Hello everyone,

As part of our architectural theme we looked at the shelters that animals make, such as beaver’s lodges, warrens, weaver birds and termite mounds. Did you know that n the 16th century, the pope decreed that, due to the scaly tail and semi-aquatic lifestyle, beaver could be considered a fish and be eaten during Catholic fasting days? Neither did I.

In writing this week groups have were asked to come up with arguments and make a case. On the subject ‘Kids should be able to choose exotic pets’ one reason provided was that ‘if they escaped they could probably survive in the wild’. Hard to argue with the logic of children sometimes. Better not to try.

We also wrote down pros and cons for living in a Mars colony, and focussed on segmenting our writing properly into sentences and avoiding the misuse of common homophones like you’re/your and hour/our.

For our literature we read Rikki-tikki-tavi from Kipling’s The Jungle Book, about a self-confident mongoose that protects a family from some viscious cobras. Amazing to see how a book from 1894 can still capture the imagination.

Fractions has been our maths focus this week, and we’ve been dissecting and assembling shapes like mad people. As well as this we’ve been learning to use a multiplication chart for large numbers and played various kinds of bingo (which seems to be beloved both by the very young and the very old).

In Art Crafty and his gang of street artists have begun a new mural that is taking shape. Each child had to paint a bird on the telephone wire to create a larger effect.

And in Science we ran some experiments with cardboard platforms and paper cups to examine weight distribution.

Maya has had the idea for a small stall/ disco not this Friday but next, and several of the kids are beginning to make posters and advertise the event. Entrepreneurial spirit and consumer confidence seems high.

Thanks for all the kind emails regarding my ‘retirement’, as some of the kids call it. One of the great aspects of Currambena is the true appreciation shown to its teachers, and whomever takes the job here is bound to have a wonderful time.

I hope you’re well and enjoy a restful weekend.

Warm regards,

Marius

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Hello Everyone,

AGM – is tomorrow Friday 25th May. Everyone is welcome and we would very much appreciate your attendance. This is not a long meeting only lasting an hour at the most. We start with reports from the Treasurer, Chair and Coordinator which are recaps of all the happenings at Currambena over 2017. It is amazing going through our diaries and realising how much happens in a year at Currambena! We have three nominees who will tell us a little about what they can offer on our council and then are duly voted in. We start at 6.30pm and we need about 22 people to make a quorum.

Currambena Registration Friday 1st June is next week. We are asking the community to be taking note of areas around the school that could need some extra attention, ie unwanted junk to be removed; extra cleaning like windows, brushing down of walls, window sills, door frames; talking to your kids about taking home their clothes, shoes, lunch containers each day. There is a maintenance day on this Saturday. Is there someone that could pack the skip and it needs to be level at the top? Any top stuff and they will not take it away

Emails – the subject line needs to be the indicator of your content. It is very difficult to find an email with mixed messages!

Fees- any queries or payments please use your child’s surname as the reference

Maintenance Day – this Saturday. Can we please be mindful of noise that may disturb our neighbours and our rules for dogs at Currambena

Cheers

Julianna

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Hello Everyone,

Last week we finished off our family photo hangers and added them to our classroom tree. You’re all welcome to come and have a look and talk with the children about what they have contributed. We’ve also begun our cooking sessions for the term and by all accounts it was delicious.

This week the highlight, of course, was our excursion to Carisbrook House. The tours were really fantastic and the children remained engaged throughout the whole experience. One highlight, of course, was the realisation that the house didn’t have a bathroom! There was much time spent on discussing how this actually worked. I was very proud of how respectful and curious the children were generally and not surprised at all that our guides commented on what a lovely bunch they were. Lunch at Hughes Park was a lovely way to finish the day and it was gorgeous to spend some time playing together uninterrupted. Thank you to Elissa and Marty for your help.

This week we’ve continued to look at the letters in the alphabet and with only 3 more to go to the finish, we are getting close to our party! We’ve also begun to look at the concept of area in maths and how this might be measured. We’ve discussed closed and open shapes and how we can compare and judge if one surface in bigger than another.

Other exciting news this week is of course, the school mural that is being painted on the side of our main school building. As every child adds their part, its coming together to look just awesome. Thanks Chris and your team of artists for helping to make this happen.

This Saturday is maintenance day. With Registration next week it would be wonderful to have as many people helping out as possible so that the school grounds look spotless.

Have a great weekend,
Jess x

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CANTEEN
Morning Tea:
Fruit salad $1
Apple and cinnamon muffins $1
Cheesy scrambled eggs on sourdough toast $1.50

Lunch
Vegetarian fried rice & BBQ chicken drumstick & salad $2.50
Or Vegetarian fried rice and salad $1.50

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What a glorious day we had this last Monday!!!!

