JS News 14 February

Paul Southwell, Head of Junior School

Paul Southwell, Head of Junior School

Dates to Remember

Fri 16 Feb

P&F Welcome BBQ

Wed 21 Feb

JS Photo Day

Thu 22 Feb

Reading Challenge Outcome

Following the first week of our 2018 year, I can comfortably send you all a warm welcome, and welcome back!

I particularly want to thank our staff and builders who have been working hard in preparation for the start of this year. New school buildings are always a challenge, but we have been fortunate to have a supportive group to work with. Our staff have also been involved in moving 16 classrooms, four staff rooms, upgrading two other staff areas, awaiting new furniture, and preparing a new playground, in addition to ensuring we were ready for our teaching and learning on Day One.

I want to thank them for the manner in which this has occurred. I also must thank our families for your wonderful support as we opened for the year.
We have welcomed a significant number of new students into our Junior School, or into new sections of our Junior School. The response from our students, families and staff has shown us what a team we all are. 

Now that we have started, I can update you further.

Buildings and programs

  • Year 4 are enjoying both wonderful new classrooms and inquiry spaces and also magnificent views and classroom design and space
  • The Undercroft area below Year 4 should be accessible around 19 February. This area will allow us approximately 360 square metres of indoor play space at recess and lunchtime, PE teaching areas, a place for us to hold whole Junior School Assemblies for the first time, as well as Outside School Hours Care
  • Our hardcourt area outside the Undercroft will allow a significant area for play and PE classes. Shade, and ball game markings, are being organised now that we can access and use the area
  • Our Kindergarten classrooms and furnishings reflect a strong sense of PYP Inquiry
  • Our Early Years playground near the Kindergarten Red Rooms is taking shape. Tinkering areas mix with climbing and clambering as well as our new “Bathurst” style tricycle track. A mist garden is on the horizon to supplement our massive sand pit
  • As I mentioned 16 classrooms have moved, allowing us to add new furniture to our Inquiry Spaces in particular, increasing our development of how we teach in such areas. Additionally, supporting a tinkering, maker space as well. Places for student talk and group and team growth
  • Our ELC is truly a Centre for the first time
  • Our Year 5 and 6 staff are located closer to our 5 and 6 play area

With all this happening, the thing that struck me most during our first week was how well we focused upon retaining and building our combined sense of belonging.

In the weeks leading up to our start, our staff have been working and focusing upon team, upon faces( putting faces on data, making it personal), upon community and belonging.

In particular this year we are challenging ourselves to work as teams to better engage the whole child. We are seeking to sequence our learning by firstly igniting curiosity and establishing intentions and criteria for success, then supporting student exploration, grouping, conferring and coaching individuals, before final sharing, reflecting and looking to next steps. This allows us to better expose our students to sharp explicit sessions, flowing to individual exploration and development before reflecting for understanding.

I am excited by how we can bring our teaching to best meet our learning spaces and student capacity.

Reading Challenge

I have been overwhelmed by the involvement across the Junior School, but particularly from our younger years. It’s not too late to send photos to our Padlet if you wish to be included in the book we will produce this year.

Families should have received news from me earlier this week surrounding arrangements for our Colour Run on 22 February. Not looking forward to that!

Swim Carnivals and Beach and Boardies

To better support a more personalised Swim day we have split our sessions as follows.

  • Beach and Boardies will be held at School for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students on Tuesday 6 March
  • Years 1 and 2 students will be enjoying a swim and water challenge day on Monday 19 March
  • Years 3–6 (plus age appropriate Year 2s) will be involved in our formal Swimming Carnival, including competition for Regional places, on Tuesday 6 March.

Further reminder about morning drop off

Junior School staff do not commence yard duty until 8.15 am, so a friendly reminder that no students should be dropped off and left unsupervised by their parents before 8.15 am.

Parents arriving with their child before 8.15 am must wait under cover outside the Junior School Library until the duty teacher takes responsibility.

If our staff see unsupervised children around the Junior School before 8.15 am, they will take them to our Before School Care (BSC) program and the charge will be added to the student's account.

To make a BSC booking, complete the 2018 enrolment form and email it to afters@radford.act.edu.au 

There are two different session fees (detailed below), both of which can be made as permanent bookings (via email), or as casual drop-ins as needed.

BSC Early – Drop off between 7.15–8 am, includes breakfast, $15 fee
BSC Late – Drop off after 8 am, no breakfast, $11 fee

BSC caters for Junior School children from Pre-K to Year 6. Breakfast is served from 7.15 am until 8 am and include a range of cereals, yoghurt, toast and fruit.

BSC for all children is located in the ELC Piazza and playground. Sign in will be at the front bench on the right, as you walk into the ELC. Age appropriate activities will be available to all children and those in Years K – 6 will be taken to the Junior School in plenty of time to get settled before morning lessons.

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