Principal’s Newsletter article
Welcome to the final term of the school year, one which seems to be running out fast! After a busy term filled with absences of staff and students created by illness, we are looking forward to a healthy finish to the school year. Our teaching staff have included their reports on their intended programs for the newsletter, enjoy the reading as we plan for the rest of the year.
End of Term Three
The last week of term three was a busy one as we had two special days, our Sporting Colours Day and the Colour Run, a fundraiser for ‘Plant a Difference’. Both days were well attended and in particular the Colour Run after the delay during the term was a big success. Many thanks to all those who volunteered and also participated in the day, which thankfully was held in perfect conditions. To wrap up the day and term we finished off with our presentation assembly where students were recognised for their participation and achievements in our Sports Day, their attendance at school as well as their demonstration of the school values.
In Week 2 of this term we had two camps, encompassing all our year levels. Our Foundation to Year 4 students camped at Rawnsley Park, travelling from there to Dingly Dell and Wilpena Pound with Penny McCulloch, Victoria Barratt, Karmela Coulthard, Lisa O’Neill, Leonie McKenzie, Lauren Johnson, Pauline McKenzie and myself. Our Year 5 – 11 students travelled to Tumby Bay for a variety of curricular and wellbeing activities under the supervision of Sharon Bates, Amanda Hilder, Cameron Redden and Esther Eager.
The school recently had approved the fencing for our oval, primarily due to our issue with kangaroos becoming trapped and dying on our fence. We have now been informed that the fencing will also encompass the perimeter around the rest of the school site, including the Kindy, a great result for us with our efforts to make the site secure. The oval will be fenced with ‘Corromesh’, a 2100mm high boundary, surely big enough to keep out the roos! The rest of the school will be bounded by ‘Black Flat Top’ fencing, which is 1500mm in height. A part of this project will also encompass a reduction in public access points around the school, which is a common element in this process to produce practical and safe access to pedestrians and vehicles. A date for the project is still to be set.
In more construction news our application for internal fencing to create a safe area for play for our younger students has also been approved with the provision of Disability Access funding. This will incorporate fencing around our bus bay, also providing boundaries between buildings along the edge of the school oval. Once again the fences here will be 1500mm in height. As part of this project the school will also benefit with the construction of a toilet block in our admin building for our disabled students.
Education Management System
The school this term will be joining a long list of schools around the state who have already experienced the EMS rollout. EMS stands for Education Management System, and will replace our current EDSAS administration system with a system that will be online, enabling staff to do many tasks from environments other than school, much the same as other systems such as Daymap. This will especially result in the saving of staff time with digital alternatives to labour-intensive, paper-based processes such as reporting, timetabling, setting curriculum, communicating with parents etc. The organisation and communication of school events such as camps, excursions, presentation nights, fundraiser days etc will all be online. The EMS will also include a centralised, single student record that will exist throughout each student’s public education, automatically transferring all relevant student data, when students move between schools. A parent portal will be a part of the EMS which will enable parents to report their child’s attendance and absences, check their child’s timetables and attendance in real-time, view invoices and school fee information and make payments online and view reports and learning for their child. This is certainly a large project, where staff are at the moment preparing the transfer of data from EDSAS to the new system. In addition to this school staff are attending training in the various aspects of the EMS. The system is scheduled to ‘Go Live’ on November 11th, and as various modules of the new system are designed and finalised they will be made available to staff, students and parents.
Key Dates this term:
Finally the school has had approved the provision of two pupil free days coming up this term:
- Monday November 14th - a whole school planning day to prepare for 2023. This would include items such as the analysis of student data, preparing for the EMS, planning in programming for next year.
- Tuesday November 15th - Australian curriculum professional learning day provided by, the curriculum lead for our partnership. Each year the package of Australian curriculum resource is updated by the department and this year there has been an expansion of resources two new year levels and learning areas so will be useful to give teachers some time to look at this.
Other key dates:
- Our Presentation Night on Tuesday December 13th
- International Day for People with a Disability on Monday November 28th
- Final day of term Thursday December 15th.
Enjoy the term, I look forward to catching up with members of our school community in the lead up to the end of the school year.
Mr Daren O'Neill
This term our class were excited to welcome Rhys, Fin, Eden and Archie from kindergarten for their transition period to school. They all settled in comfortably with old friends from kindy and some had their brothers in the class too.
