3rd February 2016
Dear Parents and Carers,
We have seen all of the children making a great start to school, quickly adapting to the school routines. This note is to outline a few housekeeping items and hopefully clarify some of your questions. We will go into greater detail at the upcoming Information Sessions.
On Tuesday 16th February there will be two Parent Information Sessions. The first will be held in the school hall at 2:45pm with Nick, (as all of the other teachers will be in the classroom at this time), with a second session at 6:45pm that same day in the Prep Learning Community, when all staff will be present. We will be covering lots of key information during these sessions, including handing out individual reading folders, so we are very keen to see everybody at one of these.
There are several avenues for communication from and with staff. These are:
The Prep Learning Community Blog (via the school website),
email (see below),
by phone at the School Office,
Parent Teacher Online (see ‘Three Way Interviews’ below),
via the school app (available for smart phones from the Apple Store or Google Play),
on the window in the main entrance to the Prep building (where there is a weekly timetable displayed),
via the school newsletter which is emailed to all families once per fortnight,
via the school calendar (found on the school website),
as well as face-to-face in homerooms every morning for a brief discussion before school from 8:30am until 8:50am.
If you require a longer discussion we can arrange an appropriate time after school. We operate an ‘open door’ policy and welcome the chance to answer questions and deal with concerns at the earliest opportunity.
Miss Budd: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Farrelly: email@example.com
Mrs Richard: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs Robertson: email@example.com
We would stress that whilst teachers check their emails daily, notifying absences and other more urgent messages should be directed via the school office, (in person or by phone), to ensure that they reach the correct person promptly.
Every child has been allocated a Grade 6 Buddy for the duration of their Prep year. A list of these will be added to the Prep Blog. There are several occasions when these children mix and work together throughout the school year. We will be holding a Buddy Picnic on the school oval at 5:30pm-7:00pm on Tuesday 1st March, when both Prep and Grade 6 parents are invited to bring along a picnic and get to know the family of their respective buddies. The children will be playing various games during the evening.
Across the school each year level celebrates a Sunday Mass at St Therese Church. The Prep Family Mass is on Sunday 21st February at 8.45am. The children have been learning a song that they will be performing. This will also be a chance to meet with other Prep families for a cup of tea or coffee after Mass. Every term there will be a Wednesday Mass. Dates for these can be found on the school calendar (via the school website)..
Once a month on a Tuesday afternoon there is a whole school assembly in the School Hall, where children from all year groups share their learning. Parents are invited to attend and dates for these can be found on the school calendar (via the school website).
Thursday (fortnightly) – Specialist Day.
Specialist day involves the following subject areas: Physical Education (Mrs Quinn), Art (Mrs Humphreys) and Library (Mrs Robertson, assisted by our School Librarian, Angie Clifford).
Additionally, Music is taught by Miss Budd on Mondays.
Children wear their sports uniform every Monday and every Thursday.
Initially your child will take home a Library book, so please take the opportunity to read this or another book with your child each night. As the term progresses, the majority of children will have a cut up sentence to be pasted into a small book (kept in their blue reading satchel). The procedure for your child’s sentence book will be outlined at our Information Sessions and blue satchels will be handed out at this time. If you are unable to attend one of the sessions, you will need to arrange to meet with your child’s teacher so that they can explain how to use this before your child brings it home. As children progress at their own speed with their reading they will start to select individual books to bring home to read with you.
Teachers are available for ‘Three Way Interviews’ (parent, child and teacher), every second Wednesday after school, throughout the year.
The expectation is that each family will have at least one interview per semester. These interviews can be booked via the school website, using PTO (Parent Teacher Online) and your personal codes. We will need to wait until homerooms have been allocated before you can access this.
During Term 1 you may choose to book-in for a home visit. These are optional, and are an opportunity for your child to share something that is important to them with their homeroom teacher. Visits are for about 10 – 15 minutes and given that we will have several visits to make we will need to stick fairly closely to that time frame. We are planning to offer Home Visits on the Prep rest days (Wednesdays in Weeks 5, 6 and 7), once we have allocated home rooms. A timetable for home visits will be posted inside the Prep area for you to fill in for a time that suits you.
Each year on the Prep rest days we timetable individual assessments to determine your child’s starting point for learning. Assessments take approximately one hour. These assessments are for your child only, so please feel free to leave them and come back to collect them after this time. If you haven’t already selected a time please do so in the coming days.
Allergies and Asthma
St Therese is a ‘nut aware’ school so we ask that lunches and snacks do not contain nuts. If your child has an allergy or asthma please ensure that we have a copy of your child’s current management plan
Please be at school by around 8.45am, giving your child plenty of time to unpack their bag and be ready for the start of the school day. Please encourage your child to do this for themselves and to take care of their own belongings. Please also make sure all items are labelled, including hats, jumpers, food containers and lids.
If your child is absent please phone the office and leave a message or write a note for their Homeroom teacher.
Already many families provide lunches that are 100% wrapper free. This is a fantastic achievement! We hope to continue to build upon this in 2016 as we work towards a sustainable future. With this in mind please consider buying large packets of snacks or tubs of yoghurt rather than individual packets. These can be placed in small reusable containers each day.
Fruit / Vegetable Snack
Each morning at around 10.00am we stop for a fruit/vegetable break, so please ensure that your child has fresh fruit or vegetables to eat at this time.
Parent helpers are an important part of our school week. We actively encourage parents to assist throughout the school day. A ‘sign up’ sheet will be displayed in the Prep space in the coming weeks. We are also seeking parent support as we improve our outdoor learning areas, for example, working with the children in our garden areas. If you are interested please let us know. A Working With Children Check is required for parents assisting at school, so please register your Working With Children Check with our school office.
Currently we are observing the children and their interactions with their peers and in the next few weeks we will finalise home groups. Once we have completed this process a note will be sent home detailing your child’s homeroom and the name of their teacher.
Kindergarten Transition Forms
We have collected most of the transition forms from the kindergartens and child care centres, if you still have your child’s transition form at home please bring it into school.
We stress the importance of labeling everything belonging to your child, especially lunch boxes, including lids, jumpers and hats.
If children choose to bring toys from home to school (eg. Sports equipment, footy cards, etc), please be aware that your child needs to take full responsibility for looking after these.
The Parents and Friends will be making pancakes for all children. Please let us know if your child is unable to eat pancakes. We ask that the children bring a plate and fork for their pancake.
Hot Dog Orders
Once the children commence coming to school on Wednesday they can order hot dogs on alternate weeks.
Hot dogs can be ordered on a list in the classroom. See school calendar for hot dog days.
Please be vigilant in checking your child’s hair on a regular basis. It is important that everyone does this to ensure we have few cases of head lice. Information can be found at ‘Scratching for Answers’ online at health.vic.gov.au/headlice
Please inform your child’s homeroom teacher if your child has head lice.
Thank you for your support.
We look forward to seeing you all at the Information Sessions,
Gerardine Farrelly, Michelle Budd, Helene Richard, Hannah Robertson and Nick Kenwright