Principal’s Message Week 3

Dear Parents and Carers

What’s Happening

  • Last week over 200 Kapinara students in Years 3-6 attended the Scribblers Festival at Scotch College.
  • Our children in Pre-Primary and Years 1 and 2, will have their opportunity to participate in a special ‘author’ workshop later this term, when Dr Cameron Stelzer -The Story Doctor visits Kapinara in Term 3.
  • Running Club and Choir also commenced last week.
  • This week, our students in Years 3 and 5 will complete NAPLAN. As I have said previously, schools have many 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.
  • As with any collection of data, what is important is that the information is used for the purpose for which it was intended. Concerns around NAPLAN usually arise when this doesn’t happen and/or when NAPLAN data is not viewed in a much broader context of student assessments, of which NAPLAN is only one part.
  • Ensuring children are ‘ready for NAPLAN’ should be like any other day – being ready for school and ready for learning is about having a good night’s sleep, eating a healthy breakfast and arriving at school in time to be organised for the day … and like any other day and any other task, the expectation is simply that you ‘do your best’.

Walk Safely to School Day

  • This Friday (17 May) is National Walk Safely to School Day, but we will be making Friday, 31 May Kapinara’s Walk Safely to School Day.
  • The national initiative is designed to encourage children and their parents/carers to walk regularly and safely to school; and seeks to promote road safety, the importance of physical activity and caring for the environment. It also o?ers an opportunity for families and schools to reinforce behaviours pertaining to pedestrian safety.
  • The P & C are taking a lead on this initiative, and will also take the opportunity to focus on the importance of healthy food and drinks, through the provision of a healthy breakfast. This has been a highly successful event in previous years, and I encourage all families to participate.
  • Please refer to last week’s and next week’s P & C newsletters for information, but note the new date!

Cross Country Events

  • Our Faction Cross Country event involving students from Pre-Primary to Year 6 is scheduled for Wednesday 12 June. Further information will be provided by Miss Burrows and Mr Hodgson.

Coming Soon

  • Communication from our School Board re the school song;
  • Communication seeking ideas from the school community to enable use of the lower oval to be maximised

Thank You and Hooray

Finally, a huge thank you to our P & C and those who actively support P & C fundraising events. The upgraded outdoor environment for the Kindy, and the works to retain and preserve the ‘slope’ on the lower oval are to be celebrated. Thanks to the Town of Cambridge for their donation of many plants. I would also particularly like to acknowledge the persistence and hours of research invested by parent Jordy Cain and Manager Corporate Services, Linda Wayman; and the coordination and oversight of our gardener/handyman Simon Dewar. Thank you all!

Best wishes

Elizabeth Blackwell

 

Deputy’s Message Week 1

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome back to Term 2. I hope that you enjoyed the break with your children. I have loved catching up with students today about their holidays and was pleased to observe how excited students were to be back at school this morning.

School staff spent a productive School Development Day yesterday undertaking school self-assessment of the current Kapinara Business Plan followed by discussions and workshops outlining future directions for the next business planning cycle, 2019 – 2021. We spent some time reviewing our whole school approach to the teaching of Science, led by Joanne Dixon and rounded off the day learning more about using Brightpath Assessment to improve our professional judgements when assessing student writing, led by Kylie Powell.

This week we have Year 5/6 (on Wednesday), Year 3/4 (on Thursday) and Year 1/2 (on Friday) teams competing in the annual St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School STEAMING Ahead Challenge. The Year 5/6 and Year 3/4 days are competitive challenge days with teams required to participate in challenges involving, mathematics, electronics and robotics. The Year 1/2 day is non-competitive and students will work through a range of problem-solving challenges over the course of Friday morning. I would like to wish our 24 girls attending all the very best of luck and hope that they enjoy the challenges presented to them.

You may have noticed that the slope has had an upgrade over the holidays. There has been a limestone wall constructed and hundreds of small shrubs planted on the slope in order to stabilise the area. Until further notice students will not be allowed to play on the slope or the wall so that we give the area plenty of time to establish. We would ask for your assistance to reinforce this both before and after school and on weekends. We will share photos and acknowledgements of the area in our next newsletter.

