ESF STAKEHOLDERS SURVEY

I am delighted to say that we had a huge response from our parent body in regards to the ESF Stakeholders Survey.  As a school we had a 57% parent response rate which when compared to the average response rate of 30% across the other ESF schools indicates just how engaged our parent body are.

The leadership team have already spent a morning going through all the survey data and although we are very proud of the responses we now need to take the time to identify any trends that arise.   As expected there are a wide range of views but, although we haven’t had a chance to analyse the comments yet, there is clearly some areas of real strength and areas that a majority of parents feel we can develop further.

As previously mentioned the data will be shared with the school council and collectively the staff and the school council will ensure that the key elements from the responses are reflected in the annual plan next year.

Again, thank you all for your terrific response to the survey.  A 57% response rate is significant and is certainly large enough to base decisions on moving forward.

CELEBRATING RECENT SUCCESSES – HK WRITER’S AWARD

It has been so busy recently that I haven’t taken the time to share with you our recent successes as a school.  Year 6 exhibition aside some of our other students have also been very successful recently.

Hong Kong Young Writers Awards

 

Carolyn Rong – Winner of the Non Fiction Section for her age group (see photos below)

Alyssia Yuan-Pritchard – Finalist in the Poem section for her age group

Anson Li – Finalist in the Fiction section for his age group

Holly Richley – Finalist in the drawing section for her age group.

The organisers received hundreds of entries and were so impressed with the number of finalists from Peak School that a representative from the organising team emailed me to find out what we were doing to have such great writers and illustrators!!

My thanks to Anna Trunkfield, Cathy Boon and Liz Campbell for supporting all the children who entered.

 HKYWA 2014


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Photo Directly Above – Carolyn involved in her first ‘book signing’!

CELEBRATING RECENT SUCCESSES – TOURNAMENT OF MINDS

It has been so busy recently that I haven’t taken the time to share with you our recent successes as a school.  Year 6 exhibition aside some of our other students have also been very successful recently.

TOURNAMENT OF MINDS

Earlier this month we had 3 TOM teams enter the Hong Kong Tournament of Minds competition held at Clearwater Bay.  There were over 30 teams entered in total which is lot more than in previous years.

Both our Language Literature and Social Science teams impressed the judges (and the audience) but failed to secure the necessary points to win the competition in their respective area.  Both groups put in a lot of work and my thanks to Ms Mac, Mrs Fay and Ms Colet for supervising them in the 6 weeks leading up to the presentation day (and being there for them on the day).

The Maths Engineering team from Peak School won their competition by building a device that made a sound at selected times given by the judges on the day.   The Maths team (and their parents) have now been invited to Melbourne in October later this year to represent Hong Kong at the TOM World Champs.  At this stage we are still deciding whether to accept their invitation.

Maths TOM CHAMPS 2014

CELEBRATING RECENT SUCCESS – INDIVIDUALS

Last month Darren Choi won the Hong Kong Junior Close Championship 2014 for the boys 9-10 year olds.  This is the second time he has won this tournament as he won the same cup last year.

The golf tournament was held at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Deep Water Bay and his score was an unbeatable 66 (see table below).

This is not the only success Darren has had with his golf this year.  For a complete list please click on this link – Darren Golf Achievements 2013_14.

Scorecard

Darren Choi

 

HAVE I MISSED YOUR CHILD?  If your child has had recent success participating in a Hong Kong wide competition or event please let me know so I can share it with everyone.

 

CELEBRATING RECENT SUCCESSES – TAG RUGBY

It has been so busy recently that I haven’t taken the time to share with you our recent successes as a school.  Year 6 exhibition aside some of our other students have also been very successful recently.

PEAK SCHOOL TAG RUGBY TEAM – HONG KONG PRIMARY CHAMPS 2014

Recently our Peak School Tag Rugby Team won the annual Hong Kong Primary Schools competition.  There were 24 teams in total from 23 schools throughout Hong Kong.  We went through the pool undefeated and then beat Discovery College in the semi final 7-5.  We then faced Harrow in the final and at full time it was locked together at 6-6.  At this point we went into ‘Golden Try’ meaning the next team to score will win.  From the first play in extra team we managed to break through their defence and scored to secure the victory and the cup 7-6.  I was very proud of the team and very impressed with how they played together as a team which meant all 5 girls and 5 boys all contributed on the score board throughout the day.

 

Tag Rugby Championship Team 2014

 

UPCOMING EVENTS NOT TO BE MISSED

As you know we are a talented bunch here at Peak School.  How talented?  Well, you will have to come to the two events listed below to find out.

 

If you haven’t been to PSHT you really must attend this year as the children are very keen to share their talents with you.  

PSHT

 

William Shakespeare could certainly write but he could not have imagined what was going to unfold at Peak School a few hundred years after finishing Macbeth.

Macbeth

OUT AND ABOUT – A PEAK AT OUR LEARNING

Some parents mentioned in the recent survey that they would love to see what was happening at Peak School on a more regular basis.  Obviously they haven’t heard about or seen our blog that Annette, our VP, writes.

The blog provides regular updates from across the classrooms and from across the curriculum.  Click on the link to the blog HERE to see just how successful the Year 6 Exhibition was and all the other events that take place at Peak School.

