Term 1 Newsletter 18th March 2022
Homework and Why It’s Worth It In The Long Run:
Now that the excitement of the beginning of a new school year has worn off, some of the routines of school life start to become a little mundane for some at this time of term. Usually, one of the first things that begin to fade at this time of term is students and parents attitudes towards homework. Parents need to dig deep and keep an optimistic outlook. For most classes, there are only about 2 more weeks of homework left, but for some, this may seem like an eternity. However, by concentrating on encouraging students to keep going and setting a goal, the reward at the end is two weeks holiday.
Homework always has and always will be a source of frustration in many households around the country if not the world...so you’re not alone on this one! However, why is it so that some families struggle with homework more than others? The answer to that question is simple…. set a clear and consistent expectation and routine right from the start and place a high value on completing homework activities on time.
Homework is a common expectation for most primary school children. The nature of the activities will vary between different schools and for different ages, so it is best to discuss expectations with your child’s teacher.
Homework causes more headaches for parents than it does for children. Some parents worry because their children don’t seem to do enough while others are concerned because they are given too much. Others are concerned that their child will get into big trouble if it is not done, and a minority (gladly) don’t feel homework is important and provide excuses for their children. My advice…do this at your own peril. Kids who are in routine and who make a commitment to their learning have a far greater chance of success when they enter secondary school. You will make a rod for your own back if you allow your kids to avoid such commitments.
Homework is very much a part of secondary education however primary schools vary in their approach. As a general rule, little formal work is given to children in the first couple of years of schooling. But as they progress, the amount of homework increases. Here at St Francis, students are shown what is required of them and each week the teachers give feedback to the students about their homework. Set tasks should be an extension of work covered in class or revision. In other words, unless a student has been absent from school, the excuse of “I don’t know what to do”, is not completely accurate. Completion of projects in older year levels is never given at the last moment. The students are provided with criteria/information sheets with more than enough class and home time for their completion.
As your children progress through the grades, parents need to become a little redundant when it comes to assisting with homework. Most kids in Grades 5 & 6 are more than capable of completing homework tasks own their own. They can access online activities which cater to individual learning styles, and I know for a fact that their teachers make themselves available during lunch hours or alternative times to assist any student who may require assistance. Also, in most year levels, students have seven days to complete the set tasks.
Talking with students a couple of weeks ago in Year 4/5/6, they all agreed that they can easily complete all their homework over one or two afternoons if they put their mind to it…. not a huge commitment by any means. As I said to this cohort recently, your teachers have put in the effort, it is only right to repay the favour and put the effort in yourself to get it done.
There has been considerable debate over the last decade about the value of homework for primary-aged children. Most educators agree that reading and repetition of learning basics are the most valuable homework that a child can do and should become a daily habit for children. "Repetition is the mother of memory." Other benefits include reinforcement of topics covered at school, an opportunity for parents to gain an idea of what is being taught in class, and help establish a regular study routine in preparation for secondary school study expectations.
If you have concerns about how much homework your child is set or the level of difficulty, please contact your child’s teacher and arrange a time to discuss your worries. Such discussion is the basis of a true partnership between you and your child’s teacher.
Families should have received their first school fee invoices for the year. Invoices will be forwarded home electronically each term, instead of hard copy every month. Please double check your emails and if you haven’t received one, contact the office asap. We have several options for families to pay these fees. Please don’t hesitate to contact the office to arrange internet banking, direct debit, repayment plans etc. It is vital that all families meet their financial commitment to the school. Not only is the regular payment of fees a condition of enrolment, school fees are the school’s major source of income. Consequently, our ability to continually provide the best possible staffing levels and student resources rely heavily on your timely payment of school fees and levies.
Why do school fees exist?
They exist because non-government schools which include Catholic schools, only receive approx. 75% of the funding per student from the Federal Government of the total cost associated with per-student funding in Government schools. School fees and levies exist to bridge the funding shortfall. Ed. Qld schools are fully funded by the State Government. The majority of funding for Catholic Schools is sourced from the Federal Government.
Where do school fees & levies go?
As mentioned before, the fees and levies you pay are our major source of income and are directed towards additional teacher and support staff wages, classroom resourcing, IT upgrades, building & grounds maintenance, library and curriculum resourcing, and of course general operating and administrative expenses such as insurance, rates, electricity etc.
