This week with our Principal - Mr Taylor

Term 4 Week 5

Dear Parents and Caregivers,


Our school community is thinking of the families and staff at Banksia Road PS who are dealing with an incredibly difficult time following the death of two students after a car smashed into a classroom on Tuesday. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.


Banora Point PS has a full time student counsellor / child psychologist in Janene Skaines. Janene is known by all to be outstanding in her role. It is the case though, that our school has more demand for Janene’s services than we have hours available in the day. This means that there is a long waiting list for Janene’s services – her caseload. BPPS is approaching this situation similarly to other NSW Public Schools and will ensure those students with higher needs will be seen as a priority. The school acknowledges that waiting for extended periods to see the counsellor can be counterproductive and not ideal. In these circumstances families are advised to seek treatment outside of the school with private service providers. If you would like to discuss this issue with our Principal Mr Taylor, please contact the office.


It seems that we wouldn’t be human if we all didn’t have a worry from time to time. While worries can come and go for many of us, for some worry can set in. When we worry about matters for extended periods and we start to see our sleeping and eating patterns impacted, we then start to talk about anxiety. Anxiety does appear to be a bigger problem in society than 15 or 20 years ago in general and we are seeing an increase in line with this in our schools also. If you believe your child is suffering from anxiety it is essential that you seek help. It is also essential that families with family members suffering from anxiety also seek assistance as it can impact the wellbeing of children living in the household. Please contact your child’s teacher or the office if you feel anxiety is an issue for your child. We will work together to find strategies and assistance to help you and your family.


Last week I travelled to Chicago to attend a very special professional learning opportunity – Expeditionary Learning’s ‘National Conference.’ I took leave from the NSW DoE and travelled at my own expense. Expeditionary Learning is known as a global leader in Future Focused Learning and character based education. Future Focused Learning is not necessarily about technology in the classroom. Future Focused Learning is about empowering learners to ‘own’ their learning and to apply the knowledge and skills they ‘own’ to real world, authentic tasks and problems, providing motivation and purpose. Technology can fuel the fire, but the fire is the excitement for learning and the desire to build learning from within – for each and every student. Our school will, through our connections with Expeditionary Learning, work face to face with globally renowned experts, such as Libby Woodfin – Director of Publications for Expeditionary Learning - to collaborate and create learning opportunities to enable student ownership of learning and to apply it in authentic, purposeful learning sequences. We look forward to sharing more of our work in this area as time progresses.


You may have seen the raffle books come home with all students K - 6 who are eldest in the family. Please get behind this raffle. We hope to raise substantial funds. The P&C has kindly committed to donate the proceeds of the raffle to our school’s technology initiative which will see A full rebuild of the school’s wifi network Purchase of several hundred devices to enable 1:1 device student ration 3 - 6 and significant increase in access in K - 2 classrooms. We believe our technology upgrades will see Banora Point PS students enjoying access to technology matched by few other schools, public or private anywhere. Tickets are $5 each and all families are ask to sell one book of five tickets each please. You might be able to offer the tickets to colleagues at work or the wider family or even others in the street. Thank you for your help. Please return them via the school office by Monday 20 November. Special thanks to the Berger Family for their magnificent donation of the holiday.

Paul Taylor