Dear Parents and Carers,
These anxious and unusual times bring unforeseen difficulties. But the best of human nature can rise to the challenge. With all the tragic things that are happening in the world as a result of the coronavirus, now might seem like an unusual time to talk about being positive. Yet staying positive is a vital ingredient in the recipe of successful coping in a crisis.
Now, more than ever, is the time for us to be proactive about creating small moments of happiness in our days, given the findings in psychology research that positive emotions help us to undo the negative effects of stress.
Here are a few really practical things you can do to foster positive emotions.
- Savour the small moments: Even during lockdown you still have many small moments to savour. The smell of coffee, the feel of the warm shower on your back and so on. When you stop to take in these moments, rather than let them rush by on automatic pilot, you are giving your brain a chance to process the pleasure, which boosts your serotonin – the feel good neurotransmitter that helps elevate your mood and make you feel calm.
- Strengthen your connections: now is the opportunity to spend quality time with our loved ones. Take the time to hug your kids or partner, look them in the eyes, have long conversations with them – all of these gestures promote closeness and also boost your oxytocin, which is a hormone that bonds people and also has a calming effect on your body. When your oxytocin levels spike they tell your body to switch off cortisol, the stress hormone.
- Look for the good in others: These types of crises can bring out both the worst and the best in human nature. We have all seen countless numbers of videos of people fighting over shopping items, but how many watched the video of two young children dragging a large cart of toilet paper behind them and stopping at the homes of elderly people in their neighbourhood to give them a roll? I like to think that the best in human nature is rising to the coronavirus challenge. Philanthropists are donating money to scientists to find a cure. Doctors and medical staff are working overtime to help sick patients. Neighbourhoods are putting together care packages for people who are sleeping rough. People are posting positive messages on social media. Friends from across the globe reaching out to each other. When we tune into these positive and pro-social aspects of the crisis, we are united in hope.
By tuning into these three silver linings, you can potentially change your brain chemistry and build up your energy stores to help you cope with the other aspects of your day that have been made more difficult.
Taking charge of our mental health and capturing the small moments will help as we go further into the unknown, too. If we can foster positive emotions, the flow-on effects are well researched, and well documented. In fact, positive emotions are a key resource for us during the coronavirus crisis because they can do a number of things:
- Increase your resilience: Research has shown that when we experience positive emotions on the back of a stressful event, we bounce back more quickly and have a faster “cardiovascular recovery” time – our heart rate lowers and our blood pressure stabilises more quickly when we are able to be positive.
- Increase your immunity: a study where people were deliberately infected with the influenza virus and rhinovirus found that those people who had more positive emotions were more likely to fight off the symptoms. People low on positive emotions were 2.9 times more likely to contract a respiratory illness in this study.
- Make you think more clearly: the way we feel influences the way we think. Positive emotions boost our problem solving abilities as well as our judgment, decision-making, cognitive flexibility and creativity. Staying positive will help you and your kids to be better at solving all the little problems that are being thrown our way right now, such as figuring out new technology platforms for working (and schooling) from home.
Every dark cloud has a silver lining and this is your chance to thicken that lining and take charge of your mental health so that you come out of this experience stronger.
Your children are constantly watching you and will use your example as their guide to responding to the situation, so please, take a breath and remain calm. Build relaxation into theirs and your day. Go outside, exercise and get some sunshine and fresh air, it will do wonders for how you are feeling. To create a sense of routine and normality some schools are making their students wear their school uniform each day as part of their home learning program. Whilst this seems extreme I encourage you to keep their school day routine, by having them get up at normal time, eat breakfast and then begin their learning at 9am. Don’t forget to factor in brain breaks in addition to a break for fruit, Recess and Lunch. Please do not hesitate to contact our teachers or myself if you have any questions.
Please join me in keeping those individuals and families directly affected by the coronavirus in your prayers, as we work together to best protect the wellbeing of our school and wider community.
Message from Commonwealth Bank School Banking
We have today made the difficult decision to temporarily pause the School Banking program. This will take effect as at close of business Friday 20 March 2020 and will extend to the end of this school term.
We have made the decision based on the quickly changing environment relating to COVID-19 and the impact on schools and the wider community. By pausing our program temporarily, we hope to help reduce the number of visitors to schools and reduce the number of people within shared spaces. This particularly relates to the volunteers who run the program at schools on our behalf.
A decision will be made by 8 April 2020 regarding our ability to resume the School Banking program.
Please know that the priority for St Benedict’s - and for all Catholic schools, is the health and safety of our students and staff, and as such, the Catholic Education Office is monitoring and responding quickly to the advice of federal, state and territory governments and medical authorities as the situation develops.
While this is an uncertain period for our communities, it is important that we remain calm and alert as we monitor this health risk, and for our families and staff to be well informed about the health advice and protocols to reduce this risk.
Just some reminders/messages:
- Please ensure that all contact numbers and emails are up to date; and
- Please read information sent from ‘Schoolzine App’ (SZapp) regularly. Facebook or other social media are not the avenues to communicate important information to parents. Roughly, only 50% open information (either via email or the app) when disseminated to parents.
School Photos have been postponed from the 2nd June until Wednesday 23rd September. We were able to get a later booking, and with the uncertainty of Term 2, we felt it best to delay this. Please jot this new date in your calendar.
