KIDS ON THE COAST / KIDS IN THE CITY
372 Mons Road, Forest 372 Mons Road, Forest Glen Qld Glen Qld telephone +61 7 5445 4444 | email firstname.lastname@example.org telephone +61 7 5445 4444 | email email@example.com web www.scgs.qld.edu.au web www.scgs.qld.edu.au A School of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association
A School of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association
Published by Mother Goose Media www.mothergoosemedia.com.au
- on the coast
- in the city
WELCOME Following on from our very first Education guide last year, weâ€™re excited to share our ultimate guide to education for 2016! If you're looking for child care or a school for your child in South East Queensland or just want to stay informed about what's happening in the world of education, then this guide is a must read for you and your family. Whether you're interested in day care, starting primary school, alternative education approaches, moving into high school or finding some education activities or support outside the school system, youâ€™re sure to find something for you. There's even a handy calendar of Open Days for schools in South East Queensland. As always, we'd love to hear what you think. Please feel free to contact our team via our website or email. Enjoy the read! KIDS on the Coast/in the City
SUNSHINE COAST Kids on the Coast Magazine @kidsonthecoast kidsonthecoastmagazine
Kids on the Coast Magazine @kidsonthecoast kidsonthecoastmagazine
Kids in the City Magazine @kidsinthecityBR kidsinthecitymagazine
mother kids on the coast | in the city
MEDIA PUBLISHED BY Mother Goose Media PTY LTD PO Box 491, Eumundi QLD 4562 PHONE: 1300 430 320 ABN: 86 473 357 391 WEB: www.mothergoosemedia.com.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au www.kidsinthecity.com.au
EDITORIAL / PRODUCTION PUBLISHER: Toni Eggleston EDITOR: Natasha Higgins GROUP EDITOR - DIGITAL: Jessica Jane Sammut SOCIAL MEDIA: Eva Lewis EDITORIAL ASSISTANT: Kerry White PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT: Phoebe Browning firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGN: Michelle Craik COVER DESIGN: Alarna Zimm
DISTRIBUTION Online: Downloadable from our website www.kidsonthecoast.com.au EDM: To our online subscribers
ADVERTISING Call 1300 430 320 or email your Business Development Manager. SUNSHINE COAST email@example.com GOLD COAST firstname.lastname@example.org BRISBANE email@example.com
- on the coast
- in the city
GETTING STARTED 8 22
CHOOSING A SCHOOL
EDUCATION HOT TOPICS
24 51 INTO THE CLASSROOM
57 62 SCHOOLS DIRECTORY
66 DATES TO REMEMBER
FINDING YOUR WAY IS EASY. JUST TAP TO JUMP STRAIGHT TO THE PAGE.
a Catholic school for your child
[ CHOOSING A SCHOOL ]
OPTIONS FOR QUEENSLAND KIDS by LARA CAIN GRAY
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILD IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISIONS YOU’LL MAKE AS A PARENT. IN QUEENSLAND, MOST FAMILIES ATTEND EITHER A STATE SCHOOL OR A FAITH-BASED PRIVATE SCHOOL, BUT THERE ARE MANY OTHER EDUCATION OPTIONS AVAILABLE, AND MANY DIFFERENT BRANCHES OF THE CONVENTIONAL SCHOOL SYSTEM THAT CAN CATER TO THE UNIQUE NEEDS OF YOUR CHILD.
[ CHOOSING A SCHOOL ]
QUEENSLAND EDUCATION – AGES AND STAGES KINDY Prior to starting formal education, many Queensland children spend time in an early learning environment, such as a childcare centre or family daycare home. The pre-school year – commonly known as Kindy – is a structured program where play-based development of early literacy and social skills is encouraged. The Kindy program, offered in all childcare centres as well as independent kindergartens, is popular with Queensland families, but not compulsory. PRIMARY SCHOOL Children in Queensland begin formal education at primary school. The first year of school is called Prep, and children must turn 5 by 30 June in the year they commence. Parents have the right to delay entry to Prep for one year if they feel a child is not ready for school. Similarly, there is leeway, at the Principal’s discretion, for children turning 5 by 31 July to commence school early. In this case, some testing for school readiness may be conducted by the school before the child is accepted. Primary school carries children from Prep to Year 6, when they are approximately 11 years old. JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL Queensland kids attend secondary school, or ‘high school’, from Years 7 to 12. Years 7, 8 and 9 make up junior secondary school, which is housed on a separate campus at some schools. Students in these years commonly experience a wide range of curriculum options before making specific subject selections based on career intentions for the senior years. SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL Senior secondary school includes Years 10 to 12. Formal education is compulsory in Queensland until the age of 16; children must then be in approved education or training until the age of 17. Most Queensland kids complete Year 12 and receive a Queensland Certificate of Education. In senior years, students can choose to work towards an OP score, which positions them for entrance to TAFE or university, or opt for a Vocational Education and Training (VET) program, which provides entry to early career paths like apprenticeships. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
AN OVERVIEW OF QUEENSLAND SCHOOLING OPTIONS From tried and true traditions to ground-breaking alternative education models, Queensland families have many schooling options to choose from. STATE EDUCATION SYSTEM Education at a government – or ‘state’ – school is available to all Queensland children from Prep to Year 12. There are no fees applicable, however periodic payments will be required for uniforms, resources and excursions. Most state schools operate on a catchment system; that is, they accept children from within a certain geographical radius. You can find out which schools your children are eligible to attend here: www.qgso.qld.gov.au/maps/edmap PRIVATE AND INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS These schools include faith-based and other nongovernment schools. Families can expect to pay fees to attend these schools and acceptance may be based on an interview or other testing procedure. All of these schools must meet similar curriculum guidelines and standards as state schools, but their methods of delivering education may differ. Most faith schools accept students who do not belong to the relevant religion, however families must accept that religious teachings will form part of the curriculum. For more information: www.isq.qld.edu.au www.qcec.catholic.edu.au
LIVE LINKS TAP TO GO TO WEBSITE www.website.com
STEINER SCHOOLS The Steiner education approach meets government requirements for education outcomes, but uses an alternative internationally-recognised curriculum based on holistic education, with an emphasis on teaching through the arts. Traditional subjects like maths, history or language are presented via storytelling or creative engagement, which advocates believe helps students make a deeper connection with knowledge. Students create their own workbooks, rather than using standardised textbooks and progress at their own pace. For more information: www.steinereducation.edu.au
[ CHOOSING A SCHOOL ]
MONTESSORI SCHOOLS The Montessori tradition developed in Italy over one hundred years ago and is growing in popularity in Australia. Rather than offering traditional classrooms, Montessori schools group children into four stages of development: 0-3 years, 3-6, 6-12 and 12-18, which means children can begin ‘formal’ education earlier than in the conventional system. Montessori teaching is based on offering an educational environment that encourages children’s natural love of learning and activity. Within this environment, children progress at their own pace through prepared activities and are guided rather than instructed by trained adults. The multi-age spaces offer opportunities for peer-to-peer learning with an emphasis on collaboration, not competition.
ENRICHED EDUCATION AND THE INTERNATIONAL BACCALAUREATE ‘Enriched education’ may be offered at a state or independent school and is aimed at accelerating learning opportunities for highly motivated senior secondary students. The Queensland Academies program allows students to complete the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma rather than a standard OP-based leaving certificate at selected ‘academies’, which are developed cooperatively between schools and universities. This world-recognised pre-university program emphasises extension work, industry experience and personal development. The IB program produces community-minded graduates with advanced academic and social skills who may gain direct entry into university courses.
For more information: montessori.org.au
A select number of Queensland schools are also now authorised to offer IB content at primary and junior secondary levels. These programs emphasise independent learning, open mindedness and risk taking alongside traditional subject areas.
“EDUCATION IS THE MOST POWERFUL WEAPON WHICH YOU CAN USE TO CHANGE THE WORLD.” ~ NELSON MANDELA www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
For more information: www.qa.eq.edu.au www.ibo.org
LIVE LINKS TAP TO GO TO WEBSITE
2015 Graduate Achievements 9% received an OP 1-2 26% received an OP 1-5 100% received an OP 1-18
Educating the mind
without educating the heart
91% received their 1st or 2nd study choice
is no education at all.
â€“ Aristotle Interviewing now for 2017-2019 Applications for all year levels welcome. Visit www.princeofpeace.qld.edu.au/students to find out about our College, request a prospectus, book a tour or attend an Open Day. Junior Campus Open Morning 9 June Senior Campus Open Day 24 May
Our vision for every student is contained in 3 simple, yet powerful, words - Inspire, Learn and Grow. Our goal is to inspire our students to strive to be their best. We do this by delivering a robust, 21st century academic platform in a nurturing and supportive environment; a Prep-12 LOTE program; Prep to Year 6 Robotics program; Education Support and Gifted and Talented programs; specialist Middle School program; extension programs in English and Maths on the Senior Campus; Year 3-12 BYOD program; and OP and NonOP pathways.
Nurturing their God-given potential
The new Montessori International College at Forest Glen.
Putting the child first. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
P: 07 5442 3807 www.montessori.qld.edu.au
[ CHOOSING A SCHOOL ]
SPECIALIST EDUCATION Specialist schools are the ideal environment for senior students who are confident about the career path they wish to pursue after school. These ‘gateway’ schools are linked with industry partners or higher education institutions to provide prevocational education, including industry placements, school-based apprenticeships or a tailored curriculum. Graduates may find direct employment (in hospitality, for example) or may have an advantage when it comes to further education (such as in engineering or aviation careers). For more information: www.gatewayschools.qld.gov.au DISTANCE EDUCATION Distance education is provided from Prep to Year 12 for students who are geographically isolated or who choose to be educated at home. Students enrol in a school of distance education in the same way they might enrol in a conventional school, however lessons are delivered by qualified teachers via online technologies. Studies follow the National Curriculum, including exams and NAPLAN testing; students can also participate in school sports, cross country and camps. Students have access to library resources, learning support and peer interaction via online delivery or through periodic attendance at a designated campus. For more information: www.brisbanesde.eq.edu.au
HOME EDUCATION Distance education is one method of educating your child in the home. Distance education is delivered by teachers with a parent or carer in a support role. By contrast, home education (or ‘home schooling’) puts the parent or carer in the role of teacher, planning and implementing their child’s educational program. Home educated children must be registered with The Home Education Unit, who will provide some support materials and assessments in liaison with the parent or carer. For more information: www.education.qld.gov.au/parents/home-education BOARDING SCHOOLS Several of Queensland’s private and independent schools operate a program for boarders, who live on campus while they study and return home for weekends or school holidays. These students commonly come from families living in remote areas or who travel frequently for work, for example. Modern boarding schools offer comfortable surrounds, social opportunities and study support for resident students. For more information: www.boardingschools.com.au
TAP TO GO TO WEBSITE www.website.com
SPECIAL NEEDS EDUCATION Providers of special needs education offer programs for children with disabilities or learning difficulties that limit their ability to participate in conventional education. In some cases, students might attend a mix of special needs education and regular schooling or move between the two systems at different stages of their development. Special needs schools are purpose-built to provide a safe, supportive environment for students to reach their potential. For more information: education.qld.gov.au/studentservices/learning
This article originally appeared in our 2015 Education eGuide. Download the 2015 guide for even more great education-related articles.
