About helenotway

Principal at Debney Meadows Primary School.

Every day counts

Coming to school every day is important for the all the students…even our preppies. The teachers plan a number of activities and lessons that are designed to support and extend each child’s learning. If a student is away for the day or late, they can miss important information, experiences or time to discover new knowledge and make connections.

Children also like to have strong friendships and connections with other students and their teachers. Missing school days too often can reduce the flow of friendships and positive interactions.

P-2 area

Being part of the classroom and the learning is a great way for students to feel connected to their school. You can find an information sheet attached on how you can help your child attened every day.


Celebrating diversity and belonging

This week coming is Diversity Week with Harmony Day on Friday 21st March. We are really excited to be celebrating the week with a number of events at school and in town.


On Wednesday we are having three exciting events:
1. Early morning launch of an important new program in partnership with the AFL and DEECD….and we get to be involved.

2. A lunch time screening of our three student films I Kissed My Mum, New School, Searching For at Federation Square.

We would love to see lots of people there enjoying our films.

3. Our 2nd community forum to help us shape our vision and prepare for the next 5 years.

End of the day supervision

At the end of the school day our students are walked to the gate by their teachers. Many of our families wait for the children at the end of the day. The informal interactions between parent and teacher at this time of the day is a great way to build relationships. The students are able to share their day with their parent or carer and follow this up with a chat with the teacher.

Here is Felicity, the prep teacher, walking with one of her prep students while waiting for the parent.


We encourage all parents and carers to arrive on time at the end of the day, or phone the school if they are running late or if they have made alternate arrangements.

Getting ready for 2014

Today the staff returned to work for our first day induction and preparation for a wonderful 2014 school year. As a professional learning community we discussed the direction of the school, team work, student achievement and progression and how we would ensure all our student get the best possible education that they deserve.

Induction day 2014

After a busy and productive morning we came together to have lunch and to reflect on what we had been learning and discussing.


Our staff from left to right:
Maxine (4/5), Jane (Languages and EAL), Lucas (5/6), Felicity (Prep), Kerrianne (Art and Stephanie Alexander Program), Jason (3/4), Helen Wong (Education Support), Mandy (Language Support), Mohammed (Bilingual Arabic ES) , Susan (Library ES), Christina (Business Manager), Kirk (1/2), Nicole (1/2), Erin (Student Wellbeing Advocate) and Kerron (Teaching and Learning Coach). Khadra and Halima are not in the photo. And I am taking the photo 🙂

We are all looking forward to welcoming our students tomorrow.

Who lives here?

Last year in October (2013), Penguin Education came to visit our lovely preppies to introduce to them a new app called Who Lives Here? Our preppies have iPads as part of the school’s iPad program so it was a great idea for our little students to test out the app.

Here is a look at what they thought.

You can read more about the app on the Penguin Teachers’ Academy blog.

Are you a bucket filler or dipper?

Last week Marg Armstrong from Just Practices came to our school to teach us about being kind to and caring of others. She read a wonderful book to the Grade 3/4s which the students all enjoyed.

Here is a copy of the book in a video

The story book is called “Have you filled a bucket today?” and it is written by Carol McCloud and illustrated by David Messing.

We encourage all our students to be bucket fillers every single day!

I kissed my mum!

Here is the last film created by our amazingly creative and inspirational Year 5/6 students. This story was written ans narrated by Hussein from Year 5. His story tells of his desire to fit in and be one of the boys. The film is heartfelt and captures the essence of good story writing. Thank you Hussein, and the rest of your class, for making such a great movie.

We would love to read your comments.

Teachers learn too

In the last week of term the teachers all attended an after school talk by John Hattie who was talking about team teaching and planning and the importance of helping student progress in their learning. The teachers at Debney Meadows School are dedicated to their work and want the best for the students. As the principal I was very proud to see all the teachers attend this session together. We celebrated the end of term by having dinner together after the talk.