PROFESSIONAL LEARNING DAY
FRIDAY 29 MAY
Pupil Free Day
MONDAY 1 JUNE
I have found myself enjoying writing again in the Donegal. I appreciate the readership is not huge, but I do find writing to you grounds me. So this week I started doing some research around being ‘grounded’. The thing is, when you ground yourself, which is basically about keeping your feet on the ground, but more than this, being connected to the earth, then amazing things happen in your life. My wife Linda is right into this grounding. Linda always talks to me about this grounding and connection to the earth, feeling the earth under your feet. It is as simple as getting into the garden and weeding, or turning the soil over. It is the walk along the river through the winding paths and then through the banks of the Swan. That is the connection to the earth. This is a physical grounding that keeps us centred. We do not do this anywhere enough, but I do get what Linda is talking about.
So that physical connection is important, but so too is the connection to grounding ourselves emotionally and spiritually. As I have told you my grounding spiritually lately has been saying some Hail Marys and stopping in at the church for 5 minutes here and there. I have to say I have been saying a few Hail Marys out on Kiss and Drive in the afternoons. Not because of the amount of traffic or the congestion, but because we just want everyone to stay safe. We have so many kids leaving the school, with over 300 cars coming through in a short time frame, that the safety of our families is the priority. The phone calls we might receive or the verbal stuff that can sometimes take place is certainly not the stress, that is the easy stuff to deal with, but the safety of our kids and you in your cars, that is what we worry about.
That is why I like this quote because you all get this. We have only experienced great support from our families at Kiss and Drive. Your patience demonstrates this grounding. It must be so easy to get frustrated during the afternoon pick-up, but the fact we still see smiling faces on our parents, even if there can be five minute delays, is reassuring for us as a staff. There is much to be said about this time of high stress in the afternoon, as it does test our belief in ‘Ubuntu’, but you clearly get it, ‘I am because we are’. When we have this attitude to the moment, then it does take care of itself.
This concept of grounding is something that I also found throughout the week as I have reflected on National Sorry Day on Tuesday, and then the commencement of National Reconciliation Week on Wednesday. This is a week for us to stop and acknowledge the significance of our Aboriginal people’s documentary through the eyes of a young man on his way to seeing this connection. There are two things that stood out for me. One, his deep love for his grandmother, and his family. Secondly, the importance of his connection to the land. This is where he found his grounding. I just loved discovering more about this and being in the moment as I watched the documentary. During this week, we have a chance to stop and reflect on our connection to our Aboriginal people. In previous years, all our sporting codes would be recognising National Reconciliation Week during the games played this weekend. I know the Essendon/Richmond game on the Saturday night is always a blockbuster, and while the football itself is always a cracking event, those minutes before the game are pretty special. This is the grounding I am talking about.
So this awareness of what is happening around us, in the moments, in the challenges, in the good times, is where we need to find ourselves. Awareness of others and their stories is something I always talk about. I would say this 20 times a day to myself, to my girls to my staff and to you my parents. There is nothing better in life than being able to have a conversation, whether it be 30 seconds, or 30 minutes, to be aware of where the other person might be at that time. For me, this awareness stuff is all about ‘empathy’ and being able to stand in someone else’s shoes. Do not get me wrong, there are moments I find this very hard to do. There are times I just do not want to stand in someone else’s shoes. That is the human part that I always talk about as well. The key is once that has passed to be able to reset ourselves to try again to be better at this. Best part is failing to be perfect, embraces the concept I also always live by, ‘embracing the imperfection’.
Anyhow, just be gentle on yourself and others when things do not go to plan. Remember, it will all be okay in the end, and if it is not okay, then it is not the end. Life is always going to throw curve balls. Just keep your head up, eye on the ball and smack it out the park. Always remember if you need a hand of support with hitting the ball with that sweet spot of the bat, we are here to help with that. You just need to reach out to us. My one wish is that you see us as your family, as we see you as ours.
A few things to keep us on track:
The Kiss and Drive on Roberts
We fully appreciate this is imperfection at its best, but I also say it is so good. No way can we get this perfect, just not a reality. The reason is that I know no matter how hard we all try, the roundabout will be blocked, some parents will do U-Turns and there will be a bank up of traffic in all directions leading to St Col’s. Having said this, I am pretty happy with everything staff and parents are doing. We are doing our best to get the kids out by 2.30 pm for the K and PPs, and then the Year 1 to 6s from 2.50 pm, to help with traffic flow. Parents are doing their best also, so I am happy. You all get it, so while it is hectic, your understanding takes away any stress for me and our staff. Hopefully, it lowers your stress also. Priority 1 is our kids’ safety.