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[ CHOOSING A SCHOOL ]
TOP 5 REASONS PARENTS CHOOSE
PRIVATE SCHOOLS by LARA CAIN GRAY
AUSTRALIA HAS AN EXCELLENT STATE SCHOOL SYSTEM BY WORLD STANDARDS AS WELL AS A LONG TRADITION OF PRIVATE EDUCATION. FOR SOME FAMILIES, CHOOSING A SCHOOL IS AS SIMPLE AS ENROLLING AT THE NEAREST PLACE TO HOME; OTHERS WILL SPEND MANY MOONS DEBATING THE PROS AND CONS OF DIFFERENT EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS, ESPECIALLY THE MERITS OF PRIVATE VS PUBLIC EDUCATION. In Australia, attending a private school means paying tuition fees in addition to book levies, uniform purchases and other expenses, but some families feel it’s well worth the extra expense. Here are five key reasons why some families choose private schools.
Most private schools in Australia have a religious affiliation. This may mean the school follows specific Catholic, Lutheran or Jewish traditions, for example, or it may be a non-denominational school with a Christian ethos. Families who wish to make religious life a major part of their child’s education may choose a private school for this reason.
Many private schools are able to offer smaller class sizes and lower overall enrolment numbers without compromising on subject offerings. This can be appealing if your nearest state school is particularly large, especially if you have a child who thrives best in small groups. No one likes the idea of their child being ‘lost’ in an overwhelming playground.
Other private schools include independent schools with unique educational philosophies, like some Steiner or Montessori schools. These may appeal to families dissatisfied with ‘mainstream’ education.
Children with anxiety issues, food allergies or behavioural challenges may also benefit from learning within a smaller school community where teachers, students and parents alike are more likely to get to know each other well.
RELIGIOUS OR PHILOSOPHICAL BELIEFS
ENROLMENTS AND CLASS SIZE
Educating young women in the Franciscan tradition
Mount Alvernia College We’re passionate about inspiring your daughter to:
◊ ◊ ◊ ◊ ◊
Realise her potential Strive for excellence Engage in her learning Build resilience Forge connections
in a safe, supportive learning environment.
It’s all about learning and growing for the future.
Open Day Sunday 22 May 10am to 1pm
Watch Her Flourish. 82 Cremorne Road, Kedron Ph 3357 6000
Come and discover the Noosa Hinterland school that offers: • • • • • •
Holistic education and an emphasis on quality relationships Prep - Year 12 on our spacious semi-rural campus An enriched academic program A strong community spirit Excellent Pastoral Care programs to build character and offer support A variety of extra-curricular activities
Find us on CONTACT OUR SCHOOL FOR A TOUR or LOOK OUT FOR OPEN DAYS ON OUR WEBSITE A: 20 Cooroy-Belli Creek Road, Cooroy, QLD 4563 W: www.noosacc.qld.edu.au www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
P: 5447 7808
[ CHOOSING A SCHOOL ]
Another key reason Queensland families choose private schools is to continue a family tradition of attendance. If all the men in the family attended a particular private boys’ school, for example, parents may choose to continue their affiliation with the new generation. This can imbue kids with a great sense of pride and belonging, as well as encouraging parental involvement in sports coaching, the school board or P & C.
Word of mouth is a powerful tool when it comes to our choices as parents. Hearing people’s ‘real world’ experiences of a particular school can provide invaluable insights that you won’t find in the school’s handbook.
THE OPINION OF FRIENDS
SUBJECT OFFERINGS If your child is gifted in a particular area or has clear career objectives, it makes sense to seek out a school that can nurture this. Similarly, some schools offer tailored programs for children with learning difficulties and may offer more one-on-one tuition than other schools.
But it’s worth keeping in mind that what works for one family may not work for every family. Some parents choose private education simply because of external pressure or a perception of prestige without exploring the many options that might be available in their region. It’s always worth attending Open Days or interviews at a range of schools before settling on the school your friends recommend.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR YOUR CHILDREN IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST DECISIONS YOU’LL MAKE AS A PARENT. PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOTH HAVE BENEFITS TO OFFER. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THAT YOUR CHILD IS WELL SUPPORTED AND ENJOYS THEIR LEARNING EXPERIENCE.
The way such speciality subjects and programs are offered varies considerably around the country. In Queensland, there are many state schools running ‘excellence’ programs in sport, science or the arts, for example. For some families, though, private schooling will be the only way to support the particular needs of their child.
READ MORE EDUCATION ARTICLES ON OUR WEBSITE
PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SCHOOL? by Eva Lewis
6 WAYS TO A CONFIDENT SCHOOL START by Megan Blandford
EDUCATING THE GIFTED CHILD by Michelle McFarlane
AN EARLY ADVANTAGE FOR YOUR CHILD Giving children a head start in life is now more important than ever. To inspire a love of learning from an early age, NCC early learners has developed a special curriculum for children as young as two and half years old.
COME AND SEE DAYS EVERY WEDNESDAY
Join the fun of Come and See Days to learn more about NCC early learners. Your kids will love playing while you meet with the teachers. Visit the NCC early learners website to register or call (07) 5451 3330.
2 .5 - 5 S YEAR W ith a pi ctur es qu e settin g, surr ound by NCC’s ed w or king farm animals, , blos som in g or ch an d ve ge ar d table ga rden s (a so on to nd be learn to swim due to op po ol en in May ), N CC ea learners rly delivers educatio in a play n ful, stim ulating settin g.
Innovation, Learning, Creativity VISITATION DAYS 16 / 17 May 8 / 9 August 9:30 - 10:30am
BRIGIDINE COLLEGE INDOOROOPILLY
A Catholic Girls’ Secondary College
(07) 3870 7225 | www.brigidine.qld.edu.au
[ CHOOSING A SCHOOL ]
TOP 5 REASONS PARENTS CHOOSE
ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION by LARA CAIN GRAY
THE MAJORITY OF AUSTRALIAN STUDENTS ATTEND CONVENTIONAL STATE OR PRIVATE SCHOOLS, BUT THERE’S A GROWING INTEREST IN ALTERNATIVE MODELS OF EDUCATION. OPTIONS LIKE STEINER EDUCATION, MONTESSORI SCHOOLS OR HOME SCHOOLING HAVE BEEN AVAILABLE FOR MANY YEARS, BUT ARE GAINING POPULARITY AND CREDIBILITY AT PRESENT THANKS TO INCREASED REGULATION AND WIDER AVAILABILITY OF INFORMATION. Here are some of the reasons parents might choose non-mainstream education options for their children.
DISSATISFACTION WITH MAINSTREAM EDUCATION One of the major reasons families explore alternative education models is that they feel let down or frustrated with conventional schooling. In some cases, this might follow a specific experience, like a child being bullied or not supported in learning difficulties. In other cases, parents simply want to consider the benefits of other ways of teaching rather than accepting the standard model.
REGULATION AND INFORMATION Thanks to online information sharing, parents have access to the latest research and outcomes from a variety of educational schools of thought. We no longer necessarily just ‘do what everyone else www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
does’ when it comes to parenting – and education is no different. We watch mainstream education itself evolving and being reformed, giving us greater confidence to try some of the alternative models, once thought of as marginal or too extreme. What’s more, schools that were once maintained independently – including home schooling environments – are now all regulated. Safety, teacher credentials and basic adherence to national learning outcomes are monitored as closely as they are in mainstream schools, making them appealing to a wider cross section of the community.
LEARNING IN THE ‘REAL WORLD’ One of the common criticisms of alternative learning is that children won’t know what’s hit them when they get out into the ‘real world’. Supporters of home schooling, Montessori and similar philosophies see this quite differently.
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[ CHOOSING A SCHOOL ]
Home schooling can allow children to learn in a natural context, getting hands-on with science in their own backyard, for example, which some families see as highly valuable. Montessori teaching happens in a multi-age classroom, with a focus on purposeful activity rather than abstract games or resources. Students are guided using tools like kitchen gadgets or garden materials, making their learning quite ‘real world’-oriented in many ways.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Australia has an excellent distance education program thanks to its disparate population. But even for urban dwellers, getting to school can be challenging if public transport is limited, parents don’t drive or children have health problems. Distance education brings school to you via post, phone and online delivery. Distance education is also an alternative to home schooling for parents who like the philosophy of keeping kids at home, but want the additional input of teachers. Both systems are regulated, but distance education offers online tutoring, social meet ups and access to libraries and facilities at designated school campuses; whereas home schooling requires parents to manage the teaching.
CHILDREN SHOULD BE SEEN AND HEARD Another reason to choose alternative education is the developing interest in child-led learning. This philosophy suggests that children learn best by exploring what’s interesting to them at different developmental stages. For example, if your five year old asks questions about the night sky, it might be a cue to explore the science of stars or how to spell words associated with the sky. This way of teaching is common in Australian pre-schools, but comes to an abrupt end in formal education when the Australian Curriculum needs to be followed. Home schooling, as well as models like Steiner schooling, embrace the child’s inquisitive, creative nature and let them dictate the pace of learning. Some of these approaches keep parents closely involved in their child’s education. Many families enjoy the bonding and connections that happen this way; parents may indeed see it as a responsibility to educate their own children at home, for example.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT SCHOOL FOR YOUR FAMILY IS ALL ABOUT RESEARCH, ATTENDING OPEN DAYS AND ASKING QUESTIONS! ONE THING IS CERTAIN THOUGH, THERE IS NO LONGER A ‘ONE SIZE FITS ALL’ SCHOOL OF THOUGHT WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION.
READ MORE EDUCATION ARTICLES ON OUR WEBSITE
HOW TO KNOW IF YOUR CHILD IS READY by Aimee York
LEARNING PROBLEMS AT SCHOOL by Michelle Kennedy
[ EDUCATION HOT TOPICS ]
TREATMENT AND PREVENTION by EVA LEWIS
WHATEVER YOU LIKE TO CALL THEM, THEY’RE CRINGEWORTHY AND THE BANE OF EVERY PARENT. AS MUCH AS THE EXPERIENCE IS NEVER EASY, WE HOPE THAT ARMING YOU WITH THIS INFORMATION WILL HELP YOU WIN THE BATTLE.
PREVENTING HEAD LICE TREATING HEAD LICE • Keep long hair tied back, especially at school. • Where possible, keep hair short. • Don’t share brushes or combs. • Avoid sharing pillows. • Wash combs and brushes after each use under hot water (60°C) for 30 seconds. • Check your child’s head regularly with a comb and conditioner.
ITCHY & SCRATCHY FACTS Head lice occur in both clean and dirty hair. Head lice are more common in long hair. Infestations are two to four times more common in girls. Head lice spread through head-to-head contact. Head lice don't always make your head itchy so you need to look closely to find them. Head lice can't survive for too long off the head. Focus treatment on the hair not the house.
• Only apply a treatment when you find live head lice on the head. • Always treat everyone who has head lice at the same time. CONDITIONER & COMBING TECHNIQUE This is always the best place to start. The conditioner stuns the little suckers by blocking the holes they breathe through, making it easier to comb them out. What you will need: • white coloured hair conditioner • ordinary comb • fine tooth head lice comb • white tissue or kitchen towel Cover the scalp and hair from root to tip with white conditioner and then use an ordinary comb to detangle the hair and distribute the conditioner. Then divide into four sections. Comb hair from root to tip using a fine tooth head lice comb, wiping the comb onto white tissue after each stroke to check for head lice. Continue over the whole head and dispose of tissues into the rubbish bin. Rinse the hair and dry with a hot blow dryer where possible. Change all bedding, pillowcases and sheets in hot water and dry in a hot dryer for good measure.
