Friday, 6th October, 2023
From the Principal
Welcome back to another busy term at Wangala Primary School! I hope everyone had a refreshing break and returned ready for a long eleven and a bit weeks of school. There is much happening over this term, so I highly recommend popping the events in our newsletter on your calendar.
Today we were visited by The Hon. Richard Marles, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Defence, and our elected Federal Member for Corio. Mr Marles visited to present our school leaders with three new flags, in response to a letter of request they had written. Mr Marles was really impressed with the questions our senior students raised during a Q&A session. The students asked some fascinating questions. We’re thankful Mr Marles took time out of his busy schedule to visit our school.
During the week I received a letter from our Prep students written to persuade me to allow them to have a class pet. The letter explained why they would like a class pet and was very well written. In writing back to the class, I asked them to consider the type of pet they would have, explaining that having a dog, cat, bunny or guinea pig might be difficult, especially when we were on holidays. I then persuaded them that perhaps a less needy pet may be the best option, suggesting the option of a Spiny Leaf Insect. This was sweetened by my promise to cover the expenses of the class pet and the enclosure they would need. The Preps voted with a resounding, ‘yes!’ I guess it’s time to get my wallet out! The Prep class pet should arrive in the coming weeks.
This week I sent information out to parents and carers of students in Years Four to Six regarding concerning online behaviour and the use of social media; a common challenge across most primary schools. In today’s newsletter we’re sharing information from the ‘Raising Children’ website. While social media has many benefits, the risks for your children are also many. Most social media apps require subscribers to be at least 13 years or older to sign up, but these restrictions aren’t always enforced, so pre-teens can often still use the apps. We also know that it can be tricky if your child’s friends are using social media apps before they’re old enough and your child wants to do the same. It can be hard to ban social media use. Social media is increasingly a part of children’s apps, games, websites and learning environments. It is recommended that you teach your child how to navigate social media risks and behave respectfully on social media. The eSafety Commissioner recommends that you know your devices and utilise parent controls. There are multiple ways to do this, which are outlined on the eSafety Commissioners website. Research suggests that social media affects behaviour negatively by depriving children of important social cues they would usually learn through in-person communication. Some of the warning signs may include a decrease in energy, interrupted sleep patterns, less enthusiasm for, and participation in hobbies and sports, offline withdrawal from real world family and friends, reluctance to talk openly about social media, and increased anxiety; feeling the need to be constantly checking social media or worrying about their online presence. It’s important for us as parents and carers to educate ourselves, to set boundaries, to set an example, check in regularly, and to prioritise face-to-face time. Do you know what your children are up to online?
I hope everyone has had a pleasant start to the Term!
Dates to Remember
Tuesday, 10th October
Belmont Kinder Visit and Kitchen Garden Program
Wednesday, 11th October
Prep 2024 Transition Session 1
Monday, 16th October
Tuesday, 17th October
Kitchen Garden Program
Wednesday, 18th October
Whole School GAC Performance
Prep 2024 Transition Session 2
Monday, 23rd October
Monday, 23rd October – Friday 3rd Nov
Whole School Swimming Program
Wednesday, 25th October
Geelong Cup – Pupil Free Day
Wednesday, 1st November
Prep 2024 Transition Session 3
Monday, 6th – Wednesday, 8th November
Year 3-6 Camp – Anglesea
Monday, 13th November
Science Dome Incursion
Tuesday, 14th November
Kitchen Garden Program
Monday, 20th November
Tuesday, 21st November
Belmont Kinder Visit and Kitchen Garden Program
Wednesday, 22nd November
Prep 2024 Transition Session 4
Monday, 27th November
Curriculum Day – Pupil Free Day
Tuesday, 28th November
Kitchen Garden Program
Thursday, 30th November
Prep 2024 Transition Session 5
Tuesday, 5th December
Belmont Kinder Visit and Kitchen Garden Program
Friday, 8th December
Curriculum Day – Pupil Free Day
Tuesday, 12th December
Whole School Transition Day (Step Up Day) Year 6 Transition
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.
