Hi, my name is Stephen Bevan and I am Principal at Madeley Primary School in Perth, Western Australia. Research shows that open and clear communication between home and school is important which is why I have created this blog. As Principal of Madeley Primary School I value your opinions and encourage your comments. Feel free to comment on any of the posts. Comments are moderated prior to going live on the blog.

I will endeavour to provide you with regular and informative posts about our school and its activities. I ask that your comments be constructive and positive with any concerns or complaints directed to me personally at school.

Madeley Primary School prides itself on the positive, open and friendly culture that has been established. Our core values of Curriculum, Community and Care are guiding principles that shape our school.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

P&C Meeting

It was great to meet the P&C Executive team and all the parent members at last night's meeting. The school is certainly well represented although there is always room for more parents to be involved. The amount of financial support provided by the P&C this year has been amazing and many thanks go to all the parents who have contributed their time, physical resources and money. David Belcastro, P&C President has indicated that he will not be available for the role in 2015 and will need to be replaced. I am sure that his leadership will be missed.

Below is my report to P&C

Some matters raised at the meeting were:
  1. Safety regarding the use of kiss-and-drive and parking on the grass. Parents are reminded that the safety of students is of utmost importance. The grass area is not for parent parking (only student teachers have been given permission to park there). Please  use the kiss-and-drive the way that it was intended. Do not stop the flow of traffic by parking in this area. The P&C will be installing limestone blocks around the grass area at the north east corner of the school.
  2. There are still plenty of P&C recipe books available for a bargain price of $25. Please support the school by purchasing a book (they would make excellent Christmas presents).
  3. Additional P&C funding has become available for the school to use. We will be gathering requests for funding from staff in the next week.
  4. Students being allowed to access play areas off-site and climb trees. I have explored the issue of tree climbing with the Wanneroo Shire. Due to a number of reason including student safety and duty of care, students will not be permitted to climb trees. I am developing a school policy for nature play incorporating the off-site area. I will communicate this to parents when it is complete.
Parents interested in looking at information related to the school's NAPLAN results can do so at these locations:
Schools Online
My School
School Annual Report

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Dog Signs

I have placed some laminated signs around the boundary of the school to try and encourage dog owners to clean up after their animals. While most people are responsible dog owners we still have some who allow their dog to mess on the oval for our students to step in. This is a health issue which needs to be addressed.

I have also discussed this problem with students at our mini-assembly on Monday. We hope that greater community awareness will help limit this problem in the future. Community members who have other ideas about how we can address this matter are encouraged to contact the school on 93023611.

Wacky Workout Wednesday

Many thanks go to Miss Foulds for organising our Wacky Workout Wednesday today. This was a great opportunity to promote physical fitness and give healthy messages to our students. Thanks also go to our students, staff and parents who supported the event and got involved.

Regular daily exercise is good for our physical and mental health. Morning fitness sessions are an important part of many of our classrooms. 

Year 6/7 Camp @ Fairbridge Village

On Tuesday I spent the day with our Year 6/7 students on their camp at Fairbridge Village in Pinjarra. Most of them appeared to be well rested as they had got a reasonable amount of sleep the night before. The day's activities included abseiling, rope walking, the Big Swing and rock climbing. The food that was provided was delicious.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Student Survey

Our Term 3 student survey provided information about what some of our students think about the operations of our school. Our students have a very positive opinion about the school with strong positive responses to the following statements:
  • My teachers expect me to do my best
  • My school is well maintained
  • My teachers motivate me to learn
  • My school looks for ways to improve
  • I feel safe at my school
 Responses that need to be explored further include:
  • My school takes students' opinions seriously
  • Student behaviour is well managed at my school
  • I can talk to my teachers about my concerns
Student leaders and staff will analyse the results of the survey in detail and use information it provides to plan for the future.

Getting involved in school

Picture of grandparents helping child readInvolvement in school by parents and carers helps children achieve the best possible learning outcomes. You can participate in school life, both formally and informally, through the Parents and Citizens Association, school council, helping in the classroom or volunteering.

Make a special effort to attend your child’s class assemblies, parent-teacher meetings, sports days, open days, musical and other activities. This will help them feel positive about school and be a happy, active participant. When you volunteer you show your child that you care about their school life.

Research shows that when parents are involved with their children’s schooling, it has a positive effect on the child’s performance.

