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Term 3 - week 7

  • Book Week, Literacy and Numeracy Week
  • Healthy Eating Project – Hot Soup Lunch
  • Art in the Park
  • Book Fair

What a wonderful week it has been this week. It all started with Tuesday’s Book Character Dress Up Day. There was such a great feel at assembly, where I think a record number of students and teachers got into character to celebrate Book Week and Literacy and Numeracy Week. I felt so proud standing in front of a packed Gymnasium celebrating the importance of literacy. It showcased our school in such a wonderful way, and I am very grateful to the Kinder parents, some with siblings already at DPS, who came along as well. A happy community event. On Friday, the Book Week Presentations were again a wonderful success. So much effort had gone into these from both students and staff. What I loved is the level of understanding and comprehension of the texts that was shown whilst still having fun and presenting in an engaging way.

I also wanted to make mention, again, of the success of the hot soup lunch two weeks ago. The soup recipes are included in this week’s newsletter. This event was just a small sample of a large number of actions we will be implementing to promote and develop a Healthy Food Culture at DPS.

Next Friday, 2nd September, there will be an Art in the Park event running at the Community Park between 1 and 4pm. This is a busy time at the school with various programs running, however our Year 1 classes are hoping to make it to the park for this event, as well as some of our Yandoit PS students. Certainly, all are welcome to take part in this event after school at 3:20 until 4pm.

Lastly, preparations for our Annual Book Fair are well-advanced but we still require volunteers for book sorts and helping out on the two days (3rd and 4th September). From 10-2pm on Saturday 27th, there will be a book sorting session before our school Gym is closed from Wednesday onwards for the full set-up. If you are able to help in any of the preparatory work, or on the days of the event please fill in one of the Book Fair forms published in our previous newsletters or come to the office and let us know. There is a specific need for help each year for the Sunday 3pm finish and pack-up, so please see if you can make some time commitment and let us know ASAP. This is a wonderful event that raises thousands of dollars each year to support our literacy programs within the school.

As we move on from our focus on Acceptance to a focus on Integrity for the remainder of the term, I am reminded of this quote about Integrity, the author of which I cannot find:

"Integrity is what you do and who you are, even when nobody else it watching."

David Garner, Acting Principal

Term 3 - week 6

Child Safe Standards

This week, my message takes on a different, more serious focus – one around the Child Safe Standards. Earlier in the year, schools were issued with Ministerial Order 870: Child Safe Standards – Managing the risk of child abuse in schools. Within this order are a number of measures all schools must take to ensure high standards relating to child safety and protection against child abuse.

Key messages include, but are not limited to:

  • Everyone connected to our school can help children be safe.
  • We have zero tolerance for any abuse of children.
  • We already have policies and processes in place to protect the care, safety and welfare of children. These are being strengthened to ensure a zero tolerance approach to child abuse.
  • There are clear boundaries about how adults in our school community may interact with the children here.
  • The new child safe standards go further than child protection arrangements did in the past.
  • The child safe standards apply to school staff (including volunteers and contractors), visitors and students’ family members.
  • Keeping children safe is everyone’s responsibility. Different people at our school have different roles and responsibilities for ensuring children’s safety Staff members will receive training and support to understand and carry out their responsibilities under the standards.
  • Contractors will be asked about their child safety arrangements as a condition of working with us if they work with children enrolled in the school (or children can reasonably be expected to be present while they are at the school).
  • Other people using our school facilities will be asked about their child safety arrangements as a condition of using our facilities if they involve children enrolled at the school (or children can reasonably be expected to be present while their staff or other adults are at the school).

By September 1, we as a school will need produce evidence of compliance with these standards, as well as an action plan for how the standards will be fully complied with by the end of 2016. We have worked very hard to develop our Child Safety Policy, which I am publishing in this newsletter for all members of the school community to read and become familiar with. Secondly, a revised Code of Conduct has been developed and can be viewed either at the school office or on the school website. These two key documents have been ratified and discussed at length by school council. We are currently working on detailed and documented processes and procedures for responding to and reporting child abuse which all staff will work through in the coming weeks.

