Term 2 – Principal’s Wrap Up

30 June 2023

What an incredible Term 2 with so many highlights to mention!

St Peter’s Woodlands has been a hive of activity and when I look back on Term 2 it was full of highlights and great achievements.

Semester reports have gone home and when I read the reports each semester, I am always so impressed with the way in which each child is truly known and how much effort has gone in to capturing each and every student, whilst celebrating their strengths and positively feeding back opportunities for growth.

Here are some of the highlights from Term 2.

Literacy Goals
A key goal in our Strategic plan 2020 and beyond, and one of the goals I set as an incoming Principal was to continue the commitment and work on our literacy program. This included ensuring that our professional development, timetable and teaching practices were all designed with the goal of improving our reading results. We have used the heavily research based approach to teaching reading called “The Science of Reading”. As part of ensuring this approach to teaching reading was done with consistency and fidelity, I appointed Mrs Jo Hirst into the position of Literacy Coach. Jo’s role has been to support the teachers in their literacy teaching and to assist them to collect and analyse data, to ensure that all students are on track. Jo has built such a solid reputation as an expert in the field of the Science of Reading in SA that recently we hosted our third Sharing Our Practice Workshop. Teachers from other Adelaide schools have come to observe literacy blocks in action around the school and to spend time with Jo learning about our approach and how it is transforming results. Jo has now shared our practice with over 60 teachers from 13 independent schools!

BM = Bench Mark

Above is a comparative snapshot from our Year 1 phonics screener. The screener is designed to test the students ability to recognise letters and their corresponding sounds, which is the fundamental building block of learning to read. Congratulations to Jo and our amazing teachers for these truly transformational results!

The Day of Extraordinary – St Peter’s Woodlands first-ever Giving Day!
Students and staff were excited to wear their “splash of yellow” and the weather also complied giving us a beautiful sunny day, which is somewhat of a rarity this term. Launching our day was the sumptuous breakfast put on by our marvellous PFA, followed by an R-6 Flash Mob dance. Such a fun way to kick off the day’s events!

We wanted The Day of Extraordinary to be a celebration of what makes this school so special and what makes us “extraordinary”, so I felt as though we needed to look no further than our SPW community. We have such an invested and enthusiastic community, it felt right to combine this day with a Grandparents Day, to provide an opportunity for not only parents but also grandparents and special friends to join us on campus and celebrate the students learning and this beautiful school.

As well as celebrating community, this day was about raising funds for the building of our new Multi-Purpose Centre. Raising over $400,000, this day has taken us much closer to ensuring this exciting project comes to fruition. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those involved with this day, for your contributions of time, money, expertise or passion. The day certainly surpassed my expectations, not only in terms of the funds raised, but the community spirit that was so very evident on the day. You ARE extraordinary!

PFA Disco
The PFA Disco held the night before the pupil free day was an absolute hit! Over 400 children attended the two sessions and had a wonderful evening of dancing, connecting and fun. This was an enormous undertaking for the PFA and the large team of volunteers who came together to ensure this event was not only really enjoyable for our students but also safe. Thank you to the PFA for their organisation of this fun-tastic event!

Building Works
Our building works on the Pier Street Entrance are now complete. It is lovely to see this side of the school opened up, serving the dual purpose of not only being more aesthetically pleasing, but also allowing greater access into the school to stop the funnelling of people through a narrow space in peak times. We thank the South Australian State Government who partly funded the re-development through the State Capital Grant. The Gillam Building project is now well and truly underway.  Although this has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, it will be a state-of-the-art educational facility that will serve our Year 5 and 6 students from 2024 and beyond.

Celebrating our Staff
Last Friday evening the SPW School Council hosted their annual dinner to thank all of our staff for their service. At this dinner we recognise significant milestones of service and this year we recognised and celebrated the following staff:

20 Years
Eleanor Blight – Teacher

Gary Irvine – ELC Educator

10 Years
Mark DeLaine – Head of Creative Arts

Kate Anolak – School Operations and Events

Ali Shaw – Inclusive Education Administration/ESO

David Brock – Business Manager

Jane Fahey – PE and Sports Admin Assistant

Kerry Ramsay – Head of Primary

Wilma Mungur – ESO

Jo Hirst – Inclusive Education Teacher and Instructional Coach

Mel Roocke – Teacher

Hannah Croft – ELC Educator

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our families a wonderful and restful mid-term break. We look forward to seeing you back at school on Tuesday 25th July.

Article shared by Mrs Helen Finlay, Principal

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