We are three weeks into the 2023 school year, and I congratulate parents and staff for the calm and considered manner that you have worked with your children to have them return to school in such a positive, organised way. It is an absolute pleasure for me to walk around the classes and see the focus, concentration, questioning and goal setting that our students and teachers are so involved in.
Our wonderful Prep students have started school with amazing confidence, a beautiful attitude, and absolute joy at making new friends with the highlight meeting their Year 4 buddies.
Our buddy program is valued highly by our staff and students, our Year 4 students are a support emotionally for our Prep students at the beginning of the school year and are very present in the yard with our Preps to develop a solid sense of where everything is. A buddy program helps to promote friendship and behavioural and social needs and can foster a greater sense of belonging and a more inclusive school community. Our Year 4 students are there to answer questions that the Preps have and as time progresses, they continue to develop a relationship with each other to work together to support their learning. As the year continues many long-term friendships are made, many for the duration of their time at school. A big thank you to staff for their skills in matching students and guiding the Year 4 students to use their leadership skills to build a close and supportive relationship.
School Leaders Badge Ceremony
Last Friday we had our presentation of our Year 6 leadership badges at our first whole school assembly. Jackson Taylor our member for Bayswater spoke to our school at the assembly and congratulated and handed students their badges. This is a very special assembly as we like to showcase our leaders and congratulate them in their positions. Well done to all our leaders who are very quickly initiating and supporting our school in their new roles.
A Valued Beginning
Parents and teachers understand the importance of the beginning of the school year. We all want the children to feel happy and settled in their new class and be ready to take on all the challenges that the year will bring.
In the classroom, the beginning of the year and its place in establishing class routines, expectations and relationships is important whether the child is in Foundation or Year 6. These are the building blocks on which all our class programs are built and establishing rapport with and between students helps everything else to fall into place.
For the first two weeks of school, all classes have focused on our Rigour and Routine Program and the Berry Street model, which together focuses on Student Wellbeing and getting to know each other. We have talked about our families and our interests, discussed our new school values: and formed our class agreements based on the school behaviour expectations, formed our learning goals, and together set in place the foundations for another successful school year.
As the year progresses, we will continue to focus on Student Well-being and School Values and I look forward to sharing our many programs and activities with you. Please tune into our classroom videos this Friday afternoon that can be viewed through the link on COMPASS, which specifically focusses on areas that will be significant for you and your children to hear. Thank you to all staff who have worked heard to make these information videos to support the partnership between home and school. If you have any questions after you have viewed the videos, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s classroom teacher or leadership.
Our library is open every lunch time for students to borrow, enjoy browsing and reading, they have support in book choices and to play games and quiet activities. Our Library captains Amber S, and Sophia P are supporting Mrs. Bentley and have been fabulous in assisting students coming to the library for quiet reading, drawing, and completing quiet tasks during lunch times. Please make sure your child has a library bag for borrowing. All classes are timetabled in the library during the week for library lessons, book clubs, literature circle time and activities to promote a love of literature.
Swimming Trials were conducted for Years 3-6 students who were interested in testing their swimming abilities last Monday to gain entry in the District Swimming Carnival. Congratulations to all students who entered the races and tried their hardest. A huge thankyou to parents who attended and of course our wonderful PE teacher Ms Smith who ran and organised the swimming trials. Good Luck to those students who made it through to the District Swimming Championships, we were so thrilled of your achievements. We wish all the best of luck to the following students who are now swimming in the District Swimming Carnival:
Emily A, Owen A, Samantha B, Darcy B, Olivia B, Braxton C, Will C, Sophie D, Zoe E, Byron H, Dustyn M, Lani M, Mackenzie S, Sophie W and Mitchell W.
Dogs on Leashes
We encourage students and families to walk to school if they can and it is always lovely to bring the family dog on an extra walk. However, no dogs are allowed in the school grounds and unfortunately, I have had some families have their dogs off the leash just outside the school gates with some families and children being scared. If you do bring your dog and wait for your child around the exterior of the school, could you please place them on a lead to make everyone feel safe. Thank you.
Change of address, phone number or family situation
Parents are requested to advise the school if a child’s family situation, address, or phone contact changes during the school year. It is important that all information is kept up to date in the school needs to contact parents/guardians.
Classroom Helpers Program
Leah Hodgson our Assistant Principal leads Literacy in our school. Leah is running sessions for our Classroom Parent Helpers Program during Term one. If you are interested in completing this program, please make sure that you return the expression of interest by the end of this week, as the course begins this Monday. This professional development for parents has laid a foundation for classroom support and has given parents some good strategies to help their own children with their reading and learning. Thank you to all parents that will complete the course, while giving back to the school and helping our students. A huge thank-you to Leah Hodgson for her passion and enthusiasm and dedication to Literacy learning in our school. If you wish to help in the classroom, you must complete this course that goes over three weeks for one hour a week. This course is starting from next Monday 20th February.
