From the Deputy Principal - David Hodges

I hope you all had a wonderful break. I enjoyed spending some quality time with my 3 kids. They even came to St Andrew’s for one day with me and had a play. They loved it! They must have walked back and across the bridge 20 times.

Firstly, I would like to share we have recently received our 2023 NAPLAN results, which were sent home to families of Year 3 and 5 families this week. A deep analysis of this data will be undertaken as the term progresses, but an early ‘snapshot’ reveals that, again, St Andrew’s School average results in all Year 3 and 5 NAPLAN tests are well above the national average. This reflects the quality teaching and learning at our school.

Secondly, this year we are on an exciting journey with our Literacy improvement at St Andrew’s School.

While our School continues to perform very well in standardised testing results, like NAPLAN, we will always strive to ensure our teaching and learning programs are reviewed and improved to provide a quality education for all our learners.

This year, we have embarked on significant change to ensure our teaching of Literacy is evidence-informed, drawing on insights from both cognitive science and educational research. It is essential to build strong foundations and, we know, early identification of Literacy difficulties is crucial to target interventions and support all students, to ensure no child is left behind. Our teachers are equipped with the latest research and evidence-informed strategies, and are enthusiastically working in teams to support each other through this work.

Our focus for this improvement work in Semester 1 has been in the Junior Primary.

In Semester 1, we:

  • Engaged in on-site professional learning and coaching for our teaching staff with Science of Reading expert, Jocelyn Seamer.
  • Completed phonics assessments on all Reception - Year 2 students to ensure we have up-to-date data allowing teachers to make informed decisions to tailor the learning of our students.
  • Developed a ‘Data Dashboard’ for teachers, centralising the data we have from all students, for the duration of their time at St Andrew’s. This information will support teachers in our goal to personalise the learning for all students.
  • Ensured all students who require additional practice are receiving support with our Learning Support Assistants.
  • Created new reading boxes which align to the sequential learning of phonics (see the gallery below). These reading boxes ensure students are reading books aligned with their current understanding and are reinforcing their ability to blend known sounds.

Our plan for Semester 2 includes:

  • Our Reception to Year 2 classes are collaboratively exploring and implementing our new program and instructional practices.
  • As a staff, we are delving into the Australian Curriculum to ensure we are developing the knowledge, understanding and skills expected of students in all year levels.
  • Collecting and analysing writing samples from all students to provide opportunities to moderate across year levels, and develop individual learning goals.
  • Jocelyn Seamer will return in Term 4, to re-connect with our R-2 team, and provide professional learning on language comprehension with our Year 3-6 teachers.
  • Developing a Literacy working group, committed to developing a ‘Literacy Playbook’ for all students, staff, and families to understand how we ensure consistency and growth across our School.

It is an exciting journey we are on, and I look forward to keeping you informed of our progress.

If any parents would like to know more or have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out via email