All children who are the eldest in family should have brought home our 2021 magnetic school calendar last week. This calendar contains all our known school events for the year. To stay informed and organised, please keep this somewhere close so you can refer to it as the year goes by or transfer important dates onto your home calendar.
We will advise through our school Facebook Page, Newsletter or App if there are any alterations.
School Council and House Captains
On Wednesday 24th February we held our elections for our School Council and House Captains. Each of the Grade 6 students gave a speech to an audience of our Grade 3-6 classes and staff. After the speeches all students from Grade 3-6, plus staff, then voted for the students they felt could best represent them on the council.
In the five years that I have been at the school, I was most impressed by the effort that students put into their speeches and how confidently they spoke in front of a large audience. Most students were able to articulate information about themselves, why they would be a good leader and some initiatives they would be keen to pursue to make the school a special place.
Congratulations to the 2021 elected representatives:
Avah B, Mason D, Jesse H, Layla M, Jorja P, Molly S, Kaileah B, Archer B, Charley CM, Thomas J, Liam T, Ava T and Finn TF
We believe that all our Grade 6 students are leaders/role models of our school and due to this each one will be given a leadership role later this term. Leadership roles include such things as playground buddies, newsletter editors, environmental leaders, literacy/library leaders and ICT leaders.
To further build leadership skills and qualities our Grade 6 students will also participate in three sessions co-ordinated by the PCYC this term. These sessions will focus on team-work, respect, resilience and giving best effort.
On Friday 26th February we held our Prep-Grade 6 Athletics Carnival. For a change on past years, the weather was glorious, and we were able to get through a full day program. It was fantastic to also have our wider school community join us for the day and hopefully, if we keep up our safety protocols, we can continue to invite people in to celebrate other school events.
Once again, our students did a wonderful job upholding our school values (Believe, Dream, Respect and Grow). I was at the finish line for most events and all children tried their best, displayed sportsmanship and finished their race with a big smile on their face. Our Grade 6 students stepped up to the challenge and did an amazing job displaying initiative by: helping younger students get to events; giving out equipment; supporting their houses; cheering on their team; setting up and packing away.
A huge thank you to Mrs Evans for planning the day. It is due to her great organisation and scheduling that the day runs smoothly with students spending maximum time competing and limited time spectating. Also, a big thank you to Mr Jones for his entertaining commentary on the microphone.
Congratulations to our Grade 3-6 students who will represent our school at the North West Athletics on the 10th and 11th March.
National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence
This year our school is acknowledging both Harmony Week and Bullying – No Way!.
Bullying – No Way! takes a stand on Friday 19th March and Harmony Week runs from 15th – 21st March. The learning from both these important days corresponds well with our values of Respect and Believe.
As a school we take bullying seriously. We are fully supportive of the Bullying – No Way! campaign and teachers use resources in the classroom to provide appropriate learning activities around this. At the same time, we promote ‘being kind’ and working harmoniously together. Our staff will do this using the book A World of Kindness by Suzanne Del Rizzo which will then lead to a cumulative piece of work across Kinder to Grade 6.
To honour both these days we will have a ‘WEAR ORANGE’ day on Wednesday 17th March. This means students will still wear their Somerset Primary uniform and perhaps have an ORANGE addition to it ie a ribbon, a tie, socks, a cap.
Have you seen our wonderful Play to Learn pod? We are lucky to have a shipping container of large scale reusable construction items for play which build on and apply the skills developed in STEAM. This play space allows students to experiment and play with real materials to further boost their understanding of science, engineering and maths concepts as well as practice effective communication and creative thinking. Our play pod will be open during play times and utilised by classes during the day. Over time, our materials get a bit tired and broken so we are calling for more donations.
Sustainability remains a focus for our school and we would like to upcycle, share and reinvent as many items as possible. For safety reasons they must be clean and undamaged. Please consider that these materials will be used in play by students K-6 so must be light enough to be moved.
- Cable reels
- Poly pipes
- Milk crates/apple crates
- Plastic garden pots
- Wood rounds with a diameter of at least 30 cm
- Lengths of untreated timber
- Light weight chain
- Empty paint tins
- Marine or waterproof ply
- Tools (no saws or blades thanks)
If you can offer any of these materials please let Mrs Type-Farrell know.
We have had a fantastic start to the year in 3/4 B! We have been busy learning about rules, laws and local government in HASS, odd and even numbers and number patterns in Maths and we have been learning to summarise texts and write interesting narratives in English. We are really enjoying our class novel ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and this is sparking lots of discussions around what it means to be kind and respectful to each other. We have just started tuning into our Science Inquiry on living things. We have come up with some great questions to help guide our inquiry. Some of our wonderings are: ‘how do plants excrete waste?’, ‘is fire a living thing?’ and ‘will there be more living things discovered in the future?’. We are really looking forward to our science learning journey!
Here we are drawing some living and non-living things in the school gardens!
Pod 2 – Classes 2/3, 3/4A, 3/4B, 3/4C, and 3/4D teachers have all aligned their curriculum planning to ensure students in these classes access similar learning experiences differentiated for all learners.
Alongside this, students are learning ‘how’ they learn through the Learning Assets. Students are:
What you will see in the following photos demonstrates these assets. Focused learners doing their best. Our classes have recently unpacked what each of the Learning Assets mean. In the near future students will be learning how these will help them learn.
Below are examples of the word inquiries your child will have studied in the past weeks. You might also see these when teachers Dojo home in the class stories. Some of these words are big, yet, the students can identify base words, affixes (prefix and suffix), definitions, synonyms and antonyms etc. How clever are our Grade 3 and 4 students!
