I would like to congratulate our Year 12 students as they near the end of their HSC exams. They have all been working commendably over the last few weeks in their study, and they have exhibited great commitment and resilience in preparation for the exams. The exams finish next Thursday, and I hope that they are all looking forward to the final graduation assembly on Friday, 13 November, and for the formal on Monday, 16 November - you have all worked very hard, and we want to celebrate with you as you complete your final days at school.
End of year activities
The school received new advice yesterday regarding COVID-19 requirements for end of year activities. We will be working through this over the coming weeks, however, we can still confirm the following arrangements for the end of the year:
Speech Day 2020
The advice requires 4m² per person (which includes staff and students) to be followed, so Speech Day in its usual form will be need to be modified. Further details will follow, however, parents will not be allowed to attend because we simply don’t have the space required, instead, the plan will be to record the event for interested family members, and place to it onto YouTube as an unlisted video shortly afterwards.
Carols by Candlelight
This event has been cancelled. Currently all Carol Services are prohibited under the current guidelines.
Year 6 Social
This event is able to take place in a COVID-safe manner. Details for the Year 6 Social will be sent out shortly.
The format of this event is currently being reviewed and we will provide details when these are finalised.
Year 6 Farewell Assembly/Chapel
This event also requires 4m² per person, including staff and students and our current plan is to livestream the event for interested family members. This has been a difficult decision, however, the rules also require 1.5m distancing between different families and while our hall is large, it will not accommodate our Year 6 students, along with families and a small number of staff. So we intend to livestream the event, as well as recording it for interested family members, and then to place it onto YouTube as an unlisted video shortly afterwards.
Other COVID-19 updates
The new advice does allow for other operational changes within the school and we will make further announcements after we have worked through the documents.
End of year celebrations not run by the school
One important aspect relates to end-of-year celebrations not run by the school. Occasionally there are some private celebrations held for a year group that are organised by parents and held outside of school. While these are not arranged or sanctioned by our school, the latest COVID-19 advice from the New South Wales government explicitly laid out certain guidelines for these activities that organisers need to be aware of. They are:
that school staff are not to attend;
that the organisers will need to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that follows the COVID-19 safety plan for school formals and that they need to follow that plan;
that the organisers must ensure that the venue has a COVID-19 Safety Plan and that the venue follows its plan, which may include limits to the number of attendees and catering requirements; and
that we are not allowed to promote or sanction these activities.
It is important for the good of all, that we follow these guidelines and ensure proper planning and contact tracing is made.
Is your child leaving at the end of the year?
Can I please remind all parents that it is important to let us know now if you intend withdrawing your child from our school at the end of the year. Obviously, we are currently planning classes for next year, and knowing exact numbers is important for our planning. I would also remind parents that they are expected to give a terms’ notice if their child is leaving.
KEY DATES FOR THE DIARY
DECEMBER-JANUARY SCHOOL HOLIDAY PERIOD
During the School Holidays, the School will be closed to all parents and visitors, reflecting current COVID-19 restrictions.
The office will be attended and calls will be answered for some of the holiday period between 9am and 12pm only. Outside of these hours and provided the School is not closed then phone messages will be checked periodically and an Administration staff member will return your call.
The School will be closed Friday, 11 December
From 14 to 17 December the office will be open 9am to 12pm only.
The office will be closed from midday on 17 December until it reopens on Friday, 15 January from 9am to 12pm only.
The School will be closed on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 January.
From Wednesday, 27 January the office will resume normal hours from 8am to 4pm
Well the HSC is three weeks in and some of our students are wrapping up their final exams while others have this week to go. The end of an era will happen across the next weekend. It seems only fitting that our Year 12’s will have their Graduation ceremony on Friday,13 November. What a hoot! They will then have the entire weekend to get ready for their Formal on the following Monday. This has been a well-deserved and patiently awaited occasion for them. For the first year in our school history, it will be held post-HSC. I, for one, am looking forward to celebrating with them and offering alongside, the staff present, our congratulations to them.
