Handbook

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The Parent Handbook covers all the information you and your child will need at St Madeleine's Kenthurst.


If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries please feel free to contact St Madeleine's by phone on (02) 9654 6751 or email during weekdays between 8:30am and 3:30pm.


General Information

The St Madeleine's Parent Handbook contains important information that you and your child will need throughout their schooling journey.

The handbook covers key policies, contact information, communication methods and transport options. Should you require any further information, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.

 

The St Madeleine's merit award system is a positive reinforcement strategy that seeks to recognise students for their efforts and achievements in academics, school spirit, Christian attitude and behaviour.

Class Awards
These are designed by individual teachers in each grade. E.g. Gold Card System, sticker books, glitter awards, table points, tokens, etc.

St Madeleine's Achievement Award
Children from each class are awarded the St Madeleine's Achievement Award at the whole school assembly held fortnightly.

Principal's Morning Tea
Two children from each class are invited to the Principal's Morning Tea once a term. The children are selected by class teachers for a specific focus each term. Term 1 focuses on the Encouragement Award, Term 2 focuses on the Social Skills / Values Award, Term 3 focuses on the "MacKillop Award" for Christian Service and Term 4 focuses on Academic Excellence.

Spirit House System & Points
Children are placed in one of four houses for Sports Carnivals. Blue, Gold, Green & Red. Each child is allocated to a house on enrolment. We try to balance the number of boys and girls in each age group and families are allocated to the same house. Students from Year 6 lead their house colour. These students are expected to demonstrate good leadership qualities at all times. House points can be earned for good behaviour and contribute to each colour house.

 

  • All homework set must have a specific purpose in the individual child’s learning process.
  • Homework should always be seen as part of the learning process. Effectively planned homework will be of great benefit to the learning of each child. However, poorly planned homework may produce frustration and negative attitudes to learning, and may be a real obstacle to true learning. It is the quality of the work being done that is important. Quality learning requires the child to be interested and motivated.
  • Effective homework should emerge from interesting and stimulating school experiences. For the child it should be self-motivating and deserving of the time spent.
  • Homework may provide an opportunity for a child’s lifelong personal education to begin by encouraging the development of each individual’s interests, knowledge and skills. For this to occur, choices and optional activities should be presented.
  • Well planned homework may assist the development of the school-home partnership in the education of each child. It may help to communicate the learning processes fostered by the school and provide a vehicle for the parent-teacher dialogue.
  • Every care should be taken to prevent any unnecessary intrusion into family life by homework. Children need the opportunity to learn to live as a family member with sufficient time given to talking, listening, playing, sharing, questioning, and learning from the family community.
  • The teacher may develop homework activities to cater for the specific needs and differences of the children under his/her care.
  • Homework should not be viewed as a device for securing classroom discipline. To use homework for this purpose would deny the fundamental principle upon which effective learning is based.
  • Time spent on formal set homework should not exceed 30 minutes for Infants and Junior Primary and 45 - 60 minutes for Senior Primary. If children are taking longer, parents should be encouraged to communicate this to the teacher.

Some suggested homework activities:

  • Reading for enjoyment every day

  • Research: Find information from newspapers, television, asking questions, observation, books and in pictures.
  • Handcraft activities/painting: Cut out and paste, colour in, and make models.
  • Informal optional activities: Collect objects, science activities, draw, write stories, publish work done in class, solve puzzles, visit the local library, listen to a story read, and listen to a story told. Make up puzzles and games, draw cartoons.
  • Talking with parents

 

Lost Property is located in the school Library.

Please label all your child's school items.

 

Lessons commence each morning at 8:50 am and conclude at 3:00 pm on Mondays to Fridays. The school grounds are open to pupils from 8:20 am each morning and remain open to pupils until the last bus leaves each afternoon. At all times outside the period from 8:20 am to approximately 4:00 pm, the school grounds are out of bounds to all students.

It is therefore the case that while normal supervision of pupils by the school will be undertaken between the hours 8:20 am - 3:30 pm Mondays to Fridays, no supervision will be taken by the school for any activities or pupils outside of those hours.

The school will not be responsible for supervising or caring for students outside the school premises, unless the students are engaged in a school sponsored activity e.g. an excursion or a sporting event. The school will not be responsible for supervising or caring for students on their journey to and from school. In particular, the school will not be responsible for supervising students at bus stops either on their way to school or on their way home from school. Each student’s journey to and from school shall be the responsibility of each student’s parent or guardian.

Special arrangements will be made in relation to authorised school activities which require the attendance of students at the school outside of these hours.

It is important that children arrive at school on time for the assembly bell at 8.50am.

 

For the purposes of Staff Development, the Catholic Education Office allows six days a year to all schools.

On these days teachers will be involved in activities such as curriculum development. Dates for these staff development days will be advised through the school newsletter, skoolbag and Parent calendar. You are asked to make other arrangements for the supervision of your child/children on these days.

 

Growing Every Day - Kevin Bates S.M.

Here we are St Madeleine’s,
There are gum trees here and lots of friends,
And the bell-birds ring with joy to see us grow.
It’s a place, a family, a friend,
Where good news is the song we sing,
Each child and teacher’s name we all know.

Chorus:

And we love to learn and we love to sing,
And we love the way the world joins in
Our song of hope and love we’ve learnt to play.
And we thank our God who brought us here,
As we taste new gifts and learn to share,
St Madeleine’s is learning every day.
Last time:
St Madeleine’s is growing every day.

Our sizes go from small to large,
Our colours and our stories are
A mirror of our multi-coloured world,
There’s a world outside and a world within,
That point to where our God has been,
And we love to learn God’s footprints as we go

So let us all now take the chance
As we learn to sing and play and dance,
And God will fill with joy to see us grow.
We will learn to think and feel the way
That Jesus showed us, and today
We’ll thank him while St Madeleine’s still grows.

Bellambi 30.1.90, For St Madeleine’s School Kenthurst.

