Welcome to our end of Term 3 newsletter, where you will find summaries of the teaching programs for all our learning areas. I hope you enjoy catching up on what our students have been up to. It has been a challenging term where we have had a run with COVID for the first time in larger numbers, with staff members out every week as well as students. This has caused some disruption with the cancellation of our Pupil Free Day and Open Night. In addition to this the creation of the public holiday for the memorial service for the Queen also led to the cancellation of our Yura Muda camp. This unfortunately will not go ahead now this year as conditions up north in Term Four would not be suitable for running this event.
We have had a busy term for school sports events. Earlier this term our SAPSASA footballers and netballers travelled to Port Augusta to compete against schools in the Port Augusta area. On August 19th we made our annual excursion to Quorn to compete in their Sports Day. Good weather greeted us for a change and our students competed well in their age groups and got the chance to catch up with Quorn students that they competed against last year. There were many highlights for our students, including our involvement in the running events, but for me the moment I remember was the boys U/12 high jump event, where our students competed to get some personal bests. Lachlan Hilder and Jimmy Morgan competed well, and Vai Uran went on to win the age group, finishing off with an attempt at the Quorn Area School record height for the age group, just missing out in his attempts.
This was followed by the Hawker Area School Sports day on September 2nd, held once again in great weather on the day. Many thanks go to our Parents and Friends for their efforts in running the barbecue on the day, the steak sandwiches and sausages went down well! Marree Aboriginal School and the School of the Air students also visited to compete and did well on the day. The day started with our running events including the 50m and 100m for each age group, but the 400m really tested all competitors and it was good to see that on from last year some of the competitors had reflected well on the art of pacing themselves. I was at the javelin event, and similarly as events went on our athletes worked on the art of the throw to get some good results. After the field events the day finished off with the relays which were well competed, no real disasters on the baton exchanges! The end of the day tug of war was also a highlight with some older house veterans joining in to increase the power and strain on the rope! A big thankyou to Kim Adele for all her efforts in organising the Sports Day, this was the first time she had organised such an event. Thankyou also to Cameron Redden, Travis McDonald and the rest of the grounds staff for setting up the track, it is a complicated exercise on an oval such as ours where 400m just won’t fit. At the end of the day we were able to announce Arkaba as the winners, but some technical hitches did not allow us to go further than this. Final announcements and medal winners will be recognised and awarded on the last day of term.
Golf is one of my great personal interests and is a great game for our younger students to participate in so it was very pleasing to see William DuBois and Angus McInnis qualify to compete in Adelaide recently. Both boys went to the golf day in Port Augusta earlier this term and were successful in qualifying to go to the Adelaide event at the Adelaide Shores golf course. The boys reported back that conditions were challenging on the Par 3 – 4 layout, with some different factors than what we have to consider in Hawker……grass and wet conditions? Both players put in some good scores, Will scored 100 and 99 off the stick, with Angus scoring 102 and 106, no doubt improving their games with the experience they got on a quality layout.
Last week our schools travelled north to Nilpena Ediacara National Park at the invitation from park staff. I would especially like to thank Arthur Coulthard, one of our parents and Senior Ranger with National Parks and Tina Brew, the Senior Policy Officer for Flinders Ranges World Heritage, National Parks and Protected Area Program for organising such a challenging day. This excursion was in the planning since last term when it was first mooted and with the special significance of the location it was very important to get all resources organised for the one day so the excursion could go ahead.
Students on arrival at Nilpena were divided into their groups for the day and found out about the incredibly unique and special nature of the location, which is in the process of being hopefully declared a World Heritage site – a location with evidence of the first life on planet earth, fossils over 500 million years old. The opportunity to see the developing tourist location with it’s state of the art digital representations of life as it looked way back, was significant for our students, Hawker and Leigh Creek, who travelled there at the end of last term are the only students to witness the location at this stage. Our relief teacher, Kevin O’Reilly, who was here last week has written an article which is included in this newsletter, describing the unique experience that our students experienced.
The SRC has had a busy term as well. On August 11th our student leaders held the Pyjama day and recently staged the Colour Run, event on September 9th, however freezing conditions on the day caused the cancellation of the run, but students still got to enjoy the hotdogs and jelly frogs!, At this stage the plan is for this to be held on the last day of term after lunch and before dismissal, hopefully the weather will warm up by then!
Hawker Area School NAPLAN results and parent reports have arrived back at the school for distribution home, this should happen soon. It was an interesting year for NAPLAN as over half of the students doing the test were doing it for the first time, after the tests were cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic. Students have also been completing their PAT R and M tests at the end of this term, these tests are largely a diagnostic exercise, not a benchmarking one. The results of these and the NAPLAN data from earlier this year will contribute to our planning for 2023.
