Friday, May 12th 2017 (Full Penny next week)

Term 2 Week 4

To fan the spark of thinking into flame
By my own strong endeavour,
To read life's inner meaning
Out of the cosmic spirit's fount of strength:
This is my summer heritage,
My autumn solace and my winter hope.

From The Calendar of the Soul by Rudolf Steiner

Dates to Diary

Tuesday 16th May - Class 6 Central Deborah Mine Excursion
Tuesday 16th May - Class 7/8 Opera Australia -Carmen Excursion
Wednesday 17th May - Kinder Meeting 7.30pm
Wednesday 17th- Friday 19th May - Class 4 Muckleford Forest Camp
Thursday 18th May - Class 7/8 Soiree
Monday 22nd May - Class 2 Meeting 7.30pm
Wednesday 24th May - AGM
Thursday 25th -Friday 26th May - Class 6 Play

2017 TERM DATES
Term 1 Tuesday 31st January – Friday 31st March
Term 2 Wednesday 19th April – Thursday 22nd June
Term 3 Tuesday 18th July – Friday 22nd September
Term 4 Tuesday 10th October – Friday 8th December

AGM – Call for nominations for new Board members

We are fast approaching an important meeting in the “corporate” life of the school – the Annual General Meeting – which will be held on Wednesday May 24th at 7.30 pm

Our school is constituted as a company (limited by guarantee), which is owned by the members of the company. All parents of children currently enrolled in the school, current staff, and others approved by the Board are eligible for membership.  If you are not currently a member and would like to join, please contact the Company Secretary for an application form businessmanager@cssk.vic.edu.au

An important role for the members is to elect two of the Board Directors (as outlined in the CSSK Constitution). This year we have one position up for election, and 2-4 positions open for nomination as skills-based community members, with two of our current Board members stepping down, and casual vacancies remaining unfilled.

We urge all eligible members of our community to consider nominating for a position on the Board. It is a wonderful opportunity to bring your professional skills to support the governance of our school as we grow into the next phase of our story.

Nominations must be received by 12pm Monday, May 22. Further details and nomination forms are available from the Company Secretary businessmanager@cssk.vic.edu.au

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School News

From the Principal

Dear Parents,

Term 2 is progressing well and as a school we are entering the next phase of our work that is born out of the policy reviews we have been doing in recent times. Essentially this involves aligning our processes with the underpinning policies which state our legal, moral and ethical approach as an organisation. As with all change there will be teething problems so I ask for your forbearance while this transition occurs.

College of Teachers

The college of teachers are engaged in a number of important discussions. We have a couple of issues facing us, partly due to the nature of compliance with regulatory requirements and partly due to a strong desire for whole school approaches to these issues.

One of these is the question of ICT and how our school approaches and introduces information technology.

I am impressed with the level of debate amongst the teachers. We are, in modern society, called upon to act with common sense, without fear and in a rational way, using our understanding of human development to navigate all the difficult questions that face our world. The use of computers and their effect on students in their education is one of these issues.

Here are some of the questions we are discussing:

OECD research suggesting minimal gains from schools that have invested heavily in the use of computers The positive effects of narrative in developing deep memory
Mounting evidence of the harmful and addictive nature of screen time on children particularly younger ones The positive effects of our holistic approach (Arts based education) in developing balanced human beings
The compliance required by the regulatory authority for registration as a school to address ICT The positive effects of the long term relationships forged in the class teacher period as an educational and developmental tenet
The difference between, the use of computers as the lens through which education is presented (which can be a main stream approach) and learning the skills required to understand and use computers (older years only) The need and responsibility we have to prepare our students for the schools they will be entering when they leave us (currently yr 8)
The ICT Curriculum created by the SEA (Steiner Education Australia) still sits with ACARA and is therefore not ratified. The innate pre-skills children learn that allow them to pick up computing relatively easily at the appropriate time.
Addressing the fact that fear exists around the use of computers and that computers can become demonised. We don’t wish to create a feeling for forbidden fruit. Educating young people about the potential dangers of the cyber world. We aware it is possible students may enter the computer age before instruction has begun at our school.
Anecdotal reports from Silicon Valley from the leaders of this industry who do not recommend the use of devices for children Rudolf Steiner spoke about our capacity to understand the workings of technology and that they are useful as tools and not to be driven by them

 

As you can see we are attempting to leave no stone unturned in arriving at a sensible and measured approach to the world of computers. There is absolute agreement around the lack of computers in the junior school and it is really only a matter of deciding the appropriate time for the introduction of basic computing skills and understanding the cyber world. How this might progress in the senior years remains on the table.

