Dear Parents and Caregivers, We are already half way through term 2 and I am sure all families are looking forward to the extra-long weekend coming up at the end of this week. A school development day is scheduled for this Friday (31st May) and as such students do not attend on Friday. Monday 3rd June is a designated public holiday. I am pleased to welcome some new members to our school board and report that all school board mem- bers will be undertaking board training this week along with a number of other board members from other schools. The school board plays an important role in contributing to good school governance so that school resources are used efficiently and community expectations and the school’s priorities reflect the needs of students.
All year 3 & 5 students were provided with opportunities to complete NAPLAN online testing and I am pleased to report that we did not experience the major difficulties experienced by many other schools with the online platform. Teachers and students reported that they were not unduly affected by some minor glitches which we were able to manage effectively. Due to the difficulties and adjustments having to be made by a large number of schools Baler will be taking a cautionary approach to the results of this year’s NAPLAN when making comparisons around how Baler has fared against state and national results. We are proud of the way all of our students completed the testing and thank Ms Orford for her diligence and ex- tensive planning.
Violence in schools
Earlier this year the State Government released the ‘Let’s Take a Stand Together ’ document in response to Violence in Schools. Fortunately, at Baler I am pleased to report that most students behave respectfully. At times though a very small number of students across all schools can be physically aggressive. This is never acceptable and this document sets out 10 actions to help school staff, families and communities work to- gether on this complex issue. I encourage all families to read my letter to the community explaining this document and the ‘Lets’ Take a Stand ’ statement. Both are contained within this newsletter.
As part of the “Let’s Take a Stand Together ” statement every public school is required to add ‘good stand- ing’ requirements to it Behaviour Management Policy. A good standing requirement stipulates that stu- dents who do the wrong thing will have privileges removed – such as being banned from certain school activities. Students can earn ‘good standing’ back by making amends and behaving well. What this means and the specifics of how this will look at Baler is still being determined by our Behaviour Committee. Once a draft has been ratified by staff this will then be presented to the school board for discussion and endorse- ment in order for it to be shared with the whole school community in a future newsletter or Skoolbag app notification.
Congratulations to the following staff members who have recently welcomed additions to their families. Mr Bald- win & Miss Muir, Mrs Jensen, Miss Tree, Miss Owens – congratulations to all of you and welcome to the wonder- ful world of parenthood! Last term we had a number of children in Years 4-6 who were selected to take part in academic extension pro- grams fun for the Hedland network of schools. Congratulations and well done to all students involved. I am al- ways in awe of the achievements that the students involved in this program are able to demonstrate. Baler stu- dents were provided with opportunities in both Coding and Public Speaking. At the conclusion of the six week course students were invited to present their work to parents and friends. This included a Public Speaking Com- petition held at Matt Dann Theatre. This term 10 students have been selected to take part in Music and Robotics. Other opportunities for our students coordinated by Miss Orr are within the area of Student Leadership. Our stu- dent leaders have recently put a proposal together and written to myself and the P&C seeking support for a sen- sory garden that they wish to develop at the back of the school. They want this to be a calm and tranquil place for students and staff and wish to develop it as a parting gift and their legacy to the school. Our future is in good hands with motivated students like this!
All parents should have been offered the opportunity for a one on one parent interview with their child’s teacher and should have received an invitation to make an appointment earlier in the year. With student reports being issued at the end of this term I again encourage parents to contact teachers. What is in your child’s report should not be a surprise and an interview is an ideal opportunity to have a more in depth conversation with the teacher in regards to your child’s progress. An interview as opposed to an incidental conversation allows the teacher to be prepared and have relevant work samples ready to share with you.
In week one of this term we held our ANZAC assembly and the many positive comments from parents, staff and community echoed my own thoughts. This was a special event at which all students were equally respectful and reflective. The choir was outstanding and the student leadership team who hosted our assembly supported by Miss Orr was equally outstanding. Thank you also to Mr Green who coordinated the art work and back drops. We have a number of significant events happening this term. Please keep an eye out for skoolbag reminders and can I please remind all families to make sure you turn notifications on, on the app so you do not miss these im- portant reminders.
Kind regards, Karen Burgess