Week 3, Term 4 2020
Dear Parents, Staff and Students,
Another busy two weeks has passed and as we gear up for the next two there is much to be achieved. Last Friday, we welcomed our 2021 Prep students for the morning, and it was delightful to spend time getting to know them all. Over the next few weeks, we will visit many of their Kindergartens as well to help with their transition into school in 2021. At our next transition morning we will welcome all new students for 2021 in years Prep – Year 6 on Wednesday, 2nd December 8:45a.m. – 10:45a.m. So far, we will welcome over 90 new students across the school in 2021 with an expected enrolment of 420 or more students. These numbers will help in maintaining our three classes within a year level. Offering families smaller classes of 20 – 25 students in most year levels for 2021.
World Teachers' Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and thank Queensland teachers for the important role they play - inside our classrooms and out in the community.
Our amazing SSPS teachers go above and beyond for our students each and every day.
Let’s join together to thank all Teachers on World Teachers’ Day, Friday 30 October 2020.
Share your celebrations by using #ThankQldTeachers
Combined P & F and School Board Meeting:
Last Monday, at the combined P & F and School Board meeting we discussed the idea of combining these two groups into one as a Parent Partnership Forum.
I draw your attention to the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Parent Engagement Charter which can be found on this link:
The Parents and Friends Association (P&F), School boards and Parent Partnership Forum (PPF) are the three most prominent formal groups for parental involvement in processes.
The primary purpose of this group is to support the principal and staff in the provision of high quality educational programs, resources and facilities.
The School Board comprises members of the parent community who serve on the board for three years. The primary purpose of the Board is to support the Principal in the development of policy and provide advice in the areas of • curriculum • buildings and facilities • finance • enrolment • staffing.
The PPF is an amalgam of the responsibilities of the P&F and school board. This model, originally designed for use in smaller school communities, currently operates in some of our Diocesan schools.
Last week at the School Board meeting and the Parents and Friends meeting, I proposed to those in attendance to consider adopting the Parent Partnership Forum model for 2021 rather than the traditional P & F and School Board models. I raise this with the community to help strengthen our parent engagement, to ensure all parents feel welcomed and able to make a worthwhile contribution to the life of the school and the education journey of your child or children.
It is well researched that when parents engage with their children’s learning great things happen:
- Attendance increases
- Behaviour in school improves
- Homework return rates increase
- Volunteers increase
- Children’s achievement tends to improve
- Communication between all stakeholders is productive and informative
What is a Parent Partnership Forum?
It is an alternative model to the traditional P & F and School Board groups. A PPF honors the place of parents in the life of schools and provides a more effective and realistic avenue for the voice of parents to contribute to school planning and decision making. The changing nature of families and schools has shifted the traditional understanding of parent involvement. Other Toowoomba Catholic Schools have adopted this new model of parent involvement and engagement which have proven to better serve their current context. (adapted from Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools: Parent Partnership Forum Constitution)
The Forum supports the work of the principal and staff in ensuring a comprehensive and contemporary education program. Parents would continue to have an advisory role in decisions made in the development and implementation of the strategic plan and policies of the school as well as the provision of resources which support the educational endeavour of the school.
The Forum provides an alternative model which integrates the functions of the school Board and the P & F, acknowledging that not all functions can be replicated in this new model.
All are welcome to attend the meetings and assist in:
- developing a positive and affirming community spirit
- supporting the work of the principal and staff
- providing feedback to the principal and staff on school initiatives, policies and strategic direction
- prudent and consultative decision-making
- promoting interaction between home and school, parents and teachers
- encouraging parent engagement with their child’s learning and school life
- deepening parent understanding of teaching and learning programs
- promoting the school in the wider community
- creating a forum for discussion
- the provision of resources to support the educational program
Why consider the change to the PPF?
For several years we have had trouble in enlisting enough people to fill the traditional volunteer positions on the School Board and P & F Executives. Often left to four people whose generosity of time and advice is truly valued by me as Principal and the school community to make decisions, organise events and activities. What is clear is that there has been diminishing numbers of parents willing and able to be involved in these groups. The Covid-19 pandemic certainly hasn’t helped the situation for all involved.
Findings from the meeting were noted:
- Strong culture of community and long standing friendships.
- To encourage strong parent voice.
- Only executive of P & F attend meetings for the past two years. Lack of parents attending.
- School needs – time consuming for administration staff in terms of communication to parents; Principal waiting for agendas to be prepared for meeting;
- Improve communication – reduce misinformation being sent via year level facebook pages. If you are not sure about something all are encouraged to contact the school principal or school reception.
- Efficiency – one meeting as opposed to two meetings a month.
- Acknowledge that parents and staff have busy lives. Work smarter for all. Efficiency of time for all. A PPF would avoid double up of same information for Board and P & F.
I thank the members of the Leadership team, School Board, P & F executive and other interested parents who openly discussed their thoughts and ideas about the Parent Partnership Forum. Keeping all this in mind we will continue to strive to ensure a streamlined approach that is efficient, has common purpose and clear communication that enables continued success for the school and parent engagement. The P&F and School Board will continue to operate and to work in partnership with the school.
