Last week at our weekly Junior School Assembly, we had the opportunity to induct our Student Council representatives for Semester Two. Mr Goodwin read out the names of the students from Year 1- 6 and talked about the importance of leadership at an early age and being a positive role model for the School community. We look forward to the service learning projects that will be undertaken by the group, and other activities that involve the whole of Ormiston. Congratulations to the following students:
Year 1 – Lena Li
Year 2 – Evangeline Huynh
Year 3 – Faye Liu
Year 4 – Annicle Li & Zoe McManemin
Year 5 – Rachel Franco & Alysa Zhang
Year 6C – Zihan Li
School Captains – Ann Brookes & Eshani Nagarajan
Social Service Leaders – Maddi O’Meara & Sophie Wong
This week Nancy Robottom had the opportunity to introduce our Semester Two Sustainability Squad members to the Foundation – Year 6 students at assembly. Mrs Robottom discussed the importance of looking after our environment and encouraged the school community to assist in keeping our Ormiston environment clean, while planting new vegetables and plants in our Junior School vegie patch. Mrs Robottom congratulated the following Semester Two Sustainability Representatives:
Year 1 – Ting Xuan Quek
Year 2 – Sofia Rampa
Year 3 – Ellie Li
Year 4D – Angel Nguyen
Year 4H – Elfie Fan
Year 5G – Ava Pao
Year 5S – Georgia Papadopoulos
Year 6C – Grace Chan
Sustainability Leaders – Hannah Law & Christelle Chin
Wishing the Sustainability Squad all the best when completing their projects in Semester Two.
Over half of our student population attended last Friday’s Junior School Disco. It was terrific to see so many students and parents taking an active part in this annual student event. The theme for the disco was Fluro and I would like to thank TT Ton from our Foundation Office for all her valuable work in planning and coordinating this event and the Parents and Friends Association (PFA) for their continued support of Ormiston.
Thank you to the following parents who gave up their valuable time to assist with the disco:
> Fiona Stocker
> Carrie Yu
> Eng Ronzani
> Ang Xue Xi
> Karen Teh
> Nicola Ramsay
> Henan Feng
> Cheng Wong
> Dharani Kandasamy
We are all in countdown mode before Ormiston Creates with only 4 school days left before Thursday evening, our opening night of Wilbur the Optical Whale. I look forward to seeing families at this important event next week.
Head of Junior School
The Early Learning 3 children have been exploring our natural community and the impact of humans on the environment. The children have been observing and discussing the importance of trees, in particular Mountain Ash Trees, home to the critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum and state emblem of Victoria. Leadbeater’s possum, also known as Fairy possum, live in hollows of Mountain Ash Trees, one of the oldest and tallest trees in the world, located north of Victoria in the Toolangi State Forest.
This term, the children will discover the importance of conservation and sustainable actions. As an introduction, the children have been creating collaborative artworks, using their observational and sharing skills to create line paintings. Working in partnership, the children will focus on cooperation and communication rather than the outcome or looking ‘perfect’. They are provided with an opportunity to appreciate the skills of other students, exchange new and different perspectives, learn to be vulnerable and open to ideas, enhance their social skills, and fine tune their negotiation skills. Children are encouraged to enjoy the journey of creating art and adapting shapes and lines to create a unique and quirky possum.
Sophia Stirling and Esther Wong
Early Learning 3 Teachers
‘Science isn’t just about learning facts, it is a way of thinking and developing skills so that we can understand the world.’ – Christine Rosicka & Gayl O’Connor
Science is evident in our everyday inquiry and play, however this year’s National Science Week’s theme of ‘Glass: More Than Meets the Eye’ supported children to develop their scientific inquiry skills of observing, predicting, monitoring, checking, recording, and communicating.
Across the Early Learning 3 and 4 classrooms, children have been exploring and experimenting with plants and growth; mixing liquids; floating and sinking; chemical reactions; and light and shadows. To celebrate Science Week, the children were excited to meet resident Science teacher, Penny Dumsday who taught them about the wonders of glass. Using light and shadows, children experimented with the transparent, reflective, refractive, and magnifying properties of glass within a darkened room.
This week highlighted the importance of making mistakes through trial-and-error, questioning, and seeking answers. As researchers, experimenters, and learners, children are developing the ability to apply their curiosity to make qualitative observations of how the world works, and as they extend their understanding of science beyond this week, we look forward to observing the connections made to all domains of learning.
On Friday 12 August, the Year 1 students went on an excursion to the Norway Reserve playground – to explore Science as they played.
Their task was to investigate the forces and phenomena they had been learning about in their Inquiry unit with whole body experiences of pushes, pulls, gravity and friction.
They felt a push from a friend to help them go higher on the swing, or the pull of gravity as they slipped down the slide. Friction was necessary to grip onto the monkey bars and to slow the slide down on the fireman’s pole.
Play is an integral part of learning. Children learn when they play, and practice what they are learning.
Some of the students shared their thoughts of the experience:
Caroline – I enjoyed the climbing kingdom. I pulled on the rope to get up and my feet pushed on the floor.
Ginnie – I jumped on the monkey bars, and I held tight because gravity was pulling me to the ground.
Eshaal – I like the rock climbing. I used friction to hold on and a pull force to lift myself up.
Alex – I loved the merry-go-round because you got to spin around. You needed a push force because without it, you wouldn’t move.
We were really impressed by the students’ curious attitudes and their ability to understanding in a very different context.
Year 1 Class Teacher
It has been incredibly exciting to welcome authors Meredith Costain and Jacqueline Harvey into our beautiful Ormiston library over the last two weeks.
On Tuesday 9 and Thursday 11 August, Meredith Costain ran a series of poetry and creative writing workshops with our lucky students in Year 2, 3 and 4. Meredith is the author of the incredibly popular junior fiction series Ella Diaries and Olivia’s Secret Scribbles, as well as many middle grade fiction and non-fiction texts and it was fabulous for our students to participate in these sessions and learn new processes and writing skills with her.
On Tuesday 16 August, Jacqueline Harvey was our special guest. Jacqueline is the author of the best-selling Alice Miranda, Clementine Rose, Kenzy and Max series and visited us to share her brand-new junior fiction series, Willa and Woof. Our Year 2 and 3 students were thrilled and entertained by her funny anecdotes and stories from her years as a teacher and enjoyed learning about her inspirations for characters, settings, and stories.
It’s wonderful for our students have the opportunity to meet some of their favourite authors and illustrators and we look forward to more creator visits to Ormiston throughout Book Week and the remainder of the year.
On Tuesday 9 August, the Year 6 Virtual Debating Team sat down to face their first opponent – the Australian International Academy of Education. Asha Bhattacharjee, Eshani Nagarajan and Amy Yang had spent the week prior to this formulating their arguments, researching evidence to support their arguments and preparing possible rebuttal examples. Their topic was ‘teachers should wear the same school uniform as students’, and they were assigned to argue against this as the negative team. They arrived excited for the big day but also nervous about the debate ahead.
The affirmative team began, making their points that by wearing the same school uniform as students, teachers express greater loyalty to their school and strengthen their connection to students. The advantages would be that teachers show greater pride in their roles and are more approachable. As first speaker, Amy clarified the terms ‘teacher’, ‘uniform’ and ‘formal’ and argued that teachers possess different responsibilities to students. As such, they should not be made to wear the same uniform as students. Instead, adhering to an acceptable, professional dress code, would enable teachers to be expressive in the way they choose to dress.
Asha rebutted the second speaker’s arguments, stating that appearance and clothing should not determine somebody’s sense of belonging. This is why we have co-curricular activities and social functions. She also made the point that clothing clearly distinguishes teacher from student, and this helps to establish a teacher’s authority. Eshani concluded the debate as third speaker, highlighting that the topic stated that teachers should wear the same uniform as students. She reiterated the arguments of her teammates and emphasised that a professional dress code would be sufficient for teachers given their roles and responsibilities.
The adjudicator discussed the results, breaking the topic into three themes: impact on teachers, impact on students and impact on the education of students. Amy, Asha and Eshani presented strong arguments for the first two areas and as a result, won both these themes and the debate! The team also received helpful feedback for their next debates. This included discussing the implications of each argument and why it is important, as well as relating researched case studies to everyday life in the form of theoretical or hypothetical examples.
We congratulate Amy, Asha and Eshani on their win and wonderful effort and look forward to seeing them apply this constructive feedback in their next debate!
Year 6 Classroom Teacher
This term we have commenced Student Council with drive and purpose! Finding their feet quickly, Maddi and Sophie of Year 6, have been attending meetings with Mr Goodwin in their lunch break to forward plan. They have creatively thought of activities and ways to collaborate with students from Years 1 – 6 so that they can share their creative ideas.
The students demonstrated teamwork by building momentum and support for our Winter Warmth Appeal. This is an annual event where non-perishable food items are collected for Anglicare. Working with Reverend Creed, the members of Student Council also participated in a church service to bless the items.
The following week, Student Council met with representatives from Anglicare to load trays of baked beans, pasta, cereal and other items in to a van. There were tables and tables of food. In fact, it took over 20 minutes just to load the van!
Our donations will be organised and shared amongst families who are financially struggling this winter. Student Council appreciate the kindness, generosity and support of all who could give this year and we look forward to our next project during CamberWELL week!
Year 5 Class Teacher
In 2019, our Junior School staff, along with Dr Charlotte Forwood (Director of Learning Design and Development) commenced our participation in a collaborative research project as a case study school with Harvard University and Independent Schools Victoria’s project called ‘Idea to Action’. The project was designed to combine research about change management and how to use this information to design tools to support educators to bring ideas into actions in the education setting. Researchers from Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero, Senior Co-director Professor David Perkins and principal investigator Flossie Chua designed a range of thinking tools for educators to use to implement actionable changes in their schools. Across the past three years, we piloted the use of the original tools and gave regular feedback to the team to ensure the tools were fit for purpose.
Last Wednesday, Dr Charlotte Forwood and I were proud to present our case study experience at a masterclass regarding the updated toolkit to 40 other educators who will join us to participate in the second stage of the research project. We are extremely proud of the contribution our Ormiston team have made so far to this important project and we look forward to our continued work with ISV and Harvard in the next stage of the toolkit’s implementation.
Deputy Head of Junior School
Our Esports Co-curricular activity has gone from strength to strength this year, with a large number of students in Years 4-6 contributing during Wednesday lunch time training sessions. This term, our focus was on developing students team work and strategic skills through playing Mario Kart in preparation for the FUSE cup competition.
After weeks of consistent and persistent training with Mr Wilkins, myself, and our Mario Kart expert, Mr Mark Major, we held a series of trials and a team of four students who displayed the FUSE cup values of integrity, strength, inclusion and teamwork, were selected to represent CGGS in a competition against 9 different government and independent schools and 44 other students at Melbourne Girls Grammar School.
Sienna Jack, Ellie Tsigounis, Selinna Wang and Kealey Liew represented CGGS at the competition, displaying excellent sportsmanship, focus and most importantly had a lot of fun! All students competed in four races each against 3 other students and the top racer made it through to the next round. In between races and rounds students learned about important aspects of digital wellbeing such as balancing screen time with external interests, preventing gaming addictions, and critically examining the interests and motivations of companies who make money from free games and apps, such as Roblox.
The competition was tight with only 16/48 students making it through to round 2! While our students put up some excellent scores, they faced some equally skilled competitors, so we didn’t move through to the second round this year.
Mr Wilkins and I look forward to setting up a House Esports competition and introducing the Year 4-6 students to the extremely challenging Rocket League game next term.
Deputy Head of Junior School