Dear Parents and Carers,
After being at St Bernard’s for almost a year, Oral Language Week is definitely my favourite week of the term. This week I have been lucky enough to be in all our classrooms listening to students present their prose readings – and to our Kindy Pre-Primary class present a song. As always, I have been so impressed with the students’ courage in standing up in front of their peers, teachers and visiting parents to present, even when they have been very nervous. The level of preparation and engagement with the texts they were reading was also great to see. Certificates will be handed out to students next week. Well done to everyone!
I am really excited to see our students take part in the Oral Language Showcase at St Patrick’s in Katanning in Week 7, in lieu of the Kojonup Speech and Drama Festival which is not being held this year. Our students’ practice and preparation for Oral Language Week each term should stand them in good stead.
Unlike many schools, NAPLAN Online for Year 3 and Year 5 students at St Bernard’s went without a hitch. Congratulations to the students for their approach to the testing and for their willingness to try their best. NAPLAN reports for individual students will be issued later in the year.
Literacy Dedicated Time Block
The Literacy Dedicated Time (LDT) Block is best practice literacy teaching and learning which has been part of St Bernard’s Literacy Policy for a number of years now. It is fantastic to see our teachers and students re-engaging with this practice and it is wonderful to hear good news stories such as those coming out of our Year 3/4 classroom. Ms Thomas gave the following reflection at our staff meeting this week:
It has been a huge learning curve and lots of work in setting up the structure for the stations, training the students in the process and ironing out the kinks as they occur. I am really excited to see it in action in the classroom and how the students work in this learning structure.
I’ve found that working in collaboration with the students and being open about it being my learning journey as well as theirs has been a big win in our classroom. The students feel that they have more ownership of the process and are more involved in the group work because of it.
If you would like to know more about LDT, talk to your class teacher, our Literacy Specialist Mrs Sharon Venables, or me. We’d be happy to provide more information on this great approach to teaching and learning literacy in the primary classroom.
Great Southern Network Meetings
On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, St Bernard’s hosted the Great Southern Network meetings for teachers from Kindy through to Year Two. These meetings happen each term in a different regional school: St Joseph’s in Albany, St Matthew’s in Narrogin, St Patrick’s in Katanning and St Bernard’s. The focus is on exploring inquiry learning in the early years classroom and teachers work on a research project to present at each meeting. This week we heard about our Kindy Pre-Primary investigation into rocks, and about our Year 1&2 exploration of indoor and outdoor learning spaces using the verandah. The meetings also provide an opportunity for Principals to meet and discuss relevant issues.
School Registration and Compliance Audit
St Bernard’s school audit took place last week conducted by Non-Government Schools Auditor, Mr Tom Campbell. Tom met with myself, Board Chairperson James Eyres, teachers, students and parents – many thanks to those who made time to meet with Tom to assist with the audit. We await the final report and look forward to learning about how we can keep improving on the great things already happening at St Bernard’s. Before he left, Tom complimented our school community on its great facilities and the behaviour of its students.
This Sunday saw two students and their families make their commitment to their sacramental journey. Congratulations to Charli Guidi and Jack Hornby who are preparing for the Sacrament of First Holy Communion which will be held at St Bernard’s Church on Sunday 23 June. All families are invited to join us.
Finally, we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord today, with a liturgy in the Library. On Sunday our Church will commemorate the Ascension of Jesus to Heaven, some 40 days after his Resurrection at Easter. We talked at our liturgy today about how, even though we cannot see Jesus, we know he is with us always. The students were challenged to be the face of Jesus to others in the way they Greet, Treat and Speak (GTS) which is also our MJR focus for the next few weeks.
Funky Monkey Bars Update
Today was an exciting day with the pouring of the concrete footings for the Funky Monkey Bars. Donated by the P&F in February, these will be installed alongside the shade shelter on our top oval. It was very fortunate timing as the Year 3/4 students have been learning how to draw heavy machines and all things transport! Here are some photos of the students studying the concrete truck in action, supervised by our Art specialist, Mrs Atkinson.
Until next time, God Bless,
Mrs Sharon Marino