Errol Street News #28

30 May 2016

Message from Sally

Greetings for the first day of winter.

Relocatable 1 & 2 Update

After much persistence, I am able to present some further news about our school buildings. Relocatable 1 was requested from the Department of Education and Training, once the February 2016 census had been taken at our school in accordance with Department guidelines. Relocatable 1 will be installed and ready for use in July this year despite some recent delays. I am also pleased to report, Relocatable 2 will arrive in August. My ongoing and constant communication of our school's needs and the establishment of a respectful relationship with the Department of Education, has resulted in this additional facility.

Thank you to our School Council Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee, who have undertaken extensive discussion regarding overcrowding, the result of which is an Enrolment Pressures Issues Paper. This can be found on our school website: here

I have also written a more detailed report on my experiences, firstly as Assistant Principal and then Principal, of the growth of our school since 2005. Please read later in this newsletter.

Call For A Relocatable Name

We all familiar with The Flex, The Comm and The Hub and we now need naming ideas for new the relocatable. This building looks exactly like the Comm. Calling all families who love brainstorming and word games: your challenge is to come up with a new name. Send your ideas to Sandra in the office with your name and year: Demir.Sandra.d@edumail.vic.gov.au

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Image: Builders preparing the staff car park for the new relocatable.

Recent Media Attention at NMPS

Many of you may be already aware of the media attention being focused on our school this week. In an article today, the Herald Sun reported, "Concerned parents Julia, Jo, Sarah and Julie..." contacted Melbourne media outlets to express their concern about overcrowding. The article confirms an important issue that our school has been working hard to address.

[Elissa Doherty, 2016, 'Students at North Melbourne Primary School working on floor, corridors amid overcrowding', Herald Sun, 31st May].

In light of this article and the media's presence at our school, I would like to thank Year 4 parents for keeping their children at ease during this time. I particularly thank the Year 4 staff who returned from their three full days on camp to manage this attention. 

Annual Report

The 2016 Annual Report will be presented to the school during a musical performance by Year 5's. Beginning at 6.00 until approximately 6.30pm in the music room. I will be attending alongside assistant principal Craig. All are welcome or you may read an uploadable version on our school website: http://www.northmelbourneps.vic.edu.au/about/annual-reports/ on Wednesday morning.

Sally Karlovic, Principal

 

 

 


Calendar of Special Events

 

JUNE

 
1

Presentation of Annual Report

6pm

2

Year 6 Sexuality Education Program 3rd of 3

 

3

Round 5 Winter Sports  

6

Parents & Friends Committee Meeting  

10

Senior Assembly 1.15pm

13

Queen's Birthday Holiday  

14

Newsletter  

17

 Junior Assembly 3.15pm  

17

Reports Sent Home   

20

Student Led Tours   9-10am

21-23

Year 5 Ski Camp Falls Creek

 
24

Last Day Term 2 - ends 1.30pm

 

 


Year 4 Anglesea Camp Reflection

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Lily, Year 4 student

On Wednesday the 25th of May, all the year 4 students went to the Anglesea YMCA camp.

The Giant Swing

The Giant Swing was the first activity that I went on at camp. I was the first person from the camp and in my group to go on the Giant Swing. I went to the top and when my group said 3,2,1, I had to pull this red ball and I flew through the air very fast.

Clifftop Walk

The Clifftop Walk was fun and very hard. We had to walk up a lot of rocks. When we got tired Lucy my teacher gave us a lolly, my group and I would jump up the rocks. There was a lot of mud.

Duty Group for dinner

For duty group we had to put the forks, knives and spoons on the tables. We put a jug of water and cups out too. When we were done we sat on a table and we were boss of that table.

Canoeing

When I went canoeing you had to wear a PFD and a helmet so you don’t hit your head and so you don’t drown. I went with my teacher Lucy and a boy called Eric. I had a lot of fun but it was a little bit scary because we had to go under a bridge.

