We hope you have managed to survive the extreme weather over recent days as we officially farewell summer. There have been so many great learning opportunities and activities happening in and around our great school over the past fortnight and again we are reminded of what a great community we are part of. Our senior students continue to shine on the sporting fields and their efforts and attitude are only to be admired, appreciated and congratulated. We receive regular feedback about the positive and respectful manner in which our students hold themselves when representing our school. Well done to all those who participate in our inter-school sports program. We must thank the committed staff who work so hard to provide a positive and enjoyable experience for our sports stars! A special congratulations to our District Swimming Team who came first at the competition on Tuesday….Go McKinnon!

WELCOME BBQ

Thank-you to all the parents and friends of McKinnon PS who came along to enjoy the recent Welcome BBQ. We hope that you found the evening enjoyable and were able to catch-up with old friends and make new ones. Special thanks to Tara Bulum, Tanya Paterson and their team for organising a wonderful family/community event. TeamKids, our before and after school providers did a fantastic job on the BBQ and donated over 800 sausages for our community to enjoy, thanks to you guys too.

2019 SCHOOL CAPTAINS

We are excited to introduce you to this year’s school leaders. While the nominations were announced last year, we know that putting a face to a name is also important.

School Captains: Ella Groom & Xavier Sung

School Vice Captains: Rafael Chow & Mckinley Markham

Congratulations again on this great achievement.

THREE WAY CONFERENCES

We thank all the parents who attended our conferences last week. This was another way to get to know you, your family and our students! We thank the staff for their commitment to building their understanding of each individual in their classroom. As we are focused on getting the best outcomes for all students we ask that you please be considerate of teacher’s work and allowing them to support, nurture and educate all students throughout the year.

CURRICULUM DAY FOCUS

During today’s curriculum day, staff will be working with Brendan Spillane. Brendan is an acclaimed Australian educator, speaker and coach. He is an international accredited coach and works with a range of educators. On Friday the teachers will be focussing on collective efficacy and the conversations we have that make a difference to the students we work with. On the same day our Education Support Staff will be working with Christina Issac’s focus on skills and strategies to support students with additional needs.

LABOUR DAY HOLIDAY

A reminder of the upcoming Labour Day holiday. Being a public holiday, the school will not be open on Monday 11th March.

CLASS REPRESENTATIVES

Thank you to all the parents who have responded with their contact details to receive the class communications. Thanks also to the parents who have offered themselves to be the class representative. Apologies for the delay as we compile class distribution lists. These will be confirmed next week and you will receive your first communications from your representative. Thank you to Tanya Paterson for her help and support in compiling these lists.

MCKINNON PRIMARY SCHOOL COUNCIL

Thank you to the parents who have nominated for school council for 2019/20. As you are aware we had three parent vacancies for council and we have received three nominations. As a result of this we welcome back Carly Griffen and Susan Miles and we are also joined by a new member Clement Yeung. Thank you to Mark Pountley for his contribution to the council over the past two years and in particular the work he has achieved in his role as a member of the Building and Grounds Committee and leading the working bees! We also welcome back Suzanne Khatib as the DET member.

FUN RUN (COLOUR RUN)

We are pleased to announce that this year’s Fun Run will be a colour run. Some preliminary information about the school’s upcoming Fun Run was sent out last Monday. This is an exciting new event on our school calendar replacing the Walkathon from previous years. The Colour Run will take place on Wednesday 13th March. The Colour Run is a significant fundraising event for the school. The funds raised directly affect the facilities our students enjoy. This year the funds will be directed towards the upgrading of Adventure Island. Not only does this event promote a healthy and active lifestyle, we believe it will be highly enjoyable and engaging for our students. In addition to being covered with coloured chalk if they choose, students will also have access to other fun activity stations as they make their way around the course. Details about the Colour Run have been distributed and we encourage all students to establish an online fundraising account. This can be a great way to reach out to distant friends and family to gather their support. The experience of other schools is that online fundraising has boosted their monies raised. Students will also be rewarded for their fundraising efforts with the ability to choose a range of prizes depending on the level of funds raised. All students raising a minimum of $10 will get to choose a prize. We’re looking forward to this wonderful new event on our calendar and thank our Parents Club, especially Lib Norton for her work in organising this day for us.

