The benefits of students learning a second language are vast. It is widely recognized that learning another language improves cognitive skills and provides understanding of cultural differences for positive cross-cultural relationships in our increasing globalized world. It assists students in understanding what it means to be literate and improves their knowledge of their own language and how languages work.
Together with our Japanese Specialist teacher and our Leader of Teaching and Learning and Innovation I took part in the Leading Languages Program along with other school across Victoria with the aim to enhancing our school based LOTE program.
We had the opportunity to visit other schools who had undertaken the program in previous years and saw ways they had implemented their LOTE programs to gain different perspectives and gather ideas.
Throughout the course we listened to keynote speakers and shared best practice in LOTE that was happening in our schools. I feel this process has enabled us to develop a three year plan to enhance our LOTE program from Foundation to Year 6.
Each year we celebrate our learning in LOTE with a Japanese Day. This is a celebration of the Japanese culture, their traditions and some of the learning that has taken place in lessons.
As usual we have a fashion parade for all those who came in Japanese costume or dressed up reflecting something about Japan or their culture. It was fabulous to see the traditional Japanese dress, the Japanese Flag, Sumo Wrestlers, representation of other martial arts and many other interpretations of the Japanese culture.
We were entertained by a performance from the Taiko Drummers from St. Francis Xavier College. The young students were amazing and some of St. Brigid’s students were invited to join them.
There was an opportunity to for students and staff to have a Japanese lunch and sample sushi. In the afternoon each Year level had the opportunity to present some of their learning. It was very pleasing to see our parents and friends come along to experience the day with us.
We have had a extremely warm start to Term 4 with temperatures in the mid 30°C.
As we move ahead through the next 10 weeks of the final term for 2015 it is important that we continue learning and building upon and consolidating learning that has occurred throughout the year.
As teachers we must remain focused and ensure the students are engaged as quite easily their attention can turn to graduating to secondary school, moving on to their next year level or thinking about the exciting time of Christmas and summer holidays. With shops and media commentary filled with count downs to Christmas and an array of decorations it is not hard to become distracted.
We are blessed with a highly motivated and diligent staff. who have been planning and preparing in their own time during the recent holiday break to ensure our students are engaged and enthusiastic about their learning.
We must grasp every opportunity up to the end of the year and as we approach the final weeks it is then we begin to turn our thoughts to the anticipation of Advent and prepare ourselves for the wonderful birth of Jesus, our Prince of Peace.
St. Brigid’s staff once again held a Father’s Day Breakfast for our students and their fathers and grandfathers. Special people who play a role as a father figure in the lives of our students were also welcome.
I would like to thank everyone who came along to celebrate the unique relationship between father and child. We understand many of you would have had to rearrange your work schedules and organise an early start to attend.
Thank you also to all St. Brigid’s staff for being enthusiastic about providing this opportunity.
Happy Father’s Day to all fathers. May you be able to spend this special day in the company of family or in reflection and remembering of those loved ones who have passed.
Saturday August 22nd to Friday, August 28th 2015
It is always a joy to celebrate Book Week. To discover the joy of reading is a wonderful gift that lasts a lifetime. Books have the ability to awaken our imaginations and take us to places that we have not been to before. We can go on adventures and explore worlds that are very different from our own. They stir the senses and bring out our emotions.
Reading and understanding what you read lays the foundation for a student’s success at school and in life. Some of the ways parents are able to assist our school in nurturing and encouraging the love of reading are:
- Having a ‘reading-friendly’ home. A great way to do this by setting up a reading nook that is comfortable and inviting, a place where you can relax away from other distractions;
- Setting some time aside each day to read together. If this is an enjoyable experience then forming a habit or routine to read without forcing it upon yourself or your child is much easier to accomplish. It is important children enjoy being read to as well as reading themselves. A suggestion to keeping the momentum going when you are reading together is to offer to read a chapter or paragraph each. Younger children it may be a sentence or page of a picture book.
- Letting your children see you reading for enjoyment and showing your enthusiasm for reading. Young children love to imitate grown ups. They will be encouraged to be like you!
- Keeping books so they are easily accessible. Have a variety of reading material that is in written form or digital. Find books that excite you and that accommodate the interests of your child and yourself.
- Visiting a Library regularly and making it an enjoyable experience that you look forward to. Libraries have wonderful resources that you can use. They are filled with age appropriate books and current novels from a wide range of authors. They provide an opportunity to sample different genres and authors without the added financial burden.
- Discussing books and sharing your reading experiences. Look deeper into the book for meaning. If you enjoy keeping a journal, keep a log or journal on what you have read. Look back on books you have read in the past, the ones that have thrilled you and the ones you did not enjoy as much.
When my children were young they formed a reading club with the neighbourhood children. It gave them a purpose for reading and increased the excitement of getting together to read. My daughter being the oldest member took on the role of encouraging and helping the others with their reading. It was a great pastime and one my children and their friends remember fondly. It was at a time when the Goosebumps Series of books by R. L. Stine were popular and they suited the age and genders of these young readers. My daughter is now a teacher and is still passionate about cultivating young readers by passing on her passion and love of books to others.
Being able to read and comprehend the written word will open the doors for future success in areas of life.
Every year since our school opened in 2010 we have been invited to the Casey Aged Care facility to entertain the residents. This year, our Year 3 Choir performed brilliantly and represented St. Brigid’s School with enthusiasm and joyfulness.
