Diary Dates

Please see below the upcoming important dates and school events for Term1 2024.

 

Monday 26th February to Friday 1st March  Years 3-5 Swimming Lessons
Tuesday 27th February Governing Council AGM
Friday 1st March Parent Rep Meeting
Wednesday 6th & Thursday 7th March School Photos
Monday 11th March Adelaide Cup Day
Wednesday 13th to Friday 22nd March NAPLAN
Monday 18th March Governing Council meeting 7pm
Thursday 21st March Years 4-6 Swimming Carnival
Thursday 28th March  Easter - Early Dismissal 2.15pm 
Friday 29th March Good Friday
Monday 1st April Easter Monday
Friday 12th April  End of Term 1 - Early Dismissal 2.15pm

Off to a Great Start 2024

During the first few weeks of every year, classes focus on developing a collaborative, positive class culture as part of the Mitcham Primary School “Off to a Great Start” program. Students work together to build positive relationships for the development of safe, encouraging and productive classrooms. They participate in activities that promote the uniqueness of each individual and take time to reflect on strengths and set future goals. Off to a Great Start helps students to develop positive dispositions for a new year of learning and promotes high achievement in all areas.

During this time, students consider ways to demonstrate leadership qualities and the school values in everyday actions and choices. We aim for our students to;

  • Demonstrate positive relationships
  • Embrace mistakes and pursue solutions
  • Be resilient in work and social situations
  • Show gratitude and optimism
  • Accept responsibility for their own actions
  • Communicate effectively and work collaboratively
  • Show persistence and understand the value of working towards a goal
  • Use a range of strategies to problem solve

Cooperative team building activities are a crucial way for children to develop and practice these skills. Students have enjoyed participating in tasks such as team challenges and games, group brainstorming, voting on class names, role plays, developing agreements for learning, beginning a gratitude journal and learning about a growth mindset to name just a few! See the following photos for some more examples of how our classes are beginning the year, from our newest Receptions to our Year 6s.

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Year 6 Aquatics 2024

The Year 6 cohort were lucky enough to spend a fabulous sunny day down at Port Noarlunga for their Aquatics Day. This event is a highlight of the Year 6s and will provide lasting memories of their time in Year 6.

The aquatics staff are exceptional and make the day fun and informative. Students are provided with a variety of activities to do throughout the day. They can choose from fishing, snorkelling, windsurfing, kayaking, SUP, and surfing. These activities also provide students with ocean water familiarity and safety all while having fun! The staff at Noarlunga and the year 6 teachers were blown away with the exceptional manners, positive attitude and behaviour of our Year 6 cohort at Mitcham. Well done everyone!   

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Maths at Mitcham

Welcome to the 2024 school year, I am very excited to introduce myself as Mitcham Primary School’s Mathematics Coordinator this year. In this role I will be supporting teachers and students in the teaching and learning of mathematics from Reception to Year 6.

As we look to begin the year by getting off to a great start, building class expectations and culture, a part of this has been to discuss and develop class ‘norms’ in relation to our teaching and learning of maths. These discussions have been guided by the work of Professor Jo Boaler (Professor of Mathematics Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education), who has been pivotal in promoting reform mathematics and equitable mathematics classrooms to allow students to be successful and confident mathematicians. When considering what our students are doing in maths, these are Jo’s 7 favourite messages:

  • Everyone can learn maths to the highest level
  • Mistakes are valuable
  • Questions are really important
  • Maths is about creativity and making sense
  • Maths is about connections and communicating
  • Maths is about learning not performing
  • Depth is more important than speed

Students around the school have discussed these messages and what they mean for them in their classroom environment as a learner. When having conversations at home around maths, consider these messages and ways in which you can reinforce positive maths norms in all environments. An important takeaway from the work that has been in class over the first few weeks of the school year is to encourage a growth mindset when conversing/helping your child with maths tasks. It has been widely found that when children have a growth mindset, they do well with challenges and do better in school overall. Aim to use growth praise, which we utilise in class, such as “it is great that you have learned that”, “I really like your thinking about that”. When they tell you something is hard for them, or they have made a mistake, tell them: “That’s wonderful, your brain is growing!”.

So, when engaging in maths learning for this year and beyond, let us consider this:

If brains can change in three weeks, imagine what can happen in a year of math class if students are given the right math materials and receive positive messages about their potential and ability (Jo Boaler, 2015).

Laura Scriven - Mathematics Coordinator/Year 6 Teacher

Festival of Music Hosts

"Are you in year 6?Are you wanting a career in the media?Here is an excellent opportunity to get some experience in professional public speaking.The Festival of Music does 10 performances at the Festival Theatre at the end of term 3.They use 2-3 students to host each performance.

Auditions are being held on the 6th and 7th of March.

If you would like to audition, head to - https://festivalofmusic.org.au/auditions/hosts to apply.You must apply through this porthole to get an audition.Come and speak with me, Mr. Fielder, if you're interested in applying.Cheerio!"

Change to Sports House Team Names

Last year, members of our Students Representative Council raised the question of whether we should consider changing the names of our sports house teams, as some students were unsure of the meaning or history behind them.

After some research, students discovered that the sports house teams were named after local men connected with the school community in the early to mid-1900s, and included chairmen of the School Committee (Mr Mellor and Mr Selth), a local MP (Mr Dunks) and a previous Principal (Mr Devonshire).

