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For over 100 years, St Stephen’s has been proudly serving the community of Pittsworth and surrounding areas. We strive to be a community in which gospel values permeate the daily life of the school.
In 2020 St Stephen’s consists of 154 students, in seven classrooms. All members of our staff quickly get to know all children and families. Our shared vision for the students of St Stephen’s is for each person to be highly literate, numerate, open to and excited by the prospect of learning, healthy, well-rounded individuals who are good citizens.
Specialist programs are Physical Education, LOTE (Indonesian) and Music, including school choir, and private music lessons.
Parents and community members work within our school classrooms and enjoy interacting with students and staff. Our volunteers gain particular satisfaction and a sense of fulfilment from assisting a child to master something new. Families are encouraged to participate in the School Pastoral Board and the School Parents and Friends and its committees in order to develop and extend the programs the school can offer and its facilities. All parents are welcome to attend Parents and Friends meetings.
St Stephen’s – We strive for success. Celebrate our Spirit.
Last week saw the year 5/6 camp at Tallebudgera. It was a wonderful camp. The children - enthusiastic, nervous, keen - embraced all the camp activities with vigour. Children and staff pushed themselves to achieve personal goals. Many were excited to share with me the personal challenges they had set themselves. The joy on their faces was contagious. The children displayed good manners throughout the camp. Children encouraged each other to push themselves harder and higher to achieve their goals over the two days. School Camps provide so much in such a short length of time. Challenge-Commitment-Mateship. I hope the children have shared their special ‘camp’ memories with you.
Kristy and I attended a writing workshop in Brisbane last week. As a school, we are investigating strategies to improve students writing. Writing challenges students and teachers are facing in schools is significant. Part of the Writing Improvement Strategy we will be delivering in 2021 will involve using a writing program developed by Dr Ian Hunter, the founder of ‘Write that Essay’. Dr Hunter, a university academic from New Zealand, was so concerned with the growing writing problem in New Zealand schools in 2011, he left his life as a university academic to work with educators and schools to improve literacy and writing outcomes.
Dr Hunter developed a writing program that encourages the students to incorporate a variety of sentence types. Over the course of two days, Kristy and I were taught 12 different ways to construct sentences and eight different paragraph types. The workshop was interactive. Teachers learnt first-hand how to improve their writing by incorporating 12 different sentence types into their writing and experimented with a couple of the different paragraph styles.
Clarity, fluency, and cohesion improved in my writing throughout the day. The level of engagement by the participants in the workshop remained high. I look forward to working with teachers and students in our school to improve their writing by giving them the necessary tools to become more successful with their writing.
Writing coaches from WTE (Write that Essay), stressed the importance of daily writing to improve writing and increase writing stamina. Good writers are aware that it is important to always consider the reader when they are constructing a piece of writing.
I look forward to working alongside our staff as we begin our writing transformation.
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