Welcome to Prep at St Andrew’s Catholic Primary School. Our teaching team consists of Mr Rosario Corio, Mrs Louise Pickering, Mrs Rosemary Restaino and Mrs Daniella Polites. Your child’s learning will additionally be supported by our Learning Support Officers, Miss Petranilla Furfaro, Mrs Anita Arslanian and Mrs Mary Cerra.
We are delighted with how the children are settling into their new routines and their learning. We trust that your child is coming home sharing their new adventures, friendships and knowledge learnt throughout the day.
We wish to build upon your child’s transition into school by providing further information about the Prep Year and its programs. In order to achieve the greatest impact on your child’s education, it is vital that school and home work together to help your child reach their full potential. We welcome contact with you to discuss concerns, achievements and pathways to success. Throughout the year, many opportunities will be available for assistance in the classroom, on excursions and with other special events.
Whilst this information covers the whole year, it is crucial that we elaborate on the important elements of the first term: ‘Settling Into School’. During first term, our focus is on:
- A sense of belonging – learning names of class members, developing a relationship with the teacher, knowing where things are within the classroom.
- A sense of being part of the school and parish community.
- Participating in the Better Buddy program. Establishing a supportive environment for Prep and Year 5 buddies.
- Establishing a daily routine – unpacking bags, lining up, being able to discern between snack and lunch.
- Establishing learning routines, eg: take home books, using stationery, writing books, working in groups, collecting materials and getting ready to begin tasks.
- Developing friendships – role playing, how to ask someone to play.
- Resilience (problem solving), play, what to do when someone says “No!” Role playing and circle discussions about dealing with situations in the yard and the classroom, eg finding a yard duty teacher.
- Social behaviours, eg sharing, turn taking, speaking nicely to others, developing classroom rules and appropriate social behaviours.
Our Learning This Term
The English Block is a daily focused two-hour session. This is designed to support children’s early literacy achievement. Activities include: reading, alphabet and word games, word recognition, letter names and sounds, comprehension and writing. The classroom reading activities include whole class, small groups, guided reading, shared reading, modelled reading, language experience, listening tasks and independent reading experiences.
A large variety of resources are used including non-fiction and fiction materials, presented in many formats, including books, songs, poetry and nursery rhymes.
Each child is regularly monitored in their reading to ensure they are reading texts that are appropriate to their level. The focus always emphasises reading for meaning and promoting a love of reading.
Phonological awareness is a key focus in our literacy program. Phonological awareness is an essential part of the students’ ability to learn the English language. Students are enthusiastically learning sounds through Phonics in Context. Children will have regular phonological awareness instruction in letter sound knowledge, word awareness/syllables, rhyme, and eventually first and last, middle sounds, vowels and consonants.
Writing sessions will initially focus on recount writing. Students will be encouraged to draw pictures that represent an element of a past event that they have experienced. Each student will be encouraged to use their oral language skills to describe their illustrations in sentences. Teachers will model writing and expectations of independent writing will vary depending on each child’s point of need.
Students will also be given instruction in handwriting, learning the beginning strokes and shapes needed to use Victorian Modern Cursive handwriting. This includes developing the correct posture and fine motor skills needed to create well-formed letters and a steady pencil grip.
The Mathematics focus for Prep students initially is on number. Concepts and skills are taught through the use of concrete materials and experiences relevant to the children’s lives. The Numeracy Program involves a lot of ‘hands on’ activities, open ended investigations and real life mathematics. Counting and number sense will lay the foundations of your child’s maths learning in future years.
Throughout the term we will also cover: Place Value and counting, Measurement-Time, Data and 2D Shape.
Each Mathematics lesson begins with activities and games designed to teach and practise Mental Strategies such as first counting to 10 then building on to 20, and breaking up numbers to 5.
Below is a list of activities that you can do at home in order to support your child’s Mathematics development:
- Make counting part of your everyday life. For example, count toys, shells at the beach, fruit at the grocery store or trees on the street.
- When you are out and about, encourage your child to compare sizes of stones, bushes and trees, and describe shapes of leaves, colours of flowers or sizes of birds.
