Principal’s Message Week 9

Dear Parents and Carers

A huge assembly …

It was great to welcome so many to our assembly last week hosted by 3FJ .

The class shared what they had learned in the context of Science Week, highlighting the process inventors go through, including the challenges they face, to reach a final ‘workable product’. Congratulations to the students, who had scripted their own vignettes about Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and Ada Lovelace. Congratulations too to those who were acknowledged for their running club efforts, and to those who received certificates from their teachers.

Cooper R received recognition for his speech on exercise, as part of the Cambridge Rotary public speaking event. Cooper was presented with a certificate by Mr Jeremy Wood, former President of Cambridge Rotary. Current President of Cambridge Rotary, Mr Peter Pearse presented the school with a Dymocks gift voucher. Thank you Cooper and Rotary. Cooper speaks in the Rotary Primary School district final this evening, and we wish him well!

I would also like to thank Maddie W and Ruby S for the combined speech they presented on KINDNESS, a cornerstone of our school motto, and something that can be easily overlooked among the pressures and ‘busyness’ of everyday life. We hope to be able to share their speech via our school website soon.


It was also great to welcome families to our two athletics carnivals. Congratulations to Mrs Smith and Mr Hodgson for organising these events, and a very sincere thank you to teachers and parent helpers who ensured things ran smoothly. Parents with children from Kindergarten to Year 2 are invited to complete a 10 second survey created by Mr Hodgson, to seek feedback on the junior carnival. Please click on this link

Selected students in Years 3-6 will represent Kapinara at the Interschool Athletics Carnival at Woodlands PS tomorrow. Go Kapinara!!

Basketball and Technologies

Today, students in Years 3-6 have participated in either a day of basketball or a movie making day (Technologies). The idea was to provide the basketball students who play out of school hours, with the opportunity to participate in the School Sport WA Basketball competition at Bendat Stadium, while providing an alternative enrichment activity for their non-basketball playing peers. Thank you to Ms Lauren Filov who has done a lot of work behind the scenes for the technologies day, and to Mrs Louise Smith who has done the work behind the scenes for the basketballers.


Please remember that dogs should be kept at the perimeter of the school only. We are inviting one of the Town of Cambridge Rangers to talk to our students about helpful and unhelpful ways of interacting with dogs and you will be invited to join us. In the meantime, please respect that one of the strategies we have in place to keep everyone safe at Kapinara, is that dogs remain at the perimeter of the school. It would be helpful if you could also remind anyone walking their dog on school grounds at any other time, to pick up any of the messes made by their dog. Your children deserve to play on an oval, playground and quadrangle that is clean.

2019 Enrolments

Please continue to advise us if your child will not be attending Kapinara PS next year. This is important information for our planning in terms of creating classes and determining budgets. Thank you to those few families who have already done so.

Planned Absences

I would like to thank families who have contacted me regarding planned absences from school. While I may not be in a position to authorise some of these absences, I appreciate the courtesy of being informed prior to the event, as do our teachers. It can also mean that disruption to others in the class can be minimised to some extent.

I look forward to seeing some of you at the Town of Cambridge Local Schools Art Exhibition on Thursday evening, and many of you at next Friday’s assembly hosted by PP1 & PP2.

Best wishes

Elizabeth Blackwell


Principal’s Message Week 7

Dear Parents and Carers

Year 4 Assembly and Book Week Parade

A huge thank you to families who supported so many children to dress up for Book Week. There was a fantastic atmosphere at Friday’s assembly. We all laughed along to Mrs Powell’s Year 4 students’ first assembly item, which highlighted the peculiarities and ambiguity of the English language, and were impressed with the individual poems written from the perspective of a long forgotten book. We were subsequently treated to a colourful and creative parade of book characters ranging from Boris the Pirate to Dr Seuss’s Thing 1 and Thing 2; and from Thelma the Unicorn to Harry Potter. Thanks to the many family members who joined us!
While we primarily focused on Science Week this year, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to dress up for Book Week. We are also looking forward to our Scholastic book fair in Week 10 of this term, and author/illustrator visits from Frane Lessac and Mark Greenwood in Term 4.

