Primary News

It has been a wonderful start to the 2018 school year and our students have settled quickly into the many new learning opportunities available at St John’s. Computer technology and online communications have become an integral part of education these days and while these tools are excellent resources for learning, they do hold some dangers. To ensure our students are aware of these dangers, they participated in age appropriate information sessions on cyber-safety this week. Keeping our children safe on-line involves the whole community and we were pleased to see so many people able to attend the Cyber-Safety session for parents, held on Monday evening.

It is important for us all to keep informed of technological changes and trends in the use of different apps and social communication. We need to keep up to date with how young people use technology and we need to consistently remind them of appropriate on-line behaviour. To assist families in keeping informed the Anglican Schools Commission has engaged INESS – Internet Education and Safety Services to develop a series of online courses for parents and school staff.

The series includes four age-tailored courses with modules on communication, rules and boundaries, staying current, parental controls, empowered choices and actions. Access to these modules is available by using St John’s specific login code:

http://cybersafe.ascqld.org.au
password: sjac

Access to these modules is free of change to all St John’s families. I strongly encourage all parents and carers to logon and read through the modules to assist you in understanding how to keep your children safe while they are using online technologies.

Are your Children Getting Enough Sleep?

Getting back into the school routine, can be a ‘shock to the system’ for some after a long summer holiday. A day spent at school often requires far more energy, mental and physical, than a day relaxing at home or at the beach for example. It is very important that when children are attending school that they receive sufficient sleep at night to allow them to be alert and ready for learning during the day.

Most parents know that children require significantly more sleep than adults to support their physical and mental development. However, it is not always easy to tell if a child has had enough sleep because they do not necessarily slow down when they are tired. They can instead, become hyper active and unco-operative and resist bedtime. This can be confusing for parents who interpret this behaviour as showing that the child does not need sleep.

It can be detrimental for children to miss as little as 30 to 60 minutes of sleep each night, and can effect their behaviour and ability to learn. Families are encouraged to establish a bedtime routine that is regularly adhered to, to ensure that their children are receiving enough sleep.

According to the Australian Centre for Education in Sleep, the following hours of sleep are recommended:

  • Babies under 1: 14-18 hours throughout the day and night
  • Toddlers: 12-14 hours per 24 hour period
  • Primary school: 10-12 hours per day
  • High school: 8-10 hours per day
  • Adults: 7-9 hours per day

This would indicate that a child in Prep should have around 12 hours of sleep each night. If they go to bed at 7.00pm they can wake up at 7.00am. Young children who do not go to bed at around this time each night can easily become sleep deprived.

It is recommended that children in the early years of education should not have bedtimes after 7.30pm and they should not be playing on computers, iPads or tablets between dinner and bedtime. Research is showing that using technology prior to bedtime is not helpful in ensuring children receive a good night’s sleep. I encourage families to look carefully at the amount of time their children are sleeping and establish a healthy bedtime routines. I also strongly recommend that technology is not used just before bedtime.

Ensuring children are sleeping well can greatly assist them in their learning.

Communication

The College uses a variety of methods of communication to keep families up to date with events and activities and informed about the progress of their children. The list below gives you an overview of the widely used forms of communication at St John’s:

  • Please speak to your child’s teacher as the first point of contact regarding your child’s progress.
  • Parent Teacher Interviews – are conducted at the end of each term. However, parents may make a time to meet with their child’s teacher at other times as the need arises.
  • Emails – please ensure that your email address is always current. Teachers will send weekly updates.
  • Newsletters – Ripples and Presenting Primary, each distributed once per fortnight.
  • Parent Portal – all families require a unique password to access the parent portal. Please contact Samantha Jackson, sjackson@sjac.qld.edu.au if you have not received your password. Excursions and special events requiring parental permission and/or payment usually need to be completed via Parent Portal.
  • The College App – please download the app onto your mobile. Search for “St John’s Anglican College” in the Play Store or iTunes and install onto your mobile device for regular updates.
  • Facebook – consider liking the St John’s Facebook page for updates on College news and events.

Uniforms

It was so pleasing to see the children arrive to school at the commencement of the year in their new uniforms, hats and polished shoes. As we become busily involved in various College activities some uniform items can be misplaced, or in the rush to get to school certain uniform items may be forgotten. The following dot points outline some of the St John’s uniform expectations:

  • Hats should be worn to and from school each day.
  • Jewellery should not be worn to school apart from a watch. Girls may wear one small, silver or gold, round stud or sleeper in each ear and ear rings should not contain coloured stones.
  • Hair should be of a conservative style. For boys, tracks and very short sides are not appropriate. Girls with hair touching the shoulders or longer must have their hair tied back and wear ribbons/hair bands of the College colours – red, white and blue. Parents are asked to remember our uniform expectations when organising haircuts for their children.
  • Sports shoes should be predominately white with white shoe laces.
  • Students in Years 3 to 6 should ensure that they wear a College badge on the right of their collar and House badge on the left every day the formal uniform is worn. Students in younger grades may also wear the College badge and House badge although these are not compulsory until Year 3.
  • All items of clothing should be clearly labelled with the child’s name so they can be returned to their owner if misplaced.

We thank families for making the effort to ensure their children are wearing our College uniform correctly and with pride.

Casserole Crew

The St John’s community is very inclusive and supportive and one way in which we show support for others is through our Casserole Crew. The Casserole Crew is a group of parents and staff members from St John’s Anglican College, who give support to families in the school community who are in need due to ill health or difficult circumstances, by offering to make a meal, pack lunch boxes, donate disposable aluminium containers, ice blocks or cooler bags.

We invite family members to volunteer to be involved in the Casserole Crew. As a member of this team, your name will be registered on the Casserole Crew database, and our Co-ordinator, Mrs Pam Boardman, will contact you to make a meal as required.  This is not to be too onerous and usually only one meal per term is required depending on the size of the database.

If you would like to be part of this team, please contact Mrs Pam Boardman via email, pboardman@sjac.qld.edu.au

Clubs

We have had a very positive response to our Extra-Curricular Clubs for Term One and most clubs are now full.

Environmental Club will commence this week on Thursday lunch play time for any interested Year One to Five students and we urge all interested students to sign up for this worthwhile club.  Please complete the permission form and return to Primary Reception.

Mr Brownlow will be again be running the Young Inventors Club during Tuesday lunch play time (starting 13 February 2018) for any interested Year One and Two students.  Please complete the permission form and return to Primary Reception to be involved in this exciting Club.

I am looking forward to seeing you all at our special events being held during the year.

Kind Regards
Sandra Hawken
Head of Primary