Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to Term 4! I realise that the holiday weeks probably did not feel the same as a “normal” holiday but I do hope you had some down time and some special family time.
It is wonderful to know that our students are returning to school – even though there are still a few weeks before we have all of the students back on site with us. We are loving having Year 12 back this week and look forward to having Year 11s back the week after next.
We will all still have challenges ahead as we navigate the new circumstances of the roadmap out of lockdown but I strongly believe in our ability to manage these as a community. I recommend to you Jacob Knowles article in this week’s Key Messages as he reflects on some of these issues.
It is great to see the uptake of vaccinations in our ACT community. We are particularly lucky to now have vaccinations so widely available to our young people. It is very encouraging to see the large numbers of young people between 12 and 16 who have already had their first dose and to know that there is no shortage of appointments available for them. If you haven’t already booked to have your young person vaccinated, I would strongly urge you to do so.
I would also recommend to you in this week’s Key Messages Jen Tually’s challenge to all of our families to pray together. She begins by outlining the very positive and practical impacts that prayer can have. Regardless of your religious affiliation, it is a wonderful resource that will benefit every one of us. I join with Jen in encouraging you to take up her challenge and I would love to hear how you go with it.
Finally, I wish all of our Year 12 Tertiary students all the very best in their AST exams next week. They have worked very well to prepare themselves for this and we have no doubt that they will give their best to it. We are looking forward to having a COVID safe breakfast with them on Tuesday to help them start the day on a positive note together. A reminder that all Year 12 Accredited classes will be conducted remotely during these two days. This means that our Year 12 A students do not need to be at school but that they are required to attend all their timetabled classes during this time.
I wish you all a safe and happy Term 4 and look forward to seeing more of everyone as we move forward.
I would like to begin by acknowledging the amazing work of teachers and parents within the JPC Community. Our students, along with students across Canberra, have had to adapt to new ways of engaging with learning and this would not have happened without the strong partnerships that exist within our wonderful community.
The support and care of students has continued through what is an extremely confusing time and this does not happen without strong collaboration and communication.
Life is beginning to return to ‘normal’ for schools across Canberra. This week, Year 12 students have been welcomed back to face-to-face classes with other year groups eagerly awaiting their return date over the coming weeks. The ACT Roadmap is seeing more activity within the wider community with restrictions easing and stores, restaurants and attractions commencing their planning for the return of customers. Checking-in, wearing a face mask and sanitising hands are becoming part of daily routine. In general, life seems considerably calmer than what it was just a few weeks ago when the second outbreak began. In saying this, we know that the future remains unknown and that the success stories of today may quickly become headlines of tomorrow.
So what are our young people saying about the planned return to ‘normal’…
For the students that I have had the joy of speaking to this week since returning from the term break, their immediate responses to getting back to school have been excitement, eagerness and for some a little bit of silliness (not an uncommon thing for adolescent boys and girls). Students who may have struggled to put together half a dozen sentences in Semester One have been recounting their teachers with experiences in isolation. They have shared the highs and lows of spending more time at home while navigating a different form of learning and how they remained connected without the routine and structure of time together at school. Many friendships have been strengthened through the ability to talk virtually about thoughts and feelings with friends and in response the responses of comfort, support and reassurance have provided a deep sense of connection. There was excitement about the chance to continue these experiences with the ‘wall’ of technology removed when they return to classes.
Why is the routine of school so important for young people?
Despite the many positives, the realisation for some families that they are returning to school is bringing on feelings of anxiety and unease. This has been for a variety of reasons with the two main ones being a sense that their child has fallen ‘behind’ in their learning and concerns that schools may not be safe (hygienically) when all students are back in classes.
In response to the first of these concerns, the resounding message from teachers to students and their families is: “Don’t”. Don’t think that you are the only one who feels they have fallen behind and don’t think that schools haven’t taken this time away in to planning for future learning. Teachers are walking back in to classrooms with confidence and dedication to their subject areas and this will see schools through the days, weeks and months ahead. Further to this, to ensure that the important work of teaching and learning can commence face-to-face, much consideration has been given to ensuring all students are safe at school. This includes but is not limited to classroom organisation, increased hygiene measures and the ability to adapt to changing conditions.
There is much research in to the effect of routines on young people and returning to the routine of school is vital to the wellbeing of our community. The Raising Children Network highlights that routines are good for children as they provide a predictable environment for young people to foster a sense of their own identity and interact positively with others. Schools provide opportunities for these things to occur on a daily basis and students need these to grow in to the people they will become. There may well be ‘bumps’ along the way as we return to the routine of school however our community, and all school communities should be confident that schools will always put the safety of students and staff at the centre of what they do.
Is there a better way to think about the reservations we have?
In returning to school, I would challenge the community to consider reflecting how they think about the challenges of change we have experienced. In 2020, at the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic, Indian author and political activist Arundhati Roy presented this summation on how our countries, our communities and us as individuals should step towards the future:
“Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to “normality”, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality.
Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next.”
“We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”
We must have faith in ourselves and each other. Faith that the lessons we continue to learn from this pandemic will set us up for an even brighter future. One in which we are more adaptable to situations and more present to each other. Our schools have begun to be filled with life and laughter and this will increase over the coming weeks. Learning, in all forms, is inspiring young minds to consider new and exciting ideas. Our communities are beginning to feel whole again and it is hoped that this will not be taken for granted again by anyone.