 

Lord,

Each day we come to St Madeleine’s

  • to learn and to grow and to follow in your footsteps,
  • to share in each other's thoughts and feelings as we develop true friendships,
  • to share each new day together,
  • to share our cultures as we build together our school community, and
  • to share our knowledge and our values as we grow as Christians.

Lord,

May we grow in love, generosity and understanding as we work together to build and celebrate our school community.

Amen.

 

Rationale
Reading is important to children’s intellectual, social and emotional development and is essential for all key-learning areas. Through regular and continual reading to parents, caregivers and themselves in their home environment, we envisage that our students will improve their reading skills, confidence and self-esteem.

This program supports our school reading program and strengthens the links between home and school.

Goals

  • To develop students' enjoyment in reading and to promote their confidence and independence as readers.
  • To develop students' competence in reading through participating in shared reading experiences at home.
  • To develop students' knowledge and understandings of the reading of various texts by presenting a variety of books for home reading.

Student Outcomes
Each student

  • Is given the responsibility to select and read a variety of texts that are appropriate to his/her independent reading ability ie a book that the child can read easily (this is above 95% on a running record.)
  • Reads to and or with a parent or caregiver for a minimum of four nights per week
  • Follows the borrowing and returning system which, has been set up in their classroom to ensure accountability for resources
  • Cares for the home reading books while they are in his/her possession.

Parent/Caregiver Outcomes
Each parent/caregiver

  • Promotes reading as a worthwhile and enjoyable activity within their home
  • Actively participates with their child’s home reading by listening to oral reading.

Teacher Outcomes
Each teacher

  • Provides access to suitable literature within their classroom for home reading
  • Establishes a classroom based recording system to ensure accountability for classroom reading resources
  • Promotes home reading within their classroom and provides positive reinforcement for the students participating in the program
  • Regularly monitors the progress of the students and the return rate of the home readers.

Implementation
Early Stage 1, Stage 1 and Stage 2

  • Teachers maintain a collection of levelled home readers in their stages suitable to the reading abilities of their students
  • Teachers of these students encourage home reading by providing suitable reading material in their classroom for home reading.
  • Direct students to PRC materials available in the library.
  • Encourage engagement with various printed materials including fiction, non-fiction, magazines, ipads etc
  • Promote the use of online reading through the use of BUG CLUB. All students in K-2 have access to this online program. The class teachers are responsible for maintaining and updating reading levels and appropriate books for students throughout the school year.

Organisational Procedures - Roles and Responsibilities

Each Teacher will need to

  • Provide suitable home reading books for their students abilities
  • Create and maintain a recognised borrowing/monitoring system for their class
  • Monitor their students’ reading habits
  • Sight the returned home reader before it is returned to the resource box
  • Evaluate reading resources each term to meet student reading levels and if required liaise with the stage above / below for books at the needed level.

Each Student will need to

  • Select a suitable book to borrow
  • Read the book under the supervision of their parent/caregiver
  • Return the book as requested by the class teacher
  • Take responsibility for any book borrowed in their name

Each parent/caregiver is encouraged to

  • Read with or supervise their child’s reading for four nights a week
  • Discuss the concepts and topics covered in reading material to assist comprehension and reading enjoyment
  • If a book is lost or damaged be prepared to replace it.

 

Learning and Teaching

St Madeleine’s Primary School follows the guidelines set by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and covers all curriculum areas - Religious Education and six (6) Key Learning Areas:

  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Science and Technology
  • Human Society and Its Environment
  • Creative and Practical Arts
  • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

 

Communication with the School

Absences from School

In the event of your child being absent from school the school will send an SMS to you. Please reply before 2pm with a simple explanation e.g. sick, unwell, appt or leave. This is all that is needed, and no written note is necessary. We require a SMS for our records otherwise your child’s absence will be marked as unexplained.

Should your child be absent for more than two days please notify the school by telephone or email.

Partial absences also require a reason by law and this is to be recorded and signed by the parent upon late arrival or early dismissal.

Reminder notes for days away without explanation are routinely sent home throughout the term.

This is how the system will work:

1. Each morning at 9am, the teacher will take the class roll electronically.

2. If your child arrives after 9am, you must accompany your child to the office to sign a late note.

Parents must not drop their children at the classroom after the bell.

3. After 9.30am, the office will send an SMS to the parent’s phone notifying them of the child’s absence.

4. Please reply asap when you receive the SMS before 2pm please.

5. The reply must include the child’s name and a valid reason only for the absence.

You may also phone the school, submit a skoolbag submission or email stmadeleines@parra.catholic.edu.au explaining your child’s absence.

 

The SMS reply will act as the note explaining the child’s absence, so no paper note, email or phone call will need to be sent into school.


If your child is going to be away for more than five days, an extended leave form must be filled out with a copy of your itinerary.

Exemption attendance forms can be completed for special circumstances, for example, sport, entertainment or public health. A copy of both forms are available from the school office.

 

Class teachers will formally report to parents twice per school year. Mid year, an individual parent-teacher interview will be organised. Twice a year a written report will be provided for all children.

Close communication between parents and teachers is essential for the progress of your child.

The Principal and the class teachers are very willing to discuss the progress of your child whenever you consider this advantageous. Simply contact the school in order to organise a mutually convenient interview time.

In addition to formal reporting, we communicate through our fortnightly newsletters, Skoolbag, notes sent home from school, emails, our Facebook page and our school website.

 

Parent-teacher meetings provide an excellent opportunity for parents to discover what is happening in the classroom and also for parents to provide the class teacher with a better understanding of their child.

Parent-teacher meetings are conducted at the beginning of the school year and after the Semester One reports are sent home in Term 2. It is hoped that all parents take advantage of the opportunity to attend these meetings to enable strong home school communication.

Parents may make appointments at other times of the school year if they have concerns about their child's schooling. Parents are asked not to detain the teachers after the bell has rung in the mornings, as this makes for a late start and the children need the teachers attention.

 

A fortnightly newsletter containing information about school activities is published during even weeks on a Thursday.

School newsletters are archived on the school website and can be downloaded and read at your convenience, or can be found on skoolbag. 

