The First Blog of 2021
Welcome back! I hope you all had a fantastic holiday with lots of time for relaxation and family and fun. I spent a lot of time with my new granddaughter, Goldie, which was wonderful!
Term 1 has started so well. The students and staff are all happy to be back and we are hopeful for a more settled year than 2020.
Creating a Carlisle Community program (CCC)
From our first day back we started our new program: Creating a Carlisle Community (CCC). The program’s main aim is to develop relationships across our school community. We want to build a cohesive group of students and staff, with shared values and expectations, who have a strong sense of community.
How we begin this school year and how we establish relationships in the first few days and weeks will set the scene for the rest of the year and beyond. We aim to ensure that school is an exciting and accepting place, where the relationships are strong and the expectations are high.
The CCC program is a set of activities and experiences designed to build strong relationships between students and teachers. All grades F-6 are participating in similar activities aimed at establishing a productive working relationship between staff and students. The focus is on getting to know each other, not on assessment or curriculum goals.
As you know, our Wellbeing Teacher, Sarah Tappy, is on leave enjoying time with her new baby, Jack, at the moment. We are really lucky to have Mandy Davis step into the role for this term – she has really hit the ground running and has brought so many ideas to the school already! Keep a look out for Happy Notes – this is one of Mandy’s first initiatives for 2021.
During 2020 the staff developed a set of school rules for use across the school. These are designed to give a positive focus on behaviour and articulate clearly the expectations for all students, using a common language. They were introduced to the students during Term 4 and are used in every area of the school, including classrooms, playground and enrichment areas. Students have spent time discussing what each rule means and what it looks/sounds/feels like when the rule is followed.
Glasses For Kids 2021
At last we are able to run the Glasses for Kids program this term, after postponing and eventually cancelling it last year. The program provides free vision screening and if needed, free further testing and glasses for students. All students who have returned their permission forms will participate on Thursday and Friday this week.
African Cultural Connectionz Day
On Wednesday 10th February, 2021 we are celebrating the start of the school year with a special event. Cranbourne Carlisle Primary School will be hosting an African Cultural Connectionz Day.
There will be an African drumming workshop run throughout the day for all student. A range of different cultural activities will also be run, with our African Community Liaison Officer, Ayuel.
There will be a lot fun to be had throughout the day. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, we are unable to invite families to join in with us, but we will put photos and some videos on SeeSaw after the day.
Note: The day will be a Free Dress day– wear traditional African dress or wear the colors of the many flags of Africa—White, green, red, blue or orange.
The Power of the Parental Pause
I discovered Maggie Dent’s blog over the holidays and loved this post – I thought I would share it with you:
There are many moments when parenting our children, whether they be 5 or 15, that push us to the point of losing our s^#t!
Perhaps, for the umpteenth time that day, your toddler has melted down about something huge like you gave him the wrong coloured cup, you cut her sandwich into four not three, or he wanted to keep pouring juice on the couch. Perhaps your blessed cherubs are fighting AGAIN, or your moody tween/teen rolls their eyes or, worse, flips you the bird when you request a simple chore to be done.
There is a limit to human patience and you are not a lousy parent if you occasionally lose the plot – shouting, stomping away or maybe slamming a door or locking yourself in the toilet wondering why you ever thought having children was a good idea.
It’s OK … this is simply a sign of a cortisol overload that has triggered your sleep-deprived primitive brain – you know the fight/flight response. Actually it’s much the same as what happens with your beloved child – a massive overload of the stress hormone cortisol.
The key difference between the child and adult overload is that you have a mature brain – and a pre-frontal cortex that has the ability to use metacognition, or the ability to think about your thinking, to make a different choice about how you react.
Of course when you add stress, serious sleep deprivation, lack of caffeine, swirling hormones – especially for mums – and possibly hunger and exhaustion it can be difficult to access your freaking pre-frontal cortex.
Let me reassure you, your pre-fontal cortex has not been stolen nor have you left it somewhere although it may feel like that sometimes. You are not a bad person or a useless parent. You simply need to master the art of the Parental Pause.
What is the Parental Pause?
This magical technique is beyond simple and will help you at times of high tension to be the person you wished you could be without hiding in your bedroom and eating a family block of fruit and nut chocolate (note this healthy choice: it contains fruit and nuts).
It works like this:
1. You stop moving. You ground your feet.
2. Gently bend your knees.
3. Place your right hand on your heart.
4. Take a deep breath. Maybe another two deep breaths.
5. Then you slowly stand close by or kneel near your child.
Observe calmly the world through your child’s eyes.
Inwardly – repeat these words silently:
“My child/teen is not bad or naughty – they are just struggling to cope with their world. This is normal developmentally. Let me be what they need right now – a safe base.”
This resonated with me and I hope you find it helpful too!
And finally, Happy New Year: 新年快乐 (xīn nián kuài lè)
Kerry Bates (Assistant Principal)