We are upgrading our home reading book boxes so the regular home readers for Year 1 – 3 will not be available for the next two weeks.  It would be appreciated if you were to continue your daily home reading program, using either books from home or the school library. Please see your child’s classroom teacher if you have any questions.

Finally, some sad news to share with you. Mrs Blackwell is unexpectedly on leave this week due to a bereavement in her family. On behalf of the school community I extend my deepest sympathy to Elizabeth and her family at this very sad time.

Kind regards, Kim Knowles

 

Principal’s Message Week 9

Dear Parents and Carers

Special Events

Thank you to the children of 3H who hosted our recent assembly. They had several very important ‘Harmony Day’ messages for us. One of the messages was that, like a drawing created using a crayon of only one colour, our lives would not be nearly as rich if we were all the same. They also helped create a sense of belonging by asking everyone to wear orange, the ‘colour of Harmony Day’. It was interesting for Kapinara to be a sea of orange instead of a sea of blue.

Our next assembly is on the final day of term, Friday 12 April, and will be hosted by 4W. On the previous day we will host a small service to commemorate Anzac Day, which falls in the school holiday period. It will commence immediately after morning recess, and will be co-hosted by the Year 3 and Year 6 students.

The other event in Week 10 is the interschool swimming carnival at HBF stadium on the morning of Wednesday, 10 April. Our very best wishes to all those representing Kapinara.

Student Safety

Yesterday we had a small meeting to remind children in Years 1-6 of two key safety issues. The primary message was about safety on bikes. In the space of only a few days we have received reports of students travelling home in groups (that part is great), but crossing roads without checking for cars and cars having to stop in the middle of the road as a group of students crossed at the same time. Yesterday it was reported that there was a near miss near Holy Spirit Primary School after school. Those riding were identified as Kapinara students and they were allegedly not riding safely.

Following yesterday’s meeting, all students are aware that when they ride to school, they must follow the perimeter of the school until they reach the path leading down to the library, on Catesby St. At this point they are to hop off their bike and wheel it down to the bike racks outside the library. As of today, in the afternoons, students are expected to walk their bikes up the same path onto Catesby St, and then ride following the perimeter of the school as far as possible. I’m sorry if this causes inconvenience (or a lack of excitement because students are unable to ride down the grassy slope and skid to a halt at the bottom). This may be reviewed at a later date if a significant shift in behaviour occurs.  Today students were also reminded that they must have a hat each day. There are not too many things that students must be responsible for, but a Kapinara hat with their name inside is one of them!

School Board

Thank you to the many of you who took the time to consider nominees for the School Board and to complete the brief survey. It is now a requirement for all Board members to undergo a criminal screening check before they are announced as Board members and attend their first meeting. I would like to again thank each of the parents who stood as nominees, and to finally welcome new parent members Jen Marschner, Taryn Landless and Vanessa Elliott to the Board. We also have two new staff members, Kim Knowles and Georgia Stewart. Our Initial meetings will be particularly important as we shape the Business Plan that will take us through the next three years, as we prepare for our school review in late May.

Sound System

Last week we had a new sound system installed in the undercover area. We trust that this will mean a much better sound with much better coverage, particularly for those sitting or standing at the back or in the quadrangle. Thank you to the P&C, for their significant support in funding.

Best wishes for a safe and happy upcoming holiday break.

Elizabeth Blackwell

 

Principal’s Message Week 7

Dear Parents and Carers

Directions 2018-2020

As many of you will be aware, we are currently developing a new Business Plan that will articulate directions and focuses planned for the next three years. The most critical work however is drawing on a range of information to determine what those directions and focuses actually are. The things that inform planning by the staff and the School Board include:

  • Global, national and local trends and initiatives
    (child safe organisations; ‘strengths-based’ approaches; critical and creative thinking; STEM)
  • Actions mandated by our Department and/or the State and Australian Governments
    (assessments such as NAPLAN and On-Entry; teaching protective behaviours, specific policy development; expenditure of resources)
  • Contemporary research
    (critical importance of student and staff wellbeing; implications of ‘brain’ research for student learning; strengthening ‘student voice’, student agency, collaboration, resilience, communication)
  • Information about student achievement, progress, health and wellbeing
    (data from On-Entry Assessments, PAT assessments, National School Opinion Surveys, Engagement and Wellbeing survey (Yrs 4-6), Six Star (wellbeing) survey, NAPLAN)

Support for students

In last week’s newsletter we included some information about Alice Fern, the school nurse attached to Kapinara. This week we are including some information about Richard Luyke, our school psychologist who is at Kapinara on Wednesdays. I hope you find the information helpful.

