Principal's Report

Mother's Day

The Mother’s Day Celebrations on Friday were a resounding success.  The day began with a Morning Tea featuring photos of our Galilee mums, grandmothers and children.  The highlight of the morning was the performance by the Prep children with a song about loving their mums, ably prepared by Miss Evans, Miss Bamford and Miss Smith.  With over 200 mums, grandmothers and special women in our children’s lives in attendance it was a resounding success.  A huge thank you to our Year 6 parents for coordinating and running this event, especially Rachael K, Chelsea and Michelle.  Rachael’s workplace, DRC Architecture, generously donated the morning tea.  Thank you also to our Year 6 students who helped on the morning.

 

The school community continued the celebrations and thanked God for the gift of our Mothers at a Mass at Sts Peter and Paul.  Thank you to Miss Fahy, Miss Cox and their students for their preparation and leading us during Mass.  It was also the first school Mass attended by our Prep children and we could not be prouder of how reverent and respectful they were. Their teachers are to be commended.

 

The day concluded with the Annual Mother’s Day Luncheon.  This was the fourth year this event has been held and has grown in popularity every year.  With almost 70 tickets sold this year in just 48 hours it goes to show how loved this event is.  A huge thank you to Jon and Annalise (Jock Year 3 and Pearl Year 1) for again hosting this memorable event at the Railway Club Hotel (railwayclubhotel.com.au).  The venue, the food, the service and their hospitality were second to none. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our generous Galilee families who donated prizes for the Mother’s Day Lunch.  The raffle and silent auction painting together raised almost $1200!

 

- Nicole (Mia in Prep) who donated a voucher for one of her amazing cakes from Attitude Cakes

- https://www.facebook.com/attitudecakes1/

- Cristina (Benjamin in Prep and Chloe in Year 2) donated a beautiful bouquet of flowers from her online florist business Flowers for Jane - flowersforjane.com.au

- Eleanor (Darcie in Prep) donated a case of wine!

- Cecelia (Charlie in Prep and Jake in Year 4) and Helen (Christopher in Year 4) donated a skincare regimen from Rodan & Fields - ph. 0405766077

- Chelsea (Phoebe Year 3 and Drew Year 6) donated a beautiful painting that was sold in the silent auction - @chelmurrell on instagram

- Anushka and Leon (Mozart Year 3) donated from their hair salon business, Strugnell and Cole, two vouchers and a hair care pack - strugnellcole.com.au

- Also thank you to these local businesses for their kind donations: Craven’s Pharmacy, Gumtree and Azalea Florist.

 

As always, there are many people who make these events the success that they are.  Organising, setting up, serving, sourcing donations, planning and packing up to name a few things.  The Galilee Parents Association (GPA) work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure these events go ahead and we are grateful to all those who volunteer their time.

 

I spoke at the morning tea about a children’s picture book called Love You Forever by Robert Munsch.  This story reminds us of the unconditional love mothers have for their children and the unconditional love we can in return bestow upon our own mothers.  I trust that all our Galilee Mothers and special women in our children’s lives had a wonderful day on Sunday and you were made to feel every bit as special and loved as each of you deserve.

Dealing with Criticism

In previous newsletters, I have written about the importance of empowering children to allow them the opportunities to develop independence, resilience and self-confidence. The way parents interact with their children has a profound impact upon how they manage adversity and develop. A child who is always protected by their parents and not allowed to make mistakes, is likely to struggle when the inevitable mistakes do occur. Parenting is very much about loving and preparing our students with the skills to cope and thrive throughout life. Talking to your child about how they can solve a problem is a critical skill as parents will not always be present to solve the problems for them.

This morning I was talking with Kasey Edwards, an author and mother of Violet. The conversation was about how children (and many adults) struggle to deal with criticism (Kasey has written a book on the topic). There is of a course a distinct difference between constructive feedback and criticism. One is meant to helpful and the other to be destructive. Throughout life, we will at times be subjected to criticism that is meant to be unkind. Those who take on challenges, risks or anything out of the ordinary are more likely to  receive criticism. In Australia, we sometimes refer to this as a 'Tall Poppy Syndrome'. Kasey spoke to me about analysing the following about someone who has been critical: Do they 'show up for life' (take risks themselves)? Do they respect you? Do they have your best interests at heart? Considering these three questions can help you to decide if your are going to take notice of the message.

