Dear Parents and Carers,
I would like to take this opportunity to remind our school community of our 2021 focus areas as well as to provide some other relevant information that will help you to support your child/children to engage with their education.
During 2021, we are focussing on 4 ‘Big Picture’ areas within the school to support our students to engage in their education deeply and with greater confidence.
The 4 ‘Big Picture’ areas are:
· Positive Behaviour for Learning (PB4L): PB4L is a set of practices and strategies that assists schools to support the social, emotional, behavioural and academic outcomes of students.
· Trauma-Informed Practice: Trauma-Informed Practice is a whole-school approach which enables all staff members to engage in consistent evidence-based strategies to meet complex behaviour, wellbeing and academic needs of all students. This works best through a consistent whole-school approach within a positive education model.
· Pastoral Care: Pastoral care is a continued commitment to, and active demonstration of concern for, the growth and wellbeing of each student, as well as the broader school community. It focuses on developing an environment and culture that supports the physical, social, intellectual and emotional needs of every student. To support this, every student will engage in a Pastoral Care program every morning from 8.50am-9.10am.
· Leading, Managing, Doing: This is a professional learning activity of approximately 27 weeks that will engage our staff in some of the latest research, strategies and principles around leading the learning in their classrooms, managing complex student needs and behaviours and imbedding practices (doing) that will build a positive behaviour culture in the school. This complements the longer term work in PB4L and trauma-informed practice.
These focus areas have been deliberately chosen because they align well with each other as well as our values, student expectations and mantra.
Our Student Expectations:
· Arrive at school on time.
· Be in uniform.
· Have all equipment necessary for learning.
· Be on time for and attend all lessons.
· Be respectful of others, teachers and themselves.
· Follow all reasonable requests.
· Be safe and respectful on the playground.
· Strive for excellence in everything they do.
· Proudly represent their school.
· Scholars Today, Leaders Tomorrow.
In order to support us with our work in 2021 we ask that you ensure that your child/children are aware of the following:
· Attendance is a MANDATORY requirement by law for all children under the age of 17.
· Our school day begins at 8.50am for ALL students.
· Please be aware of our Bell Times at the end of this document.
· This later start is designed to assist students to get to school on time each day.
· Each day will begin with ‘Pastoral Care’. This is a vital part of student learning and support.
· Please ensure that your child/children arrive well before this time each day.
· Chronic, long-term lateness and non-attendance not only negatively impacts student-learning outcomes, but also can have serious consequences for families in terms of legal attendance requirements.
· Students must wear uniform each day.
· We have relaxed our approach to uniform somewhat in the hope that students will engage with the many choices they now have.
· Students can wear any combination of our uniform options that are available at the uniform shop. Please see the flyer enclosed with this letter.
· Sports uniform may be worn everyday as long as they change for PE.
· Students can wear black or white LEATHER shoes. Sports shoes are acceptable, but must be leather and predominantly black or white. No bright colours.
· The transition to our new school logo is a 3-year process so that families are not financially disadvantaged. The uniform shop will still sell uniform with the old logo until stock runs out.
· If your child/children are involved in a school program where they represent the school they will be expected to wear the more formal uniform, not sports uniform. The school may be able to assist with this.
· It is important that students come to school each day with the correct equipment for each subject.
· Please ensure that your child/children have this equipment available to them.
· All teachers will advise students about the equipment they need in each subject.
· A lack of equipment can compromise the quality of the learning experience and inturn impact learning outcomes longer term.
· Homework in all its forms is an essential part of school life.
· Homework is designed to be an extension and consolidation of classwork.
· Assessment tasks and assignments are also classified as homework.
· Students can receive support with homework, assignments and assessments in our free Study Centre every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
· Please take an active and supportive interest in homework.
· Show your children that you value their education.
· Failure to complete set tasks can sometimes result in your child/children not meeting course requirements as well as poor development of core literacy and numeracy skills.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD):
· All devices, phones, tablets and laptops can be used for educational purposes.
· If your child brings a device to school they are COMPLETELY responsible for its safety, ethical use and repair.
· Unethical use of a device that is deemed non-serious will result in a request to turn it off and put it away.
· Refusal to do this will result in confiscation. The device will be safely stored and returned at the end of the day.
· Repeated unethical use (non-serious) of a device will result in a request for it to no longer be at school.
· Unethical use deemed serious could result in suspension and/or police involvement depending on the circumstances.
· Students are not to be on any social media platforms during school hours.
· Students found to be using social media platforms inappropriately for teasing, bullying and in any manner that impacts the wellbeing of another person will be at risk of serious consequences including suspension and/or police involvement.
· At James Busby High school, our anti-bullying mantra is: ‘Stand Up, Speak Out Against Bullying’
· We encourage all incidents of bullying to be reported in a timely manner.
· Students can report this to a staff member: Teachers, Head Teachers, Year Advisers, Head Teacher Welfare, Deputy Principal, and Principal are all here to assist with your concerns.
· Students can also report to our James Busby High School Student Wellbeing Ambassadors who wear easy to identify shirts.
· Students may also report this to a parent. If this is the case, please contact us so that we can assist.
· The faster we know, the easier it is to work at stopping it.
· We all need to work together to stamp this out.
· We can only address these concerns if we are made aware and work together.
Who to contact in the school:
· If you are concerned about an issue regarding classwork, homework, assignments, assessment or any other learning concern please contact your child’s teacher or the Head Teacher of the subject.
· If you have a concern about your child’s progress, the best place to start, is with the Year Adviser.
· If your concern is welfare or wellbeing related, please contact your child’s Year Adviser or the Head Teacher Welfare.
· If you are unsure about whom to speak to, our front office staff will help to direct your enquiry to the right person – 96077766.
Student Sleep, Diet and Exercise:
· Please encourage your child/children to get enough sleep, eat healthily and exercise regularly.
· This is proven to have a positive impact on learning and wellbeing.
· Please DO NOT deliver JUNK food to the front office to be given to your child/children.
· Please DO NOT encourage them to order food from delivery services like Ubereats, Menulog, etc. The people who deliver the food come to our fence lines and could pose a child protection risk.
· We have a contract with our School Canteen operator that meets all healthy eating guidelines.
Technology usage at home:
· While we recognise that in your home, you make the decisions regarding your child/children, we ask that you support us in this very frustrating and increasingly serious area of ethical technology usage.
· We ask that you set boundaries and time limits for your child/children and their use of technology in the home.
· Please encourage these time limits so that students get enough sleep and have time for other activities.
· Please encourage and monitor their usage of social media platforms. This is the number one cause of conflict between students, teasing, bullying, serious wellbeing concerns, increasing serious mental health and safety in schools.
Supervision of children after school:
· Once school is finished for the day, please insist that your child/children go home and are under your supervision and care.
· Students who do not go straight home and are not under adequate parental/carer supervision after school are at greater risk of disengaging from their education, don’t complete homework, assignments and assessments regularly, can get caught up in anti-social behaviours and can pose a risk to themselves and sometimes others.
We thank you for your continuing support and look forward to working with you.
Ms Olimpia Bartolillo