There will be a hive of activity at the primary campus during the holiday period as we begin some refurbishment to Living Faith Chapel and to the facilities of the STEM Institute. We are planning to install bi-fold doors into the wall between the Chapel and the undercover area which will allow us to open up the Chapel and make a much larger space for seating, so that audience members will no longer be left standing outside the Chapel, due to a lack of seating, when we host important assemblies and services.
We are also planning to update facilities to enhance our STEM Institute and create an entry from the undercover area into the Science lab. This initiative will improve the resources we have for STEM and allow us to showcase the student designs, models and experiments they investigate and construct. The building work will start on the first Monday of the holidays and is likely to continue for a short period into Term Three. This will mean that the undercover area will be fenced off and access into the Chapel will only be possible through the doors on the Kindergarten side of the building. Although the Science lab will also be cordoned off during the building works we will continue to have access to the Learning Enhancement area, disabled toilet and Chapel.
These exciting new initiatives will greatly improve what we offer at St John’s and the short period of minor inconvenience during the refurbishment will be well worth it.
Student academic reports for children in Prep to Year Twelve will be available via parent portal early next week. Families will receive an email indicating when the reports can be viewed online. The written report is one way of gaining information about a child’s academic progress. Interviews with teachers and learning journals are other methods that families should also use to understand how their child is progressing at school.
Our written reports must include a five point scale to comply with government requirements and so at St John’s we use the A to E scale from Year One to Year Twelve. Parents sometimes feel disappointed if their child does not receive an A or a B on their report and sometimes this may be an unrealistic expectation. Parents should be pleased when their child achieves a ‘C’ grading for a subject area because a ‘C’ indicates that the student is performing at the expected level for their class and is meeting or demonstrating the requirements of the Australian curriculum achievement standards. A ‘C’ means the child is working at and achieving what is expected of them at that point in their learning. It also means the child is on par with a ‘typical’ child in Australia, which is a considerable achievement. Students who are working beyond the achievement standard will receive and ‘B’ grading and only if a student is working beyond the achievement standard and in greater depth will they receive an ‘A’ grade.
I encourage parents to congratulate their children when they earn a ‘C’ on their school reports as a significant amount of learning has been required to achieve such a grade. I also encourage families to place a greater emphasis on their child’s engagement with learning because it is the process of learning and the effort a student applies to their studies that can make the most difference in their future pathways.
Parents will be able to access their child’s academic reports via Parent Portal, which is accessible through ‘My St John’s’ on the College website. If you do not have your family’s unique logon details and password, please contact Samantha Jackson on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Next term the Year One students will participate in their first Chess lesson with their class, one of many to come throughout the next eighteen months. Our Chess program is part of our curriculum in Semester Two of Year One and throughout the year in Year Two. The Chess lessons are conducted by a trained Chess coach and teach the children the rules of the game as well as helping them to develop strategic thinking and the ability to look at multiple solutions to a situation. The Chess lessons are linked to the mathematical concepts being taught in Years One and Two and the children love the learning activities associated with the coaching sessions.
Playing chess has many benefits including increasing creativity and problem solving skills, improving memory and concentration and teaching planning and foresight. We are very pleased to be able to provide such a wonderful opportunity to our students as part of our regular offering at St John’s.
Many children want to continue playing Chess beyond Year Two and this is possible through our after school Chess Club which is run by Gardiner Chess and is currently being held on Monday afternoons. Families wishing to have their children participate in Chess Club next term should register by clicking here.
Kindy Cultural Day
Living Faith Chapel was filled with delighted Kindergarten children on Wednesday 14 June as they listened to stories from around the world and participated in associated activities. A number of parents with children in Little Saints selected their favourite children’s stories and read them to the children. The children then made a take-home item based on the story. This activity complemented the PYP Unit of Inquiry that Kindergarten has been investigating this term and was a great way to encourage the children to share their own stories and build their oral language. We thank the family members who supported this event by sharing their stories. Their involvement was greatly appreciated.
On Monday 12 June we hosted the regional competition of Readers Cup in Living Faith Chapel. Students from numerous schools in surrounding areas attended and made up the twenty seven teams in the competition. St John’s entered two teams, one from Year Five and the other from Year Six. The final results after six rounds of questions led to a nail biting finish with the St John’s Year Six team placed equal first place with Graceville State School. A tie breaker question was posed and Graceville took out first place. We congratulate all the students who participated and acknowledge the wonderful success of the Year Six team that achieved second place.
Student Fundraising Initiatives
Thank you to families and friends who supported the recent student-led fundraising activities. We also thank the students for taking action and helping others through their initiatives. The Cup Cake Day raised $481 to support Lady Cilento Hospital and donation of a gold coin to wear a Police Ribbon raised over $80. While we cannot support every charity by raising money it is so pleasing to see our students thinking of others and wanting to help.
I wish you all a safe and happy holiday period and look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Tuesday 11 July. Kindergarten children will return on Monday 10 July. However, Monday is a pupil free day for students in Prep to Year Twelve.
Next term will be full of great learning opportunities and one of our favourite events of the year – the Fancy Dress Ball. The theme for this year is ‘Everywhere around the World’. Teachers have already started organising year level dances in line with this theme and we are looking forward to seeing everyone dressed in costumes from around the world, on the night. More information about this event will be sent home in the first week of Term Three.
Until then, have a super holiday and keep safe.
Head of Primary