Welcome Back To School

Welcome back to the start of a brand new term. I hope that everyone has had a very relaxing break and had the opportunity to spend some quality time over the holidays with their families. The children (and, more so, the parents) seem happy and excited to be back at school and have spent the week busily catching up with friends and teachers (at recess and lunchtime, of course!)

Term 3 has commenced smoothly and both teachers and students have resumed school routines. The school timetable seems to become busier and busier as the years progress and this term is no different. Please checkout our Term 3 Planner on our school website (available in both PDF format for download or as a calendar version for those of us who prefer to check it regularly) to find out more about current events.

We extend a warm welcome to Miss Lauren McGregor who has joined our staff. Lauren has taken the helm of the Year 4B class. When she came to meet her class last term, I had to look around to see if someone from One Direction was behind me, as the girls were shrieking and cheering. Good start, Miss McGregor!

We congratulate Michael Graffin on being recognised as an Emerging Leader by the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) in Philadelphia, USA. Michael works extremely hard behind the scenes assisting our teachers in integrating ICT into their lessons. He presented projects that he had developed with teachers at Iona at the ISTE 2015 Conference.

SCHOOL REPORTS

At the end of last term, all parents would have received their child’s Semester 1 Report. Hopefully, parents have had the time to discuss this report with their child/children. Communication between the home and school is vital in maintaining a healthy and positive climate within the school. Parents are encouraged to make an appointment if they have any concerns about their child’s progress, as are teachers encouraged to contact parents if they have a concern at any stage through the school year about an individual child in their class.

PARENT AND FRIENDS

On behalf of the school community, I would like to thank the P&F for their work in raising money that benefits the students at Iona. Every member of the community is welcome to attend any P&F meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 18 August at 3.30pm.

The next function of the P&F is the Cocktail Fundraiser. Tickets available now on: Trybooking.com/Booking/BookingEventSummary.aspx?eid=146664Please see flyer for details.

OFFICIAL SCHOOL TIMES

Classrooms open from 8.30am

Recess from 10.40am – 11.05am

Lunch time from 12.50pm – 1.30pm

School finishes 3.20pm

Please note:

Staff Meetings are held each Monday afternoon from 3.45pm

Staff gather for prayer at 8.15am on a Thursday

SUPERVISION AFTER SCHOOL

We are very happy to allow children to use the play equipment before and after school. We do, though, require that parents actively supervise their children at these times (we did have a couple of children last term test their climbing abilities by reaching the roof of the sports shed after school. A temporary barrier has since been erected). The embankment is off limits to the children and we would appreciate parents directing their children away from this area.

We look forward to continuing this extra play under the watchful eyes of their parents (particularly after school) and the wonderful community spirit that evolves from this practice.

REMINDER

Pupil Free Day on MONDAY 24 AUGUST

Enjoy the week!

 

Feedback

Many thanks to the parents who have responded to the survey circulated earlier in the week.  I like to hear community thoughts on how we are going, and as the school looks to the creation of a new strategic plan, there will be more opportunities to hear from you.  The feedback from parents on the web page has been particularly positive especially in relation to the blog and calendar of events.  A few families have indicated that the old newsletter style was the preferred option.  With this in mind and by way of a compromise, I will publish a fortnightly newsletter  styled publication which will be available under the newsletter section and will be added to the admin blog.  The document will contain the important dates for the following two weeks, it will highlight upcoming events and will provide information and reminders that are timely for parents.  The calendar will remain on the blog so parents can check events scheduled beyond that period of time.  Classroom teachers will continue to provide information on classroom information via the class blog and P & F information will also be published on our web page for interested parents.  I hope this change will complement the current web page content  and support improved communication with all our families.  Please leave your thoughts in the comment box so we know if this is helpful and subscribe to the blog so that you are notified when this blog is updated.

Our modified newsletter can be found by clicking the link

Enjoy the long weekend!

Feedback!

It’s always important to review what goes on in our school.  Please take our quick, 10 question survey to provide some feedback on how we are going!

Please click here for our survey!  Thank you!

A Hairy Day for All!

Today we let our hair hang down for a great cause – the Sisters’ Shelter House. The hairstyles were colourful, zany and a source of great mirth about the place.  The ingenuity of our families never ceases to amaze me.  Thank you all for the generous donations which will be passed on to the Sisters’ House very shortly.

