Yours in Christian service,
Will Remember Them
Our school joined together in reflection on Friday at our Remembrance Day Service. Our students displayed all of the characters you would hope for at an important event such as this. Their maturity and respect was observed by all staff and I thank them for their conduct.
Lest We Forget
The Importance of Student Engagement
Our goal at St John’s is ensuring students are engaged with their learning. We collect data on student learning and use this data to inform changes and improvements to further strengthen student engagement.
At St John’s, we value student engagement just as highly as we value student achievement. But why?
Without engagement, achievement potential is hampered. This is illustrated by neuroscience, which indicates that the limbic system assesses everything that enters the brain as either a threat or a reward. Threats and rewards can be physiological such as air, water and sleep. They can also be psychological and sociological, such as autonomy, self-esteem and sense of connection. When the brain perceives a threat, the sympathetic nervous system is activated and initiates what is often referred to as a ‘fight or flight’ response. (Or, at the extreme, the parasympathetic nervous system drives a ‘freeze’ response.) Threats and rewards are primary motivators; by nature, we typically avoid threats and approach rewards. Brains must be in the reward state (eg engaged) to maximise learning, as little-to-no learning occurs when the brain is in the threat state.
Engagement provides for a child’s basic needs and creates an environment that guides children to appreciate the value that resilience, grit and effort play in academic rigour. An engaged child seeks to struggle, be challenged and be stretched, and displays a willingness to make mistakes as part of the learning process. When we engage students, we reduce negative classroom behaviours while creating experiences that are action-packed, drive curiosity, and deliver brain states of anticipation and intrigue. Lori DesautelsStudent engagement is an absolute priority for us at St John’s. As we continue to focus on improving student engagement, we know that students will reach their potential through academic achievement.For those interested in connecting this information with learning in the home, I recommend Rebecca Haggerty’s article entitled Highly Motivated Kids have a Greater Advantage in Life than Kids with a High IQ.
Parent Information Session
We are looking forward to seeing you all at our Parent Information Session on Wednesday 23 November at 6:30pm in our hall.
Teachers continue to mark assessments and are now preparing your children’s reports, which are due to be sent home at the conclusion of the school year. We have been impressed with the children’s grit and determination in completing their assessments to the best of their ability and are proud of all of their achievements. Teachers utilise a wide variety of both formal and informal assessment in order to inform their decisions when writing reports for your child. Some examples of formal assessment are NAPLAN, Cold Writes and PAT Assessment. Informal assessment examples are observation, questioning, discussion and peer evaluations.
Our Year 6 leadership teams have been busy preparing to lead their last school events and activities, and we have an eventful few weeks coming up with egg-drop challenges, mini basketball comps, nude food challenges and more! These leadership teams are driven by the students, and it has been wonderful to see and participate in the initiatives that they have come up with over this year. The current Year 5 students are in the process of developing and determining their leadership teams for next year and we are excited to hear about their ideas for 2023.
NUDE FOOD CHALLENGE BY ENVIROMENTAL TEAM
Between the 21st and the 25th of November, the Enviro Team has organised a nude food challenge. This means that no plastic is allowed in your lunchbox. Students can put their lunch and recess in containers, beeswax wraps, etc. Teachers will check every student's lunchbox for plastic each day and for every plastic in their lunchboxes they will incur one point. The enviro team will come around to each class and collect the points. The class with the least number of points at the end of the week gets a prize.
Enviro Team, Aylena, Ella T, Lyla & Julia
fabric recycling box
This term our hobbies group would like you to collect old clothes (need to be washed and cleaned) and fabric or any material you don’t want. We will also take any buttons. We will reuse it by turning it into something new. Anything we don’t end up using we will keep and use for next year leadership groups. If you have any items, please bring to the front office.
There is a box in the office with a sign that says recycle your old material’s box.
Thank you, the hobbies group
BOOK COVERING HELPERS NEEDED
Our new student home readers have arrived and need to be covered - We'd love your help!
We will provide you with the books/covering/scissors - all we need is your time.
If you have some spare time available soon, please email or phone us (contact details at the bottom of the newsletter).
We look forward to hearing from you!
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.
Last week, all classes learnt about Yarning Circles which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples have been using for thousands of years to discuss issues and make decisions in respectful and kind ways. The rules of a Yarning Circle area:
- One person introduces a topic to discuss
- Everyone takes turns to speak
- No one comments on what others say or interrupts
- There is no judgement made of what others say
- Only kind words are allowed to be spoken
- All people are welcome
- It is a safe space where everyone is valued
The exciting thing is that each class identified a place we already have in our school grounds where we could create a Yarning Circle! We already have logs loosely arranged in a circle near our oval and cricket nets. Turning this into a Yarning Circle will be completed at our first Working Bee in 2023. We will gain the advice of Indigenous people from our region to make sure we are respectful of our local Wiradjuri tribe’s culture. It will be a special place for our Indigenous students at school, and a way of acknowledging the ongoing benefit we have of learning from those who walked on our school grounds well before European settlers arrived.
WHAT'S HAPPENING IN CLASS
In Kinder, we have been exploring all about where our food comes from. We have been planting some of our own vegetables and had a guest speaker come in to talk about where dairy comes from. We had our very own expert (Rory) share about how wheat, canola and lupins are grown on the farm and what they are used for. Then, it was time to make our own butter and bread and give it a try…it was delicious!
