This week’s newsletter

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Hello Currambena,

This week I feel the year is suddenly on fast forward!

There seems to be a lot happening … started the week with Council meeting on Monday night , Build Team and architect meeting on Tuesday night, preparing all the figures for our 2015 budget council meeting Monday week, getting ready for our end of year rollover and up dates for all our student data, organising quotes and schedules for carpentry, bulletin boards and painting of Blake’s rooms up stairs, replacing the top deck, all of which will be done over the summer break and of course all the other day to day things that happen in the office ..Oh and I am away next week on school camp with Wendy’s group. So put my van in for a service this morning and will be dragging out my camp gear over the weekend. We have had a very big cleanout in my house so the trick will be where has the gear been very tidily packed away?? Here’s hoping it was not in the huge pile on the back of the ute that went to the tip!

The sad news this week has been the passing away of David Cohen one of a small group of intrepid parents that were the shakers and movers that started Currambena. Our hearts and love go out to his family during this tumultuous time of sadness and wonderful memories. We can never stop thanking him for this very ,very special legacy he has left behind – Currambena the happy place.

Information Morning – Thank-you to everyone, kids, parents and teachers who help with the set-up and another very well run morning. We had about 8 families attending and all indicated how much they enjoyed the presentation and school tours

“Kindness in thought leads to wisdom. Kindness in speech leads to eloquence. Kindness in action leads to love.” Lao Tsu


Love Julianna


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Hi Everyone,

The weeks are flying by in a blur at the moment.

This week we have been learning a bit more about Pompeii as a place, what happened there and what we can learn about the Ancient Romans from the evidence left in Pompeii. In English, we have read The 12 Labours of Hercules. Although this is a Greek myth we can make a few tweaks, change a few names and make it into a Roman myth. The children identified the features of each task Hercules has to do and we created a ‘What Makes a Good Task for Hercules’ poster. Using this, the children have planned out a task of their own for Hercules. The planning process should be complete by this week and we will start writing next week. The class are very interested in Greek and Roman mythology and now everyone has a god’s or goddess’ name as well as their own. This has spilled over into Italian and the children have been describing their god or goddess in Italian.

In maths we have been looking at time. There is a great range of abilities in the class in being able to read the time. If your child struggles with telling the time on an analogue clock, lots and lots of ad hoc practise here and there would be very helpful. For those children who are able to tell the time to the nearest minute, they have been working out some tricky problems involving time. They have been illustrating and proving their answers on big pieces of paper.

Personal projects are due on the 8th of December.

Kris Kringle has been ongoing since the beginning of the term. This is just a reminder that the gift should be around $10. We will swap gifts in the last week of term.

In class meeting the children voted to be able to buy an ice cream after swimming on the last week of term. This is Tuesday 16th of December. I’m sure your child will remind you of this nearer the time!

That’s all for this week.

Love Louise

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Hello Everyone,

This week in preschool we have been busily preparing for the afternoon tea that will be held today.  Children have been involved in decorating menus, cooking and practising how to greet and serve others. They are very excited and looking forward to the afternoon.  This is an opportunity for children to say thank you to parents and carers for bringing them to preschool. It is also an opportunity for children to experience delayed gratification as children will need to serve others before serving themselves.

In craft last week the children decided to make a huge rocket to add to our exploration into space, we also used pastels and glitter to make a mural of stars, and using different round paper shapes made a collage of planets. In music with Miriam the children listened to music and using crayons drew a picture based on what feelings and thoughts the music evoked for them. We have also been learning a song called “Cock a doodle do”

During group time we have continued to focus on friendships and how to deal with problems you may encounter during play. Children have been given the opportunity to reflect on how they made friends with other children in preschool and what they enjoy doing with their friends. They drew pictures of this and with assistance of teachers  added text describing how some of their friendships developed.

Children have also been adding to our space scenery and recently completed making the 60 moons of Jupiter. They managed to name and then write out the names for many of them. We have also recently added a child sign in and out sheet on the small white table across from the adult sign in and out sheet at the front of preschool. It is fabulous to see children signing in and out of preschool on a regular basis. He have also added children’s name cards to assist them with this.

We have continued joining kindergarten to sing with them at the end of the day. Until the end of year we will be spending time singing with them on various days to ensure that all children have had the opportunity to engage in this experience.  We have continued to encourage those children that will be commencing kindergarten next year to spend time in Sue’s class on a Friday.

Due to School Council meeting on Monday 8th December there has been a change of date for the Orientation Night for Parents with children attending Kindergarten with Sue next year. The orientation night will now be held on Monday 15th December at 6pm.

