[Deputy Head of Primary] Term 4 Week 7 Message

The last few weeks of school are always filled with a buzz of busyness and excitement. This year is no exception. In Primary, following a very successful Australian Stories exhibition last week, our Year 6 students experienced a Transition into Secondary day this week. On this day students were introduced to teachers and key personnel from the Secondary school and were given a chance to experience the high school environment. The Year 6 students felt much more confident and ready to move into Secondary after this experience.

Students in Year 4 interacted in a fun Maths Tournament this week led by Mrs Karin Bennett and a group of Year 9 students. Our Year 4 students enjoyed the challenges set and the cross-divisional interaction with students from Secondary.

Year 5 spent three nights and four days on a camp to Treasure Island in Pui O, returning today. Despite small bouts of inclement weather, the camp was highly successful with students being able to access all of the activities and they achieved their first overnight camp; in tents nonetheless. Thank you to the Year 5 team who supported our students in their camping expedition. There will be a lot of tired students heading home this afternoon.

Year 2 students visited Hong Kong Eco Park at Tuen Mun as part of their Earth and Biological Science units. They also visited the Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and the New Life Plastics (NLP) facilities, learning about how Hong Kong is recycling our electrical waste and plastic bottles. The excursion concluded with lunch at Tuen Mun Park for lunch. A very engaging activity for our Year 2 learners, thank you to their teachers for organising the activities.

As we head toward the school holidays, it is an excellent opportunity to look at ways parents can continue to support their child’s literacy and reading skills. Reading is a multi-faceted process and that is why it takes years to learn to read. This year we have re-invigorated our reading programs using the new resources of InitiaLit in the P-2 classrooms and explicit Phonics and Spelling teaching in Years 3-6. Encouraging skills at home is also a valuable task. While it is important for your child to practise their reading skills by reading aloud from easily decodable texts to build their fluency, it is also important for them to be exposed to literature that builds their vocabulary and comprehension skills.

Children of all ages benefit from the lovely activity of reading with a parent. Finding a quiet time to sit and spend time enjoying books together is fantastic for your child’s reading skills and also their wellbeing. Even for the child who is a highly fluent chapter book reader, this is an important activity. Learning from their positive role model, building vocabulary and comprehension skills is a highly engaging and rewarding experience. Taking the time to ask your child questions about the book is an important way to build their skills in comprehension.

You might like to learn more about this important activity: 10 reasons you should read aloud to big kids too I encourage you to spend time with your child enjoying a good book together. These moments are priceless memories for you both.

Donna Botfield | Deputy Head of Primary