If you would like to express a view on this matter I would be happy to receive them. A written (printed version) can be left at the office for my attention.

Warm regards

Brian Dodd

Assembly

Term two has started well with strong and beautiful singing at our first assembly. Our assembly took on a different flavour this week with the addition of a year 8 student as the MC. It is wonderful to see the year 8 students assuming a leadership role and Ezra did an excellent job to the delight of all the students in the school as well as the staff and parents.

VRQA visit

Kate Baulch from the VRQA (Victorian Registration and Qualification Authority) visited the school on the last day of term 1 to check on the progress we have made with our policy review. It was a good meeting and Kate was able to take away the fruit of the hard work of many over a long period of time. There are now a number of policies on our website and parents are invited to refer to them if any questions arise about the operations of the school. Your comments on the policies are welcome.

Professional Development

Our review process has highlighted the need for the school to re-enliven some of the processes which underpin our social development strategies. The Rock and Water program, which fits very well with Steiner methodology, has worked well in previous years and still continues in the school but in an intermittent and less co-ordinated fashion than has occurred in previous times. We will be endeavouring to refresh this program through staff training and then timetabling set periods for its implementation.

Restorative Justice has also been a practice used in the school for resolving differences or conflicts between students. Teachers have unanimously called for a refresher in this area and so we look towards organising some professional development in this area.

Teacher Appraisals

The school is committed through Policy to conducting annual formal teacher appraisals. Classes 1, 3, 5 and 7 undertake this process every year whilst other class teachers submit self-appraisals. The criteria for assessment are based on the AITSL (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership) professional standards for teachers. There are similar professional standards for Principals which the Board will use to appraise the performance of the Principal.

It is a supportive process and one that builds trust and the capacity to develop a culture of professional conversations about teaching practice.

I am looking forward to being able to get into the classes this term to get to know the students more. This is a wonderful educational process and it is always a privilege to observe the workings of teachers as they undertake this most noble of pursuits.

 

 

From the Board of Directors

Parent Satisfaction Survey

All parents should have received a link to the 2017 Parent Satisfaction Survey this week.

The survey is valuable way for parents to give feedback about how well the school is doing across eight domains – Curriculum/Academic, Quality of Teaching, Learning Outcomes, Pastoral Care, Discipline & Safety, Parental Involvement, Resources and Year Transition.

I urge all parents to participate – the survey should only take 15 minutes of your time. All responses are confidential and will be used to guide the Board and Staff in developing strategies to improve our school.

If you did not receive the email link, please contact the office enquiries@cssk.vic.edu.au to have one sent to you.

The survey will be open until May 28.

Jane Staley

Chair, Board of Directors

Parents & Friends Group

School Lunches

Lunches are going really well.  They are available two days a week  – Mondays will continue like last term and Fridays are a vegetable based soup.  You have the choice of a cup size or a bowl size with bread.  It’s not too late.  Forms available from the office.

If you have some time on Mondays or Fridays you are very welcome to drop by and help out.

With love

Julie Tisdale, Convenor, Parents & Friends

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From The Office

Farewell, Term 2 Fees and Info

Farewell to Jenni

Jenni’s last day will be Friday 19th  May.

New Bank Account

If paying by bank transfer please ensure you pay to our new bank account – Bank Australia, BSB 313-140, Acc 12117546.  It is also important to use your new account code which you can find at the top of your new invoice (eg. JONE01).

2017 Student Residential Address Collection

Please return your form(s) at your earliest convenience.

Health Care Cards

If you currently hold a Centrelink Health Care Card and have not already provided us with a copy, please do so as soon as possible.  This will ensure you receive any available government subsidies.

 

 

 

 

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