- Go for a walk down your street and point out how each house or block has a number in a series. Count the steps between one house and the next.
- Use a growth chart or marks on a wall to measure your child’s growing height, and describe to your child what you’re doing.
- Involve your child in cooking. Your child can help stir, pour, fill and mix. This will help your child learn to count, measure, add and estimate.
In Religious Education, the Prep students are learning about Jesus and that He is our Good Shepherd. The unit title is: Jesus - A Model of Friendship.
We have learnt about our prayer table and prayer space in each classroom, and have been enjoying beginning and ending each school day with our new school prayer and songs. We are learning to make the Sign of the Cross, as well as talking with and listening to God.
The students will learn to retell and explain stories about Jesus, and will begin to interpret stories as examples of how Jesus Christ loves and cares for us. Towards the end of Term 1 we will learn about Holy Week and the Easter Story and present the story of Palm Sunday to the school community.
This term, our Inquiry topic is: St Andrew’s Kids - Inspired by Learning, Faith and Hope.
The Prep students will be learning about themselves, their family, what makes them happy, how to be a good friend and how to express their feelings.
Students will also learn about our classroom, school rules and how behaviour choices make an impact on our safety. The students are learning to explain how our routines in the classroom help us to do our best, as well as how we can create a safe and fun learning environment.
- They will explore the ideas of making friends, working collaboratively with others in a positive way. The students will also investigate the meaning of right and wrong, good and bad choices and the impact on their peers.
Specialist Program News
Ciao a tutti e felice anno nuovo.
Dear Parents, welcome and Happy New Year. May it be a happy and healthy one.
Here are some of the topics we are learning about in Italian this semester. I have included some internet links to enable the students to practise their Italian outside the classroom and to help them grow in confidence and knowledge.
This semester in Prep the focus will be on introducing Italy and the Italian language and developing the students’ speaking and listening skills. They will also learn how to say and respond to simple greetings and questions. They will begin learning the sounds of the alphabet.
Buongiorno - good morning / hello
Ciao - hello / hi, goodbye
Arrivederci - goodbye
A dopo- see you later
The students will also be learning how to express thanks and how to apologise.
Grazie- Thank you
Grazie mille- Thank you very much
Mi scusi- Excuse me.
Perdono- Forgive me
They will also be able to introduce themselves with their name. They will learn to count in Italian from 1- 10 and will be introduced to the colours.During the lessons the students will recycling and deepening their understanding of the new vocabulary by participating in singing songs, playing games, reciting chants, following simple instructions and understanding basic classroom language.
To help your child practise his/her greetings, name, and numbers alphabet and colours, please access the following LINKS :
During Term One in Physical Education, students will be learning how to follow instructions and work as individuals and in small groups. They will participate in a range of individual, partner and small group activities focusing on a number of fine and gross motor skills. Some of these skills include underarm throwing, catching and using small and big objects ( bean bags, tennis balls etc). Additionally, students will have the opportunity to join in before school activities such as running club and skipping. The overall emphasis will be on promoting physical activity through fun, engaging and motivating activities.
Welcome friends to the Prep Art room this year. The children’s focus in art this term will be personal and their art-making will tend to be a representation of the people, places and events they are familiar with. This is the exploratory stage where the senses are in overdrive! They experiment with textas, crayons, oil pastels, paint, playdough and plasticine and many other craft materials. They will continue to practise other skills for example cutting, pasting and collage work. Their observations are simple as they describe what they are creating. Imaginations are active and their representations can be a window into their perceptions and understandings. A delicate balance exists between fostering their creativity and structuring their development of skills in visual conventions.
In these younger years, just as we help children become literate and numerate, we also have a responsibility to help them to express themselves visually. Teaching them how to draw the things they are familiar with - people, animals, cars, houses, plants - provides them with a vehicle to share their stories and ideas before they can even form their letters.
We are looking forward to having lots of fun this term in the Art room.
Mrs. Cathy Bartlett
Hi Prep Families,
My name is Emma Cooper, and I'm new to St Andrew's this year, and very much looking forward to sharing the fun of Performing Arts with your children. The preps have made a wonderful start this week and participated well demonstrating pitch matching, beat, rhythm and movement, using both body percussion and both melodic and non-melodic percussion instruments.
