Newsletter - 3 April 2020

This week

Principal's Office

The Principal

A Feast of Hope

Dear Members of the St Edmund’s Community,

There’s a tree near my house — in fact there are many of them — that I pass on my way home. This tree is very much like the hundreds of other gums by the roadside: tall, grey bark and grey-green leaves, a nice home for possums and koalas. What makes this tree different, however, is a sign quite prominently nailed to its trunk. Even passing by at speed, this sign is easy to read. In large friendly letters my day ends with “Always look on the bright side of life”.

Recently, life has been filled with constant updates, new social norms, altered shopping hours and flattening curves. Our Eddies men have navigated an end to the term that has been at best unusual. Our Eddies parents have had to prepare for the implementation of remote online instruction and our Eddies staff have converted an institution of bricks and mortar into a virtual learning environment. For our community, all this and so much more, has been experienced “at speed”. It might be understandably difficult, then, to look on the bright side of life.

As we finish the term and look to the break with uncertainty we may reasonably ask: what will next term look like? In between now and then, however, lies the celebration of Easter. Easter: a feast of hope. In fact, could we say, a way of always looking on the bright side of life?

As easy as it would be to lose hope, I have seen the spirit of Easter and the sacrifice of Jesus already being lived in our community. An “at speed” finale for the term was greeted with resilience, fortitude and good humour by our young men. An “at speed” move to online learning has been welcomed with support and care by our parents. An “at speed” transformation from one mode of learning to a very different format has been pursued unrelentingly and with enthusiasm by our staff.

The Coronavirus may have accelerated our life to something experienced “at speed”, but I see an Eddies where there is hope, where we look on the bright side of life, where these coming weeks may be a challenge but they are first and foremost, an opportunity. All we have done and all we will continue to do, we will do as the Eddies Team. For the benefit of our young men, with the support of all, parents, students and staff, we can re-imagine 2020 into more than is presented to us now.

I wish all in the St Edmund’s Community a happy, restful and safe Easter, and I look forward to working with you, the Eddies Team, to re-imagine our year and take up the new opportunities that 2020 will present.


Ray Celegato, Principal

The Deputy

Identity

Identity News

Look to those around you and see the Face of Jesus

Easter Reflection

Easter is a time of contrasts for many of us. It is a time of sadness as we think about Jesus’ final painful moments and his tragic death. However, it is a time of joy as we think of his Resurrection and of all the wonderful aspects of today’s world for which we are so grateful.

This time is difficult for us as a nation and a global community. There is much uncertainty, but when we look to the Resurrection it gives us hope that Jesus is with us in our lives.

We often challenge our students to see the face of God in all those they meet. The story of the Road to Emmaus tells us that in the days after Jesus’ death, many of his disciples felt alone and frightened. They were lost without their leader and they feared facing the same punishment as Jesus. On the road to a town called Emmaus, two apostles connected with a man they did not recognise. The man invited them to go into an inn where they shared a meal and heard the scriptures. Soon after the man left them, and it was only then, they realised they had seen the face of Jesus.

These friends described the feeling they had in recalling the presence: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road?” We challenge the students by asking them who the face of God is in their lives. Like on the road, they are the people who are with us whom we do not recognise, but we have that moment when our hearts burn.

At Easter let us all recognise the face of Jesus in our lives. Let us honour all those we love and look out for those we need to care for. It might be difficult this year as we each face our own challenges. However, at Easter the power of the Resurrection shows us what Jesus came here for: it was to show love and compassion for everyone. This year, more than ever, we need to take the time to tell people in our lives that we love and value them.

God humbles himself, like Jesus did, to walk with his people and love us unconditionally despite our faults and sins. In displaying this humility Jesus showed us the true nature of service for our fellow man. When Jesus washed the feet of his disciples he humbled himself. He did not put himself above anyone but walked humbly with his fellow man.

Now more than ever we need to be there for each other. Remember to use this as a time to be with our families and appreciate those around us. As a community, take this time to stand with those who have been affected in many different ways by coronavirus.

We pray for those who are sick and those who face uncertain futures. We ask God to be with us and help all through these hard times; may we find Hope in the Resurrection. May the power of the Resurrection continue to be with us in this Easter period.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend to you and your family the Blessings of the Easter Season. May the joy of Risen Christ be with you all in the days and weeks ahead.

Live Jesus in our Hearts….Forever.

St Edmund’s College Vision and Mission in the Online World

If God is at the centre of a Catholic school, then prayer and ritual play a critical role in the formation of the College’s Catholic Identity. God can only be at the centre of the College if students and staff spend time in prayer, reflection, service and community celebration.

