Principals Desk

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

Rotary Speeches

Public speaking is a fear many adults have. At Park Ridge we ensure that ALL students get the opportunity to learn the skills to speak successfully in public. Each year our Year 6 students participate in the Rowville Rotary Public Speaking competition. This year Charli, Erin and Nathan represented our school in the finals at Rowville Secondary College. Each of our students performed admirably with Nathan awarded first place and Erin third. This was a great opportunity for our three students and highlighted the importance of ‘student voice’. Our students have views and we need to make sure that they have an audience to be heard. All of our Year 6 teachers made the time to attend this event and worked hard to prepare the students for the event.

Persuasive Writing by Year 2 Students

This week some of our Year 2 students came to my office to show me their writing. Their classroom task was to write a persuasive argument to convince me to allow them to have a classroom pet. As I read their writing, I realised that in my wildest dreams that I couldn’t have written a piece of writing like this  when I was in Year 2, a long time ago because 1. I wasn’t allowed to have an opinion, 2. Our teachers only gave us the opportunity to write narratives and 3. Teachers didn’t explicitly teach the craft of writing.

The Class Love a Class Dog by Luke E 2-21

A really big majority of the class love dogs and think that dogs are the best animal for the class pet!

Dogs are fantastic at cheering people up. If kids are sad they could make them happy. The dog will be in the office so it wouldn’t distract people.

If you are being good you can be with the dog for your reward. Therefore everyone will be good. The dog will be well trained so they will not bark. If you don’t think that’s a good idea I don’t know what you think is a good idea.

The dog would be very friendly and nice to the class. Everyone in my class will love it!

Now do you see why it’s a good idea to get a dog. Everyone will be good and the dog will not distract

people. It’s the perfect pet for the class.

Super Fluffy Bunny by Aiden S 2-21

I strongly believe that 2-21 must have a rabbit. Everyone knows rabbits are not noisy, they only need carrots and water and they are not aggressive.

We all know that rabbits are quiet animals. Just think about if we get a rabbit, everyone gets to do their work and not be distracted.

A further point is rabbits only need water and carrots. Therefore it would be very cheap food. Or we could just grow carrots and get water ourselves.

Finally rabbits are not aggressive. That’s good because then no one will get injured or hurt by the rabbit.

These are the reasons why I think 2-21 should get a rabbit because they not aggressive, they only need water and carrots and they are very quiet animals.

Catty Cat Came To School by Mia L 2-21

It’s clear EVERYONE knows that a cat is a perfect class pet. Cats are cute, quiet and soft. They will not distract us and if you are sad or can’t focus you can quietly play with it for five or six minutes.

Just think about what it would be like to have class pet. A class pet would make your day, especially if it was a cat.

Cats are very quiet. That means everyone will not get distracted. Which means the class can get more work done.

Everybody knows that cats are very cheap. Cats are very cheap so if we have anything expensive we have the money for it like occasions in Prep, 1’s, 2’s, 3’s and more.

Cats are cheap quiet and easy to look after. Cats don’t get stinky. Wouldn’t you agree 2-21 should have a cat as a class pet?

Further Conversation Starters

Here are some more examples of conversation starters with your children when you see them after school.

Did you learn something you didn’t initially understand?

Who inspired you today?

Who did you play with today?

Tell me something you know today that you didn’t know yesterday?

How did someone fill your bucket today / Whose bucket did you fill?

Camellia, Garden & Floral Art Show Competition

Jade F, from our school participated in the Children’s section of the Camellia, Garden & Floral Art Show over the weekend of 17 – 18 August 2019. The children had to create a display using horticultural products.

Jade won Second Prize for the category 9- 14 years old.  There were only two prizes awarded in each section. Jade made a tray of happy garden friends.  Her creation generated a lot of interest and comments from the massive number of visitors over the weekend. Congratulations to Jade!


Our THRASS program has proved to be a resounding success. THRASS provides students with a great phonetic structure to spell words. All students have their own THRASS chart in their reading tubs on their classroom tables. Parents can purchase a THRASS chart for home for $7 from the office. This chart will certainly assist students when writing at home.

District Athletics

Last Friday our students participated in the Rowville District Athletics competition at the Knox Athletics Track. Overall, our school came fifth. The following students now progress on to the Division competition in October.

Well done to Tyler C 1500m 1st, Lachlan C Discus 2nd, Joshua P Discus 1st, Paris R Discus 2nd, Sonny S Discus 1st, Miller R Hurdles 2nd, Nathan H 100m 2nd, Relay 1st, Ashley McK Hurdles 2nd, Harry C 100m 1st 800m 1st, Relay 1st, Harvey F Relay 1st and Tom S Relay 1st.

Thursday, August 15th, 2019

Conversation Starters

How often do the kids get in the car after school and you say,’ How was your day?’ And the reply is ‘good/OK’ then you follow up with, What did you do? And the reply is usually ‘nothing’ As a school that has a strong positive education push, please try some of the conversation starters below and see if you get a different response.

  • What made you smile today?
  • What was the book about that your teacher read?
  • Did anyone do anything silly to make you laugh?
  • What was the best thing that happened today?
  • Did you help anyone today?
  • What are looking forward to at school tomorrow?
  • Don’t you think we are lucky to have Mr Mann as our Principal?

How Our School Improves?

To keep ahead of the learning curve, our teachers are constantly looking at ways to improve their teaching and get even better student learning outcomes. Our teachers are extremely proud of the developments we have made to the curriculum of the past few years. Any whole school changes are research based and trialled extensively by teachers before they are adopted as the ‘Park Ridge’ way. Currently, a group of our teachers are involved in a Department of Education course looking at how teams across the school can drill down into student data to investigate how small changes in teaching can improve student outcomes, Our trial investigation is looking at the impact students’ ability to count has on them being able to recall their tables. My hypotheses was that it was a lack of counting ability that caused students not to be able to recall automatically, however, our initial analysis of our results is that some students don’t make the link between counting  and the table fact. (eg. 2, 4, 6 and 3×2=). We are now investigating where in the curriculum at an earlier stage that we need to emphasis with concrete materials this relationship for students.

2020 Foundation Information Night

Our 2020 Foundation Information Night proved to be

extremely successful with our School Captains, Madison and Brendon giving a detailed account of their time in  foundation and the opportunities that students in our school have as they move through the classes. All 2020 families now have Compass access and can view our school newsletters and up coming transition events.

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

Foundation Students 100 Days of School

How the time has flown. Last week, our Foundation students celebrated their 100th day at school. In the true Park Ridge tradition, our students and staff dressed up as if they were 100 years old and participated in activities around the theme of 100. It blows me away as to how much our Foundation students grow in their first 100 days of school. Students who come to school not being able to form letters correctly are now writing full sentences with punctuation and correct spelling. Once non-readers, our students are decoding text and understanding what they read. Students are counting beyond 100 and are beginning to think like a mathematician. This progress does not happen by luck, it is due to a very structured school program and an extremely dedicated teaching staff led by Mrs Epstein. I look forward to seeing how the next 100 days pans out for our Foundation students.

Regional Football Championships

A group of very enthusiastic boys attended Bulleen Park for the Regional Football Championships. This is the second year in a row that our boys have made this stage of the competition. Unfortunately after winning the first game, our boys lost the next two games and did not make the finals. To make this level is a great achievement and Mr Davey and the team should be extremely proud of themselves. However, what impressed me the most was the way our boys handled losing. It is easy to be a winner but our boys showed great character by congratulating the opposition, holding their heads high and accepting that sometimes in sport you can’t always win.

Parent Opinion Survey

Thank you to those parents and carers who have completed the 2019 Parent Opinion Survey. The online survey completion data had been extended to Sunday 18 August.

2020 Foundation Information Night

The first of our 2020 Prep Information Evenings will take place on Tuesday 13 August at 7:30pm in the Wentworth Building. This is the beginning of our Kinder to Foundation transition process. On the night we will be introducing our Foundation families to the teaching staff in the school, how our Preptastic program operates and how best parents can assist their child in preparing them for school. This is a very valuable experience and should not be missed. If any parents know of any students who are yet to be enrolled for next year, please encourage them to get their enrolment form in as soon as possible. I have begun the process of planning for 2020 and it is important to know our indicative Foundation enrolment numbers.

School Lockdown

We had a very successful OH&S Lockdown drill at school yesterday. Our new phone system enabled the office to know exactly when each room was locked down.

‘Introduction to Park Ridge Primary School’ Information Evening

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

The first of our Information Evenings, ‘Introduction to Park Ridge Primary School’ will take place on Tuesday, 13 August at 7:30pm in the Wentworth Building. The evening is also open to families in the community who are yet to enroll in the 2020 Foundation Program.  You will receive a variety of information regarding how the school operates and if you have already enrolled, you will also receive detailed information about the upcoming Preptastic Transition Program and log-in information for our Compass Parent Portal.

Friday, August 2nd, 2019

Divisional Winners

Our Year 6 Boys football team were successful in winning the School Sport Victoria Divisional Championships. In a hard fought encounter, our team defeated a very talented Karoo Primary School team. A team that defeated us twice at the District level. The boys now progress onto the Regional Championships next week.

Brain Learning

A good Working Memory is important for learning. A good Working Memory can hold between four and seven items of information at one time. Focusing on improving our working memory will improve academic performance. How many numbers can you repeat backwards. Get someone to say slowly three digits. Your job is to repeat the digits in the opposite order. If that is easy, try four digits. Eg. 3,6,7,2 → 2,7,6,3. If you can do more than five digits then you are better than most people. Five minutes practice a day for a couple of weeks can do wonders. You will notice that to achieve these results, you need to be focussed, alert and in the zone. A great game to play at home is a memory game where you have to find pairs of cards that are turned face down. If you are unsuccessful, turn the cards back down. For younger students, only use a small number of paired cards.

Parent Opinion Survey

Thank you to those parents and carers who have completed the 2019 Parent Opinion Survey. The online survey must be completed by tomorrow. The results from this survey helps School Council to develop a strategic plan for the school moving forward. The results from the students’ survey was extremely pleasing.

Over the up-coming weeks, Mrs Chalmers will be conducting focus groups with the students to unpack some of the responses from the students.

Two Minute Drop Off

I don’t believe that there is a school in metropolitan Melbourne that doesn’t have issues with parking before and after school. The school worked hard to get the Knox Council to install a Two Minute Drop Off space outside the school. This process only works if parents respect the quick drop off. It has come to my attention that we have a small minority of parents whom are parking in that space and coming into school. This causes a bank up of cars over the school crossing. Don’t be surprised if we see some Council inspectors out and about patrolling Wentworth Avenue. ‘Respect’ is one of our school values. Please observe the road rules to ensure the safety of all members of our community.