Issue 9 - 3rd June 2021
Teaching children about acceptance is something we spend a lot of time doing at school, as you do at home. We all want our children to grow up being understood and accepted for their differences. We want them to feel loved and included and to never experience the pain of judgement or exclusion.
We have a huge responsibility as adults in teaching our children about diversity, inclusion and acceptance. Children are watching our every move. They learn from us how to respond to others. Celebrating difference begins with us!
How can we best promote acceptance in our children?
- Encourage your children to value themselves as unique and worthwhile and they will more easily see that in others. Remind them that a person’s appearance, personality, quirks, beliefs, and interests bring something special to the world that nobody else can duplicate.
- Focus their attention on the values of kindness, respect, and empathy.
- Teach your child to reach out to others. Urge them to make other kids in their class feel valued. Encourage them to get to know the classmate who often sits alone at lunch. One way to make sure this is happening is to challenge your child to find out one good thing about a child they regularly say is annoying. Challenging them to do this will teach them that there is good in everyone and that everyone has something to offer the world.
- Encourage your child to cast a wide net and seek out friendships in their neighborhood, at school, on a team, through a club, etc. Research has shown that kids who have a diverse set of friendships will not only be more accepting of others, but they also are less likely to be bullied. The reason is simple. They have learned to get along with a diverse group of people.
- Remember, kids watch and listen to everything you do. Are you accepting of all people? Do you make judgments and maintain stereotypes that your children can hear and see? If you want your kids to be inclusive, you need to be that way too.
Promoting an inclusive learning environment for our students is an ongoing endeavour and commitment at St Peter Chanel. We are very proud of our diverse community and of the willingness of our students to celebrate our differences.
What is online gaming?
Online gaming describes any video game that offers online interactions with other players.
Online games are important to understand because they offer a huge amount of fun, enjoyment, teamwork, collaboration and imaginative adventure for children. Played healthily they contribute an essential part of children’s development and socialisation.
However, it’s important for parents to understand online gaming so they can encourage safe and healthy habits in children and technology from a young age.
Things you need to know about gaming
- Some games let children play and chat with anyone in the world. This means they might come across offensive language and bullying
- Not everyone online is who they say they are. Children should avoid giving out personal details that could identify them or their location
- In extreme cases bullying, also known as ‘griefing’, can be used as a tactic to win games. Children may find themselves either bullying or being bullied
- Get involved by finding out what type of games your child enjoys and making sure they’re appropriate for their age
- It can be hard to stop some games in the middle of a battle as there are penalties for quitting and children may feel they are letting teammates down.
What are children doing while online gaming?
The most common aspect of online gaming is being able to play with other players from all over the world. They may be in different countries, be using different technology and be vastly different ages, but players can come together and share an online gaming experience together.
This is what drove the popularity of Fortnite. It’s a shooting game like any other, but it lets you play with 99 other players in a competition to be the last man/woman/team standing. Children play Fortnite with friends, but also — inevitably — with people they don’t know.
Parents should be aware of this aspect of games as it means that children can be in contact with strangers. There are simple settings and strategies to keep this safe on all consoles and mobile devices.
Playing any aspect of an online game will usually require you to set up an account for the game. This may be on the game console or tablet itself or on a related website. This enables the player to have their own online profile and persona.
It’s important for parents to be the ones setting up these accounts, and only for age appropriate games, so they can control the parental settings and select appropriate levels of privacy. Linking a parent’s email address to these accounts also ensures that any online messages are read in a timely fashion.
Contact with strangers
Another aspect of online gaming is the blurring of the boundary with social media. Most children’s first experience of an online interaction with a stranger will be in a game such as Roblox, rather than pure social media.
Add to this the fact that many social media platforms are combining games and game-like features and the two need to be considered as a whole by parents. This is important as it ensures that issues such as bullying, strangers, over sharing, fraud and scams are also considered and talked about for online games as well as Snapchat or Instagram.
Use of personas to hide real identities
In these games, players do not necessarily know who they are playing with. Online personas in the games may report to be other children but it is hard to validate if this is the case. Because of this, parents and carers need to understand the games their children are playing and how to set them up safely.