If you would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me via phone or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to organize a time to meet.
Please click on the link the Principal's Report for the October P & F and School Board Meeting: School_Board_and_P_F_Principal_Report_October_2020.pdf
YEAR 6 CAMP:
This week, I was fortunate to accompany the Year 6 leaders on their camp to Currimundi at the Sunshine Coast. The students and staff have had an enjoyable and busy few days away to celebrate their final year here at St Saviour’s Primary School. The excitement and energy that they brought each day along with their ‘have a go’ attitude was tremendous and a real credit to them as a cohort. Such a privilege to be part of their final camp. Check out our school Facebook page for the daily updates. Thanks to Mrs Ward, Mrs Harlen, Mrs Smith and Mrs Bennett for their care and encouragement of the children whilst on camp. What an awesome bunch of children, they will be truly missed by us all.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
FEEDBACK Literate Learners
Last newsletter, I provided information about Term 4 Reporting and the defintion and purpose of assessment in the classrooms at St Saviour's Primary. In this newsletter, I would like to provide some information around the purpose and principles of effective feedback in the classroom.
The Toowoomba Catholic Schools' Assessment, Feedback and Reporting Framework defines feedback as information:
- for the learner and the teacher about the learner's performance
- about performance relative to learning goals
- based on evidence of learning
- from the teacher, from the student or from peers
- leading to changes in teacher and student behaviour
At St Saviour's Primary, teachers strive to give effective feedback that is designed to achieve improvement in student learning by continuously driving a student's performance towards a learning goal. This leads to positive changes in teaching and learning behaviour and significant improvements in student outcomes.
A student's learning goal may be based around writing, comprehension, fluency when reading, measurement or many other concepts in the Australian Curriculum. Students may have one learning goal or many learning goals depending on their age. The essential message is that the most valuable feedback helps the student improve their learning and that is our aim at St Saviour's Primary School.
Our Year 3-6 students are busy preparing for our STEM Showcase for 2020. This showcase will be held on Thursday November 12 in the Mercy Centre until 12pm.
It is an opportunity for Year 6 students from Our Lady of Lourdes to come to St Saviour's and for our students to teach them what they have been learning in STEM. Many of the lessons will be focussed around the design thinking approach and using digital tools to solve problems.
The students will be showcasing thier work with Codey Rockies, Microbits, CoSpaces and 3D Printing.
Following the STEM Showcase the Year 6 students will participate in some fun sporting games against the students from OLOL.
VISUAL ART AND STEM OPEN MORNING
Following on from the STEM Showcase, we are planning on having an open morning for parents, where students from Prep to Year 6 can celebrate what they have been learning in STEM and also Visual Art.
This morning is planned to take place on November 27, so please mark it in your calendar. This will obviously take place pending COVID restrictions.
Toowoomba Catholic Schools' Excellence Awards
Last night, three staff members from St Saviour's Primary attended the Toowoomba Catholic Schools' Excellence Awards. Congratulations to Anne Woodcroft-Brown who won the award for educational support. Our other two finalists were Monica Conway in the expert early career teacher category and Kristi-Lee Hall in the volunteer category.
All three ladies are very deserving of this recognition.
WORLD Teachers' Day
Australia will celebrate and thank the teaching profession on World Teachers’ Day - Friday 30 October.
Teachers (with support from parents and carers) have ensured education continues across the country this year, despite major challenges. It’s reinforced the significant role teachers play in the lives of children and students, their families and communities.
On Friday 30 October, say a big thank you to teachers and celebrate the bright future of teaching. At St Saviour's Primary School the P&F Association will be providing a breakfast for all of the staff to say thanks!
Dear Parents and Carers,
As we have shared with you earlier, traditionally OCTOBER is Mission Month, and last week I shared a lovely Mission Mass with the Year 4s and Fr Michael. This week, Year 5s have their Mass with the same theme. One of the Blessings from the Mass, I share with you all...
May God bless us with eyes that see the people in need in our world.
May God bless us with courage to seek justice and peace.
May God bless us with generosity to share what we have.
May God bless us with grace and love to see Christ in each other.
At Sunday Mass I met Emily Connors, who is the Diocesan Director of Catholic Mission. She spoke to the congregation at each Mass and shared her experiences of visiting Cambodia earlier this year. Emily described how still today landmine accidents are prevalent and are a cruel reminder of the country's troubled past, even for those who were not yet born during the tumultuous years of the Khmer Rouge regime.
She met a young man, Chen who 10 years or more ago, lost both his legs after stepping on a landmine. While life has never been the same for him, it has not been as hopeless as he first thought and after receiving lots of support Chen has finished school and is now at university.
Chen received life changing assistance from a mission aid program, which Catholic Mission supports. Catholic Mission assists individuals, families and whole communities in many countries around the world and Emily Connors has agreed to visit SSPS next Monday to share her story and the Catholic Mission message with our students. This is in the lead up to our "Socktober Day" on Friday October 30, where all funds raised will be sent to Catholic Mission.
YEAR 4 & 5 MASS:
Greetings from Camp Currimundi!
