Welcome families to Woodend!

It is soon time for Woodend’s Orientation visits for new Reception children.  We welcome and look forward to meeting children and families visiting our school.  The children and parents/carers will have an opportunity to meet the leadership team, spend time in their classroom and with their 2017 teacher/s.  This will take place on Thursday 1 December and Thursday 8 December 2016.

For some children starting school it can be exciting and fun, for some it is approached with caution, and for others it is an anxious time.  Our team of Reception teachers, School Service Officers and leaders are well aware of the varying emotions that come with changing learning environments and we also know that transition to school takes time.  We  look forward to and work hard at building warm and positive  relationships with each child and family.  Our ‘Building Connections Conversations in Term 1 Week 1 provides us with that opportunity to find out more about your child from you that assists us to better accommodate for your child’s needs.

Transitioning to school requires a partnership – the partnership of the teacher/s, the child and the parents/carers.  In every way possible we work to effect a smooth transition for your child. Together we want your child to feel comfortable, valued and develop a sense of belonging and identity within their friendship group, classroom and school.  There are many ways we, together, can support your child to transition smoothly.  One resource, Kids Matter ‘Thinking about Transition to School’ information sheet written by Jane Godwin provides valuable tips.  We hope you find this information sheet useful.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school, post a question, or speak to a member of staff at the Orientation visits.

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Check out our new Winter Menu!

Our new Woodend Canteen Winter Menu not only has a new look, it has become a seasonal menu!  You will find some changes to suit the cooler weather over these next 2 terms.  The changes to the menu are based on: improving nutrition, popular choices and availability. For example, potato nuggets have been replaced by wedges in the ‘Chicken Nugget’ and Farmyard Nest’ meals and Butter Chicken is no longer available.  We also have reintroduced ‘Special Lunch’ days with items linked to the season.  This term is a Baked Potato with 2 choices of filling!  Nutritious and filling on a cold autumn/winter’s day.  We hope your child gets the opportunity to try one.
We trust that you will find this menu a welcome change, clear to read, and inviting so that your child can have the opportunity to try out our many choices at the canteen.  Remember that you now have the option of ordering and paying for lunches online using QKR – many families have found this a quick and easy way to organise lunches.
Special thanks to the Healthy Eating Canteen Committee for their time, energy and enthusiasm in critiquing the menu choices and for Kerri M for creatively designing the menu.

Did you know?

Here at Woodend we have a Healthy Eating Committee.  At our first committee meeting for the year, we worked on defining our purpose and directions.  This is our purpose:

Healthy eating and drinking at Woodend Primary School is about improving the health and wellbeing of our children. We can do this by:

  • Providing healthy food and beverages and support students and families to make better choices about their consumption
  • Promoting nutritious and healthy choices

We reference the Government of South Australia’s Right Bite Healthy Food and Drink Supply Strategy for South Australian Pre schools and Schools to ensure we are consistent with the recommended guidelines.

Our committee consists of canteen staff, parent volunteers and representatives of school leadership.  Student volunteers support the canteen program. We also consult with students during times of planning and decision making.

We avoid marketing commercialized products where possible.  We aim to promote produce that is freshly made to families.

In our efforts to continually improve our choices on our ‘Woodies Goodies’ menu we will let you know items that we have available or are about to trial.  We are always in need of volunteers to assist us prepare more nutritious and healthy choices.  If there is any day of the week that you can spare 15 minutes, 30, 45, 60 or 90 minutes – any amount of time, we would be very grateful of your help.  All you need to do is call in at our canteen or let front office staff know of your interest.   Our friendly canteen staff are: Helen Lewis, Di Thomas and Lee Francis.  They would be very welcoming and happy to see you volunteer in the canteen!

Two recent snack items we have available are:

  • Fruit salad cups – a variety of fresh seasonal fruits in a cup  $1.00
  • Yoghurt cups – low fat vanilla flavoured yoghurt topped with fresh fruit  50c

You can encourage your child to buy one and give them a try!  They are nice and cold and taste delicious especially on a warm day.  We look forward to seeing you as a volunteer and or your child coming to buy at our canteen.

 

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Transition to School

TRANSITION – students and their families developing a sense of identity and belonging.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 10.24.08 amThe world has changed.

The world is different. Students enrolling at Woodend in the Year 2016 graduate in Year 7 in 2023 and will complete Year 12 in 2028.  Ponder this. Questions? So what – now what? Since 1990 all of these technologies were available. Imagine what will be available for creating, collaborating and consuming for our students in 2028 when these students graduate?

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 10.33.44 amwe’re looking for different things … new skills and literacies….

solutions, information, global, creativity, media and collaboration literacies as well as digital citizenship encompass the essential skills our students need to live and work successfully in the future.

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The Early Years Learning Framework contained five outcomes which clearly addressed key areas in prior-to-school settings – identity, connecting and contributing, the importance of wellbeing, being confident and involved learners and effective communicators.  These five outcomes are contained within our Australian Curriculum, in particular the General Capabilities (see white font on graphic).

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The General Capabilities is a key dimension of the Australian Curriculum that encompass the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that together with the content of each learning area, assist students to function as learners in the 21st Century.

We are on a continual journey of improvement. We want to be able to support, nurture and build those new skills and literacies and have used recent research in the area of TRANSITION to do things differently. In consultation with prior-to-school settings we have worked with the seven essential principles that guide our practice with transition.  In particular, giving attention to building relationships that support …

A STRONG SENSE OF IDENTITY

A FEELING OF BELONGING

HEALTHY DISPOSITIONS FOR LEARNING

We acknowledge and address the following principles.  Transition is:

1.  long and complex process during which the child internalises the process of leaving their prior-to-school setting and moving to a new environment

2. is ongoing – building a sense of identity and belonging

3. we are all making adjustments to help your child belong

4. takes place over time as each child – build on his / her identity

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5. each child brings their own sense of being and belonging from home and prior to school settings

6. educators working together to build upon each child’s learning experiences with a focus on continuity of learning experiences and on ‘Play’.  Children MUST play.  You will see your child engaging in times of ‘free play’ which is their therapy and also times of ‘intentional play’ where there are links to the General Capabilities and learning outcomes within the Australian Curriculum. During play your child is learning new skills, constructing meaning and making greater sense of his/her world.

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7. ongoing discussions  –  building relationships – partnerships

‘It takes a village to raise a child’ (African proverb) – it is the partnerships required during the maturation of our youth. We are all this “village” and has never been more necessary than it is today. We live in a face-paced, instant information, and pressure-packed world. Today’s children are faced with a myriad of both challenges and opportunities. Navigating parenthood can be a daunting undertaking – home/school/community partnerships and supports are welcome and necessary to prepare our students for tomorrow.

What is your child thinking/feeling/saying about starting school?  We recognise that all children begin school visits and school with different experiences, needs and energy levels. Does your child need to:

– visit the school on the weekend?

– come for one extra orientation visit?

– do you need to develop a social story (photos of school) to look and prepare for school whilst on holidays?

Decide on what best suits your child to help them orient into school and transition more smoothly.  Please contact us if your child needs more support to transition.

We recognise your child brings with him/her a rich and varied array of experiences from all facets of life.

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Our ‘Building Connections’ conversations allow our Reception teachers to find out more about your child – their experiences, learning dispositions, strengths, personal and social capabilities and their home and community context. This is another element of the transition process.  We also have:

– Acquaintance Night early in Term 1

– Parent/Teacher/Child discussions end Term 1/early Term 2

– Mid and End of Year Student Report

– ongoing informal discussions between parent/carer and teacher throughout the year when required.  We monitor how your child is transitioning and work in partnership with you to ensure s/he is managing the change and building their own identity and sense of belonging.  So too with you, we are wanting to ensure that you and your family are managing the change and in time, become a valued part of the rich fabric of our Woodend Community.  How can this occur?

PARENT ENGAGEMENT

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1. Parent Engagement is about you learning about learning.  Come in, read, share learning with parents so that you better understand the learning that occurs at school in 2016 and beyond.

2.  Support your child’s learning – meet the teacher/s and parents within your child’s classroom.  Ask questions, read, and collaborate so that you know what is happening in your child’s school life and feel an active part of it.

3.  Become involved in committees, events and social activities made available to you.  We value your ideas and input to “grow” our community of learners – adult and child. In this way we build the capacity of the school through parent/carer voice and action. We are responsive to yours and the communities’ needs as you involve yourself.

4.  Embrace the opportunity to network with others – collaboration is one of our greatest strengths as a community.  You may network by being present and involved at school or via communication channels set up by the school.  School is also a wonderful opportunity to develop friendships – sometimes life long friendships.  Make every effort to connect with parents/carers.

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Here are the key school times:

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Communication options:

Newstarters Blog – this can be found on www.woodendps.sa.edu.au under the Organisation tab and has all the information you require – Attendance and Departure, Uniform, OSHC and much more.  Please subscribe and you will receive a notification of new information being posted.

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We hope that this information is valuable to you.  Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any further questions.

We look forward to building partnerships with you and your child.

Our Atrium Cafe

Year 2 students helped make the Atrium Cafe come alive by making a few additions, cleaning and changing the space.   Additions include:  writing paper, writing pens and pencils, whiteboard and markers, clipboard, digital timer, phone book and cash register so as to enrich the literacy and numeracy experiences through play. We look forward to the new Receptions visiting us on Thursday and hope they get to see it on their tour.  Thank you Room 20 for helping.

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Jumping IN puddles!

This afternoon squealing and laughter could be heard in the sandpit on the oval as Room 5 Receptions had the opportunity to get all wet!  The water play afternoon was in response to the children’s interest in water and jumping in puddles after recent rains.  Supported by parents the children had the opportunity to explore the properties of sand and water, mud and water, cement and water, and also clothing and water. Mrs Ogilvie continually questioned the children so they could think about, explore, investigate and problem solve using these materials … and in the meantime, have fun! thumb_IMG_5462 2_1024 thumb_IMG_5463 2_1024thumb_IMG_5458 2_1024 thumb_IMG_5467 2_1024 thumb_IMG_5468 2_1024thumb_IMG_5466 2_1024

Woodend Kindy spends time with us

We have really enjoyed spending time with the kindy children this term.  Children from Woodend Childrens Centre and Trott Park Kindergarten have visited the Reception classes each week this term.  They have had opportunities  to play with Mrs Ogilvie’s class on a Monday afternoon and/or to participate in singing and dancing with Mrs Brown’s and Mrs Klinkert/Cole’s Receptions on a Thursday morning.  These visits to each other’s sites occur throughout the year and is an integral part of our Transition program.  This time together helps the children orientate themselves with school life.  We thank the teachers from both sites for conducting the visits

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Always room for Improvement

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This Monday we are hosting all the parents of the 2015 Receptions for Afternoon Tea.  During this time we would like to reflect back on the 2015 year and seek feedback on your child’s transition to school as well as your own learning journey at Woodend.  This information will prove valuable for improving our transition processes for the coming year/s. This form is useful to begin our conversations  transition-to-school-conversation-starter .  We look forward to your participation.