From the Principal

“There’s No Place Like Home”

I thought the above quote was pertinent, given we are about to launch the musical extravaganza that is “Wicked” this week!  My best wishes are with all of the cast and crew for the fabulous week of entertainment and energy ahead.

Dorothy’s statement is also pertinent as I have recently returned from approximately a month away from school on Sabbatical.  During this time, I have had the distinct privilege of being able to attend an international education conference, visit schools in London, meet up with and witness the outstanding student and staff ambassadors on the Pulteney Commemorative ANZAC tour in France and the UK and have had a short period of rest and rejuvenation before returning to school.  I am looking forward to sharing some of my reflections, observations and experiences with the staff, Board of Governors and students in the coming months.

To my great delight, I returned to hear of the many achievements and positive outcomes of the multitude of learning, co-curricular and community activities which make up our exciting daily school experience.  I also received the following email from a Tasmanian who was visiting the City of Adelaide on holiday:

As a visitor to Adelaide today we were delighted to meet some of your students who offered help. We were chatting among ourselves and a lovely girl asked if she could help. A boy with her then got off our stop and guided us to our destination. We thank you very much for the effort on their behalf.

Whilst I am not surprised that our students would show such care and initiative, it is a wonderful reminder of the outstanding boys and girls, young women and men, with whom we are privileged to work.  We are proud of them all.

I take this opportunity to thank Mr Greg Atterton for seamlessly taking on the role of Acting Principal in my absence and I acknowledge all staff for their support of Greg during this time.  Pulteney is a warm, welcoming community and, while I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to explore different education landscapes and observe different horizons, it has been a pleasure returning home to this vibrant place.

 Being a Responsive School

At Pulteney, we have a Responsive School policy that identifies there should be no more than 24 hours between an enquiry and a responding communication.  The aim of this timeframe is to facilitate the prompt acknowledgement of the original communication; it is unlikely that the matter would be fully resolved, or the enquiry completed if it was complex in nature.  On these occasions much more time would need to be dedicated to achieving a resolution. 

As a school, we have not placed limitations or an embargo on when staff can send emails because we know that staff prefer to manage their emails and administrative tasks at different periods of time that suit them (sometimes early in the morning or later in the evening).  This enables our staff to prioritise important interactions with your children and their peers during the school day and focus on balancing their personal and professional commitments outside of school hours.  It is important to remember that one size cannot fit all when it comes to managing email and it is important that, just as for the students, we support each other to facilitate the personalisation of our own time management.

Please be assured that timely communication is important to us at Pulteney Grammar and our staff have a strong commitment to being responsive; however, it is not always possible for a teacher to reply to an email enquiry on the same day, nor is it realistic to expect a fully considered response at 8.00am following an email enquiry received at 10.00pm the previous evening. 

If parents have an urgent matter in relation to their child, please call your child’s sub-school and either speak to the relevant staff member or leave a message for them and they will return your call.  If the matter is not urgent, an email can be a positive way to alert the staff member or the matter can be raised when you next see the teacher, or a note put into the student diary. 

We certainly value working in close partnership with our parents and students, and electronic communication can indeed facilitate this; there are also many other ways in which we can communicate, and I encourage everyone to consider the full range of options available to them.

Anne Dunstan