Welcome to Term 1 2024
And just like that, school is back and the break – however long or short it was- is over and we are back into the swing of the school year. I do hope you managed to have some down time to enjoy with your children knowing that the year ahead will be filled with new and exciting things to come. Whether you have children starting brand new in kindergarten, their final year in Year 12 or somewhere in between, the year promises to be a journey of discovery for both our child/ren and we parents.
No matter how experienced or indeed inexperienced we are at schooling, one thing is for certain, that no child’s experiences are exactly the same as another’s and it is with this in mind that I encourage all parents to see the beginning of the school year as a relatively new beginning for each of your children – no matter how many parent information evenings you have attended previously, this is the first time this child of yours is experiencing this year with this cohort of peers and this teacher. I speak from my experience of having had four of my own children attend 14 years of schooling each … somewhere relatively early (thank goodness!) I realised that I indeed didn’t know everything that was going to happen in the coming year and that each of my children’s experiences was somewhat different as the presentation of the curriculum was changed up from teacher to teacher and due to the differences in children, what and how they learned influenced the outcomes.
Please make the time to check out the Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) website and avail yourself of the opportunities there with the Gearing up for Parent Engagement in Student Learning toolkit. This has been developed for families and schools to help make the transition into primary and secondary school a great experience for children and young people. The information will assist the unique relationship between parent and child to flourish into a meaningful partnership between home and school towards improving the learning and wellbeing of students.
I encourage you to be involved in your school’s parent groups in whatever capacity you are able. Whether your school has the traditional P&F association, ‘Friends of …’ groups or the like, these groups give life to the school in a unique way and the community which grows from these groups is like no other; they benefit your children, the school and indeed some of the unforeseen benefits to us can be long-lasting friendships (even when you’re not looking for more!) that well outlast the years the children are at school.
2024 certainly is an exciting year for us here at CSPWA with the celebration of our 70th anniversary. There will be plenty more information coming forth around our conference in June which is shaping up to be fabulous including the dinner to be held in a rooftop ballroom with some of the best views around! Stay tuned …
The office staff have hit the ground running at the beginning of term and is gearing up for the Induction evening for all office bearers to be held 21 February at our offices in Inglewood. Please see further in the newsletter for details for registration of attendance.
Please enjoy the Welcome to the new school Year gatherings your parent groups are hosting, the school community is made up of so many families that together make your children’s schools the wonderful places they are.
We look forward to seeing the many and varied ideas for fundraising and community building you all come up with this year! As always, please remember that the staff of CSPWA is available for advice, support, reassurance and guidance. Our focus is firmly on advocacy and support for and with parents to make stronger communities in which our children will thrive and prosper.
We look forward to partnering with you enabling you to work in partnership with your schools.
Catholic School Parents WA would like to thank Transperth WA along with the WA State Government on their new Ride to School Free program. This new initiative will be welcomed by families during a time of significant cost of living pressures, particularly those with school aged children.
From Monday 5 February, Students with a valid Student SmartRider will be able to travel for free on Transperth services for any journey Monday - Friday, until the end of the school year.
Students must tag on and off each journey to receive the free travel.
The Ride to School Free Program will be specifically for travel to and from school Monday to Friday and will be available to those who hold a valid Student SmartRider card, while the Fare Free Sundays will be available to everyone with a valid SmartRider card.
The Ride to School Free Program will commence on Monday February 5 while the Fare Free Sundays will begin on February 4.
Families who have two children travelling to and from school daily on public transport could see savings of up to $560 across the school year as a result of the change.
The Ride to School Free Program will benefit every student that rides the bus or train to school – with around 300,000 students currently holding Student SmartRiders.
The Department of Health WA have the following information on vaccinations for parents of children in years 7 and 10. Please find below the links to both the Year 7 and Year 10 programs which include information on how to register your child for these programs as well as how to provide consent.
Year 7 school-based immunisation program – information for parents
Why is immunisation important?
Immunisation protects people from infectious diseases which carry a high risk of serious illness, disability and death. Vaccines trigger an immune response which protects people if they come into contact with the disease again in the environment.
All vaccines currently available in Australia must pass strict safety tests before being approved. Vaccines are continually checked to make sure they are safe and
effective. All medicines and vaccines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not.
Year 10 school-based immunisation program – information for parents
What is meningococcal disease?
