Future Problem Solving and da Vinci Decathlon


The Exceptional Learners Department is excited to again offer our students the opportunity to be involved in the Future Problem Solving (FPS) Competition and the da Vinci Decathlon. Students in Years 5-10 can apply to participate in these events. These students are invited to collect an application form from their relevant school reception. Find out more about the da Vinci Decathlon Find out more about the Future Problem Solving Competition Simone Mitchell, Teacher – Exceptional Learners Department read more

From the Head of Primary Years


Last week was the first full week for students and teachers. There were many tired faces by Friday, but it was exciting to see how much learning had already taken place. Essential agreements lay the foundation for respectful relationships and these have been worked out in each classroom between teachers and students as well as student to student. These are framed in a positive way and support the way in which we treat each other while we are together. Have a chat to your child to find out some more about the specifics of their class’s essential agreements. We were also very well supported by parents in our assemblies last week. Many awards were handed out to worthy candidates. Please feel free to attend either or both of these weekly events whenever you are able.  Parent Information Evenings Thanks to all parents in the Upper Primary Years who met with their child’s classroom teacher last week. The message of building relationships was strong throughout the evening and I encourage you to continue to do this as the year progresses. This week, the Lower Primary Parent Information Sessions will take place. All presentations will be uploaded to the appropriate year level pages on Firefly. Staff look forward to working with you during what will be an exciting year ahead.  Parent Support Group Meetings The Lower Primary Parent Support Group had their first meeting on Tuesday, and it was great to see so many enthusiastic faces ready to support the work of the Primary Years. The Upper Primary Parent Support Group meeting will be held next Tuesday at 8.45am in the P&F Centre. Everyone is welcome to attend. We will run through the major events of the year as well as look at goals for 2018. Chapel Offerings Each week there is an opportunity for families to offer a gold coin during our Lower and Upper Primary Chapel services. We would love to see this grow to continue the work that has been achieved in the past. This money is collected each week and goes towards our sponsorship of two children through the World Vision program.  This is purely voluntary but very appreciated.  ‘Make this year your child's best ever at school’ by Michael Grose A new school year means a fresh start for students. Regardless of your child’s performance last year, they start school with a clean slate. A break offers students the chance to begin new habits and adopt new behaviours. Here are seven ideas to help you make the most of the fresh start and make this year your child’s best year ever year at school: Commit to your child going to school every day on time. One of the most important things you can do to ensure your child has a bright future is to make sure he or she goes to school every day – and gets there on time. Kids spend more time asleep than at school, so we need to maximise every day to get full value.Help kids start each day well. A good night’s sleep, a healthy breakfast and some words of encouragement from you will help set a positive tone for a day of learning. This may mean that you adjust your morning routine so that kids have plenty of time get up, eat and get ready for the day.Establish work and study habits. The most successful students are those that develop regular study habits that suit their lifestyle, their study style and their school’s expectations. Find out the work expectations from your child’s or young person’s school and help them establish a work routine that matches.Make sure your child gets enough sleep. Many children and young people are sleep-deprived, which impacts on their wellbeing and their learning. A good night’s sleep consolidates learning, as well as assisting future learning. Children need between 10-12 hours of sleep each day, while teens need a minimum of nine hours. Help kids get sufficient sleep by having a regular bedtime and get-up time each day. Have a 45-minute wind-down time each night, and remove screens and mobile phones from bedrooms.Insist kids exercise. The old saying about ‘a healthy body and a healthy mind’ is so true. Exercise releases the chemicals needed for learning and wellbeing. Yet kids today get less exercise than those of past generations, which is an impediment to learning and mental health. Health professionals recommend a minimum of 60 minutes of exercise per day for kids of all ages. Encourage your child to play sport; promote free and active play and look for ways to make moving part of their daily lives.Focus on being friendly. Schools are very social places requiring kids to negotiate many different social situations each day. Yet we often only focus on academic learning. There are strong links between social success, and academic success and wellbeing. Encourage kids to be open and tolerant; to be friendly; to be sensitive to others; to be involved in plenty of activities and to be social risk-takers. These are all characteristics of socially successful kids. At the same time discourage anti-social behaviours such as over-competitiveness, self-centredness and lack of sharing.Develop self-help skills. Successful students are often well organised, self-directed and self-motivated. Personal organisation seems to come more naturally to girls than boys, however both genders benefit from coaching in this important area. You can foster organisational skills and self-direction by developing simple, age-appropriate self-help skills related to their everyday lives. Such skills as making lunches, packing school bags, and organising after school schedules can be great lessons that impact on how kids perform at school. At the start of the school year kids are likely to adopt changes than at any other time. Make the most of the opportunity by focusing on two or three areas to really focus on and you’ll find that the rest will fall into place Pam Carden, Head of Primary Years read more

