Dear parents/caregivers,

Welcome to another year of growth and possibilities.  All staff are looking forward to the 2024 school year and are keen to see the smiling faces of students and families returning to school. We are confident that this year will be filled with growth, learning, and many memorable experiences. Hopefully you had an opportunity during the holidays to spend time with family and build some lasting memories.

School is an important aspect of our local community and this year we expect 620 students to be here in week one. Staff have been spending this week preparing and setting up classrooms as well as programs ready to start. We do encourage parents and caregivers to play an active role in their child’s education understanding that when parents are actively involved, students are more likely to succeed academically and socially. We have many opportunities to be involved, from after school sports, pedal prix, governing council, parent network, canteen, classroom etc. Assemblies will resume this year and information will be sent out via the school blog.

Four reception classes will begin with another class transitioning at the start of term three. A number of these students will no doubt enter the school via our Young Street gate.  The Young Street entrance will open at 8:30 each morning and children are welcome to wait with parents/caregivers on the lawned area outside of classrooms.

The Edward Beck entrance operates the same as last year while building continues. Landscapers have been busy during the holidays and we have a new school sign next to the carpark entrance. The builders returned on 8th January and have been working solidly since then. The projected handover date is still early April at this stage. When this happens, this will conclude the building program and all of our areas will then have been returned for use, which we are looking forward to in anticipation.

During 2022/23, the Department for Education sought feedback from over 10,000 pre-schoolers and school students across the state, staff, families, the community and employers, as well as from a number of experts in education.  Their voices were used to create the purpose statement for South Australian Public Education.  From there a strategy was devised and four areas of impact developed.

These are:

Effective Learners; Equity and Excellence, Well Being and Learner Agency.  As a school, following from our recent whole school external review directions, we have selected Effective Learners as the area of impact to further our learning journey at Woodend.

Being an effective learner in a primary school is crucial for a child’s overall development and academic success. Effective learning goes beyond academics. It also involves developing social-emotional skills, such as collaboration, communication, and resilience. Teachers began the year with a focus on what an effective learner looks like and the connections that need to be made with a child’s curiosity, creativity, self-regulation, making meaning in their learning and being aware of their thinking processes.

2024 will see the rolling out of additional resources for the Australian Curriculum particularly in mathematics. This is part of another strategy to more adequately prepare students for employment in future areas of need such as the AUKUS program.

We look forward to seeing many of you at the acquaintance evening on Tuesday of week two.  Our staff will be available to answer questions you may have and meet you in a relatively informal settings.  We encourage you to attend and take advantage of this opportunity to engage with our dedicated staff members. There will be a free sausage sizzle available as well for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to working with you to make this a successful year for all.

Kind regards,

Steve Freeman