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Newman News Term 2 Week 8: From the Leader of Primary

11 Jun 2021

On Tuesday evening of this week, Newman College hosted parenting expert Maggie Dent who gave a presentation on building children’s resilience. As is her way, Maggie presented in her typically good humoured fashion, connecting with many families over the challenges we see in raising children today. One of the things she spoke about that really stuck with me is that there is no parenting book written about your child. Each child is so unique and so different in their own way, that there is never really a solution or approach that works for all children. The message I took from this is that as parents, we need to be kind to ourselves. It is so easy to draw comparisons between our own child and others; it is so easy to look at the achievements of one child and have concern or worry for why our child is not doing the same. If there is one thing I have learned in my years in education, it’s that it all balances out in the end.

Students will always grow and develop at different rates, and where one child shows strength or talent, another may do so in something completely different. I think the parents of our community should know that it’s ok to be kind to ourselves (in fact I strongly encourage it!)  – to actually stop and pause and reflect on the great things we have done as parents and as families, rather than be hard on ourselves for any perceived deficiencies. Celebrate the beautiful young person your child is becoming! Being a parent is hard – there’s no manual on how to get it done, and we learn on the job as we go. I hope that as we move towards the conclusion of this term, families can take some time to reflect on the great things that have occurred for them and their children this year and celebrate that in some special or meaningful way. Remember, no matter how we might feel about ourselves some days, our children love us just the way we are 😊

Incidentally, Maggie’s website is packed with information covering all sorts of topics from helping children with anxiety, to connecting with grandparents who live far away, to how to plan for a road trip minus screen time. I would encourage all families if they are interested to check out some of her resources and take advantage of here years of wisdom. You can find all of her materials here.

Highlights from Past Two Weeks

Year 6 Parliament House 

Last Monday our year 6 students took a trip to Parliament House to explore our local state government and how it works. Students were able to learn about how bills are debated and passed through parliament, as well as gain an understanding of the roles of some of the different members of the Legislative Assembly. Students also had the chance to visit the Electoral Education Centre as part of their trip learning about how our preferential voting system works within a democracy. Thank you to our Year 6 teachers for organising this event, as well as the parent volunteers from our Year 6 families who were able to attend in support.

Year 6 Tinkering Day 

Last Thursday, students from Year 6 took part in a ‘Tinkering Day’ as part of their Digital and Design Technologies curriculum. Students worked with their parents and grandparents to take apart an old electronic device or gadget, which was then repurposed into a device that would warn others of an impending natural disaster. The hall was alive with lots of noise and discussion as students worked together to complete their devices. A personal highlight for me was watching Mr Hunt teach his students about tape cassettes – something I thought I would never see! It was a great day, and we are so grateful to the large numbers of parents (especially Dads) who were able to come down and support.

Homework Club & Coder Dojo  

It has been wonderful to see so many of our families take advantage of the offerings of our Homework Club and Coder Dojo this term. Families should note the following for the remainder of this term:

  • Coder Dojo has now finished for Term 2 and will recommence early in Term 3. Families will be advised of the date of commencement in Term 3 in future newsletters.
  • Homework Club will continue to run until Week 10 of this term each Monday from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. All students are welcome to attend.

Important Information For The Next Two Weeks

There are several important events coming up in the calendar over the next few weeks. These include:

  • Wednesday 16 June – Year 4 Unit mass (9.00am in the Chapel)
  • Thursday 17 June – Year 6 IPSHA Interschool carnival (to be held at John XXIII)
  • Thursday 24 June – Speak Up Awards Finals
  • Friday 25 June – Lavalla Cross Country Carnival
  • Friday 25 June – Student Leaders breakfast
  • Friday 2 July – Semester One reports released

UWA Research Project

The University of Western Australia (UWA) has an exciting opportunity for Newman College to participate in research.

The overall aim of the research project is to examine first impressions towards children with and without autism to better understand the social experiences of children and help understand the stigma towards children on the autism spectrum. Experiencing social rejection at an early age can be very difficult for children, and research suggests that one factor that may impact children’s social lives are first impressions.

First impressions can influence how we respond to unfamiliar people, and so understanding the factors that impact how first impressions are formed can be very valuable information in developing programs that foster social inclusivity. This study also investigates how adults form impressions of children because adults who work with children, such as parents and teachers, can have great influence on children’s social decisions.

The project encourages children to learn about first impressions with the message of inclusivity and acceptance of other children’s differences.

At this stage, they are inviting parents and their children aged 6-11 years to participate in this study and would appreciate any help from Newman College families on this project. The results of this current study will be used to inform the design of a later study involving children who are on the autism spectrum.

If you and your child are interested in participating, please follow this link to provide your consent and answer some questions regarding your child’s development: http://uwa.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eJ83cMkCNuTJBZA

The link will also provide you with further information and guidance on how you and your child may participate in this exciting project.