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Hi Everyone,

Finally, we have come to the end of what seemed like a very long term.

I am sure everyone is very pleased the holidays are here and hopefully our kids at least, can have some respite from the screen!

There will be some work happening at the school next week.

Our roof gutters will be cleared on every building and all the air conditioners in the classrooms will be serviced.

Sorry, I have run out of stories for this week.

Enjoy the break!

Cheers Julianna

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Hello everyone,

Well, here I sit writing the last newsletter for the term, and what a term we’ve had! We had great aspirations for term 3, though obviously, they just weren’t to be. I’m sure none of us would have imagined a whole term in lockdown, with online learning in primary, and Zoom classes in preschool, but here we are!

At the start of the term the advice given to our preschool, from the Department of Education, was to continue operating, which was in stark contrast to the advice given to primary and high schools from the Government.  As COVID-19 numbers continued to rise, especially in early childhood services, the advice and recommendation changed to, and remains to be,Parents and carers across NSW are strongly encouraged to keep their children at home, unless they need to be at a service”. This is very likely to remain the advice in preschool until we return to level 3 restrictions. This may mean that children in primary begin to return to school at Currambena though preschool children are still asked to remain at home. We’re hoping that vaccination rates increase rapidly and cases of COVID-19 drop dramatically, to enable us to return to level 3 restrictions and enable a change in advice to be provided to preschool from the Government. We’ll ensure that as soon as it does, all families will be made aware of it.

We’ve been lucky to be able to stay connected through the use of Zoom. Although this type of learning isn’t really appropriate for preschool, we’ve persevered with providing at least one online class daily, as a way for preschool children to have contact with each other and preschool. This has been challenging at times, as we’ve had children physically attending preschool since the start of the lockdown who prefer to play than watch a screen.

Despite the lockdown, we’ve had many memorable and enjoyable times this term, and as a school we’ve come up with some innovative ways to stay connected. Zoom whole school dance parties, Zoom craft lessons, Zoom Spanish, Zoom Book Week, Zoom Wear it Purple Day, Zoom whole school book readings, Zoom whole school meetings, and Zoom author visits have enabled our Community school to remain a community.

The lockdown has affected all of us. It’s definitely not what we perceived would happen again this year, and for this length of time, though we’re remaining positive that we’ll be able to see the preschool children returning safely back to preschool at some stage in term 4.

Wishing everyone safe and restful school holidays.

Love

Katrina, Michael, and Lisa.

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Dear Parents,

Here we are in the final few days of what has been a very interesting term! We’ve had The Potato Olympics, The Everywhere Adventure and Pirates…. we’ve participated in Science Week, Book Week and Wear it Purple Day… and of course we’ve taken the time to look up at the skies to examine the sunsets and the clouds.

This week we have had fun continuing with our investigations in weather with some children producing weather reports from around the world. Wind was a theme for Tuesday, and it was great to see kites flying, chimes clanging and linen blowing on the line. Yesterday it was a lot of fun to have Emma’s class join our Zoom for the reading of a book by Ruth Park called “When the Wind Changed”. The illustrations by Deborah Niland are fabulous fun and made for some elaborate gurning to finish off our Zoom. If you peek over to the photos on Emma’s newsletter page, you’ll see some of the scary faces we had fun making together.

Today is “Games day” and there will be a range of Zoom games and other activities for the children to participate in if they choose. It’s sure to be silly and fun so I hope to see everyone get involved.

Although I would have preferred to have been in the classroom with all of your beautiful children this term, I can honestly say there have been some wonderful gifts in this remote learning experience. One precious thing I think we have fostered are closer and more insightful learning partnerships. Your children will only continue to benefit from the deeper understanding that you all now have of their learning journey, and I am certainly grateful for the support you have shown me.

Wishing you all a restful break and I look forward to seeing you back online for another round of remote learning at the beginning of next term. It won’t be for too long though – a return to school is on the horizon.

Love Jess xxx

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Dear Parents,

Who would have thought our glorious day at Tambourine Bay at the end of Term Two would be last time we saw each other for a long, long time? A hearty congratulations to everyone for embracing the unexpected this term. I would like to again thank you all for supporting your children through this term of online learning. Even though it’s been a strange universe we’ve found ourselves navigating, I hope everyone will have some happy memories of this term as I do. I’ll remember the laughs, the dress ups, the stories, the experiments, the amazing artwork and all our pets involving themselves in the action to name a few highlights.

