Principal's Report

School Council Election Result

Results of the election process has been declared. Congratulations to Sharon Arena who is duly elected for two years.  As well, there was one DET teachers nominated and Michelle Lucas take up this position. David Walker has been co-opted to a parent vacancy.  School Council matters:  At our March School Council meeting, office bearers will be selected to the executive and councillors selected as members of our project teams. I feel confident that all council members are very passionate and capable in being able to represent and support the whole school community.  They will work very hard to build partnerships and relationship with parents, students and teachers and fulfil their obligations as the Council Board.

 Assembly Presentations

We have had positive parental support at the assemblies this year.  Our year Prep classes have joined us for two weeks.

 Transition in classes

We are well into term one and students are settled and working well in classrooms. They know how the room operates and have established a positive relationship with their teachers. The change of levels can be a huge emotional event for the children and today I’d like to share with you some features and reflections on how this wonderful achievement has taken place.

 Last year unit coordinators were given the responsibility to work with teachers and create class lists for 2016.  They took into account the following:

  • each child's individual learning capabilities in Literacy, Numeracy and other curriculum areas
  • the child’s known social, emotional, and physical stages of individual development
  • the child's ability to cope with change
  • the needs of learners with special needs in each class grouping
  • balancing the number of males and females in each classroom where possible
  • the individual friendship groupings
  • creating classes which have similar educational and behavioural profiles, making allowance for possible growth in class numbers;
  • written parental requests based on educational grounds.

 Information from parents was considered alongside teachers’ views and social requests and the needs of particular groups of students so that there were positive class placements for every student. To improve our transition process, teacher teams were defined and students were moved to their new class and new room to become familiar will this setting. In term four, students had visits to their future class.  By the end of 2015 familiarity had been established with their new teacher and class group and the kids knew where to line up for the first assembly in 2016. The new year started off with a three week start up program, which provides a bonding and nurturing experience for the class.  Teachers had researched our school data base (known as E’SLIP) and portfolios to find out valuable background information about their class and they had been given time for a handover session from the 2015 pass over teacher. 

 At the start of 2016, teachers defined and established the values, norms and routines for ‘how we will operate as a class’ and ‘getting to know you’ sessions.  Assessment was conducted during the first three weeks and additional observations occurred to enable the class teacher to tune teaching to the ability level of each child in literacy and numeracy.  Emotional and social needs were identified and considered and trust, respect and rapport established between teacher and students.  Parents gained the opportunity to find out more about the learning goals the children set as target for 2016 during the Parent Student Teacher conferences in February.  During February the support staff formed both support and extension groups for all levels and structured programs and timetables for immediate implementation in literacy and numeracy. The purpose of the support and extension programs is to enable groups of students to gain quality and intensive skills and knowledge.  In 2015 for instance more than 100 children joined a support program and 50 students attended an extension program.  In late February, student leadership processes were implemented and formal leadership groups established Prep – year 6.  Year 4 camp was completed to provide an additional bonding between the whole year four team (teachers and students). Year 6 camp takes place in March.  We are constantly trying to improve our transitions between levels and a separate process takes place for Kinder – Prep transition and year 6 – year 7 transition.

School Photo Day  

All students and class group photos were taken last week.  We were impressed by their manners and way they operated.

 Year 4 Camp

The year four students have completed their outdoor education camp at Mt Evelyn Recreational Adventure Camp.  An enormous amount of planning and effort goes into organising our camps and I wish to congratulate the team for their hard work. Year 6 students go to Phillip Island next week.

 Annual Reporting Meeting in two weeks: The School Performance data for 2015 will be presented to the school community.  Parents are invited to attend.  The staff is pleased with the positive results in Literacy: Reading and Writing sections and a positive result in Numeracy.  Additionally the report will be placed on our school web site as part of DET Accountability requirements. 

 Student Attendance

Our focus on improved student attendance rates reflects the findings of international research that demonstrates a strong correlation between students learning, longer-term life outcomes, attendance at school and appropriate participation in education programs.  The Department expresses the opinion that students develop habits of regular attendance at an early age; even from the time they are enrolled in a pre-school setting. Poor patterns of attendance place students at risk of not achieving their educational, social and psychological potential and are disadvantaged in the quality of choices they are able to make in later life situations. Information for parents about student absence procedures are enclosed.  