Public Speaking

Students in Years 5-6 recently completed several weeks of planning, practice and presentation of individual speeches. The students spoke on a broad range of topics, with twelve students selected for a school final. Of the twelve students who spoke at the final, two were selected to represent Kapinara at the Cambridge Rotary Club’s inaugural Public Speaking Competition for primary school age students. Two representatives from City Beach, Wembley, Floreat, Lake Monger and Kapinara Primary Schools participated in the event last Wednesday evening. Each of the ten students spoke incredibly well, and I would particularly like to acknowledge our representatives, Emily W and Cooper R (both Year 6). We are very proud of each of them, and delighted for Cooper who will soon represent Kapinara and Cambridge Rotary in Rotary’s district final.

Planning for 2019

As strange as it may sound, at this time of the year we are planning for the following school year. Classes are structured and organised around numbers of enrolments in each year level. With the exception of our Year 6 students, if you know that your child will not be at Kapinara next year, I would be grateful if you could advise me or someone in the front office as soon as possible. Thank you.

Artist in Residence

Have you seen our wonderful bright mosaic at the entrance to the school on Catesby St? Our red brick wall has been transformed by Colleen, our wonderful Artist-in-Residence who has now returned to the warmth and sunshine of Italy, in collaboration with Ms Trovarelli and our students. Hopefully everyone will remember for many years, the part they contributed to! A huge thanks to our P & C for funding this fabulous project.

Term Accounts

A couple of families have recently asked if it’s possible to pay term accounts in one lump sum at the end of the year. I appreciate that this would be convenient for families, but I’m afraid that it poses too many challenges for us. While we are keen to streamline as many administrative processes as we can, the charges that appear on term accounts reflect expenses we must cover as they are incurred (or in advance in the case of ICAS). We simply need greater certainty around our ongoing budget and cash flow. If only we all had a spare bucket of money tucked away! Having said that, if at any time you have difficulty paying term accounts, please contact me in confidence.

Coming Up …

Our next assembly, on Friday 7 September, will be hosted by Miss Filov’s and Mrs Jonklaas’ Year 3 class. Mrs Smith will also be giving out Running Club medals. We hope you are able to join us. In the meantime, I hope to see you at the Year 3-6 Athletics Carnival this Friday and/or the Junior Athletics event next Wednesday. Thank you to those who have volunteered to help!

Best wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell


Principal’s Message Week 5

Dear Parents and Carers

Science Week and Book Week

If only we could do everything every year … Science Week and Book Week occur very close together, and we therefore decided that we would celebrate Book Week one year and Science Week the next. This year we are focusing on National Science Week, which runs from 11 August – 19 August 2018. The theme for 2018 is Game Changers and Change Makers which could refer to individuals, teams, technologies or ideas. We have been exploring the impact science and scientists have, have had or may have in our daily lives. There is a fabulous display of children’s work in our library, some of which we will soon be placing on our school website in the gallery section.

Athletics Carnivals

As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, we made the decision to run the cross country and athletic carnivals as two events; a Kindergarten to Year 2 and Years 3-6. This reflects the Phys Ed learning that has been a focus for each group. For example, the K-2 carnival will involve the Fundamental Movement Skills that these children have been developing throughout the year. For students in Years 3-6, Mrs Smith adopts a game-sense approach with more of a focus on team work and strategy. The Year 3-6 program is also closely aligned to interschool events involving our local schools. So this year we are trialling a much shorter carnival for younger students, which will involve considerably less ‘waiting’ and more ‘doing’. It will run from 1:00 – 3:00pm on Wednesday 5 September. The Year 3-6 carnival will run on one day (rather than the traditional two) on Friday 31 August with the Interschool Carnival at Woodlands PS on Wednesday 12 September. We hope many of you are able to join us.

Withdrawals from School

At last night’s School Board meeting, one of the matters we discussed within the context of a draft Attendance Policy, was that an increasing number of students are attending externally provided programs during the school day. The Department of Education’s position on this is clear, and is strongly supported by the School Board and staff – there are few acceptable reasons for student absences apart from illness or injury.

Student attendance is recorded in half days. You will have seen ‘days absent’ recorded as ‘half days absent’ on children’s semester reports. Children are recorded as attending provided they have been present at school for at least two hours of instruction within each half day. The only educational program endorsed by the Department is PEAC (for selected students in Years 5 and 6). Withdrawal from school to attend any other program is considered unauthorised and is recorded as such.

