A Well-Deserved Break
Dear Woodleigh Families. Having reached the end of term with only one hiccup along the way, it is with great enthusiasm and relief that I wish you all a very happy Easter break. Term 1 has been incredibly busy, and I know that our students, staff and parents are ready to pause and take stock of everything we have achieved so far.
Getting Away Brings Clarity
I'm writing this article, sitting in the dust at Hattah, enjoying some time with the Year 10 students as they navigate their way across the semi-desert expanse. To see these iconic Woodleigh experiences first-hand has been incredibly reassuring and exciting for me. When we talk about being a holistic school, we refer to the development of character that students experience as they make their way through the years.
The adventures I have witnessed during Term 1 have consolidated my belief in the importance of Woodleigh's Outdoor Education and Camp experiences. This is where students learn about challenge, empathy, leadership and compassion. It is also where our students can have voice and time to express their opinions and fears and share their optimism for the future.
Speaking and Listening
Throughout this term, I have also had the opportunity to speak with many Senior Campus students, both in larger year level groups and in class. Often, I've been talking about our school culture and the 3R's – Respect for Self, Respect for Others and Respect for The Environment.
I spoke of how we all carry the responsibility to protect our culture and live the 3Rs, both at school and in our wider lives.
For staff and parents, as the adult members of our learning community, we must not underestimate the impact that the past 12 months of tumult, both locally and globally, has had on the beliefs, feelings and behaviours of our students and society in general.
For me, time spent speaking with students about the many issues currently portrayed in our media and opening up a dialogue about the minor issues we've recently seen at school has been time well spent. Leadership at Woodleigh is not dictated by formal structures. It shows in how we live our lives, how we interact with others and support the individuals and causes that require voice. So it gave me great joy to hear that students continued these conversations beyond their sessions with me. Likewise, I was most impressed to have students contact me directly to express their support and commitment to the concepts of selflessness and service.
Connecting with Community
I want to thank our Penbank staff and students for a fantastic Harmony Day Twilight Picnic. This event was a brilliant example of a community coming together to celebrate diversity and inclusion. Students were engaged in activities all day, and families danced the night away on what was a beautiful Autumnal evening. It was great to celebrate being together and also to provide a sense of connectedness for all. Unfortunately, due to the recent lockdown, we have not had the same opportunities at Senior Campus and Minimbah. However! We will look for opportunities to bring these groups of our community together again in Term 2.
Once again, I would like to wish you all a wonderful break, and offer my thanks to our staff, students and parents for what has been an amazing term.
Stay safe over the break,
Life is busy, often messy, and sometimes challenging, but after the annus horribilis that was 2020, we have had a solid start to 2021. However, the transition back to full-time on-campus teaching and learning has provided an exciting learning landscape, particularly in terms of social & emotional wellbeing. As if time moved on and the predicted understanding, developing, and strengthening relationships were interrupted or setback.
As we embark on the Easter school holidays, I encourage everyone to take the time to reflect, rest & reset, to give yourself a break before we begin again!
An explosion of research into self-compassion over the last decade has shown its benefits for wellbeing. Individuals who are more self-compassionate tend to have greater happiness, life satisfaction, and motivation, better relationships and physical health, and less anxiety and depression.
According to preeminent researcher Kristin Neff, people who respond to life’s challenges by practicing self-compassion become more resilient. They also have the resilience needed to cope with stressful life events such as relationship breakdowns, health crises, academic failure, and even combat trauma.
“It is only when we take care of ourselves that we can take care of others. Self-compassion provides an island of calm, a refuge from the stormy seas of endless positive and negative self-judgment.”.
Instead of becoming defensive, blaming others, or shirking responsibility, none of which is conducive in responding to setbacks or unmet expectations, and undermines personal development, Neff suggests responding with self-compassion entails these three behaviours to promote resilience:
- Practicing kindness & understanding rather than judgment and criticism about failures and mistakes;
- Acknowledge shortcomings and failure as experiences shared a shared human experience;
- Being mindful, they take a balanced approach to negative emotions and keeping things in perspective
How is self-compassion related to parenting?
