Yours in Christian service,
Our Book Week Parade is a fantastic example of the St John’s community in action! As Principal, to be part of such a positive and supportive parent community is energising and is an important ingredient that sets a solid platform for us to drive growth in all areas of our school. It also reinforces how powerful a supportive community is when everyone is accepted, valued and connected.
The Importance of Community
It highlights the need for us to come-together and build relationships at St John’s following a challenging COVID impacted past two-years.
When the pandemic interrupted our lives and changed the way we live, this meant that suddenly many of our young people’s main sources of connection with peers and extended family members was removed overnight without warning and remained significantly disrupted over the next two years. Throughout our existence, humans have sought out relationships with others and built communities to belong to. We have a basic emotional and biological need for connection. Belonging is the feeling of security and support that gives us that sense of acceptance and connection to others.
When we don’t feel connected, or have our need for belonging met, this causes a deep-seated distress. Both loneliness and disconnection are negative emotional states that can feel painful and sometimes unbearable. When our basic need for belonging isn’t met, it is impossible for our brain to focus on other things, such as learning. For young people, teenagers in particular, this desire is abundantly strong. Teenagers place a high value on their social ties, acceptance, care and support from others, especially their peers.
Students who have a sense of belonging will experience feelings of security, identity and community, which in turn supports their academic, psychological and social development. When young people come together again after a period of instability, there is a period of adjustment. Whilst the rules of the group may be established, acceptance remains paramount and can therefore mean some behaviours can become far from rational. Their ability to tolerate distress and control impulsive actions is reduced as they haven’t yet got full access to the part of the brain that can help give them perspective and inhibit their impulses. These factors combined, leave them open to being vulnerable, often making choices or becoming involved in situations they might not ordinarily consider.
It has been great to go to different classrooms and see the Zones of Regulation in action. At regular times throughout the day, our classes pause and check in with their state of emotions, with the idea of being ‘ready to learn’. Children have been able to trial various different strategies such as figure eight breathing, using weighted blankets and wall push ups to help get themselves into the best headspace for learning. Once they have trialled these they have developed their very own tool box of strategies that best suits them for use when they feel they need a little extra support to be ‘ready to learn’.
The NSW Department of Education has released a new K-2 English syllabus, which is due to begin implementation next year. St John’s is investing heavily in upskilling our teachers and purchasing new resources to go along with this new syllabus. Our K-2 teachers, along with the team from St Paul’s Henty, participated in a two day professional development on InitiaLit. InitiaLit is an evidence-based whole-class literacy program providing all children with the essential core knowledge and strong foundations to become successful readers and writers. Our teachers gained valuable insight and skills over the two days and are excited to begin trialling elements of the program in Term Four. We will communicate more information to K-2 families before the end of term regarding the impact of these changes.
On Thursday 1st September we celebrated Teacher Aide Appreciation Week by providing lunch for our fabulous Learning Coach team. We are so proud of the amazing work they do with all of our students. Their job is an incredibly wide-spanning one, but their most important job is the connection they build with the students both in and out of the classroom. Thankyou to all of our Learning Coaches!
We hope everyone had a lovely Father's Day on Sunday, and enjoyed the presents lovingly selected by their children. We look forward to seeing some fathers, grandfathers and special father figures at our Chapel this Friday (which is being led by Year 2) for a coffee, muffin and kick of the footy afterwards.
In Creative Arts we love being creative. We engage, we are passionate. We learn about relationships by working closely with our classmates. In Creative Arts we use higher order thinking skills like decision making, analysing, evaluating and reviewing. We love taking risks and are in a supportive environment where the culture is that it is okay to make mistakes, as it is through mistakes we learn.
In Creative Arts our class looks like chaos to the uninitiated. In Creative Arts we make noise, some of our highest quality work happens while we are making noise. As a result, we learn collaboratively better than most students do, problem solve as much as the maths students, and experiment more often than science students.
Quite often, students can enter the Creative Arts classroom with reservations. It can be uncomfortable or seen as a subject that isn’t as important as others. St John’s students are very lucky to have the support of the school in the recognition of this subject. It has been so wonderful to see the students gain an appreciation for Dance, particularly from those who initially showed resistance or were hesitant. I am looking forward to seeing all of the skills they have learned in their final performances next week.
Design Lab was all about our Book Week Parade this Tuesday! While dressed up in their Book Week costumes, students in Kinder to Year 2 enjoyed creating models from Lego or pictures from their chosen books. We had creations of the chocolate river in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, a pirate ship, castles, the Queen’s crown and book covers. All made within 30 minutes! What a marvellously creative bunch of students we have at St John’s.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CLASS
This week the Kinders had the opportunity to go to the Lavington Library for a Book Week visit. We had a story time celebrating new Australian authors and illustrators and were able to walk around the library looking at an art display. The students loved listening to a variety of stories read by different people.
