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Cecil Plains State School > Calendar and news > Principal's blog
August 13
Get involved

Can I just draw your attention to this month’s topic in the AIP/calendar, Get involved in your children’s schooling? One of the outcomes of our recent school improvement (SIU) review, was that parents wanted to be more involved in school. Believe you me that is something we want also. We used to have parents helping out with reading groups, etc., but I’m guessing with the busy world we live in, time is precious.

What can you do to help at home?
There are many ways you can be involved in your children’s schooling. It can be as simple as coming to parade every now and again, volunteering in the tuckshop, being on the P&C or volunteering in the classrooms. When parents model the importance of their children’s schooling that highlights for the children the importance of their learning. Talk to your children’s teachers about ways you might be able to help out if you can find the time. It doesn’t have to be everyday or even every week. We had a dad a few years ago who worked in the mines, so he helped out in the classroom when he had rostered days off. Even completing the current school opinion survey (hint, hint) is being involved in your children’s schooling. Just find the way that suites you.
August 13

Quote of the Week:

At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.”
Jane D. Hull
July 30

Given the school opinion surveys (SOS) starts this week I will quickly revisit the last priority are of our AIP/calendar, Confidence. Parent, staff and student confidence in our school is a major factor in positive engagement with the children’s learning development. As you can see in the targets for confidence section of our AIP/calendar we are wanting parent confidence in our school to be improving. There will always be high and low moments, but if we can see we are improving our parent confidence, then we know we are on the right track. One way we know that is if parents show their confidence in the school through the SOS.

What can you do to help at home? Obviously completing the SOS is a big way you can help us at home. Unfortunately we only had 4 families complete the SOS last year, which made the results unusable, so PLEASE complete the SOS this year. Don’t focus on one or two highs or lows over the past 12 months, focus on the year as a whole. And importantly, be honest. I had a parent ask me one year what we want more funding for and she would mark that down for us. The SOS doesn’t work that way, it doesn’t get us more funding; it just gives us a picture of what’s working well and what we need to think about.
July 30

Quote of the Week:

“No school can work well for children if parents and teachers do not act in partnership on behalf of the children's best interests”.
Dorothy H Cohen
July 23
Better Bevaiour - Better Leanring

This week I’ll continue working my way through our AIP in the school calendar, looking at the topic, Behaviour, which comes under ABC – Conditions of Learning. As the slogan goes “Better Behaviour = Better Learning, which is obvious. We are pretty lucky here at the moment that we don’t have any real behaviour issues at our school, but we do still need to set the high expectation around what we expect from our children’s behaviour and in turn their learning. As you are aware one of the targets in the Cecil Challenge is about displaying positive behaviour regularly, which once again helps set that high expectation about children’s behaviour. This was one of the highlights of our recent School Improvement Unit review. I am pleased to say that NO child has missed out on the Cecil Challenge rewards this year due to inappropriate behaviour.

What can you do to help at home? The obvious way you can support the school and your children in this target area is to continue to make sure your children are aware of your expectations around their behaviour.
July 23

Quote of the Week:

Peer pressure and social norms are powerful influences on behaviour, and they are classic excuses”.
Andrew Lansley
July 16

As usual with the change of month and given I’m working through the SIU review at the moment, I will just draw your attention to this month’s topic, Developing Successful Independent Spellers. Besides what you will read in the article, the other thing to keep in mind in teaching children how to spell, is that it is impossible to teach them how to spell every single work there is. In fact there will be words that evolve that have not been invented yet. So making our children successful spellers is about teaching them how to spell words they will come across every day, but also the strategies to work out how to spell unfamiliar words.

What can you do to help at home? As usual, please take the time to read the article and think about how you can help your children become successful spellers.
July 16

Quote of the Week: (for fun J)

Spelling can be diffcoult, chalanging, hard”.
June 25
SIU review

Miss Lindbeck and I sat in on video-conference last Friday (21/6/19) about what our upcoming School Improvement Unit (SIU) review is and is not.

The review team looks at developing a narrative about where our school is on its improvement journey, utilising the National School Improvement Tool, which can be found on the link below:
All schools will be on a different part of their improvement journey and is not meant to judge schools, but rather say this is where you are, now where to next. The tool covers what they call 9 domains for school improvement:
1.     an explicit improvement agenda,
2.     analysis & discussion of data,
3.     a culture that promotes learning,
4.     targeted use of school resources,
5.     an expert teaching team,
6.     systematic curriculum delivery,
7.     differentiated teaching & learning,
8.     effective pedagogical practices and
9.     school-community partnerships.
From the review of these 9 areas the SIU team will make some affirmations about what we are doing well and then some suggestions about what could be our next areas to improve upon. From that report my supervisor (Sevil Aldas, Assistant Regional Director) and I identify 2 key areas to work on over the next 4 years and formulate an action plan to achieve those improvement areas.
As I indicated earlier, the SIU team do not make any judgements about our school, staff, students or community, just provide a narrative of what they see as outsiders and then some recommendations. They are NOT in a position or have the authority to deal with complaints about individuals or the school in general. There are other avenues for these. They do however want to get an overall view of the school from a broad a range of people in our school community as they can in the short time they are here. Being a small school they will do most of the interviews on the first day and then spend the second day writing the report, with possibly a small number of follow up interviews for any clarification they need.
What can you do to help at home? Firstly, I have included a parent information sheet in this newsletter. Please take the time to read it? It and the link I mentioned earlier lets you know how you can contact them to ask questions or if you would like to meet with the team when they are here.
June 25

Quote of the Week:

Never be afraid to fail. Failure is only a stepping stone to improvement. Never be overconfident because that will block your improvement”.
Tony Jaa
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