Principal’s News – Week 6 Term 1

Dear Parents/Caregivers,

Welcome to week 6. It has been a very busy start to the year with over 130 new students starting across 4 campuses. The term is flying by with teachers and speech pathologists assessing and preparing for grid marking and goal setting. These documents will come home at the end of term. As part of the formal reporting process, at the end of term 2 the goals will be rated and sent home with a comment about progress. The grids will be remarked during term 3 and sent home prior to case conferences for kindy and pre-primary. At the end of term 4, the goals will be rated and sent home as the final report for the year. At this time parents of year 1 students will be offered an exit interview. When the information comes home, if you have any questions, please contact your class teacher. Kindergarten teachers and speech pathologists will meet with Kindy parents at the end of this term or early in term 2 to discuss each child’s language and the programs that will target identified needs.

Our new teachers have settled in very well and are a valuable addition to our team. All classes have completed their parent meetings and have overviewed how they run their classes. If you have any questions or concerns, please raise them with your class teacher or give the deputy that manages your site a call. Sometimes parents email with positive comments and teachers always appreciate this feedback. The program we are using for teachers to communicate with you (SeeSaw) is new for staff this year. It is great to see that parents are checking in. Staff will only use this platform to let you know about class activities. If they have concerns about progress or behaviour they will raise this with you directly.

Just a reminder that staff will not be sending home homework. There is clear evidence that homework for primary aged children does not improve learning outcomes. Also, our kids have a busy day and with the travel time and the impact of their disorder, they are often tired at night and need a break. It is important that you do social things, encourage physical activity and focus on talking. In Year 1, children will be sent home with home readers for practising oral reading and to enable you to see how they are progressing. It is important to keep these sessions light and fun. If your child is struggling with a word you can encourage them to sound it out or just give them the word. Do not allow them to guess from the first sound or the context, research indicates that this will impede reading development. If your child is really struggling with the book, let your teacher know. Pre-primary children do not have home readers. Our focus is on getting the basic skills in place.

With the Corona Virus (COVID-19), we receive regular updates from central office (linked to the Health Department).  The restrictions around the numbers that can be in indoor spaces has been lifted. This will allow us to run the larger onsite parent workshops. We will let you know when these will be scheduled. The Book Sharing program for parents of Pre-primary students will begin in Term 2 due to the lockdown and shorter term. This is a great training program for parents.

Remind your children about basic hygiene and to regularly wash their hands (after toileting and before eating) for 20 seconds with soap and water. Also, encourage them to not touch their faces (not easy to do). Importantly, if your child has any flu like symptoms (even at the mild end) we ask that they are kept at home. If they come to school, we will be calling you to collect them.

Ms Shelley Blakers