One of my jobs is to interview applicants for our Senior School. I always find the interviews to be an encouraging part of my day. When I ask why they have chosen Lakes many parents say they know other parents whose children are enrolled and they heartily recommend Lakes or they have asked around and “heard good things” about our school. This morning I met a lovely family moving up from the Northern Beaches at the end of the year. While touring the Senior School, one of the students, who is in a high school in Sydney, said, “It’s so quiet”. That pleases me because it indicates that our classrooms are places of learning, that our school culture is one that values learning. Of course not every student feels quite that way about learning – I would be very naïve to believe that! However, it does mean that on the whole, the culture is one that encourages students to focus on their learning. Our teachers are dedicated professionals who are working together to continue to strengthen this culture in our whole school. We learn with and from each other (which was our JS lakes Grammar Habit last week), as well as from the research into best practice in teaching and learning. Our students – your children – are at the heart of why we do what we do; we are partners with you in nurturing our young people to become the best people they can be. That is a complex and demanding task but also a huge privilege.
There has been a lot in the media lately about consent and respect. Bishop Peter and our four Anglican school Principals are working together to be able to say more about that in relation to our schools. For now, I want to assure you that respect is one of our core values. Harmful and unacceptable behaviours towards others arise from lack of respect, both for others and often for oneself. For Christians respect is grounded in the belief that every person is made in the image of God and deserves to be treated with kindness, compassion and empathy. There is much in our school programs that is designed to build this understanding in our students. I will shortly convene a meeting with our wellbeing teams to audit just what we do in this aspect of school life and to consider what more we could do.
Let’s remember Jesus’ words in Luke 6.31: “Do to others as you would have them do to you”; or more simply, “Treat others just as you would want them to treat you”.
Easing of COVID restrictions in schools
Good news – restrictions will be eased from Monday! I haven’t had a chance to digest all the changes but some key ones are:
NB Hygiene and physical distancing of adults are still required for all the activities below.
Parents/carers can attend sports events at school – this means parents are welcome to attend our Cross-country Carnival next Tuesday. We are all set up to run the carnival in a COVID-safe way so this year the races begin and end on the Junior School oval. If you wish to attend please go straight to the oval – don’t come through Reception.
Parents/carers can attend assembly/chapel but will need to sign in using the apps in the office.
Parents/carers may bring their children into the school in the morning. You won't need to sign in for this. However, if you need to pick your child up early you may come to the office and a staff member will go and collect your child from the classroom.
After I have been able to review the changes more thoroughly I may be able to announce other changes.
The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a point in time assessment of literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in the annual NAPLAN tests in writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy.
Our school will be participating in NAPLAN Online between 11 and 21 May 2021.
In preparation for NAPLAN Online, our school will also be participating in practice tests between 22 March and 1 April. The practice test is a trial-run and key preparation activity for NAPLAN Online in May. It is not an assessment of student ability and the tests will not be marked.
If you have any questions about NAPLAN Online, please contact your child’s teacher.
KEY DATES FOR THE DIARY
K - 12 Cross Country Carnival
Tuesday, 9 March 2021
K - 11 Parent Teacher Interviews
Monday, 15 March 2021
In person by appointment only - see note for full details on how to book.
K - 6 Parent Teacher Interviews
Tuesday, 23 March 20201
In person by appointment only - see note for full details
Years 7 - 11 Parent Teacher Interviews
Tuesday, 23 March 2021
Zoom interviews by appointment only - see note for full details
In the Junior School this term we are having a look at The Beatitudes. This week we read “Blessed are those who are hungry and thirsty for what is right. They will be filled.” (Matt 5:6).
Is it true that by thirsting for good, we can really be satisfied?
Well, you could give it a go this week by starting with kindness. A friend of mine once wrote;
“Being kind is an enjoyable experience. It makes you feel good, and useful, and alive, and it validates you as a human being. When you are kind it triggers a number of beneficial physical and psychological responses. The most obvious response is the 'feel good' sensation, which has been officially titled the "helper's high".
In the Bible, the purpose and nature of kindness is quite different to this. Kindness is used in reference to God more than anyone else, and is integral to God’s salvation plan for the world. “But when the kindness and love of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (Titus 3:4-5a). It is God’s kindness that validates us as human beings, not our own efforts.
Mark Twain says, ‘kindness is a language the deaf can hear and the blind can read’. Perhaps we all need to consider more carefully how we express kindness in word and action to others – regardless of whether that kindness is reciprocated.
