JS News, 11 Nov 20
Dates to Remember
Thurs 12 Nov
Year 4 Todd Woodbridge Tennis Cup
Fri 13 Nov
Year 2GS & 2KH Excursion to NGA
Tues 17 Nov
As the term gathers momentum, our Junior School community is fully immersed in the work of learning and growing together. Pre-Kindergarten children are taking their first steps in experimenting with writing, while our Kinders are composing exquisite poetry. Year 1 are researching animals and their habitats, while Year 2 explore stories as a window into other cultures. In Year 3, students are exploring Indigenous art, while Year 4 delve into the intricacies of recycling. Our Year 5 are supporting communities to take action aligned with the UN sustainable development goals, and of course Year 6 students are bringing their remarkable Exhibition experience to a close.
Our teachers are also deeply engaged in learning, with many staff involved in a range of recent courses, workshops and conferences. On Monday afternoon, classroom and student support teachers participated in a professional learning session with writing consultant Catherine Nash. The workshop explored the writing process, the qualities of effective writing, structures to support writing instruction, and the power of conferencing with children about their writing.
The aims of the workshop are captured in the words of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and educator Donald Murray:
“Writing is a craft before it is an art; writing may appear magic, but it is our responsibility to take our students backstage to watch the pigeons being tucked up in the magician’s sleeve.”
An impressive number of Junior School students have been supporting Waste-Free Wednesday and more recently, Nude Food Tuesday. The number of children participating continues to increase, and the amount of litter in the playground on these allocated days has reduced considerably.
These significant steps towards reducing waste have led to some students talking about how they might work towards having a waste-free lunch every day. The theme of sustainability was explored in depth by a number of groups in our recent Year 6 exhibition. One group tackled the question of waste in schools and took action through the creation of a ‘Litter-Free Schools’ initiative.
The group’s goal is to work towards packaging-free lunches and provide the school community with resources to make waste-free lunches simple. Their research turned up some stark facts about the waste generated by school lunches:
- On average, a school-age child using a disposable lunch generates three pieces of litter per day, which equates to 30kg of waste per year.
- This is 15 tonnes of waste produced by a school of 500 students each year from lunch boxes alone.
They also highlighted the fact that many schools have waste-free lunches every day and have been able to remove all bins (and litter) from the playground. Any litter brought to school is simply returned home inside the student’s lunch box.
Definitely food for thought.
Celebrating our learners
Preparations are well underway for our end-of-year celebration. As mentioned in our Week 1 bulletin, we would like our celebration to acknowledge and affirm all our learners. We made the decision to move away from the class PYP Learner Profile awards as, by nature, they praised a small number of students rather than celebrating the journey and growth of all. We trust that this message will shine through the celebration.
Year 12 visit to the ELC
The return of some Year 12 students to the ELC for lunch last Friday was a huge success. It provided many opportunities for both staff and students to rekindle and relive memories, and share significant stories of their time spent in the ELC and throughout the Junior School.
The Year 12 students were delighted to hear Brenda Lander share the story of the design and construction of the ELC tepee, describing how each student contributed to the final work of art. They gazed with broad smiles of warmth and remembrance at the collection of images presented on the 2006 PowerPoint. As the lunch ended, many of the Year 12 students walked throughout the Junior School, reflecting on their experiences and embracing opportunities to engage and connect with staff who had contributed to their journey.