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Welcome Back

Welcome back to Term 2. We hope everyone enjoyed the company of their children while not having to work within a school timetable. The weather was certainly kind for outdoor activities. We wish everyone all the best for Term 2 at school. Term 2, is a busy term and includes: Anzac Day, School Cross Country, NAPLAN assessment, Mid - Year Reports, Prep Open Days, Education Week, hosting student teachers from La Trobe University and many more.

Healthy Lunches Essential to Learning

Keep providing the healthiest lunches as possible for all children as it is a great marker of success in the classroom. The ‘5 Food Group Checklist’ is a helpful tool to evaluate the best lunch possible that includes the following:

  1. Vegetables and legumes/beans .
  2. Fruit.
  3. Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties.
  4. Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans.
  5. Milk, yoghurt cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Please refrain from sending snacks that are high is salt, sugar and fat. We often hear children say, “I have a special treat today”, and this consists of a lolly or chocolate which unfortunately remain on the teeth from lunch time (11.00am) until bedtime. Nutritious food is an investment in a ‘long and healthy life’ for our children. We are pleased to see many children bringing sandwiches, wraps and a variety of fresh fruit for their lunches. We maintain a healthy canteen that is state government compliant for the provision of lunches to children. Sue updates the menu to align with the seasons and we are lucky to have such a healthy range of foods that are enjoyed by the students and staff.

NAPLAN Testing

The Mathematics and English testing that is Australia wide will take place on 9th, 10th and 11th May, 2017. It will involve all Year 3 and 5 students in our school. It is important that all students have an early night before each of these days and a substantial breakfast as they are concentrating for long periods of time under test conditions. It is a series of tests that cannot be studied for and are based on all the teaching and learning that has happened to that point in time for each student. For Year 3 students for example it is all that has been learned from Prep till May in Year 3 and for Year 5 students all that has been learned from Prep to May in Year 5.

We do our best to prepare the students for the test taking techniques that go with NAPLAN so that they are not disadvantaged by lack of exposure to the types of questions sprinkled through each test such as multiple choice questions, choose between given answers, one word answers etc.

Some parents request that their students be exempt in exceptional circumstances and sometimes the school will contact parents as children who have a particular disability and/or learning impairment may not benefit from the testing regime and may not cope with the situation at all. If you child is exempt due to a particular learning disability or will receive extra reading time you will be notified by the principal and/or classroom teacher before the testing takes place. We have in the past done quite well in both Year 3 and 5 NAPLAN areas and this is largely attributed to past and present teachers and the time parents spend with their children in normal day to day activities at home. It is essential that all children are present at school unless genuinely sick as by the Friday we are required to have done our best to catch up all students that have missed a day for any reason.

Inter-school Cross Country

On Tuesday 16th May, the Division Inter-school Cross Country will be held in Mildura and our top female and male Cross Country runners in Years 3,4 5 & 6 will be participating. Selection will be based on the results of tryouts that will be held during lunchtimes during the fourth week of the term.

Success at the Inter-school Cross Country event can lead to an invitation to run in Melbourne in several months’ time. Children who qualify will be given a note to take home, asking for parent permission to attend and parent assistance with transport. Any child travelling with any teacher or parent must have express permission to travel to and from the event in a private vehicle which must have comprehensive insurance.

Morning Arrival, Encouraging Independence and Late Arrival Information

Please be aware that if you drop your children at school too early there is no formal supervision before 8.45am. From 8.30 am onward is ideal to ensure a steady drop off rate from the car park and for the general safety of all children arriving by car.

Please encourage your children to take their own belonging to the classroom and unpack items themselves. We want the students at all year levels (Prep to Year 6) to be as independent as possible. If parents carry the students bags, unpack them for them and carry them home in the afternoon, this is unfortunately working against what we are trying to achieve at school every day.

The 15 minutes before school is vital teacher preparation time to interact with the children, so it is not a time for conversations about major concerns, rather time for a quick greeting or explanation.

It is not appropriate to dominate the teacher’s attention at 8.50 am as from this time onward and after the bell has gone; this is the precious time of all the children in the class with their teacher’s full attention. If you bring your child to the class late after signing them whether you have attended an appointment or just running late - please drop them quickly and leave promptly as a long explanation after the lesson time has started places the teacher in a difficult position as they do not wish to be disrespectful, but it is disruptive to the whole class’s start to the day. The children in the class do not need to know the reasons why another child is late and unfortunately sometimes hear unnecessary private medical and family information. As you can appreciate such an interruption always requires the class to be refocused and for instructions to be repeated to include the late arrival as far as practical.

Late students must be signed in by their parents at the front office without exception. They will be given a red ‘Late Pass’ to take to class to let the classroom teacher know that the parent has signed them into school. The class roll must record that a child is late as all roles are marked first thing in the morning. If a serious matter has caused the delay or is causing a delay each day please do not hesitate to ask to see me and/or Mrs Ann Muller our P.W.O (Primary Welfare Officer). We will do our best to assist or engage services that can assist.

Parent Provided Tissues

Thank you to the parents that have donated already to their class - we very much appreciate your support to maintain the best possible health standards in our rooms. We have had wonderful support this year and appreciate every donation made to our school.

ANZAC Day Service

We would like to send a warm invitation to all families and friends to come to our School ANZAC service on 24th April at 10:00 am under the shade sales. Parents are welcome to involve relatives and friends in the service. A local RSL representative will be available and all classes will lay a wreath.

