Hi everyone!

I am sitting under the big tarp here at Booderee. Claudia, Valeria and Alice have just finished their breakfast of Toad in the Hole, Tom and Lexi are watching me write and Rose  has reminded me to write neatly so Tracy can read it!

We are having a wonderful camp – the kids are doing really well and we are lucky to have fabulous adults helping us. We have had a bit of rain, but not enough to dampen our fun. Tonight is the Year 6 ceremony and tomorrow we pack up and go back to school, hopefully by 3pm.

Last newsletter for the year!! It has totally flown by! Only 4 days to go!!!

Thank you to all our amazing parents who have helped us so much this year. Thank you also to my colleagues – thanks for being such great people to work with. Very best wishes to Louise and Marius for their coming adventures.

And biggest thanks to the amazing children I have been lucky enough to have in my group this year! Year 6′s, go well! Have relaxing holidays and enjoy your high schools! Come and visit often!

Special goodbyes to those families that are leaving Currambena with their youngest child finishing primary school. I hope you all keep a little (or a lot!) of Currambena in your hearts! Hope to see you all at the Rock of Ages party on Saturday night.

Lots of love

Wendy x

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Hello everyone!

We made it! The final news letter of the year (and my last newsletter, approximately my  270th!)

We’ve had a lovely week this week. We managed to fit in some lessons on mass and had a gorgeous baking session with Carolina. The children made alfajores: making and cooking biscuit dough and then putting some dolce de leche and coconut in between to make a delicious sweet biscuit sandwich. It was a really fun and tasty way to finish Spanish classes this year. Thank you so much Carolina!!

We did our sex education last Thursday and on Monday too. We covered puberty and how babies are made. The children have been encouraged to talk to their parents about it if they have any questions.

Shirley was here this week to see the children present their coding projects. They had been working on making an educational program on Scratch that could teach someone something. The children showed that they have learnt many coding skills and are able to use them in different contexts. We had a few different times tables games and some programs teaching us facts about chickens, mountain animals and clouds. They showed real pride in their achievements. Thank you so much Shirley for volunteering a year’s worth of time to help us learn to code and for inspiring us along the way. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Tomorrow we are having our end of year class party. We are bringing in food (homemade if possible) to share and we’ll play some games too. We are also going to do our Kris Kringle present giving during that time too. Please make sure your child has brought a gift in. The price of the gift has to be between $10 and $15

We are going to the beach on Monday. Please make sure your child comes with waterproof sunscreen applied on all exposed skin, wearing a rashie and a hat. They need to bring morning tea and lunch with them. It would be great if some children could bring beach umbrellas with them that we could put up and share the shade. Beach toys are an optional extra.

On Tuesday we are having a lunch for the children and staff. There’ll be a sausage sizzle (with veggie option) and fruit too. Children will still need to bring their own morning tea.

It is really important that the lockers are left empty over the summer. I will be asking the children to take everything home on Tuesday. It would be great if your child brings only their food in a paper bag on Wednesday so that nothing is left on Wednesday afternoon after the social .

The class pet rats still need some volunteers to look after them during the holidays. I have a few families booked in and need others for the following dates:

  • 24th – 31st Dec:
  • 31st – 7th Jan:
  • 14th – 21st Jan:
  • 21st – 28th Jan:

Please email me if you are able to help out. Thank you!!

This has been a wonderful year with a gorgeous group of children. I have loved teaching and learning with each of them! Thank you all for your support,volunteering, interest and humour. It has been greatly appreciated!

I hope you all have a fabulous summer holidays!

Love Louise

 

Posted in Louise's Class | Comments Off

The remains of the day. The end of a great year of learning and curiosity. It’s been a pleasure to see your kids develop as learners and people and I am very fond of each and every one them. They are all superb little characters and I expect greatness from all of them. They feel well on their way.

Thank you especially to those who chipped in their time and energy to prepare sets and costumes, raise money, came along on excursions, helped us code and me work a computer (Shirley), read in our literacy groups, brought in bags of frozen eyeballs (Jo), and the list could go on.

You’ve all been very warm and supportive to me as a teacher, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with you to give these kids a good year.

We still have some vacancies on the bus if you’d like to come on Monday, and in fact I’d appreciate two or three at least to help supervise/ sunscreen. Get I touch if you can get the day.

Hopefully I see you all at the social this weekend or next week, but if not, thanks again for making great kids, and I wish you a restful and happy holiday/ long and prosperous life.

