From the Head of Campus
I hope all our parents and families are well and adjusting to the wintry days. I wanted to take this opportunity in our Vine this week to reach out to all our mothers and those caring for children at our Junior School. The role of caring for our children as a mother, grandmother, aunty stepmother or other special person is a unique blessing and gift. In doing some reading it is recorded that the first Mothers’ Day was celebrated in West Virginia in 1912 where a special day was created for mothers to be recognised as an important part of our culture and lives.
Our children are the richer when they experience the unconditional love of a mother or mother figure in their lives. I am always inspired by the words of Abraham Lincoln when he said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother.”
What’s on at Junior School
Friday May 19 – Timor Leste Independence Restoration Day, Casual Dress in Black, White, Red, Yellow themes. Gold coin donation to support our friends in Viqueque, East Timor.
Friday May 19 – East Timor Restoration Day Year 3 and 4 Assembly
Wednesday May 24 – National Simultaneous story time – ‘The Speedy Sloth’
Wednesday May 24 – Prep Discovery Learning Friday May 26 – Commencement of Reconciliation Week: 26 May – 3 June
Friday May 26 – Reconciliation Assembly, 4B Class Item
Monday May 29 – Arthur Reed Photos, Individual and Class (EdSmart to follow)
Thursday June 1 – Emergency and lockdown drills
Wednesday June 7 – Prep Discovery Learning
Friday June 9 – Assembly, 2B Class Item
Mothers’ Day Celebrations – Tabloid Sports and Sack Race
What an incredible celebration we had at Junior School today! Beginning with assembly, followed by the Mothers’ Day Stall, lunch provided for all from Danielle at Bakers Delight Highton and topping it all off with an afternoon of tabloid sports fun, the day was action-packed and full of fun for our community.
It was wonderful to see so many parents come along and enjoy this event as students from Years Prep-3 rotated through a range of activities. Our Year 4 students did a wonderful job in setting up and leading the activities.
This year it was great to see all the Junior School mums compete in the Annual Sack Race eagerly cheered on by the enthusiastic crowd. There were four heats with the first two placegetters in each going through to the final.
Congratulations to Chantelle O’Kelly for a back-to-back win in the Sack Race for 2023. Other place winners were Angela Azzopardi in second place and Katie Keleman in third! Thank you to all competitors for participating in this special Junior School event.
Each year Danielle Bourke from Baker’s Delight in Highton supports our Tabloid Sports Day by providing a cheese and bacon roll and a fruit bun for every student at the school. Danielle also donates the trophies and gift vouchers for our sack race. We greatly appreciate Danielle’s contribution to making this such a special day for our Junior School students and families.
The canteen is now running fortnightly specials, the fortnightly specials are until May 19, and will be pictured in the Vine for the upcoming fortnight. You can also find our updated Canteen menu, with new prices and new menu items!
Preps Have a Day of Halves!
Prep children at Junior School celebrated the halfway mark to 100 days of school with a day of halves for our 50 days of school celebrations.
We did half of our spelling activities, listened to half of a story, made fairy bread and cut it into halves, drew the other half of our faces, made pictures with shapes cut into halves, decorated the number 50 and created the second half of a picture drawn by our buddies. The children even came to school in halves! They wore their hair half one way and half the other, they had one sock or shoe in one colour and the other half a different colour, some children even had half their clothes one type and the other half a different type.
It was such a fun way to celebrate our halfway mark to 100 Days of school.
Some thoughts from the Preps:
It was fun, all of it! Maisie
I loved eating fairy bread. Dabi
It was fun because everyone was wearing their amazing colours. Mylah
I liked decorating the 50. Jacob G
It was fun to make fairy bread. Amelia
I liked the fact that my mum came, and it was fun seeing my friends in half and half. Parker
I had fun because it was half day, and my friends were all happy. Ivy
I liked making fairy bread. Samuel
It was fun seeing everyone in different clothes. Maeve
I liked my spiky hair. Kai
It was good to do LEGO when we had half of investigations. Jacob M
It was fun playing with my friends and making fairy bread. Maddie
We are looking forward to more fun and learning as we head towards 100 Days of school and beyond!
Learning all About Time
This term, one of our units for Mathematics in Year 1 has focused on the topic of ‘Time’. The children have participated in a range of activities with the aim of building and reinforcing their knowledge and understanding of this area of work.
Some of the activities the students have completed include identifying different time words, asking key questions about the topic, searching for analogue and digital clocks through the community, beginning to learn about o’clock and half past times, and completing some problem-solving challenges through our online program of Matific.
One of the set tasks encouraged the children to create an analogue clock using a paper plate. The students worked hard to ensure that their numbers were evenly spaced on their paper clocks, and that they had both a minute and hour hand. This activity reinforced a number of our Building Learning Power principles including perseverance, reflectiveness and being resourceful.
Over the next few weeks, our Year 1 mathematicians will continue to investigate the topic of time as they apply their critical thinking skills to represent different times and to also solve challenges, including questions, such as: How many minutes are there in a day…a month…a year?
All About Shape!
