THE IMPORTANCE OF ATTENDANCE AT PRIMARY SCHOOL
At Helena Valley Primary School, we know that some children may need extra encouragement to go to school regularly. By working together, our school community can address some of the reasons why your child may not want to go to school.
Some common problems you may have getting your child to school: • They won’t get out of bed in the morning. • They go to bed late at night. • They can’t find their uniform, books or school bag. • They are slow to eat breakfast. • They haven’t done their homework or are avoiding a test or assignment. • They are watching television or playing video games before school
You may also be worried that your child: • is being bullied • may not have friends or is not fitting in • may be feeling lost at school • fears getting into trouble or failing • may have learning difficulties • may not be getting along with a teacher.
What can you do to help? • Have a set time for your child to go to bed at night and get up in the morning. • Have their uniform and school bag ready the night before. • Have a set time for breakfast. • Set a time for daily homework activities or after school activities. • Talk about school positively. • If running late, encourage your child to still go to school and reassure them that you will let the school know. • Organise for your child to meet a friend before school so they can arrive at school together. • Get involved at school through volunteer work (such as the canteen, Supporter Reader or sports carnivals) You could even join the Parents and Citizens’ Association
Do you need to let the school know if your child will be away from school? • Yes, you need to let the school know that your child will be absent from school and the reason why as soon as possible. Having information about why a child is missing school helps us plan for their return to school and to work out whether we can provide any further help to you.
What will staff at Helena Valley Primary do to help? • Offer developmentally, socially and culturally responsive learning opportunities to engage students. • Monitor every student’s attendance and work with parents to overcome problems affecting attendance. • Provide predictable routines to help students know what to expect to reduce anxiety about going to school. • Talk with you about involving support staff such as school psychologist, chaplain, mentors and other agencies or organizations to help. • Talk with you about local services that may also be able to help
Developing the habit of going to school every day is vitally important so your child does not miss out on important ideas and skills they need for future learning.
If your child is going to be away from school for an extended period of time, written notification using the Extended Absence Request Form PRIOR to the absence is needed Extended Leave Request Form(or you can complete at the front office). This is a Department of Education requirement and will be forwarded to the Principal on receipt for approval. If this is not completed beforehand, your child’s absence will be entered as an ‘unauthorised’ absence.
Whilst on leave, some recommended educational activities your child can engage in are: • Reading (and Lit Pro activities) • Mathletics • Card games and board games • Puzzles • Engaging in cooking and other instructional activities • Keeping a written and/or photographic diary or journal
The impact of holidays during school time: • At school, many concepts such as literacy and numeracy are taught in a sequence. Missing school means missing out on learning – which can often make it difficult to catch up later. This is particularly important in the early years when essential foundation skills are being taught. • Going to school every day helps children learn the important life skill of ‘showing up’ – at school, at work, to sport and other commitments. • Research from the Western Australian Telethon Kids Institute shows that every day at school counts towards a student’s learning. Students who attend more, generally do better at school and in life. • The School Education Act 1999 does not allow principals to give permission for families to take holidays during the school term. As students are required to attend school every day, time off for holidays is recorded as an absence.
What can you do? • While it can be tempting to take advantage of discount offers for accommodation and flights, we strongly encourage you to organise holidays during school holiday periods to make sure your child doesn’t miss out on school. • Please contact the front office and fill out a ‘Extended Leave Form’ if you have been considering taking a holiday during the school term. We will be able to tell you what learning your child would be missing out on.
Absence Notification: If your child is going to be late or absent from school (due to sickness, holidays, appointments etc), please notify the school before 9.30am via: • Phone on 9294 1062 • SMS on 0437 410 293 • Email on HelenaValley.PS@education.wa.edu.au • Complete the absentee form on Connect.
Would parents please ensure that children who arrive at school after the 8.50am siren report to the front office and sign in.
If you have any further queries or concerns regarding your child’s attendance, please contact the Attendance Officer through the front office.