Assembly Date

Our first formal school assembly for Term 2 will be held on Wednesday, 26th April, 2017. All parents are welcome to attend.

Staffing

Mrs Baird will continue as Acting Assistant Principal until Mr Beer returns.

Year 6 to 7 Open Nights

Each of the Secondary Schools is trialing an ‘Open Evening for Prospective Year 7 Students’ to showcase what their school offers in their Year 7 to 10 Program. They are have finalised the dates and information session dates were sent home last term. If any Year 6 parents did not receive the note please ask your child to get a replacement copy from their teacher. They will all be on a different evening to allow for parents and students to look at several schools if they wish. We encourage parents to take advantage of this offer by the Secondary Schools in our vicinity.

Emergency Contact Details

We often get parents who move over the holiday period or have changing family circumstances. Please advise us promptly of any address and phone number changes. There is often little time in an emergency and having to ring several people to locate a parent or carer can take more than 20 minutes. It also allows parents to make decisions in the event of an emergency and for us to provide updates, if an ambulance is required. It is a legal requirement that we have emergency contact details for all students.

Thank You

Thank you for all the fantastic Easter donations that has allowed for such great prizes to be awarded at Assembly tomorrow. It shows that when everyone contributes a small amount, we can achieve a fantastic outcome in terms of a fundraising total and variety of prizes. Well done to all the families that supported the Parents’ Club on this occasion and congratulations to all the prize winners!

Parents’ Club

Parents’ Club had their AGM on Thursday night last week and the following people were elected to office bearing positions.

  • President – Sasha McClure
  • Vice President – Kerryn Harberger
  • Secretary – Rita Valentich
  • Treasurer – Stam Panaretos

The role of the Parents’ Club is as a social entity to welcome new families to the school and involve them in school activities. Its secondary role is to raise funds that will be of benefit to all students across the school. It does not have any role with regard to school policy and decision making. At each meeting a Principal’s report is tabled to keep the group up to date with school events, achievements and sometimes areas that are being developed within the school such as staffing changes and building and grounds development. Each year, Teaching Units and Specialist Departments can place a wish list with Parents’ Club for items to improve the unit or specialist area for all students. This is often used to purchase much needed class resources to support the following key learning areas such as Numeracy, Literacy, The Arts, PE and ICT. Parents’ Club, at their discretion, can also offer to support particular areas of need within the school or to support a particular program. $3,000 was donated last year and again this year to assist with the payment of the new basketball court. Anyone is welcome to attend any Parent Club meeting. Everyone is welcome to attend all or some of the meetings. Some people who are unable to attend any meetings may at any time offer to assist with particular fundraisers throughout the year as they are able to. Any help at any time is very much appreciated.

Canteen Thank you

Thank you to all the new and past parents that have assisted in the Canteen over the term. Any support, however small is appreciated by Sue our Canteen Manager and the whole school population. It can also be another nice social occasion for parents as well and a good opportunity to meet new people. It is a positive work place and Sue is a very friendly and competent manager. We especially ask that personal school conversations about staff and other students and individual school concerns about staff and other students are not discussed at any time in the Canteen. It would never be appropriate for Sue to be placed in a compromised position as an employee of the school. It could also lead to other parent helpers feeling under pressure to have an opinion one way or another on any give topic and that is not something that we would wish to ever occur. Thank you also to the Year 6 students who have assisted in the Canteen over the term. We are thrilled with the support Sue has given them around customer service, money control and food handling. This is another opportunity to develop good leadership skills in our senior students.

Camps and Excursions to Come

Please look out for the notes for the following out of school camps as preparations are well underway:

  • Swan Hill Camp (Year 3)
  • Roses Gap Camp (Year 4)
  • Lake Cullulleraine Camp (Year 5)
  • Melbourne Camp (Year 6)

It is important that numbers of definite attenders is received as soon as the first note is due for return. We have to budget exactly for each camp and if children do not return notes or pull out late in the organisation it is difficult to cover the cost of the event. CSEF recipients should check with the office to see what money they have available to put toward the camp as some may have residual funds left over from 2016.

They are very well planned and enjoyable camps and we want as many children to participate as possible. This is the reason for getting Camp Payment booklets out as early as possible prior to the excursion.

Term 2

Term 2 is a big term for all schools with such things as:

  • NAPLAN testing
  • Parent Opinion survey
  • Student Opinion Survey
  • ICAS Testing
  • Parent Reporting Conversations
  • Formal end of Semester Reports
  • Interschool sports.

Holidays

Term 1 has been a very busy and productive term and I would like to wish all the children, parents, and teachers a safe and happy holiday and look forward to the children returning in Term 2 on the Tuesday after the Easter break.

Congratulations on Term 1 to Families and Children

We would like to thank all parents for their support with the almost 100% wearing of uniforms each day and for the many parents that have ensured that their children have appropriate footwear for school. We have very few children now who are arriving late for school in the morning and almost without exception children are arriving happy and well-nourished from a full breakfast with their family. We have children working hard on their academic work, playing fairly and participating in sports to represent our school. There are many activities at school and out of school to look forward to and we encourage all children to attend to the highest level of behaviour in order to participate in all major excursions (Swan Hill, Rose’s Gap, Lake Cullulleraine and Melbourne Camps) and incursions such as plays and presentations. Also this week we saw over 50 children register for Irymple’s Got Talent try outs. A small team of year 6 children are organising the event and they are well on track to discover some new talent.

