Principal update 18 July 2018

Welcome back to what will be an extremely busy Term 3. We would like to welcome Mrs Colquhoun back to her Science role at APS for 2 days per week. I know that she has some wonderful events planned for students. Mr Boelema has accepted a full time position in another school so we are currently in the process of recruiting a Science Specialist to teach our junior classes. This process should be finalised in the next few days so we will have minimal disruption to the teaching and learning program.

We have a large number of events scheduled for this term so please make sure you note the dates that have gone out on the calendar through Connect. Swimming has started today with students from Years 3 to 6. It is pleasing to note that the majority of students will be attending. In the next few weeks we will be celebrating NAIDOC Week with students engaging in a number of activities that reflect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and history. This will coincide with an incursion by Gina Williams on Wednesday August 1. More information will be coming home short- ly about this event. Friday August 3 is our Faction Cross Country and the following Friday August 10 will see our first Fathering project kick off from Lions Park with a BBQ and Walk to School morning for fathers, father figures and their children. This event will start at 8am.

2019 will see a reconfiguration of the school day at APS. We are encountering a number of problems with the current configuration that do not allow us to maximise teaching and learning time. We are also struggling with flexibility for meeting days due to the early close and we have issues with students not eating at lunch time given that recess was 1 hour prior. The new configuration will see classrooms open at 8.25am with the school day starting at 8.30am. We will have a new finishing time of 2.45pm every day with no early close.

The day will run as follows:
8.30am – Start of the school day 8.40am – 10.40 am – Sessions 1 & 2 10.40am – 11am – Recess
11am – 1pm – Sessions 3 & 4
1pm – 1.40pm – Lunch
1.40pm – 2.45pm – Session 5 2.45pm – End of school day

The biggest benefit to this configuration is the change to the middle session before lunch that will allow teachers more time to engage students in deeper learning. We will be looking to conduct the bulk of the heavier academic curriculum prior to the lunch break as the after lunch session is far less productive. The current configuration does not allow teachers the time to conduct fluid Numeracy Blocks which will be a focus for next year.

I will be consulting with Camp Australia, day care centres and the bus company to ensure that they are aware of the changes and will have ample time to accommodate. The changes have been approved by an overwhelming majority of staff, the School Board and discussed at the last P&C meeting.

If you would like to forward an opinion on these changes, please submit in writing or email Armadale Primary School:
P&C President. The president of the P&C, Mr Mick Mullan, has resigned due to work commitments and as yet a new president has not been elected. This is a very important role for the school and the community and I would urge anyone with the commitment and desire to lead a very enthusiastic group of people to come forward. More information can be found on the P&C Facebook page. On behalf of the school and the school community I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Mr Mullan for his tireless efforts and for his contribution to the school.

Fiona Blundell Principal