We have had a very settled start to the school year. Classes have been focussing on getting to know each other and setting up their orderly learning environments and behaviour expectations.
As a staff we have reflected on the priorities in our School Improvement Plan, our commitment to our SPS Quality Teaching Framework and Whole School Approaches.
Last week the Leadership Team reflected on actions the staff brainstormed to address some of the concerns from the Parent and Staff satisfaction survey. Both surveys highlighted the need for us to:
- Improve parent engagement by communicating more regularly about what is happening in our classrooms, particularly with Literacy and Numeracy
- Provide greater clarity on our approach to positive behaviour support.
Some of the actions we will be implementing across the year to address these include:
- Weekly Dojo updates outlining key focusses
- Increased Facebook and Newsletter posts focussing on Literacy and Numeracy
- Updating our Positive Behaviour Approach policy and publishing this on our Schoolzine App for parent access
- Placing parent friendly information about our Star Rules, Restorative Practices and Zones of Regulation which are important elements of our Positive Behaviour Approach on our Facebook page and in our newsletter
Partnership Between Home and School
We value the partnership between home and school and appreciate any questions and extra knowledge you have about your child. Throughout the year please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or information you need to pass on. Your child’s classroom teacher should always be the first port of call, this could be a quick check-in at the start or end of day or a pre-arranged meeting for a more in-depth conversation. If you feel your query or information is more sensitive in nature, then please contact and arrange a meeting with your child’s POD Leader (see below). If additional support in needed, your child’s POD Leader will include me as Principal in discussions. We really appreciate parents/carers taking the time to speak to us about worries or concerns early, so we can deal with them before they snowball
Kinder and Prep – Katie Fisher
Grade 1 and 2 – Erin McGaffin
Grade 3/4 -4/5 - Amanda Lloyd
Grade 5-6 – Ben Jones
Over the last few years we have worked really hard to improve our communication to families. This includes posting information about upcoming events on Facebook and our Newsletter; sending home a magnetic year calendar early in Term 1; displaying a term calendar on the Newsletter; Dojo reminders; and for some of the bigger events, sending home notices. Despite our efforts, we still receive frequent feedback that parents are unaware of events and important information. It is important to take the time to read the information we post and check your child’s school bag to keep informed. A helpful tip would be to transfer these dates onto your personal calendar or mobile phone, for a visual reference and to receive notification when things are coming up or forms need returned.
We have a hunch that since our Newsletter has gone electronic there has been a decline in parents reading it. Due to this we have put a poll on Facebook and our Schoolzine App to gauge if parents would be more likely to read the Newsletter if it was in paper form. We would still maintain the electronic version which gives us greater capacity to upload more photos and videos.
If you have visited our Area 1 playground you have more than likely seen our new Sensory Path. This is a combined funding initiative between the school and the Parent Group. It was prompted from our Student Wellbeing Data as a tool to support children regulate and get back in the green zone ready for learning. In addition to this, the students enjoy playing on it during break times.
Student Voice and Contributor Asset
A real highlight to my day or week, is when students approach me with innovative and thoughtful ways to contribute to their world. We call this our CONTRIBUTOR Asset.
This year Freya will continue to encourage us to recycle our soft plastics. If you have clean soft plastics, please place them in the black bin outside my office and Freya will take them to a local Woolworths for recycling. Soft plastics include: plastic shopping bags, chip packets, plastic wrapping around multi packs of toilet paper, plastic bags from vegetables and salad etc. It does not include cling wrap.
Introducing the Leadership Team
Amanda Lloyd (Assistant Principal)- I love teaching and working at Somerset Primary. I am often seen in Pod 2 with the 3/4 classes, but I enjoy working with the other grades too.
Fun fact - In my spare time I love walking and over the holidays I walked the Overland Track from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair which took me 5 nights and 6 days carrying a very heavy pack.
Katie Fisher (AST) - This year I am excited about working with Launch into Learning, Kinder and Prep children and their families. I can’t wait for LiL Playgroup sessions to begin to meet all the new and old faces. I am excited to work with Preps to help with their Reading and Writing.
Fun fact – the sentence I hear the most at school is “I am taller than you Mrs Fisher”.
Paula Pearce (Principal) – I feel very proud to be the Principal of our great school. Over the last 5 years I have been excited to see the positive impact of our priorities on teaching and learning and student growth. I’m excited where the future will take us.
Fun fact – in my spare time I love going to my block at Coles Bay, sitting by the campfire and watching the stars and satellites.
Erin McGaffin (AST) - I am very excited to work with students across the whole school to develop their literacy and numeracy skills.
Fun fact - Spending time at the beach and finding special rocks while I am there, makes me happy.
Cindy Tatlow (School Business Manager) - Although my role does not involve working directly with our students, I enjoy watching students grow each year and knowing that through my role I am contributing in some small way. I am proud to work in a school that is continuously looking for ways to improve.
Fun Fact – I enjoy growing my own veggies and cooking new recipes with them.
Ben Jones (AST) - Every year I am super excited to be able to come to work at Somerset Primary School. There are not too many jobs where you get to work with such amazing staff and students on a daily basis. Teaching is hard work but such a rewarding job.
Fun Fact - Before I was a teacher I worked as a geologist, in the Tanami Desert 500km NW of Alice Springs. Yes I was a rock doctor… haha.
We have had a busy couple of weeks in 3/4A!
We have demonstrated our learning assets and shown Miss Elliott and Mrs Lohrey how we are communicators, collaborators, contributors and self-managers. In teams, we accomplished our STEM challenges and were successful in designing and building structures that met the design brief.
We have a created a colourful window display showcasing our brave lion artwork, we experimented with the technique of blending to colour our lion, we have added personality characteristics around the mane that represent who we are.
We have had great success working on our classroom expectations to build a learning focused classroom, where we can do our best learning. Miss Elliott and Mrs Lohrey are looking forward to setting up our literacy rotations so we can build on our reading and writing skills.
The class of 3-4B have started the year recording individual physical features through measurement, art and personal reflections. This will allow students to compare their end of year growth, change and take pride in their achievements.
Transitioning into classroom expectations and routines, is progressing well. Students are rising to the responsibility of caring for their classroom, with individual jobs and kindness.
The resident Spiny Leaf Insects are an interesting addition to student learning. We hope to see the insects grow, moult and lay eggs, this year.
Along with our reading focus, students have been identifying emotions and different strategies to counteract negative emotions, through the Zones of Regulation.
This year SPS is trialling the Student Wellbeing Check-in survey a couple of times per term for students in Grades 3-6. This links well with the overall survey the DOE administer later in the year. We firmly believe that positive student wellbeing is an essential part of student’s learning and time at school. We aim to help all students and this is one way we can ‘check-in’ to ensure we are on target with this. Please read the document and contact Amanda Lloyd for further information if required.
Thankyou to those families who have returned validation forms for 2022. If you still have validations forms at home, please complete and return as soon as possible. If you have misplaced your child/s validation form, please make contact with the office so we can re-print and send home.
Our first display in the library this year has a focus on spelling. Over the last few years, we have been deepening our understanding of how words work. The display will change to focus on different books which we will use with our students to talk about some key spelling ideas. The first key idea is that every word has at least one base. A base is the smallest part of a word that carries the main meaning. So, in ‘jumping’, the base is ‘jump’ and in ‘reaction’ the base is ‘act’. The prefixes and suffixes are removed to be left with the base, and it is the base on which we can build other words by adding prefixes and suffixes.