Easter Donations to Parents’ Club Raffle

Thank you to all the families that have contributed to the wonderful selection of items for the Easter raffles. They will be drawn on the last day of school for the term. Please keep the ticket sales coming in as the prizes are amazing and the Parents’ Club supports our children in a host of special areas each year with the funds to buy much needed resources. They also contributed to the basketball court resurfacing and every week allow us to provide fresh fruit for children that are hungry at recess and lunch time each day.

School Requisite Payments and Netbook Payments

Please finalise payments as soon as possible. It would be greatly appreciated if this could be done prior to the end of Term 1. This also prevents overlap with Major Camp payments and additional pressure on parents. Thank you to all the families that have already paid.

DET Absence Data for Our School

We have just received our absence data for 2016 and in our school the average number of days lost is 15. Every day at school counts and commitment to 100% attendance with the exception of illness is essential. It has been made a major priority in the North West Region and across all schools. All schools are being asked to track every absence carefully and to reconsider how to sell the following two messages: ‘Every day counts’ and ‘It’s not Okay to be away’. High absenteeism sadly is a precursor to falling behind in school, eventual disengagement, poor behaviour, leaving school at a young age and reduced chances of meaningful employment. Every week is planned at school, as a sequence of activities in a longer ‘5 week cycle’ and if days are missed children can feel lost and under unnecessary stress. Another area that suffers when absences are high is solid friendships as children like to have their friends to play with on a daily basis. It would be great to bring the average down to 14 or less this year.

STOMP Dance

This week the children were involved in the STOMP dance program with some outstanding presentations resulting. Amazing performances were given by each year level this morning in a whole school concert. It has been such a successful program that we hope we can have the children participate in it again. All students were offered an opportunity to participate in the STOMP Dance groups new format.

Peer Support

Over Term 1 and the first 3 weeks of Term 2 Peer Support Leaders will have or have had sessions with their multi-age- groups that have been based on Promoting Harmony. This has included the following learning:

  • Children will think about what is a value and something they value in themselves.
  • Children will look at the notion that what they choose to spend their time on often reflects the values they have.
  • Children will participate in activities helping them to identify and accept differences in people. They will also identify ways they can demonstrate being caring through their actions.
  • Children will identify what it means to have respect and discuss ways they can demonstrate respect for others.
  • Children will be looking at rights, how we as individuals have rights and so do other people
  • Children will be discussing and developing ways to be responsible.
  • Children will be encouraged to attempt new and unfamiliar tasks by trying the best they can. The tasks will help the children to identify different strengths in each other and that everyone’s different strengths can be used to solve a problem or complete a task.
  • In the last session the children will be reminded to reflect on their values and how they can demonstrate these to other people. Each Peer Support group will have the opportunity to celebrate what they have learned and the new friendships and connections they have made.

Pre-School Kindergarten to Foundation (Prep) Transition

As you may be aware many of the non-government schools have already started advertising for Foundation (Prep) enrollments for the coming year (2018), and many people panic that they have to make a quick decision. We at Irymple Primary School start calling for enrollments from 1st May in Term 2 and will give out details to all the Kindergartens and Early Years providers in an information package in the first week of Term 2. We will also have Foundation (Prep) Information Packages available at the school office. It is a personal decision and is best not made without thorough information from the school. We have a series of open sessions where prospective parents can come in and view a Foundation (Prep) class in action and also talk to the Prep teaching staff. We also have an open evening for parents to come in and experience our school’s unique information session. Please do not hesitate to talk to current parents about our great school. We rely on these parents to encourage prospective parents to make an appointment to come in and visit the school any time if they are unable to attend on our designated open days in Term 2. We have an outstanding Foundation (Prep) program and are happy to give information to any prospective parents for 2018. The full Foundation (Prep) Transition program is available on our website as well. Even though some independent schools indicate through flyers, banners and advertisements that enrollments need to be done by May, this does not apply to our local State Schools. We want people to take their time and make the best decision for their child and their family and this should not be rushed into a decision. Ms Shakeira Chislett is the Foundation (Prep) Transition Coordinator at Irymple Primary School. Myself, Mr Beer (Assistant Principal) and Ms Chislett are the three main contacts for this process. Current Prep teachers can also be contacted at any time. We have had several requests to look around our school already and we welcome anyone making a time to view our school.

Easter Donations to Parents’ Club Raffle

Thank you to all the families that have started to contribute to the wonderful selection of items for the Easter raffles. They will be drawn on the last day of school of Term 1. Please keep the ticket sales coming in as the prizes are amazing and the Parents Club supports our children in a host of special areas each year with the funds to buy much needed resources.

School Requisite Payments and Netbook Payments

Please finalise payments as soon as possible. It would be greatly appreciated if this could be done prior to the end of Term 1. This also prevents overlap with Major Camp payments and additional pressure on parents. Thank you to all the families that have already paid.

Irymple Primary School has been selected as a Respectful Relationship’s – LEAD SCHOOL

What is Respectful Relationships?

Respectful Relationships is about tackling family violence through education. Rosie Batty, CEO of the Luke Batty Foundation said “the school community is an essential part of social reform by modelling a culture of respect through the whole school, not just by teaching respect in the classroom”.

In 2017, respectful relationships education will be taught as part of the Victorian curriculum. The Victorian Government is supporting schools to model respectful relationships across the whole school community as part of its commitment to respectful relationships education. The Government is providing Victorian schools with a range of extra supports and resources including, new Respectful Relationships teaching and learning materials.

In the classroom, children will learn problem-solving skills, to develop empathy, support their own well being and build healthy relationships with others. The initiative will also provide resources to best support children and staff that are affected by family violence.