This week, our shared topic ‘Look Up!’ came to its windy climax as we looked at weather around the world. Monday morning involved an exciting live cross from Jess and Emma who gave weather reports from Fiji and Hawaii. Some would say it was a bit early to be drinking a cocktail, but I say it’s been a long term! My thanks to Vinnie for hanging out with the class on Tuesday when I was momentarily away from the desk, and to Aurelia’s dad Simon, who talked to us this morning about his weather reading device and how he uses it in his work. I loved Jess’ reading of the classic Ruth Park story ‘When the Wind Changed’ yesterday. Does anyone remember that one from their childhood? I found myself guffawing all the way through at Deborah Niland’s slightly grotesque illustrations and watching the children as they couldn’t help but mirror some of the boy’s weird and wacky faces. Although it was great fun, the story reminded me that, thankfully, those archaic and apocryphal warnings adults issue to children have petered out. Just for the record, no bird ever made its nest in my hair like my mother said it would if I didn’t brush it. But it would have been funny if one did!

I wish you all a safe and healthy break over the school holidays. Even though we’ll begin Term 4 online, I hope our return to the school campus will happen not too long after that.

Emma

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And we have landed….

But wait… we are here but not quite there - yet!!!! ‘Tis hard to fathom it’s been a whole term and at times has seemed never ending. It’s felt very much like Groundhog Day week after week after week. Thankfully, there is a light in Term 4 when teachers and children can gather once again (at a distance) in the same space and rejoice in all the amazing things we have and are so lucky to be gifted. There have been some wonderful moments which have occurred throughout this term, like these past 2 days in a row when I have been visited by a Kookaburra. It flies in and sits on the fence directly in front of me, watching and waiting, checking in that everything is okay. I had my camera poised yesterday and spoke aloud, “Come on, turn around and show me your face.” Then lo and behold it did – CLICK!

There have been some gorgeous scenes happening in homes (from what I can see) this past week where the children have once again donned their chef hats and taken control of the kitchen. Rice paper rolls were on the menu this week! Our episode from the “My Place” series focused on a young Vietnamese Australian character who rolled rice paper rolls for her family’s business. I thought we could link this to the last of our measurement tasks where we made and measured the rolls in length, width and weight. There were clearly some different rolls being made in various sizes with various fillings and they ALL looked YUM!!

Crafty this week focused on creating animals in the Mondrian style. There were some fabulous bright pictures I saw being created using pastels, pencils and watercolours.

We finally got through our project presentations this week and they were ALL of a very high standard. However, there was one which deserves a special mention: The project presented by our newest class member, Josh H, who had never done a personal project before nor had he any prior scaffolding, or the previous 2 terms presentations to look at and learn from. He chose to handwrite and draw his project on Andy Griffiths and presented it to us as an interview. There were lots of waving hands in agreement that this was a really cool and very different way of presenting, so well done Josh!

One of the most exciting things which happened last week was that – thanks to a roll over to the NBN – I was able, for the first time ever, to see everyone’s face in the one frame on Zoom. I nearly cried with joy when this happened! So many times I have been saying to the children, “use virtual hands because all I see is black screens” but now this is a thing of the past. Here’s hoping that once we return we won’t need to use this virtual way of learning again but there is a faster service if we do! Yay!!

Finally, a few thankyous…. to our school council and my fellow teachers for the collaboration and navigation through this latest outbreak. Although not out of the woods yet! Massive thanks also to our teaching assistants, Vinnie, Sarah D and Rowena who have been on the ground doing an amazing job helping support those who need to be at school. And thank you for the support your children have received from you and that support which I have also received. The oft-quoted African proverb comes to mind, “It takes a village to raise a child” and what is less cited is the second half of the saying, ….“and a community to keep the parents sane.” 

Have a restful and restorative break from Zoom and Google Classroom. Enjoy Spring and see you all sometime, somewhere in Term 4.

Love, Sarah

 

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It’s the final week of Term 3. The children have done an amazing job at learning from home this term. They’ve challenged themselves with tasks each week that made them problem solve, construct, use prior knowledge, and be hands on.

Last Thursday was R U Ok Day. The children were involved in writing down support networks that they can talk to when they need it. These included their personal, local, and global networks. There were two global networks we spoke about which were the Kids Helpline and eSafety kid website.

On Tuesday we attended the Virtual Excursion Under the Sea by Questacon. This session introduced the challenges faced in exploring the ocean and investigated some of the physical forces involved. The presenters also spoke about the different creatures living in the oceans and their physical adaptations.

During Mathematics sessions this week we’ve explored how to calculate the area of rectangles, squares, and compound shapes. The children also practised their two-digit by two-digit multiplication.