Self-compassion is rooted in centuries of the Buddhist tradition. Still, it’s been only within the past decade that researchers, led by Dr. Neff, have subjected the concept to empirical scrutiny. Numerous studies have shown that self-compassion is strongly linked to overall wellbeing. Recent studies of parents found that self-compassionate parents tend to have lower levels of stress and depression, which, in turn, positively influences relationships, productivity, and more life satisfaction, hope, happiness, self-confidence, and re-engagement with life goals.
Here are three ideas to build compassion for yourself (and role model to your children. )
- Take routine self-compassion breaks by treating yourself as kindly as you would treat a friend who needs support. Simply ask the question, “What do I need now?” and allow yourself a moment of self-compassion, even if you can’t find an answer or can’t meet your needs at the time.
- Practice loving-kindness meditation: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/mindfully/time-for-self-compassion/12450302
- Write a Letter to Yourself: You can find your compassionate voice by writing a letter to yourself whenever you struggle or feel inadequate or when you want to help motivate yourself to make a change. It can feel uncomfortable at first but gets easier with practice.
Mindfulness and self-compassion are resources that give us the safety needed to meet challenging experiences with less resistance. The reality is that by being kind to ourselves, we become stronger, more resilient, and less focused on our problems which in turn serves to make us more present for our children and energized to engage with our communities.
Acknowledgements & further resources
- Consent - https://www.qt.com.au/videos/respectful-relationships-video-about-consent/98983/?cspt=1616387678%7C994de9904f952b3f14374ce63976003a&fbclid=IwAR3wE45BW9hj6mxvh8B7ww8r6Fm_hlg9ZZrAApWBav5YOvp3_UEDq7umF8g
- Vaping - https://doingdrugs-darta.blogspot.com/2021/03/what-should-parents-say-when-their-teen.html?fbclid=IwAR1ZMbDoEmQDxM7MOQewOwdyEdBeCwSfTLtfQu01MvPQJk99orhxlD0jB28
On behalf of the Counselling team, Happy Easter!
Director of Counselling
New Metrics for Success is a ground-breaking research-practice partnership between the University of Melbourne and selected Australian schools focused on expanding assessment practice to improve a range of holistic outcomes for students. I am delighted to let you know that Woodleigh School has been chosen as a founding member of this project to recognise our strong reputation as an innovative learning place. The collaboration seeks to provide excellent and valuable ways of measuring growth in the capabilities that sit at the heart of a Woodleigh Education, such as creative thinking, intercultural understanding, self-management, and collaboration. As well as benefitting teaching and learning at our school, the project aims to inform new ways of measuring student success at a school, state, and national level.
The schools selected for this partnership have been chosen as they are seen as leading thinking at a national level concerning providing education relevant to the contemporary social, economic, environmental, and technological environment in which we live. The leader of the project, Professor Sandra Milligan, has noted that: "the distinctive 20-century version of schooling is past its use-by date". She argues that education in Australia needs to move beyond the narrow definitions of success offered by NAPLAN and ATAR towards the measurement of both subject knowledge and the kinds of attributes that families, communities, businesses, and higher education are looking for in our young people. In this way, the project can be seen to build upon the work we have been doing over several years on the development of a curriculum that supports students to think critically, solve complex problems, drive their learning, and engage productively in a rapidly changing world.
The New Metrics partnership will initially run for two years. It will provide our school leaders and teachers with the opportunity to collaborate with globally recognised researchers and experts to explore new approaches to teaching, learning, and assessment. Significantly, the partnership will help us find new ways of capturing, communicating, and celebrating our young people's unique strengths, passions, interests, and achievements.
I look forward to sharing regular updates on our progress with this project in the years ahead.
DR. RICHARD OWENS
Director of Learning, Strategy, and Innovation
Welcome to the end of Term 1 reflection! It's hard to believe that a whole term has gone by so quickly! This term has been a very busy one, and we have noticed the children's self-esteem and independence growing more and more each day. We have been observing children who want to take more risks in their play (meaning that they are confident in challenging themselves with social interactions, thinking, and bodies). It is a considerable step in their development and will assist them as we move into term 2. Next term, we will continue to consolidate this development further, allowing children agency in their decision making in terms of the program and where they want their play to go.