As we meditate on God’s kindness to you this week, I encourage you to think about how you can, with his help, grow in your kindness to and for others – not just for our own benefit, but for theirs.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14)
Junior School Chaplain
WHOLE SCHOOL NEWS
JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
Enrolment for Kindergarten in 2022
We have commenced our enrolment processes for Kindergarten 2022 and we want to be sure that all of our families are included. Parents who are planning to enrol a child in our Kindergarten next year need to fill out an enrolment form via the school website if they have not already done so. If you know of families who would like information about enrolment at Lakes Grammar, please ask them to contact Ms Tracey McKenzie at the school.
Parents considering our school are also invited to register for one of our School Information Night sessions on Tuesday, 16 March. The first session will be held from 5 – 6pm. The second 6:30 – 7:30pm. Bookings for the information night are via the school website.
Cambridge Global Perspectives and Clean up Australia Day
The Junior School participated in Cambridge Global Perspectives Week where they learned about litter in local and global environments, the effects in these settings, and initiatives and solutions which can help our environment. The learning culminated on Friday with our whole Junior School participation in Clean Up Australia Day.
Lakes Grammar Habits
The Junior School utilises the learning framework of Lakes Grammar Habits to effectively integrate our Building Learning Power, Positive Behaviour for Learning and Virtues programs.
Building Learning Power develops the capacity of students for learning, their curiosity, craftsmanship, creativity and collaboration.
The Virtues program develops children’s Christian values, moral harmony and moral integrity, including kindness, honesty, trustworthiness, service, empathy and moral courage.
Positive Behaviour for Learning develops our student self-regulation and self-awareness to demonstrate respect, responsibility and care for themselves and others.
The Junior School collectively focuses on a Habit each week drawn from one of the three programs whilst concurrently working with students to develop a range of habits and capacities in the day to day life of the school.
Stars of the Week
Demonstrating our Lakes Grammar Habit of ‘collaboration’:
Jackson D, Matthew K, Alira W, Mikayla B, Lucy W, Elise C, Isabella F, Lachlan M, Logan H, Lexi R, Alba B, Kaella DM, Ellie P and Charlie C
Demonstrating our Lakes Grammar Habit of ‘being an upstander’:
Lucy B, Chloe W, Amarlie M, Lily C, Arj P, Skylar B, Ari M-S, Ava T, Alice S, Jacob G, Chelsea R, Ava D, Tyler G and Stone P.
Changes to going home arrangements.
There may be times that parents and carers need to change the going home arrangements of their child/ren during the school day. Please phone the office before 2:30pm. Please Do Not email teachers only. Teachers may not see your email until the end of day as they need to attend to the needs of their students in the classroom.
At Lakes Grammar, we are always looking for ways to offer students a range of extra-curricular activities. This year, our co-curricular clubs will continue to be conducted by a mix of staff members and external providers. These include the following:
On Friday, 5 March students from Years 3-6 will participate in a Science incursion! We will host this experience in our beautiful STEM room facility and adjacent deck area. The theme for 2021 is A Case of Emergency.
This opportunity supports our learning curriculum and serves to promote the importance of Science literacy for students. Students will be challenged in a fun learning environment that encourages deep thinking to reach scientific conclusions. Our fantastic staff team most often provides these types of inspiring activities. However, it is a privilege to have different experiences and resources presented by visiting programs. Your Resources and Activities Levy (RAL) covers the cost of this incursion.
Through a variety of hands-on activities, students will be encouraged in curiosity and creativity in Science by engaging in a fascinating investigation. Your child will explore real-world applications as forensic scientists. This investigation will develop critical and creative thinking skills as they work to solve a case scenario. Through the exploration of social issues, students will encounter significant social and community problems. In particular, the importance of cyber safety and the need to have your child explore real-world applications of Science as forensic scientists. By analysing social issues, not only will your child explore the Science curriculum, but they will be encouraged to consider their role in caring for God’s world. The importance of cyber safety and the need to have a trusted safety network will also be central to this learning experience.
If you have any queries, please contact your child’s class teacher.
We are looking forward to a great day of learning!
Co-ordinator of Quality Teaching and Learning Junior School
Premiere's Reading Challenge
We now have over 160 students registered in this year’s PRC. This is a record for this time of year - a fantastic effort! We also have three students who have completed – well done!!
