Dear Parents and Carers,
Ever wondered why we, like many schools, celebrate Grandparents’ Day at this time of year? That is because the 26th July is the feast of St Anne and St Joachim, the parents of Mary and grandparents of Jesus. With such amazing offspring, Joachim and Anne must share an extraordinary love. They have long been held up as exemplars for married couples, and in fact, they are one of the few married couple saints canonised in the Catholic Church.
We know very few facts about Sts. Anne and Joachim, the only recorded stories of them are from an apocryphal gospel dating from the 4th Century AD called the Protoevangelium of James. The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Whatever their names or the facts of their lives, we can assume that Mary was raised in a Jewish family home faithful to God and to the religious traditions of her day such that she was led to respond wholeheartedly to God’s request with faith, “Let it be done to me as you will.”
Talk about being blessed!
Not only did Joachim and Anne raise a sinless daughter, they also scored a perfect grandson! With such holiness among their offspring, they could be forgiven for having a spiritual inferiority complex. Yet, by all accounts, Joachim and Anne performed their parenting responsibilities with grace. Their feast day on July 26th is a day to honour them and all grandparents for their contribution to our lives. This Friday we will honour our wonderful Grandparents and Grand Friends through our Mass, morning tea and classroom visits.
We’ve all heard about the importance of positive parent-child relationships in the social and emotional development of children. There are countless research studies and supporting statistics that highlight the many benefits that come from strong parent-child bonds. What isn’t always recognised, however, is the positive impact that a close relationship between a grandparent and grandchild can have on the happiness and wellbeing of the entire family. Simply put, having grandparents around is good for everyone. A healthy connection between a grandchild and his or her grandparent is beneficial to both sides of the relationship, and here’s why:
Grandparents truly impact their grandchildren’s lives.
Studies show that as many as 9 out of 10 adult grandchildren feel that their grandparents influenced their beliefs and values. A child’s perspective of what constitutes a healthy, normal relationship is shaped by the relationship that he or she holds with a grandparent. Through regular contact, a sense of emotional intimacy, and unwavering support, children can experience what a true, positive relationship should look like.
Grandparents can greatly reduce household stress.
A study at Boston College found that “an emotionally close relationship between grandparent and grandchild is associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations.” For kids, having grandparents around means having the perfect companions to play with and have fun. Grandparents are some of the best partners when it comes to using creativity and imagination to discover the wonders of life. And in turn, most grandparents truly love their role.
Grandparents have a great amount of experience.
Grandparents are a valuable resource because they have so many stories and experiences from their own lives to share. Often times children will listen to grandparents even when they are not listening to their parents or other adults. Grandparents also offer a link to a child’s cultural heritage and family history. Children understand more of who they are and where they come from through their connection with their grandparents.
Grandparents provide a sense of security.
Especially during tough times, having an extra layer of support can make a big difference in a child’s life. Studies have shown that close grandparent-grandchild relationships during the teenage years are associated with less behavioral and emotional problems and fewer social difficulties with peers. Grandparents offer an extra ear when kids need someone to talk to, because sometimes children just find it easier to open up and share their difficulties and problems with their grandparents.
Grandparents offer an affordable childcare option.
With both parents in many families working outside of the home, it is often times the grandparents that play a vital role in raising today’s youth. According to statistics, roughly 2.7 million grandparents provide for the basic needs of a grandchild, while even more take care of their grandchildren on a regular basis. If they are willing and able, having a grandparent act as either an occasional babysitter or a paid childcare provider gives many parents a great sense of comfort knowing that they are leaving their children in capable and caring hands.
Happy Grandparents and Grand Friends day!
Grandparents and Grand Friends’ Day – This Friday
We are very excited to once again be celebrating Grandparents and Grand Friend’s day at school this Friday 6th August in honour of all Grandparent figures in our lives. Grandparents and Grand Friends will need to RSVP https://www.trybooking.com/BTFES
The P&F have been very lucky to secure an upcoming BBQ at Bunnings at Majura Park this Saturday 7th August. These BBQs are a great fundraiser for the school and well sought after by community groups. Please contact the office if you are able to help out. Many hands make light work!
I remind parents that all students are required to wear hats again at school at the following times; before school, during Recess and Lunchtime from the 1st August.
Leaving St Benedict’s
If you anticipate that your child will leave St Benedict’s at the end of this year, could you please notify the Front Office. We need to begin planning for staffing and class configurations for 2022. Thank you to those who have let us know already, this is very much appreciated. Naturally Year 6 parents need not respond to this request.
