As you know last year TNPS staged a very successful K-6 Exhibition of Learning in Term Three 2016. 100% of students surveyed after last year's event indicated that they wanted to build another exhibition of learning for 2017.
Turramurra North PS is planning another Exhibition in Term Three 2017, with a focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.) Last year's exhibition had a focus on History. All staff K-6 spent the School Development Day learning about STEM. Watch out for further details of this event in the coming weeks.
You may also know that late last term I attended the 'Deeper Learning 17' conference at High Tech High in San Diego. While at the conference I spent one full day with Ron Berger and his associate Libby Woodfin from Expeditionary Learning. Rob Berger is seen by many as the founder of 'Deeper Learning'.
Much of our school's work in recent times has been closely linked to Ron's teachings - found in his books. We were incredibly fortunate to have had Ron work with staff face to face at our school in 2016 as we prepared for last year's exhibition. No other school public or private has had Ron at their school working with staff in all of Australia.
At TNPS staff have implemented authentic / real world learning, project based learning, authentic audiences, student learning targets and student led conferences. This has helped our students to go deeper in their learning and results / data show this has been successful. Our work is also reflective of the NSW DoE strategic directions under Education Secretary Mark Scott.
Future focused learning requires valuable contributors creating content not passive participants passing tests. Deep thinking = deeper learning and 'learning that lasts'.
Ron Berger and Libby Woodfin have just released their new book 'Learning that Lasts.' This book is a manual for 'deeper learning' instruction. According to Berger the text 'mines decades of wisdom' from those who have led incredibly successful work in US Expeditionary Learning schools - a not for profit group set up by the Harvard Graduate School of Education under Berger's leadership in the early 1990s.
All staff at TNPS have been provided a copy of this new text this week to help them as they continue their growth ahead of the STEM Exhibition of Learning. I have included a photo of the cover of the text above and also a photo of a page from the book which summarises the notion of 'deeper learning.' I think it is important that our community thinks very carefully about what this page means.
According to Berger, this newly released book, tackles the notion of 'teaching quality.' Berger says this means the capacity for all teachers to improve and do a better job to challenge, engage and empower students to help them fulfil their highest aspirations. This has to be the focus for all educators in all schools as we prepare our kids for a rapidly changing world.
Some researchers suggest there will be more change in the next 20 years than there has been in the past 2000 years.
Businesses want students who are ready to be productive, independent and collaborative workers and problem solvers. Communities want students who are informed, contributing citizens and good people.
Berger says that when students leave school '...their achievement will no longer be judged by high stakes tests. Instead it is the quality of their work and character that will determine their success...' We know he is right and we should adjust our thinking in schools now.
Practices described in this text are designed to challenge, engage and empower young learners so they can thrive as they grapple and take an active role in their own growth. This is means careful learning design and high quality teaching.
A spare copy of the text 'Learning that Lasts' is available in the office for parents who may wish to develop their own knowledge of 'deeper learning'. Please see Mrs Long if you would like to borrow the book.
I encourage the community to support our wonderful TNPS staff to stage the school's second K-6 Exhibition of Learning in Term Three 2017. This event will provide our children the opportunity to go deep; to take risks in their learning, to be actively engaged in their learning, to pursue personal interests, to learn with purpose, to take responsibility for their learning, to receive and provide feedback and to be inspired to create and develop work of the highest quality.
I hope to return to TNPS in Term Three with a staff team from Banora Point PS to view the the exhibition first hand.
Thank you Mr. Andrew Sproule!
A very special thank you to Mr Andrew Sproule who this week fitted a giant 80 inch interactive screen in the HUB for the benefit of our students. Andrew has donated both the screen and his time and effort and components and we are forever thankful. What a generous act for the benefit of our kids. Thank you!
Mr Andrew Sproule adding the finishing touches to the giant 80 inch screen he both donated and installed in the HUB.
Andy also gave of himself in installing the new oven in the P&C canteen over the holidays. This was a lot of work and required a whole new circuit. Thank you Andrew. A magnificent contribution to our school.
Last week Ms Sharon Ford invited all TNPS Executive to submit an 'expression of interest' for the 'Acting Principal' position at our school for the remainder of Term Two.
