We held our second K-6 curriculum evening last week and it was lovely to see such strong parent interest and attendance. As Lakes gets ready for 2023, we are focusing on a number of areas in the junior school. You would all be aware that our K-2 (2023) teachers will be following the new syllabus documents for both English and mathematics. Our teachers have spent many hours preparing for this change and if any parents would like further information, you are welcome to contact Mrs Jobe Parker or visit the NESA website. As NESA note, ‘nothing is more important for our society than the quality of teaching and learning in our schools.’ We know that students need to receive an education that provides them with a solid foundation for life and a better future, and we aim at Lakes to prepare young people to make a productive contribution to our society.
Alongside the new syllabus documents in 2023, we are also focusing on earlier identification and support of our gifted students. While the OC class met the needs of many students in Years 5 and 6, we are working to develop a structure that will allow more fluidity and flexibility for students with gifts in one or more areas, particularly in mathematics or English, from K-6. This may mean that some students may work ‘up’ a grade in their areas of strength, with a view to allowing a group of highly capable Year 6 mathematicians to accelerate into Year 7 mathematics in 2023. We are currently in the process of finalising our class structures for 2023, however, we will not be continuing with the OC structure. For those parents who have Year 5 students who are currently in the OC, we will be in contact with you directly to talk you through the process.
A number of parents at the K-6 curriculum evening requested the school revisit year group Facebook pages to facilitate quick communication between parents. While much of the required information needed by parents should be on Schoolbox, in order to discuss this further I would like to suggest we have class parent/s for each year group who can work to coordinate social parent events and communication when needed. These class parents might welcome new parents to the school etc. If you are interested in nominating to be a class parent, please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday 18 August (Week 5). Please include your name, your child’s name and year group in your email. Feel free to do this with a friend or buddy! We will then organise a time for all class parents to come together to get a better understanding of how we can assist parents in communicating with each other when needed.
We are also looking to set up a parent group to review the canteen menu in line with the NSW Healthy school canteen strategy – FOOD and DRINK CRITERIA. Students will also be asked for their input. If you are interested in joining this group, as above, please email email@example.com by Thursday 18 August.
The PowerPoint from the K-6 curriculum evening is now on Schoolbox if you would like to review or familiarise yourself with some of the information presented. Many of you have raised that you are receiving numerous notifications during the day from Schoolbox via the App. Mrs Smith has posted on Schoolbox (and emailed parents) a guide to manage your notifications in a way that suits you.
As you read through this newsletter you will get a real sense of the service and relationship focus from our students. From the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples assembly to the upcoming senior school Wear It Purple Day, to Dr Burns supporting parents with his ‘Don’t Panic!’ seminar, Ms Knight recommending books for younger readers to assist in regulating emotions, to Write a Book in a Day (WABIAD) raising funds for the Kids' Cancer Project. All in two weeks!
Enjoy your weekend and may God bless.
Mrs Deborah Clancy Principal
KEY DATES FOR THE DIARY
Mon 15 August – Science week
Mon 15 August – HSC trial examinations continue
Mon 15 August – Year 7 geography fieldwork
Fri 19 August – K-6 Scholastic bookfair (19-25 Aug)
Fri 19 August – HRIS primary athletics
Fri 19 August – Stage 4 science and engineering challenge
Fri 19 August – HSC trial examinations end
Mon 22 August – Year 9 geography field trip
Tue 23 August – HICES primary athletics carnival
Tue 23 August – Don’t Panic! Parent seminar for whole school
Fri 26 August – Wear It Purple Day (senior school only) - mufti day
Fri 26 August – Junior School Book Parade – parents welcome at 2pm
I don’t know if you watched any of the Commonwealth Games over the last couple of weeks, but I have managed to catch a few evenings of the spectacle. There have been some great stories to come out of it and a whole lot of green and gold has been splashed about. There is both triumph and tragedy in the world of athletic adventure as well as bucketloads of that wonderful character trait, grit! In some cases, too, I have witnessed athletes cheering on those that they were competing against regardless of country. On the whole, a celebration of human endeavour, spirit and joy.
