- Prof Thomas Groome
- Long Service Leave
- Reporting & Student Led Conversations
- Playground area after school
- School Uniform
- Nationally Consistant Collection of Data (NCCD)
- A Message from Mrs Butler
It is important for us to take the time to pause and reflect on how we are creating a ‘both/and’ world for our students not an ‘either/or’. It is not about science without faith or knowledge without wisdom. We should be creating a world in which both exist and support the other……..
Michael Grose recently put out some information around helping kids who worry, in particular helping them find their off switch. He offers up 8 tips for helping out. Help them find the bigger picture, refocus their attention, name their worry (it makes it manageable), a worry jar, limit talking time, normalise the anxiety (don’t go over and over it), provide them ways to relax, get them moving. You will see work throughout the school on some of these behaviours in the developmental domains being covered in classes and programs such as Peaceful Kids. Should you feel your child needs any additional support in this area please contact Nicky Russell or see the office for a referral form to contact Narelle our school counsellor. More information around supporting kids with worry can be found on Michael Grose’s website parenting ideas.
Long Service Leave
An update for families in LG1 and LG10, Kelly and Megan are both taking some well earned Long Service Leave this term. Megan B will be away from the 18/06 and return at the start of Term 3. Kelly L will be away from the 18/06 as well and return in week 2 of Term 3 on the 24/7. Megan is replaced by Ellen G and Kelly by Bec P. Reports for these grades will still go out at the same time as other families however student led conversations will take place in week 9 on the Wed/Thurs. Details for booking a time for these will be sent to all LG1/LG10 families tomorrow – Thursday 31st May.
Reporting & Student Led Conversations
After meeting with the School Advisory Council and staff we are moving ahead with the changes to our reporting process. Thank you to the additional parents who have provided feedback and suggestions as well. Reports for this year will reflect the new Australian curriculum under the AusVELS (Victoria’s version) standards. The report will be made available digitally to families via the Parent Access Module(PAM) that you received login details for earlier this term, should you require a printed copy please see the office.
The report will include assessment against the standards for key curriculum areas in the form of ‘dots’ as well as a general comment that will highlight work habits, behaviours and effort. Prior to the reports becoming available student led conversations (3 way conversations) will take place in week 10, this is an opportunity for students to showcase their current achievements and areas they are setting goals on working towards. Details for booking a time for these will be sent via email next week. As a school we would consider these to be the major reporting element and the best way to learn where your child is at and what they are currently working on. The formal report coming in week 11 will act as a confirmation of the meeting to be read in conjunction with the conversation.
We had a lot of discussion around the timing of these meetings. Should they be prior to, or after written reports? This term or next. We believe the greatest benefit to student learning is to have the conversations prior; providing parents a clear picture of what is taking place in the classrooms before the written report is made available. One of the pieces of feedback we continue to receive is that the written reports and comments don’t help parents to understand how their child is going. Without a context to place them in knowing that your child can skip count by 3’s from a non zero starting point really doesn’t tell you how they’re going or what they are working on. More importantly it also provides no information about what you can do to support them as learners. The aim of having conversations prior is to provide that context for parents, to better enable them to make meaning of the written report.
As always if there are things you would like to discuss with your child’s teacher outside of this meeting please arrange a suitable time.
Playground Area After School
We’ve had a few incidents on the playground after school both injuries and behavioural. A reminder that the playground is available for parents and children to make use of after school, provided children are actively supervised by their parents. If a parent isn’t present then students should be waiting at the gates or on the deck area. We are having particular issues on netball training nights with students playing before training or siblings staying. We value the opportunity the playground offers for our families to gather and meet with each other however we may need to revisit its use if this continues due to the OH&S risk posed by unsupervised children.
Well done to all students and I’m sure their parents who are there to remind them on uniforms. There has been a marked improvement in students wearing their full winter uniform over the last month. Just a clarification for people the sports uniform does include shorts as optional during term 2 & 3 given that students are often running around during this. As always dress sensibly for the weather. We are trying to avoid coming inside for wet days during breaks as much as possible so bringing a coat to school is also a good idea.
The school has been working since the beginning of the year on unpacking the AusVELS writing standards. We began looking at writing as a focus last year as part of our PLC focus, at the same time continuing our work in Numeracy. This year the teams have been working on the standards and what they look like in practice. This has involved the majority of our meeting times looking at exemplar pieces of work and coming to a shared understanding of what ‘at standard’ looks like. Another part of this is getting to know the new curriculum across all levels and ensuring consistency between grades. A big part of this from a reporting perspective is the change in AusVELS from VELS to 100% of the standards being the target, under the VELS model students were loosely consider to be at standard if they had achieved 80% of the outcomes. This lead to some heated conversations around which 80% mattered and is one of the reasons AusVELS now aims for 100% instead. This may be reflected in some students reporting this semester as we as a school develop a clearer picture of the standards themselves and the assessment criteria related to them.
Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD)
Catholic Education Commission of Victoria have released two documents in relation to NCCD for Students with a Disability. Please find these documents attached below for your reference.
Namaste from India
It is hard to believe that my 5 months in India is coming to an end.
Raphael - home for the last 5 months and it truly has become my home. What amazing experiences I have had with warm, generous and loving people. I came here wanting to give of myself, but I can honestly say that I have received far more in return. The people of Raphael have taught me that joy doesn’t come from the things we have; it comes from within. Joy can be found in the simplest things of life - a warm smile, sunshine on your face, laughter, music ..... Many of the residents here have so little by our standards- no clothes or shoes to call their own, no toys, no books. They rely on the generosity of others to provide for their every need, but they are happy. Joy flows out of them and passes on to all who spend time with them.
Here, at Raphael, I have learnt to be grateful; to give thanks for all I am blessed with.
And I am truly grateful for the generosity of the St Columba’s School community for your wonderful support of the Ryder Cheshire foundation with the raising of $807.95 through the Walk to School breakfast. What an amazing effort!!
Half of this money will support the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) and Outreach Programs at Raphael. The CBR Program works with over 100 disabled children in government schools and aganwadis (preschools) across 26 villages between 20-40 kilometres away from the Raphael campus. A mobile outreach team identifies other districts in the state of Uttarakhand where there are no services for those with disability and provides awareness and training programmes in these remote areas. I was extremely fortunate to see the work of both of these programs firsthand while at Raphael.
The other half of the money will support The Dental Clinic Project at Klibur Domin in Timor Leste. The money will be used to improve the water supply to the Dental Clinic and build a box to protect the compressor for the dental chairs. I’ll be able to provide you with an update on this project in a few months.
Thanks again for your generosity!