It was fantastic to see so many parents at our conferences last week. It was a great opportunity to meet with you and discuss your children's progress and strategies for how we can partner together.
If you were unable to come to conferences, please contact your child's teachers via email if you have any questions, or to arrange a phone call in place of the conferences.
Near-misses in the car park
In the last two weeks, we have had a few dangerous near-misses in the car park. In front of A Block, a student walked part-way across the crossing, then across three directions of traffic to get to the grassed area. A car coming out of the staff car park stopped just in time.
Another incident occurred in front of the ELC after the crossings were un-patrolled. A child walked across the car park to their parent, who was engaged in conversation and not aware that a car had just stopped to let the child cross in the wrong place. These are just two of the reasons why I write these safety messages regularly.
Please insist that your children are following the school rules and only using crossings to cross the road. This applies to Secondary students also, who must set the example of safety to impressionable younger students. Please avoid parking on the council land grassed area, as there is no safe place to cross, and please help us to keep your children safe by supervising them carefully in the car park.
Primary playground supervision
Another area of concern is the Primary School playground. This is supervised by teachers until 3:35pm each afternoon, then it is closed to students. Please ensure you have collected your children by 3:35pm each afternoon. After this time, any unsupervised children will be sent to the office to await collection by parents. If you are in the school grounds at this time, please ensure your children are with you.
Friendship Day Free Dress - Last day of Term 1
Next Friday 31 March we are celebrating Friendship Day as part of the Primary School "KidsMatter" initiative. The whole College from Prep to Year 12 will be able to wear free dress on this day and are asked to bring a gold coin donation. All proceeds will go to the Royal Children's Hospital Good Friday Appeal.
Please ensure that College requirements are maintained as per the Uniform Dress Code Handbook and that all sun-smart rules are adhered to:
School photos are scheduled for Prep to Year 12 on Tuesday 2 May. All students are expected to be in full winter academic uniform. For Primary students, this includes the College windcheater, and for Secondary students, this includes the College tie and blazer. If students have sport on this day, they must wear academic uniform to school and change after photos have been taken.
Photos for the ELC 3-Year-Old group are on 19 May, and for the ELC 4-Year-Old group, photos are scheduled for 23 May. Parents of ELC4 children who do not usually attend on Tuesdays are welcome to bring their child in for inclusion in the photos.
Now is the time to ensure your winter uniform is ready, as all College students must wear winter uniform from Thursday 20 April, the first day after the Easter break.
NAPLAN Online in 2017
Last year, Bayside Christian College was part of the pilot trial to undertake NAPLAN (National Assessment Program-Literacy and Numeracy) testing online in in 2017. Due to the successful pilot, we are now going ahead with the real thing. All children in years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will undertake the NAPLAN during the week of 8-12 May. Year 3 students will still do the writing component using paper-based tests. The study showed that most Year 3 children are not ready to compose and type at the same time, and they performed better when doing the writing component using handwriting.
For the tests, all children in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will need to use headphones or earbuds to listen to instructions and to the personal spelling words. Most children already have headphones, but now is the time to double check that they have not been lost or broken, or are otherwise in need of replacement. Please take this opportunity to check with your child if they need headphones replaced.
The rewards of reading
One of the joys I have in my role is attending both Primary and Secondary assemblies, and seeing the efforts of students recognised and rewarded. Often a student is celebrated for achieving milestones in nights of reading, or the number of books read in the online reading program, Accelerated Reader. But gaining a certificate of recognition is the least reason to read; reading has so many of its own rewards. In a survey of 1600 children, the children reported these eight benefits of reading:
1. Discovering new worlds - an opportunity to imagine and visit places they might never otherwise go,
2. Being entertained - reading things that are funny, sad or interesting, or just escaping boredom!
3. Exercising their minds - children reported learning new things, and becoming better and better at reading and feeling proud of their improvement,
4. Improving vocabulary - using new words they might not have heard otherwise; an 8-year-old loved the word 'idiosyncrasies'!
5. Connecting with someone special - for example when mums, dads and grandparents read together with children, creating a special bond,
6. Improving writing - kids who loved to read were often inspired to write their own stories,
7. Escaping worries - reading provided a way to not have to think about the bad news on the television, and
8. Relaxing before bed - many children loved to read to help them relax and be ready to sleep well.
You can read the comments children said here. I hope you find, and share the joys of reading with your children.