Dear Parents and Friends of St Kevin’s,
Term 1 comes to an end and I would like to say thank you to my staff, students and parents for making Term 1 so special. We have all learnt many and varied things that have helped us all grow as to create a better world in which we all live. We have all made Jesus real in how we treat, greet and speak to others.
This Holy Week has been a week where we take time to reflect on the story that underpins our faith. Believing in a risen Christ is central and core to our faith.
Monday started with a liturgy to remember Palm Sunday where we celebrated Jesus triumphantly entering Jerusalem. Wednesday saw us continue that euphoria with Easter egg hunts and hat parades, followed by raffles for Easter egg prizes. Holy Thursday sees us engage in The Way of the Cross- a dramatisation of the 14 Stations of the Cross. Holy Thursday sees us recall the Passion and crucifixion of Jesus.
Being at a Catholic school enables our students to make links between the secular aspect of Easter - the eggs, hats and hot cross buns, and the Christian beliefs and events of the First Easter. It is truly a privilege to see the children all make links between how we celebrate Easter and why. They really are on a faith journey and making Jesus real in their lives each and every day.
Enjoy the Easter holidays and may the joy and love of the Risen Jesus walk with you in everything you do.
Pupil Free Days
Monday April 19
Friday June 11
Term 2 return to school for students Tuesday April 20.
Winter uniform to be worn from May 1st.
Last week Years 4-6 participated in their first Maths Games and / or Maths Olympiad competition. These two competitions comprise 5 tests taking place between March and August. Each test has only 5 questions and students are allowed 30 minutes to solve. Each month there are focused problem solving strategies to learn. Maths Olympiad is directed towards higher achieving students. The main aims of the competitions are to:
- Introduce students to important mathematical concepts
- Teach major strategies and develop flexibility for problem solving
- Foster creativity and ingenuity and strengthen intuition
- Stimulate enthusiasm and enjoyment of mathematics
- Provide for the satisfaction, joy and thrill of meeting challenges
This year we decided to take the Year 4s on the journey as well. They were very nervous and needed some convincing. For us, we want to ensure that students have a range of skills and strategies in their toolkit to solve real world problems and to be numerate. The focused strategies this month were:
- Draw a picture or a diagram
- Guess, check and refine
These skills apply across key learning areas and in real life. Please share with your child when and how you are using these skills/strategies.
Many students have felt a sense of anxiety/stress when it comes to learning Maths. Many fear that Maths is something that you are either good at, or not. What many students struggle to understand is that the beauty of Maths is not so much on the solution but the thinking and creativity that goes into trying to solve the problem. When we focus on results we often forget that understanding is key. We present a routine or memory trick to complete a task rather than honing in on the how and more importantly, the why we do things in a certain way. Let me explain. Teachers are noticing that children are doing written algorithms in their head. This is not a good thing. They should be using mental strategies. Written algorithms do not even enter the curriculum until Stage 2 and even then, mental strategies are still critical. You do mental maths daily and I presume you don’t construct an algorithm to do it. How we work out how much our grocery items are going to cost us and what change we should have is important. We need to communicate this to our children. We want to focus on learning rather than performing (memorizing). The most powerful learners are those who are reflective, who engage in metacognition – thinking about what they know – and who take control of their own learning (White & Frederiksen, 1998)
For those with students Years 2-6, I have a challenge for you this holidays. It is called Crackers and the cards you need for this are in your children’s school bag.
Don’t let your child add these numbers using a written algorithm – talk to them about how you would add them. Does Mum add them differently to Dad, to Grandma, to Grandad?
- Ask a partner to pick a number between 1 and 63 and not tell
- Show one of the 6 cards and ask, “Is your number on this card?”
- If they say yes record the first number in the upper left hand corner of the If they answer “no”, record nothing.
- Show the second Ask, “Is your number on this card?”
- If they say yes record the first number in the upper left hand box of the If no, record nothing.
- Continue until you have shown all 6
- The number your partner chose is the sum of the numbers you recorded
- The goal is for students to record and find the sum of the numbers without pencil and paper, however not being there yet should not keep them from playing or make them feel lesser. They just aren’t there yet!
- What do you notice & wonder?
Congratulations to our Mini Vinnies Leaders for 2021
President - Mia Barile
Vice President - Mia Lethbridge
Secretary - Teddy Williams
Treasurer – Saxon Butler
Thanks to everyone for supporting our first Social Justice fundraiser of the year – Project Compassion - throughout Lent. We will be proudly donating $323.50 to Project Compassion.
This week we began with a beautiful Palm Sunday liturgy hosted by year 2. Our liturgy was full of joy and happiness just as the people of Jerusalem were as Jesus road into town on a donkey thousands of years ago.
