The big news this week was my announcement that Mr Will Wallace has accepted the position of Principal of Golden Grove Lutheran Primary School in Adelaide, beginning in January. An extract from my letter to the school community follows:
Will has been an outstanding leader, who is loved by his colleagues and students, and no doubt by many parents also. Will and Rebecca have sensed God’s leading in the path that has brought them to this decision.
Will has set an example in godly leadership. His vocation in leadership is a Christian ministry for Will. His relationships with staff, students and families have been respectful and courteous, always with what is best for our students in the forefront of his mind. Will is an excellent administrator who also has the personal dimension of everything as a priority. Will has led the learning transformation we have been undergoing in our Junior School for the last five years, with obvious positive gains in student learning and in our staff learning community.
Rebecca has been an excellent teacher, initially working part-time and this year in a full-time, permanent role, teaching Kindergarten. Rebecca has led the Junior School Aboriginal Education Team and they have implemented many important new opportunities for our indigenous students and for our non-indigenous students. Rebecca has also been an outstanding support for Will in his demanding leadership role.
Next year will be a year of big change for Lakes Grammar, with a new Principal starting in Term 3 and a new Head of Junior School at some point in the year. The process and timeline for that appointment is still to be determined by the Newcastle Anglican Schools Corporation. We don’t yet know who the new Principal is but an announcement is due very soon. I have not had any role in that process, so I am as much in the dark as you!
Farewell Year 12
We held our delayed Year 12 Graduation with parents last Friday and the Formal without parents on Monday night. Both occasions were great celebrations of our Year 12 students and of their resilience in dealing so well with the difficulties of this COVID year. I wish to thank Mr Rick Hampson, who has been the Year Adviser of this group since Year 10. In both Mr Hampson’s speech at the Formal and the students’ responses, there was an obvious great deal of affection between them. A Year Adviser’s job can be very time-consuming and they have to sacrifice much of their own preparation time when there are particular issues to deal with. I am grateful to all Year Advisers in the Senior School for their willingness to take on the role for the sake of our students.
Thank you to our outgoing School Captains, Aimee Butcher and Aditya Sarkar, who were very worthy appointments to the role but who didn’t have the opportunities this year to really get their teeth into it. Aimee and Adi are excellent representatives of Lakes Grammar. In his Captain’s address at Graduation, Adi commented that of the eight schools he has attended in Australia, Lakes has had the most impact on him in his three years here.
Go well Year 12, and best wishes for your HSC results, ATARs and life beyond school. We have been privileged to be an important part of your educational journey.
Parents and Friends
Last Tuesday was the last meeting this year for our Parents and Friends Committee. We held the meeting by Zoom and only a small number of regulars joined in. We hope that next year, we can hold meetings at school again and our numbers will increase. We were having some of our largest ever numbers in attendance early in the year. COVID meant many of the P&F’s usual activities couldn’t be run this year. However, the members were determined to do as much as possible so turned to technology to run the Easter Raffle and the Mothers’ and Fathers’ day gift stalls. Surprisingly, they sold more online than when held in person! I wish to thank the members of the P&F for their commitment to supporting our school and for giving their time to organise and run such activities. Their enthusiasm knows no bounds! Thank you particularly to the P&F Executive:
President Tracy McGarrity
Vice President Ben Whitmore
Secretary Lana Brown
Treasurer Mel Jones
Deputy VP Stephanie Rooke
Spring Fair Co-ordinator Adele Flower
These members of the Executive will serve until the next AGM in November 2021.
Due to capacity restrictions on the hall under COVID rules, we are unable to invite parents to our Speech Day ceremonies this year. However, we will film them and make them available soon after. The exception will be the Kindergarten Graduation, which we will do separately from the K-2 Speech Day this year. Mr Wallace has sent a letter outlining these arrangements.