Meningococcal disease is an uncommon, but sometimes life-threatening illness. The disease is a result of a bacterial infection of the blood and/or the membranes that line the spinal cord and brain. Although treatable with antibiotics, the infection can
progress very rapidly, so it is important that anyone experiencing symptoms of meningococcal disease seeks medical attention promptly. At any one time, approximately 10 per cent of healthy people carry meningococcal bacteria harmlessly in their nose or throat, and do not become ill.
ReachOut Parents provides information, tools and resources to help parents and carers support 12 - 18 year olds in their family environment.
ReachOut have recently published an informative article on 'School Refusal and Teenagers'. Being the parent or carer of a teenager who refuses to go to school can be incredibly challenging, putting a strain on your relationship with them and on your family and home life.
You may be unsure about how to act in the best interests of your teen while at the same time offering them effective support, but there are many things you can do to manage the situation and maintain a positive relationship. It’s also important to acknowledge your own feelings and to prioritise your own mental wellbeing.
Here’s everything you need to know about school refusal, including its signs, causes and implications, as well as resources and strategies for managing it.
What is school refusal?
School refusal is when a young person becomes very distressed and anxious about going to school, to the point that they refuse to attend.
The signs of school refusal can include distress before attending school, health complaints, skipping classes, leaving school or repeated absenteeism. In some cases, the thought of attending school can cause physical symptoms such as vomiting, refusal to eat, shaking, or panic attacks.
School refusal is different from regular truancy. When a student is ‘wagging’ school, they hide it from their parents or carers. School refusal isn’t concealed; it’s an adamant refusal to attend that stems from the teen’s belief that they are unable to cope with school.
Signs of school refusal
There are many signs of school refusal. Some of the most common ones include:
- crying or yelling related to attending school
- frequent health complaints, such as stomach aches, headaches, dizziness or fatigue
- repeated requests to go home from school
- high levels of absenteeism or frequent lateness to school
- difficulty falling asleep the night before school.
If you are noticing these behaviours in your teen, it’s important to speak to a GP. They will be able to work with your teen to rule out any health issues that may be causing these symptoms and suggest management and support options.
Click here to read the full article.
The Catholic School Parents WA (CSPWA) P&F Induction evening will take place on Wednesday, 21st February from 6pm, at St Peter's Primary School in Inglewood (103 Wood St). Light refreshments will be served on the evening.
In addition to being introduced to the online induction resource developed specifically for Catholic school P&Fs, attendees will also be provided with up to date information on the various roles and responsibilities of members of the P&F Committee, the P&F Terms of Reference which was introduced into Catholic schools at the beginning of last year, and also information on how to access the wide range of resources available to those schools who are affiliated with CSPWA.
An online webinar will be available to parents in regional and remote schools and this will be made available in the week after this event.
This year we are also delighted to welcome Dan Wood - School Improvement Team Leader, CEWA, to our induction evening. Many of you will know the emphasis that CSPWA place on the importance of the parent voice being heard in the conversations around education and wellbeing in our schoolsand to that end Dan will provide us with information about the School Climate Surveys which are conducted in Catholic Schools on a regular basis. We will hear about why it is important for parents to engage with the surveys, and how they assist with the continuous growth and improvement of our schools. We will also learn about the most appropriate way to seek feedback and also how schools use this information to inform their school improvement plans.
If there are any additional topics that you would like to have addressed during the course of the evening, please don't hesitate to let us know in advance and we will endeavour to allocate some time to your query.
This event is free to members of our Catholic school communities, but we ask you to please register via this link to assist us with our catering https://events.humanitix.com/cspwa-parent-induction-evening.
We are happy to announce that our application for a Lotterywest grant which will assist parents from our regional and remote schools to travel to Perth to attend the dinner and conference has been approved. This year we will be utilising Aloft Perth for accommodation on the Friday and Saturday nights for parents who have to travel.
As a statewide organisation we are always keen to assist parents from regional and remote areas of our state to attend the conference, allowing them to access quality speakers in addition to having the opportunity to network with parents from other schools and regions.
As a result of being at the conference in person, they also have the opportunity to have more authentic input into conversations and panel discussions, and importantly bring an additional perspective that parents from the metro region cannot.
To view our fact sheet on what the grant covers, please click here.