If you have concerns about your child’s learning or development please speak with your child’s teacher. The idea is that together we develop a shared understanding of an individual child’s needs and effective strategies to ensure he/she is moving forward. Very rarely, this may mean that a child attends therapies or a program which can only be accessed during the school day. This needs to be balanced with consideration of what the child is likely to miss in his/her absence; and should only be a temporary measure. This is true for ‘tutoring’ programs, therapy sessions and ongoing specialist appointments.

Families may realise how disruptive it can be for the student being withdrawn, particularly where this means repeatedly missing a weekly Science lesson, Art lesson, HaSS lesson etc. They may even be aware that this can impact learning in future years, where key knowledge and skills have been missed. However, some are unaware of the impact that these withdrawals have on the child’s class and the teacher’s capacity to teach effectively. When individual children come and go, lessons are interrupted and the class is impacted by teachers needing to help an individual or two to be given instructions and to catch up on what has been missed. We urge all families to work closely with us to maximise learning opportunities for all children.


Thank you to the family members who joined us for assembly last week – some for the Year 2’s assembly, and some for the presentation of ICAS Science certificates and merit certificates. Congratulations to Mrs DeBrass’s class for hosting the assembly so capably and for entertaining us with their assembly item … and apologies to Charlotte S, who I had intended to acknowledge on the morning for her dramatic flair. Very importantly, everyone involved seemed to be having so much fun! Mrs Powell’s Year 4 class will host the next assembly on 24 August 2018.

Best wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell


Principal’s Message Week 3

Dear Parents and Carers

Strings Night

What an amazing evening of music we were treated to on Thursday evening last week. Our annual Strings Night was a celebration of the talents and efforts of SIM (School of Instrumental Music) students and choir members. The harmonies of the girls’ choir and the theatrics of the boys’ choir delighted us all … and then there were the performances of those who learn, guitar, violin, cello and double bass through the Department of Education’s SIM program; a program that celebrated 50 years of instrumental music education in a concert at Perth Concert Hall last night. The Department’s instrumental music program commenced in 1968 with 700 students, and now caters for 19 000 children across the state. Mrs Preston and I were last week reminiscing about our early days as instrumental music students, when we had classes of ten … learning the trumpet! Although we attended different primary schools, we shared the same music teacher, Mr John Wood. I’m often reminded that in both education and music, Perth is quite a connected city. My congratulations to all our students who performed at on Strings Night, and thank you to teachers; Ms Sarina Li, Mrs Wendy Tusak, Ms Therese Arnold (violin and orchestra), Ms Alex Bak (cello), Ms Anna Person (double bass) and Mr Steven Sutherland (guitar).

Triple P

Yesterday the Triple P Parent Stay Positive campaign was launched by ambassador Ms Sarah McGowan. Triple P’s Power of Positive Parenting seminar is designed to help parents understand ‘why kids act the way they do, and how (our own) reactions and words can make a big difference. 
Whether you need just a few tips to help set up a toddler’s bedtime routine or you have a teenager whose defiance is upsetting the whole family, Triple P has a positive parenting program to fit your needs. You can also choose the way you get that Triple P help – in groups with other parents, one-on-one with a trained provider or even DIY online! (excerpt from Triple P website)
You can find information regarding the program via our school website in the latest news section here…


This morning our Year 4 students completed assessments for the Department’s Primary Extension and Academic Challenge (PEAC) program. PEAC assessments have been designed by the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) and fall under the following headings: reading comprehension; reasoning by analogy; working mathematically and thinking scientifically; and non-verbal reasoning. Selected students in Years 5 and 6 next year will be able to access these programs. If you would like to look at more information pertaining to PEAC please visit

Artist in Residence

We are extremely fortunate to be hosting an Artist in Residence from Italy, Ms Colleen Corradi Brannigan. Today, Colleen, Anna Trovarelli and some of our students started work on an amazing mosaic that will eventually be placed on our front wall in Catesby St.








Book Fair

Planning is underway for another Scholastic Book Fair, this will be in Week 10 of this term. There will be more information to follow.

Best wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell






Message from the Principal Week 1

Dear Parents and Carers

I trust you had a wonderful break from the routines of school, and were in a position to enjoy some of the glorious weather.


