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Feb 2014

Week 5 update

The swimming program finished on such a positive note that we have a large participation rate scheduled by the students in the House Swimming Sports this Friday. A full report will appear next week.

The nine students who participated in the Regional Swimming last Sunday at the Eureka Pool were all recognised in assembly this week. Thank you to the parents for their support and well done to Mr Kiellerup who supported the children on the day. Good luck to Jonas and Fin who advanced through to the next level.

This week our Family Groups started. It was very pleasing to see how the older children took on the responsibility to pick up their Prep buddy from the classroom and take them to their Family group and introduce them to their Family teacher and other students.


The KG program also started this week. We are very pleased to once again to be offering this program, remembering that this program is not funded by the Department of Education or by the Stephanie Alexander Foundation. This program has been totally funded by the fund raising efforts of the school. A small contribution is required by the parents/carers of participating children, but this falls well short of the total money required to run a full program. Some minor changes have been put in place to cater for the growth in the number of classes at 5/6, but we are still able to provide a program which is very pleasing. Due to timetabling restraints in semester two, we are unable to provide this program for the 5/6 students.
There are a number of things that parents can do to help this program remain viable. They include; mediatory payment of the KG levy, volunteer in the KG program, help sell our KG recipe book and write a letter to the Gonski Review, As a government school it is vital we give a clear message to the Senate Enquiry that we need federal funding over 6 years not 4 years as suggested by the current Federal Education minister.

Thank you to all parents/carers who have booked a time for parent/teacher interviews. Places are filling quickly. Please action on this asap to avoid disappointment.

Next week we are starting our breakfast program. Monday morning all students in Prep – Grade 3 are invited to attend breakfast before school and on Friday all students in Grade 4- 6 are invited to attend. Starting time is 8.30 in the gym.

Finally, a reminder that School Council elections will be conducted over the coming month. If any parents are interested to know more about the workings of School Council, then please give me a call on 53482480.

Week 4 update

The swimming program has been a great success. The positive attitude of all the grade 3-6 students has resulted in improvement across all the age groups. Children are swimming distances they have never swum before. This is partly due to their persistence at sticking at something that is challenging and hard, but with a lot of good quality practice, change is occurring.

I have challenged all the 3-6 children to take this positive approach that they are displaying in the pool into the classroom and persist with their learning of maths, reading, writing and working with others.

Well done to all the parents/carers who have organised the children’s swimming gear for nine straight days to enable the strong outcomes we have witnessed.

We are looking forward to the House Swimming Sports on Friday 28th. All parents are welcome and if you wish to help out on the day, simply approach Mr Kiellerup.

I would like to wish all the students, competing this Sunday at the Eureka Swimming Pool in Ballarat, at the Regional Swimming Event all the best. Thank you to Mr Kiellerup and all the parents who are supporting the children this weekend.

Next week we start a new timetable, this is to accommodate our Family Groups Program on Monday afternoon, the commencement of the Kitchen Garden Program, CRE and Buddhism.
To allow parents/carers to check in with the classroom teachers and our specialists, we have allocated two nights to parent/teacher interviews. Have you put aside time on either Tuesday 11th March or Wednesday 12th March? The parent/teacher interview booking sheets have been circulated with this newsletter. We ask you to action on this ASAP to avoid disappointment.

This early interview is designed for parents/carers only, students are NOT to attend. Also only ONE timeslot per child can be offered, we are unable to accommodate two interviews per family, per child, and therefore we welcome shared interview communication. Alternatively please arrange an interview with the classroom teacher on another occasion.

Finally, the Department of Education is having a big push on school attendance, which I thoroughly agree with and support. Can I therefore refer you to the back two pages of our newsletter and ask you to strongly support the notion that ‘Every Day Counts’.

Week 3 update

We are continuing to build on our positive start to the year. Many of our students were recognised in our assembly for their positive manners and 5/6F role modelled some excellent ways in which we can display good manners.

In ‘Daily Five’ we are continuing to build stamina in reading and parents can support this by reading to or with their child every night.

We are continuing to build on our positive start to the year. Many of our students were recognised in our assembly for their positive manners and 5/6F role modelled some excellent ways in which we can display good manners.
In ‘Daily Five’ we are continuing to build stamina in reading and parents can support this by reading to or with their child every night.

Thank you to the parents and children who assisted at the Regional Produce Day on Sunday, by way of volunteering their time to sell our KG recipe books. The selling of the books supports our KG program and they are still available from our front desk and other outlets around town such as the Visitors Centre, so please continue to promote this beautiful book.

