Some Ideas to Combat the Stress and Anxiety of Life
I am unsure of whether it is simply that winter seems to be colder than usual, and it is nearing the end of term, but there seems to be an epidemic of stress and depressive symptoms in the school community at the moment. Boys are stressed, parents are stressed and teachers are stressed. No doubt the holidays will help, but there are also some very simple remedies to stress that we overlook – sometimes we are more comfortable talking about our stress levels and anxiety rather than taking positive actions to remedy the situation.
So, what is it that is going to contribute to making us feel more at peace, more able to cope and to rid ourselves of that constant state of hypersensitivity that often results from feelings of stress and anxiety? There is nothing new in the following list, but we all need to be reminded from time to time of what we should be doing.
Image: Students enjoyed an informative FYI (For Your Information) Secret Agent activity.
As the term draws to end I would like to thank everyone for their support and encouragement as the Acting Head of Primary. I have thoroughly enjoyed the term in this new role and being able to work in the different classes throughout the Primary School.
The teachers and students are busy finalising their reports and assessment tasks that they will bring home in their portfolios at the end of the term. Please take the time to look at the report alongside the portfolio of work. Your son will be able to discuss and describe the different tasks and how they went in the task and areas for improvement.
Image: Alex Hunter in action for 10A Soccer.
Winter Co-Curricular training and games will recommence in Week 1 of Term 3. Co-Curricular sport for Term 3 runs only for the first five weeks. Fixtures for Term 3 are still being finalised and will be made available in Week 1.
As part of St Dominic’s Day celebrations in Week 2 Term 3, the Senior A Soccer and Senior A Basketball teams compete for the annual Dominican Cup. The Dominican Cup was established in 2007 between Blackfriars Priory School and Cabra Dominican College to celebrate both school’s strong Dominican tradition. The Senior A Soccer and Senior A Basketball teams play for a trophy with the best players from each team being awarded a medal for their standout performance. These games will be played on Saturday 5 August at Cabra Dominican College.
Image: New Year 10 band BlackOrleans performed at the recent Rostrevor Battle of the Bands.
As we near the end of Term 2 I reflect on all the wonderful achievements of our students throughout this term. From Generations in Jazz, to the Music Soirée, to Primary Arts Night and most recently Catholic School’s Music Festival Auditions. It has been a term filled with success and enthusiasm amongst our students.
Rostrevor Battle of the Bands
Congratulations to the BlackOrleans – one of our newest Blackfriars Co-curricular Bands. They performed on Friday 16 June at Rostrevor College amongst various other Catholic Schools. Silas Koo had his composer’s debut when the band performed his composition ‘Say Hello to You.’ The band was comprised of Silas Koo, Julian McPeake, Harry Catley, Ryan Dalton, Lachlan McKay and old scholar bassist, Arthur Mezak, supported the group throughout the evening.
Image: Blackfriars Priory School old scholars join our Year 10 students for a question and answer panel at UniSA during Industry Week.
This week, all Year 10 students attended various universities and TAFESA as part of Industry Week which focussed on future pathways of for our students beyond school.
Flinders University Tonsley and TAFESA
On Tuesday they went on excursion to Flinders University and participated in a number of structured workshops and tours across the TAFESA campus and the Flinders University Campus at Tonsley.
All students visiting the TAFESA campus at Tonsley were given a tour of the facility. Students toured the following areas:
The TAFE lecturer spoke to the students about the various courses and what is involved in each course. Students were given the opportunity to see the work that is produced in the various courses and what the expectations were for jobs/careers in the various areas.
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
Last week we recognised Refugee Week in our School community through coming together for our School Assembly on Wednesday. We were moved by the presentation of a power-point presentation and video on the “Refugee Condition” produced by Year 12 student, Reza Mohammadi. The statistics on the number of refugees worldwide are staggering:
Of these numbers, only 107,100 people have been re-settled.
With the help of family pictures Mohsen Sarwari (Year 5) and Joseph Pitia (Year 4) retold their personal and family story of being a refugee and seeking asylum in Australia. Mohsen was born in Syria and having experienced the atrocity of the recent war in Syria his family was sponsored to come to Australia. Towards the end of his presentation Mohsen said, ”I am happy to be in Australia because I no longer feel scared for my safety”. However, Mohsen worries about his auntie who still lives in Syria, who is safe for now, but fears that one day the war may encroach on her city.
Joseph Pitia traced his family life in South Sudan torn apart by three serious civil wars where three million people have died. Before moving to Melbourne in 2006 Joseph’s father had sought refuge in five countries in Africa. Joseph said, “I’m lucky to be born in Australia and I feel safe when I see all the atrocities occurring in South Sudan”.
