Prep and Year Two Zoo Excursion
The Preps and Year Two's went to the Melbourne Zoo on Monday to take part in the Fighting Extinction Program. The children have been learning how to take care of God's Creations by understanding how to maintain animal habitats for the future. We were lucky to have amazing winter weather and a lot of willing parent helpers. The children explored animal habitats in the Learning Space with Zoo Staff and even got to meet and touch some special animals. We explored the Zoo and looked at the animals, their habitats, how they move, how they eat and how we can help them survive. Check out some photos below! Thanks to the parent helpers who took time out of their day to meet us there and help. We really appreciate it!
Learning Street Update
New toys have been purchased for Learning Street and have been in use most of Term Two. We have a variety of food, kitchen pots and pans, tea sets, dolls, baby baths, lawn mowers, shopping trolleys, table and chairs and a BBQ, just to name a few! Another new addition this week was some costumes. We are averaging between 20-30 students in Learning Street on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It is a great play space for children that encourages imaginative play.
MATHEMATICS AT GALILEE
Personalising Student Learning in Mathematics
Last week, I wrote about personalised learning in Mathematics in the Junior classrooms, where teachers target individual learners at their points of need, supporting each of them to meet their personal learning goals in Mathematics. The principles of differentiating for individual learners apply in every year level. This week, I am focussing on the Senior school. In Years 4-6, in the same way that teachers in the Junior years work, our teachers use their knowledge, skills, experience and a range of teaching strategies to develop each child’s mathematical knowledge. Students work as a whole class, in groups or individually to meet learning goals and have success in their learning each day.
Professional Learning for Teachers in Mathematics
Our teachers regularly participate in professional development and find new ways to enrich the learning of their students. Along with professional learning days which occur during school hours, teachers often participate in professional learning in their own time. Last Saturday, a group of six teachers from Galilee participated in a very interesting and informative Mathematics conference at Australian Catholic University. Many thanks for your dedication to Miss Biggs, Mrs Petrarca, Miss Burke, Miss Bamford and Miss Bland (student teacher), who accompanied me to the conference. We participated in a variety of workshops - including such topics as Fewer Rules without Meaning; Creating a Culture of Effort in the Mathematics Classroom; Literature in the Maths Classroom; and Using Technology in Mathematics - which have given us an abundance of exciting and relevant ideas to improve our teaching. Ideas and learning from the conference are being shared with the rest of the staff.
School Banking Opportunity
Galilee has recently been approached by CBA (Commonwealth Bank of Australia) regarding their school banking programme. As financial literacy is an important part of every child’s education, and it is commonly agreed that starting a savings programme at a young age sets children up with good habits for the future, we are surveying the level of parent interest in this programme within our school community. Please respond to the letter on CareMonkey to let us know if your child/ren are interested in participating in the CBA School Banking programme, and whether you would be willing to volunteer to help to facilitate the programme at our school. Time commitment would be approximately one hour per week. To proceed with the programme, we would require one to two parents to coordinate the programme, and a minimum of thirty children to participate.
In participating primary schools nationally, children who deposit their money into their Youthsaver account through School Banking earn Dollarmite tokens which they can redeem for exciting rewards. CommBank provides schools participating in the program with fundraising support through a School Banking Contributions Program. In 2017 participating schools received a share of over $2.2 million. You can find out more about the School Banking program at commbank.com.au/schoolbanking.
After the negative publicity CBA has recently received regarding their Dollarmites school banking programme, I researched whether other banks might provide a similar service. This does not appear to be the case, though many other banks do provide banking opportunities for children outside of school. You can follow this link to see what various banks offer: https://www.finder.com.au/childrens-banking-programs-in-australia.
This article gives another perspective about banking with CBA through their Dollarmites programme, to help you to make an informed decision about the programme: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-13/choice-leads-charge-to-keep-bank-cba-out-of-primary-schools/9047648
Annual Report to the Community - Learning and Teaching Sphere
Some of our achievements in this sphere include:
2017 saw the introduction of an eLearning Leader and a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) Leader.
Introduction of Performing Arts, as a specialist class, catering for different learning styles and interests of our students across the school.
Staff implemented the use of Learning Intentions and Success Criteria to personalise learning for all students.
Purchase of Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) Reading
CAFE Reading and Daily 5 was introduced in Prep-2 classes.
Introduction of Learning Framework in Number (LFIN).
A Number Intervention Leader was appointed and worked collaboratively with the Mathematics Leader. Both leaders attended professional development in the area of Number.
The Learning Support Officers were trained in Number Intervention and timetabled to work with needs-based groups in a variety of year levels.
Science with an Aboriginal Perspective!
On Monday, June 25, the Jollybops Science Show is coming to Galilee to present science shows for all our children in Prep-2, Years 3-4 and Years 5-6. The show aims to bring science alive through exciting, stimulating and interactive science demonstrations.
The focus of our day will be ‘Science with an Aboriginal Perspective – Flight, Fire and Sound’, and will be a part of supporting our Reconciliation and NAIDOC celebrations. The shows will highlight Aboriginal Technology and Discovery. The achievements of David Uniapon, the Aborginal man on our $50 note, as well as how the Boomerang flies so well, are just a couple of things we will look at on the day.
Learning Support at Galilee!
As many of you are aware, we are very fortunate to have a variety of programmes running in the school aimed at assisting students with specific areas of learning. Some students are supported by intervention specialist teachers, through Reading Recovery and Number Intervention. Others work with Learning Support Officers in Spelling, Reading, Number, Speech-Language Development, English as an Additional Language and Social-Emotional skills.
Our Learning Support Officers (LSOs) – Sharon, Maree, Tegan, Rosa and Pauline – support our students daily in a variety of ways. Each of our LSOs is well-qualified and has particular experience and expertise in various areas. For example, Maree, Rosa and Pauline have participated in training in Number Intervention; Sharon, Maree, Rosa and Pauline have completed training in Guided Reading. Sharon has had a great deal of experience with children requiring support with social skills, such as communication, getting along, resilience and so on, and is currently studying counselling. Maree has studied the Spaulding Method of learning Literacy. Each of our LSOs is working with various children on developing specific academic skills and emotional capabilities that all young people need to acquire in order to be successful in school, to experience well-being and to have positive relationships.
Our specialised Number support programme has been running since last year and has led to marked improvements in Maths for a number of children. LSOs have been working with children in developing Literacy skills for many years; this year, we are formalising our reading programme, so that our LSOs have a structured and consistent approach to Guided Reading, in the same way that they support the children in Number.
As well, we have been working on a social-emotional programme wherein our LSOs support particular children in the area of Personal and Social-Emotional Learning (PSEL). In these sessions, the children develop skills which will help them to thrive in school, through game-playing and interaction with their peers, in the same way that PSEL classes take place in classrooms, but targeting particular skills. For instance, for the remainder of Term 2, the sessions will focus on communication skills: listening, responding appropriately, tracking the speaker, and so on.
As often as possible, the particular intervention session will take place while the class is participating in a lesson in the same subject. For instance, Number Intervention usually takes place during Maths lessons, and Social-Emotional sessions take place while the class is learning about Personal and Social-Emotional skills.
We have trialled the new LSO programmes for several weeks this term and have noted the children’s focus, enthusiasm, enjoyment and willingness to learn in the small group setting. We look forward to obtaining feedback from parents, teachers and students as to the success of our programmes, so that we can improve them over time. If you have any queries about our Learning Support initiatives, please feel free to contact me at any time, either at the email address below or by phoning the school.