The Tartan Newsletter Ed3

New Buildings at JSRACS: Bromilow Learning Centre Completed
Principal’s Welcome
  • A Momentous Occasion: The Opening and Blessing of Our New Buildings
  • Honouring Our Legacy
  • Michelle Bolt: A Legacy of Service
  • The Bromilow Family: A Tradition of Leadership
  • Overcoming Challenges Together
  • More Than Buildings
  • Looking Ahead
  • Long Service Leave
 
Early Learning News

Cultivating Curiosity

 
Primary School News

Developing Writing in the Primary Years at JSRACS

 
Middle School News

Open and Positive Communication

 
Senior School News

Senior School Pathways at JSRACS

A Momentous Occasion: The Opening and Blessing of Our New Buildings

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are thrilled to share the news of the recent Opening and Blessing Service for our two new buildings, The Michelle Bolt Early Learning Centre and The Bromilow Learning Centre. The Opening and Blessing Service; held on Monday, 29 April, was a significant milestone for our school community, graced by the presence of Archbishop Kay Goldsworthy, who officiated the blessing. We were also honoured to have members of the Bolt and Bromilow families join us for this special occasion.

 

Honouring Our Legacy

The names of these new centres are deeply rooted in the rich history and traditions of John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School (JSRACS). They pay homage to the legacy of the former Beechboro campus where the Michelle Bolt Library and the Michael Bromilow Centre once stood as symbols of knowledge and community. By enshrining these names, we honour the remarkable contributions of Mrs Michelle Bolt and the Bromilow family, who played pivotal roles in the early development and enduring success of our School.

 

Michelle Bolt: A Legacy of Service

Mrs Michelle Bolt’s dedication to JSRACS was significant. She served on the School Council for a total of 15 years, from 1990 to 1994 and then again from 1995 to 2006. Before her tenure on the Council, she was the President of the Parents and Friends Association and organised the inaugural JSR Fete. Her influence during the School’s formative years was instrumental in shaping our staff and parent culture. Michelle’s legacy remains a shining example of unwavering commitment to our school community.

The Bromilow Family: A Tradition of Leadership

Mr Michael Bromilow was the Chairman of the JSRACS School Council from May 1991 to February 1993. After stepping down as Chair, he became the Director of the Anglican Schools Commission, serving until December 2000. His wife, Von Bromilow, contributed significantly as a School Council member from 2005 to 2019, focusing her energy on strengthening our Anglican ethos and traditions. Their dedication has left an indelible mark on our School.

 

Overcoming Challenges Together

The journey to complete these buildings began in January 2022 and was not without its challenges. The global supply chain crisis caused unexpected delays and shortages of vital materials. However, these obstacles only served to strengthen our community’s resolve. The collaboration and perseverance demonstrated by everyone involved are a testament to the spirit of JSRACS.

 

More Than Buildings

The Michelle Bolt Early Learning Centre and The Bromilow Learning Centre are more than just structures of steel and concrete. They are symbols of hope, knowledge, and potential. Within these walls, our students will find not only classrooms but also spaces where their dreams can take flight, where curiosity is ignited, and where friendships are forged. These centres will be places where teachers inspire and challenge, and where opportunities for learning and growth are boundless.

 

Looking Ahead

As we reflect on the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” we are reminded of our shared commitment to harness the power of education to shape a brighter future for all. The Michelle Bolt Early Learning Centre and the Bromilow Learning Centre are not just additions to our School’s infrastructure; they are also symbols of the School’s development and progress as a community. They stand as a testament to our dedication to providing a high-quality education and our belief in the transformative power of education. Together, as a community, we will continue to support and inspire our students, guiding them as they grow into the leaders, innovators, and change-makers of the future.

 

Long Service Leave

This will be my last newsletter before I take a break with my family over the course of Term 3 for Long Service Leave. I am eagerly looking forward to my first Long Service Leave break and returning with renewed energy and fresh perspectives.

