It has been an energetic start to the year, which took a while to settle down with our school participating in two Swimming Carnivals in Quorn and Leigh Creek as well as our own week of swimming lessons for students from the Foundation Year to Year 9. Participation by our students at both carnivals was on a high level and some won the opportunity to travel to Booleroo and represent Quorn and Hawker as a result. The follow day up at Leigh Creek was important for our swimmers as it is probably the last time that Leigh Creek will be able to stage a swimming carnival with their pool likely to be shut down. After a few adventures arriving at the pool for one group our students we had a great day, dealing with the 37 degrees heat quite well and enjoying a variety of pool events. The most notable impression for me was the greater number of students who wanted to participate on the day, a reflection in part on the experience of the swimming lessons the week before.
Our Student Parent Teacher Goal Setting Interviews were held this term on February 15th and 16th. At the interviews we had attendance from 13 families, representing about 60% of our enrolment. While we want this to improve, those that attended got the opportunity speak with their students teachers, review progress so far and set initial goals for they year. These goals will appear on our school reports each term, changing as teachers review progress and new goals with their students.
We have held our first Governing Council meetings for the year, including our AGM and first meeting of the new council where new members were elected. The Governing Council for 2021 consists of:
|Deputy Chairman||Allen McInnis|
|Parent Rep||Terry Morgan|
|Flinders Ranges Council Rep||Greg Flint|
|Parent Rep||Lisa O'Neill|
|Parent Rep||Chris McAuley|
|Business Manager||Julieanne Ashenden|
The Wellbeing and Engagement Survey was conducted in late Term 3 2020 and was completed by 14 students across year levels 4 to 12, covering a reasonably high level of student numbers in this area. Because of our small student numbers the survey mostly presents information on our students as a whole and the data generally compared favourably with the rest of the state. Positively the survey does reveal a positive student culture at Hawker Area School, showing that a high percentage of our students are happy, optimistic and don’t have many worries. We can also see that our students have a high level of belonging to the school and peers, are emotionally engaged with their teachers and have friends. An area for us and other schools to always work on is in the area of how our students relate to each other, with some indication of students falling out with each other and feeling put down or bullied. This is an area the school has put a lot of time into with our students through in class curriculum and visits from Headspace in particular. The data also showed that our students have a positive self concept academically and in general are quite healthy in and out of school, with a few exceptions for students who did not feel they had sporting options. The survey through it’s historical analysis where data was displayed over a period of years showed a positive progression in almost all sets of data, which was really pleasing.
The school also conducted a parent survey through the department for education in late term three and early term four with eight responses being gathered. Data from the survey was presented to the Governing Council and discussed. The survey data also included a comparison to schools around the state and in general these responses were comparable with Hawker. Questions in the survey ranged through a variety of topics, including opinions on respect, communication, standards of work and feedback about work and the nature of interaction between parents, students, teachers and the school. Data gathered indicated a positive view of aspects of the school such as interactions and respect between teachers, students and parents, standards of work and feedback about work. An area to work on was in communication, which is something to take on board and explore different options for getting information out to the community.
The school is once again getting organised for the latest annual participation in the NAPLAN online tests in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy. All tests except for the Year 3 Writing test will be conducted online. Preparation for this involves a detailed and deliberate process each year of testing and installing software and apps on our laptops and iPads, as well as training in how to manage the overall process, through student participation, starting and concluding tests and administering the system for the correct delivery of test data. Letters have already gone out to parents of our Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 students about the tests, how they are run, lengths of tests and parent options including exempting students from test participation. This information also included clarification on how information about students is managed and used in a secure way. Our practice run for the test came on Thursday March 25th when our students participated in the National Coordinated Practice Test. This test was held for a few reasons, firstly giving students an idea of what the test will involve and an introduction to the various tools available in the online version. The test was in the form of an Omnibus Test, covering all areas of NAPLAN. The second reason was to give schools a dry run in managing the test and reviewing any data if needed on how devices operated and whether issues occurred during the practice test.
