The 2017 school year at Aubin Grove Primary School has gotten off to a flying start.
All teaching staff resumed work in late January, while students attended their first day on February 1.
And from all reports it appears both staff and students have been quick to settle in for what promises to be another eventful and exciting year.
Principal Frank Pansini said enrolments had this year reached 1150 students, which meant a number of new staff and students had joined the school community.
“I’d like to welcome everyone back for the new school year, in particular the new families who have joined us,” he said.
Among the new staff members are:
Christine Borlase (Art Specialist), Jo Zangari (Art Specialist), Molly Busbridge (Year 5), Elaine Cass (Year 1), Nerida Clark (Kindergarten), Lily Dorotich (Year 4), Kaitlin Fraser (Kindergarten), Hannah Gifford (Year 5), Peter Griffiths (Year 5), Kathryn Hall (Year 1), Ivona Jercic-McFadyen (Year 1 Fridays)), Tara Pearce (Year 4), Sarah Springett (Year 2, Fridays), Christine Walsh (Year 5 Mon-Wed), Sandy Wingfield (Year 3), Susan Woon (Year 2), Heather Reed (Pre-primary), Veronica Cary (Ed Assistant), Amy Coleman (Ed Assistant), Anna Martin (Ed Assistant)
Mr Pansini said he was extremely pleased with how those staff had so far adjusted to their new environment.
“All new teachers attended our induction day before the other staff resumed, where they were taught about the FISH Philosophy and the LEAF principles that govern our school so they understand our culture,” he said.
All teachers also attended a professional development day centred on the school priority of Visible Learning prior to the commencement of Term 1, presented by a guest speaker from Melbourne.
Mr Pansini said coaching involving classroom observation, feedback and reflection had become an important focus for teachers over the past few years, as it involved them both being coached but also coaching each other.
“For example, teachers will film their lessons which they will then view with their peer coach and then use the school developed pedagogical framework to reflect on areas that may require improvement, allowing them to continually improve their teaching methods,” he said. “We ask our students to constantly seek to be better at what they do so it’s only natural that we model that ourselves.”
While the school year has gotten off to a smooth start, it appears things have also been running reasonably smoothly in the carparks.
Mr Pansini said it was important parents remembered they could only turn left when exiting the Lyon Road carpark, whereas those vehicles using the Camden Boulevard carpark should drop off and pick up their children at the bottom of the carpark near the community centre.
“At the end of the day it is a school and there are lots of young children around, so drivers need to be patient, co=operative and respectful of everyone’s’ basic safety and rights,” he said.
Parents are also reminded that parking is only allowed in the marked bays. Please stay off the footpaths and verges as they pose dangers and risks for the walkers and students who are trying to pass by without stepping onto the road.
OUR YEAR 6 STUDENT LEADERS
The Year 6 students have taken to their role as leaders of the student body for 2017.
At Aubin Grove Primary School, even though 18 Year 6 students hold the positions of Head Boy, Head Girl and Faction Captains, every student within the year group is regarded as a student leader.
Late last year they spent time learning about what makes great leaders, and as well as having to cast a vote in electing the official student leaders, the entire year group came up with the Leadership Pledge which included the mantra “Everything a leader does matters.”
Following on from that the 98 students spent the day at Point Walter Camp School last Wednesday building on their leadership skills.
After enjoying a cooked breakfast on the Point Walter foreshore, the students were divided into six groups and undertook a variety of physical challenges.
Deputy Principal Nola Smith said the activities, including crate building and climbing, orienteering, pool team games and riding a flying fox, required the students to work on their problem solving, communication, listening, perseverance and encouragement skills. It also supported their development of a growth mindset and their willingness to take on and succeed in challenging situations.
“For some activities they had to work on having effective team member skills, while others such as the flying fox put them slightly out of their comfort zone and they had to reassure each other before experiencing a sense of achievement when they completed the task,” she said.
Following this, all Year 6 students were presented with their Student Leaders badges at a special ceremony on Friday.
WELCOME TO OUR KINDY STUDENTS AND FAMILIES
While Week 1 marked the first days at Aubin Grove Primary School for many staff and students, spare a thought for the 145 three and four-year-olds who started their school journey in the Kindy.
To ease their transition into school life, each of the seven Kindy classes has been divided into two groups of 10-11 students and attended just one day in each of the first two weeks.
Kindy teacher Hannah Dempster said the staggered start helped the students to transition gradually to school life and settle in and feel safe and comfortable in their new environment.
“With only about 10 in each group, they can start to make friends and build relationships with their peers and teachers before all students attend classes together from Week 3,” she said.
Mrs Dempster said the children were given a teddy bear at their induction day last year, and their initial activities were centred around their bear.
For example, they had read the story “Possum goes to School” and were working on making their own book about teddies coming to Aubin Grove Primary School.
As well as some colour, fine motor and name recognition activities, the students were also getting used to the class routines, such as finding their name on the bag hooks; moving their name on the Smartboard; getting their water bottles out of their school bag; and even turning taps on and off to wash their hands.
“They get to learn the routine of the day, and we really encourage their independence and them having a go at things,” she said.
“At the end of the day, we want our Kindy kids to be happy, healthy and building on their social skills and if they love coming to school we are already winning!”
SPORTING GALA AFTERNOON
Aubin Grove Primary School will host a Sporting Gala Day this Thursday, February 16.
Running from 3-4.30pm, around 11 sporting clubs have been invited to attend the event on the school oval to provide students with an opportunity to register for the upcoming sporting season.
Those clubs include the Hammond Park Football Club; Aubin Grove United Soccer Club; Cockburn Basketball Association; Southern Lions Rugby Club; Phoenix Lacrosse Club; South Side Volleyball; Olympic Fun and Fitness; Kwinana Hockey Club; Eclipse Dance and Performing Arts; and Atwell Netball Club.
Well done to Mr Paparone for organising this excellent opportunity for students to become involved in organised sport.