Sacrament of Confirmation
Last Wednesday evening our Year 5/6 Confirmation candidates and their families gathered at the parish for a special Prayer Evening. It was a lovely opportunity for families to engage in prayer, conversation and activities together in preparation for their child’s next milestone in their faith journey.
Grandparents and Grand Friend Day Mass
This Friday Kindergarten will lead our school community in celebrating our Grandparent and Grand Friend Day Mass. Mass is held in the St Benedict’s Church from 10:00am. Families are warmly invited to join us for this liturgical celebration. Morning tea will be provided by the families of students in Kindergarten. Parents and guests are invited to stay after Mass for morning tea in the school hall. Parents of the hosting class are welcome to bring their child along to the morning tea.
Grandparents and Grand Friend Blessing
Bless all grandparents and Grand Friends in the lives of our children.
May they heed your call to share their wisdom and faith with us.
May they have courage and confidence to hand on your gifts of experience and knowledge, of stories, songs and memories.
May they continue to learn and grow with us day by day.
Bless them with length of days and joy at the last.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Community Meals Program
The Community Meals freezer is one way we can assist families who are experiencing hardship. If you are able to cook a meal, please use disposable containers and label with ingredients and date. All meal donations can be brought to the Front Office. If your family requires temporary meal assistance, you can speak in confidence to any of our staff members.
On the last day of Term 3 we will be hosting our school Global School Partnership Day. On this day we celebrate our friendship with our Global School partnership school Gesore Preparatory, in Kenya, by learning about their school, culture and traditions. We are seeking volunteers who are either of African descent or who have worked/lived in Africa. If you are not able to volunteer your time, please still get in contact, as we would still appreciate your input. Email email@example.com
Sexting – What is it?
If you own a smartphone you’ve probably heard of sexting. It’s when you send or receive a message or image that has sexual content like a nude picture, sexy words or a video.
In 2019, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that in Australia, 38 per cent of people aged 13 to 15 years, 50 per cent of 16 to 18-year-olds and 59 per cent of those aged over 19 years said they had sent a sexual picture or video (according to data from a survey conducted by the University of Sydney of more than 2200 people). Additionally, 62 per cent of 13 to 15-year-olds, 70 per cent of 16 to 18-year-olds and 68 per cent of those aged over 19 said they had received a sexual picture or video.
Just because ages under 13 were not mentioned, does not mean that ‘sexting’ is not being seen in primary schools. As children are spending more time connected online, and sometimes feeling more isolated due to the current pandemic, practices such as sexting are beginning to occur more amongst our primary aged students.
What are the risks?
Sharing intimate images may seem like a bit of fun or innocent flirting for young people, particularly those in a relationship. But things can go wrong and it is important your child understands this.
- The child loses control of the image
- Once an image is shared, it can be copied and saved by others, shared with people the sender does not know and posted on social media and public websites.
- Images can be extremely difficult to remove and the consequences can follow a young person into adulthood.
- Things can go wrong even in a trusted relationship or friendship
- A friend or partner may, on impulse and without thinking, share an image more broadly than the sender intended.
- Sometimes when a relationship breaks down there may be an intent to humiliate an ex-partner or friend. This is image-based abuse.
- Images may not always be sent willingly
- Young people may be forced or pressured into sending explicit images or videos.
- Even young people who know each other may experience coercion or pressure to send a nude.
- Sometimes sexting can lead to ‘sextortion’ — blackmail with a sexual component — when someone threatens to share an intimate image unless the person in the image pays money or gives into their demands.
The consequences can be serious
For young people, sharing naked or sexually explicit images might result in:
- Humiliation, guilt, shame, anger and self-blame — which can lead to ongoing emotional distress, withdrawal from school and family life and in severe cases, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
- Bullying, teasing and harassment from peers — they may experience bullying, including cyberbullying, if photos are shared around their school community or friendship group.
- Damage to their reputation — it may impact on their reputation and performance at school, as well as employment opportunities in the future
- Criminal charges and penalties — it can be a crime when it involves asking for, accessing, creating, possessing and/or sharing sexualised images of people under 18.
How can I minimise the risks to my child?
1. Talk early, talk often
Match your approach to your child’s level of maturity, age and the type of relationship you share with them. Maybe take the opportunity for a chat while you are doing something together, like a long walk or a car trip.
You could start from a real life story in the media or from their school or community, asking questions like: Do you think it was right for her to share that photo after they broke up? Do you think it was right for him to post that video online of his friend with a girl?
Explore what their friends think about sharing nudes. Ask what they think might happen if one of their friend’s nudes went viral, and how it might make their friend feel.
