Update from the Head of Junior School

Keeping everyone safe at school
The partnership we have with families is reinforced daily for me when I see parents in the lower year levels helping within the classroom. It is not uncommon to see parents giving up their time hearing individual children read in the morning soon after the 8.30am bell goes. The sessions last for around 10 to 15 minutes but every bit of help counts. If you are interested in helping, please see your child’s class teacher. We request that all parents who are going to help in the classroom or on an excursion, please sign in at Junior School Reception first. Parents who volunteer their time at school in any way must have a Voluntary Working With Children Check; a copy of this must be given to our Receptionist to keep on file. A reminder too that if parents need to use a toilet whilst at school, please use an adult’s toilet in our main Administration building, NOT the children’s toilets near the classrooms. These are part of our protocols to ensure the safety of all children in our care at school.

Staffing for Term 3
Mrs Katie Cooper from the Learning Diversity department is going on Long Service Leave for all of Term 3. She will be replaced by Mrs Patricia Villanueva. Patricia is an experienced special education teacher who has taught in schools in Victoria and in the Philippines. She brings with her a wealth of teaching experience, has lectured tertiary students in Special Education and has a Master’s degree in Inclusive and Special Education.

Ms Kate Flood will also take Long Service Leave in Term 3 for the first 7 weeks. Ms Bronwyn Gowty will teach the 6KF class; she is a very experienced Year 6 classroom teacher with over twenty years’ experience. She has recently worked at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School as Year 6 classroom teacher and prior to that at Mowbray College and Geelong Grammar School. She has also held the positions of PYP Coordinator, ICT Coordinator, Pastoral Care leader and Deputy Head of Curriculum within the last 10 years.

Mrs Danielle Forsyth will teach the 4 year old Kangaroos group whilst Ms Jodie Norling takes Long Service Leave from Monday 22 July to Friday 9 August. Danielle is a former member of staff and is a much loved and experienced teacher, especially in the ELC.

We look forward to welcoming Patricia, Bronwyn and Danielle to our Junior School staff and community next term.

Reporting and Assessment
I hope that all parents take the opportunity to meet with your child’s classroom and specialist teachers at the Parent Teacher Interviews held in the second last week of term. Throughout the semester the Junior School teachers have been uploading common assessment tasks and feedback related to specific learning areas through Parent Lounge as well as sharing work samples and learning progress through our digital portfolios on Seesaw.  The teachers are also currently putting the finishing touches on the Semester 1 written report which will be accessible to parents via email at the end of term.  Reporting to families gives us an opportunity to review and celebrate the growth of the ‘whole child’ over the semester.  This thorough and extensive process supports our students to become effective and reflective learners. At the same time this process gives parents an indication of their child’s efforts, progress, and achievements over the first half of the year.

Holiday break
At Assembly on Monday 17 June we will reflect on what has been a very exciting and productive term. There have been lots of excursions, incursions, fundraising, music and sporting events and more.  I especially want to acknowledge the hardworking and dedicated ELC and Junior School staff who have created learning environments and programs that are consistent, nurturing, positive and creative.  I thank all families for their continued support of our programs and wish everyone a restful and happy 3-week holiday break. We look forward to seeing all children return on Wednesday 17 July, our first day of Term 3.

Ms Louise Sayar
Head of Junior School