Welcome back to Term 4 - CIVILISATION

 
Our focus for the next semester is Curriculum: Teaching and Learning.
 
We welcome new teachers – Rebecca and Brooke – as well as teaching support: Nathan, Richard, Tash.
 
 
Academic Reports – goal setting
We have sent out all primary school reports – you should have received these.  They take a LOT of organising and I congratulate our teachers but especially Gabi on her incredible tech support and production.
 
As happened last year, we start the semester with the high school students reviewing their reports – and then we send them home.  We do this for a few reasons: it seems bizarre to send out reports and then have two-weeks away so everything is forgotten; we can address any qualms with the students to take some pressure off the ‘reporting’ process; and we can use these reports to set academic goals.  All students will receive their reports as part of our Challenge Week (Challenge week commences our new semester – so be aware there are actually seven weeks in our next term).
 
Teaching/Learning Curriculum focus: Progressive Learning
We have been working on our curriculum programming with our own bespoke tools.  We have created a new programme builder for all teachers.  This allows teachers to electronically submit their programs and they can then update as they go – with the intention of ‘working smarter not harder’.  We see progressive learning as the intentional design of curriculum across the full K-13 years – the progression of learning within a school.  This is our goal – and with our new systems it is moving with pace.
 
Our PD Day at the end of last term, was focused on learning support and needs – with a great session from the AISNSW.
 
Organisation Refinements – Who does What?
We have designated roles to streamline any bottle-necks.  
 
Administration and Management
For any operational matters, please contact Jane Hughes
For any wellness matters, please contact Bhavni Stewart 
For any primary curriculum matters, please contact Annie Roberts
For any high school curriculum matters, please contact Cheryl Stephens
 
Our front of house reception support is as follows:
Bec White – systems coordination and all things to everyone
Claudia Darvill – front of house and all round hero
JayDea Lopez – enrolments and well-rounded character!
Gabi Folan – data coordinator and reception
Travis Paterson – student data and SmartSchool coordination
 
Learning Guides
We are also designating and growing leadership roles around learning behaviours and expectations – these positions work to be a level above the teacher/guardian space – and will work closely with our Advocate (Sara Torpey). The emphasis is to ensure our learners are committed to a love of learning and kindness, based around our VAST universal qualities of success.  We have been meeting over the course of last term on a fortnightly basis – and we are working with a psychologist to unpack and define our collective efficacy.
 
These positions currently are:
Primary – Tori Ambler
Middle School – Jonny Wouters
High School – Cheryl Stephens
Advocate – Sara Torpey

Guardian Teachers
Kindy – Annie Roberts
Year 1 – Sarah Ross
Year 2 – Tori Ambler
Year 3 – Charlotte Pritchard
Year 4 – Ant Lewry
Year 5 – Adam Felton
Year 6 – Emma Wilson
Year 7 – Mitchell Beggs
Year 8 – Jonny Wouters
Year 9 – Brooke Gregory (our new English, HSIE and PDHPE teacher)
Year 10 – Sammy Robinson
Year 11 – Cheryl Stephens
 
NEXT TERM – LET’s GO!
KeyStone Theme – Civilisation
This term’s KeyStone theme is Civilisation – and we have lots of questions identified to support deep understanding from Kindergarten to Year 11.  All teachers have identified guiding questions – which are unique but are progressive and are based on subject areas in the NSW syllabuses (Science, HSIE, PDH).  We program around the NESA requirements.
 
The first week – Week Zero – is our Challenge Week.  And we use this week to assess and provide learning experiences around our unique learning lens – EQ (emotional), IQ (intellectual), PQ (physical) and XQ (expressive).
 
High School has a timetable scheduled to run lots of exciting activities – and these will be communicated with you via the Guardian Teacher.
 
We do have our children sit ‘tests’ – but they are balanced and intentional.  If your child has any anxiety or worry – please be responsible and inform your child’s guardian teacher:
 
Intellectual Challenges
Assessment – IQ Challenge- PAT tests (click here)
We have purchased and we are ready to run the PAT adaptive maths and reading assessments for all students from Years 3-11 (with some selected Y2 students who Tori has identified).  This is an adaptive assessment – so it will base the questions on the learner’s knowledge.  This information will be shared with parents – and will be the basis of our personal learning focus. We have employed more teaching support – and our Individual Learning Programs are a major focus for this term.
 
Open Stimulus Writing task
There is also the expectation all learners will have an open stimulus writing task – with a marking rubric. This is to be included as a piece of evidence in the end-of-semester learning journals.  If you have any queries, please ask your child’s guardian teacher.  We make this assessment considerate of ability – that’s why it is an open stimulus and students identified can use computers as assistive technology.
 
