Blog 21 August 2019

It was a riot of colour in the quad today as everyone embraced our book week parade. Thanks to all for supporting the children with their dress-ups despite the time and resource pressure that we are all under. It is a lovely start to the day for them, with music and lots of laughter. Older students still talk fondly about costumes they wore years ago.

From Monday to Wednesday next week, before and after school, we will continue book week activities with a used ‘wrapped book’ sale at the library to encourage reading. Each plain wrapped book will be for sale for a coin donation.  Though titles and authors will not be visible, books will be in age appropriate piles. It’d be fantastic if children brought a coin to school to buy themselves a surprise book.

You may have seen the recent ABC News article about school funding.   It certainly puts into perspective the differences between schools in terms of what they can possibly achieve in the area of capital works.

I’m happy to report that there has been visible progress on our building works recently with the roof being enclosed and internal works underway. We hope to move in early next term.  We will gain a dedicated medical room, in line with the current primary school standard, and a formal meeting room, which we have never had.  The foyer will be larger and enclosed and there will be more security, with the separation of students and the public in this area. Students will have back door access to the administration and will not have to wait in the foyer with visitors. Although it has been an inconvenient transition period, I am confident it will be worth it for everyone.

On the same theme, our Business Manager has been able to secure funds to replace the soft fall in the year 1-3 playground, which is great news as the area has become very worn. This will hopefully happen in the next few weeks.

I have also met with the P&C, designers and other stakeholders to start to plan the nature play development which will reinvigorate the play area from the library through to room 3.  A design is being created that we hope will make the space into a more engaging and attractive area, with interactive activities for learning through play. Thank you very much to this committed group for giving their time and expertise to get this idea off the ground and to the P&C body for their ongoing fundraising efforts to support this project.

“Research is telling us that engaged play outside not only builds healthier bodies, and emotional and social competence, it also helps kids to concentrate better in class”. Maggie Dent.

Our athletics carnivals, field and track, are fast approaching and all students from pre-primary to year 6 are in training.  Everyone will need to wear a faction T shirt on the day/s they compete. To make life easier, Uniform Concepts will be at school from 8.15 am – 9.00 am on Friday 30 August with a supply of faction tops and hats for sale. Each item retails at $14.00.

Finally, tomorrow Madjitil Moorna will teach our year 1 students some Noongar songs, and this Friday John Curtin College of the Arts’ brass quintet will perform for us. A musical end to the week to set a beautiful tone for the sunny weekend.

Lisa Dentith

Blog 15 August 2019

Yesterday was a flurry of activity at lunchtime as over 100 moon buggies competed to see which could travel the furthest. It was a massive entry rate – many thanks to everyone who supported this activity at home.  Year group winners will receive their certificates at assembly tomorrow and will later race off to find the fastest buggy in the school.

Today some classes have tried out squash during physical education.  Others have launched rockets on the oval in science, having studied Newton’s Third Law.  There are photos on Facebook.

Our recent semester one attendance data indicates that 87% of our students have what is termed ‘regular attendance’.  This means that they attended more than 90% of the time (less than one day off per fortnight).

The other 13% of our students are in attendance ‘risk’ categories:  10% of students averaged more than one day off per fortnight; and 3% of students averaged more than one day off per week.  Most of these absences were due to family holidays, which are generally one-off events.

Concern rises of course if the absences continue over time. Averaging a day off a fortnight from kindergarten to year 12 (90% attendance rate) equates to one and a half years’ worth of absences by the time they leave school.

Many thanks for keeping an eye on your child’s attendance rate, which you can find at the end of all of their semester reports.

We had a very high number of kindergarten applications for 2020.  I have written to everyone this week and hope to have places completely finalised by September.

At the other end of the school, remember that your year 6 child needs to be enrolled in a secondary school now, as testing is underway in many schools.

Some things coming home –

  • The annual P&C / year 6 parent disco is planned for years 1-6, on Friday 30 August at the East Fremantle Football Club. Permission slips have gone home.
  • Junior swimming lessons for year 1-3 will start soon and run from 16-27 September. Letters are on their way home.
  • Student NAPLAN reports will be released to schools mid-September. We will send them home to parents when we receive them.

Finally, the P&C is keen for everyone to use online canteen ordering – the link is here:  CANTEEN – and to volunteer to help out when you can. Every shift helps. Sincere thanks to all those who have volunteered so far.

Lisa Dentith

Blog 7 August 2019

It was very exciting for everyone to see our artwork displayed on the 45m digital tower in Yagan Square this week. It will be there until Sunday (it plays at about 12.03pm daily) and is representing the Town of East Fremantle at the WA Local Government Convention.  Each of our students contributed a piece to the mosaic, so it is a real team effort. Thank you to our very talented visual art teacher Jody Scott and to the ToEF.  It looks brilliant.  I have posted a photo on Facebook.

The Dads of Richmond Kids bowling night went well, both with the bowling and with the post-game discussion about the Fathering Project, DoRKs and parenting in general. Thanks for everyone’s support. There is more information about the importance of dads groups here: https://thefatheringproject.org/dads-groups/

Congratulations to our cross country team, who came second in the chase for the interschool meritorious shield this week. A number of our top runners did not run on the day, and I’d like to thank all the reserves who stood up and ran their hearts out. Special mention to Oli, who won the interschool silver medal for year 6 boys. In an A division competition, this is a huge achievement. Well done everyone!

On Friday, everyone from pre-primary to year 6 will be learning about the ToEF FOGO bin system, which we will introduce next week at school. Our student Environmental Leaders will be presenting the information, with a ToEF officer. It would be really helpful if you could talk to your children about the new system and let them practise this week, so that the information is familiar to them.

Primary Extension and Challenge (PEAC) programs are year 5 and 6 external courses run by the Education Department. Entry to the program is on merit, based on a test which all year 4 students sit. This year’s test will be next Wednesday, 14 August at 9.00am at school and information has been sent home to year 4 parents. There’s more information about PEAC here:  https://www.education.wa.edu.au/primary-program

Kate does such a great job in the canteen, but is really short of volunteers this term. So many schools are closing down their canteen service and it makes us appreciate ours all the more.  Volunteering can be from 8.30am till 1.00pm or just 8.30am till 11.00am. Your children get a free lunch and love to see you there.  It’d be great if you could consider inviting grandparents, friends, older (adult) siblings etc to volunteer too.  Please just let us know if you can help.

Unfortunately, one of our students was recently bitten on the leg by a dog on the oval after school hours.  As everyone knows, dogs are not permitted on the school grounds for OS&H reasons. If anyone has further information about this incident, please could you let me know.

Thanks to the many parents who have given us their up to date AIR statement, which you can access here:  AIR

Finally, it was great to see Maggie Dent liking one of our Facebook posts this week!

Thank you very much for your support of this blog and website.  Each week, within 24 hours of the blog being published there are over 500 hits. It speaks volumes about the Richmond community.

Have a happy and safe week,

Lisa Dentith