- Parent Volunteer Module
- Feedback from SAC
- Mobile Phones
- Parent Teacher Interviews
- Measuring Parental Engagement
- Catholic Education Feedback Survey
- Labour Day Public Holiday
- Next Assembly
- Message from Kim Butler
BY MICHAEL GROSE
My dream for you is that you see life as an adventure. I hope you have the curiosity and the confidence to try new experiences, meet new people and explore new places.
The world you live in is rapidly expanding and there are opportunities everywhere. I hope that you are able to make the most of the opportunities available and live a life that may be very different to the life that my generation lives.
Full Text link - https://www.parentingideas.com.au/2017/05/dear-daughter/
It must be that time of year again as we have a number of surveys for our families to take part in, one looking at parental engagement and the other focussed on catholic education. Please find more details of each below. We appreciate any and all feedback you can provide as this helps us better understand our current reality and where we are headed.
Parent volunteer module
A reminder to any families looking to assist with school based events under our Child Safe Standards we require you to complete the Volunteer application form and you will then be sent a link to our Volunteer Induction Module.
I encourage all parents who plan on volunteering in any capacity at St Columba's now or in the future to complete the Expression of Interest form. It only takes a couple of minutes to complete. Please click here for the form.
Feedback from SAC
The School Advisory Council had their first meeting last week on Wednesday night. During the meeting we looked at the role of the council in the school and the operational/strategic goals that have been developed for 2018. One of the key focus’ for the Council this year will be in exploring parent engagement in student learning and ways in which we can enhance what we already do in this area. Keep an eye out on some upcoming newsletters for a getting to know your council photo.
We strongly discourage students from bringing mobile phones to school. Whilst we recognise that some students have commitments outside of school hours and need to be contactable, should you wish to contact your child through the day this can be done easily through the school office. The school takes no responsibility for a mobile phone that may be lost, broken or stolen. Any phones that ‘must’ be brought to school are to be handed to the office in the morning (on silent or off) and can be collected at the end of the day.
We love celebrating birthdays here, and if you’ve even seen the staffroom on one of those days you’d know we can go a little overboard, however we are adults making informed choices. If your child is celebrating a birthday and you would like to send a treat to share with the grade we ask that you are mindful of other parents dietary choices and minimise the food being sent, one small item per student is enough (especially on days with multiple birthdays).
Parent Teacher Interviews
As we move towards the end of term (yes it is coming fast) we also move towards our first ‘formal’ reporting process for the year, the parent teacher interviews. These are a wonderful time for parents to let teachers know more about their children as well as getting an understanding of how your child is going and where they are headed. Parent knowledge plays a critical part in developing our understanding of each individual within our school and this is a great chance for you to share that depth of knowledge about your child no one else can have.
Things you may like to share with the teacher could include;
- What are you hopes and dreams for you child, this year and into the future?
- How can the teacher best connect and form a learning relationship with them?
- What can you tell us about your child, to help us do our best for them?
- What are your expectations of the school?
- What is that one thing that you just need someone else to know?
Please refer to the below flyer for details on how to book your Parent Teacher Interview. The Interviews will be held Tuesday 20th March and Wednesday 21st March from 2.00pm – 5.30pm.
REMINDER: If you have already booked a PSG meeting you will not require a Parent Teacher Interview
St Columba’s is currently engaged in looking at ways we can enhance our parental engagement. One of our big questions, which I mentioned in our last newsletter, is around how we connect our parents with the learning that is taking place every day. As part of our work we have been asked by ACER to take part in a trial of a parental engagement measurement tool that they are developing for all Australian schools. Measuring parental engagement allows us to better understand how parents and schools can work together to boost student learning and to help inform decisions around how we work with families to support learning. Details and a link to the survey can be found below
Measuring Parent Engagement Trial
St Columba’s is taking part in a trial and we need you to be involved!
The Measuring Parent Engagement trial will help us understand how families and schools can best work together to support learning outcomes for our children.
We are looking for parents to take part in a quick online survey (around 10 mins) so that we can develop a measurement tool for schools to use to gauge the level of parent engagement in their school
The survey will be open 5-29 March 2018. http://survey.qa/FAZf1j
Have your say! It’s voluntary, confidential, quick and easy, comes in various formats (online/Mobile) and can be completed at a time that’s convenient to you.
Catholic Education Feedback Survey
St Columba’s values the feedback of our students, families and community.
We would appreciate responses before Friday 16th March 2018. Should you have any questions, please contact Shaun Mohr - firstname.lastname@example.org
Labour Day Public Holiday
Reminder that there is not school this Monday 12th March due to the Labour Day Public Holiday. Due to the shorter week our Foundation students are required to attend school Wednesday.
LG 10 will lead our next assembly will be held this Friday 9th March at 2.40pm. At assembly our next group of Foundation students will be introduced by their grade 5 buddy. Being introduced this assembly are Jacob, Ivy, Jimmy, Fergus, Leo, Edie, Sophie Gr
Message from Kim Butler
Namaste from Dehradun, India
It is hard to believe that I've been in India for more than 2 months now and at Raphael in Dehradun, Northern India for 8 weeks.
Though it took a little time to adjust to the sights and sounds of India, I now feel much more like a local. I have found Dehradun, and India in general, to be a vibrant, colourful and noisy place where the people are very friendly and welcoming.
Raphael Centre is set on the edge of a large forest and is a place of peace and tranquility. It is a school and home to many children with intellectual and physical disabilities, home to some intellectually disabled adults, as well as those who have been cured of leprosy and their families. Raphael also operates a tuberculosis hospital on the site and is the only hospital in the state of Uttarakhand that treats Drug Resistant TB patients, with all treatment being free of charge.
Raphael is a place of much joy and laughter despite the suffering of the people here. I have found it to be a very humbling experience living and working with people who have, in some respects, so little, but who have so much life and love within them. These people are so grateful for the little they have and have taught me so much about what is important in life.
Initially I spent a lot of time in the school helping in one of the classrooms with primary aged children. It was always very busy and a lot of fun. One of my highlights was sharing a bottle of bubble mixture with the children and watching them try to blow bubbles, some through their nose; so much excitement and laughter.
For the last 4 weeks I have been working with 11 primary aged children from local mainstream schools who come to Raphael for some intervention support, either individually or in a small group. All these children have difficulty with learning, particularly in the area of literacy. Most mainstream schools in India don't offer any support for struggling students; they just get left behind and are often in classes with peers who are 2 or 3 years younger than them. I am working with the students using the SMART Spelling approach and Literacy Restaurant that we use at St Columba's with such success and am training a few of the staff here in the approach so that they will be able to continue the program once I leave in early June. It is incredibly rewarding work and I can already see huge gains in the childre's confidence and skills even in such a short time.
Last Friday we celebrated the Hindu spring festival of colour - Holi. This would have to be one of the biggest days in the calendar and the children were extremely excited for the whole week prior. There was much singing, banging of drums, dancing and, of course, throwing colour. The fun went on for hours.
On weekends I am free to explore the local and surrounding areas. I am fortunate to have borrowed a bicycle and have taken my life into my hands riding the streets and exploring the town of Dehradun. I'm sure the locals think it's hilarious seeing this white skinned woman wearing a bike helmet ( not heard of here!) riding through the streets. A man shared with me the other day that he'd never spoken to a 'white person' before. Dehradun is certainly not on the tourist trail!
Though loving the experience, I certainly miss home and think of you all often.