As always if parents have any questions I can be contacted at the school on 86484003 or by my email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Daren O'Neill
The Junior Primary class are into our 6th week of the Read, Write Inc program. This program introduces the children at varying levels to the sounds of letters, handwriting, sounding out words and saying them and reading, and writing skills.
In Math’s, we have practiced number familiarity with name, number and amount. We explored patterns including number patterns such as skip counting. We are now working on addition methods.
The class has a lesson working in the garden each week and we planted some Sturt desert peas and kangaroo paws in the arid flower garden.
For a week, the class learnt about Vanuatu, their foods, shelter, climate and ideas of how the islanders could better protect themselves from cyclones and rising sea levels. We visited the world prayer day for Vanuatu held at the CWA, which raises funds to help the people solve these problems.
Mrs Penolope McCulloch
Foundation - Yr 2 Teacher
This term in English, students practiced their reading comprehension skills weekly. They have looked at a number of different text types including historical recounts, descriptions and procedures and we have had a particularly good look at persuasive and narrative texts. There have been some fantastic stories to come out of this.
During HASS we learned about Vikings. Students learned how the Vikings lived and where they came from. They also researched some of the countries they invaded. Once they learned about life in the Viking age, students pretended they were a Viking, gave themselves Viking names, and wrote about their travels.
In Science we did lots of research on living and non-living things, and the year fives learned about the adaptations of plants and animals that help them to survive in their environments. They then put together a poster on an animal or plant of their choice.
In Maths students have been using the stepping stones program to work through the curriculum. They have enjoyed working through these books as it gives them a chance to work at their own pace and always have something to go on with. We have also incorporated mathletics and times table practice into these lessons, so they are always very busy!
Miss Hayley Brown
Year 3-5 Teacher
Welcome to the week 9 newsletter, as always it’s been a busy start to the year with plenty of things keeping us all busy.
For the past few weeks we have been focusing on Dystopian Fiction. Dystopian fiction is a genre which involves looking at a society that has been overthrown or oppressed and considering the conventions used in telling these stories. We have been focusing on The Hunger Games which is an excellent example of this type of fiction. In our studies we have compare the book to the movie and considered how dystopian conventions have been used and why.
We are also focusing on persuasive writing this term, looking at what persuasive devices we use to convince people to agree with us, and looking at persuasion in advertising as well.
With SACE we have begun strongly and are well on the way to completing the third assessment task. At the moment we are working on a comparative essay, comparing two movie versions of The Great Gatsby. Already completed are an essay on the literary devices used in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and a media presentation looking at the relevance and use of Shakespeare in modern media.
We have completed our history unit on Ancient India, finishing with a study on religions and celebrations, and a close look at the Caste System. We will finish the term with Civics and Citizenship, and are currently revising students prior knowledge of the three levels of government in Australia, law making and the roles and responsibilities of the House of Representatives and the Senate.
6-9 Home Economics
In our theory lessons we covered kitchen and food safety in the beginning of the term. We are now looking at food labelling, what it all means, and how to tell if a food is healthy or not in relation to the healthy eating pyramid. We have also looked at all the different names for salt, fat and sugar on our food labels to help us make wise decisions.
Our practical lessons have been a lot of fun. So far we have made stuffed potatoes, savoury muffins, fruit scones and smoothies. Next we will introduce some flavours from other countries in readiness for our cultural evening in term 3.
6-9 Health and PE
During health lessons we have been figuring out who we are, and what made us that way with a unit on personal identity. This has included a lot of class discussion, mind maps, and I may just get them to write a poem next…but don’t tell them.
During PE lessons we have learned about scoring tennis and basic ground strokes and game play. The focus currently is sports day preparation, particularly high jump and the throwing events.
