Junior School News - 26 July 2018

Junior School News - 26 July 2018

Junior School News – 26 July 2018

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Welcome back to what promises to be a productive term focused on achieving learning goals. The girls returned refreshed and started the term full of energy and enthusiasm.

A warm welcome back and congratulations to Kate Griffin on her marriage over the school break.

As promised in the previous addition please find below the remaining four sections of the Inspiring Women, Your daughter’s future – Junior School Learning platform speaking notes.

  1. Progress is our priority and progress is best realized by knowing our students and knowing ourselves.

Our job is to teach the students we have. Not the ones we would like to have. Not the ones we used to have. Those we have right now. All of them. (Dr Kevin Maxwell)

Knowing You, Knowing Me – is our new mantra, it is about the symbiotic relationship that exists between our students and ourselves as teachers.

Knowing you – The business of knowing and understanding your daughters, our students, is too important to leave to chance, as is the understanding of the complex interplay of factors that influence student learning.

Knowing me – As educators we contemplate and respond to student needs, examine our professional strengths and development areas as we endeavor to facilitate optimal learning opportunities for all students.

Commencing in 2019 and sharply focused on progress, learning Mentor/s will work collaboratively with cohort teachers to:

  • Dig deep – going beyond superficial acquaintance – acquisition of social or administrative information: names, friendships and family information

They will:

  • Develop systems and rigorous learning intervention and analysis processes
  • Gather and analyse data specifically for the purpose of improving teaching and learning and to
  • Determine individual readiness in order to pitch instruction to a student’s optimal zone for learning.

Student progress forms the basis of ongoing collaborative conversations and investigation about how to optimise student learning. Our goal is to increasingly think about learning in terms of readiness – that means thinking about ‘what the child can achieve independently as opposed to what can be achieved with skilful adult intervention’. (Vygotsky Zone of approximately development (ZPD), Thought and Language (1986)

Evidence and data is used to support feedback messages and to help students understand their own work more clearly in relation to their learning goals.  Armed with a comprehensive understanding of the individual student, and where that student is in their learning progression, teachers will be better equipped to provide appropriately challenging feedback that will move the student one step further along the learning continuum.

This deliberate and informed approach will deliver targeted learning experiences that will elevate, enhance and/or extend student performance and opportunities – maximising outcomes for all; from those students needing support to those in need of greater challenge.

Ever mindful of the reality that

 “Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with a person’s capacity to act”.

(Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi 1990)

Moving away from the traditional model of curriculum planning of plan, set and forget. We will adopt a cyclical approach to planning and responding. Having ascertained student readiness, teachers will plan responsively, review the effectiveness of teaching and learning strategies and reteach or extend where necessary. Increased attention to the analysis and discussion of data to inform teaching and learning practice and intervention is central to this approach. This process will be enacted through a revamped approach to teacher collaborative planning.

Improving communication including detailed and timely information about learning programs, learning intentions, success criteria, and student progress is under consideration as we continue to explore ways to enrich our partnership by improving the quality of information shared.

  1. Learning to Learn is a new basic.

Our Personal Development Program will focus on the development of social and emotional intelligences and essential skills for 21st century learners, these dispositions are of equal importance for teachers and students and include, open mindedness, a positive outlook, a growth mindset, global thinking and intercultural understanding.

There is growing body of research that demonstrates that the non-academic character skills such as grit, tenacity, and perseverance have a strong relationship with an individual’s capacity to overcome challenges. The capacity for sustained effort or ‘grit’ is now considered to be a more accurate predictor than IQ of grades and of longer-term success in life.

With this in mind, Learning to Learn becomes a critical component of the SHJS experience. Students, with your and our support, will increasingly define their own learning goals and success criteria; monitor their own learning; critically examine their own work, incorporate feedback from peers, teachers, parents or other experts; and use all of this to deepen their awareness of how they function in the learning process.

  1. Practitioners committed to the art and science of teaching deliver best practice and innovative learning environments. Our teachers work collaboratively to activate deep learning through innovation in practice, digital pedagogies and learning space design. We are currently negotiating with a Queensland University to establish a ‘critical friend’ relationship to enhance this process.

All that said what can you expect to see?

In our transformed classrooms you will observe:

  • ‘accelerated learning frameworks’ that are based on exemplary practice
  • Clearly mapped student learning goals
  • Deep learning competencies and the effective use of technology. Learning is enhanced but not consumed by the use of digital technology

Our world ready students’ will develop deep learning competencies through:

  • mastery of the learning process, including their ability to demonstrate mastery of content
  • the development of key future skills, including their ability to collaborate, communicate, create and think critically
  • the growth of proactive dispositions and levels of perseverance in the face of challenges and
  • an understanding of the effect of their work products on audiences or in solving problems

Prominently placed at the centre of all we do remains mastery of the fundamentals of literacy and numeracy, timetables and other administrative requirements will be adjusted to reflect this absolute priority area.

A comprehensive intervention suite will be established to extend students through stretch and challenge opportunities and to elevate other students via evidence-based interventions.

As noted by Ross our renewed focus on academic rigour will be complemented by the introduction of the St Hilda’s School Honours Program. This program will target capable students who wish to extend themselves in all areas but particularly in the areas of English, Mathematics and Science.  Further details will be available in the near future.

