Welcome back everyone! I hope you enjoyed the break from school routine and were able to recharge the batteries, ready to launch into Term 4. We have another busy term ahead with an array of learning opportunities and experiences planned that includes our Concert, Solar Challenge, Physical Education Week, Years 3 /4 Camp, Prep -2 swimming, Year Six Graduation celebrations, just to mention a few. All of this happens concurrently with the regular business of teaching and learning and professional development of staff. We are looking forward to the weeks ahead with great enthusiasm.
The new playground equipment has arrived and by the feedback from the students it is a raging success. As I mentioned at assembly on Monday this equipment has been solely funded through fundraising over previous years. It is always wonderful to actually see students reaping the benefits of the hard-earned funds raised by the school community.
The change to the morning bell time to 8.50 am is having a positive impact, students are entering their classrooms having time to get organised for their busy day ahead and in many cases are able to have some quiet reading time. Thank you for your support with this.
It is rapidly approaching the time of year when teachers start the formal process of student placement for the following year. However, in reality student placement decisions are shaped during the entire year as teachers observe and listen to students in relation to their wellbeing and learning needs.
Student placement decisions are not made lightly, as we recognise the importance of creating an optimum learning environment. It is an extremely complex process to ensure that we have a balance and appropriate spread of ability, gender and social dynamics to promote learning and support all our students.
Classroom teachers and specialist teachers are very well-aware of friendship groups and the dynamics within the classes which either enhance or impede the classroom climate. Teachers will use their extensive knowledge of how students interact and relate to each other when placing students.
We want to reassure all families that the teachers will be ensuring each student is placed in a class with other students with whom they are familiar (but perhaps not best friends with) and are able to build positive relationships to assist with their continued learning. All students are given the opportunity to nominate a selection of friends that they would be happy to be with next year. This process reinforces our values of building relationships and resilience in our students.
We also wish to remind families that in the lead up to the end of the year, through our transition sessions and Meet the Teacher session, students will have opportunities to mix and interact with other students in their year level, but in a different class.
Throughout the entire year, students have had many opportunities to develop relationships with students in their year level. Examples of these include: Interschool Sport, PE, Athletics Days, Cross Country Days, Camps, Excursions, Incursions, Japanese Day, Hoop Time, OSHC, mixed class groups rotating through integrated curriculum activities and classrooms where teachers are able to open the doors to create a larger learning environment incorporating classes.
At the beginning of next year, through classroom activities, students will be supported and encouraged to form new friendships and develop positive working relationships with students in their class to develop a supportive and nurturing learning environment for all.
We will be retaining our practice of accepting written information from parents regarding any specific learning needs which need to be taken into consideration when placing their child. However, we are not able to take requests for children to be placed together based on friendships or requests for certain teachers as there will be some staffing changes for 2019 as there are in any given year. Teachers are sensitive to students with friendship concerns, and we ask that you trust your child’s teacher along with past teachers and specialists to make the correct decision on their behalf.
Should you wish to alert us to other learning related concerns, please put this in an email to myself [email protected]. If you prefer to write your concerns in a letter, please ensure it is in an envelope marked ‘Confidential’ and sent to me by Friday 2nd November 2018. Letters and emails received after this date cannot be accepted due to the commencement of our process.
Please remember and accept that, whilst parent concerns are noted, there is no guarantee that these concerns can be accommodated through the class placement process. You will receive a letter of confirmation that this request has been received. All confirmations will be sent by Friday 10th November.
The SSPS staff would like to thank you in advance for your trust in our professionalism and our ability to create the best learning environment for your child and all our students.
Just an early reminder to our Year Six families that our next working bee is Sunday 21st October from 9 to 11 am. It would be great to get as many families attending as possible.
Finally, we have Solar Challenge on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st October at Scienceworks. The teams have been working extremely hard over a number of months to prepare for this challenge. Mrs Giannone-Perri and Mr Tait have been assisting Mr Ian Gardner. Mr Gardner has volunteered his invaluable knowledge and skills to support our teams entering the competition over many years. On behalf of the school community I wish all students competing all the very best.
Enjoy your fortnight ahead