I’d like to extend a warm welcome to our three new families who have children in Kindergarten and Pre-Primary. It’s also my pleasure to introduce you to two new staff members and a special visitor. Firstly, Kim Knowles yesterday commenced as our permanent deputy principal. She is in the process of meeting all the children. I asked Kim to write a small introduction which you will find in our General News section. Secondly, a new permanent Head Cleaner, Ms Rina Lund, also started with us yesterday. Finally, we a have an Artist in Residence who is joining us from Italy. Ms Colleen Corradi Brannigan will be working with students on a very special project, over the next few weeks. Thank you for welcoming these people into our school community.
With respect to the ‘very special project’, if families have access to spare tiles (porcelain, ceramic or glass of any size) or happen to have access to some tiles at a reduced cost, that would be a great help. Please contact Anna Trovarelli who is working with Colleen, via


Yesterday you may have noticed news items that highlighted the prevalence of unauthorised student absences during the school term.  The West Australian reported that attendance data from Semester 1 revealed that one in seven unauthorised absences ‘related to students going on holiday with their parents’. The West’s article, on page 7, began:

‘Middle-class and wealthy parents have been warned they are breaking the law by taking their child out of school during term after it emerged that a rising number of children from affluent families are missing lessons to go on holidays.’

It was reported that a parliamentary enquiry was recently informed that ’40 percent of unauthorised absences in higher socio-economic schools (were) because of holidays’ and that this was ‘a newish phenomenon’.

To put the commentary on attendance into the context at Kapinara, at the end of Term 2, over 10% of our students in Pre-Primary to Year 6 were absent. At the start of this term, that figure is was just under 10%. Our upper school classes had between four and seven students away on the first day back, yesterday. A very small number of these were authorised absences (those requested and approved prior to the absence and due to an ‘exceptional circumstance’).

As a school we can reinforce the policy position of the Department of Education WA, and the contemporary research on student attendance. We can highlight that when children miss school, they miss a number of learning opportunities; which may include an introduction to new learning, guided or independent practice of skills, opportunities to apply knowledge and understandings in new contexts, and assessments of and for learning. The rest is up to you! Please work with us to ensure all of our students are in a position to maximise these opportunities.


If you are collecting a child at any time during the day, please ensure you report to the office in the first instance, unless you have already completed a ‘sign out’ form. Teachers are not able to release children without signed documentation. Students being collected for ongoing events such as PEAC, are (i) to be collected directly from their classroom or (ii) to wait at the office until the parent collecting the student(s) arrives at the school.

Best Wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell

Principal’s Message Week 8

Thanks P & C

I am delighted to share both a photo and Sonja W’s clever drawing of the new swing in the Pre-Primary playground. This was one of the purchases that the school and P & C shared the cost of recently.
Special thanks also to the crew who turned up on Sunday morning to spread some of the free mulch we received a month or two ago. While our valued gardener Simon Dewar, does an amazing job, even he was going to take a long time to spread that much mulch! Thanks to the mulching crew!








Cross Country Events

Congratulations to our students in Pre-Primary to Year 2 who completed the 650m cross-country run last week. We were all very thankful for the great weather that afternoon.
We are also hoping for good weather tomorrow, when ten local schools participate in the Interschool Cross Country event being held at City Beach Oval. Best wishes to the 64 Kapinara students from Years 3-6 who are running tomorrow.

Annual Report

It sounds strange to say that you may like to view our 2017 Annual Report on our website, but the official version is now there to be viewed. School Reports or Annual Reports are a requirement of all public schools. They are primarily intended to provide information regarding how the school is tracking in terms of meeting the targets articulated in the Business Plan. Some, including ours, also capture some of the school’s programs and events. The 2017 Annual Report has a small but special section on Kapinara’s 50th Anniversary celebrations. We have printed a small number of these. If you are not a member of the School Board or the K50 organising team, but you would like a hard copy, please contact Gail Preston via

Deputy Principal

My highly valued colleague, Wendy Tusak, has worked in a number of roles at Kapinara, most recently in the Deputy Principal role following Michael Davey’s retirement last year. Her commitment to this role has been exemplary and she has been an enormous support to her colleagues, students, parents and particularly to me.
This term as required, we completed a recruitment process for a substantive Deputy Principal. This has resulted in the appointment of Ms Kim Knowles, an experienced deputy principal, who has also spent the last two or three years working with a range of schools in a consultancy role at State-wide Services. She will commence at the beginning of Term 3.
I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Wendy for the many qualities and skills she has brought to the role and to acknowledge her passion for, and dedication to, all things Kapinara. She will be taking some well-deserved leave in the coming months (she is going to be a grandmother again!). I’m confident that you will join with me in thanking her, wishing her well and eagerly anticipating her return. Thank you Mrs Tusak!

