CSPWA Term 2 Newsletter 2019
CSPWA Term 2 Newsletter 2019
We have somehow reached the halfway point in the year yet it feels like April (except for the weather!). Lots has been achieved to date as we continue to work for the benefit of parents in our Catholic Schools.
Thank you to all who attended our AGM on Thursday 30th May at the “LOFT”, Catholic Education Office, Leederville. Our guest speaker for the evening was Bernard Hill - Legal Counsel, Catholic Education WA, who gave a very informative presentation on the process of how new CEWA policies will evolve as a complete review of these policies is undertaken. The LOFT = Learning Our Future Together.
I would like to offer my congratulations to the new CSPWA councillors and thank you to our current councillors for continuing on in their roles.
The office staff and council sadly had to say farewell to staff member Sarah Turrell-Knight (Administration Officer) who for eight years has been an integral member of the amazing office team. We wish her all the best in her next chapter and thank her for her commitment and dedication to the role.
It is often hard to find the time and enthusiasm to keep up with P&F/Parent Group business as we try to manage the pressures of our day to day lives. Add to that mix, the flu, exams and winter sport or just winter! Busyness is quite normal these days but please be assured that sharing your gifts and talents to make a positive difference in your school community has far-reaching benefits. We appreciate what parents do in all our schools and love to hear your stories - keep them coming!
This newsletter is packed full of great hints/tips and articles so take the time to sit back and enjoy an informative read. You may have read in the Sunday Times (June 23) “School parents defence” regarding concerns around parents being portrayed as aggressive, quoting our own Shelley Hill re the joint statement signed by Catholic School Parents Australia, Australian Parents Council and the Australian Council of State School Organisations - you can read the full statement later in this newsletter.
Parent/teacher interviews (and they're coming up soon!) are a great way to touch base with your school/teachers and check in on your child’s progress. To make the most of this opportunity why not have a look at our resource "Parent/Teacher interviews" - you will find this link further down.
We would also like to take the opportunity to send congratulations to all families who have had a child/children receive a sacrament this year, may the love of God be with you and strengthen you as another step in your faith journey has been taken.
Have a safe and restful holiday and may God Bless you and your family over the winter break.
How to use CSPWA manual
This manual has been developed to support and assist parents to be involved with their school community group and to have information that enables them to participate fully as an Office Bearer or member. As a result of many conversations with parent groups around the importance of a handover, it was felt that having a physical folder to pass on to the next group was a very important step for their succession planning.
The manual is divided into 5 categories:
- CSPWA-Who are we?
- Prayers and Reflections
Catholic School Parents WA have included some resources that we feel are of use in the various categories. We will also be updating the folder’s contents regularly with any new resources or any relevant material. We would recommend that you also include some extra documents that are relevant to your own parent group. These may include:
- A copy of your constitution
- Minutes of meetings from previous year, which will include the Treasurer’s Reports
- AGM Minutes including financial report from the previous year.
- Record of any events held
- Planning / running order of events
- Guidelines on handling of monies
- Record of any Parent Engagement events that were successful in your school
- Copies of any Parent engagement research or relevant articles
Prayers and Reflections
Any prayers or reflections that you use in your parent group
If your school parent group has not yet recived their manual please contact [email protected]
"Recent media reports have exacerbated tension between two of the most significant parties in a young person’s school life – parents and teachers.
Instead, as leading organisations for parents and communities in our nation’s schools, we ask how we can foster and support good communication and collaboration, for the benefit of everyone invested in children’s education."
Catholic School Parents WA are delighted to announce our inaugural 'Parent Engagement in Learning Week' to take place in conjunction with Book Week which this year runs between August 19th-23rd.
When you as a parent are 'engaged' in your child's learning journey, you make a positive difference to their:
- readiness to begin school
- learning outcomes and academic results
- motivation to do their best and their
- social and relationship skills
Engagement in your child's education will work best when you feel like you are a partner rather than a consumer. Some important ways in which you can help to engage in your child's learning are through:
- forming good relationships with the teachers and staff at your child's school and promoting a positive view of both teacher and school with your child
- helping your child to understand the benefit of working together with them and the school from the early grades right through to Year 12
- supporting your child at home and encouraging them to share what they are doing at school
- encouraging the school to share what your child is doing so you can talk to them at home about what they are learning.