During the second week of term, the foundation to year fours went on an overnight camp to Ikara (Wilpena Pound) and stayed at the Rawnsley Park Bunkhouse. The first day was raining, so we changed our plans on the dirt road travel to Sacred Canyon and went to Dingley Dell where we found engravings on rocks of animal footprints and circles that represented campsites. Pauline McKenzie told an Adnamatna cultural story and showed us some bushfood, explaining their healing properties. We settled back at camp with a creek flowing gently nearby which had tadpole residents. This was of great interest to most of our students. The next day we went to Ikara and listened to dreaming stories by Mick McKenzie. PJ gave in introduction to the group about the walk he guided us on, telling us about all the emus around with their young. We visited the Yura and Udnu monument and had a yummy lunch sitting around the Woolshed. Thankyou to all the staff who came and helped and the cakes, biscuits and snacks the parents provided.
English this term, along with our normal coverage of English areas, we are highlighting word knowledge, word power and the reading and writing of scripts. In Math’s we are revising most of the years’ work using problem solving tasks. Art focusses on Drama, Dance and Singing, for the end of year performance.
Ms Penolope McCulloch
Foundation - Yr 2 Teacher
What a great start to Term 4!
The Year 3/4's had a wonderful time in Week 2, when we went to Rawnsley Park for an overnight camp. During the trip we looked at engravings and searched for tadpoles at Dingly Dell, walked to the Shearers Quarters at Wilpena Pound and played lots of games and activities.
In the meant time, the Year 5/6s went to Thuruna Bay for a four-day camp with the senior kids.
In Maths we have been looking at chance and data and 3D shape.
English has seen us looking at second person point of view and playing around with figurative language. So far, the children have learned about alliterations, personifications, hyperboles and metaphors and similes.
In Science, the Year 3/4 class have been exploring the solar system while the Year 5/6 class have been investigating natural disasters.
The Year 3/4's have been looking at building resilience and learning how to maintain their mental and emotional wellbeing in health. The 5/6 class have been learning about what happens to the body, both physically and mentally, during puberty.
We have been busy cooking a wonderful 3-course meal of chicken soup, pizza and cheesecake in the kitchen and getting new plants planted in the kitchen garden. We hope to be able to use the results of our hard work next year during Home Economics.
Miss Victoria Barratt
Year 3-6 Teacher
Welcome everyone to the last term, which is already slipping away at an alarming rate!
During English this term we are focusing on some detailed analysis of some really well written short stories. We are starting off with The Elevator by William Sleator which is a little spooky and plays on people’s fears of small spaces and crowds (maybe they’re just my fears…). We’ve looked at elevator etiquette, vocabulary, and will consider what the protagonist could have done to alleviate his fears. Then students will work on their own spooky story.
SACE is winding up for the year with a flurry of activity to meet moderation deadlines. November 8th is the day all student work needs to be uploaded to Adelaide. We are on track to get this completed to a good standard across all students studying Essential English this year.
We have also begun the term with a spooky story. Students have analysed and answered questions as we read aloud The Curse of Cogsdon House. They are currently looking at settings, and how to set the scene and theme of a story. We will look closely at characters and alternate endings before attempting our own spooky story.
HASS is all about geography this term, we have been looking at plate tectonics and how they move, causing phenomenon such as earthquakes and volcanoes. The students have also been studying tectonics in Science recently which is a happy accident, giving them a well rounded knowledge from a scientific and geographic point of view.
The Year 5/6 class are also focusing on geography this term. We have completed some mapping activities and are now doing a bit of a fly around the globe, touching on all the continents and learning about the physical and environmental characteristics of the countries within.
We will be working on colour theory during the first half of term, and then will move onto drawing styles and learning what styles create which effects. The students will have the opportunity to experiment with different drawing mediums (pencil, chalk, crayon, charcoal) and decide what suits them best before completing their final task for the year.
Year 5-11 Camp
At Thuruna, near Tumby Bay the students spent time participating in team building exercises such as newspaper fashion, cup stacking and quiz nights, culminating with an Amazing Race on Thursday. All teams participated admirably showing great spirit and competitiveness. During free time the students enjoyed sand castle building, digging giant holes, walks along the beach which unearthed some strange spongy looking creatures and exploring the rocks.
Mrs Sharon Bates
Year 7-12 Teacher / HPE Coordinator
Students tried a variety of sports in Term 4. They continued to work on eye-hand coordination and their balance, to increase their body’s ability in challenging PE tasks. We tried a new game called Spikeball this term. Spikeball is a great alternative to volleyball (it’s easier and more elementally friendly) while working on the same skill.