It was such a pleasure to see the residents enjoy their entertainment and to listen to them speak very highly of our students. For me it was also an opportunity to have a chat with the senior members of our community and share stories about golf, tennis and their sporting achievements. The students also had conversations and there were many smiling faces.
We wish all the residents well and thank them for showing us such warm hospitality. We look forward to returning again in the near future.
It was a pleasure to visit the Senior Learning Centre last Friday. Together with Miles, many parents, grandparents and students from the Middle and Junior Learning Communities I attended their Weather Expo and was delighted with the confidence of the students presenting their weather event.
It is important for students to be given opportunities to showcase their work. Parents are able to access digital displays of students work on their class blogs, however, it is important for students to be given the opportunity to showcase their work in person. In this way students are able to give the added touch to their presentations and demonstrations through articulating their learning with expression and confidence and relay to the visitors their investigations and understandings about their inquiry unit. Being able to talk directly with people and receive many positive comments highlights to the students the significance of their work and creates motivation.
It is by doing that students learn the most. Being a teacher, I am inspired by the quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” We aim to capture students’ interest and provoke meaningful thinking by presenting them with real-life problems or a phenomenon to investigate. In this way students apply themselves, engage in critical thinking and gather information to answer challenging and specific questions.
When a student is aware their work will be viewed by others they know that high standards are expected. Listening to their peers presenting their work and receiving positive feedback allows students to identify ways to improve their own work and social skills and it generates ideas for improvement in their own learning.
Over the past months I have been discussing the possibility of developing a vegetable garden with our staff, the Student Representative Council members, our Student Leaders for Sustainability, School Board members and the parent community. Everyone has been very supportive of this initiative and a committee has been formed to see this plan come to fruition.
A concept plan has been produced and we envisage having a rustic fenced area that will cater for raised vegetable beds, a chicken coop, storage shed, citrus trees and possibly a bay tree which will also provide a wind break, composting and mulch area, a sheltered seating area and some flower beds. We will have access through a curved sensory path and vehicle and machinery access via a larger opening.
The idea for this vegetable garden came about as a way of helping our community. It is hoped that when the garden is producing healthy crops we will be able to supply ‘school grown’ vegetables and fruit to those in our Parish community who are in need.
In addition to the social justice initiative we also hope that this space becomes another opportunity for student learning, with classes visiting the space to learn about sustainable living, housing and feeding chickens, recycling, composting and worm farming, crop rotation and many more possible learning outcomes. Students will have the opportunity to visit during recess and lunch breaks and have an alternative option for play by spending time weeding, feeding and looking after the chickens and just enjoying the atmosphere of the abundant nature within this area.
Without the help of interested parents, grandparents and friends of St. Brigid’s this garden would only be a dream. It is with the support of our community that we are able to achieve such plans and I fully appreciate their time and effort to assist their school in this project.
Below is the Concept Plan for our Vegetable Garden
Vegetable Garden COMMUNITY GARDEN (3)
St. Brigid’s School welcomed back Andrew Chinn, a musician best known for his Butterfly Music to hold workshops throughout the day with our students culminating in a concert for parents and friends in the evening. Andrew’s Christian music is used throughout schools and parishes for liturgies and Religious Education.
Andrew has a very positive way of interacting with the students and he has endeared himself to our community with the way he was able to engage all our students through his friendliness, humour and beautiful music. Miles was extremely pleased to have the best seat in the room.
Thank you Andrew for a delightful day and we look forward to welcoming you back to St. Brigid’s in the future.
The 2015 Stewardship Program is underway in St. Michael’s Parish. It was a pleasure to speak to a group of parishioners last night to personally thank them for the contribution the parish has made to St. Brigid’s School.
I was pleased to be able to highlight how much we have grown in the last 5 years from open green fields to a growing vibrant community that has developed with over 280 students. Last Friday, April 24th 2015 we held the Blessing and Official Opening of Stage 2 of our Master Plan. This was a celebration of the effort everyone has made to carry out the vision and mission of Catholic Education for our community.
Without Fr. Peter’s foresight for the growth within the area St. Brigid’s would not have existed and huge sacrifice the parish has made to support the vision of building another new school within their parish boundaries is to be commended. St. Brigid’s is one of three schools of St. Michael’s Parish educating and offering the opportunity for everyone to come to know Jesus Christ.
Everyday I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity to lead this wonderful community and I look forward to our growth as a school and as part of a parish community that celebrates and shares the love of God with each other.
The Blessing and Opening of Stage 2 of St. Brigid’s School took place on Friday, April 24th 2015.
It was a celebration of the further development of our school, which has grown into a wonderful vibrant community with over 280 students in the last five years.
We were very pleased to welcome the new Bishop of Sale, Bishop Patrick O’Regan together with the Very Reverend Peter Slater, our Parish Priest, Mrs. Maria Kirkwood, the Director of Catholic Education Sale, the Federal Member for La Trobe Mr. Jason Wood MP, and local Member of Parliament Mr. Brad Battin MP
I congratulate our student and parent community, staff and friends on the warmth and welcoming spirit we have here at our School. This is a feature that is always remarked upon by people who tour our school. They genuinely feel welcomed and sense the vibrant, engaging atmosphere that is present here.
Already we are working towards Stage 3 of our Master Plan to cater for the continual growth of our magnificent school.
Miles is joining in with the Choir
Miles is at front making sure everyone is ready
for the Blessing and Opening to begin