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When older kids struggle with reading

When older kids struggle to read and write, the issue can become fraught for the whole family. Parents can lose their patience and blame the child or themselves and the child loses their confidence and begins shying away from reading at all. Grades fall and interest in school can flag. Kids who struggle to read often try to hide it from teachers and parents, and develop unhelpful strategies, which only exacerbate the problems. Ways to encourage effective reading in older children Ask your child what subjects they would like to read about.... Read more

International Family Day - no more payments please

Payment for food orders for International Family Day has closed. Please do not make any payments online or at the school office. Thank you.... Read more

Nurturing the artist in your child

Your child may not go on to become a famous musician, actor, dancer, filmmaker or artist. But by nurturing the artist in your child you can help them grow up able to think for themselves, problem solve and work out different ways to do things. They'll also be better able to see different points of view, communicate and express their feelings in different ways. Here are some top tips: Stimulate your child's senses - Provide opportunities for your child to experience different sights, smells, sensations and sounds. These sensory activities are... Read more

Building your child's reading skills

Here are some simple tips to encourage your child to become a strong reader and a book lover for the rest of their lives. Share a book at home Children love to hear a story read aloud. Try reading with different voices, lots of emotion, invented sound effects and funny faces. Change the tone in your voice and vary its loudness or softness. Have fun and enjoy it. It's a good idea to practise reading before sharing a book. Listen to your child talk about the story and the pictures. Try asking your child which parts of the books they found... Read more

Flu season is here!

Influenza is spread from person-to-person through the coughing or sneezing of infected people. Remind your child about these good hygiene practices to minimise the spread of infection: Anyone who is sick with influenza symptoms should stay home until their symptoms are gone. Cover the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw the tissue in the garbage bin after use. Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective. Avoid touching eyes, nose or... Read more

Too sick to go to school?

Sometimes it's hard to know if your child is really coming down with something or just suffering a bout of Mondayitis. For safety's sake, if your child seems unwell you should always keep them home from school and seek medical advice. However, if they miraculously recover by 11:00am, ready to race around the backyard, keeping them in bed all day may send the message that staying home isn't nearly as much fun as going to school. The School A to Z website's Too Sick For School? chart will help answer your questions about common childhood illness... Read more

Sorting fact from fiction

You can't always trust what you read when researching information for homework, assignments or projects. Here are ways your child can tell a good website - or any document - from a bad one. Reader beware With so much information on the web and no-one responsible for fact checking, students need to look out for: bias and hidden agendas factual errors outdated information information which is country specific commercially motivated information. Play the detective Colleen Foley is a curriculum adviser who helps school librarians with the NSW... Read more

Too sick for school

As the cold weather hits, so do the winter bugs. It's often hard to know whether to send your child to school or let them stay home to recover, especially when that means an adult cancelling work. For safety's sake, if your child seems unwell you should always keep them home from school and seek medical advice. School A to Z and the NSW Health have created an at-a-glance chart to help answer your questions about common childhood illness and how long sick kids need to miss school. Find it by typing this link into your web browser... Read more

Mental maths strategies

We teach children a range of different strategies to add and subtract numbers. By showing them several methods for solving maths questions, we're helping them to look for patterns. All this builds a good sense of "number" which means they understand the relationships between different numbers and why different ways to add and subtract work well. The goal is that your child will understand many ways to approach a maths problem and will be able to choose a way that makes the most sense to them. School A to Z has a lot of resources, including... Read more

Does speaking another language at home confuse children?

Are your children fortunate enough to be growing up in a home where two or more languages are spoken? Many parents worry that bilingualism can cause confusion and even delays in learning for their children, but according the Raising Children Network, that's not the case at all. A good knowledge of your native language can actually help your child with learning English. Bilingual children who are read books and spoken to in their in their native language find it easier to learn to read and write in English when they get to school. More... Read more

Walk Safely to School Day

Walk Safely to School Day (WSTSD) is an annual, national event when all Primary School children will be encouraged to walk and commute safely to school. It is a Community Event seeking to promote Road Safety, Health, Public Transport and the Environment. It will be held throughout Australia on Friday 23 May 2014 . The objectives of WSTSD are: •To encourage parents and carers to walk to school with primary school age children and reinforce safe pedestrian behaviour. •To promote the health benefits of walking and help create regular walking... Read more

