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Friday, July 21st 2017

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Term 3 Week 1: From the Principal

One of the most pleasing aspects of being a teacher is witnessing students solving a problem, discovering a new idea, collaborating in groups and presenting their findings to a group. Year 5 this week, through our Primary STEM initiative, presented their completed projects to the school. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. The results of these projects were remarkable, not just in the ingenuity of some of the ideas, but in the development of soft skills including creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving that were being developed through the process.

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In the recent school holidays, I attended the Learning Environments Australasia Conference in Singapore. The tenor of the conference was centred on learning spaces and learning that will be required in schools and universities to ensure that students have the necessary skills required to actively compete and participate in an ever-changing world.

One keynote presentation was from a local Singaporean government body called SkillsFuture. SkillsFuture is a national movement to enable all Singaporeans to develop to their fullest potential, as well as realise their aspirations by taking advantage of a wide range of opportunities (http://www.skillsfuture.sg/). The central theme of the presentation was the integral need to ensure that learning is flexible in its approach and that individuals will be able to translate skills into performance. Such an outcome is central to our College’s Vision for Learning Shine Through Discovery. We are developing learning opportunities and ultimately spaces that reflect real world experiences. Our Year 5 initiative exemplifies the creativity, critical thinking and entrepreneurial skills we want for our students as they grow in their learning journey at Newman College and the choices we want them to have in the future ahead.

Behaviour Management Policy
This week we launched the College’s new pdfBehaviour Management Policy. The Policy aims to provide a clear framework for students PK-12 with age-specific strategies. The respective Heads of School and Leaders of Wellbeing have workshopped and trialled this framework over Term 2 with much success. We look forward to a consistent approach across the College so students and parents understand the clear expectations we have as a faith and wellbeing community, to ensure that the wellbeing of each student is nourished and harnessed. Our focus is centred on Respect of faith, others, self, learning and for the College.

Parent Meetings Term 3
I wish to draw the attention of parents to changes of dates for the two parent meetings scheduled for this term.

  1. Newman Parents Consultative Committee Meeting will be held on Monday 7 August, 7.00pm, in the Marist Auditorium. As well as the usual format, a report will be given on funding/fees and student devices.
  2. Newman Parents Meeting will be held on Monday 11 September. Our presenter will be Greg Mitchell who will speak about 'Raising Great Kids'. Greg's workshops are designed to empower parents to be excellent rather than perfect. More details will be provided closer to the date.

We look forward to the term ahead. May Christ bless our community

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