Dear Parents and Carers,
This week the Rainbow Room has been very busy with a higher number of our students than usual being unwell. Thank you for your support in collecting your children promptly when the school calls. Please be aware that that there has been a prevalence of headaches and nausea, if your child lets you know they are feeling unwell please keep them home. If your child has cold and flu like symptoms please take them for a covid test and they can return to school when they are well and have a negative test.
Around the Classrooms
This morning I visited all the classes between 9.10-9.30 and took a picture. This is what was happening at St Pat's this morning....
Have you ever been on a picnic without food? This week Kinder had a book and reading picnic on the grass. It was great to share their joy of reading at the picnic.
I came across this quote during the week and thought it was worth sharing. The answer to 'How are you?' seems increasingly to have become 'Busy!' It is worth reflecting on 'Busy with what?' Perhaps on the weekend there may be an opportunity to consider what is taking our time and to decide to stop doing some of the things that don't matter as much in order to do more of the things that do!
Assessment of Reading at St Pat's
- Our classroom teachers are assessing student's reading over the next few weeks. These assessments give teachers opportunity to observe student reading noting strategies they are using and understanding of the text read. As assessment occurs termly it enables teachers to focus on student progress.
- Year 3-6 conduct PM Benchmarking via Running Records
- Year 2 students will complete a DIBEL's test that observes Oral Reading Fluency and Word Reading Fluency
- Year 1 students will complete a Phonics Sreening Check
- Kindergarten students will complete a DIBEL's test that observes Letter Naming Fluency and Phonemic Segmentation Fluency
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.
Over the next few weeks our Year 1 students will be participating in a Phonics screening Check.
What is phonics?
Phonics is the relationship between letters and sounds and is vital in learning to read. Some children struggle with learning to read so it is important that these children are identified quickly so teachers can plan for any specific support they may need.
What is the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check?
The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is a short, quick assessment that tells teachers how your child is progressing in phonics. Your child will sit with the class teacher and will be asked to read 40 words aloud. These words include 20 real words and 20 nonsense words. The test normally takes a few minutes. If your child is struggling the teacher will stop the check. The check is carefully designed not to be stressful for your child.
Why use nonsense words?
The assessment includes pseudo or nonsense words to see if the student is able to use their knowledge of blending to read a word rather than their memory of having seen that word before.
Children need frequent opportunities to practise and apply their developing phonics knowledge and skills. You may like to try some of the following activities at home with your child:
- Encourage your child to play games with letters such as bingo, snap or scrabble. Support them to say the correct sound represented by individual letters and different letter combinations.
- Practise blending the sounds in simple, one syllable words together. For example, by first pointing to each letter in the word cat and saying each individual sound ‘c-a-t’, then reading again by blending all the sounds
- together ‘caaaaat’, and finally reading the word nice and fast ‘cat’. When your child is confident with blending 3 letters together, support them to blend and read 4 letter words like frog (f-r-o-g, fffrrrog, frog).
- Model being a word detective and point out special letter patterns found when reading with your child. For example words with a ‘ch’ sound on the end are sometimes spelt with the letters tch, like the words match, catch and hatch.
- Support your child’s reading success by providing them with plenty of opportunities to practise their phonics knowledge and blending skills by reading decodable books together. Decodable books are written using words with letters that your child has learnt. Ask your child’s teacher to suggest decodable books with the correct phonics focus for your child.
- When reading books encourage your child to look at the words and ‘sound out’ any unfamiliar words, blending those sounds together, from left to right, to read the word. This is the best strategy and more helpful than looking at the pictures to guess the meaning.
Some tips for home reading
- Establish a home reading routine. Read aloud with your children everyday. Ten minutes for each child around a book of his/her choice. If English is your second language, read in your home language. If you lack confidence in reading aloud, the fact that you are reading with your child is what matters. Talk about the illustrations and contribute where you can. Share your excitement for reading and this will be the model your child will adopt.
- The reader holds the book! There is a lot of power and control in the world of reading. The reader needs to have the power.
- During home reading time, turn off electronic devices and give each child ten minutes of your undivided attention.
- Before you read a book, set your child up for success. Reading is not a test! Reading time is only ten minutes so do some of the following: Keep the introduction short – one minute is enough. Talk about the illustrations and the title. Read the blurb and talk about the author, talk about any unusual words, read a page here and there as your child flicks through the book, discuss the characters. This is a short introduction, not an interrogation. If the book is already a familiar one, then this step is unnecessary.
- If reading time is stressful, move the reading to a new location. Instead of sitting at the kitchen bench, move to the lounge room floor, or go outside and sit under a tree or take the books to the local coffee shop.
