It was wonderful to see so many parents and family members at Ormiston Creates last week. The name of our previous productions over many years has been Ormiston Alive! This year the name was changed to Ormiston Creates which placed the students at the very centre of everything we did with the production. We had a strong focus on creativity and our school values of respect, commitment, integrity, hope and courage.
This year’s production involved trying new things and organising the story around the strengths and passions of our students. Not only did we have 215 students on stage, but every Year 5 and 6 student also had other responsibilities behind the scenes. It was the first time they were involved with sound, lighting, the digital backdrop, publicity, decorating the Barbara Sutton Hall Foyer and costume design. Even the Year 6 students wrote their script and came up with a strong sustainability message.
I would like to thank our Junior School class teachers for all their work with Ormiston Creates particularly our Year 5 and 6 class teachers who worked closely with their students on additional roles. I would also like to say thank you to our administrative staff Justine Clancy, Marianne Parma and Vicki Ibbott. There is always a lot of work involved in organising and preparing these evenings and their work ensured everything went smoothly.
This year we had some outstanding movement, ballet and dancing throughout the production and this was due to the work completed by our choreographers Millie Leaver and Lauren Bignold. Many sessions were organised over the last five weeks to improve the skills of our dance ensembles and I would like to thank Millie and Lauren for their work in this area.
Additionally, I would like to thank Jessica Huggett and Kath Buckingham for taking the time to organise and coordinate the music, script, movement and drama throughout the production. It was very exciting to see all students on the stage for the final two songs of the evening, ‘Try Everything’ and ‘This is Me’ were very inspiring.
Finally, I would like to remind parents that we have finished our third week of Ormiston Creates Festival of the Arts. The first week involved an Open House week, where the Music Department opened up many musical sessions for parents to attend and the second week was The Greatest Show. The third week (this week) was Book Week and next week will be our annual Ormiston Art Show. As a school community, I look forward to seeing many families at our Art Show.
Ormiston Creates – A celebration of the rich contribution of the Arts to student learning
At Ormiston we strive to provide opportunities for students to experience learning in meaningful ways and celebrate the diverse range of skills and talents of students. As part of our commitment to developing students’ to take on challenges of the future, we designed curriculum this term to emphasise the importance of creativity and how this can be shown and developed through the Arts.
Creativity is an essential skill for success in today’s world. The ability to use your knowledge to build creative solutions is no mean feat. Creativity however, is something that rarely exists in isolation. If we delve in to Einstein’s past we will discover a large network of people who contributed in some small part to the development of his understandings that allowed him to create the world’s most well-known equation.
To emphasis collaboration in the creative process, we harnessed the rich opportunity of students to work together to produce our biannual whole school musical. It was used as a launching point for an exploration of creativity and the arts across the curriculum. Each year level inquired in to what it means to be creative in different ways led by the interests, wonderings and curiosities of students.
The Foundation and Year 1 students worked together to explore the question – How can we show creativity? To support their inquiry, students worked in cross-age groups and participated in range of workshops run by the Foundation and Year 1 teachers designed. The workshops were designed to explore creativity through ways to calm minds and bodies, teamwork and co-operation through physical games, the creation of music using their bodies and the development of hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills through finger knitting and weaving.
The Year 2 students explored what it means to be creative through dance, craft, writing, painting, drawing, singing, playing and thinking. There was a focus on what it means to think creatively and by exploring how to develop fluency, flexibility, redefinition, originality and elaboration of ideas. Another major focus of the Year 2 program was conducting circle times to support students to develop creative strategies to explore how they might meet the challenges of performing such as – What can I do if I have to perform and I don’t want to? What can I do if I feel nervous about performing? How can I give the best performance possible?
The Year 3 students studied different forms of creativity through dance, design and creation. Students experienced different styles of music and dance performed in different countries and had the opportunity to wear traditional costumes of those countries. Students were also actively involved in designing and creating their own costumes for the Ormiston Creates production. They learnt about the method of tie dyeing and used their creativity to design their own head and wrist pieces. Students also used story board templates to create a short sequence and used the Stop Motion application to publish their work using a range of materials, including plasticine, lego and paper.