OUT AND ABOUT

YEAR 6 EXHIBITION

Our Year 6 children have been very busy these past few weeks working on their PYP Exhibition and with the support of the school community are ready to present their work next Thursday.  If you would like to know more about the Exhibition or would like to support our children we encourage you to attend the presentations on Thursday evening as per the information below.  The Year 6 children would love to have your support and I’m sure you will be amazed by just how much they have done and how much they can tell you about their chosen topic.

Yr 6 Exhibition Invite

 

GREEN GROUP ACTION

Green Group Bake Sale Friday 16th May

The Green Group have organised a bake sale to help raise money to buy re-usable, bamboo plates for each child in the school to use during class parties.   This is so we can avoid throwing away paper or plastic plates.

It would be great if your child could bring in between $10-$30 to buy some home baking from us.  We will make sure there are no nuts in our baking but if your child has other allergies we understand that they may not wish to buy anything.  As there are only 12 of us in Green Group we have also asked the Student Council and House Prefects to help supply us with baking.  We are planning on selling  to the Year1s and Year 2s at break time.  At lunch time we will set up stalls to sell to  Years 3-6 to make it easier for children to buy things.

Many thanks for your support

Peak School Green Group

EFFECTIVE READERS……

Below is an article I read over the holidays which is actually aimed at teachers but I thought it was something I could share with parents as I often get asked by parents, “how can we help our child read at home?”.  Replace the word teacher with parent and you have a thoughtful insight into what role you can play at home to help your child or children read.

The article is by Brian Cambourne and is titled:

‘Seven Messages of Highly Effective Reading Teachers”. (April, 2014)

In 1982, the late, great NZ reading researcher Marie Clay identified a group of children having difficulty learning to read as “tangled tots (with) reading knots”.

She was referring to children who, despite having no condition that potentially affected their ability to learn, didn’t seem to benefit from reading instruction. She hypothesised that such children “had tangled the teaching in a web of distorted learning which blocked school progress”.

I’ve met many such children (and their teachers) during five decades of anthropological research in hundreds of classrooms. There were also classrooms which either didn’t have “tangled tots” or, if they did, had more success in untangling their “reading knots”.

When I looked more closely at these “non-tangling” classrooms I discovered they had something in common. Their teachers continuously (and subtly) embedded messages about “learning to be an effective reader” in the language they used when teaching reading.

So far I’ve identified the following seven messages.

1. A reader’s major focus should always be meaning

The dominant thematic message effective reading teachers give to students is “sensible, coherent meaning should be the end result of any reading encounter”.

Teachers communicated this in many ways. For example, if children were reading and came to something they didn’t know these teachers would say things like, “What would make sense here?“ or “That’s a really good guess because it makes sense. What else would make sense?”

Another teacher, when listening to a reader painfully violate the syntax of English by robotically reading “On (pause) one (pause) little (pause) there (pause) but (pause) some,” responded thus: “You just read ‘on one little there but some’. Does that sound like real language? If someone said that to you would it make sense? Why? Why not?”

2. Effective readers draw on all sources of information in the text

This was another dominant message in these classrooms. These teachers constantly asked questions or made comments that promoted this behaviour. Here are some examples:

  • Semantic information:

“Go back and read the title. Often that will give you a clue about what makes sense here.”

“Think about what you already know about the topic and ask, ‘What makes sense?’”

“Use the story line plus any pictures and ask, ‘What would make sense?’”

  • Syntactic information:

“Use your ‘feel’ for the way the English sounds and ask, ‘Does this sound right? Does this sound like English?’”

  • Graphophonic information (the relationship between letters and sound):

“If you think the word you’re stuck on is ‘horse’, use your knowledge of letter shapes and sounds and ask, ‘Does ‘horse’ look right?’”

3. Effective readers are always predicting

These teachers constantly encouraged young readers to predict from the title or any illustrations in the texts they were reading.

“What do you think might happen in this text? Does that make sense? Why? Why not?”

4. Effective readers self-correct

This a by-product of the first point. Here’s an example of how these teachers communicated this message.

Text: Father got up at seven o’clock.

Child: Feather got up at seven o’clock.

Teacher: “You just read ‘Feather got up at seven o’clock.’ Does that make sense? What would make sense and looks like ‘feather’?”

5. Effective readers have a range of strategies

My data show these teachers continually said things like:

“When I’m reading and I come to something I don’t know, I read ahead to see if I can get some clues about the bits that are troubling me.”

“If that doesn’t work, I might leave it out all together, finish the text and then come back to it.”

“Sometimes I go back to the beginning of the sentence I‘m having problems with and try again.”

“I ask somebody, ‘What does this say?‘ ”

“If none of these work, I might try to sound it out. I don’t spend too much time sounding words out because it slows me down and I forget what I’ve read.”

6. Effective readers know how they read

My data shows that these teachers used every opportunity to draw their students’ attention to the meta-cognitive aspects of reading. For example:

  • A student is selected to try to read a message on the board. As the selected student focuses on the print the teacher comments, “I know what Emily’s doing — she’s reading the message silently to see what the words say inside her head.”
  • A student is reading the class calendar to work out when she’s supposed to present at “Show and Tell” and says, “It’s my turn next Thursday.” The teacher overhears this and comments, “What clever reading. Tell the class how you worked that out.”

7. Effective readers love reading

These teachers continually played the role of “Book Whisperers” by:

  • Sharing enthusiasms about books.
  • Sharing stories about their own learning-to-read journey.
  • Immersing children in worthwhile children’s literature by reading aloud to them every day.

These teachers seem to know intuitively that making meaning is the core business of learning how to read. In this they are like parents teaching children how to talk.