A message from our Acting Principal Mr Scott Moorhouse.
4th May 2021
May and April will provide the school with challenges and also great opportunity.
As you will be aware NAPLAN is occurring this month and planning has been in full swing for quite some time. Our staff have been working hard to fine tune the process and make sure the students are prepared for the testing ahead.
We do this by exposing students to the type of questions they may receive, they are also exposed to the format that the questions are asked. This is not to ‘teach to the test’ however it is designed to reduce anxiety by breeding a wave of familiarity and make them feel as comfortable as possible about the process. At Foster PS we value growth in learning, this is how we acknowledge achievement and NAPLAN is no different. This means that we expect to see each child in grade 5 grow 2 bands since grade 3 and the current year 7’s do the same.
Of course in any data set there will always be anomalies, those who were sick or unsettled on the day, those who were overawed by the situation and those who were able to ‘guess right’ on multiple choice answers can make a difference. What NAPLAN does however is give us an overall look at how our students are performing against the rest of the state and also gives our school and our education system valuable data on where it can improve and better place resources.
At Foster Primary School we believe that your child’s self-esteem and wellbeing should not be tied to a test result – ever. In this regard we only ever expect students to continue to do what our school always expects which is ‘Our Best Always’. We would expect this effort classroom tasks and activities and NAPLAN is no exception. Our students are well prepared by our staff and in case of challenging sessions our skilled wellbeing staff will be on hand. If you have any concern about NAPLAN or your child’s involvement please call me at the school on 56316000.
At Foster Primary School our leadership team is made up of 4 staff. Jenny Young, Jane Power, Chantelle Wanklyn, Sue Duggan and myself. Each member has very specific roles for improving our school and the learning that takes place at Foster PS.
In 2021 Miss Sue Duggan will embark on introducing our Instructional Model. This is a model that teachers will use to structure lessons in their classrooms. The reason we do this is to make expectations similar across all grades with regard to learning. Sue will focus on one part of the model the ‘I Do’ part. This where teachers are responsible for giving clear and concise instruction, models and lay out what success for a student looks like. This improves our teaching because it assist children to unpack concepts knowing exactly what they must do and hence can reach positive outcomes faster.
Further in these discussions has come the need for a great emphasis on the Inquiry cycle in our PLC’s (Professional Learning Communities). These are designed so that teachers can work together on solving common problems with our students. Teachers may find trends across grade levels, a sub school or even the whole school that can be worked on and solved together. This targeted approach assists us to identify and find solutions to learning problems with a high degree of specificity. This in turn really helps students to thrive as key concepts and assessments are analysed in depth and stop students falling through the cracks. Our juniors will work on Writing and our senior group are working on Maths.
Lastly our school will continue to embrace the School Wide Positive Behaviour model. This work has been going on in the school for some years and the results are clear that it works. Our current crop of grade 5’s and 6’s are testament to this. This philosophy helps to breed a positive culture of inclusion and fairness and comes from a strength based approach. Ms. Jenny Young and Ms. Kristie Moore continue to manage this program and some recent digital upgrade may assist to analyse our data faster so we can find solutions to trends that we see.
Next Wednesday the whole school will compete in a fun day of Cross Country running around the Foster Golf Course. We thank the Foster Golf Club manager Caleb and the committee for always supporting our school with this event. We have put a call out for parent helpers to assist with directing the runners around the track and many have come forward already. However we still need more helpers, so please let Kylie know if you’re available to help on Wednesday 12th May.
Winter sport for Grades 5 and 6 started last Friday when we travelled to Leongatha to play football, netball, basketball, soccer and T Ball. A great day was had by all with some mixed results, but many smiling faces. Our next game is at Foster on 14th May. Thank you to all the parent volunteers and local sporting clubs, including Foster Secondary College who help to make these events successful for our students, we couldn’t do it without you.