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.

Sunday, 28 June 2015


This week the value we are focusing on is RESPECT.
"Respect is an attitude of caring about people and treating them with dignity. Respect is valuing ourselves and others. We show respect by speaking and acting with courtesy. When we are respectful we treat others as we want to be treated."
The Virtues Project
 Respect is something that every person deserves although sometimes we find it hard to show respect to people who annoy or hurt us. At Madeley Primary School we encourage students to respect themselves and each other even when they do not feel like it. Sometimes as adults we struggle to model respectful relationships e.g. when some one cuts in front of us in the car or someone disagrees with us rudely. We need to work hard to model respectful behaviour even when others don't appear to deserve it. Our children learn from watching us and will often repeat our behaviour so we need to work hard to show respect in all situations.
"There is a longing among all people to have a sense of purpose and worth. To satisfy that common longing in all of us we must respect each other." Chief Dan George
"Respect is treating your body with the same care you would give any other valuable and irreplaceable object." Cherie Carter Scott

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


 Have you ever had trouble getting started on something that you really don't feel like doing? You know the lawn needs mowing or the shirts need ironing or the car needs fixing, but you are tired and have other things to distract you and entertain you that are far more interesting. The desire to get started is made even more challenging when the task you need to do is difficult or there will be problems that you know you will have to solve. This is the same feeling that many students have when they are required to engage in learning activities in school. Self-motivation is a key value for students to develop if they are going to overcome challenges and achieve their personal best. Self-motivation is...
"the ability to do what needs to be done, without influence from other people or situations. People with self motivation can find a reason and strength to complete a task, even when challenging, without giving up or needing another to encourage them."
 Some ways that adults and children can develop self-motivation include:
  • reflecting on your motives 
  • setting personal/group goals which are attainable but challenging
  • practicing being positive
  • breaking big tasks into smaller parts
  • getting help from others - for support and/or accountability

Monday, 15 June 2015


Developing resilience in our students is an important focus of our school. Resilient people have the capacity to deal strongly with the trials and troubles that come our way. At our mini-assembly this week I used an elastic band and piece of string to demonstrate the difference between people who are resilient and people who are not.

People who lack resilience very easily fall apart both emotionally and socially when faced with challenges. They are like a piece of string which when stretched easily snaps. Resilient people are like an elastic band. Troubles and trials stretch them and stress them but in the end they snap back to the way they were - emotionally and socially stable and productive.

Parents have an essential role in developing their children's level of resilience. Our school seeks to support parents through our approach to social/emotional learning. The internet has lots of excellent resources that can help parents in teaching their children resilience. Below are some tips from one site (American Psychological Association):

Taken from:  http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resilience.aspx

