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Principal's Notes, 30th May 2019

Welcome to the latest edition of the School Newsletter! The issue of mental health is becoming increasingly prevalent in modern society. At Peter Moyes Anglican Community School we are conscious of the importance of maintaining good mental health for staff and students alike and we have a number of initiatives in place to keep the importance of maintaining mental health at the forefront of our minds. You will be aware that we are currently trialling a puppy buddy in Senior School. Skye, a German shepherd, has been visiting the School on Friday mornings and I have already seen some positive benefits of having her on campus. The School is exploring the effectiveness of Skye visiting the School on a more regular basis and welcomes any feedback from parents on this new initiative.

All students will soon participate in the annual ‘Stress Down Day’, an event that aims to get students to slow down and let go of things that might be weighing them down. These initiatives complement the strong pastoral care structures already in place at the School and the proactive engagement of our teachers in pastorally caring for all students. The mental health of staff is equally important, with staff wellness the primary focus of the upcoming professional development day on Friday 31 May. An added bonus of this day is providing an extended weekend for our students following exams and NAPLAN, assessments that can trigger high levels of stress and anxiety for students.

Traffic Management Update

Further discussions with the City of Wanneroo have been held to look at options for resolving issues related to traffic congestion that occur each day around our School.  I am pleased to report that the City of Wanneroo has developed a draft proposal for significant road improvements to aid traffic flow and reduce congestion. Initial plans were presented to key stakeholders on Thursday 9 May in a meeting held at PMACS, with our School also given an opportunity to provide further feedback to the Town Planners in the coming weeks. The City of Wanneroo will open the proposal for broader community input in due course. If successful, it is likely that key road works would commence during the Christmas holiday period at the end of this year.

Anecdotal feedback suggests that the increased presence of duty staff in car parks at peak times has made a difference to traffic flow around our campus. You may have also noticed that each parking bay has now been numbered as the School explores the option of allocating set bays to staff. This should assist in reducing the numbers of cars searching for a bay and avoid confusion on who should park where. It is hoped that parking pressures will be further eased with the addition of 17 staff parking bays underneath the new Chapel. I will share further details of these new initiatives with the School Community over the coming weeks.

Strategic Plan Progress

As you are aware, the School Council and Executive Team have commenced the development of the School’s new Strategic Plan, in conjunction with Dr Liz Pattison. Dr Pattison has been a regular visitor to the School over the past few weeks, conducting staff, student and parent focus group sessions. All parents, teaching and non-teaching staff were provided with the opportunity to attend a two hour focus group session. From each session, Dr Liz has produced a summary report which has been filtered back to each group for refinement. Approximately 30 parents attended the evening session held at School on Wednesday 22 May and they have been sent their draft report for further input and clarification. All other parents will be provided with an opportunity to have input in early June through a survey to be distributed online. I encourage all families to have their say on the future direction of our School. At this stage the new Strategic Plan will be available in November 2019.

St Gregory’s Chapel Opening

Work on St Gregory’s Chapel is nearing completion with much of the scaffolding from the site now gone. The wood panelling to the interior walls is almost finalised, glass windows have been installed and the stained glass design for the cross on the northern wall has almost been completed. It is anticipated that the build will be finished by the end of June, although the finalisation of landscaping and the establishment of the Memorial Garden for the Local Parish will occur slightly later. The official opening of St Gregory’s Chapel has been scheduled for 9am on Friday 26 July. The opening will coincide with Peter Moyes Day, in what will be a special day in the life of the School. The Executive Team is currently exploring options for parents to tour the new Chapel and will communicate details in due course.

Staff News

We have a number of staff heading on well-earned Long Service Leave in Term 3, including Mrs Natalie Shaw, Associate Principal Senior School, Mrs Trurina Cook, Head of Department Science and Ms Melita Bursac, Music Teacher. Mr Drew Hall, Head of Department Health & Physical Education has been appointed as the Acting Associate Principal – Senior School position and will commence his duties on Monday, 22 July, following a suitable handover with Mrs Shaw during Term 2. Mr Bernie Streeter will take on the Acting Head of Department Health & Physical Education role for the duration of Term 3. Mr Andrew Rasano has been appointed to cover for Ms Trurina Cook and will also commence his duties at the start of Term 3.  The process to appoint a replacement Music Teacher for Ms Bursac is well underway and we should be in a position to announce her replacement in the coming weeks. I congratulate staff that have been appointed to cover these important positions and wish our staff heading on leave a wonderful and relaxing break. I would also like to welcome Jacqueline Geurts, who is covering for Cheryl Crisp in Middle School while she is on Long Service Leave for the second half of Term 2 and first half of Term 3. 

In other staff news, peripatetic music teacher, John Trotter, has won the 'Best Edition' Award at the Frankfurt Musikmesse in April. John has written a book called 'The Junior Drummer's Bible', a teaching resource specifically designed for the younger drummer. This system was inspired by John’s work with Primary School students at PMACS. The book was chosen as the best out of over 7000 books entered, with judges impressed by the educational competency, layout, content and overall print quality of John’s book. This is a wonderful achievement by John and we are very proud to have him working at our School.

You Tour

For regular visitors to the School website and Facebook page, you may have noticed the addition of a Virtual School tour. The Virtual Tour provides online visitors with an opportunity to remotely explore our School, the learning spaces and our facilities. The Virtual Tour was developed by a company called You Tour, who specialise in the creation of a 360 degree virtual tours and school videos. During the first week of 2019, You Tour visited the School, collecting numerous hours of footage and pictures to develop the final product. I encourage you to explore the Virtual Tour to have a closer look at all aspects of the School.

In concluding, I trust you will enjoy reading the latest edition of the School Newsletter and I wish all staff, students and parents a safe, relaxing and enjoyable WA Day weekend.

Every Blessing.

Benjamin Lomas 
PRINCIPAL