INSIGHTS ON COMPASS

All families in the school are required to complete four Insights on Compass. These InsiIght (permissions) are valid for the whole year. Please note at any time you are able to modify this status and remove or add any permission. All families need to complete these in order for their children to participate in a wonderful school event like the Fun Run. If you haven’t already please complete these ASAP.

These insights cover media and photography, class lists, Walking excursions and the publication of your child’s name in the Premier’s Reading Challenge.

NEW BENCHES

Last week we installed six new benches around the school. Thanks to the Parents Club who raised the money for these benches and the students who chose their location.

LITERACY PARENT HELPERS EVENING

We had a terrific turn up to the Literacy Parent Helper sessions that were run by Dr Andrea Truckenbrodt. As a result we are running an additional session on Monday 18th March from 6-7pm which will be held in 5C’s Classroom (Andrew Lusted’s room).

CHILD SAFETY- MOMO CHALLENGE

Our upmost priority is for our students be safe and feel safe. There has been  some media coverage lately around the disturbing matter of the Momo Challenge targeting children. For any parents who may be concerned please read below for a statement of advice from the office of the eSafety Commissioner.

 Media release March 01 2019

It is very concerning when young people have been exposed to any content that scares them or plays on their emotions, like those reported via the Momo Challenge. Although it has now been widely reported and exposed as a viral hoax, the Momo Challenge is not the first, nor will it be the last, online “challenge” or phenomenon to target our children with potentially harmful consequences.

Our research shows 81% of parents hand their child an internet-connected device by the age of 4, so active parental engagement and oversight of a child’s online activities is critical from the start, to help ensure they are prepared for what they may encounter. As young people often do not have the maturity or judgement to cope with confronting content online, it’s important to guide and instil critical reasoning skills, so they are aware that not everything they see or receive online is real. 

We encourage parents to co-view, co-play, ask questions about the games and apps they are using, and let them know you are there to support them if they are upset or uncomfortable about anything they see online. 

Five top tips to help limit your child’s exposure to harmful content online:

  • Engage in your child’s online activities – ask what apps, sites and games they’re using and make sure they’re age-appropriate
  • Use parental controls on devices to help limit what your child is exposed to  
  • Let them know not everything they see online is real or true.   
  • Help them report and block upsetting content they see on social media sites or apps.  
  • Let them know they can come to you about anything upsetting they see online, and contact Kids Helplineif they need further support.   

Parents who are concerned their child may be susceptible to self-harm should be aware of the signs to look out for and know where to go for help – see more info here: https://www.esafety.gov.au/about-the-office/newsroom/blog/is-your-child-at-risk-of-self-harm-or-suicide 

Parents can visit www.esafety.gov.au/iparent for information and advice on keep your child safe online.  

CULTRUAL DIVERSITY WEEK

As a warm up to Cultural week I was priveldged enough to see Vibhan in 5B play a traditional instrument, the Tabla from Northern India today. Your children will also have an opportunity to celebrate their culture as we  celebrate Cultural Diversity Week. During this special week each class will be participating in a “McKinnon Harmony Day Feast” on Thursday 21st March.  We ask that you assist your child to bring in a small dish/snack from home that is significant to your culture or to your family to share with their class at lunch time.  This does not need to be an extravagant or culturally “exotic” dish. A favourite family recipe that has been passed down e.g. something the children’s grandparents have made for them would be excellent.

Please see your Compass posts for further information. You will need to print the attachment from this post as it forms a “Place Card” for the feast specifying any significance or special story.

We will also be asking for parent or family volunteers through Cultural Diversity Week, to read aloud in different languges in the library at lunchtimes to celebrate the beauty and diversity of our mother-tongue languges. We have a variety of bilingual picture books available, and when we have done this in the past, students of all ages and cultures have immensely enjoyed the experience.

If you would like to read a picture story book to a group of students at lunchtime, please speak to your child’s classroom teacher and/or look out for the Compass post coming out shortly.

Please make sure you have your Working With Children Card with you which you come into the school to volunteer.

INNER SOUTH CONFERENCE

Members of staff had the opportunity to attend the Inner South Regional Conference last Thursday and Friday. The theme was increasing Student Agency which is a major focus of our school this year. The key note speaker Lee Wantabe-Crockett spoke about the importance of making learning relevant for students by asking them what concerns them and what they are curious about and building learning experiences around these areas. Our teaching teams are already implementing some of the fantastic ideas shared throughout the conference to further build student agency into our existing framework as a PYP – International Baccalaureate School. We look forward to sharing some examples of this student learning with you soon

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