Healesville Primary School


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Week 5- Thursday 27 February 2020

From the Principal's Desk…

Positive Education – Positive Relationships.

This week there will be a short article in the local paper about Healesville Primary and our Positive Education focuses for 2020. We as a whole school are embarking on an intensive professional learning journey to improve the culture of our school. We want our students to be positive, have a growth mind set and grow up to be valuable members of the community. To this end we are participating in two departmental initiatives – School Wide Positive Behaviour and Respectful Relationships.

Throughout this year our staff and students will be focusing on building mutual respect and kindness, learning the importance of filling buckets, how to manage emotions to maintain positive relationships and the importance of belonging to a group.

Below, we have provided some excellent, practical tips from the ‘Kids Helpline’ for parents to build positive and healthy family relationships. Some practical tips for building stronger families:

  • Set a positive example by being respectful and kind toward others.
  • Give clear and consistent boundaries so your child knows what's expected.
  • Learn about child development and what typical behaviour is for your child’s age.
  • Try and remain calm in front of your kids during challenging situations.
  • Use time together to have conversations with your child.
  • Strike a balance between work and family to reduce stress.
  • Regularly spend time together.
  • Seek a healthy outlet for your frustrations and worries.
  • Know that as your child gets older they need space to explore and express their independence.
  • Praise your child’s healthy and appropriate behaviour and give specific feedback about what they did well.
  • Look after yourself - it's much harder to support your child when you're tired and run down.
  • Find opportunities to involve your child in family life and decision making that is appropriate for their age.

The ‘Kids Helpline’ has an excellent website and plenty of useful information for parents. To find more information please click on this link: https://kidshelpline.com.au/parents


Last week I ran an information session regarding helping in our classrooms. It was an amazing turn out of parents and it has been terrific to see so many of you already assisting in our classrooms. If you were unable to attend, just pop into the office and I can go through what was discussed and give you the booklet.

Many of you have asked me about helping your own child with their reading and so I thought READING would be a good topic for the newsletter.


The Importance of Reading Research shows that the more children are exposed to books and words, the easier they find reading, writing and maths, as well as understanding the world around them.

Reading is about learning new words and exposing children to new vocabulary. It is also important for being a mathematician, being able to understand worded problems. Reading stories about characters helps children to develop empathy and see things from someone else’s point of view. Reading non-fiction books and articles increases their knowledge – facts and about how and why things work. Exposure to a variety of different types of books is important. That’s why Home Reading is such an important part of homework at Healesville Primary.

As parents we have a big responsibility to support our children’s reading development. The best thing that you can do to help your child is to make a DAILY time to enjoy books together.

For the younger students this means finding a time to sit on the couch together or snuggle up in bed to read together each day. Reading in the younger years will often be mum or dad reading aloud to a child as they begin to make connections themselves and start to join in. Home reading books give our students the opportunity to have a go themselves and to practise what they are being taught at school. There are many things to learn including knowing that the picture gives a clue as to what the words are about, when we read we start from the left and move to the right, and that one word I say is one word I point to.

Whenever we read, what we say should always make sense. If it doesn’t, we need to have another try. Reading is about making meaning from print. Whenever your child ‘self-corrects’ (has another go when something doesn’t sound right), we should praise them so they get into the habit of knowing this is what good readers do. We don’t need to stop and correct every little word and hold up the flow of the reading, providing the meaning is unchanged.

Hearing mum and dad read a great story aloud should not be restricted just to the younger grade levels either. In the upper grades we constantly read great novels, poems or extracts to the students at school to model how good readers make sense of what they read. As a parent, you can have a big effect on how your child perceives reading – do they see you reading for pleasure as well finding an answer for a question you have? Have you read aloud to them your favourite books from when you were their age? Catching a loved ones’ enthusiasm for reading rubs off! In the middle and upper grades parents can help their children to become ‘thinkers’ as they read.

Learning to read becomes less about being able to ‘say out loud what the words are’ (decoding) and moves to ensuring we comprehend or understand what we have read. You can help your child greatly by discussing stories with them. There are different kinds of questions you can ask your child during and after reading to help guide their understanding.

Questions which help to find answers that are directly stated in a book could start with: What happened…? How many…? How did…? Who…? What is…? Which…?

Questions that help children to think a little more deeply and start to ‘read between the lines’ by thinking about what the author is telling us may include: Why did…? What was…? What do you think about…? Can you explain…? How was this similar to…?

We can help children to think even more deeply about what they are reading by discussing what they think, feel and wonder about what they read. Some good questions to ask about this level of thinking are: How would you…? Do you agree…? What would have happened if…? How might…? What effect does…? If you were…? What would you…?

Being able to read is a gateway to being a life-long learner, so let’s get behind our kids, support and encourage them by giving them daily opportunities to read! If you have further questions about how you can assist your child at home – please come and see me.

Have a great weekend.

Tracey Robertson-Smith



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(please note, you will need your access key to link your child. This is available to established HPS parents in the email that we sent out to families on 30 July 2019). New families will have received their emails Thursday 30th January 2020.


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Once you've registered use the following link as your usual login.

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Monday 2 March

Yarra Division Swimming - selected students

Tuesday 3 - Monday 16 March

Prep Health Assessments

Monday 9 March

Labour Day - Public Holiday

Wednesday 11 March

First Wednesday for Preps - now start full-time

Friday 13 March

House Athletics - Years 3 to 6 - Morrison Reserve

Tuesday 17 March

Grip Leadership Conference - Year 6 Students

School Council Meeting 6.30 pm - 9.00 pm

Thursday 19 March

National Close the Gap Day

Friday 20 March

HPS Family Picnic Day 4pm onwards

Grade 4 - Water Bugs

Friday 27 March

Last Day Term 1

Tuesday 14 April

First Day Term 2 - Students return to school

Tuesday 21 April


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Canteen Menu

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