One such example was the women’s javelin where Kelsey-Lee Barber as the recent two-time world champion was up against Mackenzie Little in a tough battle for the win. Kelsey-Lee’s first throw laid down the benchmark, but then Mackenzie threw a personal best (PB) to go past her with her first throw. She then increased her lead with her 5th throw, another PB, and only one round was left. As Kelsey-Lee prepared to throw her last javelin you could see the focus in her eyes and her incredibly positive body language. She then gave it her all, launching this spear in deteriorating conditions and managed to just pip Mackenzie’s distance. Mackenzie smiled ruefully, gave it her all with her last throw, but could not better her distance. A silver for her, behind the world champion by about half a ruler length…but that’s not the end of the story.
In the post-competition interview with these two amazing athletes, they paid tribute to each other and then Mackenzie put it all in perspective. She is a med student at Sydney Uni and the study does not stop just because she is an elite athlete competing on the world stage. She jokingly said that in about an hour’s time she would need to hit the books again. Whilst Mackenzie enjoys throwing a pointy stick with world-class expertise her real goal in life is to actually help people in the field of medicine. To do this requires sacrifice, dedication, study, and a clear vision of her goals. Amazing how her two passions she shared complement each other.
So where is the faith angle on this I hear you ask? Well, I think that our faith lives need the same kind of dedication that an elite athlete or a student of medicine has. Following Jesus requires an investment of our whole selves and not just a Sunday hour or two. Immersing oneself into Scripture, prayer and connection with other Christians transforms us a bit like an athlete or student improves with time, energy, and intentionality. Faith is that muscle that requires flexing in order to stay spiritually fit for life. The writer of Hebrews summed this up in chapter 12 by reminding us “to run the race marked out before us”. Check out the full encouragement here: Hebrews 12:1-3
Reverend Matt Chaplain
WHOLE SCHOOL NEWS
Wear It Purple
On Friday 26 August in the senior school we are celebrating and supporting our rainbow young people. It will be a mufti day and our students and staff will:
Wear it purple
Eat it purple (don’t forget money for purple food)
Wrap it purple
Dance it purple
Learn it purple
Kahoot it purple
Our focus for the Wear It Purple Day links to our work on encouraging our senior school students to be an ‘ally’ for those who may feel isolated, different, or not ‘fit the mould’.
Classes will continue as normal on this day and senior school students will complete ‘ally’ activities in academic care.
Mr Rick Hampson Director of Academic Care (K-12)
Celebrating the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples
Lakes Grammar celebrated International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples with a special assembly presented by our own ATSI Committee, a group of volunteer students both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, echoing the message that “communities do not need saviours they need allies”. The assembly featured special guest, Uncle Gavi Duncan, the Senior Aboriginal Cultural Education Officer with Darkinjung community, who performed a traditional smoking ceremony. We also welcomed the Aboriginal dance troupe from Gorokan High School who performed a dance called The Dreaming.
Mrs Kristy Gorham Director of Academic Diversity (K-12)
What do young people worry about?
Have you ever wondered what kids worry about? Of course, worry is normal - we all do it. Psychologists call anxiety an ‘internalising’ difficulty because it mostly happens ‘internally’. It starts because we think worrying thoughts which no one can “see”. Some kids are excellent at being able to tell you what they worry about, but some are not. If you are interested to know what is on your child’s mine, the best way is to find a quiet moment and ask then directly. Sometimes they will be able to give you a clear answer, sometimes not.
Another way to tap into what kids worry about is through research. The Australian Institute of Family Studies has been running a long-term study on Australian children called ‘The Longitudinal Study of Australian Children’ (yep, someone in the marketing team stayed up really late one night thinking up that name!). They have reported some findings on the things that 10–13-year-olds worry about. What do you think is the main thing Aussie kids worry about? It is their families! About 60% or more of kids worry about a family member becoming seriously ill or getting injured and about 50% of kids worry about fighting within their families. Another strong theme in their worries relates to broader issues of the world. Curiously, about 40% of their sample worried about alcohol and drug use by children and teens and also about terrorism and war. Third in their list was worries about school, such as not doing well at school and having to change school. Perhaps surprisingly, the lowest level of worry the study reported related to worries about themselves, including as the way they look and fitting in with friends. None-the-less, worries about themselves still troubled about one in five children.
While worry is normal, sometimes it can take on a life of its own to the degree that it interferes with being able to successfully navigate the expected challenges of life. To help us better understand anxiety and how as parents we can help, Lakes is hosting a parent seminar called ‘Don’t Panic: Parenting in the Age of Anxiety’. It is happening on the evening of Tuesday 23 August, is open for all Lakes parents and is free to attend. If you would like to attend this parent seminar, please register here.
