Coming up this week
In This Issue
To work under God in partnership with parents to provide an inclusive, nurturing and high quality education for every student.
Flourishing through faith, belonging and the pursuit of excellence.
From The Principal
Homework: An alignment of philosophy, understanding and format
Before school started each year, I had my desk at home set up for regular homework. I’d tell myself, “THIS is the year that I will faithfully sit down every night and study really hard.”
About two weeks into the year, the desk became a storage area. I plopped my backpack on the desk when I got home. I might or might not open it. Perhaps you can relate.
Even as a young student, I realised that I could do my assignments quickly after school. The past couple years, there has been a running tongue-in-cheek joke amongst the teachers who do afternoon bus duty. Monday afternoon at bus duty, the Home Learning books are out and students are rushing through so that they don’t have to do work at home. As a school, we began to ask the question: Is this what we want? Is it benefitting students?
What the research says
With the exception of regular home reading, there is no research that correlates greater amounts of homework to greater academic student success. The single greatest determiner of academic success is the classroom teacher. Our teachers utilise the High Impact Teaching Strategy (HITS) of Multiple Exposure to regularly review learning and practise skills so that each child retains the material taught in class. Additional practice at home doesn’t hurt, but it is overall not as effective as regular, systematic review in the classroom.
Our ultimate goal is to build reading as a habit so that students begin to see reading as an enjoyable activity. Research from the UK indicates that greater hours of reading for pleasure has a greater correlation to academic success than family Socio-economic Status. Reading time at home need not be silent reading, even when children are older.
- Parents reading to children counts as home reading
- Parents and children alternating reading counts
- Children reading silently on their own counts
- Children reading an assigned reader counts (and can be supplemented with parents reading library books that their children enjoy)
If your family has more time to read on the weekends than on weekdays, please chat with your child’s teacher to see if you might change (or supplement) Monday to Thursday reading with weekend reading. This can help when you are juggling multiple family commitments. The goal is regular reading.
What we believe about homework apart from reading
Late last year, we posed some belief statements to teachers. The purpose was to see where we had consensus on Home Learning philosophy. Our beliefs are listed below.
- There is no such thing as “the same amount” of Homework. An assignment that takes one student 5 minutes will take another student 35+ minutes to complete.
- Not every family wants homework. In fact, it can be a source of conflict in the home, especially if there are large numbers of sporting, music or other commitments.
- Homework should never be a part of a student’s final semester grad. We don’t actually know who has done the homework (Were they sitting by a friend at the bus stop? Did they do it with a tutor?).
- Homework, if assigned, should be meaningful to the student and their learning.
- Homework, if assigned should predominantly be a review of what has been done in class. If students are unable to do it independently at home, there is no expectation that the parents re-teach it. Just let the teacher know and they will do further review. There is no expectation that parents become teachers.
What Home Learning will look like beginning Week 4
This topic will be addressed at your Parent Information Night. In short, there will be common things across all year levels.
Regular home reading is a must do at all year levels.
While students will get lots of practise in class, it never hurts to practise skills at home. The ‘could do’ section informs you of some things that would be helpful in further solidifying your child’s knowledge and skills. You might be encouraged to play a mathematics game at home. Students are encouraged to further practise their spelling words. In general, the ‘could do’ section is review of what has been done in class. There might also be suggestions of family
There are some great challenge projects that children might want to do with or without your assistance. For example, they might work on a writing competition. When APSMO maths competitions start, students in Years 3-6 will be challenged to try some problem-solving practice problems. Students might enter an art competition, such as the Young Archies. Like the ‘Could Do’s, the Deep Dives are optional but meaningful.
As we build a culture of greater student agency, we incorporate reflection. Did the child rush through it? Did they have the emotional regulation and organisational skills to complete the work in a meaningful way? Did they show courage or fortitude to stick with a challenge? These will lead to good discussions during Student-led Conferences.
