Recently I spoke to prospective parents about their hopes and dreams for their children. The young couple spoke at length about the educational advantage they were seeking from a school like St John’s Grammar, they also articulated the need for their children to be safe and well cared for and to be with like-minded students. Every year we review safety considerations in the Junior School to ensure the safety and well-being of all staff, children and members of our community. I thought it timely to outline the safety precautions we take.
- All gates are closed during the day and opened near the beginning and end of each day. The only gates that remain unlocked are near OHSC and the Front Office. We actively supervise Kiss n Drop and the crossing on James Road at the beginning and the end of the school day to ensure that students exit the school safely and are collected by a parent.
- We offer Before School Care from 7.30am and teachers are on duty in the yard from 8.30am. The yard is not open until this time.
- Teachers remain on gate duty until 3.50pm each afternoon and students are then escorted to After School Care, which operates until 6.00pm.
- All staff undergo regular epi-pen, asthma, anaphylaxis and fit management training, as well as Emergency First Aid courses, and Senior First Aid training for Specialist teachers and Education Support Officers.
- Play equipment in each of our playgrounds is age-appropriate and regularly checked and audited by our maintenance staff.
- We practise our lock-down, bushfire and emergency evacuation procedures throughout the year.
- All students and staff wear hats at playtimes during Terms 1 and 4.
- Consent2Go has been introduced this year across all campuses at St John’s Grammar. This software assists us to comply with many laws and policies regarding privacy and risk when conducting excursions, incursions and outdoor education experiences. It also allows us to communicate and share information with the wider community.
- DCSI checks are carried out on all staff, relief teachers, sports coaches, music staff and classroom volunteers. We actively encourage all members of our community to be involved in the lives of their child by attending excursions and outdoor education programs during the day but insist on them having the correct accreditation. We also formally induct volunteers and outline how they can support teaching staff appropriately.
- Classes have procedures in place to ensure that the time children spend in toilets is monitored.
- A safety officer is appointed for all camps and excursions and low staff-student ratios must be observed. A teacher with Senior First Aid training attends every camp.
- St John’s campuses are regularly inspected and locked by the Caretaker after hours, which is particularly reassuring at evening functions.
- All visitors must report to the Front Office to sign in and out.
- Parents are asked to notify office staff whenever collecting or returning a child, or if arriving after the roll has been taken. We need to know the whereabouts of each child.
- Staff supervisors are present at school sports events.
- The Home group teacher takes the roll every morning and absentees who have not been reported by parents are followed up with a phone call from the Junior School Staff.
- We have increased the number of teachers on duty recently to ensure that no problems can go undetected. Staff also wear fluoro vests so they are clearly visible to students who need assistance.
- We have a zero tolerance for poor behaviour in the classroom or schoolyard. If a child reports a matter to a staff member or an inappropriate action is witnessed it is dealt with immediately and all parents contacted.
- OHSC staff are regularly updated regarding student behaviour and expectations to ensure consistency in all areas of school life while on campus.
- The Year 12 students to support the development of friendships between likeminded students have introduced lunchtime activities. Activities such as code club, chess club, drama and sport help to foster positive relationships between students of similar age and ensure that break times are enjoyable and safe.
This comprehensive list of measures along with united and consistent support from all teaching staff ensures every child has to opportunity to learn in a safe, caring and supportive environment.
This term we welcome Karen Saxby to the Junior School. Karen will be overseeing the Library after the retirement of Jayne Knox. Karen isn’t new to St John’s Grammar,having worked in the Junior School in 2010 as a Student Support Officer and for the past 3 years she has been a Library Assistant on the Secondary Campus. Karen has a BA in Library and Information Management and Cert III & IV in Education Support. Karen is passionate about supporting students of all ages and would like them to continue their love of, and develop new relationships with, literature. She also hopes they find the styles of reading material that suit them and be confident in their reading ability.
It also gives me great pleasure to announce Liz Mobbs as the Mid- Year Reception Teacher for 2019. Liz is a highly accomplished and respected teacher having taught in the Junior School for many years prior to starting a family. Liz impressed the interview panel with her vision for the mid- year students, particularly in the area of wellbeing. Liz has also worked in the ELC recently and has an intimate knowledge of our youngest learners and will ensure they continue their passion for learning.
Her interests and passions are travelling, spending time exercising and exploring in nature with her family, reading (She loves visiting our local libraries to borrow lots of books!), watching inspiring movies and documentaries, baking with her 3 children and learning more about gardening.
Head of Junior School