Friday, 10th March, 2023
From the Principal
We held our first ‘House Colours Day’ for the year last Friday, and officially launched our new houses, Kanyul, Mon Garrk, and Perridak. Students participated in ‘tabloid sports’, which saw them moving through a series of fun challenges with their house mates, after sharing their house chants. I was lucky enough to be on a fun activity which involved students racing to a suitcase of clothing, dressing in four items and before running back to the start line. We have some absolute fashionistas who were very picky about their styling! Be sure to check out the photo gallery and report from our school captains further in our newsletter. Huge thanks to Mrs Hueston for her organisation of the tabloid sports!
In this weeks newsletter there is an important reminder around school attendance, and why it is important that students are at school each and every day. Did you know that a child who misses only three weeks of school per year in primary school ends up missing half a year of school by the end of Year Six!?! That’s a scary thought! We encourage you to ensure that your child attends school every day, and remember that ‘every day counts’. Please also be reminded that school begins at 9am and all students should be here, settled and ready to learn.
Next week I invite you to come along to discuss the options for a canteen at Wangala Primary School in a Parent and Carer Forum to be held on Tuesday afternoon. Late last year the School Council discussed the possibility of providing a user pays lunch order and have explored different options, but we would like to hear from you. If you have ideas or questions that you would like to be raised but cannot make it, send us an email.
During the week I met with the Principals of Whittington Primary School, Newcomb Primary School and St Leonards Primary School to discuss a ‘Community of Practice’ (CoP) we will be working in throughout the school year. As a CoP, our teaching teams will be meeting regularly online to discuss puzzles of practice, with our first CoP meeting to be held in the coming weeks. As part of our CoP we will be participating in a joint Curriculum Day organised for Wednesday, 10th May. On this day we will be participating in a professional development with Educational Consultant, Bronwyn Ryrie-Jones on ‘Responsive Teaching’.
Sometimes, when our students make not so great choices, parents and carers may receive a notification through Compass regarding this. In this notification you will see details around what happened and the restorative conversation we have with your child regarding their choices. These restorative conversations always focus on the positive behaviour choices for ‘next time’ from our ‘Positive Behaviour Matrix’ (see further on in our newsletter), and on repairing the actions from this, including engaging in a conversation with those impacted. Students spend time filling out a reflection sheet which has them reflect on their emotions, the impact of their choices, and on the next steps in repairing relationships. This is an important part of learning to be mindful around the decisions we make.
Next week our Year Three and Year Five students will be sitting their NAPLAN assessments. These are completed by all students across Australia in Years Three, Five, Seven and Nine. A timeline of these NAPLAN sessions is further in our newsletter.
As we head into the long-weekend, I hope everyone has time to relax and refresh, ready for the next busy few weeks ahead.
Dates to Remember
Monday, 13th March
Labour Day Public Holiday
Tuesday, 14th March
Tuesday, 14th March
Parent/Carer Canteen Forum – 2.30pm in the Staff Centre
Wednesday, 15th March
NAPLAN over the next fortnight
Wednesday, 15th March
Volleyball Clinic for 3-6s
Thursday, 16th March
Prep Health Screenings
Friday, 17th March
Prep Health Screenings
Monday, 20th March
2.45pm Assembly in the Gymnasium
Tuesday, 21st March
Tuesday, 21st March
Coffee and Chat with Ange
Tuesday, 21st March
5/6s visit to Belmont Kinder
Sunday, 26th March
9.00 – 12.00 Working Bee
Monday, 27th March
2.45pm Assembly in the Gymnasium
Tuesday, 28th March
School Council AGM and Meeting
Friday, 31st March
Summer Lightning Premiership for 5/6s
Wangala Primary School acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we are on, the Wadawurrung people, and thank them for sharing thier long lasting culture with us as we learn and grow together.
Well done to our Star Student, Principal Award and Kitchen Garden Award recipients…
Prep – Harvey, Sam
One and Two – Seb, Rory, Demetri
Three and Four – Tayah, Judson
Five and Six – Curtis, Eva, Riley
GELC – Pinot
Every Day Counts
The Department of Education initiative ‘Every Day Counts’ highlights the importance of regular school attendance.
Going to school every day is the single most important part of your child’s education. Students learn new things at school every day – missing school puts them behind. We all want our students to have the best education, and the building blocks for a great education begin with students coming to school each and every day. If students miss school regularly, they miss out on learning the fundamental skills that will set them up for success in the later years of school.
There is no safe number of days for missing school – each day a student misses puts them behind, and can affect their educational outcomes. Each missed day is associated with progressively lower achievement in numeracy, writing and reading.
