Week 7 sees our school welcoming two members of staff. Mr Oliver Kenny will be the Yr 6 teacher for the remainder of the year. As a past student of St Augustine’s he has an emotional attachment that will complement his professional responsibilities. Mr Kenny also has experience in junior high school and this will value add in preparing our Yr 6 students to make the transition into secondary schooling in 2019. Mr Mullane has needed to take personal leave at short notice. Mrs Rayner will provide consistency of curriculum delivery for the remainder of the term. Should Mr Mullane be required to extend his leave into Term 4 a recruitment process will be undertaken towards the end of the term.
Today we celebrated St Augustine’s Feast Day. Mrs Ottone and Ms Newell facilitated a program where the students and staff celebrated and gave thanks for the gift of our school. A Liturgy of the Word was followed by each child receiving a super dooper treat. The final session of the day was a time to put down the pencils and books and spend time together playing games and enjoying each other’s company and recognising that we are all members of a wonderful school community.
Photos play an important part of capturing the history of the school. Many photos are taken each week and evidence of this is seen in the Facebook posts and School Newsletters. Formal school photos were taken on Tuesday and can I thank everyone for the manner in which they cooperated in making the day proceed smoothly from one photo session to the next. A special thanks to all the children who presented themselves brilliantly both in uniform and grooming. Every child certainly displayed a sense of pride of self and in their school and I congratulate each child for their efforts on the day.
The Swimming Program for all years commences next week. It will be run on Wednesdays and Thursdays for the remainder of the term. I have already had some parents question the need for the program. I appreciate the open communication and the raising of any matters. This program has run for a number of years and this program, along with all other initiatives, is under reconsideration each year. A couple of years back the parents overwhelmingly communicated their desire for the school swimming program to continue. Given that we have a changing parent community from the previous survey it is appropriate to re-survey parents around this opportunity. A survey will be undertaken at the conclusion of this year’s swimming program and a decision on the future of the swimming program that reflects the school community’s wishes will then be made.
NAPLAN has been splashed across the media recently. Many may recall that many strategic decisions were made around improving school performance in NAPLAN and in curriculum delivery as a whole. The School Effectiveness Framework (SEF), the School Annual Improvement Plan (SAIP), teacher recruitment and allocation of classes, Literacy & Numeracy Plans and increased professional development with an introduction to Professional Learning Teams (PLT) have been at the core of the past two and half years. These strategic decisions implemented by the Leadership Team and with the support of CES, parents, staff and students have results in greater learning gains for all children across all years. NAPLAN data only paints a picture for years 3 and 5. It is extremely pleasing that our combined efforts around HIGH EXPECTATIONS and RIGOUR are yielding great rewards. This year our Yr 3 cohort outscored the State Average in 4 of the 5 tests. The Yr 5 cohort exceeded the State Average in 2 of the 5 tests. The current Yr 5 cohort have delivered an enormous learning gains over the past 2 years in all 5 test areas. The concerted efforts of all staff at St Augustine’s to achieve student improvement should not to be underestimated. Care must be made that these statistics are measuring class averages. Some students exceed state averages and some fall below this figure. Each student has their own learning journey. What cannot be dismissed is that for all students who are supported by parents, work with the school, ensure they have as little time away from school as possible, then St Augustine’s provides the opportunities and climate for terrific student learning gain and pastoral care. We have not peaked and the culture is one of continuous improvement. What is certain is that we have a process that yields success for those who are committed in sharing the journey. Let us commit to ensuring this continues where parents, teachers and students are working together so each child has the opportunity to reach their potential for their stage of development.
Some date claimers for the future:
Dance Concert – Last Tuesday of Term 3; 18th Sept commencing at 6pm.
Swimming Carnival – First day of Term 4; Monday 8th October
In conclusion, I wish each father or male member of our school community who represents a paternal figure of responsibility in the life of a child at St Augustine’s a wonderful Father’s Day on Sunday. Enjoy the burnt toast and cold cup of tea.