Principal

Dear College families,

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing ten of our Year 11 students who applied for Leadership positions in Year 12. Our discussions provided the opportunity to hear from students who had been with the College for many years and to see their character and enthusiasm shine through as they spoke to us. All Year 11 students had previously attended a two-day in-house workshop, including a webinar ‘Unleashing Personal Potential’.

I saw confidence, resilience, and pride in their school come to the fore in each interview. In talking about what Learn, Lead and Serve meant to them and how they had applied these values in the school community life, I was pleased to see the evidence of great pride in their school and the values it holds dear. Leading students during one’s final year of school is a great privilege, and I am sure that the gifts and talents of these young people will serve us well in the coming year, in whatever role they accept. I look forward to seeing the outcomes of voting by staff and students over the coming days.

It was delightful to see such amazing costumes on show at Book Week online last week. Dressing up at home for photos, broke the sameness of online learning for a day and we were in for a treat. I’m sure you will enjoy the photos in this edition of the Bulletin. Holding onto the importance of reading books, alongside the use of digital technologies is so important. Educational research reminds us that regular reading of books of all kinds is essential to the development of vocabulary, the use of language, and reading comprehension and we encourage all students not to let this disappear from daily life.  Thank you, parents, for your support of Book Week activities and your participation in the celebrations, Ms Demmocks, our librarian, and our teachers, who compiled the wonderful Zoom presentations for each year level. You certainly turned the lockdown melancholy into a fun day to come together virtually.

During lockdown last year I shared with you the famous words attributed to Julian of Norwich on developing resilience, by drawing on our inner strength and handing our worries to our God.

Julian of Norwich (1343 – 1416) was a Christian mystic, who lived in a small cell at the Church of St Julian, in Norwich, UK from which she wrote several manuscripts about how we should live our lives, her most famous being “Revelations of Divine Love”. She was known as Mother Julian and was said to have visions from God from which she formed her beliefs.

The most famous quote from her writing which remains in our vocabulary even today is – “All shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Christians believe that Mother Julian was reminding us of God’s love for us and telling us not to worry about things. This weekend, I hope you take some time to remind yourself that “All will be well”.

 

Ms Suzanne Bain

Principal

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Preschool

We have been busy preparing for Father’s Day this week making special gifts to acknowledge and celebrate the positive impact male role models (fathers, grandfathers, …

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Preschool

We have been busy preparing for Father’s Day this week making special gifts to acknowledge and celebrate the positive impact male role models (fathers, grandfathers, uncles) have on our life. The Gems and the Sparkles have been making keychains and the Treasures have been making t-shirts. We haven’t forgotten our friends staying safe at home either. We created several craft packs for collection from Preschool to be made up at home! We can’t wait to hear how our families celebrated this special occasion and would love to see some photos.

Last week we celebrated Book Week both at school and digitally at home using zoom. We were so impressed with the way everyone joined in and dressed up. We shared several special books and shone a light on the importance of early literacy. Throughout the week we explored concepts associated with storybooks such as authors and illustrators. We also learnt that books remain consistent, and the story does not change. We learn that the pictures represent the words in the book and that we read them from front to back. Furthermore, we learnt that the words in a book are read from left to right, top to bottom. These are all fundamental skills associated with later reading and writing. Later in the day, we applied this new knowledge and began to write our very own short storybooks.

We have continued to participate in experiences that are engaging our fine motor skills and have focused our time on scissor skills and cutting. The children have been cutting along lines, around different shapes, and been making slinky snakes. We can see a vast improvement in the children’s skills and control. It has also been nice to observe their positive attitudes towards learning.

Our collaborative skills came into play this week as we worked together to create a large tie-dyed creation. The children followed the directions given by their educators to add elastic bands to the large piece of material. They then used primary coloured dye and began to carefully add it to the material. As they added the colours, they noticed some magical changes. The yellow, red, and blue began to join to create secondary colours such as green, purple, and orange. This gave the children the perfect opportunity to investigate, experiment, and hypothesise. The results were spectacular!