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Extra Long Weekend

A reminder that next week we will be enjoying an extra long – long weekend.  Friday May 29 is a Professional Development Day for staff and Monday June 1 is Western Australia Day and a public holiday.  We hope our families enjoy the additional time together.

Sand Play

Many of the students have been delighted with the addition of the “big” sandbox and it is certainly a hive of activity at both recess and lunch times.  A variety of different bits and pieces will be placed in the box for students to use, with the theme of the box changing weekly to keep students engaged.  Sand play is a sensory experience that allows children to use their imagination and creativity.  It is also a wonderful way for students to collaborate, build social skills and test hypotheses. Many thanks to Nicole C. for her wonderful idea and hard work shovelling all the sand!

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What NAPLAN doesn’t tell you!

NAPLAN commences for children in Years 3 & 5 from May 12 to 15   Results are a snapshot of a child’s performance on the testing day and they certainly don’t tell you everything about a student which I’m sure you all realise.  The test provides information on student performance in literacy and numeracy however, it doesn’t have the capacity to measure a child’s personal qualities which are equally as important.  Creativity, resilience, persistence, courage, compassion, enthusiasm, resourcefulness the list goes on …….. are essential skills, too.  If you would like the complete picture of how your child is going in class, please make an appointment to speak with their teacher.

Blogging

The class blogs have been a wonderful way to share with the school community what is going on in the classrooms.  I have been amazed by what I have read and the various formats that have been used to share information.  Last week, I had the opportunity to see our digital leaders using a programme that turned carrots into a keyboard which they proceeded to play!  All I can say is innovation is alive and well in our school!

Maggie Dent Parent Evening

Building resilience and self esteem in today’s children (10 Resilience Building Blocks)  will be the subject of a presentation by Maggie Dent in Treacey Hall on Friday, May 15 from 7-9 pm. Are you worried, confused or concerned about parenting in today’s chaotic world? Children need to have certain basic experiences to build the competencies that will help them manage life — the good, the bad and the ugly.

Popular Australian parenting author and educator Maggie Dent published her bestselling book, Real Kids in an Unreal World, to help guide parents in raising children who are happy, healthy, strong, kind and resilient. In this seminar, she will explore her common-sense, practical model of 10 building blocks for children birth-12 to build resilience. She’ll offer practical, common-sense ideas and strategies to make small changes in your home, which will make a big difference to your children’s cognitive, physical, psychological, emotional and social health later in life.  Please click here for further information.

Future Problem Solving (FPS)

In just a few short weeks, the Future Problem Solver team (FPS), will be heading off to compete on the international stage for the second consecutive year!  As National Champions, the Iona students have been invited to represent Australia in the International competition to be held in Iowa, USA, in June 2015.

In order to attain this success, the students have been working industriously, studying and researching the topic of Intellectual Property in order to prepare for the 2 hour examination. They will be competing against over 50 junior teams from around the world.  If parents are aware of any organisations who might like to assist with our fund raising efforts,  please let me know.

A message from Sr Catherine

Dear Parents,

The Great Gift of Parenthood

Children are their parents’ guests. They come into the space that has been created for them, stay for a while-fifteen, twenty or twenty-five years – and leave again to create their own space. Although parents speak about “our son’’ and ‘’our daughter’’, their children are not their property. In many ways children are strangers. Parents have to come to know them, discover their strengths and their weaknesses, and guide them to maturity, allowing them to make their own decisions.

Taken from an extract from Henri Nouwen Society.

Children are God’s greatest gift to us all so let us guide them with faith, hope and much love.

The term is quickly passing by and we are already in the Season of Lent preparing for the wonderful feast of Easter. As we prepare for Easter and do our little ‘penances’ we think of the children within our school who are preparing to receive the Sacraments of Penance, Eucharist and Confirmation.

If your child/children are receiving one of the Sacraments it is important that you enrol them in your local Parish. The children do not need to attend the Parish Sacramental lessons as they have Religious Education lessons daily. There is no need either for them to attend the Parish retreat as retreats are held at school for each Sacramental Program.

Please remember in your prayers Sisters Albeus Fahey and Joan Burns who passed away recently, both sisters had a strong relationship with Iona Presentation Primary. Sister Albeus was responsible for the purchase of the land and the building of Iona Primary. Sr. Joan taught here in the Primary for a number of years.

