Junior School Assemblies continue on Zoom
Since returning to Ormiston, our weekly Junior School assemblies have continued via Zoom on a Wednesday morning. These assemblies have been shortened to fifteen minutes and the themes we have explored so far have been:
> The best of remote learning
> What makes a good friend?
It was very exciting to see our students take a growth mindset approach to remote learning and accomplish their personal best throughout this period of time. There is no doubt that there were many challenges that students, parents and staff faced and were able to overcome. When discussing these challenges with our students, the overall response was that they adapted and essentially enjoyed the remote learning experience.
Here are some student responses regarding the best parts of remote learning:
> Developing independence
> Using home as an advantage
> Re-watching videos to clarify learning
> Zoom morning meetings at 9.00am
> Zoom reading groups and working with others
> Planting seeds
> Funky Friday
> Having breaks
> Being creative
> Friday disco
> Casual clothes
Also, the students listed some important aspects of being a good friend. They were:
> Being kind
> Being thoughtful
> Being trustworthy
> Being respectful
> Being a good listener
We look forward to continue with these two conversations for the rest of the term.
Foundation – Year 6 School Counsellor Meetings
Since our students have returned to face-to-face learning over the last three weeks, each year level has had the opportunity to meet with our School Counsellors Paula Kolivas and Beth Sarlos. To enable a smooth transition from remote learning at home to normal classroom programs at school, Paula and Beth spoke to students about:
> If they were feeling mixed emotions about returning to school, after the COVID-19 restrictions, that this is normal and understandable
> Being both excited and nervous about being back onsite
> Being happy at seeing their friends and teachers, missing the nice things about being at home, and feeling anxious about the things that may be different at school
During the sessions, the School Counsellors encouraged each student to speak with an adult (parent, family member, teacher etc) if they continued to feel nervous, anxious or felt they were not coping with the transition back to school. The Counsellors also emphasised the importance of students actively looking after themselves and each other during this transition time back at school.
Murrundindi Visits Ormiston
As mentioned in our recent Junior School Weekly, our close school friend and ngurungaeta or ‘head man’ of the Wurundjeri people Murrundindi, welcomed our Year 3 – 6 students and staff back to Ormiston after eight weeks of remote learning at home. Murrundindi completed a Welcome to Country ceremony by playing his digeridoo to our school community.
Murrundindi spent most of the day at Junior School sharing his indigenous culture and knowledge with many different year levels. When Murrundindi arrived at Ormiston, the students loved listening to his unique experiences with the local Wurundjeri people. The importance of learning more about our aboriginal and Australian culture was clearly promoted throughout all classes.
Murrundindi covered the following Junior School topics during the day:
Early Learning 3
Bunjil the Eagle
Australian animals and creation stories
Australian animals and their habitat
How community uses water?
Colonial times in Australia
Year 3 – What a Week!
What a wonderful week it’s been in the Year 3 classrooms. We have spent time reflecting on our learning and the challenges during the remote learning program. Students expressed gratitude for the support of their parents and pride for personal achievements, such as learning new skills and stepping out of their comfort zone. They have particularly enjoyed a return to “hands-on” learning and the use of concrete materials to explore concepts such as division in Mathematics and changes in states of matter in Science.
We are immensely proud of the Year 3 students – the way they adapted so quickly to remote learning and the way they have transitioned back to school again. The final two weeks are sure to be full of more learning, laughter and fun.
Rebecca Leondidis and Liz Ruffles
Year 3 Class Teachers
Early Learning Centre – Cultural Competence
In Early Learning we believe it is not enough for the children to have an awareness of cultural differences and similarities – we want the children to be culturally competent. This means, we want them to understand, communicate with and effectively interact with people across cultures.
Cultural competence encompasses:
> being aware of one’s own world view
> developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences
> gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and world views
> developing skills for communication and interaction across cultures
Belonging Being Becoming pg. 16
In Early Learning, we want each child and family to feel valued and be recognised and respected for who they are; and to actively share aspects of their culture. In EL we provide rich and diverse resources to reflect children’s social worlds and provide opportunities for the children and families to share experiences and events that are important to them. These experiences also explore diversity and provide opportunities to develop an understanding about the connections between children and families; and the similarities and differences between members of our ELC and wider community.
At CGGS, we feel privileged to have a connection and relationship with Murrundindi, the Ngurungaeta of the Wurundjeri. Recently, the children and teachers gathered in the garden and Murrundindi, through his Welcome to Country, welcomed us onto the land of the Wurundjeri people. He also played the didgeridoo. Murrundindi is an integral part of our community and we have developed a respectful relationship with him. The children enthusiastically welcome him and are curious about his culture, values and beliefs. The children learn about these through his Wurundjeri stories, Woiwurrung language and music and dance. These experiences provide the children and teachers with an opportunity to gain further knowledge and understandings about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and in particular, the Wurundjeri Peoples – the First Peoples in the area in which CGGS is located.
Cultural competence is also about the everyday experiences and cultural practices of each family in our EL community. Some families have emailed stories or children have brought in photographs and short descriptions of celebrations or things they do at home or in their local community that are significant and important to them and their family. Teachers have received photographs of family celebrations such as birthdays, family gatherings that show those people who are significant in their child’s life and events that families participate in during the weekend.
We encourage families to continue to share aspects of their culture with our EL community as this provides an opportunity to share and discuss experiences that are significant in each child’s life and develops each child’s cultural competence. Please continue to keep us informed about the everyday experiences and cultural practices of your family outside of Early Learning through phone conversations, emails and photographs.
Early Learning Team Leader & Teacher
Again, I want to express how wonderful it was to see all students back at Ormiston this week. I wish all our families a restful weekend.
Head of Junior School