As term 3 draws to a close there is much to reflect on. Despite COVID closing in on our borders South Australia has managed to keep safe and we survived a lockdown with minimal interruption to schooling. In addition to our continued learning we all participated in the Little Scribes Mini Writing Festival and are now in the process of judging the winners of the Writing Competition – to be announced early in term 4. We had a low key Bookweek but still managed to enjoy our traditional parade and poster competition.
However, the highlight would have to be our STEM showcase; Innovative Infrastructure held last Thursday. This was Reynella Primary School’s moment to shine. Despite the pressures of COVID, community spirit was alive and well in our school Hall last night. Watching our students show their families through the showcase, their eyes lighting up with pride as they shared their learning was a wonderful thing.
For much of this term, students from R-7 were engaged in rigorous learning opportunities in preparation for this event. What an outstanding example of what children can achieve when they are involved in learning that is authentic and challenging. The level of thinking that our students demonstrated to reach a solution for their problem was next level; we had high expectations of our students and they didn’t disappoint.
We would like to thank all the parents and families who took the time to visit our showcase and give us feedback. We congratulate the students who showed persistence, commitment and were relentless in finding solutions. I would also like to acknowledge the teachers for their enormous efforts; many, many hours have been spent on not only supporting our students but preparing for the presentation. Most importantly we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Matt Simmons who has been the key driver of our STEM inquiry as well as the members of his STEM Action Team. His passion and commitment to our school to build our students capacity to think critically and creatively is outstanding. A precis of the showcase can be found further into this newsletter.
There are minimal changes to our staffing next term. As I am sure you are aware by now, Sarah Bradbury has taken maternity leave until the end of term 2, 2022. Matt Simmons will be acting Deputy Principal during this time. We are very pleased to welcome Richard Kemp, currently acting deputy at Ascot Park PS. He will take on the role of Senior Leader: Data and Learning Improvement until the end of term 2, 2022.
We hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday over the next two weeks and look forward to seeing you all again next term which always passes too quickly.
CLASS PLACEMENT 2022
The class placement process for 2022 has begun. Due to the movement of year 7s to high school we anticipate starting the year with much smaller numbers than in previous years.
We aim to arrange class groupings that optimise the learning needs of our students and uses to full advantage the resources, skills and teaching styles of staff members. In order to form classes for 2022 it is important that we estimate our 2022 student enrolment numbers as accurately as possible. If your child will not be attending Reynella Primary School next year, please let the front office know, ASAP. If you have a child due to start school next year who is not yet enrolled, please enrol them now. Alternatively, if you know of someone who is considering sending their child/children to our school could you please encourage them to make contact with us very soon.
Placing students in class groups is a complex process, which takes staff many weeks to work through. It is about creating a group of students with gender balance, a range of learning abilities and behavioural and social needs in each class. Factors such as social dynamics, which children to keep together and who would be better apart, social and emotional maturity, and even physical size are all considered when making class groups.
We have a very strong team of excellent teachers and we expect that wherever your child is placed, there will be learning success. Most parents are happy to leave this process to the class teachers. We anticipate that many classes next year will be composite due to the increasing needs of the students. Research, which has been predominantly conducted in primary schools, suggests there is no discernible difference between composite and straight grade classrooms in terms of academic performance. However, benefits relating to student independence, responsibility, resilience and study habits have been highlighted. Some say composite classrooms are more flexible; allow children to work at their own pace; offer a wider range of friendship opportunities; and encourage more co-operation and tolerance. It is the quality of teaching, combined with student interest and engagement that are considered important factors contributing to student success rather than class structure.
CLASS PLACEMENT PROCESS
Teachers provide information on the social, emotional, behavioural and academic needs of students. Students are asked to give input on their preferred friendship groups. Some parents may wish to draw our attention to their child’s learning needs; academic, social and emotional and any other confidential information which could have an impact on their child’s class placement. We ask that parents do not request specific teachers or make friendship requests
unless you believe your child needs to be separated from others to optimize their learning. We will consider all requests but cannot guarantee that they will be fulfilled and ask that parents trust this process.
Classes are formed before teacher appointments are finalised and sometimes subject to changes by the Department for Education well into January 2022. Once classes are finalised, placement changes will not be made except if there are enrolment variations or staff changes. If you would like to submit information for the class placement process please collect a form, available from the Front Office and return it filled in no later than Thursday 6 November. Alternatively, you may complete the Skoolbag eForm.