High Quality Work at Ormiston – Teaching and Learning Update
At Ormiston our focus has always been on providing the highest quality teaching and learning programs to ensure success for all learners. Our goal as a staff this year is to help our School community understand what high quality learning looks like within our School. There are three key elements to high quality teaching and learning programs. Rigor by definition is to be extremely thorough, careful and purposeful in action. This is how curriculum decisions are made daily by our teaching staff. At Ormiston a rigorous curriculum is achieved by teachers striving to ensure learning tasks from Early Learning to Year 6 are designed to embed and exhibit the Model of Excellence’s three key indicators of high quality work: complexity, craftsmanship and authenticity.
Throughout the year staff participate in regular professional learning opportunities to extend their teaching capacities in a number of areas. This term a number of staff have been exploring how to develop students’ mathematical mindsets through examining and implementing the work of world renowned educator, and Stanford professor Jo Boaler, who specialises in developing mathematical mindsets in students. Jo’s work connects with research conducted by Carol Dweck on growth mindsets and teaches teachers strategies to help students exceed their pre-conceptualised mathematical ability. Regularly during learning conversations do teachers hear phrases such as: “I’m not a Maths person so I’m not surprised that my daughter isn’t either.” Jo and Carol’s research papers remind us of the elasticity of brain and memory function and note that “when approached the right way, anyone can do well at learning Mathematics.”
You can read more of Jo Boaler’s research here:
To achieve high quality teaching and learning, our teaching staff regularly reflect on their classroom curriculum and assessment processes to ensure that the feedback they are providing to students and families is clear and meaningful. To achieve this, staff have begun working in teams to analyse and revise their assessment practices to ensure that the continuous feedback documentation on SEQTA Engage is accessible to students and families to provide an overview of student achievements and future areas of growth. Staff have strived to include a larger range of assessments appearing on SEQTA Engage this term including items such as rubrics, checklists and video recordings.
If you have any feedback or suggestions about the continuous feedback examples being released on SEQTA please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. ~ Emma Hinchliffe, Year 4 Class Teacher & Deputy Head of Junior School (Teaching and Learning)
Foundation – Year 6 Mountfield Maestros
Last week, many students from Foundation – Year 6 participated in our Term 1 Mountfield Maestros event. This event encourages students to play a musical instrument in front of a small and supportive audience of family and friends. Congratulations to the following students who did their personal best during this important school event:
Elaine Li – Piano
Irene Li – Piano
Estella Ouyang – Piano
Jade Wang – Piano
Ellie Zhang – Piano
Laura Wan – Piano
Alyssa Li – Piano
Rudra Santhosh – Violin
Erena Zhu – Violin
Maddison O’Meara – Piano
Amy Yang – Piano
Mo Lin Yu – Piano
Genevieve Khaw – Piano
Nina Gan – Piano
Zara Teh – Piano
Asha Bhattacharjee – Piano
Annabelle Nemtsas – Violin
Sophie Peake – Violin
Cosette Tsjin – Violin
Charlotte Chong – Violin
Chloris Ding – Piano
Selina Guan – Piano
Anneka Sinnappu – Piano
Emily Lioe – Cello
Victoria Mao – Violin
Ellie Cowell – Oboe
Katrina Tong – Violin
Heidi Lim – Voice solo
Fiona Zhu – Flute
Clarissa Wong – Cello
Trumpet Quintet – Georgia Langley, Kiki Page, Emily Price, Clarissa Wong and Xixi Yang
Foundation – Year 2 Swimming Carnival
Recently our students from Foundation – Year 2 participated in our annual Swimming Carnival at the CGGS Aquatic Centre. Students from all year levels had-a-go at a variety of events including freestyle, backstroke and some races involved using kickboards. I look forward to seeing our Year 2 students take part in our Year 3 – 6 Swimming Carnival next year. I would like to thank our Ormiston Physical Education teachers Kerry O’Callaghan, Dot Georgiou and Nareen Robinson. Also, special thanks must go to our CGGS Swim Coach, Peter Kitney and Learn to Swim Coordinator, Lisa Williams for their help and support throughout the carnival, as well as our student House leaders, Isabella Wood, Zoe Brisk, Madeleine Yim and Sienna Lonetti.
Foundation – Year 6 House Spirit
The rain couldn’t stop the buzz of excitement as each of the Houses – Lawrence, Schofield, Singleton and Taylor met for some House spirit activities during lunch on Monday.
Our Year 6 House Leaders, Sienna Lonetti (Lawrence), Madeleine Yim (Schofield), Zoe Brisk (Singleton) and Isabella Wood (Taylor), led their respective Houses in team building games and House chants. It was wonderful to see the older students supporting our F – Year 2 students as they guided them through these activities.
The House program builds spirit and maintains tradition. Being part of a House ensures that girls are connected across year levels and as they transition to Senior School. Fivedation buddies are based on House allocation to give the younger students a stronger support system as they begin primary school.
We are looking forward to seeing all Years 4 – 6 students participating in House Cross Country next term on Wednesday 18 April and hearing those House chants in full force! ~ Liz Ruffles, Year 5 Class Teacher
Years 3 & 4 Book Club
On Wednesday, the Years 3 and 4 students welcomed popular author and Old Grammarian, Alex Miles, to talk about her latest addition to her well-loved Olive Black series – ‘The Egyptian Puzzle’. Alex shared with the students the sparks of her inspiration; the importance of perseverance and her process of creating well rounded characters. But most of all, amongst introducing her new born baby, Fred, she shared the passion and wisdom of what it means to be a devoted author. The students were full of questions and revelled in their answers as she reminded them that stories are all around us and all it takes is tapping into our everyday surroundings for fantastic story ideas.
