From the Principal

Five months ago, the government gave education its biggest ever funding boost. Victoria is being described by the government as the ‘Education State’ and the government plans to support ‘leaders to lead and teachers to teach’. Mr Merlino said that there will be a focus on excellence and equity. The government is looking for evidence to focus on what matters most. The government’s aim is to do the very best we can for every child in the state and the starting point is raising student achievement. The government is to establish a platform which focuses on education for life. They want to break the link between poor economic circumstances and poor achievement, and they know that higher retention rates need to be achieved at secondary education level – they want to halve the number of students dropping out before Year 12.

The government has set ambitious targets and they want to see community pride in the government school system. Quality education should be available no matter where students go to school. Targeted equity funding is being made available. There is a revised equity funding model with a 70% increase in equity funding, and two thirds of this going to the primary sector. They want to improve the quality of teaching in classrooms. They want to see a focusing on the learning growth of individual children and they will provide additional funding in Primary Maths and Science. Great schools need great leaders, but unfortunately currently only half the number required of principals that we need for future school needs are being trained. They want principals to collaborate with other principals and schools. There will be 17 new areas within existing regions and 160 new staff will be employed in regions.

We have already been doing most of these things here at Eltham North Primary for over a decade and longer. Unfortunately because of our high socio-economic status our school will only receive $12,000 as part of the Equity Funding announcement for 2106.

Planning for 2016

Effective planning is based on accurate information and the first piece of the jigsaw is to sort out student enrolment numbers.  Enrolments influence class structures, class sizes, staffing allocations and resource budgeting.  If you know you will be leaving the Eltham North community at the end of 2015, please contact the office as soon as possible with a phone call or letter.  Your support in this matter will assist with further planning.  Teachers are currently forming the new 2016 classes.

Remembrance Day  

(next Wednesday) Is the day Australians remember those who have died in war. In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice came into effect ending World War 1, bringing to an end four years of hostilities that saw 61,919 Australians die at sea, in the air and on foreign soil. Few Australian families were left untouched by the events of World War 1 - 'the war to end all wars'. Most had lost a father, son, daughter, brother, sister or friend.

Originally called Armistice Day, November 11th was set aside to pay tribute to all those who died in World War I. Following the end of World War 2 it was renamed Remembrance Day, and has become a day to honour all those who have died or suffered in wars serving Australia.  The symbol of Remembrance Day is the red Flanders poppy. This poppy is the symbol because it was the first flower to grow in the battlefields in Northern France and Belgium following the armistice.  Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps wrote a poem that soon became the unofficial anthem of the soldiers in the trenches where it was memorised and passed on by word of mouth.

In 1918 an American woman, Moira Michael, wrote a poem in response to “In Flanders Field”, titled "We shall keep the faith". In her poem she promised to wear a poppy to honour the dead. This was where the tradition to wear a poppy on Remembrance Day was first begun; a tradition that still exists today.  

Remembrance day poppies are available at the school office and will be distributed throughout the school by our Junior School Councillors, so please send some small coins with your child should you wish to purchase.

Asthma News

Many children suffer from asthma and I have had requests to insert some information from the Asthma Foundation.

Asthma: 10 things to tell your doctor

Symptoms

1. If you wake up coughing, wheezing or breathless

2. If you struggle to keep up with normal activity

Triggers

3. Anything that seems to trigger/make your asthma worse

4. What you do about your triggers and whether this helps

Medication

5. How often you take your blue reliever puffer

6. How often you take your preventer medication

7. How you use your device