Prospectus 2019.1 algester state school


Welcome to Algester State School. You have chosen a school with a dynamic contemporary curriculum where students are focussed on learning. Some key features of our school include:

  • Strong Academic results;
  • Fine Sporting Achievements;
  • Opportunities for Student Leadership;
  • Positive Behaviour for Learning and a school wide Rewards Scheme;
  • An Appreciation of the Arts;
  • Extension Programs for gifted and talented students;
  • BYOD iPads in every classroom that offer transformative learning and not just replacements for pen and paper;
  • Reputation for Excellence;
  • School wide STEM Program offering Digital Technologies, Robotics and Coding; and
  • Quality Intervention Programs.

Some of the facilities of the school includes:

  • Air conditioned classrooms throughout the school;
  • Performing Arts Centre;
  • Outdoor Performance Area;
  • Large School Hall with a stage and ceiling fans;
  • Range of playground equipment;
  • Two Sports ovals;
  • Cricket Pitch & practice nets;
  • Two tennis/netball courts;
  • Indoor basketball court;
  • High Speed Wireless Internet coverage;
  • Makers' Space for creativity & Robotics; and
  • A dedicated Science Centre.

Our school uses the Australian Curriculum and develops Units of Works collaboratively with teachers and the Head Of Curriculum to deliver programs for each student. Quality teaching and learning practices are a consistent feature in the school with a focus on evidence based, research backed programs in Literacy and Numeracy. The school has an annual School Improvement Agenda to support its growth and development. Our staff are keen to develop their skills and the school has a regionally recognised model known as the Algester Teacher Capacity Building Model that is agile and supportive of the professional development of staff.

The Curriculum Process at Algester State School

The school also has a number of extra curricular activities to extend students:

  • Visual Arts and Drama Program;
  • Instrumental Music Program: Strings, Woodwind, Brass & Percussion;
  • Senior and Junior Choirs;
  • Sport and Physical Education Programs;
  • Interschool Sport;
  • Cross Country and Athletics Sports Carnivals;
  • Annual Fete known as MultiFEST;
  • Robotics Program;
  • Science Program;
  • Swimming Program;
  • Coding Program;
  • Digital Pedagogies;
  • Year Level excursions/incursions;
  • Biennial Whole School concert;
  • Annual Music Concerts
  • Biennial Whole Schools arts show;
  • STEM Program;
  • Science & Art Club; and
  • Camping Program for Yrs 4-6
Lunchtime STEM Activities available to our students in 2019

Our school’s values and rules:

School Targets:

  • 90% of students achieving C or above in academic reporting for English, Mathematics & Science each Semester.
  • 50% of students achieving in the top two grades (Eg. A,B) in each class per Semester in English and Maths each Semester.
  • 90% of students achieve the year level semester reading benchmark as outlined in the School’s Assessment Framework each Semester.

School Calendar for 2019:


Contact Details:

School Hours / Routines

Bell Times

  • Before 8:30 a.m. Students wait in undercover waiting areas next to the Tuckshop.
  • 8:30 a.m. Students move to their classrooms.
  • 8:45 a.m. Students line up outside classrooms
  • 8:50 a.m. Classrooms opened, rolls marked
  • 9:00 a.m. Classes begin – first session
  • 11:00 a.m. Eating time (first break)
  • 11:10 a.m. Students move to play areas
  • 11:40 a.m. Students return to class
  • 11.45 a.m. Classes begin – middle session
  • 1:15 p.m. Afternoon tea break
  • 1:45 p.m. Students return to class
  • 1:50 p.m. Lessons recommence
  • 3:00 p.m. End of the school day

School commences each day at 8.50 a.m. The first bell rings at 8:45 a.m. Students should be at school by this time to allow them to settle down and prepare for the day’s lessons. We ask that parents do not deliver any children to school before 8:00 a.m. unless attending prearranged rehearsals or practices. This is for your child’s own safety. We do not provide formal supervision before or after school. Students are therefore asked to remain in the designated areas. It is expected that Parents who need supervision for their students after 3.20pm will use the After School Care facilities available.

For Safety reasons, the adventure play areas and the hall are out of bounds before and after school. Students may use the grassed areas with restricted use of sporting equipment. Any child still on school premises after 3:20 p.m. must wait at the administration office. If you are running late for any unexpected reason, we ask that you contact the school office before 2:45 pm. so we can get a message to your child/children. It can be quite traumatic for children if you do not arrive at your regular pickup time so please make every effort to be punctual. After 3:20 p.m. we will contact you or your emergency contacts if you have not collected your child/ren.

Prep Students Arrival and Departure

Prep students must be escorted by a responsible adult to and from their classroom for the first four weeks of Term 1. After this, Prep students will follow the same before school and after school procedure as the rest of the school. The designated area for Prep students who arrive between 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m. is the junior under covered area (in between the Prep / Year 1 classrooms). Students who arrive prior to 8:30am must sit quietly in the under covered area near the tuckshop at the indigenous mural side. Please note there is no supervision provided before school. For departure, please ensure you inform the classroom teacher of your child’s mode of transportation including collection by older siblings, After School Hours Care, pick up from the drop off zone or any other arrangements. As the year progresses, when parents and children feel more comfortable and confident, teachers will encourage children to meet parents at a prearranged pick up point in the school grounds if needed.

School Attendance & SMS Text Alert Service

To comply with Department Policy, parents must provide an explanation regarding a child’s absence from school. Please inform the school on each day of your child’s absence by telephoning our Absentee Line on 3712 5111 [Press 1], no later than 9:00 a.m. The Absentee line is a 24 hour answering machine and messages can be left at anytime before 9:00 a.m. The school has an SMS messaging service and you will receive a text message on your mobile phone if your child has not arrived at school shortly after the rolls are marked in the morning if you have not informed us earlier of their absence. You can respond to this text with a reason if you wish. You should ring the school immediately if you believe your child/ren should have arrived at school in the morning after you have received this text message.

It is vital to your child’s learning that attendance be regular. The school may contact you if your child shows patterns of absenteeism.

Late Arrival

Students who arrive to school after 9:00 a.m. are required to report to the office to receive a late arrival slip to pass to the class teacher. A reason for the late arrival will be requested. Late arrival also effects learning so you may be contacted if patterns of late arrival emerge.

Leaving School Grounds

Children are not permitted to leave the school grounds during school hours without permission of the Principal or Class Teacher and must be accompanied by an adult. To ensure the safety of your child, parents collecting students early must go to the office and sign the Early Departure Book. Parents will then be issued with an exemption form, which they are required to take to the child’s classroom and hand to the classroom teacher. Please note that children will not be released into the care of any person who is not listed on their enrolment form as the parent / caregiver or adult emergency contact.

Family Law Matters

Parents from time to time make requests upon schools around the application of court orders. It is general policy that schools do not get involved in parental disputes around student access and these matters are best left to the courts. Schools are not obliged to enforce court orders around access conditions. These orders are for parents. Schools will release children to appropriate carers irrespective of the court orders as long as it is safe to do so. All parents also have rights around accessing student information unless a court order limits this. The only circumstance where the school will step in to stop access of a parent is when a court order specifically states so. Domestic Violence Orders, Care and Good Behaviour Orders are examples of temporary orders that may limit parental access to students. Always refer access matters to the Administration Team for advice and support.

Visitors and Volunteers to our School

Our school is appreciative of the volunteer helpers who assist in classrooms each day. If you would like to volunteer to assist in classrooms please coordinate this with the class teacher. A sign in book is provided in at the office for class volunteers to sign, on arrival and departure. All visitors to the school are also asked to sign the register in the administration office and collect the visitor badge to wear. This is for student safety and insurance purposes. Parents and carers of student at Algester State School may volunteer for regular classroom help without a blue card. (Child Safety Blue Card) All other people, including grandparents require a blue card before they can volunteer to work with our students.

