From the Deputy Head of Junior School

What is my child learning in Term 4?
Curriculum overviews of what is being taught in each subject this term are now available on CLASSe – including information about the curriculum, messages posted by your child’s teacher, and links to other curriculum areas which is called ‘PATHWAYS’. Please click on the tab called ‘Term Curriculum Overviews’ and you will be able to read about what your child is learning about in all of their subjects. Within the CLASSe site you can also access what the specialist teachers are covering this term in their curriculum under the same tab name.

No doubt you enjoyed the time in the holidays to look through your child’s portfolio of assessed work in all curriculum areas. If you have any questions about your child’s progress, please talk to your child’s classroom or specialist teacher. We ask that you return this portfolio to school as soon as possible so Term 4 assessment can be filed into them. Thank you for your attention in this regard.

PAT Testing
Teachers are constantly assessing children in class, it doesn’t just happen at the end of a unit of work or at the end of a term. This is known as formative assessment which provides immediate feedback to both the teacher and student regarding the learning process.

Asking questions orally, conducting a mini survey, asking children to provide feedback to us on what they are still unsure about, and conducting a test are some of a myriad of ways in which teachers can assess where their students are at in their learning. Of course there is a place for summative testing which assesses whether students have retained key concepts, skills, and content knowledge. We are currently conducting some PAT (Progressive Achievement Testing) online assessments for various year levels. Year 1 students complete a reading assessment and the staff use this data lined up against other assessments, such as their regular benchmark testing and class progress to monitor growth. Years 2 and 3 students complete testing in Maths, Reading and Spelling. Years 4 to 6 complete testing in Spelling, Maths, Reading and Vocabulary.

The results of these tests give us a wealth of information. We can look at cohort growth and trends, as well as individual growth over time, as we conduct the testing each year. We line these results up against class assessments, observations, anecdotal records taken by the teacher, and our deep knowledge of each child. This helps teachers to modify teaching and learning activities and, importantly, determine next steps in your child’s learning for the rest of this term and into next year. If you have queries about your child’s progress, please be in touch with your child’s class teacher.

Prep parents – have you saved the date?
Prep parents and friends are warmly invited to attend a special Prep Assembly on Friday 21 October at 2.00pm in Metcalfe Hall. Please mark this date in your diary so you can enjoy watching the children as they showcase and celebrate their first year at school.

Most of our students have returned their money from sponsors of our Walkathon held on the last day of Term 3. The students walked laps around the school in an effort to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Thank you for your support of this worthy cause, and we ask that all money raised is returned to Reception as soon as possible. We have raised around $1700 so far – a magnificent effort.  

Swimming Intensives/Camps
Year 6 students commenced their Swimming Intensive this week at our Bulleen pool with Year 1 the following week. All of this information has been posted on your child’s CLASSe page, if you need further information. Year 5D is off to camp at our beautiful Toonallook property on the Banksia Peninsula next week, and so begins our camping season. All parents of students in Year 3, 5 and 6 whose children attend camp this term have received forms and information. Our camping program is part of our core curriculum and, as such, all students are expected to attend. We welcome any queries from parents and if your child is nervous or unsure about any aspect of the program, please be in touch with your child’s class teacher or year level Co-ordinator. Your child will love their Carey Outdoor Education experiences which occur annually, and continue right up to Year 10 in Senior School. Some of your child’s fondest memories of their time in our Junior School will be of their camp experience.

Birthday Parties reminder – our guidelines
We remind families that if you are inviting students from our school to your child’s birthday party, that you do not issue the invitations at school, unless all students in their class are invited. Please do not put them into schoolbags. Mailed or emailed invitations are preferred so that uninvited children are not disappointed, and embarrassment is avoided. Thank you for your sensitivity in this matter. 

Louise Sayar
Deputy Head – Student Learning