Arriving at School

Thanks to students arriving at school by bicycle, for riding around the school perimeter to the letterbox on Catesby St, dismounting from their bikes and wheeling them down to the store then in the bike racks. Bike riders are asked to do this and not ride up/down the grass slope. Thank you.

What’s been happening and what’s coming up

  • Children from PP to Year 2 have just completed five sessions of protective behaviours with Ali Fisher. Students in Years 3-6 are taught protective behaviours by teachers
  • Students in Years 4-6 participated in our annual faction swimming carnival, which was won by Strickland. Congratulations students and thanks to Miss Burrows and Mr Hodgson
  • Year 6 students are in the middle of LetsRide bike education sessions, presented by members of Cycling Australia as part of the Sporting Schools initiative. Year 5 students will participate in the program at a later date.
  • Children in 3H are leading our assembly on Friday 22 March 2019
  • Students in 4W will be leading assembly on Friday 12 April 2019
  • Year 3 and Year 6 students will be collaborating to produce our school Anzac service on Thursday 11 April at 10:50am

‘Parenting Ideas’

‘Parenting Ideas’ is a web-based resource designed to support schools and families. It includes articles (‘insights’), webinars, videos and eGuides. A different article will be attached to each newsletter. The articles are short, easy to read and practical. They primarily focus on students’ mental health and wellbeing. Sometimes we might also include a webinar that you are able to access (free) as we are a ‘Parenting Ideas’ school (you will need to enter a voucher code which we will provide). Webinars can be downloaded and watched at any time. Please note expiry dates for individual topics however.

Today’s newsletter contains links to the two most recent articles – one, posted today, is about helpful responses to the very recent events in Christchurch. The other is about the importance of time for play amid our busy schedules. This will coincide with a brochure being sent home with K & P students ‘ The Importance of Play based Learning. ‘There are also spare copies available on the brochure table in the office.

I look forward to seeing you at future events over the remaining weeks of this term.

Elizabeth Blackwell

 

Principal’s Message Week 5

Dear Parents and Carers

School Board

I would like to sincerely thank the parents in our school community who have indicated their willingness to serve on the School Board, commencing this year. The primary focus for the first part of this year will be the collaborative task of developing our next three-year Business Plan. Board members are appointed for a one, two or three-year tenure. The idea is that the tenures of individual members ‘end’ at different points in time, providing continuity across the years. The three new parent members will join parents Dale Miller and Jen Wiggins, three staff members and myself on the Board. Please take time to consider the information provided by each nominee, and nominate the three you would most like to see represent the school community over the next one to three years. (an email with a link will follow)

Attendance

I have written about the critical importance of regular school attendance on many occasions. The research on school attendance indicates that regular attendance patterns must begin in Kindergarten. Although enrolling a child in Kindergarten is not compulsory, once enrolled Kindy students’ attendance is compulsory.

There is also not an amount of ‘non-attendance’ that is okay. On any given day, children will be being introduced to something new; consolidating learning; completing a formal or informal assessment; working on an ongoing group project and attending specialist classes (which occur one day each week). For this reason, please do everything you can to ensure your child is at school every day, unless he or she is unwell.

If you are aware that your child is tired, I encourage you to have a chat to your child’s teacher. Your child might be (understandably) tired at the end of the day or week, but might not be showing signs of this at school, and/or may not require a day or a sleep-in to catch up. Similarly, if you are considering withdrawing your child to attend an external program (therapy/education) during school hours, please also speak with your child’s teacher, with Mrs Knowles or myself. Ideally, we will all be on the ‘same page’ and working together.

Finally, almost all absences during the school term will be recorded as ‘unauthorised’ for the purposes of the Department’s student attendance data, unless we are notified that your child is unwell. The only other time an absence other than illness can potentially be authorised pertains to travel during school due to an exceptional circumstance – for example travel to another State or country for a significant family event. If you find yourself in this position, please contact me, preferably via email, and in advance. I am only able to authorise these prior to the event.

