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Hi Everyone,

We have a couple of new changes to the newsletter with one page dedicated to  Dates & Events and another to Maintenance. We are hoping this helps and you no longer need to be scrolling through the various pages to find a date or a maintenance job

With our up and coming evening event and talking about “The Currambena Journey” I thought this lovely letter from a past parent was relevant to our topic

Dear Community,

After more than a decade as a Currambena family, a number of people have asked us about our experience putting three children through the school, and how things work out afterwards. It has been great for me to sit down and think this through, so I have put down my thoughts in this letter. It’s a way to say goodbye, and thank you. 

One highlight of the Currambena year for me is the term four goodbyes from year six leavers that feature on the cover of the school newsletter. Whether we have known the children personally or just by sight, we have watched so many of them grow up and been close to so many of the families. It is exciting to see who they have become – and glimpse a sense of what more they will be. Recently it was our son Finn’s turn, marking the end of a family era, one that begun when Emma joined Fran’s and Chloe jointed pre-school. Finn was six months old. 

Like many year six leavers, I suspect, Finn scribbled his newsletter farewell last minute. I think this was because he found it difficult to articulate all that he had to say and all that he felt. He is bursting with excitement at the new adventures his next school offers. But he is also leaving behind best friends and beautiful memories and a whole stream of strong, creative, supportive teachers who have cared for him, and challenged him and nurtured him for what is in fact, all his life so far. 

A lot of parents ask families with a long Currambena track record, how things turn out once their children hit ‘the real world’. I remember asking that myself when we were weighing up their primary school options. Thinking about it now, I believe my best answer is, that Currambena is the ‘real world’. Of course it is. Yes, it’s a leafy North Shore version, but it is a primary school where children are taught to challenge themselves, to solve their problems, recognise difference and take personal responsibility. And that’s how I hope my children will operate in any part of the world they choose to inhabit. 

With two girls at the thorny end of the high school journey, we have had plenty of high school parent-teacher nights to assess how they have settled in to school life post Currambena. And there is a consistent theme, regardless of their abilities in particular subjects and in sport (which are not to be sneezed at by the way): teachers all mention their maturity beyond their years, their confidence in class, their personal responsibility and their connections with other children. 

This isn’t all Currambena’s doing. But it certainly isn’t all their home environment. I am convinced that the combination of whom they are naturally, and the opportunities, friendships and support they had at primary school have been powerful in shaping them. 

As a Currambena parent I know I sometimes felt challenged when a gap emerged between the way the school thought about how to give children the best start, and the way I thought was right. In a way, that’s where the magic happens. Each time I encountered that gap, it made me think about my assumptions. It challenged me, and whatever the outcome, there was ALWAYS a teacher around to nut it out with. And the result was always better for my children, and for me. 

Even after the girls left Currambena I knew they could touch base with their former teachers when problems arose, because at Currambena the staff know our children so well, and just because a child dons a uniform and heads off to other places it doesn’t mean they stop caring. 

I have no idea how Finn will manage the transition. He will do it in his own way and it will be different from the way the girls managed it. But I know, as far as you can know these things, that he has a framework that will carry with him from his days at primary school, and that we as a family have a way of talking through challenges, that we learned as Currambena parents, and by doing the conflict resolution course. 

In the end I don’t think there is a ‘right model’ for primary school that suits every child or every family or for high school. I do believe that Currambena has helped our children become strong, articulate, young people and it has made me a more thoughtful parent overall. 

I often think that each child is kind of social experiment. One that most of us are poorly qualified to perform. I feel, that as a family, that we are enormously fortunate that our three experiments are working out so far. And Currambena has been an enormous contributor to that. 

Thanks wonderful Currambena. It’s been a privilege.

 Kirsten, Mum of Finn, Chloe & Emma

 

Cheers Julianna

“Everyday do something that will inch you closer to a better tomorrow”

Doug Firebough

Posted in Coordinator's news | Comments Off

Hello everyone,

A big thank you to all the parents that took time out of their busy week to attend our parent information night on Tuesday. We hope you were able to gain a better understanding of Currambena and what your child’s day at preschool provides.

