Encouraging Times on our Playground
The children have had a very settled start to the term. We have been able to open up our soccer fields after giving the grass a break from the trample of countless feet for the second half of last term. While we are struggling to maintain sufficient water to the grass given the region's water restrictions, it is still holding up very well. It is good to see the children avoiding the temptation to "kick at" the dirt as this only damages the grass further.
The point is that having all the students sharing the one, albeit large, space has potential for competition for the use of that space. However, the staff have all observed that all groups are using the spaces fairly equitably without any unnecessary intrusions to other's games which then causes conflict. It is wonderful to witness this. Our playground has ample space with multiple opportunities for different forms of play and we are grateful for the physical space. However, a space is only as effective as those that use it and share it. Our students are currently doing a wonderful job of this and it promise to be a very positive term ahead.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Landfill
We have a really important initiative here at school that has been driven and led by the student leadership team under the guidance of Mrs Emily Haardt. In an attempt to ultimately reduce the amount of landfill we create as a community, we have established multiple options to sort and dispose of our rubbish. Obviously the first call is to simply reduce the amount of packaging by using reusable lunch containers and wrappers. Failing that we encourage the students to make use of our bin sorting stating where they are different bins for different purposes. (These are outlined in the table below.)
While it is wonderful to have this initiative in place here at school, there is some concern that having it name is different to using it successfully in practise. While our bins are there, we are noting that there is a lack of commitment from the student body to consistently sort their rubbish or remove those parts of their rubbish that affect the successful use of the bin. In other words; drinks are being put in the Return and Earn bin while they are still half full (tip it out) and soft plastics are still full of food when being placed in the Soft Plastics collection (empty them first). It is called a bin sorting station - in that we go though the hand full of rubbish and sort it. Some might go in the soft plastics, some might go in the composting bin and some might have to go in the landfill bin. It is rare that one hand full of rubbish all goes into the one bin unless they are just put in the landfill bin presumably because it is easier. This of course defeats the purpose of the whole program.
To do this sort of program is hard. It takes a commitment from everyone. It is not something we can call a success just by pointing to the bins and saying "Yes, of course we do this". We actually need to look inside the bins to see how successful it really is. I write this as a call to action to all students and ask that parents consider having a conversation at home about this. With the media and different organisations focusing on the environmental crisis and call for global action, we can do something really important here in our small community, day by day and bit by bit.
I am happy to acknowledge that we need to continue to educate the kids especially when they approach the bins and are unsure. For this reason, we will be ensuring a pair of students will be at the bin sorting station during the first half of lunch to guide and if necessary monitor the use of the bins by students. Beginning first with interested Stage 3 students, and then if we gain some momentum, allowing emerging "eco-warriors" in Years 3 and 4 to take on the role. I will be asking for interested volunteers in the next few days. Students will also be encouraged by the teachers on duty to consider doing a pre-sort (even as a group while sitting down waiting for the dismissal after eating lunch) before they move to the bins. We will also be discussing this further in class and at assembly and this may even come in the form of and audit (unpacking a bin to assess what should and should not be in there and rate our success).
Return and Earn Bins-
|Supplied and managed by St Vincent de Paul organisation. Any bottle or poppa with he Return and Earn logo on it||The drink container MUST be emptied of liquid. Poured into the drains or even a garden.|
|Recycling Bins||Any general recycling material - in our school this is mostly papers and sometimes HARD plastics and alfoil if it can be scrunched to larger than a golf ball||MUST not have any food in it or excessively covered in grease|
|Soft Plastics||Any plastic wrapping that can be scrunched (as long as it is not lined with alfoil. )||MUST not have remains of the food in it.|
|Compost Bin||Fruit scraps||Must not be whole pieces of fruit or slightly eaten ones. Also, no sandwich crusts as too much tends to hinder the composting process|
|Land Fill||This is our last resort choice. It is important to always remember that what ends up in this bin goes directly to land fill.||We do what we can within the conditions above to avoid using this bin.|
Dental Collection - finished toothpaste tubes, dental floss cases and used tooth brushes
Plastic Bread Tags and Bottle Lids - Collecting to send to recycling company who use it to produce prosthetic limbs
Next week, our stage 3 journey to Canberra for the first time in 10 years for our school. This is an important event. Having conducted successful overnight excursions at Bush Camp for the last two years, we are very excited to be giving our stage 3 students an opportunity to visit Canberra with visits to Parliament House, Electoral Commission, Australia Museum, Questacon and the War Memorial, among others. Student will be focusing on the principles of democracy and the importance of our identity as a nation.
