Over the last two weeks our Year Prep to 4 students have attended swimming lessons at Knox Leisureworks pool in Boronia. I went down to the pool last week to see the Year 4s kids swim and they seemed to be loving the experience. Swimming is such an important activity to learn, especially where we live because of the many beaches and pools available to us in a short distance from our homes. The swimming lessons we do at school are important in developing confidence and safe behaviours in the kids when they are around water. The school has had some great feedback from Knox Leisureworks and I’m confident we will use them again in the future.
I was also very pleased to hear from two members of the public who were at the pool while our students were doing their swimming lessons. They remarked on how beautifully behaved our children were and what a credit they are to our school. It is so nice hearing messages like this – it just reinforces how great our kids really are!
Prep bags 2023 survey
Each year, the Department of Education gives every Prep student attending a Victorian government school a bag full of goodies to celebrate this milestone in their education journey. The information and educational resources in the bags are designed to help Prep students and their families thrive from the start of Term 1.
The department is inviting parents and carers of current Prep students to participate in a short survey about the 2023 Prep bags, by 5 pm on Sunday 9 July 2023.
Your feedback will help the department learn what families liked about the Prep bags and what can be improved in 2024. You can have your say at 2023 Prep Bags – Evaluation Survey.
The survey takes 5 to 10 minutes to complete, and responses are anonymous. For more information on this year’s Prep bags, refer to Prep bags.
National Simultaneous Storytime
The National Simultaneous Storytime is an annual evert that happened on Wednesday 24th May this year. I was lucky to be the guest storyteller this year and I absolutely loved the experience. Every year a picture storybook is chosen by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and read to students around Australia at the same time. This year’s book, “The Speedy Sloth” by Rebecca Young and illustrated by Heath McKenzie, was all about a sloth who competed in a running race. Now, we all know that sloths aren’t exactly known for their speed, but nevertheless the main character, Spike, tried her hardest to compete in the race. The moral of the story is that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s the amount of effort you put in that determines your success. For Spike, she became the fastest sloth to have ever raced, and that made her a winner in the eyes of her family and friends.
There is considerable work underway to improve the playgrounds around the school. In late 2021, we received notification from the Minister for Education, James Merlino, that we were successful in receiving $200,000 for an inclusive playground in the senior play area. No doubt this was, and still is, an exciting project for our senior students. Unfortunately, the work to rebuild this playground is taking a lot longer than anyone expected. The Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) are the government organisation responsible for managing the building works, not the school. This means that there are many aspects that we cannot control, especially when it comes to selecting contractors and timelines for completion. Please be assured that Mrs Hodgson, Mrs Jennings and I have been seeking some assurances from the VSBA on many occasions. Hopefully in the next few weeks we can announce that work will begin soon on the Inclusive Play Space.
On a more positive note, I am pleased to report that Mrs Hodgson has been in communication with another playground builder, Safe Play Australia, to rebuild the Year 1/2 and Year 3/4 playgrounds. The company put a proposal to School Council in the meeting on May 1st and Council accepted it, meaning that the design work can get underway. Safe Play Australia developed a child-friendly survey that asked the kids about the kinds of equipment they would like on the playground. The company will use their feedback to customise the design to suit the wishes of the kids. All going well, these playgrounds should be completed by the end of the year.
Reconciliation Week & National Sorry Day
We were all so proud of our school captain, Mitchell, when he spoke at assembly to mark the significance of National Sorry Day on Friday 26th May. Mitchell used his words to educate all of us about the hurt that was caused to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples who were forcibly removed from their families. On the 26th May 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd issued a formal apology, on behalf of all Australians, to the Stolen Generations of Indigenous Australians. This is the significance of National Sorry Day.
This week also marks Reconciliation Week which is a special time when we learn about and celebrate the friendship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. During this week, we remember two important events: the 1967 vote that made things fairer for Indigenous people, and the Mabo decision that recognized their land rights. Reconciliation Week helps us understand and respect each other’s cultures and history. Through activities and discussions in classrooms, our children learn about Indigenous traditions, and work together to make things fair and equal for everyone.
The school has recently received funding to install a map of Australia that shows the traditional lands, languages and nations of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. This will be framed and placed in a prominent location, with pins signifying the mobs our First Nations students are from. I look forward to seeing this when it’s completed.
Curriculum Day – Friday 9th June
Just a reminder that Friday 9th June is a Curriculum Day, which means the children can have an extended long-weekend given that Monday 12th June is the King’s Birthday public holiday. While the kids are at home, our staff will be doing some professional learning in the teaching of mathematics. They will be hearing from Andrew Lorimer-Derham who describes himself as “a passionate educator and inventor who relentlessly creates unique ways to spread the love of mathematics.” Our aim is for the teachers to come away with ideas to engage the children in fun, imaginative and playful mathematics activities that will boost the problem solving skills of the kids. OSHClub is available on the day. Please contact them for a booking.