principal's message

welcome back

Welcome back everyone! I hope you had a wonderful break and have your buckets filled, ready for Term 3! I personally purchased a new camper trailer and managed to get myself stuck in Lerderderg State Park just a few hours after purchase, which resulted in a 6-hour rescue operation, a broken winch, some very muddy clothing and a bucket that is positively overflowing. How lucky we are to have such beautiful (and intimidating) examples of nature so close to the city. It was a shame to see some rubbish left behind, but we took more rubbish out of the campsite than we had brought in, which was another bucket filling experience. What bucket-filling activities did your family get up to this break?

NAIDOC week

This year NAIDOC week fell within our school holidays, so many classes celebrated the week either at the end of last term or this week! Something we love about NAIDOC week here at BNW is that it is about celebration, not consolation; we are recognising the historical events, inventions, people and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Classes and specialists have each celebrated in different ways and I know this week is one of Tom’s most favoured weeks of the year with games such as Marn Grook being played across the school.

If you were at our Monday morning assembly, you might have heard me read a poem by Oodgeroo Noonuccal called A Song of Hope, which you will find below. 

 

Look up, my people,

The dawn is breaking

The world is waking

To a bright new day

When none defame us

No restriction tame us

Nor colour shame us

Nor sneer dismay.

 

Now brood no more

On the years behind you

The hope assigned you

Shall the past replace

When a juster justice

Grown wise and stronger

Points the bone no longer

At a darker race.

 

So long we waited

Bound and frustrated

Till hate be hated

And caste deposed

Now light shall guide us

No goal denied us

And all doors open

That long were closed.

 

See plain the promise

Dark freedom-lover!

Night's nearly over

And though long the climb

New rights will greet us

New mateship meet us

And joy complete us

In our new Dream Time.

 

To our fathers' fathers

The pain, the sorrow;

To our children's children

the glad tomorrow.

national anthem

On Monday I recited A Song of Hope in place of the school singing the National Anthem, which is not just in response to NAIDOC week. This year, our staff and Education Committee are looking at Cultural Safety within our school. Cultural Safety refers to the practices and behaviours demonstrated within a school that ensure all members of the community feel recognised, welcomed, valued and supported no matter their cultural background, language, family structure or skin colour - it is firmly grounded within inclusion. As part of this work, our staff attended a 3-hour training session on Cultural Safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from our Koori Education Support Officers. During this training, we watched a speech by Stan Grant, which can be seen below.

 

In response to this video, our teachers have put forward a motion to stop playing the National Anthem every Monday, perhaps playing another song of celebration or to only play the anthem on days we recognise as being particularly patriotic. This motion will be taken to School Council, however we want to promote some discussion about this first. Teachers have been discussing this idea with students in age appropriate ways, however many of our students are not clear on what the anthem is and what it means to sing it each week. To ensure all stakeholders get a voice, we would love for you to also consider your feelings about the national anthem, to talk to your kids about how they feel and to share these feelings with a member of School Council to help inform our discussion.

parent opinion survey

The Parent Opinion Survey is an annual survey offered by the Department of Education and Training that is conducted amongst a sample of randomly selected parents. It is designed to assist schools in gaining an understanding of parents’ perceptions of school climate, student behaviour and student engagement. Our school will use the survey results to help inform and direct future school planning and improvement strategies.

 

Approximately 30% of parents are typically invited to participate in this year’s survey, however this year we are going to aim for more. All responses to the survey are anonymous. This year the Parent Opinion Survey will be conducted from Monday 22rd July to Sunday 11th August.

 

The survey will be conducted by ORIMA Research Pty Ltd and should only take 10-15 minutes to complete online. The survey can be accessed at any convenient time within the fieldwork period on desktop computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones. The online survey will be available in a range of languages other than English. These include: Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Hindi, Japanese, Greek, Turkish, Somali and Punjabi.

 

The survey results will be reported back to the school at the end of September through the newsletter and school council and sub committee meetings. Last year we used the survey results as part of our campaign for building funds and to inform the focus of family information evenings on building resilience. Keep an eye out on your inbox for an email early next week indicating if you are one of the families randomly selected.

lost property & junk pile

I want to say a big thank you to Libby, Tanya, Tamsin and Belinda for helping to clear both the junk pile near the library and our ever-growing lost property pile! A quick reminder that Term 2’s lost property will be taken out of the corridors on Monday, so please check to see if any of the clothing, hats, lunch boxes and books belong to your child before then. A visitor to our school commented on the quality and cost of the clothing that was in lost property yesterday, highlighting the incredible waste this can be, so please remember to label anything and everything you can, as this increases your chances of having the property returned by our student leaders.