From Acting Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning, Ms Gabrielle Smith
Over time we’ve seen a shift in education. We still need to teach our students core skills such as following directions, working hard and being efficient, prompt, honest and fair – all of which remain valuable in today’s world. However, in order for our boys to succeed in a rapidly evolving landscape, we now need to teach beyond this. They need to be able to think deeply about issues, apply creativity to problem solving, and – as 2020 has demonstrated – approach collaborating and communicating across a variety of platforms with flexibility and agility.
This week, I’d like to congratulate our Year 12 boys as they near the completion of their HSC Trial Examinations. As we’re operating under a very different set of circumstances this year, we understand that you’ll have questions about the upcoming HSC exams. You can find information to help with that below, along with the latest Teaching & Learning highlights.
As usual, life on campus has been busy. From creating streetscapes and advocacy videos that address world issues, to coaching Junior School students, whipping up tasty treats for special occasions, attending virtual seminars with Olympians and carrying out real-world mathematical experiments, our boys have been engaged in a variety of learning experiences that have enabled them to produce impressive pieces of work.
NESA HSC News
This year’s HSC is different due to COVID-19. Information is available on the NESA website to clearly answer parents’ questions about the HSC exams. Most recently NESA has reported that the health and wellbeing of HSC students is more important than any exam, which is why they are encouraging students to:
- Stay connected
- Take time out for rest or exercise
- Ask for help
You can keep up to date with the latest Year 11 and HSC information by following this link and download NESA’s 2020 HSC fact sheet here.
Teaching & Learning Highlights
Religious Education and Geography – From the Library and Geography Teacher, Ms Rebecca Sutcliffe
Year 7 students have been busy creating an advocacy video to drive change on key issues, including:
- Plastic bags and water bottles
- Palm oil products
- Clothing and fast fashion
Collaborative team teaching is a great way to inspire, support and engage our students. The library has facilitated group work and collaboration, including the use of a green screen for boys to film their productions, while the Geography team has taught boys how to use data and infographics to communicate geographically, and scaffolded information management.
The library team was also able to introduce sources of information for the students at their reading level. The Kidsnews website proved to be invaluable and researching issues with accurate and up-to-date information was an important part of our strategy before script writing. Further strategies for creating effective and engaging videos were introduced by viewing and analysing ABC and BTN news clips.
Visual Arts – From Head of Visual Arts, Ms Natalie Oates
This term, Year 11 students have produced a streetscape series after exploring a range of mediums through the overarching concept of ‘Making a mark’. The College library has kindly provided a space to exhibit their works. The boys have experimented with stippling, continuous line, free form drawing, stenciling, silkscreening, transfers and spray – all fundamental skills that are formed as part of this unit.
Photographic samples of streetscapes around the local area were used to link their media studies together in a resolved collection of works. Each student had autonomy in their own practice as we encouraged them to experiment with application and material technique processes relating to their key artists for the topic. The influencing artists were Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Vector, Ears, Banksy and Sheppard Fairey.
Thank you to Bill Roberts, Angie Willams and Sherri Falkinder for housing the temporary exhibition.
PDHPE – From PDHPE Teacher and Academic Enrichment Coordinator, Ms Belinda Buchan
Students from Year 9 Physical Activity and Sport Studies (PASS) and selected Athletics team students recently participated in a Zoom seminar with Olympian Steve Solomon, a five-time defending Australian 400 metres champion.
This was part of Olympics Unleashed. Olympics Unleashed is presented by NSW Institute of Sport in conjunction with the Australian Olympic Committee. Olympians are connected with schools and students virtually, and every session is aimed to inspire and motivate. It’s all about reaching your personal best – whether that’s in the classroom, in the playground, on the sporting field or at home.
Steve shared lessons from his Olympic journey that we can all learn from. He spoke about setting goals, overcoming challenges and demonstrating resilience. Our boys had the opportunity to ask questions about particular topics at the end of the session, including adequate rest, overcoming adversity and fuelling the body.
PASS – From PDHPE Teacher, Mr Jack Wachtel
Throughout Term 3, both Year 10 PASS classes have been focusing on coaching as their main unit of study. This unit allows students to explore a range of coaching styles to support a variety of age groups, abilities and personalities.
In the peer coaching assessment, we asked students to design and implement a lesson plan that could be taught to a small group of Waverley Junior School students. The lesson required our coaches to use a lesson plan scaffold to identify:
- The skill for the lesson and the outcomes to be achieved
- Activities and teaching points
- Equipment required
- Safety considerations
- Warm up (dynamic movements/stretching)
- Allocated hydration time and a cool down (static stretching)
Coaches were assigned a group of 6-8 Junior School students. They were given 40-45 minutes to implement their lesson plans while demonstrating interpersonal and organisational skills. This included introducing themselves to the group, learning students’ names, ensuring that activities were performed safely, providing supportive and encouraging feedback, and managing time effectively.
All of our coaches were out of their comfort zones, but succeeded in teaching fundamental skills in a fun and engaging way by displaying confidence, resilience and positive leadership.
Maths – From Maths Teacher, Mr John O’Reilly
Our Year 10 students have been undertaking mathematical experiments to collect statistics. This week we’ve looked into their vertical jump heights and horizontal jump lengths, and we’ve compared sub-max push ups to max pushups using Wim Hof’s breathing technique. The students have used this data and graph with their results to see the value of Maths in the real world.
Food Technology – From TAS Teacher, Ms Cristie Whitten
My Year 10 Food Technology students are currently exploring food for special occasions. The boys have chosen ‘Birthday Party’ as their theme. As you can see from our photographs, they’ve created an impressive selection of well presented and delicious treats. Well done, boys!