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Our Week 4 Gathering - ASSEMBLY
WEEK 4 – Assembly
This week’s assembly was a focus on plastic and the ocean. It was great to discuss our impact – and I recommend you look to see what we do!
Next week is Earth Day – Restore our Earth. We are asking the kids to be involved in a way they want to be connected. We had some great ideas.
Wet Weather Update
WEEK 3 HIGH SCHOOL ONLAND LEARNING
- Positive attitude
- water bottle, hat, sunscreen, long light shirt and trousers (for mosquitos/sun), covered footwear, lunch and snacks.
- Please ensure property is labelled!
Campers will return to Lismore around 3:00pm. Regular buses will operate.
Permission for High School HERE
Preparation for Term Two - NATURE
I trust everyone is enjoying their break. We have been very active in the office. Last Saturday, we had our professional development day for teachers. This is a regular event at the end of every term. It allows us to refocus, refine and evolve.
Our KeyStone from last term was Identity. Our teachers all celebrated the term, and they outlined the following areas as successes. These were the words of trusting relationships. I, personally, felt such warmth: what an incredible cluster of adults with whom your children will grow.
Celebrations presented from our teachers
- Gelling of new students – relationships and unifying old with new.
- New staff – gelling old and new. Fun!
- New workplace which is very vibrant and interesting – happy to be part of a really good team.
- Celebrate – “Student” coming along so well. Formed a band. Really experimenting and linking with others.
- Music – how many have taken up music.
- High school – how they have shifted in attitude and bonding. A love.
- Getting children out to different places and variety and diversity of experiences.
- Number of children who ask of others’ welfare – asking about other children’s injuries.
- Swimming – amazing how we focus on teaching kids to swim.
- Sense of belonging – feeling they are in a safe place. In seven weeks, children feel this is where they belong.
- Everything – kindness of kids to others. In Kindy they are already empathetic and thinking of others
- A girl who was home-schooled, came in terrified and is now thriving. Collegiality and so beautiful to see a butterfly blossom.
- Team – and support…. Everyone.
- Team – what she said. Y4 and aha moment – everything gelled and they came together as an ensemble. Made me all warm inside – it’s working! Norpa space has been really nice.
- These kids and conversations with them – makes my day. Always someone you talk to and you go – ah, you’re amazing. Share something and they always respond. Also feels like we can do anything here. Allow to run with things.
- Circles – the shape of the circle has been really important. When we are in a circular shape the conversations build a culture where they really like being together with a level of honesty that is pretty amazing. Kids telling stories of past experiences of schooling saying – this is the safest school they have ever been in. The space from where we get insights to ‘read’ children “everyone let’s their walls down and we all share”.
Seven weeks ago, we drew together so many new individuals. The term did have a plethora of experiences – and when you reflect on what we achieved, I do find our commitment incredible.
Celebrations of Learning this past term
- Learning Families created and operating successfully – thank you Sara!
- Programs for all stages published based on our Holistic Learning Lens
- University of Melbourne – New Metrics – supported by Katie
- Photography dark room completed and operational – with Em’s support.
- School Gatherings with key messaging.
- Swimming Programme every Wednesday – thank you Johann, Sherri and Mimi.
- Water Carnival – rather than a school swimming carnival.
- 2 Competitive NCIS swimming carnivals (Primary and Secondary).
- Competitive NCIS soccer carnival at Coffs Harbour.
- Creation of chess team – and first competition against Richmond River College (we won on count back and our players are into the next round) – thank you, Karen.
- Excursions, Incursions and Activities
- Murwillumbah – to gallery to see Archibalds
- Murwillumbah – to see film
- Boat trip from Ballina to Lismore in stages
- Waterfall excursion
- Killen Falls excursion
- Boat trip for littlies
- Local area trips – Lennox Head, Ballina, Minyon Falls, Evans Head
- Bangalow with Aunty Delta
- Beach and farm
- Sex ed presentation and workshops with Jane McGowan
- Lecture by Angus McDonald re Art
- Lecture by forensic scientist – Mal’s mate
- Guest speaker on neural science on metacognition – thank you, Brad.
