Our Deputy Principal, Andrea Hayden has been successful in gaining a position at Belair Primary School as Deputy Principal for term 4. Whilst we extend our congratulations to Andrea, we will certainly miss her presence in our school community. Andrea has been at HCEPS for nearly 20 years as a teacher and leader, so that makes me think of the many students and families that Andrea has worked with and influenced during that time! I am sure you will join with me in wishing Andrea all the very best in her new role. We will hold a process to appoint an acting DP for term 4.
Our teachers of children in year one recently completed phonics screening checks (PSC) with their students. This is an annual assessment that tells schools how students are progressing in phonics, which as you know is a critical early skill when learning to read. We are really pleased to report that our students have shown significant improvement in the PSC in 2023.
- 78% of students achieved the benchmark score which is an increase on 61.5% in 2022 and 65% in 2021.
- Of students achieving benchmarks, over 53% achieved a very high level of achievement.
Our teachers and students are working really hard to implement a daily instructional routine in phonics to ensure our children R-2 are getting the best possible start to school. I would like to acknowledge our R-2 teachers’ work, which is having a very positive impact for students.
We had a fantastic week celebrating Bookweek. Students engaged in a range of activities including silhouetted book characters, whole school picnic and beanie day, buddy class hide and seek and of course the dress ups! The Bookweek assembly and parade was a lot of fun and really well attended, despite the weather! I would like to acknowledge the work of Mrs Nicole Gully and Literature Lovers student leaders whose passion for literature and leadership of Bookweek has ensured we had a successful week.
We are pleased to advise our community that we will be implementing The Resilience Project from the start of 2024. The TRP is a widely acclaimed classroom program which is being implemented by schools Australia-wide. It contains presentations, teacher resources, classroom curriculum and digital content to support children’s mental health and wellbeing in the classroom and family home. TRP seeks to cultivate positive emotion for students through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness. We can't wait to start this work with our students and share it with you in 2024.
We had a fantastic day of professional learning at our Student Free Day on Monday. Teachers spent time examining student results from the recently completed Progressive Achievement Test in Mathematics and the available teaching resources to address class or individual student concerns. We really value the time to focus on teaching and learning on these days.
All staff also participated in a planning and meaning making session about the Purpose of public education and the four areas for impact; Wellbeing, Equity & excellence, Learner agency and Effective learners. It was great to unpack each area in detail with staff and identify possible areas of focus as a first step. I look forward to working with students and parents to further these discussions.
This week is our ‘go live’ day to launch the department’s new administration system called the Education Management System or EMS for short. The EMS is intended to streamline many school functions and management tasks. Whilst you may not notice anything too different, the EMS represents a significant change for the way administration is conducted for our front office team so things may take a little extra time to complete whilst we learn a new system. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
All students in year 1 – 6 have completed their Progressive Achievement Tests in Mathematics and will soon complete their PAT-Reading assessment. The assessments are important to us as a school, to measure student achievement growth and to ensure teaching aligns with student needs. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s learning progress, please contact their class teacher to arrange a suitable meeting time.
Lastly, as mentioned in our previous newsletter, if your child is leaving the school at the end of 2023 (apart from year 6), please advise our front office staff. This is very important to our class planning for 2024.