Thank you to the weather gods for painting our sky with a beautiful shade of blue. It truly made our ferry ride and trek around Cockatoo Island an eventful one. And of course, to the parents who came/drove and chaperoned children in small groups throughout the exhibition spaces, up and around and across the island - thank you - to you too! If you haven’t had a chance to catch the Biennale exhibition, it really is worth the experience before it finishes in June. There is an extremely epic and very powerful piece by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei on the social injustice and plight of refugees. Ai states: ‘There’s no refugee crisis, only a human crisis…. In dealing with refugees we’ve lost our very basic values. In this time of uncertainty, we need more tolerance, compassion and trust for each other, since we are all one, otherwise humanity will face an even bigger crisis.’ 

Through another door was an installation on ‘Belongings’. It included people sharing personal stories of having to flee their homeland and make the decision of taking one item (with them) they couldn’t live without. Behind each personal belonging is a larger story of those who seek asylum in Australia. Their possessions are imbued with the spirit of ancestry, family, home, and belonging. With a large portion of the class away on Tuesday, we debriefed on the excursion later in the week: We talked about this particular topic of ‘belongings’ and how we are/can be (in the developed world) and 21st Century, consumed with material objects. Our possessions inadvertently become everything to us. We accumulate stuff that embodies who we are or what we care about. I posed the question to the children… “What if you had to flee your homeland forever? Or you were forcibly removed? What’s the one item you couldn’t live without?”  Using this as the premise and connecting it to our Australian History topic and life as a child convict: I asked the group to think of one thing they might take with them on the ship after they were banished to Australia. Obviously, the times are different and our current materials and toys wouldn’t have existed in the 18th Century but it (hopefully) provoked the children to take a good look at their belongings and think about the importance and meaning behind them. I asked them to choose one thing they would take with them and why they chose this particular piece and the meaning it has for them.

We shared our stories on Thursday!

Last week, we created some ‘old style’ writing paper and the children transferred their personal account, as a child convict, onto the paper in pen & ink. We have also been looking at multiplying numbers by 0, 1, 10, 100, 1000 & 10 000. And we watched a couple of videos on clever ‘rules’ and ‘strategies’ we could use to remember our times tables through song and using our fingers.

We were sorry to say farewell to Elizabeth (our student teacher) this week. She said she had an amazing time and leaves with great admiration for the school and appreciation of her time she had in the classroom with the children. I think it is equally a wonderful opportunity for the children – to have the experience of a new and upcoming teacher. It presents moments and situations where they are reminded of how we need to treat and respect everybody but especially those who are learning and are new to the whole experience of being in our school!

An important reminder: that this Friday night is the AGM. It will start at 6:30 pm sharp in Wendy’s room. It is an important community event, so please make the effort to come.

Next week: On Monday, I will be away at a conference and Olivia will be here with the class. And then on Thursday, we will be going up to Lane Cove Plaza to watch and listen to Preschool and Wendy’s group perform at the Children’s Voices for Reconciliation. On Friday, we have the primary school’s registration. An inspector will be coming to spend some time going through our teaching records, programs and policies. We will all be soooooo relieved once this is over!!!!!!

And that’s us for this week. Have a lovely weekend.

Love, Sarah.

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Morning tea:

 Pancakes with strawberries and maple syrup

(Gluten and dairy free option also available)

$2

Lunch:

 Quiche slices

Ingredients – besan flour, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, sweet potato, zucchini, corn.

Gluten, dairy & nut free

$2

 Ice Lollies

ingredients – fruit juice with no added sugar.

Gluten & dairy free. Nut free & processed sugar free

$1

 

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Hello Everyone,

Exciting news for Marius, as his next adventure is to move to France next year! He will be very much missed by the kids, the parents and all of us. But carrying on from my newsletter last week, it is “a beautiful messy world” and so an opportunity arises to have another energy into the school to enrich the ever changing tapestry of our beautiful Currambena. We will be looking to form a selection committee of 3 x parents and 3 x teachers after our Registration visit Friday 1st June. Once the committee has been approved by council the process will begin, to employ a new teacher.

AGM – this is next Friday 25th May. If you are considering being a council member, please have your nomination in by this Friday 18th May.

Currambena Registration Friday 1st June. This is a big event for the school and all the staff have been working on this for months. We are asking the community to be taking note of areas around the school that could need some extra attention, ie unwanted junk to be removed; extra cleaning like windows, brushing down of walls, window sills, door frames; talking to your kids about taking home their clothes, shoes, lunch containers each day.

