Principals Desk

Chistmas Concert

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

A whole school Christmas Concert will take place on Wednesday 6 December from 5:45pm – 7:00pm on the school oval. A stage and sound system will ensure the performance is seen and heard by all. School Council have assessed the costs involved and have generously elected to run this as a free event for families. This is a great chance for our whole community to come together and celebrate the great achievements of the year. All of the students will be performing with their year levels, with a special performance from our School Choir. A notice containing finer details i.e. costuming will come home shortly.

A Barbeque Dinner will be available from 4:30pm – 5:30pm. Please bring your own chairs and/or picnic rugs. Please be aware, if you choose to bring chairs you may be seated towards the back/side.  You are of course welcome to bring your own dinner. Please note, this is an alcohol free event.

Effort and Positive Mindset

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Effort Equals Growth

It is a pretty obvious equation, Effort = Growth. The more effort you devote to a task, the better the result will be. Whether it’s learning to hit a golf ball, lose some weight or learn a new language, the equation is still the same. Effort = Growth. Research supports this concept that we need to recognise and reward the effort our children put into their learning. We need to establish a culture at Park Ridge Primary School that effort will be recognised and celebrated. However, effort cannot be selective. We don’t want to see students choosing when they put effort into a task because they like certain things. Effort has to be displayed whether you are good or ordinary at a task or whether you like or do not like doing something.

Four Questions to Ask at the Dinner Table Tonight

At Park Ridge Primary School, we are committed to embedding Positive Education into all aspects of our school lives. I am sure that you have asked your child after school, ‘What happened at school today?’ or ‘What did you do at school today?’ usually the answer is NOTHING. Listed below are four questions you can throw into the dinner conversation.

What is it you’ve done today that you’d like to be acknowledged for? This question helps us feel appreciated and helps us recognise each other. With children, it’s a great way to help boost self-esteem.

What are you grateful for today? Showing gratitude has profound effects on mental wellbeing. When you constantly show your appreciation and gratitude, you find more good things fall into your lap.

What act of kindness did you see / perform today? By asking this question, you’re asking your children to be aware of the beauty of the world. You’re also teaching them to be consciously kind to others and to see kindness as a natural way of being.

What was great about today/ What magical thing did you see? Allowing someone to talk about something that made them really happy lets them know that you’re interested and involved in their life. It also increases happiness levels by getting you focused on positive things.

These type of positive questions help to develop a positive mindset.

Welcome back to another exciting term

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

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 during the holidays. 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
For the past seven weeks I was given the privilege of acting as a Senior Education Improvement Leader in the Yarra Valley, where I worked with principals to improve learning in their schools. My systems learning that I gained from the experience has made me a better educational leader, however, it reinforced to me that Park Ridge Primary is the place for me and that I return with a more determined focus of making our school the best school not only in Knox but within the Region.

During my time away, I was also provided with the opportunity by the Department to visit schools in Shanghai. Shanghai is regarded as one of the world’s best education systems. Although Chinese schools are very different to Australian schools, there were a number of their initiatives that I will be implementing across the school to improve learning.

2018 Parent Contributions via Compass

School Council has discussed and passed the 2018 Parent and Voluntary Contributions.  School Council decided on a small increase of $10.00 for the year.  All information regarding the Contributions is now available on Compass. All payments will be required to be made through the Compass program. Once full payment is made, Stationary Packs will be available for collection from the office, dates for collection can be found on Compass. Please find the details of the Contributions below:

Student Materials/Essential Student Learning Items (Stationary Pack and Classroom Supplies) $210.00

Optional Items/Core Curriculum Items $60.00

Voluntary  Contributions School Council Facilities (Recommended $50.00 per family)

Excursion levy as per year level

Curriculum Planning for Term 4

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

At the end of each term, our teachers work together in their Year Level Learning Teams to plan for the coming term. Purposeful collaboration between our teachers in each Learning Team across the school ensures the implementation of the same comprehensive learning experiences and lessons for all students. Our teachers have a shared commitment to working together to challenge and support each other to deliver high quality teaching and learning in every classroom. I am very excited about the curriculum programs they are designing to be implemented next term and I am sure our students will enjoy the learning experiences they have designed for them.

In preparation for our Term 4 Positive Education programs, our teachers spent Tuesday afternoon revisiting the content of the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) Engagement Domain. The BSEM underpins our Positive Education program throughout the school, which includes the domains of Body, Character, Stamina, Engagement and Relationships. For more information on the lessons teachers worked collaboratively to create, see Mrs Chalmers’ Assistant Principal’s section of this week’s newsletter.