In my role of principal, I will at times have to deal with criticism (I welcome constructive feedback). It is not always easy to deal with but I always gain a great deal of comfort by considering the above questions and the motivation of the comments. Discussing them with a trusted colleague or friend often leads to a balanced response. Learning to let go of criticism is an important strategy in maintaining a healthy mental wellbeing. Next time your child mentions a time that someone has criticised them, consider asking the questions above and see if it helps them.

International Education Support Staff Day

Today we celebrated our Education Support Staff who work every day in a variety of roles to foster positive learning environments.  We recognise and celebrate the extraordinary contribution of our staff to our students and school. Please view the videos below prepared by the School Captains, ICT Leaders and Mr Coaley.

 

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New Morning Routine

This week we have been trialing students going to their classrooms from 8.45am when the first bell sounds and music plays. So far teachers have agreed it's been a positive change and the students seem more settled to start their school day and lessons are beginning on time. 

At Galilee our expectation is that pupils are in their classrooms by 8.50am. Therefore those students who enter the school grounds after 8.50am are deemed late and must sign in at the office before going to class. 

It is important for all students to arrive on time with those coming late interrupting the learning of others and themselves. We understand that occasionally there are circumstances beyond our control but students should generally be on time for school.

Achievements And Stories Of The Students

Last weekend, Chase G in 6B went to the Victorian Titles Motocross Race. Riding in the 10 - 12 age group, Chase competed in four races. The races were very tough, with at least 30 competitors from all over Victoria in each race. In one of the races, he crashed and ended up coming 18th - which is pretty good considering the circumstances! Chase had an extremely successful day, winning one of his races! We congratulate him on his hard work and we are happy that he didn’t injure himself when he crashed! Well done, Chase!

By Ali C

 

Jordan Z in 6F competed in the Victorian State Championship for Taekwondo. He was up against 14 other contestants, all representing Victoria. Jordan showed the three professional judges his two patterns and they gave him a score of 14.40/20. He came 3rd overall, a very impressive result! Jordan received a medal for his efforts, congratulations!

By Ali C

 

Late last term, Year 6 students wrote to Mr Millar about an issue that was impacting our learning. We felt that as we are the leaders of the school, we should be able to walk up the stairs on our own after recess and lunch each day. We wrote a persuasive letter to Mr Millar where we used a number of persuasive techniques, such as, rhetorical questions, like: Mr Millar, you don’t want to deny us critical preparation for High School, do you? And tried to anticipate his rebuttal, which was really fun to do! Mr Millar agreed to a trial, which we have been doing for the last two weeks. So far, we feel as though we are fulfilling our side of the bargain, we are walking up in pairs or threes and we are doing so very safely and responsibly. I asked Miss Biggs how this is impacting her teaching time and she said: “It is so helpful as we are getting our lessons started on time!” I agree with Miss Biggs and think that this was a great decision as we have more learning time, it also gives us an opportunity to show how responsible we can be and set a good example for the younger students! I know I am not only Year 6 student who hopes this trial becomes permanent, or we might have to write another letter!

By Angus M, 6B

 

Walking Up and Down the Stairs by Ourselves

Two weeks ago we, the Year Sixes, started walking up and down the stairs by ourselves after recess and lunch. So far, as we expected, it has been extremely successful and we’re gaining those precious extra minutes for learning.

 

It was an extraordinary idea and we were all full of excitement to get our new privilege started. We were given a set time to get back to the classroom which is 11:43 but house captains are allowed until 11:45. The reason we get 3 minutes is because some of our adorable buddies need help getting to their lines and we need to get up the 3 stories of stairs. And for House Captains, they have an additional 5 minutes to either help their Buddies, tie the nets, put away the sport equipment and get up the stairs.

We are really enjoying the extra responsibility and feel that it is great preparation for our transition to High School. We are also enjoying the additional learning time we are gaining each day. Our teachers are loving it too!!!

Year Six hope that this amazing new privilege continues as we feel it has been really beneficial!

By Dylan and Nicholas

Congratulations!

Deio (from prep B) is very proud to introduce his new baby sister, Eleri Magdalen Flahavin, who arrived on 4 May 2019.

 

Deio and Eleri are 50% Welsh, so in honour of their Welsh heritage, the name Deio is a Welsh version of David, and Eleri was a Welsh princess from the 5th century.

Closure Day

On Friday, 31st May, we have our school closure day.

This will allow our whole staff along with Trinity, Richmond to participate in a full day of Professional Learning together. Our focus for the day will be the Berry Street Educational Model.

 

The Berry Street Education Model provides schools with the training, curriculum and strategies to engage challenging students. It is unique because it equips schools to promote cognitive and behavioural change, thereby engaging the young person in learning and progressing their academic achievements.

In today’s changing and complex world, many primary and secondary school students face daily adversity including chronic and traumatic stressors, lack of environmental supports, and other barriers to their own learning success. The Berry Street Education Model supports schools to increase engagement with struggling students and successfully address student healing, growth, and achievement.

 

What will we learn through a Berry Street Education Model course?

 

Participants learn classroom and whole school strategies to promote an understanding of the five domains of the Berry Street Education Model:      

 • BODY: Building school-wide rhythms and body regulation through a focus on physical and emotional regulation of the stress response, de-escalation in school and classroom contexts, and mindfulness opportunities throughout the school day

• RELATIONSHIP: Increasing relational capacities in staff and students through attachment and attunement principles with specific relationship strategies with difficult to engage young people

• STAMINA: Creating a strong culture of independence for academic tasks by nurturing resilience, emotional intelligence and a growth mindset

• ENGAGEMENT: Employing engagement strategies that build willingness in struggling students

• CHARACTER: Harnessing a values and character strengths approach to enable successful student self-knowledge which leads to empowered future pathways. Through these healing and growth lenses, participants will learn personal strategies, pedagogical connections to the National Curriculum, and whole-school practices for healing and growth.

School Fees

The second instalment of school fees is due by June 13th. A Late Fee has been introduced in 2019 which will be applied to each late instalment.

 

Families experiencing financial difficulty are always catered for, if they communicate with myself or Wendy. Some families have not reconciled 2018 school fees without communication and as a school, this leads to a lot of lost revenue and can hamper the future implementation of programs for all students. 

 

We ask families to please be on time with fee payments, set up a direct debit or meet with myself if experiencing difficulty in paying.

CareMonkey Details

CareMonkey is used by staff as the main source to find contact details of parents and medical information of students. Please ensure these details are updated regularly.

The school must also be notified of any contact or medical changes to be changed on the school system.

Budgeting

Recently we have worked with Romney Nelson from Total School Solutions to reduce costs through external providers. He assisted us in changing the following providers: bins, electricity and phones. The total projected savings will be a minimum of $25000 P.A. and I thank Romney for his professional service. The savings will lead to more resources to be purchased for the students.

St Kevin's College

Over the last few years we have worked hard to lobby Catholic Education Melbourne to enlist us as a feeder school for our girls at Star of Sea. I have also visited PCW, Albert Park College and St Aloysius. This week I visited St Kevin's College in Toorak and received a thorough tour of the school by Mr David Hill (Registrar) and then Mr James Daly (Director of Junior School). They gave generously of their time and I was very impressed by the facilities across two campuses and the high standard of behaviour and learning from the students. I saw a number of our boys, former Galilee students, who were immensely enjoying their time at St Kevin's. Choosing a secondary school for your child can be difficult but we have a great deal of choices available. 

Staffing

Danielle Gerecke will be on long service for the whole of next week. 

 

Simon Millar

Principal of Galilee