Primary

Welcome back everyone to Term 4 and I hope you have all had a restful break but at the same time, you were able to get out and about. I hope you all enjoyed our end-of-term 3 online Resilience celebrations. It was a fantastic way to close Term 3 and to reflect on the importance of resilience. We are very impressed with the way our students have handled the disruptions over the last few months and while we will have everyone back at the beginning of week 4, there will be several restrictions in place that will disrupt our regular program. But BTAC students will know how to respond with their usual positive mindset.

Orientation programs for bother kindy and year 7 2022 students will be announced over the coming weeks. Some of the restrictions that will be in place when students return will disrupt our regular orientation activities so we will need to wait and see if some of these restrictions are lifted before we can confirm dates and program schedules. More information will be distributed to relevant families when we can confirm the program.

Unfortunately, the year 3,4,5 band program will not be able to run from week 4 but Mr. Ross will contact families to help them access some videos designed by our wonderful peripatetic team so the students can continue to practice at home. One of many shining lights during lockdown was the continuation of the band program while students learnt at home which will hopefully give the students some momentum into the new year as we continue the program from year 3 to 6 in 2022.

In the classroom teachers are very excited to resume face-to-face teaching but recognise the return is going to be difficult for some students. Rest assured measures will be put in place to ease the students back into the routine of face-to-face learning so they can pick up from where they left their learning and social interactions. Most importantly there will be a big focus on learning in a fun environment. We can wait to see you all back in the classroom.

Kindy

This week in Geography lessons, Kindergarten learnt about the language of maps. They enjoyed the story ‘Rosie’s Walk’ and mapped how to get from their bedroom to the backyard. They also spent some time investigating aerial maps of Sydney before creating a bird’s eye view map of their own bedroom!

During Science lessons, the children were thinking about the way things move. They identified objects that were ‘moving’ vs ‘still’ and then made some scientific observations around their house of things that move by ‘push’ or ‘pull’.

The teachers can’t wait to see Kindergarten students back at school on Monday for some learning fun in our classrooms!!

 

Year 1

The Year ONE-derfuls have had an awesome start to Term 4! Learning about ‘Chance’ was a big hit, with many of the kids creating some funny possibilities using mathematical language. For example, it would be ‘impossible’ to ride a unicorn to school (unless you were Harry Potter), it would also be ‘impossible’ for a triceratops to appear at Mrs. Holli’s door, whereas the possibility of Mr Durie appearing at Mrs Holli’s door is ‘highly likely’, especially if she is in the middle of recording her morning video! Students have loved learning about patterns this week – understanding that there can be repeating patterns and also growing patterns – and enjoyed making their own patterns out of household items. Science and Technology lessons involved looking for computers around the home and we discovered that…….they are everywhere! We are looking forward to learning more about digital technologies in the coming weeks.

Year 2

Students have started the term well, getting back into the home learning routine after a nice break from their screens and school work. This term in writing we are focusing on procedures. We have completed some lessons on their purpose and structure. We are also nearing the end of our grammar, spelling, and comprehension InitiaLit lessons, which is exciting!

This fortnight in Mathematics, we have focused on volume and capacity, using informal units of measurement. This has been a very messy topic, with lots of hands-on experiments and Tupperware cupboards being raided. We predicted the capacity of different containers and found that containers with different shapes can have the same capacity. In Geography we began to look at special places to us and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders as well as their connection to place and country. We then began to look at World Heritage Sites, learning why and how they are selected and why they must be looked after. This fortnight in Science, saw us exploring mixtures around the house and conducting some crazy cooking experiments at home to understand how different substances react to each other and how they can be combined to make mixtures. Lastly, in Health we have begun our topic by looking at healthy eating and the importance of eating a balanced diet. Students created their own healthy plate by looking at the food groups.

Year 3

Welcome to the new term and it is fantastic to have Year 3 back to their routines of learning and to see them back on screen and eager to get cracking with Term 4 work.

