Principals Desk

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

Reading Reading Reading

By now, I am sure that parents would realise that I believe that regular nightly reading is so important to students. It needs to be a priority in every family’s routine. At Park Ridge Primary, we don’t consider reading to be classified as part of our home learning routines. It’s something we need to build into our daily activities. Research also shows that if dads or a significant male hears the child read then the improvement is even greater. Listed below is some research from New Zealand. The message is pretty simple, the more you read, the better you become at reading. How many words does your child read each day? Reading to your child is similarly important. I would love to analyse the ratio between home reading, playing electronic games and outdoor physical play our students perform each day. Two of these activities need to make up a predominant amount of student’s time.

The Amount of Reading Done

Progress Group Words Read Weekly Words Read Yearly
High 3570 20 000
High/Middle 2601 15 000
Low/Middle 1680 10 000
Low 757 5000

Clay: Observation records of book reading taken at weekly intervals – Auckland Research Study

Note: It’s obvious to see why nightly reading is so important

Why Resilience is Important?

Resilience is one of our school values. It is a very important life skill that ensures that we flourish in life. The other day I was talking to one of my ex Year 6 parents whose child is now going to a secondary school outside of our area. From home he takes a bus and then a train to get to school and then repeats the process back home again. As I would expect, he is handling the commute to school in his stride. He has made a new group of friends very quickly and is loving the next stage of his learning journey.

Curriculum Days

Our last two Curriculum Days for the year are Monday 18 March and Friday 26 April. Students are not required to attend school on these days.

Labour Day

Monday 11 March is a public holiday. Students are not required at school on this day

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

Developing Your Strengths

At Park Ridge Primary School we mandate ten hours of literacy and five hours of numeracy per week. We have high expectations that students become highly proficient in these areas. We also ensure that we provide other opportunities for students to develop and practise their strengths. Weekly sport, running club, lunchtime coding classes, robotics, gardening club and lunchtime bookclubs are extra curricula activities for students to develop their talents. This year, Miss Hoffman, our new Music teacher, has introduced Jam Club. Jam Club provides opportunities at lunchtimes on Wednesdays for Years 4-6 and Thursdays F-3 to engage students back into our music program and inspire them to pick up an instrument to try and learn to play in a self-directed and collaborative learning way. Here are some photos from the Wednesday session. The excitement in the Wentworth Building was contagious.

Getting to Know You Nights / Information Gathering

Thank you to all of the families who attended the Getting to Know You Nights. This night is a valuable opportunity for teachers and parents to forge a great relationship to ensure that students achieve the best possible learning outcomes. I will be asking teachers to follow up with the parents they did not see on the night.

Lunch with the Principal

I will be having my lunch with the Students of the Week on Fridays at 1:15pm. This time provides a great opportunity for students to share their award with other students and reflect as to why they were nominated.

Student Leaders

At our assembly last week, Year 6 students received their leadership badges for 2019. We have increased the responsibilities of our leaders and look forward to watching their development. These leadership positions do not preclude other students from identifying and leading initiatives across the school.

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

Nightly Reading

Over the past couple of years, our students have made huge improvements with their reading. Many of our students are reading well above the expected level. This impressive improvement is due to teachers thoroughly and explicitly teaching reading strategies to their students and also the increased focus in home reading completed by our students. Students who are good readers have developed great reading habits. There is an expectation that all students (Foundation – Year 6) read nightly for a sustained period of time. Children and parents should be developing a regular nightly reading time routine. Look at your schedule and pencil in the nightly reading routine and stick to it. Reading should take precedent over playing games on the computer.

Research also informs us that dads and significant other male role models can have a huge positive influence in reading performance if they participate in the nightly reading routine. Please spend the time reading to and with your child. This investment will certainly have a positive effect in your child’s learning. Our school expectation is for all students to read at least five times per week. Teachers will be following up with students each week to make sure that this is happening.

Slip Slop Slap

Park Ridge Primary is a Sunsmart accredited school. We require all students to wear a hat while outside in Terms 1&4. Students who do not have a hat must play undercover near the library. Recently, while speaking to the students in their classrooms, I was surprised by the minimal number of students who wear sunscreen. Applying sunscreen and cleaning your teeth should become routine events each morning for students. The consequences for not protecting yourself against the sun could be catastrophic in the years to come.

Assembly Times

Our school assemblies will begin this week on Friday mornings in the Wentworth Building. At our assemblies we acknowledge students who have had an impressive start to school. This week we will also present leadership badges to our Year 6 students.

New Canteen Manager

Our school canteen has a new manager. I would like to welcome Mero to our school and I hope that she enjoys her time with us. I have very high expectations on our students with regards to their behaviour when getting food from the canteen. ’Please and Thank you’ are a must. Students who do not show manners will be asked to go to the end of the line.

Thursday, January 31st, 2019

Welcome Back

Welcome back to Park Ridge for what is shaping up to be a very successful 2019. Students and staff have settled in well to the new year of learning. Thank you to all of the families who kept an eye out for the school over the holiday period. We have a number of new staff this year and I would like to welcome Rebecca Locking (Year 1 and Literacy Learning Specialist), Laura Bird (Year 3), Meagan Relf (Year 5) and Suzanna Hoffman (Music) and I hope that you have a wonderful time at Park Ridge.


Could parents please note that COMPASS is our main form of communication between school and home. We expect that parents are checking Compass regularly for newsletters, excursion notices and year and school level communications.

New Park Ridge Kids

This week we welcomed thirteen new Yr 1-6 students to Park Ridge Primary. Our friendly, caring classrooms makes it very easy for new students to transition into our school.