Alex shared her writing competition which students can participate in to write their own Olive Black poster and jumped at the chance to get their new copies signed at the end of the session.
Thank you, Alex, for sharing your energy and inspiring our own Olive Black fan-club! ~ Ren Pennesi, Library Development Assistant
Year 4 Coding in STEAM
The Year 4 students have been eager participants in Coding challenges during STEAM lessons this term. The girls explored and designed a number of different programming algorithms written in both simple English and in the form of a flowchart using shapes and arrows. They learnt to include only what is necessary to complete a task and were challenged to devise clear, simple and efficient solutions to a problem. The girls were encouraged to include sequencing of steps, branching and iteration into their algorithms.
The second component of the unit involved the students applying their computational thinking to program the School’s Dash Robots using the Blockly programming app. The students enthusiastically and cooperatively worked in groups to create their programs in simple English and in the form of a flowchart. Finally, they created an algorithm on Bockly and successfully programmed their robot to perform specific tasks. ~ Annabelle Vivarini and Penny Dumsday, Junior School STEAM Teachers
Early Learning 4 – Building a Connected School Community
During the past few weeks, the Early Learning 4 children have been involved with preparing a large garden box for planting. They discovered the soil in the box was very hard and it was difficult to pull out the grass and weeds. They persisted and within a couple of weeks they achieved their goal of clearing all of the grass and weeds out of the garden box. The children then mixed some worm castings from our worm farm with water and poured this onto the soil in the garden box. After a few days of watering and turning the soil, they added potting mix and this provoked a discussion about the importance of nutrients to help prepare the soil for planting. We discussed how the nutrients will help the plants grow and produce strong and healthy vegetables for us to eat and flowers for us to pick.
The children continued to water the soil and within a few days the garden box was ready for the children to plant seedlings. The children created a list of seedlings and plants they wanted to grow in the garden. We felt it was important for the children to be involved in this whole process so we organised for the children to visit Bunnings after school so they could purchase the seedlings and plants. Each child had a paper with visual representations of the different seedlings and plants and they circled the photo of the seedling or plant they had to find for our garden.
Children, parents and teachers met at Bunnings after school and were greeted by Brooke and Mick. The children were involved in a mini workshop during which time Mick discussed and informed the children about the parts of a plant, the importance of sunlight, water and roots for the growth of plants and the different types of plants we can see in our environment. It was positive to see some of the Early Learning 4 children so enthusiastic and confident to participate and answer questions. The children also had an opportunity to place some dirt in a biodegradable pot and plant some parsley seeds with Brooke and Mick. The children took their pot home so they could observe the growth of parsley from seeds to herb and Mick encouraged the parents to use this herb in their cooking at home.
The children then went to the nursery and with the support of their parent, they found the seedling or plant they chose to purchase for our garden box. It was great to see diversity in their choices – carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, snow peas, wong bok, strawberries, lettuce, lavender, pansies and geraniums.
The visit to Bunnings provided a great opportunity for the children to participate in authentic and real life experiences that support the children’s learning. This visit and their participation in the Garden Workshop also extended the children’s interest in and knowledge about planting. The selection of seedlings provoked conversations that promoted the importance of healthy lifestyles and good nutrition; and provided the children with a sense of agency as they made decisions about what they wanted to grow and eat. The experience also provided authentic opportunities for the children to engage in literacy and mathematical concepts.
We believe it is important for our school to provide the children with opportunities to engage with the community, as it fosters and enhances the children’s learning beyond our school environment. Also, by being visible within the community, the children can demonstrate their capabilities as curious inquirers and enthusiastic young learners and citizens of this world.
During the past week, the children have been involved with planting the seedlings and plants and taking responsibility for watering them. We look forward to further opportunities for investigation, observation and exploration related to the growth of the seedlings and eventually harvesting them and using them in our cooking at school. ~ Angela Follacchio, Early Learning 4 (Full Time) Teacher and Early Learning Team Leader
Tasmanian Swimming Championships 2018 – Emily Price Year 6R
Recently, Emily Price of Year 6 competed in our Eastern Regional Championships and was awarded third place in her 50 metre breaststroke race.
After the Regional Championships, Emily participated in the Tasmanian Swimming Championships and led the charge in the junior group by competing in six events and collecting ten Personal Best performances, taking many seconds off her entry times and collecting two State Longcourse State qualifying times.
Anika Selvaratnam Year 4K
This month, Anika participated in the Victorian State Little Athletics Track and Field Championships. She represented Kew Little Athletics Club and achieved some outstanding results. Anika placed fourth in the 800 metre final and took an amazing 16 seconds of her personal best time. In her second race, Anika ran beautifully in the 400 metre final and won the race in another personal best time. We look forward to following Anika’s athletics results at school this year in track and field.
Farewell Mrs O’Callaghan our Physical Education Teacher
On Tuesday, our Junior School students and School community said farewell to our Early Learning – Year 2 Physical Education teacher, Kerry O’Callaghan who has been teaching at Ormiston for over 6 years. The Year 2 students performed a dance on the outside tennis court that included a variety of physical education skills. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the dance and display of skills. I would like to thank the Year 2 Class Teachers Kathryn Brandt and Selena Reedman for their time and efforts in preparing the Year 2 students and to Miranda Jackson for coordinating a number of farewell activities for Kerry. On behalf of the school community, we wish Kerry all the best for the future.
It is hard to believe that Term 1 is already over. What a wonderful term of learning it has been at Ormiston and it has gone very quickly. I would like to wish all our students, staff and families a very restful Easter holiday break. Thank you to everyone for all their support over the term and we look forward to starting Term 2 in just over two weeks. The first day back for students is Tuesday 17 April.
Head of Junior School