Payments Incursions / Excursions

All permission slips are to be given to your classroom teacher on arrival to school. The following format is required when making payments:

NB: Please note closing date for all excursions or performances. Payment will not be accepted after the closing date. Cash or EFTPOS can only be processed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 8:00 a.m. and 10 a.m. at the CASH WINDOW at the rear of the Administration Block.

Student banking

This is processed each Wednesday via our computer link to the Commonwealth Bank by a small group of volunteers who are always keen to welcome new helpers. Information on how to register will be sent home at the beginning of each year.

Lost Property

All articles of lost property found in the school grounds are sent to a trolley in the Under Covered Area adjacent to the Administration Building. Any unclaimed items are sorted. Identifiable articles are returned to the relevant student via their class teacher, whilst unnamed articles are stored until the end of the term for possible claiming. After that, all unclaimed school items will be given to the Uniform Shop as second hand clothes. Parents are asked to mark the child’s name clearly on all belonging. Lost property is regularly displayed in an attempt to find its owner.

Valuables at School

Toys, valuables and large amounts of money should not be taken to school. Money should be kept in a purse or wallet, clearly marked with the child’s name. No money should ever be left in school bags. No responsibility is accepted for toys / valuables brought to school.

Mobile Phones and Electronic Equipment

Should it be necessary for your child to bring a mobile phone or other electronic equipment to school, the phone or electronic MUST be turned off, labelled with your child’s name and handed in to staff at the school office by 9:00 a.m. The equipment will be stored in a safe and secure place and the child can collect it from the office at 3:00 p.m.

Book Club

Book club is offered at regular intervals and enables children to order books at reasonable prices through our Resource Centre. This is organised by our Teacher Librarian. Participation is optional and payment can be made via the scholastic payment link or with the correct money with their order prior to the closing date noted on the order form to the Library.


Children love to celebrate their birthday at school with their friends. Please feel welcome to send along a cake or small cupcakes to share. You are also welcome to come to the classroom and share the celebration. Please notify the teacher if your child has any food allergies.

Change of Clothes for Students in Prep to Year 3

Occasionally students may have an accident and require a change of clothes. Please ensure there is a spare pair of underwear and shorts / top in a plastic bag in their school bag as we cannot always guarantee the office will have a spare set available.

Digital Pedagogies

Apple Distinguished School

Algester State School is pleased to announce that it has been recognised as an Apple Distinguished School for 2019–2022 for its work in digital pedagogies. Apple Distinguished Schools are centres of innovation, leadership, and educational excellence that use Apple products to inspire creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. They showcase innovative uses of technology in learning, teaching, and the school environment and have documented results of academic accomplishment.

We are absolutely delighted with this announcement and it is recognition of the hard work of our wonderful staff and the strong community support of our bring your own device program.

The selection of Algester State School as an Apple Distinguished School highlights our success as an innovative and compelling learning environment that engages students and provides tangible evidence of academic accomplishment.

We have joined the Apple Family of 3 Distinguished Schools in Brisbane, 10 Schools in Queensland and 370 schools across 34 countries in the world. There is tremendous satisfaction knowing that our work will now be shared globally within this community. The work we do here at Algester is impacting schools and students across the world!

Incorporation of digital pedagogies is very much a feature of contemporary teaching practice. At Algester Primary School we use a number of different devices within our teaching and learning programs to support students which include:

  • Digital Interactive Projectors
  • Apple TVs
  • iPads
  • Robotics devices
  • Drones

The school uses the SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) Model to ensure digital pedagogies support learning. We encourage children to use technology as tools to support their learning and they use them in many and various ways.

Software to Support Learning

Our school subscribes to online software to support our students both at school and at home. Please contact your child’s teacher to obtain the username and password for the software:

  • Literacy Planet
  • Matific
  • Sunshine Online
  • Education Qld's eLibrary
  • SeeSaw

Specialist Lessons

Music, Languages (Chinese) and Physical Education are provided by specialist teachers at our school. Students in Prep to Year 6 receive 30 minute lessons in Music and Physical Education each week. Students in Years 1 – 5 receive 30 minute lessons in Languages (Chinese) each week with Yr 6s receiving two lessons. Research skills are taught by our Teacher Librarian for students in Years 4 - 6. Other specialist lessons focus on school needs and may include Information Literacy, Maths and Literacy.

Languages – Chinese (Mandarin)

Our school provides specialist instruction in the Mandarin language. Students in Years 1 to 6 participate in this program as part of their curriculum. They participate in the learning of basic conversational Mandarin.

Assessment and Reporting

Assessment is closely linked with teaching and feedback to students. Teachers complete a number of assessment activities in each Key learning Area throughout the semester. The assessments take the form of diagnostic tasks to pinpoint student understanding in the areas of Reading, Spelling, Maths and learning, and unit task assessments. The assessment undertaken throughout the semester contributes to the results recorded in the school reporting to parents conducted twice per year in June and December.


Students in Years 3 and 5 participate in the national Testing Program in May of each year in the areas of Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Mathematics. Data from these tests is used to inform school curriculum review and planning periods.

Parents receive a report about their child’s progress in the NAPLAN assessment in early September.

We are very proud of our NAPLAN achievements and we do quite well compared with other schools. You can look at our results on the Australian Government’s MySchool Website.

Prep program

At Prep, in addition to the Australian Curriculum outcomes aligned with the rest of the school, children are encouraged to:

  • Use language to communicate with others
  • Form basic concepts which help them understand their world
  • Develop confidence
  • Make friends
  • Share and cooperate with others
  • Develop physical skills and a positive attitude to learning.

Algester Primary School uses Age Appropriate Pedagogies in Prep. This features contextualised, functional, play-based, explicit teaching and structured learning experiences for our students.

Prep Children’s requirements

  • A water bottle
  • School bag
  • Library bag [available from the Uniform Shop]
  • Spare change of clothes in a plastic bag (underwear, shorts, shirt and socks – for accidents)
  • Healthy lunch and drink
  • Sun-safe hat [school hat]

Curriculum Enhancement

Learning Outcomes

Our results in NAPLAN and School Opinion Surveys show that we are generally at or above the state average. Parent’s satisfaction level with our school is very high. Classroom teachers offer a differentiated learning program for students in their classes.

Supporting the Learning

Tier 1 Support: Students who have difficulties in their learning or require extension are initially catered for by their classroom teacher. Classroom teachers use Maker’s Model for Differentiation (Modifications of Content, Process, Product or the Environment) to generate different ways to support students.

Tier 2 Case Management: Students who are not moving forward in their learning are brought to Year level case management meetings where teachers receive advice and recommendations from their peers and other experts within the school community to assist them to develop appropriate instructional strategies for the students.

Tier 3 Intervention: Students who are falling behind their peers or are operating well above their peers are referred to the Student Services Team to access school intervention programs. These programs are targeted towards literacy and numeracy and include:

  • Support-a-Talker
  • Mini-Lit
  • Macq-Lit
  • Rip-It-Up Reading
  • Oral Language Program (Black Sheep Program)
  • Story Club (Oral Language Intensive Support)
  • Move to Learn Program (Prep)

We are also continuing to develop and enhance our programs in The Arts, Health and Physical Education and Languages. We have an interschool sports program, Junior Band, Senior Band, Junior Strings Group, a Senior Strings Group and a number of Choirs. We also regularly participate in Readers’ Cup and Robotics Competitions.

Supporting Children with Special Needs – The Hub

Children in our school who are in need of learning support receive assistance, primarily, from their class teachers. Students who participate in Tier 3 Intervention Programs may undertake these special programs in their classrooms or at another location within the school. Queries around your child’s participation in any Tier 3 Intervention Program should be discussed with the Classroom teachers and the Support Teachers, Literacy & Numeracy (STLN) who are located in a room within the Library.

Occasionally the STLN teachers undertake additional assessments or small group learning to support students. The STLN teachers will often communicate with parents the outcomes of our Student Services Team meetings where it pertains to their child.