Dr John Burns Senior School Psychologist
CANTEEN HELPERS NEEDED
Our junior and senior canteens always need helpers. Any parents, caregivers or grandparents are more than welcome if you can spare a day once a fortnight or once a month.
We can’t avoid it – everyone is talking about how stressed out we are. As parents, we are not immune to it, and neither are our kids. It seems there is no end of things that young people worry about, from coping with schoolwork, to getting on with their peers, to what they are going to do beyond high school. Data from the 2021 census has just been released. Not surprising, the most common mental disorder is Australia is anxiety, with a staggering one in five females reported having an anxiety disorder in the previous 12 months. Prevalence rates for young people is double that.
The message in this seminar is . . . don’t panic! There are things we can do to minimise the impact of anxiety in the lives of our kids and to equip them to embrace the challenges of their world without excess worry. Clinical psychologist and Lakes Grammar counsellor John Burns will outline some evidence-based practices that all parents can implement to help their kids cope with the stresses of life.
About Dr John Burns
Dr John Burns has spent over 25 years helping families and children wrestle back control when life gets tricky. His professional passion is ‘heading off’ emotional and behavioural problems in young people before they can really take hold. Before coming to Lakes, he worked in a variety of roles in Sydney, including The Children’s Hospital, a large independent school, and a children’s residential care facility. He has a PhD in clinical psychology and is an Adjunct Fellow at the Department of Psychology at Macquarie University. In his spare time, he is a tragic Wests Tigers rugby league supporter.
We are very pleased to announce that this year we will finally be presenting our annual Night at the Museum once again! The museum will showcase Year 7-10 student major projects. The event will be held in the senior school hall on Thursday 1 September from 6pm to 7.30pm. Our whole school community is warmly invited to attend.
Join us on Friday 2 September to celebrate Father’s Day.
If any parents or friends would be interested in helping at the Father’s Day Breakfast – serving beverages and food, we would be very grateful. Please contact Julianne Sheedy, marketing and community relations officer – firstname.lastname@example.org
JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
Thank you to the many families who attended the junior school curriculum evening. It was fabulous to see such a turnout and for our staff to have the opportunity to speak face to face with many of you. Mrs Smith has uploaded the slides from the evening to Schoolbox for anyone who is interested in viewing them.
Our Year 5/6 soccer teams enjoyed a day out at Maitland Park to attend the HRIS soccer gala day. Whilst they didn’t come away with the trophy on the day, they represented Lakes with pride and good sportsmanship. Thank you to Mr Holden and Mr Lawson who coached the teams.
It was a sea of denim in the Junior School on Friday 5 August as the students supported the Jeans for Genes Day initiative. It is a privilege to see our students considering the needs of people within our local and global communities in supporting such important charities.
Our special guest author and illustrator Gus Gordon visited on Monday and the students enjoyed hearing his stories and watching him sketch in front of them. His books are flying off the library shelves as students take the opportunity to revisit his work. Many thanks to Mr Summers and Mrs Tennant for organising such a fun event for the students.
Our ICAS testing has begun! Thanks to all parents who registered their children to complete these optional opportunities. Digitech and writing were completed this week and the calendar dates for the other sessions are on the Schoolbox calendar.
Good luck to the 40 plus students who will be representing the school at the HRIS Athletics Carnival held at Hunter Sports Centre, Glendale on Friday 19 August. We hope you run, jump, throw and participate to the best of your abilities and we cannot wait to hear about your successes.
Mrs Kylie McPherson Head of Junior School
AROUND THE LIBRARY
Premier’s Reading Challenge 2022
Congratulations to the 62 students who have now completed the Premier’s Reading Challenge 2022 already!
A reminder that all completed logs must be handed to the library by Friday 19 August.
We were very fortunate to have Gus Gordon visit Lakes on Monday 8 August. Gus Gordon is a renowned Children’s author and illustrator, and we have many of his books available in the library. Gus conducted three interactive and exciting sessions for K-6 students inspiring students to be imaginative and creative, especially through his wonderful character illustrations. Thank you, Gus, for sharing with us!