 

Primary featured image

Primary

Thank you to all the parents who have been passing on messages of support and little gifts to our teachers thanking them for their efforts. …

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Primary

Thank you to all the parents who have been passing on messages of support and little gifts to our teachers thanking them for their efforts. We really appreciate the support and at the same time recognise that families are going above and beyond to ensure their children continue to learn while at home. You are all doing an amazing job and fingers crossed this doesn’t go on for too much longer.

Thank you to Shea Hafey and her team for organising the Father’s Day gift purchases via the Flexi School App. It was disappointing that our traditional Father’s Day Breakfast could not proceed but comforting to know we were able to give the students an opportunity to recognise their wonderful Dads and everything they do.

Our numbers for kindy 2022 are looking strong and potentially we could have a waitlist if inquiries continue to roll in. If you know of a family interested in enrolling encourage them to visit our website to start the enrolment process before it’s too late. Due to Covid, we are unsure as to what orientation will look like, but we are hoping to run it similar to last year where the new students visited the campus during out-of-school hours. Details will be distributed early next term.

For what it’s worth during lockdown, don’t forget we revert back to Summer uniform from next Monday.

Kindergarten had a blast during Book Week, and all looked amazing in their costumes. Even though we couldn’t have a book parade in person we enjoyed watching the online version. The last couple of weeks during home learning has been very busy and students have been working hard on their writing skills. Every student should be proud of their improving ability to sound out the words they are writing. The Kindergarten Teachers are enjoying all the work that has been uploaded to Seesaw each day. Our bi-weekly Zoom sessions have been a highlight and we enjoy catching up with our friends and playing games with our teachers. It has been a great way to keep connected.

Year 1

This week we welcomed Mr Brin Dyball to the Year 1 teaching team. We are very blessed to have Mr Dyball with us and he is very excited to meet everyone in person once students return onsite. Speaking of students, the ONE-derfuls have been showcasing their amazing skills this week through a range of activities. We have been investigating volume and capacity by doing various experiments at home. Boys and girls have been learning what we need to do to ensure our environment is cared for, including learning about recycling and sustainability. Students were given a stamped envelope inside their learner packs and this week, they used their writing skills to pen a letter to a friend. I wonder if any of the students will receive a letter back in return? Maybe your child could write a letter to a friend or relative they haven’t seen in a while….

Year 2

Students loved the Book Week Parade, seeing all the amazing costumes that their classmates had designed. Year 2 have continued to their ZOOM meetings each week, keenly joining in with the dress-up theme each session. They have continued working on their spelling and grammar, attempting to implement these skills into their writing. Students have written the introduction and ‘build up’ of their “Magic Dictionary” stories, and are including some fantastic ‘show don’t tell’ moments. Over the last fortnight in Mathematics, we have focused on fractions, understanding that fractions need to be equal. We moved on to looking at a fraction of a collection, where there were lots of toys, cars, and Lego pieces split into halves and quarters… not to mention the chocolate! In Geography we have begun to read, ‘Are We There Yet?’ by Alison Lester, looking at the different natural and man-made landmarks they see around Australia and mapping them on our Australian map. In Health, we have finished the unit by looking at the emergency services that assist in the community and when and how to call emergency services. We have also enjoyed some science experiments at home, looking at density and why some objects float, while others sink, and also had fun trying to make a block of plasticine that sank, into a shape that floated.

Year 3

We have settled in quickly to the next phase of our online learning. Thank you to our Parents who have collected new sleeves of work, delivered library books, and continued to support and guide their children with learning in the home setting. The next phase will test everyone’s resolve and resilience to continue working hard and making the most of the time for learning.

We have celebrated the start of Spring by all bringing in flowers from our garden to share. This is a perfect way to recognise the wonder of nature and to appreciate that we live in such beautiful surroundings. The sunshine and clear days are certainly making it easier to cope with the lockdown.

 

Year 4

Continue to tackle Online Learning with persistence and confidence, working through technical difficulties to forge through our Term Three program. Highlights included the teachers hiding Golden Tickets at the end of random lessons that enabled the finders to participate in a variety of fun challenges, including Minecraft building activities and Kahoot competitions. Being ‘online’ did not stop whole class participation in “Hidden Treasure” and “Battleship” coordinate games, Book Week Quizzes, and group sharing of fun ideas for ‘downtime/off line’ activities to lift our spirits.