What is my responsibility as a parent/caregiver?    
Make sure your child:

Attends school on all school days
Is on time every day
Make sure you update Compass, to provide the school with an explanation if your child is away
Contact the school if your child does not want to go to school
Arrange doctor and dentist appointments out of school hours
Arrange personal shopping trips with your son/daughter or birthday celebrations out of school hours
Do not allow your child to stay at home for minor reasons

Is regular attendance at school important?

Yes – from the first day. If your child misses the basic skills in primary school they can experience difficulties with their learning
Regular attendance is essential to make sure learning is not disrupted.
Regular learning provides building blocks for the future
Schools help children to develop important social skills, such as friendship building, teamwork, communication skills and a healthy self-esteem.
What can I expect from the school?
Monitoring of student attendance and review progress on a weekly basis
Strategies to help you as a parent encourage your child to go to school.

What help can I get if my child refuses to go to school?

The school can offer a range of support options
Teacher working with the student in a supportive, counselling role
School student welfare co-ordinator working with the student
Provide a mentor for your child
Home visits to identify the problem and help work it through with parents
Identify reasons why your child doesn’t want to go to school
Strategies to help you encourage your child to go to school
Develop an incentive program to encourage your child to attend school

Must I send my child to school every day?

Yes, unless
Your child is too sick or injured to go to school
Your child has an infectious disease
The principal is provided with any other genuine and acceptable reason for absence.

What if my child is involved in sport?

No – as long as it is part of the school program
Do I need to let the school know if my child has been away?
Yes – for the wellbeing of your child

The Department (DET) has an attendance policy and teachers and schools are required to follow up student absences.

 National guidelines for the safe restraint of children travelling in motor vehicles

The National Guidelines for the Safe Restraint of Children Travelling in Motor Vehicles have been developed by Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and Kidsafe – The Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia.

Children of different sizes and ages need different types of restraints. The guidelines recommend that children use a booster seat until they are too tall for the booster seat or can achieve good seatbelt fit as assessed by the 5 Step Test.

A good adult seatbelt fit is generally not achieved before children are approximately 145-150 cm tall or 10-12 years of age. The Child Restraint Guidelines also recommend that children under 12 years of age are safest in the rear seat.

The Guidelines include an easy 5 Step Test to assist parents to assess whether a child is ready to use an adult seatbelt. VicRoads recommends parents use the 5 Step Test to ensure their children’s safety at all times.

  • Can the child sit with their back against the vehicle seat back?
  • Do the child’s knees bend in front of the edge of the seat?
  • Does the sash belt sit across the middle of the shoulder?
  • Is the lap belt sitting low across the hips touching the thighs?
  • Can the child stay seated like this for the whole trip?
     
  • To access the Child Restraint Guidelines, see: www.kidsafe.com.au/crguidelines  

No Parking in staff car park and regulations re parking in Lower Road

 A reminder to all parents that the car park off Short Road is a STAFF car park only. The safety of our students is paramount.  It is a busy car park and parents are not to park in this car park under any circumstances to drop students off in the mornings or collect children in the afternoons. The Short road car park is the only car park for staff with roughly 20 parks for over 70 staff.  Double parking is the only option for staff, so we cannot have parents using this car park and being blocked in by staff who are then unable to move their cars, or parents blocking staff in after school with staff needing to attend meetings off site and cannot get out.

 The drop off zone behind the school in Lower Road is to be used for dropping off and collecting in the afternoons.  This is a 5 minute zone and parents also need to strictly adhere to the times so this area flows smoothly.  This zone is available for 5 minute drop off between 8am - 9.15am and 5 minute pick up between 3pm - 4pm weekdays. Parking inspectors will fine drivers for parking illegally by leaving their car in the drop off zone for more than 5 minutes. Additionally, neighbours are frustrated by parents who drive into and block their driveway access to and from their houses.

 Should you wish to arrive at school and spend time in the school grounds prior to the bell, then please park across at the Adventure Playground where there are no time restrictions.

We understand parking around the school can be difficult but if all Parents adhere to the parking guidelines then it is much easier for everyone and runs smoothly.