Busy busy busy is the only way to describe this term with all the classes involved in a variety of different activities for science week and in preparation for book week. Our STEM program is in full swing with Mr Youman doing an amazing job across all the years. In particular, our Year 6 students got a real BUZZ with their work on electrical circuits. Students were able to light up the room, not only with their personalities, but with their lighting boards. Although we focus on science every week it is fantastic we have a special science week which provides an opportunity for our budding scientists to explore their special interests.

The Book Week parade took place today and we hope you enjoyed the Live Stream. The Costumes were amazing and most importantly the students had a great time sharing their book adventures. We plan to share the live stream of our assemblies in a similar way so parents can still be a part of this important weekly event. They take place every Monday morning and the Year 6 students do an amazing job organising and presenting the content.

This term we have started a new award called the Captain Durie Award. The award recognises students who have shown exceptional leadership during the week. Teachers put forward nominations and we choose two from each Stage who stand out from the others. They receive a certificate and they get to choose a reward from Captain Durie’s treasure chest. It’s a bit of fun while at the same time encouraging the students to be leaders in everything they do.

Over the last couple of weeks, we have noticed a few students arriving at school before 8 am. Its important students arrive after 8 am as there is no teacher supervision before then. If families require an early drop off the College provides an amazing OOSH service which opens at 6:30 am each school day. Please make contact with our friendly OOSH staff if you require more information.

Now it’s time to find out what has been happening throughout the year groups.

Kindergarten has continued to enjoy reading traditional fairy tales and completing tasks that solve problems or ignite their imaginations. They enjoyed creating their own Troll from the Three Billy Goats Gruff and then writing descriptive sentences about them. When a letter arrived from the Troll asking how they could make more friends, the students demonstrated their ‘You Can Do It’ strategies by explaining very confidently what the smelly Troll must do. Kindergarten explored 2D shapes and manipulated materials confidently to demonstrate simple strategies of multiplication and division. We have also started to investigate different types of materials that we use to make things around us.

Over the past couple of weeks, Year 1 have spent a lot of time focusing on their Global Citizens Project. They have created posters to put up around the College, written letters to parents to ask for their support and some even spoke at the Primary Assembly. It has been wonderful to guide their ideas and support them as best as we can. Please continue to bring in your donations of toiletries and non-perishable food and place in the tubs outside the Art Room each morning.

Year 2 have moved onto finding the main idea in short passages during their English lessons. They have learnt that there are four handy hints to assist them when searching for the main idea of a text. They have also begun to write the introduction to their own version of ‘The Magic Dictionary’ by Bruce Whatley. We are looking forward to seeing what whacky and wonderful adventures their characters go on. In Mathematics, students have conducted chance experiments to find the likelihood of different phenomenons occurring and used chance terminology to compare the likelihood of two events. They then moved onto area, where they used informal units to measure the area of different spaces in the classroom. In Geography, students have been studying the picture book ‘Are We There Yet?’ by Alison Lester, looking at all the different Australian landmarks the family visit on their trip around Australia. They have identified which state or territory each of these places are located and plotted their position on a map. The students also shared some photos of the places they have visited around Australia with their families. In Science, students are beginning to investigate water at home and the community. They are assessing how and where water is used in the home and how some people use water in their jobs and throughout the community. In the last fortnight, we have begun to create our ideas during Deep Learning time. There has been lots of cutting, sewing, gluing and stuffing. Students have also had to use their citizenship, creativity and collaborative skills to complete the tasks in the ‘creating’ phase of the project.

Year 3 took the opportunity of Science week to go on a melting binge. Some people like to eat chocolate and marshmallows but we prefer to melt them and to see what happens from a scientific point of view. Students have also been working hard on their fractions using a range of strategies to explore this area. As you would expect most preferred ½ a chocolate rather than a ¼. Although the Olympics have not happened this year, Students were still able to produce a recount in English from the position of an Olympian.  Their writing skills are amazing, almost as good as their book week costumes.

In STEM this week, Year 4 found an application for their coding knowledge as they entered the world of robotics. Mr Youman led the class as they applied their designing skills to modify a robotic Sphero. Students designed their own vehicles for a Lego character and test drove them for 2 metres, all before entering “The Hall of Dreams or Nightmares” racetrack. Students had to navigate obstacles and each other as they applied their digital skills to practical challenges. Next time, students will begin writing their own robot code and they can’t wait!

Year 5 have had an engaging week. In Science, we have been learning all about camouflage as a behavioural adaptation that some animals use to help them survive in their environment. In Geography we have been continuing to learn about Rainforests. The students have really enjoyed learning about the different types of animals that can be found in a rainforest and have learnt how those animals rely on the natural rainforest environment to survive. For writing, Year 5 have been learning how to write Informational texts and have enjoyed researching information and statistics to include in their Information texts.

This term in Science Year 6 has been learning about energy and electricity. We started the term by investigating energy transformations and building marble roller coasters. The goal was to use gravitational potential energy and kinetic energy to get a marble to go around a loop. We then started to look at how electricity is generated and how to build a circuit. Students were given a series of challenges that involved building different circuits using batteries, wires, lightbulbs and motors. We have also investigated which materials are conductors and insulators and how voltage affects the brightness of lightbulbs.

Mark Durie
Head of Junior School