Welcome to our latest newsletter. 2019 is fast disappearing and yet we still have so much to celebrate. This week alone we have celebrated our final whole school mass for the year and today, the school is abuzz with preparations for our Aussie Rocks Concert performances tomorrow midday and evening. We also have our end of year Christmas BBQ this Sunday afternoon starting with a shared mass at 5.30pm and that is only this week.
Clearly the quicker the year slips away, the busier things seem to get. It is during these time of high activity and inevitable changes to routines that we run the risk of confusion and exhaustion. I mention it for two reasons. First, to acknowledge that as a rule the students are remaining reasonably settled in amongst the busy times and I want to encourage them to continue to do so. The second is a note of awareness for us all. The students are at the end of a long term and a long year. The weather is hot and the air is smoky. One could reasonably conclude that comfort levels are at their most strained. While we will not allow this to be a reason for unacceptable choices, if in fact these are made, it is important to keep this context in our minds eye when responding to it. I know that the consistent and clear expectations of positive behaviour that is present in our school will ensure everyone has a positive, celebratory end to the year. I am particularly looking forward to tomorrow. I just watched the finale practice and what a show we are in for!!!.
In Week 4's newsletter I announced the teachers class responsibilities for 2020. At the time, I was not able to announce a job share partner on Year 5 to replace Ann-Maree Green who will be taking 12 months leave for the year. In week 6's newsletter I announced that Mrs Cath Nankervis who established the specialist PD/H/PE program here this year had been appointed to a new job in 2020 and was unable to continue her teaching role as part of the RFF model on Wednesdays.
To that end, we conducted a recruitment process to appoint teachers in both theses roles. I am pleased to announce that we have appointed Mrs Jessica Kuterovac to both the roles. Jessica will undertake specialist PE (and on occassion PD/H) lessons on Wednesdays and teach in the Year 5 classroom on Thursdays and Fridays. Jessica will form a strong job share partnership with Mrs Kieran Deveridge who will teacher Year 5 on Mondays, Tuesday and Wednesdays.
Jessica has experience in a number of our diocesan schools including St Bridget's at Raymond Terrace and St Patrick's at Cessnock, where she is currently working. Unfortunately Jessica will not be available to join our school on Tuesday 10th December when we are planing on holding our transition morning (see the notice below) but she will do something similar for next year's Year 5 class when she joins the school for the day on the 12th December. Jessica is very excited to meet the students and join the staff and community here at Corpus Christi. We look forward to Jessica bringing her expertise to our community.
2020 Transition Morning
One of the important things we do towards the end of each year is set aside a morning for transition. Each class will move to their classrooms for 2020 and if possible spend the morning with their assigned teacher for 2020. It is a great opportunity for the classes and teachers to begin building the relationships that are so important to the start of a new year. Transition morning will go from 9am (after a short assembly) to 11.05am. Year 6, who have already completed their orientation/ transition program to high school will spend the morning in the library/ hub with Mrs Haardt and Mrs Shafren. If for some reason, a teacher is unavailable for next Tuesday's orientation, we have organised an alternate time for them to spend with their 2020 class in their 2020 classroom. (Mrs York spent time with 2020 Year 4 yesterday and Mrs Kuterovac will do the same with 2020 Year 5 next Thursday).
Student Leadership Team 2020
Last week, I had the pleasure of witnessing the potential for leadership that exists in our Year 5 cohort. I was so very proud of the students who nominated themselves for leadership by completing a portfolio examining their own qualities and what it means to be a leaders. From there, 10 students were selected to speak to the whole school and be part of the voting process. The quality of the speeches at this level, and the next day when the same process happened to elect sports, service, environmental and library leaders; was impressive to say the least. Each speech clearly demonstrated an understanding that leadership is both a privilege and a responsibility. It is earned through action as much as it is through words. Each potential leader had a clear understating of the work that is behind the badge. It was a credit to the class as a whole and to the work they have been doing with their teachers Mrs Deveridge and Mrs Green.
