This newsletter contains a list of our classes and their teachers for 2021. In considering the educational disruption of 2020 with our Staff Consultative Committee, we are planning 32 classes, as detailed below, plus specialist areas. Although the three extra classes planned are unsustainable in the longer term, this was considered a worthwhile use of our funding after the year experienced by our students in 2020.
As in previous years, and as well as considering teachers’ requests, we have ensured each PLC team has a mix of experienced and newer to the profession teachers. Every level includes someone who worked in that team in 2020.
Additionally, our Leading Teachers and Learning Specialists are spread throughout the school. In 2021, we are also using some of these senior staff for the Tutor Learning Initiative (TLI) during Semester 1, so we have been hiring additional staff. This has meant our staffing process has been protracted. We’ll provide more details about TLI after school resumes, and the 'Learn' page in this newsletter provides some DET information for families as well.
We welcome some new teachers to Laburnum next year. Allison Ryan, Brenna McNeil, Siobhan Keane and Brittany Gill have all been teaching in other schools. Kelli Simmons joins us to work in the Tutor Learning Initiative in a Maths role. Karina Gallace also returns to support teachers involved in the TLI.
In 2021, we welcome back some other teachers who have been on leave from Laburnum: Blake Herreen, Kylie Raymer, Jennifer De Villa, Mary Psaila and Alison Pho.
Two teachers will finish at the end of Term 4 to begin maternity leave. We wish Kate Marshall and Carina Travill all the best for the birth of their first baby.
We are saying farewell to three teachers as Kylee Mason, Simon Butler and Hillary Kerner move onto their next career step. In the office, we farewell Donna Forrest as she returns to Queensland and Natalie Wheeler as she takes up a promotion at another school. Thank you to these staff members for their contribution to LPS and best wishes for the future.
Additionally, Alycia Cook is taking leave for 2021. As usual, because school recruitment continues over the holidays, parents are advised of the possibility that staffing may change by the time school resumes in January.
Please click here for our 2021 Staff List. PLC Team Leaders and days for part-time teachers will be added as soon as these are finalised.
Parents are reminded that Term 4 finishes next Friday, 18 December, at 1:30 p.m. School resumes for Year 1 – 6 students on Friday 29 January at 9 a.m. If anything changes, we’ll email you!
Parents are also advised that School Council has approved a Student-free Day on Tuesday 9 March, and all known dates and events are on our website and Event Calendar.
After such an unpredictable year, a huge thank you to everyone – parents, students and staff – for your support and flexibility. After reviewing our students’ return to school, and their academic outcomes after this disrupted year, I am very proud of the decisions and efforts made during Remote Learning.
Importantly, I must acknowledge the committment of Kathy and Jo as the Principal Class Team juggled numerous priorities this year, and the ongoing support of our entire Leadership Team to sustain the focus on our students.
We wish all families leaving the school a wonderful transition to wherever you are heading; including our fantastic Year 6 students (definitely the most resilient LPS students ever!). Our cover photo this week shows part of the Year 6 Graduation dance rehearsal.
Best wishes to everyone for a relaxing break and, most of all, a safe one.
This week we welcomed our 2021 Preps onsite for their final orientation session. They enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to meet with their teachers, spending time with new classmates and familiarising themselves inside classrooms. What a great job they did!
On the same day, our Year 6 students were offsite visiting their respective Secondary Schools, orientating themselves with their new settings for next year. After a successful Step Up week at LPS this was the next stage in their transition to Year 7.
Our remaining students in Prep-Year 5 also completed another successful school transition session.
All teachers will meet their 2021 classes on Tuesday 15 December. The staff induction program for new and returning teachers also begins on this day. Our 2021 Year 1 - 6 teachers will be available from 3:30 - 3:45pm, should you wish to drop by and say a quick, socially-distanced hello. You will find them in the playground outside your child's 2021 classroom. (A new 2021 school map will be uploaded to the Sentral Parent Portal by Monday.) Please ensure masks are worn. Unfortunately, this plan depends on fine weather, as we cannot invite parents into classrooms or the hall yet. At 3:45pm, staff will need to leave the playground to attend scheduled meetings to handover and discuss student information with 2021 teachers.
Class information will be sent home with your child on Tuesday 15 December.
As we come to the end of another school year, it is timely to reflect on the number of challenges presented to us, as we, a school community, navigated our way through the unpredictability of 2020.
We would like to thank all LPS families for the continued support given to the sometimes difficult decisions and inevitable changes that had to be made. It was a time for new learning, making adjustments and being flexible. Our students were, and always will be our central focus and we can look back on 2020 and be proud of all that has been achieved.
Have a relaxing break and enjoy time with family and friends.
We look forward to returning to a new 'normal' in 2021.
The 2020 school year has been an extraordinary and challenging one for every school community.
Many Victorian students spent much of Terms 2 and 3 this year learning remotely and Victorian schools and their communities have made an exceptional effort to provide continuity of teaching and learning to our students during this time.