PYP Units of Inquiry
The Early Years program of inquiry comprises four different Units which are offered throughout the year:
- Who We Are
- Sharing the Planet
- How the World Works
- How We Express Ourselves
While we are introducing these units one at a time, they are designed to run throughout the year. It will allow us to revisit our investigations and follow the children's interests in our programs while honouring their right to learn through play and have voice, choice and agency in their learning. As projects and investigations unfold with the children's interests, we will return to the relevant units.
For example, each time we celebrate a birthday or special family news, we will extend our learning through our "Who We Are" unit. An interest in plants or animals might allow us to build on our learning through "Sharing the Planet."
Sharing the Planet
"Exploring the natural environment leads to discoveries."
- An inquiry into:
- how we can explore nature
- how people connect with nature and Country
- our responsibility to, and for the natural environment
We introduced our Unit of Inquiry, "Sharing the Planet", during the last few weeks of term. This unit sits alongside "Who We Are" and will run throughout this year. Our early learning experiences have related to ways we can explore nature in many ways, including sensory play, creative art with natural materials and engaging in active or risky play as we connect with the Country.
Next term, we will continue this unit and plan to provide a wide range of opportunities for the children to investigate ways we can be caring, show respect for the world around us and discover an appreciation for beauty in nature. Learning experiences about the impact we can have on the environment will also offer the children a chance to learn about their responsibility for the natural environment, take action, and discover how they can make a difference in the world.
Our unit of inquiry, 'Who We Are,' has seen us learn about our families, cultural backgrounds and the diversity within our learning community.
Harmony Day 2021
Harmony Day in the Hive provided the children with the opportunity to recognise themselves as part of a larger group. We came together as a class to celebrate, share and acknowledge our diversity.
It was also a starting point of many meaningful conversations in small and large groups.
Children embraced the opportunity to share stories or things from home:
"These are my sticks", Willow.
"Mum said they are from Yorta Yorta country, is that right?" Rachelle
"They are different to the turtle ones", Issac. (Remembering our clap sticks in the ECC and Lisa talking to us about where they are from).
"Yes, the pattern is different; how have they made the pattern? Rachelle.
"With fire sticks", Remi.
"My favourite place in Australia is the beach", Maisy.
"My mum is from Canada; this flag has the maple leaf from the tree that makes the syrup", Ezra.
"We live in Australia", Dominic.
"It's Boon Wurrung country", Stevie.
"Yeah, here is Boon Wurrung country" (tapping the floor) Rose.
"I did St Patrick's Day", Austin.
"Can you remember where mum said dad is from?" Rachelle
"People live all around the world" (shows her hands in a circle) Rose.
"I lived in America", Jake.
During the quieter time, the children decided to engage in some collaborative drawing to express their ideas and knowledge about Harmony Day.
The sustained shared thinking from our morning meetings was meaningful to everyone. The children drew on prior knowledge and transferred their understanding using role play in the mud kitchen.
"We can make own celebration", Ezra.
"What kind of celebration could make?" Rachelle
"One with dancing", Gemma.
"And food", Ezra.
"Yes, I can make food", Maisy.
"And music, we will make music" Huxley.
"My mum can sing" Henni.
"So can my mum", Huxley.
"Australia" (pointing to map) Jude.
"It's the world", Flynn.
"And dress up. I dressed up for St. Patricks Day" Austin.
"I have dressed up before", Dominic.
"We can eat in the cafe", Stevie.
Floral Friday 26 March
On Friday, 26 March, an excited bunch of little humans entered the gate with flowers, Floral clothing and an open mind. There was lots of excitement as we handed out musical instruments for the first time! We wondered how we could open the coconuts, worked through this problem, and read a story about Thursday Island, which provided the children with the opportunity to learn about the different jobs and food eaten. The children had a wonderful time!
"I like the fish trap", Griffin.
Thank you to the families who joined our celebration at the end of the day. The children expressed their ideas about the experiences they wanted in their celebration, which allowed them to voice their opinions and thoughts- an essential part of allowing children agency in their decision making, which helps build confident independence skills.