Cheers Julianna

THE NEXT GENERATION preparing today’s kids for an extraordinary future.  by Tony Ryan

“Around 35% of the world’s population is under 20 years old. It is they who will become the movers and shakers of the 21st century. Many already are. With increased access to the internet, and to learning opportunities that were simple not available at the start of the century, this generation will transform the planet.”

“Their unprecedented entrepreneurial involvement will unleash one of the greatest economic and social evolutions in human history” 

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Congratulations to all the performers who took to the stage (or the mats!) on Tuesday in our mini concert. We had 20 performances including piano, guitar, singing and dance… so much fun to watch! Both performers and audience enjoyed it immensely.

In our group this week there is great excitement and much discussion about our BALL on Friday night. We have a Ball Committee which has been organising the event and everything seems to be covered.Thank you to the parents who have offered to be chaperones for the evening or have offered help with any aspect of the night. It will finish at 9pm promptly and we would very much appreciate help with cleaning up when parents collect their children. Preschool are very kindly allowing us to use their room and so we need to leave it spotless for them on Monday morning!

Apart from this, we have had a busy week with more lessons on Hamlet, our usual spelling activities, text book work checking and completing the next unit, starting fractions, decimals and percentages in maths, some lessons on “colonisation/invasion” with Emily and a fun reading session with Sarah’s group. I’ll try to get some photos in this newsletter. We were helping The Smith Family improve their student to student reading program!

We have also begun rehearsal for the Lane Cove Children’s Voices for Reconciliation event in the plaza on Thursday 31st May. We’ll be singing “Brown Skin Baby” and it is already sounding lovely. Several children are also presenting speeches on the topic of “Don’t let history be a mystery” so it should be a great event, as usual.

Information morning yesterday was very well attended and I overheard one visitor ask, “Why haven’t they started more schools like this? There is obviously such a demand.” Interesting thought!

The nest APDEC meeting is next Monday evening in my room. Please come along and hear about plans and offer help if you are interested. It should be a fabulous opportunity for us all to connect with the Asia Pacific Region and other schools like ours.

Today I’ll send home forms to be signed for students to participate in the research project I mentioned last week, about learning maths through movement and drama. Please return these asap!

Have a good week! Love, Wendy

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Hello all,

Another busy week. On Monday Tony Burke (an architect by trade) came in and showed us architectural drawings, materials and models and gave an excellent short presentation on how people match their architecture to their needs and environment. Thanks Tony!

We’re beginning to gather natural materials to make an indigenous shelter which will inform our design and construction methods. Possibly this will be a joint task with Jess’s, and if I can get permission from the kids we plan to build onsite. We spent some of Tuesday morning looking at traditional housing and compared and contrasted it to a modern, climate-controlled house. As part of our focus on persuasive language students had to come up with arguments for why they would choose one over the other to live in. Personal favourite argument was that, along with being energy and resource intensive, hard to clean, and expensive, modern houses were so heavy that if the roof fell down you would certainly be crushed. A metaphor for late capitalism?

In maths this week I spilled hundreds and hundreds of sticks on the ground and the kids had to bundle them into tens and count them efficiently. It’s the kind of thing that doesn’t sound fun at all but that kids love. Also a good way to teach ‘non-standard partition’, allowing kids to see 740 as 7 hundreds and 4 tens OR 74 tens. Moving on to fractions next week.

I was at a professional development day yesterday on different theoretical approaches to teaching writing. One of the instructor’s main points was the proven unnaturalness of writing as opposed to speech. Things like getting your kids to write shopping lists, birthday cards, journals, and little research projects are wonderful ways to reinforce the nuts and bolts of spelling, punctuation and coherence that we look at explicitly in the classroom.
Rhonda accordingly took the class and had a great day. We’ve been talking about the importance of treating visitors to our school with special consideration and they rose to the challenge.

Kids today have to design and construct a tower more than fifty cm tall with only matchsticks and modelling clay. We’re using these construction challenges as a chance for written reflections on what worked and was challenging, how they worked in teams etc.

I’m sad to inform everyone that I’ll be leaving Currambena at the end of this year. I want to live and study overseas and I’m not getting any younger, as they say. It has been and continues to be an immense pleasure and privilege teaching your kids and it’s not a decision I take lightly. I’ll tell my students today to give them some time to get used to the idea. We will finish this year off brilliantly and give everyone a proper chance to get to know my replacement, whom I’m sure will be excellent.

Look forward to seeing you soon,

Marius

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