Principal's report

14 September 2017

Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends of Assumption,

 Subject selection and student leadership

At this time of year, the adolescents in your life are making important decisions about the subjects they might like to study, and the leadership roles they might like to apply for.  It will also soon be time for them to select their preferred co-curricular activity for 2018.  Here’s a great opportunity for you to open some conversations about what they might like to be remembered for when they leave school. Nelson Mandela left us with many great reflections, including the challenge to let our choices "reflect our hopes, not our fears". It’s always important to be thinking about the kind of person you would like others to see you as, and to plan the behaviours and mindsets that will help achieve that.  As you know, adolescents are faced with more options than ever before, and it is important that we help them make decisions that assist them in living their hopes, rather than their fears.

Athletics success 

During the last month or so our athletics team has been working hard to make up for their small numbers with some fantastic efforts and results.  Indeed, yesterday at the AGSV athletics competition, the Assumption team posted some highly commendable results.  Details are in the sports section of this bulletin. We thank Mr Michael Egan and the other staff who worked hard to encourage the small band of students to strive for their best.  While our results on the teams table at the end of the day didn’t look great, our competitors' individual results were extremely high. I encourage all students to consider becoming involved in the athletics team in 2018 because we have the makings of a highly competent and competitive squad.

Help your child have respectful, challenging conversations

We all know the importance of planning to have those conversations that are going to be challenging, or make us feel uncomfortable. ReachOut has developed an App called "The Check-In", which helps teens consider how they might open up a difficult conversation with a friend or with an adult (such as their parents!). I strongly commend this tool to you to use when you know your child is thinking about starting a conversation about something they find challenging. It would be possible for the two of you to work through the steps together, and plan for the conversation ahead. It’s a great way to model sound, thoughtful decision-making and respectful conversations, and could be useful when emotions are high around a particular issues. Why not download it to your own phone and have a play before recommending it to your teen?

Teens and sleep

Screens, busy-ness and stress can all adversely affect the important sleep that teens need to fuel their brains and the bodies. Developing sound sleeping habits before the pressure times hit in term 4 is extremely important, and something that all parents and guardians should be attuned too. We’ve recommended in previous newsletters that devices be removed from bedrooms, but even more importantly, routine and structure around bedtimes are some of the most conducive aspects to a sound night’s sleep (for adults and students!). So, at the risk of being ridiculously contradictory, did you know there are some great apps that can assist with sleep behaviours and patterns?

Relax Melodies – gives you a huge selection of mix and match ambient sounds. (free)

Deep Sleep with Andrew Johnson – guided meditations to help you sleep ($3.97)

Simply Being – guided meditations to help you relax ($2.99)

ReachOut Breathe – breathing exercises to help relieve anxiety (Free)

Yoga for Insomnia – stretches to help you relax ($4.49)

Building the life we want…

In the parable of the wise and foolish builders (Matthew 7:24-27) Jesus uses poetic symbolism to remind us that our behaviours are driven from our thoughts and emotions. If we are thinking positively and are focused on having a heart that is loving and warm, then our behaviours will reflect that. Healthy trees grow good fruit! If our focus is inward facing, our self-talk is selfish, and our motivation is purely to look out for ourselves, then our actions will reflect a heart that is dry, tired and often angry. Warm thoughts lead to warm actions. Jesus speaks of the person who built their house on a firm foundation, so that when the floods rose, their house stood strong. What foundation are you currently building your house on?

Loving God, let us build hearts and minds that are strong and gentle. Let us be people who value warmth and behaviours that help others to also build their homes on solid ground. Amen.

Peace and blessings,

Kate Fogarty