Keeping the focus on Learning at South Coogee PS.
The journey of creating expert teachers and assessment capable visible learners is a passage that is passionately driven by the staff at our school. We have a collective efficacy that we can be truly impactful on student learning.
We have spent the last 2.5 years putting a focus on learning by grounding our practice in research that shows impact, developing trustful and open conversations, challenging mindset, building a ‘Language of Learning’, using evidence to evaluate our work and the progress of learners, engaging student voice, valuing feedback and having an understanding that learning is hard work.
At South Coogee PS we are encouraging our students to take responsibility for their learning. Teachers are transparent with them about why they are learning and what they are learning, they help students set goals for themselves, and encourage them to see areas that are strengths for them, and areas they feel they need to work on more; all the while encouraging children to actively seek feedback on their work. The idea is that if children can see what they are doing and why it is going to be of more value to them, then learning can help them achieve.
In the classroom this can look like big bright posters, showing each student’s progression, there can be questions stuck up along the wall with funny acronyms, there can be catchphrases and ideas that your child might come home with.
While it is mainly a teaching tool implemented at the school, it is useful for you to understand at home, so that you can support your children as they develop new learning skills. There are also some neat ideas you can adopt at home to help your children become confident and independent. And hey, if it can get them doing more things around the house, then it’s a win all around!
So how can you support your children at home with this Visible Learning stuff?
Help your children to understand what they’re doing and why
You don’t have to get all up in Visible Learning’s grills at home, but even when doing things around the house, asking children to explain why they need to tidy their room, or what it is about a bath that’s important. This helps them to get into the mindset of understanding the intention behind an action and what they get out of it. Once they understand, and can articulate themselves, that baths are actually good for cleaning dirt off their stinky bodies, there is a much better chance that they will hop in without requiring a military escort.
Let your children know this all about them – not their classmates!
Some children might find it a bit confronting, or find themselves comparing their progress to others. That is NOT what visible learning is meant to be about. I’ve seen parents though my role who have become upset, as their child has come home anxious, thinking others are better than them and getting ‘more stickers’ on the class chart. It is not about what little Jenny can do, or what little Jimmy hasn’t done, or even where they are in class, in relation to their friends. It is about focusing on them; what goals they want to achieve, and what they are learning right here, right now. We all learn at different rates and that is OK.
We focus on effort, not outcome
At home, you can model this to your children by looking at the effort they put in, as being the bigger part of success. The outcome does not have to be perfect every time, because they are learning. The message we need to give is that they are always learning and news flash to them – we will keep learning our entire life, it doesn’t stop at the end of Year 12. And what they don’t do so well now, they can build on next time. When your children are faced with visible learning at school, they can look for the effort they have put in, and even if the goal has not been entirely achieved, they can feel good knowing they have worked hard, and see where they might need some additional support to achieve their goals. We remind them that errors are the best way to learn. Research shows us when we focus on effort and not results, we have greater growth and success overall. Yes!
A big part of Visible Learning is seeking feedback. Your children seek feedback from the teacher during and as they complete activities, while also actively identifying what they did well, as well as the areas they may need some additional support. At home, you can have your children try a new task or chore, and then come to you to seek feedback when they are done. You can ask them how they think they went, and what they feel they could try next time if it did not quite go to plan. You can also make it a bit interactive and ask your children to provide feedback on something you have tried. But not when it comes to dinner…J.
In essence, Visible Learning leads our children to learn very important lessons; taking responsibility for their own learning and setting goals for their development. Those are the sorts of skills we hope to see in all aspects of life, not just schooling. So it makes sense to use some of the same language at home and to follow the same kinds of ideas. Learning is a continuous journey, and not about reaching some designated destination. Being on the same page as our school will help everyone involved.
Acknowledgement: Some adaptation from Sasha Lynn Visible Learning article, July 04, 2017
Tell Them From Me – Student Surveys
This term, our school, like many other public schools in the state, will participate in a Department of Education initiative: the Tell Them From Me student feedback survey. The survey measures factors that are known to affect academic achievement and other student outcomes. The focus of the NSW-wide survey is on student wellbeing, engagement and effective teaching practices.
You may remember that our students also participated in a Tell Them From Me student survey in Term 1 this year. Asking students to complete the survey twice in one year allows us to identify trends in student responses as well as track engagement and motivation across the school year. The survey is for students from Years 4 -6.
The survey is a great opportunity for our students to provide us with valuable and quick feedback on what they think about school life, how engaged they are with school and the different ways that teachers engage them in learning.
ICAS Writing Awards
The following students have received awards in the ICAS Writing Assessment:
Chloe D in 3
Freya L in
Ike P in 3R
Ely A in 4X
Byron H in 4X
Manavi K in 4
Lucy L in 4
Antonin M in 4S
Maddi S in 4
Keegan T in 4
Liam L in 5/6M
Niina O in 5/6J
Emily B in 3D
Freya C in
Bella S in 3R
Darcy B in 5/6J
Courtney K in 5/6J
Anthony K in 5/6E
Lia M in 4X
Eva N in 4X
Cassidy C in 5/6M
Nicholas F in 5/6J
Sophie T in 5/6E
Zoe S in 5/6A
The certificates for these awards will be presented at the next 3-6 Assembly on Thursday 30 August at 2pm.
