This week I was fortunate to attend our first ‘Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College Alumni Night’ where former students were invited to an evening of fun and entertainment. Being in my third year at the College, it was great to hear the stories from the former students and explain in great detail why their time at Bishop Tyrrell was so special. I asked them what their fondest memories of their time at Bishop Tyrrell were, and every one of them said it was the relationship they had with their teachers. I heard stories of how teachers went above and beyond to get to know each of them, which helped them immensely in their final years of study. It is something we continue to foster across the College, and it was timely we rebranded our behaviour support process, Connect Before Correct, last year. It takes the position that teachers need to ‘connect’ with their students, by finding out who they are and how they learn as a student, before we can attempt to bring about change with their learning and personal development. Due to the personal focus of the process, teachers need to continually adjust their interaction techniques as students move along their learning and personal development journey. The changing nature of each student, as they move through the years, can present some challenges. But through regular communication with the student and their family our goal is to always have that strong relationship so that when your child returns to their Alumni evening, they too will talk fondly of our teachers like the stories I heard this week.
The end of semester student report is one way we connect with families to describe how their child is travelling with their learning and wellbeing. Parents will notice some minor changes with the upcoming report, which is due at the end of this term. Previously, we had a section titled ‘Commitment to Learning’, where the student would receive feedback towards their organisation and commitment during lessons and the degree of positive learner attributes they exhibit. We identified similarities with these areas and the dimensions described in the ‘Deep Learning Framework’ and have made the decision to rebrand the ‘Commitment to Learning’ grades to align with the ‘Deep Learning Framework’. Previously, we provided the CTL grade under each subject, but in the new format, we will provide a rating system to be generalised across all subjects. This is to reflect the changing nature of how the curriculum is delivered and integrated through our Deep Learning process, where students are exposed to multiple subjects during a lesson. A more detailed description of the report will be made available when the reports are released at the end of the term.
da Vinci Decathlon State Competition
On Thursday 6th May, 16 our Year 5 and 6 da Vinci teams competed in the state da Vinci competition. The competition was held online, with students competing against an enormous amount of other schools from all over NSW. Students demonstrated incredible determination and persistence as they worked through the very challenging 10 disciplines. We congratulate the following students for an amazing effort in the 2021 Year 5 and 6 da Vinci Teams.
Year 5: Emile F, Asha H, Yuvi S, Tahj S, Yathin K, Evelyn R, Mason F, Mason K.
Year 6: Cooper D, Mali D, Evan J, Kosta T, Madison F, Joshua P, Eve O, Josie C.
This week in Maths, Kindergarten have been investigating multiplication! Yes, very clever. We have been thinking about fair shares and equal groups. We enjoyed playing musical groups, sharing stories and pretending to have a dinner party to share cookies equally amongst our friends. In History, the students have been thinking about how they, their family and friends commemorate past events that are important to them. They shared experiences of family, school and community events that are celebrated, and focused on the traditions they have for their birthday!
These past few weeks have seen Year One busy experimenting with light and dark throughout our Science and Technology unit. The students have explored the light and dark spaces within our classrooms and created posters on the iPads. They have observed the changes to their shadows throughout the day as the sun moves position in the sky. Students created mini foil sculptures and used torches to create long and short shadows. Year One have continued to discuss different celebrations from around the world in our History unit, focusing closely on how we celebrate our birthdays and realised that every family celebrates differently.
Students have been working on the Mathematical concept of position, using positional language to describe the location of objects in the classroom and on birds-eye view maps. They even used their coding skills to demonstrate their knowledge of position in their dream bedroom. They have also moved to look at representing two- and three-digit numbers using blocks, models and words. In STEM students have been using their Scratch Jr coding skills to create their own ‘Crossing Roads’ games. They have retained a lot of knowledge from our Term 1 Science unit on technology, which has assisted them in creating a number of different levels of varying difficulty. We hope all the parents have had a chance to play their games! We have begun to look at communication in History, comparing the communication methods we have now to those that were used in the past. We have explored techniques such as smoke signals and morse code thus far. In Science students have continued to explore water, completing a number of experiments in the school environment to solidify their understanding of water ‘soaking in’ and ‘running off’ after hitting the ground. They have also brainstormed some ideas as to how we might be able to retrieve water from underground. Hopefully, they will be able to transfer this knowledge when beginning our Deep Learning project in Week 5. With additional practice of our athletics skills this week during sport, we are ready for the Athletics Carnival next week!
Year 3 have been marvellously calm and settled as we undertook the NAPLAN assessments this week. This is hopefully since they felt prepared, and encouraged, that they knew the format that was coming. From our teaching perspective, the papers seemed fair and incorporated most of what we have covered during class learning. Please remember that these assessments are one test on one day!