- Find a reading time that works for your family. Limit the time and set the timer if reading in the past has always been difficult. It is better to have an enjoyable 10 minutes than a laborious 30 minutes where everyone is left feeling frustrated.
- At the end of the 10 minutes, ask questions that encourage discussion, for example: What was your favourite part? Tell me about the characters. What do you think will happen next? What did you think about that setting? What do like/ dislike about this book? There is no need to interrogate the reader. Make it a conversation as you would in a book club.
- Encourage your child to read independently. A bedside light is one of the best enticements for your child to read before going to sleep. After the 10 minutes of reading with you, the child can elect to continue reading independently.
- The less you interrupt the 10 minutes of reading, the more you are supporting the readers independence, resilience and confidence. Zip your lips, monitor the miscues, and listen as your child reads.
- Avoid judging your child’s reading with words such as: ‘good’, ‘excellent’ or ‘getting better’. Instead say things about the strategies your child uses when reading such as: ‘I like how you read on when you came to that difficult word.’ ‘I like how you changed your voice to be the voice of the character in the story’. ‘I noticed that you reread the bit that did not make sense.’
- If you child is reading independently and has reached the level of chapter books, it is not necessary for you to read aloud together any more. Your job is done. That is not to say, you cannot continue to share reading time because it is what you love to do as a family or that you sit and read silently together or that you talk about the books your child is reading because you are interested in his reading choices. Readers read differently in their heads as compared to reading aloud.
- Visit the local library — make it a family ritual on a set day every week. Let your children select their books while you select books you are interested in reading. Not every book has to be read cover to cover. Your child might select books based on illustrations or factual information about a topic of interest.
- Independent readers pick and choose what they read. They are entitled to read some and reject others. They are entitled to not complete books because they are boring. Readers make choices.
- Model what it means to be an enthusiastic reader. Create a home of readers where everyone reads – It is just what we do in this house! Talk about what you have read. Read aloud what makes you laugh and share it with your child.
Week 4 Classroom visit & Chapel Mass - 1/2M
Feast of St Mary of the Cross - Sunday 8th August
Jersey for Noa Day - Friday 13th August
Feast of the Assumption - Sunday 15th August
Breakfast Toast Club
Next week St Pat’s will start our Breakfast Toast Club with a two week trial.
We hope to create a two week roster of supporting helpers with one parent/family helping Mrs Grant each morning from 8:30-8:50am.
The preparation will take place in the school hall kitchen and we will follow all COVID safe practices (which is why we can only have one parent/family supporting each morning).
If you and your child/children are available to be one of the ten rostered families please contact Mrs Grant at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are grateful to Bakers Delight Bega and Woolworths Bega for their generous donations of bread and spreads for our Breakfast Toast Club.
Parents, or teachers in consultation with parents, will nominate students for the Breakfast Toast Club. If parents have any questions or concerns about participation, they can contact Mrs Grant.
Intensive Learning Support Program
Mrs Guthrie and Mrs Tomlinson are continuing to support students through the MacqLit and Reading Tutor programs in Term 3.
Over the next few weeks I will be working with students and teachers to revise learning goals in Personalised Plans. Parents of students on a Personalised Plan will recieve an updated copy by the end of Week 6.
Mindfulness Challenge: See if this week you can look at both sides of a situation and listen to other people’s ideas.
A picture book that shows open-mindedness is called “Duck! Rabbit!” by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld and a movie is called “The Iron Giant” (PG)
Our Peer Mediators are now volunteers and are assisting on the junior playground every break time five days a week. I am very impressed with their enthusiasm to build their leadership skills.
NEWS ON LOCATION
News on Locations is a tri weekly news broadcast keeping students informed about what is happening at St Pats. Isobel, Nate and Ella were our first Media crew and now we are opening up spaces for senior students to volunteer to read the news or film. You can see these broadcasts though seesaw in activities. Listen on Monday, Tuesday and Fridays.
Today three students were videoed on a greenscreen for our SHINE ONLINE virtual concert. If you child has a talent in the Creative Arts and would like to share this talent with the St Pats Community please let Ms Spicer know.
Today the two Passion Clubs will begin and run till the end of term. The CIRCUIT PASSION CLUB led by Ella, Isobel, Brooke and Alisha will be held on the grass in the Junior playground. Also the BALLET PASSION CLUB will be held in the Library today for those students who love to express themselves through dance.
Term 3 school fees have been sent to families.
Thank you to the families who have paid their term 3 fees.
Term 3 fees are due 20 August 2021, except those with direct debit arrangements.
If at any time your family is experiencing financial hardship due to Covid-19 or any other reason or your family is in need of other support, please contact the school to make a time for a confidential meeting with our Principal, Jo Scott-Pegum to discuss how the school can help support your family.