Another change for us at school this term is having Chapels in person. In our Junior School, Pete has been having 15 minute Chapels under the COLA and for the last two weeks in Senior School we have had our Chapels in the School Hall, again for 15 minutes. It has been a delightful change from our online Chapels which stretched our ideas about what was possible. Having Chapels in person has put massive smiles on our faces. We have missed those dynamic experiences where we can see students reactions over the last two terms. Hopefully Junior School will be allowed to sing again at some point to add to the experience!
Speaking of Chapels, we are now starting to share the Bible stories associated with Christmas. Some are Old Testament predictions and others are the birth narratives of the promised messiah. Others are linking Jesus names to the Christmas story. We do this each year to remind our students and staff of the stories that make Christmas a reality. It is even in the name, Christmas is a shortened version of the original phrase Christ’s Mass, the church service associated with celebrating the birth of Jesus. I remember one bishop of our Diocese used to start his seasonal greetings with “Happy Christ-mass!” So as the weeks unfold, I recommend you ask your kids about some of the Christmas stories as they often have the best way of retelling them. Click on the link to see how one community did this. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suowe2czxcA&t=39s
WHOLE SCHOOL NEWS
ACTING DEPUTY PRINCIPAL
World Teachers' Day
Last Friday, we were able to celebrate World Teachers’ Day at Lakes and to thank our teaching and administration teams for all that we do together for our students at the school and in supporting one another as a team. It is an important occasion where we can celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of our teachers in an increasingly complex, multicultural and technological society. This year has been a particularly interesting one with the effects that coronavirus has had, and everyone on our great teaching team right across the Junior and Senior schools, with excellent support from all of our admin and office teams have been able to keep a high quality education and school experience going throughout the year, despite these challenges.
Particularly in 2020, World Teachers' Day proved to be a good occasion to highlights the significant role that our dedicated team plays in the lives of our students, their families and our broader Lakes Grammar community. We are thankful for the commitment of teachers in growing their professional knowledge, consistently developing their teaching practice, and engaging with our students to get to know them as individuals.
We are appreciative of the part that each member of our staff team plays in the education of the young lives here at our school – directly as a teacher or in a supporting role, we all contribute to what our school has become, and we are all excited and proud of this.
We also took the opportunity during the week to thank a number of staff for their loyal, long term service to the school with awards for ten years of service to Lakes Grammar. Well done to Mr Nathan Crumbley (Junior School teacher - Year 5), Mr Stephen Kang (Senior School teacher - TAS), Mrs Sue Zhao (Senior School teacher - Languages) and Mr Brett MacLarty (IT Manager) for your contribution to the school over a significant period of time and your continued efforts for our students.
Acting Deputy Principal K - 12
JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS
ACTING HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
Our Kindy Crew for 2021 have had their first 'getting to know you' visits to the school and will be enjoying two-part days for Orientation over the coming few weeks. They will have a wonderful time reading stories, engaging in craft activities, trying out the play equipment in the Kindy courtyard and testing out the iPads! We look forward to welcoming them and their families back again soon!
Year 5 Leadership
Year 5 students are preparing for the upcoming leadership speeches in looking towards 2021. They have been very engaged in the leadership seminars that Mr Wallace and I have been conducting with Pete and the Year 5 teachers. We have received a number of high quality applications and appreciate the number of students who are keen to ‘give back’ to Lakes Grammar in a formal leadership role.
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.
Over the next few weeks, we will be focusing on the following concepts. These are also recorded in the Student Diary for each week:
Coming up we are looking at ‘being absorbed in our learning’ in Week 5 and ‘joining a game or a group’ in Week 6.
Well done to the following students who have demonstrated:
The Lakes Grammar Habit of ‘being absorbed in our learning’ in Week 3:
Sophie A, Poppy C, Summer N, Hayden S, Isla H, Elise C, Cooper N, Samantha M, Beth B, Maryam A, Marianne D, Emma B, Indianna L, Ayesha A, Milla H, Christopher W.
