NEWSLETTER 2 - 8th February 2022
We all know the experience of sitting in front of someone with whom we are having a conversation, however, we notice they have drifted off; their physical body may not have moved but their eyes seem to recede in some way, and we know attention has gone. And so not only do we feel not heard, but we also actually feel disconnected. The attention we devote to anyone, to any task, is very much a physical force that connects us. Nilli Lavie is a Professor of Psychology and Brain Science at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, and she argues that some people have a biological propensity to distraction, a variation on Attention Deficit Disorder. And her research also suggests that our capacity for attention is strictly limited.
Professor Lavie argues that ‘Inattentional blindness’ is a phenomenon that occurs when our attention is engaged in a task that involves a lot of information, resulting in a high information load on the brain. When people pay attention under such conditions, the brain’s capacity to perceive any additional information that is not perceived as inherent to the task that they are doing is drastically impaired. And it leads to various phenomena of inattentional blindness - where quite conspicuous events that would be easily noticed if you did pay attention to them, people fail to notice them entirely. Her research concluded that it is critically dependent on how much capacity a person still has available in order to ‘attend to’ a growing number of tasks – there is a finite limit to our available capacity.
In one experiment, Professor Lavie asked respondents to do a visual task, (either demanding or it was very easy) and at the end of this series of visual stimuli a sound or a beep was displayed - 80% of the people who engaged in the demanding task, in the high load task failed to notice that there was any sound, whereas only 20% of the people who performed an easy task failed to notice the presence of the sound. Therefore, it appears that it is critically dependent on the level of load in the task, whether we are ‘inattentionally deaf’ or not. Obviously, it is all happening in our head, and we can actually create a situation of high information load on the brain, even when there is no stimuli load in our brain at that moment such as being asked to memorise a certain visual picture, if that visual picture is more complex than we have more information to memorise.
In the week leading up to term 1, teachers participated in a one day professional learning experience that supports our three year school strategic plan that promotes John Hattie’s ‘Visible Learning’ program. A critical element of this extensively researched and respected program identifies the importance of structuring learning and teachable experiences that respect certain learning dispositions, with the intent of providing students with an increasing level of resilience and ‘ownership’ of their engagement with learning; learning and subsequent attainment that reflects the uniqueness of student learning dispositions in the context of the addition of key teaching strategies. With you, I look forward to both our staff and student response to the creative insights on teaching and learning subsumed in the principles and practices of ‘Visible Learning’ that will hopefully channel attention to outcomes rather than overload and ‘tune-out’ learners.
Thank you to all in our school community who remain attentive to important learning in a time where our attention can often be focused on many sources.
Term 1 - Thursday 3rd February - Thursday 14th April
Term 2 - Monday 2nd May - *Friday 8th July
Term 3 - Monday 25th July - Friday 30th September
Term 4 - Monday 17th October - Thursday 15th December
*Student Free Day Friday 8th July 2022
- School assemblies – parents are welcome to attend provided they sign-in at the school office and sign-in using the Check In Tas APP (located on the doors of each room). School captains will be instrumental in leading each assembly and student celebrations and sharing of news and class work will continue to feature:
- Monday mornings – Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.
- Tuesday mornings – Prep, Years 1 and 2.
- Wednesday to Friday mornings – School Captains will provide assemblies via Zoom to classes in their classrooms.
- Teachers will arrange for the delivery of online learning for those students who have tested positive or are deemed to be close contacts of a confirmed case and therefore need to quarantine.
- Teachers will be incorporating activities to support learning in key learning areas such as English and Mathematics, using Seesaw as the online platform and incorporating learning tasks that correspond with the tasks that are planned to be undertaken as part of face-to-face learning and teaching.
- A variety of supporting online programs that are part of our whole-school approach to literacy and numeracy will support online learning; these programs include ‘Sound Waves’ (spelling), ‘Wushka’ (Reading), ‘Maths Online’ (Mathematics), ‘LiteracyPro’ (Reading).
- If families choose to keep students at home and there are no underlying medical or educational reasons for this, then the school does not need to provide Learning at Home for those children.
- Staff and student health and safety is of the upmost importance and one of our key challenges for term 1 will be maintaining staff attendance and minimising disruption to face-to-face teaching.
