A new year (for parents as well as students)

helloIt was strange walking through the gates on the first day of school this year. For the first time in all the years my kids have been at Kew Primary, it seemed there were more new faces than familiar ones. And babies – lots of babies in prams and toddlers tearing around the playground, no doubt wondering when it’s their turn to go to school.

It’s a natural changing-of-the-guard. At one point, I had kids in the junior, middle and senior school – over their four classes and eight years (my first child started at KPS in 2008), I got to meet lots of families – chatting at pick-up time, helping with classroom activities and at school social events. Continue reading

Fostering secure attachment in children

One of the greatest worries for parents whose child is beginning school is the separation – will their child be crying at the classroom door or clutching their legs in a desperate attempt to have them stay? Or will they be tearing through the gate without a backward glance? This week, Penny Gibson, who is a child and family therapeutic specialist with Capacity Consulting and Coaching, and also part of the KPS community, provides some insight into how to promote healthy ‘attachment’ in primary-school-aged children

circle-of-securityAttachment is the affectional bond between a child and their caregiver and it cultivates from birth, when a baby uses signals to activate their caregiver to care tor them and meet their needs. Being attached to others is a matter of safety and certainty in a world full of perceived threats and dangers. Continue reading

The Peppercorn – not just a tree

The Peppercorn tree, that dominates the centre of the playground, is not ‘just a tree’. It’s an outdoor learning space (you’ll often see classes enjoying the shade while hard at work); it’s a meeting place (all KPS kids know that ‘under the tree’ refers to our beautiful Peppercorn); it’s play equipment (is there any greater joy for kids than conquering the branches of a big tree?); and it’s symbolic for the school, lending naming rights to both a writing competition and a biannual BBQ.

Alex St.Claire gives the lowdown on the upcoming Peppercorn BBQ, to be held on Friday, February 19th, from 5-7pm.

peppercorn-bbq-4What is the Peppercorn BBQ? Continue reading

It’s movie time

Kids-at-the-movies-1Kids movies – there is no better example of why “we’ll just go along and see whatever is on” (as opposed to reading eleventy million reviews before you commit to seeing any particular movie) is an extremely bad choice. I know because I sat through Free Birds and it’s 91 minutes I’ll never get back. And my husband knows because, eight years after the event, he still talks about Bee Movie as if personal trauma was involved. Continue reading

What’s on for the holidays?

I used to take the ‘relaxed’ approach to school holidays – the ‘let’s see where the day takes us’ attitude. And then I discovered that makes for two very long, drawn-out weeks. Now I plan, and the challenge is to find activities that suit everyone and don’t kill the budget.

This September holidays, I’ll be challenging Alex St. Claire’s kids to say “I’m bored!” because she has put together a huge list of all sorts of holiday activities (including lots of freebies) and she’s sharing her ideas with us –

school-holiday-activities-1Every school holidays I love to check out all the events and activities Melbourne has to offer and plan lots of fabulous ways to spend the days. Although, the only planned activity that is guaranteed to be achieved is the obligatory Monday pajama day.

Still it’s good to make plans . . . Continue reading

90s Trivia Night – all the answers

trivia-night-1Were you like me, and fell asleep last Saturday night (*ahem* the wee hours of Sunday morning) wondering “What WAS the highest grossing film in the 90s….?”. And which tennis player was married to Jo Beth Taylor…? Actually, who even was Jo Beth Taylor…?”

It may have been the Livin’ la Vita Locum cocktails I enjoyed or the fact that I wasn’t paying attention in the nineties but I had lots of unanswered questions on Saturday night. Lots. So I got all the answers – and I’m sharing them so that you can stop asking yourself “Where was Milli Vanilli from? Continue reading

Scary but true: the nineties are now considered ‘retro’

nineties-17There was a time when I stood at my wardrobe choosing between a bodysuit and coloured jeans or a long floral dress with Doc Martens; when my Thursday night would be spent at Black Match or Silvers. A time when we all thought Kimberly was a complete nut-bag; when you were either Team Noel or Team Ben*. When Babe made me rethink my relationship with bacon. When people had Magic Eye artwork on their walls and everyone pretended they could see the picture**. When we couldn’t say “Isn’t it ironic?” without bursting into song***. When eleventy-million scrunchies weren’t enough. When pubs suddenly became ‘gastro-pubs’ and goats cheese was the height of sophistication.

You know the time I’m talking about. Yes, the glorious nineties. Continue reading

Bowl up to the KPS Fathers Association

Thanks to Rodney Thomson, co-founder of the Kew Primary School Fathers Association, for this week’s post.

KPSFA-4Michael Senyard and I set up the Kew Primary School Fathers Association in 2014. We got the idea from reading Steve Biddulph’s books and coming to the conclusion that we wanted our children to be exposed to good men in our community, of which we have an abundance at our school. We’ve had amazing support and guidance from the mums, the Principal, teachers, the PTA and the office and canteen staff. Continue reading

Advice for Preps (you might have to ask a grown-up to read this to you)

tips-for-preps-1Hello to all the new Prep students for 2015!

It’s exciting being at school but there’s also lots of new things to learn – such as when is it lunchtime? Where do we sit at assembly? If the teacher sends me to “Run a message over to the office”, how fast should I run?

I’ve had four kids in Prep at Kew Primary School and of course, I was a Prep, many, many years ago. Here are a few tips to make your Prep year truly tops –

1 . Your parents are probably asking you about school all the time. Tiring I know, but they’re busting to hear if you’re having fun. Throw them a bone and tell them something about your day.

2. At some stage, you’ll accidentally call your teacher ‘Mum’. Don’t stress, even the grade six students sometimes make that mistake.

3. Lining up at the canteen can seem a little stressful but if you ask for something in a loud, clear voice and remember your ‘pleases’ and ‘thank-yous’, then Sally (the canteen manager), will not mind waiting while you count out two dollars worth of five cent pieces. Continue reading