Primary Update – Term 2 Week 2

Welcome to Term Two! I hope all primary families enjoyed a wonderful Easter holiday break. It has been so nice to have students and staff return to school this week so full of energy and enthusiasm for the term ahead! This term, amongst the engaging curriculum our teachers have prepared and the anticipation of the opening of the 3-6 Building, we have the introduction of two exciting initiatives within the Primary; the URSTRONG Friendship Curriculum and the redevelopment of the Primary Newman Norms and introduction of a positive behaviour system across the Primary. More details can be found further down in this Newsletter.

New Staff

As this term has started, we welcome some new staff members to our Primary Campus:

  • Jess Wiedermann – Administration Assistant PK-2 (Mon-Wed)
  • Rosalba Bottega – Lavalla SHINE Teacher (Mrs Ognenis moving to an Acting Leader of Wellbeing role in the Secondary Campus)
  • Anne-Marie Terry – Lavalla Literacy and Numeracy Support (whilst Mr Kirry is on  leave)
  • Grace Walker – Italian Teacher Years 3-6

We are very lucky to have these wonderful staff members join the Newman College community and please make them feel welcome.

ANZAC Services

On Wednesday our primary students took part in beautiful ANZAC Services, informing and reminding us of the importance of honouring those who have sacrificed so much for our country. It is important that we continue to share this important part of Australia’s history with each new generation of children. Our students are to be commended for the way they were so respectful during these services.

Lavalla Homework Club

Lavalla Homework Club resumes this term for students in Years 3-6.

  • Commences: Week 3
  • When: Tuesday afternoons (Weeks 3-10)
  • Where: Years 5B & 5R classrooms.
  • Time: 3:05-4:30pm (please note pickup is strictly at 4:30pm)

Homework Club is an opportunity for your child to spend time in the afternoon completing their homework, collaborating with peers on tasks/projects, working independently on unfinished work, as well as receiving additional support from teachers who are supervising.

Students are provided time to have their own afternoon snack at 3:05pm, plus a short play, before commencing Homework Club at 3:30pm.

If your child will be attending Homework Club, you are asked to complete the below form so we are aware of expected numbers.

Homework Club Form

URSTRONG Friendship Curriculum

For those who attended my optional parent information session at the start of the year, I shared with you our plans to roll out the URSTRONG Friendship Program across the Primary, commencing in Term 2. URSTRONG is a whole-school strategy that empowers kids with friendship skills to create communities of kindness in schools.

URSTRONG’s whole-school friendship strategy has improved the social climate in schools around the world, connecting over a million kids, parents, and teachers with a common language of friendship. We are proud to now be a URSTRONG School and are committed to empowering our students with friendship skills.

You are invited to take advantage of a FREE parent membership to access hundreds of resources – including an 8 session video series. This will allow you to learn the same language & strategies being taught in the classroom through the Friendology 101 curriculum. We hope that, as a URSTRONG Family, you will reinforce the important messages of empowerment, self-compassion, & kindness at home.

As a next step, we would recommend:

  • Click here to view an overview of URSTRONG.
  • Click here to view a video overview of URSTRONG.
  • Activate your FREE Parent Membership and explore all the resources available to your family.
  • Explore the hundreds of resources available to you!

We believe that empowering our students with these skills will create a culture of kindness at our school and we hope that, together, we can support your children to have healthy, feel-good friendships.

Our roll out of the program commences next week (Week 3), and then a new lesson will be completed by each class across the primary every fortnight throughout Terms 2 & 3 (8 lessons in total). In each Newsletter, I will keep you updated with the focus of the fortnight, so you can start to use the same language at home with your children.

This program comes highly recommended, and the staff are excited to implement this worthwhile program.

Newman College Norms – Updated in Primary

The Newman Norms for the Primary have been reviewed and have been redeveloped to explicitly state the high expectations of our Primary students, from our Marist spirituality to our personal presentation, attitude, engagement, personal success, and integrity for ourselves and others.

A vibrant and enriching learning community results when these everyday norms are clearly aligned and understood by students and the wider community. Our collective commitment to the Newman Norms sets the stage for an inclusive educational environment where each student is encouraged to surpass their potential and contribute meaningfully to our shared success.