The Year 4 students focussed their inquiry on how we can show creativity through performance. They used a range of thinking routines to deepen their understandings of different types of stories and performances and how we decide on what is considered creative. Students also focused on developing creative and flexible thinking skills through an exploration of ethics, narrative writing and movement using hydraulics and pneumatics. Their final challenge is to apply the knowledge they gained in their studies of creativity in numeracy, science, literacy and the arts to design and present their own puppet shows with puppets that move using hydraulic or pneumatic forces.
For the first half of Term 3, students in Years 5 and 6 focussed on developing their Performing Arts skills throughout Ormiston Creates. To provide a focus to the learning program, students explored the questions: How do we tell stories? What is involved in putting on a performance? What skills do you want to develop? How do we get our message across?
The Year 6 students participated in an incursion with the Bell Shakespeare company in preparation for acting, writing and communicating themes effectively. The Year 6 students wrote their own scene for the production by initially brainstorming issues that they felt were important. From there, students created a storyboard for a message around plastics. On this was agreed upon the students began working in small groups to create the dialogue that would be needed. This was voted upon by the students. The method for sharing their message required the students to work collaboratively. This skill was required when the students designed the movement and dance scene to showcase the elements of the script that referred to teamwork and solving issues together.
The Years 5 and 6 students also chose their cross-age inquiry focus. From making a documentary, marketing, sets and props or lighting and sounds. In the lead up to the production, students studied these areas and worked tirelessly to support the development of The Greatest Show. All posters, brochures, sound effects, pre-show music and backdrops were selected specifically by the students.
Leading on from The Greatest Show we held our ever fabulous book week celebrations which encouraged students to find and share the treasures of the creativity of storytelling and writing. We are looking forward to concluding our Ormiston Creates Festival of the Arts with a bang at our Annual Ormiston Art show from Wednesday to Friday next week. Students have been working hard during their art lessons throughout the year and their artistic creations are guaranteed to inspire. We thank parents for their support of the Arts within our learning programs this term and hope to see as many families as possible at the Art Show.
Year 3 – 6 Victorian Interschools Snowsports Championships
This year the Junior School organised a team of five students to represent Camberwell Girls Grammar School at the annual Victorian Interschools Snowsports Championships. Congratulations to Ency Chen, Selena Chen, Angelique Quah, Zara Cheung and Elysia Wang. These students travelled to Mount Buller for the Championships with their families and competed in a variety of events. This was the first time we have entered the Junior School in this championships and we look forward to taking part again in 2019. I would like to thank Angela Columbine and Claire Macbeth for organising a terrific event for these five students and their families.
Early Learning 3 – Year 6 Book Week Activities
Book Week started splendidly on Monday, with a special performance by Carp Productions for the students in Foundation – Year 3. This show was specifically created with the Book Week theme, Find Your Treasure, in mind. Captain Puffypants believed books were not worth anything, but by the end of the show had learnt from his Pug friend that books teach you many things. Lots of laughter and interaction was enjoyed by all who attended.
On Tuesday morning, the Years 4 – 6 students were mesmerised by the talented and highly creative author and illustrator, Asphyxia. As a puppeteer, who made her own marionette puppets and travelled the world performing with them, Asphyxia was approached by a publishing company to share this story through books. As a result, The Grimstones books were born. We were transfixed by the puppetry of the main character, Martha, as Asphyxia deftly tugged on fine strings to wake her up and have her looking in and around her bed for something missing. Her diary. Martha Grimstones diary. Her story began.
At our Book Week assembly on Wednesday, we celebrated in a myriad of ways. We met Ivy, the Senior School Library dog, discovered the ‘treasure’ that has been hiding inside the large silver treasure chest, celebrated the achievements of our amazing Year 6 students on the completion of their picture story books and the Library Leaders concluded by announcing the winning CBCA books, a very happy occasion indeed.
The EL3 and EL4 children came to their library lessons dressed as book characters and shared the books they brought with them. Some character links were also made with books found in our library. The children were sure to remind me that they were only ‘pretending’ to be the character, when asked about where they live in the book, or when referring to them by their character name!
Each lunch time the library was bursting with girls wanting to participate in special Book Week activities! There was hardly room to move as students searched in books for golden tickets, followed clues through shortlisted books in a treasure hunt and made pirate hats and eye patches. The Year 6 picture books on display gained much attention, as did the popular photo booth. Queues of girls formed to select the props they wanted, before happily posing with friends for a photo or two.
