Thank you to the parents who attended our combined Parent Information Meeting this year on Wednesday, 31 January. Thank you also to Tina Smith Roberts and Rebecca Crew who organised the catering for the event. For those who couldn’t come, I shared with our community the new strategic plan for our school, Mrs Deighton shared how to use our new community interactive tool “Seesaw” and Mrs Stock shared our school’s social emotional and behaviour management programs. Here is a synopsis of what was discussed in terms of the strategic plan.Our Strategic plan was worked on by the School Community and School Council throughout 2017. Two parent meetings, a staff meeting and several School Council meetings were hosted by our consultant who through collaboration formed the ideas and suggestions for our next 5 years of work at Grace. The document will be published on our website and when it is, I will advise you. The plan encompasses 2018 – 2022 which will include our Golden anniversary – 50 years of Grace Lutheran Primary School in 2021.
Dimensions of our Strategic plan include:
- A new Statement of Purpose will replace our Mission statement – the words decided upon were: ENGAGE - EDUCATE - EXCITE
- Our strategic plan focusses on 8 areas of school life and practice – a brief summary is included here.
- Spiritual culture. Maintain and to be faithful to the foundation and purposes of our school which is that we are a Lutheran Primary School. Because of our school’s Christian foundation, it is our purpose to nurture and maintain a caring, Christian community.
- Student culture. Our Pastoral Care programs will be reviewed and all students will be encouraged to work at their best in our school community unhindered by others’. Also, our uniform will be reviewed in light of our anniversary in 2021.
- Staff culture. Our staff are recognised as our greatest resource in terms of student engagement. The council commits to providing adequate professional development and a culture of appreciation for their work.
- Teaching and learning programs. The entire P – 6 curriculum will be reviewed with an intent to improve Literacy and Numeracy achievement levels. We will introduce STEM (Design Technology) as a subject, review Performing Arts as a subject to give better opportunities for students especially in the upper primary area and ENSURE that students with special needs are well catered for in our school. Our written semester report will also become more comprehensible and be complementary to other ways of reporting to parents about student progress.
- Co-Curricular programs. Sport and music will be enhanced with more opportunities for student participation outside of school hours.
- Population and enrolment. Our student population will continue to maintain a balance of enrolled students with differing abilities and needs.
- The physical campus. We will continue to reinvigorate our beautiful school facilities, a master plan will be devised and the council will continue to watch for ways to expand our campus grounds for the future.
- School community interface. We will look at ways to enhance our web and social media outreach and introduce interactive capabilities so parents who cannot visit the school regularly can still see their child’s progress. We will also continue to nurture and encourage connections and partnerships with the varied Grace places on the peninsula – the Kindy, the College and the Church.
Uniform ReviewOf course of great interest is that our uniform will be reviewed in time for our Golden Anniversary in 2021. This means we may make no changes, it may mean we will make some changes or many changes – this will be dependent on feedback from our community along the way. If we do make any changes, there will be a reasonable time frame and not a sudden change from one year to the next. One major consideration of course is shorts for girls as I am regularly asked when we are bringing in a change to the dress worn currently. Another questions I will ask our community is – do we like the brown which is so predominant in our uniform, do we like the socks, do we like the dress uniform in general? If you would like to be part of a parent/staff committee to look at our uniform which will meet after school on Tuesdays from 3:30 – 4:30pm commencing on Tuesday 13 February on a fortnightly basis (or the required amount of time needed to discuss issues with time allowed for feedback from our community) please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org Depending on the amount of people wanting to be on this committee I will advise if you have been successful in being invited to participate in this work as I will try to make a cross section of people (parents of boys/girls/Prep/lower primary/upper primary). I will also be keen to have on our committee people who work in the area of physiotherapy or occupational therapy as your expertise will be useful to this task. I will send out regular updates about our discussions to our parent body so you can make comment also about our planning.
New Opportunity to ConsiderAnother interest at our information night was that we are looking at master planning. Last year, we purchased the duplex immediately next to the school (16 Maine Rd) and as part of our master planning, we can think about what we can do with this extra 1000 square metres. Should it be play areas for our students, a further classroom block to incorporate Design Technology and Japanese, should it be more carparking or what other dreams may you have? Any new facilities need to be approved by Lutheran Education Queensland so nothing will happen this year as this process of approval takes about a year but if you have an idea of what could go in the corner of our newly acquired land and building, please let me know ensuring that our children and their needs are paramount in our thinking. We can move the shed which is currently on our boundary so please don’t allow it to limit your dreaming.
Sad News ...Lastly on the Parent information evening, I shared the very sad news that a level 5 arborist has told us our beautiful tree next to the tennis court has to be cut down as it is diseased and dangerous. We have cordoned it off as we will do this work over the April School holidays. It will be cut to about 1m high and it will regenerate somewhat but not to the grand scale it is currently. I know this will deeply sadden many people in our school community but again, we have had to make this decision with our students’ best safety and welfare paramount in our thinking. If you look at this tree and compare it to the healthy tree which is nearer the Year 1 classrooms, you can see how deteriorated it is so unfortunately it has to go.
Your feedback about our strategic plan, our master planning, the review of our uniform or the tree needing to be removed will be appreciated. Please email me or see me if you want to make comment. I would also appreciate any comments you may have about our newly revamped parent information evenings. I take this opportunity to wish all our members of our Grace community a happy new year and I look forward very much to working with you this year.
Change in Bell TimesOur school bell times have changed slightly this year to provide more evenly split blocks of learning time throughout the Grace Primary school day. This means students will now have their first break from 10.20am to 11.10am and their second break at 1.10pm to 1.35pm.
Trudy Moala, Principal