What if they don’t do the ‘Must do’? We suspect a few children will test that. Another thing that teachers agreed is that all students need to play at lunch and recess. Removing that from them will likely not change the behaviour; rather, it will make concentration later the afternoon harder for them.
If students are not reading, we’d like to discuss with them (and you!) what the barriers are.
- Do they have too many home commitments? How might they organise their week to fit it in?
- Are they leaving their books or logs at school or at home? What reminders can we put on or by the front door?
- Do they not like reading? Sometimes students don’t like a book because it is simply too hard for them at this time. They are unable to make ‘movies’ in their minds as they read. We might encourage them to listen to the book on tape, to have you read it aloud to them, or to pick another book and try again later.
We look forward to our continued work with you and your children to foster a love of reading and a passion for learning.
From The DEPUTY Principal
Honours and updates
Congratulations to all students who participated in the swimming carnival last week, it was a great success. Thank you to Ms Stewart, parent volunteers and all staff who helped make the day run smoothly. A final congratulations to the winning house, Red Hill and our Age Champions. Best wishes to all of our students who are participating in the RAS swimming carnival on Wednesday 8 March.
Academic House Captains
On Monday, the Academic House Captains were installed into their roles by Pastor Dave. Congratulations to the following students who were elected to these roles:
Red Hill Cara Stanton, Atticus Fang
Willans Hill Charlotte Croker, Charlie Rodney
Rocky Hill Calvin Kozlik, Adelaide Callinan
Tatton Hill Tasman O’Hara, Chloe Lieschke
It was great to welcome our new Kindergarten students and their parents to school last week. I have been so impressed with how our new students have settled into their new environment. I think the Kindergarten transition program that we run really does help our new students start to become familiar with key people and their new setting.
I would also like to thank the Kindergarten parents for ensuring that your child/children do not use the play equipment outside the Kindergarten classrooms before or after school. This is to avoid the potential of any accident or injury to our students while they are unsupervised by a member of staff. Also, the playground area officially becomes an ‘OSHC’ area at 3.20pm.
Parent Information Night
This week teachers will host the Parent information night sessions. I hope you will find them useful and that it will give you some information around your child’s learning, routines and expectations for the year. If you are unable to attend the sessions the slides will be posted on Seesaw for you to read.
Internet safety and appropriate use of electronic devices
This week Constable Kym Crawford from Wagga Police spoke to the Y5 and T6 students and parents in two separate sessions about internet safety and cyber bullying. Constable Crawford has had experience in working with and supporting students who have been the victims and perpetrators of this. The sessions were a great opportunity for the students to listen, ask questions and learn.
From time to time in my role as Deputy Principal I have had to deal with students not making appropriate choices while using a range of communication platforms. Whilst many of these incidents will occur at home on the weekend or evening, it is something we will still investigate and follow up. It is important to understand and recognise that inappropriate social media choices impact on relationships and they can affect how a child can feel at school and therefore we will have some conversations and will consider it a school matter. The advice I have given our students is, if they view something unkind or disrespectful on the internet they are to show their parents, take a screen shot and let the school know.
As parents/carers, I encourage you to regularly check-in with your child about their internet use and work out some agreed guidelines for the location of devices, the type of sites/apps used and the time spent on a device.
If you have an opportunity, please view the federal government website on eSafety. It is an excellent resource for parents and students to access.
During the Parent Information sessions this week your child’s teacher will be talking to you about volunteering your time as a Care Coordinator. The role of the Care Coordinators within the school is to organise some social events for the parents for the grade and to act as a support for families who might be experiencing some hardship. Finally, it’s about building a sense of community within the school.
Thank you to the parents who have already volunteered to be Care Coordinators for 2023.
In the next newsletter I will publish who our Care Coordinator for the year and where we still have positions to fill.
The Summit Cup (House Competition)
Last week saw the start of the House competitions with the Swimming Carnival.