Mr Jacob Knowles
Assistant Principal: Drexel Mathieu
Leadership Discernment begins for our aspiring
2022 College Leaders
Session 1 - JUSTICE
The theme for Session 1 was JUSTICE and students explored the values and skills of leadership, with a focus on Jesus Christ as an influential leader, and how a great leader might respond when their values are challenged.
After listening to the testimony from our current Justice Leaders, Amisha Sehgal and Cullen Savle, and some personal reflection time, each student was led through a process to support them creating their own leadership value statement in preparation for the 2022 College Leader Election process.
Students made the most of a rare opportunity to interact with each other, collaborating enthusiastically during the activities – it was brilliant to hear their thoughts and reflections. We are looking forward to working through the next 2 sessions with this group, exploring the JPC values of PEACE and COURAGE.
Jennifer Tually and Chloe McCallum
Leaders of Learning and Wellbeing
God says, “It’s OK, I’ve got this!”
A challenge for JPC students while in lockdown:
Take charge of your family’s health and wellbeing through
PRAYER, REFLECTION and MEDITATION
We are increasingly seeing and hearing from families and students who are finding that the extended lockdown is negatively impacting their mental health.
How might prayer benefit your family’s health and wellbeing?
The following ideas explain how prayer helps improve health:
- Healing Presence- prayer can bring your awareness of a spiritual or loving presence and alignment with God, a sense of peace.
- The Relaxation Response- lowers blood pressure and other stress factors.
- Secondary Control- release control to something greater than oneself - you don’t need to be in charge – God says - “It’s OK, I’ve got this!”.
- The Placebo Response- enhance hope and expectations
- Positive Feelings- elicit feelings of gratitude, compassion, forgiveness, and hope, all of which are associated with healing and wellness.
- Mind-body-spirit Connection- when prayer uplifts or calms, it inhibits the release of cortisol and other hormones, thus reducing the negative impact of stress on the immune system and promoting healing.
GET SET UP
- Before you start, please set up a simple quiet, prayerful place, free from distractions.
- You might like to ask your family to join you to pray together, or just sit quietly together.
- Light a candle, or have a cross or flower as a prayer focus – something simple.
- Ask everyone to be seated in a comfortable position, and take 3 deep breaths.
- If distracting thoughts enter your minds, acknowledge them, then let them float away.
- When you’re ready, start by playing this song and sit quietly, listen to this (or other music) to place yourself in the presence of God.
Play this music and focus on the song – sing along, play the airdrums – just get into it!
Oceans by Hillsong https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GGFb6LcX3U (wait for the ads to finish!)
When the music finishes:
PRAY FOR OTHERS and YOURSELVES
Leader: (The sign of the Cross) Does anyone have any special intentions?
Respondents: I would like us to pray for………..…
Lord hear us.
All: Lord hear our prayer
(Repeat as many times as you need)
May I be at peace
May my heart remain open
May I awaken to the light of my own true nature
May I be healed
May I be a source of healing for others.
Thank you for all the blessings in our lives.
You know us better than anyone else.
Help us to use the mind you have given us to work, live and learn effectively.
Help my family to be together in this time with kindness, patience and love.
May we learn with humility and grace.
May we grow in wisdom as well as knowledge.
Let us live a life of integrity in everything we do.
May we grow in our faith, and in the knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ who loves us unconditionally.
We ask this in Jesus’ name,
(Take a minute to sit in silence – pray, meditate or be still. Thank God for the many blessings He has given you.)
Leader: St John Paul II
All: Pray for us. (The sign of the Cross)
Don’t forget to blow out the candle!
Mrs Jennifer Tually
Leader of Learning and Wellbeing – Mission and Ministry
- The latest Careers Newsletter is out now - Click here to read the latest updates!
- Don’t forget that we have amazing resources on our JPC Careers website https://jpc-careers.com/
- Also follow us on our social pages to get more up to date information - @JPCcareers on Instagram and Facebook.
- You can contact Ms Zorzi at email@example.com
- Work experience is unfortunately on pause at the moment. We will keep you updated when this changes.
UC Accelerated Pathways Program Information Evening
(For current Y10 students)
The University of Canberra invites prospective students, their families and other interested parties to learn more about the Accelerated Pathways Program (H Courses). Guests will have the opportunity to hear important information from the program coordinator and teaching staff, as well as ask questions. Bookings for this online event can be made via Eventbrite. Bookings are essential.
When: Tuesday 19 October (Week 3)
Time: 6:00 pm
Where: Online, via Zoom link
More information about the program can be found at: https://www.canberra.edu.au/accelerated-pathways-program.
Ms Teena Zorzi
Leader of Learning (Careers) and Wellbeing
Term 3 Fees
School fees for Term 3 are overdue and payable immediately.
Year 9 Camp Fee-Credit
Due to the cancellation of the Year 9 Camp, a credit will be applied to your Term 4 school fees for the invoiced amount of $258.00
Term 4 Fees
Fees will be emailed on Monday 11 October. Payment for Term 4 fees are due Friday 12 November 2021.
Please note that if you pay by direct debit or bpoint this is for your information only, no further action is required.
If you have any enquiries with your fees account, please contact JPC.Finance@cg.catholic.edu.au.