Monday 2nd August 2021

Parent/Carer Information

Role of the School Generally

The School is responsible for establishing and administering the policies, procedures and rules which govern the day to day operations of the school.  It is important that parents recognise and respect this; adhere and have their children adhere to the School’s requirements and support the School’s decisions.

Parental Code of Conduct

This Code has been developed so that parents and those with parental responsibilities are aware of and meet Minimbah Primary School’s expectations with regard to their interaction with the School, its teachers, other parents and students.  Adherence to this Code is important to promote positive and productive relationships within the School community.

If a parent fails to observe this Code after being warned about a breach, the School may:

  • limit access to a teacher or teachers;
  • limit access to the school premises or sporting or other school events; or
  • terminate the enrolment of the student.

School Routines

School Hours

9.00 – Playground supervision begins.

9:20am – 11:30 am – Literacy Session

10:30 am – Crunch and Sip

11:30 – 11:40 – Sitting to eat Recess

11:40am – 12:00 am   -Recess Play

12:00pm – 1:15 pm – Maths Session

1:15pm – 1:30pm – Sitting to eat Lunch

1:30 pm – 2:00 pm – Lunch Play

2:00pm – 3:00pm – KLA’S

3:00 pm – Children dismissed

Curriculum

The aim of Minimbah Primary School is to deliver an educational program that meets the needs of individual learners in an inclusive way. We believe that the education of our students must be holistic. We recognise that our students have a unique heritage that must continue to grow and develop into the future and for generations to come.

To support this aim the school has introduced a teaching method called the Eight Ways of Aboriginal Learning that embeds Aboriginal perspectives into lessons in all curriculum areas.

 A typical day in a classroom incorporates Literacy and Numeracy “block” and time scheduled for inquiry units in Science, Geography and History. Literacy and Numeracy are taught in the morning with a commitment of two hours of literacy and one hour and 15 minutes of numeracy each day. Throughout the week students attend classes in Personal Development and Physical Education, Visual Arts and Music.

Assessment

Students are assessed on an ongoing basis. Teachers monitor progress through observations, testing, work tasks and self-assessments. The main purpose of assessment is for the teacher to ascertain the student’s next point of learning, with assessments also being used to report to parents/care givers on progress and part of the learning process.

National Literacy and Numeracy Test (NAPLAN)      

The National Literacy and Numeracy Testing are conducted each year for Years 3 and 5 students, assessing:

Language Conventions (including spelling, grammar and punctuation);Reading ;Writing and Numeracy

Transition Program

Transition from Minimbah Preschool to Minimbah Primary School involves parents/caregivers and staff working together in partnership to ensure a happy, positive start to this next stage of their schooling. The purpose of the transition program is for children to become familiar with the physical environment of the Primary School, to meet other children, to experience Primary School routines and to further develop independence and social confidence.

The start date for the Transition Program is the third week of term 3.  The program runs Tuesday to Thursday from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm.

At the end of Term 2 parents/caregivers off children who turn four before July 31 will receive a letter inviting them to attend a Transition Program Information session. This session takes place in the first week of Term 3.

Visitors

For security reasons all parents/visitors must first report to the General Office upon entering the school grounds.

Absenteeism

The school is legally obliged to account for absences of every child.

If your child is sick or going to be late, please ring the school on 67724853 between 8:15 and 9:15am or send a note of explanation to the class teacher via another student.

If it is necessary to collect your child before the end of the day parent’s/care givers need to notify the front office before collecting them.

On the first day your child is absent the school will phone to ask for a reason for the absence. If there is no communication from the parent/caregiver after 5 school days a letter will be sent by post asking for reasons why a student may be absent.

Change of Address and Telephone Number

Please notify the school if your telephone or address changes.  In order to keep school records up to date in case of emergencies we require:

A change of address, home, personal contact number and work contact phone number.

A change to your emergency contact number.

