From the principal
Recently I was watching a video clip of Sir Ken Robinson speaking at the annual “Ted” conference, where he discussed the need for a revolution in Education. He argues that as a society we need to move away from a manufacturing model of education and towards a more organic approach. I think that we all realize that the issues that surround us are complex and the future will require, perhaps more than ever, creative and collaborative approaches to problem solving. Today’s schools must cultivate creativity by creating an environment where a child’s natural talents can flourish.
After 5 weeks the new Karri / Eucalyptus Cycle 3 class is starting to take shape. The bigger group has meant that the staff and the children have had to find new ways of working together and I am proud to say they are meeting the challenge. The other day I was watching the children participate in a field day, which the students had organized on their own. I could sense a feeling of cohesion amongst the class and an appreciation for each other’s strengths. I think we all realized that bringing the classes together in the middle of the school year would be a challenge. Perhaps the children’s approach to change can be good learning for all of us that get a bit set in our ways from time to time.
I spend a good amount of time each week touring new families to our school. Most have very young children whose journey through Parent Toddler and Cycle 1 will soon begin. But I was thinking the other day that it may be a good idea for current parents to have a refresher tour. Perhaps you’re a family that has a child soon to be moving into Cycle 2 or Cycle 3 and you may have questions such as: why have we begun all of these school clubs, why is there a spinning wheel in Melaleuca and an old Piano in Karri, why did we install 4 computers into the Eucalyptus classroom just as the rooms were being combined, what’s next in terms of building projects at the school and what do the Learnscapes people meet about in the evenings? So for answers to these questions and more I wanted to invite current parents to book a tour with me, I would happy to walk you around and discuss what’s up.
“Everyday our children spread their dreams at our feet, we should tread softly.” - Ken Robinson
TERM 3 2010
Aug 25 Learnscapes Committee Meeting
Sep 9 Cycle 2/3 reports due
Sep 15 Parent Information Evening
Sep16 Fundraising Committee Evening
Sep 21 International Day of Peace
Sep 22 Canteen Day
Sep 22 Learnscapes Committee Meeting
Sep 24 Last day term 3
TERM DATES FOR 2010
Term 3: 20 July – 24 September
Term 4: 12 October – 15 December
Next week all families will receive an email with a link to the Canberra Montessori Society’s school survey. The Board has undertaken to create a survey this year as part of our school consultation process. We will have a few hard copies of the questions at the office but we would prefer that families take the survey on-line. If you do not receive an email next week please let Judy know. The survey will begin next week and continue for a 3 week period. – Jack
Due to Bob Dent’s extended absence, the school has hired Susan Tong to fill the role of Bursar. Susan will begin on Monday
August 23rd. Bob continues to go through his therapy and as you can imagine remains in great spirits.
I have found on my recent observations of the car park that parents are doing a much better job of following the entrance and exit procedures and refraining from driving over the walking path. I would also like to remind parents that the first spaces at the north end of the lot are not for parking, they are drop off spaces for the older children at our school. Thank you for your Co-operation. – Jack
The Club schedule for Term 3 has been a big success. A big thank you to Suki, Sarah and Kimberly for their hard work in setting up our cooking, yearbook and reading clubs. Over the next few weeks Chef Aine will take over in the kitchen while Sarah will switch to gardening. We are open to more club suggestions for Term 4 and if there are parents that would like to get involved and run a club at the school, please feel free to contact the office. - Jack
Late Drop Off Procedure
Just a reminder - if you are running late please call in at the office on your way in to school before dropping off your child. We can give you a slip for your child to take to class and this way children who aren’t present when the roll is taken can be accounted for both in class and at the office.
Pre-Fair Pram Sale
The Spring Fair Committee has received a number of prams and similar accessories and will be giving families the opportunity to purchase them prior to the fair. Check them out on Mondays before 9am and Fridays from 3.00pm onwards at the storage container in the school car park.
Baby Jogger Co 3 wheel twin pram
Emmalunga Season pram
Valco Baby Stroller
Baby Love Stroller
Peg Perego Prima Papa high chair
Car seats—Safe n Sound reversible
Thanks to some more of our Trivia Night sponsors.
