Kapooka Public School

Respect Resilience Responsibility

Telephone02 6931 2703


Defence School Mentor

My role as a Defence School Mentor

Kapooka School is the most wonderful small school!

It is fortunate to have experienced and dedicated staff members, who have an extensive understanding of children from a variety of backgrounds, whether it is Defence or from the local community.

Our experience allows us to have better insight of what occurs during a transition period (e.g. when children move form one school to another) as well as providing additional support whenever needed.

The staff at Kapooka Public School (KPS) work closely together to ensure that all children are supported, not just academically, but also emotionally and socially to help them achieve their full potential.

Supporting the Children

When a child first arrives at the school, we ensure they feel welcomed and a part of the school community as soon as possible.

·        Welcome Packs

When a child arrives at our school, they receive a Welcome Pack which includes a personalised certificate, a booklet all about Kapooka Public School, providing tips on how to settle into school, an information sheet about the DSM role, a long list of children’s clubs and activities available in Wagga Wagga and a list of books that can be borrowed from the DSM parent and children’s library.

·        Friendship Groups

We also provide relaxed Friendship Group sessions in terms one and two, teaching important pro-social skills and values which contribute to friendships and other social relationships. This is a school wide program commencing once a week over four weeks. This program is also provided for students during the year, enabling them to revisit or brush up on any skills required to problem solve any friendship issues.

·        Project Xena Program

Kapooka Public School has a new therapy dog called Xena on staff at the school. Xena provides support, responsibility, resilience and a calming factor to students at the school. Xena also provides a warm positive presence, having time with the students on the playground and in the classroom. Xena also works with students on an individual basis. These programs are varied and designed to increase confidence, conversation and friendships for students. If you feel your child would benefit from such programs, I would be more than happy to run through the programs at a prior arranged time.

·        Monitoring Students

During lunch and recess (for at least 3 recesses and 3 lunches per week) the DSM may spend time with students on the playground, monitoring friendship and peer groups and to offer support, when necessary.

·        Lunchtime activities

The school staff offers a variety of activities for the children to do within the library four lunchtimes a week. Some of the activities offered are:

·        dress ups (dress up clothing can be worn in the playground…great for imaginative play.

·        chess games

·        quiet reading

·        drawing activities

·        board games

·        singing

In our spacious, green playground we have a ‘passive play’ area, a vegetable garden, a football field, full size basketball/netball court, playground equipment, sandpit, handball court, volleyball court, giant chess board set, checkers set and a HUGE array of sporting equipment. There is always something to do during lunch and recess, or a quiet area for children who would like to have a quieter time.

·        Absent Parents

From experience, we find it very helpful if we know when a parent is going to be away from home. (i.e. family reasons, exercises, deployment, courses or even at the beginning of a platoon) as it allows us to understand why a child’s behaviour may change. For these reasons families will be provided with a parent away form, which allows you to notify the DSM and staff if a parent/carer is going to be absent. Regular support through weekly visits and an option of a Deployment support program for the student or students can then be provided.

·        Farewell

When the time arises, the DSM will help prepare the children to leave the school by providing a preparation for moving or transition. The Pre-removal groups, generally commence over terms 3 and 4, providing a tailored program in small groups over four weeks, containing information, games, knowledge and craft, before they commence on their moving journey. The groups will vary, depending on age, posting location and every consideration is given to allow the groups to be small and more personalised. At the completion of the Pre-Removal program, each student will receive a farewell information pack, containing useful resources for both student and family. Including a personalised Farewell certificate and a card signed by the class. In addition, parents may organize at a pre-arranged time, an information session with the DSM in regards to their moving journey.

·        Families Welcome

The school provides a very useful information night at the beginning of each year.

·        New families welcome morning tea.

·        DSM availability during the week.

(In line with current restrictions and Covid safe procedures)

DSM hours, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9.30am-1.30pm and Wednesday 8.30am- 1.30pm.


·        Student Individual Catchups

Every effort is made to connect or individually catch-up with students here at the school. If you feel your child requires support through weekly visits or in class visits, please don’t hesitate to let me know, either in person or by phone or email and I will endeavor to accommodate your request.


·        Wagga Community

At times families are notified of upcoming events in the Wagga community through the school’s newsletter each fortnight, keeping families updated and informed of events in the Wagga region.


·        Parent Contact Booklet

To enable parents to make contact with other families from KPS, a Parent Contact Booklet is created in early term one as well as an updated version during the year when families arrive. This includes parent’s names and phone contact details. It is optional to be included in this booklet.


·        Educational Support for children

If a defence members child moves to Kapooka Public school from another location and has school aged children, they maybe entitled to 14 weeks of tutoring in any subject that has been identified by the school as representing a gap in the child’s learning. In other words, you maybe eligible to access one hour of tutoring, per subject per week, within the first eighteen months of the student’s arrival at their new school.  All the information and application process are available at the Defence Member and Family Support (DFMS)website, defence.gov.au or phone 1800 624 608 .


·        Parent Resources

Thanks to the generosity of the Regimental Trust Fund and a Wagga Wagga City Council Grant, a Parent Resource Library for families has been setup within the school. There are over 150 books, CDs (which are also in book form) and DVDs that are available for parents to borrow as well as about 15 games for children that make learning about life a little more fun!


We welcome any questions that you may have and look forward to meeting you soon.


Defence School Mentor