Junior School


Junior School

April 30, 2021

Digital Citizenship and Wellbeing

Throughout the year, many Ormiston parents have asked me about their child’s device usage both at home and at School. The two main questions arising are:

> How much time should my child spend on a device?

> What are they doing on their device?

Last term, we conducted a Digital Citizenship workshop with parents and the main message from the session was to encourage parents to closely supervise their child’s time while online. If parents are able to do this, they will be able to monitor the total amount of screen time, as well as the activities and content being viewed.

Below is a brief summary of the main points covered in our Term 1 workshop. If parents would like to ask further questions, I can be contacted via email, donohuep@cggs.vic.edu.au.

Minimise screen time each day

> Ensure that sedentary screen time is not a routine part of child-care for children younger than 5 years.

> Maintain daily ‘screen-free’ times, especially for family meals and book-sharing.

> Avoid screens for at least 1 hour before bedtime, given the potential for melatonin-suppressing effects which can negatively impact on sleep.

Reduce the risks associated with device use

> As parents, be present and engaged when screens are used and, whenever possible, co-view with children.

> As parents, be aware of content and prioritise educational, age-appropriate content.

> As parents, please monitor social media usage during each day. Take the time to read your child’s interactions with others.

Parents should model healthy device usage

> Parents are encouraged to select healthy alternatives to device use, such as reading, outdoor play and creative, hands-on activities

> Parents should turn off their own devices at home during family time

I wish all our Ormiston families a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Donohue
Head of Junior School

Early Learning 3 – Zoom with Rebecca from the Wurundjeri Council

As part of finding out about the Wurundjeri People, the custodians of the land on which our school is located, we engaged in an interactive Zoom session with Rebecca Axford from the Wurundjeri Council.

We found out that Bunjil is the creator spirit, and he created all things natural – the rivers, animals, mountains, flowers and rules for people to live. Rebecca read the story Welcome to Country by Wurundjeri elder, Aunty Joy Murphy. Through the words and illustrations in the story, the children discovered that the Wurundjeri people are part of the land and the land is part of them. They have looked after the land for many, many years and we need to continue to look after and take care of the land, and only take from the land what we can give back.

As curious learners, the children also viewed a possum skin and Rebecca explained how these were sewn together to make a large cloak. They were used to keep people warm and told the story, through symbols and pictures, of a person’s kin or family.

As communicators, the children engaged with a song in Woiwurrung language – the language of the Wurundjeri People. This was a highlight for the children, as they already knew the words to Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes in English and Rebecca taught them the words to the song in Woiwurrung. In Early Learning 3, we want to encourage an appreciation of linguistic diversity and the children are already exposed to diverse languages such as Greek, English, Chinese, Farsi and Cantonese. We believe it is also important to communicate in Woiwurrung and we are doing this in the classroom through songs and greetings.

In our learning environment, we also plan experiences and provide resources and provocations that broaden the children’s perspectives and encourage an appreciation of and respect for the Wurundjeri People and their ways of knowing and being.

We look forward to continuing our learning with Rebecca throughout the year.

Angela Follacchio
Early Learning 3 Teacher

Early Learning 4 Nature Play – Outdoor Classroom

Nature Play was an opportunity to immerse the children in nature. Nature play is similar to a camping experience, spending the whole day in the great outdoors and exploring all the possibilities of being with nature. It was a wonderful experience for all, providing many different opportunities of connecting with each other. it was exciting to view the yard as a dynamic and stimulating learning environment that provided a holistic sense of wellbeing.

The experience provided educators with the opportunity to feel the same sense of liberation and excitement that children feel every time they go outside for their daily outdoor play. As educators, we value the intrinsic components of wellbeing that uninterrupted play offers the children.

The children explored the trees, leaves, insects and bugs, using resources such as magnifying glasses and binoculars. When the children found bugs in the yard particularly interesting, many different questions were overheard, for example, “I wonder how snails slither?”

Upon returning to the Early Learning Centre, the children were busy reconnecting with each other, through creating their own mandalas with their findings. The Nature Play Day was a rich learning experience that opened many exciting possibilities surrounding how nature could be included more frequently within the children’s daily learning.

The day concluded with a feedback session with the children by introducing a thumbs-up/ thumbs down system. All children gave a resounding thumbs up for Nature Play Day.

Ramila Sadikeen & Lilian Bishop
Early Learning 4 Teachers

Year 6 Learning Expo

On Tuesday evening the Year 6 students were delighted to welcoming their families to view a learning exhibition that showcased their inquiry projects from Term 1.

The students explored the big question, ‘How can we use energy in a sustainable way?’ Students applied their knowledge of different energy sources and electrical circuits to plan and design a model that would either make more efficient use of energy or use more renewable energy sources to be more sustainable.

At the exhibition, students shared their design process, how their inventions worked and the challenges they encountered along the way. Many also had in-depth conversations about the ways we can create and use energy more sustainably in the future.

Here are a selection of inquiry questions the students explored:

Can desk lamp be powered by wastewater from a shower?

Is it possible to use a water wheel to power garden lights?

Can a device be powered using body heat?

Can a solar energy power a hairdryer?

Can a blender be powered by kinetic energy?

The students in Year 6 have approached their learning with resilience and a growth mindset. Throughout the design process they asked many questions, sort feedback from their teachers and peers and were creative and flexible with their thinking to overcome the challenges they encountered.

Here are some of their reflections about their learning:

I liked the opportunity to explain my learning and work verbally to people in real life. – Ashley 

The best part of the design projects was discovering what circuit worked and what circuits didn’t. The main problem for us was working out which wires were positive and which wires were negative. It was also a challenge to work out how to power two things with one solar panel. – Natasha C

I loved the feeling of the room with all the parents and families enjoying our projects that we had worked so hard on. There was a real buzz! – Lexi

I enjoyed the opportunity to work in a team. It meant that we were able to use both our brains to solve the problems we encountered. – Selena

I enjoyed the trial and error aspect of the project in which you fail and fail and fail… when you finally succeed you feel elated and a great sense of satisfaction. – Angel & Samantha

Thank you to the Year 6 families who engaged so actively in the evening’s presentations. It meant so much to the students to be able to showcase their learning journeys with you.

Nancy Robottom
Year 6 Teacher

Year 4 – 6 Cross Country

On Tuesday the 27 of April, our Years 4 – 6 students were finally able to participate in their first House Carnival since 2019! The students were so excited to bring that team spirit back, where they were able to cheer on their peers. They braved the drizzle during their races, and all did their personal best. Some students will qualify for the Balwyn North District Championships on Friday 14 May. Congratulations to Taylor who were our House winners for the day, on 410 points! They were closely followed by Lawrence on 405 points, Singleton on 385 points and Schofield on 305 points. Well done to everyone!

Liana Kitsou
Junior School PE Teacher

Year 2 Australian Rules Football & Year 4 Cricket Victoria Coaching Program

The Year 2 students are participating in a five week curriculum aligned program with AFL Victoria, whilst the Year 4 students are participating in a five week curriculum aligned program with Cricket Victoria. These clinics are designed to give the students an opportunity to experience a fun and exciting program, that is aimed to help students learn to play sport. Our AFL Coaches, Lachie & Jake, are all well-experienced in their fields and have been playing the game for many years, representing various clubs. Our Cricket Coach, Acacia, represented the Australian Indoor Cricket Team in 2019.

Liana Kitsou
Junior School PE Teacher