Social media, kids and privacy

Regardless of your child's age, the world may already know a lot more about them than you suspect. According to recent research: 92% of children under the age of two have a digital presence (it starts with proud parents posting newborn baby photos on Facebook or Instagram) a quarter of Australian children aged between eight and 12 use Facebook, despite the minimum age for a user being 13 more than 20 per cent of tweens publish photos of themselves on the photo-sharing website Instagram young people between the ages of 14 and 19 have an... Read more

What parents need to know about Kik

It seems that every few months a new social media platform or mobile app emerges and becomes popular with young people in our school community. Suddenly "everyone" is on it, according to our children. It's hard for most adults to keep up. Many parents will have recently heard about Kik Messenger and are wondering if it's safe for children. Here are some facts from the School A to Z website's technology guide: What is Kik Messenger? Kik Messenger is a free texting app available on iPhone, iPad, Ipod touch, Android, Windows, Samsung Galaxy and... Read more

The benefits of team sports

Winter sports are getting underway and many parents will soon be getting out of bed early on cold weekend mornings to transport their children to sports fields across town. The good news is that even if your child's team never scores goal, they're benefitting significantly from simply being active and involved. The long list of benefits for your child includes the development of: cooperation and teamwork skills leadership skills respect for teammates, opponents and officials a sense of belonging and team membership social interaction skills... Read more

Books to boost brains

Literacy skills often progress suddenly in leaps and bounds. The secret is to keep kids of all ages reading over the weekends and school holidays. Even 20 minutes a night can make a huge difference to their reading, comprehension and general knowledge. It's also a great way to settle their minds down before sleep (for adults too!). If your child hasn't found a book that grabs their imagination, why not try them on a series book from the Premier's Reading Challenge list? Here are top suggestions for all ages, including young adult :... Read more

Meeting your child’s teacher

Meeting teachers to discuss your child's progress or behaviour can be daunting, but there's no need to feel anxious. Remember, you and the school are partners in your child's learning. Whether it's regular parent -teacher interviews or a one-off request for a chat, these useful tips will help you get the most out of your meeting. Do your homework Take a few minutes before your meeting to jot down any questions or comments you have. Go with the right attitude Try to approach the interview with a positive and relaxed attitude. Don't be afraid to... Read more

Bullying. No Way!

Our school is taking a stand against bullying and violence. Our school is taking part in the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on Friday, 21 March. We encourage students to behave positively and safely every day but on the National Day of Action we will be shining the spotlight on our anti-bullying strategies. On Friday, 21 March all classes K – 6 will be participating in lessons and discussions that promote appropriate social skills and aim to prevent bullying behaviour. The Bullying. No Way! website has information for... Read more

Great books for upper primary students to read

Follow the link for a list of favourite books from the Premier's Reading Challenge team that will inspire kids aged between nine and 13 to read, read, read! Find out more: http://www.schoolatoz.nsw.edu.au/hu/homework-and-study/english/my-book-club/helping-tweens-to-love-reading/ideal-books-for-tweens-to-read... Read more

The most important skill to teach your child

One common trait all successful adults have is resilience. The ability to bounce back from disappointment is something we have the opportunity to teach our children every day. As our kids constantly remind us, life isn't always fair. Is it a parent's role to constantly try to make life fair? How do we balance the desire to shelter and protect our children with the need to teach them how to cope with life's disappointments? The School A to Z website asked top teachers all over NSW for their tips for parents on developing resilience so children... Read more

Help with your child's homework in one click

The School A to Z app has been created by the NSW Department of Education to help parents and their school-aged children, wherever and whenever they have homework and study questions. It's available free for Android and Apple mobile devices, and is an essential tool containing: English A to Z - more than 350 definitions of commonly used English terms from primary and high school. Each word has an easy-to-understand definition based on the current school curriculum, with illustrations and help sheets explaining the rules of grammar. Maths A to... Read more

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