Welcome to Term 2 2023
As we continue to, what feels like, race through the year, here we are a third of the way through Term 2 with the Senior School students facing their Semester 1 exams and the Early Learning Years settling into their new school routines and are hopefully thriving in their new learning environments. It has been a frantic start to the school year for many of our families with welcoming gatherings, family events and community building opportunities.
We are still in the Easter Season which will conclude with the feast of Pentecost on Sunday 28th May which will be when many of our Catholic students in upper primary school particularly, will receive the most beautiful Sacrament of Confirmation – this is a wonderful celebratory opportunity for our families.
Coming up 15-21 May is National Volunteer Week. Our Catholic Schools would never have been built, maintained or in fact survived had it not been for our predecessors having put in so many hours, weeks, and indeed years of voluntary efforts to bring us to this point in time where we have such a wonderful, thriving system of Catholic Education in Western Australia. We have been truly blessed. We know anecdotally that our children love it when we parents are involved in their schools, whether it be listening to reading, attending busy bees, participate in committees, assist with sports days, shelve in the library, cover books, sell tickets in the music or sports departments raffles and so on, our children know that we care and are INTERESTED in THEM! The children may not always show it, but we know that they do appreciate it and it adds value to their education in so many ways. In fact, recent research indicates that children of parents who have volunteered throughout their educational journey are more likely to become the parents who volunteer themselves in their own children’s education (Perks and Knoecny 2015).
So … to all of our parents who spend precious time and effort contributing to not just your own but many other children’s school environment and learning, I say a very heartfelt “thank you for all that you do”. Personally, throughout the 23 years I have had children in the Catholic Education system, I know my children have benefitted not just from our family’s voluntary efforts but have benefitted enormously from the collective efforts of so many others – many known to us, some who have become long-term friends, but so many who have gone before as well.
On the topic of volunteering … the CSPWA Awards of Excellence are on again this year! These awards are a wonderful opportunity for individuals or groups to publically recognise others in their community who have contributed so valuably. It also gives us all the chance to see and applaud the efforts different P&F groups use in order to build and sustain thriving communities. I am so looking forward to the event again this year after the wonderful time we all had last year, the CSPWA office staff have a big task ahead to outdo themselves!
I also take the opportunity to once again offer a great vote of thanks for the hard work and dedication our office staff, Siobhan, Nicole and Jennifer. Their efforts, way above and beyond our expectations is always felt but not often enough expressed.
May Term 2 be a very productive one for all of our P&F groups and please remember we are always just a phone call or email away from support or advice.
Catholic School Parents Western Australia Inc. (CSPWA) provides an independent voice for parents of children in Catholic schools and assists them in working collaboratively with their school to provide a Catholic education which will help all children reach their full potential.
CSPWA are currently seeking new volunteers to join our State Council. The vacancies have arisen due to the retirement of several long standing members whose children have now completed their educational journey within Catholic Education.
The three key prerequisites for this role are:
(a) a passion for and commitment to Catholic Education
(b) you have a child currently in a Catholic school
(c) that school is currently financially affiliated with CSPWA
The Council of CSPWA Inc. is responsible for the governance of the organisation and ensuring that it's objectives are met. Elected members of the Council represent all parents of children in Catholic schools in Western Australia.
CSPWA Council is made up of Catholic school parents from the dioceses' of Perth, Geraldton, Broome and Bunbury and we meet in person once a term. Outside of the face to face meetings, councillors assist office staff with planning events and in being a conduit between their schools and CSPWA to gain parent feedback in the conversations that matter.
For more information on what the role entails, please see: CSPWA Charter for Council.
CSPWA council members sit on numerous committees/working parties/reference groups at both state and federal level, seeking to bring the diverse voice of all parents to the table. To that end if you are a First Nations parent, a parent of a child with a disability, a parent whose children attend a rural or remote school or indeed you feel you have other skills which would add positively to our Council, we would love to hear from you. This time around we are also seeking a councillor with accounting skills to work with our finance officer.
If you would like to speak further about this important role please don't hesitate to call Siobhan on 0409 025 683.
We look forward to hearing from you!
National Volunteer Week (NVW) is Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteering and it all starts next Monday 15th May. The week-long event recognises the vital support that the millions of volunteers in our country provide to their communities and encourages people to consider volunteering.
