Wow! What an eventful couple of weeks it has been at Mary MacKillop where children were given many opportunities to showcase their talents and join in with the fun at the recent events: Father’s Day fun and games on the oval, Athletics Carnival and Edu Dance concert. Many thanks to all staff involved in coordinating these events which continue to highlight our school’s wonderful community spirit.
“Teachers who love teaching, teach children who love learning”
Robert John Meehan
We witnessed evidence of this powerful quote when our quality teaching staff embraced the coaching aspect of the cooperative learning model in their classes this week. Last week, our SAM (structure of the month) CLUB focus was to gain a greater understanding of how to use the Team Stand-N-Share structure to practise the teaching of new concepts, check for understanding and provide immediate feedback for students and the teacher. The opportunity to practise utilising this structure in the classroom through our coaching model fosters a development of higher level thinking skills in our students. The social skills of encouraging, assisting, reaching consensus, communication, cooperation, assertiveness, responsibility, empathy, self-involvement and self-control were highlighted in the quality interactions that occurred as part of this coaching model.
Many cooperative learning structures have been designed to include praise and celebrations because of the numerous positive benefits this type of feedback possess for our students. Not only do students feel more competent when they receive positive and targeted feedback, we harness powerful social forces when students praise each other and celebrate successes. Think about the last time you were complimented. How did you feel about yourself? How did you feel about the person who gave you the compliment? We boost students’ self-esteem and fosters positive relationships by including praise and celebrations in our team learning structures. We create a more positive learning environment, students feel more secure, are more likely to participate, and are more willing to take risks. We develop in students the habit of looking for good in others.
As Mr Bechelli is away for the remainder of the term enjoying the sights in our West Australian outback, I will take this opportunity to update you on some projects scheduled for completion over the holiday break. The roof on the junior toilets outside Year 2 will be replaced with Colorbond and will complete the roofing refurbishment of this section of the school. The upgrading of the basketball courts will commence with the fence being replaced with similar styled fencing that is currently in place. The poles will be powder coated black, complete with black mesh wire. The plan is then to resurface the courts in February. Additionally, the small fence along the front driveway will be replaced as well as the acquisition of sturdier banner poles. These upgrades will not only ensure that safety is paramount, but will link in with all the fencing upgrades undertaken around the school. We will also be refurbishing the senior toilet block during the last week of term and over the holidays. The Years 4, 5 and 6 students will enjoy new revamped toilets when they return in Term 4.
Next week is our final week for the school term. We will come together to celebrate the conclusion of term with a whole school mass to be celebrated on Thursday 23rd September at 8:45am and capably led by our delightful Pre Primary students. This is another opportunity for us to be thankful for the many blessings we have shared throughout the term and call to mind the many things we are grateful for in our lives. All are warmly welcomed to join us.
Finally, as we reflect on a very eventful and exciting term, let us look forward to the coming two weeks holidays as an opportunity to rest, re-energise, reconnect and renew so that we may embrace the new challenges ahead when students recommence schooling on Tuesday 12th October.