Well done to our Star Student and Principal Award recipients…
Prep -Flora and Johnathan
Three and Four – Nadia and Shaurya
Five and Six – Bethan, Erin and Alex
SunSmart – Broadbrimmed Hats
Important reminder – broadbrimmed sun hat’s must be worn at all times whilst outside from now until the end of term one 2024. If your child does not have one, they are required to stay in the shade and will not be permitted to play in the sun. We have Wangala Primary School hats available for purchase from the office.
Thank you for your cooperation.
Curriculum Days for Term Four
We can confirm the following Curriculum days have been approved by School Council for Term Four. Please put these in your diaries as student free days. We do plan to operate our Outside School Hours Care service on the day for enrolled students, if there is enough interest.
– Monday, 27th November
– Friday, 8th December
Prep Transition Program
Our 2024 Prep Transition Program will begin next week with two online sessions. We will then see our new Prep students onsite. Dates and times are available on our website.
Enrolments for 2024
We are currently planning for 2024 and ask that our community lets us know if your child’s enrolment status may change, or if you may be enrolling at Wangala Primary School. Please let us know as soon as possible to help us best plan for the new school year.
Welcome back to OSHC for term 4! It’s so lovely to see everyone’s faces. This week we have been focusing on how we can relax after a long day at school, and we’ve discovered that everyone unwinds a little differently! We’ve explored how people with different personalities and interests will be calmed by different activities. We also had a special visit from Steph’s dog Bear, who we decided unwinds by getting pats, sniffing things, and eating.
OSHC provides a great opportunity for your child to gain independence and make connections, as well as learn a variety of new hands on skills, through play and leisure in a fulflling social environment. If you are interested in enrolling your child/ren in OSHC for Term 4, please speak to Steph or grab an enrolment form from the office.
Porrgil’s Patch - Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program
The warmer weather and recent rain has been welcomed by our flourishing kitchen garden, our raspberry plants have quadrupled in size over the spring break and all of our fruiting trees have new leaves and buds.
We are continuing to harvest our winter crops, including our brassiac’s such as broccoli, cabbage and kale. The spring seeds that we planted late last term are also thriving and will be ready to be planted in the garden next week. We are struggling to protect our seedlings from the pesky crows and galah’s! If anyone has old fruit netting or 2lt plastic softdrink bottles, please sent them our way!
Thank you to Brendan from the City of Greater Geelong’s Anakie composting depot, for donating and delivering 6mtrs of amazing quality compost to our school this week, we will be digging this into all of our garden beds and around our chicken enclosure over the coming weeks.
This week in the kitchen the students learnt how versatile the humble carrot can be, serving up a delicious carrot fritter, savory carrot muffin and Moroccan inspired carrot and chickpea salad. Next week’s menu showcases asparagus, watch this space for an update!
Persuasive Writing Prep
This week in Writing, our Preps have been learning about Persuasive Writing. We have learnt that we use persuasive writing to convince, or change someone’s mind about something. We put this to the test and wrote a shared writing piece to Mr King, trying our very best to convince him to let us get a class pet. See below the pictures to find out whether we were successful or not!
This week the 1/2s have begun their final unit of Inquiry which is all about our Earth and the changes that we see in the sky and the landscape. This week we tuned into the inquiry unit by observing the changes in our school landscape. We found a picture of what Wangala Primary School (Oberon South Primary School) used to look like on Google Earth and went to the spot that the picture was taken from and wrote the changes that we could see. We also discussed which changes were made by humans and which were not made by humans. We encourage you to have this discussion at home with your child/ren by observing the changes in your home landscape and in the garden.
This week in STEAM the students learnt all about Bridges. They learnt about the four main types of bridges, those being the Arch, Truss, Beam and Wall bridge. At the end of the session the students were set a challenge to build a paper bridge strong enough to hold up the weight of a toy car. They used their knowledge of the different types of bridges and how to construct them.
