CSPWA Term 4 Newsletter 2019
Welcome to our final newsletter of 2019. As the year quickly comes to an end we hope it has been a fulfilling year for you all. For many families it is farewell to the school system and the start of a new chapter as their children have now finished Year 12. Thank you for choosing a Catholic Education, we are sure the investment you have made in your child's education will have long lasting benefits. For those starting in Catholic Education, no matter what year level your child is, congratulations and we look forward to sharing the journey with you.
Thank you to all who have held positions or helped in any way to make their parent group succeed this year and congratulations to the incoming office bearers for 2020. If you would like to know more about serving your school community try to attend our Parent Group Induction evening on Thursday 13 February at our offices in Inglewood. This will give you an insight into what is involved in being part of a P&F/ parent group and an opportunity to meet our staff as well as parents from other schools who share your passion to create a great school community.
Save the date.... Great news for 2020 is that our biennial conference will be held on June 5th and 6th and we would love to see you there. In the words of a 2018 participant “I was blown away by the size and quality and really appreciated the networking opportunity.” An event not to be missed!
Saturday 23rd November saw staff, council and other invitees commence work on the CSPWA Strategic Plan for the next three years. This first session was led by Laura Allison from CEWA who used the Appreciative Inquiry method to facilitate the morning. It was very productive and I was blown away with some of the creative ideas that came to the front. As always we very much appreciate the support of Catholic Education WA, who are always willing to share their expertise with us. This in turn helps both our organisations strengthen their partnership, to ensure the best outcomes for all families who choose a Catholic education for their children.
CSPWA is made up of office staff based in Perth and volunteer Councillors from a number of affiliated schools (from across the state) working together to benefit our parents in their school journey. Thank you to our Councillors who have given their time and talents so freely this year, it is not easy to juggle work, family, school and the numerous other commitments we have and find time to be actively involved at a state level.
Through staff and council representing parents on committees and organisations at both local, state and national level your voice and perspective continues to be heard. Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) and the Australian Parents Council (APC) continue to work hard at national level ensuring parents are included in all conversations in that space.
Thank you to all parents who over the year have particated (sometimes at short notice!) on various committees and reference groups. Your voice is so important within these groups so we sincerely thank you for your participation.
As the year comes to an end I would like to thank our wonderful office staff for another great year, Siobhan Allen, Theresa McDonnell, Anne Marie McGinnity, Sarah Turrell Knight (left in June) and Donna McConville (joined in July). We are blessed to have such committed staff. Remember they are happy to help you with any questions.
With Advent upon us I hope it brings an opportunity to prepare, reflect and pray on what this wondrous season means. Take the time to reflect and share the joy of the true meaning of Christmas. Rejoice, Christ is born.
Wishing you and your family a happy and holy Christmas and New Year. May God Bless you and your family during the Christmas season and in 2020.
Parent Group/P&F Office Bearer’s Form
It is imperative we are kept up to date with your information.
The Gearing up for Parent Engagement in Student Learning toolkit has been developed by Catholic School Parents Australia for families and schools to help make the transition into primary and secondary school a great experience for children and young people.
This information will assist the unique relationship between parent and child to flourish into a meaningful partnership between home and school towards improving the learning and wellbeing of students.
CSPA also invites your feedback to enhance these modules on this important topic of engaging families in student learning and wellbeing.
As the school year comes to a close for many families they will be starting to think about the tranistion to a new class or new school next year. Transition may lead to stress for families and children. We have some excellent articles available here to help you navigate through what sometimes can be a challanging time.
For Primary School Parents
For Secondary School Parents
For children with additional needs who need the familiarity of structure and routine, school transitions can be a time of stress and worry. Read this excellent article by Source Kids. Click HERE to read the article
The Virtual School Network (ViSN) is providing access to secondary courses through Catholic Education Western Australia’s (CEWA) LEADing Lights Office 365 technology platform. In 2020, over 200 students from Catholic schools across the state will access 23 courses via this online format, well supported by qualified and experienced teachers in CEWA schools.
