In the formation of classes at Concord West Public School several important factors guide decision making:
- Department of Education and Training staffing formula
- Student abilities and gender
- Student social needs
- Professional apptitudes of teachers
In the allocation of students to particular classes, the factor that guides decision making is:
Needs of individual students. These needs may be social, intellectual, emotional, physical. The identification of these needs will be achieved through:
- Professional judgement of teachers who are familiar with the student.
- Academic and welfare assessment and data
- Student's educational history (for eg previous classes)
- Significant information about their child, (health, history, social or emotional factors)
Parents are most interested in their child's happiness, and keen that he/she adjusts well to the new class each year. Teachers welcome any information which will assist your child in this process. Parents are asked to inform theirs child's class teacher or the principal of any information that may support us in forming classes. This information will be considered as a part of all available information in the process of forming classes.
It is not possible to request a particular staff member as your child's teacher.
Once the classes have been formed, and the policy has been followed with respect to the identification of students needs, it is not possible for a student to change classes at the request of the parent.
If the parent is concerned about the student's wellbeing or learning in the class, the parent can contact the Stage Assistant Principal or the principal about the concerns. The case may be taken up by the Learning Support Team so that support mechanisms are in place for the student if the team, in consultation with parents, feel that it is warranted.
It is important for students' social and emotional development that they make and participate in healthy friendships at school. Learning to make new friends and interact effectively with all types of people is an important part of children's development.
In 13 plus years of education, your child will eventually find themselves in a class without their close friends. It's normal for them to initially feel a little anxious about this, so how should you handle it?
Tempting as it may be to request a class swap (which can be a logistical nightmare for schools and not always possible), here are some important things to consider first.
Don't rob your child of this opportunity to develop social skills. School is a place where our children learn important social skills as well as academic ones. Finding their place and making friends in a new group is a vital skill to develop and one they'll rely on their entire lives. The classroom is one of the gentlest places to start learning this because:
- Teachers turn a group of students into a team every year. They keep an eye out for students who aren't mixing in, and create opportunities to pair them up with different children.
- There's still lunch and recess to play with their mates. It's also a great opportunity for them to learn about separating social time and work time.
- Lots of their classmates are in the same boat. Everyone is starting a new year, with a new teacher and a new classroom and many will be looking for new friendships too. Some children choose a new "best friend" in every class they have, which builds a rich network of friendships over the years.
- Children learn different skills from different classmates. These days there are lots of opportunities for group work in class, when students team up and work through tasks together. Unlikely pairings can produce excellent workmates, who share a common language of learning and help each other along.
- You can gently help them make new friends. If you are able to spend some time in your child's classroom (for example, by helping out with reading or maths groups) you'll meet the other children and be able to suggest possible friends to your child. Your child will be thrilled to see you in their classroom and it also seems to fast track their sense of 'belonging'. Encourage play dates with classmates.
If, after a couple of weeks, your child doesn't seem to be settling in or is still anxious about their new class, by all means drop a note to the teacher or make an appointment to chat.
Veteran parents and teachers tell us that more likely than not, your child will be absolutely fine and will have developed a new level of resilience from spreading their wings a little.