Whole School Swimming Program
Swimming is fast approaching. As already mentioned, we have been very fortunate to be able to secure a two week intensive swimming program for all students at Geelong Aquatic Centre in Newtown in weeks four and five. The cost of the program has been heavily subsidised by the school (50%) which works out to less than $10 per child per day. For this the students get a 45 minutes class, 9 times over the duration of the two weeks. All students are expected to participate unless they have a medical condition that prevents them from attending. The program is an integral part of our Physical Education Program at Wangala Primary and is fully endorsed by the school council
Dates and times of Swimming Sessions:
Week 4 (4 days excluding Wednesday 25/10 – Geelong Cup)
Mon 23/10, Tues 24/10, Thurs 26/10 and Fri 27/10
Lesson Time : 12:15pm-1pm
Week 5 (5 days Mon – Fri)
Mon 30/10, Tues 31/10, Wed 01/11, Thurs 02/11 and Fri 03/11
Lesson Time : 12pm-12:45pm
The cost of the program is $70 which includes the cost of the bus and the lessons. This needs to be paid for by Monday the 16th of October. Please contact the office if you are unsure if you can access any CSEF funds to subsidise the cost. Thank You to those that have already paid. Also Thank You to those that have returned the student information request form which was due back today. This is essential as it will assist with the grouping of students and a requirement of the pool. Please return this ASAP if you haven’t already done so.
Important to note that parents and carers are welcome to come and watch the swimming lessons but can not come into the pool change rooms. There will be plenty of staff to help out with changing the students. A note with more details about what to bring etc will be coming out early next week. Feel free to contact me should you have any further questions.
The Arts News!
NATIONAL WATER WEEK POSTER COMPETITION
Last term, our students entered the Barwon Water Poster Competition. Our theme was “United by Water.”
We are thrilled to announce that some of our students have won prizes for their entries, and our school has been awarded $500 towards our art/science supplies.
Be sure to be at our next assembly on October 16th to see the presentation made to the prize winners, from Barwon Water.
Congratulations to everyone for your fine artistic efforts!
GEELONG NATURE FESTIVAL- 3/ 4 ART
The Geelong Nature Festival is currently being run at Geelong’s Botanical Gardens. There are lots of free activities that you and your family can enjoy.
On October the 29th, there will be an official closing ceremony. Wangala’s 3/ 4 students have created artwork on a tile, of a local wildlife creature or plant from our area, more details below.
GEELONG SHOW- WANGALA ART ON DISPLAY
This year at the Geelong Show, Wangala P.S will have an art display in the Education Pavillion. We have been working hard in the artroom to create some fabulous works, related to the theme of Fairy Tales.
It’s going to look AMAZING! Be sure to have a look, if you are there!
GSMMF- Wednesday October 18th
In less than two weeks, Wangala will be performing their ‘Breaking Free” dance, on the big stage, at the Geelong Art Centre. Students have had the links sent home on compass, so that they can practise our dance routine at home. We will also be rehearsing at school.
Please make sure the forms and payment are completed online. Students need to arrive in bright fluorescent 70/80’s, colours on the day.
Families who would like to attend and watch, can purchase Session 5 tickets from the Art Centre. I recommend ASAP.
WANGALA’S GOT TALENT SHOWCASE
After the huge success of last year’s talent show, we have decided to run it again!
This will be a showcase of our performing skills, such as singing, dancing, telling jokes, magic tricks or playing music. It is not a competition, just an opportunity to enjoy being on stage.
Students can enter individual or group items and prepare their routine and costume at home.
We will have class and whole school items, as well as a performance from our graduating students.
Start planning what YOU would like to do! Entry forms will be available in November.
Our Backyard School Art Exhibition - closing event
Our Backyard Artwork Project created by local Grade 4 students and genU artists will be arranged in the 21st Century Garden at the Geelong Botanic Gardens. Hosted by the Geelong Nature Festival partners.
