Resilience week at Pakenham Springs!
Hello again and welcome back to Week 8!
I can't believe that it's only one week to go now until the end of term and holidays are upon us! Thank you all for your queries regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic and our school response. As outlined on Compass, as a Government School, we will continue to follow the guidelines put in place for us by the state government. We are getting updates daily, and these will be communicated with the school community where necessary.
However, in light of everything taking place around us, this fortnight has been a particularly exciting one for us at Pakenham Springs! The highlight has undoubtedly been the launch of The Resilience Project, and all of our presentations. Martin Heppell has been our presenter and on Monday evening spoke to our staff about the importance of taking care of ourselves, promoting awareness of mental health and the virtues of embedding gratitude, empathy and mindfulness into our lives and our teaching programs.
The session was very well received and Martin's message seemed to really strike a chord, just as it did in our student sessions on Tuesday. Students were captivated by Martin and his theatrics, but the message was loud and clear; if we can demonstrate gratitude for what we have, empathy and kindness towards those around us, and remain mindful at all times, then we will be happier individually and collectively. A message he suggested was particularly important in these challenging times.
On Thursday evening, it was the parent's turn, a session which again appeared to be very well received, both by those who attended in person and those who tuned in from home. This session really focused in on how, as parents, we can develop resilient children and do so through promoting gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. There were some really practical ideas and strategies to do so, and if you haven't had a chance to watch the video, I would strongly encourage you to log in to the Pakenham Springs Primary School Facebook page and do so over the weekend before the video is taken down.
Now that the presentations have finished, the learning begins in the classroom. As part of The Resilience Project program, students and teachers have workbooks to support a program that explicitly teaches gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. There is a sequence of 30 lessons that will take place weekly as of Term Two, the first thing on a Monday morning.
Our teaching and learning programs have remained in full swing around The Resilience Project right across the school and it has been wonderful to get into classrooms to discuss and share in much of the learning that has been happening. Right across the school, there has been a focus on persuasive writing, and this has been interesting for two reasons: 1. It gives you an insight as to issues that are important for our students and what is dear to them, and 2. You get to see how persuasive they can truly be when they put their mind to it! Students typically love persuasive writing and this has certainly been the case when I have been in classrooms. There has been no shortage of letters informing us of what we need to bring into, or change about the school!
During reading sessions, there has also typically been a focus on reading persuasive texts to identify the different features of these, what the author has done effectively, whilst also applying some of the 10 reading comprehension strategies that we have at Pakenham Springs. If you are not sure what these are, try asking your children - see how many they can remember!
In Numeracy, at this early stage of the year, there is typically a focus in the Junior School on numbers, counting and skip-counting, and place-value. This is exploring the different place-value columns (hundreds, tens and ones), and how the value of a digit varies depending on where it appears. For example, the 2 in the number 26 has a value of 20, not 2 as it would in the number 12. Students have been busy bundling sticks into groups of ten to help them model larger numbers and develop their understanding of the place-value system.
As we head into the holiday period, I urge everybody to keep safe. Certainly, the current situation with regard to COVID-19 is not like anything that any of us have experienced before. But whilst looking after family and loved ones and ensuring we have everything that we need, make sure that we also look out for others around you. As Martin said during his sessions this week, 'we will get through this if we work together'. Never has a truer word been spoken.
So until next term, take care Springers.
Assistant Principal (Junior School)