[ EDUCATION HOT TOPICS ]
SHAMPOOS, MOUSSES & LOTIONS • Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions and do not use on children under two years of age. • There are no chemical treatments that will kill all the eggs. • Seven to ten days after the initial treatment a second treatment should be applied to kill the nymphs that have hatched from the remaining eggs. • Do not apply the treatment more than once per week otherwise irritation can occur or the treatment will become ineffective. • If after three weeks head lice are still found, try non-chemical methods until no lice are found. • Eggs are always the most tricky to kill. • The most effective way to remove eggs is to actually pull them off the hair using your fingernails (or tweezers if you don’t have nails). • After five minutes of using the product, examine the tissues and assess the lice as dead (no movement), inactive (louse is stationary but moving legs or antennae) or active (louse moving). If the product is effective, all lice should be dead.
According to Queensland Health, the following ingredients were approved in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (2003) for use against head lice:
Often, Mums find success in non-traditional head lice treatments that work for their families. Here are some of them: “Get a spray bottle and pour in a decent amount of tea tree oil, say 1/8 full, then top up with warm water. Spray the whole head until it is wet. Wrap in cling wrap or a shower cap for an hour and leave it. Wash out and use your nit comb. You'll find you get plenty of dead or half-dead lice.”
• Pyrethrins, eg. Amcal Head Lice Foam, Lyban Foam • Synthetic Pyrethroids (bioallethrin, permethrin), eg. Paralice, Quellada Head Lice Treatment • Organophosphates, eg. Exolice Medicated Foam, Lice Rid • Combinations of Herbal and Essential Oils, eg. Quit Nits Natural Head Lice Treatment, Herba Lice.
“Make up a squirty bottle with 1/2 conditioner and 1/2 water, and add a good splash of tea tree oil (a few drops of clove oil as well if you can get it) and spray it on every day! Even after you've finished treating regularly this is a great preventative.”
If live head lice are detected immediately after the end of a treatment, this could be the result of using an ineffective treatment formulation or the lice have become resistant. Try changing to a different formulation with a different active ingredient or try the conditioner & combing technique.
“I just put vinegar in my daughter’s hair every weekend and comb with a lice comb. It’s the only thing that is working for us. I prefer the vinegar to the conditioner as I find the vinegar dissolves the glue that attaches the nits to the hair better than conditioner – it gets them all out.”
Sometimes the reappearance of head lice shortly after successful treatment, could be that head lice have hatched from eggs that survived or there could be re-infestation from another source. It is important to maintain a weekly preventative routine to check for head lice and follow up with treatments. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
Courtesy of Queensland Health. For more information, visit http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/HealthCondition/condition/14/165/351/head-lice
Image courtesy: Brisbane Independent School
[ INTO THE CLASSROOM ]
THE POWER OF
by KERRYN ANKER
FOR A YOUNG CHILD, THE WORLD IS ONE BIG PLAYGROUND – TAKING A HANDS-ON APPROACH TO LEARNING, DISCOVERING AND EXPLORING THE UNINHIBITED ENVIRONMENT AROUND THEM.
[ INTO THE CLASSROOM ]
Once seen as nothing more than ‘child’s play’ – a toddler innocently making a mud pie or building a house out of sticks – experts across Australia and the world are now singing the praises for playbased education. They have identified that the most important tool for a child’s development and growth is right at their very fingertips. Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education, School of Curriculum lecturer Dr Rebecca English says that based on the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) in Australia, the definition of play-based education is simply the act of leaving a child to independently play in an unstructured and unmanaged environment. In the early years of a child’s life, play is seen to allow a young mind to explore the world, relationships, concepts and themselves in their imaginative games. Dr English provides an example of incorporating play-based education in a classroom setting. “If children are imagining a space ship, the teacher will ask about the colour of the ship, the size of the ship, who's on board or where it's going. From this, there is a great deal of learning that can be seen in the deep discussion and imaginative work of the play,” she says. Dr English states that although she strongly supports play-based education as an important approach for early childhood and primary education, it may be seen by some parents as a waste of time with no means to measure its success. “Many of us weren't allowed to play in the early years. We had letters of the week or this week's number to do, so for some of us, it's hard to see play as legitimate work,” she says. “In addition, it can be hard to quantify the success of play. How do you measure good play? How do you manage play that is unsuccessful? What does unsuccessful play mean?” On an international scale, Dr English says European countries such as Finland – where children don’t commence formal education until aged 7 years – are leading the way as successful role models of how effective play-based learning should be implemented. Finnish students have been noted to be some of the brightest children in the world. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
DEVELOPING AND LEARNING THROUGH PLAY Kathy Walker OAM, designer of The Walker Learning Approach (WLA), says as important and vital as numeracy and literacy is in a young child’s life, research shows that play-based learning is crucial in facilitating a young person’s social, cognitive and physiological development. Created more than 25 years ago, the WLA has developed an educational framework that personalises a child’s learning experience, ensuring that their exposure to, and experiences and exploration of their world are tailored around individual interests, while allowing them to learn at their own pace. On the premise that all teaching is intentional, Kathy says that importance should be placed on the process of learning and skill acquisition rather than the end result. “Evidence shows that young children learn through active investigation and exploration. But there is confusion about what play-based education is and that through incorporating play, children won’t or are not being taught numeracy and literacy. But this is completely incorrect,” says Kathy. “We don’t want to waste a child’s life or learning opportunities. It’s not just about free-play at school or just using Lego. It’s about creating an environment that sets children up to succeed, and by making their own independent choice on what or how they play with something, they feel like they have achieved something.” The WLA has been picked up by more than 100 Queensland schools, which incorporate the learning approach into the current Australian Curriculum. Kathy says that early childhood teachers following the WLA framework create learning centres within the classroom for 45 minutes, four days a week. A learning centre may be a science area with microscopes or a nature area. A child then uses the material in the learning centre how they like, using their individual skills and imagination to create what they want to create.
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BOOSTING THE BRAIN “WHEN CHILDREN INITIATE PLAY, THEY ARE MORE MOTIVATED TO LEARN AND DEVELOP POSITIVE DISPOSITIONS TOWARDS LEARNING.”
University of the Sunshine Coast psychology lecturer and researcher Dr Rachael Sharman says play-based education should be introduced from infancy and be encouraged throughout childhood. Rachael notes that this form of learning is important in mastering the developmental milestone ‘Theory of Mind’ which forms the basis of what most people understand as social intelligence. “Play-based learning also helps the brain consolidate abstract and concrete ideas, for example, understanding that a cup of water poured into a different shaped cup doesn't actually change the property or amount of water – even though it looks like there is more water in a tall skinny cup compared to a short fat one,” she says.
based learning, with structural inclusions from grade 1 onwards. This approach tends to track nicely with normal brain development.” Dr Sharman says from the age of 6–7 years the brain will be more receptive to structure and direct teaching. “Introducing structured learning too early makes about as much sense as teaching a two-year-old algebra. They won't be receptive and may end up developing a dislike for a topic or style of teaching that feels forced upon them.”
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“As children age, it is reasonable to include more and more structured and direct teaching, however Kindy and Prep should really be focused on play-
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INCORPORATING PLAY INTO THE NATIONAL CURRICULUM Sunshine Coast’s Ananda Marga River School principal Jenny Oakley says in recent years there has been an overscheduling of children and a significant decrease in the amount of play and freedom they have in educational environments. “Our learning environment is one of love, where we treat children with respect and facilitate their learning in all areas – socially, emotionally, spiritually and academically. In our younger years we use play as the means of our academic teaching,” she says. “Play really should follow the lead and interests of the child or children who initiated it. As soon as an adult tries to interpret or interfere in the play, it is no longer play, and children can lose some key learning’s from the interference.” Sesame Lane general manager of operations Marnie Testa says the child care and kindergarten service they provide to Brisbane children has been designed to support and encourage a child’s natural desire to play. She says that it is important for a young child’s surroundings to nurture their individual interests. “Each child needs to be supported in environments that allow them to explore freely, to build the www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
necessary confidence that encourages them to continue to explore. Through play-based learning they are exploring, challenging and creating as they build solid foundations for future learning,” she says. “Our Kindergarten environments show more defined intentional learning opportunities as guided by the Queensland Kindergarten Learning guidelines, with a solid connection to the Early Years Learning Framework. Within these environments you are able to see more defined evidence of learning as children are encouraged to express their ideas.” Gold Coast’s Kinder Cottage Child Care Centre director Alicia Coyte says there are different types of play-based learning and that it isn’t a one-size-fits-all educational framework. “When children initiate play, they are more motivated to learn and develop positive dispositions towards learning,” she says. “There are different types of play. Children may play on their own in solitary play or alongside someone else and independently in parallel play or with other children in cooperative play. Play may be structured where someone else makes the rules and decisions. Play may be unstructured, where the child is selfdirected or takes all the initiative.”
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THE PURPOSE OF PLAY Not-for-profit community organisation Nature Play QLD has created a program with the sole purpose of encouraging children to spend more time in unstructured play outside and in nature. Program Manager Hyahno Moser says that play is the internal mechanism built into childhood for kids to practise, learn, test and master the skills that they will need to grow into competent adults. “Play-based learning is the foundation for many early childhood education programs, especially preprimary school. However I believe there are areas of our education system where we need to improve dramatically,” he says. “Child care and kindergarten are leading the way with play-based learning and meeting the child at their level of learning. However Prep, year 1 and year 2 have become less play-based and more academically focused over the past few decades. I believe we need to review the learning through play models for all age groups. I also believe too much is expected of children, the teachers and the education system.”
~ DR SHARMAN over what they believe is a lack of play-based learning in Prep classrooms. She says that due to the increase in formal education in Australian classrooms, the joy had been taken out of learning, increasing stress and anxiety among students and teachers. Independent Schools Queensland executive director David Robertson says although the current Prep Curriculum does have more structure than the previous preschool program, he believes that the Australian Curriculum is flexible in its approach to producing the greatest outcomes for students.
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Early Childhood Teachers’ Association president Kim Walters says teachers have expressed their concern
“INTRODUCING STRUCTURED LEARNING TOO EARLY MAKES ABOUT AS MUCH SENSE AS TEACHING A TWO-YEAR-OLD ALGEBRA. THEY WON'T BE RECEPTIVE AND MAY END UP DEVELOPING A DISLIKE FOR A TOPIC OR STYLE OF TEACHING THAT FEELS FORCED UPON THEM.”
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“Queensland independent schools are required to implement the Australian Curriculum in the Prep Year. The Prep Year curriculum gives priority to building a child’s knowledge and skills in the critical foundation areas of literacy and numeracy – the key building blocks for learning,” he says. “The value of the full-time Prep year in Queensland has been demonstrated not only through improved NAPLAN results but also parent confidence with 98 percent of Queensland students undertaking Prep prior to Year 1.” Brisbane Independent School teaching principal Jennifer Haynes says their learning framework incorporates the Australian Curriculum, as well as including their own social-emotional curriculum, which places a high-level of importance on play-based education. She says the school uses play-based learning as a core process in the Prep – 1 room through scaffolded play with a teacher or aide, small group explorations and resourced free-play, such as home corner, dress ups and the sandpit. “Research clearly shows that playful thinking and undirected play build the skills for the future our children will live – skills in problem solving, creativity and working in teams,” Jennifer says. “Kids can be at their most creative when they can explore playfully.” www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
PREPARATION FOR BIG SCHOOL Begin Bright CEO Tina Tower said due to the Early Years Learning Framework being solely play-based, she has seen a need to create a program which teaches children to be academically prepared for ‘big school.’ “If children start with no school readiness, it can be quite a shock and a steep learning curve. Some children will do just fine with that, but a lot will struggle and miss things and begin to fall behind,” she says. “Now that the Early Years Learning Framework is all play-based, children aren’t getting much formal learning in preschool and day care so children are finding it hard once they go to school. Parents of children who struggle will usually then seek out a school readiness service so that their subsequent children don’t face those issues.” No matter what side of the schoolyard fence you sit on when it comes to play-based education, experts believe that on an international scale, Australian educational standards are up there as being some of the best in the world. Though the proof may in fact be in the pudding – or in this case in the mud pie – that the simple act of child’s play may be more powerful than once thought when it comes to the growth and development of a young mind.
