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Busy term sets course for positive year

 | 13 April 2018

Just like that, it’s the end of Term 1 – and what a busy term it has been.

Portrait of Director General Sharyn O'Neill

Sharyn O'Neill

Director General

There has been a lot of great things happening in public schools throughout the past few months. Students and staff have been winning science awards, celebrating Harmony Day, taking part in the World’s Greatest Shave, and getting involved in various programs.

You can read about these stories and more on our Facebook page.

I was pleased to hear that our new program for students with autism spectrum disorder is making a significant difference for families.

Five schools are involved in the pilot program which allows students to receive intensive lessons as well as the opportunity to learn with other students in the school.

Families benefitting from this program at Marangaroo Primary School were featured on the ABC this week.

The 10 students selected for this year’s Premier’s ANZAC Student Tour will soon be leaving for Vietnam to learn about Australia’s military involvement in the region following World War II, as well as the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive and the Battle of Coral-Balmoral.

The tour is a life-changing opportunity for students to learn about the incredible sacrifices made by Australian and New Zealand soldiers. I know this year’s group will get so much out of this journey as they visit historical sites in Ho Chi Minh City, Hue and Hoi An.

There has been long standing debate about formal learning versus play in early years of schooling. Let me be clear, I am an advocate for play but the balance has to be right.

There is no mandate in public schools to make Kindergarten and Pre-primary more formal.  Play and learning go hand in hand and teachers are expected to use a range of teaching strategies with young students.

I am pleased to let you know that the WA Education Awards 2018 will open shortly. The stories and work of the finalists and winners each year are inspiring and I know this year will be no different. I do encourage you to talk with your principal, school board/council or your P&C about recognising staff or the school this year.

I wish staff, students and their families a safe holiday break.

 

SHARYN O’NEILL
DIRECTOR GENERAL

Photo supplied by ABC.