Of course part of the process of electing leaders is having the courage to stand for leader and going through the voting process. To build the skills of resilience of trying out for something when you don't know the outcome is an important part of learning, as anyone who has ever gone for a job can attest. So well done Year 5. I finish the year with great hopes for 2020 given the student leadership team that was elected last week and the team of senior students within the current Year 5 cohort that I know will support them. Congratulations to all.
|Ellyssia Smith, Lara McKelvey, Ethan Cerniauskas and Lachlan Gough|
|Issac Scott, Treston Ellis, Curtis Mulherin, James Doherty, Tilsen Trotter, Zeph Burns|
|Mace Heffernan, Katelyn Anderson|
|Hayley Hong, Byron Logan|
|Angel Harris, Claire Jenkins|
Semester 2 Reports
Semester Reports will be published to COMPASS this Friday. Emily Haardt has written a key to understanding the reports in the Teaching and Learning Update within this newsletter. We have written this information before but I think it is important that we remind ourselves of the way assessment and reporting works in the modern school context. It is quite different to our own experiences at school.
For mine, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the classroom teachers over the recent weeks to collate, understand and gain insight from a multitude of data and notes on each child in order to present parents with greater clarity of their child’s learning journey over. We hope you find them informative. As always, there is opportunity to meet with teachers in the next two weeks to clarify any information in the reports or even discuss strategies you might use to support them in their challenges during the break.
Have a great two weeks,
Clean Out Time
It’s that time of year again when the multitude of workbooks, personal stationary equipment, classroom displays and artworks are collected and taken down to be sent home for you to enjoy as a snapshot of the learning that the children have completed throughout the year. Can we please ask that children begin to bring in a green shopping bag (they are the strongest) to carry different items home from school over the next week. We do not anticipate it coming home in one day so if you just keep sending it back in their bags and for them to use if necessary.
Christmas BBQ This Sunday
The Corpus Christi Waratah Primary School and our Parish Community would like to invite all families, extended families and friends to Mass at 5.30pm Sunday, followed by a great afternoon of fun, food and games in the SCHOOL grounds on Sunday 8th December.
The P & F is offering sausage sizzle. There will also be drinks available although you may like to bring some of your own. Please note that all school grounds are alcohol free.
Come and listen to Christmas carols, while the children have fun with the face painting and the many fun games including sack races, egg and spoon races.
Santa will be making a visit at 7:45pm.
Library borrowing has now finished for the year. All library books need to be returned to the library asap.
Any books lost or damaged will need to be paid for. An account will be sent home.
National School Chaplaincy Program - Pastoral Care Worker 2020
Late last term, our school applied to be part of the National School Chaplaincy Program for 2020 - 2022. This program funds a role within a school that focuses on the ongoing wellbeing of the students. Sr Jenny Gerathy has undertaken the role in the past and in recent times we have worked on supporting that role on an informal basis within our existing staff.
Our expression of interest was supported by a parent survey with data indicating overwhelming support for the role along with a recommendation letter from the P & F. Last week, I was very excited to receive news that our school was successful in our application to employ a School Chaplain or Pastoral Care Worker for our school over the next three years.
While we have yet to receive the details of the allocation (how many days a week) of the Pastoral Care Worker, we are very happy to be able to plan for the best way to embed a Pastoral Care Worker into our school. Given that it coincides with the launch of our new whole school wellbeing framework next year, we are incredibly excited about the integration of this new Chaplaincy/ Pastoral Care role with our new wholistic approach to Wellbeing for Life-long Learning.
I will keep families updated on the role and the staffing process to fill the position for the start of the year but for now I wanted to let the community know the great news and thank you all for the support we had in completing the submission.
What to find in the Semester Reports
Below, there is an outline of the grades that can potentially be awarded and some points to consider. I invite parents to read this for greater understanding when considering their own child’s reports.
Some points to consider.
- A grade of C or Sound Achievement is understood to be a “sound and adequate level of competence” in the content covered in the current grade. A grade of C is awarded to any child achieving exactly where they should be.
- A grade of a B or High Achievement uses the terms “thorough and high level of competence” to describe a child’s achievement. However, the most important part of the descriptors for a B is the child ability to apply this to most situations and not just those provided for in the mainstream content delivery.
- Similarly, with an A, the descriptor used is “extensive our outstanding” and the clarification is that a child needs to be able to readily apply this to “new situations”. The assumption is that a child performing at an A level is able to make new and undirected connections between their learning in the classroom and the real world without assistance.