During my absence, Mr Justin Krause, Associate Principal – Middle School, will be serving as the Acting Principal of our School. Mr Krause is a highly experienced educator and administrator with a deep commitment to our School’s mission and values. With his extensive background in education and leadership, I am confident that he will ensure continuity and excellence in the day-to-day operations of the School.

 

I am thankful for the opportunity to recharge and spend quality time with my family, and I deeply appreciate the trust and support of our school community. I eagerly look forward to rejoining you all in Term 4, invigorated and ready to embark on the next phase of our School’s journey together.

 

Every Blessing

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Jason Bartell

JSRACS Principal

Early Learning News

Cultivating Curiosity

Cultivating curiosity is an essential mindset for lifelong learning and personal growth.  By staying curious and asking questions, you can expand your knowledge, discover new interests, and foster creativity.  Embracing curiosity can lead to a deeper understanding of the world around you and open up new possibilities for exploration and learning.  Remember, curiosity is the spark that ignites the flame of knowledge!

Why?

 

As parents, we’ve all been on the other end of the eternal question, “but why?” Children ask “why” so often because they are naturally curious and eager to learn about the world around them.  They are constantly trying to make sense of things and understand the reasons behind actions and events.  By asking ‘why’ they are seeking knowledge and trying to deepen their understanding of the world.  Sometimes it feels like a never-ending cycle of questioning.  It can be tiring to constantly come up with explanations and answers, especially when we may not have all the answers ourselves.  Actually, we don’t need to know all the answers.  It’s perfectly ok to say we don’t know and explore the answers together.  In an ideal world, one where you aren’t in the middle of dinner and have time to set aside, finding out together models the importance of curiosity, research, critical thinking and problem solving.

Early Learning Centre Term 3 Cultivating Curiosity
Cultivating Curiosity2

The Early Childhood programmes are deliberately planned and purposefully allow for being curious.  There is something magical about learning something new and being encouraged to explore your surroundings.  They make for some very tired teachers and students at the end of every school day. 

 

Playgroup at JSR

Playgroups are a great way to provide opportunities for our little ones to explore, discover and learn in a social setting to foster curiosity.  By interacting with other children in a playgroup, they can observe how their peers approach challenges, problem solve and explore new interests.  Playgroups are a supportive environment to take risks and learn from these experiences.  Playgroups often provide access to different games and activities.  From blocks, dress ups, outdoor play, experimenting with art materials, or messy play, playgroups can provide hands on learning experiences outside of your home.

The playgroup at JSR runs every Friday morning during term time.  You don’t have to be a member of our school community to attend, all members of our local community are welcome to join.  If you know a neighbour or friend looking to join a playgroup and they would like more information, please email [email protected]

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Georgia Gratteri

Associate Principal Early Learning
(Pk - Year 1)

Primary School News

Developing Writing in the Primary Years at JSRACS

Since 2021, Primary Teachers at JSRACS have engaged in professional learning aimed to enhance student’s skills in writing. This professional learning has centred around training in the Talk for Writing process.  The Talk for Writing programme was initially developed and rolled out in the United Kingdom and has been introduced across schools in Australia since 2019.  The process aims to teach students how to write through using the power of storytelling. As we look back through history, storytelling initially was an oral process; with the written form of storytelling coming much later.  The unique approach of Talk for Writing encourages children to tell a story and understand the structure of a story orally, before moving on to writing a story or text.  The approach develops skills in both fiction and non-fiction texts, inclusive of narratives, reports, explanations or persuasive arguments.

Talk 4 Writing was developed by Pie Corbet.  He explains the programme in the following way:

 

‘Many students find the writing process, both fiction and non-fiction, extremely challenging. These students may have wonderful ideas but struggle to get their thoughts onto the page. Even those who read reasonably well can experience difficulty with written expression.  As children read and are read to, they store patterns that form the building blocks of written expression. In order to write sentence patterns, appropriate to a given text (e.g. a recount starts with ‘when, who, what and where’ elements) children need to have these patterns modelled with multiple opportunities to say them before being expected to write them. In Talk for Writing, the process of “Imitation – Innovation – Invention” is explored. Students learn to orally recite and act out popular stories through listening and reading. The teacher maps out the story using pictures to aid students’ memory. The repetition allows the students to interact with the text and helps them to internalise the language patterns and text features. Students are then taught to use the underlying structure of the original text to create their own version on a different topic. Over time, they move towards independent writing as they create texts about their own topics.

