Dear parents and carers,
URSTRONG - Friendology
In planning our return to permanent face to face schooling this year it was important to me that we support our students with the transition back to the high levels of social interaction that we are used to at Macedon Primary. Navigating the ups and downs of these relationships after so long in isolation and so many lockdowns has been a challenge for some in our school. As a result of some research and conversations with other school leaders we have become a URSTRONG school. URSTRONG’s mission is to support schools to create a culture of kindness with a whole-school friendship strategy that empowers students with friendship skills.
Your children will be working through the Friendology lessons each week for term one and part of term two. There will be supporting resources to support you to continue to conversation at home with you children.
URSTRONG’s whole-school friendship strategy has improved the social climate in schools around the world, connecting over a million students, parents, and teachers with a common language of friendship.
You are invited to take advantage of a FREE Parent Membership to access hundreds of resources – including an 8 session video series. This will allow you to learn the same language & strategies being taught in the classroom through the Friendology 101 curriculum. We hope that, as a URSTRONG Family, you will reinforce the important messages of empowerment, self-compassion, & kindness at home.
As a next step, we would recommend:
· Click here to view an overview of URSTRONG.
· Activate your FREE Parent Membership and explore all the resources available to your family.
· Explore the hundreds of resources available to you!
We believe that empowering our students with these skills will create a culture of kindness at our school and we hope that, together, we can support your children to have healthy, feel-good friendships.
Approach to teaching reading – Initial Lit
The front cover of The Age on Wednesday 16 February featured an article about Churchill Primary School in Gippsland and the success they are having in using a synthetic phonics approach to teaching their reading. The article piqued my interest as at the end of 2020 we began our journey to introducing a similar approach to reading based on the same science with more weight and time given to teaching the students to read with a synthetic phonics program. In late 2020, we introduced the MiniLit program as an intervention to support our readers in need of additional support. In 2021, we consolidated the Mini-lit program, and our Foundation classrooms began with the whole class phonics approach to teaching reading, InitialLit. Then this year, the first two professional learning days for our staff were dedicated to further upskilling our staff in this evidence-based approach to teaching reading and the Foundation to Year Two teachers are incorporating this approach across their classrooms. Our Year 3 -6 teachers are also making changes to there spelling program and using the “Promoting Literacy Development – PLD” approach which marries with the Foundation to Year 2 Initial Lit program. While we are early in our roll out of this approach, we expect to see a strengthening of our results in this area to provide our students with the important foundational skill. Please feel free to reach out to me or talk to your classroom teacher about this approach more information.
Kind regards and Sampai jumpa (until next time)