St Joseph's School, Stanthorpe | Living Mercy since 1875



“As the Principal of St Joseph’s School, I feel it is important that we keep the lines of communication open and honest. The staff and I are aiming to ensure parents are comfortable to ask questions and to actively engage in their son/daughter’s education,” Mr Kendall said. “In the past week on both campuses, we have extended invitations to parents to visit the school and engage with where we are heading.

The Primary Campus held an information afternoon for parents to pop in and meet the teachers and visit classrooms. The parents of Years 10, 11 and 12 were also invited to a Senior School Parent Information Evening with guest speaker Mr Christopher Oakes, Acting Deputy Principal at St Michael’s College, Merrimac and formally Head of Senior School at St Laurence’s College, Brisbane.

In his presentation, titledSurviving Senior School (A Practical Guide for Parents), Mr Oakes discussed many of the key issues facing students today and underlined how parents can help them to have a successful and healthy time in Senior School. Topics covered anxiety and depression, internet and gaming addiction and pornography.

Mr Oakes spoke to parents about the need to be careful with allowing their children access to phones, laptops and gaming machines especially during the evening. “This is because students have trouble withdrawing from social media and gaming, access inappropriate material and lose sleep which affects their studies and wellbeing,” Mr Oakes said.  “Students can feel stress at school, especially for the Year 12s who have a huge year. Parents need to monitor student’s behaviour patterns and ensure their child finds the happy balance between their many commitments and ‘play’,” he added.

Mr Oakes further spoke to parents about observing changes in their child and to seeking help if they notice any signs of withdrawal, avoidance or mood change. “A good way of checking your child’s coping capability is to take note if your child smiles regularly. If your child hardly ever smiles or has stopped smiling, then research says that your child is not coping with school and/or other issues. Not smiling changes brain neuroplasticity and, in extreme cases, can bring about depression and other mental issues - that is why it is so important to laugh regularly!” Chris said.

The evening proved to be a great success with a good attendance by parents.