From the Principal

The year is racing towards the end and it’s at this time of the year that we farewell those who are leaving us and welcome those who are joining us next year.

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It was with great joy and sadness that we farewelled 184 Year 6 and 7 students yesterday. We wish them all the best as they move to high school in the New Year. I give thanks to Unley High School for enabling us to host our event in the George Cresswell Hall. We very much appreciated their flexibility and support which enabled us to celebrate our senior student’s achievements in style.

We look forward to welcoming over 100 new students next year, many in Reception, who have decided that Mitcham Primary is the best place to commence, or continue, their learning journey.

This year we also sadly farewelled Patrick Clarke, Angela Lydeamore, Stacey White, Josh Evans, Clare Deverson, Zoe Gower, Enza Maselli, Amanda Rugari, Linda Taeuber, Caleb Cook, Emily Hicks, Shivani Gandhi, Lara Tucker, Andja Savic, Sue Heywood, Tristan Clarke and Cheryl Medlan.

We thank these wonderful teachers and school support officers for all that they have done for our students over the time they have spent as part of our school community. We wish them well with their next new adventures and will miss them dearly.

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Next year we will welcome Josh Fielder as our new Primary Performing Arts teacher for 2022. Josh has a wealth of musical, band and performing arts experience.

Looking back on the year a lot has been achieved even though we have experienced a few tricky events courtesy of COVID. Much of what has been achieved this year is due to the strong support our families provide to our staff and school – we truly appreciate working with you to ensure your children receive a quality learning experience in a safe and supportive environment. 

To all those who have supported Mitcham Primary School in some way during the year, thank you. Without your support much of what we do would not be possible.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a restful holiday. I look forward to welcoming your children and you back to school in the New Year.

Please note that the first day of school is Monday 31st January.

Warm regards, Scott

Mitcham Link Program

It was with great joy and sadness that we farewelled our final Link students at our fabulous graduation ceremony on Thursday.

The Link Program at Mitcham Primary was established in 1992 and was originally called the Southern Annexe of the Regency Park Centre School. At the time, there was a strong movement to transfer students from Special Schools into local mainstream schools.

A great deal of work was undertaken by staff of the Regency Park Centre School, the Department for Education, the Crippled Children’s Association and parents to locate a school in the south eastern suburbs that would be willing to host the program. Mitcham Primary was extremely excited to welcome the students as part of our community and this has continued on until the present day.

Since commencing at Mitcham Primary the program changed its name to ‘Link’ and came under the umbrella of the Adelaide West Education Centre. During its 29 years, the program has welcomed many students with physical disabilities and has assisted them to engage fully in their learning alongside their physically able peers.

Our school community has benefitted greatly from having this wonderful program which has provided an insight into what it is like to live and learn whilst having a physical disability.

The success of this program has always been due to the generosity and enthusiasm of our parents, staff and Principals who, over the years, have viewed Link as a valuable asset to Mitcham Primary School. However, 2021 sees the end of the program due to the decline in enrolments as many students with physical disabilities are now enrolling in their local schools.

Our final Link students, 2 in year 6 and 2 in year 7, are moving to Unley High School next year and will be part of the Unley High Link Program where they will continue their learning journey with their fellow Mitcham peers and many new friends who have joined from other sites.

We give thanks to the talented staff of the Link programme. Their professionalism and knowledge will be sorely missed however, we take heart that many of the staff are also moving to Unley High School next year to continue supporting our graduates with their learning.

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Library News

We would like to say a big thank you to our library volunteers, your time helping us is greatly appreciated. This year has looked different to most with our ability to have volunteers being limited and some volunteers even taking home covering, so thank you for your understanding.

 We would love to welcome you all back, along with anyone interested in becoming a volunteer in the new year! If you would like to become a library volunteer please contact Sophie on Sophie.CalvertSmith314@schools.sa.edu.au.