MultiLit and Reading Running Records – K to 3
All our Kindy – Y3 students will be continuing with the MultiLit program, and this will include running records and assessments to ensure we are meeting each child’s personal learning pathways.
 
Physical Challenges (PQ)
We are running a Challenge Week so expect next week to be zero!  The high school has a full program, and will all be out on Thursday for an Ocean Swim at Lennox. 
 
Expressive Challenge (XQ)
During Thursday, when all of high school are at Lennox Head, we have Peter Jaggle coming in to run drum circle workshops with K-6 students in the Science Lab.
 
Emotional Challenges (EQ)
These really coincide with some of our physical challenges – as that’s where the emotional moments are revealed.  Our philosophy is Challenge by Choice.  We will motivate and persuade/encourage but never push a student beyond their choice – if your child is not willing to accept a challenge, we will be mindful and supportive.
 
Behaviour Expectations
Please see attached our class Behaviour Expectations form – this will be completed in your child’s home-room class, and is to include the students’ input.  This will then be placed prominently in your child’s learning areas.  We will refer back to it at any time – we will be addressing poor choices this term and refining our procedures but it is important our entire community understands we are focused on growing positive and productive relationships based around respect and personal/collective responsibility.
 
Goal Setting
Every semester we do set goals – and attached is a sheet for our older students (Y5 and up).  These are set around a 100 day challenge and involve an academic and personal goal.  Guardian teachers will use their circle time (we have an organisation period 9-9:15am for marking rolls and settling students in their home-room) to work through this document – and it can be set for home-learning.  These goals will be gathered, scanned and used for our end-of-semester reports and review.
 
Attendance Rolls – SmartSchool
We are updating our SmartSchool rolls to have period marking for high school – all students are expected to be in class/learning activities as scheduled.
 
Primary will still have whole day marking but if you are collecting your child early, please notify the office and collect from the office – not the classroom.
 
Extended holiday requests must be applied for via the Conductor.  It is a legal responsibility of ours – so if you are intending on a lengthy holiday, please let me know so I can discuss and organise.
 
Timetable
Timetable has been a work of art – and it is a ‘living’ document.  But it is now cast – and we have all classes scheduled.  
 
Podcasting
We are finalising a new Podcasting room – formerly the store room!  This technology will be available for classes – but there will be a priority focus based on programmes.  The reinstatement of this technology – which was lost in the flood – will open up lots of new opportunities for communication.
 
Athletics Sport – Coordination 
I am pleased to announce Johann Morwitzer (our amazing swimming coach) is taking on the coordination of the sport and NCIS requirements for high school – with the support of Annie and the PDH teachers (Mitchell and Brooke).  We have our NCIS Athletics Carnivals coming up later this term (Wk 5), so our sport is going to be focused on the skills and games associated with this competition.  We have a specialist coach coming in – Kiara.
 
Das Boot
The Rebecca-Sue (das boot) is now available again and is based in Lismore on Taylor’s working days – Monday and Tuesday.  We have options for classes to use this boat – as a learning space.  It will form a major role in some of our teaching for Stage 5 (Years 9 and 10).
 
Building Development
This is ticking over – but I can say our emergency relocation site at the University and at the farm  are progressing!  The farm is still a little behind our intentions – the weather has not been kind to schedules. There is NO ONLAND LEARNING in the Challenge Week.
 
Community Support and involvement
We are a co-learning community.  We are gearing up for more parent support. If you are interested, please ensure you attend a Parents as Partners’ course with Bhavni – and you must have a Working With Children Check.
 
Reading with Youngsters
This continues and Annie/Tori/Sarah will keep you posted.
 
Gardening and construction
Every Wednesday and Friday we are embarking on building a new garden/food forest at the farm with Aidan.  Please contact Sophie@living.school if you would like to be involved.
 
Bamboo Weaving – HELP!!
We are about to embark on a bamboo weaving opportunity at the farm – our Onland Site. This will assist us with our new temporary dome structures.  We would love to have your support. An email will be coming out – but this is going to be a great way to meet people and build something REALLY cool.
 
That’s a Wrap!
We have our two Rosa buses wrapped and they look great – thank you to Jane, high school students, Bec and Wrapt Signs, South Lismore.
 
See you on Monday and let’s all have an amazing – and awe-full – term ahead where our focus is on Civilisation but with a major supportive focus on kindness and engagement in learning.
 
If you have any queries, please use the positions above as your communication channels.
 
We have tried to leave you in peace: we use our holiday breaks to refocus, and to set up your child’s teaching, learning programmes for a fantastic experience over the next seven weeks.  It will rush by!!