Our students have also continued to enjoy Specialist lessons online. This week for Art, Ms McDouall guided the students to create masterpieces based on creating the perception of depth in a landscape. Well done Year 4!

Year 5

Have been making the most of learning from home the past two weeks and have continued to show resilience, perseverance, and determination. In Geography, the students have been learning about different tribal groups that live within rainforests around the world, in particular the Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal Tribe in the Daintree Rainforest. In Health, Year 5 has been learning about different types of changes that can occur in their lives and how they can best manage change and transitions. Last Friday, the students watched the online Book Week Parade from home and enjoyed seeing themselves, and their teachers, dressed in their colourful and creative book week costumes. Over the past two weeks, Mr Eddy, Miss Dean, and Mrs Johns trialed running an online cooking class with their class. 5HD made sausage rolls, 5RE made cakes and 5AJ made Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches. Each class had a lot of fun together sharing their cooking experiences with each other and many families were happy to have some freshly cooked snacks made for them.

Year 6

Technology Champions! Over the last few weeks Year 6 students have proven time and again their resilience, determination, and their ever-increasing technology skills. From sharing their own documents during zoom meetings to creating visual digital representations of the cartesian plane using online apps. Year 6 students are well and truly ready to take on Secondary learning in the technical sense. Students have continued to study and analyse the much loved Blueback novel, complete differentiated learning through minilessons and the Maths Pathway platform for Mathematics lessons and take part in many crazy Kahoot challenges. Year 6 Your teachers are incredibly proud of how well you are doing with your online learning.

In Science, students have continued to learn about electricity and have taken advantage of some fantastic online programs that have helped simulate different types of circuits. We have continued our studies of Asia in Geography and this week students have embarked on an independent project investigating different aspects of the Asian culture. In Health we have been learning about the effects of drugs, alcohol, smoking, and how to say no to these influences.

 

Mark Durie
Head of Junior School

 

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Secondary Academic

Study Skills Tip – Students and Sleep Why is sleep so important? Quality sleep improves your mental, emotional, and physical performance. It also improves your …

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Secondary Academic

Study Skills Tip – Students and Sleep

Why is sleep so important?

Quality sleep improves your mental, emotional, and physical performance. It also improves your immune system, balances your hormones, boosts your metabolism, and improves your brain function. Sleep is when your brain files or removes all the clutter that accumulates in a day of learning and thinking so you are refreshed and ready with energy for the next day. Getting good sleep is important for both your mind and body.

How much sleep do I need?

Different people need a different amount of sleep, in order to function optimally during the day.  Whilst most adults need about 8 hours sleep a night, many teenagers need more like 9-10 hours sleep per night.  Working out how much sleep you need will take a little time and perseverance.  Record how you feel during the day based on how much sleep you had a night and a pattern will start to appear.

Top Tips for getting to sleep / sleep routine / falling asleep

  1. Have a regular bed time and wake up time. A regular bed time helps to set your body clock so your body knows it’s time to sleep.  Waking up at (or near) the same time each day also helps your body to establish a sleep pattern.  Get plenty of sunlight during the day too.
  2. Establish a bed time ritual. Doing a series of actions before bed also helps your body to prepare for sleep.  Ideas include a warm bath or shower, reading a book, listening to quiet music, or doing some gentle stretches.
  3. Avoid technology in the hour before bed, including TV, computers, and phones.
  4. Exercise during the day so that your body is ready for rest at night.
  5. Don’t eat big meals at night. Eat as early as possible and try to avoid rich, heavy food close to bed time.
  6. Limit your caffeine during the day and don’t drink any caffeine in the afternoon or evening.
  7. Don’t have too much liquid in the evening.
  8. Worrying about problems at school or with friends often stops you from getting to sleep. Talk to a trusted person about things that are worrying you to find ways to solve your problems.  You could also try some relaxation exercises such as meditation or positive visualisation.
  9. Have your room as dark as possible when trying to get to sleep. Use a sleep mask if you need to avoid light e.g. from electronic devices, street lights etc.

