With the celebration of Mother’s Day this Sunday, it is a good opportunity to reflect on the role of mothers in our families in raising our children. Children treasure their families and feel they are special and irreplaceable. Families, including immediate and extended, provide children with a sense of belonging and identity. They are a source of emotional support and comfort, warmth and nurturing, protection and security. There is amongst families a sense of reciprocity—a giving and taking of love and empathy by every family member. This Sunday is a very important and special day for all mothers throughout the world. It is a time to acknowledge the great job that our mothers do in looking after us and guiding us through our lives. Thankyou to Jess Conway, Mal Orr and the classroom teachers for assisting the students with their special surprises.
At Galilee we will be celebrating our mothers and significant females with a morning and afternoon tea, Mass and luncheon. I know that the students of Galilee will be making sure they recognise their mothers and significant females, particularly on Sunday.
A feeling of gratitude
Mrs Price talks about encouraging persistence in your children (Student Wellbeing) and provides some helpful hints. Persistence in many ways leads to increased resilience. Resilience can be learnt at all ages and often leads to a more positive and happy approach to each day.
This reminds me of man I heard last year called Hugh van Cuylenburg, managing director of the Resilience Project. Hugh spent time living at an under-privileged school in in the Himalayas and returned to Australia determined to spread his message.
Can you reflect upon a time when this has happened to you? Have you ever been in a difficult situation and been grateful when it has been resolved?
One important strategy that Hugh encouraged was, to be grateful each day for at least three things. He noticed a dramatic increase in the resilience and positivity of participants (practising being grateful for three things each day) even after one week. Thinking of what is going right in your life, as opposed to what is going wrong, is a much happier way to exist each day. We all have different backgrounds, personalities and situations, with some people being more naturally positive than others. The descriptions commonly used are 'glass half full' or 'glass half empty'.
Sometimes we can allow our past experiences, pleasant or not, to dictate how we feel in the present. Hugh says that it is possible to change your mindset and view life more positively by being grateful each day.
This philosophy can also be applied to how we interact with other people. When interacting with others, do you see what they are capable of, OR rather, what they cannot do? Teachers have known for a long that that building upon a student's strengths inspires greater learning and that criticism limits further learning and confidence. Do you want to inspire other people or limit their achievements? Positivity often begins with how you greet another person, either by your tone or by simply using their name. Do you acknowledge other people's achievements? Recognition of genuine achievements help to not only build a person's confidence but when done by many, to lift the performance and culture of a community.
At our assembly each week, the teachers give out awards to students for varying achievements but recognition does not have to be an award and can be either private or in front of an audience. While members of a school recognising each other's achievements helps to build community, the opposite can occur (when recognition is not valued after genuine achievement it can lead to a loss of confidence and reduced contribution to the community). However, not all achievements will lead to recognition and this is part of developing one's resilience.
While Galilee is a positive place to be each day, further recognition of each others' achievements (by students, staff and parents) will lead to more inspired learning, teaching and support by all.
In summary, I encourage you to:
- try Mrs Price's suggestions on how to develop persistence (resilience) with your children and yourselves;
- practise being grateful for three things each day either by yourself or as a family;
- be positive to those you meet, recognise their achievements or work,
...and see if these strategies improve your wellbeing and the relationships you have with those around you.
At assembly on Wednesday, we farewelled Chloe (2R) who is returning to London with her family. Chloe was presented with a memory book from her classmates and a certificate at assembly.
What is NAPLAN? The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual national assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9. All students in these year levels are expected to participate in tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy. Why do students do NAPLAN tests? NAPLAN tests are one aspect of the school’s assessment and reporting process, however they do not replace the extensive, ongoing assessments made by teachers about each student’s performance.
This week the Year Three and Five students completed the four scheduled NAPLAN tests for 2017. Tomorrow will be an opportunity for students who have been absent this week to complete tests.
Miss Casey will be away on Approved Leave from Monday May 22 - June 8 and will be replaced by Anna Reilly. Mrs Ford will be away on Approved Leave from May 29 - June 8 and will be replaced by Helen Walker. Staff are entitled to approved leave after a period of service in Catholic Education. We always try to employ short-term replacements who work regularly at Galilee and are familiar with our students and policies.
Prep 2018 Interviews
Together with Mrs Burns, Mrs Gerecke and Mrs Price, we have met with all sibling and most non-sibling families (some still to occur) from our list of applications to attend Galilee. It has been an amazing experience to meet the excited young children who are all eager to begin school at Galilee. They are all at different stages of development but with inquiring minds.
We are enrolling two classes of students into Prep for 2018. It has been a pleasure meeting all of the young children and their families; the development that occurs from now until the beginning of the next school year will be astonishing. The meeting is a valuable time to meet the children and to ask questions that will assist in the transition to school. Many children asked some fascinating questions. Letters of offer will be sent out shortly and to confirm a place for your child, all replies and deposits need to be paid by the required date. Prep Transition dates are listed below and been designed to gradually introduce children to the classroom and the broader school community. We take the opportunity to observe social, academic and physical abilities and begin planning for the following year. The program consists of four days and two parent/guardian sessions plus some visits to selected kinders (where there are multiple students). Below are the dates that will be sent to the families:
School Review and Closure Day June 9
We have an additional school closure coming up on June 9 as a result of our upcoming External School Review to be held from October 10-13, which occurs every four years. We need to report on the school's progress for the past four years. Parents, students and teachers also participate in the process which results in future goals and targets being set. We are accountable to both the VRQA (Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority) and CEM (Catholic Education Melbourne). Mrs Maree Holmes from CEM will be present on June 9 to assist us in our preparation.
I wish all of our mums a wonderful Mother's Day!