Week 4 - Term 2 Newsletter 2021 -
I trust the last couple of weeks after been settled for all, last week we were able to come together as a school community through our beautiful Mother's Day High Tea & Mother's Day Liturgy. A big thank you to all the mother's and significant women who were able to join us in these two school events. We appreciate everything you do for your children and the nurturing presence & guidance you provide them. Also thank you to both Mrs Mead (High Tea) & Mrs Mullins (Liturgy) for their tireless work in making both of these beautiful school events possible.
200 Years of Catholic Education
In 2021, Catholic Education is celebrating 200 years in Australia, marking the bicentenary of the first Catholic school established in 1820. The first Catholic school in the Diocese of Lismore, St Joseph’s Primary, was established at South Grafton in 1858. 2021 is a time to celebrate the many contributions Catholic Education has made to the Nation. A national theme, “Faith in the Future” has been developed for the 200 Years’ Celebrations. The theme reflects the core purpose of Catholic Education to form students in their faith, and to provide an education that enables our graduates to make a meaningful contribution to the world.
On Monday 24 May (Week 6), I and two of our Year 6 Captains (Mahala & Reuben) have been invited to attend Mass in the Cathedral in Lismore, to celebrate this special event. We will travelling up together with Principals & students from our local Clarence Catholics school (St James Yamba, St Mary's & St Joey's Grafton & McCauley Catholic College) and will be joined by representatives from all of our schools within the Diocese of Lismore.
I just wanted to acknowledge and thank our Year 3 and 5 students for their diligent approach this week as they completed their NAPLAN assessments. I, and their classroom teachers, made it clear to the students that these tests were merely an opportunity to showcase what they know and can demonstrate and what they can improve on. All students gave their best effort, which is all we ask, and handled the online format with ease. Due to being online we now seem to receive their results in a much more timely fashion and to use this data to further inform our teaching & learning in the classrooms.
School Communication - SZApp
Please be advised that all parents should have received a text this week outlining how that the school will begin using the following APP - SZApp, for the majority of school-parent communication. Whilst email contact will still occur it is our intent to align all of our whole-school communication through the Schoolzine APP (SZAPP) & emails to be reduced and texts (excluding absences) will no longer occur.
If all families could please download the app SZAPP onto their devices that would be much appreciated. Once you have registered our code is: 1578.
Please visit the following link for step by step instructions: https://www.schoolzine.com/szapp-installation
Moving forward we will be aligning our communication to the following modes :
- SZapp - communication of all whole-school events & reminders & notes
- See Saw - sharing of student learning directly with family members
- Email - class communication from teachers or individual communication with parent & staff member
- Text - absences only
- Facebook & Instagram - whole school promotion for both our school & local community
NCCD - What is this?
Each year our school takes part in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). At the moment our school and classroom teachers are currently moderating and collaboratively working together to clarify what adjustments are being provided for our students. The NCCD is a collection that counts:
- the number of school students receiving an adjustment or ‘help’ due to disability
- the level of adjustment they are receiving to access education on the same basis as other students.
Students are counted in the NCCD if they receive ongoing adjustments at school due to disability. This ‘help’ allows them to access education on the same basis as a child without disability. The NCCD uses the definition of disability in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. In early August this information is provided to both the Catholic Schools Office and Catholic Schools NSW. Please find attached below a Fact Sheet that explains this process in more detail.
Have lovely weekend & I look forward to seeing you all next week.
Leaders of Learning
Learning in Infants - Reading Assessment in the Early Years
Twice each term, students in the Early Years (reading below a level 30) are 'benchmarked'. Benchmarking is a standardised assessment where teachers sit with individual students and observe their reading behaviours on set texts. Benchmarking is a powerful way teachers gather information about what strategies a student uses when reading. The teachers then use this information to guide their teaching and help students set learning goals. In between formal benchmarks, teachers and teacher assistants use running records to check in on student progress and work out 'where to next' for each child. Over the last 6 months, our teachers have been involved in ongoing professional learning designed to ensure our school has a clear and consistent understanding of the purpose and the methodology of benchmarking. Teachers are collaboratively moderating student work samples to ensure all students are benefitting from excellent, personalised best practice.
Learning in Primary - Mathematics - Finding many solutions
Being numerate means being able to reason with numbers and other mathematical concepts and to apply these in a range of contexts and to solve a variety of problems.
