Curriculum Matters

Spring is in the air and our students (and staff!) are all looking forward to some well-deserved ‘time out’ during the upcoming holidays. Senior students, of course, will not be resting too much, as they knuckle down to the all-important pre-examination revision stage of their studies for 2019. We wish the Year 12s, in particular, all the best for this final phase of their life at Tintern. It was gratifying to see many parents taking advantage of the recent opportunity to participate in our all-important Parent-Student-Teacher Conferences. These conversations provide an excellent opportunity for teachers to celebrate success and growth with students and their families and, also, to discuss areas for improvement and future focus. We do encourage parents to bring their children with them to these meetings. We see our journey as a three-way partnership, with parents and students actively participating in conversations alongside our staff to achieve the best outcomes in the classroom and beyond.

Over the past two weeks, a number of students have been involved with the “re-imagined” ICAS testing administered by the University of NSW. The university revised (re-imagined) the program to become an extension opportunity to provide highly able students opportunities to achieve in an academic competition, rather than whole cohort general testing. This year, schools were asked to nominate students for the 2019 ICAS assessments. There is one more testing day this week and the results from these assessments will be forthcoming in Term 4. We look forward to receiving and distributing those results to students. We then will review the re-imagined ICAS program to assess the quality of the data provided and the relevance within our own Learning Enhancement offerings of what was a more compacted and tighter mandated testing window than in previous years.

We recently have received our NAPLAN results for our current Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 cohorts and individual results have been mailed out to all families of these students. We have seen some pleasing trends and more detailed analysis of our results will be forthcoming early in Term 4. The publication of results this year once again took the format of combined data for the online and paper student cohorts. I would remind all families that your child’s NAPLAN results are a snapshot of your child’s progress at a given point in time and all individual NAPLAN test results should be considered alongside broader school-based assessments, which provide a more detailed picture of the whole child and their progress across many streams. As mentioned in previous newsletters, the feedback from our students in May was that they found the online platform engaging and, unless informed otherwise by the government, we expect to undertake our NAPLAN testing in an online format again in 2020.

Above and beyond the national testing regimes and the testing which takes place in our classrooms, it is heartening to observe the myriad of excellent collaborative and interactive learning opportunities which are available to our students across their core and elective subjects. Our students generally embrace all that they do with confidence, enthusiasm and curiosity and this engagement almost invariably leads to deeper and broader understandings. Your children bring us great joy on a daily basis, as we guide them on their individual learning journeys. Your role in ensuring that your children understand the benefits of making the most of the opportunities they encounter at Tintern on a daily basis cannot be underestimated. Thank you for putting your trust in us as we work together to ensure that your children always are putting their best foot forward and truly enjoying their learning journey. I wish you all a happy and safe holiday break.

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