A fixture in the calendar of the Junior School are Lightbulb Seminars. These seminars are collaboratively planned by Tara teachers to enable Tara parents to engage with the curriculum. All our seminars aim to encourage parents to engage in a practical and meaningful way, with the fundamental philosophy and practice of how we teach and learn within the Primary Years Programme in the Junior School.
Lightbulb Seminars reflect our belief in:
- Tara Junior School as a community of learners, which includes parents, grandparents and other adult carers
- The power of family engagement for a child’s learning
- Family engagement being an essential component in uplifting children and uplifting our school, rather than just an ‘add-on’
- The importance of improving social-emotional learning and attitudes to life and learning, as well as academic grades
- Making our approach to learning and teaching available to the school community
There is a difference between family engagement and family involvement. To be ‘engaged’, according to Latin etymology, involves so much more than to be just involved. Engagement implies a form of contract; a pledge to do something. This is the kind of relationship we want with the families of Tara girls.
Our Lightbulb Seminars are based on 5 pillars of effective practice in family-school partnerships (Mapp, 2018). The Seminars:
- Aim to build relationships between families and teachers based on trust and respect
- Are directly linked to learning so families leave more knowledgeable to assist their daughter
- Acknowledge that collaboration is a two-way street between families and Tara
- Are interactive, with families able to practice a new skill, tip or tool
- Are strengths-based, where our students’ families are viewed as an asset that our teachers need!
The central idea chosen for these seminars:
Partnerships within a learning community enhance and enrich learning and promote action.
This page contains an outline and some of the recent resources shared at our Lightbulb Seminars.
Mathematics in the Primary Years Programme
This seminar delves into how you can support your daughter at home with her mathematics learning. Participants learn the essential number concepts and skills that students are taught as part of their mathematical journey from Kindergarten to Year 6 and how they build upon each other. Not only will parents gain an understanding of the various number strategies that students are taught but also their underlying theory and purpose. Participants will also be equipped with some useful ways for supporting your daughter in her development as a mathematician through mindset modelling and authentic experiences.
Worksheets can be accessed here:
Tips for Developing a Growth Mindset in Maths (PDF 711.7KB)
Building Times Tables Fluency (DOCX 61.3KB)
View the videos here:
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Algorithm - Addition
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Algorithm - Division
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Algorithm - Multiplication
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Algorithm - Subtraction
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Area Model - Multiplication
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Compensation Strategy - Addition
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Compensation Strategy - Subtraction
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Jump Strategy - Addition
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Jump Strategy - Subtraction
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Split Strategy - Addition
Maths Lightbulb Seminar: Split Strategy - Subtraction
Wellbeing in the Primary Years Programme
Wellbeing in the Primary Years Programme provided parents with the opportunity to learn about current research and practices in this ever-increasingly important area of school life.
Beginning with a look at how school policies have evolved in response to changes in how we think about our students, the seminar details Tara’s focus on how students engage with one another, and with their teachers, using a strength-based approach called “Circle Solutions”.
Participants are also introduced to the key attributes of “Restorative Practices”, as the means by which conflict between students is addressed in the Junior School.
Parents are provided with examples of how this looks from solving issues at the Peace Table in the Early Learning Centre (ELC) all the way through to Year 6 using the “Tara Restorative Practice Guide”.
Restorative Practice Guide (PDF 405.5KB)
Reading in the Primary Years Programme
Reading is a fundamental skill which underpins all learning. Readers move from phonics (learning to read) to comprehension (reading to learn). This seminar focuses on understanding how students learn to read and provides tips for parents to assist their children at home.
For children to read, they learn the fundamental skills of decoding by understanding letter and sound combinations and how these are used in words. With the skill of decoding, readers work on prosody (sounding like they are speaking when reading) and comprehension (understanding what they are reading).
Reading 1-6 Reading Tips Brochure (PDF 1.2MB)
Welcome to the Primary Years Programme
What constitutes an educated person? What makes education in 2019 so different to when we were in school? Why is there a need for a different approach? What is the PYP, and what difference does it make? How does the PYP ‘frame’ and enhance my daughter’s learning? And what do all those words mean?!
In this introductory seminar, participants engage in a practical inquiry of how learning and teaching is ‘packaged’ in the Junior School. Through an exploration of the various elements of the PYP which make up our approach to learning, parents can leave more knowledgeable, confident and equipped to support their daughter.
Introduction to Reading in Kindergarten
It’s been a long time since adults at Tara learnt to read! The Kindergarten Reading Lightbulb Seminar aims to demystify and articulate the processes involved in learning to read. Parents are introduced to the research-informed, explicit and systematic approach that is used to teach reading at Tara.
The seminar focuses on explaining and unpacking essential reading skills including phonics and phonemic awareness. Our aim is to equip parents with knowledge, skills and strategies to confidently support their daughter as she learns to read. Teacher demonstrations provide an insight into the process of learning to read in Kindergarten, with plenty of parent participation along the way!
Kindergarten Reading Tips (PDF 1.2MB)
Kindergarten Reading - Sounds of the English Language (PDF 418.9KB)