From the Deputy Principal (Pastoral Care)

From the Deputy Principal (Pastoral Care)

Ms Jacqui Mcilroy
Deputy Principal
(Pastoral Care)

Year 12 Executive 2023

We are very pleased to announce the Year 12 Executive team for 2023. As a part of the Year 12 Executive team, students facilitate leadership and decision-making by bringing important issues to the notice of the school community, as well as organising whole school events and taking on additional responsibilities.

We congratulate our 2023 Executive members, a strong group of passionate and energetic young leaders.

We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate all students who applied to be on the Year 12 Executive team.  They are to be commended for their efforts throughout the selection process and willingness to immerse themselves in student leadership. The Senior Leaders process for Art, Drama, STEM, Music, Languages and Sport has commenced ,and Senior Leaders will be confirmed by Friday, Week 4.

creatING classes that reflect well-balanced learning communities

We have completed the important process of class placements for 2023. Our goal each year is to create classes that reflect well-balanced learning communities and an optimal learning environment for all students.

Considering the make-up of each classroom community and placing your daughter is an intricate process that we take very seriously.  In order to maximise the learning of all students, it is essential that we create balanced classes at each year level to mirror the diverse nature of St Aloysius College.

Given our commitment to the process, once the classroom communities have been formed, the movement of one student from the group can alter the group’s integrity and causes a chain reaction within the classroom balance, which we work so hard to achieve. Therefore, we ask that parents and caregivers trust the expertise and judgment of the professionals making the class community and placement decisions.

We know that students are often nervous about starting a new year in a new classroom, so we have liaised with Madhavi Nawana Parker, Director of Positive Minds Australia, for her expert advice. Please take the time to read Madhavi’s article below.

Ms Jacqui Mcilroy
Deputy Principal (Pastoral Care)

Class Placements 2023

Are you worried about your child’s class placement in 2023? It’s perfectly natural to have a preference for a particular teacher and peer group and normal to feel worried or disappointed if they don’t get them. 
A child’s emotional adjustment to leaving this year’s teacher and classmates, while preparing for next year’s teacher classroom community, may be heavily impacted by your feelings about it. As parents, you have the power to set the tone: your optimism or pessimism is contagious. Here are some ways you can help make the transition smoother for your child if either of you didn’t get the news you were hoping for. 

1. Listen calmly

Hear out your child’s feelings. Let them express their feelings and listen quietly. Avoid trying to ‘fix’ their feelings by adding your own feelings, judgements and solutions. Feelings need to be expressed, processed and move through constructively. 

Children don’t have to be immediately excited about their teacher, to learn from that teacher in the long run. The same goes for classmates. They don’t have to have existing bonds or common interests to build them in the future. In fact, the more children they get to know with a broad range of personalities, the better for their growing social intelligence. 

The feelings you see in that initial moment aren’t necessarily reflective of how they will feel long term – especially if you don’t react with them. 

Humans need time to process change. When news is fresh, we can go through many feelings of resistance and uncertainty. That doesn’t mean that what’s coming is necessarily bad. You can warmly and gently say something like, ‘you really hoped for XYZ and you’re disappointed. I understand.’ Allow time for them to process your words of support. Don’t rush them. Try to avoid talking while their logical brain is still compromised because emotions are still high. Listening calmly and quietly is golden. 

2. Support your child to build a connection with their new teacher

A mutually respectful connection with their teacher matters. Notice positive qualities in their teachers and see what your child might have in common with them. 

Avoid looking uncertain about the placement in front of your child. If they are unsure, they will naturally look to you to help them feel confident and calm. This doesn’t mean you have to ‘fake’ being excited if you’re not (they’ll see through that) but it does mean you do your best to be cool calm and collected. If you can’t be hopeful (yet), try and be neutral. Children tend to use parents as an emotional compass when they experience uncomfortable feelings. If you’re struggling, express your feelings with another adult to get things off your chest. Work out what you’re worried about. Try and notice as many things that are good about what’s ahead. 

Before you greet them on the day they receive their placement, remind yourself to try and trust the process. There are multiple layers to how class placements are allocated that couldn’t possibly be explained completely. School leaders and staff put in huge amounts of thought into student personalities, learning styles, teaching styles, class size, who asked to have who in their class and much more that is happening behind the scenes we’re not aware of. 

Schools genuinely do their best with this decision. If you’re upset, it’s possible they are too, but when weighing everything up, had no other direction to turn. Supporting your child’s teachers and school is a crucial part of your child’s psychological and academic success there. 

Your reaction to next year’s teacher news is hugely important to your child. Your confidence, hopefulness and regulated emotion is crucial. If you’re not happy, try and keep these feelings in the back ground and discuss them privately with another adult. Children are too young to take on their parent’s worries. If there is a genuine problem, take logical action without involving your child in the stress associated with it.

Your child’s emotional connection to and respect for their teacher and school is deeply connected with your connection to and respect for their teacher and school. 

More things to keep in mind:

  • Children learn, grow and strengthen in resilience by being with a broad range of personalities and communication styles. When things are unrealistically perfect and easy, they can get stuck in their comfort zone. 
  • To build confidence for later on in life, you need to experience a broad range of peers and situations and discover that through talking about feelings, asking for help, establishing boundaries and building your social emotional skills, you can handle a lot of what life has in store. Be there to hear their thoughts and feelings out, but above all show you have confidence in your child to get through. If situations are dangerous, toxic or damaging your child’s learning and psychological health, always talk to school staff and if necessary, other experts to ask for and seek help. Seek out the support of a health professional too if necessary. On the surface, do your best as your child’s most important adult and leader to show your confidence that your child will be safe and cared for, always.
  • Do something heart-warming and compassionate for yourself. If you’re upset and stressed it’s not because you’re weak or incapable. It’s because our children hold our hearts and when they hurt, we hurt. You need to look after yourself first and foremost.

The advice above is general and based on general child development, resilience and confidence research. It is written with the very best intention to help you. Without knowing your individual circumstances it’s not intended to replace your expertise as a parent or the expertise of educators and health professionals. Always seek tailored expert advice if you feel your child’s physical or psychological health is at risk in any way. 

Wishing you all the very best with class placement news. 

Madhavi Nawana Parker

Positive Minds Australia