JS News: 3 Aug 2022

Another busy week in the Junior School
Another busy week in the Junior School

From Nick Martin – Assistant Head of Junior School Learning 3–6

Nick Martin
Nick Martin

It was another busy week in the Junior School, with students involved in a wide range of experiences. It is amazing to think that we could fit all the following experiences into just one week.

  • Year 1 students visited Tatum Farm
  • Year 6 students visited the National Museum of Australia
  • Pre-K students participated in a Footsteps Dance program
  • Year 6 students participated in sporting programs at UC, Canberra City Gymnastics and the Radford Rowing Shed
  • Year 5 students participated in a program at Sirens Cheer Gym
  • Year 4 students engaged with Olympic Sports at UC
  • Students competed in the Jamie Pearlman and Sue Geh Basketball Cups, as well as the ACT School Futsal Titles
  • We were thoroughly entertained by our talented musicians at the Radford College Winter Concert.
Pre-K Footsteps dance class
Pre-K Footsteps dance class

What a week – and this list doesn’t include all the experiences undertaken within our classrooms this week. Our students certainly are fortunate to have the opportunity to develop themselves through such a wide-ranging collection of experiences. I would like to thank the Junior School staff for their dedication in providing enriching learning for our students.

The Toddle Journal and Learning Summary working together
As an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School offering the Primary Years Programme (PYP), we are committed to a process of constant review and development. Over the past 18 months, we have shared with families a journey of growth in the way that we communicate with families about learning. We have attempted to move away from the traditional ‘end-of-semester report’ being the primary method of reporting and move towards a more personalised and dynamic approach that aligns more closely with learning and teaching in a PYP school.

For an overview of this renewed approach – please enjoy this video summary.

Some of the intentions behind this change have been to:

  • provide families with a window into the feedback their child receives at school during the semester
  • communicate with families when the learning happens, rather than waiting until the end of the semester
  • personalise the feedback to ensure families are aware of what their child can do and how their child could improve, rather than simply a grade against year-level expectations.

In essence, our intention has been to move towards a more student-centred, personalised, and informative approach for families.

Predominantly, the Toddle Journal is the vehicle for achieving this renewed approach to reporting. We have been excited to support families to connect and access their child’s Journal and have been excited to see the engagement increasing throughout the semester. We do have some families who have not yet accessed their child’s Journal. For instructions on how to access Toddle, please see this previous Nexus post: https://nexus.radford.act.edu.au/news/3823

To supplement the ongoing feedback shared through the Journal, during our most recent term break we were delighted to share, for the first time, the Learning Summary. These summaries were shared with families through Nexus. If you have not accessed your child’s Learning Summary – please see this Nexus post for step-by-step instructions: https://nexus.radford.act.edu.au/homepage/2697

The Learning Summary is designed to provide an overall summary of each child. This summary includes a statement from the classroom teacher that describes the child as a learner. These statements aim to value and celebrate the unique strengths and areas for growth of that child. The Learning Summary also provides grades against the Australian Curriculum year-level expectations. These grades are useful for families to understand where their child is achieving, relative to the expectations of the Australian Curriculum. It is important, however, to view these grades together with the rich, specific, ongoing information shared through the child’s Journal. Together, the Journal and the Learning Summary provide a comprehensive summary of each child’s achievement.

Aligned with our ongoing cycle of growth and development, we will continue to reflect and refine our approach to ensure it is as effective as possible. As a school, we welcome feedback from families in relation to how we communicate information about learning, so that we are meeting the needs of our community. Please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher, Nick Martin or Jo O’Brien if you have feedback to share. Thank you, as always, for your ongoing support.