During Parent Engagement in Learning Week we will be sharing through our website and social media pages, ideas and ways in which you can engage in your child's learning.
To start the ball rolling we have identified two themes for this year:
Reading and telling stories is something that all parents can do - whether it is reading stories every night before bed, telling stories while your children are in the bath or even helping to read the recipe book while preparing dinner. Children also love to hear stories about the 'olden day's' eg when you were young! With older children, it can be about encouraging them to read for personal pleasure rather than schoolwork. Whilst we know that reading articles, blogs and other things online is also a great way to go, especially to keep disinterested readers interested, it is also important to read novels and books that stretch our thinking and vocabulary. Imagine a generation growing up without having read 'Catcher in the Rye', 'Of Mice and Men' or 'The Diary of Anne Frank'.
By combining 'Parent Engagement in Learning Week' with 'Book Week' it will provide for parents and schools authentic opportunities to think about the importance of reading and literacy and how this actually contributes to all learning. We would encourage parents and schools to organise small activities to encourage reading whether they be in the school or activities that can be done at home. Whatever you choose to do, we would love to hear about it and to share the good ideas amongst our wider parent communities. P&Fs and Parent Groups could be the ideal people to promote this in your school communities.
Parents and families are essential partners in promoting good attendance because they, ultimately, have the responsibility for making sure their children get to school on time and every day. When children are young they are especially dependent on adults or older siblings to help them get to school. Just as parents should focus on how their children are performing academically, they have a responsibility to set expectations for good attendance and to keep track of their attendance, so that missed days don't add up to academic trouble! (Attendance works)
To understand why attendance is so important and to get some good ideas around ensuring your children are happy to go to school every day, keep an eye out for the information we will share on our website and social media pages during 'Parent Engagement in Learning Week.'
In order to engage our children in all of this activity, we are also running a competition for all budding artists to create a poster that we can use to promote attendance. Once again keep an eye out for further information on our website and social media pages on how to enter - we are looking forward to lots of ideas.
All school communities should strive to have a good, active relationship with their local members of State and Federal Parliament, senators and local councillors. These local members are our representatives and the lives of our Catholic school communities are very important to them. The development of positive relationships with your representatives at all levels of government is immensely important as it enables politicians to know first-hand the great work happening at your school and to form personal connections with parents (voters). These established relationships mean that when there is an issue, they are more likely to take a personal interest and advocate on your behalf with the government or local council.
CSPWA has developed these guidelines to assist Catholic school parents in building relationships between their Catholic school community and members of State and Federal Parliament, Senators and Local Councillors. CSPWA feels very strongly that these relationships can foster collaborative partnerships with their local representatives which may lead to knowledge on grants available or other resources that may be useful in their school communities.
Click HERE to view the resource
As we approach the time of year when notifications from schools about Parent-Teacher interviews are being sent out, we thought you might find it useful to have a look at CSPWA's resource on planning for your Parent Teacher Interviews. Some excellent planning tips here!
Here are some excellent study tips for those of you who have some students preparing for exams next term or those who are struggling to motovate or engage your children in study planning!
How to inject more fun into your studies http://learningfundamentals.com.au/blog/how-to-inject-more-fun-into-your-studies-reprogramming-your-brain-to-love-learning/
10 highly effective study strategies to help you ace your tests and exams http://learningfundamentals.com.au/blog/10-highly-effective-study-strategies-to-help-you-ace-your-tests-and-exams/
70 ways to minimise distractions and focus better (short eBook) http://learningfundamentals.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Focus_book.pdf
Various articles on study skills on Jane Genovese bloghttp://learningfundamentals.com.au/blog/
We are delighted to announce that our Annual Awards of Excellence in Building Positive School Communities are now open for nominations. If you know somone who demonstrates positive outcomes for your students, parents and your wider school community, then why not nominate them for one of our Awards of Excellence. Go to www.csp.wa.edu.au to nominate.