From the Head of Junior School – 6 September 2019

Anywhere, Any time learning
Upon my arrival at St Margaret’s, I noticed a proposal on my desk written by Ms Kate Flood, the current ICT Leader in the Junior School. The proposal was to introduce iPads into the Prep to Year 4 classrooms this year or next. After speaking to many staff, I soon learnt that the School has a small number of iPads sprinkled between the ELC and Year 4 classrooms, that are mainly shared. Each class from Prep to Year 4 currently has access to laptop computers and of course our Year 5 and 6 students have their own laptop used at school and at home.

After many months of research and preparation, we are excited to introduce iPads into Years 1 and 2 in Term 4. The Prep and Year 3 and 4 classrooms will not introduce 1:1 iPads into their year levels until 2020. These digital devices will be used one-to-one by each student. The teachers have received a lot of training by an Apple expert who has taught them ways to pedagogically enhance and transform the teaching and learning experiences in the classroom.

Technology-rich teaching increases student engagement, participation and excitement and enables anywhere, anytime learning! The advent of Web 2.0, combined with a range of new technologies, enable teachers to create learning and teaching opportunities that develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours which students require in order to LIVE, LEARN and WORK in the 21st century. The iPads will be used for purposeful learning engagement and for short periods of time within the school day. They will not be used as a consumption device nor will they be used as a pacifier or reward.

With the right to using technology comes responsibility! The teachers will work alongside the students to create and sign student Essential Agreements. The teachers will also conduct regular eSafety lessons with the students ensuring they learn about appropriate and safe ways to use technology at school. In 2020, we will provide more information for parents about how the iPads will be used at school, including levy charges.

Parents’ and Friends’ Fundraising Thanks
We are so grateful to the Parents and Friends Association for their financial assistance in helping us purchase several items for the Junior School: outdoor rugs for the Prep children; take home books for children; beebots which are robots designed for younger children and an ottoman.

We extend our thanks to all families as your support of P and F initiatives helps fund these purchases. As we purchase more goods, I will acknowledge them in this Campus News forum.

Father’s Day
Another of the Parents’ and Friends’ initiatives is the running of the annual Father’s Day stall. This year did not disappoint as there was such a variety of goods for the students to purchase. Many thanks to many of our mothers who helped to sell the goods to the children.

Our ELC dads joined in the fun doing the Chicken Dance and sharing pizza in the Joey, Wallaby and Kangaroos rooms this week. Our Prep dads were entertained by their children, potted plants, made a noughts and crosses game with their child and listened to loving video messages from their child. Many of our Upper Primary students enjoyed a Father’s Day breakfast out at BGS which was a well-attended event. Despite the presents, breakfasts and fun activities, many dads would agree that the best present ever is the card that the children write full of love, unique drawings and genuine messages which money cannot buy!

Sporting success
Our Year 5 and 6 students have participated in Interschool Sports competitions in the sports: soccer, netball, basketball. We provided Early Morning Athletics Training for students in preparation for the SSV Athletics Competition on Monday 26 August. We look forward to Year 3 and 4 and Year 5 and 6 Hoop Time later this term.

Skiing – Some of our Junior School students ranging from Year 3 to Year 6, represented SMS well at the Victorian Interschool Snowsports Championships. Events that were covered were Alpine Giant Slalom, Ski cross, Moguls.

Aerobics – Year 6 student Alexandra Duhau was part of the Senior SMS team which won the National Championships; what an outstanding result.

Cycling- Four of our Junior School students from Years 3 to 6 participated in the first round of the Victorian Interschool Cycling Championships and we received 2 Gold (Mikayla Delardes and Emily Ford), Silver (Lauren Nelson) and a Bronze medal (Mariska Matin). A fantastic effort despite the rainy conditions.

HPV – Ten of our JS students rode on the Apollo in very cold and wet conditions in round 2 of the Victorian HPV Series Casey 12hr event and came in 8th place. What a pleasing result; it was better than expected! Congratulations to: Lincoln Clamp, Mikayla Delardes, Maggie Flanders, James Pursell, Austin Schultz, Emily Ford,  Amber Flanders, Lauren Nelson, Mariska Matin.

Swimming – Bronwyn Zheng from Year 5 represented SMS and Team Vic at the Australian Swimming Championships. Her results were 3rd in the 10-year-old 100m butterfly and second in 200m medley relay. To swim in a national championship is an outstanding effort.

Tournament of the Minds
Last weekend, two teams represented the school at the Regional Tournament of the Minds, which is a problem solving program for Primary and Secondary Schools.  Both teams worked really hard over the last 6 weeks to write scripts, make props, back drops and costumes not to mention all the rehearsals. Their performances were very cleverly presented and impressed the audience, other schools, parents and judges. James P, Jada, Maisy, Nidhi, Coen, Maddy M, Tahani, Daisy, Audrey, Siya, Bridie and Mariska from Year 5 and 6 are to be congratulated for their team efforts. Thank you to Mrs Jo Cardullo, Mr Peter Robertson and Ms Amy Wishart for giving up their time and weekend to help judge and facilitate the tournament.  We will pass on their results as they come to hand.

Needless to say, there has been a lot happening at our Junior School over the last few weeks!

Ms Louise Sayar
Head of Junior School