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STYLES by LUKE GOLDSTON
FROM THE MOMENT THEY’RE BORN, CHILDREN ABSORB THE WORLD AROUND THEM WITH EVERYTHING THEY HAVE. AT FIRST IT’S OBVIOUS WHEN A CHILD IS USING A PARTICULAR SENSE TO LEARN SOMETHING BUT AS THEY GET OLDER THE PROCESS GETS MORE SUBTLE.
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Fortunately, it’s rare to see a preschooler taste a strange object to try to understand it. By that age, their information processing is far more subtle but no less fascinating and understanding their individual strengths and preferences may help them to get the best out of their brains. Intelligence, as traditionally measured by IQ (intelligence quotient), is a tricky subject. Although IQ scores can give you a general idea of a child’s capabilities, they are less adept at showing the different ways they think and learn. It takes a certain kind of brainpower to be able to read a defensive line and pass a football at just the right moment, likewise to be able to pull an engine apart and put it together again or play a piece of music after listening to it. In recent years, theories have been developed which try to make sense of the different abilities our brains have and how to best make use of them.
LEARNING STYLE THEORIES Modern learning style theory evolved mostly in the 1980s when information from magnetic resonance imagery (MRI) showed different parts of the brain being active in different people during information processing. This, in conjunction with existing psychology theories, led to the myriad of learning styles theories that are in use today. There are currently more than 70 theories but the basic premise is the same: due to differences in our brains, we all tend to upload information in different ways. The ‘meshing’ hypothesis then suggests that best results are obtained when the appropriate teaching style is matched to each child’s favoured learning style. One of the styles that is often used for primary aged children in Australia is known as the VAK, or visual, auditory (listening), kinaesthetic (touching) approach. Similarly, the theory of Multiple Intelligences developed by Howard Gardner identifies eight different ‘intelligences’ including visual/spatial, verbal/linguistic, logical/ mathematical, kinaesthetic/body, musical, naturalistic and inter- and intra-personal, through which the brain learns and processes. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
TYPES OF LEARNING STYLES Visual learners or kids with an aptitude for visualspatial intelligence are said to favour information that is presented in picture or graph form and their mental processes will often be represented by images, colours and shapes, rather than words. They are also thought to understand the big picture first before they can comprehend the details, which is why they may sometimes struggle with sequential problems like long division. Some people believe that visual learning has become much more prevalent with each successive generation through our constant exposure to television and computer images. Although fields like art, architecture and design might draw visual learners, there’s no reason why they can’t excel in any field. In fact the majority of children are thought to have a visual preference, followed by auditory and then kinaesthetic. Consider this quote from Albert Einstein to try to understand the mind of a visual thinker. “The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought. The ... elements in thought are certain signs and more or less clear images which can be ‘voluntarily’ reproduced and combined. .... This ... seems to be the essential feature in productive thought before there is any connection with ... words or other kinds of signs which can be communicated to others”. Fellow Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, by contrast, was famously obsessed with tinkering with homemade radios as a child – a strong kinaesthetic trait. There’s probably more than a little kinaesthetic learner in all children. Kids love to learn by doing and getting hands-on with subjects like science can really help to bring them alive, especially for the less book-inclined. A child whose eyes glaze over at a science textbook may love brewing fiendish potions and making crazy inventions from bits of scrap. Neither Einstein nor Feynman spoke until they were three years old. Although that’s enough to make a modern parent stress, their future Nobel prizes indicate that, rather than a lack of brain power, they could have just had an early inclination away from auditory learning.
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Auditory learners tend to absorb verbal instructions much better than written ones and be able to relay their knowledge much more effectively out loud than on paper. Although their strengths may not always be apparent with written testing, auditory learners can be quick witted and silver tongued. Often good at music, they may also be adept at discerning the hidden meanings behind speech, so watch what you say! British leader Winston Churchill, who was notoriously bad at his written studies yet is known as one of the greatest speakers of modern times, may well be their patron saint.
THE EVIDENCE The idea that all children have different strengths and weaknesses and different ways of absorbing information appeals to us on an intuitive level. In this context, to try to pigeonhole everyone into the same method of acquiring knowledge and skills seems like the days when left-handers were beaten until they complied with the right handed paradigm. To many, memories of vainly trying to make sense of page after page of dryly written textbooks or recited lessons are powerful indicators of how education can often fail to engage us. And don’t we all know
somebody who is a genius of a kind but failed their way through school? In fact research certainly shows that most people have a preference for information being presented to them in a certain way. It has also been clearly shown that different people have aptitudes for different kinds of thinking and information processing. It would seem to make sense then that having an education technique specifically tailored to our preferences would give better results. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been borne out by trials which have generally found no difference in results between a targeted learning styles approach and control groups. Whilst practitioners have evolved many methods of classifying children into different learning styles, they have been unable to show that using a child’s preferred style will give a better result. This isn’t to say that the meshing hypothesis has been disproved, merely that its value in giving improved education results has yet to be shown. What could explain this apparent disconnect between the research findings and the popularity of these systems? There are several possible reasons.
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TIPS FOR PARENTS 1 2 3
ake sure young kids are exposed to different styles of learning. Televison and computers can M be useful educators but reading aloud every day, singing and hands-on learning toys like Lego, for example, are important as well. eing good at one style doesn’t mean a child should avoid other styles. Be flexible and ready to B adapt as needed but remember the value of teaching persistence. n environment free from distraction that encourages natural curiosity is at least as important as A the style the information is presented in.
just so noisy and that’s why I don’t hear that much...
Firstly, it’s important to note that learning styles are independent of learning ability. There does not appear to be any learning style that is better than another or more prevalent in gifted children. This is actually one of the aspects of the theory that is appealing to people, because it classifies us as being different to each other rather than better or worse, but it also means that identifying a child’s learning style will not necessarily give you an idea of their overall capabilities.
Is this a case of children who are poor auditory learners or simply an environment that isn’t conducive to auditory learning?
Also, it’s probable that most children will never fit neatly into one category or another but will be a confounding mix of variables. Some academics believe that categorising children into V, A and K is distilling a complex process to an extent that renders it essentially useless. For instance, whilst there may be an overall preference, kids can use different strategies depending on the type of information being learnt so it may not be correct to simply call someone a ‘visual learner’ and assume that it is universally true. Even the environment in which information is presented may affect a child’s preference. Look at these comments from children who, when given standard tests, claimed to find difficulties with auditory learning styles. When asked then about why they found information difficult to assimilate that way they said the following: Colin: Listening because people on my table talk to each other, and I can’t hear the teacher talk. June: For me it would have to be the listening because the boys, they don’t let you learn… they’re www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
It may also be that, while people often have a preference for being given information in a certain way, some learning is inherently better suited to certain styles. Think about how we learn to swing a golf club. Does it make sense for an ‘auditory’ learner to attempt to learn through verbal instruction rather than a focus on demonstration (visual) and practice (kinaesthetic)?
THE BOTTOM LINE One of the key facets of learning is motivation. The value of the learning styles method may be in part due to the fact that it encourages a closer interaction between teacher and student and encourages the student to believe that they are being treated as an individual. Experienced teachers tend to understand that learning styles, while helpful, are not a magic bullet and will attempt to cater to and encourage all different types of learning. It is certainly important to know ourselves and our strengths but we should also take care to avoid labels. Many beliefs about the abilities and weaknesses of different learning styles should be taken with a grain of salt as the research is still in a relatively early stage. There is nothing to say that a preference is carved in stone or that we can’t get better at non-preferred styles through patience and practice. First published in issue Sunshine Coast 47
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LAPTOPS IN THE CLASSROOM by JESSICA JANE SAMMUT
WITH THE GROWING NUMBER OF PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN FINDING THAT TECHNOLOGY SUCH AS LAPTOPS AND IPADS ARE A STANDARD PART OF THEIR SCHOOL DAY, JESSICA JANE SAMMUT ASKS THE QUESTION – ARE THEY A HELP OR A HINDRANCE?
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It’s a digital age. Technology is racing forward, and with it, the world is changing – but nowhere quite so much as in the classroom. As is the nature of momentum, the face of education is an evolving and ever-changing landscape, constantly appraised and improved upon to better help our children learn and grow. However, when there are changes being made in the name of progress, we must always be careful to step back and ask – IS this better? It’s true we can’t stand still, but we must always be sure that any kind of amendment to a learning method is a step forward and not a leap back. And in a modern terrain that is obsessed with quick results, the temptation to cut corners can be all too real.So is technology in the primary school classroom something to be embraced or something to be ejected?
HOW DO PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN LEARN? “Students in primary school learn differently at different ages,” says leading educator Nadia McCallum, who holds a Masters in Teaching and was recently awarded The Director General’s Award for Excellence in Service to Public Education and Training. “When children begin school, their learning is very play based. As students get older, they learn through discussion and experimentation. The common thread is that they learn by doing and interacting with others. Students need to interact and engage with what they are learning so that it is meaningful and therefore more likely to be remembered and transferred to other contexts.” “When we were at school, classrooms were focused on the teacher. Students sat passively, listened quietly, took notes and memorised facts. Today, classrooms are very different places. Classrooms have needed to move with the times. Teachers are preparing students for the future. Students are now required to think, question and generate independent thought from the moment they enter kindergarten.” SO DOES TECHNOLOGY HELP OR HINDER THIS APPROACH? ARE WE DUMBING DOWN, OR ARE WE MOVING WITH THE TIMES?
THE PROS PROMOTES INDEPENDENCE AND SELF-DIRECTION In order to become lifelong learners, students need to develop the skills of research and inquiry, and this is where computers really excel. Today, a teacher’s role is to guide students to find their own answers, rather than simply telling them the answer. This form of guided inquiry happens from a very young age. Therefore, technology is a necessary tool if students are to be taught how to independently acquire such information. “Computers allow students to be independent and self-directed in finding out their own answers,” confirms Nadia. Jenny Atkinson, a primary school teacher with 30 years of experience, and now an education transition specialist and founder of Sparks Education Australia (www.sparkseducation.com.au), agrees. “Laptops in classrooms provide students with the opportunity to be more self-directed, with greater responsibility for their learning, whilst still under the overall direction of a teacher,” Jenny confirms. OFFERS IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND KNOWLEDGE Offering immediate access to information and resources, laptops in the classroom encourage students to be curious. “Such learning can provide greater access to the curriculum at an appropriate level to consolidate and advance a child’s education, particularly for students with special needs,” says Jenny. It also allows equal access to information for all students as they are not reliant on having the ‘right’ books at hand. CREATES A FUN LEARNING ENVIRONMENT With many educational games now available on the laptop and tablet, such technology can help make learning a source of fun, and the power of this can never be underestimated in terms of how children view schoolwork. Games that promote maths and literacy are often loved by young children who don’t even realise they are learning when playing them. Platforms such at ABC’s Reading Eggs and Mathseeds are two such games that deeply connect with youngsters, enhancing their learning and nurturing their love of education. “Such games can motivate children to keep trying, because they want to get to the next
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level,” explains Jenny. “This is particularly good for children who struggle with their work. This interest and motivation is difficult to replicate using worksheets.” Other less obvious games, such as Minecraft, that don’t have a clear learning goal at their core, can be equally as helpful in fostering and consolidating essential skills. “In order to play Minecraft effectively, students need a sound understanding of a broad range of mathematical concepts – numbers, area, time and money to mention a few, and need to be able to work with others in order to trade and build things, and plan ahead to meet targets,” confirms Nadia. “Children who are engaged and interested are more likely to learn and retain new learning,” adds Jenny. “They are also more likely to persevere with tasks if they find them interesting. Many children are more motivated to complete work and be actively engaged in their learning with technology-based activities.” ENCOURAGES GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY Students as young as five are now aware of a global world. Many students travel internationally before entering school. Others see the wider world via
television shows and movies. Classrooms that reflect this global connectivity via the use of technology offer a way to tap into it further. “It is not uncommon for students to email or Skype other students in different countries using their laptops,” explains Nadia. “By making such connections, the knowledge they acquire becomes meaningful in a global context.” PROMOTES DIGITAL LITERACY “Technology is so interwoven in how we operate in the wider world, that to restrict it would not be doing a child any favours,” says Nadia. “Computers are integral to the workplace and are only becoming more so.” It therefore makes sense that our children are exposed to technology as a tool for learning. It is reflective of how the ‘real world’ operates. Like anything though, balance is key, and the use of technology should not replace active play or other skills that are learnt at school. It should merely complement or enhance such proficiencies. “The use of laptops in classrooms teaches students to use, differentiate and examine/analyse information in a way that is current,” confirms Jenny. “It prepares children for their participation in the digital world.”
