Student Goals and Parent Teacher Interviews
It is hard to believe that we are almost at the end of the term and getting ready for our Autumn break. Students at Carlton South have had a wonderful first term and as I have walked around the school, I see students deeply engaged in their learning and working hard to achieve the goals they have set for themselves. This year, teachers are spending some time negotiating learning goals with each student in their class. Personal learning goals allow students to articulate behaviours, knowledge or understandings that students identify as being important to their own learning. Depending on the stage the students are in, teachers will scaffold the development and articulation of a social goal and learning goal. Some stages have included a technology goal. The purposes of students participating in the design of learning goals include:
being active participants in the learning process
empowering them to become independent learners
motivating them to achieve their full potential.
Research shows that students who are involved in setting their own goals achieve more than if the goals were set by the teacher. Goal setting has a strong influence on learning. Setting goals requires students to understand their current level of performance and a vision for where they need to go.
Next week, we will be holding our Parent/ Teacher interviews. Bookings are open and will close this weekend. If you have not made a booking yet, please visit this website: www.schoolinterviews.com.au/ and enter the event code: 7svmk. During these meetings your child’s teacher will be sharing these goals with you and it will be an opportunity for you to share your goals for your child with the classroom teacher. Michael Grose, a parenting expert that you may be aware of, offers his top 10 tips on parent-teacher meetings and if you’re interested in finding out how you can make the most of these interviews, you can visit this link to find out: https://www.parentingideas.com.au/blog/parent-teacher-meetings-10-top-tips-for-parents/
I would like to thank the students for their hard work during this first term, but would also like to acknowledge the efforts of teachers in supporting students with their learning goals. We are always hearing about how hard teachers work, but we should always acknowledge this work, as they are often doing work over and above their responsibilities, always thinking about what they can do to improve the learning and wellbeing of each student in their class. It really is difficult to quantify this work, but a first step is to understand and appreciate the work teachers do. Much of the ‘good’ teaching that occurs actually goes unnoticed. Thank you to all of our hard-working teachers for all of their efforts in ensuring that the students are settled and learning in a safe environment.
The Department of Education has a syllabus for each curriculum area that outlines the outcomes to be achieved in each Learning Area.
Schooling in NSW is organised into seven stages of learning across primary and secondary school
Primary School from Kindergarten to Year 6 (K-6) encompasses four stages of learning.
Early Stage or Foundation = Kindergarten (starting from five years of age)
Stage 1 = Years 1 and 2
Stage 2 = Years 3 and 4
Stage 3 = Years 5 and 6
Secondary School from Year 7 to Year 12 (HSC) encompasses three stages of learning.
Stage 4 = Years 7 and 8 (starting around 12 years of age)
Stage 5 = Years 9 and 10 (eligible for the Record of School Achievement or RoSA from around 16 years of age)
Stage 6 = Years 11 and 12 or HSC (finishing around 18 years of age)
As you can see, apart from Early Stage One, each stage represents two grade levels. This means that it may take two years to achieve the outcomes outlined at each stage. When students enter a new stage of learning in the syllabus (Year 1, Year 3, Year 5 in Primary School), they will begin working with a new set of outcomes, that may take two years to achieve. It is for this reason that when students enter a new stage, it may seem as if they have gone ‘backwards’, particularly if they achieve a sound in their academic report, after receiving a higher grade the previous year, where it was the final year of the stage level. The first thing to remember here is that they have entered a new stage level and secondly, a sound grade means they are achieving what is expected of them at their age. Please do not be alarmed if this is the case with your child. Rather, it would be useful, if you were concerned, to have a chat with your child’s teacher who will explain the above information and explain what is happening with your child’s learning at that particular time.
For more information about the NSW Primary Syllabus, use this link to download the booklet.
K-2 Speech Therapy Program
The K-2 Speech Therapy Program will be provided by AllSalt Speech and Language Therapy. This language support program is designed to assist referred students with communication difficulties, both expressive and receptive. Understanding spoken language and learning to talk using longer sentences helps children with classroom learning and with literacy skills such as reading and writing.
