Friday, 16th June, 2023
From the Principal
I hope this update finds you well and you’re all managing to stay warm and dry now that winter is here.
Over the past few weeks at Wangala Primary School we have reflected on the importance of our value of being ‘community minded’. We know that strong communities are critical in providing a source of connection and a sense of belonging. Our community is one that aims to provide a positive environment for all our members, focused on the main aim of providing strong educational foundations for all students who attend the school. Through our community we strive to provide you with avenues to connect and be part of our community. Coming up next week we will again open the doors to the classrooms and invite you in to see the amazing learning our students have completed during this term. See more information further on in the newsletter.
State Principal Conference
Monday, 5th June provided an opportunity for all Principals throughout Victoria to attend the ‘Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership State Principal Conference’ in Melbourne. The agenda was full of opportunities to learn and reflect on our own school context. A highlight for me included the opportunity to listen to Professor Lea Waters, psychologist and chair of the ‘Centre for Positive Psychology’ at the University of Melbourne. Lea spoke about ‘visible wellbeing’, which focuses on helping students and staff to more clearly see their own and other’s wellbeing, to build wellbeing, and to facilitate wellbeing through a visible classroom process.
I’m excited to see the 2024 prep enrolments coming into the office and further inquiries being made regarding enrolment at the school across all levels. If you know of any local families who are yet to tour or contact us for enrolment, please let them know to do so soon. We will be confirming all 2024 enrolments early in Term Three.
In the next few weeks and into the new term, you will see a few new faces, and perhaps see some familiar faces in different locations.
Mrs Hueston is on a much earned period of long-service leave and is headed to a warmer location for a holiday with her family. While she is away her classes will be covered by Mr Daniel Clark. Next term we will also see Mrs Hueston’s STEAM classes taken by Ms Kate Schram. Kate is a regular relief teacher at the school and will be familiar to all of our students.
Finally, late last week Kim unfortunately had a tumble and broke her ankle which will see her out of action for a while. You might see some of our regular Education Support Staff members in the office or be greeted by them on the phone as they help out. We wish Kim a speedy recovery!
This is the final newsletter for Term Two. Thanks everyone for another great term at Wangala Primary School. Despite this being a short term, it certainly has been jam-packed with lots of exciting things for our community to be involved in. Thanks for playing your part and ensuring our school continues to be the amazing place that we all know and love. I know I’m lucky to be the Principal of such a great school!
Have a great break.
Dates to Remember
Monday, 19th June
Tuesday, 20th June
FINAL Cafe Lunch
Thursday, 22nd June
Grade 5/6 GSODA Excursion
Friday, 23rd June
Reports go live on Compass
Friday, 23rd June
Last Day of Term Two – 2.30pm Finish
Monday, 10th July
First Day of Term Three
Tuesday, 11th July
Kitchen Garden Program for 5/6s
Friday, 14th July
Tuesday, 18th July
School Council Meeting at 3.30pm
Tuesday, 18th July
Kitchen Garden Program for 5/6s
Wednesday, 19th July
11.30 – 5.00 Student Led Conferences
Tuesday, 25th July
Kitchen Garden Program for 5/6s
Thursday, 27th July
Australian Ballet performance at Wangala Primary School
Friday, 28th July
Wangala Primary School acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land we are on, the Wadawurrung people, and thank them for sharing their long lasting culture with us as we learn and grow together.
New Arrangements for NDIS Funded Therapists
Wangala Primary School is committed to supporting all families to access the supports their children need. From the start of Term Three, all NDIS funded therapists who provide therapy onsite at our school will be provided to submit a ‘Request to Provide NDIS Funded Therapy’ with supporting documents. Communications have been sent to those families who currently utilise the school for their child’s funding. Please contact the office if you have any questions.
When is Sick too Sick for School?
Send me to school if…
– I have a runny nose or a mild cough, but no other symptoms and I can participate in school activities.
– I haven’t taken any fever reducing medicine for 24 hours, and i haven’t had a fever during that time.
– I haven’t thrown up or had any diarrhea for 24 hours and didn’t need medicine.
Keep me home if…
– I have a temperature higher that 37.3 degrees.
– I have been throwing up or have had diarrhea in the last 24 hours.
– My eyes are red and painful with discharge that keeps coming back during the day.
– I have been having body aches, fatigue, and headaches.