When children build positive relationships with their teachers and peers they feel safer and happier at school, are more resilient and have positive social attitudes. Positive relationships also increase a child’s sense of social connectedness and belonging which can result in better health and academic outcomes.

Further information about Respectful Relationships is available on the Department of Education and Training website: www.education.vic.gov.au/respectfulrelationships

These age-appropriate and evidence based materials are designed to enable teachers to develop student’s social and emotional capabilities to promote positive, healthy and respectful relationships. They provide teachers with handouts and activities for students that guide classroom discussion. During the alter part of 2017 we will begin to receive training materials for our staff and be part of the first group of school to be involved in the learning. We will be supported by the Respectful Relationships team in our region. In the next 4 years it will be compulsory for all school to teach the program to all students in every year of primary and secondary school with age appropriate and researched based materials. It sits very well with our staff being trained in Peer Support and also in late 2017 and 2018 in the Berry Street Education Model.

Staff Professional Learning Dates for 2017

Reporting to Parents Day - Tuesday 27th June, 2017

Thursday 14th September, 2017

Thursday 9th November, 2017

School Council Executive Positions Finalised

Congratulations to the following people on their election to the School Council.

President: David Kirby

Vice President: Warren Lloyd

Secretary: Heather Birch

Girls Cricket

On Wednesday the Irymple girls Cricket team played the Nichols Point girls Cricket team. Our girls lost in a tight contest. Nichols Point batted first and scored 4/44 in their 12 overs. Our best bowler was Richael Wilson who had figures of 1 wicket for 4 runs. Our girls batted second and just fell short scoring 4/39. The girls played in great spirit and enjoyed the competitive game. Congratulations to all involved for your great skills and your good sportsmanship.

‘Social Skills’ Programs in the School

School is much more than reading and writing. Social skills is an important part of normal development. From time to time we establish specially formed groups and they are run by Mrs Muller, our Primary Welfare Officer. The teacher assistants (aides) sometimes attend and other teachers such as Mrs Midgley in her ‘School Support’ role may also be involved in the groups.

They are designed to assist children to develop knowledge and skills to better enable them to establish and maintain friends and enhance social interactions at school. Social skills are specific behaviours such as smiling, making eye contact, asking and responding to questions and giving and acknowledging compliments during a social exchange. These behaviours result in positive social interactions and have been linked to positive developmental outcomes, including peer acceptance.

Parents and Teachers can often tell if a child is having difficulties with social skills when they do the following:

  • Little use of eye contact,
  • Uninterested in social interactions,
  • Difficulties initiating social interactions,
  • Difficulties interpreting verbal and non-verbal social cues,
  • Inappropriate emotional responses,
  • Difficulties playing games,
  • Lack of empathy towards others.

Parents can assist their own children by doing the following:

  • Helping their child make friends by organising play dates, having a sleepover and joining sports/clubs.
  • Offering positive suggestions on ways to handle situations at school and with friends.
  • Children learn a lot by observing how adults interact so it is important to always model appropriate behaviour, such as greeting shop assistants and using peoples names when possible.
  • Help your child to understand different points of view by describing feelings and having conversations about how other people might feel. This can help your child to develop empathy and will help them deal with conflict when it occurs.
  • Help develop conversation skills such as asking questions and listening to others.
  • Discuss behaviours such as teasing and bullying with your child, to help them understand that some comments could upset others. Being able to define the difference between normal interactions and conflict is essential to build resilience. Some conflict is a part of healthy development and the building of necessary resilience for life.

It can sometimes be upsetting for parents to realise that their children are having difficulties making friends. The good news is that social skills can be effectively taught to children over time by an appropriate adult. Adults at school and parents can encourage children to develop social skills.

Social Skills Program are run each term and as always we are excited about the prospects of all involved as even a short time each week can lead to strong gains in a child’s social and emotional development.

If you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Muller or myself.

Swimming Sports - Congratulations to Sturt

Well done to all the staff and students for a great day of swimming and good sportsmanship. Thank you to Mr Pettit for organising the event. We had some fantastic support from parents as well and their time and work as officials is so very much appreciated.

A special thank you to Tania McKeon, Narissa Spain, Claire Johnston and Tom Kinnane for their assistance.

At the end of the day House scores were:

  1. Sturt - 868
  2. Bass - 846
  3. Chaffey - 800
  4. Flinders - 780

Easter Donations coming soon

Donations will be collected each day and recorded to see which class brings in the most items. Each year a mixture of edible items and craft items has been donated and they all contribute to the huge number of amazing prizes for families to win at the end of the term.

School Council Elections

We had the same number of people nominate as positions, so the School Council make up of 15 members can be finalised. In addition to this two community members are asked to do a 12 months stint on School Council to assist and to get to know the School Council roles and responsibilities – this role is for 12 months whereas all other elected position are for two years as from the time of election. Thank you to everyone who renominated or was nominated and for the two community members for accepting the nomination to attend.

