Dear Parents & Guardians,
From the beginning, we have worked hard to build our school around four key principles:
- Our Catholic Identity: embedding a school culture that places Catholic teachings and Catholic values at the heart of our work and relationships.
- Dynamic learning: embedding a school culture that empowers every child to be successful.
- Positive student wellbeing: creating a school with a safe, supportive, and nurturing environment.
- An engaged partnership with parents and guardians.
This week we held the first Learning Walks for 2023. These are a really valuable experience both for the staff and for the parents and guardians that participate. We had a significant number of parents and guardians attend and it was really encouraging to see how much these parents and guardians gained from this event.
Unless you work in the field of education, our understanding of school is often largely shaped by our own experiences (and for some of us (meaning me in particular!)) that was a very a long time ago. For some, our educational experiences have been shaped by a different culture: not worse or better, just different.
It is a simple fact though that education has changed and must continue to do so. The needs of the children we teach today is quite different than those of children even ten years ago. Just as we do not use computers with floppy disks, drive cars with wind-up windows or use telephones with dials, the needs of children today have changed. They are exposed to vast amounts of information even before they start school; they are blessed with experiences that many of us did not have when we were growing up. They are also faced with navigating some of the challenges of modern life such as the use of social media.
One of my favourite quotes is a by Irish author W.B. Yeats who said, “Education is not a filling of a pail (a bucket), but the lighting of a fire.” For me as an educator, this should be at the heart of what our school is trying to achieve. We seek to create a school where children become active, engaged learners, where they are challenged, where they can be creative and innovate and that allow them to know where they are in their learning and where they need to go next. We want our children to develop a love of learning.
This is why Learning Walks are so valuable. It gives parents and guardians an understanding not just of how our teachers are teaching your children but how they are adapting the learning to suit the needs of different children. It was wonderful to see the parents and guardians yesterday walk out of a classroom with a better awareness of how a young teachers such as Grace in Discovery 1 is catering for all the needs of the children in her class and realising just how skilled she is in doing what she does.
We will plan more Learning Walks in Term Four noting that there were a lot of parents and guardians who missed out this time or were not able to make this event. I hope you can come next time. Just ask those who attended this week – each one said how positive this experience was for them.
As I noted a few weeks ago, we have been in discussion with Melton City Council regarding the traffic around the school, noting our concern that Waterway Boulevard is likely to be the main route for the trucks servicing a major housing development that is due to start adjacent to our school in the near future, not to mention those connected to the construction of our Stage Three and potentially, Stage Four and Five works over the next two to three years.
In our conversation, the traffic management team at Melton City Council noted that some of my advice to parents has been incorrect. We have actively encouraged parents who are walking their children into school in the morning or collecting them from the courtyard at the end of the day park in the zone directly out the front of the school.
The council team noted that this is actually in breach of the specific parking restrictions for this zone and parents and guardians cannot leave their cars in this area to bring their children into school. If you do need to do walk your children into school, please use some of the nearby roads or the park on Eumerella Boulevard (the road to the right of the school as you enter the school gates). Council have indicated that there is sufficient parking around the school and they are actively encouraging parents and guardians to park a short distance from school were the streets are less busy and walk their children into school.
We have noted that Council is doing site inspections to review the parking around our school and a number of parents have recently received infringement notices. Please be careful where you park and obey the road rules. My apologies for the incorrect advice (noting – we would still prefer parents to use the kiss n’ go because it is safer for the children, and we are lucky to have this as an alternative).
Wishing everyone a safe holiday. See you next term (hopefully our plovers will be gone!)