We all can develop resilience, and we can help our children develop it as well. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned over time. Following are tips to building resilience.
  1. Make connections
    Teach your child how to make friends, including the skill of empathy, or feeling another's pain. Encourage your child to be a friend in order to get friends. Build a strong family network to support your child through his or her inevitable disappointments and hurts. At school, watch to make sure that one child is not being isolated. Connecting with people provides social support and strengthens resilience. Some find comfort in connecting with a higher power, whether through organized religion or privately and you may wish to introduce your child to your own traditions of worship.
  2. Help your child by having him or her help others
    Children who may feel helpless can be empowered by helping others. Engage your child in age-appropriate volunteer work, or ask for assistance yourself with some task that he or she can master. At school, brainstorm with children about ways they can help others.
  3. Maintain a daily routine
    Sticking to a routine can be comforting to children, especially younger children who crave structure in their lives. Encourage your child to develop his or her own routines.
  4. Take a break
    While it is important to stick to routines, endlessly worrying can be counter-productive. Teach your child how to focus on something besides what's worrying him. Be aware of what your child is exposed to that can be troubling, whether it be news, the Internet or overheard conversations, and make sure your child takes a break from those things if they trouble her. Although schools are being held accountable for performance on standardized tests, build in unstructured time during the school day to allow children to be creative.
  5. Teach your child self-care
    Make yourself a good example, and teach your child the importance of making time to eat properly, exercise and rest. Make sure your child has time to have fun, and make sure that your child hasn't scheduled every moment of his or her life with no "down time" to relax. Caring for oneself and even having fun will help your child stay balanced and better deal with stressful times.
  6. Move toward your goals
    Teach your child to set reasonable goals and then to move toward them one step at a time. Moving toward that goal — even if it's a tiny step — and receiving praise for doing so will focus your child on what he or she has accomplished rather than on what hasn't been accomplished, and can help build the resilience to move forward in the face of challenges. At school, break down large assignments into small, achievable goals for younger children, and for older children, acknowledge accomplishments on the way to larger goals.
  7. Nurture a positive self-view
    Help your child remember ways that he or she has successfully handled hardships in the past and then help him understand that these past challenges help him build the strength to handle future challenges. Help your child learn to trust himself to solve problems and make appropriate decisions. Teach your child to see the humor in life, and the ability to laugh at one's self. At school, help children see how their individual accomplishments contribute to the well-being of the class as a whole.
  8. Keep things in perspective and maintain a hopeful outlook
    Even when your child is facing very painful events, help him look at the situation in a broader context and keep a long-term perspective. Although your child may be too young to consider a long-term look on his own, help him or her see that there is a future beyond the current situation and that the future can be good. An optimistic and positive outlook enables your child to see the good things in life and keep going even in the hardest times. In school, use history to show that life moves on after bad events.
  9. Look for opportunities for self-discovery
    Tough times are often the times when children learn the most about themselves. Help your child take a look at how whatever he is facing can teach him "what he is made of." At school, consider leading discussions of what each student has learned after facing down a tough situation.
  10. Accept that change is part of living
    Change often can be scary for children and teens. Help your child see that change is part of life and new goals can replace goals that have become unattainable. In school, point out how students have changed as they moved up in grade levels and discuss how that change has had an impact on the students.

The Value of Friendliness

Last week our school focus was on the value of 'Friendliness'. Being friendly to others is always a challenge especially when other people are not friendly to us. Being friendly helps people feel like they are cared for and that they belong. When thing are going well it is great to celebrate with friends and friendly people. When things go bad it is good to have friendly people around us to support us. These are the kinds of messages we share with our students.
  • Friendly people take an interest in other people. 
  • Friendly people make others feel welcome. 
  • Friendly people happily share time, ideas, feelings and belongings with others.
  • Friendliness is a cure for loneliness. 
 We want Madeley to be known as the friendly school, a place filled with friendly people who care about each other. This is our goal and what we work towards every day.

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

WA Day Celebrations

This week we are extending the WA Day celebrations across the week. Today students celebrated friendships, tomorrow they will remember the traditional owners of this land, the Aboriginal people, as well as the pioneers and early European settlers. On Friday they will focus on the environment with some trees being planted around the school.
Today's activity involved students making Warm Fuzzy bags. Students were given a brown paper bag to decorate. The decorations reflected what they are like as a person. Students will post positive messages to others in their class as a way of promoting and celebrating friendship.

Tomorrow we invite students to dress up as early settlers or pioneers. Students will also talk about the Aboriginal people who settled this land first. Some classes will make posters which look at Aboriginal culture and reconciliation.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Our School's A Star

We are currently in the process of preparing a submission for the Our School's a Star competition.  This activity will help to promote our school to a wider audience. We have gathered ideas from the community through the staff, P&C and School Board about how our school is distinct and special. We believe that our school’s focus on Social-Emotional learning is a key part of what makes us unique. We are preparing a video which is only allowed to run for 30 seconds as part of our submission. If you have any ideas or input we would love to hear from you so please email madeley.ps@education.wa.edu.au

Monday, 25 May 2015

The Value of Tolerance

At this week's mini-assembly we introduced our value of the week 'Tolerance'. It is a lack of tolerance that often leads to conflict in relationships. When we are intolerant we react negatively to people who annoy us or who do not behave the way we expect.

