St Simon Peter Catholic Primary School Ocean Reef
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18 Prendiville Avenue
Ocean Reef WA 6027

Phone: 08 9301 6800

Newsletter 6 – Week 2, Term 2 - Wednesday 3 May 2017

Newsletter Articles


In recent times the media have been bringing to our attention that children are listening to far too many adult conversations these days and, as a result of this, are bringing into the classroom and their vocabulary some adult words that are best left with the adults. Whilst this has literary merit and at the end of the day that is what we are after at SSP, it also brings problems for us. For example, I have noticed that “anxiety” has become a popular all-purpose word used for a wide range of possible emotional or mental states or conditions. Its meaning in many contexts was vague.

The first definition of “anxiety” in this year’s edition of the Macquarie Dictionary was: “Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by apprehension of danger or misfortune.” The dictionary also offered a definition of the technical sense with which the word was used in the specialist language of psychology. Thus it was evident that “anxiety” was routinely used as a fashionable alternative to “distress” but also was a more closely defined term for a type of psychological disorder — hence the confusion that we deal with at SSP when parents tell us their 6 or 9 year old is stressed.

Another example that I have written about before when explaining that at SSP we think that the much used “bullying” word has too, become an overused and imprecise term. Notwithstanding or underplaying the issue that bullying was horrible and soul-destroying for its victims. However, I do not know precisely where the line was drawn between bullying and childish teasing or chiacking.

A bully, as defined in the Macquarie, is “a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who browbeats smaller or weaker people” or “someone who intimidates or demeans another, especially as by repeated threats to their person, career or social standing, or by harassment in person, on social networks, etc.” In other words, “bullying” described the strong tormenting the weak with persistent threats or other types of pressure and it had to be condemned. However, sometimes I think that “bullying” was widely used to describe actions that were less harmful and offensive than those mentioned in the definition. For example, recently I heard “bullying” used to describe a one-off critical remark about someone’s clothing. The use of silly names in the playground could also be described as bullying.

The inevitable consequence of extending the use of “bullying” to describe as it was meant to be used - almost any type of unpleasant or questionable behaviour was that it eventually would lose and rightfully so, its power as a word of disapproval and condemnation.

Executive Development for Educational Leaders Course

This is a course offered to 20 Catholic Education Leaders across Australia every year with only 5 being selected from WA. The course has 5 phases and one of these is a benchmarking tour of New York, USA and Toronto, Canada from 12 - 28 May 2017. I am excited about this course plus the benefits it will bring to the system and to our school in particular. For example, as part of the course I will be writing a position paper on the effectiveness of our Team of Teams approach being used at SSP with a view to this idea being introduced to our schools.

During my absence Kerry Hewitson has been appointed Principal with Clodagh Manifold taking up the AP role in place of Kerry. I return to the school on Tuesday 30 May.


Mother’s Day Breakfast and Mass

On Thursday 11 May we will have a Mother’s Day Breakfast commencing at 7.30 am. This will be followed by Mass at 9.00am. We hope you can join us on this special day where we celebrate all mothers, grandmothers and those who are mother figures in our lives. For catering purposes, please RSVP via the link below. If you have not already set up a Google documents account you may need to do so to enable you to use the link:

Extended Absences from School

Our Parent Handbook states that extended absences for holidays are not advised here at SSP. Learning time at school is valuable time that should be maximised and not to be used for holidays as a general rule of thumb for parents. Teachers plan to teach all of their students all of the time basically in school. School work will not be set or given for students on extended absences (p.30 see Sections 4.0 and 5.0 of the Parent Handbook).

For students taking extending absences (more than a week) parents will now be required to complete a Leave of Absence Form for signing and recording the absence by the Principal.

Scholastic Book Club

Book Club catalogues are out this week. Orders are due by 15 May.

Did you know that our school earns 20% in Scholastic Rewards on all Book Club orders? These rewards help obtain free books and additional learning resources for our library and classrooms.


Lost Property – Pay it Forward

The school is commencing a “New Lost Property Process” of which all items which have been labelled, will be returned to their owners, via the class folder. To locate any lost property items please look in the lost property box located outside student services /sick bay or contact Nicki on 9301 6848 or via email

Lost property will remain within the designated area for two weeks. Items will then be advertised on the Parents and Reminders Facebook page for a further period of two weeks to encourage collection.

Any items that are not collected within this timeframe will be donated to the new HOPE initiative “Pay it Forward”. Any queries related to the new initiative can be directed to the HOPE representative, Siska McGuinness by calling 0404 089 930.


Staff Car Park

Parents are reminded not to park in the staff car park before or after school. Thank you for your co-operation in this regard.

No Right Turn on Prendiville Avenue

Parents are also reminded to adhere to the “No right turn” rule when turning onto Prendiville Avenue as this causes major traffic build ups. Again, we thank you for your co-operation in this regard.

No Parking on Footpaths or in Disabled Parking Bays

Once again, parents are reminded not to park on footpaths or in the disabled car parking bays unless you are the holder of an ACROD parking permit.

School Parking Flyer

Previously we have sent home a flyer issued by the City of Joondalup, a copy of which is attached for your reference, outlining the parking rules for the area surrounding the school. We note the parking inspectors/rangers have been visiting our school on a regular basis, as recently as last week, and have issued parking infringements. So to avoid receiving a ticket we request you pay particular attention to the prohibition parking signs and strictly adhere to them.


Cross Country Carnival

We will be holding our annual Cross Country Carnival on Friday 16 June 2017. Please click on the link below to access all the information you will need about the carnival and for the timetable for the day. Any parents wishing to volunteer to help out on the day, please contact Mr Lee Thompson via email at

Winter Sport Years 5 and 6

In preparation for the Year 6 Interschool Lightning Carnival to be held this term on Friday 9 June, the Year 5 and 6 students compete against each other in their winter sport sessions on Monday 15 May, 22 May and 29 May. These sessions run from 9.00am to 10.00am and include Football, Boys’ Soccer, Girls’ Soccer, and Netball. We need parent helpers from any year level within our school for these sessions to umpire the games on the above mentioned Monday mornings. You don’t need to be AFL standard or have refereed Perth Glory you just need to have a basic knowledge of the game and be keen to blow a whistle. If you are able to help, please email Mr Thompson at Of course your time will contribute to the Give Ten project at our school.

SEQTA Engage Parent Log-in

At the end of this term Semester 1 school reports will be available for parents to access via SEQTA Engage. It is important that you check your log-in for SEQTA Engage as early as possible so that you will be able to access your child's report.

To do this you need to go to the following site below and use your current username and password credentials.

If you have remembered your username but have forgotten your password, please click on the Forgot your password? link and an immediate email will be sent to you. The email will expire within one hour, so please action this immediately.

If you have forgotten both of these, then please contact the school and we can remind you of your username.

If you are new to using SEQTA Engage then you will receive an email to set up a new log in account. This email will expire within 7 days so please, action this as soon as possible.

If you have any issues, please contact the school.


The month of May in the church is dedicated to Mary.

Mary has a special place in our lives as the mother of Jesus and mother of us all.

Parish News

For Parish information and dates please click on the following link:

Centre for Faith Enrichment Term 2

The Centre for Faith Enrichment offers a wide range of face-to-face and online courses and events on topics such as introduction to theology, spirituality, Church history, scripture, Christian living and much more. No exams or assignments, just a relaxed and friendly learning atmosphere. To find out more, visit their website below where you will find our courses and events page and explore our new sacraments website.