Kindy: Connie Confidence has been visiting Kindergarten over the past few weeks to talk about how to be a confident person in the classroom and a confident friend. The students have been practising how to use their big voices and how to let others share their ideas. We have enjoyed completing various activities associated with the fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood” including acting the story out, designing and making a safe way to get to Grandma’s house and pondering on what exactly was in Little red Riding Hood’s basket. We have looked at ways that different places are special to us with our Inquisitive Learning, and especially enjoyed looking at our place in the world with Google Earth. We have also started our Deep Learning project to help raise money for the Samaritans and are looking forward to presenting it in a few weeks’ time.

Year 1 students are back into the swing of things after a much needed and well-deserved break. We are strengthening our mathematical foundations by using a variety of tools, including number lines, to help us solve more complex addition and subtraction problems. We have been learning about Arnhem Land and have loved hearing of the connections that some of our Aboriginal friends have with specific locations around the country. Although Science lessons have been the highlight, discovering how various materials can stretch and change their shape, according to what material they are made from. Who knew a lolly snake could grow so loooooooong?!

Year 2 have enjoyed reading a number of short texts in the last couple of weeks to test out their inferencing skills. They have learnt that to make an inference, they need to look at the clues in the text and use personal knowledge and experiences. In Mathematics students have been using money to ‘buy’ small items using the College canteen list and shopping catalogues. Students have been enjoying Science, as they explore water in the College environment and their experience of rain. Students have conducted some water experiments and walked around the College to find where water is used. In Geography, students are exploring Australia and the different states and territories. They used their research skills to find natural and man-made landmarks in each of the states and territories. Year 2’s deep learning project has given students an insight into the process of inquiry and how they can use their creativity to display global citizenship.

Year 3 have knuckled down to lots of work this fortnight and are happily engrossed in a variety of learning. We are enjoying being together again after our holiday and shared our news in a written recount, which is our writing focus for this term. ‘Bungawitta’ is our new class novel and through our reading we have met a dozen characters who come together as a community to raise money for their town, which is in the throes of a savage drought. Their resilience is incredible when all odds are against them and they show ingenuity to make a plan to survive by holding a unique festival. They invite city dwellers to come to Bungawitta and pay for the experience.

There has been lots of  researching and practising for their speaking task on a place of interest in Australia. On Monday 10 August, students began their presentations and it was most encouraging to see the confidence shown by many of the children. We were entertained and informed on lots of different places from around this beautiful country. Speaking to an audience is a highly valued skill and we look forward to developing this amongst the students. In Geography, we are studying Australia and it’s geographical features by comparing Australia to the other continents in the world and discovering Australia’s special places.

Inquiry skills continue to grow while participating in the Global Deep Learning Project. We come together every Friday and discuss, research and probe questions about the environment, sustainability and pollution. Ideas are flowing and in Week 4, we are collecting waste materials from recess and lunch and weighing them to determine what quantity of waste is collected and which type of waste is mostly collected. Year 3 have been responsible for weighing and graphing the information. It is likely that the outcome of this side project will determine the journey of our inquiry.

Year 4 have taken the opportunity to collaborate this term with our Science focus of invention and ingenuity. Students have spent time exploring scientific minds of the past while embracing the opportunity to design their own creations. So far this term students have improved the design of a simple school chair, challenged their peers in a newspaper tower competition and tried to develop their own unique umbrella designs. Students will continue to learn about the design process as they culminate their planning, creating and evaluating skills in an enormous STEM challenge in the final weeks of Term 3.

Year 5 have been delving into the curious world of animal adaptations. Why are polar bears white? How do sharks live in the ocean? How do lizards keeps cool in the desert? These are some of the questions we have been researching answers too. Whilst studying rainforests, we have looked on with fascination the importance of rainforests on our very survival, and that of millions of plants and animals. Fractions are all around us and we have been working on our understanding of proper, improper and mixed numeral fractions. Learning about the world around us and how we can be a global citizen during our Deep Learning Project, has us working on ways we can help the homeless and conserve our natural environment.

Year 6 over the past fortnight  have continued to delve into their novel study using Tim Winton’s book, ‘Blueback’. The key feature of sustainability is starting to emerge within the novel. Students continue to grow their understanding of sustainability through the analysis of Winton’s amazing use of language features and imagery. This week’s focus in Mathematics has included fractions and using scales on maps, which ties in beautifully with our current Geography unit involving Asia. On Friday we finished off our Maths focus with an exciting and engaging lesson with our teachers and Ms Halpin. The activity pushed students’ creative thinking skills to solve a range of Mathematical challenge questions within a limited time frame. Within Personal Development and Health we learnt how to read the labels on many of the foods we eat, and discovered many hidden ingredients contained within some foods. Our Deep Learning session saw students delving deeper into solving their identified problem. Collaboration and a lot of research was the key to a very successful afternoon.

Japanese: To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima on August 6th, all students in their Japanese classes this week learnt about this significant day. They heard the story of “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” based on a real account of a young girl who survived the atomic bomb, but later contracted leukemia due to the radiation. They now understand how the paper crane is a symbol of hope and peace. Each student has been challenged to make paper cranes to contribute to the College’s combined 1000 cranes, to be displayed as a symbol of peace and hope for each member of the College community.

Tournament of Minds 2020:
This term, a range of student’s across Years 4, 5 and 6 have joined together to form Bishop Tyrrell’s 2020 Tournament of Minds Teams. This year we have four teams, all of which have shown amazing commitment, training three times a week – during lunch times and after school! Tournament of Minds (TOM) offers teams of students the opportunity to solve authentic, open-ended challenges that foster creative, divergent thinking whilst developing collaborative enterprise, excellence and teamwork. Challenges are set in the following disciplines: The Arts, Language Literature, Social Sciences and STEM. This year, the challenge has been modified, and teams will submit their solutions to a panel of judges via a pre-recorded video in September. The challenge this year is “People often come across unusual things in unusual places. Something extraordinary has been found . . . in an unexpected place by an out of the ordinary group. People are asking many questions, there are so many questions but so few answers. Your team embarks on a journey to find the answers.” We wish all four teams all the very best, as they embark on this exciting and challenging time ahead. Good Luck TOM teams!

Mark Durie
Head of Junior School