Attendance patterns are established early – a child regularly missing days in kindergarten or in the early years of school will often continue to miss classes in the later years, and receive lower test scores than their classmates. It’s vital that students go to school every day – even in the early years of primary school. In
In Victoria school is compulsory for children and young people aged 6 -17 years
The main reasons for absence are:
- Sickness – There are always times when students need to miss school, such as when they’re ill. It’s vital that they’re only away on the days they are genuinely sick, and developing good sleep patterns, eating well and exercising regularly can make a big difference.
- Family holidays – It’s vital that holidays are planned during school holidays where possible, and not during the term. If you are planning to go on holiday during term time, make sure that you talk to the school in advance, so we can discuss holiday learning tasks such as keeping a journal or continuing with online learning tasks.
- ‘Day off’ – Think twice before letting your child have a ‘day off’ as they could fall behind their classmates – every day counts.
- Truancy – This is when students choose not to go to school without their parent’s permission. There can be many reasons for truancy. The best way to address this is for schools and parents to work together.
- School refusal – School refusing children will experience significant emotional distress not only when going to school but also at the thought of going to school; they may be absent from school for weeks or even months at a time. School refusal differs from truancy as children generally stay home with the knowledge of the parents and despite their best efforts to encourage their child to go to school. See: Anxiety about going to school
BEING AWAY FROM SCHOOL FOR ONE DAY A FORTNIGHT EQUALS MISSING 1.5 YEARS OVER 13 YEARS OF SCHOOL
If your child is away
Parents and carers are required to ensure their child attends school every day and have an obligation to enter the absence onto Compass or contact the school to notify their child’s absence. Parents and carers should inform the school or log the absence on Compass in advance of known upcoming absences, or on the day of absence as soon as practicable. In addition, in order to implement this requirement, it is essential that parents and carers provide schools with their most up-to-date contact details.
Remember, every day counts. If your child must miss school, speak with the classroom teacher as early as possible.
Openly communicating with the school about all absences is a good way to prevent attendance issues being escalated to a School Attendance Officer. A School Attendance Officer has authority to follow up attendance issues. Chronic or ongoing attendance issues that are escalated can lead to an Infringement Notice being issued to parents and carers.
If you’re having attendance issues with your child, please let the classroom teacher know so we can work together to get your child to school every day.
Top attendance tips for parents
- Schools want to work in partnership with parents and carers – act early if you have any concerns by contacting the school and asking for advice and support
- Remember that every day counts
- There is no safe number of days for missing school – each day a student misses puts them behind, and can affect their educational outcomes and their social connectedness
- Talk positively about school and the importance of attending every day
- Open and prompt communication with the school about all absences is a good idea
- Avoid making routine medical and dental appointments during the school day or planning family holidays during the term
- Seek help from the school if you are concerned about your child’s attendance and wellbeing. Schools want to work in partnership with parents to support student attendance and wellbeing.
Working Bee – Sunday, 26th March
School council will be holding a working bee on Sunday, 26th March from 9.00am to 12.00pm. More information will be shared around our tasks and how you can help out. We would love to see you all there!
A friendly reminder to families who have not fixed up their curriculum contributions to please come and see us in the office.
The ongoing support of our families ensures that our school can offer the best possible education and support for our students. This support has allowed us to offer a wider offering of subject and special curriculum experiences, enhanced digital learning opportunities, a wide range of excursions and activities and classroom stationary and supplies. To enable us to continue to do so going further and without having to pass these charges and responsibilities onto families, we would appreciate your contributions being paid. We are happy to help you set up a payment plan.
Thank you for your help in supporting our students.
If you know of any families in our neighbourhood zone who are looking at beginning their child’s schooling journey in 2024, please let them know that we are holding school tours. These can be booked in through the school office.
To allow us to order for our Tuesday cafe lunches, all order forms must be handed into the office by the end of the day on the Friday before. This will allow us to order only what we need and to continue to keep the prices down for these amazing lunches. A reminder that next term the cafe lunch fees will be going up to $4.00 if you pay in advance, and $5.00 if you are paying each week.
Coffee and Chat with Ange from Bethany
My name is Ange Casha and I am a Family and Community Engagement Worker for the Connect Up Program at Bethany Community Services. I will be working at the school on Monday’s and Tuesday’s helping out those families that need some extra support. Please don’t hesitate to say hello when you see me around the school. Looking forward to meeting you all.
The ‘National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy’ or NAPLAN, is the only nation-wide assessment of students’ literacy and numeracy skills for students in Year 3, 5, 7 and 9. The tests cover skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy. This year, the NAPLAN test window is in March, rather than the May test window of previous years.
At Wangala Primary School we utilise NAPLAN data to help us better understand our students and the impact of the teaching and learning program. We encourage all students in Year 3 and 5 to participate and ask that students be at school during this time frame. Catch up sessions will be scheduled for students that miss the NAPLAN test days and times in the following week. See below for the days and times of the NAPLAN tests at Wangala Primary School this year.