To support our staff in continuing to engage students with mission, service, prayer and reflection in their remote Homerooms and classes, we have created the ‘Eddies Men Can Care Package’. It is an online resource to provide staff with support and content they can use with students, to enable all to continue to live our Vision and Mission remotely. The resources offer a starting point for students to engage in mission and spiritual reflection in a variety of contexts.

The resource is set up in line with days of the week; however, teachers may use the resources whenever the opportunity arises. An overview of the Eddies Men Can Care Package is included here.





Marysia Rice, Assistant Principal Identity

Light Up The Dawn On ANZAC Day

Announcement from RSL Queensland - 27 March 2020

PLEDGE YOUR PLACE


This year, we are asking Australians to stand at the end of your driveway, on your balcony or in your living room, to remember all those who have served and sacrificed.

From 6.00am, we will be streaming a short commemorative service, comprising The Ode, The Last Post, a minute’s silence, and Reveille. Come back for more details as we get closer to ANZAC Day.

Please join us and the rest of Australia in this special moment. #ANZACspirit #lightupthedawn

https://rslqld.org/en/News/Latest-News/Light-up-the-Dawn>

RSL Queensland calls on Australians to honour the service of our Defence Forces, past and present, by standing at the end of their driveways for a minute’s silence this ANZAC Day.

https://rslqld.org/News/Latest...

We are calling on Eddies Men to follow the call from the RSL and stand at the end of their driveway at Dawn on ANZAC DAY.

Take a photo and email to: kbiddle@sec.qld.edu.au or apmissionassistant@sec.qld.edu.au

Learning & Teaching

Learning and Teaching

Online / Remote Learning

As I write this article teachers are making videos, sourcing resources, working collaboratively online and positively preparing for Online or Remote Learning. Parents and caregivers can be confident that there will be materials available for their sons for the beginning of Term 2.

During this week teachers have been emailing their classes to ask students to log into new electronic resources that publishers have been providing. The term is finished for the students, but we seek the support of parents and caregivers to speak with your sons and have them check their emails for these instructions. An email was sent to all parents on Thursday 2 April explaining this.

Term 2 Learning

From the beginning of Term 2 (20 April), teachers will be in contact throughout each week. Work will be set and due each week on the electronic platforms that the College has in place and with which the students are very familiar.

Documents explaining processes to parents and students have also been prepared. The teaching staff are here to support you.

Information about learning in Term 2 will be released closer to the time.

Reporting and Progressive Feedback

Reports for the Learning Habits of students will be posted to the web on Friday 3 April at 3.00pm. Year 12 students will receive their result for Internal Assessment 1 (IA1).

Progressive Feedback for work completed in Term 1 for all other year levels will be gradually uploaded on EDE. I seek your support in being patient with this feedback process, as many staff will be marking over the holidays. They have spent this week preparing for Online/Remote Learning.

Please speak with your son about his results as they are uploaded on EDE. I will contact you about this after the holiday period. Your son can assist you to view his feedback. Please refer to previous letters and newsletter articles from me explaining how to do this. I will resend these instructions after the holiday break.

A Final Note

May God bless you and your family through this holiday period. May God keep you all safe and well and may you enjoy this time with your family. I look forward to reconnecting with you all next term.

Best wishes.

Carmel James, Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching

Senior School

Middle School

Pastoral News

MENTAL HEALTH WELLNESS TIPS FOR QUARANTINE

1. Stick to a routine. Go to sleep and wake up at a reasonable time, write a schedule that is varied and includes time for work as well as self-care.

2. Dress for the social life you want, not the social life you have. Get showered and dressed in comfortable clothes, wash your face, brush your teeth. Take the time to have a bath or a facial. Put on some bright colors. It is amazing how our dress can impact our mood.

3. Get out at least once a day, for at least thirty minutes. If you are concerned of contact, try first thing in the morning, or later in the evening, and try less travelled streets and avenues. If you are high risk or living with those who are high risk, open the windows and blast the fan. It is amazing how much fresh air can do for the spirits.

4. Find some time to move each day, again daily for at least thirty minutes. If you don’t feel comfortable going outside, there are many YouTube videos that offer free movement classes, and if all else fails, turn on the music and have a dance party!

5. Reach out to others, you guessed it, at least once daily for thirty minutes. Try to do FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, texting—connect with other people to seek and provide support. Don’t forget to do this for your children as well. Set up virtual playdates with friends daily via FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Kids, Zoom, etc—your kids miss their friends, too!