Excursions and Camps


Excursions and camps are a valuable part of Minimbah Primary School educational program. They provide firsthand experience and shared learning for the whole class. At times, you may be invited to accompany a group on an excursion. Information and permission notes will be provided before the excursion.

We encourage all children to attend excursions and camps. It is very important that signed permission forms are sent to the school. If you have any concerns or require additional information about an excursion or camp, please contact your child’s classroom teacher.

 Medications

Special medical arrangements can be made with front office receptionist but remain the responsibility of parents/caregivers. Medications must be left at the front office but cannot be administered without signed parental or caregiver permission. All medications will be kept in the school’s front office.

The School must be given full instructions about the medications that your child has to take at school whether short or long term. It is requested that medication be kept in original packaging, with the student’s name and instructions from the pharmacy. Complex health requirements must be discussed with the school and a health plan developed.

First Aid

Staff trained in first-aid attends to all minor injuries. If a child’s injury requires further medical treatment, parents/caregivers will be notified. If parents/caregivers are not available a staff member will seek medical help for the child.

At recess and lunch a first aid trained staff member is on duty. Children are asked to first see a duty teacher if injured in anyway. They will be sent to the school office for first aid when necessary.

 Illness at School

In the event of illness or minor accidents children will be cared for by the School office staff. If children are hurt or unwell and it is felt that they should not remain at school, parents/caregivers will be notified. In the event that parents/caregivers or emergency contacts cannot be made, the school will take whatever action is required to ensure the safety and well-being of the child. It is, therefore, of the upmost importance that parents/caregivers ensure that the school is informed of any changes to contact information.

Head Lice

 Should the school observe a child with head lice, the following steps are taken:

(a) A phone call is made to the parents/caregivers of children where head lice are discovered.

(b) A letter is sent home with all children, seeking the support of parents/caregivers in checking their child for head lice.

 Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe and rapidly progressive allergic reaction that is potentially life threatening. The key to prevention of anaphylaxis in schools is knowledge of those students who have been diagnosed at risk, awareness of triggers such as peanuts, insect stings, milk or wheat products and prevention of exposure to those risks.

Parents must inform the school of the diagnosis and its causes. Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring that the school is provided with a current EpiPen kit.

 Asthma

Parents/carers are responsible for ensuring that their child has the appropriate medication with them at school and the school is notified of the diagnosis.

Custody Procedure   

We respect the confidentiality of family situations. However, we ask parents/caregivers to inform the school at their child’s enrolment or at any subsequent time of any information regarding family situations such as custody orders.

This information is very important to helping us support your child with sensitive family matters. By law, the school must sight a custody order if it is to be enforced. Please advise the Principal of any change to legal custody.

Separated Parents

The School is aware that some students have parents that are separated or divorced.  In these cases, parents should not attempt to involve the School in any parental dispute that may arise.  The School is not able to make judgments on the merits of claims made by one parent against another and should not be asked to do so.  Nor should it be asked to take any action which is designed to disadvantage one party.  The School will of course, observe any orders made by a Court in relation to a student or communications with parents.

Student Welfare

Minimbah Primary School endeavours to create a school environment in which students are safe, secure and feel cared for. Student wellbeing is a priority for all staff and within all school programs. The school values are based on consideration towards every member of our school community and reflect our core values of Kindness, Identity, Knowing and Confidence.

All students at Minimbah Primary School have the right to be treated fairly and with dignity in an environment free from disruption, intimidation, harassment and discrimination. To achieve this, it is necessary to maintain high standards of appropriate behaviour.        

 Student Behaviour 

Minimbah Primary School Student Behaviour Policy aims to manage inappropriate behaviour, determined by the intensity, frequency and duration of the behaviour.

It is our school’s strong belief that all members of our school community are in partnership for ensuring that high standards of student behaviour are maintained.

Your child’s class teacher will spend time working with the class to describe these values further. Children will also discuss consequences for not following these rights, responsibilities and values. Teachers will also spend time discussing how children might deal with problems that may occur, e.g. speaking to a trusted adult such as a parent. If a student does not follow school expectations, then consequences will apply. A child may be reminded about the school values and expectations, they may also be warned or there might be a consequence such as detention, paying for a damaged item, repairing damage, being moved to another part of the classroom, or walking with a yard duty teacher for a part of a recess or lunch play.

