August 20

Thank You

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to take the opportunity to say a big thank you, I am now going into my fifth week of being in Room 20 and I am absolutely loving it. Both students and parents have been very positive and welcoming towards me, which has made the transition very pleasant. Over the past five weeks I have got to know the students of Room 20 very well and I believe that we have had a great start to the term.

So far… we have covered our full unit on 3D shapes, we are now moving into transformation and rotational mathematics. In English we have been scaffolding our learning around information reports, students are currently in the process of creating their own based on their selected animal/insect. In Geography we have been learning lots about natural disasters, more specifically bush fires and floods, this week we will begin making safety posters in groups.

As I am sure many of you now know I have been using the points based app ‘Class Dojo’, this past Wednesday the 16th we finally hit our class goal of 750 points, so I will be bringing in a sweet treat for the students this Week (Week 5). Our next goal to hit is 800. The points are also used to award one student each Wednesday the right to choose our fitness game for the afternoon.

That is all from me, should you have any questions or comments for me please feel free to contact me via email – (Kate is in the process of trying to add me to the class email list)

Thank you,

Kiera Mitchell

August 13

Week 3 News

Hello Everyone.

I have returned to class refreshed after a great holiday to Sri Lanka which was lovely and warm. We visited many amazing places, ate local food and spent some time on beautiful beaches and in the cooler mountain regions.

In my absence there have been many changes but the class has been well looked after. Kiera Mitchell has been with the class for 5 days settling into her role as class teacher in Room 20 on Wednesdays for the rest of the semester. Ann Doughty was teaching on Thursday and Friday of the first 2 weeks. Both teachers reported that the class was settled and very cooperative and able to flow with the changes without trouble or anxiety. I am confident that the class will benefit from the new teaching arrangements as Kiera and I have met at length to ensure continuity of curriculum and established effective communication methods. I intend to share my group email list for 2017 parents with Kiera so she also has your email if you are part of that list. Please let me know if you have any concerns about the new arrangements for room 20.

Another change is that room 21 has a new teacher for this term. Mr Dylan McCrossin will be teaching next door and will continue to collaborate with both Kiera and me in many teaching areas. The first major collaboration will be our joint excursion on Thursday.

On Thursday we will be heading to Urrbrae Wetlands for a farm tour of Urrbrae Agricultural High School lead by Urrbrae students. In the second session our class will be engaged in Science workshops (being Science Week) and room 21 students will be involved in workshops about the wetlands themselves. Many parents have volunteered to support us on this excursion. I will send you an email on Monday if you have indicated your intention to support us, giving final details for the day. Important information for your child is:

  • Lunch and recess to be brought in a reusable container……We aim for “Nude Food” meaning NO wrappings or unnecessary packaging that is thrown away.
  • Drink bottle…..water is available on site.
  • Covered footwear….no open toes please!
  • Wet weather gear…..rain is forecast for Thursday.

On Friday we will be starting a new program with Katia Ferrar, a health scientist who will be visiting our class (and room 21) to engage with us in a program about the relationship between diet and physical activity. Katia is a trained physiotherapist and a lecturer in the Health Science Department at Uni SA. The CSIRO are responsible for connecting willing scientists with teachers to develop teaching and learning programs, in the area of science in primary schools. I’m very much looking forward to an ongoing relationship with Katia and witnessing the scientific discoveries your child might make!

Talk-time this fortnight about books as we head into Book Week next week. Your child has been asked to talk about a favourite book, series or author and it may be current, or something from their early childhood memories.

The term is looking very busy, as usual. Please make sure all notes for excursions, incursions, lateness or absences are returned promptly to eliminate double handling or time consuming reminders.

Thanks and kind regards.

Kate McSkimming

June 27

Week 9 News

Hello Everyone.

It was a pleasure to take your child on camp. The group as a whole were well mannered and well behaved and a credit to our school and to their families. Nearly all feedback has been positive and it seems that our efforts have been appreciated by many of you. I do enjoy camps but they are a lot of extra work to get organised. Thank you for your kind words of support and encouragement.

I would usually share camp photos with you but as our classes are responsible for sharing in the next school newsletter I will share photos there instead. Make sure you look out for this week’s newsletter! Students are also in the process of posting their reflections of camp with photos attached. I won’t steal their thunder!

On Thursday 29th the school disco will be held in Langley Hall. Students in year 4 have their disco at 5:00pm until 6:15pm and the year 5 students can choose either 6:30pm to 8:00pm with the year 5 – 7 students, or attend the earlier one with their year 4 classmates. Tickets ($3.00) are on sale at lunch until Wednesday. Drinks ($2.00), chips ($1.00) and glowsticks (50c) will be for sale at the disco.

Please check your child’s hair regularly as a case of headlice has been discovered since camp.We all need to be vigilant to combat this irritating problem.

Reports will be sent home on Friday. Please make an appointment to see me if you would like any further explanation of your child’s progress. 

Kind regards,

Kate McS







June 15


Good morning parents!

First day and night at camp have been amazing! Everyone is having a great time….including the teachers, which is a bonus!

Beautiful sunset last night over the Murray!

All slept well after a day full of activity! I’ll let the kids share their highlights but suffice to say, we are being kept very busy!

All are well. We should be back tomorrow by 3pm for pick up!

Kate McS

May 26

Assembly News

Today our class was responsible for hosting the Year 3 to 7 assembly. The expert learner quality of being a risk-taker was the focus of the assembly, which we were able to link with our recent study of colonial life in Australia. The students designed short, scripted plays to share their learning at assembly. It was great to see so many supportive family members in the audience today. I hope you enjoyed our assembly presentation. I was very proud of my class and the hard work and cooperation that they have shown as we prepared and presented our learning. Great job Room 20!

Our next ‘talk-time topic’ is ‘When I Grow Up!

Here are a few photos of from our assembly today.

Risk Taker Mouse

English Gentleman

Soldiers on the Ships



Housemaids at work!



Daniel’s Letter Home

May 25

Assembly this Friday

Hi Everyone.

Just a quick reminder that our class is hosting assembly at 12;10 on Friday. You are most welcome to attend as every child has at least one roll to play in our presentation.

The kids have been asked to wear something to represent their character in the assembly. I have asked them to keep it VERY simple. Convicts can wear an old t-shirt with maybe a slash or dirty marks etc. Rolled up pants with a piece of rope as a belt. House maids….just an apron or something similar…..a jacket for a gentleman….that sort of thing! Nothing elaborate is expected or needed at such short notice.

We’ve only had a few days to put the assembly together but I’m really happy with what we’ve come up with, using our recent learning in history to highlight the expert learner quality of being a risk-taker!. I hope you can make it on Friday.

Also a reminder that camp payments need to be finalised by 9th June.

Kind regards

Kate McS

May 19

Week 4 News

Hello Everyone.

Our class has worked very hard over the last 3 weeks to investigate the colonization of Australia. Each student has a ‘plastic sleeve’ containing 6 tasks which have mostly been completed in class over this time. The ‘sleeve’ is due to me on Monday, however if more time is needed, I will allow students to give me their work by Friday of next week. There will be no more class time given to complete this work in history.

Next week the students will be going to Mrs Welford to begin a unit of work covering the geography curriculum, with particular reference to our state and the Murray River. Camp will provide students with an extra idea of aboriginal perspectives across both history and geography so, when we return from camp, we will be reflecting upon our learning across all of these areas.

Camp notes will be coming home next week including details about what students will need to bring and health/dietary requirements. I remind you that full payment is required by Friday 9th June. Exact numbers attending are now vital, so if you have not yet returned your child’s initial response form, please do so immediately.

Our spelling program has now shifted from whole class focus on spelling rules and commonalities, to THRASS lists. Students also have their individual ‘demon words’ which have the same phoneme as the list words, added to their list. A printed list of words can now be found in your child’s diary each week.

