WELCOME TO 2015 AND THE PROMISE OF ANOTHER GREAT YEAR
Last week I sent a letter with some of the contents of this article but additional information is now included in this Newsletter. The new school year, for staff, started some time ago as we have been making preparations for 2015. Even before the Pupil Free Week teachers have been planning units of work and preparing their classrooms to be ready for this term. I always love the beginning of a new year – even with the pressures of staff induction, student handover information, classroom relocations and professional development which assists us to improve our teaching practice. Now it is Week 2 and classes have settled into their routines, the new students also are feeling like they have been here for some time and have made new buddies.
MEET THE TEACHER 10 FEBRUARY
When: Wednesday 10 February (two sessions)
5:30 – 6:00 pm and 6:15 – 6:45 pm
Where: Year Level classrooms
Why? This evening is a very important event in our College Calendar as it provides an opportunity early
in the year for parents to meet their children’s teachers and catch their vision for the class for 2015. There are two sessions with time allowed for parents/caregivers to move from one area to another.
PLEASE MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ATTEND NEXT WEDNESDAY EVENING
COMMUNICATION WITH FAMILES
As a “paperless” school, we have established that all communication to home will be made via email. This is quick, notes don’t get lost in school bags and it is far more efficient for our office staff. I cannot stress enough the importance of checking your emails on a daily basis as these letters are so important in your children’s school life. We rely on these emails to be confident that all parents/caregivers are informed about what is happening in the Primary College and how you can support your children.
Good communication is the life blood in terms of our home/school partnership. We include in the subject line GCCC to make it easier for you to identify these emails if you have quite a number of emails on any one day.
An army of volunteers arrived on Friday 30 January and in a couple of hours the weeds were all gone and the garden beds were cleared ready for the programme to begin this week. We are so grateful for your assistance and the children are excited about Kitchen Garden again this year.
DISMISSAL AT 3.00 pm
Teachers have been collecting information regarding the way students will be going home from school each day. This information will direct how students will be dismissed by the teachers at the end of each day.
Your feedback has been collated and teachers have created a document which will determine student release Monday to Friday.
Please ensure that the information you give is as accurate as possible so your children leave the College safely.
If you haven’t told teachers the daily plan please make this a matter of urgency.
SIGNING IN AS A VOLUNTEER
We are grateful to all our volunteers who make the College a better place. It is important for the safety of the students that anyone working in the school grounds signs in at the office first. It also is essential for your safety because we know who is in the school in case of an evacuation/lockdown event.
COLLECTION OF STUDENTS BEFORE 3:00 PM
Please remember to do this through the College Office ONLY.
If you need to collect your children early for any reason, please go to the office where a staff member will contact the class teacher and the child will meet you at reception so you can sign him/her out.
Just a reminder that students must go to the Senior Undercover Area before school unless they are in Prep – Year 2 and have adult supervision on the Junior Playground. There will be a staff member present to direct students who are not being supervised by a parent or another designated adult to move to the Senior Undercover Area where we have staff on duty to supervise play.
APPOINTMENTS WITH TEACHERS
Please allow another week or so for teachers to work with their students before you make appointments to talk about your children. Of course if there is something which urgently needs to be shared, please feel free to email the teacher or just send a note. Mornings are very busy for teachers as we have devotions 3 mornings a week until 8.20 am and classes begin at 8.30 am. Afternoons are more flexible but please note that Wednesdays are staff meetings and I have asked teachers to keep Wednesdays 3.00 pm – 5.00 pm free from appointments. Our staff meetings are a very valuable time when we discuss important issues and have professional development. Other afternoons are usually available for appointments if necessary.
The progress of our first primary building on the new block has been exciting and we are looking forward to taking occupancy at the end of Term 1. Some of us were able to have a quick tour with the site manager last week and are delighted with the Year 1 class rooms. It will be a big job to move everything across, for Term 2, so “Watch this Space” just in case we need some help and you are able to assist.
You will notice that the new road to the primary campus has been constructed at the expense of the old Prep Maroon shed. However, Prep Maroon for 2015 has settled in well in the gym area and are watching with excitement as their new classroom is taking shape.
The movement of Prep White and Prep Green to and from the play areas etc has been very smooth and we are so thankful to both teachers and teaching assistants for the care they are taking with their “little people” to keep them safe. This will need to continue a little longer than first expected.
Sometimes a change of class can mean changes in friendship groups for children. This is not always a negative situation – rather, it can be used as an opportunity for them to make new friends and to build resilience. Where children develop one very special friend who is in their class every year, it can create a situation if one or the other ever moves away, where the one left behind is devastated and unable to easily recover and create new friendships. I have spoken to the teachers where a few students are now in a different class from their best friend and teachers will encourage some new relationships to widen their circle of friends. As parents, play dates are a wonderful way to maintain old friendships or develop new ones.
Thank you to everyone who attended these Prep functions. It was a wonderful way to transition our new Prep children and parents to meet new friends. The tissues were not required by children or parents on Day 1 but it was a nice time to have a Coffee ‘n Chat.
Thank you to Mrs Rosenberg for making this such a special time.
In closing we would like to welcome all new families to GCCC and to make all parents/caregivers aware that Mrs Mitchell, myself and all the staff will do everything we can to make 2015 an enjoyable year where your children are safe and happy and make good progress in learning. We encourage strong home/school partnerships, so please know you are always welcome at GCCC. Teachers will be grateful for your assistance as volunteers. Just give them a week or two to settle the classes. Children LOVE to have family members volunteer at school and this strengthens the partnership between home and school.
Cheryl Bryers, Head of Primary