Head of Primary
We have had a fabulous start to the new school year and one of the first things our teachers do each year is establish an essential agreement with their students. An essential agreement outlines expectations of behaviour and work ethic, but it is not just a list of rules imposed by the teacher. It is a collaborative arrangement that the children and teacher develop together and once a consensus is reached, the agreement is finalised. If you visit your child’s classroom you will see the Essential Agreement on display, providing an ongoing reminder throughout the year.
The Essential Agreement is an important component of the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (PYP) and together with the Learner profile they help students know what personal qualities they should strive to achieve to be successful in learning and life. We can sometimes make the assumption that children know what our expectations are, but this is not always the case and they often require explicit instructions or explanations. An essential agreement eliminates any misconceptions and provides a clear outline that everyone can understand.
Setting routines and developing an essential agreement at home can also be helpful. They give children a sense of security and allow them to develop independence, because they know what is coming next and what is expected of them. Children cope with change better when it is expected and occurs within a familiar routine and structure helps them to control their behaviour.
Benefits for setting routines at home:
- Routines remove power struggles between parent and child because they set times for certain activities. For example, cleaning teeth is just what we do after dinner every evening.
- Routines allow children to grow in independence and competence as they learn to do things, such as unpack their school bag or help to wash up. Children who develop a sense of independence and mastery have less inclination to be uncooperative or rebellious.
- Regular routines give children a schedule that helps them to be organised, follow expectations and develop healthy habits, such as going to bed at a set time each school night.
- Routines also help children to develop the concept of ‘looking forward’ to the things they like to do such as going swimming after school, or watching a selected show on TV.
A household with a good routine in place is usually more organised and able to find time for the various commitments of all members of the family.
Happy Chinese New Year
On Tuesday this week we celebrated Chinese New Year with a visit by the Lion Dancers. The Meadow was filled with happy children watching the antics of the ‘Lions’ as they performed a lively dance to the loud music of drums and cymbals. This traditional Chinese custom symbolises the commencement of good luck for the coming year.
Year 5 Music Kick Start Day
Living Faith Chapel was buzzing with excitement on Friday 27 January when the Year 5 students received their new band instruments. Instrumental teachers spent the day coaching the students on how to care for and play their instruments. After a day of practice the students performed in a short concert, giving their parents a wonderful surprise of how much they had learnt in one day. We are looking forward to following their progress throughout the year.
Head of Primary – Deputy Principal