From the P–12 Curriculum Coordinator


NAPLAN 2018 – National Testing for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 Families choosing to withdraw their students from NAPLAN or seeking an exemption, please advise Sue Grotherr, the P–12 Curriculum Coordinator, by 5:00pm Tuesday 8 May. — On the mornings of Tuesday 15 to Thursday 17 May, Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 students will be involved in National Testing for literacy and numeracy as part of the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). On Tuesday 15 May, students will complete the Language Conventions Test (focusing on spelling, grammar and punctuation) and the Writing Test. Reading skills will be tested on Wednesday 16 May with Numeracy skills being tested on Thursday 17 May. The timetable for NAPLAN is below. Tuesday 15 May Year 3: Language Conventions: 40 minutes; Writing: 40 minutes; Year 5: Language Conventions: 40 minutes; Writing: 40 minutes; Year 7: Language Conventions: 45 minutes; Writing: 40 minutes; and Year 9: Language Conventions: 45 minutes; Writing: 40 minutes. Wednesday 16 May Year 3: Reading: 45 minutes; Year 5: Reading: 50 minutes; Year 7: Reading: 65 minutes; and Year 9: Reading: 65 minutes. Thursday 17 May Year 3: Numeracy: 45 minutes; Year 5: Numeracy: 50 minutes; Year 7: Numeracy Part A (Calculator): 50 minutes; Numeracy Part B; (Non-calculator): 10 minutes; and Year 9: Numeracy Part A (Calculator): 50 minutes; Numeracy Part B; (Non-calculator): 10 minutes. Language Conventions includes spelling, grammar and punctuation. Numeracy includes number, space, algebra, function and pattern, measurement, chance and data. Calculators are not permitted in the Numeracy test in Years 3 and 5. In Years 7 and 9, a calculator is permitted in Part A but not in Part B. NAPLAN tests essential skills such as reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy. The content of each test is informed by the National Statements of Learning for English and Mathematics which underpin state and territory learning frameworks. Questions are multiple choice or require a short written response. This year, the Writing task will require students to write either a narrative or a persuasive text. This will be evident from the stimulus they are given and we will not know what it is until the day of the Writing test. There will be one Writing prompt for students in Years 3 and 5, and a second, different Writing prompt for students in Years 7 and 9. National testing provides information on how students are developing in the specified areas in relation to national benchmarks. The tests provide useful information which assists in improving teaching and learning. Teachers will expose students to similar test formats and question types through an integrated approach in the lead-up to National Testing. NAPLAN tests are one aspect of the school’s assessment and reporting process, and do not replace the extensive, school-based assessments of student performance. Parents, guardians and caregivers can support their children by making them feel comfortable about the purpose and nature of the tests and encouraging them to do their best. They can also assure students that the tests will give them an opportunity to show the knowledge and skills learned in class. All students are encouraged to participate in NAPLAN tests. Students with a disability may qualify for adjustments that reflect the support normally provided in the classroom. Mrs Stephanie Wise, the Exceptional Learners teacher, will contact you if your child is eligible for special provisions for the tests. A formal exemption may be granted for a student with significant intellectual disability and/or significant coexisting conditions, or for a student who has recently arrived in Australia and has a non-English speaking background. Please contact Mrs Wise if you would like more information on special provisions or the process required to gain a formal exemption. Please note the NAPLAN dates for 2018. It is important that a high level of student participation in the tests is reached and that all eligible students are assessed. For more information, please visit: www.nap.edu.au/NAPLAN/index.html He is Risen May the love of God surround you and your family this Easter as we once again mark the Passion of Christ. May his death on the Cross for our sins encourage us to love one another as He has loved us and may his glorious resurrection inspire us to live lives worthy of the eternal life that awaits us. Sue Grotherr, P–12 Curriculum Coordinator read more

Top five tips on navigating your way to the right University path


The Careers Centre staff invite many Universities to the College to keep the St Peters community informed of the options, “allowing our students to be more competitive within the Tertiary application processes,” says Jacqui. In the past couple of weeks St Peters have hosted visitors from across the US and Canada including Hofstra University, New York, The University of Transylvania in Kentucky, Embrey-Riddle Aeronautical University, the University of Hawaii and the University of Waterloo, Canada. Representatives have come in to talk with students personally from these institutes—as well as local universities—Griffith University and The University of Queensland. While it’s exciting, and sometimes confronting, for students to think about life beyond St Peters, here are Jacqui’s top five tips to think about when choosing a University, either within Australia or Internationally: Does it offer courses which align with your abilities, interests and preferred learning style? Will the quality be of a standard to meet your accreditation needs and will you get the support you may require (e.g. smaller class sizes)—refer to Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT) to compare courses. Note: Courses in the same field may be taught differently amongst institutions. Do you meet their pre-requisites or do they offer suitable pathways that may lead you to other preferred courses? Consider their links to industry and work integrated learning options. Opportunities to liaise with industry representatives and real world projects will enhance your employability. Do they offer sporting teams, professional groups, a career service, employability skills straining, international exchange opportunities, a thriving student guild—all of these contribute to the culture of the institution. Are their costs affordable for you? Can you access the campus without detriment to your learning or grades? Is there flexibly in the way they deliver courses? We are here to help you Come and make an appointment with at the Careers Centre to navigate your way to the next step of your education. Students and parents are able to book individual appointments to discuss subject selection, academic engagement, prerequisite requirements and post school options. Jacqui works on the premise that it is “never too early to commence exploring the options”. Jacqui also meets with all boarders to offer guidance on their school engagement and support with their post school exploration. “Relevant information is sent frequently to parents as they are influential in students’ post school decision making processes. This includes fortnightly Career Bulletins which outlines opportunities such as University experience days, STEM workshops, and university courses options,” says Jacqui. The Career Development Program offered at St Peters embraces a holistic approach, acknowledging that many variables contribute to sound post school decisions such as an increased awareness of one’s abilities, interests, values, character strengths while also considering the impact of influences such as automation, globalisation and other factors on the future world of work. If you’ve never visited the Careers Centre, you are encouraged to do so and you will receive a very warm and hospitable welcome from Jacqui and Kath. read more