Junior School


Junior School

July 31, 2020

Foundation – Rockstar Readers!

Foundation are Rockstar Readers! We have been putting our knowledge of letters and sounds to very good use in lots of reading activities this term. The students are becoming so good at blending sounds to read words and the more they work on it the more their reading fluency is improving. They participate in a small group reading Zoom session each week with a teacher. This is a great way to catch up, share our love of reading, practise reading aloud and discuss books together. We have also begun the ‘60 Second Read’ activity where each student records their reading and uploads a video on Seesaw to share their progress. This is such a wonderful time in Foundation where the students’ hard work and new skills come together and their reading begins to take-off.

Selena Reedman
Foundation Teacher

Year 1 – Curious Minds

This term in Inquiry and STEAM, Year 1 are exploring how objects move and change and how materials can be used in different ways. The students have been curious and creative scientists where they have created their own hands on experiments at home to investigate how objects can sink and float and also, how everyday materials can be manipulated and changed in order to show how common materials can be used in a variety of ways. Students have also participated in additional “challenge by choice” STEAM mini projects to further develop their inquiring minds. They were very proud to share photos and videos of their work, where they made predications about possible outcomes, explained the steps involved in their projects and discussed their discoveries. It has been wonderful to see so many engaged minds and future TV documentary presenters.

See some of their experiments below.

Angela Columbine
Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 4

In Term 3 the students of Year 4 have continued displaying excellent online etiquette through their listening skills and turn taking.

Yesterday was International Friendship Day and for our morning meeting we discussed what makes a good friend. Kindness, trust, support, humour and respect were the main ideas that were shared. The students also discussed what they miss about their friends whilst engaged in remote learning. It is evident that the ability to laugh with each other, run around and create games, share stories and learn from each other are missed.

On the other hand, remote learning has some benefits, as the students noted what they enjoyed:

“What I am grateful for online learning is that most or all of us have a technology device for example: an iPad, a computer etc. Many people in different environments and places don’t even have the opportunity to use these lovely and helpful devices during this pandemic and lockdowns.”– Mo Lin

“I enjoy being able to see my mum while doing my work”– Tiffany

“I think remote learning gives me an opportunity to learn more about technology and help me adapt to independence. Remote learning gave me more time to bounce around on the trampoline and discover nature’s secrets. Lastly it help me spend more time with my family and have a great time together.”– Rita

“I think remote learning is fun in a sense that we take long breaks and can take our time with our work. I also enjoy getting to see my friends and teachers via zoom and having my teacher put on dance music every morning. I think remote learning is a very interesting experience!”– Asha

In the past week the students have also been conducting a science experiment with cress seeds. As part of our study of ecosystems, we have been learning about the necessary conditions required for something to grow that include biotic (seeds) and abiotic (water, temperature) things. The students have been exploring their hypothesis by introducing one variable – can you see what the variable is by looking at the two photos?

We are looking forward to sharing our learning together on Zoom as we continue to unpack scientific concepts through our reading, writing and inquiry programs.

Craig Goodwin & Jasvindar Gill
Year 4 Class Teachers

Year 5 Update

Term 3 remote learning for Year 5 has started with great energy and curiosity. Our morning Zoom meetings have involved students sharing their passions and interests with the class. Amongst many engaging presentations, we were fortunate enough to be given a drawing lesson by Aaliyah D’Rozario who taught the class how to draw a horse, as well as being amazed by Emily Foo’s gymnastic skills. We have also been fortunate to welcome two new students this term, Alexia and Claire, who have both made a great start despite the challenges of meeting their new classmates and teachers online.

Our Unit of Inquiry ‘How can informed choices create a sustainable world?’ has seen the students dive into the 2040 documentary movie and explore concepts such as climate change, biodiversity loss, sustainability, greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and carbon sequestration. Students are currently developing their knowledge on the art of debating and soon they will have an opportunity to work in teams, via Zoom, to prepare debates. Despite the challenges of remote learning and the huge impact lockdown has caused to everyone, we continue to see positivity, gratitude and a great sense of fun and achievement from all of our students.