We’re currently focussing on group times and group time agreements with the children. We’ve been working on group time agreements which include, not disturbing other children who are trying to listen, not bringing toys to group time to make sure your hands are free and being respectful to the person that is talking, whether that be another child or a teacher. For some of the new children who have never had the experience of working in a group situation alongside others this can be a little perplexing.  We’re making sure we offer group activities  every day so children are able to get lots of experience with attending and participating in a group.

Appropriate ways to join play is also a big focus in preschool at the moment. As some of the  new children don’t have experience in a preschool setting or with playing games with peers or a similar age we’re providing some explicit teaching in regards to this. We’ve been focussing on the importance of looking at another child and asking if they can play with them, how to ask for a turn of a toy another child might have and how to negotiate with others in play or seek help from a teacher if there is a problem. The elders have been just gorgeous and are being very accommodating in bringing new children into their play.

It would be most appreciated if all families in preschool could email or bring in both a family photo and baby photo of their child. We plan to use these in a display we’re currently working on in preschool.

Thank you to Herbert, Amelia’s Dad for the donation of some new soccer balls to the school. Thank you also to Zigi, Ash’s Dad for the endless hours he’s put in to clean the main decking of the school. We’ve put up a couple of jobs for maintenance on the preschool door if anyone is interested in completing them.

That’s it for this week!

Love

Katrina, Michael and Lisa

 

Posted in Preschool news | Comments Off

Dear Parents,
Despite the wind on Monday morning, the children voted to persist with their morning walk to the park. Tree climbing was a popular activity and many of the children needed to be reminded not to climb too high. This lead to a really interesting conversation about staying safe and the overlap between their right to make decisions about risk taking and their responsibility (and mine) to keep themselves safe.

In what seems to be quite timely with current news reports at the moment, a new game that involves kissing has sprung up between some children in the class. During our discussions about this game, we all agreed that it was important to ask another person and wait for their answer before we kissed them (even if it was ‘in the game’ or out of affection). We also agreed that this included air kissing or pretend kissing. Unfortunately the children will not be able to practice these agreements in the game though as we also agreed that due to COVID-19, no-one is allowed to kiss each other anyway!

With issues around personal space, rights and responsibilities and rules in play springing up, I am now planning to more formally begin to introduce ‘conflict resolution’ into my classroom time this term. We’ll begin with naming feeling.

Our unit on family histories is still progressing and the theme is still certainly present in our day to day activities. We are going to be discussing how objects and stories are a very important way to learn about the past and I will be asking the children to bring an object in from home that tells us something about their past. This could be any sort of object like a trophy they won or a favourite toy they used to play with. It would be great if there was a little story associated with that object. I would like to give each child the opportunity to present their object and tell their personal story to the class so it would be nice if you could spend just a few minutes helping them find something appropriate. This week we have been a little sidetracked from a ‘history’ focus by an acute interest in bugs. The children have delighted in finding all sorts of bugs around the school and photographing them for our expanding “Bugs and Grubs” wall. We’ve investigated the difference between an insect and a spider and we have talked a lot about what we know already and what we’d like to know. We watched a group of ants devour a cicada over a couple of days and we discussed the importance of not touching any bugs we may find at school or at home.

In maths, we have been working regularly with numbers this week and investigating ways that numbers can be represented without writing a numeral. Tally marks and tens frames are new concepts for most of the children and one that they are picking up well. We are developing the idea that five is a special number and we are using it as a reference point for other numbers.

We’ve been enjoying reading lots of books together and the children are demonstrating their developing skills in comprehension. I’m impressed with the subtleties the children  notice and how deeply they interpret the books we share. Of course, we’re also continuing to have fun breaking words apart into smaller sounds and soon I’ll be asking the children to create their own words using these new and now more familiar sounds.

The children certainly embraced class meeting this week, using it to vote on setting up a new ‘saving’ shelf for the classroom. They voted that objects built in the block corner could be ‘saved’ on the shelf overnight and then packed away each Friday afternoon.

The children have several craft sessions this week where everyone will have the opportunity to work on the clay wheel with Chris. There is also talk of a whole class art work and a range of other individual art projects that the children want to pursue.

Thank you to all the parents who took home bags of dress-up clothes and brought them back clean. They spell beautiful! Thank you to Monica, Celine and Chris for joining us at swimming and also to Dean who did a marvellous job of cleaning all the cobwebs off the back windows – it’s surprising how much more light comes in!