  • Mrs Yvonne Madden
  • Mr Garry Beer
  • Mr Warren Lloyd
  • Mr Paul Cody
  • Ms Emily Walshaw
  • Ms Aaron Oldham
  • Mr David Kirby
  • Mrs Rita Valentich
  • Mr John Carra
  • Mrs Heather Birch
  • Miss Shakeira Chislett
  • Sasha McClure (Community Member)
  • Mrs Christine Sherry
  • Catherine Whitchurch (Community Member)
  • Mrs Michelle Thompson

‘MY School’ Website has been updated ready for 2017 viewing

An amount of media coverage is always given to the results published this week and it is a pleasure to direct parents to view our 2016 results as they show our students in Year 3 and 5 achieved AT, ABOVE or WELL ABOVE state level in all areas of testing, based on NAPLAN. From the website you can view all schools in Mildura. Once again it affirms the high standard of the curriculum and pedagogy (how we teach) in this school. We are proud that as a State School we can match any school in our area and we are available to all parents from all socioeconomic backgrounds. As you may be aware, we are a registered ‘International School’ and have to maintain consistently high academic standards to remain accredited. This is but one source of information for parents. The many opportunities provided to students by day to day teaching and learning are the most important ones to be closely monitored and discussed. Information gathering takes place on a daily basis in all classrooms. Click here to go direct to IPS.

Canteen News

Anyone interested in working in the canteen is more than welcome to drop in and see Sue and ask any questions or assist for as long as possible.

School Requisite Payments, ICT Leases and ICT Levies

Thank you to everyone who has come in over the past few weeks to pay as it a great help to get early payment as we have already purchased all the items so the children can consume them from day one. We do this each year in good faith that parents will pay as soon as they are able to. If anyone is yet to pay please drop into the office at your earliest convenience.

Stomach Virus

The number of children coming down with illness is still high so please keep reminding all children to maintain the best of hygiene. The 48 hour rule after the last incidence of vomiting or diarrhoea is essential as otherwise the problem continues unchecked.

Interschool Cricket

Congratulations to all the children who attended and represented our school well at the Hardball Cricket Competition on Wednesday. The boys played and enjoyed the day despite the hot conditions. A big thank you to Mr Pettit and the parents who were able to assist with transport. The boys played 3 games in total and won one of their games. Congratulations boys on your sportsmanship shown on the day.

Update of Personal Details

If you have changed your address, home number or mobile number please send details in an envelope with your child or come in to the office so we can update your details. Whilst it may seem a small thing, in the event of an emergency at school or on an excursion it can mean the difference between an immediate contact and one that may take hours. Please teach your children your phone number and a second person to contact in an emergency. Some of our students on inquiry do not know where their parents work or even the names of their grandparents other than by their generic names. A small card in a school bag with contact details is always a good back up in the event of an emergency.

Prep to 2 Reading

We hope that all parents will make it a priority to listen to their children read each night in the Foundation (Prep) to 2 years. They are vital years for learning to develop reading stamina, speed and accuracy. It is insurance against being a struggling reader which also affects mathematics results. This occurs when children cannot read the maths questions and understand their meaning. Scores on reading comprehension usually mirror mathematics scores and mathematics very much relies on the ability to read and comprehend. Every child has a reading record book for the parent to sign each night. This is to be returned to the classroom teacher every day for checking. Some children by the end of term will have read for between 40 and 50 nights. Unfortunately each term, at this stage, we have some children that have read not even half the expected nights. There is no question that children who read regularly do better at school and there is an enormous body of research to support this. Thank you to the parents that come in each morning to assist with Reading. Some parents report that their child does not want to read. We suggest, persevere and read to them first. Most children if their returns are up to date are allowed to borrow three Library books per week and should have picture story books that are of high interest to read to Prep to 2 students. It is also free to join the local libraries and they have an amazing selection of books to spark the interest in reading. In today’s technological world being able to read is as important if not more important than ever. There are fewer and fewer jobs that are available to school leavers that do not require strong literacy (reading, writing, listening and speaking skills); therefore reading has a significant role to play in the lives of school age children. If anyone is really concerned about their child’s reading, please have a chat with the teacher or myself.

Car Park and Pick Up Times

Please keep an eye out for small children and take your time when reversing out. It is always good to see people waiting and being so respectful while moving through the roadways and car parks. We have a lot of people to move in a short period of time and not a lot of extra space so Term 1 when most children are being driven to school and picked up is often more chaotic than other times of the year. If it assists you, come a little earlier or wait a few more minutes and the car park is often easier to negotiate. Some of the issues are arising as a few parents park in a different area each day and the students are not sure whether to line up e.g. at the tennis court, walk to the car park near the bus stop or walk to the park adjacent to the General Purpose (GP) room. Some students are not able to say who is picking them up from day to day or describe the car they are looking for. If they have instructions in the morning and these are not varied unless absolutely necessary it should be a relatively smooth process.

It is important that children are collected by 3:30 pm as there is no staff supervision after this time. Please do not be swayed by your child asking you to come late so that they can play after school. On Monday to Thursday there are teacher meetings starting at 3:30 pm at school. All waiting children should be seated at the side of the GP room.

We have an increasing number of children riding and walking to school and this leads to more children feeling safe and walking or riding in small groups. It is great to see more and more parents walking with their children to school and some walking at the end of the day. From March onward is usually ideal for a walk due to the mild weather.

Snakes

Please talk to your child or children about extreme caution around snakes. It is a sensible conversation with them as it is best to be careful and on the lookout for snakes in the school yard, at playtime, at pick up time and at drop off time. This week a juvenile Eastern Brown Snake was sighted by the teacher on duty and the area was cleared. Please talk to your children about the dangers of playing with or near snakes as some children asked the teacher on duty, “What is it?” and were more intent moving closer and on collecting their toys than getting away from the snake quickly. As they hatch in numbers of around 10 to 30 there is likely to be another sighting. Even juvenile snakes can bite and deliver enough venom to require immediate emergency and hospital treatment with antivenin. For the time being there are to be no somersaults and handstands on the area to side of the General Purpose Room as this was the location of the sighted snake. Though another sighting is unlikely we have to be giving parents and students as much information as possible to prevent an incident.