Following a process led by Ms Ford, Director Public Schools - Hornsby Network, Miss Caroline English has been identified as the person to fulfil this role. My congratulations go to Miss English.
This will mean that Miss English will come off class from next week for the term until such time as the permanent role is filled via the merit selection process. As already stated in a communication sent earlier this week, the panel that will appoint the next permanent principal will comprise:
- Ms Sharon Ford (panel convenor) as Director Public Schools for the Hornsby Network
- Parent representative - P&C
- Staff representative
- Principal representative
One parent asked me yesterday if we would be in a similar position to Pymble PS who have had a 'Relieving Principal' for 2.5 years. The answer is no, TNPS will not have a Relieving Principal for 2.5 years.
Pymble Public's substantive Principal, Mr Peter Lee, had gained a position at the NSW Board of Studies and was on 'leave' from the NSW DoE to fill the role. This meant a 'Relieving Principal' was needed while he was on 'leave' from his substantive position.
This situation is not in any way similar to the position TNPS now faces. Put simply the TNPS Principal position is now vacant and will be filled temporarily by an 'Acting Principal' - Miss English - until such time as a permanent replacement is appointed. Ms Sharon Ford, Director PS Hornsby Network, has indicated to me she hopes to begin the merit selection process to fill the vacancy permanently 'as soon as possible.' Step one will be to form the panel.
A seperate letter from Miss English was sent to 2E parents yesterday, outlining arrangements for the class.
A Short Turn Around
As advised in a letter sent out via school stream on Monday 24th April, I will finish at Turramurra North PS today 28th April 2017. I will commence duty at Banora Point PS Monday May 22nd. In between now and then I will be making arrangements to move while I take long service leave.
I was unfortunately away for the Term One Principal's Assembly on the final Thursday of Term One as I attended an interview for the position in Murwillumbah DoE District office. I did not know the outcome of the process until the Monday of the first week of the holidays. Term One is also the end of the 'NSW DoE staffing calendar year' and this has impacted the need for me to commence duty almost immediately at Banora Point. This is unavoidable and has resulted in what is a short departure period. This will mean that I will have to live away from my family until they move up to join me and this indicates that the immediacy of the need for me to start at Banora Point PS was out of my hands.
Thank you to the community. I feel so fortunate to have been able to begin my career as a Principal at this very special school. The children at this school are magnificent. Children are a reflection of their homes and families and the families of this community are special. You should be so very proud of your children; they have the world at their feet thanks to you.
Thank you to the office staff. You are a ray of sunshine and do so much to keep our school humming along. Thank you for all the extras you do and for the care you give our children. I will miss each of you, every day.
Thank you to the teaching staff. Your desire to refine and reflect and rework and reshape and redesign has led to very significant growth. Your desire to work together and support and challenge each other's growth has been my inspiration and I will miss working with all of you. Thank you for accepting the challenge to grow. We've achieved so much because you chose to do what you believed in. Well done and I have no doubt you will continue to thrive as you pursue your own professional growth.
A reminder that if you are paying your school fees by instalments the second instalment payment is due today.
We would appreciate donations of small undies for the the occasional accident.
KISS AND DROP
Kiss and Drop Zones are designed for your convenience and for your child’s safety. Designed for quick entry and exit, these zones minimise congestion and risk when used properly by all parents and carers. These zones operate under the same conditions as no parking zones, which means you may stop to drop off or pick up children for a maximum of 2 minutes.
P & C NEWS
EASTER EGG FUNDRAISER
All money from the Cadbury Easter Egg Fundraiser is now due. Please to the school office by Wednesday 3rd May.
MOTHER'S DAY STALL
We will be holding our annual Mother's Day Stall early next term and we are looking for any donations that we can sell at the store. Anything from jewellery, book marks, key rings etc... if you are creative and would like to donate anything for the stall please get in touch with Melissa Nikkhah on 0412275729.
TNPS TRIVIA NIGHT
TNPS PRAYER GROUP WELCOMES YOU
The TNPS parent prayer group invite you to join us in prayer for the school on the 4th Thursday of the month in the NTOOSH building at 9am.
Everyone is welcome to come.
Prayer requests, which remain confidential, can be left in the Prayer Requests box in the office, or email or phone Anitra Lipscomb - firstname.lastname@example.org 0450 965 247