Welcome to the end of week four! Who would have believed the level of agility that was still required during 2021. However, the staff have been extraordinary, the students remarkably resilient and the cooperation and support of the parents has been extremely helpful.
Both information nights and three-way conferences have had to be modified to try and maintain and promote connection with parents during the Covid pandemic. Swimming trials have also been quickly rescheduled so the students don’t miss out and even worked around the Year Five Camp. Thanks to Dylan Hislop for his fast thinking and speedy organisation.
The information nights even though remote were an opportunity to explain areas of the curriculum we focus on, learn about and what you can do to support your child and begin this year’s learning journey as a community together. Feedback from both our staff and the parent community has been extremely positive. Staff from all year levels spoke about approaches to English, Maths, Wellbeing, Units of Inquiry, the essential elements of the PYP amongst many other areas and specialist teachers gave us valuable insight into their learning areas of Physical Education, Performing Arts, Chinese (Mandarin) and Visual Arts. Thank you to all staff for their time, thought and preparation for this process.
The Meet and Greets on Wednesday were also successful even though there was a short time for organisation and parents appreciated the opportunity to have some individual time with the teacher even if was online. We had a huge response to the sessions with larger numbers of families than we would normally see for conferences.
Leadership Badge Presentation Thursday 11th March at 12.30
The Leadership Presentation has been scheduled for Thursday 11th March at 12.30pm. Mr Nick Staikos MP will be attending the event and congratulating students. Parents of the badge recipients will also be invited. However, for us to have any visitors attend this event we are then limited to maximum numbers in the gymnasium. Therefore, all students will watch the event from their classrooms and badge recipients and their families will be hosted in the hall for the presentation.
We will be recording the event so other parents will be able to tune in remotely or watch with their children at a later date.
2021 Tutoring Program
The 2020 school year was an extraordinary and challenging one for our school community.
Our students spent much of Terms Two and Three last year learning remotely and as a school, we made an exceptional effort to provide continuity of teaching and learning to our students, whilst receiving a great amount of support from our community.
As you may be aware, in response to this, the Victorian Government is investing in the Tutor Learning Initiative to enable schools across Victoria to engage around 4,100 teachers as tutors in 2021 to support students who need extra assistance with their learning.
The tutoring program at McKinnon PS is being led by Leading Teacher, Andrea Truckenbrodt. Currently, data is being reviewed and families will be notified if their child is involved. Our Maths Leader Andrew Kearl is also involved in the program along with Liz King, Sheridan Duffy and Polly Hislop. If you would like any further information please don’t hesitate to contact Andrea Truckenbrodt.
Continuous Reporting in 2021
This term you will receive feedback on two portfolio tasks your child completes during this term. Team Leaders will share the date for release to parents via Compass, over the next two weeks.
We have received positive feedback from parents in the survey that was collected at the end of last year. So, in 2021 we will continue with continuous reporting. Assistant Principal, David Zuker will lead this initiative together with the Assessment and Reporting Team.
School Council Nominations
School Council Nominations will be called for next week, so please look out for the Compass post if you are interested in being on the School Council in 2021. The term of office is a two-year period.
We have three members whose term has been completed this year. On behalf of our community I would like to thank Susan Miles, Clement Yeung and Helen Georgiou for their contribution and commitment to ongoing school improvement during their time on school council.
Visiting our school as a volunteer or parent helper
Classroom helpers and volunteers are required to sign in via the school office. This involves, if you haven’t already, providing the office with a copy of your Working with Children (WWC) card, agreeing to the school’s Code of Conduct and carrying a visitor’s ticket and your WWC card on school grounds. Whilst this may be seen as an imposition, we encourage you all to follow this process which ensures the safety and wellbeing of our students. We highly value and appreciate any form of support from home. If you have previously registered your details, these need to be updated as some WWC cards have expired and must be renewed prior to continued work in schools.
EVERY DAY COUNTS!!