In our maths lessons at St Joseph's, numeracy is developed through the use of tasks which the students work on on PRIOR to instruction from the teacher. The teacher's role in this phase of the lesson is to support and encourage students to persist at the task which has been designed to be challenging. The student's role is to concentrate, apply what they already know, make an effort to learn and have a self-belief that they can succeed.
Sharing solutions and strategies from the students own work is used to highlight the important mathematical ideas in the task. When students determine their own strategies to find solutions to problems, the learning is robust. The students often generate an amazing variety of solutions to the same problem which are then compared and contrasted, with the most efficient strategies being highlighted. Students are then given another opportunity to apply these 'efficient' strategies to a similar problem. In the gallery below, I have a variety of student solutions to 18 x 50. Harry and Liam are also shown using the visualiser to explain their strategies. All students arrived at a solution, but the pathways there were very different.
This approach to learning mathematics encourages students to;
- record the steps in their solutions
- explain their strategies
- justify their thinking to the teacher and other students
- listen attentively to eachother
Connecting ideas and formulating strategies promotes deep understanding of mathematical concepts.
Student solutions to 18 x 50
Mission & Values
St Joseph's Maclean - a Mercy School
Over the past few years, our staff have been exploring the heritage and history of our school. St Joseph's Maclean was first opened in 1899 by the Sisters of Mercy who had arrived to Maclean the previous year in 1898. This Sisters of Mercy were started by Catherine McAuley in Ireland and they developed a set of six (6) Educational Values which we have on display in the Amphitheatre and outside the library. They include; Compassion, Justice, Respect, Hospitality, Service and Courage. This year, our staff and students will explore these six (6) values more deeply to see how we can bring these values to life through our words, actions and environment.
Hospitality is a value demonstrated by all people every day, both at home and in school. Catherine McAuley says, A good beginning is of great importance. You must waste some time with visitors. (1838) Making people feel welcome is very important to the staff of St. Joseph's, and a very easy way to consciously enact hospitality is to welcome someone using their name. A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality. Some might say it is the most important word in the world to that person. Using one's name is a sign of courtesy and a way of recognizing them, making them feel valued and respected. Jesus modelled this action to us; “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.” (John 10:3).
So this week, I encourage you to talk with your child and invite them to welcome people by name; it could even be the first thing in the morning when you see them or when you say goodnight. It is a very simple act with very powerful results.
Sacramental Program - Stage 2
This week the student's in Stage 2 received a note regarding the Sacraments of Confirmation, Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. If your child is baptised and NOT in Stage 2, and you would like them to complete these sacraments, please contact me for a permission slip.
The dates for the sacraments are as follows:
- Reconciliation - 2:30 pm Thursday 17th June
- Confirmation - 5:30 pm Thursday 22 July
- First Holy Communion - 8:30 am Sunday 12th September
More details will be provided as these dates draw closer.
Class News - Stage 2
In Stage 2 we have been delving into the wonderful world of persuasion with our English unit ‘Through My Eyes’. Students have been learning that the ‘why’ of persuasion is to get someone to: believe them, do something, or change their mind.
So far our writing topics have covered; ‘Outdoor play is better than indoor play’, ‘Stop polluting the oceans’, and ‘Dogs make the best pets’. Stage 2 have been sure to remember a persuasive text structure and language features, such as high modality words, rhetorical questions, personal pronouns and strong adjectives and verbs.
Have a read of some amazing arguments from Stage 2:
- “You really must choose outdoor play because ANY game can be played outdoors; which encourages the use of imagination! You can play games like tips, hide and seek, bullrush, crocodiles and octopus etc. You use your imagination by creating your own games or changing rules to suit your friends.” Liam Dahlenburg; ‘Outdoor Play is better than Indoor Play’
- Firstly, the ocean's food chain is being affected by this selfish pollution by humans! Scientists say that turtle populations are dropping fast; that means jellyfish populations are rising which is affecting the ocean’s ecosystem and food chain. We MUST stop pollution! Hailen Capp; ‘Stop Polluting the Oceans’
- Dogs are playful, smart and loyal. Who wouldn’t want a dog as their best friend and protector? Haven’t you heard the saying, ‘Dogs are a man's best friend!’. No other choice of pet can compete with a dog. Bronx Hickling; ‘Dogs make the best pets’
In history students have been learning about WW1 and the significance of commemorations. Students have been able to consolidate their learning through a reflective, contemplative visual arts activity on the ‘The Lone Soldier’.
