Principal’s Pen | James Foley, Drills, Toys, NAPLAN & more
Dear Parents and Families,
Over the last fortnight all our students have enjoyed a variety of fantastic activities including kite flying, bubble blowing, bush cubby building and not the least, classroom visits from author James Foley to kick off our Book Week celebrations. For more about our exciting Book Week plans, please see our latest Deputy’s Desk.
Every year we spend some time on training the staff and students on the actions to take in the event of an emergency. Last week we successfully ran a lockdown drill and I was very pleased with the calm manner in which our staff members and students carried out the drill. The drill sparked some very interesting conversations in our Year One classes about the need to lock doors to keep Rhinoceros’s out! Because of our proximity to Cadogan Park Bushland, our school is in a registered bushfire zone and we are required to conduct an evacuation drill before October each year. This drill will take place later this term. Please see the link below to read our Communication Plan which will be used in the event of a bushfire when students are in school.
Toys at School
There have been a number of children bringing Bey Blades, Coles Minis and other toys from home. We don’t encourage children to bring toys to school as we can’t promise they will be kept safe. We also find that these toys often cause arguments between friends. If children have been asked to bring toys in for activities such as stop motion films, they will be asked to keep them in their bags and to leave them in bags unless required for the filming.
NAPLAN Readiness Test
Next year, all schools in WA will be completing NAPLAN online (except Year 3 writing). To ensure our school is ready with the necessary technical and network capabilities, we will be participating in a NAPLAN Readiness Test. It is important to know that the test is about assessing the network and its ability to cope with multiple devices accessing the NAPLAN site. During August, all students in Years 3 and 5 will participate in a trial of the assessment platform, by undertaking online readiness tests that include examples of the new NAPLAN online questions. Each test will take about 45 minutes to complete. Students’ results will not be assessed or recorded. The readiness test has not been constructed to assess curriculum knowledge, but rather to provide students with an opportunity to experience the types of questions that will be included in the new online assessments. As such, reports will not be provided.
The testing period will be between 27 August – 7 September.
We still have spaces available for Kindy 2019, for children who reside in our local area. If you have a child who was born between the 1st of July 2014 and the 30th of June 2015 please come to the office to complete an enrolment form.
The research conducted by Beyond Blue highlighted that a large factor in developing resilience in children is to focus on their autonomy and responsibility. In other words, we need to help our children develop their independence and ability to face disappointment, problems and challenges by themselves.
It’s natural as a parent to want to make life enjoyable and comfortable for our children and to protect them from disappointment and negative experiences. It can be so hard to take a step back, rather than rushing in to smooth the way when difficulties crop up. More and more stories are appearing in the media of parents going to great lengths to make life easy for their children. In the US, colleges are reporting that some parents are sitting in on lectures, complaining about how professors grade their adult children and even calling college authorities to sort out minor disagreements and squabbles between roommates.
While we may laugh at these over the top examples, I know there have been times where my mothering instincts have taken over and I’ve wanted to jump in and fix things for my own children. Recently I had to resist the urge to ask if I could sit in the back seat while my daughter took her driving test! By jumping in, I would have taken away an opportunity for my daughter to learn that she has the strength to get through a challenging situation all by herself. This will stand her in good stead next time she has to go through a stressful experience.
By making things better,
parents are not teaching their children to manage
or solve the issue for themselves.
Dr. Judith Locke
Sadly, real life can be difficult. We cannot take away every disappointment, problem or challenge that our children will face. Instead, by giving them the tools to work through tough situations, we are giving them the gift of developing their independence and resilience.
Our James Foley week has been so much fun, I am really looking forward to Book Week next week and I hope to see you all on Open Night.
Lynne Anderson | PRINCIPAL