I hope you enjoy the newsletter and photos that accompany it. As always if parents have any questions they can make contact with the school through the front office or by my email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Daren O'Neill
At the end of the day on Tuesday the principal said to me in passing, “Tomorrow you’ll join us on the school excursion.” Sounded promising, but I had no idea where we were going or what we would see.
Next morning it was raining, not enough to dampen spirits or cancel the outing (for good reason – it wasn’t raining wherever it was we were going.) There was even a bit of excitement in the air as teachers and support staff arrived in the staff room. I was to drive the school car with a colleague and two of the senior students seated in the back. After an hour and a half we stopped at a newly constructed gate, complete with security codes, on a flat salt-bushed plain: an ex sheep station by appearances, but now the main entrance to the newly created Nilpena Ediacara National Park. I remember thinking windswept saltbush with the occasional hillock and tree hardly lends itself to a national park of international renown, as I remembered reading somewhere that the park is under UNESCO consideration for World Heritage status.
There were some eagles and colourful finches but, as I was soon to discover, it contains something even more fascinating: Fossils!
We pulled up at the old woolshed and were met by Mary and her team of staff and students from a California university. What we were soon to witness blew my mind: The best evidence of how life on this planet first evolved, found anywhere in the world.
In cooperation with National Parks they have constructed a huge fossilised jigsaw puzzle of bedrock lit by overhead coloured lights. The children stand around its outer edge in the dark and listen to the accompanying narrative of how IT ALL BEGAN. Little wormlike animals, tentacles, and shivering beetle-like shapes emerge from the gloom. The voices and imagery take us on a journey of how it all started: Living things, squirming things, wriggling things, and reproducing things.
It was not just a lesson in the Earth’s evolution, but there were cultural matters, and spiritual matters, that needed to be explained and settled. There were my colleague’s mum and brother, elders and local Adnamatna custodians, who were available to tell us how life: its beginning and continuance, was interpreted and understood in the laws of country and the laws of the Adnamatna way.
For a brief moment, the children tapped into a spell-binding window into life, five hundred million years ago. How’s that for an unexpected excursion.
Kevin O'Reilly (Relief teacher HAS)
Another jam-packed term, with wonderful book week events, 2 sports days, sc pajama day, an excursion to Nilpena to explore and learn about ancient fossils, and Taekwondo lessons.
During the term, the class has been considering “where does the comma go,” a little pause in the sentence. They have also started buddy reading, where an older student reads to a younger student at their level, then the younger student reads it back to them. We have started writing information reports on an animal that lives in a burrow.
In Maths we have been using arrays to understand the links between multiplying and division.
4 x 3 = 12
12 ÷ 4 = 3
The students trialed an orienteering course designed and supervised by the secondary students. The garden has been replenished with some good soil thanks to Ms Barrett’s class, so we are ready to do some planting.
Ms Penolope McCulloch
Foundation - Yr 2 Teacher
Term three has been super busy and has rushed by rather quickly. We have had SAPSASA, sports day, a whole school trip to Nilpena and our colour run.
We have also been busy in class as well.
This term in Maths, the 3/4s have looked at fractions, angles and symmetry.
In English, the 3/4s have been looking at fact vs fiction and written an information report on a country and a book review.
Science has seen the 3/4s looking at living things and how living things rely on each other to survive. The Year 5/6s have looked at adaptation and how different conditions affect how living things survive.
In Health, the whole class has been looking at recognising and reporting abuse and neglect, as per the Child Protection Curriculum.
HASS has been focusing on celebrations and commemorations and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life before colonisation.
We have finally got the soil for our kitchen garden and will be working on getting that in place and new plants that can be used in the kitchen planted in the near future.
In Home Economics, the students have been planning and cooking three course meals. So far, these have been very successful with all students participating with delicious results.
Miss Victoria Barratt
Year 3-6 Teacher
We’ve almost made it through another busy term where students have worked hard and continue to develop their skills.
English SACE Stage 1
Our three SACE English students are progressing well as we near the completion of Stage 1. They are all at different stages, but all are on track to have completed at least one semester of Essential English. For SACE they need to complete two assessment tasks that involve analyzing a text, and two tasks that are creative.
Currently the secondary class are completing a novel study. There are three different texts being read depending on year level and all students are progressing well. They are almost finished reading and are answering comprehension questions as they go. Next term they will be completing a literary or a comparison essay depending on their year level and the text they have read.
The Year 5/6 class have been focusing on comprehension this term which has seen some pleasing results. The class has just finished writing a memoir text where they had to think about a moment in their past and write about it in detail. Some excellent work was produced. We have just viewed the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid and will complete some assessment tasks around that in the coming weeks.
