- Welcome to Parent Talk
- Term Three CCSP Council Meeting
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Parent Committee Meeting
- Advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families is awarded
- You could earn $4000 for your school community
- NSW Health's Know the facts! Facts about COVID-19 Vaccinations
- Vaping - do you understand the risks?
- Wellbeing - some tips for you
- Some hints to help support your child while they are learning from home
- Family Friendly Movies
- Plenary Council 2020 Update
- Australian Catholic Super
Welcome to the sixth edition of CCSP's Parent Talk for 2021.
As we approach the end of this unusual school term, we can be confident that things will change for the better in the not-too-distant future.
I, like many other citizens of NSW, am delighted that Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the roadmap to freedom. The milestone for easing of restrictions is 70% of adults (aged 16+) to have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The previously announced return to school dates for local government areas in lockdown remain unchanged at this stage.
Term 3, which has seen an unprecedented amount of disruption to schooling, is nearly finished. On behalf of the parents and carers of NSW/ACT, I would like to thank all teachers for their ongoing dedication. We hope you enjoy a restful holiday away from screens. Thank you to the system leaders and school principals for prioritising the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff, students and their families.
Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW) continues to work with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and NSW Health to update guidelines for school operations. Your school will keep you advised about return to school arrangements as more definite decisions are made.
Thank you to those school communities who have already entered submissions to the 2021 Roger O’Sullivan Memorial Award. Your community has until 20 October 2021 to submit an entry.
There was no sign of Zoom fatigue from the attendees at the recent CCSP Council Meeting and CCSP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Parent Committee meetings. Members shared many valuable insights from their dioceses, including their disappointment that COVID-19 has caused plans to change and school-based learning activities to be severely limited. More information about these meetings are in this newsletter.
I am continuing to work on various projects identified in the CCSP Strategic Plan and joint projects with Catholic School Parents Australia, CSNSW and NESA.
The majority of people in NSW will not be able to attend Mass in person until NSW reaches the 70% double dose vaccination milestone. I urge you to help reach the milestone. If you have not yet done so, please make an appointment to be vaccinated.
Let us continue to keep in our thoughts and prayers everyone affected by this global pandemic and do what we can to help those around us. At the same time, let us not forget about families in the nation of Afghanistan who once again, face the risk of tumult and oppression.
Please take care and keep well.
It is pleasing that all dioceses in NSW/ACT were represented at the Term Three Council Meeting that was held over Zoom on Friday 27 August.
Wayne Davie, Chair CCSP, welcomed everyone and introduced Paul Penberthy, new Parent Representative from the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, John Elliot, Partnerships Manager Diocese of Parramatta, Tricia Ward, Communications, Media and Marketing Officer Diocese of Wilcannia Forbes and Therese Sleimann, newly appointed Administration Assistant CCSP. It is pleasing that all dioceses in NSW/ACT were represented at the meeting.
Everyone present expressed their appreciation of the efforts teachers, principals, schools and systems are going to in providing continuity of learning while prioritising the safety, health and wellbeing of staff, students and their families. It has been a huge effort and the parents and carers of NSW/ACT are very grateful.
The ongoing wellbeing of students and families was discussed and some practical tips were shared such as
- Creative Kids Vouchers which are available for all students across NSW
- Remote learning and faith-based resources that are available on the CCSP website
The CCSP Political Strategy Election Working Party (PSEWP) provided an update from their first meeting. Cheryl Murphy, Deputy Chair CSPP was nominated and elected as Chair of the PSEWP. The PSEWP will be working with each diocese to identify the key issues to be raised and the resources that are needed for the upcoming federal election.
Council also discussed other projects that have been identified in the CCSP 2021-2023 Strategic Plan. If you would like more detail about the CCSP Council meetings please contact your diocesan parent representative
The CCSP Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Parent Committee met virtually on Thursday 26 August. Members reported on the challenges families across NSW are facing due to the prolonged lockdowns.
Mental health and school retention rates of Year 11 students were highlighted as key issues. During the Diocesan sharing section of the of the meeting, members discussed initiatives from other dioceses that could be implemented in their own diocese.
