- Friday 5 May – K2 South Perth Library story session
- Monday 8 May – K1/K3 South Perth Library story sessions
- Tuesday 9 May to Thursday 11 May – NAPLAN
- Thursday 11 May – Board meeting 5pm
- Friday 12 May – NAPLAN catchup sessions
- Wednesday 17 May – Assembly
- Friday 19 May – P&C Scitech Family Night 5-8pm
Everyone needs a certain level of skill in everything we teach in schools; everyone needs to have the ability to read, write, count, show respect, be kind, self-regulate etc. We all know that some of us are better than others at some of these things. In fact, some of us are not just better at them, but are more enthusiastic about them. These are their strengths: the things they are good at, or could be good at, given the chance, and that they are passionately enthusiastic about.
While I can’t tell you what direction I am facing (north, south, east or west) I have managed to navigate around the world pretty successfully (I can read a map)! So spatial awareness is not my forte. However, I love to learn – which is not a bad thing for a teacher to have as a strength. So I didn’t take up orienteering or rally car navigation, and I am OK with that. But I did take up a job where I get to do what I am passionate about.
How much time do we spend at school working on students’ weaknesses? How much time do we spend at school working on students’ strengths? Do we have the balance right? This is what the teachers discussed during one session of the School Development Day last week. We want to ensure students understand the language of strengths as well as have an idea of what they are good at and love doing. These strengths will probably figure more prominently in their futures than the things they aren’t good at or don’t like. We want to harness the power of strengths to help students learn across the board. Focussing on strengths is, according to research, more productive than focusing on weaknesses.
Sometimes, because of fear of being seen as too proud or a bragger, we hide our strengths, or don’t admit to them; fear of the tall poppy syndrome. We would like to change that at our school. We need to change our thinking about others’ strengths. Strengths are not an opportunity to shine brighter than others; they are an opportunity to contribute. So appreciate other’s strengths as they can be useful to everyone.
The students in Room 10 recognised explorers’ strengths in this work.
Year 6 Leaders
This morning at our assembly, we announced the leadership roles each Year 6 student would take on this year. To recognise our leaders, we also presented them with a gold leadership stick pin which they may wear on their collars. We thank them for their enthusiasm and we look forward to their leadership. This is an opportunity for them to use their strengths too.
This term, it is my pleasure to welcome a few new staff members to the team. While Mrs Meredith Brown is on long service leave, Ms Kate Dash will be replacing her (all term and the first two weeks of Term 3). She has already settled in beautifully and is working very productively with the Vista St Kindy. We officially welcome two new Education Assistants and an Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer (AIEO). Mrs Denise Jetta is our new AIEO and will officially continue her Special Needs Education Assistant role all this year too. We were very pleased to secure Mrs Jetta’s services through a merit selection process. We also secured the services of two excellent Education Assistants for the pre-primary classes – Mrs Anne Gordon (working in P3) and Mrs Justine Walsh (working in P2). Mrs Walsh is very familiar with our school, having been our go-to relief EA and Mrs Gordon comes very highly recommended, with great skills and knowledge too.
If you see any of these lovely ladies around, please join me in welcoming them to Kensington.
As you are probably aware, the Year 3s and 5s will start NAPLAN testing next week. While some schools were to pilot the online format this year, we never intended to do so. We will remain with the paper and pencil tests until next year, when we plan to be involved in the online trial. NAPLAN will formally move to online assessment for everyone in 2019. As you may be aware, NAPLAN constitutes one off tests in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Grammar & Punctuation and Numeracy in Years 3 and 5 annually. While the evidence garnered from NAPLAN is strong with large groups, such as across the state or the nation, the evidence weakens with smaller groups, such as schools and individuals due to the margins of error impacting more as the groups decrease in size. They are, therefore, not a good measure, alone, of our school or of our individual students’ ability. They must be read in conjunction with other data collected at the school. One bad result in NAPLAN doesn’t mean there is a major problem. We need to look at this result in the context of our other data as well as take into account any cohort variations. We then may use the data to identify and prompt a line of inquiry to follow up. Over time, if the data shows on-going issues, we take that information much more seriously.
We collect data from student reports as well as other standardised tests and teacher judgements on common assessment tasks to bolster our evidence for student achievement. This is why we are working with Brightpath for writing assessment, why we collect classroom data like that found in Decode & Encode, why we instituted Year 1-6 maths testing using PAT-M online at the start of the year and will do likewise at the end of the year for reading using PAT-R online. The teachers also develop, administer and mark common assessment tasks for each year level, to ensure consistent judgements across the year levels. This sort of information will be included in our DES review in August.
So, please don’t stress – or let your child stress – about NAPLAN testing.