We have completed our study on Medieval Europe in HASS which the students thoroughly enjoyed. Currently the students are completing a project-based learning assessment on a myth, legend or folklore of their choice. There have been some great ideas coming out of this and I’m looking forward to reading them next week.
The Year 5/6 class have finished up the term with a unit of work on the Gold Rush. We will be looking closely at the Eureka Stockade and how it helped shape our government and democracy.
We started the term with acrylic painting on canvas, and are now focusing on line and shading. Students have been enjoying creating art incorporating optical illusion and shading techniques. The students have been taking great care with their work with some great results.
Mrs Sharon Bates
Year 7-12 Teacher / HPE Coordinator
Our youngest students are developing the skill to recognise and manage their emotions. At the start of each lesson, they use the chart to identify their emotions.
They also practiced strategies they can use when they feel uncomfortable, unsafe or need help with a task, problem or situation. They wrote down and drew their trusted adults on paper.
Years 5-6 Maths
Our 5-6 students are learning about probability in Term 3. They combined the knowledge of fractions, decimals and percentages to deduce the probability. They are getting more fluent to converting ratios. They also learnt to use long division to convert fractions to decimals and vice versa. Our 5-6 students have made a great progress this term.
Years 7-10 Maths
Students learnt about algebra and measurement. In algebra, they learnt about linear relationships between variables. Our 9-10 students had also learnt about finding the gradient and midpoint between two different coordinates in a Cartesian Plane. In measurement, they learnt about Trigonometry this term. They used both Pythagorean Theorem and sine, cosine and tangent to find the missing sides and angles in triangles.
Years 7-10 Science
Our secondary school students have been learning about Earth Science. To promote the reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australia, we learnt about the invaluable Ediacaran fossils in Nilpena. Students learnt about fossil formations and learnt to identify different types of fossils. We then went to Nilpena Ediacara National Park to see how life evolved since the Ediacaran Period. This excursion included many interactive activities to allow students see the ancient ecosystem in Flinders Ranges which is 600 million years old. Apart from knowing the significance of fossils in science, they also learnt about the geological heritage of the aboriginal culture.
After the excursion, students have a taste of becoming a paleontologist by creating fossils and digging them up.
Miss Sharon Lam
Mathematics / Science / P.E. Teacher
DeadlyScience is an organisation that was started by Corey Tutt when he discovered that remote schools were often critically under-resourced. The people who are part of the company know, from personal experience, that books and resources change lives. DeadlyScicene wants to ensure all schools have access to our history of science by providing resources that connect schools to the First Scientists of Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. For further information, visit their website:
We have several books produced by this organisation in our library. You may like to borrow them over the school holidays and check them out with the children in your life.
Deadly Science: The Solar System
From planets made of gas, to stars made of fire, our vast Solar System is filled with mysteries still to be explored and solved. Did you know that the world’s first astronomers were Indigenous Australians over 35,000 years ago? These Australians were the first humans to closely observe and note the movement of the planets and stars in space, So, buckle up and get ready to navigate the nebulas and comets with us as we explore space and begin to unravel the intricacies of our little corner of the Milky Way.
Deadly Science: Wild Weather
Extreme weather events, from bushfires to flood, and sudden geological changes, from earthquakes to tsunamis, have an enormous impact on our planet. In this book, you can read about different examples of extreme weather, especially examples from around Australia, and learn how these events affect living and non-living aspects of the environment. You will also find out how Indigenous Australians have recorded and documented geological events, and how science is giving us better understanding of weather patterns and events, and new tools for managing natural disasters.
We are very excited and grateful to have recently received from DeadlyScience a large box that contained kits of various Lego designs. These will be added to our developing LEGO Makerspace collection that the students have been enjoying using during lunchtimes in the library.
As the library is open during the holidays (except weekends, public holidays, and Fridays), you may like to come in with your children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews or just because you like working with Lego and spend some time building in our Lego Makerspace.
Some of the Lego kits donated by DeadlyScience
HASS – Humanities and Social Sciences F-2
How important our community helpers are, those who work behind the scenes to keep things running smoothly in our community. The F-2 students drew themselves as a community helper or how community helpers help us, as seen in the pictures included.
The students have now commenced their research about the different habitats around the world and some of the animals that live in those habitats. Following this, they will work out how they would travel around the world and communicate with family and friends if they were doing their Grand Tour in the early part of the 20th century. As part of our research, we heard from a guest speaker. Mrs Sharples travelled from France to Australia around 35 years ago. She shared with the students some of the experiences as she travelled by car, train, boats, and planes through countries like Poland, Germany, Afghanistan, India, Thailand, and Japan before arriving in Sydney. Communication with family and friends was done through letters and postcards via the Post Office. Thank you Mrs Sharples.