During Term 4, schools across Victoria have been focused on supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing, in addition to assisting students to readjust to on-site learning. Teachers have also been focusing on assessing student learning, addressing individual learning gaps and identifying those students who need extra support for their learning, using classroom-based observation and assessments.
We know that the remote learning experience was different for every student. While some students thrived, some students may not have engaged as fully with remote learning. For most of our students, regular high-quality teaching in 2021 will be enough to help them progress to the expected level of learning. Some students will benefit from additional intensive learning support in 2021.
As you may be aware, in response to this, the Victorian Government is investing $250 million in the Tutor Learning Initiative to enable schools across Victoria to engage around 4,100 teachers as tutors in 2021 to support students who need extra assistance with their learning. Schools will determine how this initiative is best implemented for their students.
By engaging additional teachers to support children with intensive learning, classroom teachers will have increased capacity to ensure that all other students’ achievement, engagement and wellbeing needs are met, so that all students receive the support they need in 2021.
Laburnum's TLI program will be implemented across Semester 1, and is organised and ready to begin. We are redeploying skilled LPS teachers, as well as employing another teacher with specific expertise, to provide TLI support in classrooms alongside class teachers.
Further information about the Tutor Learning Initiative, and how it will be implemented for students who need individual learning support in our school, will be issued after the break via eNews.
Congratulations to all our wonderful Year 1 and 2 students who have shown incredible resilience during a challenging year. Laburnum teachers are very proud of each and every one of you and your efforts.
The Year 1’s have been busy this week making analogue clocks! We have used our clocks for maths fluency tasks and will be exploring telling time to the o’clock and half past in the next few weeks! We know there are numbers from 1 to 12 on a clock face and two hands, a minute and an hour hand. Below are some of our clock creations. Telling the time is fun!
In Maths, Year 2 have been focusing on finding 100 more or less than a 3 and 4-digit number, applying efficient strategies with addition and subtraction equations and solving worded problems. We have been demonstrating our school values of respect and resilience by working collaboratively, taking turns and continuously trying to challenge ourselves through a variety of tasks.
Year 3 Wellbeing
Year 3 students have been learning how to be ‘bucket-fillers’ by writing positive affirmations for each other. These have included thoughtful comments about how students have displayed the school values and are a great way to foster good relationships. Students are also participating in weekly lessons about kindness, learning about the various ways to be kind to others, their environment and themselves.
Year 4 Narratives
In Year 4, students have been continuing reviewing their narratives. They have been focusing on setting description, characterisation, rising and falling action and different ending types. The students have been showing the school value of resilience through persistence in making the many changes to their narratives. They are looking forward to publishing and presenting their narratives.
Parents Group News:
Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Narelle, Parents Group
Next Parent’s Group meetingWould you like to come along to see what a Parents' Group meeting is like? Our first meeting for 2021 is Tuesday 9th February at 7pm and you are welcome to attend. As a reminder, Parents' Group is open to mums/dads/carers and we organise social, community and fundraising events for the school. There is no expectation on members to put all their spare time into activities – you can put as much or as little time in as you like. If you are interested in joining please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you'd like to come and we will send you the details.
Click on these links for Community News or information:
Imagine your child comes to you upset that a sibling or friend has cheated in a game. There are a number of ways to respond, including telling them not to worry (“Let it go!”), advising them how to handle it (“Next time you keep the score.”) or empathising emotionally (“You must feel disappointed.”)
Each is a legitimate response for a parent and teacher to make, but only the latter builds a deep emotional connection. Importantly, the empathetic response builds a child’s or young person’s emotional intelligence as it taps into their ability to recognise current feelings.
How emotional connection works
Kids crave to be understood by others, especially by the people they love or respect. When you accurately feed back how a child or young person is feeling you demonstrate that you really care. Strong relationships are formed on the bedrock of care, kindness and compassion.
How to give emotional feedback that connects
Giving accurate emotional feedback to an upset child or teenager takes practice. It requires that you pay attention, move into the present moment, listen to a child and identify the feeling behind their words. High or loud emotions such as anger, annoyance and panic are often easier to identify than low or muted emotions such as worry, discouragement or loneliness.
An effective way to connect on emotional level is to listen to what a child has to say, and then think back to a time you were in a similar situation. Imagine if a child says they feel horrible because their friends laughed at them when they made mistake in class. Rather than respond immediately, think back to a time when you made a mistake in front of others and identify how you felt. Embarrassed, ashamed, or annoyed? “I bet that you felt embarrassed and annoyed when your friends laughed at you.” Your child may tell you that you’re off the mark, but they’ll more than likely appreciate the empathy you show.
Feed back the positive emotions too
You don’t have to wait until something challenging happens to connect with a child on an emotional level. Accurately mirror positive feelings such as relief (after a stressful situation has passed), enthusiasm (as they begin something they love doing) and chilled (as they put their feet up at the end of the day). We all experience many emotions throughout the day. The ability to accurately recognise and feed back the emotions of children and young people is a wonderful way to build connections of quality and depth.
Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s an award winning speaker and the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It . Michael is a former teacher with 15 years experience, and has 30 years experience in parenting education. He also holds a Master of Educational Studies from Monash University specialising in parenting education.