The Lakes Grammar Habit of 'joining a game or a group’ in Week 4:
Chloe G, Isaac L, Maddison R, Samantha B, Quinn R, Jack M, Georgia L, Isabella T, Mia C, Lauren P, Willow R, Isabella M, William W, Isabella M, Zac B, Tahlia A.
Acting Head of Junior School
Scholastic Bookfair Results
Last week our Bookfair was held and we have reached a new record!! We sold $12,600 worth of books and items – meaning we received $2300 of books and $2000 in Scholastic Rewards points for the Junior School Library. This was an amazing result considering COVID-19 restrictions were in place throughout the week.
Thank you to all the wonderful parents, students and staff who supported the Bookfair this year. A special thank you goes to Mrs Tennant and Mrs Matri who were flat out ensuring orders were coming through and delivered quickly.
We look forward to again hosting this great fundraiser in August 2021 during Book week.
End of Year Borrowing
A reminder that borrowing will cease at the end of Week 5 (Friday 13/11). All returns will need to be in by end of Week 6 (Friday 20/11) in order to stocktake in Week 8. Thank you.
Junior School Teacher Librarian
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
ACTING HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL
It is that time of year where examinations are happening across many of our year groups. Year 12 are still completing their HSC and from all reports our students have found the papers accessible and not too scary! We continue to pray that the Year 12 students stay focused and well for the final week of HSC Examinations. Since I last wrote we continue to hear ‘good news’ stories about our students. Our Year 9 and 10 students have completed their examinations this week and Year 7 and 8 next week, we wish them all good luck with the examinations and as they receive their results back we pray they will see not only what areas they need to improve in but also what they have achieved in a very strange year!
Last week Year 7 and 8 students completed ‘Check-In’ assessments in literacy and numeracy. It was a credit to see how these students, after a challenging year, just got in and completed these tests. These assessments will be used to check if any students have been adversely affected by the disruptions of 2020. If you would like to discuss your child’s results, please feel free to contact their class teacher.
Last week we received an email from the Trade Training Centre at Wadalba Community School, where our students go to complete subjects such as Construction, that Brett Gee (Yr 12 2020) is this years recipient of the Trade Training Centre Award for Teamwork, Excellence and Responsibility. This is a proud moment for the school, to see Brett receiving an award for everything we want our students to be.
This week we also received notification that three of our Year 12 2020 students have received an offer of placement for 2021 to study at the Academy of Film Theatre and Television. These students had to attend auditions, submit applications/portfolios and attend an interview as part of the application process. Congratulations to these students, we look forward to seeing them in front or behind the big screen in the future! The three students and their areas of study are:
Andrew MacLarty: Film Production
Mya McDonald: Film Production
Samantha Livingstone: Acting
I reminder to all parents that we are a mobile free school for students in Years 7-10. If you need to contact your child during the day, we ask that you contact our Senior School office and they will get a message to them. Also, students have been reminded this week that if they are using the chat function on Teams that this is to be used for educational purposes only. Please if you see your child using this function at home to ‘socialise’ remind them that this is not an appropriate use of technology. I have told all students this week that if I hear students are using this function inappropriately then they will be disconnected from the school internet for a considerable amount of time. I am sure moving forward students will use this function on Teams appropriately.
Last week I had the honour of writing citations for Recognition Awards for all our staff and support staff here in the Senior School as part of our World Teachers’ Day Celebrations. It was a great opportunity for me to stop and thank all our staff for their contributions to creating our students who are inquisitive in their learning and resilient in life! It is an honour to work which such dedicated teachers who genuinely care about the academic achievements of every student and their wellbeing.
