Principals Desk

Thursday, October 17th, 2019

Walk to School October 2019

Again, this year, our school is participating in the VicHealth Walk to School promotion. Walking to and from school can help students get their daily physical activity they need and it also reduces traffic congestion, parking difficulties and associated environmental impacts. Classes will be recording their daily walking activities over the month of October.

Parents can –

Allow their child to walk to school.

Walk with your child to and from school and help them learn road safety skills.

Arrange for your child to walk with other families or friends, giving them a chance to socialise and enjoy the fresh air.

Drive part of the way to school and walk the rest, particularly if you live a long way from school or have limited time.

Year 4 Hooptime Girls Basketball Champs

Our Year 4 Hooptime Girl’s Basketball team performed very admirably at the Regional Finals. With a very consistent effort over the day, our girls have now progressed to the State finals. This is a wonderful achievement for our team and everyone involved should be congratulated.

Inclusive Play Space

Our Inclusive Play Space is progressing well with much of the excavation works completed. Over the up-coming weeks we will begin to see the equipment being installed. We are currently investigating replacing a large part of the Junior playground with new equipment. Please watch this space for future developments.

Preptastic

The first of our Preptastic sessions was extremely successful. Our 2020 students settled very quickly into the classroom environment. I know that it is early to make a prediction but I feel that this group are going to be a delight to teach over their time at Park Ridge. Our Junior and Senior Choirs entertained our new visitors to the school with a fantastic rendition of ‘1,2,3 You Can Count on Me’. This year our new Foundation students received a special t-shirt to wear to their transition days.

Classes for 2020

We are presently developing classes for 2020. Usually at this time of the year we ask parents to put in writing any requests which will help their child in the following year. Before any parents put pen to paper could they please think as to whether your request will help to develop resilience in your child. In life we come across all kinds of individuals, some we like, some we do not, but usually we have to work with these individuals and thus, a level of resilience is needed. I firmly believe that classrooms are for learning and the playground for socialising. It is in the playground where we catch up with our friends. An important skill in life is to be able to make friendships. If we surround our children with their best friends in the classroom it can restrict them from forming other relationships.

This year our staff will take the following in to account when forming classes:

  • Student’s learning needs
  • Teacher recommendations
  • Class balance (number of boys and girls, similar cross section of achievement levels etc.)
  • Parent requests
  • Student’s interview requests ‘Who I work well with?’

Parent requests must be returned to the office by Friday 25 October for consideration.

Thursday, October 10th, 2019

Welcome back to another exciting term. It surprises me how quickly the year goes. Although we are three quarters the way through the year, there is still lots of learning to take place. Our main focus will always be on the learning. However, we want to produce students with a strong moral purpose. I came across this quote and I thought it summed up why we do Positive Education at Park Ridge Primary School.

“If you want happiness for an hour – take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day – go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year – inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime – help someone else.”
Chinese Proverb

Footy Day

Our Footy Day was a huge success on the last day of term. Mr Davey and the Year 6 students should be congratulated for organising such a fantastic event. Our Year 6 students demonstrated great leadership skills in preparing for the day and supervising the students in the planned activities. Also, congratulations to Richmond for winning this year’s Grand Final. The Richmond supporter base continues to be one of the largest at our school. For supporters of one of the seventeen teams, there is always next year.

School Uniform

Our school has a policy with regard to school uniforms. Over recent times, there has been a small number of students who have been taking liberties with regard to the school uniform rules. This term, I will be making students more accountable for wearing the correct school uniform. Pink socks are out. It was ok for the one week of the year when pink socks were used to bring attention to the fundraising activities for Breast Cancer. Socks should be white, blue or black. School hats need to be Uniform Shop approved. Team Baseball caps are not appropriate. Hair ties / bows / scrunchies must be

either white, blue or yellow. School Bomber Jackets and Polar Fleece tops must be school logo approved. If clothing is in the wash, could parents please write a note to approve their child being out of uniform. However, there are no rules with regard to rain coats/jackets being worn to and from school on cold days.

Walk to School October 2019

Again, this year, our school is participating in the VicHealth Walk to School promotion. Walking to and from school can help students get their daily physical activity they need and it also reduces traffic congestion, parking difficulties and associated environmental impacts. Classes will be recording their daily walking activities over the month of October.

Parents can –

Allow their child to walk to school.

Walk with your child to and from school and help them learn road safety skills.

Arrange for your child to walk with other families or friends, giving them a chance to socialise and enjoy the fresh air

Drive part of the way to school and walk the rest, particularly if you live a long way from school or have limited time.

Sunsmart

Even on cloudy days at this time of the year, UV levels are on the rise. Park Ridge Primary is a SunSmart school and our students and teachers need to be careful when outside. For best sun protection, use these five SunSmart steps during the sun protection times:
1. Slip on covering clothing. If you can see skin, UV can reach it.
2. Slop on SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum sunscreen. Apply sunscreen before going outdoors and reapply every two hours. One application is not enough.
3. Slap on a sun protective hat. The best hat shades the head, face, eyes, ears and neck.
4. Seek shade. Shady spaces help block some of the sun’s UV but not all so you still need to wear hats, clothing and sunscreen even in the shade.
5. Slide on sunglasses labelled AS 1067. If practical, help protect the eyes with sunglasses.

