As we are coming to the end of another very busy week we are reflecting with pride on the achievements of our school community.
I would like to start by thanking Mike and Sarah for their excellent work in organising the Walkathon and Sports Days and for all the team of staff who worked alongside them to make the days such a success. Events like this are a unique part of JCSRS and add to the richness of the student learning experiences. It was a real pleasure to see such a variety of activities on offer, and the high levels of student engagement.
However, these events rely on teams putting the competencies of collaboration, communication and critical thinking into practice. Mike’s attention to detail has supported a very smooth running of the activities and allowed the students and staff to fully enjoy the magic of Walkathon and Sports Day.
Our thanks extend to families that have supported JCSRS students in their fundraising and sports efforts. Special thanks also go to Belinda and the Student Council who are collaborating with other students on how we will use the money we have raised during the Walkathon.
One of the school improvement priorities is to develop systems for monitoring teaching and learning. We are striving to get better at the feedback we provide to students as it is well evidenced that effective feedback has a high impact on learning outcomes. Over the last few weeks, we have worked with all staff to develop our understanding of effective assessment and feedback so we can consistently use the newly developed assessment tools. I was very impressed with our staff, especially our EAs who are studying to become qualified teachers EuJ, Novia and Claudia, and their knowledge of students and understanding of how best to support students' needs and stretches.
Please continue reading to find out how you can support your child’s learning by giving us your feedback during Parent Consultation meetings.
This week we are saying goodbye to one of our students, Brandon who is moving to Australia. Brandon started at JCSRS over 4 years ago and during this time he has demonstrated in many ways what a great learner and friend he is. We will miss Brandon and we wish him much success in his new school.
Priority Area: Teaching and Learning - Assessed Curriculum
At JCSRS we believe that assessment is integral to all teaching and learning. Assessment at JCSRS aims to provide feedback on the learning process in order to:
Feedback has been shown to be one of the most powerful tools to improve learning. As parents and teachers, we give feedback all the time to others to support learning and to promote changes in behaviour or progress towards a goal.
At JCSRS we are focusing this year on providing consistent feedback on the students' learning and have introduced a feedback framework (PDF). This tool is designed to provide consistency in giving written and verbal feedback on students achievement, engagement and level of support to access learning. Your child’s IEPs are evaluated using this framework.
During the Parent Consultation meetings we would like to hear your feedback on your child’s learning by answering the following questions:
We look forward to connecting with you all during Parent Consultations.
Last week’s walkathon was a big success. Not only was it a great opportunity for students and staff to actively come together as a whole school community, the event also enabled students to extend their learning off campus as we walked together to raise money. In supporting our NPDL project around 'what it means to give and receive’, the generous donations from sponsorship totaled $35,280.
Our student council have been working together to brainstorm ideas on how best to spend the funds and posed some questions for our students to consider:
In the coming weeks the student council will collaborate with classmates and our KGV student council mentors to finalise and share with our community. A great way to make student voice and actions visible for our learners.
Student Councillors Azeen and Krisha sharing our thoughts for students to view at the walkathon.
By the time you are reading this you may have seen your child returning home with a ribbon or two won at Sports Day. We had two fabulous Sports Days this week on Wednesday and Thursday morning. Students had a lot of fun competing in sprint races ranging from 25 metres to 100 metres and some even did a 1 lap race.
Many of the students are learning about the competency of collaboration this term and that was certainly evident in the relay races and the ten pin bowling and sack jumping race where I saw students assisting each other in and out of the sacks.
Although it goes by very quickly and it's challenging to catch all of the fun times when running the event, I was able to take in the students on the grass verge cheering others along, seeing students trying their best in their individual events and making the most of having our second event within seven days (walkathon being the first).
We really are fortunate to be back outside collectively enjoying the weather and the JCSRS community. Which leads me nicely to a heartfelt thanks for all the staff's support, be it directly with students, organising students into lanes, running with them in both field and track events and generally very much lifting the spirit of the day.
A special thanks also to the other 50% of the PE department, Sarah for her support in preparing as well as on the days. Until next year please enjoy the photos.
AAC Top Tips: Tell Me More! Part 1
Let’s consider ways to build more complex utterances for learners who are gaining competence with their AAC systems but who still use language that is immature, imprecise, or overly simplistic.
Relate the language activity to their personal interests: Like the rest of us, AAC learners are more motivated when the task is about something we care about. Find a way to link the skill you want your child to practice to what they want to talk about.
Teach conversation starters: Many AAC learners struggle with getting started in conversation. Whether it is speaking up in the classroom or chatting with family members and friends, they often need help knowing what to say and practising how to say it. Consider pre-programming messages like these:
You can also brainstorm some conversation starters with your AAC user. Once the conversation is up and running, you will have a perfect venue for increasing sentence complexity.
Use conjunctions: Teaching conjunctions is a very effective way to lengthen sentences and make them more complex. We generally start with these conjunctions in no particular order: and, because, but, or, before, after, if, so.
Stay tuned for Tell Me More! Part 2 in the next newsletter!
Click above to sign up. Click here to enlarge (PDF).
Solo Sailors at Sailability
What an amazing day we had on Tuesday with Sailability in Sai Kung. Not only was the weather giving us blue skies but we had two solo sailors!!
Brandon finished off his time with us at JCSRS by sailing on his own for 30 minutes! This is something he has mentioned as a personal target but has only recently been fully focused on steering his boat safely. It's been a challenge but as it was his final sail he was determined to give it a go. He did an amazing sail staying in control and moving around two markers fully independently on the water in his blue dinghy.
Jadon also gave solo sailing a go and was able to work his jib (the small sail) as well as his main (the big sail) in his red dinghy. This as many of our adults will attest to is not easy. When asked what it was like solo sailing the boys said "Great, relaxing, I felt in control."
Having two solo sailors has certainly motivated others as I overheard Jess setting herself a target for her future when she said, "I want to try that." I think she can do it, so watch this space. In the meantime please enjoy the photos taken on the day.
Splice the Mainbrace
Two of our JCSRS alumni William Russell and Oliver Kinmonth have been successfully employed in a casual work venture sponsored by the Schaus family and the team at Cafe 8.
Once a month William and Ollie will be ’working the floor’ at a hospitality event for the Hong Kong shipping community. Jobs include: clearing plates, serving drinks, preparing and sorting items for cleaning and interacting with customers. A great opportunity to put into action the skills William and Ollie developed in their Vocational Learning experiences at Swire Hotel whilst students at JCSRS.
Feedback from their first night on the job was that both young men exceeded expectations, effectively integrating into the service of the function with the Café 8 staff. The team at JCSRS couldn’t be prouder of our alumni’s achievements.
Click above to order. Click here to enlarge (PDF).