Today we experienced the sadness of the events of Jesus’ final days through participating in the Way of the Cross. Our Year 5/6 students reverently acted out each of the 14 stations throughout the morning for Kindergarten to year 4 providing an enriching and meaningful experience for all involved.
On behalf of the staff of St. Kevin’s, I wish you all a happy and Holy Easter and of course a restful school holiday with your beautiful children.
What are we learning in Religion?
Each newsletter, we will showcase a class and give you a little insight as to what they are learning about during Religion lessons. This week we hear from…
This Term Kindergarten have been exploring the Easter Story, how Jesus shows love and respect all and how we can show others love and respect. Kindergarten very much enjoyed recreated and drawing the Easter Story.
May God’s Spirit be with you all each day of the school holidays,
Mrs Jasmina Boudan
Religious Education Coordinator
Is this happening to me, or happening for me?
Last week the students enjoyed listening to Newcastle Knights player Connor Watson as he gave his thoughts on the importance of always giving your best and never giving up. Resilience.
After a season ending injury in 2020, Connor said he reflected on this at the time that he sustained the injury and changed his thinking from “Why is this happening to me?” to “Why is this happening for me?” It was a really powerful statement to the students about looking at the opportunity for growth in the face of disappointments and asking “What can I learn from this and how do I move forward?”. In 2021 Connor has made a very strong start in his NRL matches for the Knights. Suffering a setback and seeing it as a chance to learn and become better and stronger is a really good life lesson for all of us.
It is so good to have Aboriginal people like Connor coming to speak to our kids about his journey, his triumphs and disappointments, and how he navigates his way through them. He is a great role model, not only in the sporting arena, but in life in general; one who inspires Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people alike.
Easter Gayaa! (Happy Easter)
Aboriginal Education Teacher
CONGRATULATIONS to Josie, Eva and Arabella for completing Premier’s Reading Challenge for 2021. This means that these children can continue to read for enjoyment and look forward to receiving their certificates later in the year. Well done girls.
There has been some fantastic reading this term. Year 2 won the Library Borrowing trophy this week, congratulations.
The children on my Star Reader Wall have read 5 PRC books. Please encourage your children to read during the school holidays. It would be fantastic if all children have read 5 books by the start of term 2. Children that are powering along, please consider reading some novels. Infants children can be read novels by parents and grandparents and this will improve their comprehension.
During the holidays you could also visit our public libraries and borrow some PRC titles.
Below is the Star Reader Wall at St Kevin’s. These children have read 5 or more books in the 1st month of PRC.
Keep up the fantastic reading!
Lego – During lunch club more children have been enjoying the lego and we are, “ getting low “. If you have any lego, board games or 100 piece puzzles that you would like to donate to the Library it would be much appreciated.
Oliver’s fantastic lego design
DIY projects – Teamwork, engineering and fun
Thank you for helping set up the new whiteboard for the Library
Wishing everyone a safe and happy Easter.
During Term 1 School Leaders and year 5/6 persuaded Mrs.Jennings to allow us to sell ice blocks to the school. We did this fund raiser at lunch time, this fund raiser happened in term one and it was a good opportunity for years Five and Six. This fund raiser will help the school pay for new equipment, new sports Equipment will give students more opportunity to participate in more physical activities at lunch time. The money from Ice Blocks totalled to $543. Thank you to all the Parents and Friends who allowed their child or children to bring money into school.
Emme, Cristiano, Mia and Thomas.
Why we made stomp rockets?
We made stomp rockets to learn and see first-hand how forces effect movements such as push, pull and gravity. We also learnt how to use the effect drag and friction with the fins to see how it can improve the height and distance while it is flying.
What did the stomp rocket teach us?
It taught us how to make a stomp rocket that would fly and how to assemble a stomp rocket launcher.
We made the fuselage
With PVC pipe and a piece of paper
We made some fins
With a piece of paper and scissors
We made the cone
We mad it out of 3 quarters of a circle
Then we taped the rocket all together. We also learnt how the force push works. When we stomped on the rocket the air pushed the rocket up. A couple of rockets had to be redesigned because they had holes in them. The force didn’t make the rocket launch but broke the launcher. A few modifications were made to the rockets and then they launched.
Where and when could we do it?
We could not do it on the first week because it was too wet but after a while the bottom playground had dried off. We could finally do the experiment. We asked ourselves if the wind would affect the flight distance and height.
After year 5/6 had finished their stomp rockets and we calculated the height with our very own made altitude tracker. The altitude tracker made finding the height very easy. All we had to do was aim the tracker to where the rocket went the highest. We stood on two baselines to get an average measurement, then someone read the angle. Afterwards, we used graph paper to draw the lines of the angles that people got with the trackers to find the altitude point. Every centimetre would be one metre, and then you have the height.
-Charlie and Patrick 5/6