As Term 2 comes to a close I want to thank all parents and staff for their support during my role as Acting Principal. It was great to meet so many of you during our Parent Interview evenings last week, and I wish you all well for your holidays. Ms Julie Gifkins will return at the beginning of Term 3, after her European adventures.
All of our staff work tirelessly to provide an excellent education for your daughters. Our recent Mathletics professional learning session is evidence of this.
Mathletics playing an important part in our Mathematics skill building
As part of our ongoing Professional Learning, Vic Maeataanoa, with Angie Cannon and Lis Lewis, recently invited Wayne Marr from Mathletics to update teachers in Mathematics about new developments in the programme. Wayne was very complimentary about how well our teachers and students use Mathletics to enhance their Mathematics teaching and learning. Our statistics show that among New Zealand schools we have one of the highest percentages of students reaching mastery level of their set courses. This shows that our girls are motivated to master the concepts covered and not simply ‘do’ Mathletics.
Mathletics helps to foster self-directed learning and it enables teachers to further personalise the girls’ learning. Skills are practiced in a variety of contexts. Questions are carefully created and immediate feedback is given. Studies have shown increased motivation and engagement when using tools like Mathletics and our statistics would certainly attest to that.
We were challenged with new functionality and overall good practice of using Mathletics. Wayne Marr advocated it as an excellent tool to build up fluency and accuracy with number knowledge, mathematical problems and basic facts. His practical advice on the use of setting no more than 3-4 tasks at a time, so that the students can access Live Mathletics challenges was really helpful. He also gave demonstrations of how we can use the tokens and certificates as incentive to keep focused on achieving in Mathletics tasks. The live challenges can be set to minimum levels to avoid accessing items that do not challenge our mathematicians, but also setting tasks at levels that are not too challenging. Setting the correct levels to build up confidence and success is important in fostering a healthy mathematical mindset.
Junior School Library
Our Junior School’s Smith Gray Library has been very fortunate to have the assistance of the Senior School library staff to make it the creative space that we learn in. Last Thursday our Student Council (Year 4 – 6) and Community Circle (Reception – Year 3) girls made time to show our appreciation by taking hand-made thank you cards and chocolate treats to each of our helpers. Here is a photo of our visit:
I would also like to introduce Mrs Victoria Elisara, our newly appointed Junior School librarian. Victoria comes to us with a wealth of knowledge around children’s literature from her experience as a manager of Arcadia, a Children’s Bookshop in Newmarket and as a parent of two daughters. We look forward to having Victoria work with us in the Smith Gray Library.
Mrs Liz Clarkson
Acting Head of Junior School