Have you ever tried to put together one of those giant jigsaw puzzles of a thousand or more pieces? At first glance into the large box of tiny freeform pieces, it’s hard to imagine they will form a picture at all. One tiny random piece doesn’t look like much of anything on its own; but once you start putting them together a picture begins to take shape.
Life comes to us day by day like pieces in a puzzle, and we sometimes wonder what the overall picture will be. We are given one piece of the picture at a time. Some pieces of life are blue sky, some are dark and shadowy, some pieces are easy to recognise and fit in to the overall picture, while others seem to have no place at all.
We can easily become lost in the pieces, especially those that are a mass of darkness or twisting branches. When putting a jigsaw together one advantage is that we get to see the end result of the puzzle before we begin the long toil of assembling it. The full picture of the completed puzzle is always on the top of the box. We already know how it will turn out and we are not the least bit surprised by its ending, in fact often it looks even better than on the box.
In Isaiah 46:10 God says, “From the very beginning, I told what would happen long before it took place. I kept my word”.
When I tackle a jigsaw I find all the edge pieces and they give me the framework for the picture that everything somehow has to fit in, even if I wonder where. Christians have a framework for life given to them and more than a set of laws and rules to live by. While each life picture will look different, our lives are surrounded by a common framework – God’s love, God’s forgiveness, God’s promised presence, and God’s future for us. And in the centre of the picture of our lives is Jesus – the God we believe in, who suffered and died for us and is with us in all of life, whatever that might look like, even the dark and hard to fit pieces. In his hands every piece of life can have its place.
When we are going through a tough time, we must remember that this is just a portion of our puzzle. We need all the pieces — both the good and the bad, those that are easy and those that are difficult — to shape us to what we are to become. We can’t hide our children from the difficult and the challenging which is part of the full picture of life. Even the dark times can bring depth to the full picture.
We tend to get stuck and caught up in the pieces that seem confusing and we can’t see how they fit together, but God keeps in mind the picture on the box, the one He is continually working on in our lives.
So no matter what things may look like, dare to believe that in God’s hands the piece of life that you are living right now has a place, and dare to believe because of Easter that a new piece of the puzzle is always coming. God is already searching in the box for what will fit next to it, with one eye on the final picture of your life, which He wants to be forever with Him.
God provides us with his blessing…
As we go about our day,
May Christ go with us
Ahead of us to show us the way,
Behind us to encourage us,
Beside us to befriend us,
Above us to watch over us and
Within us to give us peace! Amen
Submitted by Darren Altus
This fortnight, staff and students pray for:
- MATHEWS: Kelly, Jason, Lilly, Isabella, Mitchell & Annie
- McCARTHY/WILLIAMS: Kylie, James, William & Sean
- McGORMAN: Kimberley, Paul, Ava, Charli & Archie
- NOACK: Tracey, Philip, Charlotte, Ryan, Hannah, James, Benjamin & Tom
- Jayden Evans – 6/7 Teacher
- Bec Liersch – Foundation Teacher (Thursdays)
- Fiona Lloyde – School Chaplain
- Sarah Loveday – Finance Officer
1 Georgia Leggett
1 Benjamin Schultz
1 Tiara Schultz
3 Bella Cooper
3 Sophie Scholz
6 Sophie Doering
11 Charlie Kenny
29 Parker Butler
31 Mitchell Harvey
5 Asia Kuchar
8 Sarah Cameron
25 Olivia Emmett
30 Dylan Leggett
- This week we pray that God continues to watch over our students, their families, our staff and everyone within our school community as we begin to ease out of lockdown and recommence face to face learning.
Dear Good Shepherd families,
It has been wonderful to resume face-to-face teaching and learning after the recent statewide lockdown. I once again thank the community for its support of the school during this time. The feedback we have received to date regarding home learning has been really positive.
I am pleased to report that students have settled into life back at school well. It has been great to hear the sound of children learning and having fun throughout the school once again.
I am conscious that a lot of correspondence has been sent out by the school in the last week. I hope that it has helped you to stay informed and aware of the changing landscape and particularly, what it means for life at Good Shepherd.
Given the quantity of information already sent out, the bulk of my sharing in this edition of the newsletter is to reiterate some of the important points previously shared.
Although schools are now open for business, there are a range of restrictions that schools must comply with as per SA Health guidelines. A recap of the current restrictions is outlined below. At the time of publishing the newsletter, we are unaware of how long these restrictions are in place for.
People entering the school
Access to schools is currently limited to staff, students and essential services (such as allied health professionals and instrumental teachers).
Parents are asked not to enter classrooms. If onsite, we ask that you wait outside of classrooms when dropping off or collecting your child and maintain appropriate social distancing when doing so.
Parents may enter the front office, however will need to sign in using the QR codes and again, maintain social distancing.
If needing to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss the needs of your child, please arrange a phone or online conversation for the time being.
In the primary school setting:
- Students are exempt from wearing face masks, however they may choose to do so if they wish. Students who choose to wear masks are asked to bring them in from home.
- Face masks must be worn by all adults while indoors, except for when they are eating, drinking, teaching or engaging with students. It might be helpful to share with your child/children, that they may see staff at times wearing masks throughout the school day.
- Either cloth or surgical masks can be worn by adults and students. For guidance on how to wear a face mask and disposal of face masks, please visit SA Health’s website.
- SA Health have advised that primary school aged children are exempt from wearing face masks while at school, they have indicated they are be worn on school buses and public transport. Whether this is enforced for primary school children will be up to the discretion of the bus company. Please contact the bus provider should you have any questions regarding this. If in doubt, we would encourage you to pack a spare mask in your child’s bag just in case.
