Welcome back to the most fast and furious of all terms - Term 4!
The students and staff have returned well rested and excited about the many events and learning opportunities that make up our final term for the year. The students have begun to imagine the year ahead and the excitement of the school Concert and the St Paul’s Fete have created a wonderful buzz around the school.
Today you will receive your child’s class Newsletter via the school app SZapp, which provides an overview of the key curriculum learning areas for Term 4 and an outline of the curriculum that will be covered by specialist teachers. Key dates and activities are also listed. If you are yet to download the app onto your phone please do so as soon as possible. If you need assistance with this please contact Anna.
Today Danny Maher is returning to school today after taking time to be with his younger brother Patrick, who has been battling a terminal illness and passed away during the school holidays. Our prayers and thoughts have been with Danny and his family over the past weeks and we are all looking forward to his return.
This is the final week for winter uniforms as the days become increasingly warmer. From next week we ask that all students are in full summer uniforms including hats which are to be worn at snack, lunch and during PE lessons.
A reminder that coloured scrunchies and ribbons are not to be worn - (red, white or blue ribbons are fine or the school tartan scrunchies).
Tickets are selling fast for our School Concert which is next week. I hope you have your tickets! The excitement is certainly mounting as students and staff work hard this week to put on the finishing touches.
The Wonder of Learning and Success
Last week a group of 20 girls in Yrs 1, 3 and 4 attended a workshop in the city called ‘Robogals’ sponsored by the Institute of Engineers and Monash University. Robogals workshops, are designed to increase female participation in engineering career paths and STEM based disciplines. Congratulations to all those who attended this great day. Thank you also to the parents who were there to hold hands and ensure all students travelled safely on the train into the city.
Michael, Henry, Marcus and Kyan from Year 5 were all chosen as the four fastest boys over 100 metre sprint at school level this year.
They then went onto inter school athletics in August and placed second in an extremely close race against seven other schools.
At Duncan McKinnon their relay was incredibly fast and first and second place ran over the line almost in time. It was very exciting for them. This meant they qualified for the big athletics carnival at Lakeside in September.
At the Lakeside athletics in Albert Park these four boys placed second again in a very close race.
Not only did they place second but they ran the race in 58 seconds. A time they have never done before as a foursome!
These four boys trained for several weeks in the lead up to both athletics competitions and should be congratulated for the way they conducted themselves.
I’m delighted to say that Isabella Schneider from Year 5 recently entered the ‘My Brother Jack’ writing competition and was one of the four winning entrants in the Primary School age group in the Poetry category, with her poem Friendship. She received her award from the Mayor of Glen Eira, Councillor Jamie Hyams.
Friendship: By Isabella Schneider
After you F ind your very best friend,
Adventures and laughte R will never end.
You realise the possibilit I es life can hold,
And fe E l bonded until you grow old.
Fights a N d rows you'll have to go through,
Nobo D y and nothing will separate you.
Even on the S addest days your friend will be there,
Lifting you H igh up in the air.
Friendship is a g I ft, like a four leaf clover,
It's the beginning, the P resent, it'll never be over.
Congratulations to Ben Wright-Smith who was recently named as School Captain of Xavier College for 2020 and is an ex student of St Paul’s!
Resilience and Social Media
Being a parent is the most rewarding and sometimes most challenging aspect of our lives. I do not share this information to be critical, but because I believe it is a huge challenge that we need to stay on top of. The impact of social media on children’s resilience and wellbeing and the role of parents in controlling children’s access to social media is an issue that we need to keep addressing. In fact, the majority of social media platforms are not designed for children under thirteen. This covers all students at St Paul’s. Prominent ones include:
- Instagram is 13+
- SnapChat is 18+
- Tik Tok (which was formally Musical.ly) is 16+
- Discord 13+
- Youtube account (not viewing) 13+
If a student at St Paul’s has a social media account then one of two things has happened.
- The child has opened such an account without their parents knowledge, this is a concern but can be addressed by parents asking their children, checking all devices and removing access to these apps and staying on top of it. If children continue to use these platforms then remove the devices from their use. Your child may be upset and that is okay.
- Another more concerning possibility is that the student has these accounts with their parents blessing. They approve of their child lying about their age and misrepresenting themselves on an official document. Why would parents do this?
