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From the Principal

06.06.24

Dear Parents and Carers,

On Wednesday our Year 3/4 Classes and the Year 6 Ecology Team spent the morning working with Landcare at The Gums, planting many trees to celebrate World Environment Day. Our school has built a very productive and positive relationship with Landcare at The Gums since 2019. During this time our students have assisted with planting over 450 native plants. We are all very proud of our achievements and I would like to thank Gerry and Ian from The Gums Landcare Group for allowing us to be part of this very important initiative. We can certainly see how this area is being regenerated and preserved by our next generation of environmentalists.

I received an email from Ian, which I have included below:

Just a quick note to confirm how much we value our connection with you and your students at St Joseph’s School. Today was a celebration of the beauty and intricacy of the natural environment, it revealed how keenly your young people relate to its beauty and significance.

They were a pleasure to work with, we look forward to our next joint venture. Ian – Landcare

Building Update

We continue to see great progress with the Learning Street Project. Major sewage works are planned this week as well as completion of joinery and finally cladding of our instrumental rooms.

The weather, sewage works and some material delays have impacted on our completion date, especially for the exterior works, however we hope to be accessing the Learning Street towards the end of June.

The other exciting news for our school is that we are in the final planning stages for the construction of our new Sports Shed. We are waiting on council approval and hope to make a start on the shed very soon. This project has been funded by the hard work of the P & F and all the donations of our families through many fundraising initiatives over the last few years – this is very much appreciated by everyone, especially the students and our PE Specialist Ms Catherine White.

We are also working on our future Early Years Play space, which will be constructed in the NW corner of the courtyard, right in front of our new Reception classrooms. This play space will include a sand pit and water play. When more information becomes available we will provide a display in the front office.

Positive Behaviour Support PBS

Last term I mentioned that our school is introducing a behaviour education support program called PBS (Positive Behaviour in Schools). The program is designed to teach all students about positive behaviour and provide them with co designed agreements and procedures that align with school expectations. As well as building strong positive relationships, this provides students with a  real sense of belonging and a place to be safe.

Positive teacher–student relationships are supportive and fair, and develop in learning environments where students feel safe, understood and appreciated. Teachers build connections with students when they demonstrate respect and trust, and have empathy for their needs (McDonald, 2019).

With the introduction of PBS, the whole school is part of the process therefore this provides a consistent approach resulting in better behavioural outcomes for all students.

One main area of focus that has occurred in our training sessions is for schools to review and refine students’ understanding and appreciation of the school values. As a staff we have been reflecting on our values of Love, Respect, Justice, Gratitude and Excellence and how they are understood and demonstrated by our students each day. The PBS team has worked with staff to develop a more child friendly set of values, incorporating them into new simpler language and representation. Our new values or expectations are:

We are Respectful, We are Kind and We are Learners.

These new values provide our students with a greater sense of ownership and understanding as they are able to easily relate to being kind, respectful and constantly learning, especially when it comes to our behaviour. We believe it is easy to see how Love, Respect, Gratitude, Justice and Excellence can fit into these 3 new values.

Over the next few years, while we implement PBS, you will see that our students will be working on a wide range of expectations and procedures for students to be happy, safe and learning. An example of this happened today in the Year 1NC school assembly. The students presented the procedure and expectations for the classes on how to leave the assembly in a quiet and organised manner. The students provided a very teachable moment to the whole school, clearly explaining how and what to do when leaving a gathering. During this time, students could understand the need to be respectful to the presenters, kind to their classmates and take on new learning.

We plan to build on and provide many clear expectations for students so they experience a very positive and supportive environment for them to grow and flourish in their learning and overall wellbeing when at school and at home.

Drop off and Pick up

Just a reminder that over the last few weeks several families have received a fine for dropping off and picking up students on the solid yellow lines which are located before and after the Emu crossing. Can you please be mindful of these zones and use the correct zone provided.

Once again a reminder that you should not be queue up and around on to Magill Road as this is unsafe and blocks the flow of traffic. It is always best if you can keep driving and travel around the block until the drop off/pick up zone is free.

Thanks again for your support.

Kind regards

Adrian Grbin