End of term
It’s hard to believe that in three weeks this school year will be over! There will be one more newsletter, summing up Term 4. Our Yearbook will be published early next year and that will be a real memento of a year we’d rather forget, in many ways, but also a year in which people’s resilience rose to the forefront.
KEY DATES FOR THE DIARY
Office Hours 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 office will be closed Friday, 11 December.
The office will be open from Monday, 14 December to Thursday 17 December from 9am to 12pm.
The office will be closed from Thursday, 17 December at 12pm until it reopens on Friday, 15 January from 9am to 12pm.
The office will be closed on Monday, 25 January and Tuesday, 26 January.
The office will be open from Wednesday, 27 January and will resume normal hours from 8am to 4pm.
Our Year 12’s have finally graduated and have done so with real style. Our key theme from the Bible was light in the darkness which seemed very fitting for what has been a dark year for so many. We opened their graduation ceremony with the line, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” These words are from the opening section of the Gospel according to John where he speaks poetically of who Jesus is. We encouraged our graduates to be a light too in the dark recesses of this world, to bring light and life wherever they went. The choice was before them and we believe that they can bring hope wherever they go.
It seemed too that they took on this message at their formal where sparkle was back. The young ladies glittered and the young men simply shone. It was an absolute joy to be with them as they finally could celebrate together what has been a monumental journey. It has been my privilege to walk with them for anywhere between 2 and 14 years and see the fine young adults they are now. It is a joy to work alongside our staff who invested so much of themselves into them. I truly hope that each of them will return one day to share with us their ongoing story.
Soon enough our Year 6 students will be wrapping up their time in Junior School. Transition days have begun, elections amongst the Year 5’s are happening and end of school celebrations are being planned. Pete and I have been chatting about how we can help our Year 6 students to finish well and to be excited about what lies ahead. For some it can be a little scary and we will do everything we can to help 2021 go as smoothly as possible for this latest cohort of Year 7 students. A part of making the transition easier is in simply listening. And before they know it, the 2021 crop of Year 7 students will be graduating. It really does happen in the blink of an eye.
WHOLE SCHOOL NEWS
The last day for all Fruit Break, Recess and Lunch orders including the Flexischools ordering system will be Friday, 4 December.
From 7 December to 10 December both the Junior & Senior Canteens will be closed for cleaning & stocktaking. Both canteens will open at recess & lunch for over the counter sale of drinks, ice blocks and snacks only. The Senior canteen will also have available a limited variety of hot food.
A new Canteen menu will come into effect for both the Junior and Senior canteens in 2021, which can be downloaded from Parent Lounge when school resumes.
We would like to thank the entire canteen team of volunteers for a wonderful year including our Year 6 and Year 11 students who tirelessly give up their precious recess and lunch times to assist. Especially this year with our extremely difficult circumstances during COVID-19, without their help the canteen would not run as efficiently. To our volunteers that will not be returning in the 2021, we wish you all the best, you will be missed.
Both the Junior and Senior canteens are requesting new volunteers for 2021. If you are interested in volunteering and joining our canteen family, please contact us.
Dianne Hattam & Leigh-an Kyle
JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
It was wonderful to have our 2021 Kindergarten students visiting the school over Wednesday and Thursday for the first of their Orientation Sessions. They had an opportunity to share time in classrooms and got to find out a few things about “Big School”. We trust they enjoyed their visit and look forward to seeing them again next Wednesday or Thursday for their second session.
NAIDOC Week and Artist in Residence
NAIDOC Week celebrations are held around the country, usually each July, to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This week it has been held in November due to the impacts of COVID. The theme for NAIDOC Week this year is 'always was, always will be'.
Jodie Freeman, a local Aboriginal artist, has kindly visited the school to run an Artist In Residence program as part of NAIDOC Week. Each class has had the opportunity to engage in Aboriginal painting activities over four days with Jodie. Jodie is both a local community member and a parent from our school community. The students have learnt an amazing amount about Aboriginal heritage and culture from her. It has proven to be an amazing opportunity for our school. Every student in the Junior School was provided with a canvas to create their very own, individual artwork based on Aboriginal art techniques and symbols. An understanding and appreciation of our rich Indigenous culture was facilitated through the link between our students and the local Aboriginal community.
