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Weekly

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Term 4, Week 4

Coming up this week

Date

Event

28th Octber

K2022 Transition

29th October

Team 6 Market Stalls

3rd November

K2022 Transition

MISSION STATEMENT

To work under God in partnership with parents to provide an inclusive, nurturing and high quality education for every student.

VIsion

Flourishing through faith, belonging and the pursuit of excellence.

From The Principal

Contemporary Learning: Agency

One of the key ideas of contemporary learning philosophy is that students should have agency in their learning. It is important to understand what agency is and what agency is not.

What is agency?

Simply put, agency means that students have voice, choice and ownership in their learning. In last week’s article, we touched on ownership with authentic audiences. Students do not do work solely for parents and teachers. Rather, they do work that is meaningful to them and can make a difference in the current world.

In this week’s video, student voice is highlighted. In contemporary learning, we believe that even our youngest students are capable thinkers – and we often don’t listen enough or give them enough credit!

Picture a time you saw your child engage in a behaviour that was antisocial or that needed correction. You sat with them and carefully listened to their reasons for engaging in that behaviour. They surprised you. While the behaviour still needed correction, their perspective softened you and helped you see the world through their eyes. In the end, you and your child gained better understanding from one another. That is the power of agency, giving the child a voice.

Our Restorative Practices is one way we give students voice. It takes longer than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ consequence. The student voice helps both the students and the school avoid similar problematic issues in the future. Students realise that ‘making things right’ is often harder than taking a teacher/parent-chosen consequence.

What agency is not

Agency does not mean the students ‘run the school’ or ‘do anything what they want’.

Agency in Behaviour Management

We still have rules to keep us safe. In the video, we highlight that sometimes the government makes rules and guidelines. Schools and parents do the same. Within those parameters, students can still have a voice. 

Most children, when they know the why behind rules, are willing to comply. When we give them some choices within parameters, they contribute to a solution. They feel empowered rather than policed.

Agency in Learning

Agency in learning doesn’t mean that students get to study only what they want. They will still experience the full New South Wales curriculum, learn to spell and learn to manipulate fractions. The difference is this: As much as possible, this explicit teaching will be in the context of larger, meaningful projects.

You may have read the recent article in The Age about Inquiry Learning. Peter Evans argues that “Inquiry learning prioritises the learner’s role in discovering information for themselves, as opposed to explicit pedagogy”. That is like saying, “A healthy diet proritises one macro nutrient over the others”. We know that a ‘healthy’ learning environment, like a healthy diet, is complex and dependent on the needs of the individual.

Inquiry learning gives students agency in some of the questions they explore within a curriculum-based topic. Once the viewpoint on a topic is chosen, there is explicit teaching on one or more of the following:

 
  • research skills (so that they can find high-quality, reliable information)
  • nonfiction reading skills (so they can understand what they’ve found)
  • note-taking and synthesis skills
  • critical thinking skills
  • organisational skills
  • time management skills (yes, those are explicitly taught as well!)
  • presentation and technological skills
  •  relational skills (for giving and receiving feedback)
  • editing skills
and more!
 
 
Student agency does not mean students do what they want when they want. Within the parameters of the curriculum, students choose lenses through which they explore topics. Young scholars have the opportunity to choose which steps of the process to prioritise on a given day and often they have a voice in how they might best present their findings. Explicit teaching is strategically embedded at critical points in the learning process.
 
Where Peter Evans is correct is that inquiry-based learning should be strongly scaffolded. He is also correct in saying that Inquiry Learning has not always been done well. Mr Evans is incorrect in stating that learning needs to be teacher-centred. Teachers should be explicitly scaffolding based on the needs of students.
 
Our success criteria for student agency is as follows:
  • Educators create conditions to allow students to authentically have rich input into the process of learning
  • Students engage in authentic practice of agency in areas of school culture and community building
  • Students develop and ask questions that begin to drive the direction of learning

Authentic audiences and student agency are two important components of Lutheran School’s contemporary learning philosophy.

Janet Moeller
Principal

Mark your calendars

Students Return (Years 1-6)

31st January 2022

 

Kindergarten Students

3rd February 2022

 

 

TEAM 6 MARKET DAY

Students in Team 6 have spent the past few weeks working in small groups developing their own businesses.

This idea came about in line with Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) as a way of showing the students some of the businesses that they help set up in developing countries around the world.

Our students will finish their unit by selling their products this Friday with all profits going towards ALWS. 

The businesses include a range of games and products such as stress balls, squishees, bead chains, kinetic sand and more. Prices range from between $0.50 to $3.00. 

We thank all families in advance for supporting this fundraiser for ALWS.

PRINCIPAL APPRAISAL

Dear Parents

A standard process in Lutheran schools is for Principals to undertake an appraisal, at regular intervals, during their appointment. The appraisal process is aimed to affirm and enhance the leadership capabilities of our Principal, Ms Janet Moeller, in the context of Lutheran education and our school in particular. It seeks to provide feedback and insights to the Principal about the quality of leadership as well as helping to determine areas for further professional growth and improvement.

Later this week, a random selection of families will receive an email containing some more details and a link to an online survey. The survey, which opens on 29 October and closes on 8 November, is also being made available to staff and Board members. Principal appraisal in Lutheran schools is a regular process in which school community members have the opportunity to give feedback on the work of the principal. We value your feedback and encourage your participation in the survey.

Yours sincerely


Johanna Stanton (School Board Chairperson)

 

Curriculum Matters

ICAS - Digital Technologies

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Digital Technologies exam last term. All participants will bring home their certificate today. Special awards were presented to the following students.

Distinction

Harry Richards

Credit

Lance Palmer

Max Donaldson

Alex Miller

Kavin Mahendrarajah

Sophia Gooden

Maisie Hughes

Noah Amos

Merit

Liam Gentle 

James Price

Maths Olympiad

Over the past two terms, a team of thirty mathematicians participated in the Maths Olympiad competition. There were a total of five rounds, with each student using a range of sophisticated strategies to solve challenging problems.

Special awards were presented to the following students.

Effort Award

Noah Thompson

Caspar Fang

Most Improved

Kaspar Szyndler

Highest Individual Score & Top 10% across Australia

Harry Richards

Top 20% across Australia

Samuel Pike

Kavin Mahendrarajah

Top 40% across Australia

Nikita Bhengra

Youlita Saleeb

Joe Stone

Lance Palmer

Top 50% across Australia

Hayden Earl

 

Karri von Mengersen 
Curriculum Coordinator

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OSHC

Last week at OSHC the children enjoyed making balloon animals!

We had butterflies, dogs, monkeys, worms and an octopus. Some children opted for swords instead of animals and got creative with some role play, pretending to fence. 

The children showed off their creativity with pride, smiling for photos. Everyone showed great respect for each other’s creations and shared the balloons around.

OSHC also spent time decorating bucket hats and practiced their fine motor skills with Lego creations and putting together wooden pencil holders to take home.

For outside play this week the main event was 50 meter races! Children got the chance to show off their competitive side as they took turns racing two at a time on the oval. 

 

Melanie Woodbury

OSHC Coordinator

Lost Property

Please check lost property in the school office for misplaced items. Unclaimed items of clothing will be donated to the school’s second hand Uniform Shop.

Please label your child’s items. This practice helps us to return your child’s clothing, etc. Thank you.

UNIFORM SHOP

Orders are accepted via the e-form purchase request on the school app, or by phone call/text message to Tegan Peel 

0401 665 640

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