All students who complete the challenge in Term 1 or Term 2 will receive an early completion certificate and a photo on our PRC ‘Wall of Fame’.
Good News ! Borrowing K-6
Mrs Tennant and I have been astounded by the recent number of students borrowing regularly. There has been a huge uptake of borrowing, especially in Years 5 and 6 which is wonderful to see. Over the years, our statistics have shown a decrease in these grades but this year has been different so far. It is wonderful to see so many students reading in the playground and in bus lines too.
Clean Up Schools Day
Thank you to all our students who helped “Clean-up” the school last Friday. It was wonderful to see so many students enjoying themselves while caring for our school community.
Remember, Clean Up Australia Day is this Sunday, 8 March for anyone interested in participating in their local community.
Junior School Teacher Librarian
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL
Parent teacher nights
Year 12 Parent/Teacher night will be held next Monday evening via Zoom. In listening to feedback and for your convenience we are holding this night via zoom, however, if you prefer to meet in person, simply call the office and we will book you in for a face-to-face meeting in the following week.
Similarly, for convenience for parents, we are trialling a combination of Zoom and face-to-face meetings in the Senior School for the 7 to 11 Parent/Teacher night. The bookings will open next week, after the Year 12 Parent/Teacher night is completed on Monday. One of the two nights on offer will be a face-to-face meeting, while the second night will be via Zoom. After these meetings we will gather some feedback to decide the format for future evenings. Please also be aware that bookings for some teachers fill quickly due to the number of classes that Senior School teachers take. If you have trouble booking in with a teacher, please contact them via email and they will endeavour to get back to you.
Minimum Standards testing
NESA (New South Wales Education Standards Authority) is the organisation that establishes the syllabus requirements to be taught in New South Wales schools. They also organise the HSC and that credentialling process. As part the HSC credential, NSW students must meet a minimum standard in Numeracy, Reading and Writing, and this is achieved through online tests that are provided throughout Years 10 – 12.
Students are able to attempt these tests at regular times during the year, and the first round of testing will be held next week for Year 10 (Year 11 and 12 students have already completed and passed these tests previously). If your child is in Year 10, they have already been provided with information on how to access an online practice test for them to attempt.
NAPLAN will also be conducted this year in May and information has been sent home to Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 parents separately. These tests are also conducted online, and classes will be practising those formats in the coming weeks. Please be aware that these are only practice tests – the actual NAPLAN tests occur from 11 – 21 May.
Can I encourage all families to look through our Cognito program. There are a lot of extra-curricular activities on offer in the Senior School, and it would be great to see everyone getting involved! Just recently on assembly we heard about the Dungeons & Dragons club, coding in Python, Art Camp and quite a number of sporting events! There is always a lot of interest from our students for these activities, but if your child is not involved, can I encourage you to look through the Cognito Program to find something that they might be inspired by!
TEACHING AND LEARNING
‘Building Better Futures’ is our new vision. This new vision makes us really stop and think how do we do this in the Senior School for our students, and what does this look like in the Teaching and Learning space? To build a better future for our students we: strive to equip our students with basic skills; build their individual agency; equip them with skills to be self-motivated, self-reflective and self-organised and offer learning opportunities that allow them to be creative, inquisitive, think deeply and follow their passions, interests and meet their personal goals. At Lakes we pride ourselves on knowing every child, using data to dig deep into students’ strengths and weaknesses and designing programs which are responsive to students’ needs and to move student knowledge and skill attainment forward. The successes of our 2020 Year 12 students clearly demonstrate that we are ‘Building Better Futures’.
This week I had the pleasure of contacting all of our 2020 Year 12 students to find out what they are doing post HSC. It was so wonderful to see how successful our 2020 students have been in meeting their personal goals. In the coming week you will receive a copy of our new ‘Futures’ Magazine, which will be published each year to celebrate the achievements of our Year 12 students in the prior year. You will see from perusing the magazine that from the 51 students in Year 12 2020:
37 of our students have gone onto Tertiary Study
3 students have applied to the Australian Defence Force
2 students have secured apprenticeships with local businesses
1 student has applied to the Police Force
7 students have joined the local workforce
I am sure you will enjoy reading about the diverse careers our students are pursuing! Finally, I want to share with you what one of these Year 12 students, Hannah Eadie shared with me when I asked her what the education at Lakes had meant to her? Hannah is at the University of Newcastle studying Bachelor of Secondary Teaching majoring in English and History:
“In my Introduction to Education class we were asked a bunch of questions about why we were there and what inspired us to go into teaching and I spoke about the teachers I had [at Lakes], especially those in my last couple of years. They made me realise I wanted to teach, I wanted to have the same impact on young people’s lives that they had on me!”
