Dear Parents and Friends,
We are elated to be teaching the Year 1/2 children for 2022 and attach much importance to this role. The children are settling in nicely into their new classes and are engaging in their Start Right, Stay Right Programs, where they are learning the critical behaviours necessary for individual, academic, social,
emotional and organisational success.
The Teaching Staff in the Year 1/2 team encompasses Tim Cleeland, Ashleigh Marruso and Julie Pfeiffer, while the Educational Support Staff for this year are Rachel Obrien and Connie Romano. Additional language support is provided by Roslyn Lunardelli who is the Multicultural Educational Aide working in our classrooms. Our staff also liaises and works with the Geelong English Language Centre Staff who are based at our school including, Bronwyn Smith, Lydia Nicholl and Lynda Newell. Assistance and guidance are offered by the Principal Anthea Lagadinos and the Digital Technologies Coordinator and Assistant Principal/School Improvement leader -Chris Cox.
Staff and students at Bell Park North Primary work with expert Coaches in Literacy and Numeracy, including Ben Harmon who is our Literacy Leader, Rob Vingerhoets who is a Maths Consultant and Bobby Cameron who is a Literacy Consultant.
The Literacy Intervention teacher and EAL- English as an Additional Language Coordinator is Gailene Stojanovic and the Numeracy Tutor is Trisha Stuart. We all work together for students, so we can implement a range of teaching strategies, tools and services that support their diverse learning goals and needs.
Children in Years 1 and 2 are continually building on their initial Foundation skills. They will be carefully guided to develop their resilience, learning stamina, ideas and concepts across the curriculum, so they can prepare for their formal learning which will be encountered in Year 3 and beyond.
Student voice is important to us and the school , so that all children will have direct input about their learning and choices that will engage and extend their opportunities for success. We have Student Agency and Voice, Leadership and Engagement programs and a High Ability and enrichment Program for students in our school.
Students are familiar with the words ‘Bounce Back’ when setbacks occur and they pause, plan and proceed, so they can problem solve in difficult situations and encourage their peers to do the same. Students in our team are also, involved in a Peer Support Program, which is initiated and led by students in Year 6, who are their teachers and mentors in the classroom and in the playground. This engaging program starts in Week 6.
We also have a new SEAL program- a Social, Emotional, Awareness Learning Program comprising :
• The Start Right Stay Right Program,
• Berry Street Ready to Learn plans for each child
• Individual focus plans and Ready to Learn Scales
• Meditation and feelings work
• Welcome Circle and Circle Time.
We also introduce Positive Primers- engaging pictures, clips and games to engage our students and ensure they have brain breaks.
We check in with students throughout the day to see their Zones of Regulation for resilience and together have developed ideas and strategies for students to bounce back.
Respectful Relationships, Bounce Back and the Berry Street’s program ideas are focused throughout this term and this year respectively.
Children are able to work with Rosalie Scott who is our school’s Welfare officer. They require a permission form signed by parents at the start of the year.
Parents continue to be their children’s first and most influential educators and we need them by our side every step of the way, as partners for their children’s learning.
SPECIALIST TEACHERS FOR 2022
Weekly Specialist Sessions
• Library Coordinator- Jenny Mandekic.
• Library sessions are presented by class teachers.
• Literacy and Digital Technologies – class Teachers
• Japanese Language, cultural events and LOTE Leader- Jenny Mandekic.
• P.E and The Arts sessions – Ben Gibson.
• Gailene Stojanovic and Trisha Stuart- Literacy Intervention and EAL Coordination and Numeracy Tutor.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and Robotics
All Year 1/ 2 students are included in the whole school STEM Program. Bee-Bots and Spheros are some of the exciting programmable floor robots inspiring the creators of tomorrow. Children will engage in the World of Robotics with the support of innovating educators Kevin and Pauline, who work with industry organisations such as CSIRO, Scienceworks and Questacon. This program will take place this year, beginning on March the 1st to 4th and then the 14th to 17th of November. The STEM program occurs every Tuesday afternoon.
All children are encouraged to participate in the school’s swimming program at the Geelong Aquatic Centre. Swimming will occur in Weeks 6 and 7 of this term. Notes and planning will be coordinated by Ben Gibson. Students not involved in the Swimming Program will be involved in a Water Safety and awareness program back at school.