Our students watched this video which shows an older man acting in quite an irritating way by repeating the same question over and over again. The man's son demonstrated his intolerance by responding angrily to his father's annoying behaviour. A tolerant person does not let their emotions dictate their behaviour. They stop to think about why the person may be acting in an irritating manner and respond appropriately.

Tolerance also needs to be applied to people who may come from a different cultural or religious background. It needs to be applied to our family members, our friends and strangers because no one will think, look, speak or act exactly like us.

"To be tolerant is to accept differences...Tolerance is being free or prejudice, knowing that all people have feelings, needs, hopes and dreams. To be tolerant also means to accept things you wish were different with flexibility and patience."
The Virtues Project

The Value of Persistence

The value of persistence or perseverance is very important for students to develop because without it they will not attempt anything challenging or continue working on a problem to a successful conclusion.

"It is sticking to something, staying committed, no matter how long it takes or what obstacles appear to stop you."
The Virtues Project

Students need persistence when they are feeling bored or in the middle of a hard job and they are tired. To master a skill we often need to practice it over and over again, making mistakes, being frustrated and starting over frequently. Without persistence we would give up and never master anything. 

"Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak."
Thomas Carlyle

The Value of Courage

"Courage is personal bravery in the face of fear. It is doing what needs to be done even when it is really hard or scary. Courage is going ahead even when you feel like giving up. Courage is needed in trying new things. It is admitting mistakes and then doing the right thing. Courage is the strength in your heart."
The Virtues Project

Our students watched the following video at mini-assembly in Week 4 of Term 2 when our focus was on Courage. 

"Without courage, people would only do what is easy. No one would try new things." 
The Virtues Project

 "He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."
 Muhammad Ali

The Value of Courtesy

 One of the values we promote at our school is COURTESY. Courtesy is being polite and having good manners.

The use of good manners does not come naturally. They need to be taught. Parents and families are the most powerful factor in the teaching and modelling of good manners.
 We encourage and remind students as often as possible that the use of manners is a socially appropriate way to behave. Manners should even be used when we are angry or upset with someone...why?....because we should always try to 'treat others the way we would like to be treated.' Just because you disagree with someone does not mean that you become rude and abusive. People who act this way end up dealing with a lot of unnecessary and avoidable conflict which rarely results in positive outcomes or a resolution of problems.

We encourage parents to constantly model the use of manners and to regularly remind their children to use good manners no matter what situation they are in.

"Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners."
Laurence Sterne

Social - Emotional Learning

At Madeley Primary School we place equal importance on the teaching of social-emotional skills and understanding as we do to traditional academic areas such as mathematics and reading. A child's capacity to manage their emotions and develop and then maintain positive relationships is essential if they are going to be a successful member of society. Their academic achievement will mean little if they do not have the social-emotional capacity to get along with others and contribute positively to society. The school has adopted the philosophy of the Play Is The Way program.
"PLAY IS THE WAY® is a practical methodology for teaching social and emotional learning using guided play, classroom activities and an empowering language.
It is a process that gives primary schools a way to develop, improve and entrench the personal and social capabilities of students."
The school promotes and teaches the '5 Concepts to live your life by' which are outlined in the Play Is The Way program. The overarching Golden Rule we promote is 'Treat Others the Way You Would Like To Be Treated'. The school also promotes 8 values/virtues. We assist students to learn and adopt the values. When the values begin being enacted regularly in a persons' life they become virtues. They include:
  • Courage
  • Respect
  • Persistence
  • Tolerance
  • Friendliness
  • Resilience
  • Manners
  • Self-Motivation

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

The Fathering Project


We are very excited to announce our involvement with the Fathering Project this year. Below is some information about the project taken from their website. Stuart Rutter, one of our Dads, has volunteered to help lead the development of the project at our school. We encourage all Dads and Father Figures to get involved in the activities we are planning. Our first activity will be on May 20. We will be meeting in the Staffroom at 7.00pm for drinks and pizza/nibbles to find our more about the project. Please come along.