- Guest speaker – Australian icon of theatre, Reg Cribb
- Parent Book club – Flourish by Martin Seligman
- Parent Boat trip – Ballina to Wardell; Wardell to Woodburn
- Parent bamboo harvest on a Saturday – thank you, Jason et al
- Mural support by Carlee (artist)
- Book publishing and writing with author Zanni Louise (5/6)
- Selectives on Friday (electives with placements based on class)
I know I have missed out many more!!
We have looked at next term’s programme. Our KeyStone is Nature. This is one of my favourites. Next term, we have some great things planned.
Some organisational refinements are set in play:
Start of Each Day
We are going to settle all our learners into the pattern of the day with Circle Time every morning from 9:00-9:30am. As students arrive after 9:00, they will settle into their learning group, get themselves organised, review what is planned for the day, prepare diaries and journals, and calm their minds. Parents/Carers can support us by ensuring all children are ready for the day by checking bags, making sure they have all their equipment and food.
Karen is going to step back in with Year 7 as their learning guardian. Every morning, apart from Wednesdays, Karen will settle our learners, calm emotions by organising them all for the day ahead, and guide open conversations via circle time.
Rhythms for the Week
We did achieve so much last term. But it is important we establish rhythms that are intentional, calming, while still offering excitement and a love of learning. To this end, we have been working hard over the holiday break to strengthen our administration, communication channels, and our organisation. These modifications will be noticed:
- There will be more consistency by all teachers to communicate learning celebrations.
- We have now completed class communication lists – this was a huge task (thank you, Gabi).
- We are advancing some administration and online systems to better manage emails, requests, calendar dates, risk assessments, incident reports and accident reports.
- The timetable is now more consistent – especially in the upper years.
- We are consolidating electives and project based learning activities to Fridays.
- We are soon to announce an After School Care programme based on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
Jabay – now on Tuesday and Wednesday
Owing to changes we have planned for Thursday, we are now looking to offer Jabay on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Please continue to support this nutritious food offering by volunteering your time with Kate in the kitchen. It is a great way to meet people and feel connected with our community. And you do get to see our school in action – with the multitude of characters.
The intention is to split the Byron Bay/Lennox Head run, so there will be a specific Byron Bay route. We will then be able to offer a specific Lennox/Ballina route.
The new routes shall operate from this Monday, 22nd March 2021.
With the new routes, we know the commitment you make. So, a few ideas:
HINO Bus 1 – Lel’s Bus:
Bangalow (8:15am), Eureka (8:25am), Clunes (8:30am) and Eltham (8:35am) then along to Lismore. NO CHANGES NEEDED.
1. We could continue with the route adding Belongil BP Truckstop 7:55am (60mins TT) onto Suffolk Park 8:13am (45mins TT) to Ross Lane 8:25am (30minsTT) and then up to the school – no other pickups.
2. Our route could go Belongil BP Truck Stop 7:55am (53mins TT) to Red Devil Park 8:08am (40mins TT) pickup and then straight over Hayter’s Hill to Lismore – at the odd time picking up in Bangalow and/or Eltham if needed.
I am leaning towards the second option – to take ten minutes off Belongil times and five minutes off Suffolk. I would like everyone to have a go at this trial. Then we can see whether it is working. It would mean families driving to the Red Devil pickup – sorry!
While we trial these routes please feel free to let us know what you think.
- Every family please confirm before Monday:
- the days you would like your child/ren on the buses and
- from what stop.
- And please let us know if the Red Devil drop off won’t work for you. We can consider adjustments.
Note, we will try our best to accommodate all requests.
Once again we thank you very much for your understanding while we have been juggling the best way to organise the buses and deliver your children safely to school and home again.
Learning and Play Spaces
We have been busy – again – over the break to create more play spaces. This has resulted in a new handball area. The space is safely protected by a new fence, which will become another growing space.