Games

We could not go orienteering because it was raining so we played some games. We played musical statues and we were just dancing and we got to get lunch ready too. It was very fun.

Surfing/ Body Boarding

We did not get to go surfing because the waves were too big. We went body boarding instead. I hurt myself a lot but it was still a lot of fun. I like it when we went very fast because you get very wet and it’s fun.

Movie

The first movie we watched was Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters but some people got scared so we watched Madagascar. Half way the teachers said we can finish the movie at school at the end of the year. So we watched How to Train Your Dragon 2. We watched that movie the whole way through that second night. It was sad, people were crying because the dad died.

Beach Carnival

There were groups for the beach carnival and the teams were: purple, red, green, black, blue and yellow. The top 3 teams were green in first, red in second, and purple in third. Camp was so much fun.

I did a lot of things that I would not do unless I was at camp. Some things were scary but it was so much fun, I want to go again



Year 4 Statistics Maths session with Leonie Simpson

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Keira, Year Student

On the 19th of May 2016, Leonie Simpson came a took a double Maths session with the Year 4s. Leonie is a Clinical Neurophysiologist and came because she collects data and puts it into graphs as part of her job, which is what we've been doing in Maths.

First, we talked about her job as a Clinical Neurophysiologist, which means she studies behaviour and looks at patterns that humans make. Leonie took some pictures of our school and showed us some patterns that we make, for example in the sandpit, on a door and some play equipment bars. These pictures showed us that most people do things in the middle rather than on the sides which made a curve in the middle then smoothed out on the sides (A.K.A a bell curve) - it was cool.

Then, we took a memory test of 10 words to work out the most amount of words people could remember. The words were: bike, field, foot, circle, plastic, scissors, wood and door. Then we filled out a survey so that we could record and later analyse the results.

Lastly, we went to see for ourselves the things Leonie showed us that were in our school environment. After that, Leonie left and we made a bar graph to show the number of words people could remember.

It was a really fun and cool activity that we did with Leonie. I liked how she showed us how she collected data and did experiments.


An Overview of building infrastructure & enrolment numbers at NMPS

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Sally, Principal

Beginnings

Errol Street NMPS was founded in 1857 by Albert Mattingly and on May 1st 1874 the staff and students walked down Errol Street to their new building. The school has been a highly regarded education facility for over 159 years and has always been recognised for the diversity of the school community.

Stuggling for numbers

In 2000 NMPS had a population of 288 students. Then Principal, Terry Lawless actively sought to grow the school. He and I (as Assistant Principal), attended information sessions at kindergartens and local childcare centres. The neighbourhood area boundaries were not yet an issue for enrolment.

Enrolment Number Increase

By 2005, NMPS had 423 students and we initiated the process of seeking assistance from the Department of Education to ‘control’ the number of students attending our school. Every year following, we wrote requesting a ‘cap or ceiling’ to address this issue. From 2007, there were significant building works. In 2007, the new administrative block was built and additional classrooms were built, including renovations of the oringinal red brick building. In 2009 the gymnasium was built, in 2011 The Flexible learning area was constructed and in 2015 The Comm was installed. These major works resulted in frequent room changes and construction noise was a constant for over 8 years, and indeed for some student's entire primary school experience. Importantly, with the loss of playground space we hoped to control the numbers.

Enrolment Numbers at NMPS 2000 - 2017

2000

288

2006

439

2012

520

2001

316

2007

460

2013

551

2002

320

2008

458

2014

611

2003

369

2009

476

2015

644

2004

394

2010

475

2016

740

2005

423

2011

518

2017

780 possible

Working With the Department of Education Policy

Unfortunately, the tremendous increase in population in our school catchment zone has meant that the ‘cap/ceiling’ made little difference to our ability to decline prospective enrolments: as a Government school we are mandated to accept all local students into our school.