Reading Levels and Progress Across Levels

We often get queries from parents about reading material being sent home. Home readers must be at what is called ‘easy reading’ level. This is measured by a student being able to read at least 95 or more words out of every hundred words (95% plus accuracy) without help and understand the text as well, if asked a series of literal (right there), inferential(think and search in the text) or evaluative questions(transfer of information to a new situation). For many years, children were progressed purely on their ability to read words and therefore progressed quite quickly though levels. The problem however arose when the texts became more difficult and the level of understanding needed to be at a higher level. For many children this became a big problem around the middle of Year 1 and they needed to go back to where their comprehension of the text at close to 100% occurred. – This meant going back in levels to actually catch up to a child’s comprehension. The designated home reader/s will always be at ‘easy’ reading level. Other books that come home may be selected by the child for pleasure, but will not be the text being used by the teacher to guide process.

Please do not be alarmed if a book of an unusual level comes home on the odd occasion. Every child at some point accidentally takes another student’s reader home or selects a book that at the time is too hard or too easy - even though daily procedures are in place and each child has their own box.

Be mindful that reading is developmental like crawling and walking and every child develops at a different rate. Comparisons between students, in the same class or at the same year level are fraught with unnecessary worry and often disappointment for parents. A student that may be reading early in the year may not be the most competent reader at the end of the year. Reading and the love of reading comes from within and a good attitude to reading is essential to allow for sound progress. Some of the best ways to foster a good attitude to reading is to read in front of your children, always talk about reading as ‘An amazing thing to be able to do’ and to read to them daily in the Prep to Year 2 bracket (and beyond where possible).

Children LEARN to READ and READ to LEARN.

Swimming Sports

All parents and/or grandparents of students in Years 3-6 are welcome to attend our annual Swimming Carnival on Tuesday 7th March at the Irymple Pool.

Best Wishes to Mr Beer

Mr Beer is currently on sick leave and we wish him all the best for a speedy recovery. We look forward to seeing him back at school next term. For the next four weeks Mrs Baird will be acting Assistant Principal and Miss Barnes will be replacing Mrs Baird in the Room 12 classroom.

Congratulations to our newly appointed House Captains

Visitors to School

It is a DET policy that all parents and visitors sign in at the office before any movement to any part of the school. This is to ensure the safety of all visitors in the event of an evacuation or lock down procedure and to ensure the safety of all children from unauthorised visitors. All visitors other than at pick up or drop off time, must also be wearing a school sticker as they move to any part of the school.

Late to School

It is of great concern that about 10 children across the school each day are arriving in the half hour or more after school starts. It is not only disruptive to the class, but the children miss out on the important instructions and introductions to the day’s work. We acknowledge that busy school mornings take some good organisation. Some of the preparation can be done the night before. It is not OK for the same children every day to be late to school and to be given the impression that it is an acceptable part of their school life. If a child misses half an hour every day this equates to 150 minutes a week of lost learning time. Over a 10 week term this is 1500 minutes or 25 hours (nearly a week of lost schooling) and over 1 year equates to a month of missed schooling. We understand that on the odd occasion illness or genuine extenuating circumstances cause a delay, but this is rare. A reminder that all late students must be signed in by a parent at the office and the student will be given a late pass to take to their classroom teacher.

Early Bus Travellers

We need to make a few reminders very clear as a result of information passed on from a bus driver this week to a staff member.

  • Only children who have brought in a note can catch the early bus.
  • A few children are arriving without the correct money or their ticket ready from the morning.
  • The fare is $1.20 (one way) and the correct change is needed as the drivers are on a tight schedule.
  • Older siblings have to be organised if they are keeping the ticket for younger siblings. They need to line up and board the bus together.
  • No standing or walking on the bus.
  • There is to be no shouting from one end of the bus to the other as it is a distraction to the driver.

As a school we expect that children will always have their best manners while on all buses and the early bus is no exception. Everyone is reminded that they are easily identifiable in their school uniform and it would be lovely to receive positive feedback on their behaviour when they are in public view. While on a bus all school rules apply as do suspension rules.

Lunch Orders

If you write out your children’s lunch orders for them please tell them what you have ordered as we have a number of students who do not know what has been ordered and do not go to the canteen to pick up cold items during the break time.

Parents’ Club

Parents’ Club met for the first time this year on Thursday night. They have some key fundraisers planned for the coming year, commencing with the Easter Raffle. Please support them if you can by donating one Easter item to be raffled at the last assembly. The class to first bring in an item each will go into a special draw for an extra Easter prize also drawn on that day. Please support the Parents’ Club over the year as all the funds raised are used to better the resources available to all the children. We realise that not all parents will be available to contribute to each fundraiser, but that they may choose the ones that best suits them at the time.

Summer Illness at School

We would like to inform you that over the past week we have had a few cases of children with the symptoms of dizziness, diarrhoea and vomiting. In each case the children were collected by a responsible adult to go home. The isolation period is 48 hours after the last time a child is sick or has diarrhea. We are encouraging all children to wash their hands thoroughly after using the toilet and not to share any drink or food items.

Swimming for Years 3 and 4

Year 3 /4 students begin their swimming lessons at the Waves next week . All the best to all staff and students involved.