– I have a sore throat with a fever, I have a harsh cough and don’t feel able to participate in school activities.
– I have an undiagnosed rash.
Follow up with my Health Care Provider if…
– I have had a fever for more than two days.
– I have had a sore throat and fever for several days.
– I’ve been throwing up or have diarrhea for more than two days.
– I’ve had a cough for more than a week and it isn’t getting better.
– I have had a fever and now have a rash.
With the number of COVID cases rising in Victoria we continue to implement our COVID safe measures with every class using the air purifiers daily, maximising ventilation where possible, promoting hand hygiene after breaks and having face masks available if students wish or need to wear them. Where a student is identified as a positive case, the following steps should be taken:
– Parents/carers should inform the school by phone or written notification
– Students who report a positive result are recommended to isolate for a minimum of 5 days and not attend school until their symptoms have resolved. Students who isolate as a result of positive COVID-19 test will be supported with learning materials to continue their learning.
Please note, there is no longer a requirement for the school to inform the community of a positive case associated with the school.
We really appreciate your support in keeping our school community safe.
A reminder that as of next term, there will be no cafe lunches available on a Tuesday due to our adopting the ‘Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden’ program. Next week will be the final Cafe lunch!
Vale Michelle Parkinson
The Wangala Primary School community were deeply saddened by the passing of parent, Michelle Parkinson last week. Michelle has been a long-standing parent of the Oberon South Primary School and Wangala Primary School community, seeing each of her nine children attend over a significant period of time. Michelle has always been a devoted community member, giving her time and attending special events and occasions, and could always be counted on to be the first in line to help. We send our condolences to Michelle’s family at this incredibly difficult time. She will always be fondly remembered at Wangala Primary School.
Outside School Hours Care
OSHC has been so busy this term and it has been wonderful! In the past few weeks we have had so much fun playing drama games both inside and outside, building pillow forts, making pet rocks, creating OSHC businesses (we have restaurants, a bank, and a hotel in OSHC!) and of course, working together to cook delicious snacks. We also recently had a joint birthday celebration for a few of our Preps and staff members – complete with cake, of course!
We would also like to give a huge thank you to Holly for her generous donations of dress ups, toys and puzzles. We love them!
Student Led Conferences
On Wednesday, 19th July we will be holding our ‘Student Led Conferences’. For families new to our school, our ‘Student Led Conferences’ will see parents and carers, the classroom teacher and your child coming together to discuss Semester One learning and future goals. These conferences focus on what your child has achieved and celebrates their learning over this time.
Conferences will open for booking through the ‘Compass’ system on Monday, 10th July. Interview times will be offered between 11.30am and 4.30pm You will be involved in a ten minute conference during this time. There will not be an opportunity for discussing other items at these conference, but parents and carers are invited and encouraged to always make an appointment with your child’s teacher to discuss matters at a different time.
We look forward to discussing your child’s progress at this time.
Our teachers have been busily assessing and writing your child’s reports over the past weeks. These reports are due to go live at approximately 10am on Friday, 23rd June through the ‘Compass’ system.
In your child’s reports, you will see the progress they have made in both English and Mathematics, accompanied with key ‘I can’ achievements and their next steps in learning in these areas. Teachers will report on progress made in the curriculum areas covered through our Inquiry learning and our chosen language, Auslan. Teachers will also provide a grading of your child’s work habits providing you with an insight into their participation at school. Our specialist teachers will report on your child’s participation and progression in Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Physical Education and STEAM.
There should be no surprise in your child’s mid-year report as these form part of the greater accumulation of our approach to including you in your child’s education through a team approach. These work hand-in-hand with the ‘Individual Education Plans’ many of the students have at Wangala Primary School, and as part of the ongoing discussions our teachers engage you with around your child’s progress.
Please take the time to thoroughly read your child’s report, and make contact with your child’s teacher(s) if you have any questions.
5/6s Visit to BioLAB
The 5/6 students attended an excursion at Biolab this week. They participated in two workshops: Skin Deep and Sporty Maths. During Skin Deep, they observed their sweat glands through a digital microscope, and tested their skin temperature before and after exercise to investigate the cooling effect of sweat and the effect of exercise on skin temperature. During Sporty Maths they tested their agility reaction time and simple reaction time to a thousandth of a second, then used an open number line to round the decimal to the nearest hundredth.
