Term 3 Week 4 Newsletter
From the Principal
Dear Calwell Families,
Community Association / P & C
It has been pleasing to see the interest being shown in relation to re-establishing a school P&C or Community Association. We hope that all parent/carers keen to support and promote the school will come to next Wednesday’s meeting (11 August 7pm) where we will outline the next steps in moving forward. We already have people interested and willing to take on leadership roles however, nominations are still open. We would like as many people as possible to just come along to share thoughts and ideas without the fear of having to commit to a job.
Despite Canberra being mostly unaffected, we are still in a COVID environment and some restrictions are still in place in schools. It is important that as a school community we remain vigilant in taking appropriate precautions. This includes not sending children to school sick. If your child has any kind of illness, even if it is just a runny nose, they must not come to school. If your child is unwell at school, you will be asked to collect them.
Winter sickness and COVID regulations is unfortunately having an impact on staffing. Staff too are required to stay home when unwell and sadly relief staff are in very short supply. Classes will only be split when there is no alternative. We thank you for your understanding.
By doing the right thing you can help keep our school community and Canberra COVID safe.
Learning Support Assistants -LSA
Thank you to the parent who suggested sharing information about the school’s Learning Support Assistants also known as LSAs whose work in the school is invaluable. I hope the following outline of their role and how they support teachers and students is useful.
At Calwell learning support is provided through a range of means:
- reducing the size of a class to enable the class teacher to have greater time with each student and therefore more effectively meet individual student needs
- explicit targeted small group or individual tuition. This is currently delivered by Liz Lozberis
- the class teacher attends a particular professional learning opportunity to ‘up-skill’ to support particular student learning needs in their class
- placing a Learning Support Assistant in a classroom for an allocated session/s
The LSA team varies in size from year to year depending on the number of students who attract support funding from the Directorate (based on certain criteria) and the annual budget allocation the school makes to fund learning support. At Calwell we are fortunate to have some very experienced and skilled LSAs. LSAs are not teachers and are not required to have any specific qualifications, however some members of our team have a Certificate in Early Childhood Education and Care or Education Support. LSAs often also undertake professional learning in areas such as working with children with a disability, ADHD, Autism etc. The work of an LSA in a classroom is managed by the class teacher under the direction of the school’s Student Support Team which consists of the Principal, Deputy, Team Leaders and School Psychologist.
Here is a photo of our wonderful Learning Support Team (absent Miss Kym).
From the Deputy
Hello Team Calwell!
My name is Katie Brown, and I am delighted to have been appointed as the Deputy Principal at Calwell Primary School. I am looking forward to meeting you over the coming weeks and getting to know you. I have worked in ACT Education for nearly 18 years with over 13 of those years in leadership positions. Prior to working in education, I was a play therapist at the Sydney Children’s Hospital.
I grew up on a farm not far from Canberra and love the outdoors, coffee and reading. I have two children who are in kindergarten and year 1 at a local school and we enjoy bike riding and exploring the local natural environment on the weekends. Recently we got a Labrador puppy who is keeping us on our toes!
I am looking forward to connecting with the Calwell community and supporting students and families. Please say hello if you see me around the school.
From the Board
Starting up the P&C
SAVE THE DATE: Community Meeting to decide on the future of a P&C at Calwell Primary Wednesday 11 August at 7pm
Further to our email and SeeSaw post from last week, we’ve had some questions about what is involved in the Committee roles. There’s some more detailed notes for the President, Treasurer and Secretary available from the ACT P&C Council here: https://www.actparents.org.au/index.php/help-for-p-cs/resources/item/269. We do have some community members willing to take on these roles so don’t feel that there’s any pressure to consider one of the roles, we just want to make sure that anyone who would like to get involved and has the skills to do these roles doesn’t miss out on a chance to put their hand up too. If you’d like to know more about any of these roles, please speak to one of our parent representatives on the Board or leave a message at the Front Office.
Once we have a Committee, what does everyone else do?
We need the community to help with everything else. A P&C can:
* run activities that provide social connection within the community,
* host sessions that inform and educate our community on things that are important to us,
* do some fundraising to pay the P&C bills plus contribute to the cost of resources that will add value to our kids experience at school or
* advise/advocate for our school.
When P&C members across Canberra were surveyed recently, they said that they enjoyed being involved in the P&C because:
- They felt they were part of something worthwhile
- They found out what is going on at school and could ask questions/make suggestions
- They made friends within the community
- They liked helping out with school activities
Notes Home/Due & Dates to Remember
A reminder for parent's to please download the SZapp to view our Newsletters and upcoming events. If you access the calendar and click on the date on an excursion/incursion permission notes are attached to re-print if needed.
Breakfast Club – Wednesday mornings between 8.30am and 9am at school. You can help out as much or as little as you can – please let the Front Office know if you’d like to help out on a particular day.
Covering books – anytime, in your home.
- Friday 13th August Year 2 Assembly
- Monday 16th August JackHeath Incursion Years 5/6
- Tuesday 17th August Kenny Koala Preschool-Year 2
- Thursday 19th August KABOOM Percussion Incursion
As part of our transition to Kindergarten, the preschoolers have begun visiting the school library. Ms Gilbert talked to the children about the library and how we respect books (e.g. turn the pages carefully). There were so many wonderful picture books to choose and look at. Illustrations in a picture book help children understand what they are reading, allowing early readers to analyse the story. If children are having difficulty with the words, the illustrations help them work out what is happening in the story, which can increase their comprehension. Ms Gilbert read the story There Is No Such Thing by Heidi McKinnon, which has been nominated as book of the year in the early childhood category for 2021. We can’t wait for our next visit.
In the Kindergarten unit we recently celebrated ‘100 Days of Kindergarten’. We all aged overnight! Here are some pictures of us on the day.
Year One have been learning about location, using specific language such as left, right, across, around, above, below, etc. We wrote step-by-step instructions for how to get from one place to another in the ‘City’ and then coded the BeeBots to follow these instructions. Sometimes the instructions didn’t quite go to plan and we had to be thinkers to problem solve!
Year 2 have been learning about multiplication. We have learnt strategies such as repeated addition, groups and arrays. This is a game we played to help consolidate our understanding of arrays.
During our reading workshop lessons we have been learning about adjusting our reading rate and using expression when reading aloud. We have looked at a variety of picture books and shared our skills with our peers. At the end of the week we had the chance to read to the children in the junior school. It was so much fun to see the enjoyment on our kindergarten and year ones faces!
Year 5/6 students have been learning about how bushfires impact native animals. They used watercolour paints and charcoal to create vivid artworks representing this impact.
This week we not only did some great craft, we also helped out the environment. We are supporting the Lids4Kids program by doing some colour sorting for them. Lids4Kids has volunteers who collect, wash and sort the lids. We don’t have the capacity to collect or wash them, but like a few other schools in Canberra, we can do our bit by taking a rainbow pile and turning it into tubs of the same coloured lids. Lids4Kids upcycles plastic lids from drink bottles – check out what they do here: https://www.facebook.com/Lids4KidsAU/.
Students across the school regularly attend our CARES room to interact positively through play. We are in need of board games and card games to support these students. If you have any lying around at home and are willing to donate them, please drop off at our front office.
Some items we are looking for are:
- Connect 4