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PROVIDES CONTEXTUAL LEARNING The opportunity for children to participate in their learning and find a context for their theoretical knowledge is far greater with the use of technology. Children are better able to understand the value of what they are learning which means they are more likely to retain the learning. ENCOURAGES HIGHER ORDER THINKING “Laptops can help a student think more widely, especially when they are given a choice as to how they will present their learning/findings,” says Jenny. They allow young students to think ‘outside the square’, providing access to a variety of tools for presenting knowledge, which only serves to complement the more traditional aspects of a learning structure. SUPPLEMENTS LEARNING Laptops in the classroom can be used as a tool to supplement learning: for example, a child might write a story on paper, edit it and then publish it with a laptop. More skills are being learnt than if the technology was not available.
THE PERILS ENCOURAGES MULTI-TASKING MANIA AND DISTRACTION Research has shown that multi-tasking can decrease performance and overall comprehension. Further to this, multi-tasking on a computer not only distracts the user, but can also distract those around them. Dealing with this issue effectively essentially comes down to the teacher in the classroom however. “If a teacher is employing regular checks with students and making them accountable for the progress they are making, they are more likely to attend to the task at hand,” explains Nadia. “Children have the potential to be distracted by other programs/activities on a laptop. Good classroom management/monitoring by a teacher is therefore essential,” Jenny concurs. PROVIDES ACCESS TO INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT As we know, it is very easy for children to access the wrong kind of content on the internet, and this is a common concern for parents. Some schools provide digital devices to students where the devices stay www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
at school and are protected by the school Wi‑Fi restrictions and filters. Other schools implement the BYOD (‘Bring Your Own Device’) strategy where students can bring a device from home. “The danger with parents providing the devices is that, unless each device is configured to adhere to settings that protect the device from accessing adult content or prevent the device from having games downloaded onto it, a child’s school laptop might expose children to inappropriate material,” says cyber safety expert, Leonie Smith (www.thecybersafetylady.com.au). “Some families are tech savvy and have parental controls set up on their child’s device, but the majority of families do not. More education needs to happen around these devices as to what controls and filters can be enabled to lessen the risk of exposure to improper content if technology is to be a standard part of the school day.” DEPLETES LEARNING TIME “Learning time can be wasted when technical issues arise, such as login dramas, short battery life or the internet going offline,” warns Jenny. All can deplete learning time. It’s the unexpected nature of laptop problems that can create issues in the classroom, and even if teachers do have a back-up activity, it is often not their first choice of learning experience. It is therefore vital that laptops are up to date and reliable. CREATES A SCHOOL/HOME TECHNOLOGY USE IMBALANCE Some children may already spend too much time on technology at home. “Health concerns such as eyestrain or posture problems can be an issue for these children,” says Jenny. It can therefore be problematic to ensure there is a good balance of technology use between home and school, especially as this varies so much from one home (and classroom) to the next. CREATES AN OVER-RELIANCE ON TOOLS Do laptops encourage laziness in children? Perhaps. With tools such as automatic spell and grammar check, children can become apathetic about using their brains. “Teachers need to teach children how to use such tools appropriately in an educationally beneficial manner and also to understand their limitations,” reminds Jenny.
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REPLACES TRADITIONAL LEARNING Technology is not the only tool available in learning and children should know this. “Laptops and other technology should not replace the teacher’s effort in a classroom nor should they replace any other learning experience,” says Jenny. And this is the concern – that they might. Technology needs to be viewed as one tool amongst many other educational tools available to assist children with their learning.
WHAT CAN TEACHERS DO? “Teachers need to be aware of both the benefits and drawbacks of using technology in the classroom so that they can provide balanced opportunities for learning that both engage children and promote a lifelong love of learning,” says Jenny.
HOW CAN WE HELP OUR CHILDREN? “The best way for parents to support this type of learning is to be involved with their children,” advises Nadia. “Parents don’t have to completely understand the technology their kids are using, but need to understand enough to know the value of what their children are doing and if there is anything that might be a potential issue. If parents are unsure, they should speak to their child’s teacher.”
WHAT PARENTS SAY “We're preparing children for a future we can't even imagine. We are educating them for careers and jobs that don't even exist yet. I believe to do this successfully they need to have a diverse range of skills that promote flexibility and ongoing learning and we should be encouraging a desire to seek out information. Being at the forefront of technology in schools, I believe, is one of the ways to prepare our children for whatever the future holds.” ~ Melanie McNiven, Noosa “I strongly support the use of any computer devices in the classroom alongside the traditional methods of learning. Both my eldest boys have had delayed speech and my middle one suffers from language delay and impaired learning. Traditional reading and writing does not work well for them. Their school uses many forms of learning. I know a lot of the computer work involves logging on to specific sites such as Bug Club, Reading Eggs and Mathletics. They are also encouraged to use their laptops as a resource to look up items or information.” ~ Caroline Thompson, Doonan
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[ INTO THE CLASSROOM ]
DOESN’T FIT THE BOX” by MICHELLE KENNEDY
WE ALL WANT OUR KIDS TO ENJOY SCHOOL AND FEEL LIKE THEY FIT IN. WE WANT THEM TO DEVELOP GREAT FRIENDSHIPS AND BE EXCITED ABOUT THEIR LEARNING. THIS IS PARTICULARLY CRITICAL IN THE EARLY YEARS FROM AGES FOUR TO EIGHT AS IT SETS THEM UP FOR SUCCESSFUL LEARNING IN THE LATER YEARS OF PRIMARY AND HIGH SCHOOL. FOR SOME CHILDREN THOUGH, LEARNING IS NOT A WALK IN THE PARK, AND STRUGGLES WITH SCHOOLWORK MAY LEAD TO A CHILD FEELING THEY DON’T BELONG. LEARNING PROBLEMS CAN DEVELOP, WHICH, IF LEFT UNDETECTED, CAN ALSO CREATE BEHAVIOURAL AND EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
[ INTO THE CLASSROOM ]
A CHILD'S LEARNING STYLE WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Put simply, a child’s learning style refers to the way they learn best. When children commence school, they can be visual, auditory or kinesthetic learners. When a child is not fulfilling their learning potential, their parents may be told their child ‘doesn’t fit the box’, that they just don’t fit with the standard curriculum and teaching methods. As a parent, you know your child and what they are capable of achieving, so it is important that any learning issues are identified early and corrected as soon as possible to minimise disruption to your child’s learning.
Visual learners prefer to see things when learning something new. Auditory learners (aural) prefer having things explained to them and will solve problems by talking about them. Kinesthetic learners prefer to be moving/ feeling when learning something new.
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY LEARNING PROBLEMS? Learning problems generally fall into two categories: 1. More complex problems that require a diagnosis from a professional as they are beyond the expertise of the teacher. These problems may include visual or auditory issues, sensory processing issues, dyslexia, ADHD or Asperger's syndrome. 2. Problems that can be addressed within the classroom with elements modified by the teacher to support a child’s learning – changes that parents can help facilitate. This can include the teacher’s teaching style, the child’s learning style and taking regular breaks when learning.
WHAT CONTRIBUTES TO LEARNING PROBLEMS? Within the classroom, there are four key elements to consider which may contribute to learning problems experienced by children: 1. A child’s learning style 2. Breaks during lessons 3. Interesting content 4. A child’s self esteem In addition, food can impact greatly on your child's ability to focus and sustain attention while learning. Even if your child is doing well at school, it can be beneficial to consider each of these elements and rethink your child’s approach to learning. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
Generally, teachers will present content according to their preferred teaching style. This is where problems may occur for children, as the teacher’s teaching style may not suit each child’s learning style. The teacher may stand out the front of the classroom and talk about a new concept, which is great for the aural learner; however, the visual learner who needs diagrams to explain new concepts may lose focus. This problem has been acknowledged by renowned child psychologist Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg as one of the causes of poor learning in children. Ideally, teachers need to cater for individual learning styles by using a multisensory approach to teaching. This means presenting content that uses the child’s visual, aural, tactile and kinesthetic senses. It is an effective way for teachers to provide learning experiences inclusive of most children’s learning styles. HOW CAN PARENTS HELP? As a parent, you can support your child’s learning at home by being aware of their learning style. A visual learner prefers information presented to them in a visual way with pictures, three-dimensional models or YouTube clips. An auditory learner generally has a good auditory memory and gains most from discussion, hearing stories and listening to recorded stories. They can dictate a story to you while you write or type it out. A kinesthetic learner prefers to learn by actually doing, to help new information to be retained. Using lots of hands-on activities enables them to ‘feel’ the learning.
[ INTO THE CLASSROOM ]
A CASE STUDY A 7-year-old child was struggling with spelling. The child was assessed and results indicated there were no complex learning issues. The parents tried various support spelling programs outside of school with little success and consequently the child developed low self-esteem in relation to their spelling capability. Further investigation showed the child's learning style (aural) was not catered for in support spelling programs (visual focus) which instigated a change of approach. Extra support for spelling changed to include a focus on hearing and repeating sounds and spelling patterns. Once correct spelling was achieved, the spelling pattern was reinforced with additional multisensory activities. A focus on selfesteem was also included in support sessions. The child’s results showed improvements over time, which began to translate to improvements with classroom learning.
REGULAR BREAKS INCORPORATING MOVEMENT WHAT DOES IT MEAN? One of the main things children struggle with is sitting still for extended periods. They lose focus and start to fidget and wriggle or distract other children in the class. They are often told to stop fidgeting and focus on their work. When children start to fidget it often means they need a break and to move around. In a classroom of 25 children, it can be difficult to allow some children to move as it will distract others, however, is there any reason why the whole class can’t have a short break? Most children would benefit from regular movement breaks while learning. Paediatric occupational therapist Angela Hanscom supports regular breaks for children when learning. She raises concerns that children are often misdiagnosed with ADHD when they actually just need more breaks. She observes that if children are getting fidgety it’s a good sign they need to get up and move. It indicates that children are not getting enough movement throughout the day.
