What's Coming Up
- Term Fees Are Now Overdue!
Tuesday 25 August: The ICAS English test will be administered for those who have registered
Wednesday 26 August: P & F Meeting via ZOOM - link and instructions in this newsletter
Monday 31 August: The ICAS Mathematics test will be administered for those students who have registered for it.
Tuesday 1 September: The ICAS Spelling test will be administered for those who have registered.
From the PrinciPAL
Our Catholic Schools Office aspires to be a leading provider of Catholic education where our students’ encounters with God deepen their learning. To this end, the Catholic Schools Office has embarked on a three-year strategic plan which aims to build the capacity of every teacher and every school through collaborative professionalism. The culture of collaboration that we are building at St Patrick’s is grounded in the work of Dr Lyn Sharratt, an educator, researcher and author who works with teachers to show them how to effectively use data to improve student achievement.
This year, our school’s focus has been to use student data to develop our students as writers. In our classrooms you will find our teachers and students collaboratively developing criteria for a good piece of writing. Knowing what they have to do in order to become better writers has led to significant progress in all of the classes. Word walls, bump-it-up walls and other scaffolds around the classrooms are providing our students with opportunities to become more independent writers. Opportunities for peer assessment and self assessment are teaching our students how to critique a piece of writing.
Our teachers regularly conduct case management meetings in which we focus on writing samples from two students. During those meetings we identify each student’s strengths and their areas for development, and we make recommendations in regard to strategies that will assist those students to become better writers.
Our teaching staff is split into two professional learning teams (PLTs). Under the leadership of our pedagogical mentor, Cathy Dent, each of these teams meets for one hour each week with a specific agenda based on the teaching of writing. The PLT initiative has led to greater consistency across the school in our expectations of the students and in the strategies that we use to teach writing.
Every day I take the opportunity to visit one or two classes to conduct a “learning walk and talk”. This is an opportunity for me to speak with individual students about their learning and about how they perceive their progress as writers. I look forward to these daily opportunities and I feel privileged to be able to see first-hand the learning that is taking place around the school.
Last Tuesday morning, some of our teachers spoke at a Zoom meeting about these and other initiatives that we have implemented this year at St Patrick’s. We have been affirmed by many who attended the meeting, including our Director of Schools. I am very proud to work with such dedicated educators, and I am thrilled to see the progress that our students are making as writers.
Have a good week.
AN ACT OF KINDNESS
Last Friday morning, one of our younger students was feeling a little upset and his mother was having difficulty in coaxing him to come into the school. One of our older students approached the child and his mum to offer to escort the child into the school. This did not work, but several minutes later another senior student offered to take the child into the school, an offer which the child gratefully accepted. Two small acts of kindness by two boys – Samuel and a mystery person - made the absolute world of difference to the child and his mum. Thank you, Samuel and ???
POPULAR APPS USED BY CHILDREN – FREE WEBINAR
National Child Protection Week will take place during the week of September 6 to 12, 2020. On Tuesday 8th September, from 12.30 to 1.30pm, there will be a webinar for parents and carers called “eSafety’s parent guide to popular apps”. This webinar will focus on popular apps used by young people, including TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. It will include case studies, research and targeted advice so that you can support your children to have safe, enjoyable online experiences. To register for this webinar, go to https://register.gotowebinar.com/rt/9112156844257168398
From the REC
We are Kind Kids!
Look at our ‘acts of kindness’ displayed in the library. It is a wonderful reminder of the value we place in developing students that are caring and who make a difference in the lives of others. We encourage our students to follow in the footsteps of Mary Mackillop and Jesus by doing ‘acts of kindness’ in and out of our school. Recently, two of our students were acknowledged by a parent for an act of kindness they showed towards their child, who was finding it hard that morning to walk into school. We are very proud of our students!
Need to Breathe!
Each week I will spend time in classes cultivating the practice of breathing meditation. You might like to try it at home. Here is a simple exercise to get you started.
Begin with some breathing preparation by sitting in a relaxed position and breathing slowly in and out. Aim for a balanced and rhythmic breathing, imagining that the Holy spirit is moving in and out of your lungs and through your entire body – head, heart and hands. Breathe ‘in’ the Holy Spirit, hold that breath, and then breathe it out on all Creation.