 

Talk for Writing is a unique process that uses spoken activities to develop writing skills. Quality writing is created by first expanding and developing students’ oral language skills and then teaching the necessary steps for exceptional sentence, paragraph and text construction.

 

Talk for Writing is a unique process that uses spoken activities to develop writing skills. Quality writing is created by first expanding and developing students’ oral language skills and then teaching the necessary steps for exceptional sentence, paragraph and text construction.

 

Talk for Writing has the potential to dramatically improve students’ writing. The approach also offers students with learning and language difficulties an opportunity to develop stronger writing skills. Feedback from students indicates that they find Talk for Writing ‘fun, engaging and motivating.’

 

Further information on Pie Corbet’s philosophy and development of this writing resource can be accessed here.

 

What does Talk for Writing look like at JSR?

Talk for Writing is a three-stage process that uses the basis of oral language to develop written language skills.  The process commences with the imitation stage where the teacher will engage a ‘hook’ or stimulus to stimulate student’s imaginations in readiness to explore the topic or text.  The teacher and students develop a visual story map to guide them in learning the oral language of the text, combining movements and signs to assist in remembering the story structure.  Following this comes the innovation stage. Through this process, students are exposed to how a well-written text is constructed and what aspects of the text make it effective. An example of a teacher introducing the hook and mapping task with students can be accessed via this link here.

 

In this example, students are building on prior knowledge and experience of having created a narrative text the previous term; during that task the focus was on developing the ‘setting’ for a story; in this example students are expanding their knowledge of Narrative structure, with the focus this time being how to create ‘suspense’.  The teacher identifies and makes use of 3 ‘tools’ that are explored and added to the student’s ‘writing tool kit’.  Students will use these tools in their own writing to create suspense.  The tools identified for this particular task are:

 

  • Powerful verbs – padded, hisses, growling, snapped, scramble, slipped, crept.
  • Show not tell – we don’t just want to tell the reader how the character is feeling, we want to show them by describing what is happening to their body; how they are talking, moving, gesturing etc. Example: Rahul gripped Joe’s arm.
  • Empty words – the reader needs to imagine what ‘it’ is. Every reader will imagine something different that is really scary for them. E.g. – someone, somewhere, something, no-one, nowhere, nobody, it, shadow, silhouette.

 

The next stage is the innovation stage where students use the skills, they have learned during the imitation stage to create versions of the text. During the innovation stage students are supported through the creation of ‘shared’ texts that may imitate the original text in structure and style, while creating a ‘different text or story’.

 

The final stage is the invention stage. At this stage, students use the skills they have learned to create their own original piece of writing. By this stage, students have built up a strong foundation of writing skills that enable them to write confidently and effectively, skills that are transferrable across a range of writing genres.

 

What are the benefits of Talk for Writing?

Talk for Writing provides students with a clear structure to follow when writing. This can be particularly beneficial for students who struggle with writing or who lack confidence in their abilities. The process helps students to break down the writing process into manageable chunks, making it easier to understand and to follow.  They can see how text is created – a step by step approach to how a story or text evolved, rather than having to focus on the whole text or the whole task.

 

Talk for Writing helps students to develop their writing skills in a fun and engaging way. By using storytelling as a basis for writing, students are encouraged to be creative and to use their imagination.  They get to know a story orally, by breaking it down into pictures and movements that reflect the spoken words; this engages them in a physical and fun experience, while learning the process of constructing and creating text.

 

Talk for Writing has had a positive impact on student learning.   Students are having fun while they actively engage with the writing process; they explore text through  movement and orally, and their writing process is scaffolded to support and guide them through the writing process.  Ultimately, children become more confident in their abilities and are better equipped to write effectively across a range of contexts.

