Last week the kindergarten teachers and I participated in a professional development day looking at play based learning. Currently our students in the ELC are immersed in play based learning with the majority of them well prepared to tackle the challenges of Kindergarten. However the transition from the ELC to a traditional classroom structure is significant, particularly for our more active students. This year the Kindergarten teachers have been experimenting with play based learning of a morning and term four will see all classes involved for the first session of school.
For many parents who have not experienced play based learning the word ‘play’ becomes a focus, but for educators the focus is on ’learning.’ The natural curiosity of children presents many opportunities for learning and, if the right provocations are set up, then this learning will link to the curriculum. It allows opportunities for individual and small group teaching.
Play based learning is not new and much research has been undertaken, some of which we will share with parents next term as we report on our experiences. Many schools across the ACT are engaged in play based learning although the formats may alter slightly.
All kindergarten teachers are enthusiastic and have seen many positives in what they have trialled to date and should our term 4 trail be successful, we will formally introduce play based learning in our Kindergarten classes in 2021.
During term four we will share information about play based learning and should COVID restrictions allow, we will run a parent evening.
Yesterday the NSW Government announced changes to COVID guidelines for schools. In a case of poor timing, the Year Six camp to be held at the start of term four was cancelled the day prior to the announcement from the NSW Government, we have since re-booked in the hope we can attend. While the NSW Government has allowed camps we need to wait for the ACT Government to do the same.
We currently have modified plans in place for the ELC and Kindergarten orientation sessions along with Year Six Graduation. Hopefully restrictions will also be changed for these events along with everyday happenings such as school assemblies. I don’t expect any announcement until the end of the holidays so they can see how cases are trending, but following the surprise announcement from the NSW Government yesterday, who knows.
Congratulations to Brody Press who was last week’s winner for the second week in a row. This week’s problem is a holiday challenge with an extra special prize. It is based on the ‘youcubed’ website on which there are many wonderful challenges.
A reminder that summer uniforms are to be worn from the beginning of Term 4, noting that as the weather may still be cool, winter uniforms can be worn during week one if needed. Please ensure all students have hats and that all uniform items are clearly labelled with names.
I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and if you are travelling, please stay safe and healthy. I look forward to seeing everyone in term four.
The Whole school focus theme for this year is: Be Just Like Jesus
To be like Jesus is to be a person willing to put others before yourself, to seek wisdom, and to care about how you interact with all people you come across in life.
Over the past two weekends, 187 students have received their First Eucharist. Sixty-one students being from Mother Teresa School. The celebrations took place over twelve masses, which were all prayerful and joyous celebrations. The church was decorated beautifully to focus the congregation’s attention on the meaning of the Eucharist. All the first communicants were very reverent and proud as they celebrated this special day in their journey of faith.
Many thanks to all who made this occasion so special:
- Father Mark & Fr Jiss who were so welcoming of the children and their families today.
- The teachers, Catherine Blackwell, Carly Snowdon, Justine Henshaw, Brooke Jeffries, and Lauren Pye who have played a big role in helping prepare the students so beautifully for the sacraments of First Eucharist and Reconciliation.
- Louise Johnson our parish sacramental co-ordinator who ensured all aspects of the preparation and
celebration of First Eucharist was beautifully prepared.
- The parents who have supported their child in this important step in their faith journey.
TWENTY-SIXTH SUNDAY IN
"The son went out moved by regret."
Something to Think About
There are people in the world who promise to do something, but never get around to it. Then there are those who seem reluctant to get involved but later decide to join in fully! Can you think of some examples in your own life?
In today's gospel, a father asks his two sons to go and work in his vineyard. The older son refuses, but later he changes his mind and goes out to work. The younger son tells his father he will go, but he does not.
Jesus used this story to show the importance of following God with our actions. Like the younger son in the story, the Jewish leaders said they would obey God but did not. They refused to follow the Messiah! It was the outsiders - the tax collectors and others considered 'sinners' - who listened and followed. This is another example of the mystery and reversals evident in God's Kingdom.
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 21:28-
"I will tell you a story about a man who had two sons.
Then you can tell me what you think.
"The father went to the older son and said, 'Go work in the vineyard today!'
His son told him that he would not do it, but later he changed his mind and went.
The man then told his younger son to go work in the vineyard.
The boy said he would, but he didn't go.
Which one of the sons obeyed his father?"
"The older one," the chief priests and leaders answered.
Then Jesus told them:
"You can be sure that tax collectors and bad women will get into the kingdom of God
before you ever will! When John the Baptist showed you how to do right, you would not
believe him. But these evil people did believe. And even when you saw what they did,
you still would not change your minds and believe."
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Reflection on the Parable
Talk together about the statement, 'Actions speak louder than words'.
Discuss what it means to be a person who keeps her/his word.
In our faith journeys, we can say YES to God and try to live good Christian lives.
Or we can say NO to God and reject the gospel.
What does it mean to say YES to God?
How should we act? How should we speak? What should we believe?
Jesus wants us to follow him and to be sincere in our actions and our love.
We look forward to seeing you refreshed and relaxed next term.
Peace and Best Wishes,
Religious Education Co-ordinator