Address: Willett Avenue, Oak Park VIC 3046
T:(03) 9306 9182 E: William.Nolan@education.vic.gov.au
November 26th 2020
Oak Park Primary School will work collaboratively to provide a stimulating, safe and challenging learning environment that promotes resilient, innovative thinkers.
Calendar of Events
Something from the writer I referenced last week – Robert Flughum:
A man I know well makes up his bed every morning.
He wakes up around 6:00, rises, puts on his dressing gown, and – weather permitting – carries his doonah and two pillows outside to hang in the sunny morning air.
Then he turns on some music, makes coffee, takes a shower, and dresses.
The last act of this daily ritual is taking his sun-infused doonah and pillows back inside to arrange on his bed, ready for his return at night.
Why these morning habits? Why does he bother making up his bed every day?
Even he wonders sometimes. Who cares?
After all, he is a single man, living alone – with no next-door neighbours. His house is fifty kilometres away from the nearest town. He seldom has visitors – and he rarely entertains house guests. Therefore, nobody is likely to have access to his private environment or witness his early morning rituals.
Nobody is going to know whether he makes his bed or not.
And yet . . . despite his solitary privacy – reliably – day after day, week after week, year in and year out – he makes up his bed.
Well . . . almost always . . .
There was one exceptional week – three years ago. When he fell into a deep black hole of existential despair. And he just let go of the reins of his life. He thinks of it now as The Week of Living Like a Loser.
The dirty dishes piled up in the kitchen sink for days. The garbage cans were filled to overflowing. In the refrigerator, mouldy hair began growing on the leftovers.
The laundry accumulated in unwashed heaps. The bathroom became a grotty mess.
And his bed was left unmade – a stale snarl of gnarly sheets and blankets.
And nobody – nobody – ever witnessed this fall from grace.
“Who cares – who gives a damn about how I live in my cave?” he thought.
And then . . . one morning . . . he finally crawled up out of his dung heap, and looked around in dismay – a man living a homeless existence in his own home. He dressed and drove away – fled to spend a day hiking along the river. And stayed in town in a motel overnight.
The next day he came home to his house and himself – to put them back in order.
Who cared? Well . . . he did. He could not live like a loser for long.
His daily morning ritual resumed, and has remained in place until this very day.
You might say the man has OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
Perhaps. But that’s a speculative negative view.
Besides, if you witnessed the higgledy-piggledy unpredictable way he goes about most days and weeks you could hardly say he is set in his ways. One useful morning habit is not the sign of pervasive neurosis. You might say the man simply learned something about his need for self-respect — in his environment and in his own skin.
The man I know recently saw a video of a commencement address by the commanding officer who leads the Navy SEALS – one of the toughest, most highly-trained combat units in any armed forces in the world. The commanding officer said that the first thing required of the SEALS is simply to make their beds to a high standard every morning. He said it was a matter of self-discipline, self-respect, and personal pride in paying reliable attention to a small, ordinary task.
Moreover, he explained, making your bed in the morning meant that no matter how arduous, dirty, or awful a day of training might be – a soldier would have a personal place to come back to at the end of the day that was rightly welcoming. The day would at least begin well and end well.
The man I’m writing about hasn’t applied to be a member of the SEALS, but if he did, he could at least meet the first basic requirement – making his bed just right every day.
He, too, understands the pleasure of coming to the end of the day to a bed prepared as if he was an honoured guest in his own home. Part of that pleasure is lying down on sheets and pillows rinsed in the morning sunshine. And then closing his eyes in the deep quiet dark sleep of contentment.
I’ve been writing about a man I know quite well. The man, of course, is me. We are on very intimate terms. I meet him in the bathroom mirror every morning and at the end of every day. There he is – again and again.
Sometimes I think and write about him in the third person in order to consider his life objectively, and help him stay in touch with his better self. Because he gets lazy and sloppy at times – in his house and in his mind. He needs to be reminded that the truth of his character lies in what he thinks and does alone – in solitude, when nobody else is watching.
He needs to be reminded to be a special guest in his house and in his life – even though that’s not always easy or simple or required.
But if he makes his bed every morning, the day will at least begin and end well. And he can drift off to sleep knowing he has at least the most basic requirement for becoming a member of the SEALS.
Plato wrote that Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Yet the man I know often goes about his life without examining it – he doesn’t have time to be relentlessly, thoughtfully, reflective all the time. He’s too busy just living through the tasks and opportunities of a given day.
If it is true that the unexamined life is not worth living, it is also true that the life not lived well is not worth examining.
A reminder that Friday December 4 and Friday December 18 are Curriculum Days and no students should be at school on those days.
Victorian schools are allocated four Curriculum Days each year. The first is on the first school day of the year when teachers return to prepare their classroom etc. The others are planned for different times of the year. We usually have the day before Melbourne Cup Day as a Curriculum Day as so many students are absent on that day due to their parents being granted a four day weekend by the workplaces.
We had planned for the other two Curriculum Days to be held earlier this year but due to the lockdown, they did not eventuate.
