SNS BLOGWelcome To SNS Academy
A warm 'Greetings' to all our stakeholders for the start of Term 1, 2015. We would like to
extend our sincere welcome to all our new families. We hope you will be a part of SNS Family.
Helpful tips to encourage your children to read
There is no lack of interest in reading at SNS Academy. However, the following tips may help parents to encourage reading:
Set aside a quiet time with no distractions. Ten to fifteen minutes is usually long enough.
Make reading an enjoyable experience. Sit with your child.
Be positive – If your child says something nearly right to start with that is fine. Don't say 'No. That's wrong,' but 'Let's read it together' and point to the words as you say them.
Develop a regular practice; try to read with your child on most school days. 'Little and often' is best.
Talk about the books. There is more to being a good reader than just being able to read the words accurately. Just as important is being able to understand what has been read. Always talk to your child about the book; about the pictures, the characters, how they think the story will end and their favourite part. You will then be able to see how well they have understood and you will help them to develop good comprehension skills.
Variety is important .Children need to experience a variety of reading materials e.g. picture books, hard backs, comics, magazines, poems, and non-fiction books.
Relevant and Meaningful Assignments
Teachers understand that home assignments aren't just 'busy work' set with the intention of filling up a student's time. Instead, it should provide an opportunity for students to review, reinforce and / or reflect upon new learning or to complete certain types of tasks begun in class.
Assignments can be used to help students to prepare them for new learning.
Sometimes home assignments are used to set up students for success at the beginning of the learning process. With this kind of home assignments, students may read, view or listen to texts (such as stories) that introduce the 'big ideas' and arouse their curiosity. They may discuss or brainstorm a topic with friends and family to identify their prior knowledge and shared knowledge before the more structured learning activities take place. Open questions, for example "Why do you think birds can fly (when humans can't)?" help to get the thinking process underway.
Parent tip: Have fun together with this kind of home assignment. Keep a large sheet of paper on the kitchen table and allocate different coloured pens to different family members. Add everyone's ideas and questions, which the student can summarize or paraphrase later to turn it into his or her own understanding.
A home assignment that identifies prior knowledge, engages interest, generates questions and builds confidence and positive expectations is a worthwhile home assignment.
Home assignment can also be used to review, reinforce and/or reflect upon new learning or to complete certain types of tasks begun in class
When learners are exposed to new information and ideas, it helps them, if they are able to review the material shortly after it has been introduced and then at progressively longer intervals. Home assignment time provides a chance for re-visiting texts or parts of texts, reading (by the student, to the student or with the student), summarizing, editing, talking about texts, and reproducing the content in creative ways, all of which can help to strengthen understanding.
For rehearsing reading, practicing spelling and math facts, or learning a second language for example, 'little and often' is the key. Daily repetition using a variety of quick and interesting reinforcement activities, done well, helps to 'lock in' the learning and increase the speed of recall. The student is then more secure when approaching the next step of applying the knowledge or skill to new situations and problems.
Parent tip: If possible, set aside a regular time for routine home assignment tasks. Use timers to keep time frames short and focused. Encourage and reward good habits and effort. Celebrate attention to accuracy and progress towards goals – the little steps as well as the big ones. Home assignment allows students to practice new work and new skills confidently, correctly, quickly and consistently.
Students should be able to complete the work independently (or with minimal assistance), in a reasonable timeframe, regardless of their ability.
Home assignment is not a punitive exercise – for students or parents! Teachers aim to set home assignment so that it can be completed independently – or at least with the minimum of supervision and support – within a set or negotiated time frame.
If a student is working in a conducive environment at home, with all the materials he/she needs, and is making an effort but still experiencing difficulty completing home assignment, it is important to talk to the teacher. Further differentiation of the task or the learning resources may be required. Children learn best in different ways and at different rates. Let the teacher know if your child is struggling to transfer his/her learning from school to home or to finish on time. No one wants home assignment to become a burden or a battleground.
On the other hand, some children want or need more challenge – which is not necessarily the same as needing more work. Some race through their home assignment, giving it the 'once-over-lightly' treatment, and then declare it easy, only to be disappointed with the feedback they receive.
A few useful strategies for parents are:
Challenge the child to find and correct at least three errors in the 'finished' work.
Encourage the student to provide more reasons, details and examples to notes and written tasks to support main points. (Family members can contribute to this but the student should take responsibility for recording everyone's contributions in his or her own words.)
Encourage the student to illustrate any finished work in a way that reminds them of the key words or key points. (NB: It is important to help students distinguish between 'decoration' and 'illustration'. Making a page look attractive is satisfying for many students and shows a sense of pride. But drawing simple symbols and pictures that represent the words and ideas, and placing the images close to the related words, makes the information much more memorable.)
Households are busy places after school, but try to make time for some positive talk about home assignment. Ask your children:
What is the most interesting thing you have for home assignment today? (Encourage them to save that task for last as something to look forward to.)
What is the most challenging task? (Suggest that they do that task first, but make them stop if it takes too long. Sign or annotate the work to show that you are happy with their effort.)
Home assignment is intended to promote and strengthen learning, and it has other positive spin-offs such as helping students develop their self-management skills. As such, it can be extremely rewarding, especially when encouraged and supported both at home and at school. However, if home assignment becomes a drama, it loses its value. Talk to the teacher if problems arise.
SNS Academy offers extensive activities to student's school wide. Opportunities are broad in scope allowing students to develop individual talents and passions. Activities encourage in students an understanding of their peers, while developing skills that facilitate success in group or team environments. By trying out new things, students have an opportunity to be risk-takers, communicators and knowledgeable.
Students have the opportunity to compete in the following sports across the course of the school year.