Dear Parents and Friends of Loreto Nedlands
Outdoor Classroom Day is a worldwide initiative to encourage students and teachers to explore the outdoor learning environment, as an additional classroom. The creators of the Outdoor Classroom Day asked teachers, who have taken part in the campaign, about the impact of taking students outside. The results show that there is a fast growing number of schools worldwide that recognise how important outdoor learning and play is for children, as well as parents and the wider community. In fact, 97% of teachers worldwide believe that outdoor playtime throughout the school day is critical for children to reach their full potential. In a worldwide study Australian children were found to get the most playtime during the school day than any other country surveyed.
Benefits of outdoor play include improvements in:
- Imagination and creativity
- Social skills
- Engagement with learning
Students at Loreto Nedlands are encouraged to participate in outdoor play before school. They have 50 minutes of play time during recess and lunch and have outdoor play time organised with sport and physical education lessons. The younger years enjoy outdoor nature play during the week. We encourage families to play outdoors using the school grounds after school. We are ticking a lot of boxes when it comes to promoting participation in outdoor play. We will have a school wide focus on the outdoors as an additional classroom as all year levels will be participating in outdoor learning during Outdoor Play Day on Thursday 7th November.
We had a small, but engaged and enthusiastic group of parents come along to the Parent Voice Survey feedback evening last night. During the evening we were able to discuss with the parents the findings of the survey and some of the actions the school is putting in to place to address the survey findings. Like all good schools and institutions, Loreto Nedlands is on a journey of improvement. We value the feedback from our key stakeholders and use this to assist us in developing our improvement goals. Key information from the evening is listed.
Positive responses included:
- Teachers care about my children.
- Teachers treat my children with respect.
- Teachers give my children help with their learning.
- Teachers challenge my children to do better.
- Satisfaction with children progressing behaviourally.
- Satisfaction with children progressing emotionally, socially, academically and spiritually.
- High expectations of students’ behaviour.
- Safe environment is provided.
- Disruptive behaviours are minimised.
- The school helps students learn to resolve conflicts.
- Staff are approachable and welcoming.
- Family cultural backgrounds are respected and cultures are valued.
- Communication between home and school is good, newsletter is useful, and parent workshops are useful.
- Effectiveness and value of the P&F.
Responses requiring further clarity and/or action from Loreto Nedlands:
- Regular feedback about children’s progress (overwhelmingly the greatest area of concern).
- Relevance of Seesaw App.
- Dealing with bullying – 70% of responders were satisfied, however we would like to offer a little more clarity around this for the 30% who were not satisfied.
- Blossoming Policy: 16% not aware of the policy. We would like to address this.
- Developing the children’s gifts and talents – 14% did not think we do this adequately. We would like to address this area because it is very important to us as a Catholic School.
- Staff will make an appointment with all parents to have a face to face interview in Semester Two. This will be in addition to the Term One interviews but will not be completed in a block with an early close, as is the case in Term One.
- We are looking at sending home the writing workbook on a regular basis commencing in Term One 2020. This will give parents a firsthand look at how their children are progressing over a shorter period of time.
- Parents are reminded that they are always welcome to make appointments to see their class teachers. Teachers are always willing to make the time to speak to parents in a formal meeting.
I suspect that parents in the middle and upper years are less keen on the Seesaw App than in the junior years. We will make a staff decision about the app for 2020. However, it is highly likely that it will continue in the younger years.
Dealing With Bullying:
- Bullying Policy is publicly available on the Loreto Nedlands Website – under the Policies tab.
- We have a responsibility to ensure confidentiality, as much as possible, when dealing with incidents of bullying. We do this to protect the dignity of the student.
- As a Catholic school we respect and protect the dignity of every student.
- We have a belief that every child is made in the image and likeness of God – no child is “bad.” We work with our students to help them change their behaviours, where it is appropriate.
During the evening Mr Boxsell provided additional information about Blossoming at Loreto, Mrs Barfoot spoke about behaviour management and pastoral care and Mr Corbett spoke about catering for academic needs, data collection and feedback structures on academic growth.
On Friday 1st November we celebrate the Feast of All Saints. The Feast is an important one in our Church calendar. The Feast of All Saints is a time to reflect on the lives of the Saints and how they can continue to inspire us as we follow Christ in our daily lives. It is also important that we reflect on all those who have died and who are not formally recognised as saints. I am sure you all have relatives or friends who have passed away who have lived lives of love and goodness. These people are saints in the holy simplicity of their lives. We can aspire to be like them and should take the time to pray to them.
Father, All-Powerful and ever-living God,
today we rejoice in the holy men and women
of every time and place.
May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love
We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I look forward to welcoming you all to our school Mass to celebrate the Feast of All Saints at Holy Rosary Church on Friday 1st November commencing at 9.00am.
Best wishes for the week ahead.