Newman News Term 2 Week 4: From the Deputy Principal Primary

Key Dates

College Calendar Link – In recent times, our school calendar has changed regularly.

NAPLAN – Year 3 and 5

As children progress through their school years, it is very important that checks are made along the way to see how well they are learning the essential skills of reading, writing and mathematics – skills that will set them upon the path to success as adults.

NAPLAN is a point-in-time assessment that allows parents and teachers to see how students are progressing in literacy and numeracy against the national standard and compared with their peers throughout Australia.

Years 3 and 5 students are to be congratulated for the mature way they have undertaken the NAPLAN assessments over the past two weeks. Whilst the data that is provided by the NAPLAN assessments is useful in understanding student learning and growth, it is also very important to remember that it is only one measurement of student learning. Maggie Dent recently reminded us to “remember, we are raising a child, a whole child. We’re raising a mind, a body, a heart and a soul – not just a brain on a seat”.

Scitech Incursion

Year 2 students were amazed by our recent Scitech incursion, with the learning consolidating their current Science unit on mixtures.

Pre Primary Excursion

Our Pre Primary students braved the cold, wet weather last Friday and paid a visit to Caversham Wildlife Park. They had a wonderful time exploring and visiting all the animals. A big thank you to the parent helpers that also assisted our students throughout the excursion.

Student Wellbeing – Growth Mindset

Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible!’ 

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Year 6 camp. One of my highlights of the camp was watching students climb the pamper pole. This is an 8m high pole that students climb, stand on a small landing, and leap off. It is my favourite activity to observe, because very often students are put off by its challenge or talk themselves into believing they can only go so far. I can recall one student this year who was sure they could only climb halfway up the pole, only for them to eventually reach the top, squat on the edge, stand up on the landing, and finally leap off.  

The theme of the Year 6 camp is ‘expand your paradigm’, encouraging students to think beyond what they think they can do, and instead of those things they can actually do. In the classroom, this looks like students adopting growth mindsets – a mindset where students feel their skills and intelligence can be improved with effort and persistence; that they can become better at things through dedication, time, effort and energy. The benefits of a growth mindset include improved self-esteem, learning new skills, and an openness to new experiences.  

It is very easy for students to take the easy way out – to give up, to complain, or to just not try…and there is safety in this. However, real growth comes from being comfortable in the uncomfortable; from putting ourselves at the edge of what we can do, and pushing forward to challenge ourselves to do more (with the support of others of course). If I could, I would encourage families to have a conversation at home about how it feels to take on a challenge. A few suggestions could be: 

  • Mum or Dad could share a story around a challenging moment from their life and how they overcame it 
  • Discuss how it feels when you are ‘in the pit’ – in the midst of a difficult challenge and how to cope with this 
  • Reflect on something you once struggled with, but with determination and dedication you can now count as a skill 
  • Discuss how it feels to encounter new experiences 

If you would like to read more about growth mindsets I can suggest the following links: 

The research of growth mindsets – 

Nurturing a growth mindset in kids – 

Growth mindset vs Fixed mindset Quiz (Big Life Journal) – 

I hope that we can continue to go forward into the rest of this term with a growth mindset amongst our students, ready and prepared to encounter all challenges! 

Mr Stuart McClorey, Leader of Wellbeing PK-6