 

Please note that a term's notice (10 school weeks) in writing must be given to the principal before the removal of a student or a full term's fees will be payable.

 

Transport

Arrival/Dismissal and Absences

Attendance at school is compulsory and being at school on time and remaining for the whole day ensures that your child has the best opportunity to engage fully in all the learning activities available.

Below are the routines that have been established for both safe arrival and dismissal of students.

We ask that you read through all the items and make yourself and your child familiar with them.

We appreciate your co-operation as we work together to maintain a safe environment for every member of our school community.

Arrival at school

·        School begins at 8:50am

·        A warning bell is rung at 8:45am

·        When the warning bell sounds, children line up in their respective class lines in the COLA area

·        A final bell is rung at 8:50 am to indicate commencement of assembly – all students should be lined up

·        Children are considered to be late if they arrive after the conclusion of assembly and the classes have forwarded into their respective rooms

·        Late children must be accompanied by a parent to the school office and a ‘late arrival’ slip is to be completed by the parent

The student then proceeds to their classroom and presents the teacher with the ‘late arrival’ slip. Details of arrival time and partial absence are noted electronically in the class roll by the office staff.

Parents must not drop their children at the classroom after the bell.

Morning use of the Kiss and drop/Car park.

All children being dropped off at school are to use the “kiss and drop” COLA area. A parent volunteer will open the car door and assist the students onto the playground. If you wish to park and come into the playground area, please use the car park beyond the netball court as this area is designated for staff parking only.

Children arriving by BUS wait under the COLA.

A teacher is on duty from 8am.

Afternoon Dismissal

·       Parents wishing to collect their child before the 3:00pm dismissal must notify the teacher in writing and collect the child from the office

·       The note must include the time the child will be collected and the reason for early collection

·       In an emergency - office staff will contact the teacher to indicate that the child needs to be collected early

·       The office staff will note the departure time and partial absence in the class roll

Parents should not collect children from the classroom.

In the afternoon, there are three ways students can go home:

1.     By bus - children walk with a teacher from their grade to the COLA and are supervised as they wait for the buses to arrive at the bus bay.

Bus numbers are called over the microphone and students walk to the teacher and board the bus. No children are to be picked up by parents in this area. This duty concludes after the last bus has departed.

2.     Picked up by parents/guardians  - students can be picked up by their parents or guardians in person at 3pm. Parents are asked to wait in the amphitheatre if their child is in K-2 or the friendship garden if in Years 3-6.

3.     Car Pick Up – Students walk with a teacher from their grade to the COLA and are called to the car by their family name by a teacher on the microphone. They then walk to the teachers standing along the drive through waiting to assist them into the car. This duty concludes at 3:30pm. All remaining children are taken to the school office to wait for their parents.

The following are a few rules that all parents and children need to observe at the afternoon pickup to ensure the safety of our children and smooth operation:

●      The driver is not to get out of the car.

●      Children are to get into the car on the passenger side – they are not to go around the front or the back of the car to get in on the driver’s side. If this is a problem to any family then that parent will need to park and pick the child up.

●      Bags are to go in the cabin of the car with the child – not in the boot.

If you are picking your child up from the two classroom areas and are running late your child will be taken to car pick up and will wait with the teachers and students and are supervised until 3:30pm. After this time, they will be escorted to the school office.

No child is to be asked to wait in an unsupervised area.

 


The safety of our children and visitors to St Madeleine’s is of great importance to us all. It is the responsibility of all members of St Madeleine’s community.

We understand that for various reasons, parents need to pick up their children from school. By entering the school yard you agree to abide by the rules that are in place.

Please make yourself and your child familiar with the following rules. Discuss these rules and car park safety in general, with your child. As with all areas of your child’s education your input is vital.

Use the Drop Off Zone Correctly
An area near the COLA has been designated No Parking between 8:00 - 9:00am and is used as a Drop Off Zone in the morning. This is manned by parent volunteers from approximately 8:20 - 8:50am.

  • Cars should stop side on to the area near the netball court
  • Children are to leave the car from the passenger side
  • The driver should not leave the car under any circumstances. If the driver needs to leave the car, he/she must park in the parking bays
  • Please drive down the Drop Off Zone to the STOP sign to enable more children to be dropped off
  • Under no circumstances are children to be dropped off anywhere other than at the official drop off area

Collect your child from the drive through pick up area
Please note that the driver is not to get out of the car.

  • The car is to stay close to the timber sleepers and bollards at the edge of the bitumen so that cars can pass if necessary
  • Make sure that your family name can be seen
  • Children are to enter the car on the passenger side - if this is a problem then the parent will need to park and walk the child to the car

You must not stop, stand or park in the bus bay area. Under no circumstances are children to be collected from the bus bay area. Do not double park, please only park in marked parking areas. Double parking inconveniences others and is not permitted.

Spaces marked by striped lines indicate no parking. Do not park in areas that may obstruct the view of others.

 

During travel, children’s behaviour is expected to be of the highest possible standard.

The bus company reserves the right to withdraw the use of a bus pass or refuse their service to any child seriously disregarding travel rules. In the interests of safety, the school fully endorses the bus company’s decisions. The school also reserves the right to withhold a bus pass for repeated misconduct during bus travel.

 

The eligibility guidelines sent out by the NSW Department of Transport require children to be over four years and nine months of age who live outside of the 1.6 km radius around the centre of the school, or students who live within this radius but are required to walk more than 2.3km due to the nature of the street system or the terrain.

All infant pupils (K-2) are eligible for free travel.

Should a child lose or damage his/her Student Opal card, application must be made to Opal for a replacement. A charge will apply for replacing a lost or damaged opal card.

Further information for parents can be found at the following links:

  • Opal Transport for School Students (https://www.opal.com.au)

  • Hillsbus School Timetables (https://www.cdcbus.com.au)

  • Busways School Timetables (https://www.busways.com.au)

 

Canteen

The canteen is open from Monday to Friday and managed by Catherine Mares.

To contact the canteen, please call (02) 9654 6760. An updated menu is available from our school website under 'Canteen'.