The School expects students to comply with its rule and not engage in behaviour which is harmful to others or is contrary to the ethos and philosophy of the School.  Parents are expected to support the School in relation to its discipline policy and not do anything which undermines its authority.  It must be understood that in the case of minor disciplinary matters, the School will be the arbiter of what is a fair punishment and will not engage in debate about the appropriateness of the punishment.

Discipline

In relation to more serious disciplinary matters which may result in suspension or expulsion, the School will inform parents of the matter which will be dealt with in accordance with the School’s Behaviour Management policy.  While parents will be consulted, the final decision will be the School’s.

Student Code of Conduct

 Minimbah Primary School has high expectations of all its students. It is expected all children at Minimbah Primary School will understand and follow the Minimbah Primary School’s Code of Conduct. After reading it, please discuss it with your child. It will also be discussed in all classes. Please sign and return the agreement to school.

At Minimbah Primary School all students have rights and responsibilities that relate to the school core values of Kindness, Identity, Knowing and Confidence.

The following are a student’s rights at Minimbah Primary School: The right to learn, and play in a safe, secure, stimulating and positive environment.

The right to be respected and valued.

The right to express ideas and opinions in a positive way, and to be listened to.

The right to have fair access to school resources.

 With these rights also come responsibilities, these are:

To act responsibly and work to the best of your ability.

To respect the rights of others.

To be cooperative and considerate.

To share and care for resources.

Your child’s class teacher will spend time working with the class to describe these values further. Children will also discuss consequences for not following these rights, responsibilities and core values. Teachers will also spend time discussing how children might deal with problems that may occur, e.g. speaking to a trusted adult such as a parent.

If a student does not follow school expectations, then consequences will apply. A child may be reminded about the school core values and expectations, they may also be warned or there might be a consequence such as detention, paying for a damaged item, repairing damage, being moved to another part of the classroom, or walking with a yard duty teacher for a part of a recess or lunch.

 All students at Minimbah Primary School are expected to:

Attend every school day and be in class on time and prepared to learn

Behave safely and responsibly at all times.

Show respect at all times for their peers, teachers, community members and other school staff

Care for property belonging to themselves, the school and others.

Students behaving in an unacceptable manner need to understand and experience the consequences of their actions. They will be supported in changing their behaviour for the better.

This will be done through implementing the Five Level Plan:

Level One: Verbal Warning given by teacher or support staff

Level Two: Student’s name written on board

Level Three: Five minutes Time Out in class or playground

Level Four: Student is sent to another classroom

Level Five: Student sent to Principal

Inappropriate student behaviour of a serious nature may result in lunchtime detention, suspension or expulsion. The principal is responsible for any investigation in the appeals process. No form of corporal punishment is permitted within Minimbah Primary School.

All students, parents and/or care givers will have the right to appeal a decision made by the principal regarding suspension or expulsion of a student at Minimbah Primary School. This would require a written appeal to the Minimbah Board of Directors. After the Board have considered the appeal, they will make a decision in consultation with all stakeholders.

Rewarding Positive Behaviour

At Minimbah Primary School, our students are recognised and rewarded for actively demonstrating our school’s core values of Kindness, Identity, Knowing and Confidence.

All students have the opportunity to receive:

Recognition in the classroom and playground through positive feedback, class-based recognition such as stickers and stamps.

Merit awards presented at assemblies which recognise achievement, improvement and citizenship.

Principal’s Award for following school core values.

Special awards for achievements when representing the school, contributions to the community, and other special events.

Reporting/Parent Teacher Interviews

Parent/Teacher Interviews are held once a year usually late in Term 2 (parents/caregivers are notified via a separate notice). In addition, parent/teacher interviews can be arranged with the classroom teacher as needed. Written reports are distributed in Term Two and Term Four.

