I find it hard to believe we are already in Week 4! The beginning of the new year is always a busy time, and the first few weeks have flown by.
I trust that those families new to us are well settled into the routines of their new school. I have enjoyed getting to know many of our new students and reconnecting with the broader school community after the long break. I thank the Friends of Junior School for facilitating the welcome events of the first few weeks. Our Meet the Teachers Evening was well attended, and the move to hosting refreshments in the d’Helin building a welcome relief on such a hot day. Our Junior School Cinema Evening was also very well attended with many of our families enjoying the showing of The Son of Bigfoot. Thank you to Mrs Henery for all of the organisation in the lead up and running of the night. Thank you also to Michelle Primmer, Sonya Pether and Matt McKenzie for purchasing and looking after the ice cream and icy pole sales. It was great to see our families enjoying the movie from the comfort of our Hall seats or their own bean bags.
Over the last few weeks I have been sharing with our students some of my own reading from the holiday break. This year our school has committed to helping our students become the strongest readers that they can. Parents will play a central role in supporting their children as readers. In our second assembly I asked our students to seek out trusted adults and ask them the following reading related questions:
What is the last book that you read for fun?
What was it about?
What did you like about the book?
What was special about the book that made it interesting?
Sharing your own reading experiences your children creates opportunities for discussion and emphasises the importance of reading in everyday life. They will develop an understanding of reading as an important life skill and not merely a “school thing”. It is also helpful if your children see the reading related conversations as a shared interest rather than homework or a chore. In the Early Years we structure the reading programs so that children can share their reading with their parents as a fun activity where the child can succeed easily rather than struggle. Similarly, reading related conversations in the upper years should be centered around shared experience, how the child relates to the story or information, what they find interesting about the book etc. Our expectation in Junior School is that every child will spend some time each day reading for pleasure.