2018 Education Week

The best start

Alexis and Oliver laying the school wreath at the ANZAC Service.

Narrandera East Infants School prides itself in being a specialist K-2 educational setting, providing early learning in a stimulating, caring environment promoting a culture of continuous evaluation to ensure the best practice of quality educational programs.

Our staff inspire students to develop a passion for learning and assist students to achieve personal success in all endeavours. This year has been no exception.

In first semester our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) outdoor learning area was up and running with students actively engaged during both class and free time. We continue with our strong commitment to the community and our students have participated in the John O’Brien Festival, Clean Up Australia Day, ANZAC Day celebrations and performed at both Teloca and Opal Aged Care Centres each term.

Through fundraising our school community has donated to the Narrandera District Hospital and raised money for new resources in Science, Literacy and Numeracy. Our Kindergarten Transition Program for 2019 recently commenced and we welcomed 30 new students and their families to our school.

In 2019 we will be offering two small Kindergarten classes with two permanent and one part time teacher. Education Week is an important week on our school calendar and the theme this year, ‘Tomorrow’s Schools Creating Tomorrow’s World’ exemplifies our philosophy in education through our vision statement.

We will be holding a special Open Day on Friday August 10, which is also our Athletics Carnival. Parents and friends are invited to spend the day with us, including a barbeque lunch. Our school has an ‘Open Door Policy’ and all parents, friends and members of the community are welcome at anytime, any day.

A carnivale at NPS

Students have been studying different countries in the lead-up to the NPS ‘Carnivale’ for education week. These students have been studying China.

Narrandera Public School is gearing up for a sensational Education Week. The Narrandera Public School ‘Carnivale’ event will take place during Education Week on Thursday August 9. Each class has been studying a specific country and are eager to showcase the work that they have been doing as well as providing food from that particular country to try.

Parents are invited to attend with food tasting beginning at 11.15am and classroom viewing will take place after this when students will get their ‘passports’ stamped as they travel to each ‘country’. Please feel welcome to join us for this special event and come on an exciting tour around the world!

Our dance group performance at Kids Rapt On Performing (KROP) will also be taking place during Education week in Griffith on August 7 and 8. KROP is a Creative and Performing Arts spectacular which provides students in Riverina Schools with the opportunity to perform in a professional setting.

It is a unique event that brings schools together to celebrate Public Education in an exciting and inclusive way. Teacher and Assistant principal, Mrs Julie-Anne Rowe, has been working with the students to perfect their routine and all students involved can’t wait to showcase their hard work.

The dance group will be performing a dynamic ‘80s revival’ which will feature music such as ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go Go’ by George Michael, ‘Bad’ by Michael Jackson, ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ by Robert Hazard and ‘The Final Countdown’ by Joakim “Joe” Larsson.

Education week will see the commencement of our school’s highly regarded and very sucessful “Little Learners” program for 2019 Kindergarten boys and girls which will begin Thursday, August 9.

The program, which provides a postive and thorough transition-to-school experience for both incoming Kindergarten children and their families, will run every Thursday and Friday from August 9 from 12.15pm- 2:15pm.

The “Little Learners” program will be coordinated and implemented by Mrs Kara Kroek (teacher) and Mrs Mel Davies (Schools as Community Centre Facilitator). Kara and Mel aim to enable children to prepare for and develop crucial skills to be ready for Kindergarten in a highly supportive and engaging environment.

A unique and convenient feature of the program is that a FREE bus service is provided to pick up and drop off children right at their door! We have growing enrolments for this year’s program so we encourage families to get in sooner rather than later so that children do not miss out on a place.

For those still wishing to take advantage of this fantastic program, please see our friendly office staff for an information and enrolment package.

Early learning in focus

Sharon Eade (centre) with the children in her care: Kohl Hermann, Haynes Meredith, Luca Quinn and Tilly Powell.

Most of us would make the assumption that a family day care involves dropping the kids off every day with a friendly neighbour – someone who keeps an eye on our kids and keeps them entertained and not much more. After talking to Sharon Eade, it’s obvious that most of us are dead wrong.

“I’ve worked in child care for 12 years; four years with a private company, and eight years with family day care. This is my own business; my provider is in Griffith, Western Riverina Family Day Care,” Ms Eade explained. Ms Eade is fully qualified, with a Diploma of Childcare.

“I do my program and planning by the ELYF – the Early Learning Years Framework. So I follow that, and plan by that to meet all the outcomes for the children.

“I create my activities and my program by the children’s interests, needs and developmental needs. I do the observations on the kids, and then I try to meet their developmental needs, or what parents think they need to learn. Or what I can provide for them to develop even more. It varies from kid to kid, because I have different age groups every year.”