Science has seen us study the facts about the Sun and how important it is as the centre of our Solar System. We have looked at de Bono’s yellow, black, and red hats describing the good and bad things about the Sun and how sunlight makes us feel. The Sun, Earth and Moon and their relationship in size and distance from each other will be our focus in the coming weeks as we explain day and night.
Healthy eating and nutritious food has evoked a lot of discussion during class about meals eaten at home and how we can create a balanced diet to maintain optimum health. Adding to that is drinking enough water, having plenty of sleep and limiting time on technology. Perhaps, during the next few weeks, students can be given the opportunity to plan and pack their meals for school.
Morning reading has taken off with great enthusiasm and the teachers and Mrs Owens so enjoy meeting students from 8.00 am on a Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in Mrs Hunt’s room and listening to their oral reading. Improvement is noticeable and we would welcome all students who wish to attend.
In sport, we have finished off the cricket skill sessions and are practising athletic skills in preparation for trials and participation in the Athletics Carnival. Good luck to all those trialling and let us hope the rainy weather holds off and parents and students can enjoy the outdoor competition next Thursday 20th May. Here we are in the image doing Just Dance when the wet weather arrived.
We are half-way through the term and moving ahead at full steam!
As our unit on Geology progresses, students in Year Four have already learned about the different types of rock and explored how sedimentary deposit from these rocks are a vital part of the rock cycle. Students have collected soil samples and compared how different soils act in different ways. This week, as we explored weathering and erosion, students were able to see how the process has shaped the entire world and even how it has impacted our College. Students conducted experiments, explored the environment around and viewed exceptional digital examples from around the world.
On Monday last week, Year Five got to participate in a Space Dome Starr’s Planetarium Incursion experience. They travelled through the universe with an awe-inspiring 4K Earth and Space science experience and were immersed in a stunning 360° movie within a blown-up space dome. The incursion aligned with the NSW Science syllabus and because Year Five learnt about our Solar System in Science & Technology last term the Incursion was organised to build on the students’ knowledge of Space and our Solar System by allowing them to visualise space in a unique way. This week Year Five completed their NAPLAN tests. They displayed great resilience, perseverance and determination. On Tuesday, they completed their Language Conventions and Writing test, on Wednesday they completed their Reading test and on Thursday they completed their Numeracy test. In Sport, Year Five have been participating in a variety of athletic events, in preparation for the Athletics carnival next Thursday.
Year 6 have had a wonderful week delving into Maths and English lessons with persistence and accuracy. The mastery of many mathematical concepts is evident in student responses when we dive deep into our open ended rich tasks and energizer lessons. In English, students have been studying the language devices and features used to construct successful biographies. Students have been given the task of interviewing a relative or friend in preparation for writing an assessment piece next week. Today, some of the Year 6 students were lucky enough to practise their interview techniques on Mr Durie, and learnt all about his life.
This week in Science, students held their Forces Game Day. Students worked throughout Term 1 to create games that used a range of different forces, including magnetic force, buoyancy and push and pull. We invited Year 5 to come and play, with students donating a silver coin to games they enjoyed playing. Each class donated the money raised to a charity, including JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and the RSPCA. Students used their Deep Learning skills, communicating, collaborating, character and creativity, to present their engaging games to a wide audience.
In History, students have been learning about migration patterns and programs in Australia post-WWII, including assisted passage programs, such as the 10 pound POM, and the rise and fall of the White Australia Policy. We investigated immigration patterns post-Vietnam War, and learnt about asylum seekers, refugees and the journeys they have faced.
We have also been studying the novel ‘Little Brother’ written by award winning author Allan Baillie. The story centres around a family’s struggle for survival under very hard circumstances and series of events that challenge the human spirit in their quest to find peace and create a better life.
It is a great book for our students to read as it gives us a chance to discuss our past and present. It also allows us to study and learn about Australian culture, migration and its captivating stories of survival and the pursuit for peace and prosperity.
The Nappy Collective
This year the College is proud to support the Nappy Collective, an initiative that provides clean, unused nappies to families in the Hunter region who are experiencing Nappy Stress.
What is nappy stress?
Nappy stress is the experience of families not having enough nappies to change their children as often as they need to. A family experiencing nappy stress is likely to cut back on other essentials like food in order to access nappies.
How many children and families are affected by nappy stress?
Based on our research, we estimate around 280,000 children in 150,000 families experience nappy stress in Australia. These children require approximately 430 million nappies per year.
To find out more visit the Nappy Collective website.
If you would like to help support this wonderful cause, please send in your donated nappies. There will be a collection box located outside the Primary art room near the front gate. Lets see if we can fill Mr Durie’s office with nappies!
Head of Junior School