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP? As a parent, ensure your child is involved in movement-based activities. This may include team or individual sports. If children are fidgeting at home, it means their bodies need to move. Movement helps to switch on the brain, which assists with sustained focus when doing homework. If your child is restless halfway through their homework, allow them a fiveminute break. A CASE STUDY A 9-year-old child was struggling with reading and writing, and a professional assessment had ruled out any learning difficulties. The child had received additional academic support at school to improve reading fluency and writing structure. There was some improvement, however it was recommended the parents seek academic support outside the school. The child revealed struggling with sitting still for long periods in the classroom. The child admitted to ‘switching off’ after sitting for a long time, explaining this was a regular occurrence. The child admitted to displaying undesirable behaviour to other children in the classroom due to not understanding the work. When the focus in the support sessions changed to include regular breaks (which incorporated movement) and a focus on self-esteem, gradual improvements were observed. The child became more engaged in support sessions and was able to sustain attention for longer periods of time. These improvements transferred to the classroom with improved behaviour and consequently better academic outcomes.
CONTENT REFLECTING THE INTERESTS OF THE CHILD WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Children learn best when they are engaged in their learning. This means content needs to be interesting otherwise children become bored in class. World-renowned neurologist and educator Dr Judy Willis has published many articles and research papers that illustrate how roadblocks in the brain can prevent new learning being stored in children’s long-term memory. Some of these roadblocks occur when the content is taught using the same teaching method or when the children become bored with the content being presented.
[ INTO THE CLASSROOM ]
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP? As parents, you understand the interests of your child. When completing homework, vary activities and relate content to the interests of your child. An example is learning number facts. Automatic recall of number facts assists with calculating more difficult sums in later year levels. Varying the way these facts are learnt makes the process more interesting and supports them being stored in long-term memory. The key is to practise the facts in different ways; if the child loses interest, the practice becomes ineffective. Different ways to learn these facts may be using an iPad app or adopt a sporting focus by bouncing a ball while saying the number facts. It can be challenging for parents to ensure learning remains interesting at home, however it is important to understand extra efforts made at home can benefit children’s learning in the long term. A CASE STUDY An 8-year-old child was struggling learning their number facts for homework. The parent said they would have arguments about the importance of learning number facts, resulting in tension between parent and child. After discussions with the teacher, they decided to use different methods to assist with keeping the homework interesting. This involved using a different approach each night, such as a mathematics app or including some type of movement while giving oral answers to number facts.
A CHILD'S SELF-ESTEEM WHAT DOES IT MEAN? Self-esteem refers to how children feel about themselves. Young children often have positive selfesteem developed from encouraging comments from their parents. Author, educator, and parenting and resilience specialist Maggie Dent discusses how children develop a sense of themselves as they progress through primary school according to how others perceive them. They become aware of how their performance compares with other children at school. When they experience repeated failure at school, children begin to lack confidence in their ability and can develop low self-esteem. This impacts on learning and can affect their memory and ability to focus. Low self-esteem can be a major cause of children’s learning difficulties. In addressing learning difficulties, teachers and parents often focus on academic skills with minimal focus on self-esteem. Focusing on selfesteem will give children the confidence to attempt something new, ensuring their minds will be open to improving academic skills.
Keeping the child interested kept them focused, which assisted with number facts being remembered. Locking them into the child’s long-term memory allowed for quick recall of number facts when required.
“CHILDREN LEARN BEST WHEN THEY ARE ENGAGED IN THEIR LEARNING. THIS MEANS CONTENT NEEDS TO BE INTERESTING OTHERWISE CHILDREN BECOME BORED IN CLASS.”
[ INTO THE CLASSROOM ]
It is important to understand your child’s journey through school may come across a few roadblocks. Does this mean they have learning problems? Maybe…however often the roadblocks are a result of what is happening within the walls of the classroom. Parents need to challenge any generalisation that 'your child doesn’t fit the box' by questioning elements within the classroom that may be contributing to these learning issues and actively support the child’s learning out of school. Being aware of your child’s learning style, ensuring content is interesting and building self-esteem and resilience can ensure your child is given the best possible opportunities during their education journey.
HOW CAN PARENTS HELP? As parents, it is important to be positive and supportive. When children experience learning difficulties at school they experience failure, which can send negative messages. Parents need to consider the messages they send their child at home. It is important to highlight a child’s strengths so they experience success as this may not be happening at school. Talk to children about your own strengths and weaknesses. Model to children that making mistakes is okay, as mistakes help us to learn and develop resilience when faced with difficulties. Ensure you create an environment at home that encourages discussion about problems children may be experiencing. If children feel good about themselves there is a greater chance new learning will be understood and remembered.
25 WAYS TO ASK YOUR KIDS HOW SCHOOL WAS TODAY
A CASE STUDY An 8-year-old child was struggling with mathematics. An external assessment had ruled out any learning difficulties. The child had become anxious about their repeated struggles and expressed feeling embarrassed when others could work out answers to problems.
by Jessica Jane Sammut
The parents sought additional academic support outside of school, explaining mathematics never used to be a problem. The child admitted not trying in mathematics as they ‘just didn’t get it anymore’ and didn’t feel good about themselves at school. The child’s low self-esteem was negatively impacting on their ability to learn mathematics concepts.
25 WAYS TO ASK YOUR TEEN HOW SCHOOL WAS TODAY by Angela Sutherland
Support sessions included a focus on self-esteem and developing an ‘I can do’ attitude towards schoolwork. Simple mathematical problems were provided, increasing in difficulty over time to develop resilience when faced with a challenging problem. The child gradually built up self-esteem, which translated to improved marks in mathematics.
READ THESE HELPFUL ARTICLES ON OUR WEBSITE www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
[ BOOKS ]
GOOD IDEAS : HOW TO BE YOUR CHILD'S (AND YOUR OWN) BEST TEACHER Michael Rosen, Hachette Australia, RRP $19.99 Learning should be fun and former children's laureate, million-selling author, broadcaster and father of five Michael Rosen, wants to show you how. Forget lists, passing tests and ticking boxes, the world outside the classroom can't be contained within the limits of any kind of curriculum – and it's all the better for it. Long car journeys, poems about farting, cake baking, even shouting at the television can teach lessons that will last a lifetime. Packed with enough practical tips, stories and games to inspire a legion of anxious parents and bored children, Good Ideas shows that the best kind of education really does start at home.
RAISING A ROCK-STAR READER
52 PREPPER’S PROJECTS FOR PARENTS AND KIDS
Amy Mascott and Allison McDonald, Scholastic, RRP $33.99
David Nash, Sky Horse Publishing, RRP $23.50
A must-have parents’ guide for raising lifelong readers and learners. Written for today’s timecrunched parents, this book is filled with easy-to-implement tips for creating a literate environment and fun, quick activities for building children’s oral language and early reading and writing skills. Just five minutes a day every day is all it takes to foster a child’s love of reading and learning. From the creators of the popular education blogs Teach Mama and No Time for Flash Cards.
This book helps to prepare your child for the unpredictable through 52 prepper projects. Teach them basic outdoors survival skills, first aid, cookery skills and more. Projects include making a bottle cap fishing lure, a tuna can cake and a 48-hour candle. The author stresses the need to do these projects “with your children, not for your children” – it doesn’t matter if the project doesn’t turn out the way you were hoping or doesn’t look as pretty as you would like. The important thing is it is helping your child to grow self-confidence and improve their abilities.
FOR MORE BOOK REVIEWS HEAD TO OUR WEBSITE 51
[ LUNCHBOX LOVE ]
SCHOOL LUNCHES by VICTORIA FORRY
Preparing school lunch boxes that are healthy and nutritious and will keep your little one fuelled for the whole day can be a daunting task. And sending a regular school lunch can feel enough of a chore without adding allergies and intolerances to the table.
Breaking the sandwich routine is a process, but with a little planning and by being more organised with preparation, you can put together lunch boxes filled with wholesome foods that will satisfy your child for the whole school day.
Keeping food simple and colourful is the first step in preparing a lunch box for your child. Don't feel you need to create a different lunch every day … parents are under so much pressure already, so aim to keep it real and keep it simple. We need to remind ourselves to take things back to basics with meat, vegetables, fruit and some nuts or seeds – nothing fancy, nothing flash. Children will soon tell you when they are bored with the same food every day.
Leftovers from dinner the night before offer a tasty alternative to a sandwich and are a great budget and timesaving option. Cook extra pasta, rice or vegetables when preparing dinner to use for lunch the next day. Extra rice can be turned into sushi or rice balls. Try different fruit and vegetables each day. Great options include carrot, cucumber, beans, snow peas, capsicum, cherry tomatoes, grapes and berries. Try to eat fruit and vegetables that are in season and grown locally.
Here is a selection of lunches to try through the week… MONDAY SESAME CHICKEN KEBABS WITH COCONUT CHIPS, VEGETABLES AND FRUIT Chop a chicken breast in equal sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cook the chicken in a frying pan for 10 minutes or bake in the oven at 160 °C for 20 minutes. Once cooked, thread a wooden skewer through the chicken pieces with diced cucumber and cherry tomatoes. Coconut chips offer a yummy snack – sprinkle with cinnamon for a tasty treat. (Free from grains, dairy, eggs and nuts) www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
[ LUNCHBOX LOVE ]
TUESDAY ROAST CHICKEN WITH NUT- & DAIRY-FREE PESTO, VEGETABLES, FRUIT, SULTANAS AND SEEDS Roast chicken legs and wings for a tasty lunch. It’s a good idea to buy chicken pieces in bulk to batch cook to keep costs down. Include a few different vegetables, either raw or lightly steamed with a bit of crunch.
TIPS FOR HEALTHY, LITTERFREE LUNCH BOXES Keep it simple – children like no fuss. Add as much colour as you can.
The nut- and dairy-free pesto is perfect for school lunch boxes and adds some extra flavour to the chicken and vegetables. Basil can be bought in large bunches from farmers markets and dried mushrooms are available from Asian supermarkets.
Involve children with deciding what they would like in their lunch boxes and putting them together each day – they’re more likely to eat everything if they have a say in what they have to eat.
Sulphur-free raisins or sultanas combined with sunflower kernels and pumpkin seeds provide a sweet treat.
Finger food is easier for kids to eat. Some children are grazers and like picking bits at a time. Don't overfill the lunch box! You will soon learn how much food your child needs by seeing if they bring any food home. Don’t worry … they won’t starve in one afternoon.
MESTO PESTO Ingredients: • 2 large handfuls of fresh basil
Use a bento style lunch box.
• 3 large garlic cloves
Prepare as much as you can in advance. Chop and cook food for the week and store in airtight containers in the fridge.
• 2 large handfuls of dried mushrooms • 3 tablespoons of olive oil • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt Method: Place all ingredients in a food processor and turn on high for roughly 2 minutes until all ingredients are ground together. If the pesto is too thick, add a little more olive oil. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to one week.
Stainless steel lunchboxes are a great option as they stay cooler for longer, especially if you make lunches the night before and take the lunch boxes out of the fridge cold and ready to go in the morning. Lunch boxes can be kept cool in an insulated lunch bag with an ice brick.
(Free from grains, dairy, eggs and nuts) www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
[ LUNCHBOX LOVE ]
BANANA BREAD Ingredients: • 4 ripe bananas • 6 organic eggs • 6 dates (dried or fresh) • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon • 2 teaspoons of gluten-free baking powder • 2 teaspoons of organic vanilla extract • 1/2 cup of organic coconut flour • 1/4 cup of chia seeds Method: 1. Heat the oven to 170 °C. 2. Lightly oil a bread tin, brownie pan or muffin tray.