If you are a working parent and feel you have limited time to help or be involved at school, talk to your child’s teacher(s) about ways you could help out. Involve your child in the activity.
Some ways you can support your school that don’t require a big time commitment are:
  • Volunteering to help out with an afternoon art lesson once a term.
  • Offering to do laundry roster once.
  • Coordinating a parent’s night out for your child’s class.
  • Offering to bring in a special cultural item or similar for news one morning.
  • Donating paper or other materials that would be useful in the classroom.
  • Collecting household boxes and packaging to donate to your school’s Kindergarten or Pre-primary classrooms.
  • Purchasing a book and donating it to your school’s library.
Taken from:

Why do we ask students to wear hats all year round regardless of the weather conditions?

Most schools in Australia follow the advice of health professionals when it comes to sun protection.

As recess and lunch periods fall at high UV exposure times it is important that students are protected. Regular, limited exposure to the sun is important for our health but too much at the wrong time can have serious implications for future health.

While UV exposure in the middle of winter on a cloudy day poses little risk it is still important for a consistent and regular sun safe message to be promoted. For this reason we have a year-round policy when it comes to wearing hats. Students who do not have a hat will not be permitted to play in the sun. We also ask that parents consider applying sunscreen to their children before they come to school on high UV days. Parents should also provide their child with sunscreen which can applied during the day.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Class Visits

Whenever possible I like to visit classrooms and join in the learning activities that students are involved in. This provides an additional support to teachers and helps me to develop a closer rapport with students. Last week I visited Ms Visser, Ms Stokoe and Miss Shorten's Year 2 students. The students were very welcoming and were actively engaged in a range of interesting activities.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Planning for Graduation

Relevant staff met today to discuss the planning of this year's graduation ceremonies for students in Years 6 and 7. Our Year 7 students will graduate on Wednesday November 19 prior to commencing the transition program at Ashdale Secondary College. Our Year 6 students will graduate on Tuesday December 16. Additional information about graduation activities and end of year activities will be made available later in the term.

Dogs on the Oval

I have been made aware of the ongoing problem with dog owners not cleaning up after their animals when using the school oval. While the problem is usually caused by people outside our school community there have been instances of Madeley students or the parents of Madeley students allowing their dog to do its 'business' without cleaning it up. We ask that if you are bringing your dog to exercise on the oval that you also bring a plastic bag to clean up any mess that they may leave. It is very distressful for students and staff when they are forced to wear shoes that have stepped in dog poo. It can also become a health problem as dirty shoes are worn into classrooms and onto carpets and mats that students often sit on.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Snake Alert

We have had a few reports of snakes being seen around the school including on the road and in driveways. Snakes will be active from now until the end of summer. Students have been told to be alert when walking or riding around the school. They have been told to avoid bush areas and long grass and to move away from a snake if they see one. Parents are encouraged to remind their children about staying safe if they encounter a snake.

Great Start

Term 4 has started well and I am settling slowly into the role of Principal. The staff are certainly very friendly and supportive and the admin team have got the school running with great efficiency. Every Monday morning I hold a mini-assembly for staff and students in Years PP - 7. These assemblies are a great time to address any issues, remind students about events and promote excellent behaviour and high achievement standards. The main message I shared with students this week was the importance of 'treating other people the way that you would like to be treated.' This 'rule' forms the basis of the way we encourage all members of our school community to behave.  I found a video on YouTube which supports this idea, promoting it as a 'kindness boomerang'.

I also talked briefly about the three core values of our school: Curriculum, Community and Care. I explained to students that Care should be the starting point because when we care about our environment and about other people we create a supportive community in which effective teaching and learning of the curriculum can take place. I have seen these values in action already this week and am excited about the opportunity to work in such a wonderful school environment.

Friday, 10 October 2014


It is my great privilege to be taking up the position of Principal at Madeley Primary School commencing in Term 4 this year. I have lived in the local area for 8 years and was a member of the School Board at Ashdale Primary School when the Ashdale Cluster was formed. I have 4 children aged between 7 and 16 and my wife is also a teacher.

I have taught or been an administrator in both country and city schools and I have spent the past 6 years as Principal of Tuart Hill Primary School. During my career I have taught as a classroom teacher, Visual Art specialist and Physical Education specialist. I have been a Deputy Principal and Principal of Level 3, 4 and 5 schools. In 2013 I took my family to Canada as part of the Teacher Exchange Program. During the year I taught Grade 6/7 students. This was a wonderful learning experience and a great opportunity for me to further practice my skills as a classroom teacher.

I am very keen to ensure that community members are actively involved in the life of the school as this is a powerful factor in improving student outcomes. Clear, regular and open communication is important especially if you have any concerns about your child’s development. Parents are always welcome to contact me via my email Stephen.bevan@education.wa.edu.au or to arrange a meeting when required.

I look forward to getting to know staff, students, parents and carers next term and in working with you all as we lead Madeley Primary School into the future.