When parents are concerned over their child’s progress, discussion should take place initially with the class teacher. If it is felt that additional support is necessary, the school then accesses appropriate Support Personnel, such as a Guidance Officer, Speech Therapist, etc. through the Student Services Team. If you have any concerns about the process, please see your child’s teacher or one of the Deputy Principals.

Special Education Program

Attached to Algester Primary School is a special education program that supports students who have been verified as either: ASD – Autistic Spectrum Disorder; ID – Intellectual Disability; SLI – Speech Language Impairment; HI – Hearing Impairment and PI – Physical Impairment. This class is a notional class and supports students according to the goals set in their IEP’s (Individual Education Plan). Sometimes, this support will take place on an individual or small group basis, at other times the SEC teacher will support the students within their regular classrooms.

Our Special Education Teachers and our Support Teachers Literacy and Numeracy, called “The Hub”, are utilising their joint resources and expertise to offer a continuum of support for those children in need.

Guidance Officer (GO)

The Guidance Officer works with the Administration Team and as part of the Student Services Team. Parents, students and teachers can initiate a referral to the Guidance Officer through the Student Services Team.

The Guidance Officer will work with persons to:

  • Identify concerns
  • Discover ways to solve the problem
  • Determine responsibilities
  • Monitor Change
  • Develop a picture of how things may change when the problem is solved.

Concerns raised are usually of a behavioural and/or learning nature. Ways to solve issues cover collaborative consultation, problem-solving, counselling and contracting, teaching, referral to out-of-school agencies and assessment.

Speech Language Pathologist

A Speech Language Pathologist provides speech language assessments and programs for children experiencing difficulties in speech language development. Referrals to the Speech Language Pathologist can be made by class teachers through the Student Services Team. Currently the Speech Language Pathologist attends our school two days each week.

English as an Additional Language / Dialect Teacher

Our school provides assistance to students who come from a non-English speaking background and have English as an additional language. On enrolment, the EAL/D Teacher assesses the needs of a student and provides support as necessary for the student. We currently have an EAL/D teacher 2 days per week and a teacher aide working on programs to assist our EAL/D students.

School Chaplain

Scripture Union QLD chaplains, or 'chappies', provide spiritual and emotional support to school communities. They are in the prevention and support business: helping students find a better way to deal with issues ranging from family breakdown and loneliness, to drug abuse, depression and anxiety. They provide a listening ear and a caring presence for kids in crisis, and those who just need a friend. They also provide support for staff and parents in school communities.

School chaplains are unique:

  • They are a support conduit – connecting students (and school staff) to specialist services in the community such as welfare groups, counselling services, medical services and community groups in consultation with School Principals.
  • They build relationships with students (and staff). They are a trusted adult in the playground and in the classroom – offering a listening ear to students who want to share their problems and experiences.
  • Their role is to contribute to the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of the school community.
  • They are seen by students as an adult who is not a part of the school’s authority structure.

Scripture Union is the employing authority for the school chaplain and they have information about school chaplaincy programs on their website.

Student Leadership

Student Council

All students who hold a Captaincy position (except for House Captains) will be required to commit to regular student council meetings. Each member of the council will be allocated a set number of classes throughout the school to represent at these meetings. This means that each member must visit their set classes to discuss issues, ideas, suggestions and concerns from students of the school. These discussions will then be reported back to the student council for discussion and response.

The student council will meet at least once per term and must minute all meetings so that they can be presented to school P and C for comment and endorsement. In addition the Student Council will be responsible for the organisation and implementation of no more than six (6) fund raising events throughout the year. These events must be approved by the P and C and must consist of; 2 fundraisers with a community focus and 4 with a school focus. School focus fund raising activities are to raise funds (cost centred through the school office) for a project/s that benefit the school and the students.

Student Leaders


For the senior students

  • To develop respect and responsibility for self, others and place
  • To develop friendships, relationships and trust with others
  • To develop self-confidence and self-esteem
  • To develop responsible decision making skills
  • To develop leadership and communication skills
  • To improve communication between students and staff
  • To develop the skills of conflict resolution
  • To help the senior students to feel empowered by giving them a useful role in the school

For the School

  • To provide a safe and friendly environment where young students can feel safe
  • To enable new students to integrate more easily and feel more comfortable in the school environment
  • To assist students with the transition from primary school
  • To provide long term benefits for all students as training and skills are passed onto younger students
  • To encourage students to have a close involvement with the school community
  • To identify eligible candidates for captaincy positions in Year Six

Sports Programs

Sports Houses: At the time of enrolment, each student is placed into a sporting house. We have four sporting houses:

  • Waratah (red)
  • Hovea (purple)
  • Banksia (orange)
  • Cassia (yellow)

Students who have siblings at school will be placed into the same house as their sibling. Prep students [without Algester Primary siblings] will be advised in Term 1 which sporting house they belong to.

Parents are asked to purchase the correct coloured T-shirt for their child to wear on sports days. Coloured sports shirts are available from the Uniform Shop.

Cross Country: Students in Prep to Year 6 participate in the school cross country at the end of Term 1. Students who are 10 or older have the opportunity to represent the school at the District Cross Country competition.

Athletics: There are two school sports days for Athletics – one for the Junior School Prep to Year 3 and separate sports days for the Upper School Years 4 – 6. The Junior Sports Day has an emphasis on participation and skill development. The Senior Sports Days comprise a day for the track and field finals for High Jump, Long Jump, Discus, Shot-Put, 100m and 200m races and relays. The other day is for participation for all students in track and field events. Students, who are 10 years or older, have the opportunity to represent the school at the District Athletics Carnival.

Interschool Sports (Gala Days): Students in Years 5 to 6 are invited to take part in the Interschool Sporting Competition called Gala Day on selected Fridays throughout the year. Students are invited to try out for various sports, depending on the season, eg. Netball, Cricket, Touch Football, AFL, Soccer, Basketball, T-ball and Softball etc.

These teams compete against other schools in our District on the Gala Days. There is a sporting fee involved to cover the costs incurred. For those who do not represent a sporting team, there is an “at school” program where students rotate through many different sporting activities, eg. Lawn Bowls, Basketball, AFL and Badminton.

Music Programs

Overview: For most people, music is an integral part of life. We believe all students can derive considerable fulfilment and enjoyment from music education - not only those who show a particular talent. The skills and concepts students acquire, as a result of their music education, should be of benefit to them not only in their schooling but also in the years beyond formal education.

We have Music lessons for half an hour a week in Prep to Year 6. The classroom music program aims to equip each child with skills and understandings, which will help them to appreciate music and to participate in music making. Children are involved in a wide variety of activities from singing games and the playing of instruments, to composing and performing. Students in Years 4 to 6 are expected to have recorders and books at every lesson.

Choral Program: At Algester Primary we are very proud of our achievements in the Choral Program. Currently we have two Choir Groups:

  • Senior Choir (Years 3 to 6)
  • Junior Choir (Years 2)

Children are able to join these groups when rehearsals begin. They are required to attend rehearsals in their own time, usually during a lunch break. Each year each group performs for school functions, music evenings, eisteddfods, festivals and special events.

Instrumental Program – Recruitment: Recruitment for the Strings Program occurs during Year 2 to start in Year 3. For all other instruments, recruitment takes place during Year 3 to begin in Year 4. An Instrumental booklet is available on the school website that outlines the program in more detail.

Students are assessed according to:

  • A standard musicality test
  • General class attitude, performance and responsibility
  • Music class achievement

Instruments offered in Year 3: Our loan instruments for the Strings Program are Violin, Viola, Cello and the Double Bass. Students are expected to provide their own instruments in the second year of tuition with the exception of the larger string instruments.

Instruments offered in Year 4: Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium and Percussion. We are able to loan some instruments in the first year. The larger expensive instruments (Tenor Saxophone, French Horn) are on loan for the duration of the student’s learning. In all other cases children are expected to purchase or hire their own instrument after one year.

