This term we will be welcoming Social Work Student Vikram from Flinders University. Vikram will be here on placement starting week 3, Monday - Thursdays. During his time here, Vikram will be supporting in a variety of ways; both in classrooms and with lunchtime activities. Vikram is originally from India, and has moved to Australia to complete his degrees in Education and Social work. Although this is Vikram’s first time working in a school setting in Australia, he is no stranger to education. Vikram has an established family history in education, with majority of his family members working as teachers in India. Vikram was even taught by his own father in middle school, and had to switch between addressing his dad as ‘Sir’ at school, and ‘Dad’ at home! Vikram is very eager to soak up as many experiences as possible during his placement, with a passion for connecting through storytelling and active listening. Vikram demonstrates strengths of being caring, compassionate, and patient. We look forward to having Vikram on board and welcome him on his Masters of Social Work placement.
We have had a smooth start to Term 3 with classes settled and focused on learning. It has been wonderful seeing so many smiles in the yard and positive interactions among staff and students. We are looking forward to continuing and sharing student successes.
We continue to have different personnel from other schools and Partnerships ask to come and visit our school to see some of our literacy work in action. Whilst visiting classes, they see our posters on 'The Balanced Reader'. As previously shared in past newsletters, the 3 main areas we focus on are made up of many different skills. Our job is to teach and support children across a range of different text types in each of the three areas. The three key areas are;
1/ Decoding – the ability to and process of translating print into speech by rapidly matching a letter or combination of letters (graphemes) to their sounds (phonemes) and recognising the patterns that make syllables and words.
2/ Fluency and Phrasing – the ability to read quickly enough and with appropriate phrasing and expression that is clear.
3/ Comprehension – the ability to understand something.
Literal - what the text simply says
Inferential – determine what the text means
Response – the ability to analyse a text and then form an opinion based on the information provided.
Ensuring a child is balanced across those focus areas is crucial to supporting their development as a reader. Being able to decode without comprehending will mean the child can read but isn’t understanding or taking in what they are reading. A child who can decode words in isolation but is reading without fluency or doesn’t have correct phrasing can also lead to poor comprehension of texts read.
When teaching children the skills, strategies and elements that make up the balanced reader, we do so in 3 main ways;
Through modelled reading (to the student/ learner) situations where the teacher demonstrates reading strategies to the students by sharing the reading process.
Through guided reading (with the student/ learner) where teachers work with one student or a small group of students to read and learn about the text.
Through independent reading (by the student/ learner) situations where teachers construct conditions for students to read, explore, and respond to text independently.
We are hoping to also offer some parent workshops in the future, however with the COVID-19 situation, we have had to put them on hold for now.
Lastly, in our previous newsletter, I mentioned how COVID-19 restrictions were continually being lifted and we were looking forward to re-introducing school assemblies, however due to what is happening interstate and with new restrictions being put in place, we have had to re-look at a few things. We continue to follow the guidelines of the Department and SA Health and keep families up to date with the documented processes. In keeping with the guidelines, parents are still not able to enter classrooms and foyers. We are working towards reintroducing our parent volunteers, however we need to abide by the social distancing rules. We also understand that there may be a need for a parent to want to speak to their child's teacher. We request that you organise a time with the teacher as you will need to complete a site access form via the front office to ensure the safety of everyone.
Due to the current circumstances, as a staff, we have decided to hold off on 'whole school assemblies' and will continue with 'virtual assemblies'. We are in the process of working out the best way to share these assemblies with you all.
In saying this, we have tentatively scheduled our Sports Day for the last day of this term and we have got our fingers crossed that we will be able to go ahead with it.
Our priority is the safety of everyone and we are grateful for the support and understanding demonstrated by our parents and families. Here at VPS, we pride ourselves as 'one community, one family'.
Again, I would like to thank you all for your support and understanding.
Learning Together, Learning For Our Future.