NAPLAN Online

This year, Year 3 and Year 5 students will participate in NAPLAN. With the exception of Year 3 Writing, NAPLAN will be completed online as it was last year. Students will be familiar with online learning platforms, and at Kapinara NAPLAN is viewed as one of a number of assessments that provide us with information about what children know and can apply. A brochure will be sent home with students in Year 3 and Year 5 in the next day or two. NAPLAN will be completed between the 14 and 24 May. You will receive more specific dates closer to the time.

Year 6 Students

I would like to thank the Year 6 students for leading our assembly last Friday, and for sharing their ‘character strengths’ with us all. I look forward to talking about ‘strengths’ and ‘strengths-based’ approaches to learning and personal wellbeing, as the year progresses. I would like to congratulate the Year 6 students who were announced as Student Councillors and Faction Leaders at the assembly.

Congratulations to:
Jessica W and Nick J, Faction Leaders, Winter
Seb S and Zac A, Faction Leaders, Strickland
Isis S and Riley D-D, Faction Leaders, Elliott
Olivia Y, Nic T, Honey W and Lucy B, Student Councillors
I would also like to acknowledge the willingness of a significant number of other Year 6 students to step into a leadership role, and to stand in front of their peers, students in Years 4 and 5, and their teachers, to present a speech to this effect. Well done!

Best wishes

Elizabeth Blackwell

 

Principal’s Message Week 3

Dear Parents and Carers

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our P & C for organising the sundowner last week. I’m pleased that so many families were able to attend. I trust that our new families have felt welcomed into the Kapinara School Community.

How Can I Help?

School communities are so much richer for the contributions made by parents and grandparents in a range of ways. Below are some ways in which we encourage you to participate.

  • Helping in our school canteen which is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • Helping in classrooms, regularly or as a one off
  • Being a member of the Parents and Citizens Association (P & C)
  • Nominating for the School Board
  • Joining us for assemblies (selected Friday mornings) and sporting, music and art events
  • Supporting a range of fund raising events (cake stalls, Book Fair, purchasing an Entertainment Book etc)

P & C

It would be great to see a few new faces at P & C meetings again this year. The efforts of the P & C are primarily focused on fund raising, but the P & C also contributes to the culture and cohesion of the school community, by connecting informally with families.

The P & C has two class representatives. The ‘class reps’ as they are known, each have a different role. One is responsible for coordinating a year level fundraiser, and emailing class parents to remind them of things such as excursion notes that are due. Teachers are responsible for all information about the teaching and learning program that is sent home. The class rep simply offers families a reminder here and there. The second class rep is a ‘social’ one, who will occasionally coordinate social get-togethers with the children and families of others in the class or year level.

If you have any questions or concerns about the teaching and learning program, relationships between your child and another or others in the class, the point of contact is your child’s class teacher. If you have any questions or concerns beyond the classroom or if something continues to trouble you, I encourage you to contact either Kim Knowles, Deputy Principal or myself, as soon as possible.

Please do not contact the P & C class reps to raise issues about school matters and please do not, under any circumstances, use the class email lists to communicate anything other than matters related to the roles of the class reps as outlined above. Thank you.

School Board

We are seeking nominations for our School Board. The tenure of three community members ended last year – Chair, Cherie Atchison and her family moved back to their home state of Tasmania; our previous Board Chair, Chris Higgs ended a second term on the Board as the younger of his two boys graduated last year; and Lance Perry also completed his second term on the Board. On behalf of the staff and school community I’d like to sincerely thank them for their valued contributions over a number of years.

We currently have two community members on the Board – Dale Miller, who has children in Pre-Primary and Year 1, and Jen Mintz (Wiggins) who has children in Year 3 and Year 5. There is now an opportunity for three people in our school community to join the Board. The Board’s function is to contribute to planning at a strategic level. The Board considers (de-identified) student performance data, aligned to the targets and focuses of our Business Plan and the current priorities of our Department. It may contribute to the development of school level policies, and seek the perspectives of others in such matters. The Board is also responsible for the school dress code. Please be aware that the Board does not have a role in ‘operational matters’ or the day to day running of the school.

If you are interested in nominating a member of the school community (with their permission) or nominating yourself, please complete the form attached and either scan and email me directly, or hand to the office in a sealed envelope marked ‘Confidential’ School Board. If you would like to speak to me or one of the parent Board members before deciding whether to nominate, I’m confident that Dale, Jen and Lance would be happy to chat to you. Thank you for giving this your thoughtful consideration.

