Dear Curtin families,
My thanks to you for supporting your child’s learning and participation at school in what has been a busy and successful semester. Major achievements include:
- our professional focus on the teaching of writing is leading to enjoyment and achievement in classrooms.
- our effort to create a school that displays and enacts cultural integrity has guided each year level to develop a significant acknowledgement of country and all inquiry units specifically include content to build student understanding of Aboriginal histories and cultures.
- students have embraced the routines of Unlocking Potential, leading to increased stamina and learning.
- Our Be You team has been established with staff and community members and have prepared recommendations for our school to optimise the wellbeing of each child in the school.
Over the last week, I have spent time with each teaching team analysing the achievement and growth of each student which has enabled us to make individual, class, year level and whole school plans for semester 2.
Last week, progress reports were sent home to all families. The reports were part of a pilot of the newly implemented ACT template and were sent electronically for the first time. I would like to thank Leslee Roberts for guiding our school through the complex process of establishing and sending the new template. Early in term 3, your feedback on the reporting process and the template will be sought.
The process of creating the reports was extensive and each teacher strived to ensure you received the best possible feedback about your child’s achievement, engagement and participation at school. If you have questions, concerns or feedback, you are invited to contact the appropriate teacher for an interview to follow up. Equally important was the Student Self Assessment Reflection which came home on the same day. This represents your child’s perspective on their learning and participation at school. If you haven’t already, we encourage families to take some time to sit with your child, read the report and self reflection together and then to discuss achievements and next steps.
At this time of year, we understand many students miss school due to illness. We appreciate the efforts parents make to keep sick children at home as this leads to fast recovery and stops the germs spreading!
Regular absences however are more detrimental to learning. When considering student achievement from this semester, it is apparent that missing more than 5 days of school in a term reduces the learning progress made in a term. This doesn’t have to be whole days - even arriving 10 minutes late each day means a student misses almost an hour of instruction each week. Next term, we will be closely monitoring attendance and following up to support students to be at school. We encourage all families to work with the school to ensure students attend as regularly as possible.
As we move into the holidays, it is a perfect time to think about the wellbeing and mental health of your children. School holidays bring opportunities for families to spend time together as well as for children to be in busy activity programs or having relaxed time at home. Screen time and access to websites or social media have been regular topics in classrooms and between adults at school this semester. The links between children’s access to online content and levels of stress are regularly reported. Despite being a primary school, we increasingly see students impacted by online interaction, particularly use of social media. We encourage all families to consider their child’s interaction with social media to ensure their safety and wellbeing. The Australian eSafety Commissioner (esafety.gov.au) provides lots of useful advice and resources for parents. The following key questions from the eSafety website might be timely in helping you decide if your child should be accessing social media.
- Is your child able to withstand negative online experiences?
- Does your child understand the importance of protecting their personal information?
- Does your child understand how privacy settings for social media work?
- Does your child understand what is safe to share online?
- Does your child know how to report cyberbullying and other kinds of abusive content?
- Is your child willing to let you establish clear rules and supervise their social media activity?
At school, all year levels participate in appropriate webinars to build their online knowledge and safety. We believe social media brings too much risk for primary school students to engage with, although we are aware that many children are active in these spaces. Curtin Primary school does not require students to create their own gmail accounts, or ever to have their own social media accounts. If you face challenges or have concerns about your child’s access to online content and social media, please contact a teacher or member of the school executive for a discussion.
We wish each family a restful and safe break, and look forward to seeing everyone back at school in term 3.
Yours in learning,