In this issue

In this issue:

  • Principal’s Blog
  • Primary & Secondary School Highlights
  • Tips on transitioning back to school from our Pastoral Care Team
  • Take a look at our new OSHC Centre
  • Eden Eats – delicious new menu
  • Parenting Ideas by Michael Grose – Dealing with Teenage Anxiety

Welcome

Growing through Adversity It has been with great excitement that our staff team have this week welcomed back all students to the College.  For most students, it has been many weeks since they were last on campus and during this time each of us, including our children, have experienced an …

Principal's Blog
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Welcome

Growing through Adversity

It has been with great excitement that our staff team have this week welcomed back all students to the College.  For most students, it has been many weeks since they were last on campus and during this time each of us, including our children, have experienced an extremely challenging and unusual season.  With the restrictions associated with COVID-19 starting to be eased, the focus for many has now turned towards the future, the next step and the ‘next normal’.  But our ‘next normal’ still comes with challenges and further change.

In reflecting upon this, I have been considering how often we learn the most about ourselves and life as a result of adversity and challenging times.  As we face challenges, we are forced to develop an inner strength to cope with what is ahead of us.  COVID-19 has been a reminder that hardship and challenge is a part of life for us all.  As we face challenges, we are forced to muster inner strength and hope to handle the fluctuations both now and ahead of us. In a recent article written by David Brooks, a Columnist for the New York Times, he wrote about a tide of “safetyism” that has crept into society in recent decades largely as a result of us being overprotective of our children.  Perhaps in middle class Australia we can even put on a front which says, all is good in order to ‘protect’ ourselves and our families.  I can certainly relate to trying to reduce the stress and hardship that our children face as they journey through life.  Unfortunately, these overprotective impulses can in fact limit the opportunities that our children will have to develop the resilience necessary to navigate life.

As we seek to learn for this season, perhaps we need to consider embracing hardship and reflect again on how we nurture and raise our children so that they begin to lay the foundations to develop spiritual and emotional muscle that will prepare them to face the difficulties and obstacles of life.  Making our children aware of difficulties can have the added bonus of helping to increase their awareness of provision and privileges, we often take for granted.  I am so thankful that we have a loving God who promises to walk with us through the difficulties and obstacles on our path, individually, professionally and on behalf of our families.

1 Peter 5:7, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Psalm 56:3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.

Blessings,

Paul Sterling

Principal

 

 

Pastoral Care

Welcome back to school! I hope your children feel welcomed and are enjoying being back at school. Author and speaker Michelle Mitchell has some really …

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Pastoral Care

Welcome back to school!

I hope your children feel welcomed and are enjoying being back at school.

Author and speaker Michelle Mitchell has some really helpful tips for helping children in this transition back to school.  Michelle unpacks how our children will be experiencing a lot of extra stress and excitement this week which will release larger amounts of adrenaline in our body.  To balance this we can deliberately help them “plug into calm”.  There are so many ways to do this.  Michelle has three great suggestions for us…

Deep Breathing

Anxiety is transferable and so is calm. Things like reading a book together, hair brushing, playing cards, watching a screen or painting nails all allow for two people to be close enough to transfer calm.

Lots of Talking

Talking can be counterproductive if conversations aren’t what I calln=, “high quality”. Amongst other things, high quality conversations are well timed. Daily reflections should be done as early in the evening as possible as it is likely to activate their brain.

Technology

Screen time restrains the production of melatonin in the brain, which our kids need in order to sleep. Try and avoid cellphones, bright lights, computers, loud music, and TV right two hours before bedtime.

Consider more of a step down approach to bedtime and allow a few more hours than normal to unwind and de-stress.

You may have other ways to plug into calm.  I would definitely add…

Foster an attitude of gratitude

Developing an attitude of gratitude lightens and calms the emotional atmosphere in our family. Amidst all of the changes and challenges we have faced, there are still things that we can be thankful for.  Thankfulness broadens our horizon beyond ourselves, infuses our perspective with hope, highlights what we value and strengthens our resolve to persevere.  Thankfulness reminds us that God is good and God is active in this world. Start and finish each day thinking of and sharing things you are grateful for.  With practice, this attitude of gratitude you foster in your conversations can become the default atmosphere of your child’s mind.

Tips from Michelle Mitchell on transitioning back to school

Blessings,

Lisa Mason

College Counsellor

Teaching & Learning

Update on Senior Studies The last eight weeks or so have certainly presented some challenges for senior students! In response to disruptions to schooling, the …

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Teaching & Learning

Update on Senior Studies

The last eight weeks or so have certainly presented some challenges for senior students!

In response to disruptions to schooling, the QCAA reduced the number of Internal Assessments required for Year 12 students studying General subjects.  At Genesis, students had already completed two of the three required assessments, which means that our Year 12 students can now focus on preparing for external examinations in October. Rest assured, checking for understanding will continue for the remainder of the year through formative assessment, including mock exams that will be used to provide students with valuable feedback prior to their exams.