I think there is no better compliment for our school and our teachers when we have inspired our students to follow in our footsteps because we have had such a lasting impact on their lives!
Director of Teaching and Learning
(This is Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson)
He is an Icelandic professional strongman and actor. He is the first person to have won the Arnold Strongman Classic, Europe's Strongest Man and World's Strongest Man in the same calendar year. He played Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane in the HBO series Game of Thrones for five seasons. On 2 May 2020 Björnsson set a new world record dead lift of 501 kg.
(This is Mr Pasta)
He is umm…..well….err just made of pasta…. Flour and eggs.
The only thing left to know is, which of these two would you choose to use to hold up a roadway of cars crossing a deep, wide chasm?
If you chose Mr Björnsson you are not alone, it makes sense to choose one of the worlds strongest men. You may be surprised then, to find that Mr Pasta is far more efficient at holding weight than the worlds strongest man. How can this be?
(This is our school captain Joshua Hattam and his bridge constructed from… you guessed it, pasta)
Joshua and Year 12 Engineering Studies students recently engineered a pasta bridge to span 600mm. To pass, the bridge had to hold a minimum weight of 4kg. The bridges were then loaded until the point of failure to determine which bridge had superior engineering. This required students to do some extensive research into the properties of pasta, they had to create tests that could determine the official stiffness of pasta and use that information alongside specific engineering software to simulate and test how a bridge would perform. The best bridge would be the one with the highest strength to weight ratio. This ratio is a clear indication of the efficiency of design which is one of the main goals in modern civic and structural engineering. Creating projects that use less material for the same outcome saves time, money, and resources.
Joshua’s bridge held just over 16kg. Hang on, that isn’t even close to Björnsson’s 501kg. However, Joshua’s pasta bridge only weighed a mere 267grams, meaning he engineered the pasta to hold 60 times its own body weight. So yes, 501kg is much larger but considering that Mr Björnsson himself weighs a massive 205kg means the world’s strongest man can only dead lift around two and a half times his weight. If Mr Björnsson was as strong as pasta he could potentially lift 12300kg!!! Conversely if the bridge were as weak as Björnsson it would only hold a mere 651 grams.
So the next time you are enjoying a bowl of pasta, think about the power of engineering and take some time to marvel at all the things that engineers have done to make our lives better.
Senior School Teacher/Co-ordinator of TAS
This week we launched our first Integrated STEM project for 2021 with our Year 8 students.
Called the Utopia Project, the students are armed with the challenge of making a more utopian future by decreasing global C02 emissions through the design of more aerodynamic vehicles with the aim of potentially increasing the driving range of current Electric Vehicle (EV) models.
Over the past few weeks, the TAS, Science and Maths faculties have been running skills workshops to give students confidence in collecting data, working collaboratively, thinking creatively along with various workshop skills. All of this will be further enhanced as the students go on a journey of investigation, testing and creating design features to develop an aerodynamic C02 race car. Students will investigate the nature of forces in science, gather and test race data in mathematics and then apply the information gathered to design and construct their race car prototype. Assimilating this research with investigations into aerodynamics students will 3D print aerodynamic parts of a race car and test them to evaluate the designs to construct race vehicles that cut through the air more efficiently, thus saving battery power.
The integrated STEM unit is designed to give young students a glimpse into what a STEM career could involve and encourage students to pursue STEM subjects. The enthusiasm with which the students engaged in the various activities was encouraging and we look forward to seeing their prototypes develop and race over the coming weeks of this project.
Senior School Teacher/Co-ordinator of TAS
MUSIC PROGRAM UPDATE
Congratulations to all students who have become involved in the various ensemble opportunities available at the Senior School.
The Stage Band is off to an almighty start, with a fantastic array of rhythm section brass and woodwind instruments. Students have been busy learning two new pieces, including ‘Beginner’s Rock’ and Panic and the Disco’s ‘High Hopes’. We would love more brass and woodwind students to join us at our Tuesday lunchtime rehearsals, therefore any new or existing players of these instruments are most welcome!
Selected elective students have continued with lunchtime rehearsals of the college Jazz band. The initiative and leadership being demonstrated from this student group is admirable, and we look forward to enjoying their swinging tunes soon!
