Dear Parents and Carers
Unfortunately the weather has foiled our plans for tomorrow’s Athletics carnival. Hopefully you received an email yesterday advising that the carnival has now been postponed until early next term. Children should come dressed in their normal Friday uniform. The good news is that our parent helpers have made themselves available to cook a sausage sizzle for lunch tomorrow, so there is no need to pack lunch.
Rostrum Public Speaking
It was lovely to see the resumption of the Rostrum Public Speaking competition this year after a COVID enforced layoff last year. This is one of the longest running competitions in ACT Primary schools, having been staged for over forty years. I am guessing that many of our parents may have actually competed in this competition when they attended school.
St Matthew’s has a proud history of representation at the ACT Rostrum Final. Two years ago a Year Six student progressed to this level, which is an outstanding effort when you consider that the competition attracts entries from well over one hundred schools across Canberra and district.
This year our school finalists were: Ava McKee, Sienna Freestone, Lola Reardon, Tijana Susic, Marianna Rositano, Zara Munoz, Thomas Fitzpatrick, Piper Freestone, Lydia Casey, Sara Venkat, Abagail McKune and Scarlett Sticpewich.
Special congratulations to Scarlett who was selected as the St Matthew’s representative in a closely contested school final. Scarlett will represent our school at the Regional Final at Hawker Primary on 15 July.
Parent Teacher Interviews
I am hoping that most parents have now had an opportunity to register for an interview at next week’s Parent Teacher meetings. Communication regarding these meetings was forwarded home via your family email address last Friday, bookings via the link close tomorrow afternoon.
In an effort to remain COVID compliant (and keep parents warm) we have decided to hold interviews in the teachers’ classrooms. Please enter via our Front Office and check in on the CNBR App. It is crucial that parents who have made back-to-back interviews for their children move quickly between classrooms in order to remain on time. The teacher’s name and class is displayed above the classroom door (see accompanying picture) to assist you in finding the classrooms.
May God bless you and your families
We value the role of parents and carers within our school community and would greatly appreciate your feedback. St Matthew’s is participating in a survey that allows parents to express their views about their perceptions of their children’s experiences at home and at school. We invite you to use the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Partners in Learning survey, which will be an important part of our whole school evaluation and planning process.
The information you provide will be used to maintain our commitment to working together in partnership to further improve student learning and wellbeing at St Matthew’s Primary School. We’ll use insights from you, our parents, to monitor the impact of key strategies; to guide our decision-making for school planning; and to target interventions to enhance student success.
The survey is anonymous and will take approximately 15 minutes to complete. If you have more than one child at the school, and your perceptions differ for each child, you may choose to complete the survey more than once to provide feedback on each child’s experiences.
You are able to access the parent survey on your computer or mobile device by using this URL :http://tellthemfromme.com/smp21
The survey closes this Friday afternoon, June 11.
In 2020, and during this year, COVID-19 has prevented us from conducting many of the community initiatives for which St Matthew’s is well-known. We look with hope to the end of the year, and to 2022, as a time when we can once again more fully foster our relationship with our parents.
This Sunday’s gospel is a wonderful example of the teaching style of Jesus. It even tells us that ‘he would not speak to them except in parables’. Jesus used the parable form almost exclusively to share his message. He used imagery that was familiar to his audience; parables about the everyday life of a rural community: seeds, planting, growing, harvesting. The secret of Jesus’ parables, when we understand the cultural context, is that there was always a ‘twist in the tale’ – what is called a ‘discombobulating shift’ – that turns the expected outcome of the story on its head.
This is nowhere more evident than in the image of the mustard seed. On the surface the parable is about the kingdom of God starting from very small, humble beginnings and growing into something great. However, immediately prior to this kingdom parable, Jesus has reminded us that the community makes a living out of growing grain crops like wheat for bread, etc. His parable about the mustard seed describes a tiny seed that grows into a great shrub ‘so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade’. A farming community that was growing grain crops would be greatly alarmed at the thought of actually attracting birds to their fields or even nearby. Jesus’ message about the kingdom of God is that it is actually disruptive and invasive. The kingdom brings unrest and disquiet to the predictable. The kingdom of God is unsettling. This is a much more challenging parable than it appears from a literal reading.
