Principal's report

31 August 2017

Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends of Assumption,

Improving your (and your child’s) response to stress

We know a lot now about why people get angry and flair up in ways that are unreasonable and over the top.  For adolescents, there are a myriad of reasons (e.g. showing off for peers, strong hormonal activity, immature brain development, bad role models). This last one is something we can all do something about – there are definitely times adults do not manage our own behaviours well and inadvertently influence the young people who observe us to adopt these same behaviours.  This is why those TAC ads urge parents not to get angry in the car if their children are with them (or, let’s face it, not fall into road rage at any time, really!).  Being able to manage our strong emotions in times of stress is one of the key growth points of being an adult. There are some great studies now about how we can continue to grow in our ability to manage our emotions, so that we don’t come off as excessively angry, blaming, sulky or belligerent.  Over the remainder of the year, we’ll be aiming to share some articles about adult behaviours that we can model to the young people we love and care about. For a start, here are two excellent ones about improving our default responses to stressful situations and why restorative conversations are important for adolescent social and emotional development.

Child safety update

Since the additional child safety reporting obligations were introduced in term one, Assumption has spent considerable time re-training staff in our Child Safe policies and procedures.  As of the end of this week we will have over 30 Child Safe Officers trained in more developed skills to observe and listen for symptoms of abuse in children and misconduct in adults.  We are committed to ensuring that our students feel safe, and encourage parents to engage with the school at times when they think young people may be at risk. You will see a list of our Child Safety Officers on the school website from the beginning of next week.  Their names, and the key policies that guide our Child Safe practices can be found here.

Parent-student-teacher interviews

Bookings are now open for these interviews. Please ensure your child comes along with you to the meeting – "visible learning" is only possible when the student is part of the conversation about their language and learning behaviours. Interviews will be held in the Fourviere Centre.

Finally, a prayer for those of us who love our sport. As we come to the finals season in many of our winter sports, let’s pause for a moment’s prayer:

 A prayer about our relationship with sport

God of all sports (and none):
From our small minds,
how amused you must be
when our prayers about sport
are about our own success or our team’s.
Whose side are you on?
How do you choose
When supporters from both sides
implore your divine intervention?

 Remind us that in prayer
our hearts are opened to you
and our minds lifted beyond ourselves.
Just as prayer changes us,
not you, O God,
so sport too, can lift us beyond ourselves.

 So, we pray:

We give thanks for the gift of our bodies,
For the ability to run, walk, jump,
swim, catch and throw.

We pray for patience and discipline,
that we may learn the joy of mastering new skills:
achieving success, and cheerfully bearing failure
in the company of others.

 We pray that our relationships be enriched
through the friendships we form.
May we learn to include others across borders
of language, colour, gender and religion.

We pray that we care for others.

 May we especially look out for those
who are differently abled,
and those often left on the boundaries.

Through our vigilance
may we always play fair,
and ensure that no one is abused or exploited.

We ask this through Jesus your son. Amen.

Peace and blessings,

Kate Fogarty