Thank you to Amanda, Zali’s mother, for the donation of spare clothes to add to our collection. Thank you to Susan, Matthew’s Mother in Sarah’s class for the donation of dolls clothes and to Cee Cee Xavier’s Mother who came and spent time in preschool while Katrina was at information morning on Wednesday. Thank you also to everyone that spend time sweeping and tidying the playground this week and to everyone that has taken home laundry to wash for us.


Katrina, Chris and Michael

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We are all getting pretty excited about camp next week and preparations are going well. I hope everyone has begun naming clothing and packing…I still need all the pink permission forms back and camp fee of $190 paid please. Thanks so much to everyone who is helping by doing some of the jobs. We will try to leave school by 9:30 at the latest on Monday so please be here early … by 8:30 … so we can load the trailer and cars and make sure everything fits before we set off. Kids will need money for lunches on both journeys and need to give me an account of the $3 treat food they are allowed to bring.

Of course we are also continuing with our other things! PIP presentations are going really well with some stunning work being presented. We are also completing text books and revising number operations skills this week… as well as writing Kris Kringle notes! Lots going on.

It was very sad to hear that David Cohen, one of Currambena’s founding fathers, died this week in Melbourne. David was one of the main motivators of the alternative schools movement in NSW back in the 1970s and helped to set up both Currambena in 1969. He was Professor of Education at Macquarie University when I was there and published many books and articles about progressive education and about Currambena. I think he thought of us as one of his special achievements. He stayed firmly supportive of education that valued the child as an active participant in decisions about their own learning and he was an honoured member of our Association, now called ADEC. He spoke at many of our events and cut the cake at our 40th birthday party. His son Bernard, recently attended our 45th birthday event in his stead. David collated a fascinating book about Currambena’s early days and has donated his papers to us for our archives. He was a most wonderful educator and progressive thinker, a humanist and a deeply caring person. He will be as greatly missed as his achievements will continue to be greatly valued.

Have a great week.

THERE WILL NO PIANO OR GUITAR LESSONS FOR MY STUDENTS NEXT WEEK BECAUSE I WILL BE AT JERVIS BAY. Please remind your children to speak to me if they want to play an instrument or sing or otherwise perform in the informal concert on Monday 15th at 10am.

Love, Wendy

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Swimming week has been going swimmingly with every child demonstrating noticeable improvements in their confidence level or technique. There has also been a marked improvement in everybody’s road safety skills and fitness levels. We are all a bit exhausted so we have decided not to go swimming on Friday so everyone needs to be dropped off at school. We will try to fit in another swimming day in the afternoon before the end of the term. On behalf of all the Indians and Quinkins I would like to extend a big thank you to Beth, Tim, Karen, Suzie and Christie for helping us with supervision during the swimming week.

Boys spare Swimmers needed

We are currently in need of spare boys swimmers. If you have any that no longer fit your child or that they simply don’t like could you please donate them to us. The spare swimmers are borrowed by a variety children very regularly for swimming and water play

We have started new projects on animals around Lane Cove. So far we have photographed a variety of animals in the area and individually chosen which ones we would like to learn about. Our next step will be to find out information about our chosen animals and record it.

The Quinkins

In addition to swimming this week we have been having daily news with time keepers, doing some guided reading, reading each other the fiction stories we wrote last week and exploring 3D shapes.

We have built our own 3D shapes using toothpicks, skewers, plasticine and frozen peas. We have had to record these by photographing them as they are quite fragile. The peas were eaten after construction. Tomorrow we are going to try Kite’s idea of building bigger and stronger 3D shapes using spaghetti and marshmallows. The discussion on 3D shapes has led to a discussion on 2D shapes as well.

We will also begin painting our landscapes in Craft today.

This is Arin’s last week with us before she goes to Korea to attend her uncle’s wedding. Have a wonderful time, Arin and family, and see you next year in Blake’s class!


The Indians

On Monday we had a discussion about what constitutes teasing and reassessed our agreements. The children decided that “teasing is like physical violence but it hurts your feelings instead of your body.” We also talked about how everyone has different ideas about what constitutes teasing and just because you would feel ok with something you are saying it does not mean that other people do. We decided that if we felt we were being teased we would say “Stop saying ____ I feel that it is teasing.”

We are just wrapping up our unit on fractions and are currently applying all the knowledge we have learnt with concrete materials to solve theoretical problems on paper. We will try to squeeze in some math games this week but may run out of time. Next week we will begin looking at 2 and 3d shapes and will continue to learn about these until the end of the year.

We have all chosen stories to edit for the class story book that we are creating and some of us have started typing. We are waiting to hear back from Paddington’s Aunt Lucy but understand that it takes a long time for post to arrive from Darkest Peru. We will all be reading in today’s middle session and completing comprehension activities. We have been tested on last week’s spelling words and will create new lists on Friday.