In Term One our Integrated Inquiry studies topic is: ‘Who am I am, where did I come from?’ focusing on family/friends and community celebrations. It involves studying History, Geography and Intercultural capabilities. We have a Life Education program in Term One and a parent education talk.
Also, we will continue to access exemplary guest speakers from our Geelong community to work with our students and staff throughout the year. During Term One, Azadeh Doosti from our Bell Park North Primary School Community Hub, which is based at our school, will be our guest speaker and will discuss different cultures which will enrich our Integrated Inquiry Studies topic.
In Term 2, we are learning about: ‘Living things and Life Cycles’ and we will investigate and initiate including a Wildlife incursion, petting zoo incursion, Living Eggs, Ecolinc and Serendip. This is a Science focus.
In Term 3, the topic is ‘Our Place in Space’ focusing on places and connections. This is an Earth, Science, Geography and local indigenous focus. Our local Wathaurong ( Wadda Wurrung) are a place-based community consisting of local and traditional owners, as well as Aboriginal people from all over Australia, who have been long-term custodians of the land in our region. Our students and teachers are keen to learn more about their programs, traditions and sustainable practices within our community and lands. We will access a visit to Narana or have an educational officer visit our school. We shall celebrate NAIDOC week, visit the You Yangs and visit our friendly community workers and services via a Separation Street walk.
During Term 4, the Inquiry topic is Toys and Tools- How things work? The focus will be on Design and Technology. It will be fantastic to access a toys and tools workshop for our students to make a toy for themselves with the help of an expert.
Throughout the year, we will have our Community Building and Globalisation programs and events. The first one is the Family Fun Night this term.
Children will work on these Inquiry topics through STEM and the Developmental Curriculum Program. Students are able to take photos, develop surveys, posters, drama and digital presentations. It is a hands-on approach to learning, developing students’ English, Maths, Digital technological, artistic and designing skills. Teachers will use the Walker Learning program, which is Australia’s first major play and individual inquiry-based wholistic subject and method of teaching and learning within the Developmental Curriculum.
We follow the Victorian Curriculum, which means that we cover the key learning areas in a disciplined approach, where learning is dynamic in English, Mathematics, Science, Technologies, Design and Technology and Digital Technologies, Languages ( Japanese) Health and Physical education, Humanities: Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography, History. The Arts: Dance, Drama, Media Arts, Visual Arts, Visual Communication Design.
The four Learning capabilities the Victorian Curriculum also covers includes: Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical, Intercultural, Personal and Social capabilities.
Literacy, Numeracy and Information and Communications Technology ICT are used in every key learning area. These learning areas are not considered separate subjects because the skills and concepts are used across the curriculum.
During Term One, we will focus on the value of Friendship. In Term 2 we study the value of Respect. In term 3 we will focus on Integrity and in Term 4 we focus on Equality.
Rewards Program and days
The highlight of each term at Bell Park North Primary School are the Rewards Days. For instance, the whole school went to the Melbourne Zoo in Term 4 in 2021. Each class has a Rewards program where respectful behaviours, effort and achievement of every student throughout the year is rewarded.
• Water is available in children’s water bottles throughout the day.
• Fruit or vegetable snacks are eaten twice a day at school from 10:00 am and then again at 12.20pm. The children look forward to this ‘brain buzz.’
• We aim for ‘rubbish free’ lunch boxes. Children are encouraged to eat all wrapped food inside and leave any wrappings in the classroom before going outside. It really helps if food is in small reusable containers.
• The whole school fitness walk is a way for staff and students to keep fit and energised each day. Teachers make a time to do that with their classes either before 9am or at other suitable times in their school day.
• Hats must be worn each day at school until May 1. We regularly monitor the UV levels each day and make sure that all hats are worn when levels are 3 or above.
• Diaries are an invaluable form of communication between parents, students and teachers. They are used every day at our school.
• Homework is completed nightly in Reading. There are other weekly homework tasks provided, where the students get to practise the learning for the week. A Homework page will be sent home once a week. There are also electronic options and programs that provide additional concept practice.
