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.