Student Reports

End of semester reports will come home with children early next week. These reports are a key part of the ‘Reporting to Parents’ process and as such they are intended to survive the journey home intact! The only comment directed to children are those written by me, and some written by teachers at the end of the general comment. On the website will be some information previously written about the reporting process. We will also include a glossary of common or newly introduced terms (most of the latter are likely to come from the Technologies curriculum over time); and the Learning Area Grade Allocation document that is made available at the end of each reporting period.
In summary, here are a few key points pertaining to student reports:

  • Please take particular note of the bottom section of your child’s report (Attitudes, Behaviour and Effort) and the general comment from your child’s teacher
  • Without taking anything away from the importance of high levels of achievement, please consider talking about the above section with your child
  • Each grade is assigned against an ‘Achievement Standard’ for each learning area and each year level. Students are only assessed on the part of the Achievement Standard that has been taught in the first semester
  • The grade each child receives within each learning area tells you whether your child has demonstrated achievement of the knowledge, skills and understandings contained in the Achievement Standard at a satisfactory, high, excellent or in some cases limited level
  • ‘Satisfactory’ = ‘achieving at the expected level for that year group’
  • Reports should reflect what your child has demonstrated independently, over time and in different contexts (unless otherwise stated)
  • There a range of reasons why your child’s levels of achievement may change from year to year and semester to semester. Your child’s teacher will be able to talk to you about your child and his/her achievement this semester.

Finally, striking a balance between providing parents with information that relates directly to the Achievement Standard and therefore the grade, and providing parents with information that you can interpret and that means something to you, is a signi?cant challenge. I am very open to feedback about this. Parents have a broad range of backgrounds, and something that makes sense to some won’t necessarily make sense to others. We are also aware that education, like most other disciplines, has its own lexicon/language. It’s something we try to be aware of in the reporting process. We may or may not be achieving it! We’ll be emailing a very brief survey out when reports have gone home, to try to see how closely we are hitting the mark.

Kind Regards

Elizabeth Blackwell


Principal’s Message Week 4

Dear Parents and Carers


I am pleased to confirm that as expected, our students in Years 3 and 5 comfortably completed NAPLAN online last week. The only exception to this was Year 3 Writing which was handwritten. The merits and potential issues associated with Year 3 students completing the writing assessment electronically versus being handwritten, continue to be debated at a national level, so Year 3 students across Australia completed the pencil and paper version.  You may hear that some students in other schools are still completing NAPLAN online this week, as schools had a two week window for scheduling the assessments. Unlike the pencil and paper assessments which must be completed on the same day throughout Australia, the online platform enables schools to complete the assessments on different days, as the specific test items differ from student to student. There are several ‘versions’ of each test item that have been developed and trialled to enable individual assessments to be different but comparable. Some of you will perhaps have read about this via links in previous newsletters. The primary advantage of our students completing the assessments online, is that we expect to receive information about our students’ performance considerably earlier than in past years. Watch this space!

School Development Day

Just a reminder that next Friday, 1 June is a School Development Day. I particularly value these days, as we work as a staff, focused on planning and/or reviewing specific aspects of our Business Plan. Sometimes this might also involve examining new policies or initiatives released by our Department, and looking at data about our students; ranging from NAPLAN data to National School Opinion Survey data, to the student wellbeing survey recently completed by students in Years 4-6. Whatever the focus, people are working hard!


On Friday children from Pre-Primary to Year 6 will be attending a music incursion. Children from Pre-Primary to Year 3 will attend for an hour between recess and lunch and children from Years 4-6 will attend from 1:30 – 2:30pm.

ICAS Science

Please be reminded that ICAS Science is on Monday, 28 May in the library. Please refer to your schedule at home to see if Science was one of the assessments in which you enrolled your child or children. Please ensure your child arrives at the library at 8:00am. The assessment starts at 8:15am sharp.

Running Club and Cross Country

It’s fabulous to see so many students AND parents involved in Running Club on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Our faction cross country event for Years 3-6 will take place at City Beach Oval on Wednesday 6 June (Week 6). You will be notified at the beginning of Week 7 if your child will be involved in the interschool event in Week 8. The interschool cross country event at City Beach Oval which involves students in Years 3-6 only, is on Wednesday 20 June. The faction cross country event for children from Pre-Primary to Year 2 will take place on Wednesday on 13 June (Week 7) at Kapinara. It would be great if you could join us for these events.

Please remember how important it is that we all work together – children, parents, teachers and sometimes external agencies – to ensure that collectively we meet the individual needs of your child

or children as effectively as possible. Your child’s teachers and I very much appreciate the information you share with us, and your willingness to ask questions and raise concerns sooner rather than later.

Thank you.

I hope to see you at one or more of the events that will take place in the following few weeks.

Best wishes

Elizabeth Blackwell


Principal’s Message Week 2

Dear Parents and Carers

Anzac Day Service

Anzac Day and our Anzac Day service seem a long time ago, despite being only one week ago. I’d like to thank and congratulate the children in Mrs H’s class and in Mrs Jonklaas’s and Ms Filov’s class for leading us through such a thoughtful Anzac Day service.  Thank you to these teachers for their work with the students;  to Felix C’s mother Jo for playing the Last Post and the Rouse for us; to the many families who brought flowers; the parents who created the beautiful wreaths; and to Mr Sean L’Estrange MLA for sharing his thoughts and perspectives as a Defence Force veteran. I would also like to commend our students on their very respectful participation.

Scribblers Festival

Some very excited Year 3-6 students (and staff!) will be heading to the inaugural Scribblers Festival on Thursday. I smiled as I read the introductory paragraph on the Scribbler’s website (below) as it looks very much like our school purpose and our school vision. It reads

‘Developed with the input of internationally recognised creativity expert Paul Collard, CEO of Creativity and Culture in Education (CCE), the Creative Learning Program seeks to work with children and young adults in equipping them with the skills and confidence to approach the challenges of a changing world with lateral thinking ability, creativity, and resilience.’


In the next week or two the media will probably shift its focus from Gonski to NAPLAN. Our students, along with many others, will complete NAPLAN online (the exception being Year 3 Writing which will be pencil and paper).  Schools have paper versions of the assessments should something unforeseen happen. WA is actually well placed to oversee the administration of online assessments, given that our State has been administering OLNA in secondary schools for several years. As I have said many times, schools have a myriad of ways of ‘assessing’ children’s learning – ranging from informal strategies to check for understanding, which might be as simple as asking a question, to more formal assessments such as NAPLAN. Ensuring children are ‘ready for NAPLAN’ will be like any other day of being ‘ready for school’ – a good night’s sleep, breakfast and arriving at school in plenty of time will ensure we maximise children’s opportunities to learn and thrive.

Cross Country

This year Mr Hodgson has been teaching Physical Education to students from Pre-Primary to Year 2, and Mrs Smith to students in Years 3 -6. Aligned to this, we will hold two separate Faction Cross Country events (Term 2) and two separate Faction Athletics events (Term 3). The older children will complete the cross country event at City Beach oval and the younger children on our upper oval. The Year 3-6 cross country event is scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday 6 June. We anticipate that the P-2 event will take place on the afternoon of Wednesday 13 June.


On Friday we will farewell our Manager of Corporate Services, Ms Sandi Davies. Sandi has been an integral member of our administration team for over two years and on behalf of our staff and the broader school community I would like to sincerely thank her for the contribution she has made to Kapinara Primary School. We wish her every happiness and success.

Best wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell


Principal’s Message Week 11

Dear Parents and Carers

School Board

At our most recent School Board meeting, a new Chair was elected, and we are very pleased to welcome Cherie Atchison to this role. Chris Higgs, who has been our Board Chair for the last four years, will support Cherie as he ‘hands over the baton’. On behalf of the Board and the school community I would like to acknowledge Chris’ contribution to our school. This takes many forms, but we are particularly grateful to him for his role as Board Chair. Thank you Chris.
At the next meeting of the School Board we will be considering the allocation of our budget for 2018. Unfortunately, government departments are bound by the timelines of Treasury, which is why we are only able to finalise our budget now. Having said that, we have been working with a draft budget (albeit a tight one) throughout Term 1. The Board plays an important role in ensuring that the way in which resources are allocated, enables us to effectively implement the focuses of our Business Plan this year.

P & C
Through the financial contributions of our parents and the great fundraising efforts of our P & C, we have been able to purchase a range of new reading materials for independent reading. Thanks everyone!

