Wallington P.S. Newsletter

Term 4 - Week 4 - 2021

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December 2021
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Principal News

Social and Emotional Learning

With the return of all students onsite we are noticing that some students are struggling with the increase in social interactions and the need to share and collaborate with their peers. Resilience also seems to be stretched thin at the moment. Teachers are planning lessons that address these issues, but we ask that parents are talking with the children about the need to get along, be respectful and help to build resilience.

Leave
I will be taking long service leave from tomorrow ( Friday 29th Oct) and all of next week (Monday 1st Nov – Friday 5th Nov).  Mrs Melinda Williams and Mrs Emily Duckett will be filling in for me during this time.

COVID Safe Arrangements

With the return of most of our students we have returned to staggered finish times to ease congestion in the carpark. Staggered finish times:

  • A -H     3:00pm
  • I – Q    3.10pm
  • R - Z    3.20pm

Please note these are the DET guidelines from Monday 1st November as set out in the Schools Operation Guide:

  • QR Code Sign In: if parents, guardians, and visitors are required to attend to a matter onsite, please sign in using the Service QR Codes available at each of the gates around the school.
  • Face Masks: Along with our staff, parents, guardians, and visitors must always wear a face mask at school indoors and outdoors when onsite (unless a lawful exception applies). Students in Grades 3-6 must wear a face mask when inside unless an exemption applies.
  • Physical Distancing: Parents, guardians and visitors must observe physical distancing measures, including at ‘drop off’ and ‘pick up’ times. A reminder to parents to ‘drop and go’ in the mornings.
  • School Gatherings: whole school gatherings such as assemblies and school events can now take place for staff and students only.
  • If arriving late to school or departing early, parents still need to come to the office and sign students

We are still waiting for our buildings to be audited and to subsequently be supplied with some portable air purifiers. Hand sanitiser is available in all classrooms and work areas, with students well trained to use this upon every exit and entry during the day. Department of Education & Training (DET) policy is for masks to be required for indoor use for Grade 3-6 students and they are recommended for P-2s. We have a stock of spares and will offer these to students as is appropriate. Medical conditions and exemptions need to be communicated to the school and I appreciate that this policy is challenging and thank our community for their support. Teachers are permitted to not wear masks during direct teaching times for essential communication with students.

Absences: As has been the case throughout the pandemic please use the Parent Portal to lodge an absence. If your child is unwell and is to be tested, please remember to keep them home until the result of the test is received.

Quarantine and Exposure Sites: If you are in this situation now or in the future due to travel or exposure sites, please contact the school office on 5250 1841 to inform us and comply with DHHS requirements and guidelines. This is essential to keep us open and safe as we do not wish to become an exposure site in the future.

Unwell Students: Regardless of the symptoms unwell children must not attend school. This is also the case with our staff. The school/classroom environment is close and involves a lot of interaction. The time left in 2021 is short so we must maximise the learning time without absences due to illness being spread throughout the class/school.


2022 Planning and Class Compositions

Planning for 2022 has already begun. This includes cash budgets and staffing arrangements. In Term 4, we begin developing potential 2022 class groupings and this complex work takes quite some time to ‘get right’. Staff know your child very well, their learning needs and on a daily basis, how they interact with others. We will not be formally inviting parent written requests for 2022 class placements as this has previously become unwieldly and we have been unable to satisfy competing requests. I have full confidence that our staff know your child, know which groupings to place them in (or not place them in) and with a school size of approximately over 210 students in 2022, there are options to ensure individual student needs can be accommodated. If your child/ren is/are not returning to Wallington in 2022 (other than graduating Grade 6's) please let the school know in writing ASAP.

 
Icy pole Money

Just a reminder if students are bringing icy pole money to school that it should only be for the value of the icy pole. Occasionally students bring larger amounts of money to school and recently we have had students with larger amounts of money that has gone missing.


SunSmart reminders

Time to dust off the SunSmart hats and get them on our heads!!! Please remind your kids that No Hat = No Play.




Traumatic events: supporting children in the days and weeks afterwards

Traumatic events include car crashes, natural disasters, unexpected deaths or diagnoses, and other sudden and shocking events. Children might react to events like these in many ways. For example, children might:

  • feel confused or worried, or blame themselves for what happened
  • be sad, angry, irritable, guilty or ashamed
  • behave in difficult ways, disobey rules, cling to you or avoid other people
  • become quiet or withdrawn
  • suddenly not be able to do things they could do before, like using the toilet or getting dressed
  • have physical symptoms like headaches, stomach aches or loss of appetite
  • have problems sleepingor concentrating.

Supporting children of all ages after traumatic events

Children of all ages need help to cope with and recover from traumatic events in the days and weeks afterwards. Here are some things you can do.

Talking and listening
When you make time for talking with your child about the traumatic event, you can explain what has happened and what’s going to happen next. For example, ‘The fire burned our house down. While it’s being rebuilt, we’ll live with Aunty Lisa and Uncle Dave. You’ll still be able to go to school and see your friends’.