Please support them if you can.
Cooleman Court Beauty Centre
Cooleman Hair Centre
Vikings Capital Golf
Weston creek Massage &
Eckersley's Art and craft
Being waste wise and beyond
Did you know that the school has been accredited in waste management through the Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative since mid-2008? This means the school has had a long-term commitment to the sustainable management of waste in areas such as paper and mixed recycling, organic waste recycling (through composting and worm farms) and smarter purchasing. The actions taken by the children in managing waste have been complemented by activities such as excursions to the ACT Materials Recycling Facility (extended day) and specific sessions for some classes on successful composting (including singing the infamous worm song!). The school also recycles mobile phones (which doubles as a fundraiser), ink jet cartridges and batteries (the kind that go in toys as opposed to those that help run your car). These can all be dropped off at the office.
The next area in which accreditation will be sought is biodiversity. This area of the Australian Schools Sustainability Initiative includes the learnscapes design, flora, fauna and soil/ground health (compaction, erosion etc). As a starting point we will soon be distributing a survey to all parents on a number of issues such as the areas of the school that are liked/disliked and the types of wildlife observed in the school grounds (a similar process has already been done with the students and school staff). Please take the time to provide feedback and support the school in achieving the accreditation in biodiversity management.
Learnscapes and Environmental Sustainability Committee
Waste wise facts (courtesy of ActewAGL, SITA and Planet Ark)
The energy saved from recycling one glass bottle can run a 100-watt light bulb for four hours. It also causes 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than when a new bottle is made from raw materials.
Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it in an incinerator.
Plastic bags and other plastic garbage thrown into the ocean kills as many as 1,000,000 sea creatures every year!
The average household throws away 13,000 separate pieces of paper each year. Most are packaging and junk mail.
If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you’d get about 700 of them. A supermarket could use all of them in under an hour. This means in one year, one supermarket goes through 60,500,000 paper bags!
If all our newspaper was recycled, we could save about 250,000,000 trees each year!
Cardboard makes up about 88% of a Tetra Pak.
An aluminum can can be recycled indefinately but, if thrown away, will still be a can 500 years from now!
Recycling one aluminium can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours.
80% of batteries used by Australian's every day are single use.
The average person uses 18 batteries each year, and an average household with children uses an incredible 109 batteries!
Rechargeable battteries can be used up to 1000 times, making them a cost-effective and enviornmentally better alternative to single-use batteries.
NEWS FROM THE BOARD, AUGUST 2010
An important issue that was discussed at the recent Canberra Montessori Society (CMS) Special General Meeting was the perceived need for more communication between the CMS Board and CMS members. As highlighted in the Strategic Plan (2010-2012), the Board is striving to make communication a priority and a number of avenues of communication have existed for some time. However, these avenues may not have been as obvious as they could have been and I will outline them here:
Communication with the Board Chair is possible via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or in person during the ‘Chair’s Chat’, a 30 minute discussion opportunity before each monthly Board meeting.
More formal communication with the Board, such as suggesting agenda items to be addressed at Board meetings or making a complaint regarding strategic policy, must be made via the Operations Liaison and Compliance Committee (OLCC). The OLCC is a fully constituted subcommittee of the Canberra Montessori Society (CMS) Board. It has delegated authority for the Principal’s evaluation process, general conditions of employment for School personnel and is the Board’s representative in the dispute resolution policy. The OLCC also acts as a general liaison between the Board and the Principal on issues that have both strategic and operational aspects. The OLCC comprises the Board Chairperson, or their delegate, and at least one other Board Member. The OLCC report is a standing item on the CMS Board meeting agenda and therefore the OLCC meets monthly during term time, usually in the week prior to the Board Meeting.
The Board has undertaken to respond to feedback from CMS members and one way that this feedback will be accessed is via formal surveys. One such survey has recently been composed and will soon be sent to members. We encourage all CMS members to complete the survey and provide qualitative feedback in addition to the rated responses. The Board will also provide feedback from Board meetings via regular ‘News from the Board’ columns such as this in the CMS newsletter. Issues deemed of interest to members will be communicated here.
Sue Wigg, Communications Officer, CMS Board