It was exciting for me to see some of you have taken the plunge and joined our Blog. The students enjoy sharing information about what they have been learning. You are welcome to post a comment in response to their work if you would like. If you would like to join the Blog but can’t find the information you need to do this, please contact me and I will pass the information on to you.
Digital Technologies F-2
With the exploration of Mars continuing through the work of NASA, it is an interesting question to ask-What would it be like to live on the red planet? The last half of Term 3 has seen the F-2 students working in Maker’s Empire, a 3D printing program, designing an object or toy that a child their age could take to Mars. The Space to Dream design thinking challenge is “a great way for young people to start thinking about the opportunities and challenges space brings, which is important, as we depend on space technologies every day”. (Dr. David Haley)
Mrs Ailsa Green Teacher Librarian and Ms Rosie Luckraft CLA
In the AKURRA room we have been continuing our work with we are “Going on a bear hunt” with our cute bears ready for our hunt. We have been working with multi-media tools to look at our curriculum subjects with letters and numbers in clay, sand, paint, water, paper and the whiteboard.
We have also been exploring textures and making hand prints out of different textures.
We have been working with musical instruments and exploring dance, movement, beats and sounds.
Having fun exploring different sounds, tones and patterns. We have been using the instrument cross-curricular with counting and reading notes.
From Amanda Hilder’s F-2 Science class
As term 3 draws to a close so does our F-2 little study unit on Electricity. This term we have been looking at electricity, brainstorming what we know, what we wonder about and anything we particularly want to learn. We looked at where we find electricity in the school yard and at home. We looked at different ways we as humans can make electricity, at a basic level, and what the facilities and infrastructure look like out in the world.
The students got to ‘play’ with the wires, batteries and globes for a while so I could assess what they already knew. We then used paper and pictures to build a simple circuit. Once the students had independent success on building the simple circuit with actual equipment I gave them their big task…to build a toy lighthouse out of scrap materials incorporating the simple circuit they already knew how to make. Each and every child in the F-2 was so excited and enthusiastic which is exactly what I was planning for. Over these final weeks of term we have been recording out finished lighthouses and completing an assessment. I hope you enjoy viewing some of the lighthouse here.
Mrs Amanda Hilder
SWAN / Science / Yura Muda Teacher
On the western margins of the Flinders Ranges lies Nilpena, the single most important site on the planet for the Ediacaran rise of early animal life. In Nilpena’s unassuming hills, an ancient seafloor containing strange early lifeforms some half a billion years old have been exquisitely preserved in the fine sandstone grain.
Nilpena is now recognised as the richest and most diverse Ediacaran fossil site on Earth, and has revolutionised our understanding of this remarkable time in Earth’s history. Nilpena has a diversity of over 40 species recorded in the sediments of its ancient seafloors, and palaeontologists are revealing fascinating evidence about how these strange and cryptic early creatures lived, reproduced, and even hunted.
Ediacaran fossils were famously discovered in the Ediacara Hills by South Australian geologist Reg Sprigg 75 years ago. This discovery was the first time the fossilised remains of an entire community of soft-bodied creatures had been found in such abundance anywhere in the world. The discovery was so significant that fossils were named after him and the Ediacaran geological period was named after the location where the fossils were found.
Almost 40 years later in the 1980’s, Ross Fargher leaseholder of Nilpena Pastoral Station, found Ediacaran fossils on his recently-acquired property when a family friend noticed ripple rocks of the ancient sea floor used as the flooring of Nipena’s woolshed. Here, south of Reg Sprigg’s original discovery site, a rich array of early lifeforms have now been identified, representing the dramatic initial radiation of animal life on Earth and the peak of the diversity of these unusual lifeforms that existed on Earth 560 – 542 million years ago. This location was placed on Australia’s National Heritage List in 2007 for its quality of intact fossil specimens.
One of Nilpena’s most superbly preserved beds, known as Alice’s Restaurant Bed, was unearthed in 2016 by leading palaeontologist Dr Mary Droser and her team. The bed contains many rare species, with evidence depicting the seafloor was once a habitat and complex environment, where there was activity of mobility, feeding and reproduction. It also contains several newly described taxa, including one named after Sir David Attenborough (Attenborities janeae) who visited Nilpena to film part of the BBC Documentary ‘First Life’.
Today, nearly 40 fossiliferous beds have been revealed at Nilpena, representing multiple environments and revealing tens of thousands of extremely well-preserved and diverse Ediacaran fossils. As an active research site, regular field seasons by both the University of California, Riverside and the South Australian Museum continue to expand our knowledge of this incredibly significant period in Earth’s history.