 

Uniform & Grooming

The wearing of the school uniform helps promote a feeling of pride within the school community and also serves as a practical form of clothing for children at school. Therefore, under normal circumstances, children will be required to wear the school uniform.

We consider it part of each child’s education for life to wear the uniform neatly, and we ask the co-operation of parents in this matter. If for a time, it is not possible for your child to wear the uniform, a brief letter of explanation is required.

Summer Uniform
Boys Girls
  • Navy blue summer weight regulation shorts
  • Sky blue regulation short-sleeved, shirt with logo
  • Navy blue regulation ankle socks
  • Black regulation school shoes
  • Legionnaire’s or bucket hat - navy blue
  • School shoes - black regulation shoes
  • Blue check regulation frock
  • Sky blue regulation ankle socks
  • Black regulation school shoes - lace up or buckle
  • Legionnaire’s or bucket hat - navy blue
  • Hair ribbon, scrunchies: sky blue, navy
  • School shoes - black regulation shoes lace up or buckle

 

Winter Uniform
Boys Girls
  • Navy winter weight regulation school long trousers
  • Sky blue regulation long sleeved shirt with two way collar
  • Regulation tartan school tie
  • Navy regulation woollen jumper or zip jacket with logo
  • Navy knee high or short socks
  • School shoes - black regulation shoes
  • Regulation tartan uniform
  • Sky blue, long sleeved regulation long sleeve shirt
  • Regulation tartan school tie
  • Navy blue knee high school socks or tights
  • Navy regulation woollen jumper or zip jacket with logo
  • Hair ribbons, scrunchies sky blue, navy 
  • School shoes - black regulation shoes lace up or buckle

 

Sport Uniform
Boys Girls
  • Navy sport school shorts
  • Navy trackpants
  • Sport school shirt
  • White socks 
  • Sport - shoes black or white
  • Navy sport school shorts
  • Navy trackpants
  • Sport school shirt
  • White socks 
  • Sport - shoes black or white

 

Tracksuit
A navy regulation tracksuit for both boys and girls is available from the uniform shop at St Madeleine’s School. Tracksuits of any other colour are not permitted to be worn. Both boys and girls may have a navy jumper or zip sports jacket with logo.

Nail Polish and Jewellery
Nail polish is not permitted to be worn at school. Jewellery is not permitted to be worn at school except for the following items a watch and plain gold / silver studs / sleepers for pierced ears

Hair
Hair styles should be appropriate to the school setting, e.g. extreme colours or cuts are not permitted. Shoulder length hair or longer must be tied back using a plain coloured hairband or school coloured hair accessories. These are available from the uniform shop.

Art/Craft Smocks
All children are required to have an art smock at school, so that the uniform is protected at all times during art classes. The smock may simply be an old shirt. However, it is important that the smock be large enough to cover the uniform. Art smocks are available from the Uniform Shop.

Hats/Library Bags
Hats are a compulsory part of the uniform to provide the children with sun protection. All children must have a Library bag. These can be purchased from the uniform shop.

School Backpacks
School backpacks are compulsory and are part of the school uniform. They can be purchased from the Uniform Shop.

The Uniform Shop is located behind the second set of green doors near the bins. The shop is open each Tuesday from 8:15am to 10:30am. Uniform orders may be processed by sending an envelope clearly marked "Uniform Shop" containing all relevant information including child's name, class, order and credit card details, cash or cheque made out to St Madeleine's. The items purchased will be subsequently sent home with your child.

All items of the school uniform must be clearly marked with your child's full name. Our lost property rack is located in the library near the circulation desk.

On mufti days and on some excursions the students may wear comfortable play clothes and appropriate footware. Teachers will advise parents prior to these events.

 

The Uniform Shop Manager is Mrs Therese Harwanek. You can contact the uniform shop on (02) 9654 6761 or by email, stmadeleinesuniformshop@parra.catholic.edu.au

The Uniform Shop is located behind the second set of green doors near the bins. The shop is open each Tuesday from 8:15am - 10:15am. Uniform orders may be processed by sending an envelope clearly marked "Uniform Shop" containing all relevant information including child's name, class, order and credit card details, cash or cheque made out to St Madeleine's. The items purchased will be subsequently sent home with your child.

An order form can be found on the school website and is also available from the office.

 

Policies

Introduction
The purpose of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) at St Madeleine’s Primary, Kenthurst is to:

  • enhance student learning opportunities
  • promote student achievement
  • support student – school communication

The use of these ICTs within school should be responsible, legal, appropriate and for educational purposes and should follow the guidelines outlined in this policy. This policy applies to the use of all school related ICTs for educational purposes, whether provided by the school or the student.

Both students and parents/guardians must read and sign this policy. It should then be returned to your class teacher.

Definitions
Information and Communications Technologies are any electronic device or related applications which allow users to record, send, access or receive information, in textual, audio, image or video form. These may include but are not restricted to:

  • computer systems and related applications such as email and internet
  • discussion forums, chat rooms, blogs, social networking sites, podcasts, instant messaging systems
  • interactive whiteboards
  • mobile phones, PDAs
  • fax machines
  • video or still cameras
  • audio recording devices

Students should:

Respect resources

  • Use ICT equipment and resources for educational purposes under teacher supervision
  • Follow teacher directions for accessing files, programs, email and internet resources
  • Ask permission from your teacher before following online prompts

Respect others

  • Respect the rights, beliefs and viewpoints of others. Follow the same standards of behaviour online as you are expected to follow in real life
  • Follow the Netiquette guidelines for online communications 
  • Observe Copyright rules by respecting the information, ideas and artistic works of others
  • Acknowledge the author or publisher of information from the Internet and do not claim the work or pictures as your own

Keep yourself safe online

  • Keep your passwords and personal work secure
  • Use the Internet and email only under teacher supervision
  • Use only school provided email accounts when communicating online
  • Ask your teacher before providing any personal details online
  • Always get teacher permission before publishing any personal information or photos on the internet or in an email

You should NOT:

  • Use ICTs for other than educational activities
  • Provide your password to others
  • Use the passwords or access the files of other users
  • Install or use software which is not licensed by the school
  • Enter any information online without teacher permission
  • Download files or share files with other Internet users without teacher permission

Respect others
Messages sent using the school’s ICTs may be monitored. You should NOT:

  • Post or send inappropriate, hurtful or inaccurate comments about another person
  • Use disrespectful or inappropriate language
  • Harass another person. If someone tells you to stop sending them messages, you must stop
  • Re-post a private message without the permission of the person who sent the message
  • Take or send photos, sound or video recordings of people without their permission
  • Use the ideas or writings of others and present them as if they were your own
  • Use material from the internet in a manner which breaks copyright laws

Keeping yourself safe online
It is important to keep yourself and others safe when you go online. You should NOT:

  • Send photos or post detailed personal information about yourself or other people. (Personal contact information includes your home address, telephone or mobile number, school address, email addresses, etc.)
  • Meet with someone you have met online without your parent/guardian’s approval and participation

Notification
You should immediately tell your teacher about any messages that are rude or that upset/worry you. You should also turn off the monitor and tell a teacher immediately if you accidentally access something inappropriate, this will make sure that you are not blamed for deliberately breaking the Acceptable Use Policy.

Consequences of Improper Use
Depending on the severity, you may lose access to technology for a period of time. Your parents/guardians may be informed and legal action may be taken.

For more information about school devices and technology, please contact the office.

 

At St Madeleine's Primary School, the dignity of each person is valued and the rights of all members of our community are respected. From time to time concerns may arise or parents of the school community may need to approach the school in order to:

  • Discuss the progress or welfare of own child
  • Express concern about actions of other students
  • Enquire about school policy or practice
  • Express concern about actions of staff
  • Express concerns about actions of another parent

It is therefore necessary to have procedures that will help solve problems as soon as possible so that a safe and harmonious school environment is maintained. The best results usually flow from working together.

These guidelines aim to:

  • Provide a guide in order that concerns are dealt with in an open and fair manner.
  • Ensure that the rights of students, teachers and parents are respected and upheld.
  • Support sensitivity and confidentiality.
  • Help reach an agreed solution

On occasion, concerns may cause frustration and anxiety. At such times it is always important to organise a time to talk with school staff in an unhurried and confidential atmosphere. No parent should directly approach another person’s child. The school will deal with issues between students as part of the school’s Student Management and Pastoral Care Policies.

Concern

Appropriate Action

The academic progress of my own child

Directly contact the child's teacher either by note, phone or in person to arrange a suitable time to discuss any concerns.

The welfare of my own child

For minor issues, directly contact your child's teacher to clarify information.

For more serious concerns, contact the school office stating the nature of your concern and arrange a time to speak with the class teacher or an appropriate staff member.

To convey information about a change of address, medication, emergency contact, custody details, health issues etc, please contact the office.

Actions of other students

 

Contact the class teacher for a classroom or playground problem.

Please note: It is against the law (Section 60E) of the Crimes Act to approach any other person's child at school. The offence committed by a parent approaching a child is intimidation.

School policy or practice

Contact the school office stating the nature of your concern to arrange a time to speak with the Principal or appropriate member of staff.

Actions of a staff member

Contact the school office and state your concerns to the Principal.

Arrange to meet directly with the Principal and the staff member that you are concerned about.


If at any stage you feel you are not satisfied with the solutions offered or believe you have not been given a fair hearing or your feel your concern has not been addressed to your satisfaction, then you are encouraged to make an appointment with the Assistant Principal or Principal to discuss the issues further.

If the matter is not resolved by the school Leadership Team, parents will be offered the phone number to contact the Catholic Education Office. The recommended procedure for students is:

  • If issues arise in the classroom students are encouraged to speak to their class teacher in order to seek assistance in finding a resolution.
  • Children encountering problems on the playground are asked to follow the “What to do if someone is annoying me” procedure and if they continue to have problems they are instructed to then talk to the teacher on duty at the time of the incident.
  • If they believe that their concern has not been adequately addressed they are encouraged to speak to their class teacher.
  • Children have the right at all times to speak to the Principal, Assistant Principal or any other St Madeleines Primary, Kenthurst staff member about issues, complaints or grievances they might have.

Code of Conduct for Parents/Visitors
A code of conduct for parents and visitors ensures that everyone who visits the school site is able to do so in a safe and harmonious manner and to ensure that students, staff, parents and other visitors are not subjected to aggressive or hostile behaviours.

Parents and visitors are expected to:

  • Treat all persons associated with the school with respect and courtesy
  • Ensure their child/children are punctual to class
  • Make appointments in advance of expecting to obtain an interview
  • Discuss issues or concerns about the school, staff, students or parents through the correct procedures
  • Follow school procedures governing entry either at drive through or arriving after classes have commenced or leaving before the school day has finished.

We are very fortunate that our school community is very aware of the need to communicate effectively and appropriately to always maintain a safe and happy learning environment for all members of our school community.

The staff of St Madeleine’s Primary School is committed to providing a safe learning environment that enhances the physical, educational, spiritual and social development of our students. The contribution of visiting members of the school community is an integral part of our school and is highly valued.

It is expected that parents/carers and visitors may need to approach the school in order to:

  • Discuss the progress, engagement or well-being of their child
  • Express concern about actions of other students
  • Enquire about school policy and practice
  • Engage with in-school/excursion activities e.g. class/year groups assistance with reading/numeracy; PE etc, following an invitation/enquiry for assistance from staff
  • Convey information about change of address, custody details, health issues etc
  • Express concern about actions of staff.

The purpose of this Code of Conduct is to set out the standards of behaviour expected of those who visit the school and to detail the necessary procedures that will help solve issues as soon as possible so that a safe and harmonious school environment is maintained.

Procedures for Volunteer Helpers
Throughout the school year, teachers need volunteers to assist in classrooms, school programs, performing arts, P&F initiatives (eg Mother’s Day Stall) and sports programs and/or other school initiatives.