While COVID has made it challenging to organise whole-school events we have used this opportunity to provide as many students as possible to share their pride towards their culture. During our assemblies this week we have heard from Jaxon (KW), Nate (1L), Noah (2T), Samantha (3J), Ayva (5H) and Isaac (6L).
Our Library has had on display many wonderful artwork painted at home by our indigenous students as well as books and language posters.
Newcastle Permanent Mathematics Competition
A number of our students participated in the Newcastle Permanent Mathematics Competition earlier this year. Congratulations are extend to Abigail Brown, Darcy Brownlie and Fletcher Pigot-Irving who have all received High Distinctions in the competition. There are quite a few thousand students who participate in the competition each year, so it is a really commendable result to achieve a High Distinction. We were also very pleased with our school's results overall, which reflect the great quality of teaching and learning here at Lakes and the recent focus that we have had in the area of Mathematics for our teachers’ professional learning.
Jump Rope for Heart
Thank you to all of our students and school families who have supported the Jump Rope for Heart Fundraiser. Together, we have raised $3,323.05 and skipped for a combined total of 27 hours and 30 minutes. Well done to Abigail Brown for her fundraising stall in support of this great cause as well, and to the many students who patronised it so generously.
Building Learning Power
We are continuing to work on our Building Learning Power program in classrooms. The diagram below shows the four areas of our ‘Building Learning Power’ program (Reach Out, Look Within, Think Clearly and Believe in Ourselves) which link in with our school motto ‘With Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength’.
A number of learning actions which are associated with each area are listed around the outside of the circle.
Lakes Grammar Habits
The Junior School utilises the learning framework of Lakes Grammar Habits to effectively integrate our Building Learning Power, Positive Behavior 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.
Coming up we are looking at ‘managing a change in routine’ in Week 7 and ‘noticing details and looking for patterns’ in Week 8.
Stars of the Week
Demonstrating our Lakes Grammar Habit of ‘being prepared and organized for learning’:
Chloe Q, Zali B, Archie W, Lotus V, Elizabeth L, Hadley B, Charlotte M, Lucas B, Addyson H, Nate W, Maryam A, Kaella D, Chloe M, Donald M, Stone P, Kourtney G, Ayesha A, Jed M, Mekenzie J.
Demonstrating our Lakes Grammar Habit of ‘commitment’:
Eden M, Maddy C, Isla H, Wilson C, Grace S, Mark T, Evie P, Ella T, Indi W, Alice S, Iylah C, Ivy W, Onadi W, Brianna R, Prabh K, Emma B, Isaac L, Milla H, Chanel T.
Head of Junior School
End of Year Borrowing
A reminder that borrowing has now ceased. All returns need to be in by end of Week 6 (Friday 20/11) or Week 7 at the latest for our annual Stocktake and to avoid overdues. Thank you.
PRC 2020 Certificates have been handed out during library lessons this week. Those students who are awaiting a Gold and Bronze certificate will be awarded them at the next Assembly.
Junior School Teacher Librarian
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
ACTING HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL
“For I know the plans I have for you”, declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 2:11
The word of the Lord is very fitting to reflect on and remember as we say our final farewells to Year 12 2020!
Last Friday we finally got to say goodbye to our Year 12 students at their formal Graduation Ceremony and then celebrate the end with them at their Formal on Monday night. It was wonderful to be able to welcome parents to the graduation to see their children graduate for what has been, for some, a 13 year journey through Lakes Grammar! Monday night was a great night at Kooindah Waters, our Year 12 2020 students are fine models of Lakes graduates: Faithful, Compassionate, Reflective, Inquisitive and Determined! We wish them all the best and God’s blessings for their next chapter of their lives and look forward to hearing more about their future chosen career paths.
