Term 1 Week 6
Dear Parents and Carers
It hard to beleive we are already in Week 6.
It has been an absolute pleasure to witness on a daily basis our students' commitment to their learning in such a focused manner. Our teachers here at St Joseph's really know and understand your child's learning and personal needs and are dedicated to developing positive relationships with your child and you as their primary educators.
Developing healthy parent-teacher relationships is a great way to improve your childs performance both academically and personally. This is both in a formal and informal setting. Establishing strong positive parent-teacher communication throughout the year creates a collaborative approach to solving problems and leads to happy, productive parent-teacher-child experiences. Please don't let problems or incidents fester or overwhelm you or your child. We always have our students' best interests at heart and want to create a safe, happy learning environment for all.
The dignity of the human person is the foundation of all Catholic social teaching and intrinsic to
our education ministry. Consequently, the principle that the person is made in the image and
likeness of God, is central to the mission of all our parish school communities.
At St Joseph's we actively promote anti-bullying messages alerting students and staff of the need to be vigilant. All students have the right to be safe from bullying and any form of Bullying or Physical violence will not be tolerated here at St Joseph's. Please talk to your child about treating others as they would like to be treated so we can create a safe and respectful school community.
It is also vital that learning technologies are used ethically and responsibly so that all communication is respectful . Bullying, cyber-bullying, harassment, aggression and violence disregard core values of our faith, including dignity, respect, justice, equity, compassion, trust and courage. Importantly, such actions can adversely affect the well-being of students and are therefore, unacceptable.
All members of our school community are expected to prevent and challenge such actions in
order to build respectful relationships that respond effectively and sensitively to the needs of each
person. Any misuse of technology will also be treated very seriously and parents will be contacted to ensure all students diginity and wellbeing are respected.
As you are aware Child Protection is at the forefront of all we do here at St Joseph's. The Child Protection Policy and Procedures, as set out by the Catholic Schools Office (CSO) ratified in June 2020, has been adopted by St Joseph's Primary School and all responsibilities and procedures related to mandatory reporting will be adhered to as set out in this document.
Parents/carers are encouraged to read and familiarise themselves with this policy which can be found on our public website https://www.twdplism.catholic.edu.au/policies
ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL - Teaching & Learning
SOUNDS – WRITE TRAINING
As you may recall from our previous newsletter the K – 2 teachers (besides their usual heavy load of everyday teaching) are doing an extra 9 hours of Sounds-Write training each week to help your children learn to decode confidently and effectively. Decoding and encoding words are a major part of learning to read. This training is all based on the Science of Reading and this week in particular, we have focused on the using the child’s cognitive load efficiently.
Science believes that Cognitive Load Theory (CLT) is one of the most important things teachers should understand if they want to know how learning (and teaching) works. The Main findings of the Cognitive Load Theory is as follows:
The human brain can only process a small amount of new information at once, but it can process very large amounts of stored information.
Information is processed in the working memory, where small amounts of information are stored quickly. The average person can only hold about four ‘chunks’ of information in their working memory at one time.
Long-term memory is where large amounts of information are stored semi-permanently. Information is stored in the long-term memory in ‘schemas’, which provide a system for organising and storing knowledge.
If a student’s working memory is overloaded, there is a risk that they will not understand the content being taught and that their learning will be slow and/or ineffective.
With extensive practice, information can be automatically recalled from long-term memory with minimal conscious effort. This ‘automation’ reduces the burden on working memory, because when information can be accessed automatically, the working memory is freed up to learn new information.
Cognitive load theory provides support for explicit models of instruction.
Cognitive load theory is supported by many randomised controlled trials (RCTs). This large body of evidence indicates that instruction is most effective when designed according to working memory's limitations.
Cognitive load theory indicates that when teaching students new content and skills, teachers are more effective when they provide explicit guidance accompanied by practice and feedback, not when they require students to discover for themselves many aspects of what they must learn. This is why inventions (such as reading) have to be taught explicitly and systematically.
I hope that explains why we have a large focus on explicit teaching and why our successes are growing.
PARENT / TEACHER MEETINGS
Parent Teacher meetings will occur in weeks 8 & 9. Today your interview timeslots will be sent out through compass. Please make sure you are all on Compass and it is functional. If you are having trouble with Compass, please use a computer and log on to the site.
These meetings are 15 mins long and these times need to be adhered to. Please select a timeslot that suits and if you can't make any of the given timeslots, please contact your child's teacher via email and you can negotiate a time that suits both parties.
Please find below a video clip that shows how to book a conference using compass.
If Booking a parent/teacher conference via a computer you will need to first select your child's name at the top right-hand corner of the screen (beside your child's photo), then click on the teacher's name just below your student's name. This will filter the available timeslots for your child's class.