Student and Teacher Voice – Surveys
I am very interested in ensuring we get feedback from students as to how we can improve their learning experience and daily life at the school. I am also interested in ensuring staff feel that they can give me feedback in order to improve both my leadership and the school. To this end, this term the Year 4-6 cohort of students will be surveyed about how they feel about the climate of the classroom and the school. The WHITS survey will ask students about the school climate (connectedness, support, diversity, rule clarity and getting help), along with issues related to agency (wellbeing and social and emotional aspects of school life) and risk factors such as bullying and behaviour. The second survey, the Classroom Climate Questionnaire (CCQ), asks students about their learning environment, including relationships, assessment and delivery of curriculum as well as student motivation and engagement. The information from WHITS will be used by the school to gauge how we are travelling as well as plan for improvement. The teachers will use the CCQ information in the same way and see what they can do to improve any aspects of their classroom practice and learning environment, before we repeat the survey process. This will tell us whether any strategies we employed were useful. In the same way I will be surveying the staff to look at the school organisational climate including staff wellbeing. This information too will be used to improve the school and to feed into the next school Business Plan which will be developed at the end of this year. This is a joint project with the Curtin Education Community and Curtin University.
Update on Out of School Hours Care
As you may be aware, we have recently been unofficially investigated by the Department’s Strategic Contracts and Procurement section, with particular regard to the Homework Club. Apparently a member of the community mentioned this program in passing to a friend who works in that department, so he started to investigate this with us. During this process, we undertook a risk management appraisal and realised that certain risks, which the department found untenable, needed to be addressed. The Department insisted we complete new documentation with the Homework Club. We tried to renegotiate with the Homework Club to address the risk management issues but the Homework Club did not feel the required changes would be financially viable. We, therefore, negotiated to continue the program for a month (which ends on 10th May) to enable parents to make alternative arrangements. This was not the outcome we were seeking but it was the best we could manage.
Last term I began working with other out of school hours care groups to see what we needed to do to enable an OSH group to run from the school. I am working with one of our architect parents, Mel Lindegger, to complete work on enclosing the undercover area to provide a venue for this. While there aren’t major alterations required to make this space tenable, as with anything to do with government sites, it will take a little bit of time to sort this out. The site will then need to be inspected before an OSH group can apply to have the Department of Community and Local Government accept the Deed of License and complete other paperwork. This paperwork process could take an additional 3 months. So OSH group could not run at the school any earlier than Term 4 this year. While that is disappointing, we are much nearer to having onsite care than we ever have been before.
We had considered putting a transportable on site for this purpose, but this is much more expensive and DoE practice would mean that it would immediately become the property of the department and it could be taken to use for another site, if the department deemed it necessary. I believe that the current proposal, to use the undercover area, would be much safer and much quicker to get underway, not to mention much less expensive.
We have a stunning display of Japanese cherry blossoms in our foyer – stop by and have a look!
West Coast Eagles Visit
Kensington had a special visitor today with the mascot, Rick “The Rock” Eagle, coming to the school. Rick’s special message was to stay physically and mentally healthy. Remember, “R” for Relationships, “O” for Optimism, “C” for Calm (take 5 deep breaths) and “K” for Kindness (don’t forget “The Golden Rule”).
Trustworthiness means you can be counted on. When you are trustworthy, if you make a promise or a vow, you can keep your word no matter how hard it becomes. When you are practising trustworthiness, others can rely on you.
Congratulations to the following award winners from today’s assembly.
Virtue Awards 3/5/17
Honour Certificates 3/5/17
|P3||Isabella & Sara||1||Amy & Lincoln|
|10||Kayla||S1||Emily & Ryder|
|S2||Quayden & Tyde||S3||Willem & Jimmy|
|S4||Mary & Noah||Music||Elliot & Lily|
Computation Strategies (BEBRAS) Competition :
Distinction: Emily (top KPS mark) & Samuel
Credit: Luka & Aiden
Merit: Connor & Mietta
Running Club is up and ‘running’ again for Term 2, every Tuesday and Friday morning from 8.00-8.30am. For our first session of the term on 2 May, 42 runners attended – let’s see if we can increase that number!
Families are invited to visit the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts from today until 8 May to view works by Room 10. The students followed up on their investigation into the hidden disability of autism (Autism Awareness Month – Dress in Blue Day) by creating some colourful and bright artworks. These reflect the impact of autism on thinking and social communication.
Special thanks to Mrs Filmer and Mrs Beazley and the Eades/McKay family for supporting the children to learn about ASD firsthand.
BUZ (Build-Up Zone) Revision for Rooms 9, 10 and S1
Our present Year 4 to Yr 6 students did the BUZ program last year. Some important topics covered in the program include friendship building, feelings management and conflict management. Students in Rooms 9, 10 and S1 completed their BUZ revision in Term 1.
Some of their reflections after their revision are listed below:
- Hugo: Making people happy will make you happy as well.
- Lily: It’s up to you to bring back a smile.
- Jordan: Think about others before you think about yourself.
- Beatrice: You should include people.
- James: When someone is lonely, ask “do you want to be my friend.”
- Eva: Take a chance to know new friends.
- Bella: There is always more than one person to make friends with.
- Deida: A good way to cool down when sad, mad or worried is to draw.
- Jaegger: It takes more strength to hold back than fight.
- Georgia: Don’t take control of other people, only yourself.
- Nick: Be the boss of your feelings.
- Gemma: Stop, think, breathe, act.
- Jade: When you’re mad, breathe and be calm. Then when you’re ready, talk to the person. You can fix it.
- Akina: Many ways to handle feelings – draw, sing, sleep, rest, exercise, deep breathing.
- Marc: Think before you act, Don’t be a bystander, be an upstander.
- Deida: Think what you are doing and think about other people, what they think of you.
- Owen: Stop and think what you’re doing.
- Ellie: If you help, you solve the problem.
- Griffin: Help people when you have the chance, don’t wait for him to get more hurt.
- Kayla: I have learnt not to blame people. Stand up for others and yourself before you get help.
- Wesley: The first time you could be mean but you always have time to change to be helpful.
Year 5 students will be doing their revision in Term 2. Year 6 students will start BUZ Rangers too. BUZ Rangers will help reinforce the lessons in the playground after completing the course.
Congratulations to Anjo, Ruby and Ava on making history, the first WAFL team from the Rossmoyne JFC.
Term 2 P&C Fundraising Event – Family Scitech Night, Friday 19 May 5pm – 8pm
The annual Scitech night is back! Come along to Scitech after dark to enjoy an exclusive three hours of fun with the Kensington community.
Tickets on sale from 1 May so save the date! (numbers are limited so be sure to book your tickets early!)
Any questions, please contact Mel Tibbitts (P&C Fundraising) on email@example.com
DUCKS Rock Climbing
NEWSFLASH : LIMITED SPACE LEFT – ONLY 10 SPOTS AVAILABLE. RSVP MUST BE CONFIRMED BY 5TH MAY PLEASE
Put this date in the diary for Saturday May 13th at 2.30pm – we will be hitting The Hangout Indoor Rock climbing centre in Bayswater. It’s a fantastic opportunity for the kids to test their climbing skills with their dad (or other father figure) on the end of the rope!
Kids from 4 years old are welcome. There are a variety of climbs to suit all ages. Cost is approximate at this stage (depends on numbers) but will be about $15. This includes harness, ropes etc. We will have a BBQ going with sausages etc. for a gold coin donation.
Please RSVP for this event as we need to know numbers ASAP.
If you’d like further news or information about the DUCKS and their activities, please head to our website www.ducks.net.au. You can sign up to the mailing list or simply see what activity is on next.
Any further queries or RSVPs, contact Dave Mundy on 0433 095 416 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Uniform Shop News
An order form will be coming home for kindy kids to order t-shirts. The shirts have a new logo approved by the Board and the good news is that they will cost $14.
We also have plenty of school polos in size 8 and 10 for anyone who may not have ordered, as well as the new fleece jackets in a range of sizes which may be useful in the coming months.
Also, if you need a faction shirt for the winter athletics carnival, please feel free to put in an order or come to the shop.
Uniform Shop Volunteers
Entertainment Book 2017 on sale soon!!
P&C Fundraising – Entertainment Book 2017 on sale soon!
See attached flyer for details of how to order your 2017/18 Entertainment Book and help raise funds for the school at the same time!
If you are interested in purchasing the latest Entertainment Book, please click here for further information.
St Martin’s House are holding a bazaar on Saturday 20 May from 9am to 12 noon. For more details, please click here to view the flyer.
St Martin’s is also look for a Shop Day Manager – 5 hours per week on Saturdays. Further details on the position are available by clicking here.
Day: Every Wednesday (From 10th of May) during recess
Contact: Pushpini Jayathissa 0469 339 858
Enrol for Term 2 weekly drama classes with Alan Blackwood. Please note that late starts are not a problem – children still get an obligation free trial lesson and fees will be adjusted accordingly. Please click here to view the flyer.
South Perth Running Club
We focus on running posture and technique, for kids and adults.
Every Thursday from 11 May to 22 June 2017, 4.15 -5pm, oval next to the car park on Ellam St, South Perth (behind Shell South Perth).
$70/person (if paid by 8 May), $80/person (if paid after 9 May).
LIMITED SPOTS! You can register for your child only.
E: email@example.com or call: 0402 784 225
Our program is a mix of new and favourite presenters with authors Sally Murphy, Chris Owen, Deb Fitzpatrick, Norman Jorgensen and Corina Martin, Book of the Year shortlisted illustrator Kylie Howarth, and publisher Cate Sutherland from Fremantle Press. In addition we will start Book Week off in style with a special opening session in the Manning Hall next to our new Manning Library. Special guests Kaleidoscope Ensemble will perform a musical interpretation of Somewhere Else by Gus Gordon and author/illustrator Kylie Howarth will showcase her artistic talents.
Please make sure when booking that you have chosen the correct library.
We look forward to seeing you in Book Week.
The Ready Steady Go Kids sport program is now running at the George Burnett Leisure Centre. The Tuesday morning program caters for 1.5- 2.5 years old, 2.5 – 3 years old and 3 – 4 years old. The flyer is available to view by clicking here.
*The above community advertisements are for your information only and should not be taken as endorsement by Kensington Primary School.