One part of our push to develop a whole school approach to
health, wellbeing, inclusion and engagement is to create opportunities for community to get together and chat both formally and informally.
Ivanhoe Primary School has a strong culture of family involvement with the school. When families volunteer everyone benefits; parents and relatives get a clearer understanding of how the school works and develop stronger relationships with teachers and staff, children enjoy seeing their families involved in school life and learn the value of contributing to their community, teachers and staff are supported in their work and feel connected to the greater school community.
WE REALLY NEED YOU! HOWEVER we also understand that lack of time, other commitments and sometimes just know where to start can be barriers to getting involved.
Recently School Council did some work to unpack volunteering at school to highlight areas that might help you get started. So here goes. Volunteering Options at IPS, Answers to Frequently Asked Questions and a Parent Testimonial.
We are very lucky to have a full Canteen open daily at recess and lunch, but it can only function with the help of wonderful volunteers. This involves supporting our Canteen Manager, Jenny Ross, in food preparation and serving the hungry students.
Involvement: Option of helping out at recess 9am – 11am and/or lunch 12noon – 2.30pm
Our school banking program is currently organised through the Commonwealth Bank but we rely on volunteers to process the children’s deposits. With sufficient helpers this can be quick and fun.
Involvement: Tuesday mornings from 9am (1-2 hours) – attend as often as you like.
To keep our grounds looking great we run regular working bees. This involves general maintenance and gardening plus occasional special projects to improve the school. Note: If you can’t make your year level working bee you can join any other working bee during the year.
Involvement: All families attend their year level working bee (1 per year) Sundays 9am – 12pm.
PARENTS & FRIENDS ASSOCIATION (PFA)
Our Parents and Friends Association is a great way to get involved in the school and meet other parents. The PFA brings the school community together and runs many of the ‘special days’ at school such as; Welcome Picnic, School Disco, Mother’s Day Stall, Father’s Day Breakfast, Trivia Night and Annual Gala Ball.
Involvement: Regular evening meetings and assistance at events.
CLASSROOM PARENT REPRESENTATIVES
Parent Reps are appointed for each class and their role is to build class community by supporting families and teachers. This involves co-ordinating the class contact list, organising regular social gatherings for parents and students and communicating important events such as working bees, the Gala Ball and School Fair.
Involvement: Organising one social event per term, plus general class-wide communication.
From Foundation to Grade 2 parents are invited to join the Classroom Helpers program. This involves undertaking the Classroom Helpers Course and then rostering on to help out in your child’s classroom. This is a fantastic opportunity to support the kids and teachers while also getting an insight into how the classroom functions.
Involvement: Introductory course, then 1-2 hours once per week or fortnight.
PERCEPTUAL MOTOR PROGRAM (PMP) & FUNDAMENTAL MOTOR SKILLS (FMS)
Students in our early years participate in weekly group physical development programs called PMP and FMS. Parent volunteers are required to help run this activity.
Involvement: ½ to 1 hour once per week – casual attendance is welcome.
SCHOOL EXCURSIONS & CAMPS
Various opportunities arise through the year for parents to participate in school excursions and activities including; walking students to swimming lessons, going on day trips (e.g. to the Zoo) or helping out on a school camp (Grades 4 – 6). Note: for some activities you may need a Working with Children Check. As a general guideline if a teacher is present you do not need a check, however if you are supervising children on your own you do need one.
Involvement: Varies depending on the activity.
SCHOOL COUNCIL & SUB-COMMITTEES
The school council is responsible for assisting the Principal and staff in the organisation and development of the school. The IPS Council comprises 10 elected parent members and 4 members of staff. There are also a number of additional sub-committees which report back into council. These include; Out of School Hours Care, Buildings & Grounds, Education, Finance, Canteen, Digital Learning Technologies and the School Twilight Fair (see below). Parents are encouraged to join any committee which interests them.
Involvement: School Council Meetings are held twice per term.
SCHOOL FAIR (BI-ANNUAL – NEXT FAIR IS NOVEMBER 18th 2017)
The fair is the major fundraiser for Ivanhoe Primary and is run every second year. A great deal of support is needed including; running and contributing to class stalls both in the lead-up and on the day (e.g. food, craft, activities), co-ordinating performers (bands, student performances, etc.), organising sponsorship & marketing, general set up/pack up etc. on the day.
Involvement: Fair Committee & Class Stall Organisers; regular meetings & organisation.
Volunteering: Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a working with children check to volunteer at the school?
For some activities you will require a Working with Children Check. As a general guideline, if a teacher is present then you do not need a check, however if you are supervising children on your own you do need one.
You can find out more and apply online (free) here: www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au
Do I need training to help out in the classroom?
To participate in the Classroom Helpers program you need to complete the Classroom Helpers course run by the school during Term 1 each year. This course is a component of the Victorian Early Years Literacy Program and is designed to support the work of parents, helpers and aides who assist in classrooms. The program runs for three consecutive weeks and is presented by teachers from the school. Topics include: Being a Helper, Helping with Speaking and Listening, Helping with Reading, Helping with Writing.
Do I need to work in the canteen all day or can I just help out for a couple of hours?
You don’t need to work in the canteen all day. If you prefer you can help out for just one of the following time periods; Recess 9am – 11am or Lunch 12 – 2.30pm.
Can I come to another working bee if I can’t make my year level one?
Yes, you can come to another working bee if you can’t make your year level one. If you can’t make one at all we request a donation of $20 to the school to help pay for ongoing maintenance works.
Does the Class Representative have to run the Class Stall on Fair Years?
No, the Class Rep is not required to run the Class Stall on Fair Years (but they are welcome to). They are, however, asked to help organise the parents who will run the stall and convey important information about the Fair to the class when needed.
How do I know when the committees meet? Where do I find out more information?
The weekly school newsletter is a great way to find out more about all the activities you can get involved in. The school website also has plenty of handy information and in 2017 we are launching a school management platform called Compass which will include a Parent Portal. For any further questions please contact the school office.