Junior School


Junior School

Year 5 & 6 Grandparents and Special Friends Morning

Our annual EL3 to Year 6 Grandparents and Special Friends Days throughout the year is an opportunity for our school community to thank grandparents and family friends for their love and support. So far this year, the support from family and friends for these events has been outstanding. These mornings encourage our visitors to learn more about Ormiston and the classroom their granddaughter or special friend is in this year. At the end of the morning, our Junior School Music Teacher Jessica Huggett showcased a Vivace Choir (Year 5 and 6) song to everyone, and I congratulate Tanya Sevo (Year 5), Olivia Petrakis (Year 5) and Isabelle Brisk (Year 6) for their musical instrument playing throughout this important event.


Foundation to Year 6 Author/Illustrator Term Visits

We are very excited in the Junior School Library to be welcoming three inspiring authors, illustrators and storytellers in the coming weeks. Next week we will share the company of two of them. On Tuesday 31 May, Cat Weatherill, a British performance storyteller who works around the world, will delight and stimulate our imaginations by performing for students in Years 1 – 4. This will take place in the SS Library from 9.30am – 10.30am.

Belinda Murrell, the author of a variety of time-slip fiction books that go back in time to different periods of history, will join the girls in Years 4 – 6 on June 2. This session will also take place in the SS Library from 9.30 – 10.30.

For the younger students in EL4 & Foundation, the gorgeous illustrator of 14 picture books, Sue DeGennaro, will share her visual work. The JS Library will accommodate this session on June 9 from 11.15 – 12.15. It is such a rich and rewarding experience for all our students to meet and share ideas from these amazing story creators.
~ Jo Whiffin, Junior School Librarian


Year 5 Video Conference – Kids Helpline @ School

Last week Year 5 and 6 students took part in a video conference about resilience with Gwen, a counsellor from Kids Helpline.

The discussion centred on life being full of changes – some big some small, some that we like and some that we don’t like. Students shared examples of being resilient to highlight how this helps us deal with challenges more easily. They discovered that we are less likely to cope with challenges if we feel out of control.

Gwen introduced the concept of resilience muscles and how we can work to keep them strong and help us feel in control.

  • – Stay connected to other people
      Talk to other people, develop friendships
  • – Help other people
      Helping other people makes you feel good
  • – Take a break from your worries
      Do something you enjoy – sport, reading, art, dancing, singing, watching movies, playing with your pet
  • – Look after your body
      Eat well, get enough sleep
  • – Break down problems into smaller parts
      This makes things easier to achieve
  • – Think positively
      “I think I can! I think I can! … I knew I could! I knew I could!”
  • – Keep things in perspective
      Is it really that bad?
  • – Have a sense of humour
      Laugh at yourself – lighten the mood

Students recognised that every time they manage something difficult their resilience muscles get stronger and they are better able to deal with more challenging situations.
~ Liz Ruffles and Kath Buckingham, Year 5 Class Teachers


Year 1 Yoga

On Thursday Kaela from Yoga Sparks came to visit and work with the Year 1 students. Kaela read us a story and taught us how to make our bodies move like the animals in the stories. The movements were actually yoga poses and we learnt that holding the pose and breathing deeply, helps us to feel calm, relaxed and focused. Some of the positions were Chicken, Cow, Egg, Child’s Pose and Mountain Pose. Kaela also taught us a Sun Dance and Belly Breathing using the breathing ball. We can use deep and slow breaths when we want to calm our bodies down. Stretching our bodies was lots of fun and we’re looking forward to practising these poses in our classrooms and at home.
~ Miranda Jackson, Year 1 Class Teacher


Year 3 Excursion – Royal Botanic Gardens

As part of our Inquiry investigation this term, Walking with the Wurundjeri, students in Year 3 were fortunate enough to visit the Royal Botanic Gardens and take part in the Connecting to Country education program. This interactive experience was designed to give students a greater understanding and respect for Aboriginal culture, particularly of the local Kulin Nation. The students actively participated in a traditional Aboriginal smoking (or welcoming) ceremony, made and used ochre paint, discovered traditionally used plants and foods, made string from raffia and explored the use of tools.

