Lockdown was the last thing I wanted to be talking about this week but unfortunately, there is little control we have over the current situation. What we can control is the way we deal with it as a school community. I would like to recognise all the parents and carers in our community who are trying their hardest to support the home learning while trying to maintain their own work and other responsibilities. I have been flooded with reports from teachers that the majority of students are coping really well and it’s evident they are getting a great deal of support from their busy Mum’s, Dad’s, and extended family. At the same time, well done to our essential working parents and the role you are playing to support the community.
To keep the Captain Durie award going we came up with a few interesting ways to help the students earn the award but at the same time help around the house. Last week it was house chores and this week it was helping prepare a meal for the family. Thank you to those who shared pictures and videos of the meals. They all looked so yummy and as a result, I have been hungry all week. It’s great to see the students helping around the house especially with meal preparation. You are never too young to start helping in the kitchen.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teachers and learning support staff for their efforts over the last two weeks. They are working around the clock to ensure the learning continues to be fun and engaging for the students. Some have developed new skills as they manage all the different online products used to deliver the content. It has been pleasing to see our wonderful learning support staff continue to run individual and group support for our students. I have received many emails and phone calls from parents thanking our staff for their wonderful efforts. We really do appreciate your support.
There have been a lot of firsts for Kindergarten students over the last week. They have done an amazing job of home learning…watching teacher videos on Seesaw, following Mum or Dad’s instructions, working in their home learning booklets, having movement and story breaks on their own, and getting involved in creative activities every afternoon.
A highlight is our Friday Fun Challenge. Last week we had a beach day where students and teachers dressed up and imagined they were at the beach. Check out the great photos! This Friday is a ‘picnic’ challenge and our first Zoom meetings where the Kindergarten students can catch up with their teacher and classmates and fill them in on their week at home.
Year 1 students have spent the last week learning from home, and have learnt to think outside the box to complete activities. We have studied division by using donuts, Lego, or counters to help; STEM lessons included building forts in our own lounge rooms; we ventured on our own mini Geography excursions by looking at our local environment; we have even conducted our own Science experiments. Luckily, teachers are able to see all of the students’ hard work as they upload their tasks to Seesaw. The teachers’ favourite part of each day is viewing photos that the children send in for the daily challenge that is set. So far, we’ve loved seeing cool hairstyles, crazy socks, fun things to do with your family, and even some cooking fun where students made their own breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Great job ONE-derfuls!
have adjusted to Home Learning well, with many completing high-quality work via Seesaw. Students have had the opportunity to ZOOM with their classmates this week, listening to how others are going home and what has been happening in their lives. We have also got to see lots of pets and siblings in these meetings, which has been great! Year 2 have been powering ahead with their spelling, grammar, and comprehension, listening to lessons delivered via video from their teachers. They are currently learning about conjunctions in grammar and the main idea and summarising incomprehension. In Mathematics, students have been exploring 3D objects, identifying them at home, and discussing their properties and attributes. This week they have looked at chance by assessing the likelihood of situations occurring. In STEM we have been completing fortnightly Minecraft challenges, and this week students were asked to build a house. In Geography, we have been looking at the different states and territories in Australia and completing research tasks to find out more information about them. Finally, in Health, students have been learning about personal hygiene and the importance of washing their hands with soap, which has been a very timely reminder.
Year 3 have embraced home learning and are to be commended on how quickly they have adapted to using Microsoft Teams and SeeSaw. This week saw us dive into Science with Mrs Hunt and her trusty laboratory helpers! We began to explore solids, liquids, and gases and their various properties. During Library, we have been getting creative making bookmarks and sharing trailers all about our favourite books – hopefully, we can inspire others to read them! Band practice is in full swing and it is fantastic to see everyone following along at home…there are sure to be some very noisy houses out there. Keep working hard in Year 3 and we hope to see you at school again soon!
Home Learning for our Science lessons this week in Year Four was an enormous success as many students convinced their parents to let them step away from their screens and help them create monolithic bridges. With the design brief to create a bridge that spanned 30cm out of whatever materials they could find around their home, students blew staff away with incredible designs that we’re able to hold up amazing amounts of weight. Notable mention to Connor Bradbury and Lucas Pittaway who were both able to create a bridge that held their body weight, and Lilliana Zaicos for her bridge that was well over a metre long. Also, a late entry has seen Neve Nahal create a bridge that held her weight too. Well Done everybody.
Year 5 have beautifully immersed themselves into Online Learning with great perseverance and resilience. It has been wonderful to see the dedication and organisational skills applied by all students, and their willingness to have a positive growth mindset. While we are apart, Year 5 is always looking for ways to stay connected. Students have thoroughly enjoyed the daily themed meetings from Fun sock Fridays to Show and tell our pets. In literacy, we delved into the text ‘Mirror’ by Jeanie Baker to analyse the visual literacy techniques used to make comparisons between two different cultures. Students continue to grow their understanding of adaptations in Science, by exploring the structural, behavioural, and physiological adaptations of animals and plants. In Health, Year 5 has applied critically thinking skills to analyse stereotypes and how different relationships and environments can influence our identity and behaviour.
Continue to be online learning superstars accessing their daily meetings, lessons, and resources with ease and allowing them to continue their learning with positivity, resilience, and creativity. We have continued on with our usual programs and we are so proud of all of the students and their ability to upload their work to teams for their teachers to mark and give feedback. We continue to take much joy in meeting online each day and have had many laughs together, especially when someone’s pet delights in walking across the keyboard whilst their owner is in a zoom meeting. On Tuesday, Year 6 hit the McNab kitchen (virtually of course), to bake some delicious cookies (secret family recipe, no sharing Year 6). I am not too sure about how much mixture made it into the oven in the end. I do hope Year 6 students saved some for their families to taste. Thank you parents for your support and encouragement of your child/children in this difficult time. We look forward to the day we are back in the classroom, but for now, please congratulate your children for being absolute champions of online learning.
Head of Junior School