Will all Kindy classes be on-site?
Yes. However, as Kindergarten is not compulsory, if you live in our intake area you must enrol your child before July 24th 2020 to secure a place in kindy for 2021. Any enrolments after this date will gain a place if we are not full. If we are full, your child will be placed on a waitlist or you are welcome to apply for enrolment at another local school if they are not full. We do anticipate being able to accommodate all local intake children in our kindy on-site.
For 2021 Kindy groups, will parents be able to nominate their preferences for the days that suit them best?
Yes. The choices are: Monday, Tuesday & alternate Wednesdays and the other group is Thursday, Friday & alternate Wednesdays. When we send out enrolment letters, you will be able to select your preferred days. We will do our best to accommodate you, wherever possible.
Will the school be a “homework free” school?
Substantial research by Professor John Hattie, detailed in his “Visible Learning” books, has identified the attributes and strategies that make the most impact on student learning. Homework in primary school makes negligible impact to student learning and progress. It matters far more that quality teaching happens in every classroom.
We will expect children to read every day at home – the more the better! In the early years, daily practice in blending sounds to read is extremely valuable and we will be encouraging this. At times, children will be asked to finish off work at home that they did not complete during lesson time. Teachers may also ask children to do a little research or investigation at home about a topic they will be exploring the next day.
What will the school hours be?
Our school will commence at 8:30am and finish at 2:30pm. This will, in part, assist in managing the traffic congestion with neighbouring schools.
Will there be an explicit focus on literacy?
Yes. We will use a high quality approach to teaching literacy that is informed by research evidence on what works best and has the greatest impact on student learning. Our teachers will use explicit instruction to ensure our students develop the necessary skills in oral language, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension to be successful and learn at high levels. We will draw on the science of teaching reading to inform our practice and use the very successful ‘Talk 4 Writing’ program across the school.
Our approach to teaching mathematics will be just as rigorous. We want our students to love learning mathematics and engage in challenging activities to ensure they build a rich understanding of concepts. We will have a focus on fixing misconceptions, and teaching through complex, unfamiliar problems.
Will there be less access to resources, equipment and opportunities for foundation students due to it being a new school?
As a new school, we are provided with a substantial Establishment Grant which allows us to purchase resources and equipment needed for a quality learning program and environment for our foundation students. We aim to provide outstanding opportunities in learning and enrichment for our foundation students from the outset.
What type of specialist programs will be offered at the school next year?
The specialist programs on offer next year will depend on the number of student enrolments we have. The more students, the more teachers we need, and hence, more specialist time to release teachers for non-contact time. At this stage, we are looking at Physical Education, Music/Performing Arts, and Visual Arts if we have the numbers. Our language program will be Auslan. The earlier you enrol for next year; the more time we have to ensure we employ the number of specialist teachers we need.
Will you offer the Instrumental Music Program (Dept. of Education) next year so the year 4 students can be tested for year 5 entry in 2022?
Yes, as long as we have the student enrolment numbers to allow us to employ a Music specialist teacher who will be responsible for the testing and management of the program in our school.
Will there be many split classes when the school first opens?
The composition of classes is always dependent on the number of students who are enrolled in any one year level. Where possible, we aim to have one year level per class. However, if there are not enough students to fill a class from one year level, it is filled with students from the next year level. Schools are funded based on the total number of students enrolled and not how many in each year level. At this stage, we anticipate 3 split classes at the start of 2021.
What are the number of classes expected in each year level?
Based on our projected enrolments, it is expected there will be 4 kindy classes, 3 Pre-Primary classes, 2 Year 1 classes, 1 Year 2 classes, 1 Year 3 classes, 1 Year 4 class and 1 Year 5/6 class. However, this may change depending on our enrolments as at the start of the school year.
Why are there so many transportable classroom spaces marked on the map, rather than just permanent classrooms built, if growth is expected?
School buildings are planned based on the demographics of the suburb, now and in the future, using Census data. Transportable classrooms are planned to accommodate future growth in primary-aged children. As these children grow and move to high school, the demographics of the suburb shift, and these classrooms are not needed and can be removed. Permanent classrooms are built to match stable student numbers.
Will there be any nature playgrounds with mud kitchens, rock and tree balance beams, and streams/water play?
Yes. We plan on having a nature play area in the Early Childhood Area within the next three years. On our list of playground equipment to be purchased next year are a Mud Kitchen, Water Play, and Fundamental Movement Skills resources.
Will the school be introducing the Bring Your Own Device program next year?
No. Our school will have an ICT purchasing plan for the next three years to provide digital devices for our students to use at school.
What forms of Home-School communication will there be?
Our school will use Parent Connect and Seesaw to communicate important messages, student progress and achievement, and share school celebrations with families and our wider school community. Parents need to download the Connect Now app to their phone and then connect to our school. You will be able to send through absentee notes and receive your children’s reports through Connect. Seesaw is a digital portfolio where teachers will share photos, work samples, and notices with you. The app is downloaded to your phone or iPad. We will also have a whole school newsletter each fortnight.
What are the student to staff ratios?
We staff our school based on the number of student enrolments and the recommended maximum class sizes. Kindy classes have a maximum of 20 students per class with one teacher and an Education Assistant. Pre-Primary classes have a recommended maximum of 27 students with one teacher and one Education Assistant. Year 1 to 3 classes have a recommended maximum of 24 students and Year 4 to 6 classes are 32 students. There is no provision for Education Assistants in Year 1 to 6 classes, unless a student has a diagnosed disability and attracts funding for a part-time assistant to support the class teacher.
What plans will be in place to manage traffic around the school?
Our school will have a Traffic Management Plan in place for the start of 2021. Students will be encouraged to walk or ride to school wherever possible. We will be applying for a crosswalk early in Term 1. We cannot make this application until the school is open as we need to complete a pedestrian and car survey to be submitted at the same time.
Will boundary gates be locked during school hours?
The school will have a boundary fence and the gates will be locked from 8:45am until 2:15pm.
How will you cater for food allergies?
If students are identified as having severe allergies to certain foods, we will ask families to refrain from sending products containing those foods to school eg. Nut allergy. However, schools cannot guarantee they are a “Nut Free Zone” as they rely on the cooperation of families to adhere to our requests. All staff will be trained in using epipens, if they have not previously completed the training. We will have a Health & Wellbeing Policy in place to outline our procedures.