It is again a pleasure to write to you as we are off to a flying start in 2019.
From the Principal – Christopher Prance
Schools come alive when the children arrive. It has certainly been a joy to see the smiling faces and to hear the buzz of children at work and play. What a privilege it is to work in a school such as ours.
It’s always helpful when we receive feedback, and it is in this context that I am pleased to report that a number of parents complimented SPW on the easily obtainable information that assisted with the commencement of the school year. By the same token, we still hear of parents struggling with the change to use of the Skoolbag app for our regular communications and with the e-News for our SPW stories. If you are such a parent, struggling with our communication strategies, please feel free to contact us so that we can assist on this journey.
New faces at SPW
A new and important face needs to be introduced to SPW, being that of Mrs Ali Stubbs. Ali has joined our permanent staff as our Receptionist. You will find Ali in the Front Office and on the end of your phone enquiries, assisting children with first aid and a myriad of other jobs, from 8.15 in the morning until 4.30 each afternoon. Ali has replaced Meredith Williams, who is in a new role.
Many would remember Meredith from her duties in the Front Office, and also from her work in the Early Learning Centre. Clearly Meredith is perfectly placed with her knowledge of our community, to be our Community Development Manager, who liaises closely with the general parent community and in particular our PFA, our SPW Foundation, and St Peter’s Woodlands Old Scholars. Meredith’s office can be found in upstairs Law Smith, along with our other Development Team members in Mrs Joanna Gray (Enrolments Manager) and Mrs Lindy Francis (Marketing and Communications Manager).
An additional part-time person has been appointed to assist in the Development Team, and that is Ms Demelza Cadwallader, who is working as our Marketing and Communications Assistant. All four of these persons can be found in upstairs Law Smith. There have been many other new faces to SPW, children, parents and staff. A warm welcome to you all. You can read a further story welcoming the newest people to our community here.
School Council Retreat
On Saturday 9 February, a relatively different SPW School Council met for the first time in 2019 along with co-opted members of School Council and with the Executive Leadership Team of the school. Under the direction of our new Chair, Mrs Tammie Pribanic, new members were introduced and they include Dr Mathew White, Mr Mark Hayward, and the Rev’d Michael Lane (appointment to be confirmed). These new Council members joined current School Councillors Mrs Cathy Mayfield, Mr Paul Lumsden, Dr Margie Cowling, Mr Dom Cosentino, Mrs Suzanne McAdam, the Rev’d Andrew Mintern, Ms Gill Hicks. Co-opted members Craig Hobart, Craig Dand and Kim Hunt were also invited to be present. In addition David Brock and I serve on School Council and Committees as non-voting members.
2019 has seen a major addition to our Learning Support model, so ably led by Mrs Tina Day, and assisted by Mrs Jo Hirst, with 5 additional Education Support Officers. We now have 16 Education Support Officers working alongside teachers in our classrooms each morning. These ESOs assist identified children in classrooms and when these children go to Specialist lessons, but are also available to assist the teacher with general classroom work, when the opportunity arises. This is part of our ongoing push to ensure that all of our children, including those with targeted and significant learning needs, have greater opportunities for personalised learning.
Another interesting development this year is the opportunity for certain targeted children to be part of special withdrawal sessions that target particular learning needs, commencing at 8.00am during the week. These sessions, when ably supported by parents, are providing additional opportunities for targeted children to be given specific intervention to support their learning; this is proving to be extremely beneficial.
It is also an opportune time to introduce our outstanding student leaders for 2019.
Mitchell R and Chiara F
Light: Sienna O and Ricardo M.
Sturt: Evie K and Zak A
Eyre: Brianna B and Anya N
Flinders: Katherine R and William D
These along with our soon-to-be elected Student Services Representative Council, form the nucleus of our student leadership.
Finally, I would like to inform all parents and caregivers that SPW has engaged LeadLearn Consulting, an Adelaide consultancy firm which works with a variety of schools and sporting organisations, to assist us to better understand our capacity as teachers to ensure that students are active within their classrooms, particularly in relation to their voice and student agency.
There is ample evidence suggesting that students need to be given the opportunity to help shape and control their learning environments and it is in this context that LeadLearn Consulting will be surveying all of our children from Reception to Year 7 in order that feedback can be given to teachers about the degree of student agency that exists in each of our classrooms. The information gained through these confidential surveys will be fed directly back to the teachers by the LeadLearn Consultants and used as an opportunity to coach teaching staff through the establishment of further SMART goals that assist with our performance development processes. This is a truly significant step for us and one which I am particularly excited to be a part of.