A Message From The Principal
The Victorian Chief Health Officer’s advice is that schools continue to be safe places to learn and work and that schools across rural and regional Victoria – including ours, and thankfully we are able to continue operating as normal.
I would like to thank all families in the community who are taking all the necessary precautions with regards to students and their attendance at school.
It is worth noting than schools in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire have moved to remote learning for years Prep-10 to avoid more than 700,000 students and their families moving around that area, rather than because schools are unsafe.
As you may be aware, some schools in our region have been closed due to confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19). However, the health advice is that unless otherwise directed, schools can continue to operate while observing health measures recommended by the Victorian Chief Health Officer.
This includes implementing a range of measures to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in school settings, including social distancing for adults, face masks for anyone over 12 years of age and increased cleaning. The wearing of masks for children over the age of 12 is not compulsory in regional and rural areas.
To assist us in ensuring that we are following guidelines from the Department of Education we request that if you or a family member test positive for COVID-19, that you call the office directly and request to speak to Mrs Prendergast in regards to an urgent COVID-19 matter.
The office staff will ensure that you speak directly to her and if she is unavailable anther member of the Principal Team will take your call. Please so not use any other forms of communication to share your information with school staff. This includes, Seesaw direct teacher messaging and Sentral messages. Thank you.
Please also note – we have not receive the official Operation Guideline update from the Department of Education after the announcement by Dan Andrews yesterday. As always we will update you as soon as we have this information. Thank you again for your continuing support.
Mrs Celeste Rea
Today is Mrs Celeste Rea’s last day before beginning family leave. We wish Celeste all the best for the upcoming birth of her child!
Whole School News
Let me start by introducing myself. I am Ben Raidme and I am one of two Assistant Principals at Bellaire Primary School. I act as the school’s Wellbeing and Digital Technologies Coordinator and consider myself extremely fortunate and beyond grateful for the opportunity to be working within such an incredibly energetic, innovative and hardworking school community. I have a passion for working with children to support resilience and wellbeing and have thoroughly enjoyed my first few months as a new staff member at Bellaire.
Bellaire places a strong emphasis on the engagement and wellbeing of all our students. We work to ensure students, staff and families are well supported and feel connected to the BPS community.
My work includes supporting wellbeing in the following ways;
- Oversee the implementation of the school’s policies and procedures aligned with wellbeing and engagement and coordinate whole school approach to School Wide Positive Behaviour.
- Respond to student, staff and parent enquiries regarding student and family wellbeing and welfare.
- Design professional learning sessions for staff in regard to wellbeing, in line with the school’s strategic goals and plan
- Provide in-classroom support for teachers around wellbeing and behaviour management development for staff (using a coaching and mentor model)
- Oversee Bellaire’s attendance, including monitoring the policy implementation and family follow up.
I am excited to begin sharing and communicating our wellbeing news with the school community through our Newsletter, as well as providing links to articles, apps and resources that parents and caregivers may find useful in supporting their children. Our aim is that the wellbeing update will develop into a collaborative project between the school and our parent community. This communication will also assist families in their understanding of how we work with children at school.
In today’s update we will look at what wellbeing actually is and how it is linked to enhanced learning outcomes for students.
Wellbeing – it’s a word we hear a lot these days. We understand that it’s important for our children; but it’s not always clear exactly what it is, how we know if they’ve got it, and how we can help them to get more!
Since the Slip! Slop! Slap! campaign of the early 1980s, the media has helped to spread messages about the importance of protecting our skin from the sun, regular exercise and a diet rich in nourishing wholefoods to promote and protect our own physical health and that of our families.
In more recent times, government and mainstream media are focusing on improving mental health and ensuring families have a clear understanding of wellbeing and how we can support our children to cultivate their own. Put simply, children’s wellbeing is a combination of their physical, mental, emotional and social health. And because a range of different elements contribute to their wellbeing, there are a lot of activities we can do with them, role model for them and teach them, to improve it.
Developing wellbeing is more than ensuring the absence of ill-health – it’s about taking action to adopt thinking and behaviour patterns that researchers have shown to foster flourishing physical and mental health.
As a school, we know about the important relationship between wellbeing and learning. Wellbeing positively influences student learning outcomes, and success in learning enhances student wellbeing.
Wellbeing is linked to improved academic achievement, enhanced mental health and responsible life choices. Helping students to feel connected and engaged in their learning, and collaborating effectively with parents, will enable students to develop the social and emotional skills to grow into happy, respectful, well-balanced and successful members of their school and wider community.
It’s evident from the Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing that it’s never been more important for parents to prioritise wellbeing for their children. Among 4 to 11-year-olds, 1 in 100 are depressed, 7 in 100 suffer with anxiety and 8 in 100 struggle with ADHD. Add to those worrying statistics the knowledge that 1 in 4 Australian children are overweight or obese, and it’s easy to see why working on wellbeing matters.
Here are 5 practices that you can put into action to enhance your child’s wellbeing:
1. Get them outside and moving
Australian children are some of the least active in the world according to some recent studies, with as few as 1 in 5 meeting the recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise. There’s so much we can do! It takes some effort, but this is what really matters.
2. Create plenty of opportunities for your children to foster positive connections with their friends, family, and of course with you!
Positive social relationships not only enhance children’s wellbeing but are key to their future wellbeing as adults as well. Time spent with friends helps children to develop social skills including sharing, compromise, listening and conflict resolution (just to name a few!). We understand this is a tricky concept during this current climate, but we encourage all families to do what they can and get creative.
3. Keep screen time to a minimum
I know, it’s easier said than done! Children love screens, but it’s important families work with their children to create clear and consistent limits and boundaries. Children also need to learn to cope with being bored! We strongly encourage all parents to visit the following eSafety website for tips and advice to ensure their children are using technology safely.
4. Help your children develop mindfulness skills
Mindfulness is about paying attention in the present moment, letting thoughts come and go without getting caught up in them. That’s it. Sounds easy, but like any skill it takes time and practice. It gives children’s overstimulated minds a rest! A regular mindfulness practice will also help them to regulate their attention and their emotions; and teaches them to create a lifelong practice of taking time out to become calm, content, relaxed and in the moment. We highly recommend the Smiling Mind app (check out their Digital Care Packs which have been developed to support students through COVID-19) for age appropriate mindfulness meditations.
5. Last but not least – ensure your children get ample sleep
Primary school children need 10-12 hours of sleep per day. Teachers often notice when children haven’t had enough sleep; they are usually restless, disengaged, yawning and find it difficult to engage in their learning and think logically in social situations. What helps enormously is establishing clear and consistent routines including; no screen time one hour before bed, a ‘wind-down’ routine which may include a bath/shower, being read a book and then quiet reading before lights out. Taking time to chat with your children before bed or encouraging them to reflect on what they’re grateful for is also a great way to help them decompress and get a restful night’s sleep.
An IMPORTANT REMINDER to families to cancel any bookings not required on the My Family Lounge App. OSHC staff are required to contact parents if booked students are not in attendance, so please cancel your booking to avoid this!
While OSHC places in Term 2 have been fully subsidised by the Government, many families still have Term 1 fees outstanding. OSHC Statements will be issued on Monday, please make sure your account is paid in full by the start of Term 3 so your child can continue to access the OSHC program.
The canteen menu for Mondays and Fridays is now available on QKR. Orders close at 9am on the canteen day, and can only be placed via the QKR App. Term 3 will again run on a limited menu, and additional items for Mondays only during Term 3 have been added to the menu.
OVERDUE LIBRARY BOOKS – A reminder to families to check for Bellaire Library Books at home. There are over 700 overdue library books, most dating from Term 1. Please check your bookshelves, under beds and couches and anywhere else books like to hide, and return them to school as soon as possible. Mrs Thomas is in the library every recess to check in returned library books and loan new ones if required. If you have lost a library book, please replace it with another copy or a similar book, or a book in excellent condition from your bookshelf. Please contact Mrs Thomas in the Office/Library if you have any questions. Thank you!
Snack and Lunch Items
A reminder to parents packing snack and lunch to be allergy aware. We have a number of students with potentially life-threatening allergies to a variety of foods including nuts (including Nutella, a hazelnut product), and egg among other items. Please remind your child not to share food, and to wash their hands well after eating.