Classes discussed the current names and shared their ideas and reasons to keep or change the names of the sports house teams. Students engaged in a great deal of thoughtful discussion over many weeks, before voting for or against a change. Staff and parents were also able to vote to help guide a final decision.

In each group, the votes indicated a strong preference for change. A common reason given was to ensure we all connect to the names and their history. Respondents felt the names should reflect diversity and gender if named after people, or the local environment and culture.

In the next few weeks, we will begin the process of working with students to select new names for the sports house teams. We look forward to launching the new names at Sports Day in Term 4.

Mid-Year Reception Enrolments 2024

Children who turn five between 1st May and 31st October 2024 are eligible to enrol in the Term 3 Reception intake and will complete 6 terms of Reception.

To ensure we are expecting your child, please complete an expression of interest form on the MPS website as soon as possible.  https://www.mitchamps.sa.edu.au/about/enrol

Enrolment offers for siblings of existing students will be emailed next week.

NAPLAN 2024

This year we are once again preparing to undertake the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). As students progress through their school years, it’s important to check how well they are learning the essential skills of reading, writing and numeracy.

NAPLAN assesses the literacy and numeracy skills that students are learning through the school curriculum and allows parents/carers to see how their child is progressing against national standards and over time. All assessments are online and will be completed on laptops, apart from the Year 3 writing component, which will be handwritten by those students.

The official NAPLAN testing period was brought forward to Term 1 in 2023, allowing schools and parents to receive the results earlier than previously. In 2024, all students in Years 3 and 5 will be participating in the assessments between 13th and 25th March.

As always, we remind families that NAPLAN is just one aspect of our assessment and reporting process. You can support your child by reassuring them that NAPLAN is another part of their school program and encouraging them to simply do their best.

On Tuesday 27th  February, we will be conducting a NAPLAN Nationally Coordinated Practice Test with selected classes from Years 3 and 5. Students will participate in a 45-minute writing assessment or answer a set of numeracy, language convention and reading questions. The purpose of the practice test is to confirm our school's ICT capacity and the logistics of administering NAPLAN later in the term. It will not be used as an assessment of children's literacy and numeracy skills.

Further information about NAPLAN online and the public demonstration site can be found at https://www.nap.edu.au/

Students in Year 3 and 5 will have an opportunity to become familiar with the public demonstration site at school prior to NAPLAN, and may also like to explore it further at home.

For more information about the NAPLAN online, visit NAP - What's in the tests

Other handy links:

Finance News 2024

Outcome of the Materials & Services Poll

We wish to advise parents/carers of the outcome of the 2024 Materials & Services Poll conducted by the School Governing Council. The school community voted in favour of making the prewsribed sum of $475 legally recoverable. The votes received were 201 For and 54 Against.

$100 Materials & Services Rebate 

South Australian families with children attending public schools will receive a $100 SA Government discount per student on their annual materials and services charge. A $100 credit has been automatically applied which reduces your 2024 Materials and Services charge to $375.00.

Financial Statements showing the $100 credit and your Materials and Services invoice have been sent home with your child. Please only pay the amount highlighted on the Statement.

The rebate does not apply to families approved for scxhool card as they are not required to pay the materials and services charge. See separate School Card heading for more information.

Payment of the Materials & Services invoice is due by the end of Term 1. qany extension on this time can be arranged by setting up a Direct Debit or Payment Plan. Please email dl.0270.finance@schools.sa.edu.au for the authorisation form.

Excursions and activities

Excursions, camps, activities, aquatics, swimming lessons etc will be invoiced individually prior to each event. Details will be uploaded on our QKR! App and payment must be made prior to attendance. A letter will be sent home digitally with details of the excursion and payment instructions.

Have you downloaded the QKR! App yet? It's our preferred method of payment  logos_qkrlogo.png

We encourage parents/caregivers to download the Qkr App which is a convenient way to pay for all school fees, excursions, uniform purchases and canteen lunch orders. Details of your order and payment will be forwarded securely to the school each day. This provides you with the convenience of being able to make payments at any time and will eliminate payments being left in school bags.  Itemised QKR! e-receipts provide you with a record of purchase and are a convenient way to keep track of your payments.

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Low-income families with children that attend government schools can get financial help with school fees – materials and services charges – through the School Card scheme.

School card applications are now open for 2024. Information on school card eligibility, income limits and the application process can be found at: www.sa.gov.au/education/schoolcard.

School Card MUST BE APPLIED FOR EACH SCHOOL YEAR and lodged at your earliest opportunity.

If you need help completing your application please contact School Card on 1800 672 758 (free call).

You will be notified by the School Card Section of the outcome of your application, please do not pay any money towards your Materials and Services charge until you know the outcome.

Family Details Updates

A reminder to families to please advise the school office of any changes of address, phone numbers or emails as soon as possible to ensure your contact details are current. Advice needs to be made in writing.

Department for Education policy states that a parent is required to provide evidence of the child or young person’s primary place of residence at enrolment and any time it changes.

The following primary documents will be accepted -

Parents who own their residence must provide:
  • a copy of the contract of sale for the property (or a recent council rates notice)
  • a recent gas or electricity bill for that property.
Parents who rent their residence must provide:
  • a rental agreement that covers the first 12 months at the school
  • a bond receipt lodged with Consumer and Business Services
  • a recent gas or electricity bill for that property.