Confirmation is a quality assurance process delivered by the QCAA to ensure consistency of marking across the state in General subjects. A number of  our Senior teachers were involved in Confirmation events which occurred online this year and the process has proven to be invaluable professional development.  The College has been encouraged by positive Confirmation results for Internal Assessment 1. Senior students have shown much perseverance and dedication to their studies over this season, and we congratulate them for this.

Nichola Welsh

Head of Teaching and Learning (P-12)

 

Primary Highlights

Welcome Back! It has been a wonderful week seeing our Primary school full again of happy, smiling children, ready to learn and play together in …

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Primary Highlights

Welcome Back!

It has been a wonderful week seeing our Primary school full again of happy, smiling children, ready to learn and play together in a real school space now. Our Year 3 students have been fortunate to have their classrooms re-fitted with furniture to promote our agile and collaborative approach to learning, which is proving quite successful in P-2.

Uniform and Hair Reminders 

It is a timely reminder now our children are back physically on campus that Genesis requires and maintains an exemplary uniform standard. A few items that I have noticed and would like to see parents address with their children are as follows:

  • Hair – boys in particular who needed a tidy up should ensure this is completed. Hair needs to be of an acceptable length – meaning not hanging over the ears or collar, and it must be neatly combed or otherwise presented.
  • Sports Jackets – these are only allowed to be worn with the sports uniform please. At all other times the Genesis jumper should be worn if required.
  • Culotte length – as some of our girls are growing taller, the culottes are becoming too short. This is mainly in Years 5 and 6. Please update this uniform item with appropriate length culottes, which sit no more than 5cm above the knee.

Student Wellbeing

During our partial school closure in Primary we had often more than one class join together for learning. This was an opportunity for new friendships to develop between students, as often students regular friends were at home learning. As we have come back to school, students have had to re-negotiate some friendships and this has been hard for some. Our teachers have been working hard this week (as they always), focussing on the wellbeing of our students, and this issue has been a common theme. Michelle Mitchell who is well known to our Genesis Community, has written an excellent article for parents, which I encourage you to read to help support your children’s return to school: you can read it here.

Jeremy Williamson

Head of School (Primary)

 

 

Secondary Highlights

Build Back Better I wish our parents could hear the applause of a stadium as you read this. The staff are so thankful for your …

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Secondary Highlights

Build Back Better

I wish our parents could hear the applause of a stadium as you read this. The staff are so thankful for your expressions of support and gratitude. We are amazed at how you reconfigured your family life to adjust to learning, working and living in one space. We are proud of the learners (your children, our students) who made Genesis@Home work. Their dedication to learning has shone through.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff and teachers who have risen to the challenge of rethinking how education can look in our homes during Queensland’s school closures. Their dedication, wisdom and care towards our students has only become more evident during this time.

Every teacher is so thankful to have the students back amongst us and we look forward to a successful Term 2 for each student’s academics. Likewise, we are upholding all our expectations to the highest standards. This includes important areas like uniform, grooming and manners.

The anticipated relaxations of the Queensland Government’s restrictions will result in a resumption of the aspects of College life that students thrive on. The rich and varied co-curricular life of Genesis is so important to us all. I will be informing you as these events can recommence.

Decisions around Term 3 events will be made over the course of the mid-year break. We are mindful that adult distancing will remain during this time and are re-imagining many of our parent nights. We will partner with you as normal; but perhaps in new ways.

Secondary has been meeting in small groups over the course of this term to review Genesis@Home and what we have learned from the experience. We are intent on building back better. We are committed to using the feedback from parents and students during this time to ensure we remain the best choice in Northern Brisbane.

As we continue to navigate the changes occurring around us and what they mean for our College, we can be confident the Lord will guide our next steps.

Stay safe and blessings to one and all,

Stuart Taylor

Head of School – Secondary

OSHC News

Good News Files Joy and silver linings amidst COVID-19 pandemic! At OSHC, we have shared great joy through what has been a trying and challenging …

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OSHC News

Good News Files

Joy and silver linings amidst COVID-19 pandemic!

At OSHC, we have shared great joy through what has been a trying and challenging time for all. Back in 2015, the College purchased land with the goal of building a purpose-built OSHC facility.  Over the years, we have held onto plans and designs of what could be. In 2020, our project came to life with our new OSHC Centre now complete and open as a ‘home away from home’ for many students.

Opening our doors to welcome our students back – after having their lives disrupted by change and new routines – our new OSHC Centre provides a sanctuary, place of security and a home away from home. This new space supports the children to reconnect and engage in what was familiar to them. Reconnecting with their peers and the ability to use play to act out their feelings, has supported them to transition back into their classroom.

It was important to ensure our new OSHC Centre was welcoming, authentic, culturally representative of our community, embraced nature, and was filled with purposeful materials. The layout was designed to promote relationships, communication, collaboration and exploration through play.

Our art studio has become a hub of activity, offering practical engagement with an abundance of materials and mediums to create with. Natural light beaming through large windows and instrumental background tunes set a scene of tranquility, enabling children to get lost in their thoughts and allowing their creative flair to flourish.

We have noted improved social skills through imaginative play and this in turn improves creativity and the ability to take up characters that act out real life roles.

