RWPS eNewsletter Term 1 Week 2

24102


Principal's Report

Dear Parents, Students and Friends,

Welcome back to all of our returning families and a big welcome to all of our new families. I hope that everyone had a most restful and enjoyable holiday period and that all of our students are as excited as the teachers are to be back to school. I’m sure many of our parents are breathing a sigh of relief and had big smiles on their faces last when they dropped off their children.

I know that there were a few nervous parents and students when our Foundation students commenced, but from all reports, things went quite well.

Congratulations to all of our students and teachers for a smooth start to the school year. During the first few weeks, one of my main priorities is to get into all of the classrooms as much as possible to make sure that I learn or relearn all of the students’ names.

When I visit the classrooms at the start of the year, I also observe the relationships between the teachers and their students begin to develop. The first few weeks of school is such an important time during which teachers learn about the personalities, interests and learning styles of their students. It is important for the teachers because it is during this time that they set up the behavioural and learning expectations for the year. Sometimes teachers have to come down a bit firmer during the early part of the year to ensure that the expectations in their classrooms are met, but at the same time develop positive relationships and mutual respect. It’s a tricky balance but I am confident that our teachers do it exceptionally well.

In our Staff Handbook that we went through last week as a whole staff, a section of the very first page reads:

We are all committed to our goals at Reservoir West Primary School and I know that we will continue to work together providing a quality education for our children. Set your standards high. Don’t accept anything but the best.
 
However, don’t lose sight of the fact that school is a place for students. They need to feel comfortable, secure and happy. A positive relationship with your students is the first step towards a productive year. Another very important ingredient of being a successful teacher is to ‘be approachable’ to students and parents and take all concerns seriously.
 
Follow up all incidents and make sure that parents are informed of any issue. Be extremely diligent with this.
 
I hope that you all have a satisfying and rewarding year. As usual, I’m feeling very excited and confident about 2024. I think we are set up really well for success and build on our improvement shown last year.

The ‘approachability’ aspect of being a teacher is also a bit of a tricky balance. I believe that all of our teachers are approachable and will go out of their way to make themselves available to parents to discuss any concerns. However, there are times when the teacher may not be available and we hope that parents understand this. There have been instances in the past where a parent has approached a teacher with a valid concern just before 9.00 am or even when the class has just entered the classroom in the morning, expecting the teacher to be available for a discussion. This cannot happen at that time as the teacher has a duty of care towards the students in the class and it can prove to be quite disruptive.

If you do wish to speak with a teacher about something that may take some time, the best idea is to send the teacher an email so that an appointment can be made at a time that is suitable for both parties. Teachers have a number of meetings both before and after school during the week or are often busy before school preparing the program for the day. Please consider this and if you do approach a teacher at a time that does not really suit, don’t be disappointed if your child’s teacher responds by saying something like, “I understand your concerns, but right now I unfortunately cannot give you the time to discuss it with you. Could you please email me and we can set up a time that will allow us to give your concern the time it deserves”.

Obviously, if you just want to tell your child’s teacher something quickly, please feel free to do so at an appropriate time. However, all teachers are regular email-checkers, so going through Compass to send an email is a very effective communication tool.

NEW WEBSITE AND NEWSLETTER
As you may be aware, the school has a new and updated website www.rwps.vic.edu.au which contains a good deal of information about the school. At the moment we are exploring the best way of sending out the weekly school Newsletter. We may use the website, which has an eNews function. We may use Compass and continue to send it as it has been for the past few years. We may use a combination of both. Please watch this space.

Also, instead of including an extensive calendar at the end of the Newsletter as we used to, the Compass Calendar will be kept updated and the new website calendar widget allows you to save events to your own digital calendar. As mentioned earlier, we are exploring options.

SCHOOL ASSEMBLIES AND LAST HOUR FRIDAY
With twenty-five classes this year, we have had to use the last hour on Fridays for three of our specialist lessons. Each week, one class will have Art, one will have Spanish/Music and one will have Science.

Because of this, we will be having whole-school assemblies once a month, usually on the last Friday of each month. Each term, the specialist timetable will be adjusted so that the same classes do not miss out on the assembly for more than one term.

In Term 1, whole-school assemblies will be held on the following dates:

  1. Friday 23rd February (Week 4)
  2. Friday 22nd March (Week 8)

The other Fridays will be used for classroom activities, cross-age hours and possible parent expos.

