Community Forum

On June 2nd, 2015, School Councillors, Parents, Students and staff who attended our parent forum. We had approximately 45 parents and 40 children who worked through 3 questions:

  1. What are the reasons why your child is at Tecoma Primary School?
  2. What does the school do well?
  3. Where would you like to see the school in 4 years time? What improvements can we make to get to that vision?

The first question takes in the beginning of our last strategic plan back in 2011. Many parents have enrolled their children in that time. It is a rear view mirror question looking back at the reasons why parents did enrol their children here. The second question regards right here, right now, what does the school do well. The third question will help form our shared vision going forward. What would you like to see the school doing, achieving or providing in 4 years time at the end of our next strategic plan? What can we get better at? Led by a school councillor at each table, we broke into 6 tables each writing on butchers paper to answer each question. We used a protocol where groups were continually mixed, never being at the same table or with the same group and the feedback was very positive.

Not all responses are listed below. Some of the suggestions were already addressed by the school (Grade 1 & 2 students already learn a language) and some are governed by the Education Department or local Dandenong Ranges protocols.


What are the reasons why your child is at Tecoma Primary School?
  • Principal had excellent knowledge of school (Names of all the children, curriculum etc)
  • Continuity/stability in staff and leadership team (senior)
  • Well rounded educational experience
  • High ratio of male teachers. This was mentioned in relation to kids who lacked male role models in their life but also gives a more balanced perspective.
  • The school was well regarded in the community with many positive comments from locals and the school community.
  • School caters for varying academic/ability/interests
  • Transition from kinder was a major factor in some choosing the school. It was very well done.
  • Separating from peer group
  • Medium-sized school
  • Focused vision, clear
  • Professional
  • Strong leadership
  • Location/proximity
  • Culture @ school, interaction between year levels
  • Community feel
  • Relationship with families
  • Professional dealings with Rohan, Di and Staff
  • Family history – 3rd generation of children currently attending
  • Teachers work well together – close knit group
  • Sense of respect between teachers and students
  • School Grounds – chickens, vegie garden, footy ground was a bonus
  • Buddy System starting from Grade 5
  • Approach to student wellbeing
  • Location: less fire risk than further up the hill
  • Welcoming environment‘ – Warm Fuzzy Feeling’
  • Excellent principal and leadership team, school tour, right feel, welcoming, sense of community
  • Availability of OSHC
  • Good sized school to offer a range of programs. Not too big, but not too small.
  • TPS was recommended by other teachers (not from Tecoma, but within the area)
What does the school do well?
  • Notices, communication and the Web page and Tiqbiz
  • Great teachers and delivery
  • Principal involvement. (“He seems to know everything that goes on”)
  • Integration with school community.
  • Communicates well with parents – Taking parent feedback on board. Listening and acting
  • Community events are encouraged and are well balanced – not too many
  • Buddy program, mentoring younger kids not only helps the preppies but ensures a community feel
  • Marketing and word of mouth
  • Student reports and feedback, parent teacher interviews
  • Teachers are approachable
  • Shared spaces
  • Student wellbeing is a focus
  • Deals with conflict between students well
  • Spends funding wisely (e.g. infrastructure, AC, playground, football oval, cricket pitch)
  • Good school programs (e.g. music lessons, reading room, swimming program, Extension & Remedial programs)
  • Acknowledge of achievements (e.g. student of the week; weekend achievements)
  • Connection/interaction between year level
  • Drive through drop off/pick up (its unique compared to schools in the area)
  • The development of leadership from Prep to Grade 6 – everyone has a role.
  • The Transition Program for Pre-schoolers
  • Parent Helpers Course – Welcoming parents into the classroom
  • Composite classes allow students to get to know a wide range of peers
  • NAPLAN is approached in context
  • Academic achievements seen in a broader context
  • ‘Heatlhy’ lunch orders
  • Separate playgrounds for year levels
  • Graduation for Preps & Grade 6
  • Welcome BBQ
  • Non-composite for Prep, Grade 5 & Grade 6
  • Different colour uniform for Grade 6
  • Lunchtime activities are fabulous
  • Fundraising
  • Involving parents when extra help is needed (reading room, parents helping with reading in the literacy block in the morning)
  • Prep room as a learning centre
  • OSHC – well run, well priced
Where would you like to see the school in 4 years time?
  • What improvements can we make to get to that vision?
  • Manage growth. Not too big. Need to retain the small school/community school feel.
  • Maintain specialist classrooms and expand this area
  • Broaden sporting opportunities, a larger variety of sports.
  • 3/4 specialist program (there is the buddies program for the little ones and the leadership program for the 5/6 but nothing for the kids in the middle)
  • Kitchen garden / healthy food. Concerns were raised that “a teacher rewards with lollies” and “Ice creams and soft drinks are used as fund raisers” There should be a healthy alternative
  • Some upgrades to facilities were mentioned. particularly the oval and the basketball backboards.
  • More structured communication from the school
  • More consistency with school messages
  • Continuation of the science program (which may include fundraising e.g. lap-a-thon)
  • Having the option for nominated fundraising
  • Online payment option
  • Extension of the Music Program to include instruments as a compulsory component
  • More regular Working Bees – include a SPECIFIC jobs list ahead of time to allow parents to plan and be able to provide materials and tools
  • Stronger focus on Science and Technology & Computer programming languages
  • Stronger focus on extension programs
  • Communication information needs to be more proactive and better use of current technology available eg Tiqbiz
  • Regular feedback to parents on student progress. Communication with parents who cant get to the school to talk to teachers
  • Website needs to be updated and utilised better. Be great to have current photos of students school achievements (sporting, academic & others)
  • Additional opportunities for some children in composite classes – how to stretch the children’s learning in the 2nd year of the composite – (how is this managed)
  • Transition from Grade 2 to Grade 3 seemed quite ‘abrupt’ – Would like a smoother transition
  • Swimming to be in summer
  • Individual learning plans need to be followed up better
  • Wants the school to be seen as having a ‘reputation’ in a particular area like some other schools in the area – ie: science, music, sport?
  • More opportunities need to be provided for grade 6’s to speak in public. Eg. At assembly – not just captains
  • Healthier food options at fundraisers
  • Improvement to whole school approach to spelling. Programs should flow from year to year eg magic words not continued at grade 1 from prep
  • Homework needs to be reduced to necessary components only such as literacy – spelling words, but also made fun. Not extra tasks though.
  • Information sheets/programs for parents to assist them helping with homework (esp at higher levels) Need assistance on how concepts (esp maths) are being taught so they can better support them at home. Eg strategies to solve equations.
  • More car parking: This was a big issue – a few ideas raised:
  • Used to be able to park on South side of Burwood Hwy, maybe approach council to re-instate.
  • Use of gate near ¾ playground to be opened up and lay bitumen for new drop off zone accessible from McNicol Rd.