Keep an eye on our CSPWA Facebook page for videos and motivational quotes and we would love you to share with us any way that your school and/or P&F are celebrating your volunteers.
Catholic School Parents WA take this opportunity to thank each and every parent who volunteers in their child's school. The difference you make cannot be underestimated. From 'Friendraising' to 'Fundraising' our schools would not be what they are without your efforts and the role modelling you provide for your children can have lifelong consequences. Many parents we speak to (including all of our office staff) had parents who volunteered while they were young, so it is important that our children witness us giving back to those communities which give us so much.
As part of National Volunteer week, we will also be opening nominations for our Awards of Excellence in Building Positive School Communities. Please visit our website for more information, and see the article featured later in this newsletter.
P&F's - You Rock!!!!
As we move towards the end of term 2, teachers will start preparing reports, which are usually followed up with an opportunity to meet with the teacher to discuss how your child is progressing. When the interview time comes, there should be no surprises about how your child is progressing academically, as that information will be contained in the school report.
However, we suggest that this time for parents, teachers and sometimes students to meet can provide a great opportunity for teachers to learn a little more about your child as a person and for you as a parent to discover how they are travelling socially and emotionally at school. We know that for children to learn effectively, the conditions need to be right, and this includes having good wellbeing.
To enable these conversations and to provide you with some alternative questions you may like to ask, we have developed some resources which we hope you will find useful. We would love to hear back from you if you do find them useful or alternatively if you feel we have missed including something important.
To access these resources please follow the links below:
We would also like to draw your attention to two additional resources that we have recently updated and which you might like to have available for parents at your next P&F event.
The first is a resource that highlights the important role that parents play in the Catholic School community and may be viewed alongside your school's Code of Conduct.
The second is a welcoming resource for parents and gives an overview of school gospel values, feast days and sacraments.
Nominations are now open for the 2023 Awards of Excellence in Building Positive School Communities. Please send your nominations through to [email protected] by the end of term 2. The awards are an integral part of work that CSPWA does in acknowledging and celebrating the amazing work that is carried out within our Catholic school communities. The awards celebrate those within our school communities who demonstrate positive outcomes for students, families, and the wider school community. Nomination forms for all 5 categories are available here:
To download the flyer, please click here.
The winners as always will be celebrated at a special event in Term 3. The details of this event will be announced at the end of Volunteers week next Friday 19 May!
CSPWA staff often get enquiries from P&F's seeking information about grants to assist with larger scale projects at their schools.
The Western Australian Government has an online "Community Grants Directory" which may be useful for parent groups. You can search via key words or via catergory, for example "education" or "sport and recreation". We suggest that you might have more success finding a suitable grant if you keep your search parameters wider. Searching for specific terms like "Nature Playground" will usually not lead you to a specific grant unfortunately.
To have a look at the site, please see:
We have also recently come across The Grants Hub, which has over 1,800 grants listed from government, businesses, philanthropic sources, private donors, trusts, and more. You can sign up to The Grants Hub for a free 14 day trial, however after that you must pay a membership, which ranges from $29-$89 a month. For more information please see: https://www.thegrantshub.com.au/
If you are able to find a suitable grant, but you require an incorporated organisation to receive it on your behalf, please phone our office on 9338 9985 to talk to us about how CSPWA may be able to auspice the grant for you.
The Commissioner for Children and Young People invites WA young people aged 12–18 years to have a say on e-cigarettes, or ‘vapes’.
The Commissioner’s anonymous online survey asks young people what they think about e-cigarettes, including what makes these products appealing to young people, whether it is easy to access these products, and what advice or support they would like from adults on vaping.
The survey is open until Monday, 5 June. The responses will be collated and the Commissioner will release a summary report later in 2023.
To access the survey, please click here.
Are you concerned about your child vaping?
Researchers from the University of Newcastle are conducting a study to assess whether a text message program sent to parents and adolescents (aged 12-15) can help prevent adolescents from vaping. The messages have been developed to address known barriers and enablers to adolescent vaping, and aim to facilitate conversation between adolescents and their parents or carers on the topic of vaping.
To take part with your child, please sign up here: vapingpreventionstudy.com
Your Move is a free program run by the Department of Transport that provides information and support to help you find more active, healthy ways to get to school and around your local community.
The Your Move website helps schools to plan activities to increase active travel, earn points by writing stories about what the school did and then redeem the school's points for some great rewards, including leadership team t-shirts, bike and scooter racks, bike education sessions and rewards for your students.