Narratives in 1/2L
This week our 1/2s have begun publishing their narratives into books. The students have worked hard to follow the writing process in creating their narratives. Our 1/2s are very proud of their effort and are excited to show their books and the work they have been doing in Inquiry as part of our open classroom day on the last day of term.
3/4s Book Study of 'Wandi'
The Year Three and Four students have finished reading their class novel ‘Wandi’ written by Favel Parrett. ‘Wandi’ is the story of a dingo taken from his mountain home by a wedge tail eagle and ends up in someone’s backyard in suburbia.
What did the students love about the book?
I loved the picture at the beginning of each chapter. (Shaurya)
I liked learning all the new words from the book. (Jordi)
I liked the descriptions of events that happened in the book. (Eleni)
It was a very interesting book to read. (Judson)
The students have been busily creating their own Book reviews giving Wandi the big thumbs up!
The students have now begun reading the book the 27th Annual African Hippopotamus. The students have been practising skills such as visualising. Here are their visualisations of the Day’s Family Yellow Bus.
In writing the students have been working on writing concise instructions for procedures.
Letter to Teddy from the Prep Class
Last Wednesday Prep B had a special visitor come and say hello! Theodore, also known as Teddy the turtle introduced himself and his special letter box. Prep B wrote some lovely letters to Teddy and included some fantastic jokes! We can’t wait for your replies Teddy!
Focus on Curriculum
Reading with your child wil begin when your child becomes familiar with the story and can take over some of the reading.
When your child reads to you, allow time for working out words and ask questions to see if he or she understands what they have read.
If your child is trying to read a long or tricky word, give your child time and aske questions like these:
– Look at the picture, what can you see that might start with that letter?
– Look at the picture, what word makes sense?
– What letter does it start with? What sound does the letter make? What letter does it end with?
It’s also important for you to show your child how you read every day for different purposes, for example: recipes, greeting cards, calendars, shopping lists, food labels, instructions, maps, newspapers, emails, signs, and websites.
Doing Maths Together at Home
GO on a number hunt
– With your child, find numbers around you, for example house numbers, calendars.
– Look at and say the numbers on car number plates, signs, calendars, newspapers, shopping catalogues, speed signs, house numbers
– Use different numbers as the starting point for practising counting, for example, start counting from 6 or 10. Ask you child to count forwards and backwards. Ask what number comes before or what number comes after.
Encouraging Good Behaviour in Pre-Teens
Good behaviour in pre-teens and teenagers starts with positive communication and warm relationships. This lays the foundation for guiding your child’s behaviour in a positive way.
Here are some practical tips for putting this positive approach into action.
Tips for good behaviour
1. Take time to actively listen
Actively listening means paying close attention to what your child is saying, both with their words and their body language. This lets you tune in to your child’s thoughts and feelings. And it shows your child that you care and are interested in them.
2. Set clear rules about behaviour
Family rules set clear expectations about behaviour. If you can, involve all family members in the discussions about rules. Try to keep the rules positive. For example, instead of saying ‘Don’t be disrespectful,’ you could say, ‘We treat each other with respect’.
3. Broken rules: follow up calmly, firmly and consistently
You can do this by using a brief and fair consequence that you and your child have agreed on in advance. It helps if you link the consequence to the broken rule – for example, ‘Because you didn’t come home at the agreed time, you’ll need to stay home this weekend’. This also helps you communicate your expectations about future behaviour.
You can read more about setting boundaries and using consequences in our article on discipline strategies for teenagers.
4. Encourage self-reflection
If you need to use a consequence, it’s good to encourage your child to reflect on what they could do to stop the problem coming up again. For example, you could say something like, ‘Jem, I get worried when you stay out late without telling me what you’re doing. Next time, I’ll pick you up at 10 pm. What could you do differently next time so you don’t get a consequence?’ Follow up by asking your child what a fair consequence would be if it happens again.
5. Try to be a positive role model
Children – even teenagers – do as you do, so being a role model for your child is a powerful and positive way to guide your child’s behaviour. For example, when your child sees you following the family rules yourself, they get a powerful example.
6. Choose your battles
Before you get into conflict over your child’s behaviour, ask yourself, ‘Does this really matter?’ and ‘Is this really worth fighting about?’ Less negative feedback means fewer opportunities for conflict and bad feelings.
7. Take your child seriously
Your child is an individual and needs to know that they’re valued, accepted and respected for who they are. One way to do this is by taking your child’s developing ideas and opinions seriously, even if you don’t necessarily agree with them.
