Well, I have had to alter the content of this week’s addition after the sudden locked down announced by the government yesterday. Firstly, a big thank you to all the parents and students who responded swiftly to the sudden change. The teachers worked efficiently yesterday to prepare home learning packs and update students on how to access online content. Compared to some other schools who actually closed today to prepare for next week, it’s a testament to our community who has responded positively during these difficult times.

As mentioned yesterday, the College will offer face-to-face learning for students who have parents that are essential workers. If parents are working from home, we understand it’s difficult to have your children at home as well, but it’s the government’s advice that this is the best way to minimise the spread of COVID in the community. The daily timetable will be altered significantly while the lockdown is in place with reduced supervision in place.

Book Month started this week, and it was very exciting to see Mr Paul Russell launch yet another one of his fantastic books. He was featured in the local Intouch Magazine and we wish him well with sales. Over the coming month, there will be all sorts of activities happening to encourage our students to increase their reading. One competition, in particular, will definitely generate some rivalry amongst the classes with a prize going to the class whose teacher reads the most books to their students in the month. Each book read will have its cover copied and displayed on the glass windows. I wonder which class it will be? As mentioned in the last Bulletin, August will finish with the traditional Book Week parade which will be streamed online for parents to watch in the comfort of their own homes.

Recently Ms Suzanne Bain and I had the privilege to meet with Dr Jennifer Buckingham who is a world-renowned literacy specialist. We are undertaking a review of our literacy program as we continuously strive to increase the literacy levels of our students. When you compare our NAPLAN results to students of a similar background via the MY SCHOOLS website you will see our students perform well above the average, but we think we can do better. Jennifer offered some insight into some of the latest literacy programs making a difference and she has offered to work with us over the next 12 months to improve our programs. A review of Maths is also on the agenda and more information is to come on our progress.

Stage 1 Netball Team

Last weekend our U/8’s BTAC Netball Team competed in a local gala day! The team is a mixture of girls from both Year 1 and Year 2. The gala day was a great opportunity for the girls to practice their skills and have a lot of fun in the process. They competed against teams in the Newcastle and Charlestown competitions, including Wests, South Kotara, and BNC. They lost games, won games, and tied games, and each received a medal for their efforts. Thanks to super coaches Bree and Sharnee for their time and ongoing commitment. Great job girls!


Kindergarten celebrated being at school for 100 days by dressing up as old people, engaging in some fun activities, and having ice cream. Everyone looked amazing! Across the last couple of weeks in Kindergarten we have been busy learning addition and subtraction skills. We have enjoyed using concrete materials to create number sentences. In Geography lessons, we have been exploring special places and how we can look after these places. We even created some amazing paintings of a place that is special to us. In writing lessons, we looked at descriptive words to discuss and write about fairy-tale characters. The teachers also enjoyed a great performance from the students of ‘Little Red Riding Hood’!

Year 1

Science and Technology in Year 1 this term are full of fun and excitement! Students began the unit by looking at a range of everyday materials and how they can be changed through bending, squashing, stretching, twisting, and heating. The kids have done and will do, a lot of experimenting and predicting as we manipulate and play with different materials. We began by investigating paper and eventually creating paper hats. Have you ever tried to fold a piece of paper in half over and over? How many times were you able to do it? How long do you think you could stretch a lolly snake before it breaks? And do you think it will stay the same length overnight? These are just some of the experiments that our students have been investigating…….

We have also been looking at ‘scrunchable’ items and learning how many of our normal household items can be recycled at Coles or Woolworths stores rather than being thrown out. Do you throw out bread bags, cereal box liners, frozen food bags, and zip lock bags? If you do, you need to check out the Red Cycle website as all of these items and more can be turned into something great rather than going to landfill.

Year 2

have had a busy couple of weeks in the classroom. In Mathematics, we have moved on to look at length. Students have been working in collaborative pairs to measure items in the classroom using informal and formal units. We have continued to work hard in writing groups, analysing the text ‘The Magic Dictionary’ by Bruce Whatley, against our understanding of the narrative structure. We will be using this as the basis of our writing tasks in the weeks to come. In Science and Technology, we were introduced to the concept of machines and explored Rube Goldberg Machines. We then explored forces in water, discovering the reasons why it can be hard to push objects into the water, and why some of them return to the surface independently. In Geography, students have begun to explore significant places in their immediate environment, exploring the features and purposes of buildings in the College environment. In STEM we explored the simple functions of the DASH robots, so we are ready to begin coding them in the coming lessons.

Year 3

Roll up, roll up to the amazing ‘Bungawitta Sand Sculpting Festival’. Our Year 3 students are beautifully immersed in the lives of the many residents that live within our Term 3 novel. We are moving towards the final chapters and there is no doubt a few surprises might just be in store for everyone!

Fractions, fractions everywhere…we are all in halves, thirds, and quarters mode at the moment. There is plenty to learn but we all know that understanding how important pizza is to understanding fractions and equivalent fractions puts a smile on everyone’s face!

This week, during our ‘Deep Learning into how mathematics is found in the workplace’, the Year 3 students made connections with 3 Dimensional Shapes, especially how they can be used and seen within many different types of buildings around the world. Students worked collaboratively in groups of six to make 3D shapes from paper, design, and then create an imaginative village.

In Geography, we have been researching various landmarks of Australia that are Natural or Man-Made. This has been followed up by students taking a closer look into the importance of maps in Geography, where and when they are used, and then locating and drawing animals on a map with grid lines.

Year 4

The Olympics might be raging in Tokyo but Year Four is taking off with their own sports program this term. Focusing on striking and throwing students have engaged in a number of different sports to develop their skills. Beginning with a term with an emphasis on indigenous sports we have now moved on to T-Ball, Soccer, and European Handball. Many students were surprised when handball didn’t have a King or an Ace but all have enjoyed the opportunity to learn something new and develop new skills.

In Mathematics, students have been developing their understanding of Mass, Volume, and Capacity by estimating, measuring, and converting units of measurement. To capture the competitive nature of the Olympics, students competed in a ‘Water Relay’ to try and transfer as much of 1 Litre of water as possible to another container using a sponge. It was great to see Year 4 students working collaboratively, demonstrating their communication skills to encourage and support each other throughout the challenge.

Year 5

On Tuesday last week, Year Five got to participate in a Virtual Water Safety presentation. Last term the students learnt all about Water Safety in Health, so the presentation was a great way to revise what they had learnt about in Health in how to be safe in and around pools, beaches, and open water. In Science and Technology, Year Five have been learning about different ways animals adapt to their environment. This week they researched the different types of structural, behavioural, and physiological adaptations that some animals have in order to survive in their biomes. On Friday last week, during our Deep Learning project, the students thoroughly enjoyed learning about ways some schools around Australia are attempting to make their schools more sustainable. In groups, the students brainstormed and created different initiatives that our school could use to make our school a more sustainable school. Some of the girls in 5AJ were so inspired by our Deep Learning lesson last week that they have decided to start picking up more rubbish around the school in order to keep our school environment clean.

Year 6


Mark Durie
Head of Junior School