It was a beautiful day on Tuesday 11 August when the children from Kindergarten to Year Two participated in the Early Years Games Day. The Year Six Leaders were a fabulous help at the event, encouraging the younger children and demonstrating how to participate in the variety of physical challenges and athletic events on offer. Running races were a highlight and the tug-o-war lots of fun. Our older students from Years Three to Six were excited to have their Athletics Carnival today, Thursday 20 August. Results from this event are being finalised and ribbons and trophies will be presented later in the term. Our recent athletics events have been thoroughly enjoyed by the students and we are very pleased that they were able to take place after so many other activities have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
Learning through Inquiry
Lots of fun activities are also taking place inside classrooms with students across the year levels delving into new learning experiences and inquiries. Year Six students are preparing for their PYP Exhibition which will be presented in the last week of August. The students are working in small groups and each group has a mentor teacher who meets with them every week to discuss their ideas and assist with any questions that may arise. The mentors are teachers from across the Primary campus, which helps the exhibition to be the culmination of all the inquiry learning that has occurred within the Primary Years Program (PYP). We thank all the teachers for their contributions to this valuable learning experience.
The Year Two students have been learning about forces and created their own toys or models of playgrounds to demonstrate different forces associated with the movement of their creations. The students were asked to talk to their class about their model and what they learnt about different forces. The teachers were thrilled to see the students demonstrating their understanding of these concepts and building their confidence to speak in front of an audience. While the main areas of focus included push and pull forces, some students extended their learning by exploring mass, acceleration and centripetal force.
Our Year Five students were shocked to enter their classroom one morning to find their chairs had gone on strike. The stack of chairs in a corner of each Year Five room and a letter from the chairs indicating that they are tired of being treated poorly, left out, sat on and pushed around, was a provocation for students to write a persuasive letter encouraging the chairs to resume their regular duties. The students were thoroughly engaged in the learning task and were pleased to have their chairs back after successfully completing their persuasive letter.
Here is an example of one of the Year Five letters:
This piece of writing is to say why, “The Humans” should get a second chance. And maybe after you read this, you might just give us one. I believe what we have done is wrong, I realised this when I read your letter. We apologise for this, on behalf of all humans. Here is what we have to say.
We all make mistakes, including humans, but if the mistake impacts others, you should explain your behaviour, so they understand better. We weren’t aware that you were becoming fed up with our obnoxious behaviour. So, myself and other humans swear to always do the following: pick you up, tuck you in, sit on you properly and never sharpen our pencils secretly on you ever again.
Sometimes you don’t fit us, but we give you a second chance and swap you with someone else. We don’t just throw you away like you are useless, because you’re not, someone else will always fit you.
Lastly, we should care more for you. For example, we should give you a break when you need one or if your legs are hurting, or if we’re doing something wrong like swinging on you. We will try our best to make you happy.
I think we’ve got the message you were trying to send. We’re Sorry! My friends and I hope that you can forgive us.
Reporting and Parent-Teacher Interviews
Many research studies around the world consistently show that feedback to families about the development and academic progress of their children is much more effectively provided through interviews and parent/student/teacher conferencing. Reading a grade on a report card or test paper does not provide a complete picture of a student’s abilities or learning progress. We, therefore, value opportunities to meet with families, whether that be face-to-face or via telephone or online communication so that details beyond the final grade can be provided.
Families will be invited to meet with their children’s teachers at the end of Term Three to review learning, provide feedback and discuss learning goals for the following term. Written reports for this period will not be provided, however, results for all Term Three assessment tasks will be available for families to view and discuss. In previous years, Term Three written reports were created so that calculations could be made for the academic awards that were presented at the Night of Celebration, held well before the end of Term Four.
This year, our end of year celebrations will be very different due to the restrictions we must adhere to for physical distancing. Although the exact format of our end of year celebrations is not yet finalised, all Primary students will be involved in celebrations at the end of November. This allows us to incorporate more assessment results from Term Four in the end of year academic award calculations. Semester Two written reports with final grades will be provided to families at the end of the year.
It has been a week of mystery, laughter and learning in the Research and Innovation Centre on the Primary campus where students of all year levels explored the deep underwater environments of the ocean as part of our Science Week activities. The Augmented Reality activities were a real hit for the youngest students and completing Kahoot quizzes challenged and engaged the older students. We thank Mrs Laurie Wilson for making Science Week so much fun.
Head of Primary
Kindergarten and Primary Virtual Open Day
We invite you to share with family and friends our Virtual Open Day for St John’s Kindergarten and Primary School on Tuesday 1 September 2020 from 11am to 12pm.
The Kindergarten and Primary tour will begin with a welcome from our Principal followed by highlights of the College from the Head of Primary and Deputy Head of Primary together with the Director of Kindergarten covering topics such as the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program and Student Wellbeing, followed by a live Q&A session.