Principal's Blog Principal's Blog

Planning for 2019

Trudy Moala - Thursday, September 06, 2018

Teaching and Learning – our Academic Program.

Our strategic plan for 2018 – 2022 is guiding the decisions we are making in the school at the moment. As a teaching staff we are intentionally focussing on our teaching and learning programs especially in terms of literacy and numeracy and raising the academic standards for all students. Often I speak of ‘excellence for all’ but I mean that very deliberately to mean within the parameters of a child’s ability. For some of our youngest students, learning a skill such as reading may take two years or more, for others, it seems that their abilities grow daily as they grapple with the written word and they progress very quickly. For both, excellence means striving to be the best he or she can be and celebrating their own successes along the way all of which no matter how small or large are valued. Much more could be said here as the teachers are working very hard in their time to improve our academic standards generally whilst catering for all levels of ability within the school but there are other programs which we are enhancing and indeed offering next year which I want to discuss in the limited words of the newsletter.

Sport 2019

In 2019, I am delighted to advise that due to meetings and planning which have occurred throughout 2018, Grace Lutheran Primary School will be partnering with The Lakes College and Genesis Christian College to be a founding Sporting School in NISSA (North Brisbane Independent Schools’ Sporting Association). We therefore will no longer be playing weekly sport in the state school competition. Our students from Years 4 to 6 (in 2019) will be playing with the schools in NISSA in a round robin competition which will involve training and practice at school in school time (Friday afternoons) for 2 – 3 weeks and then joining with the other schools for a full day round robin competition three times a season. The competition will be competitive in that we will score games and enjoy the successes which will occur but there will be no premierships. An undefeated team for each season will win a pennant to proudly hang in their school. So that we are well prepared for the first rounds of competition in 2019, we will commence practice for these sports in Term 4 this year and Mr Hartwell will be asking students in Years 3 - 5 to select from the sports of Touch Football, Basketball and Teeball for the first semester’s competitions next week. Later in 2019, the students will select from Soccer, Netball and Rugby sevens. The idea of this sporting association is to allow for skill development, participation, growth and enjoyment for the students. Mr Tommy Peake at Grace Lutheran College will provide some coaches for our teams but if parents want to be involved, we will be asking for your support too to ensure a high level of coaching and skill development. NISSA will also run for the Years 4 – 6 students, twilight Cross Country, Athletics and Swimming Carnivals which will be competitive. We are very excited to be part of this group to set up what we hope will become a premier sporting association for the future development of our students. There are 3 other Independent schools which are in discussions with NISSA who may join as the association grows in 2020 and we look forward to starting small with a quality program and then continuing to participate in this association with enthusiasm as it grows. Students who would like to try out for district representation in any team sports which is still organised by the State School sector will still be able to do so and nominations will be advised to families as they are notified to the school.

To help enhance our sport and the enjoyment of it, from Term 4 this year, we plan to have a Year 1 – 2 sport time each week so that some of the skills of NISSA are being developed in our younger students. This will continue in 2019 with Year 1 – 3 students participating and ultimately our Prep students joining in too. This sport time will be immediately after chapel each week on a Friday for 40 – 60 minutes.

Performing Arts 2019

Following 12 creative years of Grace Lutheran College's Grace Academy providing co-curricular arts programs to the Grace Primary campus, the primary school is now ready to establish its own Performing Arts Program in 2019. This represents a significant opportunity for both Grace Academy and Grace Primary to expand their current program offerings, as we continue to foster the creative talent of students across the Moreton Bay Region. Mrs Kyren Luostarinen will facilitate the Performing Arts program at Grace Primary and it will include a free of charge violin program for Year 2 students and a free of charge band instrumental program (in group lessons) for Year 3 students in 2019. Mrs L will be hosting expo nights over the next two weeks so students can look at the instruments which will be on offer in readiness for next year. Parents, please note, the instrumental program will be ‘differentiated’ which means that students will be encouraged to work at their own level with enjoyment and participation being a feature of the program. Our instrumental program in general will be expanded to offer tuition from Prep to Year 6 students for those who want to learn an instrument other than those offered in the Year 2 and 3 free program.

We also anticipate our before school dance program will grow as we do not want to hold any wait lists (which we currently do for some groups) allowing for all students who want to participate to have the opportunity to do so. There will be no musical in 2019 but we are hunting around at the moment for a suitable musical for 2020.

Strategic Intent

For those of you who came to the Information night earlier this year, you may remember that as part of our strategic plan, we embraced three words -:
ENGAGE, EDUCATE, EXCITE
to encapsulate what we want to do at Grace. I cannot overstate, that this is relevant to differing levels of student ability. At Grace we are not going to ask children to do something which may embarrass or belittle them, but we are going to scaffold their work – be it academic, or on the sporting field or in a performance arena to help them feel really proud of their achievements. A teacher can only engage and educate and indeed excite a child if the child wants to participate and if he/she feels supported and valued in the programs on offer. If a program is too difficult, the child will disengage but the same is true if it is not difficult enough. This is the skill of the teacher, to find the levels for students to keep them moving and growing whilst not overwhelming them.
If you have any comments about the Academic, Sporting or Performing Arts program for 2019, please contact me as your comments will be valued.

Staffing

We are delighted to welcome Mrs Paris Marks back from maternity leave. She is working in Year 5 whilst Mr John Nulley is on Long Service Leave. He will return on 26 October. We will also welcome back in Term 4 Mrs Aimee Richards as she returns from maternity leave initially in a part time capacity. Aimee will be doing relief work internally.

Trudy Moala, Principal
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