Knowing this, there are a considerations that we need to be aware of when we look at each child’s report. Firstly, let’s celebrate any achievement that a child has demonstrated whether it be Limited/ Basic (D or E), Sound (C), high (B) or outstanding (A). These reports are meant to focus on what the child has achieved and what they can work on to continue to achieve.
Secondly, please do not apply a counting system of As, Bs and Cs achieved and compare with the idea of a “Straight A” student. As you can see from the clarifications above, it is actually quite special to be awarded an A and so while it is great to celebrate that, please do not fall into the trap of being disappointed in not having ALL the subjects being given an A. From experience, I can say that it is quite reasonable, that a teacher is not actually able to award an A for a whole KLA. It is more likely that they award an A in a particular strand within a KLA.
Finally, this is a semester report and reports on the achievements that your child has demonstrated in the content covered this semester as measure against the syllabus outcomes covered. Often parents compare reports from last year but in doing so they must be mindful of the fact that the outcomes and content covered are different and obviously more complex. Perhaps the type of content covered this semester tapped into your child’s particular strength and so it is a great report or perhaps it was reverse and the content was particularly new and challenging for your child. The point is that while it is likely to be similar to previous reports, it will not necessarily be identical.
Please take the time to read the comments as well as the grades as therein lies the greatest information on how we can best help your child to progress in the following terms. We look forward to a successful reporting period for Semester 1 at Corpus Christi, Waratah.
Swimming Success - Stage 1
Last week, we went to Lambton Pool by bus, it was SO fun!
When we got there all the boys would get changed into their swimmers, then we’d wait and bathe on our towels until it was time to swim.
We’d walk over to the pool and do our ‘safety entry’ and hop in. The water was FREEZING! Though it wouldn’t take too long to adjust.
Our instructor’s names were Mrs Notley, Mrs Harrison and June. The usual things we would do were backstroke, freestyle, floating and lots more.
If we were good, we’d get to go in the WATER PARK which is SO FUN! And if we were good at swimming we would go in the deep pool.
I found that is you lie on the concrete you’d be as hot as a toastie!
Gifted Writers Student Teacher Workshop - Stage 3
By Mrs Bosworth
On Friday, 29th November I had the pleasure of taking four of our Stage 3 Gifted Writers to a student/teacher workshop with the published author and Sydney University Lecturer; Felicity Castagna held at the Catholic Schools Office.
A vignette is a small moment in time which is turned into a story. For example: it may be as simple as driving down the street in a
car, or hanging at the corner store with a couple of your mates. Stories are your way of speaking to someone else about how you see your world so don’t miss that opportunity. Good stories fool you into thinking they’re more simple than they really are. By using our stories to have conversation with others we can help others see how we see the world.
After learning about the author and how she became a writer, the students learnt about how to write components of a Vignette. Finally they
finished the day by beginning their own Vignette composition of a small moment of time relevant to their life. They were then given the opportunity to analyse their writing, edit and get feedback from their peers on their Vignette. The students have been asked to complete their Vignette over the next two weeks of school. It will then be published in a book and the students will get to see their final product in print.
The students participated with enthusiasm and found this day to be challenging and engaging. We look forward to reading their completed Vignettes.
Òur collection of bottle lids and bread tags has been a very successful. We don't have totals for classes or the school yet as we have been very busy with the end of year "Äussie Rocks" concert.
The bottle lids will now be washed, sorted into colours and sent to a collection station here in Newcastle before being send to Envision where they will be melted into thin strands to be used in a 3D printer which will print out limbs 4 kids.
The bread tags will go through a similiar process to be made into garden beds.
We will also send off the box of oral care products to also be melted down and reused by Terracycle.
Lastly, the teachers will collect all the small crayons, used pens and textas to recycle at Officeworks.
Thank you to everyone who has sent items in and stopped them from becoming landfill.
Congratulations to the following students who have been recognised for great learning, awesome achievements, impressive improvements and stand out moments.
All parents are welcome at our Awards Assembly on Friday Mornings from 8.50am but if you are unable to atend, watch this space for when learning that is great.