"Fathering is not an issue that is talked a lot about amongst fathers, yet there are enormous benefits for both dads and kids when dads feel supported and informed to enable them to be better fathers. The benefits of effective fathers are profound. The presence of an effective father, or father figure, is an important influence on a child’s life. 

The Fathering Project’s Schools Program aims to positively promote the important role of fathers & father figures to the entire school community through the formation of a “Champion Dads” group or Fathering Project School Group (FGSG). The FPSG’s key role is to provide leadership and direction to the group of “Champion Dads”, school fathers, father figures and support people, including Mums.

A Fathering Project Schools Group is a group of dads from a school that is created to be a fun group that builds interaction, knowledge and skills of fathers and father figures.This core group of dads, “Champion Dads” or Father figures, will run activities. They are not Champion Dads because they are perfect dads but because they are committed to championing the need for being better dads for the sake of their kids.

The activities undertaken by the Fathering Project School Group include;
  • Father and father activities
  • Father and child activities
  • Father and The Fathering Project activities
  • Father and School activities
The Fathering Project’s Schools Manager will assist fathers from a school community to form the FPSG, plan and conduct exciting activities for the children and the dads.

Monday, 4 May 2015

School Nurse

Our new school nurse's name is Tanya Wood. She is a Community Health Nurse with the Wanneroo South Health Region. Tanya is involved in helping to identify and assess students with specific needs. She also provides professional learning to staff. Tanya has provided information on the following event which is open to parents. If you are interested please register using the email provided.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Parent-Teacher Meetings

Below is a useful brochure with information on how to prepare for a Parent-Teacher meeting.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Road Safety Reminder

Principal's have been asked to remind parents of the importance of using seat-belts and child restraints correctly.

Seat-belts can reduce the risk of being killed in an accident by up to 50% so it is essential that parents restrain their children in the correct way. The safest way for children to wear seat belts differs with age. By law, there is a specific way to restrain a child between birth and six months old; six months and four years old; four and seven years old; and over seven years old. The Road Safety Council and School Drug Education and Road Aware wish to remind parents that it is unsafe and illegal not to follow these practices.

Please go to this link for advice on using seat-belts. Office of Road safety

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

ANZAC Day Centenary 2015

Today we conducted our school ANZAC Day Ceremony. Many thanks go to Mrs Chester for her organisation of this marvelous event. Thanks also go to our staff for helping set up and to our students for the wonderful way they conducted themselves during the ceremony. We are also grateful to the many parents and community members who attended the ceremony.

There were a number of special guests that attended our ceremony. We appreciate the time they gave to attend our service this year. This included:
  • Honourable Liz Behjat MLC
  • Mrs Lara Simpkins representing Luke Simpkins MP
  • Margaret Quirk MLA
  • Sherryl Paternoster representing Honourable Michael Mischin MP
  • Mr Tony Granich and two Year 12 leaders from Ashdale Secondary College
  • Ms Bita Shams from Bendigo Financial Services
  • Sergeant James Dillon 79th Squandron, RAAF Pearce, Madeley School Board and P&C member
  • Mr Michael Kelly Chairperson Madeley School Board
  • Mrs Jenny Cangemi Madeley School Board and P&C Member
  • Major Tracey Roberts
  • Councillor Anh Truong
  • Councillor Brett Treby
 Below is the address that I gave during the ceremony.

Special guests, parents, community members, staff and students 

One hundred years ago today, the 23rd of April, the Anzac legend did not exist. Our ANZAC soldiers were all still alive. At around 4.30am,  one hundred years ago - Saturday 25 April,  members of the Australian and New Zealand armed forces landed on the beaches of Gallipoli where they were met by strong opposition. It was during this landing and the months of fighting after it that the ANZAC legend and spirit were born.  

