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Attendance matters

Trudy Moala - Thursday, March 21, 2019

As a Principal, I read many educational articles and the most recent trend is school attendance. I know I have discussed this with parents already a few times this year but as a school and I will continue to do so to keep you well informed. This week, I note that ACARA which is the organisation which develops curriculum and reporting for schools, put out information about school attendance from a national perspective. Although an interesting read, I felt that the fact that this federal government organisation is mapping school attendance demonstrates it is an issue for many Australian children. I have put a link to the report at the end of this article for those who are interested.

A second recent article I read this week was by Dr Terry Bowles form the University of Melbourne where his research is demonstrating that -:
“Students need to attend school regularly to build relationships that enhance their sense of self and their relations with the people and groups around them. Then, they can actively engage in learning and this leads to ‘flow’.

“Flow” is described as “the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it’”.

When I walk around Grace during the day, I regularly see ‘flow’ with students so engrossed in their school work that they do not even realise I am in their room. Often their teachers are involved too so that they do not notice me in the room either. This is wonderful to see because it demonstrates that our students are engaged, being educated and that they are excited about their learning. I also see ‘flow’ when the students are out playing at break time. The game and their friends are all that matters and again, it demonstrates the connectedness the students have at Grace.

I understand that all families have the odd holiday or major family event which means that some students must take time to travel during term time. Please do not be apologetic about this as the learning through these activities is also powerful. I just ask families to make considered decisions about regular travel during term time and if that is affecting your child’s connectedness to the school’s social and academic programs.

Here is the link to the ACARA report about absenteeism for your interest http://www.acara.edu.au/reporting/national-report-on-schooling-in-australia-data-portal/student-attendance#View1

Colin Buchanan is coming!!

We are very excited to advise all families that Colin Buchanan will be at Grace for an end of term Chapel Service on Thursday, April 4 starting at 2pm. Parents (and Grandparents) are welcome to attend and bring toddlers along too. We will only have 100 seats available for adults so once these are full, we will be limiting access to standing room only. On April 4, we plan to have a full day of Easter celebration activities and Colin will be the culmination of a fun day for all at school.

Trudy Moala, Principal
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