Newsletter 6 - 5 May 2022
Welcome back to Term 2. It has been great to see our students back, smiling and ready for a wonderful term of learning.
On Tuesday 26th April we had a productive School Development Day where staff worked together planning the next steps in our school learning journey. Thank you to our staff for their engagement and enthusiasm in this process.
We are looking forward to a fun-filled, productive term.
Primary Principal’s Message
Dear Parents and Carers
My first week at South Ballajura has proved the rumours true… South Ballajura is a friendly school with great students, a dedicated staff and an involved community. Needless to say, I am delighted to take up the position of Principal. I look forward to working with you to ensure South Ballajura Primary continues to thrive and offer your children excellence in their primary education.
High expectations will be held for the students and in turn they will be supported to meet them. My driving belief is that “every child matters every day”. Our students will soon be aware of one of my favourite sayings “Learning is not a spectator sport.” Watching from the sidelines is not as much fun and definitely not as rewarding as getting in the game. I will be looking for personal bests from our students in all areas.
I believe strongly that the partnership between families, community and school forms the foundation for student success. Over the coming weeks I hope to meet many of you. I am happy for parents to pop in for a quick chat if I am free. As I can often be found in the playground during breaks or in classrooms, it may be best to make an appointment for a longer discussion. If you haven’t already done so, please consider joining the P&C as this is an ideal way to support our school.
It has been great to see the students demonstrate pride in themselves and our school by proudly wearing the uniform, keeping the environment litter free and using polite, respectful language. I thank them for the warm welcome they have given me. They are a credit to everyone involved in their development thus far.
I have thoroughly enjoyed re-engaging with the South Ballajura Primary community. It has been 22 years since I was part of our community and I am excited to be back. Thank you to our staff, and the community members I have met so far, for the way I have been welcomed into the school.
Here’s to a fantastic year at South Ballajura Primary!
ANZAC commemoration is a valued tradition at South Ballajura campus. It provides another opportunity to focus on the ANZAC spirit, including the indigenous values of caring & connection, both with our land & people, as well as the importance of advocating for & defending these values.
This year is particularly significant for me as it will be my last South Ballajura ANZAC assembly, so I want to speak briefly about leaders, lessons & legacy….
Being an educator has many parallels with being a digger in the trenches. We share the digger`s value of mateship, by supporting others who are in need in order to survive, & better yet, to thrive & flourish.
I started at South Ballajura Campus in 1994, as both a foundation ESC staff member and a Primary School parent and have been SBESC principal for 21 years. I have remained a passionate advocate for improved inclusive practices.
Since South Ballajura campus opened in 1994, about 13 Primary & 4 Ed Support principals have strived to build a culture of collaboration, because “Together We Achieve More”. Not everyone who joins the army or comes to school, arrives with the same background, skill set, abilities, interests or personalities. We are always on the lookout for potential & aim to build everyone’s capacity.
Physical & mental health play a key role in the daily victories & losses for both staff & students. We see many acts of courage, commitment and service, because educators, like soldiers, often call upon their qualities of resilience & persistence & have personal stories of challenges and victories, just like Simpson and his donkey. Of course, there are many unsung heroes who make a difference, both on the battlefield and in classrooms.
Leadership, especially in times of crisis, is not about position, but supporting a team that works together. Inclusion has been an ongoing battle in the Disability & Ed Support sectors for decades. The increase in Autism diagnosis has created both new challenges to our way of thinking and new opportunities for lifelong learning. Whilst some very positive changes have occurred, there are still some ongoing battles to be addressed in the community, in the Education Department, and even here at South Ballajura.
SBESC is a growing, complex school on our shared site. Some of our major victories include being one of four finalists in the DOE Primary School of the Year education awards in 2015 and then becoming an Independent Public School in 2016. Last year’s Public school review, was also affirming and encouraging for our school community as we aim to make a significant difference in the life of every student & their family.
Our South Ballajura campus motto is “Learning together – growing together.” With the emergence of COVID-19 over the past couple of years, we have all been learning & supporting each other to live with lots more change, adapting and making the most of those changes, never knowing when the tide will turn! Whilst the disruption to our lives has been unprecedented, especially with the loss of expected freedoms, and physical connection for periods of time, we are grateful that we only endured some periods of isolation, not wartime atrocities.