On the website you will also find useful tips, tricks and travel hacks to help you get where you need to go. From handy apps, maps and videos, through to a journey planner, how-to guides and lesson plans.
Please click here to find out more information and to sign up. If you scroll down on this page you will see the current point Leaderboard. Congratulations to St Augustine's School and St Francis of Assisi for currently sitting in first and second place!
For those of us who have a child who is thinking about, or has started to learn how to drive, we know it can be a very stressful time for parents. As well as the practical skill of driving, our young people also need to learn about respecting other drivers, ensuring the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and now e-scooter drivers, and being aware of what is happening around you, while also keeping strictly focussed on the road.
National Road Safety Week takes place this year from 14 -21 May, and highlights the impact of road trauma and ways to reduce it by acknowledging those people who have experienced trauma on our roads. With 50% of spinal cord injuries being a result of a motor vehicle crash, and those in the 15 – 24 age group at the greatest risk, a greater focus is required to reduce this statistic and to ensure our family and friends arrive home safely.
PBF Australia (Paraplegic Benefit Fund) is a not-for profit organisation whose goal is to create greater awareness of the risks of spinal cord injuries. Their road injury prevention program is designed to reduce the number of serious injuries and deaths on our roads by engaging and educating pre and novice drivers on road risks and consequences of poor decision making.
The PBF injury presentation program speakers are inspiring individuals who have themselves sustained a permanent injury. The presentation offers participants a first-hand account of what it is like to experience and live with a spinal cord injury. Targeting students in years 10 -12, the program:
- Highlights the potential consequences of unsafe road behaviour.
- Increases knowledge of the “fatal 5” (speeding, not wearing seat belts, distraction, drugs and alcohol and fatigue).
- Communicates the impact of serious injury or death.
- Encourages positive attitudes to safe road behaviour.
- Demonstrates the personal responsibility for choices and the consequences; and
- Encourages young people to be assertive in communicating safe choices to peers.
PBF are able to offer schools their road safety program for free due to the ongoing support of RAC. If your child's secondary school would like to engage one of PBF's speakers, please click on our link below for more information: https://www.pbf.asn.au/prevention/prevention-road/
Researchers at Monash University are giving all Australian students in grades 3, 5, 7 and 9 the opportunity to share their views on their experiences of NAPLAN 2023. The responses will help researchers to better understand student views about this annual Australian national test, held each year with more than 1 million Australian students participating. The study should take less than 10 minutes to complete, and parents are encouraged to assist students to complete the survey.
The researchers aim to learn more about student views on the NAPLAN 2023 tests, including:
- test readiness and preparation for students
- any concerns felt by students
- student views on some of the structural features of the test
- student thoughts about the usefulness of the NAPLAN test for their own learning
Research data will be completely de-identified and data will not be shared with a third party. To access the study, please go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfaNpSnKe5Wee4Zi0Exza736vWL7_uxXjbm6AFO_pk0EkbUxg/viewform?usp=sf_link
The Aussie of the Month, is a FREE primary school recognition program, and is available nationwide with 1,400+ schools registered and reaching more than 430,000 students across Australia.
Delivered by the same network that presents the prestigious Australian of the Year Awards, students can enjoy the benefits of having their efforts in community participation recognised too. Aimed at inspiring and recognising outstanding active citizenship in primary student communities, the program celebrates personal endeavour, achievement and contribution to the community, as well as reflecting some of the values we share, such as fair go, mateship, respect and inclusion.
If your school signs up to the FREE Aussie of the Month Program, they can now express their interest for Australian of the Year Alumni to visit the school either virtually, through pre-recorded messages, or in person. Students can hear from inspiring Australians before the Aussie of the Month recipient is announced. The virtual visits mean that schools that may have missed out on hearing from Australian of the Year recipients due to distance or availability of Alumni will now be able to hear from these Australian national heroes. 12 Australian of the Year Local Hero videos are now available for schools to download.
Schools that are keen to take advantage of this initiative and hear from Alumni just need to sign up to the Aussie of the Month program at https://www.aussieofthemonth.org.au/register. P&Fs, you may like to discuss this idea with your School Principal and other parents at your next P&F meeting.
Registered schools will be sent certificates, badges and stationery gift packs and registrations are welcome at any time of the year.
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To find out which online course may be right for you, please see:
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