Dear Families

This really is an article where I can celebrate and share what an amazing first three weeks of term we are having. It is a privilege to be in this position, and to be aware of and share in so many of the successes, activities, and events in which our children participate in. There is something for everyone at St Andrew’s School with wonderful teachers supporting them.

Where to begin…

An invitation to the Oliphant Science Awards on Friday night. Once again St Andrew’s School excelled, winning nine prizes in total, including two Special Awards and nine Highly Commended awards. Thank you, Mrs Tracey Billington, for coordinating the Oliphant Science Program.

An invitation to the South Australian Debating Association’s Grand Final held in the Sir Samuel Way Building. As an affirmative team, our Year 6 students won the State Final defeating Prince Alfred College on a topic related to NAPLAN. Listening to the team deliver their topic, rebut, and summarise, I felt a great sense of joy and pride, not only for winning, but for accurately delivering a debate that challenged NAPLAN in its current form, delivery and purpose. I may even take note of their debate and use in my own NAPLAN writings in the future! Congratulations on winning this State Final. Thank you, Mrs Cerys Phillips, for coaching this team, and to all our teachers who coached other teams this year.

Movie Night. How wonderful to be able to have our school community together for this event again, as it has been absent for two years. So many children and families took the opportunity to enjoy the movie, jumping castle, sparkling tattoos, and amazing balloon characters. Thank you to our Parents’ Association for organising this event, which was led by Jill Hobson. It was a fabulous community event.

Our Year 6 students presented their Personal Projects to all the children at School as well as an evening exhibition for parents and friends. Every year I am in awe of the remarkable, unique, and brilliant inquiries in which the children engage. They become experts in their chosen field of research and engage with their audience to share their knowledge, passion, challenges and thinking. The level of critical thought and presentation is a culmination of their years at St Andrew’s School as an International Baccalaureate (IB) learner.

A recent study form Oxford University (2020) found that students with an IB education “… exhibit significantly stronger critical thinking skills than non-IB peers.” In our rapidly changing world, we know that critical thinking skills are key determinants of individual and collective success. Our Primary Years Programme (PYP) offers a transdisciplinary, inquiry based and student-centred education with responsible action at its core. This then enables students to learn between and across traditional subject boundaries. The emphasis on collaborative inquiry and integrative learning honours the curiosity, voice, and contribution of our students.

As I celebrate and share our achievements, such as the Kross Café, I can directly align this to our IB PYP program again, and as mentioned, to responsible action at its core. Through the PYP, our children learn to have agency and self-efficacy. They develop a strong sense of identity and self-belief and with this, they build a sense of community and awareness for the opinions, values and needs of others. This is exactly how the Kross Café came about, through student action in wanting to help others. We were recently acknowledged by Treasure Boxes when we delivered a cheque for $2000 to help support refugees, through the Kross Café funds. Additionally, it was such a ‘sunshine’ story, that it appeared on Channel 7 News in their ‘Ray of Sunshine’ segment. Thank you to Mrs Carla Moffat for coordinating this new initiative and to Ms Natalie Trethowen and Year 6 students for supporting this venture.

As I write this article more events will be occurring this week. Our exceptional Music Program will be having another concert, our Spring Music Recital on Thursday evening, which I am sure will be wonderful and on two occasions we have our group School Tours.

As mentioned in a previous letter to families, next Monday night we are hosting the film, Embrace Kids. I am so buoyed by the fact that many of our teachers have chosen to attend, as a further way to learn more about the changing and more challenging world our children are growing up in. Any information we can gather, can only be currency in our learning, as lifelong learners. We look forward to viewing this with those families and our community who also opted in to view this with us.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Cathie Egarr
Interim Principal