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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 2018 St Stephen’s consists of 141 students, in six 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.
This year we have been focusing improving our use of Learning Intentions and Success Criteria both in our planning and teaching. Learning Intentions and Success Criteria are displayed and used by our teachers during all of the literacy and numeracy lessons in particular. Learning intentions are clear, concise and use stu-dent friendly, age appropriate language. For example, “We are learning to use cap-ital letters at the start of every new sentence”. Success Criteria are developed by teachers, discussed with students and added to during the lessons. They are spe-cific descriptions of successful attainment of the learning goals.
Throughout the school week, I frequently walk into the classrooms to see what learning is occurring. I quickly scan the room and read the ‘Learning Intentions’ and ‘Success Criteria’ displayed on the whiteboards and straight away I know what the focus is for the lesson. These walkthroughs have been happening at our school for many years and the idea is that when I visit the classrooms, I intentionally don’t interrupt the lessons but instead I allow the teachers and students to keep teaching and learning. About a week ago, Suellen Dennis attended Lynn Sharratt’s ‘Faces to the Data’ Professional Development alongside other leaders from our Light-house Numeracy Cluster. Lynn Sharratt goes a step further and encourages us to ask students five key questions to ascertain whether they are learning, what we think they are learning.
The five questions are:-
- What are you learning?
- How are you doing?
- How do you know?
- How can you improve?
- Where do you go for help?
It is by asking these questions that you quickly become aware of EXACTLY what the children are learning. I highly recommend parents asking their children the same five questions at home!
Being clear about what it is that we are learning may sound simple but sometimes as adults we can overcomplicate exactly what it is that we are teaching children, or what it is that we want them to learn and what it will take for them to achieve suc-cess. Giving descriptive feedback along the way and checking into see what is be-ing learnt by our children is vital if we are passionate about school improvement.
So next time your child/children come home from school. Take the time to ask them the five questions. I look forward to hearing the conversation that follows!
Mackillop Club celebrated their soup day on Monday the 11th of June. We had overwhelming support from the community with over 70 orders for soup being placed. Approximately 20 litres of soup was made for this day. Thank you to our MacKillop Club for organiz-ing this fundraiser and to Katie Hegarty, Simone Porter and Carolyn Moore (MacKillop Club mums) who helped me make all the soup. We had many families offer cash donations to Rosie’s (even though their children don’t eat soup) so I thank you for your kindness – Every dol-lar makes a difference to the lives of others!!
The money raised from this day will support the local charity Rosie's. Rosie’s help reach out to the homeless - our Friends on the Street. The MacKillop Club will present this money to a representative from Rosie's at a prayer celebration next term.
Mackillop Club has planned a Bullying Awareness Day for Dolly's Dream. Dolly has touched the hearts of our kind children here at St Stephen's Catholic School. On the 22nd of June all students are asked to wear blue to encourage everyone to say, “No Way to Bullying” and speak up if we experience or witness it. No money is asked for blue dress day, it's purely for awareness and to get us talking about the issue. Our classrooms will focus on Anti-bullying next week.
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