Parents/carers and other volunteers assisting with school activities do so on the understanding that:

  • Teachers are responsible for the programs operating within the classroom and/or school
  • Teachers have the ultimate responsibility for students under their care for the duration of their time at school
  • They support the sensitivity and confidentiality of all students
  • They accept responsibility and supervision for pre-school age children under their care for the duration of their time at school
  • Their conduct and manners should at all times be acceptable and an appropriate model for all students
  • They should sign themselves in and out at the school’s front office when participating in school activities
  • They wear a SCHOOL VOLUNTEER or VISITOR badge as identification whilst assisting students
  • They have completed the school’s child protection requirements
  • They report safety concerns, injuries or emergencies to a member of staff.

Confidentiality is of primary importance. All parents/carers or volunteers are not to discuss any information they obtain at school with anybody, other than classroom teachers or the Principal. Any parent/carer or volunteer not fulfilling these requirements may be excluded from assisting in school programs.

Parents/ Volunteers are expected to follow the principles of:

  • Safety
  • Respect
  • Support
  • Ethical Communication
  • Ethical Conduct

Parents and Volunteers should:

  • Behave honestly and with integrity
  • Act with care and diligence
  • Behave and dress appropriately

Parents and Volunteers should think and act safely:

  • Put safety first in all activities.
  • If a direct threat is identified, assist in the evacuation of the area and/or situation as quickly as possible.

Parents/Volunteers should treat students and staff with respect:

  • Respect the rights of individuals and maintain an appropriate level of confidentiality.
  • Treat everyone with courtesy, sensitivity, tact, consideration and humility.
  • Respect the cultures, beliefs, opinions and decisions of others although you may not always agree.
  • Take instruction from and not obstruct the responsible staff member in any way in regards to the execution of their duties.

Parents/Volunteers should use appropriate communication skills when engaging with students, parents and carers:

  • Acknowledge the needs and concerns of the individual.
  • Practice effective listening (For example ask open questions; be alert to non-verbal communication; stay calm and relaxed).
  • Be aware of the physical space of others.
  • Be aware of your own body language.
  • Stay calm and relaxed.
  • Be clear and consistent.
  • Use respectful and considerate language.
  • Seek advice whenever appropriate.
  • As a volunteer, you must follow all instructions from the staff and school.

 

Rationale
While the staff at St Madeleine's support the premise that parents have ultimate authority of their children, the school acknowledges the other premise that parents who enrol their children at St Madeleine’s do so with the full knowledge that the school day concludes with dismissal at 3:00pm.

Aim

  • For parents to understand and accept that removing children from school prior to the normal dismissal time has an adverse affect on their child, their learning, the teacher and office staff
  • For this practice to be kept to an absolute minimum and used for emergencies only rather than the norm

Implementation

  • Publish this policy in the newsletter
  • Parents wishing to collect a child before the 3:00pm dismissal must notify the teacher in writing and collect the child from the office
  • The note must include the time the child will be collected and the reason for early collection
  • In an emergency situation - office staff will contact the teacher to indicate that the child is being collected early
  • The office staff will note the departure time and partial absence
  • Parents should not collect children from the classroom

 

Rationale
As part of the ongoing relationship between home and school, we believe that it is a parental responsibility to ensure that children arrive at school at the correct time on each day classes are provided for the children.

Aims

  • For parents and children to support the premise that punctuality is an important component of a school’s function
  • For all children to be at school at the commencement of each teaching day

Implementation

  • School hours are from 8:50 am to 3:00 pm
  • A warning bell is rung at 8:45am
  • When the warning bell sounds, children line up in their respective class lines on the netball court
  • A final bell is rung at 8:50 am to indicate commencement of assembly – all students should be lined up
  • Children are considered to be late if they arrive after the conclusion of assembly and the classes have forwarded into their respective rooms
  • Late children must be accompanied by a parent to the school office and a ‘late arrival' note to be signed by the parent
  • The student then proceeds to their classroom and presents the teacher with the ‘late arrival’ slip. Details of arrival time and partial absence are noted in the class roll by the office staff.

 

Rationale
"Duty of Care" suggests that children who are prescribed medication by a registered medical practitioner need to have a facility which allows that medication to be administered at nominated times.

Aims

  • For all parents, staff and students to be aware of the extent of the school's responsibility regarding the supervision of students who take prescribed medication
  • For parents/guardians to be aware that while nominated school personnel supervise the administration of prescribed medication, they are indemnified against legal action

Implementation

  • Staff to be made aware of the school procedures regarding the administering of prescribed medication
  • Parents/guardians to be aware of the school’s procedures regarding the supervision of children who take prescribed medication
  • Parents/guardians to complete and sign all the documentation relating to prescribed drugs
  • Parents/guardians are to provide the prescribed medication with the child’s name and clearly marked that it is ongoing (e.g. Ritalin), in a container that designates the days of the week. Other medication such as antibiotics needs to be sent in original packaging from the chemist
  • Parents/guardians to notify the school when the course of drugs has been altered
  • All medication is stored in a cabinet or in the refrigerator in the office
  • Medication is dispensed by office staff at school and a delegated teacher is responsible for the administering of medication when the child is on an excursion
  • Parents are discouraged from providing non-prescribed medication for administration at school, unless on a doctor’s advice
  • If (on a doctor’s advice) a parent or guardian requires that non-prescribed medication be administered to their child during school hours, the parent or guardian must provide the medication to the school office, clearly labelled with full instructions for administration, fill in the appropriate forms and collect such medication at the end of the school day

Please see the school office for medication forms and action plans for Anaphylaxis, Asthma and Diabetes

 

The notion of partnership between St Madeleine’s Primary and the parent community forms an integral part of our mission statement. It is widely recognised that parents are the first and foremost educators of their children. Schools must initiate meetings and programs to afford parents meaningful involvement in the life of the school and the education of their children.

