STEM Learning Project Professional Learning
On Monday, 25th February, all teachers from Castletown attended professional learning at Esperance Primary School regarding the STEM Learning Project Resources. These resources have been developed for the Western Australian Department of Education by a consortium comprising Scitech, Educational Computing Association of Western Australia, Mathematics Association of Western Australia and the Science Teachers Association of Western Australia. It is fantastic to have such quality resources designed by Western Australians for Western Australian children.
“The STEM Learning Project’s aim is to generate students’ interest, enjoyment and engagement with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and to encourage their ongoing participation in STEM while learning and in subsequent careers.” (2019, STEM Learning Project)
STEM Learning Projects are based upon solving open-ended, real world problems. The process is outlined in the diagram below.
This semester every class from K-6 will engage in one of the STEM Learning Projects. It will be exciting to see the many different solutions our students create to solve the real-world problems in their projects.
Throughout the year, students at Castletown Primary School are often afforded the opportunity to participate in quality incursions and excursions. This week our students were able to experience the wonder of Science through a Scitech Show and Workshop. The feedback from staff and students has been overwhelming positive with students excited by what they have experienced and learnt.
Payment of Incursions and Excursions
A frustrating thing regarding the Scitech Incursion for the school was the number of students that had not paid by the due date and were paying right up until the day of the incursion. We are required to make alternative arrangements for students who do not participate and aim to advise our teachers in a timely fashion. These late payments created difficulties for our admin team, financial officers and staff. In future, students who have not paid by the due date will not be participating in events. We will set the payment due date a week before the event and will send reminders out prior to this date.
It is important to ensure that your current details are up-to-date with the school to ensure you receive all communication from the school (newsletters, reminders and communication from your child’s teacher or the Admin Team). You may need to add the school’s email address to your safe senders list as we send bulk emails out and your email provider may mistakenly assume the email is spam and send it to your junk email.
On-Line Learning Programs
At Castletown Primary School we have purchased licenses to provide our students access to Reading Eggs/Eggspress, Mathletics and Typing Tournament. These Australian programs are well regarded throughout Australia as being useful tools in improving student outcomes.
In the past two years all our staff have received professional learning from Tracey Hodgkinson of 3P Learning (the producer of the Reading Eggs/Eggspress and Mathletics Software) in how to use Reading Eggs/Eggspress and Mathletics effectively in the classroom to provide differentiated activities for students, allowing students to work at their own individual level.
Students have the ability to access these programs at home as well, to facilitate and support their learning. The log-ins for each of these programs will be sent home with your child. The program can be accessed via computers or tablets. There is a Mathletics app available but as the program is being updated it has been recommended by 3P Learning that students access the program from their browser (Safari on Apple IOS).
Reading Eggs/Eggspress is available for K-6 students, Mathletics is available for PP-6 students and Typing Tournament is available for PP-6 students (Please note - PP students will be receiving their logins for Typing Tournament later this year.)
From 14th -24th May, our Year 3 and Year 5 students will be engaged in completing the NAPLAN Assessment. For the first time, all students will sit the assessment online except the Year 3 Writing – which will be completed on paper. A parent information brochure has been sent home with Year 3 and Year 5 students today.
On Friday, I attended professional learning in Perth regarding the Brightpaths Assessment Tool and Reports. The Brightpaths Assessment tool is used to assess students’ writing in a variety of genres and then provides identified teaching tips to help progress student’s writing to the next level. All teachers at Castletown Primary from K-6 are utilising this tool to improve student outcomes in their classroom. The professional learning I attended was about using the data created from these assessments to identify whole school strengths and weaknesses and creating plans and targets to progress student achievement.
Assemblies at Castletown
This year we have chosen to schedule our school assemblies on Fridays. Our first Senior Assembly (Years 3-6) will be held this Friday, 8th March, from 8.50am and will be led by Mrs Rose’s Year 6 students from Room 9. We will be introducing our new School Leaders and announcing the Faction Captains at this assembly. All parents are welcome to attend the assembly. The hosting class will be inviting parents of their class to a morning tea to be held in Room 9 after the assembly.
Deputy Principal - Curriculum