Teacher Professional Learning

Over the past two days our staff have been busily participating in mathematics professional learning. Although, our maths achievement data is exceptionally good, we still believe we can take the student achievement to another level. I look forward to sharing this journey with our parent community over the upcoming year. Scott Minetti, our Mathematics Learning Specialist will lead this initiative.

Being at School on Time

For us to achieve the optimal learning outcomes for students, we need to ensure that students are at school on time. This means that students are at their classrooms by 8:45 am. This year we again have classroom doors open by 8:30 in the morning. Students will be able to drop in the bag and get themselves ready for learning. There wouldn’t be too many occupations that would allow you to rock up late each day. We need to develop punctuality in our students. Yes, it is busy outside school in the morning. It might mean leaving five minutes earlier or finding another place to drop off the children.

Friday Morning Assembly

Our school assemblies will begin next Friday 8 February.  Parents are invited to attend all school assemblies. Our assemblies are an opportunity to recognise the great achievements of our students. Our first school assembly will begin next week with student awards being presented by our new school captains. School Captain badges will also be presented.

Entering and Exiting the School

All students and parents entering and exiting the school

from Wentworth Avenue must either use the main school entrance or the entrance next to the Music room. It is not a safe practise to walk past Room 1 and use the school driveway. Students and cars do not mix. For the safety of all, could parents and students please follow this expectation.

Parents ARE NOT to use the staff car park without the permission of the school principal.

Staffing for 2019

Principal – David Mann

Assistant Principal –Adele Gregson, Carrie Chalmers

Business Manager – Di Rogers

Office –Julie Bushby, Jenna McLaughlin, Jacinta Smith

Art – Craig Hall, Andrea Scott

Music – Suzanna Hoffman, Shae Edwards

Indonesian –Shane Merrett

Physical Education –Matthew Davey, Kirsten MacFadyen

Year 6 – Shaun Collett, Lisa Herridge, Olivia Leenheers, Jarrod Hicks

Year 5 – Rebecca Mulhall, Scott Minetti, Pat Gill, Meagan Relf, Julie Woodgate

Year 4 – Erin Scott, Skye Booth, Chris Hossack

Year 3 – Jamie Cooney, Courtney Yates, Laura Bird, Stuart McPherson

Year 2 – Natalie Yates, Kasey Leder, Georgia Lofthouse

Year 1 – Nicole Karanzoulis, Alicia Andersson, Rebecca Locking, Jessica Deans

Foundation – Connie Epstein, Rachel Manning, Caroline Marget. Natasha Searle

Reading Intervention – Anna Christofis, Jean Maxwell

Integration Aides – Trish Decelis, Lynda Veale, Ilsa Caddy, Marie Davis, Luke Schubert, Natalie Wilkins, Stella Vaccaro, Sharon Nyholm, Leisa Miller, Sonia Cross, Maria Nemec

Before and After School Care – Belinda Kirby, Karli Taylor, Ebony Silva

Getting to Know You Nights / Information Gathering

Year 1 – Year 6 Tuesday 12 February 3:30pm – 7:30pm

The Information Gathering session is a most valuable activity both parents and teachers will participate in during the year. It allows parents a chance to introduce themselves and provide the teacher with useful information with regard to their child.  There is an expectation that all parents will make time to see their child’s class teacher.  If the date or time does not suit you then please contact your child’s class teacher to arrange an alternative time.

Information will be sent home to parents next Monday and parents need to book an appointment online through Compass.

Handling the Hot Weather

In Term 1 it is extremely important for students to think when they are outside.  Students must wear a Park Ridge logo hat, drink water regularly and apply sunscreen when participating in activities outside.  Park Ridge is a Sunsmart school and thus we have decided to organise our Year 4/5/6 sport for Friday mornings when the sun is not so strong.  Being sensible in the sun is a priority for everyone. I expect that all students should be at school during hot days. Staying home on hot days is not developing resilience in our children.

Specialist Program

Park Ridge has a very extensive extra-curricula program, including a weekly Specialist program Students are expected to come prepared to participate in activities as required.  This would include runners for P.E. All Specialist begin tomorrow.  Please check with your child to find out what days they are involved in their Specialist program.

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

Again, this week, we have been extremely busy. Teachers have been working in their 2019 teams planning for Term 1. We will be having three new staff join us in 2019 and it has been great having them available at school to work, plan and prepare for a very successful 2019. With Christmas shopping (something I haven’t yet started), Christmas functions (remember to start a new fitness program after Christmas), meetings and the many other things we have to do at this time of the year, we sometimes forget to STOP and reflect on our past achievements. We have had a great year! We should be very proud of our school and the students who work so hard to improve their performance. Our parents are incredibly supportive.

When visiting our Foundation classes, I am often reminded of what amazing learning growth looks like. How a student can arrive at school at the beginning of the year only being able to scribble write and now writes two to three pages of text with correct spelling and neat handwriting is so impressive.

Park Ridge Primary is a great school achieving great outcomes.

Last Day of School

Students will be dismissed from school on the last day (Friday 21 December) at 1:15pm. Weather permitting, we will be holding a final assembly at the podium at 12:55pm.  At our assembly, we will say farewell to the Year 6 class of 2018 and recognise our award winners from our Graduation.

Moving Day

To prepare for 2019, many of our classrooms have moved to accommodate the 2019 room structure. This information was forwarded to parents via Compass on Wednesday. Students will be working in their new classrooms for the rest of the year.

For the Diary

Next year school begins on Thursday 31 January for all students in Years F-6. Students will process directly to their new classrooms.