Acting Head of Senior School
TEACHING AND LEARNING
NEWSFLASH – Focus Days: Bringing Learning Alive Our staff have been busy putting the finishing touches on the 7-10 Focus Days which will take place in the weeks following the examinations. These focus days will bring our students’ learning alive! Please watch the following video to find out more about our days! We are super excited to end 2020 this way with our students!
The students in Years 7-10 are busy completing exams this week and next. It has been a very interesting year but we admire how our students continue to push forward and be resilient in their learning! We wish them all the very best for their exams and hold them in our prayers.
Faculty Focus: CAPA
This week we continue our focus on our faculties and how they have been delving deep into learning. This week we are focusing on the Creative and Performing Arts Faculty with a focus on Art and Drama. This will be a two-part series, next newsletter we will focus on Music and Photo Digital Media. I hope you enjoy the report from Mrs Hobden, Coordinator of CAPA.
Director of Teaching and Learning
CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS FACULTY
The CAPA Faculty offers students a space to explore their creativity, imagination and unique interpretation of the world. Visual Arts and Drama students investigate the way artists, playwrights and directors represent the human experience. Here is a glimpse into how the young artists and actors of Lakes Grammar engage with creative learning.
The Year 7 Visual Arts students have been turning the camera lens upon themselves recently, examining their outward appearance through photographic self-portraits and then transferring these images into etchings. Their investigation into the etchings and engravings of artist Albrecht Durer allowed them to appreciate the artist’s ideas about the diversity of the natural world, and his celebration of God’s creation. They have been thinking and writing about why artists make artworks and how they represent the world in creative, unique ways.
Students in Year 8 Visual Arts engaged with a range of images and artefacts investigating the work of Joseph Cornell, a Surrealist assemblage artist. Cornell produced works which incorporated found objects arranged in narrative dioramas. Inspired by the artist, students designed memory boxes in their process diaries which reflected their own interests and experiences. Once their boxes were completed, they photographed them using the studio lights. When quizzed why they were doing this, answers included ‘to deepen our skills in photography’ and ‘present our artworks in a way that is aesthetically more pleasing’. Congratulations year 8 on a wonderful term of deep learning, developing skills in exploring materials and concepts, investigating artist’s ideas and creating unique and inventive artworks.
Visual Arts students in Year 9 have engaged in peer reflections, commenting on the creative practice of painting. They have shared their thinking processes with each other by writing observations about specific techniques in their sketchbooks, making comments on their peer’s use of materials, compositional devices and themes. It is great to see the class encouraging each other with their learning. These types of lessons really bring out the supportive and positive nature of our students; producing a collaborative approach to learning.
The students in the Year 10 Visual Arts class have been challenged by concepts of social issues in our contemporary culture. Their assessment in painting has explored the nature of our modern landscape, featuring images of architecture and representations of socio-political decline. Students have tackled the creative interplay between aesthetic beauty and the harsh nature of manmade objects and surfaces. They developed skills in layering of paint to create realistic surfaces of buildings, spray painted facades, scumbled and stained buildings. Every one of these students has extended the way they think about art and have grown in their understanding of what it means to be creative.
In preparation for the HSC, our Year 12 Drama students have taken their study in a new direction. Students were given an HSC style essay question but instead of writing an essay, they formed teams and debated the topic. The debate topic posed at them was:
“Verbatim Theatre has no place on the stage as it dilutes real life events for the sake of theatricality.”
Each team used their core texts to develop their arguments and debate this topic in front of our guest adjudicator - Arti.
The debate became passionate as each team used detailed textual evidence to support their arguments.
Even though they thoroughly enjoyed the debate, each and every student walked away with a deeper understanding of their core texts and the module set for study.
Coordinator of CAPA
This year has been challenging for everyone in so many ways and we have realised that looking after ourselves and each other is of paramount importance. This month, I thought I would share some resources that we utilise at school to support the wellbeing of students and staff. Supporting our parents and carers of our students is important to us too. Hopefully you can find some useful tips to employ for yourselves and your family.