COMMUNITY BEHAVIOUR
The Department of Education and Training has a policy that describes the positive behaviour expected from parents, carers, and other adults in Victorian school communities. The policy sets clear standards of behaviour to create a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning environment for students, staff and adults.

ANNUAL PRIVACY REMINDER
Our school collects, uses, discloses and stores student and parent personal information for standard school functions or where permitted by law, as stated in the Schools’ Privacy Policy.

Please take time to remind yourself of the school’s collection statement, found on our website.

For more information about privacy, refer to: Schools’ Privacy Policy — information for parents. This information is also available many community languages:

THANK YOU
Thank you to amazing parents who volunteered to be on the watering roster for the summer break. It has allowed the great work of Rob Handley (our amazing parent garden gnome) and Sally Thomson, our amazing staff member/parent garden fairy) to survive the hot, dry holidays. Much appreciated.

HATS AND UNIFORM
All students need to have school hats to be worn whenever outside during this term. No hat – no play. Hats are available from the school office for $11.00.

With regards to uniform, this year one of my priorities (and yes, those who have been here for a while are thinking ‘here he goes again!’) is that of uniform. I am asking that all parents make an effort to have their children dressed in correct attire from the start of the year. I will also be asking the classroom teachers to monitor this and follow up with notes and phone calls home when required. The Student Dress Code is set out below. Families have had all holidays to get it right. Please note that some leniency has been proved regarding the colour of shoes, but socks still need to be grey or white – not black nor multi-coloured. PLEASE LABEL EVERYTHING!!!!

STUDENT DRESS CODE
PURPOSE
The purpose of the Student Dress Code is to outline Reservoir West Primary School’s requirements for student dress and appearance and to provide information about uniform purchase and support, dress code implementation and exemption processes. This dress code has been developed by Reservoir West Primary School’s School Council in close consultation with our school community to ensure that it respects the rights of individual students whilst reflecting the values and interests of our community.

The Student Dress Code aims to:

  • foster a sense of community and belonging and encourages students to develop pride in their appearance
  • support Reservoir West Primary School’s commitment to ensuring that our students feel equal and are dressed safely and appropriately for school activities.
  • reduce student competition on the basis of clothing
  • enhance the profile and identity of the school and its students within the wider community.

The School Council has developed a dress code that we believe provides a range of choices for students and is cost effective for families.

SCOPE
Students are expected to comply with this Student Dress Code while traveling to and from school, during school hours and when attending school activities.

UNIFORM AND APPEARANCE
Reservoir West Primary School’s compulsory school uniform items are as follows:

  • Collared shirt with Reservoir West logo – white. eg. Polo shirt, cotton school shirt, skivvy. No T-shirts.
  • Gingham dress - red/white check. Must be 1/8" check.
  • Pinafore or tunic - college charcoal grey.
  • Reservoir West windcheater – red.
  • Reservoir West bomber jacket - red and grey.
  • Shorts - college charcoal grey. Eg cotton, jersey knit, bike shorts.
  • Leggings - college charcoal grey.
  • Trousers - college charcoal grey. Eg school trousers, canvas pants, cords.
  • Track pants - college charcoal grey.
  • Skort [combination skirt/shorts] - college charcoal grey. No netball skirts.
  • Legionnaire’s hat or bucket hat with Reservoir West logo – red. Compulsory in Terms 1 & 4 and when the UV index reaches 3 or higher.
  • Shoes- predominantly black, red, white or grey. Eg. Lace up shoes, pull on boots, runners, sandals (enclosed toe).
  • Socks or tights - plain white or grey
Options
  • Grade 6 Valedictory items
  • Reservoir West beanie
  • sunglasses for outside

General appearance
While at school, travelling to or from school or participating in school activities, Example School students must comply with the following:

  • Uniforms must be clean and in good repair
  • Uniforms must be clearly marked with the owner’s name
  • Additional layers of clothing may be worn underneath the uniform for added warmth

Compliance
If a student is out of school uniform or otherwise breaches the Student Dress Code on a recurring basis, a note will be provided to the student and parents by the classroom teacher.  If non-compliance with the dress code becomes a continued occurrence, the Principal will be informed and a phone call home may be required. In this event, the school will continue to work with the student and family to support compliance.

