Meaghan & Co

What Makes a Good School Culture?

I believe it starts with connections — strong and overlapping interactions among all members of the school community. Having good school culture is no longer an option. In fact, having a great school culture is expected at Port Macquarie Campus.

Putting trust in my teaching staff goes a long way towards positive school culture, because trust leads staff to help your children grow. Teachers who are convinced of a larger common goal are people who are excited to be part of a larger purpose. Our moral purpose is to meet the educational needs of our students to the best of our abilities.

You can’t beat having a whole staff who are pleasant and friendly to each other, and are both good at, and love,  what they are doing. No program, activity or set of rules tops having happy and fulfilled teachers who feel that what they are doing matters. Their teaching matters.

The best culture makes everyone - students, teachers, parents and carers - feel safe and welcome, never excluded or uncomfortable.

Executive Retreat

Last week, our entire Executive staff engaged in quality professional learning involving 23 Head Teachers, five Deputy Principals, two Administration Managers and three Principals took time away from family and committed to a weekend focussing on ‘Leading with Purpose’. We identified our own communication styles and that of others. Fundamentally, we were told that knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.

The sessions included

  • Emotional Agility
  • People styles at work
  • Good to Great

On behalf of the Principal Leadership Team, thank you Head Teachers for your commitment and energy in making the weekend inspiring!

School Infrastructure

Earlier this week, Mr Duck and I travelled to Sydney to investigate refurbished schools and new builds. The reason we did this was to gain an understanding of the impact new building works may have on the campus.

This is what we found:

KEY Messages

  • Managing classes around a build when concrete trucks came in etc.
  • Consistent, strong branding is essential across the campuses
  • Acoustics must be addressed
  • Stakeholder representation is crucial, P&C, AECG, Community, parents and staff.
  • Open learning spaces were not as easy to work with. Flexible learning spaces where team teaching can occur, and then classes can have a flexible space to work is ideal.
  • Placement of the canteen area is central to a refurbishment. It needs to be placed within the centre of the school.

On Thursday of next week, a team from NSW School Infrastructure and architects will meet with Head Teachers to discuss learning spaces. This is a very exciting time.

On Thursday 25 March, the community will then be invited to express their thoughts on some concept plans. I encourage all to attend.

Coming up

International Women's Day is celebrated on the 8 March every year. It is a focal point in the movement for women's rights. Our staff will be acknowledged on Monday 9 March.

The campaign highlights six key areas:

  1. Championing women forging technological innovation
  2. Applauding equality for women athletes
  3. Forging inclusive workplaces so women thrive
  4. Supporting women to earn on their own terms
  5. Empowering women through health education
  6. ​Increasing visibility for female creatives

We will be celebrating women at a morning tea on Monday at Lunch 1.

Parent / Teacher Conferences – Years 7-12

Please place in your diary: Tuesday 31 March for these important learning conferences.

Mozzies 

It is clearly evident that we currently have an issue in our local environment with mosquites.  This is common in all areas of Port Macquarie.  We are trying to keep the grass low where we can, minimise collection of water puddles and keeping gutters clear and clean.  Please be aware and proactive by applying insect repellent to your children before school.  Schools across the Hastings network are also experiencing the same issue.  As a network, we consistently consult with our assets teams and work health safety officers to gain further insight and recommendations for matters such as these. 

Parent / visitor code of conduct

At no time is it acceptable to behave in an aggressive or threatening way to staff.  Whether interaction is in person or over the phone, respectful communication is essential. Unacceptable and offensive behaviour has no place in our school community.  We talk to students everyday about what is okay and what is not okay.  As adults this should be something that we all model high expectations for. 

What is okay

What is not okay

Having a concern and contacting the school to discuss the problem with the class teacher.

Coming to the school office or the classroom and demanding to talk to someone straight away.

Making a time to talk through an issue with a staff member when you are calm and in effective control.

Yelling at or abusing any staff member, either over the phone or in person.

Talking calmly and respectfully to staff.

Swearing at any staff member in any situation, at any school event.

Use of social media to contact the school respectfully.

Making public negative or defamatory comments on social media.

Contacting a staff member of the school via the school contact number or email.

 

Contacting staff members regarding a school issue directly through either their personal mobile number or direct email unless you have been specifically invited to.

Being concerned about an incident that your child has been involved with and informing the school.

Approaching another child to reprimand them.