You are welcome to discuss issues related to your child at any time during the year;
however, we request you make an appointment with your child’s teacher to arrange a suitable time and not disturb them while they are teaching/supervising children or getting ready for their class before school.

Transition to Secondary School Program

Students in Year 6 are given the opportunity in Term 4 to link with Armidale Secondary Schools including Armidale High School, O’Connor Catholic College and Duval High School. These schools provide opportunities and activities that demonstrate their teaching practices and familiarises our students with their new learning and social environment.

Learning Difficulties

Our school has allocated significant resources to support the needs of students with specific learning difficulties. To ensure early identification of learning needs teacher conduct comprehensive assessments of their students’ learning particularly in the areas of literacy and numeracy. This provides accurate and specific information about the student’s learning needs and programs can be developed accordingly. Students requiring additional and specific learning support will be referred to our school’s Intervention Team.

Interaction with Staff

The School conducts regular meetings between staff and parents at which the student’s progress can be discussed.  There may be other times when a parent or staff member requests a meeting to discuss particular issues that may arise during the course of a student’s schooling.

If a parent wishes to meet with a staff member, they should make an appointment so that a mutually convenient time can be arranged.  This can be done through the school office.

Parents should never attempt to contact a staff member at their home, unless the staff member requests this.

Parents also can make an appointment to see the principal about any particular concerns they may have relating to their child.

It is important that parents show respect for staff and not publically criticise them or seek to undermine their authority.  If a parent has a particular concern about a member of staff, they can raise it with the staff member concerned or with the principal, however when doing so, they should observe the general rules of conduct set out in this Code.

The School has a duty of care towards all staff and for this reason any aggressive or abusive behavior will not be tolerated.

Grievance and Complaints Process for Parents/carers

If a parent has a complaint about an issue, this should be directed to the principal or to the teacher responsible for the particular area of activity.

If a parent wishes to make a complaint, they should not use rude or abusive language.  This is not productive and can make it harder to resolve concerns

A resolution to a grievance at Minimbah Primary School from a student, or parent, should first be sought through discussions with the appropriate person in order to come to a mutually acceptable solution. If this process is unsuccessful, a formal Grievance Procedure will be followed.

Minimbah Primary School has a responsibility to ensure that high standards of conduct are always maintained by students and parents, and that grievances are managed and resolved fairly, efficiently and in a timely manner.

Grievances occur when a student or parent complains that an action or decision has been taken (or not taken) at the school that he/she believes to be unreasonable.

Minimbah Primary School recognises the rights of its students or parents to register a complaint or grievance about any decision, behaviour, act or omission that they feel is unfair, discriminatory or unjustified.

Parents, carer and community members are encouraged to report any conduct that is in their view inappropriate, reportable or criminal conduct to the Executive Principal or their delegate. All such reports will be dealt with in accordance with the schools Complaint Handling procedures. See the Complaints Policy and Procedures for Parents and Students.

If the complaint concerns the Executive Principal, then all complaints should be directed to the Minimbah School board by email at board@minimbah.net.

Class Volunteers

Teachers welcome parent’s/care givers in their classrooms to help with class activities and helping with excursions. All volunteers are asked to “sign in” and “sign out” at the Front Office during each visit.

Complaints Policy For Parents and Students

POLICY STATEMENT

A resolution to a grievance at Minimbah Primary School from a student, or parent should first be sought through discussions with the appropriate person in order to come to a mutually acceptable solution. If this process is unsuccessful, a formal Grievance Procedure will be followed.

RATIONALE

Minimbah  Primary School has a responsibility to ensure that high standards of conduct are maintained by students and parents  at all times, and that grievances are managed and resolved fairly, efficiently and in a timely manner.

Grievances occur when a student or parent complains that an action or decision has been taken (or not taken) at the school that he/she believes to be unreasonable.

Minimbah Primary School recognises the rights of its students or parents to register a complaint or grievance about any decision, behaviour, act or omission that they feel is unfair, discriminatory or unjustified.

