We are nearing the end of term 1, however, there is still a great deal of work and learning to be done. At assembly several weeks back, classes showcased some of the learning taking place in their classrooms. I challenged our students to continue to raise the bar in terms of their effort towards their learning. At the assembly, and over the last few days through class visits, I have seen evidence of students rising to the challenge. Some examples have been; some detailed narratives, examples of persuasive exposition writing through explicit intentional teaching, quality bookmaking, self-directed guided reading groups, modelled reading students gaining a depth of understanding within number sense, students presenting oral presentations 'teach the teacher' and students giving other students quality feedback with their writing tasks and oral presentations.
As a famous quote, "Good is the evil of Great", our focus at Virginia is not to be 'good', it's about continually working hard and supporting one another to achieve GREAT things.
Harmony Day Assembly
This Friday we will be hosting our Annual Harmony Day and National Day of Action Against Bullying assembly. Families are welcome to join us on this special day and I'm sure our students and teachers would love to have you celebrate with us. Unfortunately I will be attending the Annual Leaders' Day conference and won't be able to be present, however I have been visiting classrooms and hearing all about the work taking place.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Jessica Nguyen (our Wellbeing Advisor), Tina (parent volunteer) and our Student Voice Committee for all their efforts with icing cookies that will be distributed on the day.
A huge shout out to Virginia Woolworths for their ongoing support each year by providing us with oranges. We are grateful for all your donations throughout the year and on behalf of VPS would like to 'thank you' once again.
Sports Day - last day of Term 1
Preparations for our Annual Sports Day have begun with students being placed into House Teams and House Captains being organised. Even though more information will be shared with families, I wanted to take this opportunity to remind our families that we will need to follow both SA Health's and and the Department's COVID directions around social gatherings.
We want our families to be part of this Community Event, and like last year, parents/grandparents are welcome to attend however former school students won't be able to due to social distancing requirements and limiting the numbers.
We will be asking for numbers of people attending to ensure we have a record of attendees and processes will be put in place (QR codes) as per government requirement.
As shared in previous school newsletters over the years, our school has had a deep and narrow focus on reading whereby we aim for EVERY child to become a 'balanced reader'. Due to COVID last year, we were unable to provide parent workshops around some of our literacy work, however, we are looking forward to being able to offer some of these sessions some time this year.
We have waited a considerable amount of time to be able to share with you some 'take home reading bookmarks' from Stephen Graham whom we have and continue to work closely with.
The bookmarks will assist students and parents with the three components of a balanced reader which are decoding, fluency and phrasing, and comprehension. Students are expected to utilise these three components when reading a wide range of text types and genres. The bookmarks focus on particular components within each reading level needed to build the balanced reader.
We hope that the bookmarks will help parents support their children when listening to them read.
Decoding: Phonological development is an important part of becoming a balanced reader. Students need to understand the sounds found in words and be able to decode texts.
Fluency and Phrasing: Students need to break text into meaningful sentences and understand the conventions of text, including syntax and punctuation and complex sentence structures.
Comprehension: A balanced reader can not only read, but comprehend the text. This is determined through literal, inferential and response questioning.
I have some examples of the bookmarks down below that will begin to be sent home with your child/ren's readers. We look forward to receiving some feedback on how the bookmarks are being utilised at home.
If you are free this Friday, we would love for you to join us celebrate Harmony Day!
Learning Together, Learning For Our Future.