This fortnight has seen us start revision of all the mathematics’ concepts covered during the year. The Math Box cards have given the students some form of extension and included broader thinking skills while they answer these multiple-choice questions. The weekly Math has certainly been varied and we welcome questions from the students to clarify their understanding.

The students have been introduced to Edward, an egotistical and self-centred rabbit who is made from china and real fur, who embarks on a miraculous journey meeting many new people and this adventure begins to transform his thinking and soften his heart to eventually love. This text is beautifully written by Kate di Camillo and is one of many books she has authored that have animals as the main character. Students are exploring creative and descriptive writing and it is rewarding to read well-structured and entertaining texts from them about the Turtle’s Journey, The Greedy Rat and Animal Town.

We are studying road and personal safety in Health and the students have watched videos to reinforce the importance of wearing seat belts, getting out of the vehicle kerbside and not distracting the driver.

In Geography, we are learning about Australia’s neighbours- and in particular, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea and realising the importance of having cultural understanding and the acceptance of the differences between them and Australia.

Thank you Parents for continuing to share in your child’s learning and we are excited for their return in the near future.

Year 4

As Year Four excitedly counts down the days until we are all back to face-to-face, we are embracing our last weeks of online learning. Term Four has seen us begin our novel study through an audiobook, investigate global farming through YouTube, recording our daily reading through Microsoft Teams, and seeing our teachers through screens.

Within Year Four over the past couple of months, we have watched over 150 teacher-made videos and submitted thousands of work samples to See Saw. We have found ways to adapt our learning and change how we do things.

And the students have continued to strive for their best. Students have grown in their adaptability, resilience, persistence, and a lot of them in height. And as we come to the end of our online experience we look back at all the incredible things our students have been able to achieve through their independence and tenacity.

Year Four, your teachers could not be prouder of what you have been able to achieve and that you have turned up to each screen lesson with a smile on your face and willingness to engage with whatever the next adventure holds.

 Year 5

Have started the Term off with a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards their learning, after a well-earned break. Last week they participated in the Newcastle Permanent Mathematics Competition and tackled the test with determination and resilience. In Science, we started our new Term topic ‘Living Sustainably’ and had many thought-provoking discussions about what living sustainably means. The students are really looking forward to learning more about what it means to live a sustainable life and the positive impact that has on our environment. This Term in Writing the students are learning about Procedures. In Writing lessons, the last two weeks, they have been learning the need to include detail and lots of description in their procedures and have understood the importance of having their procedures clearly structured, so that their procedures can be easily read and followed. Year 5 have been continuing to work hard from home this term, but are very excited to return to school and see their friends and teachers very soon.

Year 6

Have started the term wonderfully, quickly getting back into the swing of online learning. Within English, we have commenced our Visual Literacy Unit using Anthony Brown’s ‘Gorilla’ picture book. Students have started to explore illustration techniques that impact the overall success of the written story. Some of the techniques we have already started studying include colour associations, viewing angles, demand and offer, perspective and social distance(not the social distance we hear about on a regular basis due to COVID), and the technical language associated with visual literacy. Throughout the term, students will draw upon their learning whilst planning and then creating their own picture book. Within Mathematics, students are still taking part in daily energiser activities which encompass a range of mathematical concepts to get their maths brain switched on. Students then move on to work on their individualised online module work and partake in minilessons with their teachers. This term in Geography we are looking at Australia’s global connections and how Australia connects with the rest of the world. We will be investigating trade, tourism, migration, and aid. To begin with, we have learnt about who Australia trades with, learning about imports and exports. In Health this term, students will be learning about how physical activities help us to connect with our community. This week we investigated different types of water sports.

This term in Science we are looking at Networking which encompasses understanding the role of digital systems in processing and representing data. We learnt about binary codes and we practiced writing our own as well as deciphering them. So far,  it’s been a great initiative that has allowed students to begin to comprehend how everyday devices such as computers and mobile phones process data and turn it into information.

We are counting down the days until we get to see all of our students on-site!

 

Mark Durie
Head of Junior School