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A Message from the Associate Principal of Primary School

We are almost halfway into the School year already, and we have not wasted any opportunity to celebrate learning and ensure that our Primary students have an array of activities to keep them engaged and motivated.

Recently we were absolutely thrilled with coming 2nd in the NIPSSA Cross Country Carnival a couple of weeks back at Mawson Park. We have a great team of diligent staff and parents that have supported the early morning training programme led by Mr Matt Senior. All have been instrumental in encouraging a strong body of motivated Primary students to keep pacing themselves and pushing ahead with a PB each training day.

I was delighted at the number of parents attending our Learning Journey a number of weeks ago. There was an enormous amount of energy, as excited children led their parents to the different parts of the school where their children were involved. To add to the atmosphere of the evening and demonstrate the learning across all the curriculum areas we had pop up choir performances as part of the primary music programme, a very well attended Book Swap fair in the Library, and other specialist teachers creating their own displays of learning for parents to experience and participate in with their children. In addition, each classroom also focussed on the learning process as a ‘journey’ deliberately taking the emphasis away from the finished product.

Being interested, motivated and engaged in learning is important for all our children. We are keen for parents to understand this and be involved in their child’s learning process. Our children have a unique opportunity to learn an amazing amount as their learning journey continues. As they move through the Primary School they will enjoy taking on more responsibility for their learning, and become increasingly more involved in making decisions about learning and organising their endeavours around their learning.

One demonstration of an authentic learning example has been the Year 6 cohort, where they explored what is preferential voting used in Australia and then conducted their own voting of playground equipment for all the Primary students. The Federal Government has been a focus in the Year 6 HASS Curriculum, and with the election providing perfect timing, the students had an opportunity to put preferential voting into a real life situation. All the Primary Students were able to vote on a number of playground options provided by the money raised in the Primary School Colour Run day. Students are very excited that the Ninja Warrior Climbing Frame was the outright winner.

I also had the privilege to visit Penrhos College for the Primary School IPSHA Ecumenical Service. A small group of students from Year 5 and the Year 6 Chapel leaders were invited to attend this event. The following students were chosen:

5.1 – Gemma Agostini, Lilly Beckworth, Denzel Mitchell

5.2 – Logan Grant, Andiswa Mukobo, Ebony Yewers

6.1 – Tegan Mumba, Sophie Ashurst

6.2 – Bailey Neale, Geneva Dunlop

6.3 – Tia Fraser-Felekis, Evie Sullivan

The theme was based on gratitude – i.e. how to show gratitude, the things we are grateful for and some practices that demonstrate our gratitude were discussed before the service in mixed groups of all the schools in attendance.

Bailey’s group highlighted family, health and the environment as their top 3.

Teagan’s group highlighted parents, animals and shelter as their top 3.

The students enjoyed the day making new friends, participating in the service and learning to be grateful for the small things in life.

In our final week of term, the Primary School hosed a Pyjama day fundraiser. It was an awesome day fundraising for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Each child and staff member (including Mr Wood) all came dressed in their pyjamas and involved recess and lunchtime activities run by the outstanding Primary House Captains.

Our Primary School programmes are foundational and designed to build a natural curiosity and foster, inquiry minds. They are also critical for developing the habits necessary for future success. We also look to harness this sense of wonder by using the inquiry approach, supported through other explicit teaching methods in our teaching and learning. This has shown to be one of the most effective ways in challenging minds and nurturing a love of learning.

We recognise that the greatest success is achieved when we are in partnership with parents. We seek to build a strong sense of connection and community. We want to know our children well. We build on their strengths, discover new abilities and work on those areas requiring extra attention.

Our children need to be engaged and challenged. They need space. They need to be active. We offer an idyllic environment where these needs are met and where young lives can flourish. The energy and vibe in our Primary School is a delight to experience. We have had a wonderful Second Term and I look forward to sharing more of our endeavours soon and cannot believe the first half of the year is already done and dusted!

Mr Roderick Wood, Associate Principal – Primary School

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