If you are planning to come and help with reading at any point on Friday, please just send me a quick email with the time you’ll be here so I can plan my day. I think I’m nearly ready to invite parents into the classroom to help with small group activities also so keep your eye out on my window for a roster if you are interested in volunteering.

In an attempt to streamline our newsletter so that it is shorter and easier to read, we have included a new section with whole school reminders and dates. Please take some time to read these to stay up to date.

Wishing you all a restful weekend,
Jess x

Posted in Jess's Class | Comments Off

Dear Parents,

This week the children were introduced to the long e phoneme (sound) and the many graphemes (letters) that can make this phoneme. We found that there were many members of our class with the long e phoneme in their name, so Carrie, Opie, Mia, Louie, Wesley, Harry and Kitty have been taking centre stage! Our new literacy stations (Thursdays 9.30am-11am) were a great combination of learning and creativity and we would welcome any parents in the future if they would like come along for the ride.

We are continuing to have a whole lot of fun at swimming on Tuesday afternoons. I have enjoyed seeing everyone having so much fun, particularly with the ultimate human pool toy – Crafty! I have begun some initial assessments on the children’s swimming skills and we will be working on building on these in the coming weeks.

Our wall of old school photos has become a great point of interest for people visiting the classroom and it’s so special to have the children’s family members smiling (or looking seriously!) out at us. Next week we will be focusing on how the items in the class museum can be classified, such as ‘toys’ and ‘technology’ and the children will be choosing some focus points for our learning in History for the rest of the term.

In Maths we have been revising common number bonds such as the Friends of 10 and 20 and trying to improve our speed and automaticity when recalling them through lots of play and games.

We’ve had quite a few children absent this week with sniffles. Thank you for being so proactive on this front with keeping them at home and sending me the Covid test result.

I look forward to seeing the children present their News about something that interests them next week. We will have the presentations over two days – Monday and Tuesday and we will draw names out of a hat, so if they could be ready on Monday, that would be excellent.

Love Emma

Posted in Emma's Class | Comments Off

Hello!

I hope this sees you all well. Thankyou to the parents who were able to make it to the parent/teacher night last night. It was so lovely to see you most of you and wonderful to spend time answering questions and queries in regards to the class and our year ahead. If you were unable to make it and would like to meet, please send me an email and I will be happy to try and arrange a suitable time to chat.

We got started with our castle building this week and spent a good chunk of time looking at and investigating different hand-made crafty castles. This will be an ongoing construction task which will span the next couple of weeks until all are complete and ready to present. We discovered another more advanced style of castle this week which was built after the Motte and Bailey called the Concentric castle. Concentric meaning: a circle within a circle. This was an elaborate architectural design of a castle within a castle. Throughout the construction we are touching on 2D and 3D shapes and their NETS and then cutting and folding shapes to form turrets, towers and battlements. Thankyou so much to Camille (Emilie’s mum) who has brought in some boxes for us to get started on this project. The majority of children have almost completed their swords and they look absolutely stunning adorning a wall in our classroom.

We read a fun little book called “The Paper Bag Princess” and used the characters in the book to recognise and make a list of describing words. The children then created and drew 2 characters of their own who will eventually take up residence in their castle. These characters and castles will form the basis and beginning of our creative, story writing process.

For Maths this week, we continued to look at place value puzzles and have been expanding numbers in the 10′s, 100′s and 1000′s. We also looked at and practiced column addition and subtraction.

This week we had a discussion about What makes a good friend? We watched a short animation listing things which establish a good friendship and then came up with our own list: “I am a good friend when……. I am nice and show my friends new things; when I share; when I stick up for them and play with them; we look out for each other; when I am playful and thankful; I am funny, respectful, courageous and supportive; when I tell them they mean so much to me and I am in a good mood.”

Thankyou, to Kirsty Nowlan (Phoebe’s mum) who has offered to be our class rep!

Check out our Whole school term dates and reminders page!!! We’ve had some feedback about how lengthy the newsletter can be with each teacher repeating whole school events in their individual class entry. So, there will now be a section designated to communicating important topics which are relevant to the whole school. You can keep updated on community socials, important reminders, incursions, excursions, music and Spanish. Teachers will only include information (in their entry) which is specific to their class. We hope this makes an easier read.