Warm regards,

Marius

Posted in Marius' Class | Comments Off

Three years ago, walking through Currambena’s gates for the first time, I was a little unsure of what I was getting myself into. One child had a head of frizzy hair covered in paint, another was dressed as a cat, others were wrestling in what appeared to be a no-holds-barred melee. I was wearing a suit and tie to my interview and felt fairly overdressed. Chickens picked their way through fairy arbours and the shanty ruins of cubby houses. No head teacher? No tests? No shoes?

But it soon became clear that the place had an internal logic of its own. The students radiated happiness and were well-adjusted and confident. It clearly worked. And they were gorgeous to teach, with none of the suspicion of adults or learning that school can drive into even the youngest children.

In many ways Currambena is the school we all wished we had gone to, school stripped of all the things that can make school starchy or painful. It’s a place where you can relate to your students as people, where you can follow your collective nose as a class, and where the process of learning is more important than the outcome. Most of all, everyone is having fun, even on their bad days. It’s a model that’s slowly being picked up by the ‘real world’, and for good reason.

Personally I’ve had an interesting few years while teaching here, with the death of a parent, a break-up, a broken leg. Throughout all this the school was really important to me. I’ll always be grateful for the kindness of the parents and staff through some tricky times, and to the kids for the natural therapy of their company. Having a job you enjoy is always a privilege, but going to work with a spring in my step even at my lowest points felt like a blessing.

The school has helped me grow as a person and as a teacher, and if it now feels like the right time to leave and explore it’s not without a lot of sadness at leaving. It’s a special community, and I hope that it continues to nurture the thoughtful, smart, gentle kids that will make our world a better place. I feel very lucky to have been a part of it, and wish all of you the very best into the future.

Warm regards,

Marius

Posted in Your Currambena Community | Comments Off

Hello Everyone,

The start of the year only seems like yesterday and here we are at the tail end! As School finishes next Wednesday this will be our last newsletter entry for the year!

Last Thursday we held our thank you afternoon tea for families.  The children looked fantastic in their bespoke t-shirts and did a fantastic job in greeting, seating and serving their guests. They also all patiently waited until all the guests were served before getting something for themselves.

We’ve been talking to the children about how we feel at this time of year, explaining it as bittersweet. We have mixed emotions as we’ll miss those that are leaving us, though we are also thrilled at how ready everyone is for their next adventure wheather or elsewhere.

This week we’ve continued to spend time talking about the changes ahead.We’ve discussed who will be in Jess’s class next year, who will move on to another school and who will be back in preschool. For those returning we have been talking about Elder behaviour and what it is. Being an Elder is not just about being in preschool for more than a year, it’s also about your behaviour and the ability to be a positive role model to children beginning their journey with us.

Collectively many of the children are continuing to show a great interest in pre literacy skills. There’s been lots of experimentation in writing words with children proudly showing us the results of their efforts and having us read them. What has been particularly effective in engaging children’s interest in literacy has been the fairy letters many of the children have been writing. The children are thrilled with her replies, it’s so gorgeous to see them getting the children in primary as well as adults to read them.

The new tree house cubby house is a big hit with preschool. We’ve started to make a few preschool agreements in regards to how we can use it. We’ll keep on adding to it over the next week and revisit it again at the start of the year.

We’ve also continued making a piñata in preschool with various levels of success. The preschool children are a bit over zealous when it comes to papier mache and after almost a week the glue still isn’t dry! We’re not sure how successful the piñata will be put we’ll keep working in it.

A big thank you to the families that participated in the maintenance day on Sunday. Your efforts are very much appreciated. For those looking to go into credit for maintenance hours in 2019 we’ve put up a list of end of year cleaning jobs we hope you can help us with. It’s next to the sign in sheets on the glass doors as you enter preschool.

If we don’t get to say it to everyone in person, thank you for entrusting us with your most precious possessions. It’s been such a privilege to be part of you and your child’s lives this year. They have all been an absolute joy to teach.

Wishing everyone a restful and safe break over the Christmas period.

Love

Katrina, Michael and Hannah

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Hello Everyone,

THE ROCK OF AGES PARTY -  is this Saturday 15th December.  We have all the teachers coming as well as current and ex-parents so let’s have a great party and a farewell to be remembered for Marius & Louise!