For our more senior students, it was important to acknowledge their specific needs and wants for the space. Upstairs was designed to be the ultimate gaming level. It’s equipped to engage our students through team sports, as well as technology-based fun. No doubt the talk of the town is our air hockey, table tennis and foosball tables.  We have gained new insights and through the spaces, we have been able to improve equity for all the children within our care.

While it appears noisy and chaotic, when you take a moment to stop and observe, you see child’s play and witness pure joy and happiness.

“The environment should act as an aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes and culture of the people who live in it” – Loris Malaguzzi

This is what we are working towards.

Enrolments

We currently have vacancies for before and after school care. For more information, please contact me 3889 9013 or s.cooper@genesis.qld.edu.au

Vacation Bookings

Bookings for the June/July school holidays will be released 8 June 2020.

OSHC Gallery

Blessings,

Susan Cooper

OSHC Director

Parenting Insights – Tools for Managing Teenage Anxiety

Anxiety is the most common mental health issue facing young people today. It impacts significantly on their happiness, wellbeing and learning. Untreated anxiety in young …

By Michael Grose
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Parenting Insights – Tools for Managing Teenage Anxiety

Anxiety is the most common mental health issue facing young people today.

It impacts significantly on their happiness, wellbeing and learning. Untreated anxiety in young people is likely to continue to pose a problem in adulthood. It’s normal for a young person to feel anxious from time to time.

Here are some tools to help them manage their anxiousness:

Defusion

Young people often tell themselves stories about how they appear to others, how they will do in an assignment, test or learning activity and how they will meet with challenging events. Their stories can be helpful – “I know I can do this!” or unhelpful – “I’m hopeless at sticking with projects.” To reduce the impact of unhelpful thinking on their emotional state, teach them to distance themselves from their unhelpful stories and self-talk through the skill of defusion, or thought-distancing. Here are some examples you can use:

  • “I feel awful about this exam.” Ask “Is that helpful thinking?
  • “Everyone will find this test hard.” Ask, “Is that a thought or a fact?”
  • “I’m hopeless at school.” Add “I had a thought that I’m hopeless at school.”

These tactics places them one step away from the thought.

Mindfulness
When someone is anxious, they are often worried about a future event. Their restless mind needs to take a rest from future thinking, ruminating and worrying. Settling back into the present gives them a chance to relax and calm down. The practice of mindfulness, even if just for a few seconds, is a wonderful way to let go of their worries. Encourage your young person to practise mindfulness regularly and at different times of the day.

Here’s some mindfulness tools that can help them to bring their focus back to the present. Ask them to count out loud on their fingers:

  • Five things they can see
  • Four things they can hear
  • Three things they can feel (such as their feet in their shoes)
  • Two things are grateful for
  • One person they love

Deep breathing
When someone is stressed, their whole physiology is on edge. When they are anxious their breathing becomes shallow Deep breathing activates their relaxation response to relieve stress. As a result, the heart rate decreases, muscles relax, pupils constrict and the stomach starts to do its job that was put on hold when anxiety struck. Encourage your young person to breathe in this way:

  • Say to them “Come on, let’s take three deep breathes together”
  • Encourage them to breathe into their belly to get control over their body and steady their mind

Exercise
Exercise releases chemicals called endorphins that increase your young person’s feelings of wellbeing. It also relieves the muscle tension that builds up over a day of working, worrying and ruminating. There are many ways to get more movement into your young person’s life including:

  • Engaging in regular sports
  • Walking to school and to other activities
  • Taking regular movement breaks from homework
  • Joining you in a morning walk

When anxiety comes a problem
Anxiety becomes a problem when it impacts on your young person’s quality of life and prevents them from participating in everyday activities such as school, interests and social events. If this happens your young person may need professional support. Their school, your local general practitioner and our Pastoral Care Team can assist.

Eden Eats – New Menu

We’re so excited to welcome back all students and staff – we hope you’re hungry, as the team at Eden Eats has been working hard …

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Eden Eats – New Menu

We’re so excited to welcome back all students and staff – we hope you’re hungry, as the team at Eden Eats has been working hard on a new menu!

The new menu:

  • reflects the cooler season we’re entering – hello hot soup!
  • has a new dietary code – Gluten Free and Gluten Friendly. Please remember to place dietary requirement orders online via Flexischools.
  • welcomes back Sweet Chilli Wraps and Pies!
  • includes price reductions where possible.

Thanks to everyone who completed our surveys last term, we’ve incorporated lots of your feedback into this new menu.

Keep an eye out for our monthly specials, which include delicious winter warmers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel like a night off cooking? Don’t forget our Chef-prepared frozen dinners! The meal packs are available for collection from 2:30pm today directly from Eden Eats and are frozen for convenience. No pre-orders necessary however there is limited supply.

Option 1 = $22.00
1 x Lamb Rogan Josh
1 x Chicken Cacciatore
1 x Pasta
1 x Rice

Option 2 = $12.50
1 x Lamb Rogan Josh
1 x Rice

Option 3 = $11
1 x Chicken Cacciatore
1 x Pasta

Eden Eats is open before school from 7:30am until after school at 3:45pm.

Ben, Juliette and Hezel

Your Eden Eats Team