Message from Sally
Thank you to the many members of our community who have corresponded with me regarding the issue of increasing student numbers at NMPS.
In this ‘Message From Sally’ entry, I write to assure the NMPS community that we are aware of the current situation and future numbers and growth projections.
NMPS has a proud history of being an excellent local school; however our local area includes spaces that were not historically places for families to reside, like the Docklands and the inner-city of Melbourne.
Our current local neighbourhood area is ascertained according to a general DET principle of ‘local neighbourhood school’. This can be found on the Department of Education & Training Website www.education.vic.gov.au/school/parents/primary/Pages/boundary.aspx which states:
In most instances, you will be able to enrol your child into the government primary school nearest to where you live.However, some primary schools need to restrict their enrolments – and the number of students they can take – to a particular area or zone around the actual school. This means that certain schools can only take students from a specific neighbourhood area. Where your permanent residential address is will determine whether your child is eligible to enrol in that school.These enrolment restrictions are sometimes referred to as residential boundaries, school zones, enrolment ceilings or enrolment caps.You should ask the primary school you are interested in whether they have any residential boundaries restricting their enrolments and, if so, the extent of the school’s neighbourhood area.
Our neighborhood boundary is delineated by entering your residential address – the street number – into an on-line map and determining the walking distance to the neighborhood schools. We can also only take siblings who permanently reside in the Local Neighborhood Area.
What action has the School Council taken regarding restrictions and boundaries allocated to NMPS?
Our NMPS – School Council has been actively negotiating with the Minister for Education, SWR Regional Director, SWR –Manager - Provision and Planning and the DET infrastructure division.
There are many hurdles to leap and protocols that must be followed and to date our success rate has been extremely high due to our respectful approach to these bureaucratic requirements. Our fabulous new ‘Com.’ was installed and operational within 3 ½ weeks of it being delivered and we were using it within two days of arrival.
When I last met with the Minister Merlino, he reiterated his commitment to the complete refurbishment of Carlton PS, and the building of, and opening of a new school, in either Docklands or South Melbourne in 2018. If our neighborhood area is amended now, to direct inner-city and Docklands students to Carlton PS, then already a great percentage of enrolment pressure will be reduced. When the new school is built further consideration regarding neighborhood areas
What is School Council doing to deal with our school’s increasing enrolments numbers?
The School Executive Leadership Team and the School Council are currently in negotiation with all major stakeholders within the school community to accommodate the possible student increase for 2016. The increase in numbers will be potentially caused by the fact that we are only losing sixty, year six students and if current trends of the last 5-6 years are accurate, we can assume we will enrol 100 Foundation year students. The trend across the school is usually quite ‘numbers neutral’ in that we lose 10-20 and gain the same.
Our plan is to develop another collaborative space in the school where a team of staff will work with an entire year level co-hort. This approach is research based and the evidence from our Flex, and across the school, is that collaborative teams, who work with an entire cohort of students demonstrate significant gains in student achievement.
At this stage we don’t believe we will need to work towards another two story relocatable but if the need arises in the next few years we have been given the assurance that it could be placed above the car park in line with the current Flex and Com.
Some enrolment numbers and projections:
Our intake for 2010-2014 has always been approximately 100 foundation students. We enrolled 115 for this year, 2015, however only 100 arrived and the confirmed numbers now are 105. We don’t anticipate that it will increase significantly and will develop an action plan to meet a total student population of approximately 685 students in 2016 and a peak of 700 in 2017 and beyond.
Our current numbers for 2016 are: Foundation – 100; Year 1 – 105; Year 2 – 100; Year 3 – 95; Year 4 – 95; Year 5 – 100 and Year 6 – 95 = 690 Total
In order to ensure this ‘peak’ doesn’t increase we would like to see the ‘local neighborhood zone/area’ is reduced. We are currently involved in further negotiations towards this action with the ‘influencers of policy’ as listed previously.
With respect to student safety at school we regard this as a major concern; the staff and students are always in consultation with the school leadership to ensure safety and adequate opportunities for play are provided. We accurately record incidents and accidents in the yard following OH&S guidelines. All staff are trained annually in First Aid. There are three yard duty teachers, assigned to the three main play areas, at every play break and they carry first aid supplies and are visible by their high viz. vests.
Activities for Playtime:
The Student Council is negotiating with the student body to see what amendments we can make to the playground spaces to allow for more students to have opportunities to play. The Gym and table tennis tables will hopefully become a regular feature of our playtime activities. We run special clubs, at every break time, on a weekly basis including the library, band, choir and orchestra; drama, drawing, book and Lego clubs; gardening and Eco Warriors. Students have a great many opportunities to be inlet in a wide range of activities at break times.
A new initiative is coming.
Tanja, who is our new School Council buildings and Grounds convener is meeting with me and we will be planning a SUPER SCHOOL ENVIRONMETAL RUMBLE-RESTORATION-RENOVATION DAY in Term 3 or 4. This will be a whole day with every child participating. Every family will need to be represented for at least an hour to RUMBLE and RESTORE and RENOVATE our grounds to make the play spaces better!
Where are our chickens?
The SAKGP & Languages chickens have made their holiday to the country permanent. We are currently investigating a different egg production program for the future.
As this is the last newsletter for the term I wish all our families and staff a warm and restful winter break.