Term 4 Week 2 Newsletter

Welcome Back to Term 4

It has been a delight to chat to the children this week to hear about their holiday adventures. I hope you all enjoyed having the children home for the fortnight and that everyone had a chance to rest and get ready for another exciting term at school. The teachers are refreshed and ready to work with you and the children to make this term a happy and productive one. Term 4 is traditionally very busy, with plenty of end of year events. Our Stage Newsletters, outlining our learning programs for each stage were sent home last week. All permission notes for excursions and incursions for the term were also included in this email. Please make sure you sign and return all permission notes by the due date. A big thank you for getting your child "photo ready" this morning for school photo day. Our second photo day is tomorrow so remember to sparkle again tomorrow! 

2021 Enrolment Intentions

We are currently in the process of planning for 2021. This includes the large task of determining staffing, classes, the location of each class in the school and the learning programs that will run next year. To complete this process, it is essential that we have accurate enrollment numbers. Please email the office as a matter of urgency if your child is not returning to Anzac Park for the 2021 school year.

2021 Organisation

As we move towards the end of the year, my focus has turned to many organisational aspects to prepare our school for 2021. We currently have close to 800 children enrolled for the 2021 school year at Anzac Park and there is much to do. This week we have been in full recruitment phase with a panel to select our second Deputy Principal. Selecting new staff for the Anzac Park team is a big job with lots of applications from people keen to join us. Each recruitment panel includes a member of the teaching staff as well as a member of the parent community. I would like to thank the teachers and parents involved in this process.

As a NSW government primary school, we are staffed on the total number of students enrolled. Public schools in NSW are staffed on average class sizes of 20 in Kindergarten, 22 in Year 1, 24 in Year 2 and 30 in Years 3-6. When I am confident of student numbers I will be able to proceed with plans for how the school will be structured, how many classes will be formed and how many teachers will be required next year. It is when this planning has taken place that students are then allocated into classes for the next year. In the development of classes for 2021, teachers will place student learning as their focus.

The factors that teachers consider in their collaborative planning of classes are; each student’s academic achievement, social relationships, specific learning needs and special needs. A great deal of time and thought are put into the organisation of classes and once formed I am reluctant to make changes due to the large impact that one move can make. As such I am requesting from parents before classes are formed, that if you have any information that may be relevant to where your child is placed in their 2021 class, please put this request in writing to me before Friday 13 November rather than in February. These requests will be considered as part of the larger jigsaw when forming classes.

Snapshot From Sunshine

At the end of Term 3, Sunshine explored the concept of ‘Argument’ by learning the formal debating structures. Students collaborated in a range of debates, exploring different real-world issues. They not only prepared and delivered their speeches, but also generated effective rebuttals. Teachers were impressed with students’ understanding of the roles of each speaker and their confidence in critical thinking.

News From STEAM with Mr Burfoot

Our STEAM teacher, Mr Burfoot, visited the RSPCA animal shelter at Yagoona during the holidays to present the projects that Stage 1 students created in Term 3. As part of their unit on fabric joining technologies, students learned to use a sewing machine, French knit, and weave without needles using Loopz yarn.

It was these Loopz yarn projects that were given to the RSPCA. Students made small blankets, pillows and cushions of a variety of colours. Stephanie, from the RSPCA, told Mr Burfoot that their creations will go to the younger animals, such as puppies and kittens, to keep them warm and loved. A great community project between APPS and RSPCA!

From The Library

We will be celebrating Book Week at Anzac Park in Week 4. Students in K-2 are asked to accessorise in a way that fits the theme of “Curious Creatures : Wild Minds”. This simple accessory should be able to be worn at library time and then removed. Curious can mean inquisitive (like a scientist or a spy) but also weird, strange or unusual. The theme lends itself to any number of ideas from odd socks to wild hair or a crazy hat. It could also simply be colourful and imaginative – a reflection of your unique, wild mind! We look forward to seeing your imagination at work. K-2 students are asked to join in the dress up fun on their regular library day (Wednesday, Thursday or Friday in Week 4). 3-6 students will have the chance to complete an online library treasure hunt to celebrate Book Week. This will be a google form and all correct entries will have the chance to win a voucher to spend in the next Scholastic Book Club.

Book Fair

Our library needs your support - Donate a book at our online book fair. Please consider supporting our school library by donating a brand new book at our online book fair which will run in Week 4 (from the afternoon of Monday Nov 2 – Friday Nov 6.) The books have been selected by library staff from our local independent bookstore, The Constant Reader in Crows Nest. The book you donate will receive a bookplate with your child’s name and class so your generosity will be remembered along with your child’s legacy at APS. All purchases need to be made online from The Constant Reader website – more details will follow shortly.

Conquering kids’ techno-tantrums

by Dr Kristy Goodwin

Many of us have witnessed our kids or teens emotionally combust when asked to switch off their gaming console or put their phone away. I colloquially call these ‘techno-tantrums’. Many of us fret that this signals that they’re ‘addicted’ to technology and find ourselves worrying about why they behave in such intense ways. So, what makes technology so psychologically appealing for kids and how can we help them to unplug so that screen-time doesn’t end in scream time?

Technology has been intentionally designed to cater for our kids’ most basic psychological drivers. As humans, our three most basic psychological needs are the need for connection, competence and control.

Technology caters for these needs in very clever ways. For example, our need for relational connection explains why many of our boys are obsessed with multi-player video games and girls are infatuated with social media. These online tools have also been designed to help young people experience competency- gamers see tangible measures of their performance by their levels of attainment, or battles won. Scrolling through YouTube and ‘selecting’ which video they’ll watch next also enables young people to experience a sense of control and agency over their lives – something they biologically crave.

Digital technology impacts on children and young people in the following ways:
  • It feels good. When our kids use a screen it’s usually a pleasurable experience for them. Their brains secrete the neurotransmitter dopamine, which makes them feel good. This means, when you demand that they turn the device off, you’re terminating their production of dopamine (pleasure response). It’s better to provide a choice of more appealing transition activities when you want them to move away from a screen. For example, suggest that they ride their bike, or walk the dog after they’ve switched off the device.
  • I want more. The online world has no stopping cues, so our kids and teen never feel ‘complete’ or ‘done’. They can always refresh social media; continue to play to attain another level in a game; or watch another YouTube clip. This is also referred to as the state of insufficiency. One parenting tip that works is to give your children and teens hard end points. Rather than giving them a quantity of time (for example, you can watch an hour of TV today), give them the finish time (for example, I’d like you to switch off the TV at 4:30pm).
  • It's so novel. Our brains are wired to seek out new and interesting stimulus. The online world is always instantly gratifying, fast-paced and requires minimal cognitive effort. In comparison the offline, real world doesn’t always offer novelty. The real world is a lot slower-paced, and it’s not always instantly rewarding and interesting like our kids’ digital world. Ensure your kids and teens have ample time to experience boredom. Our brains were never designed to be switched on and processing information as they are in the digital world. Opportunities for boredom allow the brain time to reset and help our kids become accustomed to not always being ‘switched on’.

P&C Update

Congratulations to our Silver & Gold Award Recipients!

Silver Awards are presented to students when they have received 3 Bronze Awards. Make sure you keep your child’s Bronze Awards safe and when they have collected 3, bring them into the office. Gold awards are presented to students when they have received 3 Silver Awards.

Upcoming Events

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