Staying Asleep

  • Make sure the temperature of your room is comfortable. Too cold and you may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.  Too warm and the heat will also wake you.
  • Having a quiet environment will help you stay asleep. If loud noises often wake you, having some consistent “white noise” can be helpful.  Earplugs may also work for some people.
  • A comfortable bed which is large enough for you to spread out and is supportive will help you to sleep well, as will a comfortable pillow which provides the right amount of support for your neck.
  • Good ventilation in your room helps to get rid of toxins and keep the air you are breathing fresh. A potted plant in your room may help.
  • Make sure you go to the toilet just before you get into bed.

Good quality sleep

  • Smelling lavender while you sleep might improve the quality of your sleep. Try a few drops of lavender oil in your washing or on your pillow, or using lavender-scented soap.
  • Have a good sleep environment. Clear your room of clutter.  Dust regularly.  Have calming colours in your room.
  • Try rearranging your room according to Feng Shui principles, whereby you can see the door from your bed, but your bed is not directly facing the door. This may mean putting your bed on an angle.

Feeling refreshed after sleep

  • First thing in the morning, drink a glass of water to help you wake up and rehydrate.
  • Do some gentle stretches or more vigorous exercise first thing in the morning as part of your morning ritual. This will also help to set your body clock.
  • Practice deep breathing while you are still in bed to make sure your body is able to take in lots of oxygen and expel carbon dioxide.

 University of Newcastle 2021 Open Days Online

2021 has again proven to be a challenging time for students

We want your Year 12 students to know that if they’re planning to study at the University of Newcastle next year, they’ll still have every opportunity to do that.

There are many pathways into the UoN and all of these will continue to be available. These include the Schools Recommendation Scheme, ATAR-based admission, Year 12 Spotlight Program, the Enabling programs, and the new Diploma pathways.

To find out more about studying at UoN next year, students and their parents are encouraged to register for the Open Days Online, which is being held 6–8 September from 5 pm each night.

Register here

 

Ms Tania Lloyd

Deputy Principal / Head of Secondary

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Secondary Pastoral

Supporting Senior Students’ Wellbeing in 2021 and Beyond The culmination of schooling is an important time for all students. This time of year is usually …

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Secondary Pastoral

Supporting Senior Students’ Wellbeing in 2021 and Beyond

The culmination of schooling is an important time for all students. This time of year is usually punctuated with an anticipated series of ‘lasts’ including school leadership, sports carnivals, tours and competitions, co-curricular activities, productions, a valedictory event, and possibly a formal.

With so many changes taking place this year, students may be feeling emotions including stress, fear, uncertainty, frustration, anger, and disappointment. It’s important that students know these feelings are normal and encourage them to seek help through the College’s internal wellbeing pathways (eg, tutor teachers, Heads of House, Head of 10-12, and the College Psychologist).

Despite the remote learning environment for many students, connection still remains one of the strongest protective factors and predictors of wellbeing, especially in times of change. Teachers are always looking for opportunities to create connections with students for non-academic interactions can support students experiencing extended learning from home. This same connection to classroom teachers and wellbeing leaders is essential.

Engaging in daily or weekly acts of kindness can enable students to support others and to gain a sense of control. Participating and expressing gratitude can help students to refocus on the positives.

Focusing on personal successes (no matter how small) and long-term goals will support students’ sense of achievement and help maintain their wellbeing.

Calling upon and developing students’ wellbeing literacy through accessing external resources can also support their self-efficacy, for example, Beyond Blue Youth, Head to Health, Office of the eSafety Commissioner, ReachOut or Smiling Mind.

 

Ms Tania Lloyd

Deputy Principal / Head of Secondary

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Sports Corner

“determination, equality, inspiration, and courage” These are the values of the Paralympics and for those that have been watching the past week, the amazing athletes …

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Sports Corner

“determination, equality, inspiration, and courage” These are the values of the Paralympics and for those that have been watching the past week, the amazing athletes on show have certainly been demonstrating all of these!

What have been the standouts for you? Was it the determination shown by Madison de Rozario to bounce back from a disappointing 5000m on the weekend to WIN the 800m wheelchair race? Her determination and character allowed her to claim her first gold medal in the event after finishing with two silvers in the past.