We received some very exciting news this week from the NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group regarding the NAIDOC Art Competition. Our Year 8 students were awarded 2nd place in the Collaboration Art Section. Congratulations to these students on their achievements.
Over the past weeks we have welcomed back Chapels in the hall. Our Chapels run by Matt and hearing God’s word are an important part of our school environment. We thank Matt for making this happen again, although only being allowed 15 minutes due to COVID restrictions does make this a challenge! I know however, the students look forward to this in their weekly timetable and for them it has again moved us one step closer to ‘normal’.
Our Year 7-10 students have now all completed their Yearly Examinations. I really would like to commend all our students in the way in which they approached these examinations. When I walked past exam rooms, I saw all students doing the best they could. It is encouraging to hear from staff how well many of our students have performed in these exams, given the year they have had.
You may have heard in the news that the State Government has dedicated funds to Government schools and some Independent and Catholic Schools to allow them to employ tutors in 2022 to assist students who have fallen behind this year. I am pleased to be able to report that we had already started intensive comprehension small intervention groups here at Lakes for our Year 8 students. These students were identified through our Check-In Assessments which took place during Week 2 this term. These intensive groups for the next four weeks will focus on assisting students to read for meaning.
Last week and this week we welcomed our 2021 Year 7 students here for Orientation Days. The students have had a great time experiencing a Food Technology and Visual Arts Class. We are super excited to have them join our Senior School in 2021! Mrs McKeown, their Year Adviser has looked after them this week, we thank her for making these Orientation Days a fun filled and enjoyable day for our future Senior School students.
Acting Head of Senior School
TEACHING AND LEARNING
Staff Professional Learning
This week the teachers have continued to reflect on their practice and on the impact of their teaching on student learning. I, along with our Learning Coach, Mrs Anne Hobden met with Dr Frances Whalan from the AIS to review our teaching Professional Development platform. Staff also had the opportunity to meet with Dr Whalan to contribute to our review process. Just like our students, the staff are always learning and refining the way in which we improve and ‘tweak’ our teaching strategies to better cater for our students. The overwhelming feedback from our staff has been that our Professional Learning platform allows staff to see significant impact on our students’ learning. We look forward to continuing to collaborate and learn together in 2021!
Understanding our Year 7-10 Reports
In the following weeks, our staff will be engaged in writing students’ reports. The Learning Profile of the reports sees staff comment on their students’ learning attributes and behaviours. It is the Learning Powered Approach which underpins the design of this profile. We believe that on the journey with our students towards student agency, empowering them to take more control of their academic journey, it is important that they reflect on where they may be personally on the continuum for these attributes and behaviours. I encourage you to take time to reflect on these with your child when you receive their report:
Perseveres in learning activities
Seeks advice and acts on feedback
Reflects on their own learning
Communicates respectfully with staff and peers
Faculty Focus Days
In the following weeks, our Faculty Focus Days will be happening for our students in Years 7-10. There are several great days organised for our students where they will see Learning Come Alive and delve deep into their learning! I look forward to sharing the photos and the reports from these upcoming events in the next newsletter.
Faculty Focus – Part 2 of CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts)
We continue this week to showcase the deep learning, which is occurring in CAPA, this week we focus on Music and Photo Digital Media.
There are many definitions floating around in the educational world about what is deep learning and many different frameworks. Here in the Senior School we see deep learning as:
A "process through which an individual becomes capable of taking what was learned in one situation and applying it to a new situation." – National Academy of Science (2018) & McTighe and Silver
Students being able to not simply regurgitate information but apply it to new situations is the point where as educators we really know students have understood what they have learnt, it is where we see our students fully engaged and enjoying their learning!
I hope you enjoy Part 2 of our CAPA deep learning focus presented below by Mrs Hobden, our CAPA Co-ordinator.