Book Fair and Book Parade - August 2022
It is always an exciting time in school libraries all over Australia in Term 3 as we celebrate Book Week 2022! This year’s theme is ‘Dreaming with Eyes Open’. We actually celebrate Book Week all Term 3, and we have lots of fun and exciting activities planned. These include:
K-4 students will be studying the CBCA 2022 nominated Early Childhood / Picture book categories and voting which book they think will win. They will also be completing lots of related fun activities!
Years 5-6 students will also be studying these books and creating book reviews and trailers during library lessons.
Scholastic Book Fair - Friday 19 August to Thursday 25 August
We are excited to host this wonderful fundraiser again. Please also check posters around the school for additional details.
Book Parade - Friday 26 August - 2pm
We are excited to announce and to culminate the end of Book Week, that we will be hosting another Book Parade at school from 2pm.
Start thinking about your favourite book character and your costume for the parade! It is time to really get excited about reading!
Do not forget we also have a special Book Parade meal deal in the canteen on Friday 26 August. Please download the order form here or order through Flexischools.
Mr Daniel Summers Junior School Teacher Librarian
A great book for families to read
Mrs Michelle Knight, junior school counsellor, recommends Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions by Dr Daniel G. Amen as a great book for your family to read together. The book playfully encourages children to correct their negative thinking patterns in order to live happier and healthier lives.
Join the junior school music ensemble
We are looking for junior school musicians to join our string ensemble at 8am on Thursdays in the music room. If your child/ren would be interested, please contact Ms Albert - email@example.com
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHY COMPETITION
Geography students from Years 8 and 10 tested their geographical skills and knowledge against students from all around Australia in the 2022 Australian Geography Competition last term. At our most recent senior school assembly we were able to present certificates to our high achievers. Year 8 high distinctions -Beau and Lexi. Year 10 distinctions - Tahlia and Anu.
Well done to all those who participated and our high achievers.
Miss Rachel Mackillop HSIE Coordinator
KING TUT VISITS LAKES GRAMMAR
Last week Year 7 had a wonderful learning opportunity through their involvement in the Tut Roadshow incursion. Ancient Egypt came alive for our students as they participated in a range of different workshops where they handled ancient artefacts, learnt how to write in hieroglyphs and created their own ancient seals. As always, the Tut truck audio-visual museum celebrating King Tutankhamen was a favourite amongst our students. Many thanks to the history faculty staff for their help in running the day!
Mrs Fiona Crawford History Coordinator
WRITE A BOOK IN A DAY
On Friday 5 August, three teams of students from Year 8, Year 10 and Year 11 participated in the Kids' Cancer Project - Write A Book In A Day (WABIAD). For the Year 11 team, this was their fifth and final year of participation. Everyone started at 8am and as soon as they had received their parameters of characters, setting and the story's issue, they began brainstorming and mapping out character profiles and chapter content. After a break, the writing and illustrating began in earnest and their collaboration was commendable! The afternoon session saw them avidly editing and revising one another's work and they successfully met their 5pm publishing deadline. Congratulations to Year 8 students: Abigail B, Beau J, Briella M, Lexi M, Alyse Q, and Lucy, T, Year 10 students: Anu B, Rylee B, Pahal C, Katie C, Scarlett K, Ellena M, and Tahlia M, and Year 11 students: Chloe C, Raph D, Kani L, and Brooke S, on all writing a book in one day. These books will go into a local children's hospital ward and will also be available to borrow from the senior library.
Mrs Anne-Marie Nicholls Teacher Librarian
Oztag Gala Day
The Junior school oztag teams participated in the Central Coast oztag tournament on Wednesday 3 August. This gala day is a very popular, with over thirty teams participating from local schools. Our girls team had a lot of fun and their ability to play as a successful team grew every game. They won one game out of four with Elora, Addison, Taleah and Gemma all scoring tries. Hopefully this team can transfer their Oztag skills for our HRIS touch football gala day during Term 4. Our teams would also like to thank all the parents who took the time to come and cheer us on from the sidelines.
Mrs Megan King PDHPE Teacher
Soccer Gala Day
On Thursday 4 August, 30 boys, two teachers and a number of parents went to Maitland to compete for Lakes Grammar in the HRIS Soccer Gala Day. Twenty-five teams entered in either the Senior A or B divisions, so the competition was tough. Both Lakes teams had fun, were very energetic and played in the right spirit of the game. Both teams won their last games which finished the day off perfectly. Thanks to the parents who supported, Mr Holden and Mr Lawson who coached, and of course to all the boys who participated.