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Pre-School News

Champagnat Day Mass 2023

By High School News, Pre-School News, Primary School News

Leila Wakefield Grade 12

Mass was a festive affair with the rhythm of the marimbas calling us, and welcoming us, to celebrate. It was a joy to have the Brothers join us, and to have Br John with his guitar. It was good to have our parents and other special guests too. Thinking about how we as Marists are called to grow our awareness of those in the margins, and to work to include the ones we other, was the theme of our reflection. The children sang beautifully, from preschool to Matric, and the student reflections were thought provoking. Fr Mokesh led with compassion and challenge, and as we led out we were thoroughly warmed through in body and soul.

We Marists of Champagnat, are invited to live in unity and to oppose marginalization on a small and large scale. To marginalize someone is to treat individuals or specific groups of people as insignificant and inferior to others. We see people being marginalized in society based on race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender, sexuality and economic status.

We are also guilty of marginalization on a smaller level, we do it at school, in our neighborhoods, and even in our own homes when we exclude people for the core things that make up their identity and make them feel as if they are less than us. These people’s rights, voices and humanity are denied, and as a result suffer at the hands of others for their whole lives.

Every single one of us took part in putting together a puzzle for today’s mass. Eventually you would have noticed that on every puzzle is a picture of a maze. A maze is representative of this journey of life; there are dead ends, twisting corners that confuse you, and the reward at the end takes forever to reach. I want you to imagine yourself in a literal maze.

Imagine what this journey to the end or the glinting gold will be like. Will it be hard? Frustrating? Frightening? Or will it be easy? Imagine what it will be like if you were in this maze alone. Would it be any better if you were with a group of people? Picture yourself in this maze with a group of people that always exclude you, make you feel like you have no value.

How would you feel? How would you feel when the leader of this group makes sure that everyone does their absolute best to exclude you, dehumanize you, hurt you, and exploit you? It’s unfair, right? It’s unfair when you’re the only one that gets treated this way. Will you endure it the entire time you are in this huge, spine-chilling maze with people that constantly bury your spirit deeper and deeper? Or will you have the courage and heart to defend yourself against them?

Congratulations, you have just completed a small lesson on empathy!

With a similar perspective, I want you to question why we should bring people from the margins of society closer to us. We need to dig into the humanity that is constantly squashed by the laws and people that use their power over us. While injustice is common, one should never accept justice as common. As humans that are all owned by the earth and the universe, it is our duty to fight injustices like marginalization with all our strength and heart.

As humans that are connected to the earth, we should have love for our earth and its people. And because of this love, we need to exercise our right to criticize each other’s actions, hold those in power accountable, and draw people that were cast aside closer to us and our hearts.

This should not just make up our own moral center, but also how we identify as Marists. Being Marist connects us to our spirituality, and from spirituality comes reflection. Reflection is key to helping us realize our role in this journey of life, and it helps us realize what we need to do to create a change in our community and greater society. Without reflection, we become burnt out when we are constantly running towards a world that we want to create. Reflect and regain your fire, spirit, and sight of the path you need to follow and people you give your strength to.

Saint Marcellin Champagnat is an example for alleviating issues of marginalization as he established schools in rural areas where children had no access to education.He made this his entire life’s goal. As extensions of Champagat’s work and his vision, and as people that are interconnected with each other, exercise your right to criticize and demand change where you see injustice. We are Champagnat today for ourselves, tomorrow for the world we want to live in, and always in our hearts.

Early Learning Festival

By Pre-School News

Learning through play promoted at Sacred Heart College

Sacred Heart College hosted an Early Learning Festival to promote learning through play on May 13.

ALSO READ: Learners of Sacred Heart College knit for a good cause

The event emphasised the importance of play in a child’s development and fostering their social and cognitive skills.

Themed Play to Learn, Learn to Play, the festival attracted parents, teachers, and early childhood professionals.

Learning through play promoted at Sacred Heart College

Sacred Heart College hosted an Early Learning Festival to promote learning through play on May 13.

ALSO READ: Learners of Sacred Heart College knit for a good cause

The event emphasised the importance of play in a child’s development and fostering their social and cognitive skills.

