writing-apStudents at FPS are currently learning about different writing genres, identifying the features and purpose of the writing. The genre foci were shared in Newsletter on 22 July.

This genre study approach:

  • Deepens students’ appreciation of texts
  • Helps readers know what to expect when reading a text
  • Develops the habit of reading like a writer
  • Helps writers create the structures and elements of the genre they are writing
  • Helps students use what they learn as writers to support reading, and use what they learn as readers to help them write

(Fountas and Pinnell 2012)


To implement this writing approach at FPS, staff identified the important factors that support students’ engagement with writing. These include:

  • Students developing as inquirers, thinkers, risk-takers and reflective learners
  • Teachers having high expectations that enable the students to achieve high quality writing outcomes
  • Students and teachers needing to know and make visible what high quality writing looks like
  • Students being made aware of the purpose of their writing and the message that they wish to convey
  • The school community providing the model for high quality writing and acknowledging the importance of writing in our lives


The factors above are considered when staff plan and teach writing lessons. Students are aware of the concept, skills and knowledge that they are learning and are provided with opportunities to inquire and reflect.


Challenging Tasks

FPS staff recently attended a Powerful Learning Professional Development session based around Challenging Tasks. Nearly 200 educators attended this session which was led by Wayne Craig. Staff explored the positive influence of tasks with; an inquiry focus, multiple solutions and which require thinking skills. Challenging tasks are relevant to the students’ lives, allow sufficient time to be worked through, and energise the students.

An example of a challenging task given to our Year 5 students was presented at this session and is attached. This task leads into an investigation where students explore Can you make a circle tessellate?’


Girls Soccer

A group of Year 5 and 6 girls have been arriving at school early on Thursdays to take part in soccer practice sessions. Anna Lithgow and I are running these sessions to help the students prepare for a tournament on Friday 9 September. The sessions have been lots of fun, and already the girls are improving their skills.