No Large Gatherings
Our community will not gather for assembly or chapel for the immediate future. We plan to review this practice each week and we will keep families up to date regarding any changes. Regardless of whether we are able to gather as a school community or not, the Worship life of our school will continue in classrooms.
Playgroups as yet are unable to resume.
Health of people onsite
It remains essential that people do not come on the school site if they are unwell and that they get tested for COVID-19 if they have any of the following symptoms, even if mild:
- fever or chills
- sore throat
- runny nose
- shortness of breath
- loss of taste or smell
- diarrhoea and vomiting.
If a child presents with these symptoms during the course of the school day, the school will make contact with you to collect your child.
Education of students regarding good hygiene practices
Teachers and staff at Good Shepherd will continue to educate and remind children about good health and hygiene practices.
School Events / Calendar
On the first day of Term 3 (which seems quite a long time ago now) a hard copy of the Term 3 calendar was sent home to each family. Given the events of the past week, there will inevitably be changes to this. Given the situation, we are reluctant to make too many decisions about specific events just yet. Hopefully within the week, we will know more, particularly about the likelihood of restrictions easing, which will ultimately determine what we can do as a community and when. There are however a couple of dates I would particularly like to draw your attention to:
School Photos: These were scheduled to be held next week. Because we need to restrict non-essential services from coming on sight, these have been rescheduled to Thursday, 23rd of September.
Student Free Day: A reminder that Friday, 3rd of September is a Student Free Day. This is consistent with other local department schools in the region. Please note that on this day, OSHC is able to accept bookings to provide care. Please contact Suzy Linke on 8564 3387 to book a place. Please note that there is a minimum quota needed in order for the service to go ahead. We therefore encourage people to book in early so that confirmation of this service can be provided as early as possible.
Canteen: Due to the shortened school week, there will be no canteen orders for Friday. We look forward to these resuming in Week 3.
Principal’s Tour: I will still be hosting a Principal’s Tour for prospective families on Thursday, 12th of August at 9.30am. If you know of someone who is looking for a school, please encourage them to contact us to make a booking – either to attend on the 12th or to arrange a private tour. We know that Good Shepherd families are wonderful advocates of our school and past experience tells us that word of mouth proves very effective in attracting new families to join our caring and welcoming community.
The P&F meeting originally scheduled for this past week has been postponed until Monday 9th August at 2pm. This may get rescheduled again and the venue may change depending on what restrictions are in place then but we will keep you all informed.
The P&F Bonfire night is postponed. We will be looking into a possible date later in the term (if possible). Thank you all for understanding.
2021 School Concert – “Dancing Through The Decades”
Copies of the school performance are available to purchase in DVD format from the Front Office for $20. Please contact Danette to order a copy. We are now able to accept payment via direct transfers to the school account (banking details below). Please email Danette with a receipt number and we will send the DVD home with the eldest child in your family.
Account Name: Good Shepherd Lutheran School
BSB: 015 500
Account No: 480 793 387
It is important that the school is notified by 9.00am each day if your child is absent. Please ensure that a reason is included with your notification. You are able to advise us of absentees by phoning and leaving a message prior to 8.30am or email email@example.com. Please understand that the Front Office is unable to access SeeSaw notifications sent directly to class teachers. We also ask that parents keep children home if they are unwell.
Dear Good Shepherd Community,
I was delighted to hear the good news that we are able to go back to school this week. I am certainly looking forward to catching up with everybody.
This week’s Parenting Place article is called ‘Anxiety requires understanding‘. It entails insightful advice, acknowledging that every child and young person needs an adult in their life. Someone who understands and witnesses when they are anxious. Children that struggle with anxiety can struggle in different ways. Having someone that understands them can be a huge relief emotionally.
Enjoy the insight!
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. Psalms 55:22 KJV
Anxiety requires understanding
The recent rise in childhood and adolescent anxiety and its acceleration during COVID-19 has worried parents and teachers. Many ask how they can assist kids when they become anxious about seemingly routine events such as attending school camps and excursions, tackling difficult subjects, or facing the prolonged absence of a favourite teacher.
Typical responses such as ignoring their worries or encouraging them to ‘get on with it’ are unhelpful. Allowing a child to avoid an activity that makes them anxious is another unhelpful option. Avoidance may help kids feel safe in the short term, but it risks the establishment of a long-term pattern that can be impossible to shift.
Regardless of the source every child and young person needs an adult in their life that understands them when they are anxious. It may make little sense that an activity makes a child anxious, you just need to understand that they are anxious. They need someone to witness their anxiety without dismissing or ignoring their feelings.
Anxious kids frequently look to parents and teachers for reassurance when they feel anxious. This shows in many ways, including kids continually seeking the opinion of others, wanting parents or teachers to make decisions for them, and continually asking for praise. Adults don’t have to fix kids’ problems, but we do have to understand they are anxious.
The use of ‘Ahhhh’ statements to validate how an anxious child is feeling, is a practical way to show that you are trying to understand them. It’s also a great way to help a child develop a more nuanced emotional vocabulary. Here are some examples:
‘Ahhhh, you’re feeling anxious about going to school camp . . .’
‘Ahhhh, you’re having one of those “I might mess it up” thoughts . . .’
Each child’s anxiety is unique. The first and most important response from an adult is to show a child that you ‘get’ that they are anxious. Having someone understand that they are anxious is an enormous relief, particularly if they haven’t been taken seriously in the past. Sitting alongside a child who feels anxious is an underestimated act of compassion that makes a huge difference to their immediate emotional state.
Finance and Administration News
School Fees Term 3 2021
Invoices for school fees for Term 3 will be emailed to families this week. Please contact Sarah if you need to discuss payment arrangements.
Notice of Withdrawal
We remind families that we require one term’s notice in writing of your intention to withdraw a student to avoid being charged an additional term’s fees.