Music Information Evening: During third term all music staff invite parents of children who express an interest in entering our program to an Information Evening. At this evening we outline the expectations, the running of the program and the costs of the program.

Instrumental Contribution: Each year parents contribute a music fee to assist with the expense of running the program. Children who have school instruments on loan are asked to contribute $90 and those with their own are asked to contribute $40. This money covers the purchase of music, entry to competitions as well as repairs for loaned instruments. In addition the school also contributes funds towards the purchase of additional instruments or resources to assist and complement the running of our program and resources.

Music Uniform - Ensembles, Bands and Choir: Junior and Senior members of the Instrumental Program are required to have a uniform which consists of an Algester Music Polo Shirt (available through the Uniform Shop), long black dress trousers, black socks and black leather shoes to be worn at all school performances. Uniforms should be purchased before photos in Term 1 in time for performances. Beginner strings groups will not require the formal uniform, they can perform in their school uniform for school functions. Choir students are issued with shirts at the beginning of the year. The Junior Choir wear yellow t/shirts and the Senior Choir wear green polo shirts. They must wash and return these shirts at the end of the year or if they leave the program.

Instrumental Lessons: Students attend one lesson per week. Music lessons are in the music block. Students come from class to their instrumental lesson, which is usually in a group of 4-6 students on a rotating timetable. The rotating timetable ensures that students do not miss the same classroom lessons each week. Band and Ensemble rehearsals are usually before school (7.45am) and are compulsory for those in the program.

Instrumental Practice: Students are expected to practise 5 x 30 minutes every week. This is vital to a successful experience in learning a given instrument. Practice is monitored by teachers with a Practice Sheet which we ask parents to monitor and sign. Students are taught in a group of approximately five. Therefore, it is important that they work together as a team and are up-to-date with the practice set by the teacher.

Instrumental Attendance and Performance: It is compulsory for each student to attend timetabled lessons, instrumental group rehearsals and all performances. Students who are absent must present a note from their parents as soon as possible after that time. If a student continues to be absent without explanation, parents will be contacted and the student may be withdrawn from the program. Every year our ensembles perform both at school and at music competitions and festivals. Dates are set for the year in our Calendar of Events.

Music, Arts Parent Group (MAPS): As a sub-committee of the Music Program, a willing group of parents meet regularly to assist the music staff. This includes such activities as supporting teachers at competitions to fundraising and co-ordinating school music evenings.

An email group is established to provide information to parents of students participating in the Strings, Band, and Choir programs. Parents are encouraged to provide their email address to the Music Teachers at the beginning of each year to assist with this communication.

Health & Safety

Sickness: Parents are asked to keep students who are unwell at home. Please refer to the compulsory exclusion document from the Department of Health.

Accidents/Illness at School: Whilst the care and protection of your child at school receives appropriate attention, accidents may still occur. In the case of an accident or illness, only basic first aid can be administered. Parents will be contacted as soon as possible and advised of the circumstances, usually with the recommendation from the Administration, that the child be collected and taken home. If there is a serious accident, an ambulance will be called to transport the child to hospital. Please ensure that your contact details are current to assist us with this.

Administration of Medication: Administration staff accept responsibility to give medication to students during school hours only when it is absolutely necessary.

Guidelines set by Education Queensland are as follows:-

  • Oral medication will be given strictly in accordance with instructions supplied by the student’s medical practitioner and must be in writing. Non-prescribed oral medications eg. Analgesics/cough syrups will not be given.
  • Where a staff member is to administer long-term medication, the instructions provided should be typed by a pharmacist at the doctor’s direction. The staff member will not accept the instructions solely of a parent. The medication container needs to indicate specific times at which medication is to be administered as well as the quantity of dosage.
  • A medication permission form available from the office is required to be completed.
  • At no time will any medication provided for one student be administered to another student.
  • At all times medication will be kept in a secure place.
  • All unused medication will be returned to the parents.

Allergies: Please be aware that some students at our school have allergies to foods, plants, animals, and insect bites. Sometimes this allergy can be life threatening and the student needs to use an Epipen to avoid Anaphylactic reactions. If your child has an allergy, please ensure that you inform the class teacher and the office staff and provide them with the necessary medication. A management plan will be developed in consultation with the parents, doctor and administration to support the child with the allergy. This information is required to updated annually.

If a child has a severe allergy, a note will be sent home informing the families of other children in that class of the allergy and asking for assistance to limit the possibility of causing an allergic reaction eg. Please don’t bring peanut related products to school.

Sun Safety – “No Hat = No Play” Rule: At Algester Primary School we are committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our students. We have an abundance of natural and built shaded areas within our school.

We have a “No Hat = No Play” school policy that requires students to wear brimmed hats when they are outside, as part of the school uniform. Children who do not have a hat during lunch periods will be asked to sit in the covered eating areas.

Emergency Evacuation: Procedures have been adopted which promote speedy evacuations of the buildings in cases of emergency. Regular practice is given in these procedures. A siren is used as a warning. All members of the school community are requested to participate in all drills.

School Dental Health Services: Free Dental treatment is available to all primary school students at a series of Dental Clinics, from the age of five years, if an application/consent form has been completed by the parents. Algester does not have a dental clinic. The contact details for the Department of Health Dental Clinic is Ph 1300 300 850

Smoking in the School Grounds: Smoking is strictly prohibited in the school grounds.

Dogs at school: While most dogs are family pets and may not react badly to child interaction, in a school setting, their behaviour may be excitable and unpredictable. Some students may also react to dogs in an unpredictable way which could cause the dog or the child harm. If you walk your dog to school with your children we ask that:

  • Aggressive or untrained dogs are not brought to school
  • You do not enter the school grounds with the dog
  • The dog is always walked on a secure leash
  • You don’t leave the dog unattended outside the school grounds
  • You and the dog wait for your children outside the school grounds away from the main thoroughfares to minimise contact with other students
  • You do not access the school grounds with the dog without the permission of the Principal.

Transport & Safety

Bicycle and Scooter Safety: Riding a bicycle or scooter on the roadway in conjunction with larger, much faster conveyances such as cars and trucks requires a high degree of skill, knowledge and maturity. Before allowing a child to ride a bicycle or scooter to school, please consider the following carefully:

  • The wearing of an approved safety helmet.
  • The child’s ability to manoeuvre and control a bicycle or scooter in traffic.
  • The safest route to take.

Bicycles or scooters are not to be ridden in the school grounds. Inside the grounds bicycles or scooters are to be walked to and from the bicycle racks provided for them. For security reasons, children are advised to have bike locks. The bike racks are locked from 9.00am to 3.00pm to ensure the security of the bikes and scooters. Collection of bikes or scooters outside of these times is by arrangement with the office staff.

Bus Services: Brisbane City Council provides transport to and from the school. For bus routes and timetables visit the translink website.

Parking: Parking areas and student drop off and collection areas have been provided outside the school. Please take care of children alighting from buses and other vehicles in these spaces. Observance of all road signs in the vicinity is also requested in order to provide as safe an environment as possible for our children on their way to and from school. Please ensure your car is stationary before letting out or collecting children.

There is no facility to park in the school grounds. On street parking is provided on Endiandra St and Ridgewood Rd. The Algester Sports Club permit parents to park their cars in their car parks before school and after school. Please do not enter the school grounds in your vehicle unless a prior arrangement has been made with the Principal. The “off street” parking areas within the grounds are for visitors and staff only in order to minimise the risk of injury to our students and to allow more street parking.

School Crossings: Persons trained by the Department of Transport supervise the pedestrian crossings on Endiandra St, and two crossings on Ridgewood Rd. These Lollipop supervisors are on duty from 8am to 9am and 3pm to 3.30pm.

No Standing Zones: Cars are not to be parked in the NO STANDING zones, as this obstructs the view of the supervisor. Full co-operation of both parents and children is requested for the safety of all.

