inquiring Minds’ birth to 5 program operates each Friday during school term time from 9.00am to 10.30am; However as detailed in our Covid school safety plan the directive from Catholic education Tasmania states that this program will not operate for the first five weeks of this term.
This program involves a considerable focus on communicating to parents the learning intentions of important activities that are associated with early years learning. Mrs Klug will be working to engage parents in early years learning experiences that will ensure children who are enrolling in Kindergarten, will be informed in regards to developing key social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills and understandings.
Our school community is special in many ways - dedicated staff, supportive parents, cooperative students. Our Mercy Charism provides us with key values that are real ingredients for our uniqueness - Compassion, Hospitality, Respect and Mercy. We try hard to live out these values and one way of displaying compassion is for us to be a support to those in our school community who have undergone a loss. Please contact Mr Linhart, your child's class teacher or the school office if you or a member of the school community might benefit from some care & concern.