Ms Eade keeps an observation log with the children’s outcomes, as well as information on how each different activity will best suit the needs of each child. She also consults with parents when they sign up their kids for her childcare to ask if there are any specific needs their children need met.

“Most of the time they’re happy for me to take care of them, but I have asked if they have something that they want me to work on with them, things like that. That’s always available.”

“We do your fine motor and gross motor skills so they’re ready for school. I teach them the correct pincher grasp, scissor cutting, communication with books and singing and dancing.”

A large backyard with an enormous cubby house, sandpit and a resident guinea pig called Bugsy are more than enough to make playing – and learning – fun. Ms Eade also makes sure the children aren’t confined to the backyard all day.

“We participate in the community. So we go up and do Lego at the Library. Every Tuesday we go up to Teloca and do craft with the residents there – they love that, the kids and the residents both. We go to the park. We do get out and about!”

While Ms Eade does structure the day’s activities for her kids, there is plenty of time for free play.

“We have our programmed times, but this is free time – which is rest time obviously for the very little ones.”

Ms Eade can care for up to four under school-aged children, and seven in total.

“I have three after-school kids that come on the school bus in the afternoons. I range from three months to 13 years. In the school holidays I get the older kids as well.”

Gralee ‘like one big family’

Gralee School is a local school that caters for the needs of students from Kindergarten to Year 12 who have moderate to severe intellectual and/or physical disabilities. Gralee aims to provide supportive and caring learning for children, while meeting their specific needs.

This year the school is celebrating its 50th anniversary of education, and Gralee are preparing to hold celebrations in September to commemorate the day. Kindergarten students at
Gralee School are engaged in supportive learning environments, assisted by evolving technologies and underpinned by innovative and effective teaching practices.

The school embraces the fundamental belief that all children are capable of learning, and with appropriate support may be able to move to mainstream schooling at some point. Gralee offers a wide range of services for their students. The school has a transition program for future Kindergarten students, and also integration programs into mainstream schooling for both primary and secondary schools.

The latest technology is on hand to facilitate the learning process for students, including iPads, Tapits, and standing frames. Gralee offers excellent literacy and numeracy programs, adjusted to suit each individual student. Occupational therapy and speech therapy are available for students, and Gralee also offers transition services to post-school options.

The school also has its own app, to better facilitate communication between parents and staff. Gralee also involves students in a range of activities, including Riding for the Disabled (RDA) in Griffith, dance opportunities in Shine, Leeton Eisteddfod, and Schools Spectacular, and the school signing choir in the Leeton Eisteddfod.

There are also athletics opportunities, with Gralee participating in small schools carnivals, special schools carnivals and an annual ‘sensory run’. The school also participates in local celebrations such as the Leeton Sunrice Festival, Light-Up Leeton, Anzac Ceremony, and Remembrance Day.

The staff at Gralee also run a swimming program, with an experienced Austswim teacher on staff, and the students at Gralee go on excursions each term. Parents of Gralee students have given lots of positive feedback on their experiences.

“I struggled with where to send my daughter to school. We transitioned her at a mainstream school first and then at Gralee. The first day at Gralee, when I picked her up she was so happy! She was having fun with all the students and the teachers were great and very kind. As we were leaving, everybody called out to Emma by name and waved to her even though she was non-verbal. That’s the moment I knew I was going to send her to Gralee School,” said Sam Preston, mother of Year 4 student Emma.

Realising potential

Narrandera High School offers opportunities in STEM.

Narrandera High School is a small, but growing rural comprehensive high school that serves the township of Narrandera and its surrounding community. The school has a highly skilled and motivated staff that embrace innovative teaching, learning and assessment practices.

All students have the opportunity to develop their potential through an extensive range of academic, sporting and extra-curricular programs. The school is a Positive Behaviour for Learning School that endorses the values of respect, responsibility and learning as core values.

Narrandera High School is focused on continual improvement and in 2018 has been selected to engage in a variety of programs that reinforce and showcase the school’s success. This has included being selected by the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE) as a high value add case study school.

This study involved working with the senior executive to identify the successful practices that have been used at Narrandera High that have led to exceptional growth. The school has had significant improvement in NAPLAN and HSC results, as well as positive progress in terms of attendance, welfare and behaviour data.

The school was also recently selected by the TEACH NSW team to advertise the advantages of teaching in rural NSW. The school has had rapid growth over the past two years and this growth is further expanding the opportunities available to students.

Despite this increase in student numbers, Narrandera High remains committed to knowing students individually and creating a positive and supportive school culture for all students and staff, with a high priority on each student achieving success.

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