Blog 26 June 2019

Last week I was invited to go to Geraldton as part of a Department of Education school review team to review two schools. A new process of school review means the 800 public schools in WA are now reviewed by an external team every three years. Each team comprises a director and a principal who visit the school to interview staff and parents and review data.  It was a great opportunity which I very much enjoyed.

Richmond has of course continued to be a very busy place in my absence.

First, thank you very much to Tony and Chris, the P&C and everyone involved in the quiz night, which was a huge success.  Proceeds will go towards the P&C centenary nature playground project. This project aims to redevelop the area between the library and year 1 classrooms in a nature play style.  It is a big project that will be completed in stages.  Initial fundraising will go towards finalising a staged plan.  Last year, early childhood parents and students were surveyed to get ideas, which will be incorporated, and a number of professional nature playground designers have been consulted.   The P&C is forming a nature playground sub-committee to steer this project – if you are interested in being part of this please contact Claire:  cterry@bigpond.net.au

Semester 1 reports will be sent home via CONNECT next Wednesday. The CONNECT Help Team have suggested that any issues with logging in are likely due to your device’s browser settings. They advise:  Clear your cache history; if your child is using CONNECT on the same device, ensure they have logged off before you log on; if you are using more than one device or are using the app and a browser, be aware that when you change your password on one log-in, it will affect the other; you could have your old settings (user name and old password) on another device.

Willetton Uniforms has been sold to Uniform Concepts. Their store in High Rd will be closing down at the end of term on 5th July. You can still visit the store until then to make any uniform purchases however our school uniform is now also available from the Uniform Concepts Super Store, located just around the corner at 30 Kembla Way, next door to Campion.  Our School Board will continue to monitor service delivery.

The P&C’s school banking program has moved to the library on Tuesdays due to cold and wet weather.

On the last day of term some of our instrumental music students will perform at assembly. Please do ask your child whether they are performing. Everyone is welcome to attend.

A couple of incidentals – just a reminder that the playground by the library is for children in years 1-3.  It is too high for younger children and they are not allowed on it during school time. I’d encourage parents to keep them away from it after school too; and a quick request to keep reminding your children that if you are delayed at 3pm they are to go to the library to tell Lara and to wait for you there rather than wandering around the school.  Please could everyone avoid allowing children to play at school unsupervised after 3pm.

Finally, next week is NAIDOC week and we have lots of activities planned, which I will post on Facebook as they happen.

Today, as I type,  JCCA’s Senior Contemporary Band is performing for us.  There is always something ‘extra’ happening to enhance learning.

Thanks to everyone for continuing to keep sick children at home to stop the virus spreading and I wish everyone a healthy and happy final week of semester.

Lisa Dentith

Blog 12 June 2019

This week we have started a lunchtime debating club, had a visit from children’s entertainer Barry Peters, taken delivery of two new buddy benches and continued with bike education for year 4.  This despite being significantly affected by colds and flu, with some classes only half full, and lots of children (and staff) feeling under the weather.

Thanks to everyone for keeping sick children at home as we try to get on top of the virus spreading further.

We encourage children to come with wet weather gear and we have a big pile of fleece jackets in lost property waiting to be claimed. It would be great if you could label all jackets clearly – an identifying label or badge sewn externally is entirely acceptable and sensible – so that your child can find their jacket, even if someone else is wearing it.

We all know the benefits of unstructured outdoor play for emotional regulation and growth, but for a wide range of reasons children these days are less likely to be playing outside on their bicycles, climbing trees, swinging on swings or hanging on monkey bars, which reduces opportunities to meet their sensory needs. Much of their time is scheduled and structured.

At school we are always reviewing best practice in this area and building our repertoire and resources to provide access to sensory tools which develop our students’ understanding of their needs and the needs of others.

Some of the things our students are already doing are:

  • Using sensory tools – each classroom has timers, wheat bags, fidget cubes, kinetic sand and tactile objects.
  • Using wobble cushions, and wobbly stools.
  • Having lessons outside sometimes, getting up and about and using our outdoor stage.
  • Having fruit and water breaks.
  • Using the nature play area and kitchen garden and joining gardening club and our seed to plate program.
  • Learning about protective behaviours.
  • Learning how to self-regulate using the Zones of Regulation program.
  • Respecting and learning about our values.
  • Playing in unstructured ways.
  • Using reflection sheets in a guided, restorative way to restore appropriate behaviour.

