Inter school Cross country training

Firstly thanks to all of the parents who helped with the House Cross country event, clearly we couldn’t have done it without you.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 1st August, I should be able to get to Davallia   for 3:15 for anyone who wants a quick guide of the course.  I’ll stay on for training 3:30 to 4:00.  I’m sorry I can’t take responsibility for your child.  You could come and walk/run with your child or take a post where you would have the best view.

Anyone who wishes to practise can use the track at any time out of school hours so I hope you can give your proud inter school competitor a few chances.  I can try to get back to meet you another time if need be.

My email –


Don’t forget to check out the latest Blog on You Can Do It! Parents

Child and Parent Factors That Impact Child Anxiety

A considerable body of research has identified various child and parent factors that contribute to and maintain anxiety symptoms in children. Yet relatively few studies have examined child factors (including threat-based cognitive bias, neuroticism, gender, puberty and age) as well as parent factors (including maternal anxiety and child-rearing style) and the extent to which these factors serve as predictors of child anxiety.

A Griffith University team in Queensland set out to examine the extent to which child and parent factors are uniquely associated with child anxiety symptoms. They also set out to determine whether associations of child factors (which included child neuroticism and cognitive bias) with child anxiety were indirect via maternal rearing behaviour.
The participants were a large sample of children between 7 and 12 years of age with varying levels of anxiety, including those with diagnosed anxiety disorders. Data were collected from both children and parents, and age, gender and pubertal status were also considered.

Key findings:

  • Parental anxiety is a significant risk factor for child anxiety, given the higher than expected incidence rates of anxiety in parents of anxious children, compared to the general population.
  • Mothers who self-reported more trait anxiety had children with higher levels of self-reported anxiety symptoms.
  • Mothers’ anxious child-rearing and over-protection were associated with elevated child anxiety symptoms.
  • Child temperament characterized by high levels of arousal and emotionality may evoke child- rearing behaviours from mothers focused on minimising potential risk exposure and harm, which in turn, could elevate anxiety symptoms.
  • Early maturing girls experience more symptoms of anxiety and depression, and these symptoms are more stable over a subsequent four-year period than in normally maturing girls.
  • Pubertal stage is considered a more powerful predictor of girls’ internalising symptoms and disorders than chronological age and in comparison with boys.
  • Children were more anxious when they were reported to be more advanced in pubertal status by their parents, when they had a tendency to interpret more threats in ambiguous situations, and when they self-reported more neuroticism.

Things you can do:

  • Chill out more often. Make time for yourself and time for your kids. Take a long walk together, visit a bookshop or library where kids can relax without having to talk).
  • As a family, practise relaxation techniques (deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, exercise, visualisation, laughing, stretching, dancing, listening to music, singing, reading together, meditating together).
  • Reassess your parenting style. Are you a helicopter parent or in danger of becoming one?
  • Keep screen time to a minimum, especially if your child is excitable or easily agitated.
  • Encourage age-appropriate independence – and not just for your kids. You need time out to be as independent of them as they are of you.
  • Talk often about fears and how they can, in many cases, be unfounded.
  • Make sure your kids know how and where to contact you in an emergency – not every five minutes.
  • Ensure everyone has a good night’s sleep and that healthy family nutrition is a top priority.
  • Parent from the heart, rather than parenting from online advice and the myriad of books on how to be a ‘super’ parent.
Source: Waters, et al., Journal of Anxiety Disorders 26 (2012) pp737-745

Takeaway from Professor Michael Bernard: 

If we are significantly anxious about our parenting, overprotective, over-nurturing or constantly worried about perceived threats to our kids, we run the risk of our kids becoming anxious and fearful as a result. If our kids happen to be prone to symptoms of anxiety and neuroticism, over-protective parenting can serve to reinforce their fears. The onus is on us, as parents and adults, to consciously try to monitor our own stress levels, to help our kids with theirs.

For more information and resources on positive and effective parenting, visit:

Michael E. Bernard, Ph.D.
Professor, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
University of Melbourne
Founder, You Can Do It! Education

To view previous issues of ParentingWorks, please visit our website:

Kids are unique, and so are their interests
Spotting your child’s interests makes a big difference in how your child turns out.
When we watch kids in a play situation, it’s intriguing to see the sorts of activities and equipment they naturally gravitate to. Some head straight outside to the swings and slides, yelling and squealing all the way. Others might decide the dress up corner is the place to be because that’s where their friends are, while others will happily sit at a table with craft materials, talking to no-one in particular, but comprehensively engaged in what they’re creating. Every kid is unique and so are their interests…Read more

Inter-school Swim Squad training

All children who think they may be in the top seven swimmers for freestyle, breaststroke and backstroke should attend training if possible.  All children are welcome.

