November 30th 2022
'The Puggle Post'
OUR SCHOOL VISION:
"Wandong Primary School...Making a difference by developing confident, independent and resilient learners who strive for personal excellence."
State-wide Orientation Day
We are once again coming to that time when our students will step up into their 2023 classroom. On Tuesday the 13th of December students will spend the morning with their 2023 teacher and classmates. Our 2023 Foundation students will also spend the first part of the day with their teachers for the Teddy Bears Picnic. We anticipate that the majority of our Year 6 students will transition to their new Secondary School during this time, but we will still provide supervision for students who do not attend a transition day. The purpose of the day is for our students to step up into their new learning spaces, familiarise themselves with new people and prevent the natural nerves and anxiety they may be feeling if they did not have the opportunity to see what is expected. It is an exciting day for everyone.
End of Term 4 – Early Dismissal – 1:30pm
We have a busy end to this year in 2022. We have our graduation on Thursday the 15th and our end of year annual Pool Party on Friday the 16th. We know that Monday will be a very quiet day and many of our staff will take the opportunity to move classrooms. Tuesday the 20th, students who attend will be dismissed at 1:30pm.
On this day we will run a special program where children will only have one break at 11.00 am. It would be best if they were provided with a substantial snack for this break, as lunch will not be eaten at school. Children will be dismissed at 1.30 pm.
It is important that families ensure that the school has the most updated Custody/Court Orders. If orders have expired and no longer current, then they are deleted from our system. It is each family’s responsibility to ensure that the school is kept informed. Please, if you have any questions or concerns, you can make an appointment with myself or Stephanie Pol.
Don’t forget to return all library books and other reading material as soon as possible. Might be a good chance for children to clean up their rooms and look for missing books under their beds.
Principal Certificate of Excellence
Once again for Semester 2, when I finalise reports, all the children that have been awarded an ‘EXCELLENT’ for behaviour and effort in every class, including specialists will have a certificate uploaded to Compass. Please make sure you check your child’s dashboard, as there is no alert when I put a comment into the student chronicle.
This year, for the first time we will also be highlighting overall academic excellent in English and Maths. Each area of the school, Foundation, Year 1/2s, Year 3/4s and Year 5/6s will moderate all available data for each child in both areas of the curriculum and award one student in each year level.
English Academic Excellence - Students who achieve predominantly excellent standards of achievement in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Mathematics Academic Excellence- Students who achieve predominantly excellent standards of achievement in Number, Algebra, Measurement, Geometry, Statistics and Probability.
Recognising a student’s personal achievements for their ongoing and consistent high achievements over the year is of the upmost importance to our school. These will be announced in our final assembly and this certificate of achievement will be awarded to these students and uploaded to their Compass dashboard.
At Wandong we have a very stringent process for grade placement. On the forefront of our decisions is what we as professionals believe is in the best interest of our children as we prepare them for the future. We completely understand that not getting that one friend or that one teacher is at times challenging, but as teachers, families and community we would be doing our children a disservice if we always allow children to have what they want and always providing what they perceive as their first choice.
A huge number of individual teachers, teams and leadership time has been spent on student and parent friendship considerations.
As professional educators we strive to make the right choices taking into account all of the information we have about students. Teachers have all of the academic and social information about every child and can make sound judgements to meet the needs of every student. Often children/parents request certain friends to be with their child, but it’s important to consider that the school knows the child’s friendships and that placing them without that particular friend might be so that the child expands their friendship base, or for another valid reason. We want children to be able to work and socialise with a variety of other children and build skills to make new friends. In addition, sometimes we may get competing requests from other parents/students/staff that have requested that they not be in the same class. Friendships can and do change throughout primary school - students leave, more students arrive and so it is important for children to develop friendship making skills.
The complexity around all these changing scenarios is when one combination of students are moved to accommodate a request, it then creates a chess game of up to seven other moves. The hard truth about accommodating all requests is that helping one, comes often at the expense of someone else’s child.
When allocating children to classes, we endeavour to foster positive social interaction across a year group, by making socially balanced classes and to help prevent non-constructive relationships. Class time is distinctly ‘work’ time and outside play time is a child’s opportunity to be with friends and ‘hang out’. Obviously developing resilience is key for our students, as they develop into lifelong learners in an ever-changing world. We need to prepare children for secondary school where they will have different classes, different teachers, and different groups of children. Eventually our children will be adults where they might not get the job that they wanted or perhaps the university course that wasn’t their first choice. I’m passionate about this and preparing our children together is paramount.