We will be holding our Easter Bonnet Parade & Giant Easter Raffle on Thursday the 6th of April 2023 (last day of term 1, detailed timeline to follow including Liturgy time). We are asking for donations for the Easter Raffle Baskets. Chocolates, eggs, bunnies, wine, vouchers, and anything else anyone would like to donate would be greatly appreciated! Last year we had over 50 baskets for prizes. These items can be left at the school office, to be wrapped. Raffle tickets will be sent home closer to the date.
We appreciate your generosity.
ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL - Mission
On Tuesday, I had the privilege of taking 9 students from Year 6 to Murwillumbah to participate in the Incitare Retreat run by the Lismore Diocese. Mei, Isabella, Ava, Kalani, Sofia, Sarah, Cerah, Aiden and Luca were wonderful ambassadors for our school. They joined groups of students from schools all around the Tweed Region to discuss their faith and the challenges that come with living it out. It was wonderful for them to be able to share our constant message at St Joseph's of Making Jesus Real and reinforcing that Christ is our ultimate guide and model for everything we do.
We will be exploring our faith and our traditions as a community next week for our St Joseph's Day celebrations. As St Joseph's Feast Day falls on a Sunday, we'll celebrate on Friday which is actually St Patrick's Day. I'm sure St Patrick will forgive us for taking over his day. After all, as Kermit said; 'It ain't easy being green'. I will be working with Mr Friel, Miss McIver, Mr Winning and the Year 6 students to lead some activities that are designed to help us connect as a community and learn a little more about St Joseph and our school in the process. More details will come early next week so stay tuned.
Finally, I'd like to thank you for your continued support of Project Compassion. I have had many students share with me their excitement about giving and how heavy their class collection box is becoming. It is always a wonderful opportunity to talk to them about where the money goes and other ways we can show gratitude for the wonderful life we have here.
My New Gallery
LEADER OF PEDAGOGY
Reading and Assessment
Over the past two weeks, teachers have been testing students on the critical skills, or “Big Ideas”, necessary for successful reading. These include: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.
In our system, all students Years 1-6 are tested in this three times each year; early Term 1, later Term 2 and mid Term 4. Kindergarten students will begin these assessments later Term 2 due to BEST Start Literacy assessments having taken place at the start of the year.
How much time does it take?
Each of the subtests only takes about one minute to complete. These tests are “indicators” of the student’s overall reading status, and are not intended to be in-depth or comprehensive measures of reading. Just like using a thermometer to take your child’s temperature, which provides a quick indicator of your child’s general health. These quick subtests provide teachers with information about your child’s reading health and how well he or she is progressing on a particular early reading skill.
How will the results be used?
Students’ scores on the measures give the school information about whether or not a student is on track for grade-level reading success. A school can quickly identify students who do not meet the goals within each measure and provide support. For example, if your child is reading words accurately, but slowly, the teacher can provide extra practice re-reading texts to improve his or her reading rate or fluency.
Teachers and leaders of the school study the test scores across classrooms and grade levels to make decisions about how to best use resources to make sure that every child in the school, including your child, is on track to become an accurate and fluent reader.
How can I help my child’s reading?
Encouraging regular and varied reading at home is one valuable way that families can support their child’s reading development. SPecifically, the following strategies will help your child become an accurate and fluent reader with a high level of comprehension:
- Be a reading fluency model– Read out loud to your child. You can either read them a story they aren’t able to read alone yet, or reread an old favorite. Hearing how you pronounce words, group words into phrases and change your tone of voice for question marks and exclamation points helps them to know what good reading sounds like. Hearing good reading builds vocabulary, which can improve your child’s reading fluency.
- Give feedback- After your child reads a section, tell them what they did well, and give them a suggestion for something to try next time. For example, “I really like the way you went back and read the whole sentence after you stopped to sound out that word. Reading the whole sentence is something readers do to make sure everything makes sense. Next time, watch out for words that look alike. I noticed you mixed up of and for when you were reading.”
- Practice, practice, practice– Like with any skill, practice makes perfect. Have your child do a little bit of reading fluency practice every day. Even 10 minutes could really improve your child’s reading fluency over the course of a few weeks.
- Talk about what they're reading- This "verbal processing" helps them remember and think through the themes of the book. Ask questions before, during, and after a session to encourage reading comprehension.
A reminder that NAPLAN’s test window for 2023 is 15th-27th March. Specific test dates for families with students participating in NAPLAN this year (Year 3 and Year 5) are as follows:
- Wed 15/3- Writing
- Thurs 16/3- Reading
- Mon 20/3- Conventions of Language
- Tues 21/3- Numeracy
Mrs Victoria Atkinson (Leader of Pedagogy)
Edward Ingham, Jack Harry, Harper Pollard, Willow Millar, Lilah Fraser, Neve McGee and Charlotte Kirk competed at the Diocesan Swimming Carnival in Kempsey last Friday. I would like to congratulate all of our swimmers on their performance in the pool against some very tough competition. It was great to see so many students representing St Joseph's at such a high level.
