From the Principal’s Desk……………..
A warm welcome back. I hope everyone had a good break and a nice Easter holiday. I always enjoy the school holidays as all teachers do because during term, there is so much going on and I know you have heard it before but during the school term, teachers do endless hours at home after hours. Therefore, by the time the holidays come around we are ready for the break. I would like to welcome our new students, it seems at the start of every term we have a few new families at DPS and I wish to extend a warm welcome to them.
Welcome also to Ben Robinson who has replaced Stephanie Cabble who is due to have her second child any day now. I would like to thank Stephanie for her efforts and commitment to DPS in recent times. We wish her well for a safe new addition to her family and we will keep you posted on the news! Ben will teach 5C which will now be known as 5R.
Welcome also to Andrea Eu who is our new LOTE teacher. Andrea will teach Junior LOTE while Annie Fan continues teaching the senior LOTE program.
If you are coming into the school, you will see we have had some new paving done. Over the holidays, we also had the conference room painted and recarpeted. This room is for teacher planning and professional development. Every week teachers meet to plan the curriculum together. Two nights per week we also meet for PLT’s (Professional Learning Teams) and each Wednesday Professional Development. Meeting spaces are always hard to find with so many groups using the rooms we have. This room will be used as a teachers learning centre, a place where resources are kept and meeting, presentations and workshops are held. This term there will be a big focus on student achievement data as we lead up to the semester one report writing.
Please see the You Can Do It information in the current newsletter. I encourage all parents to come along to this information evening. The presenter, Margaret Milne is a very engaging, informative and entertaining presenter and I am sure you will enjoy this presentation. It is relevant to all of our students.
NEXT Tuesday is a public holiday, so School Banking will be on WEDNESDAY, 26 April.
Doncaster Primary School and You Can Do It Education is proud to present a talk for parents on May 11th, 7:00pm to 8:30pm.
The 5 Keys to Children’s Success and Well-Being
This talk for parents reveals the five keys that unlock their children’s potential for success and well-being. Parents will learn how they can determine which of the five keys their children possess and which keys they need to help their children more effectively.
Parents will learn different ways in which they can strengthen the five keys in their children and to develop an action plan for helping their children apply the keys in all areas of their lives!
As parents and friends of DPS would know we discourage students from bringing phones to school. However, if they need a phone we encourage them to ensure it stays out of sight for a number of reasons. I have also discussed the use of mobile phones in classrooms with parents in recent times. It was brought to my attention that some “teachers were using their phones during class”. I put this on the agenda for discussion at a staff meeting and found that teachers do use their phones during class for different purposes. One teacher uses it as an alarm to remind her to check blood sugar levels of a diabetic student, another uses the stop watch often in different activities, another uses it as a clock, some use it as a camera and some use it to google topics or issues to share in class. It is some time since I was in the classroom full time and technology is moving fast, so I learned a lot from the discussion about how phones have many uses other than a telephone. We live in interesting times. We did then discuss perceptions versus reality and if parents see a teacher with a phone they may not necessarily understand what it is being used for. Hence I felt a need to share this with our community and thank you for your understanding. Teachers are also encouraged to have their phone with them while on yard duty in the case of an emergency.
Kids Hope Mentors
Kids Hope Mentors a positive community link between DPS and the Doncaster Church of Christ.
One Child, one hour, one church, one school. KIDS HOPE is Australia’s largest early intervention, school-based mentoring program. It has been impacting the lives of children in Australian schools since 2004. Over that time thousands of children have been matched with mentors in primary schools. Doncaster Primary School proudly has a strong Kids Hope Program that is impacting positively upon the lives of children past and present at Doncaster Primary School.
Through a partnership with the Doncaster Church of Christ Kathy Armour, Helen Bottomley and Sandra Bishop coordinate the fully trained and screened mentors from the church who come into the school and spend one hour per week with a child. The mentoring program is aimed at developing the emotional and social resilience in children. At Doncaster we currently have 12 mentors that come into the school. The trained mentors volunteer their time and skills to work with 12 of our children. Caring relationships with mentors have a significant impact on children because they help to meet their emotional and social development needs and enhance their capacity to learn.
Last Sunday at the 9:00 am church service the Kids Hope Mentors were commissioned for the year. The service acknowledged the mentors and the work that they do in our school. We too would like to acknowledge and thank our mentors for committing to the children and making time each week to be with a child in need. The voluntary work they do is greatly appreciated and makes a huge difference in the life of a child. It is relationships like these between the church and the school that strengthen the community.
I would like to welcome our mentors back to DPS this year, acknowledge the wonderful work they do and thank them for enriching the lives of our students. I would also like to thanks Sandra Bishop and Kathy Armour for coordinating this extremely valuable program.
PARENT TEACHER INTERVIEWS
From the week commencing Monday February 27th we will be holding Parent Teacher Interviews. These interviews provide an opportunity for parents and families to meet with your child’s teachers. You can discuss any issues or information you have that will assist us in providing the best care possible for your child. We want to be sure that we have a good understanding of all of our students and by knowing more about them we can support their learning better. When attending your interview, please come along with some questions ready for your teachers. This is also a time when our teachers might have some questions for you, about your child. By making a strong link between home and school we believe we can support the learning process.
Tomorrow (Thursday), a notice will be sent home with students providing information about how to book a suitable online time for your interview. Please note that after school on Tuesday will not be available due to staff professional development.
During the first weeks of term staff have time to plan many aspects of the curriculum. Part of our meetings have been dedicated to what is our core business, what we are really trying to achieve and the best way to support and challenge our students. Students are asked to arrive at school around 8.45am. We have decided to call the time between 8:45 and 9:00am START TIME.
The purpose of START time is to enable all members of the class to come to school on time ready to begin at 9:00 am. START time enables the students, teachers and support staff to settle themselves, get everything organised while building sound relationships and tuning into the learning intentions for the day. It is also a time when parents may touch base with teachers, return notes or money for excursions etc. Ultimately, we are encouraging students to be organised and develop good habits so they are ready for learning.
S – Settle
T – Talk (Parents, students, teachers, support staff)
A – Arrange (Organise notices, communications books, etc)
R – Ready (To begin at 9:00am)
T – Tune In (Explicit Learning intentions of the day)
Welcome to the 2017 school year!
I hope everyone had a terrific Christmas and Happy New Year. We are all looking forward to a fabulous 2017. It has been wonderful to see so many cheery faces coming back for another exciting year at DPS. Teachers have been busy preparing for Term one and beyond with lots of exciting activities planned.
A special warm welcome to our new students and their families, I am sure you will enjoy your time at DPS which is an excellent school with a supportive community and very caring staff.
Please don’t hesitate to make contact with your child’s teacher and my door is also open so come in for a chat anytime.