Please note that fourth term is ‘No Hat No Play’ Students are required to wear an approved school hat when outside and recess and lunchtimes and participating in sports activities.

Preptastic

Our Preptastic program begins tomorrow for our 2020 Foundation students. This year we will be assembling in the Wentworth Building and then moving off to the classrooms for the activities. We really value this program in getting our newest students ready for school.

Classes for 2020

We are presently developing classes for 2020. Usually at this time of the year we ask parents to put in writing any requests which will help their child in the following year. Before any parents put pen to paper could they please think as to whether your request will help to develop resilience in your child. In life we come across all kinds of individuals, some we like, some we do not, but usually we have to work with these individuals and thus, a level of resilience is needed. I firmly believe that classrooms are for learning and the playground for socialising. It is in the playground where we catch up with our friends. An important skill in life is to be able to make friendships. If we surround our children with their best friends in the classroom it can restrict them from forming other relationships.

This year our staff will take the following in to account when forming classes:

Student’s learning needs

Teacher recommendations

Class balance (number of boys and girls, similar cross section of achievement levels etc.)

Parent requests

Student’s interview requests “Who I work well with?”

Parent requests must be returned to the office by Friday 25 October for consideration.

Head Lice Checking

Although we have not had any cases of head lice recently, I believe with this warm weather approaching we need to be pro-active with our checking for head lice in our children’s hair. To help combat the spread of head lice at the school we have been encouraging parents to check their child’s head regularly.  However, this strategy can only be successful if ALL parents do it.  This week is Hair Checking Weekend.  Could all parents please check all family member’s hair.  This strategy can only be successful if all parents get on board. Also, we need to encourage students not to occupy each others space and make head contact. Transfer of head lice can only occur with head to head contact. Another useful tip is for students with long hair to make sure that their hair is tied back.

Inclusive Playground

As you may have noticed the works on our Inclusive playground have begun.

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

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.

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

NAPLAN

Each year, I always get excited with anticipation with the forth coming NAPLAN results. As the Principal of our school, after ensuring a safe and secure learning environment, my role is to provide the best possible academic learning environment for our students. NAPLAN is one data set that our school uses to measure our performance against other schools in the state. Our school has always had a relented focus on providing the highest quality research based education programs in our classrooms. Change takes time. Three years ago we introduced THRASS to our junior school. At that time, our school performed at state level in the NAPLAN spelling test. This year, I am very pleased to say that our Year 3 students SMASHED the test. Our school results exceed the state average by heaps. Our THRASS program is producing excellent results. Also, our current learning focus on maths also showed incredible growth for student in Year 5. 37% high growth is outstanding when you consider that the department only expects a 25% high growth. Our teachers and support staff are extremely dedicated and set extremely high expectations for our students. Our students understand their role in becoming the best that they can be. Persistence, rigour and resilience ensure that our school continues to shine. Also, our reading and writing NAPLAN results showed that our classroom and support programs are making a positive difference to all ability level of all students. Again, in these areas we achieved well above state averages.

Learning Walks

Seventy Principals and Department staff attended our school last week to participate in learning walks with a world leader educational presenter, Lyn Sharratt. It is an honour that our school was selected to host this event with Rowville Secondary College. Feedback from the day was extremely pleasing with the Principals commenting on how engaged and focused our students are in the classrooms. Congratulations to Mrs Gregson for hosting this event in my absence.

Approaching Students

If parents have any issues with students could they please see either the child’s class teacher or a member of the Principal Class team. Parents are not to approach a student to sort out issues or ask for an explanation of a situation that happened with their child. Students being confronted by an adult is quite distressing.

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

Book Week and the Parade

What a huge success!

Special events are important in a school’s calendar and Book Week is no exception. This year our staff collectively decided to come in a Harry Potter theme. This was the brainchild of Mrs Scott and Miss Cooney. Miss Locking and the school’s literacy team  should be congratulated for doing a wonderful job of organising this event. As usual, our students supported the dress up by going all out and turning up to school in such wonderful costumes. We certainly have some talented parents out in the community. Our school values the importance of reading and this fun day was just another way we celebrate reading across the school. For the second year in a row, I have adorned a full length grey beard, I am starting to worry that I am being stereotyped.

Book Week Author Visit

Danny Katz, the internationally acclaimed author, visited the school this week to share with the Year F-6 students his journey as a writer. Danny was extremely entertaining and hopefully motivated our students to push the limits of their writing ability. Our Book Fair has, again, proved to be a most popular event for students. I will be speaking to our students about the opportunity to develop a book swap event where students can trade books.

Fathers’ Day Stall.

As usual, our Fathers’ Day stall was a huge success. There were plenty of gifts available to purchase and our PCA did a wonderful job organising the event. Felicity should be congratulated for organising this event. I am sure that our dads will appreciate the thought that went into selecting the gifts. I hope that everyone has an enjoyable Fathers’ Day this Sunday.