Two things will assist us and may be something you wish to consider.
- Name cards on dashboards. If you do not have one, maybe your kids can make one on the weekend. These are really handy. While we know most parents’ cars, we still get them wrong at times, but also because of the reflection on the windscreens we cannot sometimes see our parents faces to see who we need to get ready for pick-up.
- Feel free to delay your pick-up time by 5-10 minutes. We are still on duty till 3.20 pm if needed. We have major congestion around the 2.30 pm mark and the 2.50 pm mark. Feel free to delay your pick-up as this allows for the spread. It will also save you doing four laps up and down Roberts Street. Just an idea you may wish to consider.
Morning Drop Off and Start of School Times
Just a quick reminder that school classrooms open at 8.30 am and that school starts at 8.40 am for Years Pre-Primary to Year 6. The Kindergarten starts at 8.45 am, so Kindergarten families, feel free to be dropping off in the 8.30-8.40 am time slot if it suits best.
As school is now compulsory, we will need students arriving after the start times to sign in at the office. We have allowed a few days of settling back in, but now need to bring in the mandated attendance policy for this procedure. Know that we understand mornings are hectic at the moment, so please go gentle on yourself if you are running behind time. It will all be okay. We seriously do get it. Due to our attendance requirements, we will now be marking students late if they are not here by the mandated start times. This is a regulation we need to follow.
I wish to thank parents and students for doing their best as we transition into the winter uniform. We do appreciate in the changeover to JFE operating the school uniform shop, there may be some delays in items. We are all very understanding of this, as we are Ubuntu, and we meet all situations with kindness and compassion. So we must stand true, however we do have the following expectations. We do our best to meet these, but we also know there is always a story behind why things are how they are, and that we always take care of the human first that stands in the uniform.
- Predominantly white sport shoes. Term 1 was outstanding in this area of the uniform, however, I know what happens after a long lay-off with uniform and this may be one of the items that slips in standard.
- Black school shoes, not black sport shoes are part of the academic uniform.
- School ties are part of the winter uniform. I will give this a couple of weeks as I know they go missing. Trying to find these at home can be a challenges since last winter, and I appreciate how busy you all are at the moment.
- Girls winter uniform is white socks and/or black tights/stockings.
Thank you to all our families for the support in ensuring students who are feeling unwell remain at home. We appreciate the challenges around this for families, so our gratitude for the efforts in assisting with this protocol. For the safety of your children and others, if your child is in any way unwell, i.e. runny nose, head ache, sore throat, coughing, feeling lethargic etc. Please ensure you keep your child at home. If a child presents unwell at school, we will contact parents to collect their child. This is in line with Government directives.
As we head into the long weekend, I wish to again take the opportunity to say thank you for continuing to be amazing support for our staff and kids, and each other. Do not ever think I do not know how good I have it here. While it may at times be hectic, things not go to plan and disappointment happen, this is why we love it. It is family, and I would say being family is the best part. It allows us to annoy each other every now and then, but five minutes later be in total unison again. Cannot beat this culture we have here at The Col. New nickname for the week. Who wouldn’t love turning up here.
God’s blessing to everyone and we cannot wait to see the kids and you back on Tuesday next week. Be good to yourself this weekend.
The Luckiest Principal on the Planet…and you know why.
P & F News
Don’t forget to mention that you are from St Columba’s if you make a purchase at the 777 Pharmacies at Bayswater or Maylands. For every retail purchase made 777 Pharmacy will donate 10% back to our school!
Happy Birthday to:
To all students and staff who will be celebrating their birthday over the coming week:
Lilah Jagger 1W
Sasha Mazurak 1W
Agnes Preedy 1W
Harry Blake 2G
Xavier Miller 3W
Leon Migliore 4G
Ella Thistle 4G
Joshua Hartstonge 4W
Sadly the Pastoral Care raffle has been cancelled until further notice.
Pastoral Care Team.
|Year 1 Green|
|Year 1 White|
|Year 2 Green|
|Year 2 White|
|Year 3 Green|
|Year 3 White|
|Year 4 Green|
|Year 4 White|
|Year 5 Green|
|Year 5 White|
|Year 6 Green|
|Year 6 White|
Early in 2020, Mercedes College commenced interviews for Year 4 & Year 5 students who are due to start Year 7 in 2022 & 2023 respectively. If you are considering enrolling your daughter and have not yet requested a Prospectus, please contact Mrs Julie Lamb on 9323 1340 as soon as possible.
Enquiries are also welcome for places in Year 7 for 2020 and 2021. For more information please refer to the College website, www.mercedes.wa.edu.au.