Join Mary-Jane Walker from the School of Lost Arts and representatives from the Wadawurrung Traditional Owner Aboriginal Corporation while they arrange over 1,200 nature-based artworks created by local Grade 4 students and genU artists as part of the Our Backyard Geelong Nature Festival Arts Project.
These artworks depict culturally significant native plants and animals from 6 local landscapes in the greater Geelong area and range from small tile sized works to decorated life-size cut outs.
This is the final activity of the Geelong Nature Festival which will conclude with the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners smoking ceremony with didgeridoo.
Although this event is free, bookings are essential so secure your spot now!
Please click on the attached link for the details of the closing ceremony. Our Backyard School Art Exhibition – closing event – City of Greater Geelong (geelongaustralia.com.au)
The year 5/6 students have been learning about Haiku, a type of short form poetry that originated in Japan, here are some examples of their creative work.
Rugby is so fun
Running, tackling, score touch down
You should play rugby
Yum! Rotten french fries
I love me some sour cheese
And old, cold chicken
Massive ocean home
Swim around the ocean bay
Tacos taste so good
Tacos can be so spicy
Yay! Taco Tuesday
Water is healthy
Drink when you are thirsty
Water is liquid
Social Media and Children
Both the physical age of your child and their level of maturity and resilience can affect their ability to have positive experiences on social media.
Each social media site and app has its own criteria for minimum age requirements. Most require users to be at least 13 years of age before they can register, although some sites are created especially for children under 13.
Generally, the 13-year age requirement is not necessarily because the site is unsafe for children to use but to comply with a US law — the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), which prevents collection and storage of personal information from children under 13 years of age.
What are the benefits and risks of using social media?
Key questions to help determine your child’s readiness for social media
We suggest considering these questions to determine whether your child is ready for social media.
Does your child know how to deal with negative online experiences?
If you think your child would be very upset by a negative experience online, you may need to guide them closely if you allow them to establish a social media account.
Look through online profiles and public feeds together, and talk about how some people behave differently online. Teach them how to filter abusive comments, block and report people.
Does your child understand the importance of protecting their personal information?
Explaining to a child why privacy is important can be difficult. Start by describing what personal information is. Emphasise that it includes anything that can identify them, such as their mobile number, email address, photos, the name of their school, and any sporting clubs they belong to. Remind them that photos can contain information that could be used to identify them, such as a photo taken right outside your house or a photo of them in their school uniform.
Let them know that if they share personal information online, it could mean that others, including strangers could use it in ways they may not have thought about. Someone could even post bullying messages or inappropriate photos on social media while pretending to be them.
See privacy and your child for more tips on this.
Does your child understand how privacy settings for social media work?
Show your child how to view the privacy settings for each social media service you use. Talk about the settings you have selected for your accounts and why you chose them. You can find advice on privacy settings in The eSafety Guide.
If you would like help with technology, including how to use social media services yourself, Be ConnectedExternal link provides step-by-step advice on the basics and more.
Does your child understand what is safe to share online?
If you are concerned your child may post personal information that allows people to identify and locate them – even after you have talked about the dangers – then they may need your help to use social media sites.
Discuss the risks of ‘checking in’, tagging people in photos, sharing nude or sexually suggestive pictures, meeting online friends in person, making offensive comments and other behaviour that is considered unacceptable.
Does your child know how to report cyberbullying and other kinds of abusive content?
Although there are huge benefits to being connected through social media, your child may experience some form of online bullying or harassment. If this happens, it is important that they know how to manage and report this behaviour.
Together with your child, check the safety resources for individual social media services and look for information about how to block and report other users. Read The eSafety Guide for more online safety advice including how to report inappropriate content on different platforms.
You can also report online harm to eSafety. We can help you with:
- Cyberbullying – when someone uses online content or communication to seriously humiliate, seriously harass, seriously intimidate or seriously threaten a child or young person under the age of 18.
- Image-based abuse – when someone shares, or threatens to share, an intimate photo or video of a person without their consent, no matter what their age.
- Child sexual abuse material – we prioritise the investigation of online child sexual abuse material and work with law enforcement to remove this content wherever it is hosted.
Find out more about how to make a report to eSafety.
Is your child willing to let you establish clear rules and supervise their social media activity?
It is a good idea to supervise your child’s online activity, at least initially and certainly with younger children. Be clear on things like when and where online devices can be used and when they need to be switched off. The way a preschooler or younger child begins to use connected devices will instil good online habits from the start and help them transition to using social media later on.
When your child first starts to use social media, talk with them about how to do this in a way that you are both comfortable with. Help them to understand why and how you would like to support them as they begin to explore. It may be tricky having this conversation, particularly with tweens and teens, but getting their agreement will keep the lines of communication open between you and ensure that they feel able to come to you for help if they encounter any problems. This is especially important so you can continue to support them.
Talk with your child about which social media services they would like to use.
Come to an agreement you are both comfortable with about how they can use these services. You might discuss the following:
- Which types of content they can post – it is a good idea to look at examples together and discuss the pros and cons of different posts.
- How often they should post.
- How often you are comfortable with them checking social media.
You can read more about creating a family online safety contract in online safety basics.
Another strategy is to become their friend or follow their social media accounts. This will enable you to observe what they are doing online and support them to make safer choices about what they share and how they share it. But be prepared to learn more than you might like about their friends and possibly about them.
Try to resist talking about the specifics of their online activity unless, for example, you are worried about particular things they have posted – and keep your comments offline. It is much better to start the chat in person, one-on-one, and let them guide the discussion if specific issues come up, than it is to post online safety tips in comment form. If you intervene too much or comment publicly, it can embarrass them and break their trust. This may prompt them to use a separate profile without your knowledge or restrict what you can see by sharing to restricted groups of friends or followers, before you think they are ready to venture out on their own.
Finding the right balance about how much to supervise your child’s online activity will depend on your family’s culture and the individual needs of your child. Be prepared for your child to need more support from you at particular times, and to resist your support at other times. Eventually they will be ready to explore on their own – but keep the lines of communication open so they can come to you with any concerns they may have.
(taken from eSafety Commissioners Website
Focus on Curriculum
Supporting your child’s reading and writing at home
Create a routine for learning and provide materials to motivate writing such as:
– notebooks to write their ideas and feelings
– computers and/or notebooks
– markers, pencils, highlighters and pens
– dictionaries and thesauruses as references; these can be books or found online
– online resources such as online maps, encyclopaedias, weather sites
Doing Maths Together at Home
Five Golden Rules for enjoying maths at home
- Maths is everywhere. Cooking, shopping, packing things into bags and boxes, planning a journey… even the buildings all around you. The more you look, the more you will see.
- Being wrong is OK. Don’t feel bad about mistakes – they are part of learning. If you, or someone else, gets to the wrong answer, then talk about it. How did you get there? See if you can come up with a better way to work it out.
- Believe in your own ability. Everyone has the potential to understand and enjoy maths. One of the UK’s biggest problems in maths education is children ‘catching’ their parents’ own low confidence in maths. If you don’t feel confident, this is more likely to have come from your life experience than your genes. You have the ability: you’ve just not had the chance to develop it. You probably use maths more than you give yourself credit for. So avoid suggesting that people in your family aren’t good at maths. Your children will believe it, and make it come true.
- Struggling is normal and healthy. If you can’t figure something out straight away, then you’re not alone. In fact, you are sharing an experience with professional mathematicians. It’s their job to get stuck on hard problems – sometimes for years! Some hints for getting unstuck include: Keep trying, try different methods, and try explaining what you don’t understand to someone else.
- Talking about how is interesting. Different people bring different talents to maths – and solve problems in different ways. If you ask someone else how they worked something out, you’ll learn something – even if you were both right.