  1. Finally, the St Hilda’s Professional Learning Community exhibits heart combined with outstanding knowledge and skills required to deliver on these plans. Our staff are respected as the lifeblood of the community, they take responsibility for every student and they develop strong positive partnerships with you, our families.

We are all vital members of the SHS Learning Community and as we move forward I encourage you to work with us to foster a culture of commitment, encouragement, continuous improvement and collaboration; working together and learning from each other we will deliver a rigorous and inspiring learning environment for our girls, of which we can all be proud.


As you would be aware, there are currently two pickup and drop off zones within the Junior School depending on the age of your daughters. As always, the safety of your daughters is paramount in all circumstances including when utilizing these zones. Could I please urge you to read and understand the below procedures and requirements when using these zones. Your assistance and support of the below points will be gratefully appreciated.

Drive through pick up procedures:

  • Clearly display the name sign on the dashboard in your car on entering the car park
  • Students will be called to the pick-up area from the bench seat/path
  • Please drive slowly along the pick-up lane and move to the end of this lane to allow maximum number of cars into the lane
  • Collect your daughter as directed by staff and do not leave your car
  • Students are required to enter the car from the passenger side of the vehicle only
  • Parents will be requested to drive around again or find a car park if their daughter is not in the pick-up area when called

Car Park requirements:

  • The drop off zone is a non-parking zone
  • Parents wishing to stop are to use the marked parking bays only
  • Mobile telephones should not be used whilst your vehicle is in motion
  • The speed limit in the area is 15 kms per hour
  • Use the supervised crossing when crossing the road in the Car Park area and follow the directions of the teacher supervising the crossing
  • Staff in attendance at the Car Park are there to protect the welfare of the children using the Car Park; therefore, if a staff member makes a request, please respond positively


Procedures and policies relating to Child Protection require all volunteers working within Anglican Schools to undergo an induction relating to the responsibility they share in safeguarding students. Policy and procedure documents are available on the School website under Governance/Safeguarding Students Policies to inform parents.

As part of the St Hilda’s School community, all volunteers are required to read and acknowledge their understanding of their responsibilities as a volunteer. Any parents who wish to volunteer in Semester 2, 2018 are required to read and understand Safeguarding our Student Volunteers and Visitors Guide and complete the acknowledgement of understanding forms on pages three and four prior to returning to Junior School Reception. This includes parents and grandparents who assist with classroom activities, reading, School Banking, School discos, excursions and the like.

We value the time parents’ volunteer with the students and the strong community connections this time fosters. We know that you share an appreciation of all the procedures in place to assist young people to feel safe and know that adults in their school will listen and report any matters of concern. Lisa Cleverly, Katherine Homes and Melissa Wilkins are Student Protection Officers within the Junior School. All students and volunteers are encouraged to seek the support and help of these staff should they require some assistance and/or support during the school day.

Additionally, and most importantly students are encouraged to have at least five ‘go to’ people of whom they can talk to when needed both at home and school. We encourage you to identify these support people with your daughters as we work together to provide a safe environment for all.

Homework Grids

Teachers have worked hard to create engaging and meaningful tasks that will support the units of work they will be exploring with in class. As with the last two terms, all homework will be handed out on a Friday and due back in on the following Thursday.  This allows you time to schedule homework time around extra-curricular activities. Many of the tasks are small and aimed at broadening prior knowledge to a topic being taught in class. Any discussion around these topics with your daughter, will assist in building their confidence back at school.

All Term 3 Homework Grids can be found on the Junior School Curriculum page on the website or on the Parent Lounge.


Parent Term Overviews

To enable you to fully engage with what your daughter is learning at school, I have created termly curriculum overviews for the upcoming term. These overviews will provide you with details about the upcoming units as well as how your daughter will be assessed. I have included scheduled weeks for the assessment tasks; however, as teachers adjust their teaching pace according to the students’ needs, these may be subject to change. As with the homework, any discussion or exploration around these topics would assist your daughter in engaging with her educational journey here at school. Parents, teachers and students working together, with the same end in mind, is a recipe for success!

All Parent Term Overviews can be found on Parent Lounge.

Parent Learning Lounge

Another way we are welcoming you to be part of your daughter’s educational journey is through fortnightly Parent Learning Lounges. As with last term, these will be held in Meeting Rooms 1 and 2 on a Wednesday afternoon from 2:50pm – 3:25pm. That way you can get a good park, have a cup of tea and a chat before picking up your daughter! Have a read below of the sessions coming up, and if you are interested, please can you RSVP to Lisa Sullivan  lsullivan@sthildas.qld.edu.au

Parent Learning Lounge – Term 3 2018

Meeting Rooms 1 & 2 (next to the JS Office)

Wednesday 2:50 – 3:25

  What? Who?
Week 3


Reading Nina Lee & Sam Birch
Week 5


Pastoral Care Melissa Wilkins
Week 7


Writing Kristen Fitzgerald & Nina Lee

Week 9


Intrinsic Motivation Andrew Clark


Mrs Tracey Maynard
Head of Junior School

Love, Compassion, Forgiveness, Hope, Grace