Please buy your ticket by Friday! https://www.trybooking.com/ZJWG

A whole school shared lunch Tuesday 18th December. We are having a sausage sizzle and delicious cut-up fruit. A couple of parents have volunteered to manage the BBQ but we still need a couple more people to help with the cutting up of fruit. This is for all the kids to say goodbye to Louise, Marius and Ashley.

Policy/agreements. In light of our recent training on Protective Behaviour we have made some changes to “Agreements with Children and Choice of Clothing”. Please update yourself with these changes on the school website. This is also a timely reminder to be sending kids to school with rashies & swimmers for water play

Last Sunday Maintenance. Many thanks to those few people who came. The last two maintenance days we have only had enough people to do the bare basics! What to do? Do we raise the charge to $50 per hour to cover the cost of contractors to come in twice a term? This will definitely be up for discussion next year.

MAINTENANCE  Last day to log your hours in the book. No late entries please!

FEES– Please check and be sure you have all fees paid for 2018

Yet another year has flown by.  Every day I have this wonderful snapshot view of Currambena flowing past my office window. It is such a joy to see the negotiations, the playing of games structured and creative, the fun, the laughter and the caring, the intimate conversations, the huddle of giggles, scheming a touch of mischief and all are thriving, kids, chickens and gardens. My trip to India really affirmed for me what a special place Currambena is and how fortunate we all are to be here. With much delight and gratitude, I thank all the kids, the staff, our council and the parents who make this wonderful tapestry of care, empathy, hard work, persistence, and the most colourful thread of all a shared joy of learning.

We say our sad farewells to Louise, Marius and Ashley and wish you all the best on your future journeys wherever they may take you. You will be missed!

Have a great summer everyone!

We look forward to seeing you next year

Cheers Julianna

Posted in Coordinator's news | Comments Off

At the end of this year I will have taught at Currambena for 7 years, starting when the current year 6s began in Fran’s class in kindergarten. It feels quite poetic that I should be leaving at the same time as they are going off to high school. Like them, I have learnt a huge amount during my time here.

Before I applied for the position, I hadn’t heard of democratic education but I had a background in conflict resolution and project based learning making Currambena a dream come true. And in reality it is so much more than what is written on the website.

Firstly, the children: what a beautiful lot! They are welcoming, inclusive, thoughtful, creative, independent, funny, loving and brave. I have watched many many children grow up over the years, manage relationships, gain confidence, believe in themselves and have the courage to move onwards.

The parents: you are an essential part of our community. Without you choosing to send your children here, the rest wouldn’t exist. I have appreciated your involvement in classrooms, excursions, camps, animal care and the trust that you put in us as teachers. I have had many laughs with you and developed some valued friendships along the way.

The staff: like the rest of the Currambena community, the staff welcomed me with open-minds and open-hearts. I was able to flourish as a teacher with the support and wisdom offered to me. Each year I was trusted to take my class on a learning journey and explore what was meaningful to us. I sought advice at staff meetings which was given freely and without judgement. Being part of a collaborative team where every member’s voice is heard with equal weight, is a rare and privileged experience.

Currambena has been such a large part of my life in Sydney and I know that I wouldn’t have put down roots and stayed if it wasn’t for this special place and the people in it.

The highlights:

  • Laura Dance Festival community trip to far north Queensland
  • Seeing the new build and the renovations
  • Every dress-up ball
  • The giant turtle lantern and the art gallery social
  • Seeing new children starting mid-way through the classes and flourishing
  • Both Fair Trade Cafes
  • Feeling appreciated at the end of each year
  • The ceremony on the beach at Jervis Bay
  • Making sledges to slide down the slippery dips at Sydney Park
  • Singing, dancing and being silly with my class
  • Sand drawing and painting murals
  • Mowbray Park
  • Sharing camps with other teachers
  • The ratties
  • Forming relationships
  • Music concerts and African drumming socials
  • So many dance lessons with an eclectic group of children
  • Seeing personal projects and the progress made over time

Thank you all so much for being a part of my experience and making it so joyful and meaningful. It’s been emotional and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Posted in Your Currambena Community | Comments Off

Hi everyone!

This will be our last newsletter of the year………….. and the most exciting thing to have happen this week was starting our Kris Kringle!!!!! The children now all have someone they need to buy a gift for and are secretly leaving notes in mailboxes, so they can try and guess who they might be. Just to clarify, the gift is something that is organised outside of school. We do not go shopping (as a class) for this. Ther is a large RED tub under my desk where the wrapped present can go and the name of the child they are gifting to needs to be written clearly on the outside. As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we present the gifts on the last day of school in the afternoon- next Wednesday!