Raynee W: The Year 3s went to the Royal Botanic Gardens. It was amazing! We did art and I loved the walk.
Anneke C: I think it was beautiful and I really want to go there with my family! 
Simrah A: The Royal Botanical Gardens was really interesting. We learned about so many different things. We learned about Aboriginal art, plants and much more.
Amy C: I love how Ben showed us the smoking ceremony, and said that it used to welcome people and in births, marriages and deaths.
Jacqueline Z: I thought our excursion was the best thing ever! I enjoyed the walk, when we made paint and when we got to go inside a tree.
Maya G: I loved it when we went to the Royal Botanic Gardens because we got to do fantastic activities!  It was very fun when we got to finger paint and look at different plants.
Zara V: My grade and I went on an excursion to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Everyone loved it! Lots of people loved the smoking ceremony. We learnt that the ceremony   was a welcoming ceremony and that it was also done on special occasions. Most of all, Grade 3 liked being able to do the Aboriginal art.
~ Angela Columbine, Year 3 Class Teacher


Year 2 Video Conference – The Great Barrier Reef

On Thursday 12 May the Year 2 students met Craig, a diver on the Great Barrier Reef! We swam through the water with him, learning all about the hand signals needed for deep sea diving on one of the world’s most important treasures. Imogen explained the importance of the tanks that gave Craig his air, which meant our Video Conference could continue!

Students observed many different species that call the Great Barrier Reef home. There was Penny the Turtle, who had been treated at a hospital due to stomach problems from the rubbish she had eaten. Leopard sharks swam in to our view, as did bizarre sea stars that pushed its stomach to the outside to each!

Other students actively engaged with Craig as he swam. Isabella commented that reefs were built by coral. Leah observed a piece of coral that looked like a brain! Sophie spotted a clown fish on the reef, bringing to mind scenes of Finding Nemo. Selina taught her peers about the deadly sea urchin, a creature that protects itself from predators with its venomous spikes. Sofia explained that some sea creatures have spots as it is helpful for camouflage. Other students peppered Craig with a series of insightful questions as they connected their reading of texts throughout Literacy sessions to the virtual excursion.

It was a unique learning experience that provided many opportunities for us – and I am including the teachers here! – to engage in important questioning so that we could develop a better understanding of the Great Barrier Reef. This will lead to further discussions amongst the students about what we can do to educate others in our community so that this amazing organism can be enjoyed for years to come.
~ Craig Goodwin, Year 2 Class Teacher/Deputy Head of Junior School (Student Wellbeing)


The Early Learning 4 children met Dash the robot

Miss Hinchcliffe informed us that Dash the robot would be visiting Early Learning 4. Before Dash arrived, the children were encouraged to express their wonderings about robots:

– Does the robot move? Ailey
– Did Miss Hinchcliffe make it? Khushi
– Does it have buttons? Ria
– Does the robot have legs? Ria
– Can the robot dance? Amiya

When Miss Hinchcliffe brought Dash to the Early Learning classroom, she demonstrated the different things he can do through voice control and the iPad. The children used the iPad to make Dash spin in a circle, move forwards and backwards and stop; and also recorded their dialogue for Dash to say.

Miss Hinchcliffe told the children some things about Dash and robots:

– A robot doesn’t have a brain like a person. You need to tell the robot instructions and it’s like a mini computer. The buttons make the robot do different things.
– Miss Hinchcliffe pressed the button and Dash listened… when he heard a voice he turned and moved towards the direction of the voice.
– When Dash is connected to the iPad, he doesn’t listen to sounds.
– The iPad is like a controller. When you move switches/tap on the controller, it makes the robot do different things, for example, turn in a circle.

This experience provided the children with an opportunity to compose, make meaning and engage with technology for fun. Miss Hinchcliffe taught skills and techniques that encouraged the children to use Dash technology to explore new information and represent their ideas.

To provide time for further exploration, Miss Hinchcliffe left Dash in our classroom. We look forward to working with Dash as a resource to further develop and support the children’s learning. As we explore and continue to use Dash throughout this term, the children will make discoveries to their wonderings.
~ Angela Follacchio, Early Learning Leader and Teacher 


I would like to wish everyone a lovely weekend.


Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

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