There are 4 Houses, all named after hills in Wagga, Red Hill, Tatton Hill, Willans Hill and Rocky Hill.
There are 6 House competitions. These are the Swimming Carnival, Cross Country Carnival, Athletics Carnival, Mastermind (general knowledge quiz), Spellmaster and Chess. These are mixture of sport and academic competition.
Students will gain points for entry and participation in these events. At the conclusion of all of these competitions the winning House will be awarded the Summit Cup. The current holders of the Summit Cup are Willans Hill. The students really enjoy the competition and being part of a House. Best wishes to all students competing in these House events for 2023.
Parent Volunteer Sessions
1. Complete the online module ‘Valuing Safe Communities’. Please follow this link: https://padlet.com/LuthEdAus/vsc5-facilitator-resources-3s06bkkjheh28zk2 . The module will take around 25 minutes to complete. Upon completion of the module you will receive a certificate, please email this certificate to [email protected] .
2. Arrange a time to meet with the Deputy Principal who will talk to you about a number of routines and expectations when you are working with students.
Once you have completed this process your parent volunteer status will be valid for 3 years. This means, you are then able to assist in the classroom, sporting events and carnivals, excursions and overnight camps.
I will be running some parent volunteer sessions after school on the following dates:-
Monday 20 February at 4pm Resource Centre
Monday 27 February at 4pm Resource Centre
The wheat and the weeds
This week at Chapel there were 2 Coke bottles on the alter. I asked everyone if they could pick which one was Coke Zero and which one was normal Coke . There was a lot of discussion about this and a lot of people had different ideas. But when you look at the bottles there is no difference at all.
In Matthew Chapter 13 Jesus tells a story about some wheat and some weeds. A farmer planted some wheat and some weeds grew among the wheat. The workers asked the farmer if they should pick the weeds out of the crop, to which the farmer said no – just in case the wheat is pulled out also. Only in the very end during the harvest do the weeds get pulled out and separated from the wheat.
As God’s children we are called into Gods field where God gives everyone different jobs. Some are called to sow seed and others are called to water, but everyone has a different task. These tasks are not usually large and fancy; rather, they are our everyday tasks: being family members, parents, community members and friends. We are called to love, care and support people in this world. This can look different every single day.
In the end it is God who will do the judging. He will be the one to separate the weeds from the wheat not us. In the mean time at Lutheran School what we can do is love care and support everyone in our community.
Grace and Peace
Pastor David Cherry
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Wagga
From The Sports Desk
LSWW Swimming Carnival
Our annual Year 2-6 Swimming Carnival was held at the Oasis Aquatic Centre on Thursday 2 February. The day was full of lots of colour, wonderful sportsmanship, fantastic competition and beautiful sunshine. All students are to be congratulated on their participation, enthusiasm, sportsmanship and house spirit.
A big thank you to the Wagga Wagga Swimming Club officials, our parent volunteers, Mary Woodbury for supplying our yummy refreshments and the 3-6 staff who assisted with the coordination of the carnival.
This week the children have enjoyed some time outside in the OSHC garden and sand pit. They have also enjoyed playing handball.
Inside we have been building with the large foam Lego and playing games such as dodge ball.
For craft this week we have decorated note pads with glitter and shimmer pens. We created sand art, assembled wooden craft and sticker puzzles.
We would like to congratulate Aaron on the arrival of his beautiful baby girl Evelyn, born on 12th Feb. We hope to have a visit soon.
Have a wonderful week.
Families leaving the school
Please note that one full term’s written notice is required if you are withdrawing your child from Lutheran School. We purchase learning materials based on projected enrolment numbers at least one term in advance. Hence, the enrolment contract you signed specifies that failure to provide a term’s notice will result in you being charged for the subsequent term.
Uniform Shop Orders
If you would like to purchase uniforms from the Uniform Shop, please email [email protected]
We will email you once the order is ready to be picked up from the office. Thank you.