"We are doing a real performance", Huxley.
"My mum is coming", Henni.
"Mum will be there", Flynn.
"All the grown-ups can come", Pearl.
“Bunjil and Waa will watch” Remi.
"Can I hold Bunjil?" Zoe.
"Daisy, would you like to hold Waa?" Rachelle.
"This is the Torres Strait song", Gemma.
"I know that one it's this flag".
"Look at this" (pointing to Torres Strait Island flag) Bond.
"They know the land", Pearl.
"The people are happy" (Remembers from video) Rose.
The joy of play
Every day as educators, we feel well and truly blessed to be part of your child's day. Being an observer to the wonder that children find in the world is fantastic and seeing them accomplish new tasks and ways of playing is beautiful to watch. Children use play to make sense of their world, test out their ideas, theories, and prior experiences to learn what it means to be part of this big wide world. Play is something many children missed out on last year, and we have been able to allow this experience to occur throughout this term- and that is the wonder and love of play! Enjoy these photos that show the joy of play, the fun and the essence of just being in that moment and loving life!
Over the past ten weeks of term one, we have built together with a shared solid connection and community sense in the Cocoon group. When we think about connection, we look at how a child engages with their world. The Victorian Early Years Learning and Developmental Framework (VEYLDF) focuses predominantly on social links: belonging to people, country, place, and communities; values, traditions and practices; relationships and shared experiences; holding empathy; respect, awareness, and engagement with the natural world (DET 2016). A connected child actively engages in their community, building on their connections with the people and world around them, and builds on these connections by participating. This enables children to feel confident and empowered to 'shape their world.' Participation in family and social life, the community, and the world around them allows children to develop a sense of purpose and agency, both of which are essential aspects of learning and development in the early years.
"Community in a school, inspired by relationships, respect, and participation, has the children, teachers, and parents at its centre. All participate in generating the educational design and the life of the school. Often the quality of space favours dialogue, reciprocity, and exchanges by providing a sense of belonging and enjoyment in being part of a learning experience." Gandini (2012).
Our PYP Unit of Inquiry into 'Who we are" invited us to think about the following components that we felt would help develop a safe, secure, and strong sense of community and belonging.
- A focus on me: Each child is a unique individual bringing their strengths, capabilities, and interests to their learning. The children explored their identity through the process of creating their self-portraits.
- A focus on my family: We looked closely at our families by sharing conversations inspired by our family photos. Each child could talk about their family in the group and invite a friend to ask a question about their family. A family photo wall encouraged further sharing and communicating about each family story. Thank you to all our families for sending in your family photo to make this rich learning happen.
- A focus on my community: Morning meeting is one of the most critical parts of our day. It brings us together as a group; it invites discussion, debate, questions, and responses. It challenges children to think about their thinking and to think about the thinking and learning of others. The children experience ownership through this process, they learn about respect and consideration for self and others, and they understand that listening is a vital tool for communication. To begin the morning meeting, we play a fun photo card game and helps us know who is here and not here today. If a child is not here, we can still recognise them and talk about why they are not here today. More recently, several families have been inspired to bring in produce from their veggie garden to share. JJ and CJ'S family brought in some delicious lemons and Harriett's family some beautiful cucumbers. Next term, we hope to keep this going, so if you have any produce to share, please bring it to school. This term, we have enjoyed numerous projects. Milly facilitated a small group to create a fish and chip shop, which integrated literacy, numeracy, and role play. Kellie worked closely with a small group of children interested in imagining and creating a fort made from repurposing boxes into something else.
- Rachelle worked alongside a small group to add their ideas to the fairy garden outside. Venturing further into our school, we have embraced our dance classes with Ms. Wong, our PMP classes with Mr. Roden. During art classes with Ms. Harris, our focus has been on clay nests from the children finding lots of feathers outside and thinking about bird habitats. Every child has created a clay nest that will be fired over the holidays. We joyfully celebrated Kerrie's birthday with the school community. During Harmony Week, we met with the Grade 5 class who shared the meaning of the Bunjil's Nest sculpture, created several years ago with the traditional landowners' permission. We aim to add our sticks to Bunjil's nest over Reconciliation Week.