Class of the Week – 4S
So far this year school has delivered many interesting changes for us in Year 4. One that is particularly notable is the new furniture in our classrooms consisting of ottomans, jenga blocks, high and low tables, whiteboard desks, wobble boards, small round cushions and giant cushions. We don’t have desks or seats like we’ve been used to but instead we can choose places to sit that suit us and help us to learn – we think that’s pretty cool!
There have been so many great events that have happened already this year! Some of the ones that we’ve really enjoyed are: The Magic Flute which is an opera; Grandparents day and Mother’s Day, where our families came to the classroom to visit us; Bandanna Day for Canteen (a charity which supports children living with cancer); Mid-Year Musicale and NAIDOC week. There have been many more fantastic events but we just don’t have the space to write about all of them!
Most recently, we had the Week of Tastes experiments for science week. This involved trying new foods and experiments to gain knowledge about what role our senses play in tasting. You can read more about this in the article written by our classmates Elke and Sam.
Luckily we have MORE great events coming up too such as Stage 2 Camp to Narrabeen next week which will be a for a break for the kids (and parents) and we’re sure we’ll learn tonnes of things there as we take on many different outdoor Activities and challenges. Father’s Day is also coming and we look forward to hosting our visitors in our classrooms. And we can’t wait for End of Year Musicale to wrap up what will have been a fabulous 2018!
In class we’ve been learning loads. We asked some of our classmates what things they’re currently learning about and here are their responses:
“In maths we have been learning about the perimeter of 2D shapes. We used trundle wheels to measure the length of the sides of the basketball court and then calculated the perimeter.”
“In writing we have been learning about informative texts and identifying the difference between facts and opinions.”
“In science we have been learning about seeds and how plants grow, we have been caring for watching a seed start to sprout roots.”
“In history, we have been learning about what Australia was like before European settlement and how the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islanders used to gather their food and tell stories.”
“In library we have been learning research skills and finding out about the explorers who came to Australia during European Settlement.”
We have been having a great time with our classmates in 4S and we’re looking forward to the rest of the year’s events!
By Hugo F and Zoe G
Week of Tastes
This Term in Stage 2 we have been lucky enough to participate in the Week of Tastes program. This program helps us to understand how we use our five senses to appreciate food, learn new vocabulary associated with food and appreciate preparing foods.
We have been learning about the five main tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. In 4S have written poems about one of the five main tastes, you can read two of these below!
On Thursday, 16th August all of the Stage 2 classes participated in a science experiment where we had to taste different things under different conditions. All of the classes had to do the experimenting at the same time so that it was a surprise for each and every one of us! First, we tasted two liquids in small cups, one was orange and one was clear. We had to taste them to see which one was sweeter. Most people said that the orange one was sweeter, but they were actually both the same drink just one had been coloured. Next we put blind folds on and tasted different things without knowing what they were. We had to use our sense of taste, smell and touch to see if we could figure out what the taste was and what we thought the thing was that we’d eaten. After this, we held our noses and put mint jelly in our mouth, we couldn’t taste the mint flavour. But then we let our noses go and the flavour became more intense! Following this, the class was split into two groups, one group made as much noise as they could while the other was eating a piece of chocolate and then the other group tried this. It was interesting to see how the noise affected how we ate and tasted the chocolate. The last thing we did was to eat a fruit tingle while we listened to three different types of music. It was funny how the different types of music changed the way we ate the fruit tingle!
Here are some comments from the Stage 2 learners about the Tasting Experiments:
“I enjoyed when we got blind folded because you didn’t know what it [the food] was going to be.”
“I liked getting blind folded because we got to try different foods.”
“I liked it because I could try new things and identify different tastes.”
“I liked that you could try new foods and how when the blindfold was on it was a surprise! [for example] at the start I did not like pickles but then I tried it in the taste test and now I like it.”
The tasting experiments were so much fun… But we think the best is yet to come when a chef will visit our school to cook with us!
Article written by Elle B and Sam S
Taste poems by 4S
Sour looks like the cold moon,
Sour smells like fresh compost,
Sour feels like gritty sand,
Sour tastes like a fizzy water,
Sour sounds like an erupting volcano,
Sour isn’t sweet.
Written by Jack T
Sweet smells like flowers blooming,
It tastes like sugar lollies,
It feels like a warm summer’s day,
It sounds like birds chirping a song,
It looks like candy floss.
Can you taste my sweetness?
Written by Jorja S
From the Office
Semester 2 Invoices have recently been sent home to all students. These payments are due now. Our preferred method of payment is via the Parent Online Payment portal accessible from our website or the Skoolbag app. If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to call the school.
