Principal’s Comment – 2nd February 2018

Dear Parents and Carers,

It was good to welcome our new students to the School on Tuesday for their morning of induction designed to help their transition into the life of the School. All seemed to go well, and the start of the term for the whole School seems to have gone equally smoothly. I am pleased that we have the numbers we expected in Year 7 at 44; having seven new boarding students in McVay House is also an added bonus. That our recruitment has continued so positively in difficult times is a fine testament to the School.

As we start the new year, a few points, if I may, to help the transition back to School in the first week or so.

The Car Park

The parking area in front of the School is primarily for the use of visitors and parents, as well as for buses to drop-off and collect students. The use of this car park has been successful but our risk assessment has identified one or two points which would merit attention and with which I need your help.

Speed limit – vehicles should limit speeds to walking pace (as per the signs) to make stopping easier in the event of children running into the car park

Timing – the buses tend to arrive in the morning between 0835 and 0845 so if drop-off by car can be arranged outside of these times it would ease congestion. At the end of the day the buses arrive from 1445 and depart at 1500 – if at all possible please do not arrive before these times. Students who are not on buses are not released until 1500 so there is no need to be here earlier.

No-parking areas – to allow safe bus access the entire area in front of the Dempster building is zoned for no-parking between 0835 and 0845, and 1445 and 1505. Please do not park in this area during these times.

Pedestrians – students have been told not to cross the car park whilst the buses are present. When crossing the car park they have been be told to show good sense and look, listen and proceed with caution.

Reversing – please reverse with care and check your mirrors or reversing camera.

Student Drivers

Students who are licensed to drive are allowed to use mopeds or cars to travel to and from the School provided they have completed the necessary permission forms (obtainable from Reception). Mopeds and cars are to be parked in the designated area in the Flinders car park.

Early Departure from School

No student may leave the School during the School day without being signed-out by their parent or carer. Year 11 and 12 students, in particular, are not allowed out of the School during study periods and cannot sign-out themselves. The School has a duty-of-care during the School day, acting in loco parentis, so we cannot let students off-campus without supervision.

Camps

Just a reminder that students in Years 7 and 8 have the opportunity of attending an adventure camp at Margaret River from Monday 9th to Friday 13th April. Year 8s will not simply be repeating what they experienced last year but will have a programme which challenges them appropriately, and develops skills. Certainly the Year 8 students who attended last year loved the experience. Year 9s have their Canberra Camp in the first week of Term 3. We do recognise that the cost of these camps is not insignificant and so we are quite willing to make payment plans to ease the burden – please contact Reception about this. Full details of all camps will be made available in due course but if a student is not able to attend because of cost we do plan to try and arrange an alternative programme.

Sundowner for New Parents/Carers

I have sent an invitation to all parents/carers about the sundowner (only for parents/carers) to be held from 5.30pm to 7.00pm on Wednesday 14th February, at the School. Members of staff and the School Council will also be in attendance. Please make a note in your diaries and ensure that you have returned the attendance slip by Monday 13th February. This event is always a most convivial occasion and I encourage you to attend.

Homework

It is quite normal for new students to feel a little overwhelmed by homework in the first few days and weeks. We do recommend a maximum of 45 minutes per evening for Year 7 students, and we are planning to refrain from issuing homework which is due the following day. It is also our intention to make the activities authentic and purposeful learning experiences. The usual pattern of setting homework for Year 7s is as follows:

HASS (geography, history etc.) – Monday
Science – Tuesday
English – Wednesday
Mathematics – Thursday

Of course if homework does pose issues please contact, in the first instance, your child’s subject teacher.

Communications

Whilst on the subject of making contact we seek to communicate with parents and carers as efficiently as possible. Our calendar is updated regularly and is available through SEQTA, on the website and via Skoolbag. With regard to the latter if you have an iPhone or iPad I would urge you to download the App. To get the App you need to search for Esperance Anglican Community School

‘Skoolbag’ and make sure you check the iPhone tab – we can then link with each other. I do hope this will work well so please keep in-touch with your thoughts.

To assist with communications I have produced a summary of how, and with whom, you can get intouch. This guide accompanies this ‘Comment’ and will also be made available on the website; I
commend it to you.

TAFE and Work Placement

It would be fair to say that there has been some lack of clarity over work placement and TAFE enrolment, although students had all been briefed. To help with this please take a note of the following:

  • Both Mrs Lisa Marquis and Mr Iain Clark are available at any time as a point of contact for students' and parents' VET enquiries.
  • Mrs Marquis will handle the administration of student documentation (distribution, monitoring, assessment and collation) required by students/families/employers
  • Mr Clark will handle queries regarding enrolment and any other unresolved issues

Study Skills

We will, again, be running a series of seminars for all students on Monday 26th and Tuesday 27thMarch to hone their skills in studying effectively. This Elevate programme builds on the work done in Advisory Groups, and on the start we made last year on a whole-school programme. Our experience last year confirmed the quality and value of the programme, and we hope to hold a session for parents too.

Lost Property

Inevitably, from time-to-time, students will ‘misplace’ items of personal property; if these are found lying around they are put into a large box in Doug Murray Place to be retrieved. Of course it helps hugely, in the repatriation process, if all articles are named.

New Initiatives

It is heartening to be able to develop the talents of students in specific ways and, to this end, our specialist programmes in netball and tennis have started in earnest. We are also continuing to receive assistance from Volleyball WA in supporting our volleyball team. Big Picture is also now firmly established from Year 9 through to Year 12. We have also begun to use our new Good Standing Policy on student behaviour and commitment. In the year of our Tenth Anniversary we will be organising a number of events in celebration, with the focus being on a Founder’s Day celebration on Wednesday 6th June; this will be followed by a major expressive arts production towards the end of Term 2. I will also be inviting parents, students, staff and Council members to meet together to discuss what we might wish to see the School develop over the next ten years.

Landscaping and Works

The bulk of the landscaping works between Dempster and McVay has been completed and the resulting appearance of the School is wonderful; please take a look when you have an opportunity.
A number of other tasks were completed over the vacation:

The Sports Shed now has electrical power
Horizon have serviced the mains electricity supply
All aircon units have been serviced
Gas and water supply valves have been renewed
The whole School has been treated for various pests
Locks shown to be needing attention after the last lock-down have been repaired or replaced
Telephone links to all classrooms have been installed to aid communication
Security cameras have been installed in the public areas of McVay

Forthcoming Events

Although details are in the calendar you might like additional notification of the following events:

Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th February – Boarding Camp for McVay House at the Duke of Orleans Bay Camp Site
Monday 5th – 1210 Chapel service and Commissioning of Prefects (Chapel has been rescheduled to Monday each week)
Saturday 10th – Installation of Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy at St. George’s Cathedral
Tuesday 13th – 1715 PFA Committee Meeting (a letter has been sent about this)
Wednesday 14th – 1730 Sundowner at the School

Thursday 22nd to Sunday 25th March – PIAF Camp for Years 11-12. An opportunity to explore a whole variety of artistic offerings in Perth, including a trip to the Perth Zoo to discover more about conservation.

I hope this information will ensure that we have a smooth start to the year. I write each week with similar information to keep all of the community informed but, as always, I look forward to working with you all for the benefit of our young people.

With warm wishes.

Yours sincerely,

Kerr-sign

P. Kerr Fulton-Peebles
Principal