2015-2018 STRATEGIC PLAN and ANNUAL PLAN

The school has been working hard to develop our new 3 year Strategic Plan as well as our new Annual Plan.  The school council approved both documents at the school council meeting held last week showing their full support for the key initiatives that we hope to achieve this year.

Click HERE to download the Strategic Plan

Strategic Plan

 

 

 

 

 

 Click HERE to download the Community Version of the Annual Plan

Annual Plan

MATH PRESENTATIONS YEAR 1 to 6

We ran the three maths workshops this week for our parents and would like to thank the parents who were able to make it.  We do hope you found them useful.

 

Year 1-2 Maths Presentation Powerpoint

Year 3-4 Maths Presentation Powerpoint

Year 5-6 Maths Presentation Powerpoint

 

MATHS RUBRICS – YEAR BY YEAR EXPECTATIONS

 

Place Value Rubric Example

Here are the Maths Rubrics that Mr Tobin, Mr Evans and I talked about at the parent maths workshops this week.

They clearly show the expected level for a child in a certain year group as well as clearly showing that the progression is on a continuum.

Click on the link below to download the corresponding rubric –

Place Value Rubric

Pattern Rubric

Four Operations Rubric

Measurement Rubric

Fractions Rubric

MATHS – HELPFUL HANDOUTS

At the maths workshops this week we provided a parent booklet for each of the different year groups.  The booklets have been designed to support parents who want to help develop their child’s number knowledge at home.  Each booklet has some suggested activities or games you can play with your child as well as some useful information regarding the importance of you as a role model.

Click on the appropriate link to download the booklet.  There are also hard copies in the reception area of the school should you need a paper copy.

Number Knowledge Handout – Year 1 and 2

Number Knowledge Handout – Year 3 and 4

Number Knowledge Handout – Year 5 and 6

100’s Board for Year 1-4 Handout

Multiplication game board for Year 5 and 6 booklet

 

PEAK SCHOOL COUNCIL – PARENT REPRESENTATIVE UPDATE

I am delighted to announce that Robert Ramsey has joined the School Council at Peak School as our parent representative.  Robert was the only candidate so there was no need for an election meaning that Robert joins our School Council effective immediately.

Robert replaces Rainbow Ko who served for six years on our School Council.  As previously mentioned Rainbow was a very active member serving as School Council member and on our School Council Finance Committee for the last 5 years as well.  Her support and commitment was very much appreciated and again I want to take this opportunity thank her for this on behalf of the school community.

 

Robert Guy Ramsay

 

 

 

 

Here is the candidate statement written by Robert that I thought I would share with you all as it gives a nice profile of Robert –

If elected to Council, I would :

1. Speak up for all Peak students, whatever their subject or sporting passions. Our school gets ever stronger as it helps each child find “their wow!”

2. Always turn up and be positive. Count on me to attend meetings, read briefs, understand school ambitions, connect with student and parent views etc. – while staying firmly on the side of our excellent teachers and support staff.

3. Share experiences between Peak and South Island school (SIS), the neighbouring ESF senior school. SIS appointed me to their Council and to chair their “Learning & Personal Development” committee (from 2011). SIS exam results are impressive, world beating stuff, but their most impressive accomplishment is mentoring students to make a difference for others before themselves, to look beyond exams.  I would seek the right moments to share this spirit between the schools.

Our family is Rosalina, my wife, a daughter in Year 3 (Catriona in 3D) and a son in ESFHillside Kindergarten (Robert in K2).

My own schooling was in Kuwait and England before home to Scotland for university. I have lived in wonderful Hong Kong for nearly three decades.

My contacts are robertguyramsay@hotmail.com or 9683 1967

Robert joins a strong School Council who is made up of the following members – 

Duncan Pescod – School Council Chair

Brian Schroeder – PTA Representative (PTA Chair)

Robert Ramsay – Parent Representative

Jonathan Fewtrell – Community Representative

Peter Cunich – Community Representative

David Kirby – ESF Representative

Annette Ainsworth – Staff Representative

Mrittika Munchi – Support Staff Representative

Craig Hollingsworth – Staff Representative

Bill Garnett – Principal

GROWTH MINDSET CONTINUED

In the last blog issue I shared with you some key messages we are starting to share with our children around having a growth mindset.

Key messages around making mistakes and learning from them and the attitude of “NOT YET’.  We are hoping that by the end of the year the children will be living and breathing the philosophy behind these messages and simply not ‘parroting’ them.

Another key message that we will be sharing with the children in the coming weeks is about learning zones.

ZonesTypically, children (and adults) tend to prefer to stay in their comfort zone.

The message we will be sharing/working on, as a school, is that you learn best and grow as a learner by ensuring you spend a majority of your time in the ‘stretch’ zone.   That is when you will challenge yourself and grow/develop best as a learner.  Some children (and adults) tend to go quickly from the comfort zone into the ‘stressed’ zone without really spending anytime in the ‘stretch zone’.

This is where building resilience and perseverance is crucial as some children are quite happy staying in their comfort zone or do not cope well when they leave the comfort zone.  Our job as teachers and indeed as parents is to ensure our children are excited to be ‘stretched’ without forcing them or pressuring them into the ‘stressed’ zone.

I’ll talk more about the key messages throughout the year including more about the zones in coming issues.

 

WORKSHOP FOR Year 1-2 PARENTS – INTERNATIONAL PRESENTER

Terrific opportunity for our Year 1 – 2 Parents

Love of learning

As you know we offer a wide range of workshops at Peak School as part of our “Parent as Partners’ program.  I am pleased to announce that ESF have organised Ellen Booth Church to present to interested Year 1 and 2 parents across ESF.