- A focus on my world: Our incursion with Wildlife Xposure this term was a highlight and captivated the children's curiosity, awe, and wonder about Australian animals, reptiles, and birds. This led to an investigation into frogs and making connections with the creek's frog habitat and the life cycle of a frog back in the classroom. Our creek day on Boon Wurrung/Bunerong country brings many opportunities for connection to place and people. As we sit under the Whispering Willow tree, we share stories that bring us closer into a relationship with what is around us. "Everyone has a story. Everything has a memory. Come back to nature, to honour the trees, the land, the water, the creatures. Pictures, song, dance authentically tells a story. Share your story through storytelling." Aunty Carolyn Briggs-Boon Wurrung Elder.
Finally, as Sophie excitedly said while sliding down the muddy hill, "This is the best day ever because it is so fun."
We wish all our community a very happy Easter and school holiday break. See you all in term 2!
KELLIE, RACHELLE, MILLY & CATHY
What a busy first term we have had in Foundation! The past nine weeks have flown by, and the children have grown and learned so much. They are becoming very independent and confident at school now. They were fantastic on stage at their first Assembly last week. I am sure you were all as proud as Georgy and I were when watching the recording!
This term, our focus has been on developing number concepts and number sense. We have worked on the number sequence, one-to-one correspondence, cardinality, and subitizing. We have learned how to measure time using a visual schedule to organise our day and week. We will begin to explore the relationships that connect numbers using languages such as more than, less than, and the same or equal next term. We will also explore shapes and learn to describe different forms based on their properties. If you are looking for some fun outdoor maths activities to do over the holidays as a family, you might like to watch this short video for some ideas -
The children are doing so well with the sounds during 'Read Write Inc' sessions. They are becoming competent at recognising each sound that we are learning, forming it correctly, and blending the sounds to read the word, or as we call it, 'Fred Talk.' We have played a game called 'Write My Word' in class where I 'sound out' a three-letter word with the letters we know so far, i.e., b-e-d, and the children write a sound at a time to make the word. Your child might like to play this at home with you over the break. Many of the children have also loved making their mini books at school. It has given them a chance to practice their letter formation and fine motor skills. Any opportunities that you can find at home for your child to write with an authentic purpose are precious. Maybe they could help you write a shopping list, a birthday card or a note to a friend.
Unit of Inquiry
In this final week of our inquiry unit, we have focused on building relationships with others and how our actions can affect others. We read a beautiful story about being open-minded and respecting others called "The Smeds and the Smoos" by Julia Donaldson. We have also worked on our essential agreements as a class. Thinking about how respecting ourselves and others look, sounds, and feels. You might like to talk about what respect looks like as a family. How do you show respect to each other at home? Next term, we will begin a new unit of inquiry about living things.
Thank you to our wonderful Creek Volunteers this term. It has been fantastic to have your support. I will put a volunteer list up on the classroom door for the start of next term. If you know a date that would suit you to volunteer, you can either email me, and I can add your name, or you are welcome to write your name up if you are dropping your child off in the morning. It would be great to have our first volunteers for Wednesday, 21st April organised before the start of term, so please email me if you are happy to help that day.
The first term of Foundation is always exhausting for both the children and families. Thank you so much for your support and partnership this term. I wish you all a wonderful, relaxing break.
Foundation Classroom Teacher
This term, the students have had a wonderful time out on Discovery Day, making connections with group members, exploring our three locations, and familiarising themselves with the benefits/risks of these spaces.
The students have been encouraged to 'get to know your patch'. They investigated the similarities and differences between each patch and compared these to our patches at school and home.
They have observed how the change in seasons and weather impacts each patch and have made some predictions for how these patches may look next term.
While on Discovery Day, students are encouraged to be:
- Risk Takers
- Caring and
Here's what we have been up to at each location:
We have enjoyed fossicking in the sand, making sand sculptures, strolling along the pier, rock hopping, observing changes to the tides, and investigating the rock pools.
We have enjoyed rock hopping, testing the water's depth and flow, racing bamboo and leaf boats down the creek, building dam walls, and exploring the surrounding landscape.