Drop Off Zone: The 2 Minute Passenger Loading Zone [Drop Off Zone] is for set down or pick up. For those in a hurry who wish to ‘stop drop and go’, the 2 minute zone is for your convenience. Here are a few notes to consider for proper use of the zone.

Before school:

  • There is no supervision provided in the mornings.
  • Access the drop off zone from AJ’s Sports club end of Endiandra Street.
  • Drive into the drop off zone as far down the left lane as possible.
  • The students exit the car, but the car cannot be left unattended.
  • Once the students leave the car they can walk back up towards the office and down the pathway or cross the admin car park on the crossing and enter the tuckshop undercover area.
  • There is strictly no parking and parents are asked to move through as quickly as possible to maintain smooth flow of traffic.
  • Exit the drop off zone by pulling into the right drive through lane and exiting the school driveway.
  • There is no right turn from the school driveway. Left turn only until 9am

After School:

  • There is supervision provided for 20mins after school by a teacher aide and a member of Admin.
  • Students make their own way to the tuckshop undercover area at 3pm.
  • Access the drop off zone from AJ’s Sports club end of Endiandra Street.
  • There is no right turn into the drop off zone from the school oval end of Endiandra St.
  • Drive into the drop off zone as far down the left lane as possible.
  • Students move from the undercover area, across the car park crossing to the drop off zone when they see the parent’s car enter the drop off zone.
  • Students enter the car as quickly as possible.
  • Parents are asked not to wait at the drop off zone for their child to arrive if they are not at the waiting area. Instead they are asked to exit and drive around the block to re-enter the drop off zone to maintain a smooth flow of traffic.
  • At 3.20pm remaining students move to the drop off zone footpath and wait for their parents unsupervised.
  • Exit the drop off zone by pulling into the right drive through lane and exiting the school driveway.
  • There is no right turn from the school driveway. Left turn only until 4pm.
  • If children cannot be collected by 3.20pm parents are requested to make alternative after school care arrangements.

Please note Parking and Drop Off Zone are constantly monitored by our local Police.

Before and After School Care

The school has an external provider located on the school grounds that provides a before and after school care service from 6 a.m. in the morning until school commences and after school until 6 p.m. There are fees associated with this service and you should contact the Director to make arrangements for your child/ren. Due to their age, the service provides a drop off and pick up service for Prep children. Numbers are limited so you should arrange your requirements as soon as possible. There are also other nearby services that you also might like to consider.

Student Resources Scheme and Levies

Consumable Contribution Prep to Year 6: The aim of Algester Primary School is to achieve the best learning outcomes for all students. Each year, the school asks parents to contribute to the payment for classroom consumables and other resource items as deemed necessary by the teacher and school.

From 1st January 2012 the scheme has operated under the policy and guidelines of the Department of Education and Training FNM-PR-018: Student Resources Scheme. The scheme is still supported and annually approved by our Parents and Citizens Association {P&C}, is still managed by the school and operates in accordance with section 51 of the Education [General Provisions] Act 2006.

Years Prep – 6 = $120 which consists of $100 Student Resource and $20 Voluntary Contribution to help maintain air conditioning in our classrooms.

The scheme is voluntary however, please be aware that books, materials and consumables required under this scheme are not funded by school grants. Therefore if you do not wish to join the scheme you are still responsible for providing your child with the items that would otherwise have been provided by the scheme to enable your child to fully engage with the curriculum. Items provided by the scheme could include: Reproduced class workbooks; additional art and craft supplies; stationery; writing and drawing equipment; consumables and cooking materials; and access to Matific, Sunshine Books/SeeSaw and Literacy Planet Programs.

Music Contributions

As part of the Algester Primary School Instrumental Program the following levies apply:

  • Students with a loan instrument pay $90
  • Students who own an instrument pay $40

Excursions, Incursions and Camps: From time to time educational activities are organised to reinforce work undertaken at school. For these excursions etc, students are expected to meet the cost of transport and admission fees. No student is permitted to participate without the written consent of parents. Detailed information is forwarded home at appropriate times throughout the year.

Book Lists: Year level book lists are forwarded home with each student in readiness for the following year. A prepaid system with a supplier is offered. Parents are required to purchase all items on the list prior to the commencement of the school year. All books, pens, pencils, calculators, etc. need to be clearly labelled with the child’s name for easy identification. All items need to be replaced if lost or used.

App Lists: A Core List is required across the school for all students. This is supplemented with Year Level App Lists which are also required to be purchased. Once Apps are purchased via a home Apple ID and shared using Family Sharing, they become accessible for all children within the family at school and home from year to year. The school makes minimal changes to the App lists each year to ensure families have low costs to maintain their children’s ipads.


Open Communication: Open communication between parents and staff creates positive relationships based on trust and shared responsibility for your child’s learning. Two-way communication is an important aspect of our school’s interaction with the community. The school informs parents about school events and about the progress of your child. Knowing what goes on in your child’s school and figuring out the best way to communicate with the school staff can assist you to be effective in supporting your child.

Sharing information: Events in family life such as a major illness, visits of significant relatives, accidents, and the death of close relatives, friends or pets can cause major concern or change in the behaviour of your child. Please share this information with your child’s teacher so that they may best support your child if needed.

Raising Concerns: From time to time, parents may have a concern arising from matters that occur in the school. We believe these concerns are best addressed in the school within our “Open Communication” policy. The following procedure should be followed:

If it concerns a class issue:

  • Arrange a mutually convenient interview time with your child’s teacher.
  • Clarify issues involved in the concern at the beginning of the meeting (or prior to the meeting if possible).
  • Share available information about the issue.
  • Give the teacher an opportunity to tell all he / she knows of the issue.
  • Take steps to resolve the concern (even if a resolution does not occur they may be a useful exchange of information).
  • If not resolved, then an appointment should be made with the Deputy Principal within that area of responsibility. Parents are requested to follow the protocol, as it is important that concerns are raised as early as possible so that the escalation of difficulties may be prevented. This procedure allows a calm approach where satisfactory resolutions result in win/win situations.

Parent Information Night: At the beginning of each year, usually in weeks 3 and 4, teachers provide an information night to meet the parents of their students and to inform them of the curriculum for the year and class procedures. Information about these sessions is via a note home. The purpose of this night is to provide information and is not a one-on-one interview opportunity. Should parents require individual time to discuss issues with their child’s teacher, they are free to make an appointment for an alternative time.

School Reports: A comprehensive program of written and oral reporting is in place:

  • Parent / Teacher interviews are conducted at the end of Term 1 and Term 3.
  • End of semester written report twice yearly. Written reports will be emailed home to parents at the end of Term 2 and Term 4.
  • Parent / Teacher contact over issues of mutual concern is strongly encouraged. Appointments need to be made at a mutually convenient time to allow teachers adequate preparation time, especially before school.

Information Updates: Class letter and information notes are written on specific topics and will go home at different times through the year. Please ensure your child understands the importance of passing these notes to you.

Email: Most teachers provide parents with their school email address at the Parent Information Night at the beginning of the year and are available on the school website. The policy for use of email is that teachers will respond to the email within two working days. Any urgent communication should be forwarded through the school office. Any other email enquiries can be directed to: admin@algesterss.eq.edu.au.

eNews – Electronic Newsletter: School newsletters are issued every second Wednesday. It contains important information with regard to school matters and is the major means of communication between the school and home. All notes sent home are also linked to this newsletter for parents. Algester Primary School offers you interactive, full colour electronic newsletters emailed direct to your email address. To sign up for our eNews please go to the school’s website and click on subscribe to our newsletter. Australian Newsletter Services has made the signup process automated and only takes a few minutes when prompts are followed. Your email address will only be used to send out our school eNews.

School Website: Algester State School has a website that contains current information about the school, the curriculum and other information.