Orientation Morning

Orientation morning is on Tuesday the 9th of December. This is where all the students spend the morning in the class they will be in next year.  The children coming to Sue’s class next year will also visit Sue’s classroom on Wednesday 10th December from 9.30am – 11.00am.

After the Orientation Morning has happened I (Blake) would like to have a meeting with next  year’s students and parents to help me create a plan about the layout of our classroom. The meeting will be on Thursday the 11th of December at 6pm.  If you would like to come, please talk to me or send me an email.

There will be a Parent Orientation Meeting for the parents with children going into Sue’s class next year on Monday 15th December 2014 at 6.00pm. This has been changed from the previous date of 8th December so as not to clash with the Council Meeting.


Have a great weekend from Blake, Sue and Nicola.

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I am a bit late in saying… a whole week actually… but thank you to Tracy and Kath for another year of stunning photography capturing the true essence of each child in the school. Unfortunately, Louise and myself were at a course last Wednesday, learning more about the new NSW curriculum. I heard it was a beautiful morning here at school. I know where I would rather have been!

We have finally got around to making good use of the collected ‘plastic bits’ that have been gathering in our class room, since our topic on “Plastics”, last term. It has taken shape in the form of a Giraffe!!! Please come have a look, the children are so thrilled with what they have created from the unusual array of ‘plastic bits’. Also, this week we have been doing a fair amount of revision in Maths, focusing on Number Sense. We are also looking at “time”, more specifically… “telling the time”. We are using both Analog and Digital clocks and have started with ‘o’clock’, followed by ‘half past’, ‘quarter past’ and ‘quarter to’. As an extension some children are doing problem solving activities using time and working out minutes to the hour and converting this time to digital. The children made clocks, labelled them and are using them to manipulate and look more closely at the different times throughout the day.

Our class’s “Enchanted Woods” story book is almost complete ie. the one written by Enid Blyton, which we are reading, and the one written and illustrated by ‘yours truly’ the Gryffindors!!! Their book showcases the children’s ability to write, spell, edit and use  grammar and punctuation that we have learned throughout the year. It also shows their creativity and imagination as fictional story writers. I think it will be available for your perusal from next week.

Next week, as Wendy’s class will be away at camp, we will have more time for Italian, on Wednesday. Claudia will be doing cooking with the class, they are already excited!

On Monday, we will be going to Lane Cove Library, please return all books.

That’s all for this week, me thinks.

Love, Sarah.

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1. Apologies by some of Wendy’s Class. At a recent visit to Synergy, the Lane Cove Youth Centre, some of us behaved very poorly. We are writing apology letters to the Youth Workers and we also want to apologise to the school because we realise that our actions may give the whole school a bad name.

2. Tree house ropes by Tara. A reminder not to leave the ropes out of reach of others.

3.Plastic-free Friday by Zac. Zac requested that we change the plastic free day because it is so hard on Fridays with going to the shops and Smooze sales. There was a lot of discussion and the meeting voted to keep it on Friday.

4. Year 6 Leavers’ project by Zac. Zac presented a drawing/plan and asked if the 2014 could carve into one limb of the dead oak tree for their Leavers’ project. After much discussion and many questions, the meeting voted yes.

5. Swearing by Stanley. A reminder that swearing is not OK.

6. Possum home by Sue. The little ringtail possum now has a home in the trees where it has been sleeping so please leave it alone if you see it there. It is made of two plant baskets.

7. Drawing on the table by Sue. At last School Meeting, some children drew on the wooden table and Sue asks them to clean it off.

8. Chicken coop by Michael. After some discussion, the meeting voted that it’s OK to check for eggs in the coop but you must do it carefully, quietly and quickly and if a chicken is in there, you leave it alone.

9. Drawing by Aiden.

10. Swing by Zac. Zac asked about the swing and was told that the new seat has been ordered.

Meeting adjourned.

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Hello, my name is Elijah and coming to Currambena has been one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me. I have spent 3 years with 2 different teachers, Louise and Wendy. I have met lots of great friends here and have had a wonderful time playing with them. When I was at my old school, I was very unhappy and the teachers got very angry sometimes so my mom found me a calmer and happier school. When I came to the tryout days the first thing I thought was “WOOAAAH They can climb trees here!?” On the first day, I loved it here. Everyone was so friendly to me and I met my closest friends Oliver, Matthew, Marcus and Phillip. I’ve really enjoyed having class and school meetings. I also love how the kids have a lot of choice and teachers don’t just give out orders as if the kids are slaves. One of my favorite things are the projects. Everybody gets to learn interesting facts about anything they choose. I’ll miss all the good times, my friends and my teachers very much. It’s really a shame that this is my last term. I’m really going to miss this school when I leave.

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