Spreading Hope Not Fear
St Benedict’s students today created some banners to bring our local community a calming sense of hope. We encourage all families at home to make signs for their windows to spread a message of hope for those everywhere. Please take a photo of your posters and email them to Ms Wright to put in our school newsletter firstname.lastname@example.org
We continue to pray for people all over the world during this difficult time of uncertainty.
O’God Bless us during this season of spiritual renewal
Fill our hearts and mind with love
That we might be a sign of Jesus to all those living our midst.
The following notes have gone home this week and will be sent home via Schoolzine App. Please remember to check your child's bag daily, this is a important way to ensure you do not miss any information:
- Chicken Pox
- Installing ZAPP
- CE Directors Note to Parents COVID-19
NAPLAN YEARS 3 & 5
The Council of Australian Government (COAG) Education Council announced last week that there will be no NAPLAN this year. The NAPLAN tests for 2020 have been cancelled.
PRIME MINSTER’S SPELLING BEE
Students in Years 3-6 may have bought home a permission note for participation in the online Prime Minister’s Spelling Bee. Unfortunately due to the current health issues and disruptions to schools, this competition has been postponed.
Kinder: Aimee O and Duke I
Year 1/2G: Laura K and Vincentia B
Year 3/4B: Henry P
Year 3/4G: Cooper W
Year 5/6B: Mila M, Samuel F and Angus C
Year 5/6G: Claudia K
St Benedict’s Parent Representatives 2020
Thank you to everyone who volunteered to be Parent Representatives this year. We are very happy that we had more volunteers than we needed. Parent Representatives help foster good communication in the school and to assist in the development of school community. It provides another means of uniting the school community and enhances the quality of relationships within the school between teachers, parents and the children. Parent Representatives will be doing things a little differently this year given the current educational environment. If you have not already, you will be receiving information from your Parent Representative soon.
Please note that parents/careers need to agree to have their personal information provided to the Parent Representative every year. If you have not received any information from the Parent Representative it may mean that you have not agreed to have your information released.
If you are unsure if you agreed to have your information released to the Parent Representatives, Please e-mail the P & F and I can arrange for your Parent Representative to contact you.
The parent representatives for this year are:
Kindergarten (Fran Tomadini)
1/2 Gold (Breena Walsh)
1/2 Blue (Natalie Wright/ Anne White)
3/4 Gold (Samantha Slocomb)
3/4 Blue (Narelle O’Callaghan)
Kellee Rollston -Francis
5/6 Gold (Emma Donaghue)
5/6 Blue (Alana Quirk/ Amanda Basedow)
Parent Representative Co-ordinator
The Clothing Pool will be open each Tuesday and Thursday between 2.50pm to 3.15pm by appointment.
Due to current circumstances all clothes in lost property will be emptied and clothing will be washed and returned to the clothing pool. All other items will be thrown out as charities are not accepting any donations at this time.
PLEASE ENSURE YOUR CHILD/REN'S CLOTHING IS LABELLED WITH THEIR NAME.
The Lost Property Box is located in the canteen area. Please take some time to go through the box on a daily basis as students will start to need their jumpers of a morning.
Tales from the TUCKSHOP
"If it starts with a T - It's Tuckshop day!
Due to the reduced number of students at school, some foods may not be available.
All students who have lunch orders will still be supplied with food if what they have ordered is not available.
St Benedict's Parish
Office Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9am to 12noon
Fr Dan Benedetti MGL
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Monica Nulley-Valdes (Parish Secretary)
Dear St Benedict’s community,
Unfortunately we have had to cancel all Church gatherings and we are trying to set up Sunday Mass to be available online. We will communicate these details as soon as possible. Daily Mass is available online at https://www.catholicvoice.org.au/mass-online/ . If you would like to have email updates from St Benedict’s Parish, please contact email@example.com . Be assured of our prayers for the whole St Benedict’s community at this time. Please keep safe and if anyone would like to contact Father Dan, he is available through the Parish or through the school.
Fr Dan Benedetti MGL PP
St Benedict's Catholic Community Narrabundah ACT
As the ACT Government has just announced that ACT Government Schools will go pupil free from Tuesday 24/03/2020 due to COVID-19, Bellchambers Music School hasfore made the decision not to provide piano lessons at Schools tomorrow in order to allow the classroom teachers optimum time to prepare their class without disruption from music lessons.
We have informed all affected families, and will be in touch with each of them again in the next few days to arrange for the children to have their piano lessons online with their usual teacher and at the same day and time if possible, and their postponed lesson from tomorrow made-up.
This is a time of unprecedented and fast-moving changes any many unknowns for the near future. We at Bellchambers Music School want to assure you that whatever happens, we will be here making music with your school families. Our teachers are committed to providing music lessons to your children.
Depending on the situation with the schools, we will be continuing to offer our school families lessons in Term 2 in the school if they are open, or through the online environment, if they are closed. As with all small businesses, both the admin staff and the teachers at Bellchambers Music School are deeply concerned about the future. We want to be there for you and hope that you will continue to support us as we make music with your students in these very difficult times and into the future.
Bronwen and Rachel
Bellchambers Music School