20 May, 2022


Student Engagement

Student Engagement is a term that is often used in relation to learning and living at school – for all age groups. High levels of engagement lead to both improved learning outcomes and positive wellbeing.

What is meant by ‘engagement?  A South Australian study (reference below), offers a definition which gives some insight into factors contributing to student engagement in Childcare and Primary School settings.

Engagement refers to the level of participation and intrinsic interest that a student shows in school. This involves both behaviours (persistence, effort, attention) and attitudes (motivation, positive learning values, enthusiasm, interest, pride in success). Thus, engaged students seek out activities, inside and outside the classroom, that leads to success or learning. They also display curiosity, a desire to know more, and positive emotional responses to learning at school.

The results of the SA study highlighted some key aspects of pedagogical practices enhancing engagement and leading to improved social, meta-cognitive and academic outcomes for young learners. Things such as greater choice in what and how to learn, more social and collaborative learning experiences and learning that is less class centred contribute to higher on task behaviour associated with greater interest, markedly better overall wellbeing, better problem solving ability on assigned tasks, higher capability to articulate about learning (meta-cognition) and superior performance on standard numeracy and literacy tests.

Children’s wellbeing is viewed as both a cause and an effect of engagement in numerous studies. The learning environment at school strives to support children’s wellbeing, developing things such as trust and confidence, a sense of belonging, self knowledge, and good emotional health. These enable children to participate in their curriculum with vitality and enjoyment.

More details and discussion of this topic can be found by clicking here.

School photographs

The last two days have had periods of great excitement for our youngest learners in particular! Annual school photo days are a special time for students and the challenges of getting a whole class group to all smile and look in the same direction at once has tested the skills of the photographers and class staff at times.

Thank you to all families who have supported this process yesterday and today.

Cross Country

All students from Years 2-5 will be participating in the House Cross Country afternoon at Scotch Oakburn Park on Thursday 26 May.  The first event starts at 12.30pm. Family spectators are most welcome to attend and details of the program together with COVID-19 protocols have been sent to all families.

 Kindergarten (Early Learning Erina) Reading program

Thank you to all families who have met with their child’s Class Teacher over the last two weeks to initiate individual Read-at-Home programs. This is a key step in the beginning stages of learning to read and building a love of reading. Anybody who has not yet been able to drop in to discuss this with the Class Teacher is urged to do so in the week ahead.

Maths at Home

Youcubed is a website with a wealth of resources and information about the learning of mathematics and the development of growth mindsets in relation to maths capabilities.

The site has a Youcubed at Home drop down where a wide range of maths based activities suitable for children right across the Early Learning to Year 5 age groups.

Parents interested in reading more about ways in which young children develop maths skills and mindsets will find a wealth of information on Youcubed.

Winter weather!

Our first frost this week reminded us all that winter is upon us. Students across the Junior School are reminded of the importance of keeping warm (wearing jumpers at school) and having a raincoat or Japara at school to be prepared for wet days. These things are especially important this year from the perspective of the range of winter ailments impacting children currently.

Everybody is also reminded of the importance of staying at home if they are unwell, be this for COVID-19 or cold and flu symptoms.

Lachie Wright
Head of Junior School


Coffee@Laneway has returned to the Junior School for Term 2 and we’ve added an additional day. You can now get your coffee fix and catch up with other families on Wednesday and Thursday mornings between 8.00am – 8.45am. Remember to grab a loyalty card to make every 5th coffee free!

Justin Clarke
Coffee@Laneway Coordinator

Author with a heart – Stef Gemmill

Stef Gemmill is an award-winning children’s author of adventurous books full of hope and heart.  Year 1 students were lucky enough to be zooming in live to her reading from the NSW State Library Story time event this week as part of our conneXions author study.

Students are working on exploring her three picture books by writing and sharing text to self connections and were excited to get a special shout out during the event. Learn more here

Kylie Brewster
conneXions Teacher