This media show that students are playing in pair. They are getting more skillful after spending some time practicing the game themselves.
In Term 4, Years 5-6 students will learn about probability and statistics. They will experiment with probabilities in different real-life scenarios. Students will also continue to work on finding factors this term. All students have shown a great improvement in the four operations and they have successfully extended their knowledge in finding Highest Common Factor and Lowest Common Multiple.
Our secondary school students will learn about Earth Science in Term 4. They made fossils with coffee grounds (Thanks Flinders Food Co for their coffee grounds). The fossils look amazing after being dried up.
Then we wrote an imaginative essay in Science. In this task, students acted as a team of paleontologists who dig the fossils in Hawker in 3022! They used the ‘fossilized’ plants to deduce what the environment was like in Hawker one thousand years ago. The pictures show students digging up fossils in the sandpit and investigating the characteristics of arid land plants.
Apart from studying geology and adaptations of arid land plants, our secondary school students also depicted rock cycles and tectonic movement using Comics. These are some of our students’ works.
Our primary school students learnt about the rules of baseball this term. The pictures show the students practicing baseball in our school oval.
Miss Sharon Lam
Mathematics / Science / P.E. Teacher
Premier’s Reading Challenge
Each year, students in schools across South Australia (and Australia in fact) are involved in the Premier’s Reading Challenge. To compete in the challenge, children need to record 12 books they have read through the year. This information is forwarded to the Premier’s Reading Challenge department, who then award students a certificate/medal for their participation. There is a different certificate/medal for each year they are involved in the challenge. This year, students from our school were some of the 123,795 students from 690 schools in South Australia who competed in the challenge. We are awaiting the arrival of the medals and certificates. However, I would like to congratulate the following students on completing the challenge this year…
Certificate for first year of involvement: Karl Braden, Ryan Gill, Logan Hatch and Pip Solly
Bronze Medal: Rowan Bevan, Ollie Du Bois, Leo Fels, Khole Johnson, Noah Merchant, Lily Morgan and Alice Wallis
Silver Medal: Ada Fels, Sammy Haywood, and Rachelle Johnson
Gold Medal: Bayley Hatch, Jim Johnson, Ruby Johnson, and Eli Johnson
Champion Medal: Archie Morgan and Nicole Oakey
Legend Medal: Will Du Bois
Hall of Fame Medal: Lachlan Hilder, Harry McAuley, Angus McInnis and Jimmy Morgan
HASS – Humanities and Social Sciences F-2
The students are continuing their research about the different habitats around the world and some of the animals that live in those habitats, before working out how they would travel around the world and communicate with family and friends if they were going on a Grand Tour in the early part of the 20th century, as many people did in the 1800 & 1900s.
Digital Technologies F-2
Coding is the new literacy! ScratchJr is a visual programming language designed to introduce programming skills to children. With ScratchJr, they can program their own interactive stories and games. In the process, they learn to solve problems, design projects, and express themselves creatively on the computer. It is a free app that can be downloaded to an iPad or tablet. The F-2 students have commenced working with this programme. We did some work on it last year, so it has been exciting to see the students remembering what we learnt, even though it was 12 months ago when we last did it! All the students are enjoying creating animated pictures using different algorithms. Even the adults supporting them are excited by what they themselves are learning.
Mrs Ailsa Green Teacher Librarian and Ms Rosie Luckraft CLA
New learning equipment on loan from SERU is extending our Play Based learning. We are working with positional language – on, under, over, in, beside, in front of, behind, between, next to, inside, and outside
We have a new bike donated to get us active and look forward to getting out on it once the rains stop.
Our Bear Hunt
We did lots of work during the term and our bear hunt was so much fun – the F-2 class helped us finish our props and off we went hunting for the bears we made who were hiding at school.
SWAN / P.E. Teacher
Term 4… aaaaaand GO! Oh wait, it is week 4 already! For this newsletter I am wanting to share a little bit of information about my wonderful Read Write Inc Group PINK. We have some good fun and we work really hard each day. During last week we spent some time talking and writing about our special cuddle toys. Our motivation was the text we were studying titled Scruffy Ted. We used this time to describe special features of our toys and make up sentences and practise writing them down carefully. Bringing in our old teddies was a lot of fun. You can see my old ted there. I’ve had him since I was 8, and I got him when I had my tonsils out in Adelaide all those years ago. He’s the best hugger.
Best wishes for your child’s journey through their final term of whatever year level they are currently in. Enjoy the ride.