- Parent morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up is requested to be undertaken outside the school internal buildings (except for parents of kinder and Prep students – see point iii below) please in order to mitigate the risk of further exposure to members of the school community, however, we appreciate your child’s education is a partnership between school and home and this relationship may need to be nurtured by parent-teacher discussions which may necessitate short, in-class conversations between parent and teacher, which we will support provided COVID safe guidelines are in place:
- All parents who enter the school building are required to use the QR code app AND sign-in at the school office please; parents should then enter the classroom from the external exit door please (the classroom door that faces a playground or external pathway area) rather than walk through internal corridors.
- Adults on site and outside are not required to wear face masks or sign-in, however, please observe 1.5 m distancing.
- Parents of children in Kindergarten and Prep students are welcome to use the respective external class doors (facing the playground) to enter the classrooms in the morning drop-off period and may work with their child for a short period of time. Kinder drop-off times are slightly staggered for the initial few weeks at least.
- If a student or member of staff is seen to be displaying cold or flu symptoms, we will assume COVID infection – the person expected to stay home and take a COVID test. Symptoms include: a cough, fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, headache, sore throat, runny nose.
- Close contact due to confirmed case of a household member:
- The person must not come to school – the family is expected to inform the principal and quarantine.
- The person must quarantine for seven days from the date of the contact even if asymptomatic.
- The person can enter the school on day seven of the quarantine provided two negative RAT results (days 1 and 6 of the quarantine period)
- Classmates of a confirmed case in the classroom:
- The school will contact parents of children in the class to be alert for symptoms, but face-to-face learning and teaching will continue.
- Class outbreak – is defined as 5 or more confirmed cases of a class within seven days:
- All members of the class are provided with RAT (three RAT kits will be provided to each member of the class) and RAT implemented at home by a parent every two days.
- Face-to-face learning and teaching will continue.
- Quarantining only if symptomatic.
Please find following a link to request a rapid antigen test kit. Families can request to collect the test from one of the selected places or they can have the test delivered to them for free. Given test kits are limited in supply from the school, this may be another option for families. https://form.jotform.com/220105313127034
Our classroom was abuzz on the first day with smiling reunions, the sharing of holiday stories, and a lovely sense of togetherness. Students brainstormed with Mrs Lockyer about ways to create a happy, safe, and productive learning environment. Together, they developed a team agreement. As always, students will live out our WEST values at St. Patrick’s Catholic School - our classroom motto is “work hard, be kind”.
Students will review skills attained in Year 1 and engage in new concepts to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding. In Literacy, students will continue to build their phonics skills and phonological awareness through the InitiaLit program. During Term 1, our writing focus is imaginative writing. In Mathematics, students will review and consolidate their knowledge of number bonds and build on their understanding of place value. In Science, we will begin by exploring our living world and how it changes. We are looking forward to working in the school garden with Mr Tim, and we will be investigating how technology is used in the kitchen.
We welcome the care and expertise of Mrs. Michelle Lamprey in the role of Teacher Assistant. We are excited to share in your child’s academic, social, and emotional growth throughout 2022!
Catholic Education Tasmania supports schools in offering children creative play and learning within our outdoor spaces through our Outdoor Play and Learning Policy.
It is timely to restate some purposes of this policy, being:
- Support learning and creative play with reasonable levels of risk-taking.
- Offer age appropriate activities and items to encourage development of gross motor, collaboration and risk assessment skills.
- Enable children to extend their capabilities. Examples of potential activities with suitable risk controls include:
- Loose parts imaginative play & building. e.g. Logs, sticks, milk crates, rocks, tyres, mud play, etc.
- Limited tree climbing/play.
- Approved items disassembled
The School Canteen will commence Thursday 17th February. We are currently in the process of implementing an online ordering system for our school canteen this year. All information in regards to this new online ordering process should be confirmed by the end of this week and we will send details home to families early next week. Information on the menu, including prices, will be included with this information and will be located on our school website under the ‘News and Forms’ tab.
Students in Year 6 who are proposing themselves as potential school (or house captains) presented brief speeches during yesterday’s morning assembly. Students in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6, and all staff voted after the presentations. One student from each of the primary classes (Years 3 to 6) will also be elected by their classmates for the position of Student Representative Council (SRC). To allow shared leadership amongst our students, school captain positions will be for a term’s length (students may renominate), and the House Captains and SRC positions will be for two terms. These leadership positions will be announced at a special morning assembly for Years 3,4,5,& 6 tomorrow.
