Welcome to Term 3 Newsletter 2019
Greetings to all and welcome to Term 3
I hope that you and your children have had a good and productive start to Term 3.
Here in the office we are gearing up for a busy term and have a couple of exciting new projects to roll out. We are also commencing work on Conference 2020 and you will hear from us before the end of the term with a ‘Save the Date’ and some additional information regarding the theme and speakers.
Firstly however I would like to take the opportunity to introduce our newest member of staff, Donna McConville. Donna has joined us in the role of Admin Officer and takes over from the lovely Sarah who left us at the end of last term after eight years working with us. Sarah has moved on to a full time role and we wish her every success in that. Donna comes with great skills and attributes and her children attend Catholic schools here in Perth. She has hit the ground running and we are all enthusiastic about what this term will bring.
We are very excited to be promoting our inaugural ‘Parent Engagement in Learning Week’ which will coincide with book week commencing on 19th August. As it is our first foray into this space we decided to keep it simple and marry it with events that schools and parents will already be engaging with during book week. This year we have identified two key themes - ‘Reading’ and ‘Attendance’.
Reading, as we know is the number one activity that all parents should be doing with their children. Those fifteen minutes a night are so important in many different ways. A new study has found that young children whose parents read them five books a day enter kindergarten having heard about 1.4 million more words than kids who were never read to. If five books is a bit of a stretch for you, children who are read only one book a day will hear about 290,000 words by age 5 than those who don’t regularly read books with a parent or caregiver. From a wellbeing perspective, reading to children also suggests that they will associate reading with love and affection.
These are really significant statistics and so it is vitally important for us as parents to find that time every day to read. Please read through the article further down in this newsletter for more information about this topic.
Attendance is the other key theme for the week and we will be sharing information about the importance of being at school all day every day.
We will share this information through our FB page, newsletter and website so keep connected.
We also ask that those schools who have not returned a completed Office Bearers Form, do so as soon as possible as we will forward information directly to parent groups using this channel.
We look forward to hearing your stories about how you promote these two important messages in your school.
Good luck to everyone for the term ahead and particularly for those of you with children in Year 12. This is their last full term at school and will be packed full of events as well as keeping the nose to the grindstone. Remember to take time to smell the roses and enjoy the last of their ‘school days’.
As mentioned in our last newsletter, Catholic School Parents WA are delighted to be launching our inaugural 'Parent Engagement in Learning Week' in conjunction with Book Week between August 19th-23rd.
As parents, we all have a general understanding of what being 'involved' means when it comes to our children's schooling. Volunteering in the canteen, attending P&F meetings, assisting with reading in the classroom are all great examples of involvement. Being involved in your children's school has many positive benefits for the wellbeing of your child and the broader school community. Schools most certainly could not operate effectively without the positive involvement and support of parents.
Parent engagement in education is about parents and carers, schools and communities working together to ensure that every parent can play a positive role in their child's learning, school community, sport, and social life.
Parents and families play such an important role in supporting their child's education. Research has shown that when schools and families work together, children do better, stay in school longer, are more engaged with their school work, go to school more regularly, behave better, and have enhanced social skills. Parent engagement also results in longer term economic, social and emotional benefits.
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' ie 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 that 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.'
We have commenced planning for CSPWA's Bienniel Conference to be held in May 2020. You will receive a 'Save the Date' communication in the next couple of weeks so keep an eye on your inbox!
We would like all school's parent groups, including those from rural and remote schools, to start including this event in their planning for 2020. We will once again be submitting an application for Lotterywest funding to assist in bringing parents from rural and remote schools to attend the conference. Should we be successful with this application, all travel and accommodation costs would be covered for two parents from each rural and remote school to attend.
Theresa, our Liaison Officer will be in touch in with you in the coming weeks to provide some more information on the conference. Watch this space !!