Three day excursions are a huge undertaking and I want to especially thank the staff who ornagised the excursion and will be travelling with the students; guiding them on this important learning experience; Mrs Haardt, Mr Treloar and Mrs Green. Thank you for going above and beyond your 'classroom' duty (24/7 responsibility is no social trip) to ensure the best learning opportunities and life experiences for students. I am guessing that those of us lucky enough to have gone to Canberra in our schooling, still remember the experience today. I know I do.
I thought it might be good opportunity to share with the whole school community the documentation that is provided to any student/ family who is participating in an overnight excursion at Corpus Christi Waratah. While important for those students going to Canberra next week and they have spent time working through these documents, it is also may be informative for those families with children fast approaching overnight excursion opportunities in coming years.
Have a great two weeks,
Book Club order forms have now been sent home. Please fill in the order forms clearly with your child's name and items to be ordered.
All monies and orders are to be placed in an envelope and place in your child's classroom note bag. Order's can also be made on-line.
ALL ORDERS need to completed by FRIDAY 25th OCTOBER.
Late orders cannot be accepted as there will be a delivery fee charged to Scholastic.
Solomon Island Material Muster
Our Sisters in the Solomon Islands currently have a sewing project of making bags for shopping and their marketing. They are doing this in an effort to encourage the people of the Solomon Islands to stop using plastic bags which ultimately end up in their oceans and waterways. I will be travelling to the Solomons on the 30th October and they have asked if I could bring some material with me.
If any of you have material tucked away in cupboards not being used, I would be happy to take it with me. I would need the material by next MONDAY 28th October.
Thank you in anticipation, Sr.Jenny
Welcome back to term 4.
A big term in the school and equally fast at home. We are very close to advent which is the Church's season for us to get ready for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. Hold on for the ride. It’s going to get busy.
Over the holidays I attended a Dominican Education Conference in Invercargill, New Zealand. Corpus Christi Waratah was founded by the Dominican sisters and Mrs Haardt and I went to the conference to deepen our understanding of our mission as Catholic Educators in a Dominican school.
We also explored the many faces of Truth (Veritas) and participated in forums and workshops looking at best practice as well as developing relationships and networks. It was great to get a feel from other schools how they promote and share their Dominican Charism.
The New Zealand people really embraced the Maori culture as well. It has become a very real and visible part of the school's lives. No trouble seeing their Catholic identity and the identity of the Maori culture in all they do.
One of the key themes or messages I took away from the conference was the "Know who you are!" Let's celebrate who we are!
This week’s gospel passage flows on directly from last week’s gospel and continues the teaching of Jesus about prayer.
"Humble Yourself and You will be Honoured”
Luke 18: 9-14
In this passage we learn about how we come before God in prayer. It is the tax collector, whose simple prayer is ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner,’ who goes home at rights with God. In this simple prayer, the tax collector recognises that he is not in right relationship with God and asks for God’s mercy. This is a hallmark of the lowly and outcast in the gospel of Luke: they recognise their need and seek God’s forgiveness and mercy. The model of faith that is depicted over and over again in this gospel is the one who recognises their need for God’s loving mercy and asks for it. We are repeatedly reminded that God’s mercy, forgiveness and abundant love are constantly out-flowing towards us and all we have to do is humbly desire and welcome them.
In today’s gospel, who were the two people in Jesus’ story?
What did the Pharisee pray?
What did the tax collector pray?
What is the difference between the Pharisee and the tax collector?
Who was pleasing to God?
How can we be humble like the tax collector?
Faith formation for the children
Christmas Craft Stall
The parish will be holding a craft stall this weekend at the Waratah Masses. The stall will be set up before and after 7.30 am Mass and 5.30pm Mass on this Sunday 27th October.
