A Message From The Principal
We are half way through Term 2 – the term is flying by! As always, there are lots of things happening in our school. We are very proud of our students and the way they conduct themselves on the excursions they have been attending recently. On Monday I was lucky to attend an excursion to Barwon Grange with a Year 1 class. I was impressed with not only the student’s behaviour but also their enthusiasm for learning – and how exciting it was to travel on a bus! We are looking forward to the rest of the term.
SCHOOL COUNCIL UPDATE
CAPITAL WORKS PROJECT
Our architects Jakob and Hamish (Kelly Architects) attended the School Council meeting to speak to our Council members about the steps that need / will be taken over the next two years. The School Council members had the opportunity to speak about our school and the things our community values.
There are a number of Grants available to schools and the community. Grant writing is a skill, one that we are looking for assistance with. If you are able to assist with writing / editing Grants every now and then could you please email the school and we will contact you. THANK YOU in advance!
At School Council on Wednesday night we passed policies regarding having a ‘Therapy Dog’ on site. There has been a great deal of research, discussions with other schools who have a Therapy Dog program and policies have been written.
The Therapy Dog would work at Bellaire Primary School to support students with social and emotional earning needs. For example, an individual might be encouraaged to gently pat or talk to the dog to teach sensitive touch and help them be calm.
A recent report by the ABC highlighted students working with therapy dogs experienced increased motivation for learning, resulting in improved outcomes. Research into the effects of therapy dogs in schools is showing a range of benefits including:
• Increase in school attendance
• Gains in confidence
• Decreases in learner anxiety behaviors resulting in improved learning outcomes, such as increases in reading and writing levels
• Positive changes towards learning and improved motivation, and
• enhanced relationships with peers and teachers due to experiencing trust and unconditional love from a therapy dog. This in turn helps students learn how to express their feelings and enter into more trusting relationships.
The following rules will be enforced when the Therapy Dog is working at school:
• If the dog is present in a learning space or the playground with their owner or another Bellaire Primary School staff member they are officially working. They are available for pats and cuddles, but we try to limit this to two children at a time and only under our supervision.
• If the dog is working with a Bellaire Primary School staff member who is supporting an individual student or small group of students, then other students must adhere to the ‘no touch, no talking’ with the dog both in the playground and when they enter the classroom.
• Rest areas have been set up for the dog in the School Office so they can have some time out – the concentration they need when they are working means they get quite fatigued and need a rest!
Therefore I would like to introduce the Bellaire community to Link. Link is owned by Mrs Prendergast and will be under her supervision and trained by Mrs Prendergast with Lead the Way training (once Link reaches 8 months of age). Link will be coming to school every now and then as a puppy to ensure that he feels comfortable with the school and the students. The students will also be taught the guidelines in the policy regarding Link.
Dog Therapy Opt Out
We understand that there may be some families who do not want Link to work directly with their child. Please email your opt out notification to firstname.lastname@example.org
An Excerpt From The Policies
A variety of animals, including dogs, are becoming an ever-popular and worthwhile addition to schools across the country.
Children can benefit educationally and emotionally, increase their understanding of responsibility and develop empathy and nurturing skills through contact with a dog.
In addition to these benefits, children take great enjoyment from interaction with a dog. At Bellaire Primary School, we value the development of children’s well-being along with their social education as highly as we value academia. We believe a school dog will be a unique way to enrich all areas of the children’s wider education, skills and wellbeing. This policy applies to the approved school dog only (Link, a Groodle). It does not affect the school’s right to prohibit other dogs on school property in accordance with our Dogs in School Policy.
About The Dog
Link is a 3 month old Miniature Groodle who currently weighs 4 kilograms. Link generally remains calm and interacts well with the students. Link will be an incredible asset to the school calming a calming different students to a point where daily learning is noticeably more settled.
Link has additionally assisted students at different times of the school day who were displaying signs of distress and calmed children who have been hurt or upset in the schoolyard. Link has a natural ability to neutralise and distract students who may be feeling upset for a variety of reasons.
- Link is under the constant supervision of Mrs Prendergast.
- Link has rest time in the Leadership Office.
- Students are reminded to wash their hands after patting Link.
- The students are / will be taught around the guidelines including no more than two children
patting Link at once.
- Any ‘mess’ made by Link is cleaned up straight away.
Next week we celebrate Education Week. The theme for Education Week is ‘Building Connections’. Due to Covid restrictions, and the predicted rain next week, it has made it extremely difficult to plan activities for parents and the community to come into our classrooms to celebrate with us. Instead our students are going to be building connections throughout the school and producing a video for our parents and community.
