Primary NewsApril 01, 2022
It is the end of term one, and we have managed to embrace the new normalcy for students from Years 3s to Year 6s wearing masks during instruction time in the classroom. The college is built upon being resilient, and our core activities and learning were never compromised.
The students soldiered on with Spelling Mastery, and we also followed the Talk for Writing pedagogy for our writing execution. Using oral language as the cornerstone, students learnt to recite a famous story. By doing so, they become fluent in retelling a story. This frees up their working memory to incorporate elements that help create a higher quality writing by working on many in-depth literacy tools to heighten their writing pieces using examples like similes, idioms and powerful adjectives. They then innovate from a familiar story platform, and from there, they independently write their version of the stories using the many writing tools taught. Surrounding the classrooms are washing lines of sample writing which they have brainstormed the ideas together. These become instruments to scaffold our emerging writers to the next stage of their development.
Talk for Writing inspired the Year 5 Green to re-enact the story of “Beowulf” for their virtual assembly. Students narrated the story with clear diction and expression. They also innovated the story by changing the characters and the settings in their Writing.
The learning is continuous, and students enjoy every moment of their day in school. For example, year 6s are learning about percussion instruments in music. Pre-primary students are making crosses in preparation for Good Friday. Kindergartens are learning about letter sounds.
We had to delay a few events due to COVID and inject some play and fun into our term, and we had an hour of House events. Students were grouped according to their year level and participated in activities that required cooperation and collaboration and some activities that required strength and skills. However, the main thing was the students had so much fun and laughter.
The Mercy Values shone brightly on the primary campus. Some students initiated and volunteered to tidy up the school during Friday lunch as they walked around and picked up rubbish. They provided “service” and showed “respect” to the school property.
Social media and chatrooms are often used to entertain and communicate in this current day and trend. However, it can be deemed unsafe for young children, putting themselves vulnerable to possible dangers because the person’s identity can easily be masked. I would encourage parents to be vigilant when their children use such communication modes and monitor the form of language they are exposed to. The lesser time they spent on devices would propel more extraordinary face to face relationships with family members. Pope Francis’s message for Lent stated, “One sign of such weakness is digital media, which impoverishes human relationships. Lent is an opportune time to cultivate healthy communication and face-to-face encounters”.
With the fear and anxiety over COVID, let us continue to practise kindness and love to our community by supporting and being patient with one another.
God of all life
May your love and light shine in and through me today
In a way that no mask can hide.
May my eyes dance with the laughter and joy
Replacing my hidden smile.
May my actions of care and concern
Speak louder than my muffled voice ever could.
And may the generosity of my heart
Radiate out through who I am
And how I respond to the world around me
So that others may not see my mask
But your image shining out
Moving in and through me today.
(Br Michael Herry FMS_
Head of Primary