Tuesday
May012012

Murder Under the Microscope

 

Murder Under the Microscope is an online ecological murder mystery that encourages inquisitive minds, creativity, analytical thinking and collaboration. It is an exciting mix of science and problem solving woven into an engaging mystery with twists and turns that will challenge your thinking skills.

The Redlands Team is forming now, see your teacher for details and don't miss out on the fun.

Wednesday
Apr252012

Welcome to Term Two

Welcome back for Term Two, we hope that you have all had an enjoyable holiday and are ready for an exciting and challenging Term.

Our first event for the Term is the Cross Country Carnival on Friday at Macquarie Playing Fields. We will leave immediately after roll call and return before 3:20 pm. Students are encouraged to show their House spirit by wearing their colours. A reminder of sun safety in selecting clothing for the day meaning that hats and sunscreen are a must and that singlet tops are not permitted.

Thursday will be a normal day in all regards so please come prepared for PE lessons if that applies and MIP.

Over the break our website has been updated and there is now information available for Term Two. Under the About tab you will find a page about Term Two and we have updated the Thinking page to reflect the Habits of Mind we will focus on. The Maths, English and UI pages have also been refreshed.

One of our goals for this year is to provide the students with many opportunities to enrich their learning experience. To this end we introduced students to the ‘Sydney Youth Writing Competition’ and encourage all students to consider submitting an entry to this. Details are available on the website. This Term we will introduce students to the Mosman Youth Awards in Literature, a competition in prose and poetry for young writers. Support will be provided to any student looking to enter these competitions and we encourage you to discuss your plans with your teacher.

Later this term we will invite students to join our Murder Under the Microscope team. Murder Under the Microscope is a scientific inquiry unit in which students across Australia become involved in the investigation of an ecological mystery. More information can be found through the MUM website at: http://www.microscope.edu.au/

Each week a new Maths Challenge is posted to the website. All students are invited to submit an entry and a weekly prize is offered by Mrs Ling to encourage participation.

Our Gallery Walk for Term Two will be held on Wednesday 20th June from 9:30 – 10:30. This Term will produce a number of exciting works ensuring it will be well worth making time to visit the classrooms during this time.

Of great importance to us is the maintenance of effective communications throughout the year. If you or your child has any concerns please contact your teacher and of course we will do the same.

Friday
Apr062012

Women's Rights and International Day

The past week has been a busy and exciting time for Year Six students with two stand out events occurring.

The first was an opportunity for girls of Year Six and Ten to come together and share ideas over lunch. It was a pleasure to observe the girls of differing ages bond so quickly. The discussion centred on issues affecting Women's rights and the difficulties experienced by women in parts of the world in gaining equitable access to these. A great link to our work throughout the term and a topic that was clearly important to the Year Ten girls who lead the session. Having taught a number of these senior girls when they were in Year Six it was delightful to see the level of maturity they have developed over the years. Opportunities to work with younger students is often the first time that our senior students develop an understanding of the growth that has occurred over the past years and the level of respect accorded to them by the younger students was well deserved.

This is the first of a number of sessions aimed at bringing these girls together.

International Day was  a huge success and again showed the importance of building connections beyond the Year group. All thanks and praise goes to the parents who were able to give so generously of their time to offer a range of activities for the students. This little taste of another culture, or for some a taste of home was enjoyed by all and it was obvious from the smiles that every activity was a fun experience. We are very lucky to have such a diverse and talented parent body to call upon. 

In summary we had our Dutch contingent represented by Koekhappen, a cake eating game that was quite challenging and very exciting to watch. Our French families were represented by a visual Trivia that encouraged some creative thinking and offered a delicious reward. Germany was well represented with some spectacular egg painting and Salvador Dali introduced the students to the importance of the Nap as a part of the creative process. Our overly skilled Mrs. Ling introduced students to Scottish Dance and was joined by Ms Atkins who rejoiced in abandoning her stern Responsible Thinking Room persona. Japanese paper craft ensured a rounded experience for all.

With Easter holidays now I here I hope that all families are able to spend some quality time together and we all look forward to the challenges and opportunities of Term Two.

Wednesday
Mar282012

Building positive readers at home

The International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement has the goal of studying a wide range of topics within education and identifying trends that lead to student success. Their extensive study of Reading titled Progress in International Literacy Study (PIRLS) identified aspects of the home environment that are effective in improving reading success. A brief summary is below.

  • The presence of children’s books in the home also continued to show a strong positive relationship with reading achievement. 
  • As was the case in PIRLS 2001, average reading achievement in PIRLS 2006 was highest among students whose parents were frequent readers.
  • In both PIRLS 2001 and PIRLS 2006, reading achievement was highest for students whose parents had favorable attitudes toward reading. 

Lastly the report found that "In PIRLS 2001, and again in PIRLS 2006, students with the most positive attitudes toward reading had the highest reading achievement." The conclusion is clear and reinforces that our children will copy us in both behaviour and attitude and that a positive attitude is the first key to success.

Wednesday
Mar212012

Premier's Reading Challenge

Two common questions we receive are “How can I encourage my child to read more?” and “Where can I find ideas for quality book selections?” The Premier’s Reading Challenge provides an answer to both these questions.

The Premier’s Reading Challenge seeks to encourage students to read frequently and widely and offers incentives and recognition to those who do so. It is supported by well considered reading lists targeted at specific age groups and ability levels.

The Challenge runs until the 1st of September, with students having until then to read twenty books. There are four booklists catering for students in Years K-2, Years 3-4, Years 5-6 and Years 7-9. Students can read books at or above their Stage level which means that Year 6 students are allowed to read books from the 5 -6, or 7-9 booklist. Please note that only two books from the same series can be read and a maximum of five books are allowed to be books that are not on the PRC list.

All of the booklists can be downloaded from the PRC website which also has the Challenge rules, privacy information and frequently asked questions. Premiers Reading Challenge Website

Usernames and passwords will be distributed during an upcoming school library lesson. Students will need to log on at home and enter books online. We would ask that parents monitor and verify that each book has been read.   

We encourage all Year Six students to participate in the Challenge and to use the booklist as a source of reading material for their set DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) homework.

 

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