Welcome to Term 3. I hope you all had the chance to enjoy spending some time with your children over the holidays and took the opportunity to rest and have some fun as a family. I also hope that you had the chance to look over your child’s report with them and talk with them about  the progress they have made in the first semester of the year. It is very important that you do this and show your child how interested you are in the work they are doing and the achievements they are making at schooling. It is also important that if there is any aspect of the report, or any aspect of your child’s performance at school for that matter, that you are concerned about or need more information about, that you make an appointment to talk with your child’s teacher.

Earlier in the year, all parents were invited to take part in an interview with the teacher which, although brief, gave the chance to get an idea of how well their child had settled into their new class and for teacher and parent to swap any important information about the child. If, following your reading of your child’s report, you would like to have another, more in-depth conversation with your child’s teacher, I encourage you to do so. Our teachers are always very keen to work closely with their students’ parents as it is this partnership and swapping of information and ideas that maximises the child’s learning and enables parents to be clearer on how they can support them on their learning journey.

Homework Survey

Thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the homework survey which has provided us with valuable feedback. The School Board has formed a committee that has examined the results of the survey and used this, along with the Department of Education’s (DoE) own homework guidelines and current educational research, to review our current homework practices. The members of this committee will formulate a new draft homework policy to be presented to the school staff for their feedback and then to the Board for their feedback and endorsement. I anticipate that the new policy will be in place for the start of the 2019 school year.

The key points from the survey are as follows:

  • The majority of parents believed that their child should be given homework. The percentage who believed this ranged from 65% in Year 1 to 80% in Year 6.
  • The approval rating of the current homework format was greater in Years 1-3 (6-7/10) and less in Years 4-6 (5/10)
  • About 40% in Years 1-3 and 6 felt there should be less homework while in Years 4 and 5, 50% and 55% respectively felt there should be less
  • An average of about 25% felt there should be less homework. The Years 4 and 5 responses were the strongest with only 14% and 17% respectively feeling there should be more homework.
  • Between 30% and 40% across all year levels felt that the amount currently given was right.

All results of the survey are available on the school website for you to look over at your convenience.

Upcoming Events

Term Three is shaping up as a busy and exciting time for everyone. You can keep well informed of all school events by checking out the school calendar on the website, the school app (for iPhones and androids) and by subscribing to your child’s classroom blog. They all link to the calendar on the website so it is a good idea to bookmark that page for easy reference. Some events to keep in mind are as follows:

  • Soccer Open Champion Cup Finals, Friday August 10
  • Years 3-6 Faction Jumps and Throws Carnival, Monday August 13
  • Years 3-6 Faction Athletics Carnival, Wednesday August 15
  • Years K-2 Faction Athletics Carnival, Wednesday October17 (Term 4) 
  • One Big Voice Festival (Junior Choir), Friday August 17
  • NAIDOC Week Activities and Celebrations, Week 6, August 20-24
  • Science Alive Incursions (Thursday, Friday September 13, 14
  • Massed Choir Festival Saturday October 15

Tie Children’s Hair Up Please

Recently we have become aware of an increase in the prevalence of head lice in the school. These little critters love to  trapeze from hair strand to hair strand, on the same head and from head to head! This is how they spread, as adult lice, not as eggs or nits. We all know how frustrating (and costly) this problem can be so we all need to take responsibility for them. Please help to keep this problem at bay by reducing the likelihood of them trapezing onto your child’s head. One way to do this is by keeping your son or daughters hair tied up, or tied back. I have noticed this year that many boys and girls with long hair are coming to school without their hair neatly tied back, plaited or up in a bun of some sort. They are the ideal candidates to get, and then spread, nits!

As I said, we all share the responsibility for this unpleasant problem and the best way to ensure it doesn’t get out of hand and become widespread is by acting proactively and preventatively now.

Not Returning in 2019?

Planning for 2019 is already well under way and I need your help to ensure we are able to be well prepared for the new year. It is vital that we have an accurate idea of how many students are enrolling for 2019 so we can appoint staff accordingly. One of the biggest risks schools face each year, is the potential to be over staffed and having to carry the cost of staff that are surplus to our needs.

If you know you will NOT be returning to Aubin Grove in 2019, please inform your child’s teacher or the school reception as soon as possible. Please do so even if you believe it is only likely that you might be leaving.  We need to secure our staff for next year now and your cooperation in this matter is extremely important. Thank you in anticipation.

School Board Meeting

The next meeting of the School Board will take place on Wednesday, August 8 in the Conference Room adjacent to the staff room (8:45-10:45 am). Members of the school community are welcome to attend although only in a viewing, non-participating capacity. Items on the agenda include:

  • School Budget update
  • Student Leaders’ report
  • Homework Policy update
  • Endorsement of the Board’s new Terms of Reference
  • Proposed memorial for Anita Board
  • Update on planned works for the “Little Boy’s Courtyard behind the admin building.
  • Parent/Community Feedback

Carpark behaviour

I have been very pleased, and quite delighted actually, with the safe, patient and common sense behaviour displayed by the vast majority of students and adults using our school’s car parks recently, especially at the busy drop off and pick up times of the day. We have made significant improvements to our car park structures and processes over the last two years to ensure the safe and efficient arrival and departure of students each day but all this can be for nothing unless the behaviour of people using the car parks is appropriate. I am happy to say that whenever the Deputy Principals and I are in the car parks,  which is most days, we see courteous, sensible drivers who understand the situation we all share and who drive and wait suitably. The “giving way” to others that I see in the Camden Boulevard car parks is a perfect reflection of the principles FISH Philosophy we teach our students and for which our school is renowned.  To see everyone making the effort to “Make someone’s day” and “Be there” for others is a delight to see and a perfect example for our children to follow.

Well done and thank you mums and dads. Keep it up!

Federal Election Sausage Sizzle

Thank you and well done to all the parents and children who volunteered to run the P&C Year 6 Committee sausage sizzle stall on the election day last Saturday. Although the election day activity was a little quieter than usual this time, I am told that the fundraiser was still a big success and around $2000 was raised. What and effort! These funds will help subsidise the cost of the Year 6  Big Week Out and Graduation Dinner Dance events which will take place in Term Four, later this year.

Thank you again to the Year 6 Committee and everyone who played a part on the day. Awesome job!

Frank Pansini