Latest News & Reminders
Thoughts and Reflections
I interview every new parent and student who want to enrol at our school. The exception is any new Prep who goes through our extensive Prep Orientation Program. The only reason I do not interview each new Prep is due to the volume, which approaches 100 new students per year. I was reflecting the other day the types of things I say to new parents and the key messages I attempt to convey. I use the chat as an opportunity to explain what I expect as Principal when a new family enters the school as well as finding out about the family and the child.
Some key points and questions that I project to the parents include:
- Does your child have a good attendance record? I tell the parents that we cannot teach someone who is not in the room. I tell them that keeping children home for birthdays, or to go shopping, is negligent and disrespectful to their child's education. I discuss how low attendance usually equals low outcomes and that low outcomes equal diminished life opportunities in adulthood.
- Will you, as parents, support the policies of the school? I tell parents that even if they do not agree with the policies, they must support them and be on the same page as the school. I tell them that if they are in conflict with the school over an issue or a policy; then their child will become the victim as parent/school are at odds and the children get confused. I tell the parents that if they do not like the policies of the school, they should enrol somewhere else where they agree with the policies. I use the story that if I don't like the goods at Kmart - I choose not to shop there. I don't stay in Kmart and complain.
- I ask the parents if they value education. If they don't, then we do and that might cause some problems with the messages that children get. I ask parents if they are willing to read with their children. To support the homework completion. To react positively if the school contacts them with a problem.
- I ask about health and wellbeing issues the child may have and how it is important that we know about these so we can best support their child.
While it may sounds a little strong in its message, I have no issue with handing parents the high expectations that we have at Lara Lake and let them consider if we really are the best choice for their child. Our school is not perfect; we are working towards it. We always will be a work in progress and there will be things that parents see that they wish were a bit different.
Despite all of this, we are an outstanding school. We have such lovely students and parents and we have hardworking and dedicated teachers who strive to do what is right. We have a strong vision and work to a collective game plan. In all, we are pretty good and are striving to continuously improve.
I would urge all parents to read through the messages that I give to new parents and ask themselves the same queries. More than anyone, I want parents and their school to be on the same page. If this isn't the case, shopping somewhere other than Kmart (to continue the analogy) is the other option. I encourage choice. But, more importantly, I encourage teams - and students, parents, staff and the school is one big team who need to be on the same page for the sake of the kids.
This coming week sees the start of our trial with Departmental Assemblies. That means there will be no Whole School Assembly on Friday, July 25th. The students in Grades Prep-2 will assemble at about 2:50pm in the Old Hall and have their assembly. The children in Grades 3-6 will assemble in the New Gymnasium at about 2:50pm with a separate assembly.
The reason we are trialling Department Assemblies this term is to have some sense of team in the two Departments. Mr Zane Moylan is the Leading Teacher for the Grades 3-6 and he and his team will have some quite separate messages to convey to the group compared to the P-2's. Ms Simone Weidner will lead her P-2 team at their assembly.
Whole School Assemblies will occur every second week and should become even more special given that there are fewer of them. Principal's Awards will still be given out to students at Whole School Assemblies, while the You Can Do It Awards will be handed out at Department Assemblies.
With the increase in population of the school over the last few years, the handing out of over 60 awards each week made it a real stretch for the concentration spans of the students who were sitting on the floor for upwards of 45 minutes. For the Prep-2 children, this is way beyond a reasonable expectation of attention. Kids of that age need to move every 10 minutes or so; otherwise, they just do not absorb what is said and the purpose of the assembly is lost. With the Department Assemblies, there is more scope to have the children move around during assembly and it can be far more dynamic merely due to the lower numbers in the larger space.
Whenever anything is trialled, we ask for goodwill and patience while we give it our best shot. Parents are still more than welcome to attend any of the assemblies. Sure, there will be pros and cons to both systems; but I am very confident that whatever we do at Lara Lake will be done well and there will be enormous benefits for students in the long run. If parents have children in both Departments, simply choose one per fortnight to attend. I am sure your children will think it is even more special if you attend both over time.
Term 3 Assembly Dates and Times:
- Whole School Assembly: 18 July @ 2:30pm
- Department Assembly: 25 July @ 2:50pm
- Whole School Assembly: 1 August @ 2:30pm
- Department Assembly: 8 August @ 2:50pm
- Pupil Free Day: 15 August
- Whole School Assembly: 22 August @ 2:30pm
- Department Assembly: 29 August @ 2:50pm
- Whole School Assembly: 5 September @ 2:30pm
- Department Assembly: 12 September @ 2:50pm
- Whole School Assembly: 19 September @ 2:30pm
Good Luck Mrs Leddin and Mrs Kelson
Mrs Leddin and Mrs Kelson leave work at the end of this week to prepare for the delivery of their first child. It is such an exciting time for these two fantastic ladies who have been at our school for a number of years. Each of them started their careers at Lara Lake and they have seen the school grow, as we have seen them both grow (figuratively, of course). I know I join the entire Lara Lake School Community in wishing them (and their unborns) health and happiness as they move into an exciting new phase of life. I know we will see them back in the years to come after they take their family leave.
We welcome Miss Kirby Rumsey into Mrs Kelson's class next week and also Mrs Cathy Dowling into Mrs Leddin's class. We are so lucky to have outstanding teachers to replace Mrs Leddin and Mrs Kelson and that our children's learning will not miss a beat.
We have been advised that placement for 2015 high school students will not be confirmed until the 20th of August and no student is confirmed as enrolled at a secondary school until that time....
KKDance will be operating from the Bisinella Centre. Please view the attached information if you are interested in dance classes.
A District Basketball Tournament for selected students from Grade 6 is planned for Wednesday 30th July, however this is still to be decided if it will go ahead.
Coming up this term is the District Athletics for selected students on Friday 22nd of August at Goldsworthy Athletics track.
Feedback on this year's suite of rewards continues to be exceptional and we are really excited to see an increased interest in this year's reward items. The handball has continued in its...
On Thursday 31st July the YCDI games will be in full swing. Students should have brought home a notice which outlines the country they are representing.
In the gym and the library...
A new slush puppy machine has arrived (just in time for winter). The most popular food remains the Dino Snacks, which are tempura style chicken breast in dinosaur shapes with no artificial colours...
Exciting times! The new 2015 Prep students have been enrolling and the first round of acceptance letters were sent out in late June.
The Orientation Program letters will be sent out...