NUDE FOOD FOR LUNCH BOXES
At Bellaire Primary School we encourage ‘Nude Food’ in lunch boxes. We are finding a lot of rubbish around the yard. We are asking that as much food as possible that can be sent as ‘Nude Food’. Thank you for your support.
As part of our STEAM program Mrs Rolland has organised excursions to Scienceworks for every Year level in the school (throughout the whole year). So far, the Year 5 and the Year 4 students have had this wonderful experience. Big thanks to Mrs Rolland for co-ordinating all of these excursions.
YEAR 1 BARWON GRANGE EXCURSION
This week our Year 1 students went on an excursion to Barwon Grange. Belle from Year 1 LS has written a recount of the experience –
“On Monday 1 LS went on an excursion to Barwon Grange.
First Group 1 went to a house tour. There were stairs in the house. We went up the stairs. We saw lots of bedrooms. There was an underground attic.
Next, we went on a garden tour. We went to the tunnel of tress. It was a line of tours. We went to do some drawings. I drew a water fountain and the tunnel of trees.
Then we did some games, my favourite game is crocket. We also played ring tops. There was also marbles and other games. Finally, our bus came we went on the bus. We went back to school.”
NATIONAL SIMILTANEOUS STORY TIME FROM SPACE
On Wednesday our school joined one million other students to listen to NASA astronaut Dr Shannon Walker read ‘Give me some Space!’ from the International Space Station. It was a wonderful experience for our students.
On Wednesday we undertook a practise evacuation drill. It was a chance for our students to experience a drill and for the school to review the evacuation procedures.
POPPITS, BEY BLADES etc
Lots of students are bringing ‘Poppits’ and Bey Blades to school to play with. Although this is ok we do have some guidelines as we do with all object’s students bring from home. Poppits and Bey Blades are not to be used within the classroom and they are not to be ‘swapped’ with other students. The school is also not responsible if they are lost.
On Thursday 27th May our Year 6 debating team will be hosting the Fyans Park Primary School debating team after school. The debating team have been working with Mr Canny and Mr Piazza during lunch times as well as the work all students are doing in class. We wish them the very best in their first debate of the season.
DOGS IN THE SCHOOL GROUNDS
We have a policy around dogs in the school grounds. We ask parents dropping up or picking up students to not bring the dogs onto the school grounds. If you are waiting outside the school we ask that the dogs not be near the gate. Thank you for your support.
In the next few weeks Mr Canny, with the support of some other teachers, will be starting a ‘running club’ at lunch times on a Monday for those students interested. The students will be working with Mr Canny to develop their skills. More information will come soon.
SLEEP and LEARNING
With winter fast approaching and the cold and wet weather upon us we find that many students are coming to sleep extremely tired. Sleep is a vital ingredient in a child’s development and ability to concentrate and learn. Below is information from https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/sleep-tips-for-children. For more information please head directly to the website.
How much sleep do they need?
The amount of sleep we need changes with age. Everyone is different, but as a guide, children need the following amounts of sleep every night:
• ages 3 to 5: 10 to 13 hours
• ages 6 to 13: 9 to 11 hours
• ages 14 to 17: 8 to 10 hours
Getting enough sleep is vital for your child’s physical health, brain function, emotional wellbeing, safety, and ability to function day to day. Not having enough sleep or not sleeping well can affect how children learn and lead to mood swings and behavioural problems.
Tips to help children sleep well
Getting enough sleep is as important for your child as healthy eating and exercising. Here are some tips to help your child fall asleep, stay asleep and get enough good quality sleep.
• Establish a sleep schedule: Make sure your child goes to bed early enough to get the sleep they need. Once you have set an appropriate bed time, stick to it — even at the weekend.
• Establish a bedtime routine: Follow the same routine every day: bath or shower, change into pyjamas, brush teeth, read or spend quiet time in their bedroom, lights out and go to sleep.
• Help your child wind down: Busy children need some time to relax. Consider playing soft music or reading to them.
• Make sure the bedroom is suitable for sleep: Ensure the bedroom is dark and quiet. If your child is anxious or afraid at night, use a night light.
• Avoid stimulants: Make sure your child avoids tea, coffee, chocolate and sports drinks, especially in the afternoon.
• Turn off technology: Turning off computers, tablets and television 1 hour before bedtime should help your child sleep better.
GET WELL WISHES
On behalf of all the staff and students, we would like to wish Sandra, our crossing supervisor, a speedy recovery after breaking her shoulder. Get better soon Sandra!