We have reset the front fence into Jabay, too. This is where we will place the coffee cart from now on. It means you can grab a coffee as you walk past. Remember, you can book in ahead of time so Veryln can have your coffee ready for you on arrival.
Learning areas have been redefined as well. We have created a staff workspace, moved out some sofas so we can target our learning areas, cleared space for sitting in circles, and moved some tables for more group work. Added to this is the university’s space for our senior learners.
We have been blessed to gain access to a lecture theatre at Southern Cross University every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We also have the boat, which will be a major focus for Science experiments this term. The boat will also be used by our Stage 4 students as they explore local history and geography.
One of the reasons for establishing Living School was to engage learners in their schooling. There is a concerning trend around the world: half of the students at school are disengaged. What a waste! I don’t like waste, so it is important we address this issue. I feel the challenge is not teacher-owned. Too often we find the pressure applied on teachers to address disengagement by ‘edutaining’: entertain, make more fun, use more tech, more stuff! Disengagement must be owned by the learner, too. I have come to the conclusion disengagement is really a loss of, or a lack of acceptance of, a student’s ownership of learning. In pedagogic terms it is called student agency.
Assessing Universal Qualities for Success
As part of our work with the University of Melbourne, we are looking at designing new metrics for learning. Our focus is on adapting the VAST model to celebrate what we deem to be the Universal Qualities for Success – and to explicitly teach them. There will be a trial of an online assessment tool we are building, which will give us information on your child’s perceived capacity in learning attitudes and skill sets. Learners from Year 3 – Year 10 will rate themselves on a sliding scale – like a survey. Parents and teachers will also subjectively assess a student’s attitudinal capacity and skill-based competence. This information will then be used to set termly goals.
All our learners will set goals next term. These goals for Years 3-10 will be based on their capacity levels as guided by the survey findings. The goals will be SMART goals: Short, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound.
As highlighted in research, simply writing down goals leads to a 45% more chance of attaining them (research here).
We want you to support our focus, too. Once we have established goals for every student, we would like you to have your child discuss them, draw them, add them to your fridge, behind the loo door, on the ceiling above their bed! We want them to focus on these goals for all of Term Two. And then we will review them.
Agility Groups in the Concept Frame
As we pioneered last year, we will continue to evolve our agility groups in the Concept Frame for Maths under the leadership of Brad. In short, Brad is designing the term’s program around the key mathematical Number understandings needed to thrive. There will be a lecture outlining every concept in short succession. Students will be assessed – quizzed and tested using an online system (Smarter Maths) – around all of the concepts we are looking to teach in Years 5-8. We will then group students for the next six weeks to better address their level of competence. And we will assess their development at the conclusion of the term to celebrate progress. This is assessment of and for learning. It is a key element of our Concept frame. We are also looking to establish a group for ‘applied’ maths during the concept frame. This group will be taught in a more hands-on way by Mal and/or Johann.
On Monday next week, all our learners from Kindergarten to Year 10, will undertake a creative writing piece. There will be a picture stimulus so it will be expressive writing. From this piece, we will look at developmental stages, technique and technical skills. All the teachers will moderate – which means we will all bring three selected stories, discuss the writing from each group, and plan our whole school approach to writing. We will repeat the process at the beginning of next term, as well as celebrate growth and development by review at the end of this term.
POSITIVE LEARNING BEHAVIOURS – SOCIAL EMOTIONAL GROWTH
Wednesday Learning Families and School Gathering
As we are introducing our Friday Onland Learning for Kindy – Year 6, we are moving our Learning Families to Wednesday. On Wednesday morning, we will have extended Circle Time, then we will have a whole-school gathering, and then all children will move to their Learning Families. The Wednesday is a way of communicating important information for Onland Learning and to establish greater interconnectedness across all ages, while explicitly teaching positive attitudes for learning and being (developed from the VAST framework).
Cross Country Training on Wednesday morning before school
We will be offering cross country running training before school on Wednesdays. Annie with Sophie (our tutor who is an amazing long-distance runner) will meet any interested learners at the Scout Hall oval. Time is 8:15am. This is great preparation for the NCIS competitive cross country carnival. At 10:00am, Graham Lees will be joining us to take a Learning Family or a training session each week.