Families also need to keep in mind that the school has always strived to keep fees and levies to an absolute minimum. When you consider the resourcing levels and amount of free of charge opportunities available for students here at St Francis, the level of fees is extremely reasonable. Of course, we do understand that from time to time, families fall into financial hardship. Our fees and levies are not designed to be a burden on any family. All we ask is that you contact the office and make an appointment to come in and discuss alternative payment options or concessions
Disco Time 5:45pm - 7:45pm:
On Thursday 31 March, starting at 5:45pm, we will see our first social event of the year, our disco. This will be an opportunity to ‘Meet and Greet’ the staff and other families, along with having a boogie and dance with your children. It is a gold coin donation and all proceeds will go towards Project Compassion.
Please bring some nibbles to share with the community and BYO drinks. The P&F will have a sausage on bread for the students. Parental supervision is required so children in attendance, will need a parent representative attending this night. It is not a drop off and collect event. It is a wonderful opportunity to establish and reconnect friendships, socialise and be apart of our community. I encourage you to take up this opportunity for a great family night out full of fun, dancing and smiling.
NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) is used by governments, education authorities and schools to determine how children are performing in reading, writing, spelling, punctuation, grammar and numeracy.
All students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 are expected to sit the NAPLAN tests, which are held in May each year across Australia.
On Tuesday in Week 10, students in Years 3 & 5 will participate in a Naplan Practice Omnibus Test (various reading, language and numeracy questions for 45 minutes) and Year 5 students will have an additional online 42 minute Practice Writing Test the same day. It is important to understand that this Practice Test is separate from the actual NAPLAN Test which will occur in Week 4, Term 2. Results will not be reported for any of the practice tests.
For more information, please visit the following link https://nap.edu.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/naplan-information-brochure-for-parents-and-carers.pdf
Congratulations to the St Francis P&F Executive Committee for 2022 and thank you for offering your assistance to support our beautiful school.
President:- Louise Willett
Vice-President – Kate Patterson
Secretary:- Samantha Singleton
Treasurer:- Kylie Hay
We had a great roll up last Thursday night and thank you to those that were able to come and support the school. We are looking for helpers for Cross Country on Monday 28, and for the Disco/Meet and Greet on Thursday 31 March – please let Mr Red know if you can help out in any way.
Chasing a Tuckshop Convenor:
St Francis is looking for a Tuckshop Convenor for 2022. If you know of or are interested in the position, please let Mr Red know.
Upcoming Public Holidays and Pupi Free Days:
- Toowoomba Show Holiday – Friday 25 March – Toowoomba (Clifton) Public Holiday
- Easter Monday 18 April – Public Holiday
- Tuesday 19 April – Pupil Free Day
- ANZAC Day – Monday 25 April – Public Holiday
- Labour Day – Monday 2 May – Public Holiday
To finish the week with a little laughter...
The child comes home from his first day at school.
“What did you learn today?” Asked the mother.
“Not enough,” the child replied. “I have to go back again tomorrow.”
In the last newsletter, I noted that writing has many components needed to create a piece of text. This week, I thought I would show you what we have been working on here at St Francis and to also praise the student’s efforts. In Prep/Year 1, students have been learning to publish their writing. Our younger writers are supported when creating the text. They have proudly displayed their writing in their classroom at it looks amazing!
The Year 2/3 class has been working on their character descriptions in narratives. This week they described Muffin the Rockstar using interesting words.
The 4/5/6 class have been focusing on story structure this week. All students were given a story plan with the topic of bushwalking. They incorporated the five senses, similes and metaphors, and WOW words to create their narrative.
Well done to our brave students who have been taking risks with their writing! It has been wonderful to witness your growth so far.
This fortnight, students in Prep and Year 1 have worked on developing their fine motor skills through art and craft activities. Students have learnt skills in concertina folding, twisting, crumpling and fringing.
In Science, Prep/Year 1 have been learning about changes in our environment and how these changes impact on what we do, what we wear and what we see. Students discovered, some changes happen daily (for example, day and night) while others happen over a longer period (seasons). Students have been busy responding to questions and following instructions to record, sort and share their observations.
A highlight this fortnight has been learning the ‘j’ sound (prep) and the ‘fr’ blend (year 1). Students had their first cooking experience for the year making ‘Frog In the Pond’ (jelly and a chocolate frog in a cup). They were delighted to be able to visit Mr Redinger’s Principal office to share their ‘Frog in the Pond’ and of course take one home to eat themselves.
During math lessons this fortnight we have been learning about 2 D and 3 D shapes. We have been challenged to identify the features or attributes of shapes. Did you know parallel lines are two straight lines that never meet? Did you know perpendicular lines meet at a right angle? We are continuing to work towards building our number sense. Our learning intention is- We are learning to model, represent and read numbers to 1000/ 10 000.
We have been exploring what Jesus' mission is on Earth? We have found the 10 Commandments in the old testaments and considered what life might be like with no rules or laws. We considered what life was like at this time. Learners are busily creating their own 10 Commandments for home or school. Clean up, respect each other and worship are featuring on several posters.
Our reading focus is finding the main idea in the text. We ask ourselves the question- What is the text mostly about? Our brain scans the text to see the title, pictures and repeated words or phrases. Some learners are even looking for key words, text layout and reading the topic sentence to support their reading. Remember in year 2/3 we are all about making meaning of the text.
Year 4/5/6 News
During Religion we have begun looking at the question, “What makes a community of faith?” This lead to some great questions and discussions. On Monday, we will go over to the church to visit Father Rod so he can answer our questions.
Two quick reminders:
- Please bring in any shoe boxes or mirrors you have at home if you have any. Next week we will construct our light mazes.
- Homework is returned to school on Friday and it is also handed out for the next week on Friday so you have a full seven days to complete it.
In the 4/5/6 room, we have been demonstrating a growth mindset during our learning. This week, while completing a narrative, the students were given feedback on their writing through some sticky notes. The students were then asked to look at their writing and make changes to enhance their work. For some of the students, this has been a challenge! We had a great conversation regarding when adults need to go back over their work to either check it or improve it. I have a friend who is an author, and she needs to revise and edit a whole book… if the professionals can do it, so can we.
This term in the library, we have been focusing on choosing great books to read for pleasure. Each week we have looked at a different type of book … we have had books about sport, books about pets, books about maths etc. Last week when reading all different books about sport … stories and information books … we participated in some Minute-to-win-it activities.
In one minute, we had to see how many card-houses we could build, how many times we could up-stack and down-stack 6 cups, how many ping pong balls we could bounce into an egg carton, how many times could we pinch our nose and ear (swapping hands each time), and how many Cheerios we could thread onto a pipe cleaner to make a Cheerio bracelet.
We had great fun with our Minute-to-win-it activities and found lots of great books to borrow so we can continue to practice our reading.
Mrs Trudi Burgess
St Francis de Sales students are continuing practising their ball handling skills with throwing, catching and hitting. Years 2 to 6 are now incorporating these skills into a modified cricket game. The older students will benefit from these lessons as they work towards competing against Clifton State School towards the end of the year when they play in an annual cricket match.
Cross Country training has continued Tuesdays and Wednesdays before school at 8:00am. We are preparing for our Cross Country which we will be hosting between St Francis and St Patrick’s from Allora. This event will take place on Monday 28 March in the last week of term at the Clifton Golf Club. We look forward to watching our students compete at this popular event. More information will be sent home Monday.
Congratulations to our students who tried out for Southern Zone Rugby League - Riley Hardy, Lucas Stace, Nate Murdoch, Bailey Gascoyne, Archie Joppich, Thomas Patterson & Mick Willet. Well done to Bailey Gascoyne and Nate Murdoch for making the Southern Zones Rugby League Team. Well done to Berri Maguire for making the Southern Zone Soccer Team. All the best to Bailey Gascoyne and Thomas Patterson for making the Central Downs Tennis Team. We wish our triathletes all the best for their Central Downs Trial today - Lucas Stace, Eve Skillington and Nate Murdoch.
Given the recent events, included below is a parent fact sheet around supporting children following a natural disaster .
STUDENT PROTECTION CONTACTS
Feeing Safe- All students have a right to feel safe and be safe.
If you are concerned about any form of abuse that is immediate, you should call 000. A significant risk or harm of a student, whether or not you have formed this belief on reasonable ground, should immediately be raised with one of our Student Protection Contacts.
We do recommend the setting-up of a direct debit facility to pay regular amounts into the school account. This alleviates overdue bills.
SCHOOL Bank Details
Reminder: All P&F payments & Uniform payments are paid to a different bank account NOT the school account.
P&F Bank Details