5 Keys to Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

I recently read an interesting article about children and self-esteem which was published by Berry Street, whose Berry Street Education Model we have adopted to strengthen and support our Positive Education program. As a parent of two young children, the content resonated with me as, like many parents/carers, I have found supporting the development of my children’s self-esteem a challenging task, at times. Berry Street’s 5 keys to building your child’s self-esteem are simple, practical and evidence-based ways to support your child to develop a strong, positive self-image. I have included the main points of the article below:
Are you worried about your child and how they will survive in the world? If so, you’re certainly not alone. Parents today feel more anxiety about their children’s self-esteem than any previous generation. It’s a product of a world where parents are exposed to an almost infinite amount of advice about how to raise a confident, happy, healthy child. When you try and make sense of it all, on top of information shared at mothers’ groups and tips from grandparents, it’s no wonder we all feel so anxious. The good news is that most children come with their own inbuilt instruction manual about how to grow up healthy and happy.

As their parent, you just need to learn how to read that manual to help your child thrive. Here are 5 ways you can help your child to develop their self-esteem:

1. Love them for who they are

Often we enter parenthood with preconceptions of who our child is or should be, based on our own beliefs and values. To let your child build their own self-esteem, start by abandoning those expectations for your child and learn to study who your child is.

From the day they are born, your child is trying to figure out who they are and how they fit into this world. You can help them and help build their self-esteem simply by

listening, being present and loving them for who they are. Children who feel accepted and loved by their parents or carer are more likely to have a higher self-esteem and achieve what they set out to do.

2. Help them learn to deal with disappointment

Disappointment, grief and sorrow are unfortunately part of life’s ups and downs. Learning how to talk about and regulate our emotions is one of the foundation blocks of self-esteem. Children need to learn how to regulate their emotions so they can build resiliency, and they need to start doing that early on.

Caring for a child is as much about supporting them through negative emotions as it is about helping them learn to enjoy the joys of life. While trying to shield them from the harsh realities of life may seem like you are protecting them, it’s actually hurting them in the long run.  Children, like all of us, sometimes have to face difficult situations and challenging emotions. Those children that can acknowledge and talk about what they are feeling, can calm themselves when needed and get through tough times successfully. Those that can’t are more likely to try and avoid their feelings or overreact – neither of which are healthy or helpful coping responses.

3. Provide love, attention and affection

Providing a child with love, attention and affection is a cornerstone of raising a confident and happy child. While it’s important not to try and shield them from life’s realities, it’s also vital that a child feels loved and listened to.

• Talk to your child and listen to them and what they have to say

• Reassure them if they are worried

• Provide affection and understanding when they are upset

• Spend time with your child and encourage them to dream and play

Childhood is short and precious. There is no need to rush it.  Feeling safe and loved is great way for a child to build self-esteem and feel like a valuable member of their family.

4. Let them do things their way

Children are their own beings, with their own thoughts and values.  They’re not a carbon copy of their parents or carers. Children will face the challenges and hurdles of life in the best way they can.

Mastering a skill is really important for a child’s self-confidence, whether it’s cutting out shapes, learning to read or doing complicated maths equations.

Parents can hinder their child’s development by taking over and doing something a child is trying to master themselves, or by over-praising them if they do something well. Mastery of the world we live in builds confidence and self-esteem in children, helping them prepare for life as an adult.  That’s why we see a child repeat something they have just mastered over and over again.

As long as the child is safe, your role as their carer or parent is not to rescue them; it is to provide them guidance on how to navigate the world. Once a child finds their own way, they will feel more confident in mastering their next challenge and their self-esteem will soar.

5. A child alone is not necessarily a lonely child

A child playing alone is not necessarily a lonely child. A common mistake made by parents is that a child that prefers their own company is in some way struggling. While it may sometimes be the case, often children who seem less social are simply that: less social. If parents are social and enjoy the company of others, then they expect their child to be the same.

Often the child with the most self-esteem is the one who feels as comfortable in their own company, as with others. The key is to pay close attention to whether your child is happy alone. Most are, and even if they’re not, it’s best not to project your discomfort or expectations onto your child. Learn to observe what makes them unique and you will be prepared to help your child feel more self-confident and independent.