This day has come to signify many things to Australians. The qualities that our soldiers demonstrated at Gallipoli have helped define our nation. These qualities are what we encourage at our school because they are all about developing positive relationships and doing things better, not as individuals but together. What were these qualities? Qualities such as: 
  • Endurance – seeing the job through no matter how tough it gets. This was demonstrated in the way the ANZACS kept on fighting even when everything seemed hopeless. 
  • Courage – to face the odds no matter what they are. There are many stories of men who showed amazing bravery like Simpson and his donkey 
  • Ingenuity – to find ways to get the job done better. They were creative and always thinking. This was demonstrated in things like the development of periscopes and water timers to fire rifles. 
  • Good humour – the ANZACS typified the Aussie larrikin in the way they faced the horrible circumstances they were in, often with a joke. Humour is good for the soul especially when we are stressed. 
  • Mateship – the idea of sticking by your mates and supporting your mates was  born out of the ANZAC experience. Mates where not just their close friends but also the guy next to them or three trenches away who relied on them for help and support. 
Today the ANZAC legend and spirit lives on through each generation. You, our students are the up and coming generation that this spirit will be reflected through. It is you guys who will be continuing to demonstrate and develop the qualities of endurance, courage, ingenuity, humour and mateship that our ANZACS showed all those years ago. 

War is a horrible thing, as our ANZACS and any other men and women who have experienced it can testify. We are not here today to glorify war. Today and every ANZAC Day we remember the sacrifice of those who went to war on our behalf to provide us with the lifestyle that we now enjoy. I encourage you all to try and attend one of the many ANZAC services which will be held on Saturday because it is important for us to be regularly reminded so that we can be thankful and better appreciate what we have.  

Lest we forget. 

Thursday, 26 March 2015

More Cyber Safety Information for parents

Cyber Safety Information for Parents

We all see the benefits of being online. But we also know that the world wide web is a big place with many dangers for users - especially children. Below are a few fact/advice sheets that may be of use to parents seeking to keep their kids safe.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Student Leaders at Work

The Student Leadership team have been hard at work around our school. So far this term they have organised a successful Crazy Hair/Wacky Wig Day to raise funds for a child sponsorship. They have also been active organising assemblies, recycling, lost property and planning for Easter on the Green.

The Student Leaders are focusing on modelling our school's golden rule of "Treat others the way you want them to treat you." Fundraising they do in 2015 will reflect this focus.

The Student Leaders chose an 11 year old girl from Bangladesh as their sponsorship Child. Her name is Nazma.

The Leaders have also organised a stall for our Easter on the Green event on March 27. They will be running an Easter Hat Parade, Hair Painting and Guess the Number of Eggs in a Jar competition. We are very proud of the proactive way our Student Leaders have approached their role in 2015!

Office of Road Safety Resources for Parents

The school has a very strong focus on creating a safe and nurturing environment for our students. For this reason we promote resources that help spread the 'safety' message.

Children are vulnerable road users. Road trauma is the leading cause of death and the second most frequent cause of hospitalisation for children aged under 14. The Office of Road Safety have an excellent website which contains resources, information, games and quizzes which promote safety around roads and driveways. Parents are encouraged to use the website and share safety messages with their children.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Mobile Phones at School

My mobile phone and iPad have become an essential part of my work. I use these devices every day to communicate and to find and record information. Students need the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills which allow for the safe use of mobile devices. However, these opportunities need to be managed in order to reduce the misuse of devices and to protect the safety of everyone on the school site.

The school has a mobile phone policy which every student is required to follow. Students need to have a specific reason for bringing a mobile phone to school. This reason needs to be communicated with us via the application form contained in the policy. There are no exceptions to this and students who do not comply will have their phone taken away until a parent comes and retrieves it. Please check out the schools mobile phone policy and complete the application form if you want your child to bring a phone to school.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN)

The following information has been given to schools to share with parents. We are committed to ensuring that our students are protected from cybercrime.