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Paula Martin

Associate Principal Primary School
(Years 2-6)

Middle School News

Open and Positive Communication

There is a frustrating irony that in the time that our teenagers could benefit the most from our understanding and input, they are least inclined to lean into that advice and to be open to the wisdom of parents. I am not always certain that I agree with the prevailing sentiment that young people have it a lot tougher these days, but it is indisputable that the challenges faced our young people are vastly different and indeed sometimes more complex than the ones we faced at their age. From the pressures of social media to academic stress and mental health concerns, today’s teenagers face a unique set of hurdles. As a school dedicated to the well-being and development of our students, we understand the importance of open and positive communication between parents and their teenage children. Here are some practical tips to help you engage with your teens and support them through these formative years.

1. Create a Safe and Open Environment

Fostering an environment where your teen feels safe to express themselves is crucial. Encourage open dialogue, listen attentively and reflecting your understanding back to them. Where appropriately challenge their thinking in a respectful way.  Let them know that their thoughts and feelings are valid and that you are there to listen without immediately offering solutions or criticism.

 

2. Be an Active Listener

Active listening involves paying full attention to your teen without interruption. Show empathy and understanding by reflecting on what they say. For instance, if they share a problem, you might respond with, “That sounds really tough. How do you feel about it?” This shows that you value their perspective and are genuinely interested in their experiences.

 

3. Educate Yourself About Their World

Stay informed about the issues that matter to your teen. This could include learning about the latest social media trends, understanding the academic pressures they face, or being aware of mental health topics. By educating yourself, you can engage in more meaningful and relevant conversations.

 

4. Share Your Own Experiences

While it’s important to keep the focus on your teen, sharing your own experiences and challenges can help them feel less isolated. Relate your stories of overcoming obstacles or dealing with stress, and discuss what you learned from those situations. This can provide valuable life lessons and foster a deeper connection.

 

5. Encourage Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking

Rather than immediately offering solutions, encourage your teen to think critically about their challenges and come up with their own solutions. Ask guiding questions like, “What do you think would help in this situation?” or “Have you considered any other options?” This empowers them to develop problem-solving skills and builds their confidence.

 

6. Be Supportive and Patient

Remember that adolescence is a time of significant change and growth. Be patient and supportive, even when conversations are difficult. Show your teen that you believe in their ability to navigate their challenges and that you are there to support them every step of the way.

 

7. Be Confident in Boundaries

Clear boundaries are key to creating a safe and predictable environment. Some of the best support we can offer our children is through sharing your values and expectations, understanding that they will not always be able to live up to this standard, but guiding them to learn and grow. Our role as parents is to set that expectation for our children and then to give them the skills, love and support to reach them.

 

8. Seek Professional Help When Needed

If your teen is facing serious issues such as mental health concerns, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Encourage them to speak with a counselor or therapist, and be supportive of their journey to finding the help they need.

 

Perhaps the best thing we can do is never lose sight of the fact that we went through challenges in our adolescence and remind ourselves that growing up is not a linear journey. At JSRACS, we are keenly aware of the need to offer continual guidance to the students in our care and to partner with parents to give them the best chance to realise their potential. Remember, PCG tutors and subject teachers are committed each child’s success, communication with them is key to building the community of support around your child.

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Justin Krause

Associate Principal Middle School
(Years 7-10)

Senior School News

Senior School Pathways at JSRACS
Explore, commit and thrive in the pathway best suited to you.

The Senior School students sitting in our classrooms at JSRACS are amongst those who will form our future workforce.  Some may become experts in their fields who contribute to research and development to find solutions for current and future problems.  Likewise, amongst them may well be some of our future leaders, spanning a range of industries and sectors of our society.  Our Senior School education opportunities play an essential role in helping students of all abilities, and with a wide range of future career aspirations, to develop and realise their full potential.  We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to prepare them for the challenges they will face when they enter the workforce or future study, and to give them the best possible opportunity to function as successful, confident and inspirational contributors to our society.  We strive to do this at JSRACS by providing a range of pathways that will enable them to fulfill their potential. 

Choosing the right educational pathway is crucial for all students as it can significantly impact their future success and satisfaction. Each student has unique talents, interests, and aspirations, making it essential to tailor their educational journey to fit their individual needs. A well-chosen pathway not only enhances academic engagement and performance but also boosts self-confidence and motivation. It prepares students for their future aspirations, aligning their strengths with their career goals. John Septimus Roe plays a pivotal role in guiding every student through this process, offering guidance, advice and resources, coupled with strong encouragement for students to work with maximum effort, to help every student in the Senior School make informed decisions that will satisfactorily challenge them, and lead to them reaching their full potential.

 

My Pathway – My Future

The range of pathways at John Septimus Roe include:

 

1. Direct ATAR entry to University

This is a pathway for students with a clear goal to study at university, and who are also capable of rigorous, in-depth study in four to six ATAR courses. This pathway is for students who are ready by the start of Year 11 to perform well under examination conditions, and also cope with a consistent, high workload. For students to be successful in this academically rigorous pathway, they must be content and comfortable to commit time each school afternoon and evening to their personally organised home study plan, as well as some time on the weekend.  They must also be prepared to dedicate the required time to implement a range of home study skills which will enable them to retain and reproduce the content and understand and apply the concepts required.  Students must be prepared to plan and organise their own study in order to master the information the teacher delivers during the timetabled lessons.  This pathway is not for students who do minimal study outside of school hours.  This pathway takes a genuine and serious commitment for students to successfully complete until the end of Year 12, and to achieve a competitive ATAR.

 

2. Flexible Pathway

This pathway is for students who are planning to go to TAFE or the workforce, and also for those potentially capable of going to university, but who are not yet ready by Year 11 for the workload of four or more ATAR courses. A combination of three or fewer ATAR courses (maybe zero ATAR courses), with some other less academically rigorous courses included in their program can provide the student with some exposure to the academic rigour required for higher level studies. If a student works with maximum effort and acts on the feedback provided by teachers, this can be good preparation for future university study.  Importantly, regardless of whether a student is planning to go to TAFE or University, this pathway should enable them to cope with the associated workload, whilst completing courses in which they have the ability to successfully engage in the curriculum and therefore progress to a level where they are better prepared to face the challenges of further study, including a university course.  It also equips students well to cope in the workforce.

 

Students who are committed and capable of successfully engaging in the Direct ATAR pathway should do so, rather than opt for this less academically rigorous Flexible Pathway, however, students who are not capable of successfully engaging in the Direct ATAR pathway should not attempt that pathway, as the impact of being overwhelmed and achieving low results can lead to demotivation, not to mention risking not meeting the requirements to achieve the WACE (Western Australian Certificate of Education) due to insufficient passing grades.  These students will have a far more beneficial, satisfying and successful education in the Flexible pathway, which does allow them to demonstrate their capabilities.

 

3. Trade Preparation Pathway

This skills-based pathway equips students with trade workshop skills and broad capabilities that will adequately prepare students for an apprenticeship in the traditional trade industries.

 

This pathway enables students to make valuable use of their time in school metalwork, woodwork and practical engineering style workshops, completing courses that are highly focused on preparing them for the trade industry, as well as achieving their WACE.  Students can complete Year 12 fully prepared and confident in their ability to cope with an apprenticeship.  The English and Mathematics tasks are specifically developed to interconnect with the trade industries.  Within this unique setting and with the support and guidance of their teachers, coupled with the extremely valuable CareerLink experience, students can leave JSRACS confident, competent and ‘apprenticeship-ready’.

 

4. CareerLink Pathway

This is a pathway intended for students who are planning to either continue their studies at TAFE or enter the workforce.  Students will generally study General Courses, and Workplace Learning which usually includes a Certificate Two, Three of Four course across Year 11 and/or 12 as part of the CareerLink program.  Although this pathway is not specially designed to prepare students for university, it should be noted that the attainment of a Certificate Four can be used for an application into a wide range of university courses.