Algester Primary School Facebook Page: Algester Primary School has its own Facebook page to remind parents about upcoming events, showcase events that have occurred at school and to provide instantaneous information about changes to school routines due to poor weather or other difficulties. Log on to Facebook and Like our page to get these updates on your smartphone. Please note this is not a forum for discussion or complaints. If you have any issues, please contact the school or class teacher.

Q Schools App: Parents can access most of the information on their smartphone from our school website on the Q Schools App. Download this app from iTunes or Google Play to your smartphone. You can then access all notes home from the website and also get most of the information from our website under the various headings.

Q Parents App: Algester Primary School is proud to offer QParents as a way to increase communication with parents. The QParents web and mobile application provides a more convenient, easier way for parents and legal guardians of students to interact with our school. Parents can have a secure, online access to their child’s student information, anytime, anywhere, through a smartphone, tablet or computer. QParents allows parents to connect instantly with the school to access and manage their child’s student information, including:

  • View attendance and absence details
  • Notify the school of a reason for absence (current or future)
  • View behaviour information
  • Access report cards
  • View unpaid invoice details, payment history and make payments online.
  • View and update student details, including medical conditions and address.
  • View enrolment details

Benefits of QParents:

  • Convenience and time saving for parents
  • Parents can view and update their child’s details without having to contact the school.
  • Secure 24/7 online access
  • Available anytime, anywhere - access QParents on your smart phone tablet or computer

Information and instructions are available to parents of students currently enrolled at Algester Primary School. For those students enrolling in 2019 information and an invitation to register will be sent home in the first week of the school year. When registering you will need to verify 100 points of identity documents online. If you don’t reach the required points you can still register by finalising your details at the office. Ring now to find out how …phone 3712 5111.

Calendar of Events: At the beginning of each term a Term Calendar of Events will be sent home via the eldest child in each family. This document contains important information about what is happening in the school during that particular term.

SeeSaw App: This relatively new App is being used by our teachers to share the work of our children with their peers and their parents. It is a bit like Facebook but is not open to the public. Students can like each’s other’s work and provide encouraging remarks. Parents can see only their child’s work and can also provide encouraging comments. We have found that parents have been enjoying using this App to learn about how their children are going at school. We have also found that it is replacing written notes as a great way for teachers to communicate with families. Please log in to See Saw and be prepared to be a bigger part of your child’s learning at school!

Assembly Days: All parents are invited to join us for assembly each week for information, performances and the awarding of certificates for students:

  • Junior Parade (Prep - Yr 2) each Monday at 2.30 p.m. – 3.00 p.m.
  • Senior Parade (Yr 3 - 6) each Wednesday at 2.30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Both assemblies are held in the multi-purpose hall. Students attending junior parade will bring their belongings to parade with them and will be collected or dismissed from the Hall after parade. Prep Parents, please note that Prep students are to be collected from Parade in our school Hall on the Monday parade days.

Public Facebook Sites & Social Media: We live in a world that is connected and information spreads both rapidly and widely. Social Media is a wonderful way to keep in touch with our friends and family and can be a way of sharing special moments and great times. However, it is not the best way to express our displeasure about things. Concerns can be misconstrued and a spiral of negativity created with ensuing posts. And our statements and the comments of others once published stay there forever, even if removed by the owner. The provider has a copy of them. Goodness knows how many other people have taken a screenshot of them as well and passed them around. I include a little graphic to help guide you in how to make posts online. It is true that people who post complaints or misinformation do gain a bad reputation so it is wise to be careful about how you post things. Social media is certainly not the forum for posting concerns about our school. You should seek to address any concerns you have firstly with your child's classroom teacher and then the school administration. The school is aware of some Facebook sites created by parents in our school that attempt to be helpful and informative. We ask that you post information respectfully and wisely. We are also aware that there are various public community sites and we again ask that you post information according to the THINK criteria. You should always check on the accuracy of information prior to posting. Consider the helpfulness of what you are posting and the greatest check of all, does it have kind intentions? The school will not take lightly any slanderous allegations made on social media sites and consider any legal avenues necessary for posts that are defamatory. I also attach a link to additional information about the use of Social Media and schools from Education Qld.

Record Keeping

Student Personal Records: The school keeps a computer record of students’ names, addresses, telephone numbers etc ensuring the Administration is able to contact parents in the event of illness/accidents. To ensure that these records are accurate, parents are asked to advise the school immediately in writing if any of these details change:-

  • Mailing and home address
  • Telephone numbers (home, work, mobile)
  • Family situation
  • Emergency contacts (other than parents)
  • Email address

Recording Absences: Parents are requested to phone the Absentee Phone Line on 3712 5111 (press 1) by 9.00am to report/advise children’s absences. The school regularly follows up with parents if students have multiple days of unexplained absence. This information is kept on school record. Unexplained absences will appear on student’s report cards.

P&C Association

Overview: Parental involvement in your child’s education is greatly encouraged at Algester Primary School. During these early educational years it is so important to be informed and involved in order to provide the best support for your child. One way to stay in touch with your school is to be involved with the Parents & Citizen Association (P&C). All parents, guardians, carers and friends are most welcome to participate in the Association’s endeavours, which in return will have a major input in the life of your child and the workings of Algester Primary School.

Why is it important to have a P&C Committee? The Government provides schools with grounds, buildings, wages and basic resources and as such an amount is calculated on the basis of student numbers. Your Parent & Citizens Association supplements these resources and provides items for students, which are not normally supplied by the Government. These include the School Hall, extra shade areas around the school, additional resources such as technology (computers, electronic whiteboards and associated equipment), library resources, reading room books, playground and sporting equipment just to name a few.

Money is raised through voluntary family contributions, the Uniform Shop, Tuckshop and other fundraising ventures held throughout the year. The Uniform Shop and Tuckshop are run by employed convenors and assisted by a team of volunteer parents whose services are essential for their successful operation. All staff, parents of children attending this school and members of the community are entitled to be members of the P&C. Some projects the P&C Association have contributed to in recent years:

  • Air Conditioning the school
  • Upgrading the furniture in classrooms
  • A new PE Shed
  • Upgrade of the lighting system in the school hall
  • Installation of ceiling fans in the school hall

P&C Monthly Meetings: We at Algester Primary School are very fortunate to have a strong and friendly P&C association. It’s easy to be involved all you need to do is join us at our friendly and relaxed P&C meetings. The P&C meet on the third Tuesday of each month in the Staffroom at 7:00 p.m. General school improvement and matters of educational interest are discussed at these meetings. New parents are warmly welcomed to the meetings and we are always ready to listen to fresh ideas, which can only benefit and enhance this fantastic school. Monthly meetings are always advertised in our eNews, Facebook Page and Calendar of Events on the website. You can contact the P&C President at Algester.president@gmail.com.

P&C Liaison Officer: The P&C Association employs its own P&C Liaison Officer, Mrs Jade Bird. Jade plays an active role in the school and the day-to-day general running of the P&C operations. She can be contacted at algester.operations@gmail.com.

Small Events Team (SET): Our Small Events Team meet on the second Wednesday of each month from 9.00am to 11.00am in the Staffroom. Fundraising is a very important part of school life, without it, many things that are taken for granted at state schools would simply not be there. The SET fundraising events are:-

  • Easter Raffle
  • Mother’s Day Stall
  • Father’s Day Stall
  • Christmas Stall

The Tuckshop: Our Tuckshop is operated by Mrs Heather Shiel supported by parents who work on a roster either weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Our school offers a 5 day a week tuckshop where you can order food either online as part of the MunchMonitor program. From the start of 2019, the school tuckshop will be cashless so all purchases must be made via a MunchMonitor account. You can order your child's lunch directly from MunchMonitor as well as allow a small spending allowance for your child for small snacks.

