2021: Term 1 Week 2 – Welcome Back, Kindergarten First Day, New Blue Fence and more

Weekly News
Stay up to date with all of the news and upcoming events at Lake Heights Public School. 
From the Principal's desk
‘What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is often where we start from’
  • TS Elliot
Welcome back Over the course of the first few days at school, it has been wonderful to welcome all of our students back to another year of learning at LHPS. It is always special to see a new cohort of Kindergarten students begin their journey, and today marked that day for many. There are often tears from both parties as the children wave goodbye, some owing to sadness at the end of a ‘baby’s’ chapter, and some at the thought of having to leave their parents and carers to attend a whole day at ‘big school’. It is a special moment, and we look forward to sharing the journey together. Our newsletter will be published on Tuesdays this year, and we aim to implement some of the improvements to our communication methods suggested by our readers in recent survey processes, so expect to see some changes. Sadly, COVID remains a consideration in our community. I will continue to keep our community updated. One major change is the addition of QR codes to help trace any possible transmission in our community. Please scan the QR code at entry points each time you visit our site. If you intend to stay for more than a few minutes to attend a meeting or similar, please also sign in manually at the office and complete a COVID declaration. Detailed information on the current Departmental stance can always be found here: https://education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families Unfortunately at the moment, community visitors onsite still have limitations so assemblies remain in the same format as last year. Occasionally we will take special precautions to have visitors onsite for assemblies, such as next week’s SRC badging on Friday, but each visitor will be asked to complete a declaration for contact tracing purposes, and attendance is by invitation only to cap numbers. SRC elections will occur this week, and further information will be shared in coming days regarding the badging ceremony.  A major change over the holidays was the addition of our new school fencing. Despite looking great, the project is not quite finished as we are still finalising locking and opening mechanisms for the gates. Once complete, under Departmental Policy our site will be locked and secured each day outside of class hours. This means community members will not be able to access the site without prior arrangement after or before classes. I understand this represents a significant shift. It is not a local decision, but a Departmental mandate in line with the new fencing installation. During class hours, we will have self-closing gates that are opened by simply pushing. This will enable visitors to attend the office, but prevent dogs etc wandering onto our site. A reminder that all visitors to school sites must visit the office to sign in, with the exception of normal drop off and pickups. The two vehicle access points are not for pedestrian thoroughfare, so please use one of the two pedestrian entries on Northcliffe Dr or Grandview Parade. We will continue to allow holiday access to our site under the ‘Share our Space’ agreement between 8am and 5pm during school holiday periods detailed here: https://www.schoolinfrastructure.nsw.gov.au/programs/share-our-space.html Lastly, I wanted to thank our students, community and staff for the smooth entries into our new classes for 2021. It is a delicate process relying on accurate student numbers to secure staff and funding, and then a prescriptive formula for staff to student ratios to ensure appropriate class sizes. The decisions surrounding these processes are made with a detailed consideration of every child’s individual education. We welcome Miss Jemmah Layton to our staff this year who will be running a school STEM program following community surveys and consultation, in addition to her teaching load on 1/2. We also welcome Mrs Batist to our staff to provide additional Intensive Learning and Support to our students in an effort to offset some of the challenges presented in 2020 by COVID. I am excited to see what we can achieve together in 2021. Lastly, it is wonderful to see our students itching to come to school each day, but I must remind our community that supervision begins at 8.30, and students should not be onsite before this time. If they arrive a few minutes early, students are to sit outside our Stage 1 classrooms until staff arrive to accompany them to the playground. Have a great week. Kieren Corbyn, Principal.
Meet the teacher
We know that a new year is an exciting time for students and parents as they enter a new grade and class. One of the most exciting aspects of this is finding out who the teacher is and what exciting things they have planned for the year ahead.  As a school, we look forward to providing you with the opportunity to meet the teacher during parent teacher conversations in Week 6. We will inform you of access to booking slots via the school website in the next couple of weeks. Teachers will also be sending home notes next week to introduce themselves and answer common questions, after which contact can also be made via Dojo. Classes and teachers for 2021 are as follows:  
KB- Mrs Brisbane and Mrs Briggs 1L- Miss Layton and Mrs Upeski 1/2H- Miss Hunter 2/3/4F- Mr Finkernagel 4/5- Mr Hurd 5/6- Mrs Nicastri
 
Starting school
We welcome our new Kindergarten students as they start their journey into formal schooling. We have been so impressed with the way they have transitioned so well and both Mrs Brisbane and Mrs Briggs are very excited to begin the year with such an enthusiastic group of students.  Click on the above video for a sneak peak of their first morning.
Sports Captains and SRC

Congratulations to our newly elected Sports Captains and Student Representative Council.

We are proud to announce that our 2021 Sports Captains and SRC have been elected. We will be having a short badging ceremony with attendance by invite only on Friday 12 February.  Congratulations to these students and we look forward to seeing their leadership skills develop as the year progresses.  
Changes to lunch menu
Please note that there have been some slight price changes to our lunch menu.
What works best: 2020 update
NSW public schools are committed to ensuring that how we teach your child is based on what we know makes the biggest difference to their learning. In March last year, the NSW Department of Education released an update of some of the most significant research into effective teaching. This report is called ‘What works best: 2020 update’ and outlines eight evidence-based practices that teachers can use in their classrooms to support improved student learning. At LHPS, we have dedicated staff development sessions to unpacking each of these eight evidence-based practices to ensure that our students are receiving the best teaching and learning opportunities possible. Over the next few weeks we will provide you with an insight into the way different classes achieve each practice.  In anticipation of these weekly class snapshots, we invite you to download the attached summary for parents and carers, "What works best: 2020 update".  
Positive Coping Strategies at home

As the year begins, it is a good time to reflect on what positive coping strategies you can foster at home.

As children transition into new classes, or at various times throughout the year, children may experience some stress or friendship difficulties. Providing your child with tools to help ​them during this time can set them up for success as they encounter difficulties. Promoting resilience and expressing gratitude are two such skills that have been highlighted in the flyer above that you may like to try at home. 
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Next newsletter:  Tuesday 9 February 2021

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