Themed Play to Learn, Learn to Play, the festival attracted parents, teachers, and early childhood professionals.

Throughout the festival, children participated in hands-on activities designed to enhance their cognitive abilities, problem-solving skills, and confidence.

ALSO READ: Sacred Heart College celebrates youth

The event fostered a safe and nurturing environment for young learners to explore new experiences and situations, allowing them to grow and develop at their own pace.

The school extended its gratitude to all the teachers, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and other experts who played a role in organising and delivering a ‘memorable’ learning experience.

“Their dedication, expertise, and commitment to early childhood development were invaluable.

The festival’s success reinforced Sacred Heart College’s mission to provide an inclusive and holistic education that nurtures the potential of every child.

By integrating play-based learning into the curriculum, the college remained at the forefront of educational innovation, equipping young learners with the skills and confidence to thrive in a rapidly changing world,” stated Blanckensee.

Why do children tell lies?

By Pre-School News, Primary School News

I was on a school camp once when the camp coordinator came to me and asked if a girl, he had sent to me had come to speak to me. She hadn’t come to speak to me and was a little confused. I didn’t know anything. So, I called Rita and asked her why she told the camp leader she had spoken to me – she was speechless, she had been caught out!

As much as we might like to think that our children will always tell the truth, the reality is that lying is something most children experiment with at one point or another. Teachers, parents and guardians should keep in mind that telling lies is a natural part of child development and that in most instances children outgrow this behaviour.

Children learn to lie from about the age of two. The first lies children learn to tell are denials of doing something wrong. From the age of three they also learn to tell ‘white lies’. These are lies that are told to benefit other people or to be polite. For example, a child learns that you don’t tell granny about it when you’ve made a surprise birthday cake for her. And when your friend’s mother gives you a present you should thank her, even if the present is something you really don’t like.

Telling lies well is a social skill which we teach children, and young children find lying convincingly difficult. They often fail at this when they are asked further questions.

A child as young as age three is perfectly capable of knowingly telling a lie to avoid getting into trouble or to get something he or she wants. Some other common reasons for lying in school-age children include:

  • Wishful imaginative play
  • To avoid something they don’t want to do (such as clean up toys)
  • To avoid punishment
  • A desire to brag to friends/classmates to boost status and impress them
  • A desire to not disappoint parents when expectations are too high
  • Unhappiness with something in their lives
  • An attempt to get attention.

An article on the internet called How to Handle Lying in Children provided some helpful tips to keep in mind when dealing with lying:

  • Get to the root cause of the lie. Is your child simply telling a tall tale as part of fantasy play? Or is she deliberately trying to mislead you because she doesn’t want to be punished?
  • Give your child consequences, rather than punishment. What’s the difference? Punishment comes from a place of anger whereas consequences are focused on correcting the misbehaviour.
  • Do not make your child feel like he cannot come to you. If a child is worried that you will be angry, he may try to avoid telling you the truth at all costs. The important thing is to help your child feel secure, safe, and supported so that he knows he can talk to you without losing your affection and love. Explain to your child that if he tells you the truth, you will not become angry, and that the truth is more important to you than anything else.
  • Be clear about your expectations. Tell your child that lying is something that you do not want in your home. Let her know that telling the truth is just as important as other good behaviour that you expect from her such as speaking to you in a respectful manner.
  • Assess your own behaviour when it comes to telling the truth. Do you often resort to lying when you want to avoid a situation or to get something you want? For instance, if your child hears you telling a neighbour that you cannot feed her cat while she’s on a trip because you have a sick relative when the truth is that you secretly don’t like that cat, then your child will get the message that adults lie when it’s convenient for them.

Psychologists tell us that lying is as much a developmental milestone as any other cognitive task. Children who are brighter have a better ability to tell lies!

Once children are old enough to understand the difference between truth and lies, it’s good to encourage and support them, to tell the truth. You can do this by emphasising the importance of honesty in your family and praising your child for being honest.

By Mark Potterton

Dr Mark Potterton is the principal of Sacred Heart College Primary and the co-author of the book Fairness for All: Doing Discipline Differently.