Anjali de Quadros, Meagan Wilson & Fiorella Soci
Year 5 Class Teachers


Year 6 Update  

During this term Year 6 has recently commenced an in-depth book study on ‘The Arrival’ by Shaun Tan. It is a beautiful graphic novel filled with pictures and no words, requiring students to look closely and develop their questioning, predicting, summarising and inferring skills in the process. This book is closely tied to our Inquiry unit for this term exploring immigration. We aimed to connect as many activities to Chapter I of ‘The Arrival ‘ to provide continuity in our learning program and an opportunity for students to explore and reflect on these concepts and themes in various ways. In spelling, students learned immigration-related vocabulary, focusing on the meanings of these words while they continue to explore how to create creatures and cities related to scenes in ‘The Arrival’ in Art lessons with Mrs Gibson. Students also learned how to fold origami cranes as part of a mindfulness activity and carefully chose a maximum of 10 things to pack in their own suitcase if they had to leave for a different country, justifying the importance of each item.

Nancy Robottom & Katrina Cheong
Year 6 Class Teachers

Music is in the air at Ormiston!

In Music this week, ELC students learned about Brass instruments and how to play them. The students also enjoyed watching ‘Wa Wa Waltz’, an interactive music adventure series performed by Queensland ensemble ‘Best of Brass’.

The Foundation Music students commenced the term choosing a dance style in which they recorded themselves improvising a style of dance and also revised the song “Bounce” where they practised singing and notating it.

Program music is a story written with music. It enables the listener to explore music as guided by the composer. The Year 1 students commenced their encounter with program music with the story and music for “Peter and the Wolf”by Sergei Prokofiev.Whilst Year 2 Music students commenced their study of ‘Carnival of the Animals’by the famous French composer Camille Saint-Saens, in future weeks both classes will analyse why the composer chose certain instruments to represent the characters in the stories.

Year 3 Music students were introduced to Chrome Music Lab which is a website that makes learning music more accessible through fun, hands-on experiments. The students experimented with the ‘Songmaker’and ‘Rhythm’applications and are enjoying the opportunity to experiment with different sounds and rhythms.

In Years 4, 5 and 6, the students have enjoyed their introduction to Song-Maker in the chrome Music Lab. Composing ‘picture music’ as a Seesaw Activity was an opportunity for them to learn and use some of the creative tools available in this program. Song-Maker will be used to enhance their Kodaly based learning of music reading, writing, performing and creating.

We have selected some great repertoire for students to get to know this term, as they focus on the following music topics:

Year 4Music of the modern period such as Holst’s The Planets

Year 5Music of the classical period such as Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca

Year 6Music composed for the standard symphony orchestra including Beethoven’s 5thSymphony.

Here is an example of a Song-Maker ‘picture’ composition.

Click below to hear the composition.

Year 5 & 6 Concert Band

Year 5 Band students have learnt to safely assemble their instrument and have begun the process of making a good sound. They have engaged with the videos that their instrumental tutors have uploaded to Seesaw to learn and memorise their first notes.

Within the Year 6 Concert Band Program, students have been responding to weekly video posts from their instrumental tutor, focusing on different pieces of music from their Essential Elements Interactive Application.


The year level Choirs have continued to operate in an asynchronous format, with students working on warm-ups and songs with Ms Huggett’s video tutorials in Seesaw. They have enjoyed singing along with her videos and connecting with her through music. 

Year 2 Super Strings

In Super Strings, the students continue to work asynchronously via the Seesaw platform by watching weekly tutorials and demonstration videos. In response, the students are uploading videos of themselves playing the activities. Teachers are then able to make comments to help encourage each student to engage fully with their stringed instrument.

The recent introduction of left hand and ‘siren’ exercises to coordinate fingers means it will not be too long before the students are playing tunes on their instruments.


I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.


Yours sincerely,


Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School