Ellen Booth Church, who happens to be one of our keynote speakers on our CPD day on October 2nd, will inspire Year 1 and 2 parents to consider how they may support a love of learning from the child’s first school: Home!

The presentation is on the 30th of September at Kowloon Junior School and goes from 6.30-8.00pm.  Please click the following link –  Ellen Booth Church Presentation to download the full details including how to register.

SHOULD CHILDREN GET MEDALS JUST FOR SHOWING UP?

This is an interesting topic as typically there are two camps of thought.  Some parents and educationalists feel strongly that children should be encouraged and all participants should be considered winners for trying in the first place.  Other parents and educationalists on the other hand feel that by ‘pampering’ the ‘everyone is a winner culture’ we are raising children who are not prepared to work hard or ‘stretch’ themselves and do not cope with the real world.

I came across an article in the New Zealand Herald earlier this week with the heading ‘Should kids get medals just for showing up?’.  The article, written by Lauren Knight, is an insight into her own opinion on the matter having listened to the announcer at her child’s triathlon event telling all the children that they are all winners for turning up.  When Lauren and her husband laughed out loud at the announcement her daughter asked why they were laughing and their response was that there is only one winner and that is the person who runs through the ribbon first.

The article goes on to tell the story of an NFL star who recently returned his son’s trophies as he felt it wasn’t appropriate that his two boys received a rather large trophy each simply for turning up to a sports event.  I think he tweeted his disapproval and the fact that he returned the trophies and has had quite a response by parents backing his stance (it went viral)!

Obviously we want to support and encourage our children to do well but according to Carol Dweck (Author of Mindset, How you can fulfil your potential), and I certainly agree with her, we have two choices when a child comes to us having come 5th in a competition.  Option 1 is to say how unlucky they were or to state how the judges didn’t know what they were doing or to simply make a number of excuses for the child.  Option 2 is to talk to them about the fact that they obviously did their best but clearly the child who won had put in many hours of practice, had possibly been doing it for much longer and was better than everyone else.  Carol would suggest you then ask your child the following question – is this something you are really passionate about and want to do well at, and if so, are you prepared to put in all the time and effort that is required?  This raises another question regarding natural talent versus potential and willingness to stick at it.

Here is the link to the article should you wish to read it in full – Click HERE to read the link.  Please note that I do not endorse any of the comments that have been made by the general public and that I am simply sharing an interesting read.

WARNING TO ‘HELICOPTER’ PARENTS

The following article was in ‘The Independent’ in the last week and was entitled “Overly-controlling parents cause their children lifelong psychological damage, says study”.  Written by Charlie Cooper the article, found below, paints a very negative picture around parents who are too controlling and don’t allow their children to make their own decisions etc.  It is quite astonishing the impact such a controlling approach to parenting can have according to the latest research.  It strongly highlights that we are fortunate to have such a caring and loving parent community.  Most teachers usually come across a very small percentage of ‘helicopter parents’ during their career and you may have met one yourself.  I’m sure this new research has some parents around the world reflecting on their parenting approach.

Parents who exert too much control over their children could be causing them lifelong psychological damage, according to a study which tracked a group of people born in the 1940s until the present day.

Researchers found that people who reported their parents had intruded on their privacy in childhood or encouraged dependence were more likely to have low scores in surveys of happiness and general wellbeing carried out in their teens, their 30s, their 40s and even their 60s.

The negative impact on wellbeing was comparable in scale to that observed in people who have suffered a bereavement, experts from University of College London (UCL) said.

In contrast, people who said their parents were more caring, warm and responsive to their needs tended to be more content well into adulthood.

The findings are the culmination of a survey which has tracked more than 5,000 people since their birth in 1946. It is well-established that childhood influences can have profound effect on the developing brain, but this is one of the first studies that has attempted to measure their impact over such a long period of time.

Information on parenting styles was only available from the study participants themselves, who were asked to recall their childhoods when in their 40s, and may therefore suffer from a degree of so-called recall bias – unhappy people may be more likely to depict their parents as controlling.

However the researchers said the findings chimed with previous studies which have shown that children who are able to form secure emotional bonds with parents are more likely to have secure, happy relationships later in life.

“Parents also give us stable base from which to explore the world while warmth and responsiveness has been shown to promote social and emotional development,” said Dr Mai Stafford, of the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Lifelong Health and Ageing unit at UCL.

“By contrast, psychological control can limit a child’s independence and leave them less able to regulate their own behaviour.”

Examples of psychologically controlling behaviour identified by the study included invasions of children’s privacy and an unwillingness to let children make their own decisions, and fostering dependence upon one or both parents.

Separately, study participants were asked about behavioural control, which included elements of parenting that involve not letting children get their own way: for example, not always allowing them to go out as often as they would like. No links with psychological wellbeing were observed in relation to this kind of parenting.

Dr Stafford said that the study did not seek to blame parents.

“Parents are vitally important to the mental wellbeing of future generations,” she said. “Policies to reduce economic and other pressures on parents could help them to foster better relationships with their children.” Previous research has shown a clear link between economic stress in parents and poorer early child development.

The study group were participating in the MRC’s National Survey of Health and Development. Of 5,362 people tracked since 1946, 2,800 remain under active follow-up and complete data was available from 2,000 people by the ages of 60-64.

The findings are published in the Journal of Positive Psychology.