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, 15 May 2016

Name Calling

At our mini-assembly today I talked with our students about 'name calling', not because it is a serious problem at Madeley but because it happens and needs to be addressed. We also watched a short YouTube clip about the issue.

Name calling is a problem that occurs in every school and at home and is not always easy to resolve. Calling someone nasty or mean things is something most of us have done or have had done to us in our lives. Unfortunately, adults are just as much to blame and we often model this kind of behaviour to our children.

I often come across the situation where people justify their behaviour because they were provoked. For example students will say "I called him a name because he was annoying me or being mean to me first." Adults may say "I called him a loser because he cut me off in traffic." Some students call others names because they think it is funny but don't mean to hurt others (they see it as a joke). Ultimately, being mean or nasty to someone is never justified even if they provoke us first or if we are trying to be funny.

At Madeley Primary school we teach our students to 'Treat others as you would like them to treat you.' Nobody wants to be abused or treated badly so it follows that we should choose to act kindly and with restraint even when others annoy us or provoke us.

The old proverb is so true when considering the problem of name calling ...'A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.' We can help diffuse situations by choosing gentle words or we can help inflame it by calling names and snapping back with the first nasty thing that comes into our mind. 

I told our students today that the old saying "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me' is wrong as names can hurt just as much as physical pain. I also told them that the old saying 'If you haven't got anything good or positive to say, don't say it' is very good advice to follow. 

Our school's guiding principles are CURRICULUM, COMMUNITY, CARE and our values are RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY and RESILIENCE.  As we seek to develop these principles and values our focus is on creating a positive and nurturing environment where respectful and caring relationships are the norm. 

I encourage parents and carers to talk about the impact of 'name calling' with their children. This will support us in our work at school and ensure that clear and consistent messages are being communicated to our children.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Reflective Practice and Excellence

The staff at Madeley Primary School are committed to achieving excellence. Our new Vision Statement says:

“Madeley Primary School will nurture and promote life-long learners within a positive school community where respect is valued and independence and excellence are expected.”

 We seek to promote excellence in the programs we provide and in the work we do. Through our striving for excellence we model to our students that we expect them to do their very best to achieve their very best...this is excellence.

The Ashdale Cluster which includes Madeley, is focusing on developing reflective practice as part of the process of improvement and hence achieving even greater excellence. One strategy that we are using as part of the reflective practice process is video recording lessons. Teachers have identified areas of their practice that they would like to develop and are videoing parts of their lessons in order to provide clear and useful information that they can reflect on. Teachers will use this information to modify various aspects of their teaching practice. This is a powerful tool for self-improvement.

Videos of lessons are only viewed by the classroom teacher although they may also choose to share the videos with other teachers in the cluster as part of the reflection process. After this, videos will be erased by the teacher. If you have any questions about the use of videos please see your child's teacher.