We have enjoyed designing and building cubbies, creating new games, e.g., Pinecone Soccer and Pinecone Hole in One, making potions, face painting, whittling sticks, making bow and arrows, and headpieces from natural materials, and meditating.
We are looking forward to enjoying another fantastic term out and about on Discovery Day next term.
Wishing you all a safe and happy Easter,
LISA, LIANE & LEXIE
It is hard to believe, but here we are at the end of Term 1. After the year that was 2020, we feel grateful to have an (almost) uninterrupted term of learning on-site at school. This term has seen us come together as a 3/4 learning community, broaden friendship circles and deepen old bonds. It has been a joy to hear students contributing their voices to how they would like their learning community to look this year, culminating in our Learning Community Essential Agreement, as seen below.
Literacy and Language
Over the past few weeks, students have been engaged in analysing narratives, looking at how descriptive language is used to enhance both characters and settings. Students have learnt to use figurative language, such as similes and metaphors, to create strong descriptions, and have used their writer's notebooks to help develop characters with depth. Additionally, we have looked at narratives across a range of media forms – picture storybooks, short films, and longer-form narratives (in the form of class books) – and how they generally follow a consistent structure. To demonstrate their learning, they have undertaken a project to create their masterpieces, an opportunity to display their creative flair and their burgeoning strengths as writers. It is an absolute pleasure to see the diversity of writing within the learning community and each child's voice shining through.
Our numeracy program includes challenges and activities that incorporate multiple streams of mathematics. We make links between our unit of inquiry and numeracy tasks linked to our fundamental concept. Over the past few weeks, we have also focused on specific skills related to:
- place value; we have continued to reinforce and build integral place value skills that majorly influences the students' ability to access other branches of mathematics
- practical application of addition and subtraction to real-life scenarios and as part of investigations in the unit of inquiry
- measurement; using standard and non-standard units of measurement
- using mathematical reasoning and vocabulary to explain and justify solutions to problems
What do hot dogs, symmetrical trees, and bouncing basketballs have in common? They are all provocations that are helping our students dive deeper into the power of numbers. Our students love mathematics, and it is never more evident than when we are completing "3-Act" problem-solving challenges. The creative questions have been outstanding as students formulate inquiries that take their mathematics to the high-school level and beyond. Accessible at their ability level, every student develops their learning goals and excitedly dived into real-world maths. Keep it up, team!
Unit of Inquiry
The central idea of our new Unit of Inquiry, Where We Are In Place and Time, is that significant events and people impact individual's and communities' lives. To begin our unit, we invited students to bring artefacts that helped them tell the story of influential people and events in their lives. It opened a rich discussion around the concept of significance and how things can be significant to different people for different reasons.
From this, we broadened our lens and looked at two picture books – 'This is Captain Cook' by Tania McCartney and 'The Rabbits' by John Marsden & Shaun Tan. It gave different perspectives on a significant event in Australia's history; the arrival of the first fleet to Australian shores. Our students displayed the ability to see different perspectives and held rich discussions about this event's significance to First Nations people and others. It naturally led us to explore further people and events that had importance to different groups in Australia, such as Vincent Lingiari and the Wave Hill walk-off, popularised through Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody's song, 'From Little Things, Big Things Grow.' We are excited to continue this unit of inquiry at the beginning of next term. We focus on developing personal learning skills, research skills and deepening our understanding of the central idea.
Minimbah Kitchen, Garden, Explore
Over the past few weeks, the Kitchen, Garden, Explore program has taken off, with children engaged in such fantastic learning opportunities across a broad range of activities. Students have been developing their knife skills in the kitchen and taking risks, trying new and delectable recipes that may not be a part of their usual repertoire! Pumpkin risotto, salsa verde delicious!
Out in the garden, students have been learning about the needs of different plants. How to raise plants from seeds and honing their powers of observation by engaging in thinking routines such as 'see, think, wonder,' have led to some beautiful hypotheses and ideas about what might be happening out there. We've been inundated with both aphids and yellow ladybirds. We lead to a revisitation of the concept of 'harmony' from our first unit of inquiry. We are eagerly observing tadpoles that we hope will eventually populate our frog bog.
In Explore, students have been familiarising themselves with new robotic friends – the Dashbots! They have jumped at the opportunity to develop their coding skills and solve challenges, such as making their Dashbots dance in harmony with a partner. Alongside learning a new coding language, students have been developing persistence, resilience, and, crucially, their communication skills as they seek and offer support to others around them.
Congratulations to the Minimbah Athletics Team 2021, who competed at the Bayside District Track Athletics Championships. Please join us in celebrating our own Year 3 & 4 representatives:
- Henry P
- Eadie R
- Dallas T
- Jarrah J
- Olivia M
- Kevin N
Our team of champions had an incredibly successful day at Ballam Park Athletics Centre and should be very proud of their achievements and how they represented the school.
CRAIG KENNER & JAMES CLAPHAM
Year 3 & Year 4 Classroom Teachers
Wow, it’s the end of Term 1 2021!! What an amazing last few weeks we have had, with so many exciting highlights. Here are some of the highlights from the Year 5 students and us.
Many students headed off very nervous and excited about this day, not knowing the fun ahead. It was beautiful to see students take risks to go and then have so much fun, cheering on their schoolmates, running as fast as they could, and then winning the competition. We have heard the ‘Might Mighty Minimbah’ song a few times since then. Congratulations to all the students who went along and were part of the team.
We cannot stop smiling about our Assembly! Proud of the students and so happy that the parents were able to come, and what a turn out!!
Then it was so special to share in the Bunjils’ Nest ceremony with classmates, parents, and ECC students. The children were so proud to explain this tradition to new and younger students.
The students have all started to make their own personal Writers Notebooks. Together we have looked at finding and planting a seed to help with and create interest and confidence in each students writing. The children have loved setting up their books and decorating the covers in their ways. It’s been exceptional
The students enjoyed some Mental Maths and then discovered areas/goals/interests they would like to work on. We have also continued more exploring Place Value, Factors, Multiples, Prime and Composite Numbers. We are looking forward to working towards personal goals next term. Remember, Mathsonline logins are in student diaries and can be done at home at any time.
Bushrangers Bay Excursion/Inquiry provocation- Sharing the Planet
On Monday, we ventured out to hike in and out from Bushrangers Bay. Students experienced firsthand a coastal ecosystem, took notes, observed the natural connections in nature, noted biodiversity, and noticed the human impact. It was indeed a wonderful day of exploration, fun company, friendship, and a lovely way to finish a busy term.
Students completed a Scientific Report about the day at school, including sketches, notes, and research. We then looked at some other diverse ecosystems and used senses to describe, think about what they were telling, observing and why, and answer some questions.
Our Inquiry Unit- Saving the Planet
Central Idea- Interdependence within ecosystems can be connected to their features.
Lines of Inquiry:
- The features of ecosystems - The role of diversity, balance, and interdependence within ecosystems - The impact people have on ecosystems - Solutions and actions to maintain and regenerate ecosystems
- connection, causation, function.
- ecosystems, biodiversity, interdependence, solution.
- connecting with nature, using the senses, gratitude.
- report writing
- persuasive writing
‘If you were a scientist, what would you report on about Bushrangers Bay?’
Observations, sketches, thoughts, questions, research
Cross Campus Sports Day
On Thursday, we travelled across to Woodleigh to participate in an enjoyable sports day with Penbank students. Woodleigh students ran the day, and it was adorable to see the students all come together and have some fun competing in a variety of events.
We would like to wish all our students and their families a lovely Easter and a very relaxing, funfilled holiday. It has been a busy Term 1, and we are all ready for this break.
We look forward to another great term with your beautiful children
Thanks always for your support. Happy, safe holidays
NOELEEN MARTIN & VANESSA HODGKISS
Year 5 Classroom Teachers
During Circle Time this week, we reflected on the term and how time seems to have sped up and slowed down over the past ten weeks. Through our many shared experiences, the bonds between the group are strengthening, and we look forward to the continued teamwork in bringing our Production to life and our trip to Canberra.
Early next term, we will host a parent meeting regarding the Canberra Study Tour. Please keep your eyes open for an invitation via email.
Congratulations to our Year Six athletes who represented Minimbah at the recent District Athletics carnival held at Ballam Park. There were many successes and excellent sportsmanship shown by all. Please see below for some photos from the day.
A highlight for the Year Sixes and the Foundation students this term has been our Buddy Program. Last week, the Sixes supported their Foundation buddies through their first Assembly presentation. It was beautiful to witness the kindness and empathy displayed by the elder buddies as they helped their younger counterparts read their parts and sing a song. If you haven’t had a chance yet to view the assembly, please check it out on the Announcements page on SeeSaw.
Over the past couple of weeks, students have been working on short, sharp, self-paced English tasks designed to support their learning of a self-identified area of need. It has included dialogue punctuation, spelling strategies, effective planning for writing assignments, and handwriting. We are attempting to work on these daily (hence the name) to consolidate these skills.
Our work with analysing and responding to non-fiction texts has reinforced the need to prioritise our English language learning. Comprehending the big ideas yet identifying relevant details is a crucial part of the curriculum and an important life skill. The articles we have been reading as part of this program have been topical and interesting, prompting some great dialogue and questions.
After several sessions carefully crafting biographies for our Homestead partners, it was an absolute joy to reveal their work to one another. Having listened carefully during an interview with their partners, each student could cast the best possible light on their subject, with some great vocabulary and empathetic storytelling. It was clear that lasting connections have been formed across the year levels, and we look forward to seeing the initiatives that will come out of these partnerships as the year progresses.
Maths learning throughout each week comes in many different forms. Over the last few weeks, students have been engaged in:
- understanding the Base-10 system and how decimals work as part of this system
- Using algorithmic thinking to compare the Base-10 system with binary and other number systems
- Regular conferences with teaching staff to continue independent Maths study at their point of need, using Maths Online as a starting point for their activities
- small-group enrichment and support sessions as necessary to support continued growth in mathematical ability.
We are looking forward to more Maths inquiry activities next term as our unit has many natural links to applied learning (mapping, data gathering, etc.).
Our inquiry unit into ‘Who We Are’ has wrapped up with some beautiful time spent with the Year Five students. As mentioned, we exchanged biographies and beautiful, decorated terracotta tiles. The tiles will form a sculpture (it’s still coming together!) which will be on display in the Homestead, each tile artfully representing each student’s story. Please see attached some photos of our final ‘Belonging’ gathering.
We now move onto our new unit.
How we organise ourselves: the interconnection between governance, leaders, and citizens.
An inquiry into:
- The structure & systems of governance and leadership
- The connection between governance, leaders, and citizens
- Our role as leaders and citizens.
Part of the process of inquiry understands how we learn. We investigated the PYP Approaches to Learning (ATLs) and the thinking skills required for unpacking problems. After watching an episode of the documentary series ‘Australia in Colour’ we explored the question ‘How can you count how many colours there are?’ It was an excellent opportunity to consider different ways of thinking, from analysis through to metacognition.
This documentary also highlighted important Australian events from the 20th century, introducing students to stories they will encounter in Canberra. Activities in class have so far sought to capture what we already know about our government, our leaders, and what it means to be a citizen.
Thank you for your support of the children and of us throughout the first term. We feel very fortunate to have welcomed many new, excellent students to Minimbah, which has helped build belonging and develop a true cohort. There is much to look forward to in Term Two, and we can’t wait to dive in after a rest over the Easter break. Enjoy the holidays with your loved ones!
JACQUI & ANDY
Year 6 Classroom Teachers
The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payments for eligible students to attend activities like:
- school camps or trips
- swimming and school-organised sport programs
- outdoor education programs
- excursions and incursions.
From 2020, the Victorian Government is investing an additional $160.9 million for the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund over the next four years. This has been bolstered further with an additional $28.6 million announced in the 2020-21 State Budget for the 2021 school year. This funding will help ensure more than 220,000 government and non-government students from lower-income families are able to participate in camps, sports and excursions each year.
Please find more information here for financial assistance information for parents.
Application and eligibility form can be found here.