When we think of harmony we may immediately think of different musical notes being played together to a create beautiful sound. However, harmony can also refer to people living together peacefully. Harmony Day was celebrated around the nation on Tuesday this week and our children participated by creating a display of colourful mosaics and discussing the ways in which we can value our inter-connectedness. Just as all the individual pieces in a mosaic are joined together to create a thing of great beauty, so too, can the individual members of a community, each with their own identity, join together and become united as one.
We have a very harmonious community at St John’s and this is evident by the way in which students, parents and staff demonstrate respect for one another and display an openness to listen to different points of view. I saw this in action last Friday in one of the Year Six lessons. The students each brought an item from home that held personal significance for them and represented an aspect of their individual identities. The room was filled with a diverse range of items, from a Scottish kilt owned by a great great-grandfather, to a prayer mat used by one of our students, to various spices and foods and special ornaments and icons. Every student shared with the group, the reasons why their item was important and it was such a joy to see how interested and respectful everyone was as they listened to the various family stories.
The Year Six students also shared their understanding of the importance of peace and harmony with students in other year levels. It was a great way for them to demonstrate their leadership and reinforce the values of our College. Sometimes people can judge others or bully them because they are different and we believe this is completely inappropriate. Harmony Day gave us another opportunity to focus on this important message.
St John’s is culturally diverse and this gives it a wonderful quality not necessarily found in other settings. We have families at St John’s from almost every continent around the world and this allows us to learn from one another and enrich our community. It also helps us to become more internationally minded, a quality of great significance in the IB Primary Years Program. Mrs Sanders, our teacher of English as a Second Language has been meeting with some of our families with international backgrounds to identify ways in which we can overcome any language or cultural barriers that may arise and improve communication. We have greatly appreciated their feedback and invite other families to contribute their ideas by contacting me or Mrs Sanders via firstname.lastname@example.org One initiative we have planned to assist our families is to include a translation button on our website so that the content on all pages of the website can be translated into a variety of languages. This should be available next term.
It has been wonderful to see some rain in recent days, however, it has had an impact on the running of our Cross Country. We are now planning to hold the Primary Cross Country on Monday 27 March, following the previously scheduled program, as outlined below:
|9:00am||Kindergarten boys and girls||Approximately 250m|
|9:10am||Boys Year 3 to 6 Race||Approximately 1.8km|
|9:40am||Girls Year 3 to 6 Race||Approximately 1.8km|
|10:05am||Year 2 boys and girls||Approximately 600m|
|10:20am||Year 1 boys and girls||Approximately 400m|
|10:30am||Prep boys and girls||Approximately 300m|
Please note starting times are approximate only, races will start as soon as the previous one is finished. Fingers crossed, we will be able to successfully run all events on Monday. We look forward to families joining us if they able and we thank Mr Murray for his organisation of this event.
Storytime Fun which was to be held on Monday 27 March will now be postponed until next term to allow families to support the Cross County.
On Tuesday 22 March, we hosted a professional development workshop run by Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) and over 80 teachers from different schools in our general area attended. The workshop provided teachers with information on the new Australian Curriculum, Digital Design and Technologies. At St John’s we are fortunate to be able to integrate much of the new curriculum into our PYP Units of Inquiry and with the appointment of Mrs Laurie Wilson to the position of STEM Co-ordinator we have a staff member who can oversee the implementation of science, technology, engineering and maths across the year levels.
We are also very fortunate to have Mrs Meredith Alexander researching Mathematics and identifying resources for the optimum delivery of maths instruction. Our teachers work together collaboratively and regularly learn from each other. This assists us in ensuring your children receive a consistently excellent education at St Johns, no matter which class or year level they are in.
The students in STEM Club have been involved in some interesting Science activities this term. They made CO2 in a jar and used it to extinguish a flame and they learnt how to pierce a balloon without making it pop. These types of activities really make the students ask questions and wonder why such things can occur. They challenge their prior knowledge and spark their imagination. I am very curious to know what they are going to investigate next term!
Head of Primary