- Messages from the Principal
- Messages from the Assistant Principal
- School Fees
- P&F/Parent/Teacher Night
- Parking, Morning Drop Off and Afternoon Pick Up
- RE News
- Aboriginal Education News
- Regional Swimming
- Sports Trials
- Library News
- School Bus Information
- Safety Around Schools
- Packing an "Everyday" Lunchbox
- Cardiff Netball Club
Dear Parents and Friends of St Kevin’s,
Welcome to the 2020 school year. All students and staff are settling in to the routines of school life following the Christmas vacation.
We particularly welcome Mrs Fiona Stretton who is teaching Year 2 and Mrs Jasmina Boudan who is teaching Year 1. Both teachers are outstanding in regard to their teaching skills, with deep knowledge and understanding of current research and best practices. They are another important addition to the quality teaching and learning team here at St Kevin’s, where our core business is ensuring that all students can achieve high standards given the right support and time.
During my time in each classroom this week, the students have been able to articulate what they are learning and why. They have also been able to identify their learning goals or pathways to success to ensure they achieve high standards in their schoolwork. This reflects an ownership on the student’s behalf, where they too, are responsible for their learning. It is one of our school rules “Be a Learner!”
On that note our school rules are:
- Be safe
- Be respectful
- Be a learner
If the students follow all 3 rules then learning will be an outstanding success, friendships will blossom, and community spirit will flourish.
So may 2020 be a year of outstanding achievements for our students, guided and supported by families and teachers. It takes a village to raise a child and St Kevin’s is one awesome village school!
Enjoy the week with your beautiful children,
A focus on Learning, Collaboration & Improving Student Outcomes
A sincere WELCOME to all our families in 2020.
I trust you were able to find some ‘down time’ to reflect on the past year and are looking forward to the many opportunities 2020 has to offer.
Mental Mathematics Strategies
When teachers talk about mental mathematics strategies they mean that children can think about the question in their head and give a way of working it out that holds meaning for the child about the numbers.
Examples of mental strategies include:
- Using ‘turn around facts “I know that 7+4=11 so 4+7=11”
- Bridging to ten “to add 8 and 6, I can add 2 more to the 8 to get to the 10 then I know 4 more =14”
- Near doubles “When adding 25+24 I can double 24 and add 1 to get 49”
- Compensation “to add 54+19 I can see the 19 as 20 get 74 then take 1 away to make 73”
Mental Strategies are introduced from about year 1 when children start learning about adding and subtracting. As children develop these different ways of solving problems they also learn ways to write them down and share their ideas with others. Once children have a range of ways to work our problems, then algorithms can be introduced in another way of recording (in short hand almost) what the solution is, generally for problems with large numbers.
Why should my child have to know other ways to solve problems if they can already use the algorithm?
The vertical algorithm is not formally introduced until Year 4, prior to this, the focus is on mental strategies. Mathematics is about patterns and being able to use apply basic ideas to solve much more complex problems. If a child only has the algorithm as a way to work out the answer, they will miss out on seeing the relationships between numbers and may not make connections across mathematics areas that are needed as a base for secondary mathematics.
A child may be able to solve these questions using an algorithm following the procedure and then they all find they have the same answer but they may have missed seeing the relationship between the questions in the process. Children who have strong mental strategies will have noted the ‘doubling and halving’ pattern of these examples, knowing the answers will be the same without having to solve them at all. Or may even know to continue the pattern to 96 x2 and solve that task instead of all the others. It is important to note that the algorithm is not ‘the highest’ strategy, even once children know how to use it, they shouldn’t stop using other strategies, thinking that mental strategies are less vaued. It is more about knowing when to choose and use the algorithm and when to choose an alternate strategy.
Practical ways to support your child’s menta strategies at home.
