Term 4 is certainly not for the faint hearted!
– Principal Helen Finlay
Teaching and Learning
Teaching and learning has been in full flight with some wonderful Snapshots of Learning mornings and afternoons (previously known as Learning Journeys). It has been a joy to hear students confidently articulating what they have learned as part of their Units of Inquiry this semester. Our Year 6 DARE Graduate Diploma students started the term with their Canberra Tour and then wowed us with their Passion Projects which were a culmination of a whole year of planning and executing. Again, as I walked around to view their projects I was so impressed with their confidence and pride when explaining what they had produced and also their reflections on the process, including missteps and mistakes, which are a very important part of the learning journey.
As the festive season drew closer (it’s hard to miss when the school bell is a range of beautiful Christmas Carols), we celebrated with over 1100 people at our Christmas on the Green annual event, it’s occasions such as these that remind us how special our community is. The Reception Nativity Play was full of joy and loved by all who attended, and the eagerly awaited PFA Christmas Lunch was a hit – as usual.
In our Early Learning Centre, Christmas decorations set the scene for Christmas activities, such as posting letters to Santa in their classrooms, crafts and lots of singing. Many of our gorgeous SPW Early Learning students also took part in the Glenelg Christmas Pageant and even made it onto the Channel 7 news! Although our focus remains on maintaining a standard routine in the classrooms leading up to the Christmas break, students delighted in some well-deserved special Christmas lessons on the Christmas Lunch day and during the last few days at school.
Christmas Giving and Service
Christmas is the season of giving and it was such a joy to witness an AnglicareSA van overflowing with brand new toys and a large array of food to bless those less fortunate than ourselves. Thank you to each and every one of you who contributed towards this very worthy cause. Our choirs also visited St Peter’s Church to sing at the opening of the Christmas Tree Festival and at the Mary Potter Hospice Loving Tree service, both of which are important ways of serving our community.
This term has also seen our year levels doing some wonderful things for others through our Service Learning units. Our Early Learning Centre continued their relationship and regular visits from the Kapara Residential Care community, which has been simply beautiful to witness. A genuine indicator of a quality school, as they say, is the significant void it would leave in the community if it were suddenly gone. This impact extends beyond education, encompassing the positive contributions the school makes to the broader community. Our goal is to embody this principle, and we remain committed to exploring and enhancing ways to serve others.
This term I have had the pleasure of touring the Gillam building site on a fortnightly basis and have been so impressed by the progress on our new Year 5 and Year 6 classrooms. They are light filled with soaring ceilings and magnificent breakout spaces where whole year levels will be able to gather. I am particularly excited about the accessibility, with a walkway being built between the upper level and the music building elevator. It is an important step towards SPW being accessible to all, our aim is to have all areas fully accessible over the coming years.
Despite a very delayed start, and other unforeseen issues with trades and supplies, the finished classrooms will be delivered in the latter part of Term 1 with an official opening and touring opportunities for the whole school community to view them shortly after that. The new Multi-purpose Centre is also in its final stages of planning, with our architect working closely with the heritage advisers from the Holdfast Council ready to submit for approvals before the end of the year.
It Takes a Village
I must finish off by thanking each and every staff member for their contributions to another successful year at St Peter’s Woodlands. It sounds cliché but of course it is true, it truly takes a village of extraordinary people to run an extraordinary school. And thank you to you, our community, for being a part of what makes this school so special.
To our Year 6 students, who we celebrated with a very special Graduation Dinner on the Nutter Thomas Lawn with your parents, we wish you every success in your secondary school and look forward to you forever being a part of the SPW family. To everyone else, I wish each of you a blessed and restful Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to welcoming you back in 2024.