At our next School Council meeting, we will be discussing School Council elections prior to our AGM which is held in March. If you are interested to know more about the role of a school councillor, then please make a time to come and talk to me about it, before I call for School Council nominations early next month.

Week 2 update

An excellent start to the school year continues to unfold. Our Preps are settling in very well as are our new students. Children are presenting well in school uniform and arriving on time, despite our challenging weather patterns. Well done to all our families on such a positive start to the school year.

Bus Captains, House Captains and School Captains all received their badges this week at assembly and have made a good start in their perspective roles.
At assembly this week, I reinforced very strongly, that at DPS we work very hard on showing respect on a daily basis. The fortnightly focus of good manners is one small example of that, but showing respect to others goes well beyond good manners and I have high expectations of ALL members of our school community that we treat each other with respect on every occasion.

School is about learning. Learning behaviours develop over time. Good learning habits require practice and persistence. One way we are receiving this is through our whole school focus on the Daily Five.

The Daily Five is a way of structuring the reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research based tasks are ones that will have the biggest impact on student reading and writing achievement, as well as help children foster the love to reading and writing. Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while the teacher provides focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students.

When it is up and running smoothly, students will be engaged in the Daily Five, which is comprised of:
  • Read to Self
  • Work on Writing
  • Read to Someone
  • Listen to Reading
  • Word Work

There are very specific behaviour expectations that go with each Daily 5 component. We will spend our first weeks working intensely on building our reading and writing stamina, learning the behaviours of the Daily 5 and fostering our classroom community. The staff will also spend time learning about your child’s strengths and greatest needs as a reader in order to best plan for each student’s instruction.

Your child will be taught to select “Good Fit Books” or books they can read, understand and are interested in, which they will read during Daily 5. They will be spending most of their time actually reading, which research supports as the number one way to improve reading. I anticipate the motivation and enjoyment of reading will skyrocket when this gift of choosing their own books is accompanied by extended practice and specific reading instruction for each individual child.

It won’t be long until you hear your child talking about “The Daily Five.” The purpose of this report is to fill you in on what The Daily Five is all about, so you don’t have to nod your head while wondering what in the world your child is referring to.

As you can see, I am excited about giving your child the opportunity to be involved in a structure that will have a positive effect on their education.

A reminder that the grade 3-6 swimming program starts on Monday for the next 9 school days. No swimming on Friday 21st Feb due to DSC swimming sports. Our House Swimming Sports are on Friday 28th Feb. All are welcome, if any parents are able to assist on the day please leave a message for Mr Kiellerup our Sports Co-ordinator.

A new school year

Welcome back to school, for what I am sure will be an exciting and eventful year.

I would like to offer a warm welcome, to all our new students and families in Prep and our new students and families across the school.

A lot of work has been completed over the break, including painting, watering (thank you to the parents who assisted), installing of sounds systems, work on our grounds, and staff working within their classrooms.

I would like to introduce our new staff. Firstly, David Garner has been appointed into the position of Assistant Principal and his main roles will be Student Wellbeing and Curriculum across the school. We welcome David and I ask parents to introduce themselves to David over the course of the term. We also welcome Emily Joyce who will be teaching in Grade 1 and Tom Powell who will be teaching Grade 5/6. Nadine Jankowski has joined the team at Drummond PS and we welcome her as well.

We are seeking parent volunteers for one hour of their time between 10am & 4pm on Sunday 9th February for the Annual Regional Producers Day 2014 to be held at the Lake House, Daylesford, where we will be selling our Kitchen Garden Recipe Book. Please contact me if you can assist.

The school community was shocked and saddened by the news of Ivor Bowen’s death. Ivor a member of U3A, volunteered his time to all three schools for over a decade. Ivor will be remembered for his gentle approach with the children, for his mentoring and as the Grandfather of DPS, as we so affectionately referred to him. Our sincere condolences and a tribute of his contribution have been passed on to his family.

Due to lower numbers of enrolments in Prep than we were expecting, we are calling for enrolments into that level. Also due to the spread of children across the school we have put a thirteen class structure in place. This however places considerable strain on our funding and therefore a few adjustments are required. Firstly, LOTE will not be delivered by a specialist teacher at Yandoit and Drummond and choir is under review and may not be able to be offered this year. We await the outcome of our Census at the end of February and funding model that we will receive for 2014.

Finally, a reminder to parents that the grade 3-6 swimming program starts on Monday 10th Feb. A parent letter will have been sent home outlining costs etc.

Peter Burke,
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