From the Principal

Stanmore Public School Message from the Principal

Dear parents & carers,

Garden Gate closed from Tuesday 24th November

Due to upgrade works in the school’s garden, the Garden Gate on Cambridge St will be closed from next Tuesday morning, for the rest of the school year. Families with surnames S-Z will collect their children from the Heritage Gate, at the corner of Cambridge and Holt Sts. Please continue to observe physical distancing at all pick up locations.

End of Year Events

The end of the school year is rapidly approaching, and end of year events will look very different to usual this year. Here is an overview of what we are planning.

Week 9 (week of 7th December): Semester 2 reports sent home.

Monday 14th December: Year 3-6 Presentation Day
Tuesday 15th December: Year K-2 Presentation Day

Both Presentation Days will be held under the COLA, with students and teachers in the audience. The size of our student population and the lack of covered space for seating means that we are unable to invite parents to Presentation Days this year. Both events will be filmed and live streamed through Facebook Live so that parents and relatives can see children who are receiving awards.

A run sheet outlining the order of awards will be sent out to the community closer to the date. Parents who do not want their child to be filmed should complete the Presentation Day Filming/Photography opt-out form:

Wednesday 15th December: Fun Day – Last day of school for students

Students will enjoy a fun last day of school, with groups of classes taking turns to come outside and play games on the oval.

At 2:30pm, Year 6 students will do a body percussion performance for the students and teachers. Students will then form a guard of honour, and the Year Sixes will exit to the front playground in front of the heritage buildings. Parents of Year 6 students will be able to come into the front playground to meet their children at this time, but we ask that all parents please observe social distancing on school grounds.

High Potential and Gifted Education Policy Implementation

At Stanmore PS, a large proportion of our students are achieving, or have the potential to achieve, at above the level expected for their age in different areas of the curriculum. We have developed a set of guidelines and practices which outline how we will be implementing the NSW Department of Education’s new High Potential and Gifted Education Policy, which takes effect in 2021.

We are committed to supporting, enriching and extending high potential and gifted students in every classroom across our school. Differentiating the curriculum ‘upwards’ to enable these students to reach their full potential will continue to be a key focus for our teachers. Strategies include specific programs for students gifted in particular areas; flexible grouping strategies and differentiated teaching in all classrooms; a specialist enrichment teacher building class teachers’ capacity and running programs with identified students; and two enrichment classes, one in Stage 2 and one in Stage 3.

For more information, visit the High Potential and Gifted Education Policy Implementation page on our website.

Class structure in 2021

In 2021, we are anticipating that we will again form 25 classes. Classes in Years K-2 will be single-grade classes, with one composite class likely to be formed in K/1 due to enrolment numbers. We have made a philosophical decision to form stage-based ‘multi-age’ classes in Years 3-6. The aim is the social and academic benefit of our students.

Stage-based classes reflect that the NSW curriculum is arranged in stage-based, rather than grade-based outcomes. We anticipate that we will form six Stage 2 classes (Years 3 and 4), one cross stage class (Years 4 and 5) and five Stage 3 classes (Years 5 and 6) in Years 3-6.

Why multi-age classes in Year 3-6?

Any class, whether a single grade or a multi-age class, is made up of learners with a wide range of abilities, working at different developmental stages. Quality teaching that is differentiated to meet the needs of every student, well supported by mentoring, instructional leadership, teacher collaboration and professional learning, has a far greater impact on student achievement than the structure of classes.

Teaching practices such as explicit teaching, formative assessment, flexible grouping strategies and collaborative inquiry-based learning, all of which are routinely implemented across all classes at Stanmore PS, are equally effective in multi-age classes as in single grade classes.

The stage-based class structure will create larger teams of teachers working with similar cohorts in Stages 2 and 3, increasing the capacity of teachers to collaborate on programming and assessment, enhance consistent teacher judgement and practice, and engage in mentoring and peer coaching with colleagues. Teachers will be well supported with targeted professional learning to ensure they are differentiating the curriculum to meet the needs of all learners in their class.

There is evidence that multi-age classes can have positive impacts on students’ social and emotional outcomes and wellbeing. Friendships and social connections across grade levels increase tolerance and social cohesion, and provide students with more opportunities to make connections with students of a similar age, with shared interests or compatible personalities.

Older children in a multi-age class can receive a self-esteem boost from acting as role models for younger children. Younger children can aspire to achieve at the level of the older children in the class. Multi-age classes also create more class groupings for each grade level, enabling teachers to strategically separate children who have an adverse effect on each other’s learning or wellbeing. This greatly benefits the culture and learning environment of classrooms across the school.

I am aware that many of you may have some questions, or would like more information about the reasons behind this decision. Visit our page about Multi-age Classes in 2021, containing Frequently Asked Questions and an overview of some educational research in this area.

We will also be hosting two parent Q&A forums via Zoom next week, and we invite any parents who would like to know more about this topic to join us online.

  • Parent Forum 1: Wednesday 25 November, 6:00 – 7:00pm
  • Parent Forum 2: Friday 27 November, 10:00 – 11:00am

Meeting ID: 657 9374 9182
Passcode: 933728

Medication at school

This week a dose of prescription medication (antibiotics) was found in the playground, unmarked in a ziplock bag. Please remember that any medication to be taken at school must be delivered to the office, and a prescribed medication form completed.

Until next week,

Hugh Miller
PRINCIPAL

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