If you would like to make contact with the parent representative from your diocese contact the education office in your diocese, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In recognition of her hard work and dedication, Sr Kerry MacDermott OLN was recently awarded the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council 2021 Non-Indigenous Service to Community Award.
Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Officer and member of Council of Catholic School Parents Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Parent Committee, Karan Taylor, is extremely grateful for the support Sr Kerry has provided to students, families, and Catholic education over the years.
”Sr Kerry has been a wonderful advocate for our Aboriginal families and their children, supporting and guiding our families,” said Mrs Taylor. “She lives in community and is a much-loved member of our Aboriginal communities, and is respected across our Catholic schools in the Macarthur region of our diocese."
Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong and Our Lady's Nurses for the Poor have partnered to support tertiary education pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students who attend John Therry Catholic College. Read more here
The 2021 Roger O’Sullivan Memorial Award for Family, School and Community Partnerships for Learning is awarded to a school community, including parents and carers, that can demonstrate exemplary practice in building partnerships between home and school to enhance the learning outcomes of students.
The initiative may be an ongoing project that predates 2021. If you have any questions please email or call CCSP.
At the heart of this award are family, school and community partnerships in which the family and community are authentically engaged.
The submission date for entries is 20 October 2021.
More information and an application form are available here.
Increasing numbers of young people believe vaping to be harmless. There are many dangers involved with vaping.
Jennifer Coen, State Manager Wellbeing Catholic Schools NSW, talks with Paul Dillion about drugs, alcohol and vaping. You can listen to the 24 minute podcast here .
The Catholic Schools Parents Assembly from the Diocese of Lismore kindly shared this infographic which may be useful to assist you having a conversation with young people in your care.
The prolonged lockdown across NSW is impacting everyone in many different ways. We encourage you to follow the CCSP Facebook page to receive Wellness Wednesday hints to look after yourself @cathschoolparents.
The team from R U OK? have developed RU OK? hints to start a conversation to help you speak with your loved ones and friends. The guide also provides information about where to access professional assistance.
Parents and carers are not trained school teachers yet they can support and encourage learning at home.
A few ideas to assist your child:
• Spend time with them.
• Believe in their potential.
• Talk with your child – about anything and everything – build confidence that they can come to you with any problems or questions they may have.
• Read with your child – this is just as important in secondary school as in primary school.
• Set routines – help them to develop good habits and a positive attitude towards learning.
• Help them to learn persistence and resilience – sometimes it takes time to be able to do things.
• Support good relationships – help your child to be able to socialise and get along with others.
• Let them help you with chores and do things together so they can learn – this can prepare them for when they leave home.
• Talk positively about school and the importance of learning.
• Set expectations for your child’s behaviour.
• Help them to learn to occupy/amuse themselves – quiet time is important.
These hints are from the resources developed by Catholic School Parents Australia in the Gearing Up for Parent Engagement in Student learning Toolkit. In addition to easy-to-read modules that help build key relationships, there are video case studies for Primary School Parents and Secondary School Parents
The Australian Council on Children and the Media [ACCM] has compiled a list of 50 family-friendly movies which promote happy, healthy screen media experiences for children.
ACCM is a not-for-profit organisation; its website has over 1,800 comprehensive movie reviews written by reviewers with child-development expertise. The site also houses video reviews of movies prepared by a team with child development expertise. Click here for a selection of movies.
While COVID-19 has certainly changed the plans the Australian Bishops made for Plenary Council 2020, the good news is that it’s still happening and it’s not far away.
The first session of Plenary Council 2020 was to have taken place in Adelaide in October last year. Like most things, this was postponed. Now, the first session will take place online in October this year. For the very latest information on the plenary, go to https://plenarycouncil.catholic.org.au/ Here, you can access the Agenda, the Instrumentum Laboris, and other resources that will help you engage in this process of synodality being embarked upon by the Catholic Church in Australia.
Please keep in your thoughts and prayers all those faithfully participating in the Plenary Council as they discern the way ahead for the life of our Church.
We thank Australian Catholic Superannuation for the generous support they give our national body, Catholic School Parents Australia, and for their ongoing commitment to the parents and carers of children and young people in Catholic schools.
For more information about their services and offerings, please visit catholicsuper.com.au.