Welcome to Term 4 2022
Michael O'Dwyer from St Joseph's School in Waroona has been awarded Primary School Principal of the Year after being nominated by his peers for his dedicated leadership, approachable nature and progressive, forward thinking initiatives for the school. As you can read in the below article, featured in The Record Magazine, issue 37, Michael was nominated for implementing a range of initiatives over his three years at the school. These include:
- A hearty commitment to improve literacy by embedding evidence-based science of reading into the whole school community.
- The introduction of daily reviews and tracking of student achievement using Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS), and sharing the data with students and parents three times a year to show progress.
- Supporting Catholic Education WA’s Transforming Lives initiative. The school has seen a 600 per cent increase in the enrolment of Aboriginal students.
- The introduction of an Aboriginal scholarship and teaching children the Noongar language.
- The implementation of social programs including a food handling course for Year 6 students who contribute to the running of the canteen, a breakfast club two mornings a week; and the development of life skills through the generous donation of a washing machine and clothes dryer to help at-risk families.
To read the full article from The Record, please click here.
Catholic School Parents WA would like to sincerely congratulate Michael on this wonderful acknowledgement!
Is it coming to that time of year when schools generally have their Annual Community Meetings (ACM), and Parent Groups elect Office Bearers for the incoming school year. Annual Community meetings are a good opportunity for Parent Groups to review the year that's been and congratulate themselves for the wonderful work they have done.
If this is your first ACM, or you need a refresher on how to plan the ACM, please see our resources below.
How to plan for the ACM.
How to plan a handover to new Office Bearers.
Sample ACM Agenda
Please do not hesitate to contact our office on 9338 9985 should you require any support with preparing or running your ACM.
Staff at CSPWA have recently been involved with a number of parent reference groups, following on from the Catholic School Parents Australia survey. We heard from several parents that vaping is an issue at their school and they would like to work with staff to try and find solutions. We understand that this is not an easy fix for several reasons, but have listed below some available resources to help parents to have those more difficult conversations with their children.
Paul Dillon, Director and founder of Drugs and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA) has a dedicated parent resources section on his website: https://darta.net.au/vaping-parent-resources/ which includes the links below. He will also be hosting a webinar for parents on Monday 14th November. For more information, please click here.
DARTA Fact Sheet for Parents – this resource answers the most frequently asked questions that parents have about e-cigarettes and vaping. Special attention is given to disposable vapes bought illegally in Australia that appear to be the devices preferred by young people
DARTA Fact Sheet for Young People – using a series of FAQs basic information is provided on vaping, including answers to ‘Is vaping safe?’ and ‘Is vaping safer than smoking?’
DARTA Information Sheet for Parents: What if you discover your child is vaping? – finding out that your child is vaping can be confronting for many parents. This resource provides information on how to prepare for a discussion with your child, as well as a suggested ‘step-by-step’ process of what you should say to ensure the best outcome
DARTA Information Sheet for Parents: How to respond to common vaping statements – parents are often met with statements about vaping ‘safety’ when attempting to challenge their teen’s use of these devices. This Information Sheet provides some possible responses that parents could use to address such statements
Vaping Resources for Parents – links to resources specifically developed for parents, as well as some downloadable fact sheets on how to talk to their children about vaping and the associated risks
Linda Stade has written the below article to offer practical advice to try and manage risk taking behaviour and in particular vaping.
World Teachers' Day is held internationally on 5 October. As the day usually falls during the Australian school holidays, we celebrate it on the last Friday in October, which will be the 28th. On this day we recognise the amazing contribution and work of over 66,000 teachers and leaders in Catholic schools throughout Australia.
This year’s theme is 'Hats off to Teachers' and there are many ways you can celebrate World Teachers' Day within your school community. The worldteachersday.edu.au website has a selfie toolkit available to download so you can share your "hats off" celebrations on social media. Other suggestions include:
- Connecting with your parent committee to host a morning tea for teachers.
- Create thank you gifts or cards.
- Get the kids involved in making some art.
We have also included the below link to an article written by Sally Egan, Acting Executive Director of National Catholic Education, who offers her sincere thanks to our teachers and leaders for all their work, commitment, passion and dedication to teaching and learning. Catholic School Parents WA also offer our thanks to all of our wonderful teachers here in WA and commend you for all you do for our precious children and young people.
Professor Stephen Bullivant (University of Notre Dame Australia and St Mary's University, Twickenham, UK) and Dr Phillipa Martyr (University of Western Australia) are collaborating on a survey project to collect data about Australian Catholics and what they believe. They have asked us to share this information amongst our networks.
There are two main reasons for the study. The first is to replicate Professor Bullivant's recent UK Catholic study in Australia and look for similarities and differences in the relationships between different variables. It's also an opportunity to see if things have shifted much since the 1996 Catholic Church Life Survey in Australia.
The second reason is that the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference recently held a series of Plenary Council sessions in Australia from 2018-2022, and a wide range of Australian Catholics took part in this process and shared their vision for the future of the Church in Australia. These sessions have thrown up a lot of interesting questions and the researchers would like to try to find some answers by finding out more about what ordinary Catholics across Australia think and believe, and how they feel about the Church and ‘being Catholic’. As such, they are asking for opinions across the broadest possible sense of 'identifying as Catholic'.