We have now completed all project presentations. And they were terrific!!!!!!!! I have been soooo impressed with the children’s efforts, growth and development in this area. Also this week, we did some final activities on TIME, recognising and recording times from the quarter to mins ‘past’ and ‘to’ the hour. So please quiz and continue to practice (over the holidays) what has been a rather crammed unit and topic.

We watched the video of our class performance this week – thank you so much to Jackie (Jana’s dad) for filming all the performances at the concert. It was a lot of fun for the children to see themselves on stage. We also did some story writing this week and we will have an afternoon on Thursday drawing and creating a class Mandala.

Next Monday, we are off to the beach!! Chinaman’s Beach!!! Along with Louise, Marius and Jess’s group we will take a bus and spend the day there. The children will need: morning tea, lunch, a water bottle, shoes, HAT, RASHIE, sunscreen, towel & swimmers. Please check this off with your child in the morning before you leave.

I think that’s us for this week and year! I just want to say thank you to all the parents who have been so supportive throughout the year with: reading, driving, washing, tending the garden, printing books and sending wee messages of their child’s response to things which have happened and/or things they have done. Sometimes, hearing stories about what a child has said or how they have responded, changed, behaved, grown and developed – within a year – keeps you going and this shared, goes a long, long way. So many, many thanks!

I do hope to see most of you, in disguise, at the Rock of Ages party this Saturday night. It should be a really excellent night and opportunity to farewell our beloved teachers, Marius & Louise!

Signing out….

Sarah xx

Posted in Sarah's Class | Comments Off

Dear Parents,
Thinking about this year with this beautiful group of children has made me wonder how on earth I could judge it with a number if I was forced to. A score out of 100? For what though? Perhaps the number of shoes lost? Or teeth lost? Or perhaps the number of times I was called Mum or the number of ice blocks I put on scraped knees? Whatever the number, it would never capture our story together this year.

I am feeling very emotional as a write this final newsletter post. I’m so proud of this very special group of children and the caring and fun-filled community they have created. This year has been a big one for them all as they have worked hard to become storytellers, mathematicians, scientists and experts in all sorts of fields. Every day we have laughed and some days we have cried but together we have learned a little bit more about ourselves and others.

A huge thank you to all of you for supporting your child at school this year. Thank you for doing the washing, supervising excursions, providing expertise in the classroom including lessons in flight, sewing, the environment, craft and more. Thank you also to those who have contributed maintenance hours and skills in the canteen and thank you to those that have helped out Julianna with special projects. I can’t name you all, but a special thank you to my trusty literacy group regulars, Uli and Maura. Thank you also to those who have shown me personal support through the year. Those friendly smiles really do make a difference.

Finally, I want to say a huge thank you to Jane who works so beautifully with each and every child in the class, showing compassion and dedication every day. I couldn’t do it without you!

I wish you all happy celebrations and a restful break and I look forward to adding up how many centimetres the children have grown when they return to school next year. A number to start their next story…

Love Jess

Posted in Jess' Class | Comments Off

Hello Everyone,

THE ROCK OF AGES PARTY –  Where is everyone? Have you forgotten? It is next Saturday 15th December. This is our big farewell to Louise & Marius and the last end of year shindig with all the teachers coming as well as current and ex-parents. https://www.trybooking.com/ZJWG

So please, buy your tickets today! 

A whole school shared lunch Tuesday 18th December. We are having a sausage sizzle, fruit and ice blocks. A couple of parents have volunteered to manage the BBQ but we still need a couple more people to help with the cutting up of fruit. This is for all the kids to say goodbye to Louise, Marius and Ashley.

Canteen Kitchen – This is to be refurbished over the school holidays. We will be employing tradespeople for electrical, plumbing, carpentry and installing but we need volunteers to dismantle the current kitchen. Perhaps it can be done in an evening after work and you can log the time towards 2019 Term 1 maintenance hours. If you can help please let me know. It will be a big saving on cost

MAINTENANCE this Sunday 9th December 9am-12pm Last chance to get those hours finished!  Please remember to log your hours IN THE BOOK!

Cheers Julianna

Posted in Coordinator's news | Comments Off