3. Add bananas, eggs, dates, cinnamon, baking powder and vanilla to a food processor and whisk until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside.
PALEO SAUSAGES WITH EGG, BANANA BREAD MUFFINS, VEGETABLES AND FRUIT
4. Add coconut flour and chia seeds to the wet mixture and combine well.
Paleo sausages are available to buy in supermarkets and some butchers and taste great with hardboiled egg.
5. Leave to rest for 30–60 minutes.
My kids love my banana bread – being grain, dairy and nut free, it’s a paleo and allergy-friendly school lunch box snack. The recipe for the banana bread is to make a loaf but is easily adapted by cooking it in muffin tins.
6. Spoon into the baking pan and bake for 30 minutes. 7. To check if it’s cooked thoroughly, push a toothpick or skewer into the middle of the bread – if it comes out clean it’s cooked, if it still has batter on it, then cook for another 10 minutes.
(Free from grains, dairy and nuts)
THURSDAY CHEESE SANDWICH KEBABS WITH VEGETABLES, FRUIT AND JAM TART These kebabs are fun and great to try something a little different if your little one still wants a sandwich. Lightly toast some sourdough and cut it into squares. Slice cheese, tomato and cucumber and place the tomato on kitchen roll to absorb all the juice and prevent the bread from going soggy. Good old-fashioned jam tarts, made from my gran’s old recipe, make for a special treat. Children will love helping and cutting different shapes for the top. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
[ LUNCHBOX LOVE ]
FRIDAY PALEO SUSHI WITH BLISS BALLS, VEGETABLES AND FRUIT Sushi is a great way to use up the excess rice you have cooked for dinner. Leftover vegetables such as beans and carrot can be used for the sushi filling for a meat-free day. To make the sushi rolls, use a simple rolling mat which can be purchased from supermarkets. When laying out the rice the trick is to place the filling in the middle of the mat rather than near the top. You can always use a non-grain alternative and make cauliflower sushi. Simply pulse up half a cauliflower in the food processor and fry it quickly in a little sesame seed oil and garlic with salt and pepper. It cooks very fast and is a great alternative to rice. Cauliflower rice can become a little wet so for the best result, place the cauliflower in a small mesh sieve and try to drain out any excess fluid.
JAM TARTS Ingredients: • 250 grams of plain sifted flour • 125 grams of butter, diced into cubes • 4 tablespoons of lukewarm water
MINTY CACAO BLISS BALL
• Strawberry or blackberry jam
• 1 cup of dried dates (preservative free)
1. Pre- heat the oven to 160 °C and prepare a muffin tray by greasing the sides.
• 1 cup of raisins (preservative free)
2. Into a mixing bowl add the flour and butter and rub together until it looks like fine bread crumbs.
• 1/4 cup of tahini
• 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds • 1 tablespoon of organic cacao • 1/2 tea-spoon of organic pepper mint extract
3. Slowly add the water, needing the flour and butter mixture together to make a ball.
• desiccated coconut for coating Method:
4. Roll out onto a floured work surface and use a circle cookie cutter to cut out the tart base.
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse on high for around 2 minutes until combined well.
5. Spoon in a tablespoon of jam. 6. With the remaining leftover pastry cut out shapes to place on the top of the tarts.
2. Remove from the bowl and shape into round balls.
7. Bake for 15 minutes.
3. Roll in the coconut.
8. Allow to cool before serving. Store in an airtight container.
4. Eat straight away or store in the fridge in an airtight container.
(Free from eggs and nuts) www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
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CONNECTING PARENTS & FAMILIES
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2015 /August 69 July
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ISSUE 72 January/February 2016 SUNSHINE COAST
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[ SCHOOLS DIRECTORY ]
Strength and Gentleness Cnr Ward and Fairley Street, Indooroopilly QLD 4068 810 students All Girls’ Catholic Secondary College 07 3870 7225 www.brigidine.qld.edu.au
CALOUNDRA CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
7 Gregson Place, Caloundra QLD 4551 07 5436 6777 www.calcc.qld.edu.au
JOHN PAUL COLLEGE
Unity | Christ | Learning John Paul Drive, Daisy Hill QLD 4127 2200 students 07 3826 3333 www.johnpaulcollege.com.au
MONTESSORI INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE Get curious… 880 Maroochydore Road, Forest Glen QLD 4556 240 students 07 5442 3807 www.montessori.qld.edu.au
[ SCHOOLS DIRECTORY ]
MOUNT ALVERNIA COLLEGE
Deus meus et omnia (My God and my All) 82 Cremorne Road, Kedron QLD 4031 915 students 07 3357 6000 www.mta.qld.edu.au
NOOSA CHRISTIAN COLLEGE
Nothing without God 20 Cooroy-Belli Creek Road, Cooroy QLD 4563 253 students 07 5447 7808 www.noosacc.qld.edu.au
PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN COLLEGE
Nurturing God-given potential 20 Rogers Parade W, Everton Park QLD 4053 750 students Junior Campus: 07 3872 5700 Senior Campus: 07 3872 5600 www.princeofpeace.qld.edu.au
ST ANDREW'S ANGLICAN COLLEGE With Vision and Spirit 40 Peregian Springs Drive, Peregian Springs QLD 4573 1200 students 07 5471 5555 www.saac.qld.edu.au
[ SCHOOLS DIRECTORY ]
SUNSHINE COAST SCHOOL 372 Mons Road, ForestGRAMMAR Glen Qld
telephone +61 7 5445 4444 | email firstname.lastname@example.org Strength of Purpose www.scgs.qld.edu.au 372web Mons Road, Forest Glen QLD 4556 A School of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association
07 5445 4444
EARLY LEARNING BANKSIA TREE HOUSE
Childminding and education 0422 993 609
BELLA GRACE EARLY LEARNING CENTRE Nurturing children with love and respect Chancellor Park: 40 Lakehead Drive, Chancellor Park QLD 4556 07 5476 9777 (Nursery) 07 5476 5855 (Kindergarten) Aroona: 141 Beerburrum Street (Cnr Kalana Road), Aroona QLD 4551 07 5438 1414 Beerwah: 95 Roberts Road (Cnr Caralan Way), Beerwah QLD 4519 07 5494 0833 Brightwater: 5 Holloway Street, Brightwater, Mountain Creek QLD 4557 07 5493 9797
[ SCHOOLS DIRECTORY ]
EARLY LEARNING page
BIG DAY OUT CARE & EDUCATION
Where every day is an adventure 6 Kauri Crescent, Peregian Springs QLD 4573Â 97 children per day 07 5448 1308 www.bigdayout.net.au
KULUIN EARLY LEARNING CENTRE
Committed to caring for your child 23 Indiana Place, Kuluin QLD 4558 75 place service. Nursery (6 Weeks) through to Kindergarten (5 Years). 07 5445 1192 www.kuluinelc.com.au
NCC EARLY LEARNERS
34 McKenzie Road, Woombye QLD 4559 07 5451 3330 www.nccearlylearners.com.au
NEW LEAF EARLY LEARNING CENTRE Come explore with us! 372 Mons Road, Forest Glen QLD 4556 07 5453 707 AND 43-45 Okinja Road, Alexandra Headland QLD 4572 07 5479 2222 www.newleaf.qld.edu.au
[ SCHOOLS DIRECTORY ]
EARLY LEARNING page
SUNCOAST LITTLE LEARNERS
Faith, Diligence, Love Cnr Schubert & Kiel Mtn Rds, Woombye QLD 4559 07 5451 3600 www.suncoastcc.qld.edu.au/learning/little-learners
ST ANDREW'S LITTLE SAINTS
Play, Explore, Question, Reflect 10 Peregian Springs Drive, Peregian Springs QLD 4573 07 5471 5600 www.saac.qld.edu.au
ORGANISATIONS BRISBANE CATHOLIC EDUCATION Street Address: 243 Gladstone Road, Dutton Park QLD 4102 Postal Address: GPO Box 1201 Brisbane QLD 4001 07 3033 7000 www.bne.catholic.edu.au
[ OPEN DAYS ]
KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK AT A SCHOOL
OPEN DAY by LARA CAIN GRAY
SCHOOL OPEN DAYS PROVIDE A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO SEE YOUR CHILD’S POTENTIAL NEW SCHOOL IN ACTION. YOU’LL OFTEN HAVE THE CHANCE TO EXPLORE THE GROUNDS, VISIT SOME CLASSROOMS AND TALK TO STAFF ABOUT EVERYTHING THE SCHOOL HAS TO OFFER. YOU MIGHT EVEN HEAR A MUSIC RECITAL OR GET INVOLVED IN SOME HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS. IN FACT, A SCHOOL OPEN DAY CAN BE A GREAT DAY OUT! It’s useful to remember, however, that every school is a business. This means that you are essentially a potential client and an Open Day is a marketing opportunity. It’s only natural that a school will put its best foot forward and show you its ‘highlights reel’. In order to decide whether this is really the right school for you and your child, it’s handy to prepare some questions in advance to help you cut through the spin.
LIFE IN THE CLASSROOM Schools are transparent about the subjects they teach. They must adhere to the Australian Curriculum, for starters, and most will happily provide a handbook or online guide to subject offerings.
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM School is about much more than reading, writing and arithmetic. Your child’s social life, health and wellbeing and creative outlets will also be important.
PAPERWORK AND PROTOCOL Don’t be afraid to visit the school office and talk to finance and administration staff, too. Probably more important that any of this, however, is to ask yourself one big question: Do the kids at this school look happy? If you see evidence of smiling, engaged children who are comfortable interacting with staff and excited to show you their latest projects, you’re off to a great start.
Take this handy list wih you!
What’s not covered in the handbook, though, is the school’s day-to-day approach to these subjects and the technologies they have at their disposal. At your Open Day, ask about the school’s teaching philosophy, discipline processes and facilities.
- on the coast
- in the city
OPEN DAY QUESTIONS LIFE IN THE CLASSROOM
What is the experience level of my child’s potential teacher or the specialist teachers at your school? How many computers are available to children, or will we need to provide one? How much homework will my child need to complete each night or per subject? What options do you offer for children who need learning support or extension? Are girls and boys equally encouraged across all subjects, eg. in science, home economics or industry placements?
LIFE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM What daily activities do you offer outside of the school curriculum? Sports? Music? Social clubs? Can we see the playgrounds, eating areas, toilets or club rooms? Is there a student counselling service, chaplaincy, time out space or other support f or children who are struggling? If this is a religious school, will my family be expected to participate in church or other outside commitments? Can parents get involved in school life through volunteering, such as board membership or P & C?
PAPERWORK AND PROTOCOL What fees will we need to pay, in addition to school fees? For example, is there a book or IT levy? How many students are in the school? How big are class sizes? What are the future building or expansion plans for the school. How big will it be in five years’ time? Tell me about last year’s outcomes for seniors? What public transport arrangements are available to my child? Are train or bus stations supervised?
GENERAL Do the kids at this school look happy? Do you see evidence of smiling, engaged children who are comfortable interacting with staff and excited to show you their latest projects?
www.kidsonthecoast.com.au or www.kidsinthecity.com.au
u o t n ri
[ OPEN DAYS ]
OPEN DAY CALENDAR BRIGIDINE COLLEGE 16 & 17 May 2016: 9.30am – 10.30am 8 & 9 August 2016: 9.30am – 10.30am 24 & 25 October 2016: 9.30am – 10.30am
CALOUNDRA CHRISTIAN COLLEGE Thursday, 19 May 2016: 3.30pm – 6.30pm
JOHN PAUL COLLEGE Open Day - Saturday, 21 May 2016: 9.00am – 12.00noon Come & Play - Saturday, 21 May 2016: 9.30am – 11.00am Open Day - Friday, 15 July 2016: 9.00am – 11.00am Twilight Open Evening - Wednesday, 12 October 2016: 4.00pm – 7.00pm
MONTESSORI INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE Visit website for details.