Year 1 have been investigating volume in Maths. They made some interesting “buildings” which all had the same volume. Beau said that the buildings all had the same volume because they took up the same amount of space.
When students participate in a PBL task, they utilize processes that allow them to demonstrate the mental and physical behaviours of scientists.
In the process, they learn more than simple science concepts and skills, they learn a practical, useful real-world approach to solving problems and answering questions. The students are immersed into science as they participate in experiments. As you can see by the photos the Entry Event was enjoyed by all. We then explored the Driving Question. ‘How might we scientifically combine different materials to create a piece of Christmas art.’ What makes a Christmas ornament a gift instead of just an object? The students wrote letters to the residents of the Jindera Gardens Hostel and asked them what their favourite Christmas ornament was as a child.
Some of their responses were a Christmas bell, star, Santa Claus, reindeer, angel, candy cane, toy solider, nativity scene, tree and Baby Jesus. The students will try and recreate these by combining different materials. They will then present them in person to the Residents at the end of the term. The students are so excited to be doing this. We love Science in Year 2.
Year 3/4 PV
The student have had a great week of activities!
This week, students are working on ‘division’ in mathematics. The dry pasta shells came out to play the game ‘Remainders’ in pairs. It was a great way to reinforce the principle of division.
‘Zones of Regulation’ straight after lunch/recess, some students are finding it calming and relaxing to colour in.
Jaxon was very eager to get the teacher organised for lunch duty. Or is he volunteering to do this job?
Kaitlyn having a cycle on the stationary bike.
The class discovered how much sugar is found in a juice box and soft drink bottle. We looked at the label and used digital scales to weigh the amount. It’s a good reminder to realise all the ‘hidden’ sugars found in some lunch box items. Yikes!
Year 3/4 LK
At lunchtimes students have many different activities and Clubs to join in with. Tuesday is Band with Chappie Pete. He has started band rehearsal with interested Year 5 and Year 4 students. They are already sounding fantastic and we can’t wait for their first performance.
In Maths the students have been working with multiplication and division. They have been investigating the links between the two operations. Today’s game introduced the understanding of equal shares and remainders. Freddo Frogs with Friends, or simply the Remainder Game, is a fun, engaging, visual and hands on way to learn about these concepts.
On Monday students enjoyed exploring Volume and Capacity and measuring in millilitres. In groups they used teaspoons, cups, screw tops and mugs and had to estimate the capacity of each object. Then using a measuring jug, they had to see how accurate their estimate was.
Yesterday the students enjoyed a millilitre relay. In teams of 5 they started with 1000ml of water and had to transport the water using a sponge to another container. The winning team was the one who lost the least amount of water. The Musketeers finished first.
This term our Year 6 girls have been involved in the “Shine” program. This program is about equipping girls with the skills and knowledge to discover who they are and the person they want to become.
The core topics that are covered are Worth, Strength and Purpose.
The program encourages participants to find the strength and courage within themselves to make healthy choices and live to their full potential. It reinforces that every girl is unique and has different strengths, qualities and skills and that no matter what they have been through or will go through in the future, they have value and worth.
A couple of weeks ago we were blessed to have Layla’s mum Shannon who is an expert on skin care. She talked to the girls about the importance of cleansing, skin types and the importance of sunscreen. We also talked about how marketing and magazines may form thoughts about beauty that lead to wearing make-up because you may not feel good about yourself. Shannon emphasised the importance of valuing yourself through looking after your skin that belongs uniquely to each of us.
Then last week we investigated healthy foods and tried different fruits and vegetables. The emphasis was on health not image. We feel good when we are healthy. By eating healthy, we value our body. All the girls made a gift bag “I am wonderfully made" and took home a bottle of water, mandarin and a lemon.
The jellybean counting contest was a great achievement. In total we raised $100.60 for the great cycle challenge and the money raised went to kids cancer.
Lucy placed 494th in the country and 157 in the state. Luke Schulz was the winner and got to keep the jar of jelly beans. A huge thank you for having a guess and donating money.
By Adventure crew (Elijah, Jonas, Thierry and Lucy)
Lilly J Bales
Year 3/4 LK
Year 3/4 PV
Year 5/6 NC
Year 5/6 FS
Julia ScholzIsaac Clayton – Wallace
The Wonder of Creation
I love the country setting of our school so much, and I know many of you feel the same way. After school on Monday, Mrs King and I were so excited to see this little beauty in the staff carpark, waddling and nosing around for something to eat.
Then Molly and Chloe had the rare treat of having the friendly echidna come right up to them in the TNT doorway! It seemed like it really wanted to come inside. They wondered if the poor thing wanted to escape the rain.
God has given us the role of caretakers of his creation – he works through us. At St John’s, a big part of our learning focuses on our responsibility in caring for the environment. A few examples from this year: our Year 3/4s became passionate advocates for protecting endangered wildlife. Our Kinders are learning about how to care for plants that provide food. Our Year 5/6s investigated sustainable farming practices.
When our learning is based on applying skills and knowledge to real life contexts, we are doing God’s work. A desire to be a part of God’s ongoing act of creation drives our curiosity and compassion!
Psalm 8:3-9 You made us to rule over the works of Your hands. You put all things under our feet: All sheep and cattle, all the wild animals, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, and all that pass through the sea. O Lord, our Lord, how great is Your name in all the earth!
At St John's, we pray for our students and their families and staff members.
This week, we are praying for: