As we approach the end of Term 3, we would like to reflect on what has been a successful term in a very challenging year. We encourage you all to spend some quality time with yourselves and your families.
Covid has had significant impact on many events around our country during 2020. This has also caused us to adjust what we are doing for the remainder of the year.
Sports Day: Is being held on Friday 23 October in Week 2, Term 4. No parents or caregivers will be allowed on site. The only exception would be registered volunteers who have been asked by teachers to assist on the day.
Celebration Night: Will be a daytime event with no parents or caregivers on site. We will video and distribute the event to our school community.
Graduation: Our Year 7 Graduation will proceed, however learners will be limited to two tickets per student.
We hope you understand. We are as disappointed as you are.
Term 3 Major Assessments
Assessment of student learning is integral to our teaching and learning processes, and there are various forms of assessment that we use for different purposes.
Part of our regular assessment cycle is to administer PAT (Progressive Assessment Tests) in Weeks 7-8 of Term 3 to every child from Year 2-7. These are standardised tests developed by ACER (Australian Council for Education Research) and provide us with objective, norm-referenced information about students’ skills and understandings in the areas of Reading Comprehension and Mathematics. The information we gather can be used by teachers to establish individual learning goals and design learning programs to meet the needs of their students. At a whole school level, we use this information to determine priorities on out School Improvement Plan (SIP). Because this is a standardised test, we are able to reference student achievement against benchmarks known as the Standard for Educational Achievement (SEA) to identify which children need support to ‘catch up’ in some areas and which ones need to be ‘stretched’ in their learning.
Term 3 is also when we administer the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. Sometimes the media provides a narrative on this assessment, which essentially checks how consistently children are able to decode (read) 40 real and pseudo words. It is conducted for every Year 1 in South Australia, with teachers being given additional training each year to deepen their knowledge of how to use this assessment to move learning forward for each child. Improving our achievement in this area has been a significant focus since 2018 and we are pleased to see evidence of significant growth since then, thanks to a focus on current evidence-based teaching practices. For more information, visit https://www.education.sa.gov.au/teaching/curriculum-and-teaching/literacy-and-numeracy/phonics-screening-check
The phonics screening check is a short, simple assessment that tells teachers how primary school students are progressing in phonics. It takes only 5–7 minutes and is carried out by classroom teachers with each student individually. Teachers then analyse the results and, if necessary, plan for any additional support that students might require.
You may be aware that Writing is a major focus on our SIP. Over the course of the year we have used an evidence-based assessment tool called Brightpath to identify learning needs and develop effective teaching strategies for those specific needs. Every student from R-7 produced a narrative text in Term 3 to the theme of ‘A Surprise’. In Term 4, every child will have a writing goal and teachers will be employing strategies to support them to meet this goal by the end of the term.
If you’d like to know the goals identified from your child/ren’s PAT tests, Year 1 Phonics Screening Check or Brightpath narrative writing, you are welcome to contact their teacher for this information.
Dave Henty-Smith - Principal
Jo Meredith - Deputy Principal
Kathy Baker - Inclusive Education Coordinator