In Term Two I will conduct the Seasons for Growth Program. This program is for children who have suffered significant loss in their lives. Information regarding the Seasons of Growth Program is available from the office.  If you are interesting in enrolling your child/children please fill in the form and return to me. The cost of the program is $ 25. This covers the cost of the books and materials the children need to use.

Servers for Mass

If your daughter would like to serve at class and school Masses please ask her to see me or Mrs Anderson. Children only commence serving after they have received their First Holy Communion.

I wish you all a restful break and every blessing for a happy and Holy Easter.

Every blessing,

Sister Catherine

Our first Skype of the year – with Japan!

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Last Thursday, the Year 2 classes at Iona PS connected with a Grade 1 class at Nakatonbetsu Shogakko, an elementary school in Hokkaido, Japan, which one of their classmates attended on exchange last year.

The Japanese children performed a dance, shared some traditional Japanese instruments, and sang their school song. In exchange, our Year 2 students asked some questions, admired the snow outside the Japanese classroom’s window, and sang a song for their new friends on the other side of the world!

We’d like to sincerely thank Mrs B, one of our wonderful parents, for organising and live translating the exchange, and patiently helping us to overcome the language barrier, technical hurdles, and the challenge of connecting across time-zones!

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Classroom Blogging – Parent Guide (#ionapsict)

Over the past week, Iona PS classroom blogs have come online, offering parents, community members, and the wider world an insight into the amazing teaching and learning activities at our school.

It has been wonderful to read our classes’ first posts, and to see our first comments from parents, teachers, and students from the Iona community, and from around the world.

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Finding Your Child’s Class Blog

To access your child’s classroom blog, please use the links on the “Class Blogs” menu above.

Kindergarten and PrePrimary blogs are private, and parents should have received the password via their child’s classroom teacher. Years 1-6 blogs are shared publicly, enabling our students to reach an authentic global audience.

Keeping in Touch

In order to keep in touch with posts on the Admin blog (this one), and your child’s class blog, we would strongly encourage parents to subscribe by email, using the subscription widget on the blog sidebar. It takes about 2 minutes to set up, and you will receive an automatic email notification when a new post is published.

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Comments

Comments from parents, family, and around the world help bring our classroom blogs to life, and help teach our students that they are publishing for an authentic real-world audience.

When commenting on blog posts, we would appreciate it if parents and relatives leave comments under their first name, especially if they refer to a child mentioned in the post. For example, you might comment as Jenny (Laura’s Mum), rather than Jenny Smith (Laura’s Mum). This will help us protect the privacy of students mentioned / featured on classroom blog posts.

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Need more information?

Each class blog has a copy of the Iona PS Blogging Guidelines, and a Parent Information page on their main menu. If you have any further questions, please contact Ms Walsh, the Principal.

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Time

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Harvey MacKay wrote – “Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”

You can take many things from MacKay’s quote but in this season of Lent it’s the ideal time to focus on the 40 day journey with a plan to come in from the wilderness!  We always think we have enough time to do the things we plan to, but more often than not, this isn’t the case.  Lent is a time of spiritual renewal, sacrifice and prayer. Rather than focussing on the “giving up” I encourage you to consider what you can take up.  There’s still time to make a change, no matter how small – to do something.  To change one’s heart requires a different approach and perhaps more time than the Lenten period however, we have 40 days to consider how we might achieve this in our lives and the lives of others. Lent should be about learning to love again and breaking down the barriers of indifference to the suffering and plight of others.

St Patrick’s Day

Next Tuesday, March 17 is St Patrick’s Day.  This is a wonderful Community celebration with the College.  All our familes are welcome to attend.  Please click here for further information.

LIBRARY NEWS

Attention Parents: Scholastic Book Orders can now be paid and ordered on the new Loop System. All orders will come to the school and theLibrary will deliver to your child’s classroom. Please go to scholastic.com.au/loopinfo if you have any queries or come into the library if you need any help.

Thank you for your support with the Scholastic Book Orders as every purchase goes into new resources for the School and Library.

Blogs

The Blogs across all classrooms are taking shape with most available now to Parents and the rest coming online in the next few days.  The students have really enjoyed the opportunity to showcase their work.  If you haven’t had the chance to check to visit the blogs I would encourage you to do so.  Our blogs have received some interesting comments from around the world.  If you would like any information on our blogging policies please see the information available for all parents which is attached to the classroom blogs.

Lunch Orders

The lunch order menu has been tweaked again in response to student need.  Some items were removed as they haven’t been ordered.  Please click here for the latest menu.