City Observer Newsletter 7 February 2019

Welcome Back for the 2019 School Year The summer holidays in Queensland bring fond memories of heat, salt, sand and water for many students living in the paradise of Caloundra and Pelican Waters. Long lazy days with few responsibilities are part of the lifestyle that sadly ends with the start of the school semester. With that word ‘school’ comes lots of new relationships, deadlines, responsibilities, rules, reading, puzzling, thinking, communicating and that most exquisite of things, learning. One of the key aspects of learning is communicating with other people about your ideas, so insisting children speak clearly and logically will also help their readiness to thrive during school time. I am a strong advocate of reading and having access to a good public library is a fond memory from my school days. I also had a family that had a good range of literature and encyclopaedia for me to explore when I was younger. For the most numerically and scientifically minded, books about great historical investigators and explorations can be a source of knowledge and inspiration. At the simplest level, a dictionary or sets of numerical problems can be a comforting source of engagement for the ablest. However, the best students are always exploring and there are endless sources for the information they love to devour, whether that’s in narrative or factual accounts. The encouragement from parents and a family for a child to read this material will help them feel supported in a positive learning environment. If a child believes reading and learning are good things to do, they will more likely settle down to ‘a good book’, whatever that might be. The skills of communication organisation and forward planning and motivation to want to know, are the key gifts a parent can foster for their child in readiness for the social challenges of the new school year. I wish you a very happy time of it. The great happiness in being a Teacher is that you are always working in a positive place. That is, there is no-one anywhere, anytime who doesn’t love to learn. The trick is to provide the learning that grabs a child. So how do you do that for every single, happily individual and unique child?  What makes you want to seek new information, or new skills? It is a joyful place to be. Learning how or what is a pleasure to be enjoyed. Probably the most important principle to follow, is to talk to children positively about their learning. Support them with encouragement when they are trying something new, but struggling a little. Celebrate with them when they have discovered something new. Praise them when they have solved a problem, because however great or small, little ones’ problems’ importance is very relative to their experience. Because learning is a fundamentally positive experience the acknowledgement and celebration of it will encourage further exploration and goals. Who knows what skill a young one will have that will make them a fortune, a life of happiness and worth, an expert in some soon to be discovered field. Enthusiasm and rich or deep learning will take a child to a new place. Any person will love exploring new things, as long as they can see some gain for them, some purpose. At CCPS, we believe strongly in learning the fundamentals of numbers and words for communication, literacy and numeracy skills. We teach these ‘basic skills’ explicitly, for each child, at whatever point they are at in their development. However, the joy of learning here is not about routine and rigour but rather it is about new things, achievement and celebrations for each person (and that includes for our Teachers). CCPS Teachers are unique. There is no one size fits all Teacher practice here because each Teacher is an individual, just as is each child. We love teaching the fundamental skills of communication, problem solving and social activity with the children. But we have our own characterful ways of doing this. We love it when children enthusiastically announce they’ve found what they wanted. As Einstein stated, “Information is not knowledge. Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.” It is how you use the learning with social skills, communication, relevance to your life, and joyfulness that will bring the best success for a child in their life. I look forward to talking with you in this new year. Dr Dirk Wellham – Principal

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