Let them know that they can always approach you if they feel pressured to share an image of themselves or if they have shared an image of someone else. Let them know that you will support them.
Check out the advice on having hard-to-have conversations with your child on the eSafety Commissioner website - https://www.esafety.gov.au/parents/skills-advice/hard-to-have-conversations
2. Promote self-confidence and that it is OK to say ‘no'
Explain that they do not have to send intimate images just because others do.
Let them know that it is OK to say ‘no’ when someone asks for an intimate photo, even if it is their boyfriend or girlfriend or someone they trust. Respecting their bodies and personal values is important.
Talk about ways your child can handle a request for a nude photo. If the unwanted requests continue, encourage your child to reply with a stern ‘no’. But if things get aggressive, your child should consider blocking the person and seek support from a trusted adult. It is also a good idea to save screenshots of any abusive or threatening message in case you want to report them later on.
3. Teach them about consent, personal boundaries and respect for self and others
Help them understand the impact of sharing images of others and that they are breaking someone’s trust when they do this without their consent.
Talk about what healthy and respectful relationships look like. Mutual respect, trust and consent are important.
Pressure from a boyfriend or girlfriend to share an intimate image is not an example of a respectful relationship.
4. Talk about the risks — what can go wrong, and the legal issues
Remind them that once an image is shared, it is almost impossible to get it back or control how it is shared.
Point out that images which include identifiable features, such as a person’s face, hair, tattoos, distinctive clothing or jewellery, can carry a higher risk. It may also be possible to identify someone by matching the background of the image to the background of their public profile pic.
Help them understand that viewing or sending intimate images can carry the risk of committing a crime, even if the image has been willingly shared.
Further information about this issue and support for both parents and children can be found on:
Important dates to note for this term are:
6 Aug Grandparents' Day & Mass, 10am
8 Aug Feast of St Mary MacKillop
11 Aug Footsteps Dance Workshop
10 Aug School Board Meeting, 6pm
13 Aug Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
15 Aug Feast of the Assumption
16 Aug Feast of the Assumption Mass, 10am
16 Aug Science Week begins
20 Aug Science Week Activities
24 Aug Parents & Friends Meeting, 6.30pm
27 Aug Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
1 Sep Indigenous Literacy Day
3 Sep Fathers' Day Mass, 10am
5 Sep Fathers' Day
9 Sep Learning Showcase, 2pm to 4pm
9 Sep Kinder Health Screeening
10 Sep Whole School Assembly, 2.30pm
11 Sep Sacrament of Confirmation, 3pm
14 Sep School Board Meeting, 6pm
15 Sep Yr5/6 School Camp
16 Sep Yr5/6 School Camp
17 Sep Yr5/6 School Camp
17 Sep Ways of Being Award Ceremony, 2.30pm
17 Sep Last day of Term 3
Thank you to all the families that have already started to pay Term 3 fees and whom have already paid their Term 1 and Term 2 fees. Term 3 school fees will be sent out next and will be due by Friday 20th August.
Last week we were fortunate to have a visit from Katrina Cambridge (CE Aboriginal Education Officer) and Chaydin Reid to work with our indigenous children. Students learnt more about the Yidaki (didgeridoo) and lore (Aboriginal law). They also tried bush tea and wattle seed pancakes and then engaged in some activities to learn more about Aboriginal culture.
‘Chaydin played the didgeridoo and we played a game with the didgeridoo. We played a game where there was a dingo, a kangaroo and a kookaburra. We tried bush tea and bush pancakes.’ Bryce
‘Only boys can play the didgeridoo but girls can hold the didgeridoo, they just can’t play it. Another word for didgeridoo is Yidaki. Yidaki is the Ngunnawal language for didgeridoo. How you make a didgeridoo is you go to a place that has a lot of logs like the woods or a forest and you get a log with a hole in it. Next you put water in the log to make sure the hole is not blocked off. If your log has a crack you put honey on it; you can use any type of honey. We tried some bush tea, it wasn’t that great to me, it tasted just like water. We also tried some yummy pancakes, they were so good! The pancakes had these seeds in them, but I don’t remember what they were called.’ Summah
Merit Awards for Weeks 2 & 3
Kinder: All Kindergarten(School Performance) Ellena C and Oscar Q
Year 1/2B: Nicolas C, Lorenzo F, Ilina D, Mia C and Mackenzie A
Year 1/2G: Molly F, Mackenzie C and Noah W
Year 3/4B: Hector V, Lucy W, Laura K, Alessandra B and Nate G
Year 3/4G: Gordon S and Vivienne K
Year 5/6B: Joel S and Niora P
Year 5/6G: Edith Q, Alain K, Sixtene L, Elvira H and Ava B
From our P&F President
As a parent of a child at St Benedict’s, I see the school not just as something that exists for the kids, but as ‘our’ school. It can’t be the special place it is without the whole school community – teachers, kids and parents – pulling together. That’s why I gladly accepted the role of President of the Parents and Friends Association.
