Welcome to our last ’Catchup’ for this term and what a term it’s been! Although it has been a time of uncertainty and anxiousness for many of us, parents, teachers, school and CEWA staff and of course our children and young people, it has also brought out the best in people as these times often do.
It has been heartwarming and often times really funny, to see the messages of hope and love shared by many teachers and principals with their school communities through their social media pages (so school FB pages have their use after all!). From daily story time to setting challenges, writing songs (and performing them!) to learning to juggle, our teachers and principals have certainly stepped up to the mark to keep our spirits up.
How wonderful for us parents to see this side of those in whom we all trust on a day to day basis, to care for and educate our children and all while they are working so hard behind the scenes to ensure that online learning is ready to go for next term. This commitment to the positive mental health and wellbeing of our children, through fun and laughter, is just as important (in fact more so!) than academic outcomes, and it is what many parents seek when they choose a Catholic education for their children.
We speak regularly about Catholic education being about more than academic learning, but in fact about the education of the whole person whether that be spiritually, emotionally, physically or academically. This is being demonstrated on a daily basis through the sharing of all these fun activities with our school communities. Mind you I feel the children from Mary’s Mount will be a little disappointed to get back to school and not find tigers and penguins roaming through their classrooms!
Parents have also stepped up and we have seen great examples of those who can, reaching out to others in their communities. CSPWA wholeheartedly support the continuance of P&F/Parent Group meetings through virtual means and are in the process of compiling additional resources to help parent groups with this. P&F’s/Parent Groups have always played a vital role in our Catholic schools and they will continue to do so during these most difficult of times. Parent groups are a mechanism for connecting and ensuring that as many of our families as possible have a voice and feel supported in some way in their own school community. Connectedness at a time like this is paramount for many different reasons not the least of which is our mental health and wellbeing. Remaining connected and linked in with our own school community whether that is ‘Sacred Heart’ ‘St Josephs’ 'St Elizabeths' or ‘St Lawrences’, will help us all, through providing continuity and support by people who are familiar to us. So your role as a P&F/Parent Group will continue to be important in this sense.
This ability to remain connected and a part of our own school community is supported in no small way by the school fee relief being offered by Catholic Education WA. You will all at this stage have received a letter from your school confirming that your child’s enrollment is guaranteed even if your capacity to pay fees has been impacted by job loss, illness or reduced hours. This is a very welcome relief to all of us and ensures that parents will not be under pressure to move children to new schools at a time when they need their own friends and support systems around them (albeit it in a virtual way!) more than ever. CSPWA does however urge you to contact your principal as soon as you know that you may have concerns about payment of school fee so that they can plan in a way that minimizes the impact on our children’s education. Please, please do not feel embarrassed about approaching your school for fee relief. Many, many parents will find themselves in this situation over the next months (and maybe even years!). School fee relief is something that Catholic education has always offered, no child should ever be refused a Catholic education because of their parents ability to pay. However as parents we have some responsibility in regard to this and that is to let the principal know as soon as possible!
In continuing to assist you in your role as P&F /Parent Group members, CSPWA staff and council have been busy creating a new section on the CSPWA website which will provide additional resources and information to help you through this crisis. We will be working hard through the break to get it up and running for Term 2 so watch this space. As always we welcome your input and if you have found websites or information you think may be helpful to other parents, please forward the links to us and we can include what we can on this section of the website.
We look forward to being as busy as ever in Term 2, developing resources and additional services that we hope will benefit parents across our Catholic school communities.
In the meantime, we wish you all a very peaceful and happy Easter. You will find further down in this newsletter a link to St Mary’s Cathedral from where Easter services will be live-streamed. Please try and find time to join in and celebrate this most rejuvenating feast of the Christian calendar. Taking the time to place ourselves in God’s presence and pray, will help to alleviate the sense of anxiety that many of us are feeling at the moment. Easter, of all seasons, brings with it a sense of hope and renewal and we certainly need that at the moment. Enjoy time with your families if you can, but above all take some time to reach out to those you know are living alone and feeling vulnerable. Whether this is through a phone call or a card dropped through their letterbox it will all be welcome!
Until Term 2, take care, look after each other and God Bless.
Executive Director CSPWA
caregivers are encouraged to keep their children home."
While our schools and CSPWA have been active in providing strategies and tips around helping our children to engage with the work being sent home by their teachers, we have been on the lookout for something which may be of assistance to parents who now find themselves working from home. How can we manage all the challenges that this brings, distractions, appropriate work spaces and isolation while keeping motivated? This article addresses all those issues and more in a clear and calm manner.
Remember that while we all navigate this new space we can’t do everything. Try and run with one or two suggestions in the first instance and then incorporate more of the ideas as we become more comfortable with our new environment (if we ever do!). Siobhan would also like to comment that the photo at the top of this article, bears absolutely no resemblance to her home work space!!
Click on HERE to read the article
This article was provided by our friend Rose Mitchell from Broome and candidly describes her family's first experience with an online Mass. It’s just lovely and Rose describes the experience in a way I think we can all connect with.
We were very taken with this story which we originally saw as a Facebook post and are very appreciative to Rose and her family for their willingness to share.
The lesson to be learned however for those of you who may try this in your home, is to ensure you have morning tea prepared for the congregation afterwards!
"So we just had our first mass at home via facebook live from our parish cathedral. (Our Lady Queen of Peace Cathedral )
I didn’t expect the kids to stay and watch as it would have been weird for them but I just wanted them to check out this new way of living...they stayed the whole time. It was just like mass in so many ways but yet not...
* Joseph was just in his jocks (we popped Aidan’s tshirt on him for the photo)
*I still had to tell them to behave
*Joseph and Max set up their soft toys to watch too
*We texted our friends “peace” for the sign of peace
*There was no collection but given that Max does it at Mass he could have made a nice little side earner from his siblings
*The kids all went up for a blessing at communion time to Aidan. We stopped short of taking the soft toys up.
*At the end the kids went and played 2 square and asked if there was any morning tea ( just like they do at mass on Sunday)
It was a surreal and special time together with quite a few laughs. It felt like it was something we would remember for many years to come".
The Department of Education has some really excellent resources and information available to support learning and wellbeing in the home. They have categorised these resources into year level and you can access them by clicking on whatever year level is relevant for your child. Please be aware that current restrictions may mean that some of the suggested activities in these resources are not practical or appropriate, for example where they suggest visiting a shop or other public place. Please use your discretion and judgement as appropriate.
Click on this link to access the resources.
All Holy Week and Easter services are available by clicking on the link below.
To Check Mass times and dates go to