Support for families experiencing difficulty
Please contact the Principal or school office to discuss support that we may be able to provide to families experiencing difficulty meeting uniform costs, including information about eligibility for uniform support through State Schools’ Relief. Further information about State Schools’ Relief is also available on their website: htps://www.ssr.net.au/

IMPLEMENTATION
Reservoir West Primary School will ensure that this Student Dress Code is communicated to all families and students through our website and the school Newsletter. We will assist students who may be experiencing difficulties complying with this policy where possible.

If a student is out of school uniform or otherwise breaches the Student Dress Code on a recurring basis, a note will be provided to the student and parents by the classroom teacher.  If non-compliance with the dress code becomes a continued occurrence, the Principal will be informed and a phone call home may be required. In this event, the school will continue to work with the student and family to support compliance.

EXEMPTIONS TO STUDENT DRESS CODE
We recognise that there may be situations where the application of this dress code may affect students unequally.

Students and their parents or carers may apply either in writing or in person to the Principal for an exemption to this Student Dress Code if:

  • an aspect of this code prevents the student from complying with a requirement of their religious, ethnic or cultural beliefs or background
  • the student has a particular disability or health condition that requires a departure from the dress code
  • the student or their parents/carers can demonstrate particular economic hardship that prevents them from complying with the dress code.

When the Principal receives a request for an exemption, he/she will:

  • consider the grounds for the exemption request
  • explain the process to the student and/or their parents/carers
  • encourage the student and/or their parents/carers to support their application with evidence.

The Principal or delegate will then try to negotiate a resolution that is acceptable to all parties. If an exemption is not allowed, then written reasons will be provided to the student and/or their parents or carers.

CONCERNS ABOUT THIS STUDENT DRESS CODE
Reservoir West Primary School welcomes feedback from the school community in relation to this Student Dress Code. If you have a concern or complaint about the Student Dress Code, further information about raising a concern or complaint is available in our school’s Parent Complaint Policy.

STAFF LIST 2024
Click here for the 2024 Staff List.

EXTREME HEAT
There is no Departmental Policy stating that students should be sent home when the temperature reaches a certain number of degrees.

As you know, the school has a SunSmart Policy which requires the students to wear hats and encourages them to use sunscreen from September to April or when the UV rating is 3 or higher. Teachers also encourage the students to find more passive activities to engage in during recess and lunchtimes.

I have also asked the teachers to encourage the students to bring along water bottles that can be kept close-by during class time, so that the students can keep themselves hydrated more efficiently, without having to leave the classroom for drinks from the taps. With our outdoor covered areas, the students can avail themselves of large expanses of shade and they will only be kept inside in the air-conditioned classrooms during lunchtime on days when the temperature reaches 35 degrees or more before recess or lunch.

Rest assured, the school will make sure the students are looked after on days of extreme heat and there is no need to keep them home or pick them up early from school.

CAR PARKING
With the increase in student and family numbers, car parking around the school is becoming a serious issue. At all times our priority has to be the safety of our children.

Please take note of the signed parking restrictions and utilise the ‘Kiss and Go’ areas in Carrington Road and Arbor Avenue. If possible please consider walking to school or parking further away from the school and walking the last hundred metres.

Darebin Council Parking Officers are frequently lurking around in the mornings and afternoons. Please do not come and complain to me if you get pinged. We also receive a number of regular complaints from neighbours regarding parents parking over driveways. Please be considerate.

ENTRY TO SCHOOL
Please ensure that you enter and exit the school through the pedestrian gates and not through car-park gates. This is for your own safety and especially that of younger children. There are four pedestrian gates to the school: two in Carrington Road, one in Arbor Avenue and one in Academy Avenue. The supervised pedestrian crossing in Carrington Road should be used by all families to cross the road. It is about a twenty-second walk from either of the pedestrian gates.

Also, the main entrance to the school building is not a thoroughfare and should not be used to enter or exit the school unless you are specifically intending to stop at the office.

PERSONAL PROPERTY
Personal property is often brought to school by students, staff and visitors. This can include mobile phones, calculators, toys, sporting equipment and cars parked on school premises. 

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development does not hold insurance for personal property brought to schools and it has no capacity to pay for any loss or damage to such property. Please consider this before allowing your children to bring person items of value to school.

