Thankyou to so many who have provided feedback on the ‘Meet the teacher Night" held last week. It appears that you enjoyed the less formal approach, being able to ‘chat’ rather than watch a ‘teacher presentation.’ My only other question is ‘Did you find the Parent Information Booklet informative enough to get a handle on your child’s learning into 2019?’ We continue to develop these Booklets so if there is other information that would be helpful please let me know.
In four weeks time (Week 7) we will be holding our ‘3 Way Conversation Afternoons and Evening’. This is a development from the ‘Parent Teacher Interviews’ evening in which the most important person and topic of the conversation, the child, was not present. In a three way conversation, child, parents/caregivers and teacher all provide their perspective on the child’s progress. Over the coming weeks, your child will be supported to feel comfortable to add to the conversation and indeed, a proforma will come to you to give you time to reflect on the opening weeks of the school year and bring these thoughts along to the 3 Way Conversation. Teachers will be able to demonstrate some initial assessment/evidence of learning at the meeting and clarify goals for the months ahead.
What is a 3 Way Conversation?
The 3-way conversation is an activity that gives us insight into the needs of your child and how we can best address their needs. This is not a classical interview as it is early in the year, but you will receive assessment information through the Reports at the end of each Semester and informal interviews that you can book with us later in the year.
In the 3-way interview, the students will be given a chance to explain how they are feeling about school and their learning. From this they will plan goals for themselves at school before the conversation. This empowering process will be followed by a chance for you to give both your child and us feedback on how their learning has progressed and possible avenues for improvement. Finally, the teacher will share any observations they have made from the first few weeks of school and settle on some goals which we can work on throughout the year. This will set us up for success and makes sure we are all “on the same page” when it comes to your child’s learning.
With the high focus on social/emotional learning and class bonding over the past fortnight giving way to more curriculum focus this week children from Year 2 will begin to bring home some homework.
I reiterated to teachers today that homework should be ‘home practice’. That is practicing something taught at school. Whilst some children love ‘project work’ it is an enormous cause of anxiety to others and frustration for parents. Also, researchers such as Hattie claim that such work sent home produces very little benefit and more often anxiety for children and parents. Thus, more challenging ‘Inquiry Based Learning’ is best done at school, in class. Also, homework is not a good sample of what a child is capable of achieving, it is more about practicing and becoming more fluent in say, spelling, sounds, number and facts.
To find out what your child is achieving in Inquiry work, meet with your child’s teacher through the ‘3 Way Conversations’ or make a time to chat before or after school.
Finally, the maximum amount of time for homework builds up to 50 minutes for a Year 6 child and if your child is spending more than the allocated time time then please speak to your teacher. Children have just completed a day of work and need recreation, play and rest time at home.
SHIP (Students with High Intellectual Potential)
We have completed the formation of groups for our Students with High Intellectual Potential and the first Language based program will commence next week.
A letter will go to these parents later this week. Children not selected for this round may well be in the Stem or Maths extension groups later in the year.
You experienced the joys and trials of family life.
You saw Mary eighteen times at the rock. You called the sinners to penance.
The priests to edify the Church of God. The pilgrims to come in procession.
You reported the name of Mary, the Immaculate Conception.
You desired ardently to receive the Body of the Lord, and to live of it.
You knew shame and suspicion, mockery and humiliation.
You bore witness to what you saw and believed with such determination.
You answered the call of the Lord.
Do you have a child who will turn five years of age between 1st November this year and 31st October next year and you would like them to attend our School? If so, please collect and complete an Application for Enrolment Form (available from the School Office) and return to Susan Trimboli as soon as possible. Interviews for Reception students 2021 will offered during August this year.
This week the School Board met for the first time in 2019 which provided an opportunity to reflect on the highlights of 2018 and discuss our key objectives for 2019. Below I’ve touched on a few topics that were discussed:
- Noted the resignation of Louise Hanrahan who has taken a permanent contract with DECD and we acknowledged the great work she has done on the Literacy program at St Pius
- Welcomed James Lloyd as the permanent APRIM and look forward to him taking up a leadership role within the school
- Reviewed the school’s positive financial position and the connection to the schools plan for growth and development of the school. The plans for future construction were presented to PAE council recently and we anticipate a decision in comings months.
- We welcomed Caitlin McManus to the Board as the Staff Representative. She provided a summary of the Term 1 focus areas including settling the students into their new classes and friendships groups.
- We discussed the introduction of a new ‘Initial Lit’ literacy program that will be rolled out this year to further enhance our existing literacy programs
Reflected on the noticeable change within the school now that there are no Year 7 students on the site
- Discussed some of the construction completed over the summer break including new fencing and improved drainage at the main entrance
We thanked Adrian Ferraretto who is leaving the Board this year, for his contribution as Chairperson and long-time Board member
The School Board will next meet on the 18th March when we will hold the school AGM. Information will distributed regarding the Meeting next week.The Board is excited by the many new opportunities and initiatives that are on the horizon but always welcome community and family feedback to be shared with us. Please don’t hesitate to contact any member of the school Board to discuss any concern.
Our old scholars who graduated from Kildare College at the end of 2018. They achieved some outstanding Year 12 results including an ATAR of 98.90 and were awarded College Dux Merit, Student Citizenship (awarded by the SA Government) and Endeavour Awards. Well done girls!