Dear Parents

Morning Procedures

I appreciate the effort being made in regard to the beginning of day procedures (drop off at school and awareness of morning classroom procedures) as well as the patience and consideration being shown during that very hectic, and at times, chaotic period of time between 3.00pm and 3.30pm. Your continued support in these areas is appreciated.

Lent

Next Wednesday we begin the very important liturgical season of Lent, a time when, as Catholics, we reflect on our failings and our humanity, through attention to prayer and to penance. We are called to reach out to those less fortunate than we are. This is an ideal time to discuss with your child how Lent might play out for them in 2014. Growing up, many of us remember the having to "give something up" for Lent. While in itself a tangible form of penance, let us also remember that we might choose the opposite, that is to "take something up" this Lent, something we normally find difficult or adds to our effort (for a child making the bed everyday, if not done, is an example of doing something we don't necessarily get pleasure from, but is done in service to others). An Ash Wednesday liturgy is to be celebrated in the school hall for all children from PP-Yr 6 starting at 11.00am. Parents most welcome.

Staff Change

Ms Emma Harrison (Physical Education Teacher) has tendered her resignation from the school effective from the beginning of Week 9 of the current school term. Emma, herself employed here as a replacement for Mr John Rijs (currently on leave), is shortly to be married and will be moving to regional Western Australia because of her new husband's employment. The process of employment of a new PE teacher is currently underway with an appointment expected in the next few weeks.

School Board Meeting (Summary)

The following matters were decided upon at the School Board Meeting held last week:

  • Board approval given for the purchase of hardware (up to 16 i-pads) for use in the Year 3 classrooms.

  • Sub-committees to operate within the Board to drive strategy, as well as increasing effectiveness and efficiency across various aspects of the Board's operations. These sub-committees will be: Strategy, Finance, Information Communication Technology, Out of School Hours Care, Maintenance, Capital Projects

  • Agreement reached on the preamble in relation to School Fees Policy and implementation including payment schedules, split billing, music fees.

P&F Meeting (Summary)

The P&F held their first meeting of the year last Wednesday evening. The following was decided at that meeting:

  • New committee for 2014 introduced with Lisa Foster (President), Katrina Cooper (Vice-President), Erin Leech (Secretary), and Kara Passi (Treasurer).

  • P&F Class reps protocols and practices determined.

  • Approval from P&F for funds to be allocated to Science incursions ($1200 in total - applicable to PP-Yr 6); Science equipment ($575 - K-3); Mathletics ($4000 - PP-Yr 6).

  • Costing for new blinds to be undertaken (K and PP)

  • Fundraiser determined - Hot Cross Buns with a view to being distributed on the last day of this term.

Swimming Carnival (trials)

Swimming trials for Years 4, 5 and 6 will be held next Tuesday (4 March). It is important to read the notice from Miss Harrison. The relevant information is found here.

School Fees

The school fee accounts are being sent home today, Wednesday 26 February. Information regarding options for payment of fees is included. Also enclosed in the same envelope is a Family Information Sheet, which I ask you to review and amend if necessary. Please also include your email address. Relevant information regarding school fees can be found on the school website under the Practical Matters tab.

Past student achievement

On a regular basis, we hear news of the achievements of our current and past students from Orana. We believe this is something to celebrate and therefore encourage parents to send in notification of these achievements to the school (Administration). Whether it be academic, social, sporting or just good news we would love to hear this and once per term we will endeavour to publish this information. If you know of something worthy of sharing, please send the information to the school. For those who have graduated from Orana the final year of their schooling here should be indicated.

Mathletics

This year the school had widened its subscription to an online Mathematics programme, Mathletics, to include Pre-Primary to Year 6. The intention was to offer this interactive, engaging and self-paced tool to classroom teachers and parents to assist students to improve their outcomes in Maths.

The school, by extending its subscription to Mathletics to our Junior Grades has brought the cost of individual enrolment from $99 to $10 (parental contribution), which will be billed through school fees. I would encourage all parents to give their children access to Mathletics at home. The programme works on Macs and PCs as well as on a free APP on iPads. The content through the iPad APP is not yet as comprehensive as the computer version but still very practical in terms of giving students practice with Maths concepts.

It is important to keep in mind that there is no prescribed way to use Mathletics in the classroom and Mathletics is only one strategy that teachers use to cover the Maths curriculum. It is not the basis of our Mathematics programme but should be viewed as an additional and complementary strategy that is both engaging and educational. Each classroom will operate differently with it's use of Mathletics and it is not appropriate to compare the way it is used in the different classrooms.

Assembly

A special assembly will be held this week with Year 6 students receiving their leadership badges. This assembly starts at 9.50am in the Hall before a morning tea for Year 6 families is held.

David Barns / Principal