8. Give your child responsibility
Learning to handle responsibility is one of the biggest challenges of adolescence, and an important step towards becoming an adult. Giving your child responsibility in certain areas – like letting them choose their own clothes or hairstyle – can help increase autonomy and independence. It can also help you avoid battles over the little things.
9. Tackle problems in a positive way
Whether it’s an argument with your child or a disagreement with your partner, using positive problem-solving skills helps to keep you calm. It also gives your child a great example to follow.
10. Praise your child
Descriptive praise and encouragement are powerful motivators. When you notice and comment on your child’s responsible choices and positive behaviour, you encourage them to keep behaving that way. Just remember that teenagers often prefer you to praise them privately rather than in front of their friends.
11. Plan ahead for difficult conversations
When you need to have difficult conversations, it’s a good idea to think ahead about what you’ll say and how your child might feel. This can help you avoid conflict. Arranging a time and place where you can have some privacy also helps. For example, ‘Izzy, I’d like to make a time to talk with you about some things that are happening around the house. We can talk about it over pizza on Saturday night. OK?’
12. Keep ‘topping up’ your relationship
It might help to think of your relationship with your child as a sort of bank account. Spending time together, having fun and giving help and support are ‘deposits’, but arguments, blaming and criticism are ‘withdrawals’. The trick is to keep the account balanced – or even in the black.
13. Share your feelings
Telling your child honestly how their behaviour affects you can be good for your relationship. ‘I’ statements can be a big help with this. For example, saying ‘I really worry when you don’t come home on time’ will probably get a better response than ‘You know you’re supposed to ring me after school!’
14. Learn to live with mistakes
Everybody makes mistakes, and nobody’s perfect. It’s all about how you deal with mistakes – both your own and your child’s – when they happen. Taking responsibility for mistakes is a good first step, and then working out what you can do to make things better might be your next move. Saying sorry to your child when you make a mistake helps to keep your relationship going well. And if you show self-compassion, it models self-compassion for your child too.
15. Look for ways to stay connected
You can stay connected with your child by spending special and enjoyable time together. The best moments can be casual and unplanned, like when your child decides to tell you about their day at school over the washing up. When these moments happen, try to stop what you’re doing and give your child your full attention. This sends the message, ‘You’re important to me and I love you’.
16. Respect your child’s need for privacy
Teenagers crave some privacy and a space of their own. Asking for your child’s permission to enter their room and not going through their phone or belongings are ways to show respect for this need. Another way might be to think about what you really need to know, and what can be left as private between your child and their friends.
17. Encourage a sense of belonging
Family rituals can give your child a sense of stability and belonging at a time when many other things around them – and inside them – might be changing. Some families might choose to have Friday family pizza nights, pancakes for breakfast on Sundays, or particular traditions for celebrating birthdays.
18. Keep promises
When you follow through on promises, good or bad, your child learns to trust and respect you. Be clear and consistent, and promise only what you know you can deliver.
19. Have realistic expectations
Your child will probably slip up and break the rules sometimes. Teenagers and their brains are still under construction – they’re still working out who they are. Testing boundaries is all part of the process, so it helps to be realistic about your child’s behaviour.
20. Look for the funny side of things
Laughing or making jokes can help diffuse tension and possible conflict, and stop you and your child taking things too personally. You can also sometimes use a joke or a laugh to kick off a difficult conversation.
For more information go to raisingchildren.net.au
This is Wangala’s wonderful recorder club. Our dedicated students meet every Wednesday and have been learning skills and songs together. They are practising at home, then play together and individually weekly. We look forward to them performing for us at assembly.
We have been exploring the Bass Guitar in Performing Arts and have been amazed at the vibration of sound coming through the amplifier. It’s so heavy and the strings are thick. The Year 3 to 6’s have been trying the ‘Baby Shark’ and ‘Summer Nights’ bass line.
Jospeh and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
Next Thursday, Year 5/ 6s are going to watch GSODA’s production of ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’. The students have been listening and watching excerpts of songs and video from the story. They are making their own coat of many colours, using a variety of materials in the art room.
Parent Education Events
Below is the ‘Regional Parenting Service Term 3 Calendar’ for 2023. The Regional Parenting Service recommends signing up early as the program spaces fill quickly. These programs focus on providing families with access to support and education that compliments their role as parents/carers.