Senior Choir members have shown extreme dedication by attending our outdoor rehearsals! We have been learning Lauren Daigle’s ‘You Say’ and this week will also try out ‘Dear Theodosia’ from the popular musical Hamilton. New members welcome at our Thursday lunchtime rehearsals! Mrs Amor has also been getting the selected vocal ensemble group working on more challenging pieces which we also can’t wait to hear!
If any students require more information on how to get involved with these ensemble groups, please do not hesitate to contact us!
Kara-Lee Rabbetts and Justine Amor
Senior Music Teachers
JUNIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
Our annual Cross-Country Carnival was postponed last week due to the weather and will now take place next Tuesday, 9 March. A detailed report with results and photos will be available in the next Newsletter.
HRIS Swimming – Lambton Pool
We congratulate all our students who represented Lakes Grammar at the HRIS Swimming Carnival to be held at Lambton Pool on Thursday, 4 March.
We will have a more detailed report with photos available in the next newsletter.
School Sport - Tuesdays
School sport is now up and running and there are a variety of different sports for students to participate in.
Just a reminder that full sports uniform must be worn on Tuesdays for sport i.e. hat, sport shirt, joggers (no fluorescent colours), school sport shorts and socks. It is strongly advisable to have a water bottle as well during the hotter months.
Please see Mr Cantor for any questions regarding Tuesday sport.
CIS / HRIS Sport nominations / Trials - 5/6
Tyler Gleed – Year 6
We congratulate Tyler Gleed who has made the second round for the HRIS Football trials to be held next Monday, 8 March. Well done Tyler!
We also send best wishes to Gemma Rooke and Addison Kowaliw (Year 6) as they trial for the HRIS Netball team in Newcastle next Monday, 8 March.
K-6 Sports Co-ordinator
SENIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
School Secondary Cross Country
Will be held on Tuesday, 9 March weather permitting. Races will commence from 11:05am.
Mr Berry who is an experienced and keen runner is offering for any students and/or their parents if they would like to have a run together to meet at Warnies Café on Thursday afternoons at about 3:30pm beginning on Thursday, 11 March.
We had an Open Boys’ and Girls’ team compete at the HRIS Tennis Championships. The girls finished a respectable 5th place and the boys also finished 5th place.
Boys team: Zac Clifford, Joshua Hattam, Joel Sewell and Oscar Bendeich
Girls Team: Tayla Sewell, Jessica Hoysted, Amani Abo El Halak and Abby Hobbs
HRIS Swimming Championships
A school swim team will be competing in the HRIS Division 2 Swimming Championships on Wednesday, 10 March. Students should have received a note and the school swim team is posted on the sports notice board. Any parents attending are reminded that they will need to follow the COVID Safety Guidelines of HRIS and Lambton Pool. Limited shade is available on the day for parents and it is recommended that you bring your own chair.
Our Open Boys’ and Girls’ teams played their first round matches of the NSWCIS Cup. Both teams played extremely well and the Girls’ team narrowly lost to Hunter Valley Grammar School in penalties 5-4. The Boys’ team completely outclassed their opposition and won 12-0 against Charlton Christian School.
Surf Survival Certificate Course
The Surf Survival Certificate has once again been very popular this year. Unfortunately, there were only a limited number available and those students who handed in their permission note and paid first were given priority. Students who missed out have been recorded and they will have first choice next year. This course will run on an annual basis and I encourage all students who have not completed this course to take up the opportunity during their high school years if they can.
Our Talented Athlete Program has been given the green light to go ahead this year and applications for this program close on Friday, 12 March. Please see email from Mr Beecroft for further information.
Term 1 – Key Sporting Dates
9th March – School Cross Country Championships
9th March – Open & 15yrs HRIS Netball Trials
10th March – HRIS Div 2 Secondary Swimming Championships
15th March – Open/15 girls & 16 boys HRIS Football (soccer) Trials
16th March – Open & 15’s HRIS Touch Football Trials
22nd March – Open boys HRIS Football Trials
Term 2 – Key Sporting Dates
30th April – HRIS Cross Country
If you would like to attend any of these sporting events please see Mr Beecroft for the nomination details well before trial date as nominations close at least 1 week before competition or trial.
Please note, students wishing to trial for HRIS representative teams should be playing at a representative level outside of school. This is the performance standard of other trialling athletes from the other 19 HRIS schools.