Welcome back after the long weekend. I hope you all enjoyed the break and I’m certain that our gardens loved the rain more than the spectators at the horse races!
This year all our staff will undergo formal training to improve their cultural knowledge and understanding. This training is a key commitment in the Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan, Victoria’s ten-year plan to support improved outcomes for Koorie learners across early childhood, schools, skills and training, and higher education.
The purpose of the training is to increase understanding of Koorie culture, history and experience to ensure a strong foundation for culturally inclusive practices. The training also aligns with the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes, including the state wide priority of ‘positive climate for learning.'
The training will cover the following topics:
Welcome to Country/Acknowledgement of Country
History: pre and post-colonisation
Aboriginal communities today
Inclusion and reflective practice
Aboriginal perspectives in the Victorian Curriculum
Small group table discussions about what we might do next as a school following this training.
Helping your child to read
I’m certain we all acknowledge the importance of reading with your children. Even if your child has become an independent reader, it still is advisable to continue reading together and to ask them questions that help with their comprehension. Although reading fluency is important, so too is the comprehension of what is being read. One way to go about this is through ‘Book Chat.’ Essentially this means asking probing questions to further explore the text. The DET suggests the following questions can help:
Does the main character change in the story? (How does the character change?)
If you could change the ending of the book, what would it be?
What do you think is the story’s main message?
Can you relate the story’s message to another event or issue?
How could other people see the message differently?
Moving from one year level to the next can be both an exciting and intimidating experience for students. Whilst the move from Kinder to Prep, or Grade 6 to secondary school is significant, so too is the transition within a school. We try and assist our kids with this by holding events such as ‘One–up Day’ (Wednesday 21 November) where students spend time visiting the department and teachers where they will be placed the following year. Students are able to experience the classroom spaces, and talk about some of the learning and extra-curricula activities they will be faced with the following year. Although they don’t meet their specific teacher for next year on this day, they do get the chance to meet the team and learn more about the expectations for their new grade level. Towards the end of the term, all students will have a final ‘Orientation Day’ (Tuesday 11 December) where they will engage in more activities with their 2019 teachers and peers.
Hope you all have a great ‘short week’ and before we know it, it will be the weekend again!
Dr Adrian Waters
Principal, Torquay College