One area that holds great potential for engaging young learners is the exploration of 2D and 3D shapes. By incorporating these fundamental concepts into the classroom, our Year 4 students have developed a deeper understanding of geometry, spatial reasoning, and critical thinking skills.
Shape hunts encourage students to search for 2D shapes in their surroundings, both in the classroom and outdoors. This activity develops their ability to identify shapes in real-life objects. Shape sorting provides students with a collection of 2D shape cards and asks them to sort the shapes based on common attributes such as the number of sides or angles. This promotes critical thinking and shape classification skills.
Once students have a solid understanding of 2D shapes, they can progress to exploring 3D shapes. These activities help develop visualisation skills and deepen spatial awareness.
3D shape manipulations provide students with 3D shape models such as cubes, spheres, and cones. Encouraging them to observe and manipulate these shapes, focusing on their faces, edges, and vertices. This hands-on exploration solidifies their understanding of 3D shapes’ properties. Real-World connections help students recognise 3D shapes in everyday objects such as cans, balls, and boxes. Discussing the relationship between the object’s shape and its purpose. This activity enhances the students’ ability to identify and classify 3D shapes in real-life contexts.
Take a look at all the ways the year 4s have been using shape in and around our school!
In Music this term Year 3 students have been very excited to commence learning the recorder. This fantastic, easily accessible instrument allows young children to play a variety of tunes quickly and easily. The skills required for the recorder are transferable, providing a strong foundation for playing all woodwind instruments including, flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone and bassoon.
Learning the recorder helps students to develop breath control, work on their fine motor skills, learn how to use their tongues to articulate rhythms and provides a great platform to commence pitched reading using traditional music notation on the treble clef stave.
Students have the opportunity in lessons to play all together as a class, in small groups and independently. Students are enjoying the challenge of learning progressively more difficult pieces and have been very keen to share their skills and advance through the different levels of our recorder karate program.
ChatGPT, Generative AI and Young People
Information and guidance for parents
Parents may be aware of the news and hype around recent developments in generative AI (artificial intelligence), especially the digital tool ChatGPT that launched in November last year. ChatGPT reached a million users in five days, and by January of this year had 13 million daily users.
By typing in a specific prompt, a person can ask ChatGPT to produce a written response and it will create it in seconds. It can produce emails, poems, song lyrics, speeches, reviews, recipes, stories, social media posts, working program code, and academic essays and reports. It can analyse text and code, and offer advice on improvements, corrections, and alternative approaches for just about any written text.
ChatGPT facilitates a chat-based conversation between the person and the AI chatbot that produces the output, allowing for questions, refinements, and iterations on the original output until the resultant text suits the intentions of the user.
The Story of Buikarin
Buikarin is a small rural community half an hour away from our accommodation house in Viqueque. Within the community there is a kindergarten, that has 128 students enrolled, and consists of three teachers. One teacher is full time, one is on contract and the other is a volunteer. They only have one room to teach these 128 students. The area of that room is 6 metres by 8 metres. The teachers have 64 students at one time in this space. They have two sessions a day. Natercia is the head teacher and she's very passionate about her school. She founded this school with their own money and no support from the government.
On Friday May 19’s Project Care Day, we want to raise money to buy bricks for Buikarin so that we can give Natercia and her students and another teaching space. Natercia has already used her own money to put a roof over a “patch of dirt”and we would love to brick in this area for her so, as she says, “the kids don't run out onto the road when in class.”
One photo here shows 64 students in the classroom. Note the students are on either side of the room because Natercia puts a small wall down the middle to separate the two groups. Imagine the noise coming from this small space with 64 students. It would be very hard to listen, very hard to teach and very hard to learn. The next photo you can see is the roof that her and her husband had paid for themselves to create another teaching space. This is the space we would like to brick in and concrete the floor.
Qustodio Parent App New Feature
New Activity Timeline View
It is a pleasure to share with parents a newly added feature of the Qustodio Parent App, which all parents have access to as part of our Cyber Safe Schools Program and in partnership with Linewize by Family Zone.
Since our launch of this parent app in 2022, it has been wonderful to note the level of engagement by parents with this tool. I have enjoyed many interactions with a range of parents about how it is helping them support their young people in their digital journey at home.
One area where I have often received feedback from parents is that the information about their child’s digital activity on their school laptop is vague and not as detailed or useful as they would like, and not comparable to the activity reporting available for their child’s personal devices.
It is for this reason that I am delighted to share that parents can now access a new feature, Timeline, that provides more specific and detailed information about digital activity on the school device outside school times.
I encourage all parents to take a few moments and view this two minute video that provides an overview of the new feature and how it can be used to better support parents in guiding their young people at home.
Getting Started with the Qustodio Parent App
A reminder that parents can learn more about Qustodio, create and activate their parent account as part of our school program, and explore Frequently Asked Questions, via our school’s Online Safety Hub.
Uniform Shop Clearance Sale!
A MYTERN Thought for This Week
It’s easy to rush through a cup of tea or coffee and forget to stop and appreciate the moment.
Take time out now to simply appreciate being able to breathe in fresh air. Take a long slow breath and feel it rejuvenate every cell.
Make that your intention and watch your body smile from the inside 👍❤️
Discover more about MYTERN here