In Creative Arts, Stage 2 have been eagerly sinking their teeth into the native Apple App of ‘GarageBand’. Working with SMART instruments, such as, Piano, Guitar, Drums, Strings and Bass all with a variety of ‘pre-programmed’ melodies, students have 1-to-1 device access to create their own songs.
The next Mozart, Jimi Hendrix, Vivaldi and T-Swift is among us!
Miss Pooley and Mrs Zietsch
Congratulations to the following students recognised at this fortnight's Awards Assembly:
Principal Awards: Noa Chapman, Oskar Bailey, Meesha Ellis, Kayla Ellis, Aiden Wells
(Year 1 & 2)
(Year 3 & 4)
(Year 5 & 6)
Pastoral Care - School Counsellor
Exploring Character Strengths – PATIENCE
What is Patience?
Patience means you can wait. It also means being calm and tolerant and maintaining a positive attitude when difficult things happen.
What does it look like in practice?
- If we are learning something new and it is a little tricky: We don’t get too frustrated as we know that mastering something takes time. Sometimes we need to change the way we are thinking about a problem and remind ourselves not to get upset if we don’t understand or find a solution straight away.
- We have our hand up to answer a question and everyone seems to be getting picked before us: We remember to remain calm and wait for our turn .
- A game doesn’t go our way: We accept we cannot always control everything. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose.
- We are gentle with others when they make a mistake and we are gentle with ourselves too.
How can we encourage Patience in our children?
- Start small -Start requiring small doses of patience from your child at a very early age. You may only ask them to calm down and wait quietly for 1-2 minutes, but it’s a start.
- Teach self-control -For a child, having patience is a matter of learning that they can and should control their emotions and actions, even when they are anxious, eager, or tired. Encourage your child to regain some self-control before you fulfill their request.
- Purposeful delays -In a world where instant gratification is everywhere, parents may need to purposefully delay some things for no other reason but to teach patience. If your child wants a new puppy, waiting for Christmas or a birthday might teach them that we can wait for things that matter.
- Taking turns-When teaching patience, nothing is better for a child than having to wait their turn for something fun. The only way to get better at this is to practice. If your child struggles with waiting his turn for the swings, make more frequent trips to the park—not less—to reinforce the need to be courteous and patient. The repetition will help him learn to cope with the wait.Turn- taking games are a great opportunity to practice this skill.
- Patience and older kids-One area where our culture has become increasingly impatient is with consumer habits. Train your older children to manage their buying and to wait until they can truly afford an item before making a purchase. Resist the urge to loan them the last $20 until they’ve truly earned it.
Click here for some more information on modelling and teaching patience.
Kate Naylor – School Counsellor & Art Therapist
Pastoral Care - School Chaplain
Mother's Day High Tea
I hope all our wonderful Mums that attended our high tea enjoyed themselves and enjoyed catching up with our Mums, Grandmothers and significant women. It was great to see our Mothers all together. What a lovely group of women. Thank you to our SRC, Nicky, Bobbie and Deb Bailey for helping make the high tea so special. Thank you also to IGA for your delicious scones, Botero for your coffee and Parent Forum for funding this event.
Juana Mead - School Chaplain
NSWPSSA TENNIS TRIALS
Congratulations to Mahala Hitchings for her brilliant performance at the NSWPSSA Tennis Trials. Students from all over the State travelled to Broadmeadow to play tennis for 4 days. Mahala played valiantly to assist the Polding Girls team to finish in 5th position and with the Polding Boys team finishing in 3rd they were able to finish in a tie for 3rd overall. It was a great learning experience for Mahala and something that she has said will inspire her to train harder and improve in the future.
LISMORE DIOCESAN RUGBY TRIALS
Congratulations to Jason Maitz for his recent participation in the Lismore Diocesan Rugby Trial. Jason demonstrated his skill throughout the day and earned a spot in the Possibles and Probables which was the final stage of the trials. Unfortunately Jason just missed out on making the Lismore team and hopefully this will give him the confidence to go one step further next year when he is in Year 6.
CLARENCE ZONE CROSS COUNTRY
Thank you to all of our students who travelled to Grafton to represent St Joseph’s Maclean in the Clarence Zone Cross Country Carnival at McAuley College. Everyone gave it their all on a very tough course that had plenty of hills to test the runners stamina. Tasmyn Norris showed great will and determination to take out the 11yrs Girls event and has qualified for the Lismore Diocesan Cross Country Carnival that will be held on the 26th May. Good luck Tasmyn.
Notes Sent Home
Please find below links to the following School Notes that were sent home in the last fortnight: