From the PRINCIPAL'S DESK

Another term has come and gone and I believe both students and teachers are looking forward to a well-earned rest. Learning at Park Ridge Primary is a busy event and we are extremely proud of the effort both our students and teachers put into ensuring that optimal learning success is achieved.

Of course, we expect that students will continue to read daily over the holiday period. A visit to the local Rowville Library might fill in a couple hours each week over the holiday period.

Next term we begin another Preptastic program. Each Friday our new 2020 Foundation students will begin attending our transition process. We really value this program and all the benefits our new students gain from their involvement. PCA is looking for any volunteers who can give up some time on Friday afternoons to assist with catering.

Snow Trip

Last Friday, a very keen group of Year 5 & 6 students spent the day at Mt Buller, skiing and enjoying the fun the Victorian ski fields has to offer. Our students and some very enthusiastic teachers and parents arrived at school at 3:30 am to embark on the bus journey to Mt Buller. Perfect weather greeted them, and everyone had a very enjoyable time. As expected, the behaviour of our students was first class with a number of people commenting on how polite and respectful they were to each other and members of the public. There is much effort in organising this extra curricula event and I would like to thank Miss Karanzoulis for her dedication and enthusiasm to making the day so enjoyable and also to the parents and teachers for giving up their time to participate in this event.

Digital Responsibility

With the school holidays coming up next week, I am sure that our students will be spending more time on digital devices. I am sure that this is not a bad thing,

however, we need to balance time spent on these devices with other more physical and face to face interactions. Students need to build their social skills of personal interaction. They need to meet peers and have real conversations. Spending the day in their bedrooms and chatting online is not helping develop these skills. Students need to develop the skill of reading facial expressions, something, online conversations does not foster.

Most kids really are kind to each other online, but there is a minority using digital technology to harass and intimidate others. Bullying thrives on digital media because it can be done remotely and often anonymously giving bullies a reduced sense of the harm they’re causing. Cyberbullying can also be harder to avoid than traditional bullying, with no relief offered by the school bell. No single response will stop bullying but knowing how to support your child can assist. Parents can help their children enjoy being online by doing the following.

1. TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN ABOUT THEIR DIGITAL LIVES

The more you are aware of their online lives, the more likely they will be to talk to you, especially when something makes them feel uncomfortable. Make sure your children know they will be supported if they report something to you. Alternatively, make sure they have another trusted adult in their lives they can talk to.

2. DO UNTO OTHERS

Encourage children to treat others the same way they’d like to be treated online. Discuss what it means to be respectful to and respected by others online. Be

zero-tolerant to mean or rude behaviour. Make clear that mean behaviour is not okay at any time – online or off.

3. THINK BEFORE YOU CLICK

Encourage children to think about content and the consequences of posting it or forwarding something that might upset someone else. This also applies to not making hurtful or derogatory comments on someone else’s material.

4. PROMOTE POSITIVE BYSTANDER BEHAVIOUR

Encourage children to support victims of bullying. Work together with your child ahead of time to come up with safe ways to stand up to online abuse if they see it happen.

5. TALK TO THEM

If they’ve been cyberbullied, encourage children to stay calm and positive. It’s important for victims of cyberbullying to know that they’re not responsible for what’s happened. A reaction is often just what a bully wants to see. Not responding or retaliating can sometimes stop the cycle.

6. TAKE CONCRETE STEPS

Help your child block the troublemaker responsible by removing them from your children’s online contact lists;

show them how they can keep evidence by taking screenshots and saving them, or printing the evidence; report abusive behaviour on the digital platforms your child visits; talk to your child’s school; get to know your legal rights by visiting lawstuff.org.au; and, of course, if the bullying extends to threats of violence, inform the police without delay.

7. DO NOT RESPOND ON YOUR CHILD’S BEHALF

Responding on your child’s behalf, like emailing the bully directly, or calling their parents, may further inflame the situation.

8. CONSIDER SUPPORT SERVICES

There are free, confidential counselling services for young people such as www.headspace.org.au (for 12–25 year-olds) and www.reachout.com (for 14–25 year-olds). (Telstra Parenting Tipsheet – Tackle Cyberbullying eSmart)

No Hat No Play

With the sun finally breaking through this week, could parents please note that fourth term is ‘No Hat No Play’ Students are required to wear an approved school hat when outside.

No Assembly

As Friday is Footy Day, we will not be conducting a school assembly. Weather permitting, students will go to their classrooms and then participate in the footy parade.


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