6. Stay hydrated and eat well. This one may seem obvious, but stress and eating often don’t mix well, and we find ourselves over-indulging, forgetting to eat, and avoiding food. Drink plenty of water, eat some good and nutritious foods, and challenge yourself to learn how to cook something new!

7. Develop a self-care toolkit. This can look different for everyone. A lot of successful self-care strategies involve a sensory component (seven senses: touch, taste, sight, hearing, smell, vestibular (movement) and proprioceptive (comforting pressure). An idea for each: a soft blanket or stuffed animal, a hot chocolate, photos of vacations, comforting music, lavender or eucalyptus oil, a small swing or rocking chair, a weighted blanket. A journal, an inspirational book, or a mandala coloring book is wonderful, bubbles to blow or blowing watercolor on paper through a straw are visually appealing as well as work on controlled breath. Mint gum, Listerine strips, ginger ale, frozen Starburst, ice packs, and cold are also good for anxiety regulation. For children, it is great to help them create a self-regulation comfort box (often a shoe-box or bin they can decorate) that they can use on the ready for first-aid when overwhelmed.

8. Spend extra time playing with children. Children will rarely communicate how they are feeling, but will often make a bid for attention and communication through play. Don’t be surprised to see therapeutic themes of illness, doctor visits, and isolation play through. Understand that play is cathartic and helpful for children—it is how they process their world and problem solve, and there’s a lot they are seeing and experiencing in the now.

9. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and a wide berth. A lot of cooped up time can bring out the worst in everyone. Each person will have moments when they will not be at their best. It is important to move with grace through blowups, to not show up to every argument you are invited to, and to not hold grudges and continue disagreements. Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this.

10. Everyone find their own retreat space. Space is at a premium, particularly with city living. It is important that people think through their own separate space for work and for relaxation. For children, help them identify a place where they can go to retreat when stressed. You can make this place cosy by using blankets, pillows, cushions, scarves, beanbags, tents, and “forts”. It is good to know that even when we are on top of each other, we have our own special place to go to be alone.

11. Expect behavioural issues in children, and respond gently. We are all struggling with disruption in routine, none more than children, who rely on routines constructed by others to make them feel safe and to know what comes next. Expect increased anxiety, worries and fears, nightmares, difficulty separating or sleeping, testing limits, and meltdowns. Do not introduce major behavioural plans or consequences at this time—hold stable and focus on emotional connection.

12. Focus on safety and attachment. We are going to be living for a bit with the unprecedented demand of meeting all work deadlines, home-schooling children, running a sterile household, and making a whole lot of entertainment in confinement. We can get wrapped up in meeting expectations in all domains, but we must remember that these are scary and unpredictable times for children. Focus on strengthening the connection through time spent following their lead, through physical touch, through play, through therapeutic books, and via verbal reassurances that you will be there for them in this time.

13. Lower expectations and practise radical self-acceptance. This idea is connected with #12. We are doing too many things in this moment, under fear and stress. This does not make a formula for excellence. Instead, give yourself what psychologists call “radical self acceptance”: accepting everything about yourself, your current situation, and your life without question, blame, or pushback. You cannot fail at this—there is no roadmap, no precedent for this, and we are all truly doing the best we can in an impossible situation.

14. Limit social media and COVID conversation, especially around children. One can find tons of information on COVID-19 to consume, and it changes minute to minute. The information is often sensationalised, negatively skewed, and alarmist. Find a few trusted sources that you can check in with consistently, limit it to a few times a day, and set a time limit for yourself on how much you consume (again 30 minutes tops, 2-3 times daily). Keep news and alarming conversations out of earshot from children—they see and hear everything, and can become very frightened by what they hear.

15. Notice the good in the world, the helpers. There is a lot of scary, negative, and overwhelming information to take in regarding this pandemic. There are also a ton of stories of people sacrificing, donating, and supporting one another in miraculous ways. It is important to counter-balance the heavy information with the hopeful information.

16. Help others. Find ways, big and small, to give back to others. Support restaurants, offer to grocery shop, check in with elderly neighbours, write psychological wellness tips for others—helping others gives us a sense of action when things seem out of control.

17. Find something you can control, and control the heck out of it. In moments of overwhelming or big uncertainty, control your little corner of the world. Organise your bookshelf, purge your closet, put together that furniture, group your toys. It helps to anchor and ground us when the bigger things are chaotic.