More than 90% of inappropriate photos taken and posted by students are taken in the bedroom or bathroom. For this reason, if no other, internet capable devices should never be with children in bathrooms or bedrooms.
This link provides more information.
Parent and Child Evening
On 20 November, we invite parents and students from Years 3-6 to attend an information evening on Sexuality Education. This is a family program and the sessions are attended by children and their adults of an evening and are an opportunity for families to discuss the topics listed. These sessions are fun and informal. Family Programs run for one hour. Session 1 (Families, Bodies and Babies) is usually attended by Years 3/4 families, whilst Session 2 (Puberty: Growing and Changing) is usually attended by Years 5/6 families. However, attendance at either or both sessions is left to each family’s discretion. Please refer to the link for bookings and further information below. I hope many families take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
St Paul’s Fete
We all have our fingers crossed for a perfect day. Thank you for the amazing efforts of our dedicated parent community. If you have not put your name down to work on a stall and can spare a few hours it’s not too late! Sign up on
See you all at the Concert next week!
Sex Ed 4 Schools
With Cath McCallig
Cath McCallig is delighted to offer her Family Program to Primary School Communities. Cath has worked in schools as a teacher, theatre in education presenter, and more recently, as a sexuality educator with Family Life Victoria. Cath is now branching out on her own and offering both Family Evenings and School Programs. With four children of her own, Cath understands and fully support the role families have in the sexuality education of children.
Below is a quick rundown of what is covered over the 2 sessions of the Family Program. These sessions are attended by children and their adult(s) and are an opportunity to discuss the topics listed. The sessions are designed to be fun and informal. Families can choose to attend one or both sessions. Each session runs for an hour with a 15 minute break in between.
Session 1 Families, Bodies and Babies.
*Ideas of what makes a family are shared. *Similarities and differences in male and female bodies are looked at. *Body parts are named and the term ‘private parts’ discussed as a lead-in to keeping ourselves safe. *Conception, foetal development and birth are discussed. This will include a brief and basic explanation of sexual intercourse.
Session 2 Puberty: Growing and Changing
*The Who, What, When and Why of Puberty (including the pituitary gland and hormones). *A quick recap of body parts and their names for those who didn’t attend Session 1 *The physical, social and emotional changes of puberty are discussed allowing time for students to talk with their attending adult(s) about management strategies. *The gender specific changes are explained and again, students have the opportunity to discuss management with their adults.
Cost: $20 per family for one session, $25 per family for 2 sessions.
Date: 20 November 2019
Times: Session 1 FAMILIES, BODIES AND BABIES 6 - 7 pm
Session 2 PUBERTY: GROWING AND CHANGING 7:15 - 8:15 pm
Venue: School Hall
Booking Link: https://www.trybooking.com/BGDTR
A minimum of 10 families is required for the sessions to proceed.
A WONDERFUL ARTICLE TO READ AND REFLECT UPON ON THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF FAMILY.
THE FAMILY AS A SCHOOL OF CHARITY
Many classical spiritual writers used to espouse this. What does it mean to say that families are schools of charity?
As a young novice, reading books by Francis de Sales and Thomas a Kempis, I thought I knew. It made simple sense: When you live in a family, the give-and-take or life that you experience there, all the quirks and selfishness you have to life with, gives you (and every other member in the family) the opportunity to learn patience, forgiveness, understanding, and every other virtue under the sun. That idea, while not entirely wrong, is not quite what people like Thomas a Kempis (The Imitation of Christ) had in mind when they said that families are schools of therapy.
What they meant is in fact very close to what might be called “the therapy of a public life.” What is this? Negatively stated, it means that if I live without enough real give-and-take within a concrete family of some kind, there will be constant dangers and dangerous deprivations in my life.
The constant dangers will include an unhealthy fantasy about who I am, an illusion about what life is all about, a selfishness in terms of not sufficiently giving myself and what I have over to others, and a paranoia about guarding myself and my freedom. The dangerous deprivations will consist in the fact that nobody is really supporting me, even as nobody is helping me really deal with my pathologies and sins.