Advice to support children
- When you first purchase a video game console, ensure you set up the online interaction settings in its Parental Controls or Family Settings.
- Keep consoles and computers in shared family spaces so you can see the interactions for yourself.
- If your child uses a headset to play, ensure they play over the speakers occasionally so you can hear what is being said.
- Install the community applications for consoles like PlayStation and Xbox so you are notified of direct messages to your account.
- Set up separate accounts for children of different ages in your home to be able to tailor interactions.
- Play the games together, using your child’s account to see who they are talking to.
- On consoles, you can create a lobby of your child’s known friends before starting a game, and then mute other players to keep a safe connection experience.
Mrs Kerrie FlynnActing Principal
National Reconciliation Prayer
Holy Father, God of Love,
You are the Creator of all things.
We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history
and the sufferings of Our peoples,
and we ask your forgiveness.
We thank you for the survival of Indigenous cultures.
Our hope is in you because you gave your Son Jesus to reconcile the world to you.
We pray for your strength and grace to forgive, accept and love one another, as you love us and forgive and accept us in the sacrifice of your Son.
Give us the courage to accept the realities of our history so that we may build a better
future for our Nation.
Teach us to respect all cultures.
Teach us to care for our land and waters.
Help us to share justly, the resources of this land. Help us to bring about spiritual and social change to improve the quality of life for all groups in our communities, especially the disadvantaged.
Help young people to find true dignity and self-esteem by your Spirit.
May your power and love be the foundations on which we build our families, our communities and our Nation,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Mrs Andrea Jaffray Morf
Encouraging friendships and social interactions among all the diverse young children is more important than ever. Studies show that the roots of bullying take hold in early childhood, during the critical first years of attitude development. The message is clear: To reduce the high incidence of bullying, we need to lay the groundwork for acceptance of and respect for diversity when kids are very young.
Our world is constantly changing, and, as it becomes more diverse and interconnected, children need to understand that all people are unique; they have varying abilities, beliefs, and traditions; and they are important as individuals.
We need to help our children love and accept others for who they are and the diverse responses and behaviour that others display. At St. Peter Chanel, we have expectations for our students on how to behave. There are times when children don’t always behave in an expected manner and there is always a reason behind behaviour. We MUST teach and encourage our children to show love and compassion before judging and reacting. Please try the following strategies with your child/children to work together with us on helping them increase their understanding of difference.
Provide a simple explanation for behaviours:
“Some people with disabilities may walk, talk, listen, think, or behave differently, but we have many similar feelings and share many things in common.”
“Has there been a time when you experienced a change that really bothered you? Can you think of a time when something did not go as you had planned and it worried you? How do you feel when you have to do something you don’t want to do?”
Offer positive feedback and solutions:
“You did a nice job putting yourself in Lucy’s shoes to think about how she felt and consider why she may have reacted that way to something new and unexpected. By thinking about times when you also felt worried or confused about changes, like when someone changes the rules of a game, a relief teacher is on your class, a different bus driver, we can see that we’re really similar, aren’t we?”
“Lucy knows you well because you’re her classmate. Maybe if Lucy sees that you don’t agree with changes in a game, have a different teacher for the day, she won’t be upset. You could offer to talk it over with your peers and Lucy, tell the relief teacher that you’re nervous because they don’t really know you, sit together on the bus.”
Within the next few weeks we will hold an emergency practice with staff and students to test our response to a potential scenario that staff identify as a threat warranting the school to go into lockdown.
This happens twice a year and demonstrates our commitment and duty of care to both staff and children to provide a safe working place. The practice will be introduced as a PRACTICE LOCKDOWN to eliminate any unnecessary panic within the school.
We recognise the value of testing this process and believe this procedure will help maintain a calm and smooth transition in the unlikely event of a real threat.
We have processes in place to make this practice as least disruptive as possible.
If you have concerns about the lockdown, please do not hesitate to contact our Safety Officer, Jan Scott on 0437 740 411.
Congratulations to the following students who received Aiming High Awards at our last assembly.