On Tuesday morning myself Ms Sleba, Mrs Harlen, Mrs Ward, Mrs Bennett and our wonderul Year 6 Leaders set off to Currimundi for Camp. The children have been amazing and are enjoying the activities each day. Every child has participated in the activities. We are certainly having a great time and enjoying our last full day of activities together today. We look forward to sharing photos next week with everyone. We are very proud of our 2020 Year 6 Leaders - what a wonderful group of Leaders you are!! Parents you should be very proud of your sons and daughters.
Pictured above are 36 of Year 6 Leaders who were up early on Wednesday morning for a beach walk. Such a beautiful start to our day.
This week, International School Library Day was celebrated around the world. Students have been sharing what they love about our library...
We enjoyed some fun lunch-time activities in the library to mark the day.
Children’s Book Council of Australia Book Awards
Book of the Year and Honour books were announced last Friday. Check the results here;
A video of the announcements, which features short presentations from the authors, is available on the CBCA website and from our AccessIt homepage https://au.accessit.online/STS02
Our annual Book Fair will run from Thursday 19th November until Tuesday 24th November (Week 7/8). Due to restrictions, students will create a wish list during their library time, payment will be made online and library staff will collect and deliver purchases to students. If you would like to make gift purchases for Christmas, we will be happy to parcel your selection and hold it for collection. Please email me; email@example.com with the book list, receipt number and your preferred method of collection.
Congratulations to Lachlan and Conor who made the boys team for Darling Downs Boys Cricket. Peighton also made shadow for the Darling Downs Girls Cricket team and has been also offered a spot on the South West Cricket Team. St Saviour’s Primary wishes you all the best of luck.
FREE Afterschool Cricket Sessions (Year 3 – 6)
Cricket Queensland has been organised through sporting schools to deliver Cricket sessions on Wednesday afternoons from 3:15pm – 4:15pm from the 4th of November 2020 to the 25th of November 2020 (four weeks). There are only 30 spots available for this opportunity for your child to come and try Cricket in a fun and safe environment. The first 30 parents to email myself will secure the spots for this afternoon activity. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that no teacher will be at these sessions and they will be run by a representative from Cricket Queensland.
AFL Premiership Cup
Some AFL enthusiasts form Year Six were lucky enough to go see and hold the AFL Premiership Cup which was at Toowoomba Toyota (Picture Below). The students commented that it was an awesome experience that could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
NEXT FRIDAY - 30TH OCTOBER
Students are asked to bring a gold coin donation.
Crazy socks only to be worn on the day.
Thank you to those families who have donated old uniforms for recycling. We are still accepting donations of old uniforms to be recycled with the help of The Lions Club. These uniforms will be shipped to overseas schools. Thank you to the Daniells Family who have assisted in sorting and packing these uniforms this past week. All donations can be left at the back of the Mercy Centre.
Skool Dayz Uniform Shop:
Opening Hours for Term 4:
Friday afternoon 2.30pm - 4.00pm or by appointment.
Please contact Dan Eagleson to arrange a suitable time - 0481 318 398.
Payments are now due for Chess Club. Payment must be received by this FRIDAY if your child is participating in Chess Club.
Direct Debit 2021:
Reminder to please send back completed 2021 Direct Debit forms for processing. If you require help completing the form please contact the office. Just a reminder that all school fees for 2020 should now be finalised.
The office is currently taking Prep 2022 enrolments. If you have a son or daughter eligible for Prep in 2022 or know of a family seeking enrolment at our school please fill in an enrolment application as soon as possible. We already have a large number of applications for Prep 2022. Enrolment interviews will be taking place early 2021.
Prep Parking and Drop Off:
Parents who are accessing the driveway into Prep are not to stop and drop off children. Parents please park in the car park and walk your children across the driveway into Prep. Unfortunately the number of parents stopping in the driveway to drop off of a morning has increased dramatically. This also includes families of non prep children. It has also been noted that some families are using the disabled car park in Prep to drop off and pick up. This designated car park is for families/grandparents who clearly display a disabled car parking permit. Please be respectful of parking in and around our school at all times.
St Saviour's Primary School P&F are conducting a Mango Fundraiser.
You can order your tray of Bowen Mangoes via FLEXISCHOOLS. Outside orders are welcome. The cost of a tray of Mangoes is $25.00 (12-22 Mangoes depending on sizes)
Cut off date for ordering is Monday 16th November.
Thank you to our wonderful school community for supporting this fundraiser.
St Saviour's Primary Colour Run is back on! The event will be held on FRIDAY 27TH NOVEMBER. More information to come.
Spooky food for Halloween from the Tuckshop ………. Friday 30th October
Ghost Fruit Kebabs (Strawberries, grapes and marshmallows) $1-50
Frozen Eyeballs (grapes) $1-00
Creepy Cookies $1-30
Poltergeist Pizza $1-50
Eyeballs and Worms (meatballs and spaghetti) $4-50
Cheerio Mummies -pack of 2 (a cheerio wrapped in strips of puff pastry) $3-00
Jack-O-Lantern Jelly $1-50
Get your orders in early via Fleischools. There will be minimal food available for over the counter sales.
Please check out the photos below of what our yummy treats will look like.