Originally created to meet a specific need in a remote WA town, ViSN has grown quickly in its two years of operation to provide quality online learning to students in more than 20 metropolitan, regional, rural and remote secondary schools.
CEWA schools are joining ViSN to offer their students a broader range of courses, to provide support for students not able to attend school in a traditional manner or to provide an experience that will better support student transition to post-secondary options.
Each day, students access their lessons using Microsoft Teams and OneNote and work independently or collaboratively with others from their course. Teacher support is readily available daily during school hours and time is set aside weekly for all students and the teacher to meet online.
ViSN teaching practices focus on student collaboration and building strong connections between students and with teachers, so that they feel supported during their online studies. The technology used is key to enabling this, which was recognized by the peak online learning organization, US Distance Learning Association (USDLA) earlier this year, awarding ViSN the K-12 Award for Innovation.
In February 2020, students and teachers will meet at the annual ViSN Camp held in Perth which is a great opportunity for teachers and students to get to know each other and to participate in experiences that may not be available in their own schools.
Students involved in ViSN have found their experience to be a positive one:
It’s a great way to learn in your own way and to meet your future career needs.
I find the teachers are always there if you need to ask them anything.
I'm really enjoying working at my own pace and taking in what I'm learning in a way that is most effective for me.”
ViSN is great as I can have independence with my learning.
For more information about ViSN, please visit https://leadinglights.cewa.edu.au/visn/
Your tech gift guide for the holiday season
Be smart and secure when choosing tech gifts for children and young people this year with our eSafey Gift Guide. The Guide helps inform parents and carers about what to look out for with tech gifts and provides practical advice on how to stay safe, including setting strong passwords, turning off location settings and limiting the amount of personal information shared.
Check the safety of popular tech gifts like drones, smart toys, smartphones, tablets and even wearables for pets before making your purchases this holiday season.
The P&F / Fair Commitee at Mother Teresa Catholic College in Baldivis had an extremley busy start to 2019 with their Community Fair. Catholi School Parents WA were pleased to be able to assist MTCC P&F in acting as an auspice for receipt of a grant from the City of Rockingham to assist them in running their fair.
If there are any other P&F's or parent groups who would like some assistance or information regarding the auspicing of grants please do not hesitate to contact the office and speak to Theresa McDonnell - Liaison Officer, CSPWA on 9338 9985 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Developed by researchers at Colab-Collaborate for Kids, a partnership between the Minderoo Foundation and the Telethon Kids Institute, the Bright Tomorrows app provides ideas, learning activities, ‘in the moment’ advice and practical tips for parents and carers with children from birth to five years of age.
Through "Bobbie", a lively creature that represents a baby’s brain, the app tailors early childhood information to each parent to ensure the tips and advice they receive is most relevant to their situation.
If you would like to find out more about this app please click Here
Catholic School Parents WA is delighted to support the Telethon Kids Institute in their latest project to raise awareness and support parents in their communication around alcohol and cybersafety. Supporting Family Conversations is a Healthway-funded project being run in Western Australia by the Telethon Kids Institute in collaboration with the Department of Education’s School Drug Education and Road Aware (SDERA) program and the Mental Health Commission.
The project aims to support communication between parents and their Year 7 children about alcohol and cybersafety, and ultimately to reduce the risk of harm to teenagers from alcohol use and in the online environment.
This project benefits from the wealth of experience of its multidisciplinary research team, who have worked in the areas of child health, cyber and alcohol research for more than 20 years. The team includes Dr Therese Shaw and Dr Robyn Johnston from the Telethon Kids Institute, Dr Conor Gilligan from the University of Newcastle and Professor Simone Pettigrew from Curtin University. These researchers have a particular interest in supporting parents to keep children safer and help them to develop to their full potential. The resources have been designed based on the latest available evidence from the scientific literature and in the findings from the research team’s previous work with parents and schools in WA. The project also benefits from the knowledge and experience of leading stakeholders working in these fields from the Health Promotion & Education Research & Translation team at the Telethon Kid Institute, SDERA program and the Mental Health Commission.
Click to view a video on Setting Expectations around alcohol and young people HERE
Talking about trying alcohol HERE