From the Deputy Head of Junior School

I was once told that when we are unhappy with something, and standing around the water cooler at work or at a BBQ with friends on the weekend, we discuss these negative stories with an average of 15 people in order to vent our frustrations. And conversely, when we are satisfied and happy, and reflecting upon a circumstance that has gone well in our lives – we only tell an average of two or three people. Why is this so? Surely good things are to be celebrated and shared? Well, it turns out that there is a scientific reason as to why this happens and it has to do with a negativity bias in our brains. We are easily fixated upon the things that are negative, and that go wrong in our day.

So, this week, I’m going to turn this around and tell you about a few positive stories that I want to shout from the rooftops. Feel free to share these stories with your family and friends on the weekend – and here is the exciting thing: each of these stories ends withthat School is the Carey Baptist Grammar School, Junior School’.

‘How to help your Child as a Reader’ evening
Tuesday evening saw many excited parents heading back to school, in the heat of the evening, to learn more about the dynamic process of learning to read and how best to support your child as a reader in their early years. The key message that was promoted was that your child is at an advantage by coming to this terrific school and by being involved in the process and programs that we undertake with the children in the classroom. The take home message from Mrs Colleen-Jarrett-Burke was that ‘The biggest gift, as educators and parents, that we can give to our children is to impart that love of reading that we all get – so take time to reflect upon the reading that you do with your child, and to ensure that it is an enjoyable experience, and part of your daily routine as a family’.

Pop in to the Library in the next few weeks and borrow a few books with your child, use the expertise of the staff there, and find that amazing story that truly captures your child in the wonderful web of words that a book provides. And what school was it providing this expertise and support to the parents in the community?

Medication and your child
Recently we had a medical situation at school with one of the students in our care who had asthma. When we needed to consider what medication the student may be prescribed, we were reassured when we could refer to the update that was on their student file. This serves as a timely reminder to all parents to ensure that the school is aware of medication that your child may be taking – as simple as antibiotics to more advanced medication that is required such as Ventolin for asthma.

This information goes towards making your child safe at school and, in the event that we need expert care, these experts have the accurate information at hand. An ideal opportunity to discuss these personal medical matters will be at the upcoming Information Sharing evenings with your class teacher. And what school was it wanting to know these important details about your child?

Year 6 Leadership and the Welcome Carnival
Some weeks ago, at the Year 6 Leadership Conference, the Kew and Donvale Year 6 children had the privilege of meeting an amazing man, Don Elgin. Don was born without his lower left leg. However, Don didn’t see himself as any different to any other child. He played footy, swam and walked. He became a leader and was defined by his actions, not his disability.

With this in mind, we were so proud to see the Year 6 students leading at the Welcome Carnival last week and being defined by their actions: taking photos, playing music, dancing, face painting, applying the temporary tattoos, manning the photo booth, helping in the obstacle course, and picking up rubbish. Well done to the students for assisting and for volunteering to make the evening such a success for the community. Many adults complimented you for your efforts with the small children on the night.

To the JSPA and the many parent helpers, our sincere thanks for your help, support, vision and drive in making the Welcome Carnival such a highlight for the community. It takes a considerable commitment to plan and execute such an event, and the smiles on faces in the crowd were a true reflection of the fun and enjoyment that was had by all. Should you have the opportunity to say a few words of thanks to the parents of the JSPA, I am sure they’d welcome them indeed. And what school was it with such an engaged and proactive JSPA?

Car parking around the school
Last week we had the need to have an ambulance on Cluny Green and, disappointingly so, a car was inappropriately parked across a set of gates that made access very challenging. However, I’m really happy to report that staff and parents have responded to my discussions, notices and reminders in a most positive way – and again this week when an ambulance was called (yes I know, two ambulances in two weeks!) the car park was clear and access was not an issue. So my thanks to the community for continuing to make an improved effort with car parking around the school. And what school community was it making it a safer place for your children?

Upcoming dates for your diary
Tuesday 1 March ELC/JSK Information Sharing (ELC – Year 6 Parents) 4.00–8.00pm
Thursday 3 March ELC/JSK Information Sharing (ELC – Year 6 Parents) 4.00–8.00pm 

Ben Dooley
Deputy Head – Student Welfare