A number of the more senior students bring mobile phones to school. This is acceptable as long as they are handed in to the class teacher at the start of the day. The phones are stored securely and returned to the students at the end of the day.

Regards,

 bk emoji 

Bruce Kearney
Principal



PFA News

Hello school community, 

The PFA would like to welcome and encourage any parent or guardian that is interested in being involved this year to get in touch. You can contact Zayna via email pfarwps@gmail.com or 0401372166. All we need is your name, email address and phone number. 

To be involved in the PFA you are asked to  

  • Be a part of a WhatsApp group where we send updates and ask for input and suggestions 
  • Attend meetings, if possible, which are held on a Friday once a month between 9:05 and 9:45am in the staff room (this is not a must, lots of PFA members do not attend the meetings and keep updated by reading the minutes) 
  • Volunteer at the PFA-run events. You may be able to volunteer at one, many or all. 

The time you commit to the PFA is dependent on the time you have available. We understand that life is busy and the juggling of children, home and work can sometimes be overwhelming. We welcome as little or as much input as you can offer. 

The PFA was able to fundraise almost $70,000 in 2023. This fundraising allows the school to implement exciting elements that otherwise would not be possible. This money went towards purchasing a significant number of Decodable Readers for the Junior School and a new shade sail area near the Wellbeing Hub which will be completed in the first half of this year.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for following along. 

Warmest regards,
Zayna Fratto and the PFA Team 




Teaching & Learning Report

Welcome back to the new school year. I hope that all families have had a happy and healthy holiday break. I particularly welcome our new students, parents, and staff to the RWPS community.

The teaching and learning scene has been buzzing with activity as we kick off the new year! It's been exactly one week since the students returned, and from my visits to the classrooms, it looks like they've settled in nicely.

Over the next few weeks, I will be providing you with some insight into the Teaching and Learning programs at RWPS.

Reservoir West Primary School (RWPS) provides a comprehensive curriculum based on the Victorian Curriculum Foundation – Year 10 using up-to-date research-based pedagogy. The curriculum includes both knowledge and skills. These are defined by learning areas and capabilities. RWPS differentiates the curriculum to enable individualised learning using a developmental approach.

At our teaching core is explicit instruction based on the principles of our educational consultant, John Fleming. The school commenced its transformation journey under John Fleming's guidance in 2022.  The staff are immensely grateful for the up-to-date research based-pedagogical knowledge, experience and support he continually brings to our school. We thank him for his consultancy and allowing us to utilise his work, and specifically components of his model. RWPS structures curriculum lessons for explicit instruction using the RWPS Instructional Model based on The John Fleming Effective Teaching model. This includes key components such as a Warm Up, Lesson Intention, Success Criteria, Why, I Do, We Do, You Do and Plough Back. The ultimate goal is transference of learning to long-term memory.

Consistent teacher practice at each year level, is supported by teachers placing student needs at the centre of program planning and delivery, and collaboratively designing and implementing a scope and sequence of learning which is regularly reviewed and updated.

Our experienced and knowledgeable Explicit Instruction Leaders (Melinda Vangelista - Maths, Cass Mandile and Katharine Thomas – English) attend all year level planning sessions supporting teaching teams with data analysis and planning.

ABOUT OUR ENGLISH PROGRAM
The RWPS overarching English goal is to inspire, challenge, and foster a love of English, cultivating each student into enthusiastic and proficient readers and writers.

Throughout the day, students engage in various aspects of English. At each year level, they participate in a tailored Literacy Block encompassing reading, spelling, Daily Writing, handwriting, and grammar components. Although Literacy Blocks are customised for each year level, they share common elements.

Reading Hierarchy/Warm-up
Effective reading instruction is based on recognition, manipulation, sight words, syllables, fluency and comprehension, which are all included in a Reading Hierarchy/Warm up.

Explicit Reading Instruction
Reading skills are explicitly taught based on recognition, manipulation, sight words, syllables, fluency, and comprehension.

Explicit Spelling Instruction
Spelling skills are explicitly taught using the Jolly Learning program.

Paired Reading
During Paired Reading, readers read aloud to a partner. This practice aims to enhance fluency, decoding skills and active reading by discussing meaning of texts. Paired Reading fosters collaboration, promotes cooperation, and facilitates peer learning. It enables students to take turns reading, offering feedback to one another to monitor comprehension.