Congratulations to Joseph and Mohsen for their exceptional courage in telling their story to all students and staff of Blackfriars Priory School. It was a wonderful experience for us and gave us an insight into the lives of displaced people and an understanding of how courageous, resilient, resourceful and grateful refugee people are for a new start in a new country. The stories of Mohsen and Joseph touched our hearts and opened our minds to see their world and understand their experiences with a clearer vision.
As the Australian Bishops wrote,
“As Christians we know it is within us to hear the call of Jesus (in the person of the refugee). As Australians we have shown ourselves willing to take the path of generosity and leadership. We can do so again”
Australian Catholic Bishops; Social Justice Statement 2015-16.
Reza Mohammadi then presented a video where he interviewed students and staff about their family cultural background. There are 45 nationalities represented at Blackfriars Priory School making us a truly multi-cultural School. Students spoke of their acceptance and friendship within our diverse community taking delight in the multi-cultural nature of our School. I felt very proud to be a member of our School community and proud of our students who are building a peace-filled world through respect and acceptance of others. I would like to thank Reza, Mohsen, Joseph and all students who participated in our celebration of our multi-cultural School and recognising Refugee Week.
Farewell Fr Karl Emerick OP and Welcome Fr Matthew Boland OP
We also farewelled Fr Karl at our assembly. Fr Karl joined the Blackfriars community as Br Karl in 2013. He was ordained to the Priesthood in 2014 and has continued in his role as Chaplain to the Blackfriars community until the end of April this year.
Fr Karl has given generously of his time and talents as our Chaplain. He has celebrated the sacraments in our community and lead the community in celebrating Mass in St Albert the Great Chapel. He has generously made himself available to students and staff to talk about our spiritual lives and he has been a source of encouragement to our community. Fr Karl will continue to serve our community on the School Board as Deputy Chair, Chair of the Finance Committee and member of the Capital Projects committee. In all his work, Fr Karl has and continues to have, the best interests of students and the progress of our School in his mind. Fr Karl has been appointed as Parish Priest of the North Adelaide and Prospect Parish and will continue to be a welcome presence in our school community.
In farewelling Fr Karl Emerick OP, we welcome Fr Matthew Boland OP to our community as our School Chaplain. We are very fortunate to have a Dominican priest in our community and we look forward to the spiritual guidance of Fr Matthew and his presence among us for years to come.
Youth mental health: depression and anxiety.
This week, I was asked to present to Year 8 students on youth anxiety and depression. In my research for this presentation, I came across the statistic that approximately half of the people currently living with a mental illness in Australia experienced illness symptoms by 14 years of age. Raising awareness of mental health issues is very important as it can lead to prevention and early intervention. In an all-boys school environment in particular, some students may be reluctant to acknowledge and seek help for mental health issues due to a lack of understanding, or because they think this will mean that they are ‘weak’ or ‘different’ (gender stereotypes that males must not show emotions and are inherently insensitive don’t help). Education can aid in normalising mental illness for students and therefore, increase the likelihood of them accessing support. Indeed, many are surprised to hear that a whopping 25% of young Australians currently have a mental health condition. Concerningly, research also indicates that only 13% of young men with mental illness symptoms will seek help.
It has been a busy fortnight in the co-curricular program. Aside from the midweek and weekend fixtures, there have also been different carnivals to attend and some exciting news for some of our students.
The Year 6/7 boys went down in a close game to CBC. The boys played really well and dominated patches of the game, but CBC came out in front on the scoreboard at game’s end. It was the boys’ first loss of the season, but they can look ahead to St Ignatius on our home turf this weekend.
The Year 6/7 boys faced off against Rostrevor on our home field. The boys battled hard in the first half to be tied, but Rostrevor ran away in the second half scoring five goals to win 6-1. The boys continue to work hard and a win cannot be far away.
The Year 3/4/5 Blue teams both had losses to Pulteney Grammar but continue to play some decent soccer. Pulteney simply proved too strong on the day.
Image: Simon Russell, Isaac Jacobs and Joseph Russell
On Tuesday 13 June eight primary students completed the ICAS Writing paper. These students were from Year 3-6 and they had to write an argument about the question “Would you rather be rich or lucky or intelligent?” We will get the results back from this test next term. There are only two more ICAS tests left to complete, English on 1 August and Maths on 15 August.
Woolworths Earn and Learn stickers are coming back. We have registered the Primary School again to collect these stickers, and this will start from 26 July. Please ask all your family and friends to collect these stickers for us, as we would like to aim for 20,000 stickers this year.
Image: Joseph Pitis, Reza Mohammadi and Moshen Sarwai presenting at the Multicultural Day Assembly
My family came to Australia from Italy after WWII. My grandparents and parents followed the well-worn migrant path of; faith, hard work, family and food (lots of it). I love my Italian culture, but I am proudly Australian. As a son of Italian migrants, I have grown up with the Italo-Australian culture at the core of my life. I am proud of my heritage, and I am proud to be Australian. This country gave my family the chance to have a better life, and my heart is ‘True Blue’ with appreciation.