Director of Teaching and Learning
CREATIVE AND PERFORMING ARTS
Welcome to part 2 of our Creative and Performing Arts focus into deep learning. We are looking at Music and Photo & Digital Media courses this week and seeing how these students are deepening their learning by using technology to problem solve, work on projects, and extend their creativity.
Our young musicians in Year 7 have learnt about film music and composed their own soundtracks using composition software programs such as Band Lab and Garage Band. This process has been enriching for students as they apply their understanding of the concepts of Music to their very own original film soundtracks. Students have been playing the guitars and learning about electric and acoustic guitars to broaden their understanding of how musicians have a range of choices to make when composing, between the traditional instruments and the highly engaging software packages available to them. These lessons have been truly engaging for Year 7 as they explore their creative talents.
Year 8 have also been investigating the traditional and electronic options open to them during Music lessons. They have studied and performed rock, blues and Jazz pieces, as well as creating digital compositions using Garage Band. Their creative powers have been put to the test as they have explored different types of music ensembles in a variety of genres as well as musical eras and have played pieces such as Ode to Joy and improvised percussion pieces in small ensembles.
The Year 9 elective students have analysed art music movements in the 20th and 21st Centuries and composed a piece in the style of one of these movements. They have also enjoyed learning about Latin music, playing as an ensemble. These students have been refining their own performing skills and developing a personal performance style on their specialist instruments.
The deeper investigation into style and genre continues with the Year 10 studies in classical music. They have broadened their musical experiences by listening to, performing, and analysing famous works by Mozart and Beethoven. This creative groups have performed individual pieces of their choice and learnt about small ensembles, performing ensemble works from different musical eras including Medieval, Baroque and popular ensemble pieces.
Year 11 have performed well-known Australian and Film music pieces in the Music 1 course as well as creating music compositions using different music notation systems such as graphic notation and Tablature notation. At this stage our musicians are learning to appreciate the pure joy that comes from self-expression, certainly enriching their lives.
Photography and Digital Media
Students have been exploring different responses to the work of photographic artists in the Photography and Digital Media course. We have examined the work of Max Dupain, Yasumasa Morrimura and Ansell Adams to gain a greater understanding of how these photographers have represented their world and shared their experiences with audiences. Students have learned to think critically about photography, to collaborate with each other and to communicate their ideas in creative ways. Students in Year 9 and Year 10 elective photography have been developing the deep learning competencies of communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking. Students have been out in the school and their local environments photographing using zoom, wide angle and macro lenses, documenting their own lives and communities on the Central Coast.
Creative and Performing Arts Coordinator
NOMINATION FOR ARTEXPRESS
The Visual Arts Department is very proud to announce that Naomi Palibino’s HSC Body of work has been nominated for the 2020 ARTEXPRESS exhibition. This was a great honour, meaning that she achieved a very high result within the art making component of the course. Unfortunately, her oil paintings did not make it through to the final round of selection for exhibition, however, it has been a great achievement for her work to be recognised in this way.
There were 8616 submissions in the 2020 HSC Visual Arts course and only 575 students were nominated for ARTEXPRESS. Naomi’s three larger than life family portraits, entitled ‘Ugat, Haligi at Ilaw ng Pamilya' embody her dedication to the art of contemporary portraiture and oil painting.
It has been a pleasure to see Naomi aspire to achieve excellence in a year full of challenges.
Creative and Performing Arts Coordinator
NAIDOC WEEK ART COMPETITION
Last term ten Year 8 students (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) entered the NSW AECG NAIDOC week art competition. I am pleased to inform you that they came 2nd place in the collaborative artwork category. A member from the NSW AECG will come out to the school to present them with awards and gifts later this term.
A huge shout out to Sally Baker and Victoria Lobregat for making this happen!
JUNIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
Athletics Age Champions 2020
Long Jump has now been completed at school through our Sports in Schools Program. We will have the Age Champions announced in the next newsletter. Awards will also be presented at the next Assembly.
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 advisable to have a water bottle as well during the hotter months.