Sadly, not all the history lessons from times of war have been learned. In 2018 I visited Japan’s Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park designed to prevent countries from making the same mistakes, and yet we are currently confronted in the media by heart-wrenching war scenes in the Ukraine. However, we also witness mateship and amazing acts of service by individuals and countries in these times of adversity.
Education and leadership is about learning from our mistakes.
On a brighter note, in 2019, I had the privilege of visiting Albany’s FIELD OF LIGHT, an art installation of 16,000 green, white & yellow illuminated glass spheres which paid homage to the Anzacs who departed by ship from Albany & also commemorated 100 years since the end of World War 1.
Unfortunately, there are many casualties in daily life just as there is in war and the long-term effects of that is trauma. Therefore, we need to understand each individual’s personal story in order to build trust and relationships to ensure the very best learning journey & outcomes for everyone.
As in wartime, there is strategic planning and then there’s the nitty gritty of what happens in the field and trenches. We choose to do what needs to be done, even if that means catching involuntary vomit in the pool, disposing of it, disinfecting & returning to that child to continue the swimming lesson without fuss, but with everyone else in awe! Consequently each year, and each day is full of variety, challenge & reward.
I sincerely thank my incredibly talented & dedicated ESC staff, who, every day, go far beyond the call of duty and model a ‘You Can DO IT’ attitude. We chose our battles carefully & are not intent on winning "battles" with students. Staff understand that if there is a battle in the classroom, nobody wins.
In closing, with retirement in mind, I would like to present a remembrance gift for the wonderfully rewarding time that I have spent at South Ballajura campus.
Meet RUSTY, our very own digger, who will remind us every day & not just on ANZAC Day, to uphold the spirit of the ANZACs; courage, honour, mateship, freedom, & service to others. I hope RUSTY, with his” Lest we forget “message will create a lasting memory, just as we hope to do in the lives of our students.
We can all do it!
Thank you & take care
The state government has announced that public health and social measures have been eased from 12.01am Friday 29 April (details at wa.gov.au).
For schools, these changes include:
- masks no longer mandatory at school except for in specific settings and circumstances. Masks are encouraged for staff and students (Year 7 and above) where physical distancing is not possible.
- density and capacity limits no longer apply to school activities
- asymptomatic close contacts no longer required to isolate (see requirements below)
- an additional supply of RATs for all students and staff.
If your child becomes an asymptomatic close contact, due to a person in your household being COVID-19 positive, they will no longer have to isolate for 7 days. They will be required to:
- do a daily Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) and receive a negative result each day to attend school
- wear a mask at school (for students in Year 7 and above) and when travelling on public transport or ride-share.
We will let you know when you can collect the free RATs the state government is providing for all students. In the meantime, if your child becomes symptomatic or a household close contact, please contact us.
All school activities can resume, and we will continue to follow COVID-19 safe measures:
- all staff and regular workers (including regular volunteers) at school are double dose vaccinated (third dose vaccinated within one month of being eligible)
- adequate ventilation in each classroom, in line with health advice
- enhanced cleaning remains in place.
If your child becomes symptomatic they should stay home and be tested for COVID-19. Refer to healthywa.wa.gov.au for information on close contact definition, testing and isolation requirements. You should notify the school if your child tests positive for COVID-19.
Thank you for your continued efforts in keeping our school COVID-19 safe.
A reminder that all our year 3 & 5 students will be sitting the national literacy and numeracy tests starting on Tuesday May 10. These tests are scheduled between Tuesday May 10 and Friday May 20. Where possible please ensure that your children attend school everyday so they get the opportunity to sit these tests. If your child is sick or impacted by covid, we will try to do catch up tests when they return to school , as long as it is within the test period. If you have any questions, please contact Mrs Marshall.
Primary School -Term 3
School Development Day – Monday 18 July
Primary School students return to school - Tuesday 19 July
Education Support Centre - Term 3
Education Support Centre students return to school - Monday 18 July
Education Support Centre's School Development Day - Thursday 28 July
Primary School and Education Support Centre - Term 4
School Development Day – Monday 10 October
Primary & Ed Support Centre students return to school – Tuesday 11 October
Year 6 Fundraiser
Shortly your child in year 6 will receive a Cadbury box, full of yummy treats. This is a fundraiser for the year 6 camp. If you do not wish for your child to sell chocolates, please inform their classroom teacher.
Any box taken home will be the responsibility of the parents to pay in full. Any further information please contact Mr Donegan
My name is Uriel and I’m one of the Prefects this year. Being a student leader means that I have to be a good role model and it’s kind of challenging. One of my favourite jobs as a prefect is putting up the flag because it feels like an honour to put up the flag. I also like to lend a helping hand around the school. Some of my favourite sports are soccer and basketball. I would like to share the following quote “don’t wait for an opportunity, create it”.
IT'S ALL HAPPENING!
In the bike track forGazebo, spots were added to the softball so that students can play the twister game using the spinner on the panel.
You may have noticed the construction work around the tree in the bike track area for our long awaited nature playground area which was finally completed on Wednesday.
Shade sales will also be going up shortly over the climbing play equipment in the bike track area.
There is also some ground preparation happening outside TA 11 which will become a bush tucker garden later this term.
It was a delight to visit all ESC classrooms on the first day back at school. There was plenty of enthusiasm from students and staff. In EI 1, students were really engaged in their learning using the multiple modes of communication available to them-verbal, signing, PODD books & devices. Ms Paidra enjoyed her first day as a new teacher at SBESC.
TA 3 Love Library
TA 3 love our weekly Library time. On Monday mornings we eagerly line up to walk to the Library to see our favourite Library Officer Mrs. Lee. We then have story time on the mat before we browse and select books to read. We also get to take a book home in our Library bags. Heaven likes to read Peppa Pig books. Lian enjoys reading Sponge Bob Square Pants books. Joshua, Amber and River enjoy looking through all the books! We really love our school Library!
Sunsmart Competition by Cancer Council
"Thank you for entering the SunSmart Book Pack competition. I am so thrilled to let you know that South Ballajura Education Support Centre won a SunSmart Book Pack. Congratulations!
Late last term, South Ballajura ESC entered a competition run by the Cancer Council as part of the SunSmart Schools Program. We sent in photos showing our SunSmart students promoting safe sun activities on the school grounds. We won 1 of 3 SunSmart book packs compiling of a range of SunSmart books and accompanying activities. These books and activities will be used in the classrooms to continue our sun safe message.
Bee-Bots in TA17
Bee-Bots are a wonderful digital technologies resource to introduce students to coding and computational thinking. The small robot can remember a sequence of up to 40 commands, directing it to move forwards and backwards in 15 cm increments, and to turn 90 degrees left and right.
In TA17 the students are learning to code their Bee-Bot to move around multiple styles of mats, learning the different commands of sequences as they go. Some students even had a go at programming their Bee-Bot to move around a Pac-Man style maze. The students really enjoy coding and working with these robots.
“You press these buttons to make the Bee-Bot move” Elijah told me
“Look! I can make it go and land on 20 cents” said Evan
“Press the GO button” Raphael explained
“I have to think about which way I want it to go” Quinn told me while he was planning out his Bee-Bot’s path.
Community Access Term 2
Whiteman Park Education Programs
The Education Support Centre will commence the Whiteman Park Community Access Program on Friday 13 May with a Parent Picnic at Pia’s Playground.
In the following weeks, the students will participate in several Whiteman Park Educational Programs. The Senior students will be focussing on the Environment and the Junior students will be focussing on HASS at the Revolutions Museum. Students across the Centre will also focus on Technology skills using the school camera and class iPads. All students will be participating in individual learning goals, as set by their teachers.
Help needed for the election day sausage sizzle on Saturday 21st May. A letter will be sent home with students with this request for volunteers and soft drink donations.
If you are able to volunteer on the day for 2 hours, please fill in the slip sent home and have your child return to the canteen ASAP or contact 0403597703 to let us know when you can help. Shift times are from 7am to 3pm and require 4 people per session. Any help and donations is greatly appreciated.