Wrapping up Term 1...
It's hard to believe that this is our final newsletter for term 1! It feels like only yesterday that I was welcoming you all to a brand new year! We've had a huge term, with plenty of celebrations and challenges. The challenges we are facing as a nation, and as members of the global community at the moment are unprecedented and I am so proud of the resilience and positive attitude shown by all of the Senior Students at PSPS. We are staying informed through programs such as 'Behind The News' and are thinking about practical steps we can take to keep ourselves and our loved ones as safe and healthy as possible.
Learning never stops at PSPS! In our Year 6 classrooms at the moment (and as a schoolwide focus) we are examining the Persuasive writing genre. This is always a favourite writing style, as students get to 'argue' their point of view in the classroom without getting told off! Using emotive language and making sure we are backing up our points of view with strong evidence is a big focus for our Year 6 writers. We've also been looking at how advertisers use 'tricks' to persuade us - there are some fabulous YouTube clips about this. Ask your child to show you one that they have looked at in class.
I absolutely love walking around our classrooms during our Reading sessions - to see so many students engrossed in reading so many different styles of text truly is a pleasure. Students are getting very detailed when asked about the learning intention of their reading session each day and they are really starting to see how the lessons taught by their teacher relate to the real world reading that they are doing. Literature Circles are a great way for our competent readers to really analyse a book and have a discussion with a peer group who have all read the same text. Listening to students run these sessions and how they all play a role in contributing to the deep analysis of their text is astounding - the vocabulary they use, the maturity with which they discuss their points of view.... WOW!!!
A favourite 'perk' of being in Year 6 is having a staff buddy. Throughout the year, students get together with their teacher buddy and share breakfast, catch up with them for lunch or spend some time helping out in their classroom. This is a fabulous initiative at Pakenham Springs, as it helps to develop a special relationship with a teacher outside of their class. Care is taken to match students and buddies to hopefully get a common interest or similar personality. We hope that having an additional staff member to go to if they have any concerns will help our students really feel a connection with our school - there is always someone at school who cares and who is ready to listen. We celebrated our first organised Buddy Breakfast last week - with the sausages and drinks going down a treat! Thanks to everyone who helped set up, cook and serve.
I was super proud of the way our Senior Students represented PSPS last week at the Summer Lightning Premiership inter-school sports competition. Competing in basketball, cricket, softball, volleyball and tennis, our students displayed the 3R's at all times and we received compliments from other schools about the good sportsmanship of many of our players.
Thank you to Mr Holmes, Mr Davie and all Year 6 teachers for helping this run so well.
This week our Senior Students have also taken part in the Undoukai festival. From running in giant pants to rolling a giant ball, the laughs were in plentiful supply! By celebrating Undoukai, we are aiming to emphasise the importance of a harmonious relationships between people of all cultures and backgrounds. Linked in with Harmony Week, diversity, tolerance and understanding are traits we want to develop in all members of the school community.
Finally, this week all students, staff and parents had the opportunity to hear from Martin Heppell from The Resilience Project. This is an initiative that I am extremely excited about - mental health, wellbeing and happiness in young people is a huge concern in the world at the moment. I hope everyone who took up this opportunity learnt a lot from Martin and is willing to put it into practice over the next 3 terms as we work together as a school community to tackle this increasing social issue.
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and safe holiday break - spend some quality time relaxing with loved ones. We will see you all back at school On Wednesday April 15th for the beginning of a busy and exciting Term 2!
Assistant Principal (Senior School)