Building a sense of community

Building a sense of community

I have been asking staff and parents about one of the many reasons why St Margaret’s ELC and Junior School is so special. A resounding answer I get is about the sense of community we have at our school. As the term draws to a close, I reflect on some of the many activities that have nurtured and built our ELC and Junior School community.

Our inaugural ELC Picnic over a week ago was a wonderful way to enable new and old ELC families to connect. The children delighted in being able to show their parents (especially those who work) their special place of learning. The atmosphere was happy and an opportunity for people to get to know each other. Sincere thanks to the ELC Director, Mrs Sue Eden and her team of educators for making this event possible. Following the picnic, many of the parents and children walked to the Family Movie Night organised by the Parents’ and Friends’ Association. Around 400 people attended. The weather was kind; sausages, popcorn and drinks filled tummies and an entertaining night was had by all. Thank you to the P and F for the organisation of the evening; a great community event.

Each Monday I enjoy being the teacher on duty whilst many children try their hands at Cup Stacking under the watchful eye of Ty Hallam. Some of our students recently participated in the Arnold Festival held in the city and competed against students from around the world in the Cup Stacking competition. Congratulations to the following students for notable achievements: Year 1- Ava (1st -Gold medal), Logan (3rd – Bronze medal), Rui (1st – Gold medal), Richard (2nd- Silver); Year 4- Nicholas (3rd – Bronze), Matilda (4th ), Thevin – (participation award) and Year 6 – Lauren (Bronze) was inducted as a member of the Stackaroos. Thank you to the parents of all the children for your support at the festival.

I also draw your attention to Mr Hibbins’ report about the recent Lightning Premiership competition which is an interschool sport competition, undertaken by all of our Year 5 and 6 students. Our school is getting a reputation not only for our grit and determination but our prowess on the field. An example is both boys and girls cricket teams beat all other participating local schools, 6 in total, to win their respective Grand Finals. This involved a tightly contested final for the boys which saw them emerge as winners following the last play of the game to win 135 – 134. I believe Robbie from Year 5 took the winning catch – what a thrill for all!

Another opportunity for parents to partake in community opportunities is the Principal’s Morning Tea. I was invited by Ms Annette Rome to speak last Tuesday. I spoke about several topics and great discussion ensued with those present about the following: play-based learning, screen time, anxiety, over-scheduling our children, lying and role-modelling. I also mentioned two excellent online resources which I think all parents, regardless of your child’s age, should be accessing. https://raisingchildren.net.au/ is a parent website backed by Australian experts which can help parents access information (videos, articles and apps) on a range of topics and it caters for the periods of pregnancy right through to the teen years. I would be interested to hear how you find this website. Another site I recommend is https://www.commonsensemedia.org/ This site is for parents and teachers to access information related to all types of media – movies, apps, videos, books, TV shows. I wish they were around when my children were younger so I could have known well ahead of time about whether particular movies, video games were age-appropriate and what themes and language they contained. It is worth looking at and again, I am keen to hear your feedback. I also hope to see many of you at the Unicorn Series evening event on April 2 in the Lecture Theatre from 6.30pm.

The soiree held on Monday was a wonderful community event, celebrating the work of all children in Year 2 to 6. Performances ranged from two Year 6 soloists, Jonte and Tijana-Mai, to the choirs, ensembles and ended with all children singing a song together. Thank you to the Music staff: Ms Elise Ryan, Mrs Emily Birmingham, Mrs Elizabeth Freemantle, Mr Mark Mason, and Mr Marten Visser for your hard work with the children throughout the term, to produce a very entertaining afternoon.

I look forward to seeing you all on our first day of Term 2 which is Tuesday 23 April and the expectation is that during a transition period of 3 weeks, children can wear their full winter or summer school uniform. Full winter uniform is to be worn as of 13 May.

Thank you for your very warm welcome to this community; I feel at home here already! I wish you and your family well for the impending holiday break.

Ms Louise Sayar
Head of Junior School

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