Marg Thorsbourne, over the past 2 days, has worked closely with all of our staff and some of our parents going over the key elements of restorative practice.
Please find below the resources discussed at the parent workshop last night which was attended by about 35 families. Even if you were unable to attend, the attached resources make for useful reading and will help you understand a little more about the approach to behaviour management that we will be undertaking at Peak School.
As mentioned before it is about relationships; building them, maintaining them and sometimes repairing them.
Presentation ppt (in pdf form)
Notes for Parents
Raising Children Intro
The angry squirrel (or panther depending on the year group) arrived and left disappointed!!
The lockdown held on Tuesday was another success and the children were superb at following the procedures that we have put in place. Within 20 seconds of the alarm being raised the school felt empty and quiet.
A number of children I spoke to, when I went around the classes, had clearly spoken to their parents either before or after the procedure so my thanks to you for answering their questions. As you can appreciate we get a lot of “what if?” questions and we do our best to answer them as well.
For parents who are visitors and are at school during a fire or lockdown emergency here is a summary of what to do –
Fire Alarm (one long continuous ring of the bell)
– Leave the building by the nearest exit
– Walk quickly but calmly to the upper playground to the far court (by the diamond climbing frame)
– Wait there for the all clear to be given
Lockdown Alarm (ten short rings of the bell)
– Go to the nearest classroom or room that has a door that can be locked
– Enter the room and lock the door once everyone near is in
– Get down low and away from any windows so that you cannot be seen from outside (it may be necessary to pull down the blinds) or through any glass window in the door.
– Remain low and quiet until the all clear is given (5 short rings of the bell)
– Do not use your cellphone
As you know I am passionate about the teaching and learning of maths but I also appreciate the importance of language.
An article I read recently from the BBC has now linked the two together. The article called “Maths Advantage For Pupils Who Read For Pleasure” by Katerine Sellgren claims that research has now proven that those children who regularly read for pleasure will do better Maths and English than those children who do not.
“The study, by the Institute of Education, London University, examined the reading habits of 6,000 children. It indicated reading for pleasure was more important to a child’s development than how educated their parents were. The researchers concluded a wide vocabulary helped children absorb information across the curriculum.” (Sellgren, BBC News, September 2013).
It is a short but interesting article and certainly reinforces our natural belief that reading has many benefits and I guess it makes sense that these benefits are seen across the curriculum.
For the full article please click the following link –
Disclaimer – I take no responsibility for the quality of the comments (if any) that others have left on the BBC web link above, nor do I endorse, condone or agree with the comments that have been made. They simply reflect the feelings of individuals that have made them and do not reflect my views in anyway.
As promised our Year 4 and 6 camps next week will be covered live using the “Cover it Live” application. Please appreciate that staff on the camp will endeavour to post photos and comments but this is dependent on cellphone reception as well as them having the time to do it.
The Year 5 camp the following week will also be “covered live”.
All links will be set up on my blog so please keep an eye out for an email from the school informing you of the link.
The children are very excited about next week but also a little nervous! Remember you can reply to postings or post your own comments and we will also endeavour to read these out if time and the situation allows.
As you are all aware we have the upcoming IB/CIS 5 year evaluation visit. IB is the organisation that offers PYP and CIS is the Council of International Schools. Both organisations have a long list of standards that they expect us to meet and during the 3 day visit in November they will be ensuring that we meet their standards. The visit is taking place from Tuesday 26 November to Thursday 28 November and there will be 2 x IB representatives and 2 x CIS representatives.
We have spent the past 12 months completing the self study which involves us reflecting on our practices. At last count we have collected over 3200 documents which we are in the process of sharing with the visiting team before they arrive. We have also had to write two comprehensive reports (some of which have been shared with the PTA and School Council) which focuses on what we have done since the last visit five years ago, where we are now and where we would like to be in the future.
The visiting teams will be meeting with students, staff, PTA members and the School Council to ensure all stakeholders are represented.
We are very keen to develop our Mother Tongue programs at Peak School. This would involve the school supporting families organising a maintenance language program for their mother tongue. It is not a opportunity for children to be involved in a beginners language course but more for children who speak a another language at home e.g. French, Italian, Spanish etc. The programs would run after school and the tutors would either be a parent of one of the families involved or a paid tutor (meaning there would be a cost for participants).
We are close to finalising a French Mother Tongue Language program as we have 5 children (two families) who have shown interest in having one offered. If your child speaks French at home (please appreciate they do not need to be fluent but must have experience and knowledge of the language) and you would like your child to be involved please let me know as soon as possible.
In addition if there are families that would be very interested in being part of a Mother Tongue program please let me know. We are aware that we have a number of families from other parts of the world who’s own language could be further fostered by the Mother Tongue program. If you are interested in your child joining or would be willing to help run a course based on your Mother Tongue (first language) please let me know.