School Colours Day
Last Friday on the 3rd of March we had our first House Colours Day so we could introduce our new houses; Kanyul the kangaroo, Perridak the platypus and Mon Garrk the echidna. The school leaders set up cool activities with Mrs Heuston, then we got together with our house groups and made amazing chants. Some of the tabloid sports we played included soccer shooting, clothes relays and basketball. After sport we had yummy sausages, it was a great day. – Lily and Kian
STEAM - On the Move!
This week in STEAM the grade 3/4 students have continued to learn about the different ways that objects can move, in particular – TOYS. The students understand that toys can be Pushed, Pulled, Rolled, Blown, Slid, Spun, Turned and flown. After testing, sorting and categorising the various toys into their correct groups, the students got to make their very own kite which they could fly! So much fun was had constructing and decorating them, but the best part was testing them. They all passed with flying colours.
Egg-citing News from the Chicken Coop!
During the week we had collected our very first egg from the chicken coop! Our little hens were hatched and raised right here at our school and are now starting to provide us with eggs for our cafe. We can’t wait to begin utilising the eggs in our cooking each week.
Each classroom at Wangala Primary School holds a ‘yarning circle’ each week as part of our wellbeing program. In our ‘yarning circle’ time, students sit in a circle and talk through different problems and situations that students may face during their school day. The ‘yarning circle’ allows students to develop positive relationships and aims to give them the tools to engage and listen to each other. The whole class participates in our ‘yarning circle’ which encourages unity, respect, turn-taking and working together toward a shared vision. Our ‘yarning circle’ time follows a structure to make sure all students are given the opportunity to be heard, and can quite often involve a fun activity to engage students in the circle.
Last year we applied for a grant through Energy Australia to build our ‘yarning circle’ in the unused corner of the school grounds. Julian, our landscaper, has been busy constructing our new ‘yarning circle’ which will eventually feature a fire pit as well. See the picture below of the progress.
Early in Term Two we hope to hold a special launch of the new school ‘yarning circle’ and to hold a ‘Welcome to Country’ ceremony as part of this.
Make sure you go for a wander down into the corner to check it out!
Thanks to Energy Australia for the generous donation toward our ‘yarning circle’. We cannot wait to use it.
Geelong Schools Guide
Each year, the ‘Geelong Schools Guide’ is released to help parents and carers learn a little more about the schools that are available to them. In 2023, Wangala Primary School have a feature article in the publication.
Click on the link below to check it out!
Stay and Play
‘Stay and Play’, Wangala’s recess and lunch time program provides opportunity for students to have fun during their lunch in a safe supportive way through quieter play; an alternative to the playground, playing sports or running around.
It encourages children who might need help to socialise with others, or for those who just feel like a quieter activity, to come and join in on a common task such as chalk drawing, Lego construction, puzzles (to name a few). At each recess and lunchtime session, a staff member is there to encourage engagement, interaction, and support.
We are really excited about ‘Stay and Play’ and recognise that children learn differently on the playground, just like they do in the classroom and love that we can provide alternative ways to play, interact and enjoy school and make friends.
Check out some pictures of the kids enjoying ‘Stay and Play’ together with our new picnic rugs (shout out to Picnic Season for these amazing bright delights!)
The grade 3/4 and 5/6 students have been participating in Volleyball Clinics over the past few weeks which have been delivered by Volleyball Victoria. The students have been making the most of our wonderful outside and indoor spaces. Ella from Geelong Vic Beach has been coaching the students and teaching them the essential skills needed to play the game. They have continued to master the skills of digging, spiking, setting and serving. The students have thoroughly enjoyed the clinics with the match play at the end of the clinics being the highlight. Next week is the final clinic, we’re sure the 5/6 students taking part in the Lightning Premiership in a few weeks time will utilise these skills to their advantage.
On Tuesday morning the senior Wangala kids went to the Belmont kindergarten. We all made friends with the little kids and played with them indoors and outdoors. We all had a great time – Kaylee and Eva
Connection is important for healthy development in children. It helps improve confidence by making them feel important and heard, builds self-esteem, stops loneliness, and improves children’s overall well being.
Through connection our children learn how to behave, communicate, understand, express their emotions, and develop social skills.
Each newsletter the Wellbeing team will provide a few tips to help with connection. We hope you find these helpful! Enjoy connecting!
Questions for Connection
“What are you most looking forward to today?”
This encourages children to focus on something they’re excited about and gives them something to look forward to.
“What was your best/favourite part of the day?”
This helps to focus on the good that happens, often the focus can be on the negative things that have happened throughout the day but by asking children their favourite things it helps them end the day by remembering the good that happened.