Were you inspired by the ABILITY of Dan Michel to claim the first boccia medal for Australia in 25 years? Dan does not let the hurdles and barriers of being confined to a wheelchair due to his Spinal Muscular Atrophy condition slow him down. His inspirational quote of “much effort, much prosperity” seems simple enough when written on the page, but his actions show he lives his mantra and is an inspiration to us all.

I don’t know about you, but listening to the athletes and commentators throughout the Paralympics has me hearing the consistent term, athlete. What defines an athlete? According to the dictionary… a person who is proficient in Sports. Watching our athletes, run, swim, throw, shoot, roll or ride has had me in awe of their ability. It epitomises the term ‘equality’. I have heard many athletes mention how they want people to focus on ‘ability’, rather than ‘disability’, and that they want to encourage further participation in Sport by all Australians, able-bodied or not. Well, they are certainly incredible role models.

There are countless stories of courage amongst Paralympians. Many have lost limbs in accidents or war and used sport as a way to heal the physical and mental scars. I could only watch on, wide-eyed, as I saw a man swim in the 50m breaststroke with only one complete limb. I can’t imagine how much courage it would have taken him to learn to swim in the first place, and how many times he would have had to demonstrate courage to make it to the Olympics. Courage is everywhere you look during the Paralympics and I am humbled.

It is off the back of the stories of our Paralympic athletes that remind us of the benefits of sport and physical exercise. For many athletes, exercise and sport embody freedom, expression, healing, inclusivity, socialisation, and more. In Sport, we have been talking about the benefits of completing exercise to improve our physical and mental health whilst in lockdown. Aiming to complete 30-40 minutes a day can have a positive impact on how we feel and how we tackle the challenges of this time. We should all look to things that inspire and motivate us and I have been witness to that whilst watching the Paralympics. I believe that we can all apply the values of the Paralympics in our current daily lives and use the stories of our Australian athletes to get us off our devices and outside doing some physical activity and exercise.

Our students have been busy at home keeping themselves physically fit and active. From walking pets, scooter rides, basketball practice, cheerleading, bike riding, yoga, and more, our students have been completing challenges set by their teachers. This week our theme is the ‘Kurt Fearnley Challenge’. Students are encouraged to go for a bicycle ride, scooter, or skateboard, in the spirit of our local wheelchair marathon rider. In Secondary, students have the additional challenge of completing a marathon on wheels (as a class). By working together, they can make the 42k distance as a team. I look forward to sharing the results in the next bulletin. Students have also been individually completing the 1000 Point Challenge and it has been wonderful to see their engagement with the program in Primary and Secondary. Keep the activity logs and videos/images coming in!

A friendly reminder of the importance of encouraging our students to complete regular physical exercise. The physical benefits are secondary to the positive impact it can have on the mental health of children during this time. The best way to encourage your child? Join them!

 

 

Rob Eddy

College Sport Coordinator & Year 5 Teacher

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Library

Book Week Fun What a lot of fun we had celebrating Book Week online last week! Congratulations to all the students (and parents) for your …

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Library

Book Week Fun

What a lot of fun we had celebrating Book Week online last week! Congratulations to all the students (and parents) for your brilliant costumes. Your enthusiasm and effort made this such a success, so thank you and well done! If you missed the show (or loved it so much you just want to relive it again) you can still catch it by visiting the Live Streams page on CALEB.

Congratulations to our Best Costume prize winners:

Kindergarten – Winner: Evie L, Second: Beaudie H
Year 1 – Winner: Eloise A, Second: Sara J
Year 2 – Winner: Lachlan S, Second: Finn M
Year 3 – Winner: Noah T, Second: Addison K
Year 4 – Winner: April H, Second: Ben S
Year 5 – Winner: Eden B, Second: Harvey W
Year 6 – Winner: Evan J, Second: Gracy B

 

 

And congratulations to our Book Trailer prize winners:

Eiley W (Year 1), Barnaby B (Year 1), Indi S (Year 2), Addison K (Year 3), Sebastian B (Year 3), Aden G (Year 3), Cameron M (Year 4), Evelyn R (Year 5), Gracy B (Year 6).

We will be judging the Best Bookmark competition once we’re all back meeting together face to face.

 

Adrianna Demmocks 

Librarian and Careers Advisor • Library