Reciprocal Reading
Reciprocal Reading is scaffolded talk about a text in a small group setting that develops comprehension strategies. It may be completed with the teacher, but often independent of the teacher. Students who participate in this practice are encouraged to read, talk and think their way through the text. This is used at various times in Year Three – Six.

Reading with a Pencil
An active reading strategy taught from Year One to Six, Reading with a Pencil encourages students to think critically about their reading. It assists students in identifying important information when reading and visually separating it from the surrounding text.

Daily Writing
Daily Writing introduces students to new vocabulary and focuses on understanding and using various sentence structures.

Handwriting
Handwriting is completed daily to support letter formation and writing stamina. Sessions include explicit modelling of letter formation as well as the use of whiteboards, Writing Times books and modelled/copied writing.

Genre Writing
Genre Writing is explicitly taught outside of the Literacy Block, educating students on language features, vocabulary, and structures specific to various genres following the RWPS Instructional Model.

ABOUT HOMEWORK AT RWPS
Reservoir West Primary School implements homework to support student learning and wellbeing by:

  • providing opportunities for students to review, revise and reinforce newly acquired skills
  • providing opportunities for students to apply new knowledge
  • providing opportunities for students to prepare for future lessons
  • encouraging students to enrich or extend knowledge individually, collectively and imaginatively
  • fostering good lifelong learning and study habits
  • supporting learning partnerships with parents/carers.

At Reservoir West Primary School all homework set by teachers is:

  • purposeful
  • curriculum-aligned
  • appropriate to students’ skill level and age
  • designed to help students develop as independent learners
  • monitored by the teacher
  • where appropriate, provide opportunities for parents/carers to partner in their child’s learning.

Homework expectations vary according to the grade level. For instance, in Foundation, students are required to engage in daily activities like reading a take-home book and practising Word Sense words. As students advance through the grade levels, additional revision activities in English and Mathematics may be introduced alongside daily reading.

Support for Students and Parents/Carers
Homework is a shared responsibility between the school, teachers, students and their parents/carers.

Teachers understand that students have different learning styles and interests, and may approach learning activities and homework differently. If parents/carers are concerned that their child may not understand the homework tasks that have been set or is spending a long period of time completing their homework, we encourage them to speak to their child’s class teacher, Year Level Team Leader or Assistant Principal.

It is expected that students complete tasks set. Students at any year level will not face consequences for incomplete homework. RWPS understands that different students face varied challenges or have special reasonings for not completing set tasks, in these special circumstances, school and home communication is imperative. Teachers will follow up with parents/carers about any observed homework issues. Homework tasks can be modified for every child’s needs, so they feel an opportunity to achieve success.

INITIAL PARENT/STUDENT/TEACHER CONFERENCES – MEET AND GREET
Our first Parent-Student-Teacher conferences (PSTC) for the year will be occurring on Wednesday, February 28th for Year One to Year 6.

Just a reminder to our Foundation parents, your PST conferences will be occurring during your child’s Wednesday appointment.

Julia Abdel-Nour (Administration Assistant Principal) will be sending out related information about when and how to book a PSTC.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SCIENCE - FEBRUARY 11TH 
Sunday, February 11th marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

International days provide opportunities to raise awareness about important issues and celebrate the accomplishments of humanity.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science acknowledges the significant contributions of women and girls in the fields of science and technology.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is implemented by UNESCO and UN Women, in collaboration with intergovernmental agencies and institutions, as well as civil society partners that aim to promote women and girls in science.

This day aims to advocate for and advance the full and equal participation of women and girls in the field of science, ensuring they have access to opportunities.

Source:
https://www.un.org/en/observances/women-and-girls-in-science-day

NATIONAL APOLOGY TO THE STOLEN GENERATION - FEBRUARY 13TH 
Tuesday, February 13th is the anniversary of the National Apology, a significant occasion that calls for recognition. This date holds importance as it highlights the profound impact of historical policies on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander families and communities.

On February 13th 2008 , Prime Minister Kevin Rudd formally acknowledged the immense suffering experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people due to past government policies, particularly to the Stolen Generations.

The National Apology to the Stolen Generations remains a momentous occasion that demonstrates the importance of historical acceptance in the road to reconciliation.

