Junior School Assembly – Foundation to Year 6
This week, our Wednesday Assembly presented an excellent opportunity for our School community to learn more about one of our families. The Mason family have two girls at Ormiston in Year 1 (Madeline Mason) and Year 5 (Katherine Mason) and we learnt that parents Stuart and Josie are both veterinarians. Stuart heads up the Monash Veterinary Clinic with a team of doctors and the Clinic has grown into one of the biggest general and reproductive veterinary clinics in Victoria. Stuart and his team not only treat sick and injured animals, but actively work with people and families on disease prevention programs.
Throughout the assembly, Stuart went through his own life as a young boy living on a small farm in Kilmore, a town 1-hour from Melbourne. He told our students that he worked extremely hard during his Senior School years at Assumption College and at Melbourne University. While at University, Stuart said that he met his wife Josie who was also studying to be a veterinarian. The information that Stuart presented to our community was to encourage everyone at Ormiston to look after their animals at home, particularly dogs and cats. We thank him for his presentation and we look forward to learning more about the Monash Veterinary Clinic in the future and how Stuart can continue to help people look after pets and animals.
2018 Foundation Transition Sessions 1 and 2
As a Junior School, we believe it is very important for our students to be ready for their first full year of formal schooling. In Term 4 each year, we organise three sessions for all the students who are enrolled in both our 2018 Foundation classes to come to Ormiston to meet their class teachers and begin to make friends with all the students. Each 1-hour session consists of the class teachers organising some structured activities for the students to complete and some opportunities for free play that encourage each student to co-operate and socialise with other.
Also, these sessions actively encourage 2018 Foundation parents to get to know each other over a cup of tea. This year we have a small group of students outside the school that are coming to Ormiston for the first time. It has been wonderful to see so many parents taking the time to introduce themselves to new families and I would like to thank Heather Scarff, Michelle Di Giovanni and Selena Reedman for organising these sessions this year.
Ormiston Orientation Morning: Foundation – Year 6
I would like to remind Ormiston families that our annual Orientation Morning is coming up quickly on Tuesday 21 November. This important event from 9.00-11.00am is for both new students coming to Ormiston in 2018 and our current students, and all Foundation to Year 6 students will find out their class teacher for 2018. Also, students will find out which girls will be in their class for next year and where their class will be located on our campus.
Additionally, this is a wonderful opportunity for new parents to come along and learn more about Ormiston. A comprehensive presentation will take place outlining all aspects in regards to the running of the Junior School and I particularly look forward to meeting as many families as possible from our Early Learning Centre.
Coding and Robotics at Ormiston
Last week Kathryn Brandt (Digital Learning Leader) and I held a parent In-Conversation event in the School’s MakerSpace. The purpose of the session was to introduce families to the digital technologies curriculum that is being embedded in programs across the School. Parents learned about the reasons behind the introduction of a curriculum that teaches computational thinking, commonly known as coding, in schools and how and why we use coding and robotics skills with our students. Parents got up close with our robotics and coding tools and had the opportunity to experience the computational thinking process for themselves. For parents who were unable to attend I have included a summary of our main discussion points below.
What is computational thinking?
“Computational thinking [CT] is the thought processes involved in formulating problems and their solutions, so that the solutions are represented in a form that can be effectively carried out by an information-processing agent”. Jeanette Wing
Why are we teaching robotics and computational thinking (coding) at Camberwell Girls?
Teaching computational thinking means that we are developing students who are more likely to be comfortable taking risks. The students will be collaborating with a higher tolerance for ambiguity and flexibility to take advantage of a world with ubiquitous computing. We are providing students with a rigorous education that combines computational thinking with deep discipline-based knowledge, along with producing graduates that can lead creative solutions which could not have been possible before. Computational thinking supports the development of creative thinking as computing is a creative activity that follows design and engineering principles of: recursion and iteration to facilitate exploration, creation and innovation.
How are we teaching computational thinking?
Teachers use a range of tools and mediums to teach computational thinking at each year level and to begin, they don’t even use technology. Explicit teaching of procedures, steps, orders, patterns and repetitions in both literacy and numeracy lay the foundations for computational thinking. Once students can recognise that for computers to carry out tasks they need small, explicit ordered instructions, they are then challenged to apply their thinking to solve problems involving colour coding, visual programming languages and robotics. The level of challenge and tools for programming and coding presented to each year level are differentiated to support developmental needs.
What are some of the tools that students are using for programming and coding in Junior School?
- Beebots: Foundation – Year 2
- Ozobots: Year 2 – 6
- Dash Robots: Years 2 – 4
- Spheros: Years 4 – 6
- Scratch Jr – Visual coding platform application: Years 1 – 2
- Scratch – Visual coding platform: Years 2 – 6
- Hour of Code: Years 2-6
~ Emma Hinchliffe, Deputy Head of Junior School – Teaching and Learning
Choral and Instrumental Concert – Foundation to Year 6
I would like to encourage all Ormiston families to come along to our upcoming musical event in Term 4. Our annual Choral and Instrumental Concert will take place on Thursday 30 November and specific details of this event were sent out to all families this week.
I wish all Ormiston families a wonderful weekend.
Head of Junior School