- Principals Message
- Messages from the Assistant Principal
- Ash Wednesday Mass - Change of time and venue!
- RE News
- Opening School Mass
- Aboriginal Education News
- Library News
- Sport News
- Mobile Phones
- Car line pickup and drop off
- P & F News
- Raising Happy and Resilient Children
- Crunch and Sip
- The Art of Chill-Axing
- Daughters and Dads Cricket Program
- Cardiff Hakes AFC
- League Stars
Dear Parents and Friends of St Kevin’s,
Last week we had our Annual Parent Information Night combined with our first P&F meeting for 2020. There was a great roll up, and I thank the staff and parents who together, ensured the night was one of great community building. At that meeting new initiatives and strategic plans were launched, including the new homework policy and the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan.
Homework – A new policy has been written reflecting current research.
Professor John Hattie states, “Homework in primary school has an effect of around zero. We need to treat the zero as saying, “It’s probably not making much of a difference but let’s try to improve it”.
Which is why we need to get it right, but not necessarily get rid of it. We need to ask ourselves, “Is it really making a difference?”
So, we have developed a new policy to get it right.
Reading is the key to learning, so reading is a major component of this new policy. However, it’s not just kids’ reading, but parents reading to their children! We have also acknowledged the importance of play in the lives of children as provided in the research of Professor Pasi Sahlberg and list a variety of activities and games the students can engage in after school.
Year 5 and 6 is where there is a slight deviation in preparation for high school. They will complete contract work and staged assignments to reinforce strategies of study, time management and organisation. Parental support is required to empower students to organise their time and work to a deadline.
This policy will be uploaded to our school website for all to read and digest and is included as an attachment with this newsletter.
2020-2022 Strategic Plan – Our St Kevin’s Strategic Plan is linked to the Catholic Schools Office new strategic plan. It covers Catholic Formation and Mission, Learning, Leadership, Well-being and Partnerships. This document will also be uploaded to website.
2020 Annual School Improvement Plan- is linked to strategic plan and provides more detail for 2020. This year we are focussing on writing, differentiation, the pastoral care policy and ongoing professional learning for all staff and the leadership team. Again it will be uploaded to the website .
Successful Foundations – we are engaged in a new approach to the first 5 weeks of kindergarten. Everyone is having loads of fun and we as teachers, are learning a great deal about the children in kinder through observing them at play.
A successful foundation in kindergarten sets them up for the remainder of their school life…. Just like the foundations of any building! As the name Successful Foundations suggests, Kindergarten sets up children for the rest of their educational journey, if not for life. If we have a foundation where they have driven their own learning, they’ve developed a growth mindset in that “I learn through play, I learn through making mistakes, I learn through what I am interested in. Remember the days when they were 2-3 years old and would say ‘I can do myself!” as they learnt how to feed themselves, put on shoes or dress themselves! That is a classic example of a growth mindset, where learning involved practice, failure and then success. We as adults need to foster and encourage that growth mindset, by not doing everything for them or providing an easy way out when the going gets tough.
Successful Foundations is linked to our Visible Learning philosophy “I’m here, but I have to go there, and that’s how I’m going to get there.” It sets them up for the rest of their life, so they are never afraid of failure. We will continue the philosophy of play-based learning all year in subjects such as art, drama, music, history, geography and health.
Personalised Plans – This a Government requirement. If a child receives significant adjustments to the delivery of the school curriculum, we are required to offer parents the opportunity to come and meet with class teachers/ psychologist/ Learning Support Teacher to discuss these adjustments and how best to ensure that the child has equal opportunity to access the curriculum. This can include social and well-being issues, academic and physical adjustments. These meetings are to be conducted on Monday February 17 and 27. Parents would have received an invitation to come and meet with the Learning Support Team at the end of Week 2.
Assemblies and liturgies now on a fortnightly basis to ensure we are compliant with Liturgical and educational governance requirements. Term 1 Liturgies and assemblies are on:
- Friday February 28 at 2:15pm in the Church.
- Friday March 13 at 2:15pm in the Church.
- Friday March 27 at 2:15pm in the Church.
Easter Liturgies and hat parades will be held in Week 11 (April 6- 9) at various times throughout that week. Please check the school Website and COMPASS calendar for dates and times.