What a healthy family does is de-fantasize us, challenge us, dispel our illusions, demand unselfishness, and help us carry our pathologies. Practically, this means that if we give ourselves over to the rhythms of family and community life, we will constantly be corrected in how we perceive ourselves, deflated in our egoism and inflated self-importance, asked to be less selfish, stretched in how we see the world, and exposed in our faults. At the same time, if the family is healthy, we will also be met at that deep place in our hearts where we need the familiar, given a home (in the real meaning of that word), and helped to deal with our sickest secrets. This latter point is especially important.
Anthropologists tell us that one of the major functions of family is to help carry the pathologies of its members. They also point out that in previous cultures, where the family unit was much stronger than today, there was much less need for private therapy than there is now. Family life was the essential therapy for its members. That is an important truth. Without family, I am truly alone before my inner sicknesses and sins. Today that is often not understood. We have a virtual library of literature on dysfunctional families. Valuable as that is, it generally fails to point out that all families and communities (save the Trinity) are dysfunctional. Thus, the question is not so much, “Is your family dysfunctional?” but rather, “how dysfunctional is it and how are we helping to carry each others’ pathologies?” Families are schools of charity – and also our primary clinics for therapy. To live in a family is to be in therapy.
Perhaps an illustration can be helpful here: Several years ago, a woman came to me seeking counselling and spiritual direction. She was middle-aged, divorced from her husband, with grown children who no longer lived with her. She felt she was missing something in life, something she once had but now could not even name. It scared her. She described things this way: “I’m slipping! I don’t know what’s happening to me, I’m not even sure exactly what I want, but I’m just not moored any more, nor growing, nor happy. I need more anchors in my life.”
I only had one session with her because she was, in fact, quite a healthy woman who didn’t need counselling, nor particularly even spiritual direction. She needed the therapy of a public life. She needed to re-enrol in a school of charity. She needed family. Healthily, she herself sensed the dangers and dangerous deprivations inherent in not having a vital enough link to a living school of charity. Thus, I didn’t refer her to any counsellor or spiritual director. Instead I referred her to the registrar of a local Catholic theological school where she enrolled, met a group of persons much like herself, began to go to Eucharist several times a week, became involved in a series of prayer, discussion, and friendship groups … and blossomed. She found the steadying she sought and countless kinds of challenge through the therapy of a public life, through a family, through a school of charity.
We need desperately family, not just to meet our needs for intimacy and companionship, but also, like rocks being polished in a grinder, to jostle us around so that our rough edges get smoothed, our fantasies get dispelled, our selfishness gets derailed, our sicknesses get some attention, and our hearts get stretched enough to let us sit at the final family-table where everyone will lovingly and healthily be able to sit with everyone else.
Maths Games Day
On Tuesday, the 17th of September, Isabella Schneider, David Zhang, Ryan Quach, Amour Ooi, Keira Edge, Claire Lee, Rhys Jones and Sonny Lammana were selected to represent St Paul’s in a Maths Games Day. The event was held at St Patrick’s Primary school in Mentone, and St Paul’s was one of 17 schools and a total of 34 teams.
There were three sections of challenging maths activities that they faced in groups of four. The first was problem solving, which involved four booklets of problems which they worked together in a team to solve. The second activity that they participated in was the games, which consisted of Rowco, Mabble, Prime Climb, 24 game and Mancala, these were difficult yet fun. The third part involved a maths trail where everyone had to go around the school to find answers to problems. This included estimating and measuring equipment around the school. At the end of the day there was a presentation to award the schools that had worked well together and everyone received certificates. Then they announced the winners ... and one St Paul’s team won (Isabella, David, Ryan and Amour) came home with a gold medal. The other team was not far behind coming a close 7th. Everyone agreed it was an amazing day and Many thanks to Mrs Epstein for encouraging both teams all the way.
By David and Isabella
Our Fete Raffle
Please have all tickets sold or unsold to the school office by Friday 18th October (This Friday). Thank you!
Our Wonderful Fete Committee
The Art competition at the Fete is on again. Please have your entries to the school office by Wednesday 23rd October. It costs $1 to submit an entry with a limit of 3 entries per child. There will be prizes for each category: Years Prep - 2, Years 3 - 4 & Years 5 -6. Entries are to be no larger than A3. All mediums accepted including small sculptures. Please have your name and grade on your art work.