Sources:
https://www.datsip.qld.gov.au/annual-dates-cultural-significance/cultural-significant-dates
https://coffsharbourlalc.com.au/event/the-anniversary-of-the-national-apology/2020-02-13/

At RWPS, teachers will be speaking with students about the importance and significance of the day. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures is a cross curriculum priority, as detailed in the Victorian Curriculum F-10. At each year level, different units of work integrate this priority, so students learn about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures and understand the uniqueness of these cultures and the wisdom and knowledge embedded in them.

Source:
https://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/overview/cross-curriculum-priorities

Mrs Barb Balliro, Assistant Principal – Teaching & Learning
barbara.balliro@education.vic.gov.au



Wellbeing




'Wominjeka!'
Welcome back to a new school year. A new school year means new opportunities, making connections with friends and growth.


I am in such a fortunate position to be able to work in the classrooms with students inquiring about our world, fostering curiosity, and gaining new perspectives and knowledge.

This week I was invited to work with Year 5/6 students to inquire into ‘Aboriginal/Torres Strait (First Nations) people have a special connection to their land’ by exploring connection to Country and Acknowledgement of Country.

     

First students were presented with the Acknowledgement of Country statement and asked:

  • What is this statement?
  • Where might you hear it?
  • Why is it important?
  • Highlight words that are important.
After sharing their thoughts, we explored personal connections to places, history and culture. We explored landmark events in Indigenous history and students were asked to estimate the decade in which they occurred. One student commented in reference to the Mabo decision handed down in 1992, “That was way too late.” This comment generated further discussions into culturally sensitive language (eg. ‘First Nations Peoples’ instead of First Nation People), and the difference between an Acknowledgement of Country and a Welcome to Country. I was very proud of the students’ ability to identify and engage respectfully with cultural perspectives that differ from their own.

The Year 5/6 students began working on their own personal Acknowledgement of Country, and will continue learning about Indigenous Culture and the special connection to Country in class. Here are two examples of Personal Acknowledgements of Country completed by Year 6 students.

My Personal Acknowledgement of Country
I live on Wurundjeri land, I was born on Wurundjeri land,

I breathe, drink, eat and love Wurundjeri land.
Hello, my name is Ingrid, and I was born on Wurundjeri land that belongs to the Kulin Nation and I would like to pay my respects to the traditional owners past present and emerging.
I am grateful to be on this land with the birds, fish, nature and drinkable water. It is truly an amazing country.

My Personal Acknowledgement of Country
Wominjeka! My name is Audrey. I recognise that we are on Aboriginal land, and I respect their sovereignty. I was infuriated when I learned about the story of The First Fleet….. I love going outside and listening to the sweet sounds of nature; birds chirping, leaves rustling, water rippling. They soothe me when I go to sleep at night. I feel connected to famous natural Australian landmarks such as Uluru, The Three Sisters, The Great Barrier Reef, Kakadu and The Twelve Apostles. I respect Aboriginal people and their Elders past, present and emerging.


Our RWPS Learning to Learn program is one component of our Wellbeing Learning program for teachers and students, and is an induction to the school year. The aim is for educators and students to use consistent and inclusive language, and develop a shared understanding of our school values, rights and responsibilities, and student / educator behaviour expectations.  Learning to learn strategies include any thoughts, behaviours, beliefs, or emotions that facilitate the acquisition, understanding, or later application and transfer of new knowledge and skills in different performance contexts (Weinstein, 2001).

Respect / Responsibility:  for Yourself, Others, your School , your Learning, your Behaviour

Wisdom:  to make appropriate decisions and dare to be innovative

Persistence:  continuing to strive for excellence in all that we do

Success:  in life-long learning with a global perspective

Values
Learning about values is one part of the program consisting of 3 lessons from the Berry Street Education Model Domain that aim to identify and explore personal values, which are enduring beliefs and attitudes that guide everyday behaviours both big and small. The lessons for students from Foundation to Year 6, follow a predictable pattern and rhythm to ensure consistent routines for classroom processes. Students learn what to expect and are supported to feel safe to engage with the learning in a meaningful way that is considerate of their personal strengths. These lessons aim to develop a strong set of values to help students make decisions that align with who they want to be as a person and help them to be able to quickly identify when behaviours or decisions are inconsistent with their core values.