These norms are currently being printed and will be placed in every classroom and around the Primary campuses so they are constantly visible for our students. They will also be shared on the College website.

Positive Behaviour System

To tie in with the redevelopment of our Newman Norms, next week we are introducing a positive behaviour system, encouraging and rewarding students for demonstrating commitment to our College Norms.

Each week as a primary school we will share with the students a focus for the week (taken from our Newman Norms) and staff will focus on identifying and praising students demonstrating this Norm in their daily actions and interactions.

Students actively living out the Norm focus will be given a raffle ticket, which will enter them into a fortnightly draw to win a small prize. The raffle ticket will also be ‘cashed in’ for a coloured token, which will be aligned to the student’s faction. At the front office in Marian and Lavalla, the tokens will be collected in our collection tubes, and the faction that fills their token tube first or has the highest amount of tokens after a certain period of time, will win a reward for the entire faction. More information on this exciting initiative will be shared in the coming Newsletters.

The Zones of Regulation

As per last year, we are excited to be continuing with our Social Emotional Learning Program The Zones of Regulation from Pre-Kindy through to Year 6. The Zones of Regulation is a curriculum designed to foster self-regulation and emotional control.

The Zones of Regulation Framework provides a simple way to think about, talk, and care for our feelings. It uses easy language, a visual structure and is systematic in its approach. It uses four colours (red, blue, green, and yellow) to help us identify how we are feeling on the inside and allows us to explore the tools that support us with emotional regulation.

The Zones of Regulation provides a common language and compassionate framework to support mental health and skill development for all, while also serving as an inclusion strategy for neurodiverse learners, or those who have specific social, emotional, and behavioural needs. The benefits of using this framework in schools include improved self-regulation skills, better social interactions, and increased academic success. This program integrates extremely well with our new URSTRONG program.

We have shared some of The Zones of Regulation resources (linked below) for you to utilise at home including suggested picture books and novels for you and your children to read. We have also shared some information and visuals for each of the four Zones so you can discuss at home with your child.

If you have any queries or questions regarding this program, please feel free to ask your classroom teacher or email your relevant Leader of Wellbeing.

The Zones Book Nook (Early Years)

The Zones Book Nook (Ages 11+)

Zone Information

The Zones Visual

Mrs Battersby
Leader of Wellbeing (PK-2) 

Grammar Professional Learning

At the beginning of Term 2, the Primary Staff spent a day exploring the wonderful world of grammar. This professional learning opportunity aligns with our Talk for Writing approach, which is used in all classrooms from Pre-Kindy to Year 6. This approach follows the three principles of how students learn: imitation, innovation, and independent application. Teachers spent time deepening their own understanding of grammar before focusing on how to teach it within the context of written texts; for, it is in the context of the sentence that we see the function of the word. Some key takeaways from the day include:

  • Grammar is the way words can be put together in order to make sentences.
  • A simple sentence is not a simplistic sentence.
  • Teaching correct grammar terms from a young age is beneficial.
  • Quality over quantity is especially relevant when it comes to writing.

Primary Movie Night

Our Primary Family Movie Night is quickly approaching and I encourage as many Primary families as possible to attend this exciting event – it should be a wonderful event! I look forward to seeing you there!

For more information or to book your ticket click here.

Primary School Build

The Primary School build has been progressing rapidly, with major milestones reached in the first 3 months of the 2024 school year. Our new Administration Block has officially opened, and is a wonderful space to welcome parents and students into the Primary Campus. Landscaping around the building and along the path toward the existing Years 3-5 classrooms will occur over the coming few weeks, creating a beautiful nature play space for our students to utilise. As we enter Term Two, the excitement is building as we eagerly anticipate the opening of our state-of-the-art Years 3-6 Building, slated for mid-way through this term. The 3-6 building is a modern and carefully planned space, with bright, open classrooms and a large number of breakout spaces, catering for the flexible and contemporary curriculum and offerings within the Primary school. We look forward to the opening of this new building in the coming weeks, and welcoming parents to view this amazing space. Here are some progress pictures as we close in on completion.

Ryan von Bergheim

Head of Primary