Heathdale flower 09th February 2024

Top Tips to Set Up the Year Well

Welcome to 2024 at Werribee Primary! Discover ten practical tips, written by Principal of Primary - Werribee, Mrs. Yvonne Harvey, to set up your child for success this year.

Heathdale flower

Welcome to our Heathdale family!

We extend a warm and heartfelt welcome to all our new and existing Kindergarten to Year 6 students for 2024. Praise God for the new families who have joined our school community this year. It’s an exciting time as we embark on a journey together, nurturing and educating your precious ones in a supportive and loving environment.

At Heathdale Christian College, we believe in the importance of fostering a strong partnership between home and school, recognising the vital role parents play in their child’s educational journey. As you begin this new chapter with us, we encourage you to actively engage with your child’s teachers and school activities. Building open lines of communication will allow us to work together effectively in guiding and nurturing your child’s development.

In their first year at Heathdale Christian College, parents can make the most of the experience by ensuring their child is well-rested and equipped for each day. A good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast lay the foundation for a successful day of learning. Ensuring your child has the right uniform and necessary equipment also helps create a conducive learning environment.

We understand that challenges may arise along the way. Whether it’s a concern about your child’s progress or a logistical issue, we encourage you to reach out to your child’s homeroom teacher or the Head of their Learning Module – Cathy Ryan for K-2 and Joe Haworth for 3-6. Our dedicated staff are here to support you and your child every step of the way.

It’s important to remember that no child is perfect, but like Jesus, we believe each child is unique and has their own God-given potential. Our aim is to educate and empower every student to reach their fullest potential, even if it means having difficult conversations at times. We approach these conversations with care and understanding, always keeping the best interests of the child at heart.

As we embark on this journey together, let us remember that we are a family bound by faith, love, and a shared commitment to nurturing the next generation. Together, we will create a supportive and enriching environment where every child can thrive and grow.

I thought it would be helpful to create some top tips to help you along the way. These are in the main with the new Prep families in mind, but you can adapt them as you see fit.

1. Establish a Routine
Set up a consistent daily routine for your child that includes regular bedtimes, healthy meals and dedicated study/play times. Consistency helps children feel secure and aids in their overall development. A whiteboard and some stickers can help everyone stay on track.

2. Communicate with Teachers
Foster open communication with your child’s teachers. Stay informed about their progress, challenges, and achievements. Regular communication helps in addressing any concerns early on and ensures a collaborative approach to your child’s education. Approach concerns early. Try to remember that not everyone in the class will get along perfectly – each child is on their own learning journey and each child has a parent who is equally concerned about their loved one.

3. Encourage Independence
Encourage your child to develop independence by allowing them to take on age-appropriate responsibilities, such as packing their school bag or dressing themselves. Independence fosters confidence and prepares them for future challenges. Try not to carry your child’s bag into school – save that for the end of the day.

4. Promote Healthy Habits
Emphasise the importance of good health habits, including regular exercise, nutritious eating and proper hygiene. A healthy body supports a healthy mind, enabling your child to focus better in class and enjoy their learning journey. While it is hard to limit recreational screen time, the Australian Institute of Australian Studies recommends no more than one hour for this age group.

5. Create a Positive Learning Environment
Designate a quiet and organised space at home where your child can complete their homework and engage in other learning activities. A conducive environment fosters concentration and productivity. Try to have this where you can see and help them.

6. Stay Involved
Participate actively in school events, parent-teacher meetings and volunteer opportunities. We love to see parents at school, so come along - your involvement shows your child that education is a priority and strengthens our school community.

7. Read Together
Foster a love for reading by incorporating regular reading sessions into your daily routine. Explore a variety of books together and encourage your child to express their thoughts and ideas about what they read. The library is up and running and we hope your child will come home excited to tell you about books they are reading.

8. Celebrate Achievements
Celebrate your child’s successes, no matter how small. Acknowledge their efforts and achievements to boost their confidence and motivation. Help them also to celebrate the successes of others too, as this is just as important.

9. Embrace Challenges
Encourage your child to embrace challenges and view them as opportunities for growth. Teach them resilience and perseverance, emphasising that mistakes are valuable learning experiences, just as Jesus continually teaches us.

10. Be Supportive
Above all, show patience, understanding and encouragement as your child navigates the ups and downs of their first year at school. Your unwavering support is key to their success and happiness. As adults with pressures, this can often be a challenge, but even when we don’t get this right, children are forgiving and there is always an opportunity for a new day.

By following these top tips, you can help ensure a successful and fulfilling year for your child as they embark on their educational journey.

In other news, just a few friendly reminders:

- The playground is closed at 3.30. Please ensure you are on time to collect your children. Anyone at school after 3.30 will be taken to the Primary Office and parents will be contacted. A respectful reminder, please, that if you are going to be late, we don’t always have staff to look after your child so please enrol them into Big Childcare, our after-hours childcare providers.

- If you are allowing your child or their siblings to play on the playgrounds, please be mindful if you are there that supervision is required for your children, especially if they are not of school-age. Please recognise not all play equipment is suitable for non-school aged children.

- We understand there have been some car park challenges. Please follow the direction of the carpark traffic wardens, as they are there to keep everyone safe.

- Dogs are not allowed on the school grounds at any time.