18. Find a long-term project to dive into. Now is the time to learn how to play the keyboard, put together a huge jigsaw puzzle, start a 15 hour game of Risk, paint a picture, read the Harry Potter series, binge watch an 8-season show, crochet a blanket, solve a Rubix cube, or develop a new town in Animal Crossing. Find something that will keep you busy, distracted, and engaged to take breaks from what is going on in the outside world.

19. Engage in repetitive movements and left-right movements. Research has shown that repetitive movement (knitting, colouring, painting, clay sculpting, jump roping etc) especially left-right movement (running, drumming, skating, hopping) can be effective at self-soothing and maintaining self-regulation in moments of distress.

20. Find an expressive art and go for it. Our emotional brain is very receptive to the creative arts, and it is a direct portal for release of feeling. Find something that is creative (sculpting, drawing, dancing, music, singing, playing) and give it your all. See how relieved you can feel. It is a very effective way of helping kids to emote and communicate as well!

21. Find lightness and humour in each day. There is a lot to be worried about, and with good reason. Counterbalance this heaviness with something funny each day: cat videos on YouTube, a stand-up show on Netflix, a funny movie—we all need a little comedic relief in our day, every day.

22. Reach out for help—your team is there for you. If you have a therapist or psychiatrist, they are available to you, even at a distance. Keep up your medications and your therapy sessions the best you can. If you are having difficulty coping, seek out help for the first time. There are mental health people on the ready to help you through this crisis. Your children’s teachers and related service providers will do anything within their power to help, especially for those parents tasked with the difficult task of being a whole treatment team to their child with special challenges. Seek support groups of fellow home-schoolers, parents, and neighbours to feel connected. There is help and support out there, any time of the day—although we are physically distant, we can always connect virtually.

23. “Chunk” your quarantine, take it moment by moment. We have no road map for this. We don’t know what this will look like in 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month from now. Often, when working with patients who have anxiety around overwhelming issues, a suggestion is that they engage in a strategy called “chunking”—focusing on whatever bite-sized piece of a challenge that feels manageable. Whether that be 5 minutes, a day, or a week at a time—find what feels doable for you, and set a time stamp for how far ahead in the future you will let yourself worry. Take each chunk one at a time, and move through stress in pieces.

24. Remind yourself daily that this is temporary. It seems in the midst of this quarantine that it will never end. It is terrifying to think of the road stretching ahead of us. Please take time to remind yourself that although this is very scary and difficult, and will go on for an undetermined amount of time, it is a season of life and it will pass. We will return to feeling free, safe, busy, and connected in the days ahead.

25. Find the lesson. This whole crisis can seem sad, senseless, and at times, avoidable. When psychologists work with trauma, a key feature to helping someone work through said trauma is to help them find their agency, the potential positive outcomes they can effect, the meaning and construction that can come out of destruction. What can each of us learn here, in big and small ways, from this crisis? What needs to change in ourselves, our homes, our communities, our nation, and our world?

2020 Skool2Skoolies Fundraising Ride

Thank you to our 2020 sponsors

St Edmund’s College 2020 Skool2Skoolies

Would you like to sponsor the 2020 Year 12 Skool2Skoolies fundraising ride?

All funds raised by our annual Skool2Skoolies initiative are directed to the Ipswich Hospice and the St Vincent de Paul Society.

A range of sponsorship packages are available, starting at $500, in graduated levels up to $2500.

Thank you to our generous 2020 sponsors.

Champion Sponsor

- BlackChrome
- Trek Ipswich
- Choices Flooring by Mallets
- Brothers Ipswich Leagues Club
- Blue Ribbon Motors
- Strybos Electrical
- DV Electrical Service
- St Edmund’s College Old Boys’ Association

Breakaway Sponsor

- Apprenticeships Queensland
- McNamara Law

Peloton Sponsor

- OPAT Painters
- Karalee Play and Learn
- Yallaroy Business Solutions

Donations are also being accepted.

If you would like more information regarding sponsorship of the annual St Edmund’s College Year 12 Skool2Skoolies fundraising initiative, please email Mr Michael Podolak, Pastoral Dean: mpodolak@sec.qld.edu.au




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2021 Enrolments

Contact the Enrolments Office now - 3810 4448

Enrolments for Year 7, 2021 are currently being finalised. If your child has a sibling entering Year 7 at St Edmund's next year please contact the Enrolments Office as soon as possible on 3810 4448 or phone Kath Creedy on 0403 269 955. Spread the word to families, friends and neighbours as places for 2021 are filling fast.

2022 Enrolment Interviews

Enrolment interviews for 2022 are also well underway. Please contact the College for information.

Sponsors

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