Your child will probably have questions too. These questions let you check whether your child understands what’s going on. They also give you clues about how your child is feeling and a chance to reassure your child. For example, ‘Yes, the school is still open. You can go to school and see your friends. All your friends are OK’.

Handling reminders of the traumatic event
Your child might be frightened by reminders of the event, like smoke after a bushfire.

You can explain what’s happening and let your child know that it’s OK to be afraid. Reassure your child that they’re safe now. For example, ‘You’re scared of the smoke because you think it’s coming from a bushfire. It’s smoke from the neighbour’s barbecue. You’re safe’.

It can also help to talk with older children and teenagers about how reminders of the event or its anniversary might make them feel and how they can cope. For example, ‘Last Christmas was a tough time for our family. How are you feeling this year? What can we do to make sure it’s really fun?’

Using routines
Family routines help children feel safe and secure. That’s why they’re important after a traumatic event.

Here are some ways to use routines to support your child:

  • Focus on regular healthy snacks and meals, time for exercise or play outside, and a good night’s sleep. This will help to keep your child’s mind and body healthy as they settle down.
  • Try to get your child to child care, playgroup, kindergarten or school, if possible. This helps children understand that their safe places and familiar people are still there for them. Let your child’s carers or teachers know what has happened. This will help them support and care for your child.
  • When you feel your child is ready, encourage your child to get back into the things they enjoyedbefore the trauma, like playing sport or visiting friends. And look for new positive activities that your child might enjoy.

School-age children and pre-teens: helping them recover after traumatic events

Children in this age group might feel responsible for the traumatic event and have difficulty concentrating at school. They might also spend a lot of time thinking about their safety and the safety of others.

Here are some ways you can help them understand and cope with their feelings about and reactions to the traumatic event:

  • If your child is having trouble with separation, reassure your child that you’re all safe. You can also ask your child’s teachers for help with managing separation.
  • If your child behaves in challenging ways, explain why they’re acting this way and help them find other ways to express feelings. For example, ‘You slammed that door really hard. I’m guessing you’re feeling angry. How about we kick the footy to get some of that anger out?’
  • If your child has headaches or stomach aches, help your child to care for themselves – for example, by having a glass of water and a rest. If the problem doesn’t go away, it’s a good idea to check with your child’s GP just in case.
  • If your child blames themselves for what happened, you can reassure them that they didn’t cause the event, and that nobody blames them for it.
  • Try to work through worries with your child. For example, ‘I know it was scary when we had to leave home because of the fire. But remember how we followed our bushfire plan? And then people helped us know what to do next’.
  • Encourage your child to think about all the good things they and other people did to stay safe. This will help them to feel strong and empowered. For example, ‘That car accident was very upsetting to see. You did really well to call 000’.
  • If your child keeps reliving the event through play or drawing, gently guide their games, drawing or story towards other things. For example, ‘You’re drawing a lot of pictures of our house being flooded. Many kids do that after a flood. Let’s draw a picture of a new house that’s protected from floods. What would that look like?’
  • If the traumatic event is in the news, help your child cope with media coverageby giving them accurate, age-appropriate information, plus opportunities to talk.

Trouble coping after a traumatic event

Recovering after a traumatic event takes time, and you and your child don’t have to do it alone.

There are services that can support you. If the traumatic event happened in your area – for example, a flood or a bushfire – child care centres, schools and local councils often offer extra support.

If you have any concerns about how your child is coping, talk with your child’s GP. The GP can refer you to local services and professionals who can help you and your child.

It’s also good to check in with teachers and other adults around your child to make sure your child is getting the support they need.

Supporting your child after a traumatic event can be really tough. As your child’s support person it’s important to look after yourself. If you’re having trouble coping it’s important to seek help from your GP or a trusted friend. Call Lifeline on 131 114 (24 hours, 7 days) or contact a parenting helpline.

 

 

Parents and Friends

Dates for the Calendar

Friday 12th November          P&F Meeting 9.15am – Rolling Pin Leopold
Friday 26th November          Subway Special Lunch
 

WALLINGTON PICK MY PROJECT SUBMISSIONS

Submissions are due by Friday 5th November.
Students can drop their submission to the drawer opposite the office.

 
STAY UP TO DATE

Stay up to date with all our news, upcoming events and information on facebook “WALLINGTON PS PARENTS AND FRIENDS”
 

NEXT MEETING

Our next meeting is on Friday 12th November 9.15am at the Rolling Pin in Leopold.  All welcome, but please RSVP for our booking.

WPS Tea Towels

Now is your LAST CHANCE to buy our very own Wallington Primary School Tea Towels.  There are only 12 left.  The Tea Towels can be purchased via QKR for $15 each.

Preps and Buddies Art Work

Today the preps and their buddies had a great day creating natural art work using materials from our school environment.  Here are some of their fabulous creations!