The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN)
The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) is a secure reporting and referral service for cybercrime and online incidents which may be in breach of Australian law. Certain reports will be directed to Australian law enforcement and government agencies for further investigation.  The ACORN is an online reporting facility for cybercrime. The ACORN will make it easier for the public to report cybercrime, get the information they need to protect themselves online and ensure agencies can respond more quickly. The ACORN will also provide a clearer picture of the cybercrime affecting Australians. This will help improve our operational and policy responses.
Further Advice on Protection against crime http://www.acorn.gov.au/protection-prevention/ Lifeline (13 11 14), beyondblue (1300 224 636)

If your child sees illegal or inappropriate online content please report this to ACMA’s online content complaint form.
If you suspect an adult has engaged in inappropriate activity involving a child, call the police immediately on Triple Zero 000 (if it is an emergency) or Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
If you are being bullied or harassed or have seen abusive or inappropriate content on social media, you can report this to the relevant social media provider. The process for doing this is slightly different for each site:
·         Facebook – You can report abusive content on Facebook by using the Report link that appears near the content itself. Facebook’s How to Report Things page has instructions on how to report abusive content for the different features.
·         Twitter – You can file a report that someone is posting abusive messages by going to Twitter’s forms page. More information on Twitter’s policy on abusive behaviour is available at the How to Report Abusive Behaviour page.
·         LinkedIn – You can report inappropriate content that violates LinkedIn’s Community Guidelines or User Agreement by flagging it directly from the site. Your identity will not be shared if you flag an item. You can also report spam, phishing and other suspicious messages. After reviewing reported items, LinkedIn will take them down if necessary.
·         YouTube – You can report content that violates YouTube’s Community Guidelines by flagging it. Flagging videos does not take them down straight away, but sends a report back to YouTube staff to review the flagged video. More information on flagging videos is available at YouTube’s Community Guidelines Violations page. To report a case of harassment, privacy or bullying, you can visit YouTube’s Help and Safety Tool page.
·         Instagram – You can report inappropriate photos, comments, or users that are in violation of Instagram’s Community Guidelines or directly to Instagram with the built-in flagging feature.
You can also report serious cyber-bullying or stalking behaviour to the ACORN if the conduct is intended to make you (or the victim you are reporting on behalf of) feel fearful, uncomfortable, offended or harassed.
Support for children
Children can be particularly vulnerable online. They may become victims of cyber-bullying, targets of online grooming or be exposed to inappropriate online content which involves concepts they are not developmentally ready to manage.
Children often do not tell their parents about online incidents, in fear that it will make the situation worse. This may be damaging to a young person’s health and wellbeing, particularly if they have already experienced mental illness or trauma.
If you know or suspect that your child has been a victim of cyber-bullying or any other type of cybercrime, it is important that he or she feels comfortable to speak about the incident with you, a teacher or another trusted adult.
Your child may also benefit from contacting Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800. Kids Helpline is a free, private and confidential, telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25. It is available 24 hours a day to help with all sorts of problems, big and small.

You and your child may also find it useful to access the Cybersmart Online Helpline Service or consider the following resources:
·         Socialising online
·         Dealing with cyber-bullying
·         Cybersafety help – Information and Cybersafety help button.
·         Secure your mobile devices
If you or your child has seen material online depicting sexual conduct involving children or you suspect an adult has engaged in any inappropriate activity involving a child, there are well-established processes in place for the reporting and investigation of online offences against children. Given the seriousness of these offences and the need to act immediately, the ACORN does not accept reports on online offences against children.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority accepts reports of offensive and illegal online content including child sexual abuse material.
If you suspect an adult has engaged in inappropriate activity involving a child, call the police immediately on Triple Zero 000 (if it is an emergency) or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.
Can I file a complaint via phone? No. The ACORN will only accept reports via the online reporting facility. Reports via telephone, mail, fax, or email will not be accepted.