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St Michael’s School


4 James St
Bassendean WA 6054
PO Box 428
Bassendean WA 6934
08 6278 9888
Absentee Line – 6278 9802

St Michael’s School


Assistant Principal News

Important Dates

Please make a note of these in your calendars;

Term 3

  • School Photos: Wednesday August 26
  • P&F Bogan Bingo Fundraiser: Friday August 28
  • Father’s Day Breakfast: Thursday September 3
  • Pupil Free Day (Catholic Day): Friday September 4
  • Pupil Free Day (Staff Professional Development): Monday September 7
  • Athletics Carnival: Date to be confirmed
  • Mercy Day: Wednesday September 23
  • St Michael’s Got Talent / Last day Term 3: Friday September 25

Term 4

  • Pupil Free Day (Staff Professional Development): Monday October 12
  • Open Night and Book Fair: Wednesday October21
  • Book Costume Parade: Friday October23
  • Walkathon: Friday October 30


Demystifying Instructional Reading Levels

You may have heard your child’s teacher talking to you about their instructional level when it comes to supporting your child’s development in reading. It can be easy to become fixated on the ‘number’ or ‘level’ that your child reads and there are a few important things to remember when it comes to providing support for a developmental approach to reading.

At St Michael’s we use two reading level systems; PM Levels 1-30 and Literacy Pro (Lexile) which operates in a numbered system through our school Library. Typically, students in the early years progress through the PM levels and transition to the Lexile levels usually in Year 2 or Year 3, but this can vary depending on the individual needs of the student.

A child’s instructional level is determined through calculating their accuracy rate according to the following guidelines;

  • 95-100% accuracy = Independent
  • 90-94% accuracy = Instructional
  • 89% and below accuracy = Frustrational

Staff are trained to expertly plan, conduct, interpret and analyse children’s accuracy rates through diagnostic tools appropriate to the stage of development. If a text falls into a child’s frustration level, then they do not experience enough success during that read and the cognitive demands on them become too onerous and meaning is lost. Younger students are often encouraged to take home a text at their independent level, to consolidate skills and to experience joy and a high degree of success. This approach is always accompanied by scaffolded engagement with children at their instructional level with the teacher in the classroom.

Sometimes students accelerate through their levels quickly, sometimes at a steadier pace. It is common for children to remain at a particular level for a longer period of time and then experience a surge once foundational concepts have fallen into place. Not all children read every level, some skip ahead as their reading acquisition development dictates.

Teachers operate with a complex view of reading that addresses the five pillars; phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency. Texts that are in the Library that are on our Lexile system have an oval-shaped sticker on the front with a number that corresponds to their level. In the images below you can see that while one is a picture book, the other is a novel with chapters and few illustrations and yet both are levelled at 620. When you take a closer look at the text and images within the books, the language complexity is very similar, despite one being written in a poetic style and the other in first-person narrative. This can be confusing for students and families who may not immediately grasp why a book that has few words and pictures is levelled as high as it is. Please be assured that while the text’s vocabulary may be familiar to your child, the learning intention for their reading could be on one of the other pillars.

Regular daily reading with a loved one is an incredibly powerful learning opportunity, no matter how old the child. Paired with expert instruction and assessment, your child will always be supported to succeed and develop as a reader at St Michael’s. If you have any questions, please contact your child’s teacher to discuss their reading acquisition journey.


Sacraments and Mass Celebrations

On Sunday 9th August, candidates from St Michael’s attended a special Mass to celebrate First Holy Communion. We are thankful to Father Son for holding the additional Mass to allow us to celebrate the Sacrament. Under current COVID-19 restrictions, we would not have been able to all attend a regular service due to the number of people attending. It was a beautiful ceremony. Thank you to Mr Caddy, Mrs Stewart and all the staff involved preparing the students and the Mass.

On Wednesday, we held our first whole school Mass since Term 1 Week 6. We were treated to a reverent celebration by the Year 1 students who had rehearsed and read their parts so beautifully. Everyone in attendance was amazed by the Year 1 readers. Thank you to Mrs Marzo, Mrs Schnell and the staff who assisted the students.


School Photos

Our school photo day on Wednesday 26th August is fast approaching. Each student has been handed an order form with a unique shoot code to purchase photos online. Purchases can be made up to 6 days after the photo day.

If you wish to have family photos, please collect an envelope from the school office. You will need to hand this envelope with the correct money to the photographer on the morning. Family photos will be taken between 8am and 9am.

Assistant Principal
Jemima Saunders


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