Sport for Kindy-Y6 on Wednesday
We will continue teaching swimming to our K-2 students. Swimming is a life skill and our focus is to ensure every one of our younger children knows how to swim. For our Years 3-6 students, we will be offering touch football (with Graham Lees) and soccer (with Zac).
Friday Onland Learning for Kindergarten to Year Six
Every Friday we will be holding our special Onland Learning program at the Stewart Farm. Families can drop their children off at the farm from 10:00am. Or they can attend a training session at 9:00am with Graham Lees at Skennar’s Head soccer fields. We are also looking at offering an advanced surfing program, starting at 8:30am, at Flat Rock (there will be an additional charge for this option and interested students will need to make their own way there – no buses from Lismore).
Buses will be leaving Living School campus from Lismore.
- At 8:00am a bus will leave to take students down for Graham Lees, training session.
- At 9:00am buses will leave to take students down to the Stewart farm for Onland Learning.
- Older students travelling to Lismore, will take the bus from Suffolk Park/Lennox, or Bangalow as per normal but the pickup time will be earlier to ensure the connections work correctly.
Our program will be
- Kindy – Year 2: Cubby Building and Exploring Mini Beasts
- Year 3 – Birds, Gardens, herds and shells with John and Lel
- Year 4 – Sailing and Fishing with Charlotte, Taylor, Ant
- Year 5 – Snorkelling and Rock Hopping with Joe / Sailing w
- Year 6 – Cooking with Ant and Shannon Bennett
Thursday Onland Learning for high school students
We are ready to roll out a new additional onland learning component. Our Years 7-10 students will be going out to nature-based learning sites. There will be three different sites. Each site will offer a different program based on a subject area:
|Thursday||Thursday||Thursday and Friday|
Maths and Science
Brad, Axel and Dorian
English and Art
Jonny and Karen
PDHPE, Food Tech and Outdoor Ed with a camp over
Zac and Tom with Sophie
Meet at paddock 9:30am – Brad will be there
Bus leaves school by 9:15am
Bus arrives at 10:00 with Jonny/Dorian
Skennar’s Head beach
Meet at carpark 9:30am – Karen will be there
Bus leaves school by 9:15am
Bus arrives at 10:00 with Jonny/Dorian
Bus leaves school by 9:30am
Zac driving with Tom
Each week there will be a rotation. Every group will cycle through the three areas. Stage 5 will be in a designated group – as there is a specific program starting on the last Friday (see more by reading about the YES program). But we will mix social groups. The learning will be subject specific, based on the Concept Frame, but it will be focused on contextual learning in nature with reduced learning group sizes.
Friday Electives and Project Based Learning for high school
Friday will be a consolidated day of project based learning and electives for the two groups not attending the overnight camp. These groups will be focused on the Tech Mandatory syllabus for Years 7 and 8, and on a range of creative activities aligned with electives for Stage 5. There will be:
- Drama – with Tamaya
- Music – with Nick Williams (joining our school on Tuesday in Week 3)
- Multimedia and Technology – with Jonny
- Visual Arts – with Karen
|9:30 – 11:00am||
|11:00 – 11:30am||BREAK|
|1:00 – 1:30pm||LUNCH|
|1:30 – 2:30pm||
Music (mandatory S4)
Nick + Karen
Tamaya + Jonny
|2:45 – 3:30pm||PERFORMANCES for parents|
The afternoon on Fridays (from 2:30pm onwards) will be open to our community. We envision a gathering of our community, to have a coffee, share some time and listen to our students perform, play and express while you await the return of our primary students after their Friday Onland Learning.
TAFE YES Program for vocational courses
Students in Years 9-10 will be able to enrol in the TAFE YES program on the last Friday of Term Two. There are a range of classes in pharmacy, aviation (ground crew), allied health, business and social profiling, plumbing, droning, metal fabrication, innovative engineering, hair and beauty.