In the Victorian education system, it is compulsory for all students to attend school each day of the school year. At times an absence may be unavoidable, however, every effort must be made to ensure students attend school on time each day. Evidence tells us that students who regularly miss days of school are at risk of missing out on learning the basic building blocks in subjects, and may experience long term difficulties with their learning. School attendance helps children develop social skills, such as friendship building, teamwork, communications skills and develops healthy self-esteem. Please try to ensure that any appointments are made outside of school hours. To maximise learning opportunities, we need all students here all day. If this presents a problem for you and your child please make time to see us. All late arrivals and early departures need to be signed in/out at the school office by a parent/guardian. It is not acceptable for a student to sign themselves in or out of the school. The office will locate your child’s class and walk them to the necessary meeting area. Please advise your teacher of early pick up requirements, then your child will be at the office at the time you requested, waiting to be picked up. You can place a note in your child’s diary. This is a strong focus of the Department of Education & Training. Further information can be found on the website: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/parents/behaviour/Pages/attendance.aspx
ANNUAL PRIVACY REMINDER
Please take time to remind yourself of the school’s collection statement, found on our website Collection Statement from McKinnon Primary School.
ARE YOU BEING SUNSMART?
In line with the school’s policy, Term One is a SunSmart term. This requires all students to have the appropriate navy wide-brimmed hat. These SunSmart hats are to be worn during all outside activities during Term One and until the 30th of April.
HOT DAYS AND EXTREME WEATHER DAYS
On days when it is extremely hot, the children will remain in classrooms and be supervised as they are on wet days.
Please be vigilant in clearly naming all uniform items and personal belongings (lunch boxes, sports equipment etc.) This allows us to return any found items to the rightful owner.
UPDATING CONTACT DETAILS/MEDICAL
We ask all families to please ensure that you have up to date contact details on Compass and at the office. This includes your current address, phone numbers, emergency contact details, etc. Student enrolment information was sent out to all families on 15th February by email – please make any amendments and return to the office so the Admin Team can update your file.
Any students who have a medical condition must have up to date medical records at the office. Of most importance is to ensure Asthma, Diabetes, and Anaphylaxis management plans are current. These need to be signed off by your local doctor and are required to be updated annually. Of course, these documents are so important to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students, especially yours!
Student SAFETY around our school an on our roads
Children are our most vulnerable road users and to address this road safety issue school speed zones with lower speed limits were introduced many years ago. Motorists should be aware that children in traffic are not like adults. They can be unpredictable and because they are small, they can be hard to see. So take extra care and slow down when you drive past any school. Research shows that slowing down helps to both avoid crashes and reduce their severity. According to the Monash University Accident Research Centre, an 11 per cent reduction in speed reduces road deaths by 40 per cent. Even a small reduction in travelling speed dramatically increases the chance of a child surviving a collision. Read more about safety on our roads via the VicRoads website.
Please observe the parking restrictions and speed limits around the school. Local council and Victoria Police often patrol these areas. We have three pedestrian crossings that are supervised each day before and after school. Please use this service and ensure all children use these crossings. Also please note that the staff carpark is not for parental use. This presents a danger to students.
Never leave children unattended in cars on hot days, it is important to remember that you should never leave your child alone in a car. The temperature inside a car on hot days begins to rise as soon as the door closes and within minutes the temperature inside can be double the temperature outside. Leaving children in hot cars – even for a moment – can result in injury or death. Young children’s smaller body size and underdeveloped nervous system places them at a much greater risk of life-threatening heat stroke, dehydration and other serious health risks. Victorian legislation makes leaving a child unattended in a car a criminal offence.
It is important that we all work together in ensuring safety around our school, be patient and know your child will always be supervised until you arrive.
LUNAR NEW YEAR @McKinnon PS
Students across the school experienced some of the joys of Lunar New Year last Friday inside our library and outside on the asphalt area. A beautiful book-nic (a picnic of books) was set up with books detailing Lunar New Year and our Library and LOTE captains held lantern making sessions. Students could take the lanterns home or hang them in the trees outside the library. The captains also held a presentation explaining the history of Lunar New Year. Thank you to everyone who supported this event and worked to make it special for our students.
A special thank also to parents -Michelle and Lin, who shared and explained the cultural significance of this celebration with the students of 1A.
Remember we love welcoming parents in to share cultural, professional or other knowledge with the relevant year levels, so if you feel you have something to share please complete the following form and let us know, parent expert register.
INSIGHTS – parent class lists, walking excursions and media release
Just a reminder that we will be preparing the parent contact lists for each class next week. It is important that you complete the Insights on your Compass dashboard. If we do not have permission your details cannot be included on the parent class contact list, and your child cannot participate in local walking excursions or appear in the newsletter etc. Currently, we have only had responses from 70% of parents. Please check your Compass dashboard for any outstanding Insights.
Hope you all have a great weekend,
Simone, Suzanne and David