The P&F consists of a small, but very dedicated group of parents and teachers who all want to work to make our St Benedict’s community stronger. In my role as President, I’m there to assist in introducing our St Benedict’s community to you and make sure you all have the information you need to participate in the community.
The P&F meets regularly and at our last meeting, we discussed and made decisions about the small, but important things that add to our school community. For example, we made decisions around some awesome new signage for the tuckshop, tap and go payments for events to help make those sorts of things easier for parents, and what we need to do around the school grounds in terms of maintenance and enhancements. We talked about our plans for upcoming fund raising activities and other school events including the annual school colour run, World Teachers Day, Grandparents’ day, Father’s day gifts and the next school disco.
As parents of students, you have a major and valuable contribution to make. We understand everyone has different commitments and life is very busy, however I encourage you all to get involved, participate and volunteer in P&F events in any way you can. Fundraising for the school is an especially important part of the P&F’s role so we’re always looking for extra support from parents to make those events a success. Keep an eye on the school newsletter and notes coming home about coming events.
There’s many other ways you can participate in your school community. You should receive a note about who your child’s class parent representative is soon. The parent reps are there to help foster a sense of class spirit and help parents get information they need.
St Benedict’s is a tremendous school that sets the foundations for all of our children’s futures. It is a great school largely because of the supportive staff and parent body.
I encourage and welcome you to join us throughout the year. Please feel free to reach out to me or other P&F members if you’d like to get involved or have any suggestions, ideas or issues you’d like us to consider.
Bunnings BBQ - Saturday 7th August 2021
Dear St Benedict’s families and friends
We are lucky to have been allocated a Bunnings BBQ at Majura Park this Saturday 7th August. These BBQ’s are a great fundraiser for the school and are highly sought after by community groups.
To make our day a success, we are seeking volunteers to help. It’s also a great way to meet other parents in our community!
Anytime you may have would be greatly appreciated. Please see the roster time slots below for the day.
7.30 – 9.00am 12.00noon – 1.00pm
9.00 – 10.00am 1.00 – 2.00pm
10.00 – 11.00am 2.00 – 3.00pm
11.00am – 12.00noon 3.00 – 4.00pm
If you are able to assist, Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your availability.
Hannah & Sonia
P&F Fundraising Committee
The lost property box continues to have a large number of items in it. With the cold weather here please ensure your child / children bring their items home each day.
Please remember, if you require uniform items please email the school email@example.com or contact Mrs McRae with the list of items. We will endeavour to fill your order and reply to you as soon as possilble.
PLEASE ENSURE YOUR CHILD/REN'S CLOTHING, LUNCH BOX AND DRINK BOTTLES ARE LABELLED WITH THEIR NAME.
School ties are now available for purchase from the clothing pool for $25 each. Unfortunately, these are the only ties we have available as all donated ties have now been sold.
All orders for recess and lunch must be placed before 9.10am on the day it is required.
The Qkr! app also gives you the ability to order in advance for a particular Tuesday and/or Thursday.
Apple slinkys are available if you bring your own apple on Tuesday and Thursday morning.
St Benedict's Parish
Fr Rembert Fernando MGL
Fr Baiju Thomas MGL
Onela Iruthayaraj (Parish Secretary)
Saturday Vigil - 6pm
Sunday - 9am (Streamed via Facebook)
- 6pm Charismatic Mass
Youth Mass every 4th Sunday (6pm)
Weekday Mass Times:
Friday: 5.30pm (HealingMass)
Baptisms: During Weekend Masses or by appointment.
WVYC Annual Concert–Saturday 7/Sunday 8 August
A full and varied program featuring all our choirs: Nova (Lower Primary); Borealis (Upper Primary/Lower Secondary); Australis (Secondary/Tertiary); Centauri (choir for young men with changing voices).
6pm Saturday 7 August Wesley Uniting Church
3pm Sunday 8 August Wesley Uniting Church
Open Day (Rehearsal)–Tuesday August 17
For ages 8-18. Come and have fun as you sing with one of our age appropriate choirs. No previous experience necessary.
Auditions–Saturday 21 August
For ages 8-18. Take the next step as you join us. Prepare a simple song you sing well. Our director, Olivia, will guide you through the rest.
For more information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me by reply email. Or visit our website at wvyc.org.au.