An End of Term Message from the Head of Primary

I would like to thank all of our families for their support of the many events and happenings throughout Term 2. There have been many highlights within the sporting, cultural and academic elements of the school. A particular thanks to the staff who work tirelessly within their own classrooms, but also at events that underpin our amazing representative and Co-curricular programs. 

Schools are extremely busy places and Term 2 was no exception:

  • Wellness Week was a highlight for staff and students. Mr Marten Hilberts, our Deputy Director of Wellbeing, planned an array of activities that ranged from Lego Masters to the 1km run challenge, Body Balance, staff trivia competition, hacky sack, a ‘Wellbeing’ talk by Mrs Pip Catlin to the culminating activity of a playground camp out! What a week! Wellbeing sessions happen every day in classrooms across the Primary School, and it has been pleasing to see the interactions with our Secondary students in writing and Buddy Reading.
  • Ms April Crutcher has joined the SCAS team as our Indigenous Liaison Officer. I hope parents will have the opportunity to meet her over the coming terms and all are welcome to our NAIDOC celebrations in Week 1 of next term. The pledge by the school to the process of Reconciliation was a meaningful and powerful message to our students and families.
  • We had fantastic enrichment programs happening with Mrs Julie Chambers, Deputy Director of Teaching and Learning, such as Sleek Geeks, Maths Olympiad and ‘What Matters?’ writing competition. HRIS Public Speaking and Debating continues to thrive at SCAS!
Our HRIS Public Speaking Competitors
  • Sanctuary Project and Pop up Classrooms promoted collaboration and creativity within a deep learning context. The cross-curricular nature of the Performing Arts Hour projects have enabled our students to explore literature, sustainability and empathy through the lens of  dance and drama. Our collaboration with the University Of Newcastle and Dr Chris Hatton was a cause for celebration.
  • Vocal, Dance and Instrumental Showcases are an important part of the Co-curricular program and we congratulate all our performers. The Iona Voices Choir in Les Miserables was obviously a highlight. Whilst all our dancers are amazing, Kindergarten beats all for cuteness. The students in the Year 6 to 8 Band are to be commended for their contribution to this sensational display of hard work and commitment. Well done to our Performance Dance Touring Team on their Highly Commended at the Sydney Dance Eisteddfod, and look out for the Vocal Showcase for Stage 1 and Primary choirs coming up next term.
  • The Athletics Carnival and HRIS successes have been due to the hard work and training by our students, coaches and our excellent Head of Sport, Mr Tony Judge. The introduction of the Stage 3 elective sport program has been extremely successful and we look forward to the development of ‘off site’ options in Term 3.
  • Amazing individual achievements are hard to point out because someone is always missed but well done to:
    • Trent, Hunter and Grace qualifying to represent CIS at the State Cross Country Chamionships.
    • Levi and Nick competed at the NSW PSSA Hockey Tournament with Levi gaining further selection to play at the Australian School Competition.
  • The response to our Iona Soccer and Netball has been phenomenal this year. Look out for Iona Basketball! 
  • Our Year 6 students spent four days in Canberra with reports of excellent behaviour, immersive learning and a lot of fun. Year 5 parents should note the increase of days from 4 to 5 days in 2020.
  • Thank you to our staff for their care of our students.  Just Year 2 to go for our 2019 camp program on Friday 15 November. The dates for 2020 are already in the school calendar:
    • Primary Camp Week 3, 4 and 5 – March 9 to 11 
    • Year 6 Canberra – May 25 to 29
    • Year 2 Sleep Over – November 13

As mentioned in last Term’s report, the professional learning undertaken by staff is an essential part of our school culture and what happens in our classrooms. The question of ‘integrity’ within the 6Cs was raised by a parent, and I thank them for their interest. I have discussed this important question with our Director of Teaching and Learning, Mr Paul Rikmanis. The Deep Learning Competencies (6Cs) are dispositions that are designed to equip our students for life beyond school. Through a focus on Character and Citizenship, we are developing students who practise integrity by choosing what is right over what is easy or comfortable for them. All Primary staff will continue their 6Cs learning journey through a process of unpacking Critical Thinking and reading skills in Semester 2.

This Term, Primary staff have continued to focus on the development of new Science units, with the implementation of the new Science and Technology K to 6 Syllabus in 2019. Digital technologies have been an important part of the discussions, with our Head of STEAM, Mr Daniel Zavone. In 2020, a new PDHPE K to 6 Syllabus will also be implemented and staff will again investigate the differences between new and old pedagogies and the changes to our classroom programs. A guide for parents is available on the NESA website for those interested in the curriculum in NSW schools – Parent Guide – NSW schooling

This term we celebrate our school with the amazing Columba Day festivities. What a wonderful school we have. I hope all families have a wonderful break and look forward to the exciting plans that are evolving for Term 3. A sneak peek – Book Week Fortnight: The Big SCAS Read Off, character costumes, author talks, installations, movie screenings and writing workshops… It will be bigger and better than ever!! 

Head of PrimaryShannon Rosewood
Head of Primary, St Columba Anglican School
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