Our consistent message to students is:

“Everyone has a right to learn. Everyone has a right to feel safe and comfortable.”

See our Rights and Responsibilites here!

BACK TO SCHOOL TIPS FOR PARENTS
Going back to school after a few weeks of fun and relaxation is never easy, but kids aren’t the only ones who struggle with it. Parents also find it difficult when their kids head back to school, and many experience emotions ranging from sadness to anxiety and even resentment. Here are a few handy back-to-school tips that will make the transition smoother.

Encourage kids to set goals and take responsibility
Encouraging children to set goals and take responsibility for the upcoming school year is a great way to get them in the right frame of mind. Research shows that kids who participate in setting learning goals are consistently more motivated and take learning more seriously.

Of course, that this means will depend on your child’s age, as a Foundation student won’t be able to take on as much responsibility as one heading to secondary school. But even younger children can be given simple goals to focus on, even if it’s just packing their backpack before bed each night. With younger kids, you can ease into the discussion by reading books about school. Find out what they are learning about and if there’s anything specific, they’d like to accomplish, and then work together to make a list of steps they’ll need to take to reach those goals.

Engage with their curriculum
If you want to help your child set appropriate learning goals, it’s important to engage with their curriculum and be aware of what they will be learning and are expected to be proficient in.

Most kids deal with some level of stress or anxiety about school. One survey found that 53 per cent of parents cite homework and schoolwork as the greatest driver of stress in their kids. But when parents are aware of what their kids will be learning, they’re better able to provide support and manage stress during the school year.

It’s always a good idea to talk to your child about what they have been learning, but if you can, try to speak with your child’s teacher as well. This will give you a chance to find out what you can do to support your child at home and also be aware of any specific areas they may need to work on.

Establish Routines
Kids are very sensitive to routines. If getting to sleep on time is a problem after you can try enforcing a No Electronics rule an hour before bedtime so everyone can wind down. Older kids can also use an alarm clock to take responsibility for their own mornings and evenings. There are some great apps that play gentle music or guided meditations (Smiling Minds is awesome for this).

Get organised
The more organised you are the easier your school mornings will be, so take the time to plan your morning routines. This may include figuring out what time you need to get up, what you’ll prepare for breakfast and laying out some outfits the night before. Lunches are also best prepared the night before, and you can even get the kids involved by asking them what they’d like to eat and see if they’d like to help you chop vegetables, prepare sandwiches, and organise the kitchen once you’re finished.

Have fun with it
Weekdays may not be as exciting as holidays or weekends, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a somber or boring time. Look for ways to keep things fun, whether it’s upholding family traditions, such as family breakfast and reading or watching a TV series together, or looking for extracurricular activities the kids will enjoy, such as swimming, football or music and art. Also keep in mind that kids are often quick to pick up on our attitudes towards things, so try to speak positively about school and emphasise the positive aspects of it, such as their friends and teachers or the cool things they’ll have a chance to learn.

Article by Marianne Stenger


Here are a couple of Student Checklist that my children have used to encourage independence, organisational and self-care skills.

Before School Check List

After School Check List

Weekly Chores Check List


MENTAL HEALTH / EVENTS CALENDAR 2024

Event Date

Event

6 February

Safer Internet Day

13 February

National Apology to the Stolen Generation Anniversary

20 February

World Day of Social Justice

1st March

Zero Discrimination Day

8th March

International Women's Day

18-24th March

Neurodiversity Week

21 March

National Close the Gap Day

20 March

International Day of Happiness

20th – 26th March

Harmony Week

30th March

World Bipolar Day

31st March

Trans Day of Visibility

7th April

World Health Day

 PROTECT POSTER



School Council Elections

2024/2025 SCHOOL COUNCIL ELECTIONS

What is a school council and what does it do?
All government schools in Victoria have a School Council. They are legally formed bodies that are given powers to set the key directions of a school within centrally provided guidelines. In doing this, a school council is able to directly influence the quality of education that the school provides for its students.

Who is on the School Council?
There are three possible categories of membership:

  1. A mandated elected parent category.

More than one third of the total members must be from this category. Department of Education and Training (DET) employees can be parent members at their child’s school.

  1. A mandated elected DET employee category.

Members of this category may make up no more than one third of the total membership of school council. The Principal of the school is automatically one of these members.