Today we will read and answer questions about Mary Reibey, a child convict. At age 15, she was transported to Australia for stealing a horse. Mary’s portrait is on the $20 banknote, representing a successful businesswoman. Mary was one of the founders of The Bank of New South Wales, now known as Westpac.

Personal Interest Project Presentations are complete for this term. The last topics presented were Origami, Mines, Orcas, Trains, Tommy Cadwell and Theme Parks. The children have done a great job working on this presentations throughout the term and challenging themselves through presenting on Zoom.

This week the children had two challenges to choose from, though some decided to do both. The challenges were cooking and video. The cooking challenge involved the children choosing a recipe or coming up with their own and writing down the ingredients, equipment, and method of how to cook their chosen dish. Our Google Classroom stream has been full of photos of delicious creations. The video challenge involved the children teaching a skill or telling a story. A range of free apps are being utilised for this one including iMovie and Toontastic 3D.

Thank you for all the support for the children and myself this term. Have a safe and wonderful holiday.

Leesa x

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Hi everyone.

I hope you are all doing OK and looking forward to the break from on-line learning with your children! Wishing us all a much deserved rest over the two week break. I am sure we’re all hoping to be back to face to face school before too much of Term 4 is over!

We had our final PIP presentations this week and everyone did a fabulous job with them. There is always such a fascinating range of topics chosen and we all learn so much! I’m going to resist listing them all (especially since I usually advise the kids not to put lengthy lists in their presentations!) but we did cover topics in science, geography, psychology, history, culture, the arts, IT, and sport! Impressive, I know!

In the last week, we have focussed on writing interesting sentences in our stories, enjoyed hearing more chapters of “The Hunger Games”, and tackled 2D space (including quadrilaterals, triangles, circles, and diagonals in polygons. Did you know there is a formula for calculating the number of diagonals in a polygon?). We also had a really wonderful session with Simon, Perry’s Dad, who told us in amazing detail about the Green Wattle Creek Fire in 2019-2020. Simon worked helping to put this fire out and most of the children in our group were camping at Mowbray Park when the fire was burning close enough to send plenty of smoke their way. Simon explained how the fire danger levels are calculated and showed us some great photos and maps. Thank you so much Simon… and Perry for helping the with presentation.

We have been having some virtual excursions this week with some venues in Canberra … Museum of Australian Democracy, Questacon, National Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery, each with a different theme. They have all been interesting in their own ways, though the presenters have been very different! The presenters at both galleries were very impressed by the children’s understanding of art concepts and colour use, and also with their online courtesy and thankyous. (Not quite the same as being in Canberra however!)

Last week, we said a temporary farewell to Jana, who is now joining our online classroom from Hong Kong. She will be there for several months and we hope to see her, Rowena and Jackie back for the start of 2022.

I have suggested we celebrate the end of term by making pizzas on Friday and eating together! I hope everyone will be able to eat together at 12:30 even if it’s not pizza!

During the holidays it will be the Summerhill Festival of Childhood. This is actually a really important milestone in the history of alternative education and I encourage anyone interested to be part of it. I am hoping some of our group will help me put together a presentation about Currambena and maybe present their PIPs again for an international audience!

Have a wonderful break and take care of yourselves.

With love,
Wendy

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Hi Everyone,

Wow! This warm weather is fabulous. Does this mean summer is going to be full of beautiful rain?

Many thanks to Jane and Gina for taking on the Brush Turkey challenge! You will see in the photo below that they have erected a formidable barrier. Hopefully, our young turkey chap has decided to locate down to the bush! It is actually a fascinating bird if you choose to look them up. In the bush, they do an excellent job of cleaning up all the fallen debris and making these huge mounds over several years. I have seen some that are more than 2 metres tall and up to 5 metres across. This clearing of all this dry matter is another deterrent for fires getting a hold in the undergrowth.

If you are driving past the school, please slow down and see our street garden. It is looking so gorgeous. Thankyou to our gardeners for taking such good care of it.

On Fridays, I go gardening. In this particular garden where I work, there is a very handsome water dragon who is often around keeping a close an eye on me. Last week, the little frogs were kicking up a racket of noise, so I looked up and there was Wally, basking on the rock just above their pond. Oh the terror of having a dragon spying on you!! Later on in the morning, I was greeted further down the garden by a new water dragon not seen before. She was quite stunning and we have named her Missy.

When was the last time you played and laughed out loud?

Try it this weekend!

Cheers Julianna

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