We want to field our best six in each stroke and need to have a reserve listed.

Training dates for the Inter-school Carnival are: Tuesday 14 March, Thursday 16 March and Tuesday 28 March.

It will be helpful to record times again and places to be sure we have all in the correct divisions.  Each session will also have practise for the  medley and freestyle relays.

The list will be on my window in the morning.  I am not permitted to publish it here.

Once again we rely on parent help at training.  Thanks for all of the help to get us to this point!!

Connecting with Cambodia

 I have been fortunate to be invited to spend January in Cambodia to participate in the Angkor Project and teach in schools.
Whilst Glengarry does not have a sister school there, I will be finding out about how it all works.
If you have any pens or pencils which you want to go to a good home, I will take them with me.  I can’t carry paper as it’s too heavy but even team hats, erasers sharpeners are all appreciated.
Read below to find out more.


The Angkor Project

The Angkor Project overview

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela

Children helping to rebuild the schools of Cambodia through sister school relationships

To best prepare our students to be part of a shared future of regional stability, prosperity and peace, they need to engage with studies of Asia and Asian languages to build Asia literacy across our school communities. Such views are supported by Australian politicians, business leaders and educators, and are reflected in the Australian Curriculum general capabilities, the cross curriculum priority of Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia, and in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.

The White Paper includes strategies for Building Asia Literacy through Schools to ensure that:

  • “Every student will have significant exposure to studies of Asia across the curriculum to increase their cultural knowledge and skills and enable them to be active in the region; and
  • “All schools will engage with at least one school in Asia to support the teaching of a priority Asian language, including through increased use of the National Broadband Network.” (Executive Summary, p16).

These significant national documents reiterate the need to develop people to people links across the Asian region to build Asia relevant capabilities.

Aims of the Angkor Project

  1. Promote cooperation in education between the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (Cambodia) and the Department of Education (Western Australia);
  2. Build mutual capacity in the Cambodian and Western Australian educations systems; and
  3. Establish cultural awareness between Western Australia and Cambodia.

These aims will be met through sister school relationships and the provision of professional learning programs to Cambodian educators. Children, teachers and school administrators will all benefit as a result of participation.

The Angkor Project in a regional context

  • There has been an increase of 2 billion people since 1950 and much of this growth has been in the Asia region;
  • 61 million children around the world did not get the chance to go to school today.
  • 134 million children between the ages of 7 to 18 have never been to school.
  • 26 million of these children live in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Currently two thirds of the world’s poor live in Asia;
  • Economic progress has assisted large portions of the population within the Asia region to rise out of poverty;
  • However, Southeast Asia’s poorest people lack access to essential services, safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and face rising rates of tuberculosis and HIV AIDS; and
  • Living conditions of large sections of the populations of poor people in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos) and the Philippines, in particular, still lag far behind those in neighbouring countries.

Here is the challenge; to break the cycle of poverty through education in Cambodia.

At the heart of the Angkor Project are 22 sister-school relationships, linking Western Australian students with schools in the Kampong Speu Province, 50km from the capital Phnom Penh.

Schools in Kampong Speu Province lack basic amenities such as drinking water, adequate sanitation, electricity and classrooms, problems which are compounded by a lack of trained teachers and administrators. School classes, on average, comprise 50 students and there are few teaching resources.

Central to the aims of the Angkor Project therefore, is fundraising, instigated and organised by our students to support the rebuilding of schools in Cambodia. All funds raised by WA students are transferred to the District Office in Kampong Speu for further distribution to sister schools. This process is monitored through an annual study tour, available to all WA public school educators, which includes visiting and teaching in sister schools and an option to contribute to professional learning for Cambodian principals and teachers.

There are myriad benefits provided by the Angkor Project; it gives our students and schools a global perspective, promotes active citizenship and develops Asia literacy across school communities. Significantly, it improves the learning environment for Cambodian students in a very practical sense and develops strong, sustainable and mutually beneficial intercultural relationships within our region.