Kinder - Mac & Ty
Prep - Huxley & Reegan
Grade 1 - Tayla & Nirvana
Grade 2 - Charlie & Sophia
Grade 3 - Arah & Bayley
Grade 4 - Sabannah & Jeremiah
Grade 5 - Grayson & Saxon
Grade 6 - Jack & Sienna
Congratulations to last week's Cake Raffle Winner - Sam Radford Bryan!
The disco is a free event and will be held at 5.30pm this Friday 4th June in the Josephite Centre, all grades are welcome to attend!
You are able to drop your child off as there will be staff and P&F members to supervise, however please ensure your child is picked up by 7.30pm at the latest.
Small packs of chips and mixed lollies ($1), juice boxes and water ($2) available to purchase on the night.
The next P&F meeting will be, Wednesday, 16th June at 7:30pm. All new members are welcome.
Last Wednesday, we held our annual Cross Country. Thank you to all the families who came along to support the students on a very cold day.
Final results were as follows:
1st - Alex
2nd - Jordan
3rd - Tait
4th - Taite
1st - Libby & Luca
2nd - Sienna
3rd - Allirah
1st - Logan
2nd - Lewis
3rd - Isaac
4th - Saxon
1st - Jewel
2nd - Charli
3rd - Caitlin
1st - Kye
2nd - Harvey
3rd - Aihden
4th - Ryan
1st - Tayla
2nd - Asta
3rd - Hali
4th - Peppa
1st - Jaiden
2nd - Ajai
3rd - Naite
4th - Liam
1st - Charlotte
2nd - Jordana
3rd - Harper
4th - Indianna
1st - Charlie
2nd - Hamish
3rd - Chayse H
4th - Taite
1st - Quinn
2nd - Myla
3rd - Ella
4th - Carly
1st - Ethan
2nd - Dawson
3rd - Jake
4th - Harlenn
1st - Koa
2nd - Darcy
3rd - Aleira
4th - Maddi
1st - Lucas
2nd - Huxley
3rd - Finn
4th - Ollie
1st - Reegan
2nd - Millah
3rd - Isla
4th - Evie
1st - Reef
2nd - Mac
3rd - Brock
4th - Levi
1st - Ava
2nd - Tilly
3rd - Cienna
4th - Luka
Congratulations to the winning house Gibson!
The following students have been selected to participate in the North West Cross Country on Thursday, 17 June in Burnie:
Alex Liang, Jordan Grey, Libby Buckby, Luca Smith
Logan Poke, Lewis Sheehan, Jewel Wynwood, Charli Moodie
Kye Moore, Harvey Vander Laan, Tayla Ollington, Asta Jenkins
Jaiden Spinks, Ajai Birdi, Charlotte Armstrong, Jordana Pay
We wish them all the best as they represent our school.
Our Grade 3 to Grade 6 students will have two soccer games against Circular Head Christian School within their PE sessions on Wednesday, 16th June and 23rd June. These games will be held at SPC and we look forward to having the CHCS students join us for soccer.
Mrs Jaffray Morf will be taking two weeks of Long Service Leave in weeks 9 and 10 of this term.
Are you aged 16-49 years? You will be able to receive a free COVID-19 vaccination in Smithton. The Tasmanian Government is bringing a community clinic to Smithton for a limited time. The clinic will be located at the Agritas building on 5th, 6th, 19th and 20th June.
Make a booking now to make sure you don’t miss out.
Call the Public Health Hotline 1800 671 738 or book online: coronavirus.tas.gov.au/bookings
Autism Tasmania conducts free workshops for parents, family and unpaid carers of children on the autism spectrum, or those who have autistic characteristics.
Parent / Carer Information Sessions are for parents, family members or unpaid carers of children of any age. A confirmed diagnosis of autism is not necessary for a parent/carer to attend.
The next scheduled information session in Burnie is called Autism: Building a partnership with your child’s school. It is scheduled on Wednesday June 23rd, 10am–12pm. This workshop explores strategies for building and maintaining a strong partnership with schools, and introduces resources and support services within public, catholic and independent schools. Contributing effectively to the Learning Plans process will also be discussed. Registration is essential. Families can contact me directly, or they can register via this link: www.trybooking.com/BQNKK