Welcome to Term 2. I hope you had a restful break with your children and enjoyed the beautiful Autumn offerings of the hills this past few weeks. It has been a great first week as we welcome several new families and students to the school. In particular we welcome Arlo and Leo into the reception class and wish them a very happy and successful time with us at Basket Range Primary School. There have been many developments over the last week and I acknowledge all the hard work of our student leaders in helping to create a wonderful music space as we organised all the instruments, moved the piano and left Bethany feeling delighted at the new area. It was really great to see the students work together as a team and embrace the challenge of creating positive learning spaces. Today our lovely student leaders also worked with the 3-7 group to completely renew our learning support space. If you child has come home with a few treasures from this space as we cleaned out old resources, they are well deserved. I was particularly pleased to see some students keen to share maths charts, blocks and magnetic letters with younger siblings! This space now provides an ideal environment for small group work and learning intervention with our SSOs and Learning Assistance Program Volunteers, Aunty Chris and Judith, who we greatly appreciate for their time and efforts.
This week you would have also noticed the commencement of our stone wall out the front of the school. We are very fortunate to have a wonderful stonemason Ian who has very generously reduced his fees to work on this project after hours and outside his normal work schedule. We thank him deeply for his kindness, skills and efforts that will be enjoyed by all for years to come. It is also wonderful to see August Porter’s amazing design come to life and we look forward to working with her on the planting schedule once the structural works are complete. Pleasingly, I have been successful in securing another grant of $5000 which will enable this garden to be finalised over the coming term with the completion of the stonework and additional money towards planting.
I was really impressed by the first week back at school and the commitment the children are showing to their learning. There was some amazing engagement from the early years group today as they explored with myself and Laren the idea of contributing positively to one another through a smile, friendly conversation, including others in play, and noticing positive attributes in others. They followed on from this lesson by writing or drawing something that would ‘lift others up’. Some beautiful things were then shared with friends, teachers or brought home to family members. If you were fortunate to receive one of these beautiful drawings or thoughtful words I hope that it made your day brighter.
Next week we have 6 pre-service teachers joining us from UniSA. These beginning teachers will undertake observations with Sally, Michael and Claire on Thursdays for the remainder of the term. Please make them feel welcome and say hello if you see them in the playground before school. You will also notice that Laren is finalising her studies in education and we are very happy to have her on placement with the year 1/2 class. We wish her every success as she completes this milestone in becoming a teacher, which is such a rewarding career pathway!
Importantly, we also have the External Site Review (ESR) being conducted next Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th May. The external site review happens every 3 years across all departmental schools. It provides a significant opportunity for us to reflect on school improvement opportunities in line with our site improvement plan and receive feedback on our challenges of practice and actionable items. This review enables us all to participate and engage with a continuous cycle of improvement in pursuit of a world class educational system for the benefit of our students. The review team will visit each class, meet with teachers to discuss practice, receive a principal presentation and will connect in with students, governing council and parents. Teachers have nominated students from their class to meet with the review team and if your child was selected it is important that you reply via Email to confirm their participation. It is a very casual conversation, with experienced principals who will ask about how students find their learning, what they enjoy about school and they have an opportunity to share some of the work they are proud of. Governing council and parents are invited to express their interest if they would like to participate in External Site Review discussions. The parent session with the review team will occur on Thursday 6th May from 8:30-9:15am. Please advise the front office if you would like to participate and we will seek to have balanced representation from both streams. We are particularly encouraging parents who have students in both streams to participate and provide feedback. Due to the current COVID guidelines, we are limited with the number of parents that are sought for this process. This review is separate from the community consultation process that will occur later this year with regard to the strategic vision for Basket Range Primary School for 2022 and beyond.
Enjoy the weekend everyone. Kindest Regards Sybila.