End of Term: Last day for term 1 is Holy Thursday April 9.
Day 1 Term 2 is Monday April 27.
Have a great week of reading and playing with your children,
A focus on Learning, Collaboration & Improving Student Outcomes
Mental Mathematics Strategies (Part 2)
In the last school newsletter, I summarised the meaning behind ‘mental strategies’ in Mathematics, the importance of making connections and provided some practical suggestions and website for parents to support the development of mental strategies at home.
Developing children’s mental strategies provides them with the tools to be able to use and apply basic ideas to solve much more complex problems.
Below are five reasons outlining the importance of building children’s mental strategies.
Mathematics is not just about getting the right answer
Correct answers are necessary, but how you got them is more important, specifically for young children. As teachers we want to make sure our young children do not become ‘stuck’ using strategies such as counting by ones forever. The only way to find this out is to ask them. Being able to share your ideas and understanding and to prove how you know something works or is true is an important aspect in mathematics.
Flexible strategies are needed in other areas of mathematics
Understanding how numbers work and what to do with them mentally means you have a ‘bank’of ways to work things out, especially when things go wrong. If I know mentally that 16 is the same as 10 + 6, I can use that to work out 8 x 16. I can work out 8 x 10 then 8 x 6 then add them together. If I also didn’t know what 8 x 6 was, I could either do 4 x 6 and double the answer or do 3 x 8 and double the answer.
There are times when it is ‘quicker’ more efficient not to use an algorithm
When there are just ‘random’ numbers to add like 2345 + 137 + 84 + 9, it makes sense to write them as a list and use an algorithm to find the answer. But say my question was 4002 - 3998, in this example it is much more efficient (faster) for my brain to count up from 3998 to 4002 and get an answer of 4, than to write those numbers out as an algorithm, then use ‘borrowing’ or ‘trading’ to find the answer.
Knowing how to solve maths questions in your brain builds confidence
As mentioned above, many children and adults know how to ‘do’ algorithms but do not feel confident in their maths ability and may not like maths at all. As teachers, we want children to look forward to learning about maths and to feel success in both working out answers and knowing why it works. Not being reliant on an algorithm (especially for small facts to 20 like 12+ 7) gives children confidence that they can work it out using their brain. Working hard pays off and all children can be successful in mathematics, as can all adults. You may just not feel that way, yet.
If students know how numbers work first, the algorithm won’t be difficult to understand
The subtraction examples provided above (26 - 19) clearly shows a child that does not understand how numbers work. Children that may still be counting by ones to work out addition and subtraction should not be exposed to algorithms. Children who know how numbers work and know that 26 is made up of 2 tens and 6 ones and know that they can break 26 into 10 and 16 to then subtract the 9, won’t have difficulty if introduced to the procedure of the algorithm. However, questions involving 2-digit numbers like 26 - 19 should be solved mentally (e.g. starting with the 19 and adding 7 to make 26). In NSW, algorithms are introduced with 3 and 4-digit addition and subtraction.
With every best wish,
Nikki Norley (Assistant Principal)
Fr Kevin Corrigan has offered the schools the opportunity to bring their students to Mass for Ash Wednesday, next Wednesday, 26 February.
Fr Kevin will preside at the Mass next Wednesday here at Cardiff at 12 noon. Years 3-6 will attend this Mass. Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year2 students will receive their ashes within the classroom setting later in the day.
The Liturgy planned for 10:15 that morning has been cancelled.
“Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel’
Throughout Lent we are called upon to do 3 simple things: FAST, PRAY & GIVE ALMS.
Fasting : reminds us that we are dependent upon God’s bounty.
Almsgiving: we give alms to share with others and remember that in this way we are in service of God.
Pray : in praying we remember that we are not totally independent / alone, that we call upon God for his divine assistance and grace.
So this Lent let us remember these simple things and focus in on repentance, renewal and lets strengthen our community. We are called to help on another and to be helped by others in a myriad of ways, taking a small chunk out of our day to be there for someone else. In this season of preparation let’s focus on the small things and help us help your children to remember what Lent is truly about.
