Mareeba SS strives to constantly ensure that we are utilising the best teaching practices that are research-proven to support student learning. In order to achieve this, our teachers participate in termly cohort planning days, facilitated by our Heads of Department Curriculum, Mrs Valerie Dayes P-2 and Mrs Nadine Apps Years 3-6. These planning days provide an opportunity for teachers to intentionally collaborate to share best practices and to analyse student data to differentiate teaching styles and lessons to best support all of our learners. Whilst these planning days may cause some disruption to daily routines for some students, the commitment and determination of our teachers to make the difference for each of our students is commendable.
This year, our Heads of Department Curriculum are focusing on increasing staff knowledge of Australian Curriculum to contextualise our HASS (History and Social Science) units and pedagogies to increase student engagement and outcomes. Starting with years 6 and Prep, teachers have been very creative in ensuring units of work not only cover the Australian Curriculum Achievement Standards required to be taught and assessed in each year level, but have a strong student engagement focus that also embeds Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives. In Prep, students are learning about an important place that has special meaning to them while the Year 6s are learning about Federation using the song 'From Big Things Little Things Grow'. Whilst our staff are working very hard to ensure students are engaged in their learning and achieving success, it's imperative that children are attending school on time, each day. We know that missing school places a child at significant risk of falling behind their peers. As we always say at Mareeba SS, "Everyday counts!"
During week 10 of this term, Parent-Teacher-Student Interviews will once again occur. These interviews provide an important opportunity to discuss your child's progress in person with their teacher. We encourage students to also attend these interviews with their parent or carer. Letters have been sent home with students so I encourage you to return with convenient times for your interview.
How does the teaching of reading work at our school? I've recently been asked this very important question.
- Firstly, we aim to promote a love of reading! Activities such as our twice weekly Reading Cafés provide children the opportunity to practice their reading so that reading becomes an enjoyable past time for everyone.
- Home readers are also regularly sent home so that children have a range of readers that they can practice their reading strategies with.
- Regular library lessons enable children to borrow their favourite books from the library to take home to enjoy.
- In the classrooms, reading is taught in a number of ways – as a whole class group and in small group settings such as reading groups in Prep to year 2. In classrooms we focus on a number of evidence-based strategies that are proven to assist students in learning to read and also to comprehend what they read.
- Children also read to adults 1-1 as another way to practice their reading fluency and their comprehension skills.
Each year level has reading targets that provide benchmarks for teachers to measure a child's reading progress and assess what intervention or extension strategies may be required to help a student reach their target. This year the school has three Intervention & Extension Teachers working within our Student Welfare HUB under the watchful eye of our Support Teacher Literacy and Numeracy Mrs Kerry Watson. They are Mrs Margarita Tatti, Mrs Hakana Brooksbank and Mrs Zelka Stark. These ladies are highly experienced teachers and deliver targeted Intervention and Extension programs.