The language support program will be conducted by Speech-Language Pathologist, Mrs. Samah Tawbe. She will work with the classroom teachers and with groups of children. To best assist the children with their language learning, Mrs Tawbe will be screening some children on the advice of their classroom teachers. The screening process will occur during Term 2. Early in Term 2, you will receive a consent form; could you please complete this consent form as soon as possible and return it to your child’s teacher. The school will be funding part of this program, which is the screening process prior to intervention and part of the cost of the intervention sessions. Once students have been screened, you will then, later in Term 2, receive an invoice that will explain the process and organisation of the K-2 program, as well as include a permission form to participate in the interventions. If your student has been identified as someone who would benefit from the screening process, it is important that you return the consent form in order for them to be screened by AllSalt. If you would like more information about this, please do not hesitate to contact me.
International Women’s Day 2019 (IWD)
You might remember in the last newsletter I wrote about taking three of our female student leaders to Moorefield Girls High School for their IWD celebrations. The three girls enjoyed attending this celebration and learnt a lot about the progress that has been made with issues that affect women, but also about what needs to be done further in the future. They had the opportunity to listen to an ex-student and hear about her journey, relating it all back to the issues that women still face in our society. Below you will find some of the reflections the three girls made on their return from Moorefield Girls High School.
This week, as part of student voice, you can read some of the critical thinking that students have been engaging in, using current events. Students from 6T were discussing their thoughts about students striking for climate change and were asked to reflect on what they thought about this and give reasons for their thinking. Some of their responses can be found below.
Critical thinking skills involve students thinking broadly and deeply using reason, logic, resourcefulness, imagination and innovation in all learning areas. One of our school’s projects within Strategic Direction 1 within our school plan is ‘Life Competencies’. Dr Phil Lambert has talked about these competencies in a paper, titled, “Hard focus on ‘soft skills’”. This research provided some of the inspiration around including this project in our school plan and some of the competencies Dr Lambert talks about include: problem solving, critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, social skills and teamwork, resilience, self and social awareness, respectful relationships and intercultural understanding. Students at Carlton South already engage in lessons that relate to these competencies, though in the coming year we are looking for ways in which to place an even greater focus on these competencies that will see our students growing in a world has changed and will continue to change dramatically. We will continue feature student voice within our school newsletter and you may see the link to these soft skills that Dr Phil Lambert talks about.
School Holiday Activities
it is that time of the year when we are starting to think about the school holidays. Here are some things you can do during the school holidays that will provide your children with an opportunity to experience new and exciting adventures.
Free Activities - Powerhouse Museum, Cockatoo island- Crooked Characters and Colonial Escapades, Sydney Olympic Park - kids in the park, Bounce Town Inflatable World at Oran Park, Art Gallery of NSW, The Rocks Discovery Museum.
Possum Magic at The Sydney Opera House - Share in the timeless story of friendship and magic in this brand new stage adaptation of the much-loved Australian classic book by Mem Fox.
360 All Stars at The Sydney Opera House - A phenomenal physical performance exploring all forms of rotation, 360 ALLSTARS connects the street with the elite to deliver a supercharged urban circus.
Creative Play at The Sydney Opera House - Lego comes to life these April school holidays! Your little Lego masters can create a living Lego masterpiece by sculpting straight onto the performers dressed head to toe in Lego.
Visit the Sydney Observatory.
Mini Makers at The Australian Museum - Your little creators will love diving into the coolest underwater party. Mini Makers is a world of craft with bioluminescent sea creatures and the chance to rock out, like a seahorse, at the silent disco.
Mega Creatures at Hunter Valley Gardens - Come and see all of your favourite dinosaurs, dragons and creepy crawlies, including the giant T-Rex, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Spinosaurus and more at Mega Creatures! And new for 2019 is the Archaeological dinosaur fossil dig and the all-new Dino Mights performing live.
Tree Tops Western Sydney - Treetop Adventure Park is a recreation activity in the tree tops, where participants slide down flying foxes, move from tree to tree on suspension bridges and enjoy many other exciting activities up to 15 metres above the forest floor.
Camperdown Commons - A variety of activi
Have a look at this website - Kid Bucket List - The complete guide to Sydney school holiday activities.
Wishing all of our families a wonderful Autumn break.