There were extra Curriculum Days allocated this year but these were specifically to enable teachers to plan and prepare for remote learning. We are mindful of the many disruptions that have occurred during 2021 and the effects they have had on students and their families. The final day of the year was selected as a Curriculum Day partly with these disruptions in mind – it being a shorter day anyway. These disruptions have also restricted many of the things that staff would have been able to do. In the lead up to the new school year in particular, there are a lot of plans and preparations that need to happen to help ensure we maintain a viable curriculum and can cater for the needs of students.
Thank you for your understanding.
Dear Parents and Families,
Our Breakfast program is now running and we’d love to see you there.
Breakfast is offered every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday morning from 8.30am to 8.50am. Please come to the staffroom between these times and have breakfast with other children. We offer Cheerios, fruit cups, weet-bix, porridge, muesli, fresh fruit, milk and milo.
Most of our food items have a green health rating, are halal certified and are also vegetarian.
A big thank you to Helen Brown and our Wellbeing Leaders for helping run the program. We had 14 students eat breakfast at school on Monday morning and we’d love to see you there. Breakfast is provided for ALL students, so come along and have a fun time with other children and staff in the staffroom.
CLICK AND COLLECT PRODUCE
Due to a great suggestion from one of our Sustainability leaders; Andreas, we have started a ‘click and collect’ service to sell some of our produce in place of the stall we would usually hold on Fridays. The first batch went out last week. Keep your eye open for messages regarding what’s available going home via COMPASS and if you would like to go on the list to order, please email me (John.Hughes2@education.vic.gov.au) and let me know.
The frog pond has recently received an update, with new pond liners being installed, the river pebbles reinstated and a bluestone border (courtesy of the McArdle family). The best news about this is that we have spotted large tadpoles, most likely Pobblebonk, swimming around in the new pond. Hopefully this means we will have a frog population in our pond able to be sustained by the means we’ve put in place to ensure a water supply is constant. We are able to irrigate the pond via the large water tank in the orchard area and a connection to the roof of the Sustainability building, which means rainwater gets channelled into the pond. We are also in the process of adding a solar pump to circulate the water and prevent mosquitoes getting out of control
You may know that we are involved in Resource Smart Schools, which aims to help schools reduce their environmental impact. We have so far achieved two stars and are well on our way to a third for the ‘Waste’ element. Over the last year or so we have worked to reduce our contribution to landfill through established means such as:
Grade 6 Graduation
Students and staff are invited to celebrate the Grade 6's of 2020. The Grade 6 students will celebrate their time at Oak Park Primary School during our Graduation ceremony on Thursday, December 10th, 2020.
At this stage of the Covid-19 restrictions, we are currently planning for a live-streamed Virtual Graduation ceremony. Students are invited to celebrate their end of Primary School Graduation and reflect on all that they have achieved. The live-streamed ceremony will be available for parents and families to view remotely. Following the ceremony, students will enjoy a pizza dinner and refreshments and will have time to take photos and celebrate a successful end to the year.
Our hope is that restrictions may ease, allowing an audience. Further details will be shared in the coming weeks, including starting time and itinerary.
When: Thursday, 10 December 2020
Ceremony Time: TBC
Where: The Tiger Turf & Multi-Purpose Room, Oak Park Primary School.
Dress Code: Formal.
Cost: $15.00 per student to be paid via Compass.
We understand that there is a cost involved this year, which will cover the food and drinks for students. We have had some fundraising earlier in the year which has helped to keep this cost at a minimum.
Grade 6 Swimming
Info for Parents:
Grade 6 Coding
Six students from the Grade 5/6 cohort enrolled in a Coding Challenge during remote learning. The aim was to create a game for two or more players around the theme of isolation. They have worked collaboratively in groups three to complete the challenge. All students involved should be commended for the participation, resilience and problem solving during the challenge.
We wish them all the best and success with their submission next week!
Grade 5/6 Camp
Dear Grade 5/6 Parents/Families,
Next week will be our Grade 5/6 Camp Week on-site at Oak Park Primary School. The Camp week activities will run from Monday 30th - Thursday 3rd December for the Grade 5/6 students. The Grade 6 swimming program will still be running on Monday morning too.
During the week the students will rotate through a range of activities including team building challenges, riddle round up challenge, cooking, craft activities, obstacle course, hair and face paint activities and a talent show performance.
We would also like to ask if you have any spare cardboard packaging boxes that you would like to donate to the school for a camp week activity, could you please ask your child to bring them into school by Friday 27th November.
If you have any questions or queries regarding activities, concerns about any allergies or your child's participation please speak with your child's classroom teacher.
Grade 5/6 Team
Dear Parents and Guardians
The end of the year is fast approaching, and it is time for me to find all the resources that have been borrowed by students and staff.
ALL resources (library books, class readers etc) need to be returned to the Library by Friday 27th November.
This gives me time to make sure the Library is up and running for the first week of 2021.
Year 7 Transition
Below are details for the virtual parent information session for families of students attending COBURG HIGH SCHOOL in 2021
While our Parent Information Session must run remotely, the Orientation Day will be going ahead onsite and we are so excited to welcome our new students in person. All students should arrive at Coburg High School by 8.45am on Tuesday 8th December and bring the following: