Dear Parents and Friends,
A very warm welcome to Term 2!
I trust that the holiday break was a time of fun, relaxation and family time for all and that you have a renewed energy and motivation for the busy weeks ahead. The St Mary’s Staff look forward to working closely with you in the education of your child.
It certainly was wonderful to see our students return to school with huge smiles on their faces, ready to embark on another exciting term of curiosity, creativity, challenge, critical thinking and deep learning. I wish our students a very successful and fulfilling time ahead.
This term promises to be an action packed 10 weeks. Here are just a few of the events timetabled.
- Mothers Day Liturgy and Morning Tea
- NAPLAN Testing
- Sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion
- Athletics Carnival
- Parent/Teacher Interviews and school reports
Gonski 2.0 Report
During the break, I participated in a study tour of the Singapore Education System and its schools. As a constant high performing system of schools according to the International PISA results, it was interesting to note they are also rebalancing their system towards a more holistic education, beyond narrowly defined academic success. Their focus, like in Australian education following the recent Gonski 2.0 report, will be to develop 21st Century competencies to achieve greater diversity and flexibility in the education landscape. Teachers will be at the core of the Education System and there will be a strong emphasis on developing solid foundations for the early years of education. It was encouraging to note how similar the two systems were in their strategic planning and thinking around providing support to bring out the best in every child whatever the starting point and improving lifelong learning through appropriate skill development. The plan to cater for different aptitudes and strengths is already in place at St Mary’s as we continue our strong focus on the differentiated curriculum to meet individual student needs.
For your interest I have included a link to the Media Release from the National Catholic Education Commission about the recommendations from the Gonski 2.0 report: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-GnU83fiTd8c1ZEYkpkVkVjRFViMENqcTc3YnN1U202RXlR/view?usp=sharing
The students in Years 3 and 5 will undertake the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy to assess the literacy and numeracy learning of students in all Australian schools. The results of the tests will provide information to the School about what each student can do, and will be used to support teaching and learning programs. Parents will receive a report indicating their child’s level of achievement at the end of Term 3. Each student’s level of achievement will be reported against the national minimum standard.
The tests will be conducted on the following days:
- Tuesday 15 May: Language conventions (including spelling, grammar and punctuation) and writing tests.
- Wednesday 16 May: Reading test
- Thursday 17 May: Numeracy test (including number, algebra, function and pattern, measurement, chance and data and space)
Time has been given in Year 3, and 5 classes to ensure that the students are well prepared for the style and content of these tests. Therefore it is our recommendation that the best preparation for the students is a good night’s sleep and a healthy and sustaining breakfast on the mornings of the tests.
Year 6 Leadership
I was very proud of the following Year 6 leaders who very responsibly directed the many visiting parents around the school at the Open Day last Wednesday. Parents commented on their articulate, knowledgeable and hospitable manner. Congratulations to the following students. Hamish, Abigail, Sienna, Harriet, Macey, Zoe and Georgie.
Best wishes and God bless,