Welcome to what promises to be an amazing 2016 at Clifton Springs Primary School. I know I don’t usually need much encouragement to get excited about my job and our school and while there is usually a fantastic vibe around the school each year, this year it just seems to be at a new level.
The summer break gave us the opportunity to get a number of things done, including the delivery of our new shipping container to store some of our furniture and other items while the renovations are underway. Unfortunately, despite our hard work and preparation, the builders were unable to deliver the portable upgrades as promised for the start of school, but works will be completed by the end of this week ready for Monday. This will deliver a refurbished double classroom for the year 5/6 team and a refurbished classroom for our specialist Science program.
One of the wonderful things each year is welcoming the new students and families to our school. This year we have 60 new Preps and around 80 new students overall giving us our highest enrolment in around 15 years. Due to being directed to employ our enrolment strategy, (as detailed on our website), we have been unable to accommodate a number of other families.
Introducing new staff to Clifton Springs Primary School:
Molly Murray is an excellent young graduate joining us from Deakin University and teaching in Year 1/2 under the guidance of Miss McKinley.
Tiaan Duim who many students will know from her final teaching placement with us last year, will be replacing Emma Thompson in 5/6 (as Miss Thompson had to move interstate for personal reasons). Miss Duim is a wonderful young teacher who joins us from Victoria University and will be mentored by Mrs Garland.
Steve Jones is highly experienced in Music and Performing Arts, having been a former professional musician, Head of Music at Williamstown Secondary College and most recently with MacKillop Education. Steve will bring a wealth of talent and experience to our Performing Arts program and we are very excited about the possibilities this holds.
Jill Petersen joins us in the Visual Arts role and brings with her a depth of passion and talent in the Visual Arts field. Jill is very experienced and brings with her an impressive record of achievement in Visual Arts. She joins us most recently from Barwon Heads Primary.
Elizabeth Hales will be joining us in a dual PE & Classroom role this year and brings with her an abundance of experiences in teaching and leadership positions across the Government and independent teaching sector. Ms Hales will be well known to a number of students and families as she has worked with us extensively in a relief role over recent years.
We are extremely excited about the addition of these 5 teachers to our highly committed and talented staff team at Clifton Springs. While the remainder of our staff has remained the same, a couple have changed their names including Miss Wemyss who is now Mrs Holwerda and Miss Kupresanin who is now Mrs Marinelli.
Other changes include a move into a specialist Science teaching role for Mrs Driscoll and a move back to a full time classroom teaching role for Ms Costa in the Year 3/4 team. There have also been some movements from team to team by some of our existing staff.
Changes to our Timetable and Bell Times
As you will know we at Clifton Springs Primary School are on a mission to make our school and community the best it can be. We have introduced a few other changes which may look minimal from the outside, but will give us some significant flexibility and opportunity to progress our improvement agenda.
The first of these are some significant changes to our timetable with a move to 6 X 50 minute sessions in 3 blocks, giving us greater flexibility to free up time for staff to further challenge, support and collaborate with each other. We want the highest quality planning and pedagogy possible in every class in our school, with a focus on shared accountability across our class teams and school.
Whilst the start and finish times of the school day remain the same, recess is now 10:40am-11:10am and lunch 12:50pm--1:50pm with lunch eaten inside for the first 10 minutes.
These initiatives are made possible by the Equity Funding delivered via the Victorian Government’s “Education State” initiatives. A more detailed list of our improvement agenda will be found in our Annual Implementation Plan, a draft version of which will be presented to our School Council for approval this term and our School Strategic Plan, which we will develop as a school community this semester.
One of the first ways we come together as a community is at our Welcome BBQ, which will be held next Tuesday the 9th of February from 6:00pm. This is a great way for current families and staff to welcome new families and staff to our wonderful school. A free BBQ is provided with sausages and burgers. Families are encouraged to celebrate, meet new people and be a part of our community by bringing along a picnic rug and chairs (if they wish to sit). The BBQ will be manned by our staff and School Councillors and drinks will be available for sale.
A reminder that this school event is a dry event and no alcohol is to be brought along. Please ensure you complete the RSVP and send it back to school for catering purposes.
Our newsletter is a great way for you to keep up to date with all the events, activities and celebra- tions that happen in our school and community. We have a number of ways for you to receive our newsletter.
Download it from our school App which is available from the App store.
Download the newsletter from the school website at http://www.cliftonspringsps.vic.edu.au Email: firstname.lastname@example.org so you can be added to the email distribution list.
Downloading the school App is heavily advised for all parents and carers as it not only provides you with access to lots of information and events, but allows you to receive push notifications, alerts and reminders as well.
The CSPS Castle/Pipe Project
The CSPS Castle or Pipe project has been a long time in the making but if you have been past it recently, I am sure you will agree it has been well and truly worth the wait. Chris and Nicole Arends and their team at Costal Staircases, have adapted, modified and realised the idea developed by our students last year, into an amazingly engaging and beautiful castle design. As we always expect with the team from Coastal Staircases, their creativity and skill has delivered a castle far above and beyond our original imaginings from it’s beautiful waving flags, custom CSPS shield, amazing brick effect and challenging cargo net, to the rock climbing wall and castle keep. On behalf of the students, staff and community, I would like to sincerely thank Chris, Nicole and their team for doing such an amazing job on the castle. They have gone absolutely above and beyond and put their heart, soul and combined creativity into this project, and we love it!
The students will be introduced to the castle in coming days and given some support and advice on how to best keep themselves safe and have fun while using the castle with their friends. While they have finished their work we have a few finishing touches to add to the project over coming days. Building works
While phase one of our building works – the upgrade and refurbishment of our portable buildings has been slightly delayed, it is planned to be completed by Friday this week ready for our classes to move into these spaces next week.
The other sections of our work are progressing through the various approval and tendering processes with the Departments Facilities Unit and we look forward to them starting as soon as possible there after.
Student Arrival Times
Students are not permitted to be in the school grounds prior to 8:30am. Students arriving prior to 8:30am will be directed into the Before School Care Program and parents will be charged a fee. This is a safety requirement as students are not supervised in the yard prior to 8:50am and if care is needed then arrangements need to be made.
We have a number of students in the school who have severe allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs and seafood which could lead to severe anaphylactic reactions. It is important that you advise your children not to share food with other children. Classes where children have specific allergies will be informed via a note from the class teacher and we strongly discourage students in those classes bringing any items which may cause an allergic reaction.
Open Air at CSPS
Open Air is an exciting initiative between Clifton Springs Primary School, the Salvation Army Bellarine, The Geelong West Brass Band, local artists and families who are all coming together to build an exciting brass and musical program to replace the Just Brass program. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting program from Captain Peter Hobbs in our newsletter this week.
If you have been with us at Clifton Springs Primary School for a while, you will be aware of our culture of learning and our focus on continuous improvement. To assist us in improving our Transition Program and our first day processes, next week we will be sending home a survey where you will be able to give us some feedback so we can improve or adjust our program to best meet the needs of our school community.
Life Education Van
Each year we start the school term with a visit from our great mate Harold and the Life Ed Van. The Life Ed Van provides age appropriate health education sessions with a different theme each year. If you would like to know more about the Life Ed Van or would like to talk to Gaye, the educator please feel free to drop into school for a chat.
While we are extremely lucky to have the access to the amount of parking space that we have compared to many other schools, there are a number of things we can do to make this process as smooth, safe and stress free as possible.
1. Try to either get here early or stagger your arrival to be here a few minutes after the 3:30pm bell and have a designated pickup spot with your children to let the initial 3:30pm surge dissipate.
2. Park in the designated car parking spaces on Jetty Road or park in the loop remembering not to park on the median strip.
3. Parkinthepaddock(wewillbeputtinginsomeguidestokeeptrafficflowopenintoandoutofthe paddock area.
4. Use the footpaths when going to and from your car parking space and Do not cross the staff car park as this is highly dangerous and a bad habit to get students into.
5. Remain calm patient and polite
Assembly and Presentations.
This week we be our first full assembly with our usual presentations, activities and events. There will also be a special presentation of badges to our Sports Academy members for 2016. Hopefully last week’s run through will ensure that everyone is aware of their lining up position and their seating positions and they will be just that little bit more familiar with the goings on of assembly.
Assembly runs each week from 3:00pm each Friday and we would love to see you there.
Until next week, I wish everyone a wonderful week and remind all families that maximising attendance is a critical factor in your child achieving their potential so, remember it’s not OK to be away unless you’re sick!
Brent Richards Principal