Our neighbours
In the last week we have received correspondence from a distressed neighbour. The neighbour had been offended by the behaviour of someone dropping a child at our school in the morning. While I appreciate that it can be difficult to park at pick-up and drop-off times, this is the situation at almost every school.  You may recall that we previously worked with parents and officers at the Town of Cambridge, to consider ways in which we could potentially improve the efficiency of the pick-up/drop off experience. This resulted in the extended ‘Kiss and Drive’ bays and some other minor changes around our school boundary. The ‘Kiss and Drive’ section of our boundary received another small modification in the last few months.          
Some of you who have a considerably longer experience with the school, may recall that for a number of years there has been a strong request for those in vehicles to move around the perimeter of the school in an anti-clockwise direction, at pick-up and drop-off times.  I believe that these measures  maximise our attempts to make the beginning and end of the school day as safe and efficient as possible. Please be mindful of our neighbours – particularly their driveways, which should enable them to enter and exit without difficulty at all times, and please do not double park—the risk of accident and injury is too great. Thanks for your cooperation.

Court Orders
This is just a reminder, to please ensure that we have copies of any Court Orders. Court Orders, like Psychologist’s reports and other confidential documents are kept in a locked filing cabinet separate from student files that contain more general information such as enrolment details, some medical information etc

Anzac Day Service
Our Year 3 students will be leading us in an Anzac Service on the first day of next term, Monday 30 April 2018. You are most welcome to join us at 10:50am.

Interschool Swimming
As Term 2 draws to a close, so too does Swim Squad. Congratulations to our many students who participated in Swim Squad and the Faction Swimming Carnival; and thank you again to Mrs Smith and her many parent helpers who helped make these the positive experiences that they were. On behalf of the school community, our very best wishes to our team of swimmers who will represent Kapinara at the Interschool Carnival tomorrow morning.  I hope some of you are able to join us at HBF stadium tomorrow morning.

On behalf of the Kapinara PS staff, my best wishes for a safe and happy holiday break.

Elizabeth Blackwell


Principal’s Message Week 8

Dear Parents and Carers

I’m taking the opportunity with this newsletter, to provide you with some information about student attendance, from a Departmental and school perspective. The following information for parents is taken from the Department of Education WA’s website.
‘As a parent, you are required by the School Education Act 1999 to ensure your child attends school every day that the school is open for instruction (Section 23). Principals are responsible for monitoring and accurately recording the attendance of every student enrolled at their school in accordance with Section 28 of the School Education Act 1999.
If a student is absent, a responsible person, usually the parent, must notify the school of the reason for the student’s absence as soon as practical. 
Lesson attendance codes are used by all Western Australian public schools to record the reason for every half-day absence.  Accurate record-keeping ensures principals can identify patterns of absence at both a school and individual student level and implement appropriate measures to restore attendance where there is cause for concern.
Absences are grouped as either ‘authorised’ or ‘unauthorised’ according to whether they meet the requirements of excusing a student from attendance pursuant to Section 25 of the Act. The total half-day absences are displayed on your child’s school report each semester.’

So what’s all the fuss about attendance? Several years ago, the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research released a report called Student Attendance and Educational Outcomes: Every Day Counts. The research was based on three main measures: attendance rate; ‘authorised’ absence rate; and ‘unauthorised’ absence rate and how these impacted on outcomes for children. Authorised absences are primarily absences due to illness or an exceptional family circumstance.
Unauthorised absences are absences that are either unexplained or not considered to be valid reasons for non-attendance. (For example, absence for a birthday, holidays during term, a day of rest after a busy weekend or late night.)
The research revealed ‘the relationship between absence from school and achievement, across all sub-groups of student strongly suggests that every day of attendance in school contributes towards a child’s learning, and that academic outcomes are enhanced by maximising attendance in school. Further, the effects of absence also accumulate over time.’ Absence from school was related to academic achievement in literacy and numeracy ‘not only in the current year, but in future years as well’.

The Every Day Counts report argues the following: ‘There is a commonplace and perhaps growing assumption that children can be absent from school with little consequence on their onward academic achievement. This data show that every day of attendance matters and that there is no minimum threshold of tolerable absences.

Thank you very much to families who have written to me regarding planned student absences.  In a small number of circumstances I am able to ‘authorise’ a vacation absence. This is primarily around attendance at a specific event, often interstate or overseas which can’t be scheduled for another time, and must be approved prior to the absence.

If you would like any more information about attendance please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Best wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell