Welcome to the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School Celebrations newsletter. We had a great term! It's important for our student and staff accomplishments to be celebrated and significantly recognised so we’ve put together another special edition. Thanks to Sean Rutledge, Maryanne Armstrong, Paul Jenkins, Katie Birch and Anne Perkovic for collecting fantastic stories for us to share with our STPP family, friends and beyond!
At STPP, we’re inspiring students and encouraging curiosity from a young age. Our teachers are taking students beyond the classroom walls!
As a school, we value a forward-thinking and progressive leadership approach to teaching and learning. We believe that by continually challenging our students and providing new experiences, we can inspire engaged little learners who love coming to school each day.
Recently, we purchased a class set of VR and AR (Augmented and Virtual reality) devices for our students to use in classrooms from Kindergarten to Grade 6.
“We’re finding staff are very invested as many of them are well travelled and have visited the places we are viewing. This has brought a unique personal touch to the experience which is great to see,” said Sean Rutledge, Assistant Principal.
So far, students have been to places such as Machu Picchu, explored animal relationships to their habitat in a rainforest in Borneo, examined a coral bleaching event on the Great Barrier Reef, sat in Biomes from around the world and experienced a full sensory experience by pairing it with sounds from the Biomes. These experiences are linked to the student's Inquiry learning that has aimed to merge concepts from the Religion, Hass and Science curriculum.
We asked a group of students about their VR/AR experiences and what their classmates thought about virtually transporting themselves beyond the classroom walls.
What did you learn? What was your favourite part of the experience?
“I learned that you can see the Great Barrier Reef from space. I liked seeing all of the different climate zones and how they were all different. Some were all dry and some were more wet,” Audrey said.
“I learned about different places and I actually learned how to use the headset. My favourite part was looking around and seeing all the animals and wildlife,” Alex said.
“I learned you can see stuff when you’re not really there. My favourite part was looking around and feeling like I was in the places,” Anya said.
“I learned where all the climate zones are and what they look like. My favourite bit was when we went into the desert because the mountain looked like a big giant. It felt real,” Charlie said.
We’re preparing our students for the ever-changing world and their futures. Upcoming class projects will include having students create their worlds/environments, digital dioramas and exploring the world of 3D objects through Augmented Reality. Exciting things are ahead for our students!
On Tuesday 8 September, the staff and students had a fantastic day celebrating Literacy Day. The theme of the day was ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds.’ There were many colourful, creative and interesting creatures roaming the school corridors.
The students participated in a wide variety of literacy activities throughout the day such as buddy reading, curious creature craft, writing tasks, drama, poetry, creating book covers, puppet shows, literacy games and many more. Students supported each other and were happy to lend a helping hand if a classmate experienced difficulties.
Within our small supportive community, we help our students to develop strong leadership skills and we loved seeing our senior students take on their leadership role as they helped run the literacy activities and nurture their buddy.
“My favourite part of Literacy Day was dressing up and working with my Kinder buddy. I learnt that literacy activities are so much fun,” said senior student Zoe.
We believe challenging our students within a supportive environment allows them to grow and expand their mind. As a high achieving school, we have participated in the annual Australasian Problem-Solving Mathematical Olympiad since it began in 1987!
Approximately 64,000 students participate in this contest from Australia, New Zealand and other neighbouring Asian countries. Students are given five problems to solve in 30 minutes.
This year, our students from Years 3/4 and 5/6 participated in the contest. Three of our fantastic students mentioned the challenge was hard but they enjoyed the experience.
“I found it hard but I liked it,” Marcus said.
“It was a good challenge because most of the time our Maths is easier,” Alexandra said.
“Maths Olympiad is a good challenge. Some questions are hard and others were easier,” Ewan said.
The Olympiad is held monthly from May to September each year. While the students do compete with other schools, they are encouraged to improve their problem-solving skills to be able to apply their abilities to their regular Mathematics lessons in class. The Maths Olympiad is an important and rewarding aspect of teaching Mathematics at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School.
On Saturday 12 September, STPP had three teams participating in a virtual Tournament of Minds (ToM) competition due to COVID-19. ToM is a problem solving program for teams of students from both primary and secondary years. Twenty-one children in total made up a team of years 3 - 4, years 4 - 5 and years 5 - 6.
The question this year was “An unusual object is found in an unusual place by an unusual group. The object needs to affect the past and the future”. The students were required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges from one of the following disciplines: the Arts, STEM, Literature and Social Sciences.
At STPP, values are instilled in every student to ensure they develop the social skills to thrive throughout life. Greta (Year 5) and Eva (Year 5) enjoyed learning new skills by working in teams to solve a challenge.
“Some of the challenges we faced during the contest were how we were going to explain the solution and decide on which idea we would use. We ended up banking all our ideas, changing them to suit everybody and to make sure we solved the problem. Writing the script was also a challenge as we needed to agree on one way to communicate the solution but with 7 people contributing. In the end, we all discussed how we could go ahead as a group and agreed on a script and solution and continued through to performing it,” Greta said.“We learnt about teamwork and who had what strengths and weaknesses. We also learnt about the importance of communication and ensuring everyone has a job. We had to come up with different ways to work with one another to make sure we met the time frame and were able to present a finished solution,” Eva said.
The tournament's aim is to enhance the potential of our youth by developing diverse skills, enterprise, time management, and the discipline to work collaboratively within a challenging and competitive environment.
Tournament of Minds is an opportunity for students with a passion for learning and problem solving to demonstrate their skills and talents in an exciting, vibrant and public way. Well done teams!