  • To order online go to www.munchmonitor.com.au
  • Enter Username: algesterss
  • Enter Password: munch4115
  • Click on Sign Up
  • Follow the prompts

Tuckshop volunteers are required from 9.00am to 11.00am. Even an hour of your time is greatly appreciated. As an incentive we offer you tea and coffee. To involve yourself in the Tuckshop is rewarding to both you and your child and all money raised goes back into the school community. If you can help, please contact Heather in the Tuckshop on 3712 5125. (direct line).

The Uniform Shop: This is operated by Jade Bird and supported by volunteer help from parents. The shop stocks new and a limited supply of second hand uniforms. The trading hours, during school terms only are:-

  • Mondays 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesdays 2:00 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

The Uniform Shop is open additional hours at the beginning of the new school year i.e. week prior to Term 1 commencing. Please check our school website for these additional trading hours. Any enquiries can be made to Jade at algester.operations@gmail.com during school terms only. Orders for the Uniform Shop can also be placed using the www.munchmonitor.com site and follow the prompts as written above.

The Uniform Shop is located in Z Block.

Multifest - Our School Fete: This is our biggest and best fundraiser of the year. Our annual Multifest is held in Term 4 and provides wonderful spirit to our school and local community. We have rides, displays, food stalls, showbags, finishing with fireworks at the end of the night. This truly is an event not to be missed; it’s our own little “School Ekka” only better! All the children, and their families look forward to it every year and every year it just gets bigger and better. Of course it doesn’t happen overnight, it takes a lot of planning and volunteers to make this a night to remember. During second and third term we have monthly meetings leading up to the event. So get involved with this year’s Mulitfest, it’s so much fun! Contact: algester.multifest@gmail.com

Algester Shared iPad Program 2019

Algester Primary School is a Shared iPad School. This means that we use iPads for learning in every classroom in a combination of Bring Your Own Devices (around 85%) and shared devices provided by the school by students (around 15%). There is an expectation that all students enrolling in Prep from 2019 will provide a device and the school will provide devices for students to share when this cannot occur. It is our experience that the best learning occurs for personally owned devices and not shared devices. Shared school devices cannot be taken home.

One of the benefits of mobile devices is that they enable learning anywhere, anytime. This allows a shift away from the industrial era model where the classroom is the central place of learning driven by the teacher and limited to instruction within the school day. In deploying mobile devices, the teacher is no longer at the centre of the learning process and the instructional time can transcend the school day. (Goodwin, 2012). Algester has witnessed a surge in the learning undertaken at home by students in iPad classes. A discourse founded in the United States Of America, entitled ‘Flipped Learning’ explores the use of mobile devices for undertaking home tasks for learning and school time becomes a reflection of this work and engagement in higher ordering thinking tasks. Many of our classes using iPads are exploring the ‘Flipped Learning’ space.

The use of iPads increases student motivation and engagement. (Dept. of Education & Early Childhood Development, 2011). Students use iPads to explore areas of personal interest, research, collate their findings and create their own digital multimedia reports. Some research indicates up to 90% approval ratings of iPads by students when asked if it made their learning more interesting and enjoyable. It has been our experience at Algester that our students love using iPads as tools for learning. They are more excited about their learning, are easily motivated to delve into deep learning using their devices and are fully engaged in their learning tasks.

‘The iPad helps me concentrate because it’s far more fun than a pen and paper.’

‘It helps me learn because I’m more excited to use the iPad and I focus better when I’m on the iPad.’

‘The iPad helps me learn because it actually makes me want to learn, which helps me get into it.’

Students, cited by (Dept. of Education & Early Childhood Development, 2011)

Another benefit of iPads is that they promote collaborative learning. (Diemer et al., 2012) Collaborative learning helps students develop skills that have a long term benefit and are a feature of 21st Century classrooms as they prepare students for workplaces that involve teamwork, negotiation and collaboration. Studies observing student behaviours indicate that students using iPads are more in sync with their peers than students not using iPads. The iPad-equipped students worked at the same pace as one another and shared their screens to help one another solve tough problems. (Diemer et al., 2012). This can be easily observed in the classes that use iPads at Algester where students readily work together to solve problems, share their work and ideate new concepts together.

The use of iPads also enhances communication between students (Habler et al., 2015). Student discussion within and beyond the classroom about their learning is always productive and stimulates higher order thinking and reasoning. Student work that is produced at school is easily shared across Bluetooth equipped devices like other iPads, PCs and interactive whiteboards. The school is also exploring safe social media applications designed for students to share their work like ‘See-Saw’ and we have had significant success with students sharing their work with other students that can be accessed at any time. Students use their devices to clearly articulate their learning. These recordings give teachers perspectives of their learning that were hitherto unavailable to them.

Another advantage of iPads is that there are a number of instructive education game-based applications that support aspects of the National Curriculum. The provision of instant feedback, an element of competition and the ability to prescribe different levels within games-based apps, appeals to both students and teachers. In a sense, the device can become a ‘second teacher’ in the classroom to support students’ learning. (Goodwin, 2012) While computers have served this purpose in the past, the mobility and speed of access of the iPads is far superior to traditional personal computers.

A substantial feature of iPads is the ability of teachers to tailor the learning tasks to suit the student. This ability to differentiate for students and cater for individual learning needs and preferences makes the devices truly personal. Many of the instructional Apps track student levels. The open ended Apps like ‘Book Creator’ allow children of all levels to express themselves at their own level. The predictive text function supports students to learn spelling and the choices involved in all of the Apps to scaffold and compensate for students’ emerging skills give a strong sense of student ownership of learning.

The iPad gives students greater control of their learning. (Dept. of Education & Early Childhood Development, 2011). Student voice and student choice is well backed by research for effective learning and the iPad allows students to personalise their learning through the setup of their device, the features they will use in their Apps, and the choice of Apps to serve their purposes. Coined, ‘App Smashing’ students in classes that use iPads at Algester typically choose several apps both simultaneously and consecutively to achieve their goals. The previous practice of teaching students how to use single purpose Apps like ‘Powerpoint’ or ‘Word’ is no longer relevant as students select the best app for them amongst the ever developing plethora of apps available.

Using iPads changes the way teachers teach and students learn. Schools report that academic performance is improving with iPad use. (Apple, 2016) Five years after implementing their one to one iPad program, Montlieu Academy of Technology, North Carolina, reported growth in test scores in all core subjects. They improved their academic achievement by 44.9% in reading and over 55% in maths and science. All classrooms at Valencia Park Elementary School, California have implemented a one to one iPad learning program and they have been recognised as one of the top performers in their state. Students gained a reading fluency rate by 4.6 words per minute in Year 2.

At Algester Primary School, our NAPLAN results for 2017 and 2018 reflect an increasing number of our students achieving in the upper two bands for literacy and numeracy since the introduction of iPad classes across our entire school.

Our society is changing quickly. Technology is at the forefront of change within workplaces as it permeates all spheres of employment. Automation, robotics, coding, drones etc are all impacting on future work options for students. The age of personal devices is amongst us with most adults using a mobile smart phone for work and play. Education needs to adapt to this changing world. The use if iPads for learning is a great way for us to prepare our students for this future.

Vision for Digital Technologies @ Algester Primary School: As technology continues to change, so do the modes in which we work, play and learn. Our vision is to develop student’s knowledge and digital skills they will require for the 21st century workforce to become:

  • Critical creative thinkers
  • Collaborators
  • Problem solvers

There are 7 interconnected elements that make up our vision: Future Society; Learner Centred Voice and Choice; Increased Engagement and Motivation; Improved Student Learning Outcomes; Collaboration; Learning Taking Place Anywhere, Anytime and; Developing and Maturing as Digital Citizens.

iPads and the Curriculum: Shared iPad classes will use their iPads in a way that considers learning requirements, health and safety each day. They will be used as one of many tools for learning. Students will still require school books and pencils according to their booklist. Learning is personalised for each student across a balanced curriculum.