F-2 Health and PE
The foundation to year two class have been learning all about friendship, good listening skills, turn taking and sharing in health. Each lesson has been linked to a story book activity and craft which the students have all thoroughly enjoyed.
For PE we have moved onto gross motor skills and big movements with obstacle courses and have also started to practice some team games in readiness for sports day next term.
Mrs Sharon Bates
Year 6-12 Teacher / HPE Coordinator
Term one goes very quickly. All our students have worked most of the time to the best of their abilities.
The Year 6 - 9 are currently working towards completion of the given units of work on Place Value. Place Value refers to the value of a digit as determined by its position in a number, relative to ones placed. Place Value allows students to develop over many years a good number sense and they feel confident working mathematical problems. For example:
This term students worked on the development of an understanding of the relationship between digits in a numeral, which then enables the numeral to be renamed in multiple ways. Year 6 for example studied real numbers and also, they learnt about square numbers and their properties. The great challenge for both Year 6 and 7 is the development of a good sense of negative value digits and how we use negative digits in everyday life for example: (Temperature, Football/golf scoring).
The Year 7 and 8 students extended their knowledge of numbers by using square numbers and starting to write the exponents and learn about bases of the index law.
The Year 8s used this basic knowledge of the exponents to learn the index law and its application in mathematics and everyday life.
Year 9 students used the previously gained knowledge and started to solve more complex mathematical problems including scientific notation.
Mrs Lidia Szelzak
Mathematics Science & Language Teacher
Nine weeks down! It has been a busy time in my corner with lots of time spent preparing intervention programs for the 3-5 and 6-9 classes. These programs began in week 7 with the final groups kicking off in week 9. Lot of testing had to take place before the programs could be set up to target individual needs and give each child the best chance of learning what they have missed in prior learning in a speedy manner.
Read Write Inc testing has been completed for the second time…approximately every 6 weeks, and students have been put into their new coloured groups accordingly. I am so proud of the kids as they attack their learning requirements and don’t shy away from hard work. I am also super proud of the Read Write Inc team that deliver our program. Logistically it needs to be a finely tuned machine and each of our facilitators invests a lot of energy to make sure the machine works. Well done to Esther, Leonie, Lauren, Letisha and Penny who are keeping the soft pressure on to achieve excellent results. I will add in here that student attendance is essential for any organised program to have the desired effect.
My Special Need responsibilities take up the majority of my 4 working days, and I am enjoying the developments I see. Again, the dedication I have witnessed from the above mentioned staff along with Deb, Steph and Lisa are inspiring. This area of education requires a terrific amount of energy and self belief. Staff supporting each other is paramount, and we are very fortunate that our staff have this belief at the core of their understanding.
I am also in charge of pulling together a whole school camp this year. You will soon begin to receive notes home with information about said camp along with requests for information. I will be asking parents to make decisions early as to whether your child/children will be attending once you have the information at hand to inform you.
Happy Easter to All.
Mrs Amanda Hilder
Special Needs and Intervention Teacher
” Never leave a painting mediocre; it's better to take a chance with it.” -- Guy Corriero.
That is both scary and liberating, as the students have been discovering. This term, they studied the works of artists from different cultures and used what they learnt to inform their own artwork. Using watercolour paint, the students have focussed on the art elements of line and colour and the art principle of repetition when creating their artworks. It is exciting watching these young artists at work. They are keen to develop their skills and knowledge and willingly take on advice given to help improve their work. Their work will be on display in the library later this term.
Throughout this term, the F-5 students have been researching about Mars. The purpose of the research is to inform their project work on designing a toy or gadget that a child their age could take to Mars. The students have worked individually and in small groups throughout the research process. They are now at the stage of creating their prototype on the 3D printing program, Maker’s Empire. Once completed, their designs will be printed out and I will have to make the difficult choice of choosing 3 to be sent to Adelaide for the competition.
These drawings show some of the planning the students need to do before they even start creating in Maker’s Empire.