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Bungendore Public School

Bungendore Public School

Where students prosper, grow and succeed.

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Defence school Mentor

Support for Defence Families - DSM (Defence school mentor)

Bungendore DSM

Welcome! My name is Michelle English, and I am the DSM for Bungendore Public School.  I am available at the school on Wednesdays from 9.00am to 3.00pm and Thursdays from 9.00am to 3.00pm, or by appointment by contacting the school, or emailing Bungendore-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au. Please feel free to contact me to arrange a time to meet.

What is a DSM?

DSM stands for Defence School Mentor.

What does a DSM do?

The establishment of the DSM program is a Defence initiative aimed at reducing the difficulties experienced by children of Australian Defence Force (ADF) families as a result of service postings (and hence moving school), or a family member being deployed. These may include changes in behaviour, loss of self esteem or diminished academic performance.

The DSM is not a teacher, but more a social support for the children, to ease their transition in and out of a school, monitor friendships and provide connections with other members of the school and wider community. The DSM will organise social activities including welcoming / farewelling, morning teas / lunches or other activities during school hours. The DSM will refer families to Teachers or other support services if extra educational assistance is required.

The DSM is a point of contact for ADF families with the school, and will provide general school information and familiarisation, assist with enrolment or gathering school records and reports when a child leaves the school, assist with educational issues or children with special needs.

Why do we have DSMs in schools?

Sometimes children have difficulty making new friends or understanding and adjusting to the routines of a new school. They may experience difficulties when a parent is deployed. There may be educational issues that arise as a result of moving schools during the school year or moving interstate. The DSM will aim to support these issues and assist families to make their children's learning experience a more positive one.

ADF families can assist the DSM by:

  • Contacting the DSM when a family member is deployed
  • Advising the DSM if you feel your child is experiencing difficulties at school
  • Notifying the school administration of your ADF service when enrolling your child
  • Notifying the DSM of posting location and leaving date so that your childs' school reports, records and portfolio may be collected.

Bungendore community members can assist the DSM by:

Volunteering to be a Welcoming Family, to act as a community contact for ADF families moving into the area during the school holidays

Contacting the DSM to advise of community events, celebrations, functions, sports, etc. that might enable ADF members to assimilate more quickly into the community.