Of course the aim is for students to develop the skills to recognise when they are becoming dysregulated or ‘in the yellow or red zone’ as we call it, and to have a number of strategies that they can use to self-regulate or to ‘get back into the green zone’.

Thanks to parents for supporting us if your child has to complete a reflection sheet, and for using it as an opportunity for your child to learn and grow.

One group that is always out and about is our hugely energetic Dads of Richmond Kids.  I have put a new page on our website with information about the DoRKS.  You can find it here: http://richmondps.wa.edu.au/parents-community/dads-of-richmond-kids/

Class parent reps have done a fantastic job of collecting prizes for the P&C quiz night on Friday. Lots of people are getting excited about their costumes and it looks like it will be a lot of fun.  Once again the P&C has given 110% effort to create a brilliant event.  Thank you to everyone for supporting it. Just call Lara to reserve your table or seat on 9438 8700.

Thanks to the LIONS Club of East Fremantle which donates some of its monthly Riverside Market profit to Richmond P&C.  Their next market is this Sunday 16 June down on the East Fremantle riverside and I encourage everyone to support it.

Finally, I have been invited to go to Geraldton for a few days as part of a DoE school review team and I am looking forward to visiting some schools up there.  I will be away next week from Tuesday to Thursday inclusive. In my absence please contact Dave Carder as the principal.

Lisa Dentith

Blog 5 June 2019

It’s an increasingly busy world and one of the things we are starting to hear from secondary schools is that children need help to build more resilience.  This is a term that is often misunderstood. It isn’t about ignoring bad things or poor behaviour, or not reacting to stressful events.

Resilience doesn’t mean you don’t feel the intensity of the event or problem. Instead, it just means that you’ve found a good way of dealing with it to bounce back.  When things go wrong, resilience is what helps you to cope and get through hard times.  Our Zones of Regulation program and restorative justice practices are two practical programs we run here at school, but there are many strategies that all of us can implement every day to build resilience in our children.

There is more information here:   https://kidshelpline.com.au/teens/issues/building-resilience

The seminar on anxiety last week attracted a good audience and had some relevant and useful information that also links to resilience building.  This is the website for Resilience Kit:  https://www.resiliencekit.com.au/anxiety/how-to-help-with-anxiety/

We are constantly adding to our resources and strategies to address children’s sensory and emotional needs and this week have put a few wobble stools into classrooms. These stools are an aid for children to stay focussed and allow a range of movement without disturbing others.  The base is rounded, allowing the sitter to fidget to their heart’s content! So far, so good.

As our centenary approaches in 2021, the School Board is calling for interest from people who would like to join a Centenary Working Group to create a Richmond Centenary Book. Let me know if you are keen and more information will follow. The P&C is creating a nature playground as their centenary project and is consulting with designers and seeking grants.  Both projects are long term undertakings from these very enthusiastic and committed groups.

Thank you to everyone who sends in suggestions for programs or events that they would like us to run at school.  I run all ideas past the staff or P&C or School Board, but so many things are suggested every day that we just don’t have the time or resources to do them all, or sometimes they don’t fit into the curriculum.  We do pack a lot into most weeks, so please understand if we don’t run with your idea.  If you have a great idea that you would like to implement yourself, please let the P&C know in the first instance and they will table it at a meeting.

Thanks to everyone who has helped raise funds for our P&C from the Gilbert’s Fresh, Hilton SOS Program. Richmond PS has 116 supporters, who have raised $1,381 since we joined in October 2017. Similarly thank you to everyone who is putting their Woolworths stickers into the Richmond box at the supermarket each week.

Tables for the quiz night on June 14 are flying out of the door. There are just a few left.  Lots of people have taken advantage of the opportunity to reserve seats rather than a whole table.  The theme is ‘celebrity doppelganger’ which gives you scope for dressing up as much or as little as you want.  Some of the plans sound amazing and I think it will be a lot of fun! Just call Lara to reserve your table or seat on 9438 8700.

Lots of children are absent with colds this week, so stay warm and hopefully get well soon.

Lisa Dentith