- Play games like Yahtzee@ or Scrabbletm where adding your total score mentally as you go is a focus of the game. Yahtzee@ is especially good for multiplication
- During maths homework ask your child “how did you work it out?” What number did you start with?” Can you show me another way?” Even if you do not understand the mathematics, having your child explain what they are doing is useful. When children play ‘teacher; and try to teach you, they are building strong links in their maths knowledge.
- Work with your child to mentally work out the percentages while shopping. If there is an item for $60 with a 50% discount, ask them how to work it out. Do they relate 50% to half and see that you would get $30 off?
Helpful websites for parents
You might to explore these websites to support you in talking with your chid about maths.
With every best wish,
Nikki Norley (Assistant Principal)
Thank you to the parents who follow the uniform guidelines and policy. It has however come to my attention that some of the senior students are not wearing white joggers with their sports uniform. Coloured joggers are not permitted. Wearing the correct school uniform displays pride and respect for their school. Wearing the incorrect uniform is breaking our school rule of “Being Respectful.” If students continue to break this rule parents will be notified.
Thursday February 13 is a night where all parents are invited to come and be an active participant in their child’s education. Research proves that where parents are active in the school life of their children, success in learning will follow.
SO….. In the library at 6pm will be the first P&F meeting for 2020. Parents are invited to come along and meet other parents who together, work to support St Kevin’s in a variety of ways. Don’t worry, all official positions have been filled for 2020 …President, Treasurer etc so you can just come along and share your thoughts and ideas on how to make St Kevin’s the best possible learning environment it can be!
At 6:30pm in the library we will launch our Strategic Plan for 2020-2022, plus our annual School Improvement plan for 2020. It is vital that parents are aware of these plans because your child’s education is at the centre of all these decisions and plans. It is also an opportunity for you to meet the staff team and hear from them the plans they have for their classrooms and the teaching of your children.
At 7pm we will conclude with a sausage sizzle BBQ tea. You are invited to bring a chair or rug and have a picnic tea with other families, getting to know other members of our village!!!! BYO refreshments. Sausages provided.
PS Can you please inform your child’s class teacher by Tuesday if you will be attending the BBQ so we can order sufficient sausages.
Parents/Guardians using their cars to transport children to and from school are asked to respect the signs prohibiting parking and standing in sections of Andrew Street. Please observe all signs and ask your child to cross roads appropriately.
Morning Drop Off Area: A stop kiss and drop traffic zone is located in Andrew Street. Drivers are not permitted to leave their vehicle or remain in this area for any longer than 2 minutes. Please respect this area. It exists to provide a fair and safe option for all families.
Afternoon pickup: Students who are being picked up assemble on the steps outside of the Year 2 classroom. This is called the WAITING AREA. Drivers are asked to line up in Andrew Street on the school side of the road and remain in their cars. Access is via Hendrick Street off Main Rd,up at the petrol station. Cars then move in a single line till they reach the school gate where their child will be escorted to the waiting vehicle. Again, drivers are not permitted to leave their vehicle in this area. Each car will have an A4 sign displaying their surname to ensure quick and easy delivery of students to the correct vehicle. It does get busy in the afternoon and it may take up to 10 minutes for all students to access their parent’s cars. Safety is however our main concern as we are on a busy road, and don’t want accidents to happen.
Welcome back to the new school year. I hope that you all had a happy, holy and restful Christmas break.
Liturgy, “the work of the people”, is the ritual prayer of the Church. Liturgies bring our community together in active participation and worship to experience and acknowledge the presence of God who is with us. When celebrating Liturgies of the Word, we recognise this as an extension of our participation in the Eucharist, continually remembering and experiencing the life of Jesus, God made man, in the Word and the people gathered.
This year our Friday afternoon assemblies and liturgies are fortnightly. In Term 1 Friday afternoon assemblies are on odd weeks commencing in week 3 (14/2). Thereafter they will be Week 5 (28/2), Week 7 (13/2), Week 9 (27/3). In Term 2 the Friday afternoon assemblies and liturgies will fall on even weeks. Throughout the year there are various other liturgical events that have to be celebrated on a specific day (eg Ash Wednesday). All these events can be found on our school calendar via Compass.