  1. An optional community member category.

Its members are co-opted by a decision of the council because of their special skills, interests or experiences. DET employees are not eligible to be community members.

The term of office for members is two years. Half the members must retire each year and this creates vacancies for the annual School Council elections.

Why is parent membership so important?
Parents on school councils provide important viewpoints and have valuable skills that can help shape the direction of the school. Those parents who become active on a school council find their involvement satisfying in itself and may also find that their children feel a greater sense of belonging.

How can you become involved?
The most obvious way is to vote in the elections, which are held in March each year. However, ballots are only held if more people nominate as candidates than there are positions vacant.

In view of this, you might seriously consider:

  • standing for election as a member of the School Council
  • encouraging another person to stand for election.

Do I need special experience to be on School Council?
No. What you do need is an interest in your child’s school and the desire to work in partnership with others to help shape the school’s future.

What do you need to do to stand for election?
The Principal will issue a notice and call for nominations following the commencement Term 1 each year. All School Council elections must be completed by the end of March.

If you decide to stand for election, you will need to nominate in either the parent category or DET employee category. Once the nomination form is completed, return it to the Principal within the time stated on the notice of election.

If there are more nominations received than there are vacancies on council, a ballot will be conducted in the two weeks after the call for nominations has closed.

There are five two-year vacancies and one one-year vacancies in the Parent category. If the number of nominations matches the number of vacancies, an election will not be required. I believe that most of the current members whose terms are coming to an end will be renominating.

Nomination forms are available from me or can be downloaded from Compass under Community > School Documentation > School Council and need to be lodged by 4.00 pm on Wednesday 14th February.

If the number of nominations is less than the number of vacancies, a notice to that effect and calling for further nominations will be posted in a future school communication.

If you have any questions please contact Julia Abdel-Nour, Barb Balliro or me.

Thanks,
Bruce



Breakfast Club

Beakfast Club will be commencing soon on Fridays at 8.15 am in the STEAM Room. Watch this space!

Community



Join the Darebin Falcons!
 

Come and join the Darebin Falcons – your local, inclusive, all-women's sports club! Our footy teams are recruiting now! Whether you're a seasoned player or a beginner, we welcome all skill levels and ages, from 5 years old in AusKick to under 18s and seniors. Our 2024 season is just around the corner, and we're on the lookout for passionate players to join our Falcons family.

Why Darebin Falcons?

Inclusive and supportive: We pride ourselves on being a safe and inclusive space for everyone. The club is dedicated to providing a supportive environment where members can be themselves, fostering a sense of belonging, and creating lasting friendships.

We are run by women, for women: At Darebin Falcons, women are involved in every role within the club. It's a unique and empowering community where girls, women and gender diverse people can come together, grow, and develop both on and off the field.

Amazing role models: Our Falcons showcase what women, girls and gender diverse people are capable of both on and off the field. Loads of AFLW stars have come up through the Falcons, and you'll have the chance to meet them, get tips, and have a go at the sport at our Community Fun Day.

Community Fun Day: Join us on February 11th for our Community Fun Day at AH Capp Reserve, Preston. It's an opportunity to meet AFLW stars, try your hand at AFL, and learn more about our vibrant community.

Footy Training:

  • One night a week for under 10s – under 12s
  • Twice a week for under 14’s to under 18s
  • AH Capp Reserve, Preston

Games:

  • Season starts in April, runs for 14 rounds (+finals) until August
  • All games on Sundays

Get in Touch:

For any inquiries, reach out to contact@falcons.org.au

Connect with Us:

Instagram: @darebinfalcons                     Facebook: @darebinfalcons

Join us on this exciting journey and come fly with the Darebin Falcons!



Darebin’s Meet the Makers Competition returns in March 2024.  

Celebrating food traditions, this event includes a homemade food and produce competition with special prizes for youth entries on offer for passata, various preserves and sourdough bread.   

This is a family friendly activity and an opportunity for Darebin youth to share their creations in this community minded event.  

Entrants must live, work, study or recreate in the City of Darebin and be accompanied by a parent or guardian if they would like to present their creation on event day.

Entries are open now and close on Tuesday 12 March 2024.  It's free to enter. Prizes to be won!  

For details, the entry form and terms of entry:  online entry form link and flyer (as attached).

www.fusedarebin.com.au     

www.facebook.com/fusedarebin