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Junior School News

From the Director of Waterford, Gabrielle Smith

Lunchtime talk with CFOO and Author, Matt Galanos

Alfie Frain who competed in the NSW school golf team

Year 6 students Max Sheehy and Archie Godby at the Annual IPSHA Speakers' Challenge

Year 5 students taking part in the Science Incursion

Year 5 students taking part in the Science Incursion

Students Trial the Flexible Furniture

Students Trial the Flexible Furniture

Students Trial the Flexible Furniture

Key Dates

  • Friday, 29 November | Year 6 Excursion to Wet n Wild
  • Friday, 29 November | Junior School Reports Home
  • Wednesday, 4 December | Presentation Day Years 5, 6, 7, & 8 – 10am to 12pm – Arrive at school at the normal time. Students whose parents do not attend will return to the Junior School for the remainder of the day. All other students will go home with their parents at the end of the performance. If boys have an older brother who is attending the Presentation Day for Year 9, 10, 11 & 12 (1pm to 3pm) they may join their parents at this event.
  • Wednesday, 4 December | Final Day of Term 4

It is hard to believe how quickly the year has flown. I have enjoyed seeing the boys flourish as they engage with learning and co-curricular programs here at Waverley. It has been rewarding seeing the many values that have been on display throughout the year – resilience when tackling a particularly tricky problem whether it is in class or a problem between friends; courage in coping with changes; appreciation and happiness for each other and all the opportunities they are given within the school – which all strengthen their character and their ability to make the most of every aspect of school life.

I would like to thank all of you for your support for the school and your contribution to our community. I also acknowledge the hard-working and dedicated Junior School staff supporting your boys to reach their potential. We have a great team here at Waverley. 

On behalf of the school, I wish you all a safe and happy holiday.


Congratulations to Sebastian Ari, Kayden Baker, Tom Donaldson, Hugo Fernandez, Jethro Jenson, James Peate, Owen Smith and Harrison Thorpe who competed in the Gateways Challenge Day last week. Over the course of the day the boys had to rotate through a number of Challenge activities. The focus was on teamwork over individual performance. Each child had an opportunity to demonstrate leadership in one of the challenges where a strong emphasis was placed on creativity, lateral thinking and problem-solving skills. The boys did very well and should be extremely proud of themselves.

Sports News

From Director of Co-Curricular, Matthew Ryan

Alfie Frain who competed in the NSW school golf team

Congratulations to Alfie Frain who competed as part of the NSW school golf team last week. NSW came 2nd in scratch losing to QLD by a shot and 2nd in Nett as well. Alfie has described this as such an amazing experience and something he will never forget. Well done Alfie!

Last week had several students attend the NSWPSSA Athletics Championships at Homebush. Our Junior Relay team finished the competition in 20th place. Felix Kelly was 22nd in the 100m, Jack Johnson was placed 10th overall in the 800m. A special mention needs to go to Julian Minto who finished in 5th place in NSW in the 200m. A fantastic effort. I would like to congratulate all the boys on their performances and representing the school at such a high level.

IPSHA Speakers’ Challenge 

Waverley was ably represented on Thursday 14 November at the Annual IPSHA Speakers’ Challenge, with Year 6 students Max Sheehy and Archie Godby, doing very well indeed. 

The boys were asked to explore the topic of Reimagine. Both boys displayed skills of critical thinking when writing their speech and confidently delivered their speech. 

I am extremely proud of the boys and their speeches. 

Lunchtime Talks 

From Literacy and Innovation Coordinator, Natasha Zivanovic 

Lunchtime talk with CFOO and Author, Matt Galanos

Over the last two weeks, the Waverley boys have been fortunate to have two guest speakers. 

The Waverley boys warmly welcomed Matt Galanos on Friday 15 November. Matt is the CFOO at the ATC and an author. He dropped in to chat with the boys about creative writing, the process of writing a book and having it published all while he continued his day job! 

A huge thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to inspire young creative minds! 

Our last guest speaker for 2019 shared the message of RESILIENCE!

Bouncing back after sorrow and loss is not easy but Sophie Smith founder of Running for Premature Babies did just that. On Friday 22 November Sophie spoke to the boys about challenges, inspiration, adventure, and disappointment.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing your personal story at our Lunchtime Talk. Owen (Year 5) is so lucky to have a strong Mum like you. 

If you would like to be a guest speaker in 2020, please contact me:

Major Highlights from the Learning Hub

Today’s world is changing very fast; as is the way students learn. And in the middle of ever-evolving education, the role learning spaces play in our schools is more important than ever.

Learning spaces should spark imaginations; nurture and develop creativity; support a diverse range of learning activities; and above all, support our learners.

The new Learning Hub has done just that. Over the past three terms, I have watched the boys develop lifelong skills of being critical thinkers, collaborators, innovators, public speakers, communicators, and problem solvers.

The refurbishment of the Learning Hub has become a buzzing learning environment. A setting that changes from lesson to lesson and day by day. The new space caters for all our activities from formal lessons, debating, public speaking, lunchtime talks with guest speakers to an informal style of learning, where boys read, play board games, watched duckling hatch or meet up for a chat.

I am looking forward to a productive 2020! 

Highlights of Teaching and Learning in 2019

From Assistant Director of Curriculum, Gabrielle Bransby 

2019 has been an amazing year for Teaching and Learning at the Junior School. The boys have been part of some incredible learning experiences that we hope are memorable for them for many years to come. 

  • Yr 5 History Showcase 

Students in Year 5 were involved in a History Hysteria Showcase in Term 1. Students presented their historical knowledge from their history inquiry unit – The Australian Colonies. This inquiry unit explored the significance of people, groups, places, and events that have led to the development of Australia.

  • Yr 5 – Put a Spark in it!

This STEM unit was integrated with a wide range of skills from different subject areas to create a 3D Diorama that lights up. This piece is an illustration of a collaborative story that students have written in English. Students have learnt how to code through Scratch and CS First. The students also integrated a piece of music that accompanied their story. This was created with Mrs. Rollins in their Music Technology class. Many boys have attached this music to their story on Scratch and incorporated the use of Makey Makey’s. 

  • Yr 6 – Designing the Future

This STEM unit focused on developing areas around Waverley College Junior School that are in need of refurbishment, unused or poorly maintained. The aim of this unit was to give students agency in the development of an area. Within this STEM unit, students investigated the concepts of sustainable design, the characteristics of materials and devised a budget based on their design and materials chosen.  

This was an exciting opportunity for an authentic learning experience and a chance for students to see their designs and ideas implemented somewhere in the College. The winning design was Tristan Girardi, Liam McMaster, and Lachlan Rowney. 

  • Indigenous Experience

In Term 3, Year 5 were lucky enough to be visited by Grant and Latoya from Kadoo Tours. Students had the opportunity to learn about astronomy from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives as part of their Earth and Space unit in Science. The students listened to Dreamtime stories, learnt about how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders use the sky to navigate and gather food, touched artifacts and ate bush tucker.

  • Yr 6 Robotics 

This term, Year 6 have been part of an exciting program called Robo Bricks. During each lesson, students employed mechanical engineering skills to build a robot and software engineering skills to code the robot to perform the desired tasks. The boys completed this program as part of their science and Technology Unit – Growing the Future. This program focuses primarily on the Digital Technologies content strand whilst still creating robots that fit in with the Living Things content strand. 

What a wonderful and exciting year the boys have had. Next year, I am looking forward to bringing new and exciting learning experiences to the curriculum. 


Science Incursion

From 5 Red Student, Ari Wernett

On Friday 15th November all of the Year 5 classes were lucky enough to get to go up to the High School to use the Science Labs. We were met by Miss Alborough who taught us all about the water cycle. We conducted an experiment using a glass beaker, a tripod, a wire mesh, a glass lid and a Bunsen burner. Firstly, we went through the safety rules, we all had to wear safety goggles and learn about staying safe lighting a match and working with fire. Secondly, we were put into groups of three, we were given specific jobs that we were going to rotate so we could each get a go using every piece of equipment. 

Three pieces of ice were placed in the beaker, we struck a match, lit the Bunsen burner and made observations about what we saw. As the flame heated the bottom of the beaker the ice began to melt, we could see the water begin to boil and evaporate. We could see the steam rising and then little water droplets condensing on the glass lid. It was really cool to get to use proper scientific equipment and see what a Science Lab looks like, for most of us it was our first time in a lab. Overall it was a really fun afternoon and a great experience for all of us. Thank you to Miss Alborough for spending the whole day teaching Year 5.


Flexible Furniture Trial in the Junior School 

From Innovation Coordinator, Charlotte Stephens

Across both campuses, teachers are experimenting with brand new flexible furniture in their classrooms. Teams have worked together with designers to select pieces that will meet the diverse needs of our 21st-century learners. Where once we wanted our learners to face the board and copy down information imparted from a teacher, we now want to create learning communities of researchers, collaborators, communicators, and critical thinkers. These new classroom designs and furniture aim to facilitate this kind of pedagogy. 

In the Junior School, 5 Red have been testing out this new furniture. The students have approached it with overwhelming enthusiasm. We have found that it has really opened up the space, making it a bright and welcoming environment. In practice, the furniture far more easily supports all types of learning than what we had previously as it is able to be moved into different configurations based on need. There are a variety of desk heights, shapes and an array of seating options. 

One of the features that the students have been enjoying the most is the ability to write their ideas and workings out all over the desks. The writeable desks are really promoting visible thinking and helping provide opportunities for formative assessment. 

The students are also enjoying the ability to move the seating around. Some have pondered whether they would prefer to have a back on their chair however, in class, they still have access to a traditional chair and no one has yet chosen to take that option. The majority are finding the ability to rock and wriggle is helping their concentration on tasks. 

We will trial more classes with this furniture in 2020.