This Grievance Policy does not apply to complaints alleging criminal or unlawful behaviour, which shall be referred to the appropriate authorities.

This policy includes specific reference to processes for raising and responding to matters of concern identified by students and/or parents, including:

“application of the ‘hearing rule’ and the ‘right to unbiased decision’ when implementing policies and procedures where decisions are to be made which affect the rights of others.” (Section 10 of the Registered and Accredited Individual Non-government Schools (NSW) Manual January 2016 (incorporating changes from 2004 to 2016)

  1. Informal Stage 
  • It is usual that the student or parent/caregiver will communicate directly with the member of staff concerned. This may be by letter, telephone, or in person, by making an appointment.
  • Many concerns can be resolved at this stage, and it is anticipated that the vast majority of cases will be resolved.
  • In the case of more serious concerns, it may be referred directly to the principal. If reasonable requests to find an informal resolution are declined, the process may be terminated immediately.
  • Formal Stage
  • If the initial complaint from a student or parent/caregiver is not resolved at the informal stage the student or parent/caregiver must put the complaint in writing and pass this to the principal, who will be responsible for carrying out the investigation. In the case of very young children the parent/caregiver or teacher may scribe for the child.
  • The complaint should include details which may assist the investigation, such as names of potential witnesses, dates and times of events and copies of any relevant documents (ie, previous correspondence)
  • The principal will collect other evidence if necessary. Where this involves an interview with a member of staff, who is the subject of the complaint, the staff member may choose to bring a IEU representative to the meeting.
  • The investigation will begin as soon as possible and when it has been concluded, the complainant and the member of staff concerned will be informed in writing of the outcome.

This may be to the effect that:

  • There is insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion, so the complaint cannot be upheld
  • The concern is not substantiated by evidence
  • The concern was partly or fully substantiated. Some details may be then be given of action the school may be taking to review procedures, but details of the investigation or disciplinary procedures will not be released
  • The matter has been fully investigated and that appropriate procedures are being followed, which are strictly confidential
  • The student or parent/caregiver will be informed that consideration of their complaint is now concluded
  • If the complainant is not satisfied with the manner in which the process has been followed, they may request that the Minimbah School Board review the process undertaken by the Principal in handling the complaint. Any such request must be made in a timely manner after receiving notice of the outcome from the Principal.

PROCEDURES

Grievance Procedures:

  • All grievances including Child Protection issues, will be dealt with in a timely manner at the appropriate level before being taken to a higher level. This includes classroom teachers, AEO’s, office staff and the principal.
  • All complaints must be recorded on the appropriate form (see Attachment 1) and be submitted to the Principal. These reports will be dealt with in a timely manner and filed in the school secure storage room.
  • All communication with parents/caregivers and students, which includes phone, email, conferences and informal discussions with students or parents/caregivers must be reported to the Principal.
  • Caution MUST be exercised when reporting back to the complainant as certain details must not be revealed due to confidentiality.
  • Any recommendations should also be shared with all parties, unless there is good reason not to do so. Wherever possible, recommendations should be constructive and not punitive.
  • The complainant should be advised that he/she may request a review of the process if they are not happy that the process has been undertaken properly.

1. Information for Students: how to raise a complaint?

At Minimbah Primary School we believe it is important that everyone feels happy and safe so that the best learning can take place. If you have a problem, a concern or a complaint, we encourage you to speak to someone about it.

Steps:

  • Identify the problem that is upsetting you.
  • If you feel you can, meet with the person you are having the problem with and if their behaviour is upsetting you, tell them to stop.
  • It is a good idea to ask for support or advice from family members when problems arise rather than keeping it all to yourself.
  • If your problem is not solved, talk to a staff member about your concerns and ask them to help you deal with it. The staff member will often be able to give you good ideas on how to solve the problem.
  • It may help to take a friend with you when speaking to a staff member.
  • If you do not believe the problem has been solved, see the Principal about your concerns.
  • You should not be afraid to make a complaint as you will be supported by the school staff.
  • If you want to, you can write out your problem in a letter instead of talking about it, but the person helping you will need to speak to you later.  
  • Investigation of any complaint or review request will begin as soon as it is received and the investigation will be completed as soon as reasonably practicable.