The use of an iPad has not replaced the fundamental early year’s experiences that children require to develop fine, gross motor and social skills. With our balanced curriculum, iPads provide an important tool for teachers to provide 21st century learning experiences, giving added voice and choice for a learner-centred teaching approach

Apps: Parents/Carers will need an Apple ID to enrol in our iTunes U course to follow each post to purchase all Core Apps and Year Level specific Apps at home. Family Sharing enables Apps to be shared between family members and do not need to be purchased more than once to keep the cost to a minimum. You may load other apps on the iPad for use at home to be kept in a folder labelled “Home” as long as there is a minimum of 24Gb available for school use.

iPad Purchasing – Family Funded Program: Apple offers special iPad pricing for students attending our school. This special pricing is available for purchases made at Apple Stores, through our school’s customised online store http://apple.co/2rNp9BI or via the Apple contact centre. If you are purchasing in-store or over the phone just let the Store know our school’s name; Algester State School. Finance options are also available for purchases if you are purchasing at an Apple Store or online. You can also visit your local Apple Store, or call 133-622 to purchase through our contact centre. To find your local Apple store visit www.apple.com/au/retail. Some retailers may be able to offer you a payment plan.

Insurance: Parents are encouraged to provide personal insurance for their devices. Check with your preferred insurance company about personal insurance at home and to and from school for your iPad. You may want to investigate an extended Apple Care+ for iPad. For more information, visit http://www.apple.com/au/support/products/ipad.html

Transporting From Home To School: In transit, all iPads must be in a protective case inside their school bag. Water bottles should not be carried in the same section.

  • iPads travel to school every day in a secure and safe manner
  • In a sturdy iPad case
  • Zipped in school bag or iPad carry bag
  • iPads are not to be used before school, after school, whilst on school property (this includes no use at Before/After School Care).

During the Day

  • iPads will be stored in the classroom whilst not in use.
  • Each student must adhere to the Classroom iPad Rules
  • iPads come to school charged. Charger should not come to school.
  • Students involved in extra-curricular clubs that require iPad access will be granted access under teacher supervision.

General Care of the iPad - General Precautions

  • Food or drink should not be next to your iPad when in use.
  • Cords, cables, and removable storage must be inserted into, and removed from the iPad carefully.

Screen Care

  • The screen can be damaged if subjected to rough treatment. They are particularly susceptible to damage from excessive pressure and can be costly to repair.
  • Do not lean on the top of the iPad.
  • Do not place anything near the iPad that could put pressure on the screen.
  • Do not place anything in the carry case that will press against the cover.
  • Regularly clean the screen with a soft, dry cloth or anti-static cloth.

Battery Maintenance: The battery life of portable devices is improving as technological enhancements are made. To get the most out of the battery life of the iPads, follow these simple tips:

  • Reduce the screen brightness to a comfortable level
  • Disable connectivity such as WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use
  • Lock the iPad screen when not in use
  • Close all running Apps when not in use

Other Privately Owned Devices: Only Apple iPads will be able to be used in the Shared iPad Program. Algester State School will not sanction any other privately owned devices connecting to the school network. This exclusion includes all other private iPads, and mobile devices. The policy has been enacted to prevent exposure of the school network to security risks.

Student Dress Code: Our school from Prep to Year 6 is a uniform school.

The P & C of Algester State School resolves that it supports a student dress code because it believes that it promotes the objectives of the Education (General Provisions) Bill 2006. In particular the P & C of our school supports the intention of a student dress code in providing a safe and supportive teaching and learning environment by:

  • Ready identification of students and non-students at school;
  • eliminating distraction of competition in dress and fashion at school;
  • fostering a sense of belonging; and
  • developing a mutual respect among students through minimising visible evidence of economic or social differences.

This policy has been endorsed by our P & C Association and all students are expected to wear the correct school uniform. Sanctions such as detentions etc may be imposed for not wearing the correct school uniform. Children are expected to wear their uniform on all excursions as it assists to promote our school’s image in the community while making it easier to locate them in a crowd.

Boys Uniform

Unisex Polo Shirt: Green unisex polo shirt, green collar, vertical gold and white stripe, school name and motto.

Shorts – Bottle green unisex shorts, no longer than knee length.

Girls Uniform

Girls may wear culottes, shorts or netball skirt with the unisex polo shirt (especially for sporting activities)

Tunic: green and white check, zip front, princess line, full short sleeve, gold piping on front seam and sleeves with action back pleat, zippered pocket in side seam.

Culottes: bottle green, fitted waist band, front pleating, side pockets inserted.

Sports Skirt: Bottle green netball skirt or unisex bottle green shorts.

Shorts: Bottle green unisex shorts.

Unisex Polo shirt: Green unisex polo shirt, green collar, vertical gold and white stripe, school name and motto.

The principal will give consideration for religious, cultural and medical needs.

Shoes: Closed in laced or Velcro black shoes with white socks. Slip on canvas shoes, thongs and open sandals are dangerous and are not permitted.

Hats: Our Sunsafe Rule is: “No Sunsafe Hat, No Play”. Consequently all children and staff members must wear an appropriate sunsafe hat while engaged in activities in the open. Students MUST wear the school bucket hat.

Winter Uniform: Microfibre jacket in school colours: cardigan or jumper in dark green with or without gold trim. Three quarter legging type items are not to be worn. Girls may also wear green stockings.

Jewellery: The only jewellery to be worn at school are earrings (studs or sleepers and no more than one per ear), a watch and a signet ring. It is against Workplace Health and Safety Regulations to allow any other piercing apart from the ears. Similarly, no bracelets, anklets or necklaces are to be worn. The principal will give consideration for religious, cultural and medical needs. Nail polish or makeup is not permitted. Temporary tattoos are also forbidden.

Hair: Extreme hairstyles are not permitted. All hair that is shoulder length or longer is required to be worn pulled back and secured away from the face and shoulders with a scrunchie, band or ribbon (preferably green or white). Mohawk styles, coloured hair or tracks in the hair are not permitted. Rat’s tails must be hidden.

Homework Policy: At Algester School homework is set for Years Prep-6. The nature and format of the homework is decided by the class teacher and takes into consideration the needs of the class and the current classroom activities and areas of study.

Teachers may choose to set homework at the beginning of the week to be completed by the end of the week, or some each night, which is handed in the following morning, or a system that includes aspects of both these approaches. The setting of homework will not be used as a punishment. The time children should spend on homework is as follows:

  • Prep - Take home readers and sight words from Term 2
  • Years 1-3 - Generally not more than one (1) hour each week
  • Years 4-5 - Generally not more than 2-3 hours each week
  • Years 6 - Generally not more than 3-4 hours each week

Families have an important role to play in supporting children in their homework tasks. For our younger students, it is important that parents get involved by reading books to them and encouraging them in a range of activities. For the older students, parents can help them balance the amount of time spent completing homework, watching television, playing sport and doing part-time work.

Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students: Algester State School has a comprehensive Responsible Behaviour Plan for Students that has been developed with the school community and approved by the P&C Association. Some key features of the plan include:

The opening catalogue for our Rewards Shop, 2019
  • Philosophy built around the view that all children can learn about behaviour.
  • Weekly rules that are taught and reinforced.
  • A school wide Rewards Scheme that acknowledges and rewards good behaviour.
  • A school wide points system for children to earn rewards and achieve goals.
  • A Rewards Shop for children to redeem their earned rewards for tangible items.
  • School wide certificates that acknowledge good behaviour.
  • Consistent consequences for breaches of the school Code of Behaviour.
Success Key Cards earned by students for good behaviour @ Algester State School

School Watch

The School Watch program aims to encourage the community to watch over schools, safeguarding Queensland Schools against vandalism, theft and arson. Local communities are encouraged to look, listen and report to School Watch, any suspicious activity outside of school hours or during school holidays.

Encourage school neighbours and local community members to watch out for suspicious activity and report anything irregular to School Watch on 131 788. If it's an emergency then call Triple Zero (000).

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