At this stage, courses are being offered at the Wollongbar and Ballina campuses. We hope to see courses offered from the Lismore campus across the road, too.
Classes commence on Friday 30th April, 2021 from 9.30am – 2.30pm and run for 7 weeks, finishing Friday 11th June.
UPDATE WEEK 4 NEWS FLASH
TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO THINK DIFFERENTLY
On Wednesday, as we had no swimming, I took our older children through a focus on thinking: growth mindset, memory, bias and engagement. Take a look and there are links all parents should follow! They are AWESOME/AWEFULL!
GROWTH MINDSET – Carol Dweck
FLOURISHING – the late great Ken Robinson
GRIT – Lee Duckworth
Whole school timetable now finalised – until the next ‘tweak’. This will evolve. Every teacher has their specific Stage/Grade/Class timetable to present to parents. Please ask if you have not yet received a copy.
Jabay is on every Wednesday and Thursday.
Using Learning Spaces at Southern Cross University is now scheduled and starts next week. We are grateful for the university’s support. Every Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday our high school students will gain access to a lecture theatre. I have long considered it strange how we teach high school students for a tertiary test but we don’t pedagogically prepare them for university and the lecture/tutorial style of teaching/learning.
Parent Working Bee is scheduled for Saturday – see email from Jason Altice
Coffee Cart is about to reopen EVERY day – and we have the BEST barista!! Don’t know about you – but I am excited.
Book Club is next week on Thursday (11:00-12:00) – sorry, I double-booked today with the Water Carnival.
Parent gatherings on the Boat are starting next week – with an invitation to a boat trip with a discussion on flora/fauna and history up the river in four stages: Ballina to Woodburn (Monday morning), Woodburn to Coraki (Monday afternoon), Coraki to Wyrallah (Tuesday morning), Wyrallah to Lismore (Tuesday afternoon) – weather permitting. Invitations will be via a Google Form.
Parent Representatives and Partnerships
3rd: We invite all parents/carers to join our students and teachers to celebrate the end of term at our OnLand community celebration on Friday 30th April in Ballina. More information is to come closer to the date.
OUR TEACHERS FOR 2021!
Check out our new teachers...
Our new teachers are now being updated to our web page – so grateful to have this team developing… We welcome Katie Biggin to our teaching team… and some more to come!!
EMAIL Contact LISTS
We have created specific email addresses so you can communicate your needs more effectively and we can respond more efficiently.
OFFICE – if you need any day-to-day information
ABSENCE – if you need to let us know of lateness, exeats, early pickups or absence.
BUS – contact our drivers.
LOST PROPERTY – we like to repurpose but sometimes too much is too great!
SPORT – any information from uniform to times.
WELFARE – message our Advocate on behaviour or wellness issues.
EMERGENCY – accidents, disasters, urgencies.
CONDUCTOR – use sparingly 🙂
EVENTS – any query on our events or CALENDAR
NEWSLETTER – any information you want to pass on?
ONLAND – matters around our outdoor education program
AFTERSCHOOL – caught up and need help, we have a program after school but it will cost you!!
ACCOUNTS – if you need to discuss payments/fees
DONATIONS – we LOVE this email account
GOVERNANCE – direct communication with the Guardians of Purpose (our Board)
DONATIONS – did I mention we LOVE this email account?
Contact a Teacher
To contact a teacher, please use these email links:
Kindergarten – to email Annie
Year One – to email Jesse
Year Two – to email Tori
Year Three – to email Sarah
Year Four – to email Ant
Year Five – to email Joe
Year Six – to email Charlotte
* High School teachers will be presented soon!
Be excited – we have big dreams and great opportunities!
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Our Whole School Calendar - coming soon
WE ARE CLOSED FOR THE HOLIDAYS – DECEMBER 21 – JANUARY 4 2021
NORMAL TIMES OF OPERATION
OFFICE OPENING TIMES
08:30AM – 4:00PM
SCHOOL DAY TIMES
09:00AM – 3:15PM
(02) 5632 1218
63-67 Conway Street,
Lismore, NSW. 2480