2023 Classrooms Just like grade placement, classroom organisation also goes through quite the debate in looking at every single pro and con. In forward planning around such decisions, there are so many factors that come in to play. Some years, depending on class structure, number and school layout/design it is easy and some years and schools this is hard. Considerations and conversations amongst staff include and are certainly not limited to:
• The need for cohorts to be working within close proximity to one another (this supports collaboration and connectivity within the teaching team).
• Natural flow of ages throughout the school.
• School landscape and classroom placement in terms of outdoor spaces.
This year we are buoyed to have our Foundation classes closest to our administration and leadership support area. This includes having our four Foundation classrooms placed adjacent to the Wellbeing Hub as an additional supportive factor. This is mostly needed at the beginning of the year as our youngest students transition to school. Having the foundation classrooms within very close proximity of toilets and drink fountains is also an added benefit. The 2023 structure has also allowed us to have our 1/2s, 3/4s and 5/6s flow from the current central administration hub of the school with our most senior students towards the top of the block.
Whilst there are always positive and negatives to weigh up, in looking at the positioning of classrooms, the final decision always acknowledges the best possible outcome for our students.
Thank you to the Staff
As the end of the school year fast approaches us, I would like to thank all of those people who are employed at the school. The classroom teachers and specialist teachers are to be congratulated not only on the excellent programs that they provide for your children, but also for the care and commitment that they demonstrate on a day-to-day basis. They are well supported by a number of support staff who cover a range of tasks including integration support, intervention, speech, and educational psychology, music, out of school hour’s care, cleaning, maintenance and office work.
I would especially like to acknowledge the efforts of our terrific ‘front of house’ office staff, Ros Hulett, Jane Drury, Leanne Ross and Toni Cosaitis. Their efficiency, hard work and the way in which they deal with a myriad of tasks (often ALL at the one time) with calmness, patience and a smile on their face, plus the warm and caring way in which all children, staff and parents are looked after is very much appreciated.
A very big thank you must go to our leaders that have capably managed our school’s curriculum implementation and lead our teams to improved student outcomes. Thank you, Amy Andrew (3-6 Learning Specialist), Stephanie Pollock/Nikki Potesta (F-2 Learning Specialist) and Jess Woods (Wellbeing Leading). Our Strategic Leadership is capably lead by Cornelia Scott (English), Kat Potts (Mathematics) and Jess Woods (Wellbeing).
A particularly important acknowledgement is to say ‘thank you’ to my Assistant Principal, Stephanie Pollock. This year, Steph has moved from an outstanding Learning Specialist and curriculum expert to the Assistant Principal role. This transition period has called on her managing a crazy number of roles where she has worked tirelessly to ensure no ‘balls were dropped’. Steph is an amazing professional and her driving passion to improve outcomes and best practice curriculum implementation is nothing short of outstanding. I am sure Steph’s knowledge, expertise, kind word or helping hand has supported many of you in some way.
We have the best leaders, shepherding the educational vision and I want to thank the other members of the unit leader group – Emma Brancatisano, Cal Fearn, Chloe Cole, Krystal Clappison, Rebecca Hocking and Deb Elliott. The unit leader group in turn is supported by all of our staff. The way in which the staff work together for the benefit of the children is another aspect of what makes Wandong such a wonderful school. THANK YOU TEAM!
Please note that the school office hours are 8:30am until 4:15pm.
With the current wet weather, we would like to request parents/guardians of all students to pack a full set of spare uniform items in their child’s bag.
We do not have any spare uniform at the office. If your child has recently needed to borrow items from our sick bay, please wash and return them to the office as soon as possible.
IMPORTANT – Mobile Phone/Watch/Device Policy
In 2020, DET introduced strict restrictions on the use of any device with access to a cellular system, with or without a physical connection to a network. Where students bring a device of this type to school, it MUST be placed in secure storage at the office.
IMPORTANT – Student Information
It is very important we have up-to-date information for all students. Please check Compass and update current home & email addresses, phone numbers & medical details.
Picking Up Children – Please help our admin tea
In exceptional circumstances and emergencies, at times children need to be collected from school early. Please help our wonderful administration team by ensuring that this is not done during the break times of 11:00-11:30am and 1:30-2:30pm. When children are outside playing with their friends, they do not hear the announcements and it is difficult to have a staff member unlock classrooms to collect bags and belongings. Please help support our classroom programs by waiting until 3:30pm to collect children. The admin area is growing quite hectic in the afternoons with families collecting children early Thank you in advance for your support and understanding.
Friday 2nd December - Icy pole day $1 each
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