Visitors from United Arab Emirates

This week we had a visit from 25 student teachers from the United Arab Emirates. They are studying at Fujairah Women’s College – Higher Colleges of Technology. They are in Melbourne as part of their educational studies and learning about the school systems in Australia. The Melbourne University is supporting their visit and has included DMPS in their tour schedule. This is a great honor for us to be able to share the way we plan our teaching, support English language learners, use technology and provide further languages in the school.

Thank you to Nick Reynolds from Melbourne Graduate School of Education for organising this visit.

New school council

Today we had our school council and AGM. Our new school council for 2013 – 2014 is:
Executive Officer: Helen Otway (principal)
President: Ahmed Ahmed (parent)
Vice President: Filsan Ahmed (parent)
Secretary: Kerron Worsdell (teacher)
Christina Byrne: (business manager)
Quem Sung Ng: (parent)
Penny Jordan: (co-opted member – Flemington Neighborhood Renewal)
Asha Saleh: (co-opted member – Jessuit Services)

We have two parents on a tied position which we will confirm, and one parent absent on the night also to confirm.

Congratulations to our new members and a big thank you to our exiting members:
Jason Carabott (teacher), Daud Duhur (vice president), Iman Barabiaa (president), Semira Abdelkader (parent), Anita Moore (teacher), Saaimah Ali (parent).

The council is keen to support the education of the students and to create a stronger school-home partnership.

Cosa ti piace?

Secondary Students from EKC helping with Italian Conversation!
“Cosa ti piace?” means “What do you like?” in Italian and our Debney Meadows students certainly like learning Italian with our year ten helpers from Essendon Keilor College!

Four EKC students, along with their teacher made their first visit to Debney Meadows P.S. last Friday to practise conversational Italian with our students. The students practised greetings, simple questions like “What is your name?” and ‘Where do you live?” before conversing about their likes/dislikes with hobbies and interests. See below for a picture of our Italian conversation groups working and learning together.

Similar conversational concepts are being covered in our Arabic and Vietnamese groups, thanks to help from volunteers Muhammed, Maha Meryem and Preethi. Debney Meadows staff member Helen W is also leading conversation practice with a small group of students in Vietnamese.

It’s great to see our students putting their language skills into practise.

Kerron Worsdell
– LOTE coordinator

Effort matters

Over the last few weeks at assembly I have been sharing my story of learning how to swim as an adult. I have persevered, put in lots of effort, and have made a commitment to swim each weekend. Over time I have become more confident and more physically fit, now I am able to swim 1km. I make an effort not to miss swimming because I know every day I go to the pool, makes a difference to my ability.

It is pleasing to know that many of our students put in a lot of effort to be the best they can be. Throughout the term, the teachers have been planning and providing the students with a rounded curriculum. Each lesson is planned to build upon the previous lesson and to develop the abilities of each student. Teachers monitor student progress and discuss strategies to effectively target their needs.

If our students miss a lesson, they will miss important information, knowledge and skills. Our teachers do the best they can to support students who have been absent, but it not always the same as being at school. For our students every day counts and every lesson counts. Being at school every day helps the students make good progress.

See the great effort Nima makes on her self-portrait.

Community and volunteer involvement in language learning

Today we ran our second oral conversation session for the year. We provide three languages:
Our conversation sessions are a big part of the program and we value the support of our local community members.

Meryem was one of mums here taking a small Arabic group. They were learning “I like…” and “I don’t like…” I was most impressed with just how quickly the students were able to pick up the phrases.

International Women’s Day

Today we celebrated international Women’s Day. As principal of the school, I attended the Flemington Community Centre with many of the mums from our school. It was great to see so many women celebrating their successes and supporting the work and health of women worldwide.

It was great to chat about their children and their desires for them to be successful citizens when they grow up.

Grade 6 office helpers

Grade 6 students are a big part of our school and we look to them for student leadership and good role modelling. Last week Christina, our business manager, suggested that we have a few helpers in the office as a way to grow their leadership in the school.

The students are able to help in a number of ways such as answering the phone, greeting visitors at the reception desk, or sorting out supplies and uniforms. Jamal and Adam have enjoyed their office support and can be seen here collating returned permission forms.

The students will receive a signed reference letter for their contribution to the running of the office. Well done grade 6!

Creating a vision for the school

Last Wednesday (20th February) we held a community forum to help us develop our school vision. It was a fabulous evening with just over 50 participants. We had a range of people attending from teachers and students, to community and educational partners and parents and carers.

We asked three key questions:
1. What do you want for your child by the time they graduate from Year 6 at Debney Meadows Primary School?
2. What is the one thing that you love about the school and would not want to change?
3. If you could change one thing about the school, and only one thing, what would that be?

Our responses were wide-ranging and they will be published shortly on our website. Some of the main themes that came through were a sense of community, commitment and dedication from all stakeholders. People felt that the school was an important part of the local neighborhood.

At DMPS, we pride ourselves on the commitment we make and the dedication we have for the education of our students. This was echoed in the forum with a number of positive comments about the work that happens in the school. My favourite comment from the forum was: The school is shining and going up.

To further refine our work and create the school vision, we will be having a focus group. The group will aim to have representation from each of our stakeholders. If you are keen to be part of the team, please come and see me or let Christina know at the office.

We have many opportunities to be part of the school community including:
• Parent and Friends Association
• School Council
• Student Representative Council
• Volunteering and helping in the school
Thank you for the incredible interest in our school. I feel very proud to be principal of the school and look forward to another wonderful year.