It’s been a fabulous Book Week, full of treasures and wonder. Happy Reading.
Junior School Library Teacher
Children’s Book Week in Early Learning
“Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills that children will eventually require for learning to read.”
– Marilyn Jager Adams
Each year, across Australia, the Children’s Book Council Award brings children and books together celebrating CBCA Book Week. Throughout the year, the Children’s Book Council, work in partnership with authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers and other organisations in the children’s book world, to bring words, images and stories into the hearts and minds of children and adults.
At CGGS we want our youngest students to develop a love of reading and books. Recognising and celebrating Children’s Book Week is another way that we can instil a love of reading and provide an opportunity for the Early Learning children to share their favourite characters and books.
Even though we recognise and celebrate Book Week, in Early Learning the children participate in a number of everyday experiences that develop their capacity and confidence to use language in all its forms and actively engage with and share the enjoyment of language and texts in a range of ways. We support and encourage each child’s enjoyment of stories, books and reading and provide many opportunities for them to participate in experiences that promote and value reading, writing, talking, listening and viewing throughout the day.
An interesting article about the importance for family members to keep reading with their child – even after their child can read.
Mem Fox is one of Australia’s best-selling authors and is internationally recognised for her picture story book, Possum Magic. She has suggested a list of ten things that are important when sharing books with your child.
Early Learning 4 Teacher and Early Learning Leader
Year 2 Service Learning – Hedley Sutton Visit
It’s been a busy couple of weeks of Service Learning opportunities at Junior School. On Monday 6 August, Year 2, together with Debbie Dunwoody, ventured back to Hedley Sutton, a local aged care facility, to spend time with the residents. The students have been reading Jack and the Beanstalk and put on a fabulous play for the residents. Following this, the students worked together with their buddies to teach them how to use Drawing Pad on their iPads, creating lovely pieces of digital art together. A big thank you to the Year 2 teachers, Selena Reedman and Kathryn Brandt, for their continued contributions to the program and for organising the session’s vibrant and interactive activities.
Some student highlights, included:
“Sharing a story with them and they share a story with us. It gets me really interested.” – Deanna
“It’s nice meeting new people” – Anja
“To talk to elders and show respect.” – Nicole
“I think we go to learn more history.” – Eden
“I think we go to comfort other people.” – Gen
“I like going to Hedley Sutton because everybody that we see are happy to do anything, they don’t care what it is, they just want to spend time together.” – Asha
“I think we go because they are very kind and they are always happy to see us because they want to share and learn things.” – Christine
Student Council Meeting
The Semester Two Student Council representatives came together for the first time on Friday 17 August. Expertly led by Sienna Catalogna and Emily Price, Ormiston’s Semester Two Year 6 School Captains, students celebrated some recent school highlights, including Ormiston Creates, “Lettuce Celerybrate”, the netball program, assembly performances and our helpful community spirit and discussed practical ways to improve our school community. They also began brainstorming ideas for our next Junior School fundraiser. Student Council is excited and motivated to contribute to the Salvation Army’s important work with supporting families and communities affected by the droughts. The fundraising event will be held later this term. Stay tuned for more details!
Year 4 Class Teacher & Learning Leader – Service Learning
Junior School Netball
The Junior School netball teams were up against tough competition last weekend, the Year 4 Jets played a great game against KD Starbursts, Jets got numerous intercepts but KD Starbursts were more consistent.
Year 4 Opals went down to MA Ladybugs last Friday, Opals put in a lot of effort but MA Ladybugs hardly missed a goal.
Year 5 Topaz were defeated by MLC Silver 3-10 topaz and the Year 6 Quartz drew to Auburn Gems 7-7, CGGS were down by 3 goals going to into the fourth quarter and played a great last 10 minutes.
Congratulations goes to all Junior School netball teams and best of luck for the rest of the Winter Season.
CGGS Netball Coach / Year 4 Student Teacher
I look forward to seeing all Ormiston families at our annual Ormiston Art Show, please see opening hours below.
Wednesday 29 August: 2.00pm-6.00pm (Opening at 2.00pm upstairs in The Great Space)
Thursday 30 August: 8.10am-6.00pm
Friday 31 August: 8.10am-6.00pm
Have a wonderful weekend.
Head of Junior School