There will be also be a raffle again this year with a beautiful handmade quilt as first prize.
The parish have a huge variety of things that are perfect for Christmas gifts for everyone.
Pencil rolls were popular last year and there are plenty again for this year. There will be Leather jewellery, wooden jewellery, baby craft, house wares etc.
Please support the parish by getting along and picking up some early Christmas Gifts.
You’re Invited - SAVE THE DATE
Please email any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Changing Math Classroom
When students struggle with math in school, one of the most damaging mathematics myths, according to Jo Boaler (Stanford University), is that math is a gift, that some people are naturally good at math and some are not. But this just isn’t so! Mathematics can and must be learned by all students.
Many math classrooms of decades past were “skill and drill”, however our maths classrooms are now providing an opportunity to take a problem-based approach that will help each student achieve mathematical proficiency by encouraging mathematics teaching that promotes growth rather than fixed mindsets.
The Structured Classroom Program
The structured classroom program includes a daily one-hour numeracy block. The use of powerful teaching approaches together with grouping strategies supports teachers in catering for the needs of all students. There is an emphasis on the use of pre-assessment, continuous monitoring and formal assessment of students. The classroom program takes into account stages of mathematical growth and reflects teachers’ planning and selection of appropriate learning contexts and activities.
Mathematics in The NSW Curriculum
The NSW Curriculum: Mathematics provides students with essential mathematical skills and knowledge in Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability. It develops the numeracy capabilities that all students need in their personal and work life, and provides the fundamentals on which mathematical specialties and professional applications of mathematics are built.
Organisational Concepts in Mathematics
To assist with seeing the "bigger ideas" in Mathematics teachers have organised their teaching into four organisational concepts. These are; patterns, equivalence, comparison and spatial awareness. Overarching these organisational concepts is THINKING MATHEMATICALLY which is the core concept in the Mathematics syllabus.
Helpful Tips for Parents and Guardians
Believe that every child can be successful in math. It takes good teaching, encouragement and practice to be a good mathematician.
- Talk about math in a positive way. A positive attitude about math is infectious.
- Encourage persistence. Some problems take time to solve.
- Encourage your child to experiment with different approaches to mathematics. There is often more than one way to solve a math problem.
- Encourage your child to talk about and show a math problem in a way that makes sense (i.e., draw a picture or use hands on materials).
- When your child is solving math problems ask questions such as: Why did you...? What can you do next? Do you see any patterns? Does the answer make sense? How do you know? This helps to encourage thinking about mathematics.
- Connect math to everyday life and help your child understand how math influences them (i.e. shapes of traffic signs, walking distance to school, telling time).
- Play family math games together that add excitement such as checkers, monopoly, math bingo and uno.
- Computers + math = fun! There are great computer math games available on the internet that you can discover with your child.
- Talk with your child’s teacher about difficulties he/she may be experiencing. When teachers and parents work together, children benefit.
Recycling at Corpus Christi
Composting at Corpus Christi
Sr Jenny is understandably saddened by this for two reasons. First, we don't have good quality compost to place on our gardens and second, she is the one who is having to deal with the rancid smell and disposing of the waste.
I have had reasons to take different visitors on a tour of our school in recent weeks and in my journey I have admired some of the art that is on the wall. Visual arts can arguably be defined by its contradictions. It combines technique with imagination, form with free flowing ideas, process with creativity and perspectives with understanding. There are no exact answers or formulas and yet art can be the secret to expressing our inner self or our particular view of the world. What a wonderful tool to develop in our life long learners. The classrooms look great too! Thought I would try to capture some of the art vibe present in our classrooms this week.
Thanks very much to Carol Hughes who kindly volunteered to fill the Thursdays and has kept the day open.
We have also had a couple of brand new volunteers for Fridays, but are still short on the following Fridays 22/11, 29/11 & 13/12.
If anyone can help please contact Natasha on 0409829971.
What an amazing school community to have such a quick and positive response. Thank You.
Congratulations to the following students who have been recognised for great learning, awesome achievements, impressive improvements and stand out moments.
All parents are welcome at our Awards Assembly on Friday Mornings from 8.50am but if you are unable to atend, watch this space for when learning that is great.