Welcome back to all our families, and a warm welcome to the many new families and students who have joined our Arbor Grove community.
We have had a busy holiday period with improvements to the front office which will make it much easier to enter and exit for parents with a pram, plus the construction of the Arbor Grove Child and Parent Centre has commenced.
We welcome a number of new staff for this year:
Mr Lewis Williams Junior PE
Mrs Jessica Ellen Year 5
Mr Tom Bish Year 6
Miss Sophie Kozak Year 2
Miss Rachel Purdy Pre Primary
Miss Caitlin Proudmore Pre Primary
Mrs Taryn Starling Kindy
Mrs Alison Seymour Junior Performing Art
I would like to thank the two parents that have nominated for the School Board. It is pleasing to have so many willing to actively contribute to the school and support the Principal and leadership team achieve our goal of improving student outcomes. Congratulations to Jason Maloney on his success at the recent vote to fill the Parent Board positions. I will confirm the full Board membership to all parents in the next newsletter.
Teachers will, if they haven’t already, have parent meetings soon where they will explain their class expectations and answer any questions. I would encourage all families to attend. If you can not make it you can always contact your child’s class teacher via Connect, email or alternatively contact the office and we will have the teacher return your call.
Again this term the staff are preparing to offer a range of clubs and other activities. I would urge all students and parents to keep an eye out for the flyers. I am sure, like me, all parents are so appreciative of the staff for giving up their own time to organise and run these activities.
I am very excited that Clan Midland and the school will be working in partnership once again this year to offer the Families & Schools Together program (FAST). I would also like to acknowledge and thank the staff that are willing to give up their own time to support this program, volunteer to serve the meals and wash up dishes, and supervise and entertain siblings. As I have mentioned before, the FAST program is internationally acclaimed and helps children thrive by building strong relationships at home.
There is always a lot of good things happening at Arbor Grove Primary School and I remind parents that it is important to keep an eye on the newsletter, Connect and the school web page to ensure you are up to date with all the many exciting activities and going ons.
I look forward to working with the P&C again this year. The P&C contribute in a range of ways to the school, the community and to the provision of services to the students. I would encourage all families (new and existing) to consider getting involved in the P&C. Last year the P&C contributed over $15,000 to the school from fundraising activities with the Rainbow Run a particular highlight.
We understand that from time to time parents will have questions or concerns and I would remind all families that your first point of contact should be the classroom teacher. The Deputies and I are always available to meet parents where the concern has not been resolved, or where parents believe the matter is sensitive.
Mobile Phone’s in Public Schools
As previously advised, the Education Department has announced a ban on students from using mobile phones from the time they enter school grounds to the conclusion of the school day. This ban includes smart watches and listening accessories, such as headphones and earbuds.
The Departments new policy supports staff and students to:
reduce the potential for learning distraction
protect the privacy of staff and students
improve health and wellbeing
reduce the chance of students bringing external issues to school through technology
reduce opportunities for cyberbullying.
The School will be finalising its Policy and Procedures shortly and following approval by the School Board will publish these. Teachers will discuss the new procedures with students. We are hopeful of having the new procedures in place before the end of Term 1.
Cyberbullying and Social Media
Sadly, each year the instances of cyberbullying in the wider community appears to increase. Those at Arbor Grove Primary (staff, parent or student) unfortunately are not immune from this behaviour. In the last few years we have offered support to a number of our students in the upper years who have experienced episodes of cyber bullying.
Cyberbullying is described as bullying that is carried out throughinternet or via mobile device technologies.
Examples of cyberbullying can include:
repeated hang up calls
sending insulting or threatening text messages
publishing someone's personal or embarrassing information online
creating hate sites or starting social exclusion campaigns on social networking sites.
Cyberbullying has the potential to result in the target of bullying developing social, psychological and educational issues.
While online bullying is similar to real life bullying it also differs in the following ways:
it can occur 24/7 and a person can be targeted while at home
it can involve harmful material being widely and rapidly disseminated to a large audience
it can provide the bully with a sense of relative anonymity and distance from the victim, so there is a lack of immediate feedback or consequences.
