Exciting times ahead!
The end of a school year is almost here. It is exciting to see how every student has achieved in their learning, and developed every day social skills and values. Tonight we celebrate the 2014 school year and farewell our Year Six students. They will be sadly missed, but it was evident from their Graduation Dinner last Friday that they are now mature young adults ready for the next step in their formal education. I would like to thank all parents for their ongoing support and partnership in their child’s education and our School.
It is important to continually reflect and set new goals. This is a skill we teach our students and they are developing this via their digital portfolios. As a staff, we too constantly reflect and ask ourselves, “How can we do that better?” As we look ahead to 2015 there are a few minor changes aimed at improving student teaching and learning. The first change will be a slight adjustment to the timetable so as to minimise interruptions in the morning block. The timetable for next year will be:
9.00-11.00- 1st Learning Block
11.00-11.15 – Recess
11.15-1.15 – 2nd Learning Block
1.15-2.15 – Lunch
2.15-3.15 – 3rd Learning Block
Specialist subjects will be taught in the afternoon Learning Block and on Fridays. I am thrilled to announce that our Integration Aide teacher for next year will be Mrs Fiona McKeown and our specialist Music and Performing Arts teacher will be Mrs Tanya Mock. We are also very blessed to have Plow Ganemy Kunoo as part of our staff next year teaching our students the Karen language and about their culture.
Nhill Lutheran School places high value on excellent teaching and learning. To improve student and learning outcomes our teachers are also continually learning. It is vital that our professional development is focused and aligned with our strategic direction of how we want our school to be. Given the distance and time it takes to attend professional development opportunities, our school will have five pupil free days midyear, before the school holidays begin, so that our teachers have time to engage in their own learning which will ultimately favour the students. This will allow staff to visit other innovative schools and attend professional development as a group which is very valuable. We understand that this may be difficult for parents who work, hence the early notice. We also thought that it may favour many families to have a three week holiday block in the middle of the year rather than have pupil free days spread ad hoc throughout the year. Therefore, please mark on your calendar that mid year holidays for students will begin Monday June 22nd to the 10th of July. The only other possible Pupil Free Day for next year will be for a Lutheran Regional Conference which has not been announced or confirmed at this stage.
Our swimming program is an important part of our curriculum in teaching our students water safety and skill development. Next year our swimming program will be held in weeks 3 and 4 of Term One. We believe that the start of the year would be better for our students as the water will be warmer, we can spread it out over two weeks and we can organise a swimming carnival for Thursday, 19th of February. This also allows for selection of students, who can meet the times to go to the regional swimming carnivals.
Just a reminder that all students will need to be at the Church at 6.50pm tonight for the Graduation Service which will begin at 7pm. Students will be sitting at the front of the church with teachers and all students will need to wear their summer uniform. Year 6 students can wear their Graduation tops.
I would like to wish all students, parents, grandparents and friends a blessed Christmas and a safe New Year.