From Acting Deputy Principal – Teaching & Learning, Ms Gabrielle Smith
I’m excited to share all of the engaging, thought-provoking and innovative activities that have been happening around campus with you. From exploring the practical application of RUOK? Day in PDHPE and discovering some very unusual dice in the library (I’ll let Mr Roberts tell you more about those!), to making short films for Tournament of the Minds (ToM) and designing and baking themed birthday cakes, I’ve been extremely impressed with our boys across all areas of the curriculum.
As you’ll see below, we also achieved excellent results in the Education Perfect Championships, which took place during National Science Week, and the ICAS Science exam. Congratulations to our College community.
Teaching & Learning Highlights
PDHPE – From Head of PDHPE, Mr Patrick Darvill
Our PDHPE classes have been supporting R U OK? Day. Students have been involved in activities focused on the 2020 theme, ‘There’s more to say after RUOK?’
R U OK? Day aims to inspire and empower everyone to meaningfully connect with people around them and support individuals struggling with life. You don’t have to be an expert to keep the conversation going when someone says they’re not OK, so we looked at developing students’ skills in terms of what they can do and say to help someone feel supported and encourage them to access help before they’re in crisis.
Year 10 PDHPE
This term, Year 10 PDHPE students have produced a gymnastics composition performance in groups. This requires them to develop and create a series of movement sequences that combine simple gymnastics skills, which we’ve been learning in class.
Students had to include the following in their routines:
- A movement sequence that incorporates a variety of locomotive, balance and gymnastic positions
- Elements that help create a dynamic original group sequence involving all members of the group
This task focused on the key movement skills from the new K-10 PDHPE syllabus. Our Year 10 boys were able to develop fundamental and specialised movement skills and concepts by creating movement sequences. They are to be congratulated on the quality of the performances produced.
National Science Week – From Acting Head of Science, Ms Gemma Brown
The theme for National Science Week 2020 was Deep Blue: Innovation for the Future of Our Oceans – and it went off with a BANG here at Waverley!
Students in Years 7 to 9 participated in an escape room where they worked in small groups to complete mini experiments and crack codes, while exciting experiments including flaming hands, elephant toothpaste, dry ice reactions and ping pong ball explosions also made quite the stir.
Students in Year 11 Marine Studies conducted experiments to remove microplastics from water using ferrofluid, to demonstrate the impact plastic has on the marine environment. We are instilling a sense of marine stewardship and seen a direct impact in the playground, as our Marine Studies students have role modelled litter collection during recess and lunch breaks.
Our boys also competed in the Education Perfect Science Championships, with impressive results:
- 15th overall in NSW (out of 403 schools)
- 21st overall in Australia (out of 1,281 schools)
- 36th overall globally (out of 1,874 schools)
Congratulations to Year 5 students James Cullen, who achieved a Gold award and Axel Stapleton, who achieved a Silver award.
Congratulations, also, to the 39 students who undertook the ICAS Science exam during this week:
Huon Groves, who scored an impressive 37/40
Finally, a big thank you to Mr Kyte Gawman for organising the Science Week activities!
English – From English Teacher, Mr Bill Howard & The Library
As part of the College-wide Literacy strategy, students in Years 7 and 8 are visiting the library once every two weeks. Activities are designed to develop the reading/writing connection. With the focus on reading, students are able to discover and develop a range of vocabulary and meaning making in texts. They can then take this and apply it to their own writing, expression and text creation.
This week, the Year 7 boys of 7(09) and the other classes investigated genre through a range of reading and writing activities associated with specific genres and associated books. Pictured are a few of the boys who were guided through these activities by their classroom teacher and our dedicated library staff.
This program also feeds into Literacy activities designed by Mr Tall, including the reading and writing of flash fiction. To date, the boys have engaged with these activities positively and told us that they’ve enjoyed developing in this area.
Academic Enrichment – From Academic Enrichment Coordinator, Ms Belinda Buchan
Students in Year 9 and 11 competed in the Informatics Olympiad competition on Thursday 27 August. Students write short computer programs to solve six problems that vary in difficulty. The competition does not test computer literacy or knowledge, but is focused on problem solving using programming skills.
Australian high school students interested in computer programming have very few outlets where they can be recognised for their abilities. The AIO challenges these students, identifies talent and can open the door to deeper engagement with problems in Computer Science.
Well done to the Waverley boys in this challenging competition.
Tournament of the Minds (ToM) – From Year 7 Student James Peate
The ToM teams were hard at work on Tuesday in Week 6. Both teams worked all day to make their props and to start filming.
Team ᴉpᴉɹᴉʌ sᴉƃᴉɹpɐnb ɐllǝʇS – upside-down Latin translating to ‘Green Star Team’ (Charles Beckett, Ewan Mcdonald, Huon Groves, Jet Foltman, Leo Jreige, Tom Donaldson and myself) – are making a short film about conspiracy theorists who find a rock left from a past civilisation. The rock details the end of the world and they have to decide what to do with it. As such, they make tinfoil hats and shirts with the wildest theories on them.
Team ‘Fermi’ – named after a comment on the Fermi paradox (Tom Hughes, Ben Stirling, Rohan Baker, Liam Wood, Jack Tindale and Lachlan Korpar) – are making a short film about colonists on Mars who have a strange encounter with an alien. They had to make flags for all of the different colonies on Mars where their film was taking place. An alien hologram tells them of a disease that will kill all humans and they have an argument about what to do with that knowledge. They also painted rocks gold to imitate real gold found on Mars.
Due to COVID-19, all of the year groups had to sit in different areas of The Grange. This was challenging because they were mixed year group teams, but we felt as though we were able to overcome this obstacle through concise communication.
We then had to get to filming! Both teams used the green screen because filming on Mars is impossible – and filming in a cave is impractical! We were all excited to start filming as it was a landmark that all our work for brainstorming, scripting and prop making was paying off.
Library – From Head of Library Services, Mr William Roberts
In the library, we continue to explore ways to fire students’ curiosity and passions. 3D printing is one of the latest avenues we’ve been exploring.
Recently, we’ve used one design in particular – nontransitive dice – to generate discussions relating to Maths. Nontransitive dice roll a certain number more often, building on a mathematical principle.
If you’re interested in finding out more about these unique and intriguing dice, click here for an explanation from the man behind the maths – Dr James Grime of Cambridge University.
Food Technology – From TAS Teacher, Ms Cristie Whitten
This week, I’d like to update you on our cake making in Year 10 Food Technology. The topic students have been exploring is Foods for Special Occasions. Recently, they were tasked with planning a themed birthday party – either for a sibling between the age of 5 and 13, or a family member over the age of 50. Our Year 10s then had to design and make a cake to fit their chosen theme – and I think you’ll agree that they came up with some well-presented, innovative and tasty-looking celebration treats if the example below is anything to go by!
Well done, boys!