- Praying daily
- Generosity – giving to someone in the community by action or through alms
- Challenging ourself to do without just one thing throughout the season.
- Please note there is an amended time for our Ash Wednesday service, we will now be celebrating mass with Fr Kevin Corrigan at 12noon (primary students only). All parents welcome to attend.
Our Aboriginal children have come together for our first sessions this year. We talked about our culture, where we are from, First Nations people and being proud of our Aboriginal ancestry.
The kids enjoyed listening to and learning a very catchy and lively song called My Culture and Me, written and performed by Gregg Dreise.
Gregg grew up in south-west Queensland in a large family that loves music, art, sport, culture and family. He is very proud of his Kamilaroi and Euahlayi heritage. The Kamilaroi and Euahlayi peoples’ lands extend from south-west Queensland into north-west New South Wales. The song celebrates cherishing and sustaining Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.
Here is a link to the song on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHCgo7XKcVg
Aboriginal Education Teacher
The St Kevin’s community is at it yet again, being awesome and lending a helping hand! A HUGE thank you to all the volunteers who have helped cover books over the last week or so.
- Kelly Butler
- Karlianne Mullen
- Bree Bell
- Ashleigh Frost
- Alison Reid
- Lisa Rigby
- Katie Teyhan
- Maureen Tait
- Amanda Wood
We can’t thank you enough for taking the time to help get some much-needed resources on the shelf and in the classroom. We still have piles and piles to go so if you’d like some therapeutic covering sessions in the comfort of your own home, just flick me an email- email@example.com (Note maiden name). I’m currently putting some more kits together for those that would like to go round 2 or have approached me at school.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
Spot the difference
The students (and yourselves) may have noticed a few changes in our library over the last few weeks. Mrs Stephenson has gone a little decorating mad! Students (and teachers) are loving the changes.
As part of our library lessons, students will be participating in typing practice. Our library time is precious so to maximise typing time, I’ve asked all students to practise a few important skills.
K-2- Practise typing their first and last names. They must know how to spell these in order to log in to our computers. Their log in cards will be sent home this week to use for practice. These can remain at home as we have copies in the classroom and library.
3-6- Learn their school email. Firstname.firstname.lastname@example.org
K-2 Home Reading
Readers were sent home on Wednesday this week. Please return these each Wednesday to be changed. The reader and booklet are required to change readers over so please send these back in their plastic sleeve.
Library borrowing has commenced! Each Friday, all classes visit the library for borrowing. Every student is encouraged to browse and borrow from our amazing collection of books. All that the students need is a library bag! Students return their books each Friday ready to discover another amazing adventure in the form of a book. Each Friday assembly, the class that has the best borrowing rate will receive the LIBRARY BORROWING TROPHY! This gets to be displayed in the class for the next 2 weeks. The class that wins this the most over the year will earn a special reward day! Let’s get reading!
Well done to our students who participated in the Regional Swimming Carnival. Congratulations to Madeline P and Pippa P who will compete in the Diocesan swimming Carnival.
We have been fortunate to secure another grant enabling us to fund a five week cricket program K-6. Kirsten from Cricket NSW has been teaching our students new skills from the PDHPE curriculum.
If your child brings a mobile phone to school, they will be asked to leave it on the teacher’s desk and to pick it up in the afternoon before going home. No child is permitted to contact their parents via a mobile phone whilst at school if they are unwell, to confirm afternoon dismissal plans etc. this must all be done via the school office, for your child’s safety.
Andrew Street adjacent to the school gate is a “Kiss and Drop” zone. This means you can only park there for 2 minutes from 8am -9:30am and again from 2:30-4pm. The rules stipulate that you must either remain in your car or within 3 metres of your car for a maximum time of 2 minutes. This means you cannot get out of your car and walk into the school playground to drop your child off or pick them up. If you wish to do this, you must park elsewhere.
Also, in the afternoon, please stay in the queue until the car ahead of you moves on. Cars have been pulling out of the queue and overtaking, which is an accident waiting to happen. Some car seats are on the roadside, and therefore impatient cars overtaking may collect a child!!! Staff are assisting by encouraging drivers to move to the top of the “Kiss and Ride” zone and directing children to get into cars safely and quickly.