This term we will be focussing on learning musical elements of beat, rhythm, pitch (high/low), dynamics (loud/soft) and tempo, and encouraging children to express how certain pieces of music make them feel. We'll also be covering using voices, facial expressions and bodies to convey a message or feeling, in both dramatic play and movement (dance).
To help your children at home, please play as much music as possible! Get them to clap, tap or dance to the beat. I look forward to watching their Performing Arts abilities grow.
In the morning on Monday, Wednesday and Friday all classes participate in circle time from 8.45 – 9.05am. This is an important time where students engage in activities to build relationships with both their peers and teacher, and learn social-emotional skills to contribute to a positive learning environment within their classroom. Please ensure that your child is on time for school, as these activities are important to their overall experience at school.
Respectful Relationships Curriculum
This week students and class teachers will be diving into the Respectful Relationships Curriculum for Term One. These lessons have a focus on developing the social and emotional skills of students, so that they may grow healthy and positive relationships in a variety of settings.
In particular, this Term the lessons will focus on developing the Emotional Literacy of students. This involves teaching the students to recognise and understand both positive and negative feelings, managing their emotions on a daily basis and empathy for others. In the later part of the Term, students will explore the topic of Personal Strengths and how they can use these strengths i.e. (kindness, persistence and creativity) to benefit their learning, relationships and achievement both at school and at home.
National Day of Action against Bullying
Save the date. Friday 19 March 2021! Our school will Take Action Together with NDA schools across the nation and say #BullyingNoWay #NDA2021
Every week the Prep students will attend the following Specialist programs. These lessons will take place on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Please remind your child to wear their sports uniform and runners on the appropriate day.
Specialist Teachers and Timetable
Italian – Signora White
P.E. – Mr Tyndall
Music - Mrs Cooper
Art - Mrs Bartlett
Monday - Italian and Music
Tuesday - Art and Sport
Tuesday - Library
Monday - Art and Sport
Tuesday - Italian and Music
Thursday - Library
Monday - Music and Art
Tuesday - Sport and Italian
Thursday - Library
Last Thursday, all Prep classes visited the school Library. The students are allowed to borrow one picture book each. Please ensure that these library books are well-looked after at home and returned to school in their library bag by the following Thursday.
Take home books - pouches
Each day, your child will bring home a book in the blue reading pouch. Please ensure that the pouch returns to school each day.
School Uniform and Hat
Please ensure that all items of clothing are clearly marked with your child’s name, preferably in permanent marker.
Meet and Greet
Please note that classrooms are open from 8:30 - 8:45 am for our Meet and Greet time. This is an important time for students to get themselves organised for their day of learning. It also gives students the opportunity to establish and maintain relationships with peers. Please ensure that you arrive during this time to give your child the best possible start each day.
During the middle teaching block, the Prep students will have a Fruit Break to ‘refuel’ on vegetables, salad or fruit and ‘rehydrate’ with water. Please pack something extra in your child’s lunchbox for them to eat during this time. Students who are not hungry and are well hydrated perform better in the classroom and show increased concentration
Wednesday 10th February
Prep Literacy and Numeracy Interviews - No Classes
Wednesday 17th February
Prep Literacy and Numeracy Interviews - No Classes
Wednesday 24th February
Foundation Rest Day- No Classes
Sunday, 28th February -
Staff Commitment, Year 6 Leadership, Blessing of Prep students and Year 5 Buddies
Thursday 4th March
4th March - Parent Helper evening session
Wednesday 23rd March
Community Celebration - Celebration of Learning, Faith & Hope - 5:30 - 7:00 pm
Monday 29th March
3 Way Interviews- All Staff - 10 min
Wednesday 31st March
Twilight Athletics - All Staff - 5.30 - 7pm. End of Term 1.
Thursday 1st April
1st April - PBL Closure Day
How to Contact Us
Rosario Corio: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rosemary Restaino: email@example.com
Louise Pickering: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daniella Polites: email@example.com