# From the Principal's Office

Dear Parents,

Well done to all students for the positive and enthusiastic start to the new school year. We have hit the year running and have many events and activities planned over the coming weeks of this term.


Wednesday 19 February – District Swimming

Thursday 20 February – Year 5/6 Interschool sport

Monday 24 February – Year 4 excursion to Healesville Sanctuary

Tuesday 25 February – Year 1 incursion “Mad About Science”

Thursday 27 February – Year 5/6 Interschool sport

Friday 28 February – Assembly at 2.50pm

Sunday 1 March – Working Bee: 12.30pm to 3.30pm

Monday 2 March – Year 5/6 excursion to IMAX

Tuesday 3 March – Divisional Swimming

Friday 13 March – Evening on the Green at 5.00pm

Wednesday 18 March – Restorative Practice Information Evening for parents: 7.30 – 8.30pm

I presented our goals for this year at each of the Information Evenings held last week. This year is the final year of our School Strategic Plan (SSP) 2017 – 2020. Each year Key Improvement Strategies are set to create an Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) based on the SSP. Our Key Improvement Strategies for 2020 are:

1. Embed our Instructional model across the school.

A copy of the Instructional Model (pictured above) is displayed in each classroom, explained to the students and referred to throughout the year. This model is the basis for all lessons taught in the classrooms and during specialist sessions.

2. Continue to develop the teaching of Reading and comprehension strategies.

The explicit teaching of comprehension strategies will continue to be a school focus with each Reading lesson having a focus on -

  • Predicting

  • Questioning

  • Summarisation

  • Text Structure

  • Think Aloud

  • Visual Representation

3. Develop opportunities for student voice and agency.

Student Voice and Agency empowers students to take a more active role in monitoring their own learning and improvement. There is strong evidence that students become more engaged in learning when they have opportunities to:

  • Exercise agency in their learning

  • Contribute to the communities in which they learn

  • Improve the learning program for themselves and their peers

4. Enhance student well-being, resilience and cultural awareness in a supportive and challenging learning environment

Teachers have undertaken training in Restorative Practice at a recent Curriculum Day. Put very simply, Restorative Practice is about building relationships. A parent information evening has also been organised on Wednesday 18 March to find out more about Restorative Practice. This year we will be incorporating Resilience, Rights & Respectful Relationships into the existing Resilience Project to continue to strengthen our Well Being program across the school.

..............    FROM THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL    ..............

Homework for Parents
As parents, all we want is for our child to have a brilliant day at school and to be involved in that joyous journey. So when we see them after school and ask them eagerly how their day was and they say ‘ok’ or what did you do today and they say ‘ nothing’ it becomes a little soul destroying. The answer is to change the question that we are asking. Many years ago, I asked a different question to my children and the information I gained was more than I could have possibly anticipated. The question is, ‘What made you happy today’. Three years later, and my children now adults, I still occasionally ask the question just to be a part of their life!

How to Build and maintain Positive relationships when dealing with challenging behaviour
At each parent information session last week, I spoke about the staff attending a professional development day on Restorative Practice. It was confirmed to us that the most profound learning occurs when there is a healthy relationship between teacher and student. Restorative Practices assists teachers, students and parents to build, maintain and restore relationships. Restorative Practices will help build capacity to enable students to self-regulate behaviour and contributes to the improvement of learning outcomes.

We were incredibly impressed with our presenter, Kirsty Elliott, her knowledge and passion for Restorative Practice that we asked if she would share her strategies with our parent community. We have organised an information night on Wednesday 18th March at 7.30pm in the performing Arts room. It would be great to see as many parents as possible there to find out more about Restorative Practice.

..............    FROM THE CLASSROOMS     ..............

Students in 2SP wanted to show their appreciation for the fire fighters who were involved in the bushfires over the holiday period. They decided to make Thank You cards and each student wrote their own message. Two examples from Jonathan and Ellie of the cards are pictured below. The cards were sent to headquarters of the CFA.


Today we had 32 students represent our school at the District Swimming Carnival held at the Harold Holt Swim Centre. Thank you to our PE Teacher, James Smith, for his efforts in organising the team and to Lily Cribbes who assisted with supervising the swim team today. Swimmers who finish in the first two places in their individual event have the opportunity to represent the District at the next stage on Tuesday 3 March at the Divisional Carnival.

Our first Working Bee for this year will be held on Sunday 1 March starting at 12.30pm. We need to clear drains and gutters, sweep and turn over sandpits, spread and turn over soft-fall, clean the walkways, weed gardens, prune hedges, sweep up leaves and clean the outside of classrooms. It would be great to see as many families coming along with brooms, wheelbarrows, rakes, gardening gloves etc.

Once again, this year we have not included a Working Bee levy in the school levies but are asking families who cannot make the day to donate $20 to help maintain our beautiful school grounds and facilities. Donations can be made through Compass (Course Confirmations) or through the school office.  

School tours for prospective Prep parents will commence soon – dates can be found on the school website. These tours are made available throughout terms 2 and 3. The tours begin at 9.30am in the school office and usually take approximately 45 minutes. It is essential that bookings are made so that tour groups are not too large. In the next week or so we will contact neighbouring pre-schools with details about these school tours.

Community involvement is a cornerstone of our school and something that makes GIPS a special place to work and learn. Each year we hold a School Council election, and nominations for School Council for 2020 will be opening soon. The School Council is responsible for overseeing the management of the school’s finances, buildings & grounds, communications and fundraising, as well as the endorsement of new and updated school policies. Councillors serve 2-year terms (March to February) and attend monthly meetings (generally the third Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm) at the school to discuss matters of importance to the school and its community.

Garry Collins