News

2018 Resource Allocation Model funding

In October 2017, all NSW public schools will receive a 2018 Planned School Budget Allocation Report. The report will assist with the management of the total budget delivered to schools through the Resource Allocation Model (RAM). The Resource Allocation Model (RAM) methodology distributes funding based on the individual needs of students and schools. This gives schools greater flexibility to make local decisions. Learn more about the 2018 funding by visiting the department's website or watch a short animation about managing the total school... Read more

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NDIS continues its roll out across NSW

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) started in NSW in July 2016, rolling out across half of the state. The rollout for the rest of NSW started on 1 July 2017 and the NDIS will be fully rolled out by mid 2018. The NSW government is writing to the families of children and young people with disability who currently receive disability supports in the rollout areas to advise how and when they will enter the NDIS. How will people move into the NDIS? There is a planned approach to the way people enter into the NDIS. The first people to... Read more

NAPLAN Online School readiness test

NSW schools will participate in the NAPLAN Online School Readiness Test from 14 August to 22 September. There is a lot of information for schools, students and parents on the NAPLAN Online transition website. The school readiness test is a ‘practice run' for schools to assess their technology as we prepare to transition to NAPLAN Online. It provides an opportunity for schools to become familiar with the NAPLAN Online assessment platform but is not an assessment of student ability.... Read more

Education Week 2017

Next week (Monday 31 July – Friday 4 August) is Education Week, a statewide annual event to celebrate public education in NSW. The week highlights the achievements of public education and local schools, putting the spotlight on our students, our educators and the communities that support them. This year's theme is I Learn, We Learn. It is a celebration of the commitment of the NSW Department of Education to ensuring that our students are at the heart of learning and that all our schools improve every year. Education Week is also a time for... Read more

Healthy School Canteens

Introducing Healthy School Canteens

The introduction of the revised Healthy School Canteen Strategy increases the availability of healthy food and drink options in school canteens to make the healthy choice, the easy choice. It replaces the Fresh Tastes@School Strategy in NSW schools that was commonly known as the traffic light system. The revised strategy is consistent with the 2013 Australian Dietary Guidelines and classifies food and drinks as either Everyday or Occasional. Sugary drinks will continue not to be sold. NSW public schools will have until the end of 2019 to... Read more

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Our shared responsibility

Welcome back for the 2017 school year. I hope everyone had a relaxing and refreshing break. I'd like to particularly welcome students (along with their parents) and staff starting in our schools for the first time. May the year ahead be engaging and rewarding – a wonderful year of teaching and learning. We know the world is transforming profoundly and quickly, and it is our great responsibility to prepare our children and young people so that they can flourish through such change. When our children finish school and enter the evermore... Read more

2017 Resource Allocation Model funding

In October 2016, all NSW public schools will receive a 2017 Planned School Budget Allocation Report. The report will assist with the management of the total budget delivered to schools through the Resource Allocation Model (RAM). The Resource Allocation Model (RAM) methodology distributes funding based on the individual needs of students and schools. This gives schools greater flexibility to make local decisions. Learn more about the 2017 funding by visiting the Department's website. Watch a short animation about the important role of the RAM... Read more

A new school year

Welcome back to school for 2016. As we start the year we have high expectations of our students and staff and a commitment to deliver the excellent public education that parents, carers and the community rightly demand. This year we will work towards achieving new priorities announced by the Premier to raise the percentage of students in the top two bands in the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). I am proud of our achievements in public education and each year our schools provide our communities with much to... Read more

Applications for student travel 2016

From 2 November 2015, a new online SSTS application process is being introduced for schools within the Opal network, coinciding with the introduction of the School Opal card. Schools outside the Opal network should continue to process the existing blue SSTS application forms and send them to the appropriate transport operators. Most parents, guardians and students won't need to apply for a school travel pass for 2016 if they have already been given a school student travel pass for the current year. These will be automatically sent to the... Read more

2016 school funding allocations

All NSW public schools are currently being advised of their 2016 Resource Allocation Model (RAM) funding. RAM distributes funding based on individual needs of students and schools, and gives schools greater flexibility to make financial decisions. The way schools use their RAM funding will vary based on local needs. Some support will be for the entire school, and some will be for particular groups of students or individual students. There is an overview document about the RAM available on the Department of Education website. If you would like... Read more

Banish sunburn

Over exposure to UV radiation from the sun in childhood or adolescence increases the risk of developing melanoma later in life. Teach your child how to apply sunscreen properly, and they'll be able to protect themselves even when you're not around. When the number hits 3, protect from UV. Check the daily UV alert in your local newspaper or at www.cancercouncil.com.au/sunsmart. A UV level of 1 or 2 will not damage most skin types, but a UV level of 3 or above can be harmful even on a cloudy day. Apply early. Sunscreen needs to be applied 20... Read more

Hosting gatecrasher-proof teenage parties

If your teen is planning an end-of-year get together with their mates, the NSW Police website MyNite.com.au has some excellent tips, including how to register your party to help prevent things getting out of hand. The number one tip is never to advertise a private party on Facebook or other social networks. Uninvited visitors are increasingly a problem at teenage parties. By giving the local police a heads-up at least 72 hours prior to the party, they'll be better prepared to help out if you need them to. There are obviously a lot of parties... Read more

What parents should know about Instagram

It's hard to keep up with all the social media platforms and apps our kids want to use. Instagram is currently one of the most popular social networks for school-aged children at the moment. It's a free, photo and video sharing mobile application and social network for people aged 13 years and over. There's no age-verification process though, so younger children can create an account pretty easily, sometimes without parents even knowing. Instagram say they'll remove under-age users' accounts if they are reported. Instagram has just published... Read more

Managing depression in children

One in four kids over the age of 12 has significant depressive symptoms. For girls, depression generally appears between the ages of 11 through to about 14. For boys, depression generally appears between 12 and 16. Signs your child may be suffering from depression If you see a number of these problems starting to develop, it's time to ask the question, could this be a more significant emotional disturbance than general teenage moodiness or attitude? A persistently bad, often irritable mood withdrawal not experiencing pleasure not reacting to... Read more

Managing exam stress

As students prepare for end-of-year exams, child psychologist Kimberley O'Brien, from Sydney's Quirky Kid Clinic, has some good advice to help families manage pre-exam stress. "Stress isn't necessarily a bad thing – adrenalin can be useful in helping kids stay on track, study longer and finish tasks more quickly," Kimberley says. "The problems arise when it takes over and your teenager starts to feel overwhelmed and even isolated." In a perfect world, your teenager will have organised their study and revision into manageable chunks... 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

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

Surviving the HSC

If your child is studying for the HSC, you're probably feeling the stress too. Many parents want to help but don't want to interfere. As well as pre-exam tension, there are other common factors that can make life seem even more challenging for the whole family. Year 12 is often the year when students: lose interest in school develop an intense relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend get their driver's licence experiment with legal or illegal drugs have a part-time job develop an eating disorder suffer from depression. If any of these... 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

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