Sport and P.E
Our P.E sessions with our P.E Specialist Ben Gibson are on different days.
1 /2 P has it on Session 3 on Wednesday.
1 /2 C has it on Session 3 on Thursday.
1/2M has it on Session 3 on Friday.
Together we have a Sport session on Monday session 3. This will involve a combination of rotation activities involving PMP- a Perceptual Motor Program which is movement based and focuses on improving eye-hand coordination, locomotion and eye tracking skills, overall coordination, balancing, ball handling, skipping, climbing and gymnastics. Students also have to use their active listening skills to be able to follow their teachers’ instructions. Throughout these sessions, students will also get to learn essential skills, so they can play sports. Team work and friendships are strengthened in our programs.
Library sessions incorporates Multimodal Literacy
Classes attend Library sessions each week where they engage in a variety of quality learning tasks and experiences. Students enjoy publishing their texts, practising their learning goals in Essential Assessment programs in Mathematics and Literacy. They work on projects and share these with their class and others.
Take Home Reading
Home reading packs include a “Just Right” book and word lists, tasks and games. It is valuable to share a book together, as well as having children read their ‘take-home’ books to their family and friends.
Reading for relaxation and enjoyment can form part of an excellent bedtime routine. It is important to talk about the book before, during and after reading. Identify the characters, discuss any problems faced by the characters and how the problem was solved. Make predictions (during the reading of the book) about what might happen next. At the end of the reading, retell a funny or sad part in the story.
Pictures support children to understand what they are reading. Encourage children to look at the pictures because they are important to the whole story or facts. New words appear in the pages of a text and these can be discussed and solved by using the pictures and other clues in the sentences.
On- Line Learning and Digital Technologies
Children will access Essential Assessment, Mathletics, Sunshine on Line, Reading Eggs, Study Ladder and other digital and multimodal programs at school. These can also be accessed at home.
We encourage and develop safe habits now and recommend that children use technology in a family space NOT IN THEIR BEDROOM. If these expectations are set at a young age, it will be much easier to maintain students’ safety and mental wellbeing and they get older.
Playing board games and card games as a family promotes co-operative skills, language skills, problem solving and quite often math skills as well. We will send home some suggested games and activities throughout the year and we hope that you will enjoy these!
Supporting students’ independence
Now that children are in Years 1-2, it is very important that they become more responsible for their belongings and understanding the routines that are a part of every school day.
We appreciate, and thank parents for leaving and collecting children at the front gate. This is working very smoothly and allowing for classes to work, without distractions, from the start of the school day right through to the last bell of the day.
Partners in Learning
Teachers and parents use different ways to communicate with each other these days ranging from face to face meetings, telephone conferences or Webex meetings. Together we achieve!
It is a relaxing and welcoming space in our school. The Community Hub Leader Azadeh Doosti will engage and work collaboratively with families and community members with a focus on the needs and interests of migrant communities and other whole school needs and initiatives. We are fortunate to have such as successful Community Hub and Community Hub leader in Azadeh.
We keep our families informed of upcoming events through the students’ diaries and the school’s newsletters. Events and dates are always highlighted in the school newsletter each Monday. Teachers provide a brief explanation of the learning each week to parents on the Compass Portal. Daily messages from the school are visible on Compass. These are also pushed out to parents’ emails and text phone messages.
Learning Tasks and Student Reports
Learning tasks are uploaded once a term on the School’s Compass Portal. You can get your passwords from the school and download the App or use the Compass Website. The student reports are also uploaded twice a year in June and December.
We have our whole school Assembly every Friday and classes are scheduled to perform an item. Weekly awards are also presented to students for their achievements from their class teachers, Specialist teachers and for other external competitions and activities.
Family Fun Nights
We look forward to seeing families get together at school. We have one event per term.
We are looking forward to seeing parents at the first Parent Information Meeting on Wednesday the 9th of February, so we can learn more about the children and their needs at school. It will be great to support all parents further at this meeting with any other questions that they have.
From the Year 1/2Team,
Ashleigh Marruso, Tim Cleeland, Rachel Obrien, Julie Pfeiffer and Connie Romano.