• Fr. Peter Scott

January 2018 - Newsletter


January 25, 2018

Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

Dear parents of St. John the Baptist Catholic School,

It is with enthusiasm and the desire for perfection that we enter into the new school year. Motivation is the key to the success of your children`s studies. We must all be aware that we are living in a culture of sloth and indifference, as if nothing is important. Our first effort is to overcome this dead weight of laziness and carelessness. We cannot do this alone, but depend upon your help.

Nothing can help our students achieve well as much as parents who are truly interested in what they are doing. This means asking them every day what they have learnt, and checking their school books, to make sure that their exercises are done neatly and that they are complete. Reward for work well done, and for good grades are a great help. We depend upon you to continue what we are doing in school; that is encouraging the learner to do their very best on every exercice, and keeping them away from distractions that are harmful to their young minds, especially excessive audio-visual stimulation in the form of movies, television, video and computer games. It is also essential that you insist that they have an early bedtime, so that they are fresh for the next day. Never believe them when they say they have no homework. Instead, help them to remember what their homework is: mathematics problems, a composition, reading a novel, making a summary, revising for a test are just some of the assignments that are given.

Another difficulty that we have with our students is that they are frequently satisfied with simply memorizing answers to questions or problems. This is not education. Education requires thought, analysis, explanation and comparison. This is much harder than simply memorizing answers. Yet it is fundamental to a good high school education. One of the reasons why we appreciate the Cambridge curriculum so much is that it places a great emphasis on such real thought and analysis. Encourage your children in the same direction, namely to always ask the question `why?` regardless of the subject.

I remind you that one of the school rules is that students are not to bring cell phones to school. There are no exceptions. They will be confiscated for the term if found. Students who need to call must use the school telephone.

There has been a problem with the stationery list for the high school. The students were asked to purchase ring binders and loose leaf sheets. However, many are not familiar with working with loose leaf sheets and do not have them. Consequently, they need to replace them exercise books for each subject so that they can keep their notes together in an ordered manner.

Communication with the teachers is fundamental. They are available after school is out, that is from 2:30 – 3:00 pm. Do not hesitate to request an appointment to discuss your child`s performance and how to improve it.

Security for the children is of great concern to us. It is for this reason that we do not allow students to wander off the school grounds. Once they arrive in the morning, they are not to leave the property until their transport arrives to pick them up. Those students who walk home must not loiter, but must go directly home after school. High school boys (Grade 8 and above) are dropping off at the St. Joseph House and picked up there likewise. They also are not to wander the streets. If they have not been picked up by 3:00 pm, they must come to the main school to await their transport. Since we are responsible for the students, infractions to these rules, especially by high school students, are taken very seriously.

Some students have asked about the sacrament of baptism. Since a baptized Catholic is bound by the laws of the Catholic Church, he must after baptism attend Mass every Sunday. Consequently, only those children who have proven their ability to assist at Mass every Sunday, are eligible for the sacrament of baptism. We will likewise be having Confirmations this November. This sacrament that makes soldiers of Christ will only be administered to those children in Grade 5 and above who attend Sunday Mass and the Sunday Confirmation preparation class.

Please be assured of my prayers for God`s blessings on you and on your families and children during this year.

Yours faithfully in Jesus, Mary and Joseph,

Father Peter R. Scott


#catholicschool #school #SouthAfrica #Johannesburg #Africa #sjbcs #january2018

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