It has been a whirlwind of a term, with cancellations brought on by the lockdown and the restrictions afterward, but there have been some good highlights. In this newsletter you will get the chance to read up on where our students have been going this term, enjoy the content.
Our students completed their NAPLAN tests in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in May this year. This was a good opportunity to see how our students have progressed since the NAPLAN was last held in 2019. Results came in online this term and this week the NAPLAN booklets are going out to parents of the students who participated in the NAPLAN. After some good results in 2019 it was pleasing to see that we have maintained our level of results from last time. Across all the year levels we have had instances of students who have performed at personally high levels, showing improvement on previous NAPLAN results or achievement to the Higher Band level indicating performance well above the Standard of Educational Achievement or SEA for that year level. When reports go home this week and are read please take into account that the purpose of the NAPLAN tests is not a pass or fail exercise but is to help teachers and parents in moving student learning forward.
In the tests for Reading, Numeracy and Writing the levels of students achieving the SEA has been a real positive. For students who sat the tests in 2019 results in all tests have shown an improvement or upward trend from 2019, indicating a real improvement in learning in these areas. It will now be interesting to see how students go for the rest of this year, including the PAT tests which students are participating in these last two weeks of the term. In our Early Years learning this progress is also evident. Our Year 1s this term underwent the Phonics Screening check with all students performing really well, demonstrating a really good understanding of Pseudo and Real words and the sounds associated with them. Similarly our Junior Primary students are all progressing well with their Phonological Awareness Skill Mapping which is completed once a term and tests students on their basic identification of sounds associated with syllables, rhymes and the ability to identify sound segments in words.
Lastly I would like to thank our staff and students for the efforts they put in on our Open Night earlier this term. The efforts put in by some of our students to not only show off their work but also demonstrate their learning through a variety of activities was admirable. I would like to wish everyone a great holiday and we look forward to seeing our students back for the start of term four.
Term 3 was certainly filled with events, starting with a surprise lockdown in week 2 and sending students home with packs of work to do at home. It was fun linking up every morning to see how the students were going and answer any questions they had. We were also sent lots of fabulous photos of work in progress and interesting things in the garden.
The team from the Port Augusta Radio show ‘Umeewarra media” came to visit with some Aboriginal musicians, who told us their story about their path into music. All of the musicians wrote their own music, using both their Aboriginal language and English, something very important for Aboriginal kids to learn and kids of all cultures to understand and respect them.
We honed our skills at basketball with a coach from Adelaide who came up to give us some training for 2 days.
The next 3 weeks were focused on book week, culminating with the schools open night. Starting with a visit from the author Rosanne Hawke, the students had a wonderful time dressing up and finding out how Rosanne develops her ideas for stories and eventually get them published into books. Next was the simulated story from the space station that the kids really enjoyed. Book week parade was next and all came with the most wonderful costumes. It was great to see so many different characters from books, movies, cartoons and games.
Then we had Open Night. The Junior Primary students enjoyed making their 4-sided dioramas about a story they chose, explaining the beginning, the problem, how the problem was solved and the ending of their story book. They also made information reports on an Australian animal, while the foundation students made a model of a habitat for the animal they chose. This all went on display on Open night and the students were very excited and proud to show their parents around.
Recently we have been preparing a garden plot for planting lots of edible plants and watching them grow. Next term we look forward to the Kindergarten kids transition to school.
Read, Write Inc has continued this term and some good progress was made by students in their groups. Recently we spent some time on brief “teacher reading” to class, involving a variety of extracts from published books or articles. The aim of this is to introduce students to well written sentences and paragraphs as a model for them to adapt to their own writing. We followed that up with “sizzling starters”, opening sentences that students used to write the beginnings of stories. The idea, here, is to encourage students to take their existing writing level one step further. There have been some great openings.
The class has continued with its Maths work in groups based on their previous progress. In addition to the work they are set in their Maths work books, the group has been set little challenges. One example is based on the SBS television show “Letters and Numbers” and the challenge is to take 6 numbers they are given and process them to reach a given result. Eg 75, 100, 2, 9, 7, 5 to come up with 557. The challenge is open to all year levels within the class and no time limit is set. Members have taken to this with a relish.
We’ve continued with our exploration of the physical world, conducting simple experiments along the way. These included testing friction on various surfaces and testing the qualities of light and shadows. We even tested different shapes of paper planes and their ability to stay airborne or to fly distances.
Our journey to different parts of the world, and cultures there, is well under way. As well as set work booklets and work sheets, we used the classroom’s smart board to visit places through Google Earth and video clips. Students were fascinated by the way that the Inuit of Alaska adapted to their environment as reflected by their igloos, use fur and their throat singing. (I know, it’s North America.)
We finished with lacrosse and ventured to basketball, helped by a visiting basketball coach early during term 3. I was pleased by the level of teamwork that developed within the group. The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were well timed for us to look at elite level sports and to discuss these during lessons. In Health we examined aspects of relationships, including gender stereotyping and its effects.
One of the highlights of this term was our participation in the school’s Open Night, providing class members with the opportunity to demonstrate what they can do. Members impressed with a variety of displays including Rubik’s Cube mastery, a challenge in logic and problem solving; a volcano display; reading and explaining stories they wrote after viewing Pobble images; mastery of the room’s smart board; and poster creation. Thank you to those who participated, I was very proud of you.
Welcome to the final newsletter for the term. It’s been another busy one. The year 6-10’s have covered a lot this term, here are some highlights…
We completed reading The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas with watching the film and making comparisons. The students finished the book study by writing a creative piece, imagining how they would cope in a similar environment. At the moment students are working on their autobiographies. This has been hard going for some, it seems remembering something interesting about your life so far isn’t as easy as first thought. I guess the kids haven’t really lived that long yet! After some brainstorming, and a bit of teeth pulling, we’ve all managed to get some ideas down, and writing is well underway. We are also spending some time looking at the literary device’s authors use to make writing more interesting. So far, we’ve looked at idioms, sarcasm, parody, and satire. We will delve more deeply into this next term.
Our unit on World War Two is now complete. The final assessment task was a report on the Sandakan Prisoner of War camp in Borneo. All students completed this task to a high standard and should all be very proud of themselves. Having completed World War Two, the logical next step is to look at the Cold War which closely followed. So far, we have looked at how it began, and the relationship between the United States and Soviet Union. We have also looked at some songs in popular culture at the time and analysed the way music is used to portray a message. This week we’ve focused on We Didn’t Start the Fire by Billy Joel and I discovered I’ve been singing the wrong words for many years! There are too many Cold War references in that song to mention, and students are currently working their way through researching some of them. This will lead us into next term where we will look at American and Soviet influences on the Korean, Vietnam, and Cuban conflicts, and also the space race.
On Fridays we have Karmy helping us with HASS and we focus on Aboriginal perspectives. The Aboriginal perspective of the Cold War has been learning about the atomic bomb testing at Maralinga. We are also looking at Dreaming Stories and will be working on creating our own next term.
After looking at the impacts a high sugar diet has on our health, we have changed gears and are now looking at resilience. What is it, why is it important, and how do we get it? We have talked about the difference between resilience and confidence, and also looked at the physical changes in the human brain when we engage in things like exercise, relaxation, and stepping outside our comfort zone.
During PE we have been playing softball, soccer and still a bit of basketball which seems to be the firm favourite. The past couple of weeks have been focused on track and field again in preparation for the Quorn sports day in week 10.
The latter part of term three has had a safety focus for the F-2 class. We have covered sun safety, medicine safety and bike safety so far. We will see if they remember any of their safety measures when we have wheels day in week 10!
For PE we have been learning how to play T Ball. The kids have enjoyed it and are getting the hang of it, even though we don’t have any gloves small enough for them!
Home Economics 6-10
It’s been a huge term for Home Economics. The cooking component was completed with students cooking a three-course meal for their parents, with the help of chef and front of house experts, Shaun and Steph Kraft. The students all stepped up on this very busy day and I’m extremely proud of them. Not only did they learn to cook a restaurant quality meal, but they also had tutorials on correct knife skills, and were shown how to correctly wait tables and carry three plates safely. I can’t thank Shaun and Steph enough for volunteering their time and sharing their expertise, and I can’t overstate how proud I am of all the students. My only regret is that we were all so busy we forgot to take photos! Well done kids. Super proud of you.
The last few weeks of the term have been spent in the garden, where we have planted tomatoes and herbs for summer.
Next term we will switch to textiles with the help of Deb Youle, that’s still in the planning stages, so watch this space.
Term 3 is almost over all our students deserve a good rest. This term they worked hard to complete their statistical projects. The second topic that we have started to learn was the complex arithmetic’s of algebra. Most students did well and learned how to calculate and how to use the algebra to solve problems. Students also worked to develop a good understanding how to use the mathematics in an everyday context. For example, how to calculate the cost of petrol or how use percentages in everyday situations.
It is important to learn how to clearly communicate any key message. Our students learnt how to and why they need to communicate their scientific findings in a logical and meaningful way. In order to do this, students needed to explain why they are testing a hypothesis, what methodology they used, what they found, and why this finding was meaningful. This term science lessons have been reversed. Students are first finding the interesting experiment and then they preparing the scientific way of testing and reporting for the chosen topic. They prepared list of material that they needed to test their hypotheses and in term 4 we are going to start with conducting some interesting experiments. Some students are going to create an Ice-cream in the bag, a second group decided to test a Pasta Rocket, a third group of students are going to create a smoke bomb and the fourth group of students decided on creating a Key ring smoke bomb. All students are excited about their experiment and I am looking forward to their experiments.
The first activity was a day spent with an author.
Rosanne Hawke, author of more than 30 books for children and teens, visited us on Wednesday August 18. Rosanne shared about her journey as a writer, providing students with an insight into the process for her when she writes pictures books and novels. She reiterated that much of her writing is based on her experiences, such as the 10 years living in the UAE and Pakistan with her family. She encouraged students to write about what they know.
The students found the experience valuable, especially the opportunity to try on the different clothing Rosanne brought along.
The excitement that had been building for a few weeks finally came to fruition as family members joined students and staff for our annual Book Week Dress Up Parade on a glorious sunny day in August, August 25 to be exact. After parading around the basketball court, we moved into the Multipurpose Room for some Book Week activities. Jim Johnson and Nicole Oakey provided the Welcome/Acknowledgement of Country.
Winners of the dress-up parade…
Most creative costume: Student-Noah; Adult-Anna; Most glamorous costume: Student-Pip; Adult-Lauren; Most unique costume: Student-Ruby; Adult-Sharon; Most original costume: Student-Harry; Adult-Penny; Most interesting costume: Student-Paul; Adult-Harald (Most Reflective); Most colourful costume: Student-Sammy; Adult-Esther; Most elaborate costume: Student-Archie; Adult-Polly; Most inspirational costume: Student: Will; Adult-Rosie
My thanks go to Julieanne Ashenden and Travis McDonald for doing a great job as judges for the competition. With so many great costumes to choose from this was a difficult task. I’d also like to thank Bek O’Neill for taking the photos, Rosie Luckcraft for help in preparing for the day and Steve Green for manning the sound. Even with COVID restrictions, it was lovely that a number of family members could attend our parade. Thank you for coming.
More photos from the Book Week Parade can be found on the library blog
Week 7 saw the annual Scholastic Book Fair take place in the library. We had a very successful year this year, with $750 raised. This has allowed us to purchase a large selection of new books from Scholastic for the library. Keep an eye out for the new books in the coming weeks. Thank you to you all for your support of the Fair this year.
Space to Dream
Designing a toy or gadget for a child their age to take to Mars was the brief given for students participating in the Space to Dream competition run by the South Australian Commissioner for Children and Young People. The students have built on the knowledge gained through their involvement last year, not only in the designs they have created but also in their understanding of how the 3D printing program (Maker’s Empire) they are using works. The standard of what they have produced this year has much improved from last year. Well done to all the 3-5 students involved in the project.
Mrs Ailsa Green Teacher Librarian and Ms Rosie Luckraft CLA
Congratulations to all our students in Design and Tech. Your enthusiasm and productivity in working on your designs and implementing your projects is fantastic. We look forward to all your finished projects next term. Happy safe holidays see you all in a couple of weeks.
Term 3 is drawing to a close as we look back and reflect on an amazing term of confidence growth, skills growth, knowledge growth, behavioural growth…and that is just the adults I work with!! ?
It has been an amazing term for many reasons. My adult team is working together better than ever before and we are achieving great things.
I am very much looking forward to an upcoming resource making session. “Many hands make light work.” Creating particular and special resources is incredibly time consuming so having a resource making afternoon is going to go a very long way to meeting the needs of our students.
I am happy to share some of the activities and resources we have created and have been using during the last few weeks.
Big Rain Coming is a picture book that I have used as a Story Box base. Each day we read the story, find the pages that match with the individual pictures and build the jigsaw.
The roadways toy is a fun cause and effect toy that requires matching, forward thinking, fine motor control and patience. It is a lot of fun.
The puzzle is a simple puzzle we use as a short warm up activity.
The two images to the left show a communication board set around prepositions and the physical playground to which they refer. We use this to ask students to follow directions. The second step once following instructions is mastered, is to get the student to give instructions and then the adult can follow them!
These two activities are fine motor activities designed to strengthen the pincher grip. How great are they!! Sometimes I let the kids use them!.
Enjoy your kids during the upcoming holiday period.
With Covid-19 still lingering it is vitally important that everyone continues to practise good hygiene. Most importantly if your child is unwell, please keep them at home so infections are not spread to others.