The photo below shows how well our Pod students have been returning to and lining up ready for class after our recess and lunch breaks. This is showing respect for ourselves as learners, others and our environment.
Inquiry in 3-4A
During the first three weeks of term we investigated democracy in a range of settings. We explored rules, laws and policies, including their similarities and differences. Our Pod Leader Mrs Lloyd spoke with us about how rules are made in schools. We were also fortunate enough to have Jodi Duncan (SPS Adopt a Cop) speak with us about Laws and the Justice system. I think our class were probably most interested in the origins and language of democracy. We discovered that people under 18 can't vote yet but they CAN have a say! Teams of students unpacked what our local government (Waratah Wynyard Council) already do well and considered how they might make Somerset even better! Our top three voted issues were: 1) We need more sports/recreation facilities; 2) Some young people and their families wanted a Woolworths; but most popular was 3) The opinion that there should be a community off-lead dog park for humans and 4-legged family members to enjoy. Please see a copy of the letter we wrote (and Milla presented) to Minister Maureen Bradley when she visited us in this photo gallery. She informed us a dog park was already underway in Wynyard and will report our Somerset request to the Mayor and her other colleagues!
Well done 3-4A!
Levies invoices have been issued and families should begin to receive these in the mail soon. Families that have been approved for STAS will not receive an invoice. Occasionally there is a cross over where the STAS approval has come through just after the invoice was issued, if you have been approved for STAS and do receive an invoice, please disregard as a credit will be issued. If you think you may be entitled to Student Assistance, please see below to apply.
Levies can be paid in person, at Service Tas or via our new QKR App. Payment Plans are available if you are unable to pay the levies in full. Centrepay is also available for families who receive a payment from Centrelink (ie Parenting Payment). Your nominated amount is then taken out of your payment prior to you receiving it and paid directly to the school.
To discuss any of these options, please contact the office.
Student Assistance Scheme 2021
Parents who have a current concession card as listed below can apply for dependent students for assistance under the STAS:
- Service Australia – Centrelink Health Care Card
- Service Australia – Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card
- Service Australia – Pensioner Concession Card or
- Department of Veteran Affairs – Pensioner Concession Card
Please note that if you are already receiving student assistance you do not need to complete a form.
For 2021 a new online form has been developed to assist with processing applications for new applicants.
The online form can be completed here: https://stasonlinesubmission.education.tas.gov.au
Once a validated form is completed the Department of Education will confirm the outcome of your application in writing, this process takes approximately 14 days.
We understand the online option may not be possible for all families, so if you require a hard copy form please contact your school or the Financial Assistance Unit on firstname.lastname@example.org or 1800 827 077.
Medical Action Plans - Reminder
Just a reminder to parents/carers of students who require a Medical Action Plan (anaphylaxis and asthma for example) to ensure we have an updated copy at school. We require these to be updated each year. Please ask for one at your child’s next medical appointment and send a copy to school.
We have uniforms in stock for purchase throughout the year. Unfortunately due to a high number of late purchases, we are out of a couple of sizes of polo shirts. These will be arriving at the end of February hopefully. You can now order and pay for uniform items through our QKR App. Please see instructions in this newsletter.
QKR – Online payment System
We now have QKR available for online payments. Levies (whole or part payment) can be paid via the QKR app. You can also order and pay for uniform items. Please see below instructions to download the app. No fees apply.
Contacting the School
Our office is open from 8am until 3.50pm each day. You can contact us via the following methods:
Phone: 6435 1114
Mobile: 0419 583 998
Via the Schoolzine App – see below for how to download
Sleep Series: Sleep and Screen Time
Technology use is on the increase with online social interactions and screen time replacing real world interactions. For this reason, it is often difficult to get children and adolescents off their devices. This late-night technology use is contributing to later sleep times and reduced quality of sleep.
Body clocks are sensitive to the blue light that backlit devices like phones and tablets emit. This light tricks our body clocks into thinking it is still daytime and this reduces the amount of melatonin, our sleep hormone that is released near bedtime. So, device use near bedtime can make it harder to get to sleep for both adults and children.
Using devices to play games or communicate with friends increases mental stimulation, making it difficult to wind down around bedtime or to get back to sleep when sleep is interrupted during the night. Negative online social interactions can also contribute to feelings of anxiety and worry which can make it harder to sleep.
How can I encourage safe, healthy technology use to improve my child’s sleep & wellbeing?
- Putting in place some guidelines surrounding technology use at bedtime. Children and adolescents need help with regulating their behaviour and understanding the harmful effects of disturbed sleep.
- Remove screens and technology from the bedroom. The bedroom should ideally be preserved for sleeping only so that it is perceived by the brain as a calm place - this helps children and young people to switch off and feel sleepy.
- Establish a nightly ‘wind down’ routine with your child or adolescent. As part of this wind down routine, create a calm environment and replace device usage in the hour before bed with a relaxing routine or reading. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety, making it easier to feel sleepy.
- Limit exposure to bright light. Children and adolescents body clocks are sensitive to light, in particular blue light, reducing the amount of ‘sleep hormones’ that are released around bedtime. Lower the brightness on devices in the evening hours and use applications that block out blue light on phones and tablets if your child is going to be using a device.
- Model good behaviours. Children and adolescents learn by observing the behaviour of others (parents, siblings)
If you would like more information on sleep please go to www.sleepfoundation.org.au