Rationale
We believe that:

  • Parents provide valuable assistance in the education of their children at our school.
  • The school needs parent support in many areas of school life
  • Parents can provide teachers with valuable information about their children. This, in turn, places the teacher in a better position to plan and implement appropriate learning experiences

Aims

  • Encourage parents to become involved in many aspects of school life
  • Encourage teachers to contact parents and talk to them about their children’s progress as needs arise
  • Remind children to communicate with their parents regularly about their experiences at school
  • Keep parents informed regularly about events within the school

Implementation

  • Organise P&F meetings at least once a term to provide a forum for parents and teachers to exchange ideas on how to improve various aspects within the school community
  • Invite parents to help with reading across the school and with gross motor skills in Kindergarten
  • Conduct Parent information evenings when required, to keep parents up-to-date with curriculum matters, administrative procedures, etc.
  • Invite parents to participate in school Liturgies, carnivals, working bees, etc.
  • Teachers willingly make themselves available for various forums and activities throughout the year
  • Parents and teachers are reminded about many events using Staffnet, the school website, notes and newsletters

 

Student welfare encompasses the mental, physical and emotional well-being of the student. The provision of student welfare policies and programmes is essential in developing a sense of self-worth and fostering personal development.

Rationale
St Madeleine’s is a community made up of teachers, other staff, students, parents and members of the parish living and sharing the Gospel message, and/or Christian values.

We aim to work in partnership with the home and school, supported by the community, to challenge and encourage each child to achieve their best within this positive Christian environment where we value the message of the Gospel.

We believe that Behaviour Education is an ongoing process that nurtures the total development of the child and includes an interchange of values and appropriate communication between home and school. The Positive management of children will be the focus of our behaviour Education Policy.

National Safe Schools Framework
At St Madeleine’s we embrace the vision of the National Safe Schools Framework (2003) where all Australian schools are safe and supportive environments.

The guiding principles for the provision of a safe and supportive school environment, as outlined in the framework are to affirm the right of all children to feel safe at school in an environment of care, respect, cooperation, and value diversity.

Through the National Safe Schools Framework the school will implement policies, programmes and processes through quality leadership, working towards the creation of a safe and supportive school environment. The roles of the various members of the school need to engage the whole community with explicit, clearly understood and disseminated roles.

The school will undertake to provide professional development in creating and maintaining a safe and supportive school environment. The students will be provided opportunities to learn through the formal curriculum the knowledge, skills and dispositions needed for positive relationships.

St Madeleine’s is committed to policies that are proactive and oriented towards prevention and intervention. In line with the principles of the National Safe Schools Framework St Madeleine’s will regularly monitor and evaluate policies and programmes so that evidence-based practice supports decisions and improvements. PBS is based on the collection of and analysis of data to make the decisions that are required for the safety of the community members.

St Madeleine’s is committed to taking appropriate action to protect children from all forms of abuse and neglect. St Madeleine’s works in partnership with all community members to ensure that we are a school that strives to achieve these principles.

Aims

Student management at St Madeleine’s aims to:

  • foster respect, a sense of belonging, positive self-esteem and a love of school
  • promote a safe school environment where each member is welcomed and every effort is made to meet their needs. promote a spirit of respect for all.
  • develop skills in self-discipline, and if necessary by using an individual Behaviour Management Plan developed with the child, parents and relevant personnel as required by school.
  • familiarise all students, parents and teachers with the responses that are appropriate for the behaviour and to regularly use the procedures as outlined in this policy.

Guidelines

At St Madeleine’s we do as Jesus would do by following the rules of respecting ourselves, others, learning and the environment.

We follow these rules by remembering the following actions.

We are Respectful

  • We speak politely and use good manners
  • We wear our uniform with pride
  • We take care of the school environment
  • We respect the rights of others

We are Safe

  • We keep our hands and feet to ourselves
  • We use our words politely to express our feelings
  • We travel to and from school in a sensible manner
  • We wear a hat when we are outside

We are Responsible

  • We act honestly
  • We take care of ourselves and our belongings

Learners

  • We do our personal best
  • We work cooperatively with others
  • We listen attentively
  • We are active participants

The rules are referred to in various situations including: classrooms, at assemblies in newsletters and other communication to parents. At no time is corporal punishment acceptable at St Madeleine’s Primary School.

We encourage responsible self-discipline. Various measures are adopted by classroom teachers to maintain a positive classroom climate. We endeavour at all times to adopt a “same side” approach based on mutual respect. If consequences are considered necessary for those who violate person or property, they should be reformative, directed towards altering attitudes and subsequent behaviour and should recognise the uniqueness, potential and dignity of each student, remembering Gospel values of forgiveness and hope.

Corporal punishment is not to be used. Acceptable methods of correction include:

  • Reproof given privately, firmly and sincerely and not referred to again.
  • Private conference with the child to bring about serious reflection resulting in self-discipline on the part of the child.
  • Conference with the parents.
  • Brief periods of isolation from the group but always within view of the teacher. (Do not stand children outside classrooms.)
  • Deprivation of privileges and responsibilities

Procedural Fairness
St Madeleine’s acknowledges that all procedures followed in the management of students at school are to be based upon the principles of procedural fairness. We follow the procedural fairness guidelines established by the Catholic Education Office Parramatta.

These guidelines ensure

  • the dignity of all parties in the decision making process is respected
  • the process is conducted in an orderly manner
  • decisions are based on evidence and the alleged facts are clearly stated
  • The person about whom a decision is to be made is given an opportunity to respond, before a decision is made
  • timeliness - this means the issue must be raised with the person within a reasonable time and outcomes reached as soon as reasonably practicable
  • records of process will be maintained

Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying
At St Madeleine’s Primary School we aim to provide a safe, secure and welcoming environment in which everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Each member of our community has the right to feel safe, happy and valued. The school has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to prevent and address Discrimination, Harassment and Bullying in line with the CEDP Anti-bullying policy.

What is Bullying?
Bullying is repeated incidents involving:

  • a bigger, stronger or more powerful child on a smaller or weaker child, or
  • a group of children on a single child

These might be:

  • Verbal: the child is called names, put down, threatened.
  • Physical: the child is hit, tripped, poked, kicked, or belongings are stolen or damaged.
  • Social: the child is left out, ignored, or rumours are spread.
  • Psychological: the child is stalked or given dirty looks.
  • Cyberbullying: is a way of delivering covert psychological bullying. It uses information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behaviour, by an individual or group that is intended to harm others.
  • Bullying is different from teasing, rough-and-tumble or schoolyard fights. What makes it different is that the incidents are ongoing, and there is usually an imbalance of size, strength and power between the children involved.

If you bully someone else….

  • The Principal or Assistant Principal will be informed of your behaviour.
  • You will be expected to stop immediately
  • The classroom teacher will be informed to support the students in their efforts to be respectful of each other in class and on the playground
  • An appropriate consequence will be given ~ off the playground for a period of time (depending on incident)
  • Your parents will be informed
  • You will be assisted with changing your pattern of behaviour by participating in a Social Skills Program to develop Empathy, Positive Peer Relationships, Negotiation Skills and Conflict Management
  • All students in the grade will participate in Class Building and Team Building Activities to develop empathy and respect with their peers.

If you are being bullied, as well as informing a teacher, you can try to:

  • Avoid situations that may lead to bullying
  • Look at your own behaviour and see if it is, in any way, causing the bullying
  • Remain calm
  • Tell the bully that he / she is annoying you and you want it to stop
  • Look for support from others. (e.g. a friend, parent or teacher)
  • Report the bullying to your class teacher, the teacher on duty, the Assistant Principal or the Principal

What can parents do?

  • Listen to their children’s concerns. Ask them directly about their anxieties
  • Work with the school to address the problem
  • Develop your child’s skills and confidence so that they can interact with others socially in a positive way
  • Praise your child’s efforts in self-control, non-violent and responsible behaviour
  • Help your child to develop problem solving strategies

Staff will ensure that procedural fairness applies in dealing with any incidents of bullying. Appropriate and timely support, management and resolution of reported incidents of bullying will be offered to all persons involved in these incidents including the bystanders who have significant influence on the outcome of a bullying issue.

If you would like any further advice on this topic or would like to report cyberbullying behaviour you can contact The Hills Youth Liaison Officer Constable Rob Paterson on 9680 5399.

Assumptions of Positive Behaviour Support
We believe that behaviour is learned and can be taught in the same way that we teach other areas of the curriculum with our approach of Teach, Model, Practice and Praise.

  • Systems, settings and lack of skills are seen as important parts of the “problem” and, therefore, the solution
  • Interventions based upon a functional analysis are more successful than those relying on diagnostic categories. Current research has demonstrated that behaviour
  • Support is most effective when it is based on a systematic assessment of the consequences that maintain the problem behaviour rather than on a diagnostic label
  • Assessing and manipulating the environment can predictably affect behaviour
  • A proactive approach to managing behaviour is more useful than a reactive approach

Behaviour can be changed most effectively by:

  • Modelling
  • Providing opportunities for practice
  • Rewarding attempts
  • Research shows that behaviour can be improved by 80% by just pointing out what someone is doing correctly – catching them doing it right and specifically acknowledging the appropriate behaviour
  • The underpinning philosophy of PBS is that behaviour can be changed most effectively by proactive approach rather than reactive

Consequences

  • Restorative Practice
  • Method of Shared Concern: used in situations including incidents of Bullying.
  • Withdrawal of a privilege including:
    sporting or other extra-curricular activities such as excursions
    withdrawal from the playground
    in-school suspension

Discretionary rights
The school reserves the right to exclude any student from the procedures outlined in this policy and to develop an individual behaviour plan appropriate to the student’s particular needs. Depending on the seriousness of the first offence, the child may not receive a second chance. At no times is corporal punishment acceptable at St Madeleine’s Primary School.

Evaluation
The policy is evaluated annually. The evaluation will examine the success of the policy through comments from the school community. It is important to note that as part of a system of schools St Madeleine’s follows and adheres to the CEDP policy on Anti-Bullying and Child Protection which are available in full to staff on OSCAR.

 

Philosophy
At St Madeleine’s we place students into heterogeneous classes. A team consisting of the leadership team, current teachers and learning support personnel (when appropriate), determine these groupings.

Towards the end of each school year, class placement for the coming year is determined through collective input from these members. This allows for a comprehensive picture of the strengths and areas of need of each student relative to his or her learning abilities, as an individual and as part of a group. Our goal is to create classes that are well balanced in terms of ability, gender and learning styles.

It is our stated aim to create balanced classes. We take into account the following information in order to provide the most appropriate class for the student:

  • gender
  • class size
  • social development
  • emotional development
  • specific learning needs
  • learning styles
  • class performance
  • peer relationships (past & present)

Parents may make requests for specific placement. Parents need to clearly identify either their child’s learning style/need or the extenuating circumstance/s. These requests will be retained only for the year in which the request is made. Parent requests will be given serious consideration, accommodated where possible and where they do not conflict with the school’s philosophy

At the end and beginning of each year, there are often a number of new student registrations and/or student departures. These need to be factored into the equation at the time of their registration/departure and the new classes scrutinised for balance. New registrations may be moved if minor adjustments to class size and/or composition become necessary.

Parents who make requests for late changes may be considered only if such changes can be readily accommodated without disrupting the established class balance and philosophy of placement.

Parents are asked to trust the school's ability to place students judiciously based on the above criteria.

 

Volunteer Helpers
Volunteer helpers are to report to the school office. Volunteers are to return to the office to sign out when leaving.

All volunteer helpers must have completed a Building Child Safe Communities online.

Visitors
Signage installed at school entrances directs visitors to the school office. At the school office the visitor is issued with a visitor’s badge and signs in recording the following:

  • name
  • date
  • time of arrival
  • purpose of visit
  • departure time 

Staff should ask any persons on the school grounds without a visitor’s badge to report to the school office and ensure this occurs.

Children should also be advised to inform staff about any adult on school grounds not wearing a visitor’s badge or volunteer helper’s badge.