Central to our vision is the belief that “At the heart of everything there is always Jesus Christ”. Currently every class in Religious Education is studying the life and times of Jesus. We are God’s children and are all called to try to be like Jesus Christ in the way we live. Making Jesus Real in our thoughts and actions is important here at St Kevin’s. This fortnight we are focusing on being welcoming.
Welcome to a new school year. I look forward to working with our staff, students and families again this year at St Kevin’s in my role as Aboriginal Education Teacher.
Aboriginal Education is really important for all members of the school community as we learn about our First Nations people, their history and traditions, connection to the land and how we can all work together to continue building an informed, happy, welcoming and respectful Australian society.
This year we have 14 Aboriginal students at St Kevin’s. This represents 13% of the school population which is a very healthy representation. I bring the students together each week to learn and yarn about Aboriginal culture, Dreaming stories, history etc. All of our children and their families live on Awabakal country but their traditional connections are with other ‘nations’ (traditional areas) in New South Wales or Victoria.
I am a Gomeroi man from the Quirindi area on my grandfather’s side. My grandfather was born at Walhallow Station at Caroona but left the area as a young man to start a small business in Hunter St Newcastle. He made and repaired bicycles and his was the first bicycle shop in Newcastle.
I also have Irish and British ancestry on my mother’s and father’s side. It is really interesting to research all sides of my family tree and I’m on an exciting journey of discovery.
May God bless us as we work together for the good of all in our community, for Reconciliation and Respect.
Aboriginal Education Teacher
The Lakes Regional Swimming Carnival will be held on Monday 17th February at Lambton Pool. To represent St Kevin's at the Lakes Regional Swimming Carnival, qualifying times for all races were applied as were correct strokes and kicking.
Congratulations to the students of St Kevin’s who will represent the school. You have all put in a lot of effort with your swimming to gain entry for this meet. St Kevin’s wishes you all the best for the meet. Below is a list of the names who will represent St Kevin’s.
St Kevin’s Swimming Squad
Madeline Platt, Pippa Hamilton, Kiara Fallins, Emmerson Bennet, Renee Boswell, Harper Morgan,
Eva Ziliotto, Hamish Swan, Johnathon Gillard, Will Hurst, Joshua Lerch, Caine Platt,
Lily Porter, Rose Williams.
Sports Trials – interested Senior Students (Years 5&6)
If your child is interested in trialling for the Regional selection for the following sports:
cricket, rugby league, soccer, touch football, netball
Please contact Mr Vaughan.
Criteria for trialling requires the competitor to have participated in the sport at a high level (first division/ representative over a number of years.
Welcome to 2020!
As we kick off our year together, I’d just love to say welcome to the new families joining this wonderful community and welcome back to all our other families. Our library will be buzzing this year with lots of events and transformations. I look forward to meeting all of you over the course of the year. If you have any library related questions, feel free to email me- firstname.lastname@example.org (note maiden name).
Our school is participating in Scholastic Book Club this year. Up to twice a term, during the school year, I will send home the Book Club catalogue with a different selection of books offered for all ages.
You’ll find award-winning books and bestsellers, as well as old and new favourites. I recommend them because the books span a wide range of children’s reading levels and interests and are inexpensive (some books cost as little as $2).
It is easy to order. The Book Club LOOP platform for parents allows you to pay by credit card. Your child’s order is submitted directly to school and the books will be delivered to class. You can place your child’s order at scholastic.com.au/loop or by using the LOOP app.
Owning your own books is something special! Each order helps earn free books and teaching materials for our classroom, however there is never any obligation to order. I know of no better way to encourage reading than to allow children to choose the books they want to read.
Each Friday, all classes will visit the library for borrowing. Every student is encouraged to browse and borrow from our amazing collection of books. All that the students will need is a library bag! Students will return their books each Friday ready to discover another amazing adventure in the form of a book. This will commence Week 3- Friday 14th February.