The enforcement of the DET Enrolment Policy has been implemented over the last four years. In 2015 we also enacted the ‘no siblings from out-of-zone families’ part of the policy. Every enrolment for 2016 was cross-checked for evidence of residing within our designated neighbourhood area (DNA).

The wonderful facilities we now enjoy were due to the millions of dollars spent on refurbishing and rebuilding our school and grounds; all part of our school's master plan. Many of our local families, who are architects gave up many, many hours of their time to ensure our buildings were state of the art and designed for the future. Many of these families also spent days here on weekends improving the grounds and playground spaces.

Over the years letters have been written to Ministers, meetings have been held with Department Regional and State Wide Facilities (SWF) personnel in order to discuss the ever increasing numbers. These meetings involved School Council representatives and the Executive Leadership of the school.

Current Developments

In November 2015, a letter was sent from the school alerting SWF facilities staff to the potential shortfall of capacity for students in 2016. This was acknowledged and the process of procuring another relocatable was provided. We were to wait until census day, the end of February, before actual student numbers could be counted.

The process to fit out the upstairs Comm. also occurred at the beginning of the school year. The Year 4 children were always expected to use the library learning space as part of their entitlement, as they had done in 2015.

The furniture for the space had to specifically designed and aligned with our pedagogy; remove; and delivery dates became too tight. As a result we changed companies part way through the ordering process with guaranteed delivery at the start of term 2.  This became the start of term 2 NSW time, which put us back another two weeks.

New Relocatables

During this year we have continued to seek support from DET regional and central facilities officers. They have been very supportive and understanding of our predicament. As soon as was practicable they arranged for us to be allocated a relocatable to be ready in July and also a second to be ready in August. The current hold-up was due to the School Council requirements to ensure consultation with stakeholders around a siting that would provide the least impact to playground space. In the last few weeks neighbourhood concerns about the loss of trees has also held up building works.

The staff will consult, negotiate and collaborate to plan the use of the new relocatable to ensure our pedagogy, which has proven successes, is emulated in all teaching and learning environments across the school.

Whilst there is no conclusion to this wonderful story of NMPS, the furniture ordered for the Year 4’s was enough for 100 students.  It will be distributed between two spaces when the new relocatable is operational. In response to feedback provided this year, we aim to be prepared for many of the potential student number possibilities. Students will spend their final two days in their 2017 spaces; giving every one the opportunity to understand the 2017 expectations.

 


Library News

Reading is Fun

Kathy, Library

The Shortlist for Children’s Book Of The Year 2016 have been announced. Please come along and take a look at the books and have a read. The students are sharing the books in class and are enjoying them enormously. We will take a vote later in the term to see if N.M.P.S. students agree with the Judges as to which is the best book.

Each Term we add approximately 100 new books to the shelves so don’t forget to come in and take a look at our latest titles.

The Premiers’ Reading Challenge is continuing and will close on 1st September. Students and Carers don’t forget to keep adding all the books you read to your list. If you have lost the login details please come and see me or the class teacher for user names and passwords.



School Council News

Megan, Parent Communications Sub-Committee

Correction and clarification
Due an administrative error, it was incorrectly communicated in newsletter #26, dated 3 May 2016 in the School Council Report, that "it is highly unlikely that there will be any before or after school spaces available for new NMPS families in 2017" at Biz-E-Kids.

This is incorrect. The Biz-E-Kids Sub-Committee is currently looking at options to manage current and future demand on the program. This is one of many recommendations that are yet to be put forward and discussed at an upcoming School Council meeting. Apologies for any confusion caused.

Pam, Buildings & Grounds Sub-Committee

Please see following a link for the 2016 NMPS School Council Enrolment Pressures Issues Paper

School Council Meeting Summary

Kris, Parent School Council

At the last council meeting, discussion ranged over a number of areas, including how to achieve better communication and consultation and, once again, strategies for dealing with our continuing enrolment pressures.

Communications

Many of you would know that a survey was distributed earlier this month, via tiqbiz, in an effort to consult the NMPS community about how you want the school to communicate with you, and what information you’d like to hear.  Thanks to all those who participated. We’ve already gathered some extremely useful information, but we’re keeping the survey open, as we’d love to hear from more members of our community. See here for the link: Communications Survey.

For those who do  not use tiqbiz, hard copy surveys will be distributed shortly. If you can take the time to fill one out, it would be greatly appreciated.

Enrolment Pressures

Council also reviewed and approved an issues paper, dealing with our ongoing enrolment pressures. The paper clearly lays out the dimensions of the problem, while also presenting potential strategies we might adopt in an attempt to solve it. But the real purpose of the paper is to consult; to give you a say about what we do, and to let us know about any skills, knowledge or expertise that you might be able to offer. Our hope is that through this process of consultation, we can build consensus around a preferred strategy or strategies, then harness the energy of our incredible school community to turn that strategy into a solution. The paper should be completed by the time this newsletter is published, so please take the time to read it, and to offer your views on how you’d like to see us proceed.

Biz-E-Kidz Error

Council also discussed an error which occurred in the school newsletter dated 3 May 2016. (Please see the official correction above). Although it was accepted that this statement was included in the newsletter as the result of an administrative error, council agreed that we needed to adopt strategies for ensuring that similar miscommunications didn’t take place in the future. It was resolved that we should review our protocols for official communications, with an eye to making these more timely, reliable and authoritative. This review is presently being undertaken by the newly convened communications committee.

Publication of Minutes

The issue of whether council minutes ought to be published was also revisited.  To give some background, in our April school council meeting we passed a resolution to publish minutes, as part of our push for greater transparency.  In the interim we received advice that, although we are within our rights to publish, the Department of Education advises against it. In light of this advice, it was agreed that the decision ought to be revisited, as part of our general review of communications protocols.

In summary, the publication of minutes has not yet been rejected. But this is a decision that council takes seriously, and in light of departmental advice, it was agreed that more consideration was required.

In the meanwhile, we will of course continue to publish detailed summaries of our meetings, to keep the school community informed about what's happening.


Biz-E-Kidz

Winter Holiday Program
The Biz – E – Kidz Winter holiday bookings have now closed and confirmations have been sent in the mail. There are still some places available on some days, so if you require a booking, please see Kelly, Ace or Sharon at Biz – E – Kidz.
 
Successful Program Restructure
A really big thank you to all the children and families for their patience and understanding during the recent afterschool care program restructure. This support has gone a long way, and together with the hard work of staff, and support of the Biz – E – Kidz committee, school community and flex teachers has led to the success of the restructure. This success can be measured in the relaxed atmosphere of the programs allowing Biz – E – Kidz educators to better provide a service that supports the enjoyment, development and safety of children.
There a still a few tweaks to be made to the running of the restructure and any feedback and suggestions are always welcome.
 
Please remember to cancel!
A reminder to families of the importance of letting Biz – E – Kidz know if your child will not be attending afterschool care, including if they were absent from school or went home early. The school and teachers are unable to inform Biz – E – Kidz of  a child’s absence and children are not allowed to cancel themselves.
To inform us that your child will not be attending please phone 9329 5529 and speak to staff or leave a message or phone or text 0400 838 448.

We welcome feedback concerning this change; please get in touch with Sharon on the contact details below or email ohsc@netspace.net.au

Sharon Goodwin
Biz - E - Kidz Coordinator
ph (03)9329 5529
Mob 0400 838 448
ohsc@netspace.net.au
 
Sharon’s office hours are Monday – Wednesday, 10am – 1pm. (except on school holidays) If your email is urgent or regarding a booking or cancellation for the same day, please call 9329 5529 to speak to a staff member or leave a message.
 

Opportunities

Please see following local sports, entertainment or information that may be of interest to you.