Being a small school makes it easier for us to learn, know and care about each other. We become a school family, with plenty of interaction between different ages of children. It’s not uncommon to find classes sharing activities and teachers involved in “team teaching”. At recess and lunchtimes, students of all ages may be found engaged in whole school games, with Red Rover, t-ball, Capture the Cone being favourites.
Every second Friday afternoon (2:15pm) we hold Kupa Ngal, which means “sitting or learning together” and involves students participating in cross age activities of their choice. Activities include things like, sport, inside games, board games, crochet, art, quilling, drawing, jewellery making, guided drawing, LEGO, construction and so much more. The activities alter as student interests change.
Formally we have structures in place that encourage strong student support networks.
Foundation students are given a Grade 5 “buddy” (numbers permitting) to assist in their transition to school. In Term 1, several sessions are conducted with buddies to familiarise our Foundation students with our older students, however, the benefit of a small school is that everyone plays with everyone. It is delightful to watch!
Each year, School Captains and Vice Captains are selected by a student and teacher vote. Prospective Captains write a speech about what they can bring to the school and their leadership qualities; then a vote entails. This is generally announced at our End of Year Concert and Yr 6 Graduation ceremony.
Student leaders have opportunities throughout the year to extend their leadership capabilities through workshops and events. We attend an annual GRIP Leadership conference and hold regular meetings to work together to improve our school environment and the wellbeing of our students.
2022 School Captains, Amelia and Felix at the VicSRC workshop, Heywood.
Student Wellbeing and Engagement
Student wellbeing, engagement and connection to school is vital to their successful education. We utelise a range of strategies to develop and enhance wellbeing within NDPS.
We teach the Victorian Education Department’s Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program from Foundation- Grade 6. This is supplemented with commercial programs, including Positive Education.