There are many opportunities for parents to become involved with the school in a variety of capacities. Parent skills are often drawn upon to ensure that children see school as an extension of, and support to, their family and understand the role that parents play in their education and academic, social and emotional growth.
Manchester places a high importance on having the skills of the parents recognised by students to assist in the development of acceptance and tolerance of diversity.
In short, Manchester acknowledges that the balanced development of the whole child cannot occur without the partnership of home and school. It needs us to be “on the same page” in order that the child understands the roles at each of us plays in their education.
Parents and Friends Association
The Parents and Friends Association comprises a group of dedicated parents who are very active in fundraising activities in the school. They meet once a month after assembly on a Tuesday and organise fundraising activities that have enabled the purchase of such resources as the Interactive White Boards and play equipment.
Some of the activities only require minimal input like, selling healthy ice treats on Friday lunchtimes during the warmer months, assisting with Subway orders once a week and Parent Club looks further into the parent community for assistance in becoming a part of the rosters for these activities.
They are a very social group and joining Parent Club is a great way to meet other people and simultaneously assist the school to achieve the fantastic results that we have. Toddlers are always welcome. Parents interested in joining or even just assisting on a one off or itinerant basis should contact Di McLennan or Jodie Jenkins.
There is facility for children to start good practice saving by having a bankbook at school. Banking is with the Commonwealth Bank and banking day is every other Thursday. School banking has the advantage that there is no necessity for children to have to prove their identity with the “points” system required by most banking institutions. Encouraging children to save is also a form of delayed gratification, which has significant impact on their later achievement. More details are available from the General Office.
Book Club has operated very successfully at Manchester for many years and enables families to purchase reading matter for the children at reasonable prices. Reading is such a high at Manchester that we encourage families to see these as healthy treats or rewards for the children. In 2010 we welcome Heidi Bell who will take over from the patient and efficient Martin family.
Once in a while, Manchester runs training sessions for parents wishing to be more directly involved in classroom activities. These parents, according to Department of Education and Early Childhood Development regulations, are required to have stringent police checks run on them and course covers the delicate areas of discretion and professional ethics. Some activities in which parents MAY be asked to participate are in PMP, as office or classroom assistants and with reading.
This selection occurs on a needs basis and is discussed by the classroom teachers and the Principal. The Principal will facilitate a training session when the need arises. Your interest in assisting should be left in written form at the General Office.
Parent and Family Involvement
There are many parents whose work commitments prevent them from being involved in the operation of the program on a daily basis. There are many other opportunities for families to support their children and the school.
The concert occurs generally once every two years.
The fete is another event that occurs once every two years. Anyone wishing to be part of the organisation and planning of the events, please contact the General Office.
Twilight Sports and Meet the Level
In March there is an opportunity to join us in a sausage sizzle and to meet the teachers involved in teaching at your child’s level. There is an information session provided where you can hear the teachers speak about areas/topics to be covered for the year, the priorities for student learning, home studies expectations, camps and excursions etc and there is the opportunity for your child to conduct you through their classroom to explain their learning thus far. This is a general information session and not for individual interviews. Parents can make a time with the teacher should they wish to have a more individualised meeting.
Then the school adjourns to the bottom oval for the much loved Twilight Sports evening and parents are invited to sit on the bank with the family to see the children involved in a variety of individual and team events. All agree that (weather permitting) this is a lovely and festive event.
Prior to Christmas the children and their teachers work very hard to prepare carols for the family Carols Night. Ably organised and hosted by Andrew Spinks, the Salvation Army Band and the children entertain families for a joyous evening of song and celebration. School Council holds a sausage sizzle and there are drinks available for purchase.
As a commitment to our local community, Manchester also participates in the Mooroolbark Community Carols Night at Hookey Park. The children and families love the event and participate energetically.
The Marathon is one of Manchester’s most important fundraisers. Staff and children train up till the time of the event and the children are sponsored by family and friends to raise money for the purchase of material and equipment for the school. Not only are we able to purchase items like books, computers and other classroom requisites, but the training improves the children’s physical fitness which has a positive impact on their learning.
Families can act as spectators for the morning’s marathon and many parents and even grandparents join the children in doing laps of the oval to spur the children on to do their personal best. Cross Country and other sporting events
There are many sporting activities at which parents are a welcome audience including cross country, zone athletics, Participation Day, interschool sports to mention just a few. Parents are kept informed about these events as the approach.
We hope that the above information above clarifies the way in which Manchester wishes to include parents and families in the education of their children.