From the Principal
As the final week of the 2021 school year approaches, we can reflect on those events that were both unexpected and challenging. We can also look back on a year that drew us closer as a school community and developed resilience and a deep gratitude for what we had once taken for granted. We look ahead to the new year, with hopes for a settled and productive period of on-campus learning, sport, musicals and so much more! Best wishes to our Emanuel School families, for a safe, enjoyable summer break.
Parent self care
As this had been a challenging year for both parents and students, I wanted to finish with some sage advice from Michael Gross, parenting expert:
Parents are known for putting their children’s needs ahead of their own. With the mantra of ‘be involved’ in your child’s life a dominant parenting message, it’s now common for parents to neglect their own social and wellbeing needs to give their children the best possible start in life. This selfless approach is commendable, but questionable if it means you are constantly stretched, stressed, and tired. Parenting is draining. Kids by their very nature take more than they give. Even the most loving, affectionate child will exhaust you at times so it’s important to replenish, refresh and reinvigorate yourself. Parenting author Maggie Dent says, “If we don’t care for ourselves, not only do we run the risk of parenting less effectively and compassionately, but we are not modelling self-care for our children”. Taking time for yourself seems obvious. However, the reality for many parents is that they are hard-wired to prioritise the wellbeing of others.
Start by giving yourself permission. Setting strict boundaries around key self-care activities help to make sure self-care happens. Turning occasional self-care into an ongoing habit is a great way to make sure you look after yourself. First, you need to give yourself permission to prioritise mental health and wellbeing, at least some of the time. So, what self-care activities should you be prioritising?
- Regular exercise: Walking is affordable and accessible for the time poor!
- Social activities: Staying connected to other adults should be a priority.
- Being mindful: Staying in the present moment, even for a minute or two each day.
- Seek out play: Maintain hobbies and interests, making and tinkering.
- Decide to savour: Enjoy a special moment and make it a daily habit.
Taking care of your physical, psychological, and social needs helps you be the best parent you can be. Set aside time for self-care even when you feel like you don’t have a single second to devote to yourself. Experiment with different self-care activities to figure it out.
Our community’s support – your support
Can you believe that there is only seven days left until the end of our Capital Appeal 2021? It seems like only yesterday when we first started the conversation about this important fundraising opportunity which only comes around once every seven or so years. I know that David New, our School Board President, is planning on announcing the final amount raised at High School Speech Night on Thursday 9 December, so there are only a few days left for you to make your pledge and help create our bright future. The new building that we are raising money for will be an invaluable resource for all our students for decades to come. Our community’s support – your support – is what counts. Please give what you can, please give now. It’s easy to donate, just click here.
Farewell to Rabbi Danny Siegel
Next week marks the departure of Rabbi Siegel, our Head of Jewish Life, following six years of faithful and loyal service to our School. Rabbi Siegel is well regarded within the Emanuel School and the broader Jewish community. Throughout his time at the School, he has provided strong support for our mission, values, and ethos. Rabbi Siegel has served the School well and will depart at the end of the year with our sincere best wishes for the future.
The international recruitment process for our new Head of Jewish Life will shortly conclude, and we hope to be in a position to announcement the appointment early in Term 1, 2022.
This week all students from Pre-school to Year 6, as well as the Year 10 students on Machane Ayekah, took part in a wonderful hands-on project creating a series of over 15 oversized mosaic artworks of various Jewish Symbols. The pieces, that took many hours of concentration, detailed instruction and litres of very strong glue to bring into being, will be proudly and permanently exhibited around the School. This project, developed in collaboration with the Capital Appeal and Primary Jewish Life Teams, will leave an indelible and very bright reminder to us that it takes many people working together on a common project to create something we are proud to call our own.
These Pre-schoolers had much to say about the experience – I think they enjoyed the experience!