Our first assembly is scheduled for Friday 1 March, and will be hosted by the Year 6s.

Best wishes

Elizabeth Blackwell

 

From the Principal Week 1

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome to a new school year. I’d like to extend a particularly warm welcome to our unusually large group of new students and their families. I hope you will be able to join other members of our school community at the annual sundowner next Friday afternoon (15 February 2019) being organised by the P & C. The P & C (Parents and Citizens Association) in addition to being a dedicated fundraising body, also organise activities and events that bring the community together. The sundowner is an opportunity for some of our Kindy students’ families to meet other families, and for our new Pre-Primary to Year 6 students’ families to do the same. There will be a sausage sizzle, paella, ice-cream etc available. You will receive information about this event shortly. The P & C would be delighted if some of our new and existing families could join them once or twice a term when they meet. This has historically been on Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm.

2019 Classes

This year we commence with the same number of classes that we had in 2017; one more than we had in 2018. The structure of classes is dependent on the number of students in a given year level, as the recommended number of children in a class differs across the school until Year 4. Year level classes beneath Year 4 have a smaller recommended maximum number of students. Composite classes (of two year levels) are a common feature of primary schools, often for this reason.

We always strive to ensure that the children in each class have a range of ‘academic’ abilities, and a range of social and personal abilities. This is true for each year level, including year levels in a composite class. We also strive to ensure that each child has someone in their ‘new’ class that they can connect with and work with effectively. This is not necessarily the peer or peers they most enjoy playing with. I assure you that many, many hours of careful thought and discussion go into the establishment of classes – Kindy children aside, that involves 340 students. As always, if you have any questions about classes, or any other school level matter, please seek that information from Kim Knowles, Deputy Principal or myself. I trust that your child/children have had a smooth start to the year.

What’s Happening

  • Swimming lessons at Cottesloe Beach (Years 5 and 6) commence tomorrow
  • Swim Squad commences next Tuesday afternoon. An information sheet and permission slip will be emailed tomorrow when we make a final decision re bus transport to Bold Park Aquatic
  • Instrumental music lessons commence next week
  • violin and viola on Tuesday with Ms Therese Arnold
  • double bass on Tuesday with Ms Anna Person
  • cello on Wednesday afternoon with Alexandra Bak
  • guitar on Monday morning (to be confirmed)
  • P & C Sundowner on Friday, 15 February

Protective Behaviours

Protective Behaviours sessions for children in Pre-Primary, Year 1 and Year 2 will commence on Friday and run for the following four weeks (a total of five sessions in total). The children will be taught by Ali Fisher, who has presented these sessions from P-6 during the last few years. Families will receive information prior to and during the five weeks. Teachers of Years 3-6 will teach Protective Behaviours as part of their class Health program, and Kindy children will be taught by Ali Fisher in Term 4.

Assembly

Our first assembly will be in Week 4 and will be led by Year 6 students.
Best wishes for a great year.

Elizabeth Blackwell

 

Principal’s Message Week 9

Dear Parents and Carers

I’m not sure how we reached December so quickly, but here we are! I am very fortunate to have some beautiful December-themed artwork in my office, courtesy of Lenni, Ellen and Abbie from Pre-Primary. Thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concert

We are all looking forward to our end of year concert on Thursday. We have planned it in two sections with a 60min ‘break’ in between. This way, the very young children can perform, watch a few items and then go home to bed if they are tired, and older students who don’t have young siblings can arrive a bit later. Thank you to the P & C for arranging a food and drink option in between. Please note that children will rotate from the music room to the stage to sitting in the audience. K-3 children will be released to parents at the end of the first half of the concert. This will enable us to maximise safety and keep the concert running smoothly. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this regard.
Students in Kindy, Pre-Primary and Years 1-3 and the Orchestra are asked to meet their teachers on the grassed area outside the Music Room at 4.40pm.
Years 4-6 are asked to meet their teachers on the grassed area outside the Music room at 6.25pm.
A reminder to parents that there will be a dress rehearsal at school on Thursday, and students should bring their costumes to school.