Thank you, Sophie and Vasi-Marie

Message from our Pastoral Care Worker

It has been another unusual year but we have come through this and our students have developed and learnt. It has been both an honour and a privilege to work with you in moments of joy, difficulty, sadness and confusion. Thank you so much for letting me work with your students.

As we break for the holidays it’s important to look after not only the wellbeing of your children but your own wellbeing also. As the saying goes, you can’t drink from an empty cup. Wellbeing doesn’t need to take a lot of time or money, small mindful breaks can make a huge difference. A five minute break with a cup of tea/coffee, a piece of your favourite chocolate eaten mindfully, noticing all senses as you breathe slowly and deeply, a short walk,  stopping to put 6 pieces in a large jigsaw puzzle, or just sitting quietly. 

Be kind to yourselves these holidays and enjoy special moments with your families.

My warmest wishes to you all for the holidays, I look forward to working with staff, students and families again next year.

Julie 

Are you leaving Mitcham?

Farewell to all the students and families who have completed their time at Mitcham Primary School. We thank you for your contributions to our school and wish you well in the future.

If you no longer wish to receive our newsletter, please click on “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the page. Please note that we won’t unsubscribe you automatically. Thank you!

Outcome of Materials & Services Poll

We wish to advise parents/carers of the outcome of the 2022 Materials & Services Poll conducted by the school Governing Council. 

The School community voted in favour of making the prescribed sum of $432 legally recoverable. The votes received were 210 For and 28 Against. Invoices will be forwarded to all families early in the new school year. 

After School Sport in 2022

Registration forms will be available from the front office in Week 1 of term 1 in 2022, for sports being offered in this term. Please see below a list of after school sports available to students  

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Terms 1 & 4  
Cricket Years 2-6
Touch Football Years 4-6
Chess Years 2-6
Terms 2 & 3  
 Basketball Years 2-6
Netball Years 2-6
Football Years 2-6
Soccer Years 2-6
Chess Years 2-6
AFL Auskick Reception & Year 1

 

If you have any queries please contact Michelle Gabrisch, Sports Co-ordinator by email:  michelle.gabrisch115@schools.sa.edu.au 

From the Principal

Dear Parents & Carers,

I am delighted to announce that our long awaited building works will finally commence on the 2nd December 2021. In the initial stages, we will have reduced access to our northern and southern carparks and the areas surrounding our current gym, Kibby, Komlos and JP music rooms as the contractor’s fence off their compound and put in place their traffic management systems.

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We have already relocated our French and Performing Arts programmes to alternative learning spaces and our PE programme will be based from the Netball & Basketball courts. Our private music instructors have also recently relocated to their new music suite in the Gillard building which was recently refurbished to meet their needs.

Our students will continue to have access to the oval during the build however, a traffic management system will be developed to ensure our students safety. Access to the oval will be closed off using gates whilst equipment is being delivered or moved around the builder’s compounds. We have used this traffic system previously with other major building works and our students have managed it very well.

The contractors expect to complete the new gym and performing arts learning spaces by early August next year. Between now and then, I do believe our students will thoroughly enjoy watching both the demolition of the old buildings and the building of the new ones during the weeks and months ahead. 

We will endeavour to keep you up to date with the build’s progress in future newsletters.

Warm regards, Scott 

Class Placement 2022

We are currently finalising the placement of students into their classes for 2022. As always, staff have worked very hard thoughout this process, to create balanced and supportive classes for the children they have nurtured this year. We understand that anticipating a new teacher and class can be a nervous time for students and parents.

Please find below some wonderful advice by Madhavi Nawani Parker, from Positive Minds Australia, which you may find helpful in supporting your child through the change.

Worried about your child’s class placement in 2022? It’s perfectly normal for you and your family to be thinking a lot about this. After all, children spend all day at school.

It’s only natural to have a preference for a particular teacher and normal to feel worried or disappointed if they don’t get them.

It’s important to know that a child’s emotional adjustment to leaving this year’s teacher and preparing for next year’s teacher is interconnected with your feelings about it.

Make sure if there are any special reasons you feel your child will benefit from a particular teacher or cohort, that you express these to your school early, before they start configuring classes.

Here are some ways you can help make the transition smoother for your child if you or they didn’t get the news you were hoping for.

* Hear out your child’s feelings but try and avoid fixing their feelings by adding your own feelings, judgements and solutions. Feelings need to come out, be present and move through. They don’t have to be excited about the teacher they got, to learn from that teacher in the long run. The feelings you see in that initial moment aren’t necessarily reflective of how they will feel long term - especially if you don’t react with them. Humans need time to process change. When news is fresh, we can go through many feelings of resistance and uncertainty. That doesn’t mean that what’s coming is necessarily bad. You can gently say something like, ‘you really wanted X , so of course you’re disappointed. I understand. We can talk more after a cuddle/ play/ hot chocolate. (Basically, you want to avoid talking while their logical brain is switched off and emotions are high). Listening calmly and quietly is golden.

* Avoid looking upset about the placement in front of your child. If they are upset, they will naturally look to you to help them feel better. This doesn’t mean you have to fake being excited if you’re not (they’ll see through that) but it does mean you do your very best to be calm, confident and if you can’t be hopeful, try and be neutral. Children need us as an emotional compass when they experience uncomfortable feelings.

* Before you go in to pick them up on the day they receive their placement, remind yourself to try and trust the process. There are multiple layers to how class placements are allocated that couldn’t possibly be explained completely. School leaders and staff put in huge amounts of thought into student personalities, learning styles, teaching styles, class size, who asked to have who in their class and much more that is happening behind the scenes we’re not aware of.

* Schools genuinely do their best with this decision. If you’re upset, it’s possible they are too but when weighing everything up, had no other direction to turn. Supporting your child’s teachers and school is a crucial part of your child’s psychological and academic success there.

* Your reaction to next year’s teacher news is hugely important to your child. Your confidence, hopefulness and regulated emotion is crucial. If you’re not happy, try and keep these feelings in the back ground and discuss them privately with another adult. Children are too young to take on their parent’s worries. If there is a genuine problem, take logical action without involving your child in the stress associated with it.

* Your child’s emotional connection to and respect for their teacher and school is deeply connected with your connection to and respect for their teacher and school.

* Children learn, grow and strengthen in resilience by being with a broad range of personalities and communication styles. When things are unrealistically perfect and easy, they can get stuck in their comfort zone. To build confidence for later on in life, you need to experience a broad range of peers and situations and discover that through talking about feelings, asking for help, establishing boundaries and building your social emotional skills, you can handle a lot of what life has in store. Be there to hear their thoughts and feelings out, but above all show you have confidence in your child to get through. If situations are dangerous, toxic or damaging your child’s learning and psychological health, always talk to school staff and if necessary, other experts to ask for and seek help. Seek out the support of a health professional too if necessary. On the surface, do your best as your child’s most important adult and leader to show your confidence that your child will be safe and cared for, always.

* Do something heartwarming and compassionate for yourself. If you’re upset and stressed it’s not because you’re weak or incapable. It’s because our children hold our hearts and when they hurt, we hurt. You need to look after yourself first and foremost.

The advice above is general and based on general child development, resilience and confidence research. It is written with the very best intention to help you. Without knowing your individual circumstances it’s not intended to replace your expertise as a parent or the expertise of educators and health professionals. Always seek tailored expert advice if you feel your child’s physical or psychological health is at risk in any way.

Wishing you all the very best with class placement news if you live in the Southern Hemisphere.

Hang in there beautiful parents

xx Madhavi Nawana Parker

https://positivemindsaustralia.com.au

Mitcham Celebrates

The predicted weather for Tuesday 23rd is expected showers and 22 degrees. We are in the process of contingency plans for our Mitcham Celebrates concert.

We will continue to monitor the weather forecast and hopefully we won’t have to change our plans. If changes are necessary, we will let our community know as soon as possible.

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