Our Year 6 children are VERY close to receiving the Sacrmaent of Confirmaiton in Week 10. Next week on Friday there will be a retreat day for all students. More information about this retreat day will be sent out in a sepertate letter on Tuesday. Please continue to pray for our Year 6 children and their families.
Have a great week!
Religous Education Co-ordinator
The age-old problem of Times Tables….
Why do some students have difficulty learning the Times Tables?
Students appear to have little difficulty learning entertainment facts and trivia. Students also learn to read and spell hundreds of words and yet they struggle to remember the basic multiplication facts. Clearly for the most part while memory does play a role in learning the basic facts, it is not the most important factor and should not be blamed for students not learning them. It is acknowledged, however, that there are some students with poor memories who will need to rely on using strategies to reconstruct the basic multiplication facts.
Experience suggests that students who rely solely on memorising the basic multiplication facts are making the job of learning the “tables” much harder than it needs to be. Consider the symbols shown in the grid below. Imagine trying to remember each individual symbol. It would certainly be difficult. However, on deeper examination of the grid certain patterns become obvious, making the job of learning the symbols much simpler.
For example, consider the first row and the first column – the symbols are all the same. Likewise focus on the second row and column. Now look at the sixth column and sixth row.
Clearly looking for, and using patterns will assist students to reduce the number of “table facts” that need to be memorised. Further examination of the symbols in the grid will indicate that the symbols are repeated on either side of the diagonal that runs from the top left of the grid to the bottom right. Consider the last column and row. What pattern can you spot?
It should be noted that students are less likely to notice the patterns when the basic multiplication facts are printed out in the traditional table format, as seen below. Therefore, an approach that focuses on number sense and number fluency, using appropriate mathematical strategies is much more effective in teaching students the basic multiplication facts.
Dr Paul Swan - Tackling Tables using a Strategies Approach
Some Links to Mathematical Fluency Games for multiplication:
Multiplication Ludo: Game designed for developing number sense. There’s also lots of strategy and problem solving involved.
Product Game: This game has no luck element at all, therefore it is 100% strategic. Great game to practise multiplication facts in an engaging way.
Crossing the Volcano: Great game for developing fluency with multiplication facts.
Happy birthday wishes to Sidney W, Finley H, Cooper R, Isaac H, Livinia W, Joseph L, Isabella K, Coby O, Zachary G, Kris K, Isaac M, Layal R, Abigall O and Grace C, who recently celebrated birthdays.
My artwork is about indigenous and non-indigenous people coming together to heal our country and nation. The meeting place at the bottom of the cross means this is where we can heal.
I have also put other Aboriginal symbols in my painting like the stars, rain, rainbow, fire, watering holes and water.
A huge thank you to Pip, Marlana, Nijole, Sarah, Megan, Tracy and Julie who have been helping to cover all the new library books. I have really appreciated your help!
I am delighted to let you know about an education resource that is available to your child at home as part of our school subscription – Story Box Library. Your child can watch favourite stories, read aloud by fabulous storytellers, at home as well as in the classroom.
Reading aloud to children, in particular by diverse and engaging storytellers, greatly improves language and literacy skills, especially in the early years of a child’s development. Story Box Library is committed to supporting and engaging the practice of storytelling. It is intended for use as a complementary form of delivering the precious experience of being read aloud to, in order to improve children’s lives. Connecting children with literature through the complementary medium of film, providing a vibrant, interactive experience via a diverse range of storytellers sharing the best of our local children’s picture books.
To access Story Box Library at home:
1) Visit www.storyboxlibrary.com.au
2) Choose Log In from the top right corner of the screen
3) Log in using the username and password provided below
4) Enjoy the library of stories on any device with internet connection
Mark the date!
Next term is an exciting term for book lovers around Australia as we will be celebrating Book Week. Book Week will be held between August 23rd and 27th. At St Matthew’s, we will be holding our annual dress up day on Wednesday August 25th. There will be more information about this next term. I look forward to seeing students dressed up as their favourite book character!
We are currently updating our library policy and I wanted to let you know of a few changes. We will endeavour to email overdue notices to parents each week, as well as giving a printed noticed to students. At the end of each term, families will be charged a nominal amount of $15 for each book that is overdue. Families can also choose to purchase a replacement copy of the book, if they would prefer, and we will waive the charge. Replacement copies will need to be brought to the library, with a note to explain who the book is from.
If you have any questions about this, please email me at email@example.com.