The study uses an online questionnaire which is completely anonymous. Most of the questions require participants to tick a box to respond, so there’s very little writing involved.
- Participants must be 18 years or older, living in Australia, and reasonably fluent in English.
- Participation is voluntary, and participants can withdraw at any time without explanation by closing their web browser.
- The questionnaire can be completed at a time that is convenient to you and should take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.
- You can complete the survey only once.
You are invited to participate from October to December 2022.
The Facebook page for the project can be accessed here: https://www.facebook.com/Catholics-in-Australia-Survey-100381102851156/ and the direct link to the survey is here: https://notredame.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bdyxQ0e3Ivj5qOa
The Commissioner for Children and Young People has a statutory responsibility to monitor the wellbeing of all children and young people living in Western Australia and advocate on their behalf. That is 616,000 children!
The Speaking Out Survey is a robust and representative survey of the wellbeing of children and young people in WA.
In the second survey, a record 16,532 children and young people from all regions of WA shared their experiences and views on safety, mental health, engagement in education, connection to community and how they access sources of support.
The findings will be valuable for anyone working with children and young people, across both government and non-government organisations, helping to guide policy and programs that ensure the needs of children and young people are met. For more information, please see: https://www.ccyp.wa.gov.au/our-work/speaking-out-survey/ or to view the summary report, please click here.
CSPWA has scheduled our Parent Induction evening for a little later than usual in Term 1 next year to allow parents groups to have their first meeting for the year and to adopt the new P&F Terms of Reference. We hope to hold the Induction evening in person this year, with a link available after the event for regional and remote schools.
The Induction evening will cover the new P&F Terms of Reference, updated Office Bearer role descriptions, including new duties for the P&F Treasurer, and information on how to access our P&F resources and online induction. Please save the date- we hope to see you there: Thursday 2nd March 2023.
As the end of a very busy Term 3 drew near, Catholic School Parents WA (CSPWA) embarked on its first ever Parent Pilgrimage on Sunday September 18.
We often hear about the importance of looking after ourselves first in order to better look after the others in our lives. Although all school terms are busy and have their challenges, Term 3 in WA is a busy one with Book Week, Science Week, the Performing Arts Festival, School Sports Carnivals in addition to all the ex-curricular activities our children and young people engage in. Many of these activities depend heavily on the involvement of parents - who doesn’t love Book Week and the creation of all those wonderful costumes!!!!!!
Keeping this in mind, the idea of a pilgrimage was put forward as an opportunity to renew in a spiritual way. The experience of the ancient faith tradition of pilgrimage provides a wonderful way to recharge the batteries and have some time to encounter God, ourselves, others and nature.
The Camino Salvado is a pilgrimage which runs from Subiaco in West Perth to the monastery town of New Norcia, approximately 160 kms north east of Perth. New Norcia was founded in 1846 by Dom Rosendo Salvado, a pioneering monk from Santiago in Spain. The pilgrimage follows in the footsteps of Dom Salvado and provides an inspirational way to connect with country.
The pilgrimage organised by CSPWA walked the first section of the Camino Salvado from St Joseph’s Church, Subiaco at the head of the trail to Bardon Park in East Perth, a walk of approximately 10 kms. The pilgrims were blessed with a beautiful day and were guided ably by Ms Mandy Connor, Director of Teaching and Learning at Catholic Education Western Australia. Mandy is an avid Camino walker and her enthusiasm for this tradition had a positive effect on all who took part. On a relatively short walk through the lovely city of Perth, Mandy pointed out many of the connections to our Catholic faith, including the pro cathedral of St John the Evangelist on our way to St Mary’s Cathedral in Victoria Square.
As the group stopped and restarted at the various landmarks relevant to our faith, it was lovely to fall into step with someone different each time. Although all participants live in Perth, they encountered beautiful pathways and tracks they had not walked before. God’s wonderful creation was certainly in evidence as they walked along the Swan River on a beautiful spring day with pilgrims sometimes chatting and sometimes walking in silence.
Although the group was not a big one, they look forward to continuing the Camino Salvado next year, moving on to the next section of the track. CSPWA also look forward to encouraging more parents to join in this unique experience and taking the opportunity to meet some new people while celebrating God’s creation and reflecting on the journey of our lives.
We are delighted to share with you a link to the most recent Catholic School Parents Australia (CSPA) newsletter. As you would be aware, CSPA is the national body representing the interests of parents who choose a Catholic education for their children across Australia. CSPA play a vital role advocating for these parents and helping to ensure that they continue to have the choice to choose an education which best meets their children's needs. Catholic School Parents WA are affiliated members of CSPA as are all other state and territory parent groups (with the current exception of NT).
The attached CSPA newsletter provides a great insight into the work being engaged in at the national level on behalf of Catholic school parents.
Along with lots of interesting articles there is a update provided on the recent survey conducted by CSPA regarding the wellbeing and learning of our children and young people over the past two and a half years of pandemic. CSPWA would like to take this opportunity to thank sincerely all of you parents who completed the survey. We had a particularly good response here in WA and so thank you for the time taken to engage with the survey and also in providing feedback through the various forums conducted in the wake of the survey.
To view the CSPA newsletter please click here.
To visit the CSPA website, please click here.