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A message from the Associate Principal - Primary School 

My Finland Experience

Mrs. Nicole Brown and I were very fortunate to be involved in an AISWA led study tour earlier this year. This week we are presenting to a group of Independent Primary School Deputy Principals on our experience and will be trying to demystify some of the myths that have been developed over the years regarding the status of Finland in education globally.

A few take homes that stood out for me. Firstly, the need to view Finland from a different lens. Our countries and our education system are both vastly different, but this does not mean that we cannot both learn from each other. In Finland relationships with their children is key and their teachers are deeply connected with their students.  Finnish children are taught to be confident and high expectations are placed on them where they can self-regulate and be independent at all levels. There is a modelled behaviour of calmness by all of society in Finland. Culturally, the Finnish community have a mutual understanding of the ‘acceptance of risk’ where for example, children can walk home after school, but the whole community is there to support children who are entrusted to make their own decisions. Parents have a high level of trust in their child’s teachers and there is no evidence of ‘Helicopter’ parenting. Children are provided with a strong independent play-based background and can focus on being a child without the pressures of filling everyday with formalised or organised extra curricula activities. They have a lot of time provided throughout any given day for social interaction and playing in an unstructured way. These differences certainly have given me food for thought not only as an educator but also as a parent of three children.

Fathering Project Dads’ Group

I am wanting to have our School become involved with the Fathering Project Dads’ Group by assisting fathers and father-figures to realise their importance in children’s lives and to improve their effectiveness as fathers and role-models for children. This program provides a relaxed environment where fathers and father-figures can talk meaningfully to each other, upskill and encourage the development of stronger bonds between father and child and each other. This will begin with the launch of an information night (pizza and drinks supplied) with the date set for Tuesday, 3 September at 7-9 pm. The WA State Manager will help launch this Dads only event and invitations go out on Father’s Day. I really hope we can have some healthy support and commitment from our Dads by coming together for this launch evening. Primary Staff have also planned a lovely Father’s Day celebration with an early morning for all Dads and father-figures for Friday, 30 August and invitations for this launch will be given out then.

Cyber Bullying, Online Games and Social Media Headaches

On a more delicate note, we have had several of our primary students using inappropriate social media sites and games, so I have included a link that explicitly spells out fact sheets about Games and Social Media apps. Please spend some time looking at these so that you are ready and prepared with the choices and decisions you will need to make with your children as they developmentally mature and want to explore the cyber and social world. The link to click on is as follows:

 www.carlyryanfoundation.com

The fact sheets come from the Carly Ryan Foundation www.carlyryanfoundation.com set up as a result of ‘Carly’s Story’ – about a 15-year old girl who chatted to her ‘fictitious boyfriend’ online for 18 months. He was not the handsome 18-year old he had posed to be but was in fact a 50-year old predator and paedophile.

For some of you as parents, this is a confronting reality of what many children are being exposed to or perhaps you are not aware or choosing to be complacent about the children’s use of social media and gaming via personal phones and other devices at home. We are dealing with the ever-increasing regularity of issues relating to the online cyber gaming or social media fall out that is occurring outside the School. We have put in every safety measure possible from the School front but cannot monitor this from home without parents taking this cause seriously by staying informed and by being fully proactive with their children.

Indonesian and Japanese Visitors

During Languages Week we have had several groups of student visitors coming to our Primary School both from Japan and Indonesia. Our Year 2 and Year 3 classes had Japanese student visitors present on their culture and led the classes in doing a range of interesting hands-on craft activities that they all enjoyed doing together.

There have been quite a few Indonesian cultural exchange students staying with our families within our School Community from our Sister School – Margie School, Surabaya. These students attended the Indonesian classes in the Primary School during Week 4 and helped our students develop a greater appreciation of the importance of language. Various activities were done within different year groups such as writing poetry, chatting/conversing in Indonesian, learning about our sister city, Surabaya, learning the horse dance and decorating the ‘Gajah’ (elephant) located in the Central Foyer.

Code Camp

Code Camp is coming for the first time to Peter Moyes Anglican these school holidays, ready to help your child get ahead of the digital curve! As one of the highest-rated school holiday activities in Australia, Code Camp is a great way for to kids to spend time over the holidays having fun with their friends whilst learning how to think logically, problem-solve creatively and code their own app. This Spring, join over 50,000 kids in Australia who have already built their own games and websites with us! PMACS will be hosting Spark for children aged 7 to 12 on the 1st and 2nd October in the Middle School Building, 9:00am – 3:30pm. Bookings start on Wednesday, 14 August - enrol now and get $20 off with the Early Bird Discount (code: EARLYBIRD if you enrol before Sunday 18th) here: www.codecamp.com.au/petermoyes.

We have lots to celebrate in the myriad of activities and the comings and goings on in our Primary School this year thus far! Of course, it would be most forgetful of me to not mention a delightful highlight with Mr. Senior’s birth of his first child, Eleanor Senior! And talking things sporty, our Primary School coming second in the State for Cross Country!

Mr Roderick Wood, Associate Principal - Primary School