 

5. Hospitality Traineeship

Students can incorporate Hospitality training into their school study, in the form of a paid traineeship. Generally, this is incorporated with a Flexible pathway, however in some instances, it is possible that a Direct ATAR pathway student could also combine the Hospitality Traineeship with their courses, and likewise, sometimes it is possible to include the Hospitality Traineeship with a CareerLink program.  This can provide a useful income for Senior Students, who may find it more convenient to work at school rather than have external part-time employment outside school hours.  Completion of a Hospitality certificate not only prepares students as desirable employees in this industry, it can also lead to further training opportunities in Hospitality.

 

6. UniReady Year 12

Many universities offer a variety of entry pathways outside of the Direct ATAR Pathway. While some of these pathways utilise school results in General Courses and Vocational Certificates, many undergraduate courses can also be accessed via the completion of a UniReady (or equivalent) pathway.  The pathway offered at JSRACS is the Curtin UniReady Endorsed Program, however, this is also recognised by several other universities.  The UniReady pathway is intended to cater for students who have completed a Year 11 ATAR Direct Entry program, but whose results indicate that they are not ready for the jump to the level of academic rigour required with the Year 12 ATAR Direct Entry workload.  These students may be just scraping over the line for a pass in most or all of their Year 11 ATAR courses, and this indicates that they don’t have the prerequisites to continue with a minimum of four Year 12 ATAR courses.  Students in this situation may be invited to apply for the UniReady program.

 

Entry into this ‘Year 12 invitation only’ alternative entry pathway to university is dependent on criteria in relation to achievement in Year 11 ATAR English and other Year 11 ATAR courses, as well as any General courses.  A student’s level of organisation, engagement, persistence, work ethic, attendance history, ability to meet deadlines and goal for university study will be reviewed.

 

As we near the completion of Semester One, our Year 10 students are gearing up to submit their pathway and course preferences for Year 11 next year.  Our current Year 11 students will soon find out how they have fared in Semester One, and a review will determine if any will be required to change into a more suitable pathway that better aligns with their capabilities.  These decisions are based on the level of academic achievement a student has demonstrated during Semester One.  The importance of a student being enrolled in the pathway best suited to their capabilities cannot be underestimated, and it is essential that we have this correct by the time a student commences Year 12, at the very latest.

 

Students have access to study skills and techniques as well as career advice throughout their journey in the Senior School. Ms Sharna Sjepcevich and her team provide opportunities for our students through Workplace Learning and CareerLink.  Guest speakers from the universities and TAFE provide presentations at JSRACS to Senior School students, as well as being in attendance at one of the Term One Parent Teacher Interview Nights.  Access to this information, as well as the published JSRACS subject prerequisites for Year 11 courses, helps guide students to ensure that they are in the right pathway, noting that this route may change as students move through Senior School.

 

The Associate Principal and the Director of Teaching and Learning in the Senior School, supported by the Director of Pastoral Care, Year Coordinator and PCG Tutor, walk alongside students to ensure they are supported in their academic endeavours, exploring the data and student attainment to ensure students are on the right pathway.  Individual teachers will also be doing the same in each of their classes.  Students will be challenged to re-examine their goals and to ensure that the effort they are putting into their studies aligns with their future goals.  Generally, if a student’s results do not align with their goals, they will be strongly encouraged to increase their effort, rather than decrease their goal.  In some cases, where a student is unable to demonstrate the required standard in a particular pathway, their courses will have to change, and the journey to their goal will need to be reached via a different pathway.

 

By fostering a supportive environment that prioritises each student’s potential, we can ensure they are on the path to a fulfilling and prosperous future.

 

Students learn best when they are happy and can feel self-fulfilled and confident in their abilities. Whatever it is they are learning, they need to be able to experience success and a sense of accomplishment.

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Christina Wallis

Associate Principal Senior School
(Years 10-12)

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