Dear Parents and Carers,
What a joy this week for Year 5 aspiring leaders to present their speeches and to be interviewed for captain and minister roles. We are so proud of them as they grow in self-confidence and motivation to make a difference! The 2024 school leaders will be announced at the end of the Thanksgiving Mass 12.35pm on Tue 12th of December.
2024 Term Dates
Next year schools in Canberra and Goulburn Catholic Education schools will have additional staff professional learning days. Please note the student start and end dates of each term at St Patrick's for next year. In term 2 and 3 our students finish term on a Thursday.
Our Year 6 students have had a busy week this week. They have enjoyed orientation at their Secondary schools, the UOW Future Finder Program, and their Boys and Girls program. Crossfit this week was postponed and will be enjoyed in Week 10 of term.
Ian's feedback to our team last week was very positive, so much so, he was able to take an early mark. Ian was out and about in every classroom and playspace supporting all teachers and staff with their positive interactions with students and ensuring that when an instruction is given, it is followed. It is great to be a BehaveAbility school and get such strong and positive feedback from our coach and mentor.
One school rule we have recently been refocusing on with students is 'Respect, Share, Grow,' with the specific behaviour of respectful language. Some children use language, and make up nicknames for each other or cute names or random names and defend themselves saying 'It was just a joke,' 'They like me calling them that,' 'It's only fun.' The simple rule applies, 'Would I like someone to say that to me or call me by that nickname?'
We teach the students
* if it is not fun or ok for the recipient it is not fun
* if it is disrespectful in tone it is disrespectful
Thank you for speaking with your children about this.
We have learned this week of a very helpful resource to share with families. ‘One Talk at a Time’, is a national campaign against child sexual abuse, launched by the National Office for Child Safety. One Talk at a Time aims to protect young people from sexual abuse by encouraging adults to have ongoing, proactive, preventative conversations. Please take a look here:
Behaviours for Learning - Supporting Students through Intervention
This week I travelled to Canberra to meet with Assistant Principals from the Diocese.
One of our sessions focused on tiered intervention and using data to inform practices.
At St Patrick's we use a multi-tiered system. A multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) is a tiered model of instruction that includes:
- a school-wide, multi-level system of instruction
- high-quality classroom instruction
- universal student screening
- evidence-based interventions provided on a sliding scale of intensity
- continuous, data-based progress monitoring.
High quality, evidence-based Tier 1 instruction is the foundation of MTSS. Tier 1 refers to the instruction that the whole class receives for example our Direct Instruction in English and Maths.
In an MTSS model, all students are screened to determine their capability in reading, spelling, writing and mathematics. The resulting data is used to inform whether students require intervention and for those that do, to tailor the intervention offered.
Tier 2 intervention involves intensifying support for students with knowledge or skill gaps that prevent them from responding to quality Tier 1 instruction. This involves the use of evidence-based instructional practices and empirically validated interventions in a small group setting. At St Patrick's this includes MinLit Sage, MacqLit, CMC and Reading Mastery small group intervention.
Tier 3 is 'intensive' interventions, these interventions support approximately 5% of students who have not responded to Tier 1 and Tier 2 interventions. Students may require Tier 3 or 'intensive' level of supports involving highly individualised interventions to support a tailored learning program. The focus of Tier 3 is to reduce the intensity and complexity of existing individual student’s situations. Tier 3intervention at St Patrick's involves intensive and individualised 1:1 intervention in MinLit Sage, MacqLit, CMC and Reading Mastery.
DIBELS - Assessment & Data to Inform Intervention.
DIBELS was named as the assessment to be used to identify which students require intervention and at which tier.
What are DIBELS?
DIBELS are measures that help teachers and schools determine how students are performing on important reading skills. DIBELS stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. These measures are designed for students in grades K-8.
What skills are measured by DIBELS and why are they important?
The critical skills necessary for successful beginning reading include: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The DIBELS measures assess students on four of these five critical skills, which are often referred to as the “Big Ideas” of reading.
Which tests will be given to my child?
Each student will complete the tests depending on his or her grade and the time of year.
How often are students assessed?
All students in a school building are given the DIBELS test three times each year. This school-wide testing is called benchmark assessment. School personnel may also regularly check on the progress of students who receive reading intervention to make sure their reading skills are improving. These regular checks are called progress monitoring. Students who are progress monitored may complete one or two of the individual DIBELS tests as often as once a week or as little as once every 6 weeks depending on school resources and the needs of the student.
Dates to remember
Week 8 Chapel Mass 9:15am- 5/6R (Families welcome)
Tuesday 12th December- Thanksgiving Mass 12:35pm
Thursday 14th December- Year 6 graduation 6:00pm
St Vincent De Paul Christmas appeal
Every year, the St Vincent De Paul society works tirelessly to help those in need. At St Pat's, we support the amazing work they do by collecting items to create hampers for those who need support at Christmas.
Our Christmas tree is up and baskets are beneath, ready for donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries. Donations will be accepted up until our Thanksgiving Mass on Tuesday 12th December.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, students from Year 6 attending the 'In2Uni' day, run by the University of Wollongong. THis is a highly engaging day that provides students with taster sessions of university courses. Our Year 6 students participated in a range of activities, meeting learning outcomes from Science, History and STEM. It was a fun and worthwhile day for everyone.
During the last few weeks the Junior primary students have been busily building robots.
They followed a process:
1. Draw a robot
2. List what materials they would need, and finally
3. Construct their robot.
If mess equals fun, we had a lot of fun! And we learnt quite a bit about construction as well.
Here are some of our finished products.
With representative sport for 2023 finished, this years honour roll has been completed. The honour roll is for students from all schools in our Archdiocese. Schools who have students selected in a MacKillop Team were sent certificates this week. Drew Duncan was presented with his certificate at yesterday mornings assembly. Drew was selected in the MacKillop U12 rugby league team. This is the second time Drew has received this award.
A reminder the preferred method of payment is BPAY. The new BPAY details are listed on your monthly statement.
BPAY payments can be made via a lump sum or a weekly/fortnightly payment plan can be set up. Payments made in instalments (that don’t cover fees in full before the due date) must be arranged and approved by the school. Please contact the Office on 6492 5500 if you need to make an instalment arrangement.
If you are currently experiencing financial difficulties, please make contact with the school office. Please remember that if we don’t know your circumstances, we are not in a position to provide assistance. Applications for fee concessions are managed by the Principal in a confidential and sensitive nature.