We encourage parents to be vigilant in monitoring their child’s online activity and to ensure that their child adheres to the age criteria before creating accounts at sites such as Facebook, Twitter etc.
Parents can also play an important role by modelling the appropriate use of the internet for their child.
Some suggestions for those who are being cyberbullied are to:
avoid retaliating or responding
collect the evidence – keep mobile phone messages and print emails or social networking conversations
block the mobile number and change their privacy settings
report the abuse to the social media service
talk to someone they trust such as a parent, teacher or friend.
If they have a friend or know someone at school who is being cyberbullied, advise them:
not to join in, i.e. don’t comment on posts, images or videos that will hurt others
not to forward or share posts, images or videos that will hurt others
to make sure they leave negative groups and conversations
to report bullying to a trusted adult such as a parent or teacher
if they feel confident enough, ask the bully to stop
to support friends who are bullied.
More information and resources to support families is available on the eSafety Commissioner web site www.esafety.gov.au
Early Close on Wednesday
The introduction of the Wednesday early close (2.30pm) has gone smoothly and I thank parents for supporting the school by being prompt to collect students. The earlier close allows the staff the opportunity to engage in professional learning opportunities and various meetings.
School Development Day
Parents are reminded that the school will be closed on Friday 28 February for a school development day. On this day the teachers will be busy with a full day of professional learning.
I would like to remind all parents and students that the Nature Play and the Megatoy are out of bounds before school. Students arriving before 8.30am are to sit outside the library or with their parents outside their classroom.
If students are with their parents, then we ask that parents actively supervise their children during this time ensuring that their children are following our ARBOR values.
Chasing games are not appropriate before school even if you are with your parents.
We encourage parents to stay until 3.30pm and supervise their children playing on the Megatoy however the Nature Play area is out of bounds after school.
We understand that from time to time parents will have questions or concerns and I would remind all families that the Deputies and I are always available to meet parents to discuss concerns.
As we often remind the children issues are best resolved face to face.
In Room 22 and 23 as a great way to get to know each other we created self-portrait silhouettes. We took a blank silhouette and filled it with images of things that portrayed something about themselves. Students were asked to fill the whole silhouette with many different things important to them. It allowed all students to have a chance at expressing themselves and showcasing their personality to the rest of the class. Both classes agreed it provided a great talking point for all students so they can get to know each other.
WELCOME BACK!! I hope you all had a lovely holiday break and are enjoying being back at school. For those new to Arbor Grove Primary, I am the Defence School Mentor. My role is to support, welcome, integrate and farewell students whose parents are current serving members of the Australian Defence Force. I work across four schools so I’m only at Arbor Grove one day a week, though I’m available via phone or email Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I also work across Ellenbrook Secondary College, Malvern Springs, and Ellen Stirling, so if you have siblings or friends in those schools I can support those families too.
If you are a new Defence family to the school, please don’t hesitate to give me a call or drop me an email to see what we do, find out about DCO events and let me introduce myself. I’d love to hear from you! If you see me walking around the school please stop me and say hello. Have a great day!
We would like to welcome everyone back and hope you have settled back into the swing of things and look forward to some awesome fundraising this year to help support our kids.
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Reminder - orders for Issue 1 of Book Club are due back tomorrow Friday 21 February 2020. Please drop orders and colouring comp pages in the P&C box outside the office or why not sign up and order via LOOP, it’s so quick and easy to sign in and order online.
If you are new to Book Club and have any questions, please send your queries through to our book club coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every Tuesday, make sure you put your banking books in the grey banking wallets found in the lunch baskets in each classroom. Or you can deliver your book to the canteen. These will be sent back to your classroom at lunchtime in the baskets.
Welcome to the new canteen menu. We hope you are able to find something yummy to eat on it. This year we are trying something new. Every Friday there will be a new item on the menu. But just remember these specials have to be ordered by 9am Tuesday morning. These meals will be cooked fresh on the Friday. We hope you all enjoy trying something new.