In our PBL unit, the students have been designing and starting to create something that they can have in the classroom to make it feel like a special for them. They have put their creative hats on, with their designs having to be something that you can:
2. Is unique
3. Makes you feel special in the classroom
This week, the mathematicians in Year 1 have been measuring the area of surfaces in our classroom. We started by using plastic tiles to measure the covers of books and we are working our way up to larger units of measurement for even bigger surfaces. Keep an eye out on Seesaw to see what other areas we cover!
Week 9: Patterns & Algebra
Week 10: Chance
Big Write: Thursday, 15th of September
Year 1 Showcase: Thursday, 22nd September
What a wonderful week. Archie’s duckling finally hatched at home, and we had the pleasure of seeing it in class. The students named it Lucky because it was the only one to hatch out 12 eggs.
The Kinders and Year 2 visited the Lavington Library for Book week. They enjoyed many stories read to them from the Book week recommended short list. Also, they completed an activity on Refugees and listened to a story about a child’s experience as a Refugee.
For our Math’s talk we went outside to estimate how many daffodils are in the school garden. The students used strategies to estimate the number counting by 2’s, 5’s, or 10’s. The closet was 235 and there was exactly 239. We love Number Talk outside.
Year 3/4 PV
The students have been busy in the classroom using Canva to work on their endangered animal information reports. Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design tool where the students are accessing to create a presentation. As it is the first time using this program, it was handy to have Mr Morey nearby!
In maths, students have been working with fractions and decimals. It’s never an easy concept to get your head around but using hands on/visual materials to see parts of wholes has been helping.
In art, we created animal collages. Students prepared different papers to collage by splattering paint, using wax resist dyes, finger painted, created patterns using textas, etc. Students drew close-up eyes and beaks/noses/snouts which were pasted onto the backgrounds.
For Big Write, we have been discussing whether we need zoos. We read a lot of articles in class and used our Melbourne Zoo experience to help with ideas to write a persuasive.
Who wants to hear a tune?
Year 3/4 LK
In Maths we have been exploring patterns in numbers and how each number can be represented visually. Looking at numbers visually and numerically allows students to make important connections. Students discovered some numbers are building blocks for other numbers and could ‘see’ when number is a prime number and when it has factors.
Hooray for Spring! The students are so happy to be back out enjoying our fantastic open spaces in the sunshine. It is so fantastic to see so many of our students enthusiastically involved in great games of chasey during their breaks.
On 2nd of September the year 6 sport captains led chapel. It was about worshipping God through music and dance.
Justin Seidel (just-dance-Justin) came to teach the year 5/6 class how to perform a hip-hop dance while worshiping God. Everyone in the year 5/6 class loved trying something new and they nailed the performance!
Big thanks to Justin we hope you can come teach us again in the future years!
0405 694 055
By the St. News team Asha Byers & Layla Tuohey
Last Friday the Year 6 Cooking Team with the help of Layla, Tom and Olivia made an estimated 200 muffins! Our special guests at the Father’s Day Chapel (our fabulous dads!) will be able to sample these after Chapel. The Cooking Team and the other people who jumped in and helped said that they had so much fun cooking for Father’s Day. We also want to give a big thanks to Chantelle (Bailey’s mum) and Renae (Olivia’s mum) for being a big help with the cooking. We couldn’t have done it without you! If we have any spare muffins, these will be available for purchase by the students for $1 under the shade sail at lunchtime on Friday.
By Layla and Asha
CLICK HERE FOR MORE DATES
Chapel - Year 2
Friday 9 September
Father's Day Coffee & a Kick
Friday 9 September
LIBRARY HELPERS NEEDED
We are after any one who would be able to help out with covering books
A new box of books have arrived at the Library, if anyone would like to help out with covering books it would be greatly appreciated
St John’s is transitioning to a new TNT system - Smart Central. This new program allows us to move into the digital age with
robust security for our data and sign-in and sign-out process.
The new system allows you to book your child into TNT, sign them out, and to cancel bookings.
Accounts will be generated from Smart Central. You will be able to make payments, and view your balance and history online
using any internet capable device: smartphones, tablets, computers.
For all parents who have children attending or are intending to have your child/ren attend TNT, you will need to
complete a new enrolment form ASAP for each child - please see the link below.
We would like to have the system up and running on the first day of Term 4.
Please also note you will have a unique PIN code for each child - you will need to know this code as TNT staff will not, and you will need to let each family member know the PIN to collect your child/ren.
For first time users please click Sign up a new account. Please email or call us if you have any further questions or difficulties.
We appreciate your understanding and support.
At St John's, we pray for our students and their families and staff members.
This week, we are praying for:
Eve & Molly Barclay
Asha & Deon Byers
Isaac & Eloise Hartley
Year 3/4 LK
Year 3/4 PV
Year 5/6 NC
Year 5/6 FSNickolas Ryan