Tasty and Healthy Lunches

A healthy lunch is important at school. Keep finding and sharing good lunch box ideas with others. If you have a great idea, take a picture of it and we will include it in the newsletter.

Fresh Fruit Bowl

Parents’ Club supports us to purchase apples all year round for any children who need a food top up at any break time. If anyone has any spare fresh fruit we would appreciate the gesture however small the donation.


Years 1 to 6 – Meet and Greet Sessions

Thank you to the many parents that came to their child’s appointment time. Thank you also to those people who wanted some additional discussions and have made further times to meet with the teacher or other relevant people. If you could not come for any reason please make a time to catch up with your teacher at a mutually agreeable time. We have been delighted with the hard work and great attitude to work across the school of all the children.


Car Park/Drop off point

At no time is this drop off point to be used for more than a momentary pick up and drop off. We have had reports from parents where people are staying at length to chat with their children in the morning and holding up people getting out and onto work. In the afternoon this prevents the cars remaining from pulling up for pick up and keeping the line moving along.

Please remember that there is to be NO reversing into any of the car parks.

School Requisite Payments

Thank you to everyone that has paid. We still have a large number of outstanding requisite payments to come in. If the lump sum is an issue at this point in time please make a plan to pay in installments that enables you to contribute to this vital whole school process. Please also feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss a payment plan. People do avail themselves of this offer each year.

Parent Teacher Information Evenings

Thank you to all the families that attended the Parent Teacher Meet and Greet sessions this week. It is an orchestrated opportunity to share ideas with the teacher to be able to do the best for every child. The people that can give the first-hand information are the parents and caregivers. Thank you to all the staff who started at 2:00 pm and stayed till after 6:00 pm to ensure that parents all had an opportunity to book around work and family commitments. Some great discussion and suggestions have come out of the meetings. Next week we have our final Meet and Greet sessions for the 5/6 unit.

Assembly

Thank you to the Captains and Vice Captains for taking up their position at last week’s assembly. They will from now on-wards start taking assembly presentations on behalf of the school. They have made a really strong start to their leadership roles already. We always see such immense improvement in their public speaking skills over the next 5 months.

Prep Open Classroom Visits

On Thursday 2nd March we will be holding a Prep Open Classroom between 3:30 pm and 6:00 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to come along and have your Prep child give you a tour of their classroom, meet their teacher and to show the work they have been doing in class. We look forward to celebrating the wonderful achievements your child has made since beginning school.

School Requisite Payments

Thank you to all the families that have paid. We are hoping that as many families as possible are able to assist us with early payments so that the costs are distributed equitably across the school. $160 is a sensible amount and much lower than many other schools in the local area.

Car Park Etiquette

We have a ‘Parking Plan’ that has been devised by the Department of Education and it must be followed in order for us to be compliant from an O,H and S perspective. All the information and rules were sent home on a separate flyer with the first newsletter. There are some remaining issues that I will mention that are proving a safety and compliance hazard. These are:

  • Strictly no reverse parking in any park in the entire area.
  • Slow driving at all times. It is not a race to get out of the car park. Each year several cars are hit as a result of someone being in a rush and perhaps not observing as carefully as needed.
  • Students are not to be ever called to cars across the road and expected to cross anywhere other than the supervised crossings. Parents are also required to use the designated crossings otherwise it sends a double message to the students.
  • We spent $25,000 on car park repairs and line marking just over 12 months ago. The issue with the makings is that the surface has deteriorated and the lines are not stable and they break away. We got quotes when we repaired the car park in 2015 to do the entire parent and staff car park and it was close to $500,000. This far exceeds our meager amounts of maintenance money each year and has to wait for a school funding round. In the mean time we will mark the lines again in order to assist with parking.
  • Please park only within the lines – we have had some people parking across two parks and then leaving less space for others to park.
  • If anyone does not want to get out of their car they are welcome to line up in the pick-up zone and children will be directed to the cars by the person on duty – but no more than three at a time. This is ideal for people with younger children, grandparents and with a baby in the car. Once you have told your designated pickup children they are to wait in that area each day, it runs really smoothly. They wait at the front of the junior play equipment.

Years 5/6 Swimming Program

The achievement and behaviour of the students has once again made us all very proud here at school. Only one or two children needed to be reminded by their instructors of the importance of total and undivided attention when in a learning situation that is time limited. Thank you to all the teachers and support officers that assisted over the week of swimming.

NRL players visit

Last Friday the NRL presented to our Year 5 and 6 students to talk about the elite game of rugby league and to assist students with ideas about commitment to sport and a healthy lifestyle and to talk about the key people and skills required in the game. They focus around the importance of playing for a team, wearing the same uniform, having the same values and goals and looking out for each other.

Lost Property

This area outside the Library has a number of lost items. Please have a look with your child if you are already missing an item.

Healthy Lunches

Thank you to all the parents that have provided such healthy lunches for their children for the start of this year. It is really pleasing to see the number of healthy sandwiches, bread rolls, yoghurts and a variety of fruit being sent along in preference to packaged foods. Our Canteen has met the requirements of a “Healthy Schools Canteen” based on the Victorian Standards and is open from Wednesday to Friday.

2017 Semester 1 School Captains

At assembly on Wednesday our Semester 1 Student Leaders were presented with their badges by Mrs Mcfarlane and Mr Baker from the Senior Department.

They also read out their letters of application in what was their first public speaking role.

We are sure that they will be great role models for all of our students!

