From the Principal

I never cease to be amazed by how fast the term passes and the number of events that are on the go at William Carey. NAPLAN testing has gone smoothly and High School students in the midst of sitting exams, receiving exam results and feedback or receiving Semester 1 reports. Where your children are in this process will depend on their year group. The Primary School enjoyed the much improved weather on the day of their rescheduled Cross Country Carnival. It was great to see many parents encouraging the children, as well as the students enjoying a range of activities to complement the main events. Congratulations to all those students who completed their cross country runs.

Parent/School Partnership

During the Year 3-6 Dance, I had the opportunity to meet with parents to discuss the concept of parent/school partnership. A healthy parent/school partnership is vital to the effective functioning of a learning community such a William Carey. I put the following quote to the group:

“Like dragon boat racing, both teaching and parenting are about community and cooperation.” – Jane Hoogendam-Reitsma

For a dragon boat team to be effective, all those paddling, both sides of the boat, need to be paddling in the same direction at the same time. For a parent/school partnership to be effective, it is firstly vital that we both understand that we share the same interest – that is we both want what is best for your child.

Secondly, both the parents and the staff need to have a clear understanding of the fair and reasonable expectations we have of one another. If these two concepts are in place our ‘dragon boat’ will remain stable and run effectively, even when travelling over bumpy water (if I can stretch the analogy that far).

Our discussion at the Year 3-6 Dance parent meeting was most energetic and engaging as we discussed what were fair and reasonable expectations for parents to have of the school, and expectations that the school should have of the parents.

Key themes that came through the discussion were:

  • Clear and regular communication from both parents and the school
  • Students to be well known, well cared for and well taught
  • Consistency in application of school policies by the school and the parents providing support to the school in relation to these policies
  • Involvement in the life of the school community by parents (supporting the school and one another)

Clear dialogue based on fair and reasonable expectations of each other will strengthen our community and allow us to navigate difficult situations far more successfully.

Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners have featured highly at school this term. Like Tek Dek skateboards, Beyblades, Tazos and many more, fidget spinners appear to have become the must have playground item. Discussion on the merits of fidget spinners has recently appeared in articles in major newspapers as these toys have become commonplace in schools. Our post on fidget spinners on our School’s Facebook page has had one of the highest rates of activity. You can read the original article here.

These spinners may have a calming effect and there is anecdotal evidence they may have beneficial outcomes for improving attention and settled behaviour in some individuals. However, I have not seen any research based evidence that would support the widespread use of these devices. For most of our students, the fidget spinners are an enjoyable and fashionable toy like those listed above. It is likely their popularity will wane and become a fond memory.

Thus, I am asking that all students and staff treat fidget spinners in line with our school’s current approach to other toys. That is, that fidget spinners are put away and stored safely so that they do not appear during class time.  If parents wish their child to be permitted to make use of a fidget spinner during class time for therapeutic reasons, a written request along with supporting documentation should be sent to Mrs McCleary (Primary) or Mrs Anderson (High School). I trust that I have the support of the school community on this matter.

 

On a final note, ONE MORE SLEEP UNTIL BRICKFEST!!!!!!!!

I hope you can come to enjoy a great day for those who are young and those who are young-at-heart. I look forward to seeing you here and saying hello.

 

Keith McMullen
Principal

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23