Take Care and have a lovely weekend…

Love, Sarah

Posted in Sarah's Class | Comments Off

It was wonderful to see so many parents at our class parent/teacher night last night. If you were unable to attend or have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to come and have a chat either before or after school.

This week we’ve been investigating sustainability around the world. We discovered that in 2014 in the city of Bristol England, a bio bus started a trial run on human and food waste. This is now a regular service, and compared to diesel vehicles is 30% lower in carbon dioxide emissions. The children were very concerned that it would smell, however we researched that it doesn’t.

Our sound this week was ‘k, c, q, ck, x, ch’ as in kite, car, queen, sock, fox and school. This was a tricky sound due to the different letters used to spell the sound. The children completed activities on plurals, unjumbling, dictionary discovery and the spelling rule in regards to doubling letters when adding ing.

During Mathematics, we continued to look at different strategies for addition and subtraction. We looked at number lines and the formal algorithm to allow us to complete these number operations.

In our Food and Fibre Production topic, we made cottage cheese to look at the whey and curds. We also discovered that pomegranates brought from the supermarket, may have travelled about 15,000 km before we purchase them, due to some varieties coming from the United States of America. The children were very surprised at how far some of the food journeys were.

After some feedback, we’ve made a page in the newsletter for whole school reminders and dates so that it’s in one place. Anything related just to our class will still be writing in our class section.

For the next two weeks, we won’t be attending swimming due to participating in the Medieval Show and Painting Week. We should be back to swimming in week 6.

Would you like to volunteer some time in the classroom to support our reading groups on a Wednesday morning? Let me know through email if you’re available.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend.

Leesa x

Posted in Leesa's Class | Comments Off

We will be at camp when this Newsletter goes out! It is so exciting to be able to go this year… Little River was cancelled last year, of course! Hopefully we’ll have many great photos and memories to share when we return!

Please read and respond to the email from Cee, our class rep this year. She is organising a social get together for parents of our group to get to know each other.

Many thanks again to the parents who came to the parent meeting last week. It was fabulous to see so many of you and to hear your stories about finding Currambena.

I hope you will all be able to come to the whole community parent meeting on March 4th. It should be a very interesting and informative evening discussion.

Because we’re away, there will be no guitar or piano with me until next week.

Have a good one!

Cheers,
Wendy

Posted in Wendy's Class | Comments Off

Wendy is away from Wednesday til Friday so there will be no lessons with her until next week.
Thanks!

Posted in Music classes | Comments Off

Hello everyone,

It was lovely to see so many preschool families at the Welcome breakfast on Wednesday. We’re really enjoying having families back on the school grounds and being able to provide community events that allow families to meet other Currambena community members. Attending events such as these are great opportunities for preschool families new to the school to meet other families both in primary and in preschool to learn more about how our school operates.

The preschool children are starting to come together as a group, spending time exploring the preschool environment, the wider school and each other. We’re currently in the “honeymoon period” for many of the new children. It’s not at all uncommon for children to initially feel excited and keen to come to preschool and then all of a sudden have difficulty in separating from their parents in the morning or feel very hesitant in coming. We’re always happy to assist with this so please don’t hesitate to let us know if you need help.

A reminder that next Tuesday February 23rd we’ll be holding a parent information night for preschool families. This is another opportunity to meet other parents, ask questions about anything you’re unsure about and hear more about our preschool year and happenings within the school. The evening will start at 6pm and finish around 7-7.30pm. They’ll also be a whole school parent community evening on Thursday 4th March, the time is yet to be conformed.

Each year in preschool we ask two parents to volunteer as parent reps. Parent reps organise social events such as play dates in the school holidays as well as communicate important information to other preschool families. If this is something you’d like to take on, please let me know. It’s a great way to meet other families and feel a part of the community.

One of our whole school agreements that preschool families might not know about is the importance of children independently climbing the outdoor equipment. Children develop a sense of a mastery as they independently develop the skills to do this on their own, an important rites of passage at Currambena. We ask that parents supervise their children while climbing equipment if it’s before or after preschool rather than lift them onto it.

A big thank you to Ash’s Mum for bringing in A4 paper (used on one side) for us to use in preschool. It’s great to be able to be able to recycle and reuse paper in preschool. If anyone else has access A4 used on one side we’d love to be able to give it one more use, so please bring it in.

That’s it for this week!

Love

Katrina, Michael & Lisa

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