Pictured are:

Mrs Mcfarlane, Kaid McGlashan (Captain),

Ebony Teague (Captain), Zac Carra (Vice

Captain), Ally O’Neill (Vice Captain) and

Mr Baker.

Welcome Back

Welcome back to all our ongoing students and a special welcome to all our new families. We hope all students have a wonderful year with their teachers for 2017. The Preps had a fantastic start and seemed very well prepared for the new chapter in their lives. Some even managed to make it onto the front page of the Sunraysia Daily on Wednesday. Thank you to all the parents who assisted their children to be in full school uniform to start the year with new or preloved uniforms. Especially pleasing was the fact that so many of the students who purchased new shoes, selected the preferred black leather or black joggers – they look terrific!

Welcome to new staff

We warmly welcome all our new staff for the 2017 school year. We hope they enjoy at our school and immerse themselves in our strong teaching and learning culture and enjoy working with the children, meeting with their parents and meeting community members connected to our school.

Room 5 – Mrs Drusolina Webb

Room 7 – Mrs Christine Sherry

Room 8 – Mrs Natalie Mcfarlane (nee Tonkin)

Room 10 – Mrs Amy Gladman (nee Groves)

Room 13 – Ms Angela Enright

Congratulations

Congratulations to Ms Hill and her partner on the safe arrival of their daughter Sophia a few days before Christmas.

Congratulations

Congratulations to the Semester 1 Captains - Kaid McGlashan and Ebony Teague and Vice Captains Zac Carra and Ally O’Neil. They will receive their badges and read their speeches at assembly next Wednesday. Best wishes to all our school leaders including our soon to be elected Class Captains for Semester 1. A photo will be in the newsletter next week.

The Importance of Getting the Home Reading Established from day 1

We consider Home Reading as an essential part of our Home Work Program. It is expected that all children in every year level read for 20 to 30 minutes each day at home with the reader or reading material that has been deemed suitable for home reading (able to be read with at least 96% accuracy). Most children have made a start already this year. Books to record reading or a format produced by the teacher is always available for students to use. We find without exception that the children who read the most do very well academically at school. If you are concerned about any aspect of your child’s reading or the recording of reading each night be sure to see their classroom teacher for an early chat.

Parenting Payment (CSEF)

Forms for all parents who hold a current Health Care Card are at the office to be collected – pink in colour. Please return as soon as possible as there is only a short time line to complete the process so that we can process the details. For new parents this

process allows for many of the student’s internal and external expenses to be covered. What is not used in one year can be saved and kept for the more

expensive excursions as the children move through the school.

Taking Care of all School Notes

Please consider a process that suits your family to deal with all notes brought home from school. All possible notes will also be posted on the website. ADisplay Folder’ is ideal to place the families’ notes in as they are brought home each term. As each event is completed the notes can be discarded. Children need to be reminded that all notes are to be given to the parents and this is a good way to teach ‘responsibility’. When a student is away any notes handed out on the day of absence will be ‘named’ and kept for them by the teacher to take home on their return. This also makes the child responsible for ‘catching up’ after being absent. Phone calls and requests for replacement notes by parents do not assist children of any age to become ‘organised’. We want all our students to be ‘responsible’ and ‘participate actively’ in the communication process between home and school.

School Times

No children are to be at school before 8:30 am each morning as formal supervision does not begin until 8:45 am. We encourage parents to drop off between 8:30 am and 8:45 am to spread out the car park congestion. It is not okay however, for children to be coming after 9:00 am when the school day has commenced. This can become a major interruption to the class and the teacher. It is important to be on time every day. The conversations between children and their teacher at this time is essential and children who are regularly late often miss out on a timely greeting from their teacher and time to talk of important things and to have the DET roll marked. Any child arriving after 9:00 am must go via the office to sign the ‘Late Arrival Register’ and collect a late pass. It is unfortunate that less than 10 children are late to school nearly every day of the week and this has a major impact on their smooth start to the day and interaction with friends and their classroom teacher. Dismissal time in the afternoon is 3:15 pm and the playground is supervised until 3:30 pm.

Children waiting are asked to sit outside the General Purpose (GP) room. If a parent/grandparent/carer is held up due to unforeseen circumstances we ask that they please ring the office and we will have the child/children moved to, and wait in the foyer area. Please discuss with your child/ren that if the person who is designated to pick them up does not arrive by 3:30 pm they must make their way to the office so that the necessary phone calls can be made and supervision can be guaranteed.

Smart Start

Congratulations to all students and teachers for the rigorous and fun format of their SMART start to school. These are deliberately planned getting to know you and cooperative learning tasks to allow children to know everyone in their class by name and so that other children know a little about them to assist with the new class transition.

Naming Items

Please ensure that students have their names on every item they are likely to leave at school. Each year we are left with many items that have been mislaid, but with no names on them. The most common items are jumpers, drink bottles and lunch boxes. Many items outside the Library at the end of last year were brand new.

Requisite Payment

Invoices for Requisite Payments will be distributed soon. Please do not hesitate to contact the office if you have any queries. It is essential that all parents pay this requisite fee in order for us to provide all the necessary resources to the children for the entire year.

Condolences

It is with great sadness I acknowledge on behalf of the school community the passing of a parent of three of our past students – Eboni, Joel and Jake Harvey - (Mrs Melissa Harvey). Our thoughts are with Dale and all family members at this time.

Contact Us

School Facebook Page

Contact Form

Location

PO Box 715

Irymple Vic 3498

Phone (03) 5024 5334

Fax (03) 5024 6655