3. Information for Parents and Caregivers:

Minimbah Primary School recognises that parents/caregivers need to work closely with the school to provide the best educational opportunities and care for their child. We encourage you to discuss your child’s progress with staff and to let us know if you have any concerns so that we might work together to resolve these as quickly as possible.

Steps:

  • Have a clear idea what the problem is before contacting the school.
  • Make an appointment to meet with your child’s class teacher. The best way to do this is to contact the school office to arrange a mutually convenient time for a telephone call or a meeting.
  • If you do not feel after your meeting that the problem has been solved, or if you have a complaint about a staff member, make arrangements to meet with the Principal.
  • If you do not feel that the problem has been resolved, or if the matter involves the Principal, send your complaint to the Minimbah School Board stating your concerns in writing. Please make sure you sign and date your letter.

Minimbah Primary School recognises that parents/caregivers and community members may have complaints or allegations of staff misconduct or reportable conduct.

  • Parents, carer and community members are encouraged to report any conduct that is in their view inappropriate, reportable or criminal conduct to the Executive Principal or their delegate. If the complaint concerns the Executive Principal then all complaints should be directed to the Minimbah School board by email on board@minimbah.nsw.edu.au .
  • All such reports will be dealt with in accordance with the school’s Complaints Policy and Procedures for Parents and Students. The Complaints Policy and Procedures for Parents and Students in located in the front office and on the school server.

KEEPING RECORDS OF COMPLAINTS:

It is essential that adequate records of complaints are kept for the following reasons:

  • So that subsequent enquiries/or concerns can be located and referred to
  • So that complaints can be tracked through the stages of action to resolution
  • So that patterns of complaints can lead to improvements in our operations
  • So that accurate information is available to those directly involved in investigating the issues
  • Notes of meetings, interviews, telephone calls, letters, emails etc must be recorded
  • All records must be dated and signed
  • Oral and written communication gathered in the mediation process are strictly confidential to the parties involved.
  • Confidentiality guarantee does not apply where there is threats of physical violence or where child abuse is suspected or reported.

COMPLAINTS HANDLING PROCEDURES FOR SCHOOL STAFF:

  • Always act promptly to investigate a complaint
  • Listen carefully to the complainant. Give them a chance to explain their problem.
  • Keep an open mind.
  • Give a copy of Minimbah Primary School’s Complaints Policy and discuss with the complainant the steps that should be taken.
  • Be clear about the appropriateness of your involvement. Ask yourself if this is something that should be handled by the Principal.
  • Clearly explain to the complainant the actions that you will take to follow up on the complaint.
  • Complaints should only be discussed by those responsible for handling them. They should NEVER be the subject of casual conversation or gossip.
  • Keep a record of all relevant details and ensure the Principal is given a copy.
  • It is a policy of Minimbah Primary School that anonymous complaints will not be acted upon.

A report regarding complaints from students or parents/caregivers will be tabled at all Minimbah Board meetings by the Principal.

ATTACHMENT 1

Minimbah Primary School Complaint form for students and/or parents/caregivers:

Please complete and return to the Principal who will acknowledge receipt and explain what action will be taken.

Your Name:  
Student’s Name:  
Your relationship to the student (if relevant):  
Address:     Postcode: Daytime telephone number: Mobile number:  
Please give details of your complaint:            
What action, if any, have you already taken to try to resolve your complaint? (Who did you speak to, and what was the response?)          
What action/s do you feel might resolve the problem at this stage?          
Are you attaching any paperwork? If so, please give details.          
Signature:                                                                                                       Date:  
Office use only:
Date acknowledgement sent:                                                                    By Whom:
Complaint referred to:                                                                                 Date: