Year 6 Leadership Camp – Lady Northcote YMCA
It was a pleasure attending the Year 6 Leadership camp last week for two nights. This year for the first time, the camp was extended to three nights and the girls were able to experience a wider range of outdoor and environmental activities within the campsite. Some of the activities the girls participated in included:
- High Ropes
- Planting local shrubs and trees
- Mountain bike riding
- Giant swing
- Geo caching
Low ropes course
This year Murrundindi visited the girls and gave them a short course on the local Bacchus Marsh fauna and flora and spoke to them about his family and the Wurundjeri people of Victoria. The girls were fascinated by his stories and personal experiences. Additionally, the local CFA (Country Fire Authority) also visited the campsite and gave each Year 6 girl the opportunity to use some of the CFA equipment. I would like to thank Miss Katrina Cheong, Miss Kate Giles, Mrs Kerry O’Callaghan and Mr Shane Maycock for all their work in preparing a wonderful camp experience for our Year 6 girls.
Junior School Art Excursion
On Friday 4th March the Year 5 students went on an Art excursion to the National Gallery of Victoria to view the Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei Exhibition. The students first took part in a Powerpoint presentation and discussion session, where they learnt a lot about the two artists, making comparisons between them and being able to reflect upon each artist and their work.
This was followed by a tour of the extensive artworks, where each artists’ work was alongside the other, showing the connections between them. The students were very excited and engaged with the artworks, especially the hands on aspects such as the Floating Clouds, Lego Room, Brillo Building Blocks and Photo Booth.
After lunch, in the beautiful grounds of the National Gallery of Victoria, the students took part in an hands-on art workshop entitled ‘Precious Pets’. The students learnt a new printing technique that used ink and a nib pen. They created colourful and bold water colour prints of birds, cats, dogs and fish.
It was an inspirational day of learning and appreciation of what can be created using everyday ‘ordinary’ objects, turning them into ‘extraordinary’ artworks.
Early Learning 3 – Murrundindi Visits
On Monday the 7th of March Murrundindi, Ngurungaeta (head person of the Wurundjeri people), an Aboriginal elder, dancer, musician, story teller and Grandfather of nine visited us. Throughout the year we will spend some time with Murrundindi in our classroom. All children will have the opportunity to listen to stories told verbally, with pictures and through drawing and dance.
On this visit we learned that in Aboriginal art the male snake and female snake have different markings. We also learned to say Gudjinna, which means hello and good morning and Triganin which means, goodbye and see you later.
The children have had an opportunity to reflect on their time with Murrundindi through art in the classroom. At the easel they have used the same markers and paper to recreate their own representation of the male and female snake. Indigenous culture and learning will be embedded into our curriculum throughout the year in Early Learning 3.
Early Learning 4 Part-Time – Stick Insects
This term we introduced stick insects after Shreya inquired, “Where are the stick insects?” Mrs Debbie explained they had died over the holidays as they only live 6- 18 months. On Thursday February 11 Lynne from the Maintenance Team brought some stick insects in for our class.
Over the month the children have learnt what they eat, how to handle them and how to care for them. The children are learning to understand the differences between insects and spiders. Shreya has tried catching moths in the playground. She has put out bowls of water for them and collected leaves and flowers and she has brought in her favourite moths for news. The children are also fostering an interest in butterflies. The children have been curious and asking many questions. Next term we will be raising our own butterflies following the whole process of the butterfly cycle which will take approximately 7 weeks.
Over the weeks, the children have learnt from each other, from books and from Ms DanXue (who read the Very Hungry Caterpillar in Chinese) and from Mrs Debbie. The children are connecting to and showing respect for the creatures in their environment.
Early Learning 4 Full Time – Meditation
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” Helen Keller
In Early Learning 4 we have introduced periods of meditation in our day. This means, there are specific times of the day when meditation is used to calm and quieten the mind, body, feelings and thoughts of the children. With this quiet mind, the children can explore and connect with their inner feelings and concentrate and focus their attention to specific thoughts.
In our classroom we are using guided meditation to relax the body and calm the mind. Guided meditation involves the children listening to a meditation story that is told by the teacher. Through these stories the children create an image in their mind and listen to statements through which they become aware of their own positive qualities and potential.
These times of meditation provide opportunities for the children to be mindful. When the children are mindful, they are truly present in the moment and fully aware and engaged with everything about that moment – in particular, their thoughts, feelings and breathing.
We encourage meditation and mindfulness in our early learning community due to the positive benefits these can have to a child’s overall emotional well-being. Meditation and mindfulness encourages a healthy mind, body and spirit and can improve concentration and self-esteem; and increase resilience and reduce stress and anxiety.
In Foundation we have been discovering patterns. We have been identifying, making, talking about, and continuing patterns. We have found that when you look for them; patterns are everywhere! The patterns we like most are the ones that occur in nature, such as the patterns on a zebra, giraffe or tree …. we also like the patterns we can make with beads on a necklace, of course! We have been developing our fine motor skills as we make patterns too. It was quite challenging to thread unifix cubes onto string, but we know how to encourage each other and persist.
Year 1 Inquiry and Gratitude
This term, the Year 1 students have been exploring “What Makes a Great Community?” As part of their investigations, they were fortunate to be able to interview various members of the School community. From visiting Mrs Dunwoody in her office to Dan from Pinwheel & Co in the kitchen, the girls relished the opportunity to learn more about each representative’s role and responsibilities and how they embrace our School values.
In Year 1, we recognise that gratitude is an important way of making us feel connected to our community and develop empathy and resilience. For Thankful Thursday, each student wrote a letter of thanks to their guest speaker, expressing their gratitude for their unique contribution to the school.
Here are some of our ideas:
I am thankful for Mr D because he helps us to learn – Chanel
I am thankful for Dan for making us healthy food – Audrey R
I am grateful for Nurse Kathy because she helps us when we are hurt or sick – Natasha O
I am thankful for Mrs Dunwoody because she makes us feel warm and happy – Chloe L
I am thankful for all of the artwork that we can learn from – Emily
I am grateful for Ms Giles because she says hello to me in the morning – Annabelle
I am grateful for Ms Vicki and Mrs Jepson for helping us at school – Aphrodite
Miss Michelle Kalus and Miss Miranda Kerr Year 1 Teachers
What’s happening in Year 2?
In Year 2 the students have been thoroughly enjoying a variety of activities during our reading sessions. From retelling a story on the Little Story Creator app to identifying parts of speech through reading a text, photography and scribing, the students have demonstrated their learning and understanding in a variety of creative ways.
The students have also been thinking deeply about their reading as we explore The Snow Queen and other texts at the beginning of our reading sessions. For example, the students were asked to reflect on the behaviour of one of the main characters, Kay, and explored how his behaviour had changed over the course of the text. One student wrote “I prefer Kay’s behaviour earlier because he was kind and caring but now I feel pity for him because he got ice in his eyes and ice in his heart. He became mean.”
Another student commented “I like Kay earlier because he was nice to Gerda and played more games with her. I feel sorry for Gerda because Kay was not nice to her anymore.” This lead to a discussion on how certain actions and behaviours can influence our relationships. The children spoke enthusiastically and enjoyed this opportunity to think critically. We would encourage parents to listen to their children read and discuss their thoughts with their daughter.
I hope that all families have enjoyed Term One at Ormiston – it certainly has been a busy Term. I wish you all a fantastic Easter break and I look forward to seeing you return to Ormiston for Term Two.
Head of Junior School