Word games to help prepare children for literacy at school

July 20th, 2016

Children’s literacy skills begin developing long before they begin school. Some might argue that they begin in the womb, where we now know the foetus begins learning the difference between language patterns such as sounds, syllables and vowel lengths. [1]Partanen E, Kujala T, Huotilainen M, et al. Learning-induced neural plasticity of speech processing before birth. PNAS. […]

Tips for getting a parent to a meeting

July 5th, 2016

Recently a number of members have been asking for help in getting a hard to contact parent to attend a meeting at their school. To generate some fresh ideas we thought we’d publish some of the best suggestions posted on our old forum in response to the following question… ‘Hi, I was wondering if anyone has […]

Q&A Young student who bites and hits

May 27th, 2016

Q: ‘I have been referred a child who bites and hits others when she cannot have her own way. The child is in Prep (Foundation year), and did the same at preschool and at home. This year’s classroom teacher has had some success, however the behaviour has returned. From my reading, this behaviour may relate […]

New release: Working with children with serious or chronic medical conditions ebooklet

May 5th, 2016

There are about 200 serious or chronic health conditions affecting Australian children and adolescents. A health condition that lasts three or more months, affects a child’s daily living, requires frequent hospitalisation, extra home care, and/or extensive medical care and treatment nationwide.[1] Mokkink, L. B., van der Lee, J. H., Grootenhuis, M. A., Offringa, M., Heymans, H. […]

Improving communication for adolescent students living with health challenges

May 5th, 2016

By Dr. Julie White, Psych4Schools Guest Blogger An estimated 12% or half a million Australian school-aged children and young people live with chronic health conditions. There are about 200 different conditions, ranging from Cystic Fibrosis to survivors of childhood stroke to those dealing with Crohn’s Disease. Medical successes enable many, who in the past would […]

The importance of taking a break

April 20th, 2016

When students engage in a task involving high concentration for an extended period of time, the brain’s messenger chemicals or neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, are depleted and they can experience ‘burnout’. As a result, new memories are unlikely to be stored effectively. Observe your students whilst they are engaged in an activity for a […]

Plan ahead for meetings with parents

March 9th, 2016

Be clear about the purpose of the meeting. Is it fact finding, information giving, or a mixture of these? Don’t walk into a meeting ‘cold’. Have some thoughts regarding the way forward, but be flexible and willing to listen. Make sure siblings are catered for by providing paper, pens, an iPad or toy box. It […]

Meeting the parents: Are you ready?

February 22nd, 2016

Face-to-face meetings with parents enable you to put names to faces, and are often the first step to developing great working relationships. Building rapport by identifying and discussing student strengths, interests, concerns and possible solutions early in the year can be reassuring to both you and parents. Most meetings early in the year focus on […]

Boost your relationships with students’ parents

February 15th, 2016

Many schools experience issues around liaison with some ‘hard to reach’ parents. Sending notes home, leaving phone messages, waiting outside the room at student departure time, trying to chat at sports day, school approved home visits, arranging meetings via family workers or sending meeting reminders via Class Dojo are all techniques that can have some […]

Feel more prepared and confident for teaching this year

January 18th, 2016

You’re probably already thinking about what 2016 might bring for you and your students, and planning your term 1 program. It can be helpful to review your successes from last year, and those things that didn’t go so well. This information can help you to plan, prepare and be confident about the year ahead, particularly […]

Reflect on the year – write a letter

December 6th, 2015

This is a great time for students (and teachers) to actively reflect on their year. Taking time to think about what has been achieved this year both academically and personally is a great way to help students feel a sense of competency and closure at this time of the school year. Self-reflection can also help […]

How to talk to your students about the terror attacks in Paris

November 15th, 2015

The Paris terror attacks that occurred on Friday night have left the international community reeling. Although Australia is geographically far from the attacks, theextensive media coverage means most, if not all of your students will have been exposed to what happened in some way. In addition, there are Australians visiting France who were injured or […]

Students who can’t fall asleep at nights

November 10th, 2015

The question below was featured on our forum a few years ago. Since then we’ve had lots of people offer suggestions. We’ve summarised some of the responses. Question ‘As a Year Level Coordinator, parents, one or two students and even a few teachers have asked me for advice about how to advise students about how […]

Helping traumatised children with concentration and memory

November 9th, 2015

By Psychologist Alison Soutter, Psych4Schools Guest Blogger Children who worry about what might happen when they get home or who are having flashbacks to terrible events from the past can understandably find it difficult to learn. The effects of trauma (which can include frightening thoughts or flashbacks) can undermine children’s concentration, memory, organisation, language development, […]

Supporting a student’s family after the death of a loved one

September 15th, 2015

Following the death of a child’s family member, teachers may find that the child’s parent/s or carers come to them for advice and support. Grief responses encompass a wide range of emotions, thoughts and behaviours. It is important for parents and staff to know that everyone experiences grief differently and that many people will continue […]

How to talk to a student you suspect of alcohol/drug use

September 3rd, 2015

Around 74% of Australian secondary school students have tried alcohol at least once before they turn 17.[1] 2011 Australian Secondary Students’ Alcohol and Drug (ASSAD) Survey  Illicit drug use is less common with 2-3% reporting using drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, amphetamines or heroin.[2] White, V & Bariola, E (December 2012). Australian secondary school students’ use […]