Principal s Report PARENT TEACHER INTERVIEWS. Why is it worth going to parent-teacher interviews? TALKING WITH THE TEACHER

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1 63 Constance Street Mareeba QLD 4880 Subscribe: Phone: Fax: March 2018 Principal s Report Dear Parents As this is our final newsletter for Term One, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the entire school community for the wonderful way in which it has continued to work together supporting and giving strength to each other in bringing only the very best to the children with whom we journey in their growth. Our sincere thanks also to ALL parents who continued to offer their time and help with class and school-based activities throughout the term. It s always both wonderful and important to have the assistance. Thanks! Last Friday was the National Day of action against Bullying and our SRC representatives worked with their buddy classes to better understand what bullying is and how we can stop bullying. This was a wonderful opportunity for our SRC to form relationships with other students in the school and help present a very powerful message. Teachers reported that students enjoyed the presentations and our leaders were organised and informative in their delivery of information around Anti Bullying. At St Thomas we use our hand as a symbol to remember what to do if someone is being unkind or hurtful towards us; These simple and effective strategies go a long way to managing unwanted behaviour from others. Please refer to the following website for more information. PARENT TEACHER INTERVIEWS During this week (Week 9) and next (Week 10), parents will have the opportunity to meet with teachers to discuss their child s progress so far this year. Parent-teacher interviews are a great way to find out how your child is going and show your interest in your child s learning and school life. Parents are encouraged to play an active role in the education of their children and these interviews are an ideal forum in which to help enrich the learning opportunities for students and to build partnerships between home and school. Throughout your child s time in primary and secondary school, you will be invited to attend parent-teacher interviews, once or twice a year. These interviews are usually just short meetings about minutes between you and your child s teacher or teachers. Every parent is invited to attend at least one interview a year. It doesn t mean there s a problem. If you can, it s great if both parents can go along. Why is it worth going to parent-teacher interviews? Parent-teacher interviews give you a great opportunity to: learn more about your child s academic, emotional and social development meet and get to know your child s teacher help your child s teacher understand more about your child make plans with the teacher about how you can both support your child build a relationship with your child s school If you don t get through everything you want to discuss, you might need to arrange another meeting with your child s teacher. TALKING WITH THE TEACHER Being open and friendly will set you up for positive communication with the teacher. You can show that you respect what the teacher is saying by listening carefully and 1

2 trying not to become too defensive, even if you disagree with the feedback. It s important to get as much out of the meeting as you can, so it s okay to be direct when required. For example, ask the teacher to explain or clarify, or expand on a point if you don t understand or fully grasp what s being said. If you have a concern about something, try to be specific and avoid blame. Combining a request with understanding will usually help. For example, Freya says that when you explain things it makes it clearer to her. Would you mind if she asked you to take a bit more time to explain things when she s learning something new? It can also help if you can mention something positive about what is happening at the same time. If you have to discuss any problems with the teacher, it helps to come ready with some possible solutions, or at least some positive and practical suggestions. Be willing to listen to the teacher s ideas too. The aim is for you and your child s teacher to work on problems in partnership with each other. After all, you both share the same goal of wanting your child to learn and feel successful. If you make any decisions, it s good to agree on who will follow up and when. WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PARENT-TEACHER INTERVIEW? You and the teacher need to follow up on any decisions or solutions that you agree on at the interview. For example, you could arrange a second meeting or a follow-up phone call in a month s time. If you agree to try some new strategies, a follow-up discussion gives you both the chance to check how well they re working. If you need to, you can adjust them. Interview Dates as follows: Week 9: Week 10: Monday, 19th March: Year 1; Year 2; Tuesday, 20th March: Year 1; Year 2; Year 3 Wednesday, 21st March: Year 1; Year 3 Thursday, 22nd March: Year 3 Monday, 26th March: Prep; Year 5: Year 6; Tuesday, 27th March: Prep; Year 4; Year 5; Year 6; Wednesday, 28th March: Prep; Year 4 Also should the day and time not suit, then do not hesitate to organise a more convenient time with individual teachers. HOW DO I ORGANISE MY PARENT-TEACHER INTERVIEW? Once again this year we will use a new internet-based booking system called Parent Teacher Online (PTO). Using this system you will book directly the interview times that suit you best. For those without internet connection at home a computer will be available in the School Administration Office during school hours for you to complete your booking. Also those without access to would have received a pin in hard copy. Please access the system as follows: 1. Go to the school s home page in the link below. 2. Click the PTO icon as shown below 3. Click Obtain PIN/Password and enter your address. Your PIN will be ed to you. PARENTS & FRIENDS MEETING The March meeting of the P&F Association will take place tomorrow (Wednesday, 21st March). The meeting will commence after the Prep/Year 1 barbeque and will be held in the school staffroom. Your presence and contribution is valued. P&F BBQ INVITATION: All our Prep & Year 1 families are invited to the P&F BBQ, which will take place on the Basketball Court tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday, 21st March). BBQ will commence at 5:30pm. All families with students in Prep and Year 1 would have received an invitation via Edsmart Parent Paperwork. If you haven t RSVP, please do so ASAP. SWIMMING CARNIVAL This Thursday, 22nd March, Years 4-6 will participate in a Swimming Carnival. Students will swim in a range of races and novelty events. As the carnival will be longer than the usual swimming lessons, it is essential that students slip, slop, slap for the day. Children are asked to bring a drink bottle as well as a substantial morning tea and lunch. The pool canteen will be open for children who wish to utilise this service. Students can purchase snacks and drinks from the pool canteen on the day but pre-ordered lunch orders have now closed. Parents and friends are also encouraged to attend. Parental help is also imperative to making the day run as smoothly as possible. Thank you to those of you who have already volunteered their time. CROSS COUNTRY EVENT St Thomas Cross Country will be held next week - Thursday, 29th March. The day will start at approximately 9:00am. Children are asked to wear their sports uniform on the day and a reminder that a hat and sunscreen are also necessary. Children unable to participate should be made known to the class teacher, at the office either in writing or in person. Parents and friends are warmly invited and encouraged to come along and be a part of the morning. PARKING HASTIE STREET Parents are reminded to observe the traffic rules in and around the school, and in particular parking in Hastie Street. We ask parents to only use the parking bays provided if parking in Hastie Street; this will help to maintain a safe environment for all students. NAPLAN ONLINE PRACTICE 2018 This week, our Year 3 and Year 5 students will participate in an Online Practice Test in preparation for NAPLAN Online in May. 2