Should you require any further information, please feel free to speak to me about the Child Safe Standards and the extensive measures we are putting in place to meet these at our three schools. Information can also be found, including a copy of the Ministerial Order, on the VRQA (Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority) website http://www.vrqa.vic.gov.au/childsafe/Pages/default.html, which is the regulating body for all schools in Victoria.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this policy.

David Garner, Acting Principal

Term 3 - week 5

  • Jump Rope for Heart
  • Goal-setting check-in
  • Soup Lunch
  • Year 3 & 4 Museum Visits
  • Cyber safety

On Monday afternoon in family groups, we again took part in the Jump Rope for Heart Fundraiser. It was wonderful to see all the students involved in such a "family-like" way hopping, skipping and jumping for a fantastic cause. Thank you all for supporting this through your donations.

As we hit the mid-term mark, it is a wonderful time for students to check-in with their goals and strategies. Are the strategies for achieving the goal/s working? If not, what needs to change – the strategies or an adjustment to the goal itself? Think about how working towards these goals can be supported through the home-school partnership as well.

Well what a wonderful day we had on Tuesday with our healthy soup lunch. The parents working alongside us on the Healthy Eating Project prepared and served up some delicious soups. I was very excited by the number of children wanting a bowl of healthy pumpkin, potato and leek or spiced carrot and lentil soup. Thanks must also go to Rheannon Owen, our project worker and health promotion officer from Hepburn Health. This is just the first step amongst many in promoting and living a healthy school culture.

This week and next week, the Year 3 & 4 students are visiting Daylesford & District Museum as a part of their integrated unit around Indigenous Australia. We are very lucky to have such a valuable resource at our door step, and the link between the school and community organisations is a priceless one. It is certainly something we wish to continue to build upon.

In the coming month or so, we will be engaging the Victoria Police Community Liaison officer in both student and parent – focussed Cyber Safety sessions. Each year, we are faced with one or two scenarios involving the online world, which need to be addressed at school, and in particular, at home. Attached to this week’s newsletter are some Cyber Safety tips from renowned parenting educator, Michael Grose. Awareness around this as a parent starts from very early in your child's life, and he provides a number of valuable suggestions, so please take the time to read it and discuss it openly as a family.

Lastly, as we move from the fabulous presentation on Respect from our Prep students to a new fortnightly focus on acceptance, I am reminded of this quote from the great author George Orwell:

Happiness can exist only in acceptance.
- George Orwell

David Garner, Acting Principal

Term 3 - week 4

  • Community Events
  • Soup Lunch - Tuesday 9th August - Healthy
  • Bones Week
  • Jump Rope for Heart – Monday 8th August
  • Book Fair call out

It’s hard to believe it is already week 4 of the term - a busy term with a number of community events happening. This weekend Words in Winter places a spotlight on literacy and writing, starting with a Welcome to Country at 4:30, Friday 5th at the Words in Winter Hub, 81 Vincent Street (old hardware store). Later in the term, on Friday 2nd September there is an Art in the Park community event. We as a school will hopefully send a class or two over to the community park between 1pm and 3pm, and the event will run until 4pm. So feel free to head along after school - see the flyer later in the newsletter for more information.

Next Tuesday, 9th August, as part of Healthy Bones Week and our Healthy Eating Project, we will be preparing and serving a selection of warm soups for a gold coin donation in the OLC Kitchen from 1:20pm. On the day there will be a host of parent volunteers working with our community health promotion officer, Rheannon Owen, making delicious, healthy soups. Some of our student leaders will also assist and help promote the importance of healthy eating on the day. See the information later in the newsletter about this initiative also.

In next week’s family group session (Monday, 2:20), we will be engaging in our annual Jump Rope for Heart in support of the Heart Foundation. Sponsorship forms have been sent home, and we greatly appreciate any support you may be able to offer for this fundraising opportunity for the foundation. The students – and teachers – have a lot of fun every year engaging in this activity and this year will be no exception.

Lastly, there is a flyer in this newsletter asking for you to indicate your willingness to help out with this year’s major fundraiser – the Book Fair. It is important we have a large body of helpers to help sort in the lead up to the book fair, and then also on the days with assistance and in particular, clean up on the Sunday. The book fair committee have already put in an enormous amount of work planning, promoting and preparing for this year’s event. If you could fill this out and return it as soon as possible, it would be greatly appreciated. Many hands!

David Garner, Acting Principal

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