Primary News

In March this year a report on the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools, was published and has been termed Gonski 2.0 by the media. The Review Panel, led by Mr David Gonski AC, was tasked with examining evidence and making recommendations on how schools can improve performance and student outcomes, and what funding might be necessary.

One of the report findings identified that students excel when they are given the opportunity to learn through an ‘individualised, continuum based and growth focused model.’ Our Maths Pathway program uses a continuum approach to learning which means that students are not restricted to learning concepts at their year level if they are ready to progress beyond, or if they need further revision in certain areas to overcome gaps in their understanding. The Maths Pathway program is highly individualised and students work on tasks appropriate to their specific level of understanding.

Another feature of Maths Pathway is the focus on an individual’s mastery of concepts and growth understanding. The reporting within the program clearly shows how much learning the student has achieved within a period of time, regardless of their starting point. This can be very rewarding for a student who has previously struggled with Maths and has not met year level benchmarks. By seeing the growth they have made and their personal progress, they can feel a sense of achievement and be motivated to continue working on their learning.

Regular one-to-one conferences between the teacher and student, to review progress and set individualised learning goals are another important component of Maths Pathway and our teachers make a point of meeting with each student to review their results, discuss progress and set goals for the next cycle of work. Parents are able to review their child’s effort, growth and accuracy by accessing the Parent tab in the top right hand corner of their child’s Maths Pathway home page.

We are very fortunate at St John’s to have access to programs such as Maths Pathway that provide what research shows to be the best in teaching. If you would like to know more about Maths Pathway in the Primary years please speak to your child’s teacher or Mr Martin Brownlow.

There’s always a lot of learning going on at our school and the Year Three students are about to begin a new Unit of Inquiry with the Central Idea: ‘Energy transferred from the Sun creates differences on Earth.’ To provoke their thinking and questioning they participated in a special incursion called StarLab, a mobile observatory and star gazing event. The StarLab was erected at the Primary campus on the evening of Friday 19 May and the students were introduced to the Milky Way and our solar system. It was a very engaging way to learn about the stars and begin an investigation into the Sun.

Students in the Prep classes have been studying mapping and learning how to draw a ‘bird’s eye view’ of an area. They have used tools such as Google maps to investigate maps of the local area around our school and they have constructed a 3D model of the primary campus. On Friday last week they learnt about drones and how they can be used to take photos and videos of places from above. Mr Ralph who teaches at the secondary campus taught the children about different drones and gave a demonstration of how they fly. He took aerial photos of the primary campus and showed these to the students. It was a very exciting learning experience.

Book Fair – Paws for Books
Our annual Book Fair has arrived at the Primary library and children are invited to visit the Book Fair to purchase a book or stationery item. The Book Fair will be opened at 8.00am each morning and will close at 4.30pm each school day afternoon until Monday 4 June. All proceeds raised from sales at the Book Fair will be used to purchase more resources for our Primary library.

Grandparents’ Day
Our annual Grandparents’ Day will be held on Thursday 31 May this year and our students are really looking forward to entertaining all our special guests. If you have not already advised the College that your child’s grandparents will be attending this special day, could you please do so by Friday 25 May, to allow us to organise sufficient catering for the day.


College Carnival
I sincerely thank every parent and family member who has contributed to the Carnival in one way or another. It is going to be a marvellous day and I can’t wait to see everyone there! Please remember our Performing Arts groups will be providing the entertainment throughout the Carnival and need to have their correct costume or uniform for the various items. Please refer to the entertainment program that was emailed home last week for specific details for each performance group.

Kind regards

Sandra Hawken
Head of Primary

Storytime Fun

Storytime Fun is the opportunity for you to enjoy time with your child and experience the fun of books. Click here for more information.