Principals Desk

Principals Desk

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

Open Night

Our Open Night is coming!

I am looking forward to seeing all of our families at our school on Tuesday 29 May from 6:00 to 7:30 pm where parents can see the wonderful things happening in our Specialist programs and how we use digital technologies to enhance student learning in our classrooms. Parents and students will have the opportunity to visit their child’s classroom to see the wonderful things happening and also participate in a tour around the school visiting other year levels. Families will complete a passport by collecting stamps from each room that they attend. I encourage all families to put this date in their calendar. Completed responses will go into a draw to win your own Botley Robot. This event begins and ends in the school library.

School Standards

This week, our Year 3 & 5 students completed NAPLAN tests in Spelling and Grammar, Reading, Writing and Mathematics. Data from these tests shape future curriculum design at our school. What I like best about NAPLAN tests is that I can see the growth each of our students have made from Year 3 to Year 5. NAPLAN is only one data source that teachers use to measure school achievement. Teachers also use other modes of assessment to monitor and report to parents on student achievement. This week all of our classroom teachers began to moderate students’ writing samples for mid-year reports. Our school has developed a comprehensive set of documents for teachers to use to ensure consistency between classes when assessing writing. I am extremely proud of the standard of writing across the school. In up-coming newsletters I will be publishing some students’ writing samples and I challenge parents to cast their minds back to when they were at primary school and whether their writing was as good as what I am seeing at our school.

Principals Desk

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

Developing Optimistic Students

Optimistic students look at the world as glass half full. They ride the ups and downs of life in their stride. They realise that things are not always good but they also know that good times always follow bad. Teachers and parents need to work together to develop resilience and optimistic students. Martin Seligman, a leading world renowned psychologist, believes parents can improve the optimism levels of their children by asking the following three questions to the children when they get home from school.

What did you do really well today?
What did you really enjoy today?
What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

These are much better questions than

Did anyone bully you today?

Did you get into trouble today?

Did anyone play with you today?
Over time, Seligman observed and increase in the levels of optimism in these students who were asked the positive questions.

Reporting Student Absences

If students are not sick or unwell, they need to be at school. The Department of Education has mandated that all schools must report to parents when their child has not attended school on the day of an unexplained absence. From Week 6, parents will receive an SMS on their phone to indicate if a student is not present at school on that day. There is a clear link between high number school absences and low academic performance. Student absences are monitored monthly by Mrs Chalmers and myself and we are contacting parents to discuss unexplained student absences.

Anzac Day Service

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

Each year the quality of the Year 6 Anzac Day presentations improve. On Tuesday, our Year 6 students attended classes across the school to demonstrate their learning of the Anzac tradition to the students. I am continually impressed by the confidence of the public speaking skills of our students. The day culminated with an Anzac assembly in the Wentworth Building. Our students organised the service for the school and conducted the proceedings. Well done to Year 6. This year we sold more Anzac Day badges than ever before. Our students really get behind the Anzac tradition and support the RSL and their endeavours to support returned service men and women.

Welcome back

Thursday, April 19th, 2018

Welcome back to another very productive term of learning. Thank you to the parents who kept an eye out on the school over the holiday period. Unfortunately, we had a number of graffiti attacks. Richard, our maintenance man, quickly cleaned off the offensive tags.

Over the holiday period, we had a number of works completed by contractors. Our student toilets have been repainted and retiled. Undercover walkways have been installed from the Wentworth Building to Block and from the Bob Curry Building to the new portable. Softfall has been topped up in the playgrounds.

Effort and Yet

At Park Ridge Primary our academic results are extremely pleasing. We have high expectations on the performance of our students. Much planning and data analysis goes into ensuring that our students are provided with the best possible learning opportunities. Two words that we want to embed into our school culture are EFFORT and YET. We know that to develop a Growth Mindset we need to acknowledge and reward effort. The other day while showing a number of prospective parents around the school, Mrs Epstein showed the parents a Foundation student’s writing. It was well above what we would expect for a student at this time of the year. Mrs Epstein did not mention the fact that it was fantastic writing but said. ‘This child has put a great deal of effort in her writing today’. The message she was displaying to her grade was that effort is something that is valued in her class, not being the best is what is important.

The other word we as adults need to use when we hear ‘I’m not good at ……’ is complete the sentence with the word YET. I am not good at maths yet. This gives the message to students that with effort we can achieve great things. With a Growth Mindset I believe we can achieve real greatness.

Happy Easter

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

On behalf of school staff, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter and an enjoyable term break. There is an expectation that students continue to read daily over the holiday period. The Rowville or Knox City libraries are great places to visit during the holidays.