Hats – SunSmart Policy
Don’t forget that Boronia Heights is a Sun Smart School and wide brimmed hats are compulsory in Terms 1 & 4. Hats are available at the school office and must be worn by all children when outside at playtime and lunchtime. Children who do not have a hat will have a restricted play area under the shaded areas of the school. Please ensure that your child’s hat is clearly named and that they have it at school every day. Our school uniform policy requires that the hat be a school hat, as it is the approved style with a wide brim that provides full sun protection to face, ears and neck.
As adults we understand the positives and good things that surround the use of social media. It allows us to stay connected with friends and family, enhances creativity by sharing ideas, gives us the opportunity to meet and interact with others who share similar interests, and allows us to learn about current events and so on.
However, on the flipside are the issues surrounding children who are not old enough and mature enough to understand the potential for harmful or questionable activities. Through cyberbullying children can be teased or harassed online which is linked to depression, loneliness and even more dreadful consequences. Children do not understand about privacy and safety and can often share more online than they should. Often parents are unaware that their child is on a social media platform and if they are underage will have had to lie about their age to be given permission to be an that online platform. There of course are serious mental health effects with too much time on social media, which can affect their mood and wellbeing. Seeing and investigating inappropriate content for their age and seeing ads or content that is disturbing is very confronting for children. There are of course so many other issues for our children that are online around lack of supervision and being exposed to grooming and contacting people who are unknown to them.
As a parent it is important to be aware what your children do online and what platforms they are on. The key is to stay involved in a way that makes your children understand and respect their privacy but at the same time making sure that they are safe. To help them find a balance, it is important to talk with your children about how to use social media wisely. The best solution however is don’t let your child on social media if they are not the legal age. As parents we feel peer pressure from our children because “everyone” is on social media, and we allow our kids to dictate that it is crucial that they not be left out.
As BHPS we conduct cybersafe lessons with every year level every fortnight to support, help guide and learn about the about how to stay safe on the internet. This year will be the second year we will be holding this incursion for students, staff and parents. Parents, the first session for yourselves is tonight Thursday 15th February, please make sure you read the COMPASS post and log on for this very engaging and informative forum.
25% of Australian school students attend less than 90% of school days – this equates to approximately 20 or more days absent in a school year. This data is extremely worrying, and we can certainly see the challenges that children face when they miss school. School attendance impacts student’s academic achievements and long-term student outcomes.
Non-attendance has a variety of effects on students, both academically and socially. Absenteeism can increase social isolation, including alienation and lack of engagement with the school community and peers, leading to emotional and behavioural problems.
There are a variety of interrelated factors that influence attendance rates. Some factors are school-related while others relate to individual and family contexts. Critically, the evidence suggests that early attendance and declining attendance habits from primary to secondary school have important ramifications for later years of schooling and student outcomes
Everyday counts “Every day counts and there is no ‘safe’ threshold for absences”. Please work with us to support your children to attend every day. Our staff work incredibly hard to build a positive healthy relationship with your children, especially during the first few weeks of school when we take the opportunity to get to know your children and they get to know their teachers.
As a school we are here to support you and your child to attend school, if you believe that you need strategies to help you, please make contact with your child’s classroom teacher and we can put supports in place.
Last year we had ‘Teeth on Wheels’ visit our school to support our student’s dental care. This year we have the Smile Squad team arriving at BHPS from the 8th of March. We have chosen to go with the Smile Squad as they are a Victorian Government free school dental program and service. Unlike last year, families can access free dental care on site. It is crucial that parents read the Smile Squad information that has been sent home via COMPASS. This is a free service for all children, with qualified staff who have experience working with children and understand the anxiety or nervous feeling that going to the dentist can bring.
Enjoy your weekend
SCHOOL COUNCIL ELECTIONS
FORM 2: NOTICE OF ELECTION AND CALL FOR NOMINATIONS
An election is to be conducted for members of the school council of
BORONIA HEIGHTS PRIMARY SCHOOL
Nomination forms may be obtained from the school now and must be lodged by 4.00 pm on:
Friday 17th February 2023.
Following the closing of nominations, a list of the nominations received will be posted in the newsletter.
The terms of office, membership categories and number of positions in each membership category open for election are as follows:
|MEMBER CATEGORY||TERM OF OFFICE||NUMBER OF POSITIONS|
|Parent member||From the day after the date of the declaration of the poll in 2022 to and inclusive of the date of the declaration of poll in 2024||4|
|School Employee member||From the day after the date of the declaration of the poll in 2022 to and inclusive of the date of the declaration of poll in 2024||2|
If the number of nominations is less than the number of vacancies, a notice to that effect and calling for further nominations will be posted in a prominent position at the school.