3 Year 3 students will sit their practice test on Thursday morning and Year 5 students will sit their practice on Friday morning. For those parents who missed the opportunity to attend the Parent Information Session on NAPLAN Online, we ask that you take the time to watch the ACARA s video explaining tailored testing on NAPLAN Online and how it gives students questions that are more suited to their ability resulting in better assessment and more precise results. ON A FINAL NOTE.. With God s blessings, may you and your family share in the joy and wonder of the coming resurrection. A happy and holy Easter to you all! School resumes on Tuesday, 17th April. Rita Petersen News from APRE Parish Weekend Mass Times St Thomas of Villanova Mareeba Saturday 6.00pm & Sunday 10.00am St Christopher s Kuranda Sunday 6.00pm St Anthony s Dimbulah Sunday 8.00am Mrs Katrina Miller - Assistant Principal Religious Education Compassion. Just Leadership Day Last week our student leaders attended the Caritas Just Leadership Day. The day focused on the important work that Caritas Australia does throughout the world to eliminate poverty and empower people to take control of their future. Our students were inspired by the stories that were shared and are planning a fundraiser for Project Holy Week Celebrations Next Thursday afternoon at 2:15pm we will celebrate the end of term and the coming of the Easter season with a liturgy in the church. All parents are invited to attend. SLAVERY FREE EASTER CHOCOLATE Did you know? Children as young as 12 years old are picking cocoa in West Africa to make the chocolate we eat. Some of these children are trafficked. Most are forced to pick cocoa from an early age for minimal or no wages, for long hours, in dangerous working conditions, without any possibility of attending school. Most of these children have never tasted chocolate and they never will. Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) is a social justice group who are working towards the elimination of human trafficking. Their website contains many articles, statistics and resources relating to the topic. As we are preparing for Easter, it is timely that we consider purchasing only slavery-free chocolate. To buy slavery-free Easter chocolate look for any of these certification labels on the wrappers: FAIRTRADE, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ. STAR LEARNERS AND COMMUNICATORS Congratulations to these students who were nominated by their teachers for displaying the qualities of effective learners and communicators. Students who received 5 or more nominations will be rewarded with a party at the end of term. 3

4 RE Diary Dates 21 March Harmony Day 29 March Holy Week Liturgy 20 April Year 3 Class Mass 24 April ANZAC Day Liturgy COUNSELLOR LEARNING SUPPORT Mrs Judy Conroy Learning Support Teacher Janine Wilson School Counsellor emotions One great way to slow down at any age is to learn how to be more mindful. Mindfulness is a tool that can help you to: Reduce worries, anxiety and distress Enjoy more energy Create a sense of calm Learn how to relax and regulate Enhance awareness and creativity Improve concentration and increase productivity Develop a sense of empathy and connectedness Enjoy better health and sleep Try some of the free mindfulness meditations from Smiling Mind. Please don't forget if you have any concerns about how your child is travelling at school this year speak to your class teacher. They can give you more information about School Counselling and other supports available at St Thomas' that might be of assistance. 4

5 INDIGENOUS LIASON OFFICER I've had a great Term 1 learning and working with students, school officers and teachers and am looking forward to working with more throughout the year. Homework classes will commence Term 2, week 2. Parents and Carers please feel free to drop in if you have any concerns or questions or even just for a chat. Stay safe over the holidays, see you all in Term 2. Thanks Cairns Rugby League Gala Day On the 16th March 2018 our Rugby League team travelled to Cairns for the Rugby League Gala Day. They played Cairns West first but unfortunately St Thomas lost, this was against the team who won last year s competition. Our second game was against Scorpions on their home ground, they won by 2 points, the score was 12 to 14 with Bryce and Blaine scoring some good tries. In the last game we got smashed, by then the whole team was tired so we only scored one try with Robbie taking the conversion by curving the ball in and he saved a try. Rylan and Patrick had the highest tackle counts with Rylan also taking out the most hit ups. Blaine, Bryce, Rylan, Patrick and Ethan all scored tries on the day. Cairns West won the competition and will now be travelling to play in Townsville. LIBRARY NEWS We would like to thank Mr Raso, Mr Fincham and Mr Shroj for all their help on the day. During the day the team all stuck together and encouraged each other showing good sportsmanship. Everyone caught the bus back to school, arriving a little late, we were happy and exhausted with everyone ready to go and relax at home for the weekend. By Robbie and Blaine NEWS FROM ST STEPHEN S CATHOLIC COLLEGE RUGBY LEAGUE GALA DAY 5