Finally, our class is hosting assembly in week 4, Friday 26th May, 12:10 in Langley Hall. The expert learner quality we will be focusing on is “Risk Taker.” Students have been asked to think about how we might present our learning, with particular reference to “risk-taking” at assembly, over the weekend and come prepared to share their ideas with the class on Monday.

Congratulations to all the SAPSASA cross country athletes who competed today at Belair.

Have a great weekend.

Kind regards,

Kate McS

May 4

Welcome to Term 2

Hello Everyone.

The holidays flew by and I’m hearing lots of snippets of fun times and some not so enjoyable experiences that make our lives so special. We have hit the ground running this week and the class is beautifully settled and focused.

NAPLAN preparations have been the focus in maths and literacy while in history we have launched into our topic of Colonisation of Australia. We have had some really interesting conversations in all of these areas, especially when discussing the more challenging NAPLAN questions and problem solving strategies.

NAPLAN testing will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings of week 2. The year 4 students will have their lessons in the library during the testing times. The students are well prepared for these tests and please keep in mind that the results are just a snap-shot of your child’s learning at the time.

I am keen to have all camp notes returned ASAP. Please return the reply slip of your intention to send your child to camp (or not) so we have a clear idea of numbers. Health forms including dietary needs will be sent home in the coming weeks.

I have emailed a copy of my curriculum overview for term 2 to my ‘parent email group for 2017’. If you have not received an email please email me again and I will forward it to you. Otherwise you can ask me for a hard copy if you wish.

Kind regards,

Kate McS

March 26

Week 9 News

Hello Everyone.

Parent teacher interviews are held after school this week. Please check your booking time and help me to keep to schedule so all interviews can begin on time. I am looking forward to sharing information about your child’s learning and how things are going for them so far this year. I intend these interviews to be between parents and teacher but your child is welcome to sit in on the interview if you’d like. Each child has prepared a reflection and goal setting sheet which I will share with you at the interviews as well.

Talk-time this fortnight is all about goal setting for the rest of the year: “What I’d really like to do this year!” This can include learning goals, personal goals and things they are looking forward to doing. If Monday’s folk are not ready tomorrow then they will need to have their turn next week.

Our Enterprise Day stalls are likely to be (a) fruit and marshmallow kebabs, (b) cartooning and ‘guess the number of lollies in the jar’ and (c) slime making and sales! The students have nominated their team and will be working on their business plans this week. It will likely include donations of an item or ingredients from each child.

Congratulations to all our award recipients so far this year. Jarred and Mary have been sincere, reflective learners. Angus and Nellie have been outstanding communicators. Chloe and Sebastian have shown excellent independence. A special mention goes to Aiden for consistently maintaining the school values of Safety, Respect and Care, as well as the class values of Kindness, Honesty and Determination.

Kind regards

Kate McS

March 18

Week 8 News

Hello Everyone.

Week 8 already! How time flies!

Last Thursday and Friday I was at Australian Education Union (AEU) training as I am the AEU Rep for our staff this year. It was very interesting to learn about the details of worksite conditions and management and I realised how fortunate I am to be working at such a terrific school as Colonel Light Gardens.

While I  was at training a note was sent home detailing how you can book a parent/teacher interview for week 9. I noticed that many parents have already booked a time with me. If you have not done so, please book a time with me ASAP. A couple of families are away next week and we have arranged to meet at another time.

Our Talk-time topic of “Aussie Icons” continues this week. The talks I saw last week showed good research skills and thought was given to presentation style and feedback. Well done to those who’ve already given their talk to the class.

All students have been given an school email address. Last week they were asked to change their password and then send me an email from their school email account. It was delightful to receive emails from the students after my day at training. They were fun to read, thank you. Students now have a blog, listed here on the right sidebar under class blogs, and an email address at school.

Tuesday is Harmony Day. We will be celebrating our diversity and cohesion as a school by wearing ORANGE, the recognised colour of Harmany Day. Students are to wear orange, orange accessories with their uniform, or their standard uniform on Tuesday. Please note that it is not a casual day.

I look forward to seeing all parents for an interview in the coming weeks.

Kind regards

Kate McS