MOUNT ALVERNIA COLLEGE Sunday, 22 May: 10am – 1pm
[ OPEN DAYS ]
OPEN DAY CALENDAR
NAMBOUR CHRISTIAN COLLEGE Friday, 13 May 2016: 1pm – 6pm
NOOSA CHRISTIAN COLLEGE Check website for dates.
PRINCE OF PEACE LUTHERAN COLLEGE Junior Campus: Thursday, 9 June 2016: 8:45am – 10:15am Tuesday, 6 September 2016: 8:45am – 10:15am Senior Campus: Tuesday, 24 May 2016: 8:30am – 10:30am Thursday, 15 September 2016: 8:30am – 10:30am
SUNSHINE COAST GRAMMAR Wednesday, 10 August 2016: 10am
372 Mons Road, Forest Glen Qld telephone +61 7 5445 4444 | email email@example.com web www.scgs.qld.edu.au A School of the Presbyterian and Methodist Schools Association
ST ANDREW’S ANGLICAN COLLEGE Wednesday, 13 July 2016
DATES TO YOUR
[ DATES TO REMEMBER ]
IMPORTANT DATES /1 2 THURSDAY
Public & Private schools End of term 1
Public & Private schools Start of term 2
APRIL 25 Anzac Day
/2 3 MONDAY
MAY 2 Labour Day
Maleny Annual Show
Private schools Start of term 3
(area of former Maroochy Shire)
Royal Queensland Show
Gold Coast Annual Show
Noosa Country Show
(Brisbane area only)
(Gold Coast only)
(Shire of Noosa)
Public & Private schools Start of term 4
Public schools Start of term 3
4 OCT 3
Public & Private schools End of term 2
Sunshine Coast Agricultural Show
(area of former Caloundra City Council)
Public & Private schools End of term 3
/4 /4 MONDAY
Private schools End of term 4
Public schools End of term 4
Note: Some schools have different term dates – please refer to your school’s website for information Please check with your school for their full list of holiday dates. www.kidsonthecoast.com.au
school school school calendar calendar calendar 2016 2016 2016 Queensland Queensland Queensland state state state schools schools schools
DECEMBER DECEMBER DECEMBER 2015 2015 2015JANUARY JANUARY JANUARY 2016 2016 2016 FEBRUARY FEBRUARY FEBRUARY
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S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF SS M S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF SS M S M S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF SS M S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF S 1 1 12 1 12 2 1 3 3 2 4 4 3 5 5 4 315 31 31 3 3 4 3 4 5 4 5 6 6 5 7 7 6 8 8 7 9 6 67 7 6 8 8 7 9 10 9 8 10 11 9 11 10 12 12 11 12 10 10 11 10 11 12 11 12 13 13 12 14 14 13 15 15 14 16 13 13 14 14 13 15 15 14 16 16 15 17 17 16 18 18 17 19 19 18 19 18 17 18 19 18 19 20 20 19 21 21 20 22 22 21 23 20 20 21 21 20 22 22 21 23 23 22 24 24 23 25 25 24 26 26 2517 2617 27 27 28 28 27 29 29 28 30 30 29 31 31 30 31
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APRIL APRIL APRIL
MAY MAY MAY
2 1 3 3 2 4 4 3 5 5 4 5 10 9 8 10 11 9 11 10 12 12 11 12 16 15 17 17 16 18 18 17 19 19 18 19 23 22 24 24 23 25 25 24 26 26 25 26
27 27 28 28 27 29 29 28 30 30 29 31 31 30 31
JUNE JUNE JUNE
JULY JULY JULY
S M S M ST M W T W T W TF TFS SF SS M S M ST M W T W T W TF S FT SF SS M S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF SS M S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF S 1 12 2 1 12 12 2 13 3 2 4 4 3 5 5 4 6 6 5 7 7 6 7
1 12 2 1 3 3 2 4 4 3 314 31 31
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3 34 4 3 4 9 8 10 11 9 11 10 12 12 11 13 13 12 14 14 13 514 56 6 5 7 7 6 8 8 7 9 10 9 8 10 11 9 11 10 311 34 4 3 5 5 4 6 6 5 7 7 6 8 8 7 9 9 8 9 5 5 6 6 5 7 7 68 8 79 9 8 89 89 10 16 16 15 17 17 16 18 18 17 19 19 18 20 20 19 21 21 2012 2112 13 13 12 14 14 13 15 15 14 16 16 15 17 17 16 18 18 1710 1810 11 11 10 12 12 11 13 13 12 14 14 13 15 15 14 16 16 15 16 10 10 11 11 10 12 12 11 13 13 12 14 14 13 15 15 14 16 16 1515 1615 23 23 22 24 24 23 25 25 24 26 26 25 27 27 26 28 28 2719 2819 20 20 19 21 21 20 22 22 21 23 23 22 24 24 23 25 25 2417 2517 18 18 17 19 19 18 20 20 19 21 21 20 22 22 21 23 23 22 23 17 17 18 18 17 19 19 18 20 20 19 21 21 20 22 22 21 23 23 2222 2322 30 30 29 31 31 30 31 24 24 25 25 24 26 26 25 27 27 26 28 28 27 29 29 28 30 30 2929 3029
AUGUST AUGUST AUGUST
26 26 27 27 26 28 28 27 29 29 28 30 30 29 30
SEPTEMBER SEPTEMBER SEPTEMBER
24 24 25 25 24 26 26 25 27 27 26 28 28 27 29 29 28 30 30 29 30
OCTOBER OCTOBER OCTOBER
NOVEMBER NOVEMBER NOVEMBER
S M S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF SS M S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF SS M S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF SS M S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF S 1 12 2 13 2 34 3 45 5 4 6 6 5 6
1 12 2 1 3 3 2 303 30 31 31 30 31
1 1 1
1 12 2 1 3 3 2 4 4 3 5 5 4 5
7 78 8 7 9 10 9 8 10 11 9 10 11 12 12 11 13 13 12 413 45 5 4 6 6 5 7 7 6 8 8 7 9 10 9 8 10 9 210 23 3 2 4 4 3 5 5 4 6 6 5 7 7 6 8 8 7 68 67 7 6 8 8 7 9 10 9 8 10 11 9 11 10 12 12 11 12 14 14 15 15 14 16 16 15 17 16 17 18 17 18 19 19 18 20 20 1911 2011 12 12 11 13 13 12 14 14 13 15 15 14 16 16 15 17 17 16 91710 9 10 11 9 11 10 12 12 11 13 13 12 14 14 13 15 15 1413 1513 14 14 13 15 15 14 16 16 15 17 17 16 18 18 17 19 19 18 19 21 21 22 22 21 23 23 22 24 23 24 25 24 25 26 26 25 27 27 2618 2718 19 19 18 20 20 19 21 21 20 22 22 21 23 23 22 24 24 2316 2416 17 17 16 18 18 17 19 19 18 20 20 19 21 21 20 22 22 2120 2220 21 21 20 22 22 21 23 23 22 24 24 23 25 25 24 26 26 25 26 28 28 29 29 28 30 30 29 31 30 31 31
25 25 26 26 25 27 27 26 28 28 27 29 29 28 30 30 29 3023 23 24 24 23 25 25 24 26 26 25 27 27 26 28 28 27 29 29 2827 2927 28 28 27 29 29 28 30 30 29 30
DECEMBER DECEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY JANUARY JANUARY 2017 2017 2017 S M S M ST M W T W T W TF FS T SF SS M S M ST M W T W T W TF S FT SF S 1 12 2 1 3 3 2 13 12 2 13 3 24 4 35 5 4 6 6 5 7 7 6 7 4 45 5 4 6 6 5 7 7 6 8 8 7 9 10 9 8 10 9 810 89 10 9 8 10 11 9 11 10 12 12 11 13 13 12 14 14 13 14
School School terms School terms terms School School holidays School holidays holidays Public Public holidays Public holidays holidays
11 11 12 12 11 13 13 12 14 14 13 15 15 14 16 16 15 17 17 1615 1715 16 16 15 17 17 16 18 18 17 19 19 18 20 20 19 21 21 20 21 26 26 27 27 26 28 28 27 28 18 18 19 19 18 20 20 19 21 21 20 22 22 21 23 23 22 24 24 2322 2422 23 23 22 24 24 23 25 25 24 25 30 30 29 31 31 30 31 25 25 26 26 25 27 27 26 28 28 27 29 29 28 30 30 29 31 31 3029 3129
StaffStaff professional Staff professional professional development development development dayday day Flexible Flexible Flexible staffstaff professional staff professional professional development development development dayday day
There There are There 193 are 193 are school 193 school days school days in 2016. days in 2016. inSemester 2016. Semester Semester 1 2017 1 2017 commences 1 2017 commences commences for teachers for teachers for teachers on January on January on January 19 and 19 and for 19 students and for students for students on January on January on January 23. 23. 23.
FINAL FINAL DATES FINAL DATES FOR DATES FOR STUDENT FOR STUDENT STUDENT ATTENDANCE ATTENDANCE ATTENDANCE
STAFF STAFF PROFESSIONAL STAFF PROFESSIONAL PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DEVELOPMENT DEVELOPMENT DAYS DAYS DAYS
November November November 18 is18the is18 the final is final the date final date for date Year for Year for 12 Year attendance 12 attendance 12 attendance for receipt for receipt for receipt of aof Senior a of Senior aStatement. Senior Statement. Statement. November November November 25 is25the is25 the final is final the date final date for date student for student for student StaffStaff professional Staff professional professional development development development daysdays fordays teachers for teachers for teachers are January are January are January attendance attendance in years in years in 10years and 10 and 11. 10 and 11. 11. 21, 21, 22, 22, 25, 21, 25, April 22, April 25, 6, 7, April 6,8,7,and 6,8,7,and October 8, and October October 17. 17. Schools Schools 17. Schools are able are able are to decide able to decide to decide attendance when when their when their flexible their flexible flexible daysdays willdays will be held, be willheld, be asheld, long as long as they long as they are as they in arethe in arethe school in school the schoolSome Some schools Some schools schools in regional, in regional, in regional, ruralrural andrural and remote and remote areas remote areas will areas will close close will forclose the for the for the holidays holidays holidays or out-of-school or out-of-school or out-of-school hours. hours. hours. Summer Summer Summer holidays holidays holidays on December on December on December 2. 2. 2.
PUBLIC PUBLIC PUBLIC HOLIDAYS HOLIDAYS HOLIDAYS Public Public holidays Public holidays holidays are set are by set arethe by setthe Industrial by Industrial the Industrial Relations Relations Relations Minister. Minister. Minister. Public Public holidays Public holidays holidays for afor local afor local show a local show are show not are not shown are shown notdue shown due to diversity due to diversity to diversity of of of dates dates across dates across the across the state. state. the state.
For For more more Forinformation more information information andand theand the latest the latest version latest version version of this of this calendar, of this calendar, calendar, visitvisitvisit
The The information The information information in this in this calendar in this calendar calendar waswas correct was correct at correct the at time the at time the of publication time of publication of publication (November (November (November 2015) 2015) but 2015) but maymay but be subject may be subject be to subject change. to change. to change.
- on the coast
- in the city
www.kidsonthecoast.com.au â€˘ www.kidsinthecity.com.au Published by Mother Goose Media - www.mothergoosemedia.com.au