“COVID is restricting our lives, but we can find new ways to keep making progress. Trying out new things can actually boost our wellbeing. When we open up to new ideas, it helps us stay curious and engaged. It can also bring a sense of accomplishment and help to boost our self-confidence and resilience. There are so many ways to learn new things and this month we're encouraging everyone to find new and creative ways to overcome our frustrating situations.” https://www.actionforhappiness.org/
Here is this month’s calendar to help you out with this idea of trying new things for your mental health.
Keep our HSC students in your thoughts and prayers with examinations continuing right up until Wednesday afternoon of next week!
We are also encouraging our new Year 12 students to take up the offer of the mentor program which was emailed to all parents and students. This is a great initiative and another example of our teachers offering up their time to assist our most senior students.
Stay safe and keep well everyone!
Coordinator of Wellbeing
Duke of Edinburgh Award Update
Firstly, I would like to congratulate the 25 active Duke of Edinburgh participants for persevering with their Award during COVID. Many have had to revise award requirements over the last week and redo expedition route plans so they can attend the up-coming overnight expedition.
The expedition is planned for the 19th-20th November and the students are enthusiastic about getting to finally explore our great outdoors again with school friends. If registered students have been completing the community service, physical activity and skill requirements, after this expedition their award can be sign-off and finalised. Therefore, to avoid processing delays, I remind all participants that approval cannot be given until all three assessor reports are handed to me on paper or online.
Temporary changes to Award requirements have been implemented to help students struggling, finish in a Covid world. To see how these modifications might help you click on this link;
Whats exciting is all students registered in 2020 can still finalise their award as planned. Even though many goals have not been possible for youth in 2020, Dukes isn’t one of these. The resilience this award builds in youth, is the very reason why I continue to promote this program at Lakes Grammar.
Year 8 will be introduced to the Duke of Award scheme before the end of term 4. They will need to decide if they want to enrol in the Dukes challenge by the start of Term 1 2021.
Goodluck to all students finalising logbooks and assessor requirements. Don’t forget to come ask for help if stuck.
Report prepared by Mrs King (Award Coordinator)
JUNIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
Year 6 Surf Fun Day Toowoon Bay
We were blessed with fine weather last Friday for our annual Year 6 Surf Fun day at Toowoon Bay. All students behaved impeccably and had lots of fun, learning about beach safety and competing in rescue activities. There were many tired faces on the bus trip home!
Dexter Rodak – Year 6
Last week at the 2019/20 season Wyong Amateur Swim Club presentation, Dexter Rodak (Year 6) won the boys overall season highest point score. The point score is designed to reward swimmers on the basis of personal performance over the season. Swimmers of any level can do well in the point score competition by consistency in club attendance, improvement of personal bests (PB’s) and willingness to attempt new strokes and distances.
Congratulations Dexter, on this wonderful effort and result!
Tuesday Sports Uniform – Reminder…
Just a reminder that full sports uniform must be worn on Tuesdays for sport i.e. hat, white sport shirt, white / coloured joggers (no fluro colours), school sport shorts and socks. It is strongly advised to have a water bottle as well during the hotter months.
K-6 Sports Co-ordinator
SENIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
It will be a quiet end to a quiet year in sport.
We successfully held our first school-based Tennis Championships in the Senior School. A fun and competitive day was had by all students. There were some great shots, rallies and tennis played throughout the different matches on the day. Eventual winners in the doubles were Joshua Hattam and Zac Clifford, runners up were Austin Murray and Rohith Srinivas. In the quick singles challenge to finish the day Austin Murray was victorious over Tayla Sewell.
Thank you to all who participated and were involved.
Students will also have a chance in late November to participate in a school-based Team Sports Gala Day consisting of Netball, Touch Football, Basketball and Soccer. This event will be an open age division and team sizes will be reduced. The aim is to provide students an opportunity to be physically active and develop their skills through participation in a school-based sports competition.
Plans are being made for 2021 and as more information comes to light it will be passed on.