Please be sure to complete the Caremonkey profile for your child, as this will be the school’s main way to distribute notes to students. If you have any problems with your profile, there is a ‘chat’ button to address any concerns you have.
If you have not received an email from Caremonkey requesting you to set up a profile, please contact the school.
No Waste Wednesdays are back!
No Waste Wednesdays are a sustainability initiative aimed at reducing the amount of landfill waste that is created from school lunchboxes.
Every Wednesday this term the class Eco Warriors will be assessing lunchboxes to see how many are waste-free. To be ‘waste-free’, a lunchbox must contain only re-useable items, recyclable items or waste that can be composted. If there is anything that will end up in the landfill bin, it is not waste-free.
Try to pack … A Waste-Less Lunchbox
· Snacks in reusable containers
· Drinks in a reusable container
· Reusable utensils when needed
· A reusable lunchbox or backpack
· Small pieces of fruit, yoghurt or snack items in a reusable container
Avoid … A Disposable Lunchbox
For some tips and tricks you might like to visit https://healthy-kids.com.au/waste-free-lunch/ and check out their suggestions.
We will be tallying the results across the school and hope that as the term progresses we will see more and more waste-free lunchboxes!
Thank you for your continued support in making your school, and our Earth, a more sustainable place!
National Science Week
National Science Week is Australia’s annual celebration of science, technology and those who are involved in the field of science. It provides us an opportunity to acknowledge the contributions of scientists’ to the world of knowledge and aims to highlight and encourage an interest in science. At South Coogee we want to inspire our learners to become fascinated by the world we live in.
At South Coogee we celebrated National Science Week in many ways. To start the celebrations, we highlighted our learner’s achievements and interest in Science during our Education Week Assembly. Our four stage representatives: Kindergarten – Jack, Stage 1 – Georgie, Stage 2 – Eva and Stage 3 – Jasper, did a wonderful job sharing their love for science and explaining its importance in our everyday lives.
Last week, learners were given the opportunity to explore a variety of concepts with Miss Webster. This included creating simple circuits to light up LEDs, looking at forensics and how our fingerprints are individual and unique, creating thaumatropes that create an optical illusion and using chromatography to separate the different coloured inks in a texta.
It was fantastic to see the enthusiasm and curiosity from our Learners during these activities. They loved exploring and learning about these concepts.
Legacy is a charity supporting and providing services to Australian families suffering after the injury or death of a spouse or parent during or after their Defence Force service. Legacy grew out of the ashes of the Great War and 90 years later still supports around 80,000 families of Defence personnel who have given their lives or their health for their country. Australia lost around 60,000 service personnel in WWI and in all conflicts has lost around 100,000.
Legacy Week began in 1946 and it is a time when Legacy sells its iconic badges and other merchandise to raise funds to support the vital work it does. Australians will have the chance to show their support for these very special families by buying a badge during Legacy Week, from Sunday, September 2nd – Saturday September 8th.
We will be selling badges at South Coogee on Friday August 31st at the Father’s Day breakfast and before school during Legacy week – Monday, September 3rd – Friday, September 7th.
Are you in a Trade or Business?
Are you a tradie or working for a business that could benefit our school community?
Families are asking for contacts of trades (electrical, carpentry, hairdressing, plumbing, etc) and businesses (graphics, marketing, party supplies, food, dentists, etc) that can help them in their lives.
We invite families of the school who are in trades or businesses that can add value to our community to send through their business and contact details so we can create a list for our community to access.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP so we can share your information!
|Adelaide B||1/2M||demonstrating determination with her news|
|Keiran T||1/2M||using questioning skills in the Literacy Block book Tom Tom|
|Mila M||1J||reflecting on her learning using the success criteria|
|Itai C||1J||determination to improve his spelling|
|Seb V||2M||being a fantastic collaborator in STEM lessons.|
|Leah T||2M||showing great commitment when learning multiplication and division in Maths|
|Benji F||3D||Determined effort in Maths|
|Charlie S||3D||Working collaboratively and creatively|
|Leonardo Z||3D||Beautiful tiger artwork|
|Heath M||3D||Showing self awareness in Maths|
|Juliet D||4X||Her imporved confidence in Maths|
|Lucas G||4X||Improved participation in class discussions|
|Lana C||4X||Improved book presentation|
|Melina M||4X||Gaining confidence in Mathematics|
|Jayden D||4X||Enthusiasm when using iPads in class|
|Charlie S||4X||Determination to complete writing tasks|
|Byron H||4X||Accessing the iPad to strengthen his Informative writing|
|Lawrence B||4X||Collaborating during History lessons|
|Savannah V||KN||being determined with her recount writing|
|Josiah B||KN||trying hard to learn his phonemes|
|Isabella M||KT||improved fluency in reading|
|Bowie T||KT||knowing doubles to 10|