School Song

Please note that as per Chris Higgs’ email to families last Wednesday, there will be a process put in place early next year, communicating further about the school song and seeking input from the community regarding a way forward.

National School Opinion Survey

Thank you to those who completed the recent parent survey. The Board, the staff and I appreciate your feedback and will draw on this information in our decision making about policies and programs.

As a snapshot, the survey reflected an increasing awareness of the School Board and its role; and which program families would particularly like their children to have access to, if this needed to occur on a user-pays basis. Of the eight programs surveyed, the four most strongly supported were technologies, public speaking, bike education and drama. We have started to explore options for each of these. It doesn’t mean that the others won’t be considered, but rather we will begin to look at opportunities for the ‘top four’ in the first instance.

Regarding the information sought to shape a Healthy Food and Drink Policy, the survey interestingly revealed that

  • the majority of the community have little knowledge about the ‘traffic light system’ of classifying foods (something that we can easily address next year)
  • 82% of respondents reported feeling pressured to provide snacks/treats when it was their young child’s birthday
  • 77% indicated that the practice meant that their child didn’t eat (a usually healthier) recess or lunch when the above occurred (sometimes this might be three out of five days that week)
  • 96% reported that they would not be disappointed if the practice did not continue

While this information may be of no or little concern to some, it means that when we are drafting policy, we are aware of whether the birthday treat issue is large or small from a community perspective.

Planning for 2019

Thank you to those who have advised us if your child will not be attending Kapinara next year, and for those who contacted me with additional information about their child, by the end of November.
Please continue to let us know if your situation changes, particularly if your child is beginning in Kindergarten in 2019.
And finally a warm welcome to our families reading our newsletter for the first time, we welcome you to our Kapinara community and look forward to working together with you in 2019.
I look forward to seeing you at the concert on Thursday.

Best wishes

Elizabeth Blackwell

 

 

Principal’s Message Week 7

Dear Parents and Carers

Community

Thank you to the parents/carers who did such wonderful work on the Kindergarten and Pre-Primary playgrounds on Sunday. Mr Dewar, our gardener/handyman, will now pressure spray the wooden aspects of the following the scraping and sanding that was done on the weekend. Following Part 2 of the Busy Bee next weekend, our K and P playgrounds and the bench seats beneath the trees near the library, will be looking fabulous.

As we approach the end of another school year, I would like to sincerely thank those in our community who volunteer their time in a variety of ways; helping in classrooms and in the canteen, being a class rep, assisting at sporting events, Arts events and excursions, and supporting P&C initiatives such as cake stalls and other fundraising events; Board membership and most recently via busy bees. Out of school hours, our families also support each other by cooking meals, cleaning, gardening, painting and helping others to move house. This ‘service for others’ has been a strong and proud feature of the Kapinara community for many years. It brings cohesion and sense of belonging to everyone; which positively impacts the health and wellbeing of children and the adults in their lives.

I am also very proud of the initiative being undertaken by our Year 5 students, who have identified three groups within the Perth community who would benefit from their expression of ‘Kindness, Consideration and Service for Others’ – the homeless, refugee families and those affected by domestic violence. Please support the students in gathering items that will be packaged and offered to those in need. Thank you. 🙂 

Planning for 2019

As I have done in the past, I invite you to let me know if there is any information that you believe is likely to impact significantly on your child’s learning and/or wellbeing next year. I assure you that many hours of thought, care and collaboration go into establishing class groups. Notwithstanding this, if you wish to make me aware of any additional information pertaining specifically to your child, please contact me either through the school office, or via email or phone no later than Tuesday 27 November. This does not include requests for a specific teacher. Please contact me directly rather than your child’s teacher. It may be that I need to make last minute changes to classes and this is the only way of ensuring I have all the information I require.

School Board – Open Meeting

From the beginning of next year, there will be a vacancy for two new Board members. We are very grateful that people have previously shown an interest in becoming a Board member. The Board focuses on the strategic direction of the school, while the P & C focuses on fundraising. We will be holding an Open Meeting on Monday 26 November at 6:00pm and invite you to join us. This might be a good opportunity to see how the Board works and/or to gain a snapshot of matters that are discussed at Board meetings.

National School Opinion Surveys

These surveys (one each for students, parents and staff) must be completed bi-annually, however several of our Business Plan targets are based on specific survey items and we therefore complete them annually. The data from the student surveys (completed by students in Years 5 and 6) will be considered at the open Board meeting next Monday. The student survey included nationally mandated items and Kapinara-specific items. The parent survey includes both also. The Kapinara-specific items enable us to gauge how the parent community feels about a range of programs and policy directions at Kapinara, and we aim to ensure it can be completed within a few minutes. This informs decisions we make at school and Board levels. I therefore seek your support in completing the survey. The more responses we receive the more meaning we can attach to the data. The survey will be emailed to families tomorrow. Thank you for taking the time to hit those radio buttons.

Year 6 Fair

Our Year 6 students have planned and prepared for the fair, primarily within the learning contexts of Economics and Design and Technologies. They have designed and trialled a range of activities which will be available from 9:00am – 12:15pm next Wednesday, 28 November 2018. Activities and items for purchase range in price from $1:00 – $4:00. There will also be a sausage sizzle available via pre-order (please see order form attached).

I look forward to seeing some of you at our assembly on Friday, hosted by 5/6S and 5/6D.

Best wishes,
Elizabeth Blackwell

 

Principal’s Message Week 5

Dear Parents and Carers

Assembly

Thank you and congratulations to Mr Watt’s class for hosting our assembly last Friday. They took us back a few decades with the Beach Boys and some smooth moves. Congratulations also to those students who received merit certificates and ICAS awards. We were particularly delighted to share Charlotte L’s (Year 5) success in English (reading comprehension). She received a High Distinction, which is awarded to the top 1% of students. We were also thrilled that over a dozen students received a Distinction in Writing (placing them in the top 11%) and half a dozen received a Distinction in English. Significant numbers received credits placing them in the top third of students who completed the assessments. We have recently been advised that from next year, ICAS will be offered online for students from Year 4.

Personal Requirements Lists 2019

Personal Requirements Lists (formerly known as ‘booklists’) will be available from next week. While OfficeMax is the preferred supplier again this year, and our school benefits when families purchase items through the company, items may be purchased anywhere. It is helpful if families could try to adhere to the brands of stationery items etc specified as they are usually selected for their longevity. Please be assured that considerable time and thought is invested in the Requirements Lists. We consider resources that we believe will best support teaching and learning programs at this point in time (2019). As such, the items will vary a little from year to year, and will differ among schools.

Charges and Voluntary Contributions

The School Board also considers and endorses the schedule of Charges and Voluntary Contributions for the following school year. Our Board did this along with the Personal Requirements lists at our Board meeting last week. It is a requirement that all public schools provide the schedule to parents at least two months prior to the start of the next school year, to enable families to anticipate and plan ahead for potential costs associated with school. The costs provided are maximum predicted costs, and in many cases the amounts will be less, particularly with regard to excursions/incursions. If families ever find amounts difficult to pay for whatever reason, please have a confidential chat with me.

Bike Education

A couple of people have recently asked about Bike Education. Wendy Tusak has previously run a five session Bike Ed program for students in Year 5. The program was dependent on parent volunteers, and the school paid to release Mrs Tusak from other duties. It had been becoming increasingly difficult to get the required number of volunteers, and after the much lower number of volunteers last year, we determined that it was no longer safe or practical to run in its current form. Having said that, we have been looking at a program called Let’s Ride that is available through Cycling WA and Sporting Schools. We will put a question about the program in the Parent National School Opinion Survey that we hope to make available in the next week or so. This will inform our decision making for next year, including which year levels are offered the program.

National School Opinion Surveys

I appreciate that completing surveys is often a chore, but this is the most efficient way for us to canvas our school community about what matters, and possibly what doesn’t. While it doesn’t dictate future planning it certainly informs our planning, particularly when we have information from students, parents and staff sitting alongside each other. As an example, we have continued to offer ICAS in the past two or three years based on feedback from families via the surveys. I am committed to making the survey as quick and easy to complete as possible, and in return I ask that you again make time to complete it. We value your feedback – positive or negative, but offered respectfully with a view to ongoing school improvement. Thank you for taking the time.

Finally, you are invited to join us for our brief Remembrance Day service, immediately after recess on Friday morning. In the meantime we are looking forward to the visit by author/illustrators Frane Lessac and Mark Greenwood on Thursday.

Best wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell