Principals Desk

Thursday, June 13th, 2019

The Value of Boredom

Recently, I came across a video from the Today Show with Hugh Van Cuylenburg. Hugh worked with our school in the early days of our positive education journey. Hugh has, over recent times, been working with many of Australia’s leading sporting teams. In the video, Hugh talks about the importance of ‘boredom’ in children’s lives. He believes boredom is important for children to develop their creativity skills. Today, it is easy for parents to put an ipad in front of their child in the car, at the supermarket, while travelling on holidays or after dinner to fill in the time. However, a bored child develops the cognitive skills to think of alternative ways to amuse themselves. They become creative. Why is this important in life? When our children are faced with difficulties as they grow older, they are more likely to problem solve a number of possible solutions to the problem. A question to ask yourself is; How much down time does your child have? Or are you thinking of employing a social secretary to manage their day.

Prep Healthy Day

This week, we had our Prep Healthy Day. This is the first stage of our camping program. Students came to school in their pyjamas, had breakfast, and changed in to their school uniform and participated in activities during the day. As usual, we had a fantastic parent turn out and the day was hugely successful. A special thank you must be given to our teaching staff, aides and student teachers from Deakin University for their dedication in making this event so successful. The students ate so quietly with great table manners. You could feel the excitement in the room. Learning should always be fun but I think that this event will be remembered by our Foundation students for a long time to come.

2020 Foundation Students

School tours for 2020 Foundation families have commenced. Enrolment forms can be collected from the office. If any of our families have neighbours with children starting school next year, could they please encourage them to organise a tour with myself through the office.

Last Day of Term

Friday 28 June is the last day of term. Students will be dismissed from their classrooms at 2:30pm. School recommences on Monday 15 July.

Thursday, June 6th, 2019

‘Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day’ – Alice Morse Earle

Riding Bikes in the School Grounds

A school rule is that all visitors to our school must walk their bikes while in the school grounds. This includes students, parents and guardians. School Council, at our last meeting, extended this rule to include before and after school from7:00am to 6:00pm. This extension was needed to protect the safety of OSHC students and workers, school cleaners and staff working before and after school. In recent times we have a number of near misses where students on bikes have nearly collected our school cleaners and teachers exiting their classrooms. If students want to use the basketball facilities after school, they need to walk their bikes through the school, park them in the bike racks before starting to play. And when leaving, walk their bikes to the outside boundaries before riding. The health and safety of students, teachers, ancillary staff and visitors is of the utmost importance.

If your child frequents the school on their bike after school, please reinforce this extension of the rule with your child.

Growth vs Fixed Mindset

Park Ridge Primary is a leading government school in the field of Positive Education. The Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) is now embedded in all facets of our students’ schooling. We want our students to develop a growth mindset with regard to their learning potential. With EFFORT, we want our students to realise that they can achieve. It is important for parents to support this concept. Learn to praise the effort. This doesn’t mean praising mediocre effort. Students are quick to see through non genuine praise. When students say that they are not good at something, we, as adults need to repeat their sentence with the word yet at the end. This statement provides hope and potential growth. Are you a growth or fixed mindset individual?

Divisional Cross Country

Five, very enthusiastic students participated in the Divisional Cross Country event at Knox on Tuesday. Tyler C 2nd and Nathan H 4th progress to the Regional Championships at Yarra Glen in a couple weeks. Also, Kalani C 22nd, Luca I 26th, and Jaiden W 22nd performed admirably. A highlight, which showed true resilience, was Luca who lost both shoes during the race and continued without hesitation. Luca showed the true Park Ridge spirit of handling difficult situations with grit and determination.

Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Practice Makes Permanent

We all want to see our students achieve at school. To ensure that this happens, students need to develop attentional skills, working memory and processing skills. Repetition is essential for learning. Continual practice is essential. That means that students need to read nightly, practice their spelling words regularly and complete home learning tasks weekly. Students need to be able to occupy their own time. I see students being managed 24/7. Downtime is important for students. The brain needs regular repetition to reorganise itself to consolidate learned information.

Open Night

Although the weather was cold and quite unpleasant, a large contingent of parents and students attended our Open Night on Tuesday evening. It was great to see families working through the maths problems in classrooms. A major focus of our teachers’ development this year is to increase our expertise in the teaching of mathematics. We don’t just want our students to know the basics but more importantly, have a deep knowledge of mathematical concepts. Our maths focus is based around the four proficiencies of

Understanding
Fluency
Problem Solving
Reasoning

Students who are competent in all of these areas will achieve great maths results. All of the activities that families participated in on the night required a strong element of thinking to solve the problems at hand. It was great to see so many families visiting the specialist areas. We have a great specialist program that engages our students and develop their talents. A huge thank you must go to all of the teachers for their efforts in making the night so enjoyable.

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Educating the Whole Child

While on the internet recently, I came across this text (author unknown) that I thought I would share.

Don’t become preoccupied with your child’s academic ability, but instead teach them to sit with those alone. Teach them to be kind,

Teach them to offer help.

Teach them to be a friend to the lonely.

Teach them to encourage others.

Teach them to think about other people.

Teach them to share.

Teach them to look for the good.

This is how we will change the world.

At our school we focus on the ‘Whole Child’ We want our students to be academically capable and also to be a ‘good’ person. We want our students to discover their ‘strengths’ and pursue their interests. Our school has many ‘extra curricula activities’ for students to try. With a ‘growth mindset’ our students will be the best that they can be.

Open Night

Our Open Night is coming!

I am looking forward to seeing all of our families at our school on Tuesday 28 May from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. 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 specialist areas.

Lost Property

I am continually amazed by the number of school tops that are left in the yard after recess and lunchtimes. Our students should be responsible for their belongings. With our current weather conditions of cold mornings, followed by warm afternoons, students need to remember to pick up their school tops if they put them on the ground. My mum made me tie my jumper around my waist if I took it off. And if I lost it, it would have been a very cold winter for me. I am also amazed by the number of student’s tops that are unnamed. Please make sure that all student’s clothing is named. All found named clothing is returned to the owner.

Parking Around the School

I believe 98% of our parents obey the road rules when dropping off and picking up their children from school. However, I still get complaints from other parents about drivers parking in the 2 minute drop off zone. This area is for drop off’s only. You will find many free car parking opportunities a five minute walk from our school gate. I don’t believe that this is a huge inconvenience to parents.

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Inclusion and Diversity

As you know, at Park Ridge Primary School we have a strong culture of respect and inclusion, including respect for each student’s individual learning pathways. These ideals are part of the everyday conversations that we have as a staff group and with our students. Our school is also diverse, something that I know we all value, and something that adds to our students’ emotional intelligence and the breadth of their learning.

From time to time, some of our students may need extra support in relation to their behaviours or their learning. We are committed to ensuring these supports are provided, and making sure all our students are in a safe and supportive learning environment at our school. These may include

developing behaviour management plans and individual learning plans;

including students in learning intervention programs;

regularly talking about respectful relationships and what this means;

regularly meeting with parents in student support groups;

providing social and emotional regulation programs; and

engaging additional services through our well-being team, which includes SSS staff, outside agencies and specialist professionals to support our students when they need it.

School Standards

Over the next two weeks, our Year 3 & 5 students are completing NAPLAN tests in Spelling and Grammar, Reading, Writing and Mathematics. A decision was made yesterday by our leadership team not to get the students to complete the testing online but revert back to the paper tests. 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 and from Year 5 to Year 7. 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.

Open Night

Our Open Night is coming!

I am looking forward to seeing all of our families at our school on Tuesday 28 May from 6:00 to 7:30 pm. 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 specialist areas.

2020 Foundation Students

School tours for 2020 Foundation families have commenced. Enrolment forms can be collected from the office. If any of our families have neighbours with children starting school next year, could they please encourage them to organise a tour with myself through the office.