In the past we have run a Spanish program but this stopped when the mother, who was running the course, left Hong Kong. We would love to provide a teaching space at Peak School to encourage our children to learn their mother tongue so please do let us know if you are interested.
As always we will be offering Tag Rugby during term 2. It will be held on a Thursday night for the most of Term 2 from 3.15-4.10 so please keep this slot free for your child should they be interested in attending. The Tag Rugby squad is made up of Year 5 and 6 boys and girls and we will be competing in the Hong Kong Primary Schools Tournament also held in Term 2.
In the past a number of children have not been able to train as they already had a commitment on the Thursday afternoon so this year I am hoping we can avoid this by giving parents plenty of notice.
Here are the confirmed dates and costs for the upcoming Year 4-6 camps in November.
November 4-8 (Monday to Friday)
Who – Year 6
What – Outward Bound Camp
Cost – $4000
A presentation has already been given to the Year 6 parent body. See previous post on my blog for a copy of the presentation.
November 6-8 (Wednesday-Friday)
Who – Year 4
What – Cheung Chau Camp (Bradbury Camp)
Cost – $590 (owing to government subsidy)
A presentation is being organised by the Year 4 teachers for the parents. This will be held on Friday the 25th at 8.30am and will run for 30 minutes. Please note that this presentation will also be put up on Planet Peak for you to download so please do not panic if you cannot make the meeting. The meeting is in the morning as the feedback we get from a vast majority of the parents is that it is most convenient time to have a meeting is first thing before work starts.
November 11-13 (Monday-Wednesday)
Who – Year 5
What – Year 5 Camp – Hong Kong Scout Camp – Sai Kung (on the Island opposite the Hebe Haven Yacht Club)
Venue – Wong Sui Sang Leadership Training Institute (Scout Association of Hong Kong)
Cost – $2190. We have managed to negotiate the price down from $2500 as previously listed on my blog. We no longer receive the government subsidy for this camp as we have changed to a more challenging camp program run by the Scouts who, as an organisation, are not eligible for the subsidy. The cost of this camp is in line with what other International Schools are charging for similar experiences. This will be a challenging camp for the children and prepare them well for the Year 6 camp next year.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CHILDREN WILL REQUIRE A SLEEPING BAG AS THEY ARE SLEEPING IN TENTS BOTH NIGHTS!
A presentation for parents has been organised for the 29th of October starting at 8.30am. Again a copy of the presentation will be made available to parents who are unable to attend the meeting.
More information will be sent out from the classroom teachers.
We had our Year 1 & 2 Chinese presentation on Thursday morning of this week. Led by Mary and Abbie the parents learnt about the curriculum, how we teach Chinese and how best to support the children at home using the resources on Planet Peak.
One thing that came out of the presentation is that not all parents knew there was a bi-monthly newsletter and even less parents knew about the wonderful online resource that we make available for Year 1-2 parents and their children.
In the coming weeks we will address how best to let all our parents know about the Chinese newsletter (which highlights what is being taught in the class) being available on the Chinese page of Planet Peak as well as how best to promote the Better Chinese website that we have purchased to support learning Chinese at home. We also need to simplify the process for parents/children to find/log into the Better Chinese website.
Please click HERE to download the presentation shared at the Year 1 and 2 Chinese Workshop.
On the afternoon of Thursday the 10th of October the school had its termly fire drill (we actually do 2 in Term 1). The school was evacuated to the upper playground as normal. We were very quick to leave the building and I am pleased to report that the school was empty after just 2 minutes and 30 seconds. By 6mins 30 seconds all children, staff and visitors had been accounted for and the ‘all clear’ was given. I have told the children that I think we can do it under 6 minutes so that is our target for the next fire drill.
Whilst we were pleased with the result we were disappointed that some children opted to talk whilst moving from their class to the upper playground. I have made it very clear to them that this is not acceptable and I would appreciate you reinforcing this with your child/ren at home.
A quick question for you all – when was the last time you practiced a fire drill as a family at home? Does/do your child/ren know where to go in case of a fire? Where is the assembly point for your family should you get separated whilst leaving the apartment?
On the 29th of October we will be having a lockdown practice as well. A lockdown, for our new parents, is where the children are required to effectively ‘hide’ in the classroom whilst the teacher locks the door. The children must remain out of sight and stay very quiet until the ‘all clear’ is given. In the past within 30 seconds of announcing the ‘code red’ the school appears empty, as the children and staff are so good at hiding away in their classrooms, so we will be looking for a repeat of this on the 29th of October.
I share the date with you in case your child or children come home and ask why there is a lockdown or are a little worried about it. It just gives you an opportunity to talk to them about it before and after the actual event. This time round I will be warning the children about the lockdown in terms of what day it will be done but not what time. I will be telling them that we do a lockdown as sometimes schools have to deal with dogs that have entered the building or perhaps a rather annoyed and angry squirrel wants to know who stole his stash of nuts!