Principals Desk

Friday, October 12th, 2018

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

Walk to School October 2018

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.


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.
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.


Our Preptastic program begins tomorrow for our 2019 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 2019

We are presently developing classes for 2019. 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 26 October for consideration.

This year we are aiming to finalise our 2019 classes earlier than previous years

2019 Parent Contributions via Compass

School Council has discussed and passed the 2019 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) $220.00

Optional Items/Core Curriculum Items $60.00

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

Excursion levy as per year level

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.

Thursday, September 20th, 2018

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 2019 Foundation students will be attending to begin their 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.

State School Spectacular

Twenty-three students from year 5 & 6 participated in the 2018 Victorian State School Spectacular at Hisense Arena in Melbourne last weekend. This year’s extravaganza ‘With the Beat’ explored identity and belonging. More than 3000 students participated in the event. The girls have participated in months of rehearsals during lunchtimes and with students from other schools. The audience was thrilled with the performance of the students. The performance will be shown on Network TV at a later date. It is certainly worth a watch. Well done to all.

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.


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.


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.


Encourage children to think about content and the consequences of posting or forwarding something that might upset someone else. This also applies to not making hurtful or derogatory comments on someone else’s material.


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.


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.


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; and, of course, if the bullying extends to threats of violence, inform the police without delay.


Responding on your child’s behalf, like emailing the bully directly, or calling their parents, may further inflame the situation.


There are free, confidential counselling services for young

people such as (for 12–25 year-olds) and (for 14–25 year-olds).

(Telstra Parenting Tipsheet – Tackle Cyberbullying eSmart)

Principal’s Desk

Thursday, September 13th, 2018

Book Fair

This year’s Book Fair has been a huge success. Mrs Epstein and the English Committee should be congratulated for organising such a wonderful event. I have loved to see the excitement of the students as they leave the Wentworth Building with their new books. Reading is a wonderful past time and it’s great to see that so many of our students love reading. This is certainly evident by the great Reading NAPLAN results in Years 3 & 5.  At Park Ridge Primary, we explicitly teach students the strategies to be competent readers.

Bunnings Sausage Sizzle

A huge thank you must go to Erin Woods and a very enthusiastic group of parents who worked on the Bunnings BBQ last Saturday. Erin must be congratulated for organising the event. It ran like clockwork. This fundraising event raised $2400 for the school. Classroom library books have been purchased with this money for the students to access in their classrooms.

Approaching Students

If parents have any issues with a student 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.

Dress Up Day

On the last day of term, students can come to school dressed in their favourite footy colours. A Footy Parade has been organised for Period 1 9:00 am (Weather Permitting). This is not a gold coin donation event.

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.

School Assembly

There will not be a School Assembly on the last day of term. With the Footy Parade and footy activities we have decided that we are unable to fit both in during the  morning. Student Awards will return in Term 4.

Last Day of Term

Students will be dismissed from school at 2:30pm on the last day of term from their classrooms. School resumes on Monday 8 October.

*Mr Mann receiving his ‘value spies’ award. He was nominated by students for being a good leader, encouraging students and caring about everyone.


Thursday, September 6th, 2018

Talking Tactics

A yearly event on the school calendar is the Year 6 Talking Tactics Together night. Again, this year, our students performed admirably and provided their parents with many strategies and information when dealing with drugs. We had a very enthusiastic turn-out of parents with over 80 parents in attendance. What makes this night so important is the fact that the students are the presenters. Our teachers provided the educational vehicle and it’s the students who take the active role on the night. The students have spent much time researching body mapping – learning about the effects of drugs on the body, talking tactics –learning refusal techniques to help in situations where you may feel pressured and harm minimisation – identifying unsafe situations and strategies to minimise harm. This year, I spoke to the audience about the importance of opening lines of communication with your child, how the adolescent brain operates with alcohol and the importance of role modelling in developing positive attitudes towards drugs. A huge thank you must go to the Year 6 team for their efforts in preparing the students in such a professional manner. Here are some useful numbers and websites for parents to access to give them more information about this important topic.

Knox City Council Youth Services 9298 8469

Principals Desk

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

Pick My Project

Our school leaders were working hard at Stud Park Shopping Centre getting shoppers to vote for our Pick My Project. We are trying to gain funds to build an inclusive playground that allows all students the opportunity to play together. Voters have the opportunity to vote for three projects on offer. We are asking that parents choose our Inclusive Playground as number one and the Canine Enriched Walking Talking Coaching Program number two. Both programs would have a significant impact on our school and the local community.

National eSmart Week

Next week is National eSmartWeek. This is a great opportunity for families to discuss the importance of being safe online. Listed below are 10 tips from the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to help start the conversation. I am amazed by the number of students in Year 6 who have access to Facebook, Instagram etc that have age restrictions in place. These age restrictions are in place for a reason. Students should be having lots of face to face interactions with peers and adults. It is through these conversations that we develop our emotional intelligence.

Care about the Share
Social media wants you to share as much as you can bear! But the share should be rare. NEVER share: passwords, private/personal information, your location.

Privacy Matters
If you care about the share, you’ll protect your privacy, no matter what. Regularly check your privacy settings on social media, and always think before you post. It’s amazing where data ends up – usually all over the internet.

Respect the Privacy of Others
Treat other’s privacy as you would your own. Ask for your friend’s permission before uploading photos and videos of them. It’s not all about you, am I right?

Keep Everything Updated
Any idea what causes the most security breaches on the internet? Software that isn’t up-to-date. Seems crazy simple, but it’s true! Be vigilant about updating software, including apps, anti-virus and even the humble browser.

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spammidy-spam
Even with the best anti-spam and malware software – that’s up-to-date – spam is the modern version of junk mail. It’s everywhere! Learn how to tell the difference between real emails and messages, and dodgy things with dodgy links. Sometimes they don’t look so dodgy…always be suspicious of hyperlinks in emails.

Control the Troll Within
There are trolls out there – beware! Don’t feed them, don’t give them what they want: an angry response. Block/Report the trolls. But also: resist the inner troll. If you’re not adding something to

the debate online, don’t bother. Don’t be part of the problem.

Cyberbullying and Harassment
If you’re being targeted by this kind of behaviour, know what you can do, and where you can get help. Visit the National Centre Against Bullying website and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner’s website.

Keep Your Friends Close and Strangers at Arm’s Length
Do you know how many true friends most people have? Three. Yup, those four thousand and fifty-two Facebook ‘friends’ are a combination of acquaintances, people-you-met-once, people-you-can’t-remember-meeting-once, and probably, some ‘randoms’. They don’t need to know what you had for breakfast, or what concert you went to last night, do they?

Feel the Flow – Keep Your Life in Balance
Technology is incredible. Gaming, networking, apps…online shopping! But make sure you take time out and find the right balance for you. Too long on tech can put the world out of whack.

Have Fun, Friend
Always remember to chill out and keep things in perspective. There’s too much information online to take it all in! Focus on each moment, and enjoy.

(Alannah and Madeline Foundation)

Book Week Author Visit

Alan Brough, comedian, media personality and writer, visited the school this week to share with the Year 3-6 students his journey as a writer. Alan was extremely entertaining and hopefully motivated our students to push the limits of their writing ability.

Father’s Day Stall

As usual, our Father’s 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.

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?