Palmerston District
Primary School

An ACT Public School


Kosciuszko Avenue
Palmerston ACT 2913

Phone: (02) 6205 7241
Fax: (02) 6205 7242
Email the Principal
Email the Front Office


Palmerston Post 11 September with P and C News PDF (371.5 KB)
Palmerston Post - 11 September 2014 with P and C News WORD (392.0 KB)

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28th Jul 2014 12:56pm
School Banking

25th Sep 2014 10:00am
Preschool Gruffalo excursion

26th Sep 2014
Term 3 Ends

26th Sep 2014 9:00am
Whole School Assembly led by 1VS, 1HS & 1CG

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Play at Palmerston

Dear Parents and Carers,

Every year I get an inquiry about how we manage student wellbeing at our school. Parents when enrolling their children will ask: How do you engage the children at lunch and at recess? Safety is a serious concern.

Play in the primary school comes from their experiences in the preschool environment and from home. Emotional intelligence provides a platform for personal and professional self-awareness, social awareness, self and relationship management. In our preschool we provide a rich play based learning approach. Early Childhood research demonstrates that if we can provide a solid, intentional, play based curriculum with a rich creative environment with highly professional educators, children will receive a quality early childhood education that will influence and impact upon their lives and learning for their future. This is our approach here at Palmerston and this extends into the free play the children are able to access at recess and lunch.

Engaging play is a way to have a happy school: Palmerston has a playground with various areas to engage children in quality play. We commence each day with our library open at 8:30am. The library offers a picture book reading each morning, board games and a large variety of books to read. We then start the day with a whole school morning assembly to clearly outline the day's events, clubs on offer and advise on any upcoming events.                      

Recess and lunch are times for the children to play. We have a junior play equipment area and a senior play equipment area. We have endeavoured to have an open playground where children can choose their area of play and make friends of any ages. Palmerston is lucky to have an outstanding and well maintained oval area and covered basketball court. Basketball is to be played on the basketball court at recess and lunch and soccer/ cricket and other bigger games are to be played on the oval. We have a blacktop area which is for smaller games such as skipping and handball. A sandpit is also on site for children of all ages, so that the physical hands on and imaginative play is catered for as well. This is for children of all ages. The library is open for children at lunch. This offers board games and reading and soon- a puppet theatre.

Palmerston has had a long tradition of clubs at lunchtime- run by teachers who volunteer their time. Each term we change a few of the clubs to cater for our children's interests. The clubs are clearly displayed on a noticeboard in the middle area of the school. The clubs are announced each day at morning assembly. The clubs are voluntary and children can come and go from them. This arrangement has been developed so children can have independence and choice. This is part of creating independent and confident young people. This year we have had: bookclub, science, knitting, cube-ing, coding, basketball, dance, skipping, art, SRC, gardening, defence, boomerang, Lego writing and many more. 

Teachers supervise the behaviour of the children on the playgrounds across the school. At recess and lunch the school is then divided into three main areas. The blacktop- inner which overlaps with the middle area of play and then the oval. Teachers scan the areas of the playground that they have been assigned to. They walk around the perimeter and they talk to children about their play and this is an opportunity to get to know the children that are not in their classes. During a hand over time, teachers transfer information they have on the children in that play area. Teachers are skilled in the art of playground duty and this is discussed at staff meetings. Teachers wear a fluro vest to be easily identifiable and each have a playground bag. In the playground bag there is information about children who may need additional assistance, band-aids, tissues, pens, behaviour slips and raffle tickets for children who volunteer to tidy our playground. Playground slips allow teachers to write up any incidents so that we can pass this information over to class teachers or executive staff. This information assists us in identifying what incidents or happenings are on the playground. The children who play happily or have minor disagreements that can be easily resolved, would not have an incident written down. If an incident occurs, we train the children to seek help and if hurt, they are directed and supported to medical assistance in first aid. We use the Protective Behaviours program to train children to be proactive in gaining assistance. We also use Restorative Conferences after events and Circle Time for working through issues with children. Questions may be:

  • What happened?
  • What were you thinking at the time?
  • What have you thought since?
  • Who has been harmed?
  • What needs to happen to make things right?

Teachers endeavour to address all issues that occur on the playground immediately. If it is a serious incident, parents are called and an investigation takes place into the event. This is when we ask the children and adults who witnessed it to retell what happened. As a result of the investigations, consequences are put in place. To protect everyone involved in the incident, and to allow them to forgive and move on, we do not discuss individual consequences with other parties. This is why we outline procedures in our documents, so that you know how we proceed. Our playground management and student wellbeing procedures clearly outline this process. Please take time to read this document. It is on our website.

 Schools work with the School Board and the P&C to develop clear outlines on how to address issues in this community and be supportive of all children and families. Every child is growing in understanding of how a community works and how to live by the values of that community. We work closely with your children to equip them with tools to support them as we learn together. This may not happen overnight… but together we will help it happen.

Remember, we are all here to work together at Palmerston- school and home. Respectful relations have many sides. As a community, we are raising all the children to be great citizens, we are not here to label children or punish them, but to teach. We teach in the classrooms, in homes, out in the community and collectively through modelling respectful behaviour.

I hope this snippet on school life assists families in further understanding how we teach children during the day when they are not in the classrooms.

Have a great week

Melissa Travers



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