Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students
Everyone gets anxious or worried every now and then. We may worry about sitting a test, starting in a new sport team or meeting new people. These are normal everyday worries that are part of life. For some young people (and adults) however, worries or anxieties can become persistent. When this happens the worries and anxieties can interfere with the activities of day-to-day life and cause problems at school and at home. When we see that anxiety and worries begin to affect our young people it is important that we act. Early intervention can go a long way to helping our young people to regulate how they are feeling and help them deal with their worries in a manageable way. As adults caring for children, it is up to parents and teachers to identify when things may be escalating and getting a little out of hand. Some of the common signs in children include:
- Wanting things to be perfect.
- Reluctance to ask for help or ask questions.
- Difficulty joining in, shyness, or withdrawal from social interactions.
- Avoidance of fear/anxiety-provoking situations.
- Difficulty concentrating and/or completing tasks.
- Feeling ill and/or requesting to go home from school.
- Fear of tests, presentations, or performance-based situations.
- Worrying that performance on assignments, tests or presentations will not be good enough.
At school we are committed to listening to our students and responding appropriately to their worries and anxieties. The voice of the child is a term that we use regularly. We recognise that some children may find it difficult to talk to their teacher about what is causing them stress or anxiety. Whilst our teachers are great at “checking in” with students we understand that classrooms are busy places and students may not be able to find a private moment to voice their concerns. To provide another means for student to have their concerns heard we have introduced a letterbox system. A letterbox is available outside the classroom, one for the junior students and one for the middle- and upper-year levels. Students are encouraged to write down their concerns or worries and place it in the letterbox at some time during the day. The boxes are checked each day so concerns can be followed up quickly. A sheet is available for the children to use to make it easier to communicate their worries, if they would like to use it. Please encourage the children to write their concerns and use the letterbox system if they do not find the time to talk to their teachers. We want our students to be confident in asking for help so we can work together, with our parents, to ensure day to day worries and anxieties do not turn into bigger problems.
National Volunteer Week
This week, across Australia, we are celebrating the wonderful gift that our volunteers bring to our communities. Here at Matthew Gibney we are graced with volunteers on a daily basis. My intention this week was to personally thank every volunteer who came into the school. However, this was an ambitious intention and not one I was able to fulfil, due to us simply having so many volunteers participating in a variety of ways each day. This week alone we have had parents volunteering in the following areas:
- Canteen volunteers
- Organising reading book exchange
- Classroom helpers
- Quiz Night volunteers meeting for a planning meeting
- Quiz Night committee members sourcing donations
- School Advisory Council members meeting
- Parents volunteering on a school excursion and for Sacred Saints Interschool Sport.
- Dads volunteering for the Busy Bee on Saturday.
I am sure I have missed something – but, the list for this week alone is impressive. This is a small school where our parents have big hearts. On behalf of the staff and students we are sincerely grateful for all you to to assist us in providing the very best we can for our students. Your assistance, as volunteers is highly valued. Thankyou!
Parents and Friends Meting – Monday 24th May 2.00pm
Please consider coming along to the afternoon P&F Meeting on Monday 24th May commencing at 2.00pm. The meeting will be held in the Library and toys will be available for young children. This will be an opportunity to join discussions about planning for school improvements and school events. The P&F meetings also provide our parents with an avenue to meet other parents and bring along any ideas you may have.
P&F 30th Anniversary Quiz Night 19th June
Preparations are under way for the Quiz Night. Donations for prizes are coming in thick and fast. We encourage all families to come along to the Quiz Night. Put together a table of 10 friends and support this wonderful fund-raising initiative to raise money for our nature playgrounds. Tickets are still available.
The Feast of Pentecost is celebrated on Sunday 23rd May. When the Holy Spirit came to the Apostles, seven days after Jesus ascended into Heaven, it literally changed their lives. The Holy Spirit gave the Apostles, and the followers of Jesus, the gifts they required to go out into the world and spread the good news of Jesus. Pentecost is sometimes referred to as the birthday of the Church. The Holy Spirit continues to give love, strength and grace to us, the followers of Christ, so we too can effect change in the world. The Year Six students will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, as the Apostles did, when they receive the Sacrament of Confirmation later in the year. The Holy Spirit gives all of us the strength, courage and wisdom we need to make Jesus real in our everyday lives.
And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim. (Acts 2:2-4)
Good luck to our Cross-Country Team who are competing at the inter school carnival on Monday 24th May.