Good News Story
Children are remarkable and ours are simply the best. The creativity they show in learning and play is something that I love to spend time observing. They have a wonderful commitment to improving their learning and have enjoyed the increasing opportunities to have a say in their school experience. I have a couple of examples of this already this term:
- Lucas and Archer raced to get me to see the dinosaur skeleton that they found with their friends, Ethan, Levi, Oscar and Skyla. There was a group of 6 students excavating a part of the yard and had exposed a large artefact. The excitement and enthusiasm was huge and they are already planning on how to spend their millions upon discovering a large, rock-like item buried in the dirt.
- Darcy has had an awesome start to the term with his teacher seeking me out to share his writing on Wednesday. It was a piece with advanced vocabulary, structure and content. Today, he agreed to be interviewed with Narrah and Reece about Maths learning. Again, he showed a great depth of understanding of learning and the thinking processes. The three students and a few others across the school have assisted me with a video presentation for the upcoming Leaders’ Day at the Convention Centre.
- Caleb and Cruiz have been the ultimate community members this week. They have found numerous ‘important’, lost property items in the yard at recess and lunch and given them to Amy. She has a great collection now including a rubber band, hair clip, broken umbrella handle and a roll-up. They are very proud of their efforts.
Welcome to Term 3.
Another busy term ahead that is again/still impacted by illness. COVID-19, Influenza A, and all of the other sniffs, coughs etc. continue to cause increased absences in our students and staff team. It is vital that you keep your child home if they are unwell. We have families who say ‘But they’ve had a negative RAT/PCR’ and still send children who are coughing, sneezing and obviously jam-packed full of germs. COVID-19 isn’t the only contagious illness and we need to remember to rest and recover when ill.
I am expecting regular staff absences and we have employed Allana Wait as our Monday to Thursday relief teacher on site and James Baylum as our Friday relief teacher on site. This will hopefully lessen the impact to learning.
I am setting up Room 2-3 in the Early Years Unit as a classroom that can be used by the leadership team when we are needed to take a class. This happened regularly in Terms 1 and 2 when we weren’t able to get relief teachers. This will mean that we are able to provide a more settled environment and will also be able to find the resources we need when we need them. There will be times when we will need to split classes as I can’t always be released from my work to take a class. It seems that I am needed to run the school still even during these interesting times (haha).
The new term brings new staff. As mentioned above we have Allana Wait joining us and she is teaching the Year 4/5 class on Fridays when Mrs Sander is absent. James Baylum is teaching Junior Primary Health on Mondays and HASS on Tuesday to Thursday this term. Victoria is undertaking a process to employ a new Christian Pastoral Support Worker to replace Vivonne. Annie Neilson will continue to be on leave for Term 3.
We have a number of assessments to complete across the school this Term including:
- Phonics Screening (Year 1 students)
- Oral Reading Fluency (Year 2 students)
- Running Records (Year 1 and 2 students)
- PAT Maths and Reading Comprehension (Year 1 to 6 students)
These are all assessments that the students have participated in previously and provide us with valuable information to inform teaching and learning.
Governing Council Update
At the last Governing Council meeting, there were a couple of concerns raised and I am working towards addressing them. These concerns included the move to online Book Club ordering rather than using paper brochures. The ordering process was raised as too challenging particularly when children want to browse the online brochure on a mobile phone. Tina has now arranged to have the paper brochures again for students in Reception to Year 4. Year 5 and 6 students who would like a brochure are encouraged to collect one from the library or front office. This will hopefully resolve this issue.
There are also concerns and questions about what to do if you have a question or a concern. On our website we have policies and information. One of these is the Grievance Policy which outlines the steps that can be taken and it can be accessed at: https://www.portnoarps.sa.edu.au/policies-and-guidelines/
I have also created a really easy flowchart that you can use and it will be attached to Class Dojo for your reference.
Communication and the inability to see all of the events on Class Dojo using a mobile phone is another concern. There is a calendar on the website https://www.portnoarps.sa.edu.au/events/ and this is the best way for you to keep track of whole school information. I would suggest bookmarking our website to ensure timely access. Unfortunately, we can’t make all of our communication methods work for every device or to suit all members of the school community. There may be times when information may need to be sought using something other than your mobile phone.
The Fundraising Committee had planned to hold a disco in Week 2 but I have said that it is not advisable to have that many children in the space at present. We will try to hold a disco later in the year.
The Fundraising Committee has decided to reintroduce the prizes to the Colour Fun Run this year. If you would like to discuss fundraising please contact Victoria Corbett as the leadership liaison on the Fundraising Committee.
The Governing Council are here to represent the families and volunteer their time and expertise. We have a dynamic team on Governing Council this year and I urge you to touch base with them if you would like something raised at one of our meetings.