Dear Parents and Caregivers
I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all our new and existing students and their families to what should be a very positive year in our community. I would also like to extend a big welcome to all our new members of staff. We have Sharon Wills and Gabby Previti who will be working in the St Joseph Centre as teachers as well as Jordan Fuller who will be working in the centre as an EA this year. We welcome Karen Noone to Year 5 and we also welcome Sam Boyce as our new PE teacher as Laurie Power took a position at CEWA as groundsman starting in January this year. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to say farewell to Laurie and to thank him for his 13 years of service he gave to our community. Many of you will remember Laurie for the outstanding sport carnivals he ran throughout the years which focused on inclusion in a competitive environment. Laurie has also very generously offered to support Sam in the background as he becomes familiar with the PE role. I’m sure you would join me in wishing Laurie every blessing and success for the next phase of his career.
Awareness Reflection Earlier this week, the staff had a professional development session which continued our focus on the GRACE model. This year, we will think about the values of Awareness and Compassion. (over the past two years, we focused on Gratitude and Resilience). Self awareness allows you to know how both your internal and external worlds affect you, so that you have a choice in how you respond to whatever arises from moment to moment.
Upgrades During the Holidays You may have noticed that a few things look a bit different this year as we continued our school improvement and maintenance plan so we can offer the best facilities possible to our students. The hall has brand new flooring with vinyl which looks like floorboards. The St Joseph’s Centre has a new playground which will be a welcome addition for the students who access it. The Year 5 and 6 classrooms have new carpet and a fresh coat of paint. I think they look fabulous! Finally, you may have noticed the final stage of our nature based playground is being installed. A tree top walk is being constructed at the front of the school near the flying fox. It will be an amazing part of our playground and I know the students are very keen to start using it. Once again, our P&F have generously contributed $25000 towards the overall cost of this new item. On top of this, we have undertaken another ‘Ground Zero’ with all of our laptops and iPads during January and have replaced them all with the current models. This was a huge undertaking for Steve Duncan, our IT technician, and he did a wonderful job. By doing this every three years, we can ensure that our students have access to the latest technology in their classrooms.
Speech Therapy Programme As I mentioned at the end of last year, we have engaged the services of Curtin University who offer a Speech Therapy programme. On most Wednesdays throughout the year, Katy Forest, who is a speech therapist and lecturer, will bring up to six final year Curtin students here to work with some of our students in Kindergarten and Pre Primary. The Curtin students will work with our students under the guidance of Katy for up to nine weeks each term. This is a wonderful opportunity for our students who will be selected because we know that there are long waiting times and big costs involved with accessing speech therapists outside of school. The best thing is that there is no cost involved for our students. I’m anticipating that up to twenty of our students will get into this programme this year. Katy will also be training and upskilling our staff as a part of the service she provides. This is an exciting programme as our journey into this space commences.
Parent Information Night Our annual information night will be held on Monday 13 February from 6pm. As usual, it will start in the hall with a general address by myself, and then we will hold two sessions in the classrooms. The first one goes from 6.20pm to 6.50pm. The second session, which is a repeat of the first, will run from 7.00pm to 7.30pm. Please note that the information presented is of a general nature and is a great opportunity for you to meet our staff and find out what they have planned for your children this year. If you would like to meet with the teachers privately to discuss your own child’s needs, please make a separate appointment. I look forward to seeing lots of parents attending this year now that the Covid restrictions have been lifted.
Family Fun Night Please put Friday 17 February into your diary as this is our annual family fun night. Unfortunately, since the tragedy in Tasmania a couple of years ago with the bouncy castles, schools across Australia can no longer use inflatable castles or water slides. We also have a very small P&F this year and with these limitations, we have decided to hold a picnic and movie night on the oval. There will be food vans and the students will get to vote for a movie of their choice. It will still be a great night and I encourage you to come.
EduDance Once again, we have engaged the services of EduDance which has proven to be a very popular programme here. This term, the Blue classes from Pre Primary to Year 6 will be participating and the first lessons will be held this Thursday 2 February. After that, they will be held on Mondays throughout the term, culminating with the high energy concert on Monday 3 April at 6pm.