Results of the day:
Edward Ingham: 6th 50m FreestyleJack Harry: 6th 50m FreestyleHarper Pollard: 5th 50m BreastrokeWillow Millar: 3rd 50m Freestyle, 1st 50m Backstroke, 2nd 50m Butterfly, 4th 50m BreastrokeJunior relay team 4th place: Willow Millar, Neve McGee, Lilah Fraser and Charlotte KirkRunner up Junior Girl Age Champion: Willow Millar
Willow Millar was selected in the Lismore Diocesan Team to compete at the Polding Trials in Homebush on the 30th of March. A fantastic achievement Willow, we wish you all the best in Sydney.
Congratulations to Nash Hynes, Tige Murphy and Oscar Alexander who recently competed at the Dioceasn AFL selection trials in Grafton. All three boys showed a high level of skill at the trial against some very tough competition. Congratulations boys on a great effort.
Issue 2 orders are due by Wednesday 22nd March. Orders are made online through Scholastic Bookclub.
By now you will have received your unique BPay and reference numbers on your last School Fee statement. For your reference, Term 1 School fees consist of:
IT Levy for years Kinder to Yr 3 -$200 (only charged once in term 1)
Resource Levy for all grades -$300 (only charged once in term 1)
Term 1 Tuition Fees - $442.50 (charged per term)
Sibling discounts will still apply, however, there is no longer a discount for full yearly payment.
Now that you have received your unique BPay and reference details you can set up a payment plan via BPay recurring payments through your bank.
Just a reminder that BPAY IS THE PREFERRED METHOD OF PAYMENT as COMPASS PAY INCURS A FEE.
St Joseph's School Forum are holding a disco. Permission notes have gone home with students. Could you please return the permission notes and the $8.00 CASH in an envelope to the box in the office foyer.
SCHOOL FORUM NEWS
The school forum has been abuzz organising the much anticipated school dance. Thank you to all those that have helped and to Kay and Heather Ball who have funded the DJ for the event.
We still need parent volunteers for the night. The roles required are as follows;
.check in for each session
.set up and pack up decorations
.run the limbo game
For any parent who can lend a hand on the night, please email your contact details to Chey Shambrook at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also if there are any gifts/donations that parents can make which will be used for prizes on the night, please drop them in the box at the school office.
Please note that while no food or drink has been allocated for parents, we welcome you all to bring your own, along with a picnic rug if you wish.
In the case of poor weather, the event will continue. Due to the need to pre-order food, we will not cancel (However we ask people bring wet weather gear OR we reschedule it to lunch time on the day.)
SCHOOL FUNDING AND GRANTS
We recognise the importance of tapping into funding to enhance our school environment and the experience for our students. We are seeking assistance from parents who have business connections for sponsorship or are experienced in applying for Government grants. Please contact Chey Shambrook at email@example.com if you can assist.
Our next School Forum meeting will be held on Monday the 3rd of April and all are welcome to attend. The meeting minutes can be found on our school website under the Parents and Families tab and then School Forum.
TERM 2 PUPIL FREE DAY REMINDER
Monday the 24th of April is a Pupil Free Day. Anzac Day is the next day Tuesday 25th of April and school resumes Wednesday 26th of April.
ST JOSEPH'S PRIMARY OPEN MORNING
Enrolments for Kindergarten 2024 close on the 6th of April 2023. Please complete an online enrolment application if you would like to apply. Please note siblings of students already enrolled at St Joseph's are still required to complete an online enrolment application form.
ST JOSEPH'S COLLEGE OPEN EVENING
QUESTACON TRAVELLING EXHIBITION
Richmond Tweed Regional Library is proud to announce the arrival of Questacon’s travelling exhibition, ByteWise.
The revolving showcase of interactive exhibitions from the National Science and Technology Centre offers hands-on challenges drawn from mathematics and computer science.
Activities will be available throughout March and April at:
- Tweed Heads Library - Brett Street Tweed Heads 07 5536 3672
- Goonellabah Library – Oliver Avenue Goonellabah 6625 1235
- Lismore Pop-Up Library – Molesworth Street Lismore 6621 2464
- Ballina Library – River Street Ballina 6686 2831
New challenges available at each location each month, schools are invited to bring students to the library and experience this fantastic exhibition.
The exhibition is targeted towards students aged between 10-15 years but, all ages are guaranteed to enjoy the exhibit. Byte Wise offers a range of experiences to challenge and intrigue visitors, from logic puzzles and code breaking, to geometry.
Come along to your local library each moth and enjoy completing the challenges, there are also some great prizes to be won.
Contact your participating library to find out what’s on exhibition each month or find further information on the Library website at www.rtrl.nsw.gov.au
Regional Library Manager, Lucy Kinsley, said “It is fantastic to be able to bring a little bit of the National Science and Technology Centre to our community. It’s a great opportunity to engage with high quality computer science and mathematics related experiences at your local library. Everyone is invited to come along and challenge yourself or challenge your friends”.
Amanda Wallace | Branch Supervisor Tweed Heads | Richmond Tweed Regional Library