Thank you to parents who responded last week to choose a preference (Zoom, phone or Google Form) for collaboration with teachers for learning plans for Terms 1 & 2. These conversations yesterday were very productive in allowing us to learn more about your child and to discuss some goals and strategies. Thank you for making time for this. If you did not reply to the initial message or chose the online form option, we will send through a Google Form for you valuable input later this afternoon. In approximately a fortnight, teachers will have completed draft learning plans to share with you and you will have the opportunity for feedback before these are finalised for the first two terms. If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher or myself.
Our school is fortunate to have Karlie, an experienced and qualified counsellor, visit St Patrick’s on a Thursday and Friday each week of term. Families who wish to use Karlie’s services are advised that a ‘School Counselling Service Consent to Work with Student’ form is required to be completed by both parents prior to any meeting. This form will be made available to families upon request - please contact one of the office staff or Mr Linhart for more information; the consent form is available for download via our school website and the school office will take bookings for Karlie. Discussions conducted between Karlie and families are confidential between these parties reflected in the documentation regarding the School Counsellor.
Congratulations to the following students who have received Student of the Week.
Prep: Fern Gardner for being a kind and caring person. You model our Mercy value of Compassion by treating other people the way you want to be treated.
Year 1: Max Phillips for his positive start to the school year.
Year 2: Archer Parry for making a great start to year 2 and always having a go.
Year 3: Axel Bos for demonstrating respect and for his conscientious start to the year. Keep up the great work.
Year 4: Violet Watkins for her ability to maintain focus during learning and working productively on tasks.
Year 5: Lulu Meech for being welcoming and showing great initiative.
Year 6: Ryan Jackson for his welcoming spirit and fantastic attitude towards collaborating with peers.
- The expectation is all diaries are checked as a part of the morning routine for a parent/carer signature and any communication from home.
- Your child is aware that in Terms 1 and 4 they must wear a school sun-safe hat as part of the school uniform. There is a whole school policy of no hat – no play. Students have a fresh fruit or vegetable break every morning (approx. 10:00 a.m.) and can have their drink bottle (water only) on their desks. Students also participate in daily meditation after recess.
- the School’s Sports Uniform will be worn on Monday and Friday.
- The Homework Policy, in addition to several other important policies, are published in the front sections of the diaries
Formal library lessons began this week and it expected that all children will be borrowing books and reading daily at home and school according to their abilities. Students who require Home Reader books will have these issued this week and levelled readers are already available in respective classrooms for students involved in this program.
All students have now received a school diary, which provides an easy and effective means of home-school communication. Please ensure you sign your child/s diary each school day and use it to communicate important messages to your child/s teacher.
‘Inquiring Minds’ Birth to 5 program - a ‘Set-Up for Success’ Catholic Education Tasmania initiative.
Usually, our ‘Inquiring Minds’ birth to 5 program operates each Friday during school term time from 9.00am to 10.30am; However as detailed in our Covid school safety plan the directive from Catholic education Tasmania states that this program will not operate for the first five weeks of this term.
This program involves a considerable focus on communicating to parents the learning intentions of important activities that are associated with early years learning. Mrs Klug will be working to engage parents in early years learning experiences that will ensure children who are enrolling in Kindergarten, will be informed in regards to developing key social, emotional, physical and cognitive skills and understandings.
Currently, our school water fountain is non-operational due to Covid-19 restrictions. Could parents please ensure that all students are bringing their own drink bottles to school with them daily. We have quite a few students who are not bringing drink bottles with them.
Please be aware when taking photos of your own child that it is important to ensure, where possible, that faces of other students are not in the photo. This is especially important if you plan to put a photo of your child on social media. It is never appropriate to put a photo of another child on social media or upload it to the internet without the express permission of that child's parent/s and/or guardian/s.
A reminder for after-hours contact to ring the school number (6426 1626) to talk to or leave a message for Mr. Linhart who will get back to you as promptly as time and circumstance permits.
Our school community is special in many ways - dedicated staff, supportive parents, cooperative students. Our Mercy Charism provides us with key values that are real ingredients for our uniqueness - Compassion, Hospitality, Respect and Mercy. We try hard to live out these values and one way of displaying compassion is for us to be a support to those in our school community who have undergone loss.
It is now a requirement, as part of our COVID Policy, that any adult that visits the school must sign in using the 'Check in TAS App'.
Please view the below PDF for information regarding how to install and use the Check in TAS App.
We have QR codes at the office, school hall, entry doors and classroom doors that can be scanned using this app when you enter a school building.
If you do not have a smartphone or device that will let you install this app, you will need to visit the school office so that we can check you in.