“I did the whole entire green section. It took 50 green mosaics to do it. The combination of how you stick the tiles on, is the art you can create with your hands.” ~ Oliver Frank
“I liked spreading the glue. It was pretty satisfying.” ~ Alice Berkovic
“I liked all the different colours, especially the blue and pink. We had to put them in places and glue them on. It was fun!” ~ Daisy Salamon
Reminder – High School
Please remember that High School students will finish school at 1.10pm on Monday 6 December.
High School Speech Day
We look forward to welcoming parents to High School Speech Day online on Thursday 9 December 2021. Please click on the link below to join us at 1.45 pm.
An impressive mazal tov section
This week I am very proud to list a number of exceptional achievements across the School:
International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS): Medal winner
ICAS provides online assessments, designed to recognise, and reward academic excellence. Students are asked to demonstrate a deeper, integrated, and thorough level of knowledge. Our Years 3-6 students are offered the opportunity to participate in a range of ICAS competitions, conducted annually in Australia and in over 20 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Pacific countries, and America. Top scoring students in each year level in each subject are awarded an ICAS medal.
I am delighted to announce that Year 5 student, Alicia Randall, has been awarded the top result in ICAS Writing and will receive an ICAS medal! We look forward to honouring this success once the medal is received. Alicia deserves high praise and mazal tov for this rare and impressive achievement.
Giving back to others during COVID times
Gabrielle Morrissey Hansen, CEO of Kids Giving Back, has expressed her appreciation for those Emanuel students who participated in online programs, such as connecting with the elderly in aged facilities, and making and donating animal toys. Despite the isolation of lockdown, these students stepped forward and gave back to others. Mazal tov to Benjamin Pellow, Hannah Pellow, Mahli Olian, Jude Olian, Kirra Olian, Gemma Jacobson and Samara Strugar.
It is wonderful to hear of our students engaging in service-learning programs that build empathy, experience altruism, achieve a sense of belonging and empowerment for changing the world one positive impact at a time. This is how mensches are formed!
An exciting and new initiative that Kids Giving Back offers, is the Youth Changemaker (for students aged 14-18 years). This unique program provides a pathway for teens to take initiative and autonomy to add value to their communities while also participating in service-learning program with other like-minded peers with a heart for service across our Sydney region.
Partnering with The Smith Family – student2student reading program
Seven of our students offered their time freely and shared their love of reading, with another child, giving a combined total of 126 hours of patient support of vulnerable children, living in poverty. These student volunteers, under the leadership of Jennifer Selinger, have honoured the value of service with vulnerable communities. Mazal tov to Daniel Langman, Ezra Glover-Sanders, Kenya Martin, Noa Wajsman, Summer Fine, Alix Cane and Aron Harpaz.
Emanuel School Writers’ Awards
Mazal tov to the following students for their participation and success in the annual Emanuel School Writers’ Awards. Thank you to David Camp, Head of English and the English Department for once again managing this very successful highlight of the year. The English Department has created a website to showcase the Awards and the students’ work. Please click on the article, Our Writers, for more information.
Emanuel School Writer of the Year: Jessica Lowy
Year 12 Writers of the Year: Jessica Lowy and Jordan Stein
Year 12 Most Dedicated Writer: Ariella Tracton
Year 11 Writer of the Year: Eden Glass
Year 11 Most Dedicated Writer: Lilly Goldberg
Year 10 Writer of the Year: Arielle Melamed
Year 10 Most Dedicated Writer: Maayan Granot
Year 9 Writer of the Year: Alice Milner
Year 9 Most Dedicated Writer: Jasper Selinger
Year 8 Writer of the Year: Jessica Linker
Year 8 Most Dedicated Writer: Liberty Waldner
Year 7 Writer of the Year: Daniel Zipser
Year 7 Most Dedicated Writer: Oscar Salek
Quote of the week
“Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” Golda Meir ~ Golda Meir, Israeli politician, teacher, and kibbutznikit who served as the fourth prime minister of Israel